Linda from Kettle Yarn Co. has an amazing eye for colour and design and I've felt invested in watching her grow since she first started her company a few short years ago. She was one of our first volunteers that we recruited for the inaugural Great London Yarn Crawl and launched her yarn company around the same time. Linda is also a Canadian transplant to the UK so I feel a special kinship as our businesses have grown up side by side.
About two years ago during one of Linda's first shop updates, she featured a new yarn - Islington - a yummy mix of superwash BFL and silk. And the skein that caught my eye was a beautiful, burnished, vintage gold. I was filled an unreasonable lust for this yarn, even though I had no immediate plans for it or thought as to what I would do with it, but I tucked it away in my stash like a dragon hoarding it's gold.
Flash forward a year later and Helen of Curious Handmade's gorgeous Pebble Beach Shawlette was the winner of the Unwind Brighton design competition. It was knit up in another of Linda's luscious bases, Westminster - this time in camel and silk. And another equally beautiful gold colourway that just shimmered from the silk content in the yarn.
This past June, when I really had absolutely no business casting on something new (which of course is always when I'm most strongly struck with a case of start-itis), I got the idea in my head that I was going to knit this shawl to match the antique yellow in the vintage Liberty print fabric that I was sewing into a dress for myself. A quick stash dive later and I'd cast on for the shawl. The easy-to-follow instructions and percentage completion chart kept me highly motivated and sneaking away to knit "just one more row".
The results were every bit as pleasing as all the Pebble Beach FOs that I saw at Unwind - although I'm now seriously tempted to knit it again in one of the new, larger sizes that are now available.
Interestingly, while both versions of Islington are equally lovely, I think my preference tips lightly in favour of the DK. Perhaps it's because that weight has always been a favourite of mine but I kind of feel like the added weight of the fabric makes the finished object just that much more luxe.
And the pattern! Even though it was a kind of sample/test knit, I'm excited to be ahead of the popularity wave. Bagatelle is one of the six patterns in Linda's first collection - The Boardwalk Collection - that she's pulled together for Kettle Yarn Co. (click that link to see the lookbook for the whole collection!). Since it's release, The Boardwalk Collection has been making the rounds with a blog tour (full disclosure: organised by yours truly) and I've seen more than a few comments where people have picked out the pattern as their fave!
As much as I might have teased Rachel about casting on a crap-ton of stitches and the seed stitch border, it's a truly gorgeous design. There's a soothing rhythm to the lace too and I love how it evokes the huge supporting columns of a seaside pier.
Just like it was cotton all the time with my knitting a few months ago, now I seem to be in a wool and silk phase. Can't say I'm complaining, but I do wonder what's next on the knitting front. Maybe alpaca and silk? I still need to cast on for my Yarn in the City GLYC2015 KAL after all!