With all the thinking about summery knitting that I’ve been doing over this Summer Series (even as I chill out in the wintery Southern Hemisphere!) today’s blogpost is a perfect fit for the theme. About a month ago Kettle Yarn Co. invited me to be a part of a blog tour for their new pattern collection, Boardwalk, which was created around the new Islington DK yarn. Of course I jumped at the chance! I’m so excited that it’s finally my turn to talk about this wonderful yarn and this marvellous gathering of patterns.
Kettle Yarn Co. is an old friend. As you might remember, the first Pebble Beach shawlette was made from their Westminster base, and I used the first incarnation of Islington (the lighter fingering weight version) to knit my Sunburst Shawl. I’ll always be a big fan of their yarns. I was enchanted with the Islington blend when I used it, and the fact that it’s now available in a DK weight opens up a whole new realm of knitting possibilities.
As a designer, I’m often inspired by seascapes (just look at Pebble Beach and Whispering Island!) and the Boardwalk collection speaks to me on so many levels. With six tempting patterns by superbly talented designers Rachel C Brown, Renée Callahan, Rachel Coopey, Linda Lencovic, Isabell and Kraemer, it really manages to capture the joy of a summer holiday and strolling by the sea.
I’m finding the whole Boardwalk collection extremely inspiring. Just seeing the unique directions that each of the six designers have taken from the theme of the Hastings pier is intriguing. Each pattern is full of summer joy but it’s easy to see how well they will work as transitional pieces across the seasons, bringing some off that sunshine into the coldder months. They’ve put together a brilliant lookbook of all the designs for us to enjoy.
It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite pattern, but Bagatelle by Rachel Brown is standing out for me personally right now. This cowl just looks so fun, simple and easy to wear, but with really great detail. I also love the colour of the sample, Peony.
Each of the patterns takes a different approach to showcasing Islington DK, playing on its unique strengths and qualities. I love the official description:
Well-bred but streetwise, this lightweight blend yarn is versatile and strong while maintaining buttery softness – a sophisticated choice for everyday items, luxurious next-to-skin wear and precious accessories.
As soft as Merino, the blend’s 100% British Bluefaced Leicester tempers silk’s drape while adding strength and elasticity. The high percentage of BFL makes items hardwearing, very low pilling and long lasting. The addition of 45% silk combines sophisticated sheen and luxurious handle with crispness and uniformity for stunning stitch definition.
In my experiences, the wool-silk blend of Islington DK is a wonderful fibre for warding off summer breezes without excess weight. As always, I’m especially drawn to the richness of the colourways. They put me in mind of ice lollies, striped beach umbrellas, and the flashing shades of the sea itself. I have a serious weakness for teal and blue-green tones, and Verdigris is so rich and intense it just makes me want to dive right in.
If you’d like to visit this yarn in person, it will be holding court at two upcoming yarn shows in the UK:
Fibre East on the 25 – 26th of July
Yarn in the City on the 15th of September
You can also get your hands on it immediately in the Kettle Yarn Co. online shop.
As a bit of a treat, Kettle Yarn Co. have kindly offered a skein of Islington DK as a giveaway for Curious Handmade readers. Just leave a comment with your favourite colour way, and I’ll draw a winner randomly at the end of the blog tour, on Thursday the 6th of August!
The next stop on the tour is with the hilarious and wonderful Jo from Shiny Bees podcast and blog, giving her take on the yarn and the collection. Be on the lookout for that on Tuesday, 21 July!