Today finally sees the culmination of over two years of enthused discussions between myself and my good friend Julieta of knitshop.co.uk. Julieta and I have known each other for around six years now and as the creator of her own brand of yarns she has always been really supportive of my book and pattern projects providing yarns when ever approached. I have used knitshop Mulberry Silk for example in both volumes 1 and 2 of A Stitch in Time. What I really wanted to do though was work on a cotton range together that would work perfectly for the vintage projects that needed it and also offer a lower price option for the Mulberry Silk projects in the books. Since Rowan discontinued their 4 ply cotton this has become more and more of an obsession with me. Several designs in volume 1 including the iconic Light and Lovely used this yarn and in light of volume 1 being re-published I wanted to be able to provide an alternative that would be in the appropriate colours and that wouldn’t be discontinued for the forseeable future.
|Light and Lovely from A Stitch in Time Volume 1. |
Uses Coquette in Spearmint and Sapphire
And so Coquette was born. It is a very high quality mercerised cotton grown in Turkey on small family-run farms and then spun in Bulgaria on equipment still in use since the 1930s. Julieta will be reporting from the mill this summer when she makes her annual trip there. The cotton is spun into beautiful old fashioned balls which got me very excited.
|Coquette in Wine|
I have initially chosen 12 colours that include most of the colours of 4 ply cotton that I have previously used in the Stitch in Time books and will be working on additional colours for next year and beyond.
They are from top left:
Wine; Oyster; Canary; Flame; Highland; Pumpkin; Carnation; Old Lace; Aquamarine; Snow; Spearmint and Sapphire.
The cotton creates an exquisitely even fabric with a slight sheen and depending on the tension and stitch pattern used can appear either firm or drapey. It can even be pressed to obtain that vintage woven fabric appearance of so many of the designs of the 30s through to the 50s. I think its shown to its best advantage here in This Attractive Affair from A Stitch in Time, Volume 2.
|This Attractive Affair from A Stitch in Time Volume 2|
uses Coquette in Wine and Oyster
Knitted using Wine and Oyster, this design requires the yarn to behave almost like a woven fabric. It needs to be pressed, eased and sewn together and then finishing touches such as button loops added.
When I was deciding which yarns to use for this project there was only ever one choice. I knew instantly that Coquette would work perfectly.
Maintaining the summer mood Coquette can also be used to knit your very own swim suit. The Call of the Sea from A Stitch in Time Volume 1 can be knitted using Sapphire and Snow.
|The Call of the Sea from A Stitch in Time Volume 1|
The firmness of the cotton as previously discussed here creates a really supportive fabric for bathing or simply lounging!
Coquette also looks fabulous used for textured stitch patterns. This is my sample piece for the revised pattern for Knitter's Delight from A Stitch in Time, Volume 1.
|Sample for Knitter's Delight from A Stitch in Time Volume 1|
The stitches are nicely formed and the very subtle sheen on the yarn helps light bounce off the sample giving further definition. Its also really easy to knit a lace pattern with this yarn. I'm using a 3.25mm needle here and the stitches move easily on the needle and work together as needed without any difficulty.
And in case you've forgotten what Knitter's Delight looks like. Here she is as shown in Volume 1, using the discontinued cotton.
|Knitter's Delight from A Stitch in Time Volume 1|
Coquette is also used in Volume 2 in the fabulous 1950s Jumper with Collar and Flowers.
Again the strength of the fabric created with the cotton allows for pressing and ensuring a perfectly flat collar. It is also perfect for the crochet details and flowers on the jumper and there will be more crochet patterns to come!
|Jumper with Collar and Flowers from A Stitch in Time Volume 2|
uses Coquette in Carnation, Snow and Canary
Coquette will normally retail at £4.95 per 50gm ball and it has a meterage of 125m per ball. The recommended tension when using a 3.25mm set of needles (or 3mm) is 28 sts and 36 rows, although it is very flexible and knits well to other tensions too.
For a limited period however I'm delighted to announce that Coquette is available from my website for only £4.45 per ball.
Coquette will also be available to retailers at wholesale prices. This side of things will be managed by Julieta who can be contacted on her email address which is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally for today, one of the things I particularly love about these wonderful vintage balls of yarn is the perfect centre pull.