As you may have heard (we have been shouting it from the rooftops as best we can!), our dream of having our own custom Along avec Anna yarn finally came true this November! We released six beautiful colours in two different weights: a fingering weight merino and a lace weight mohair silk, all ethically produced. We were very careful to pick two initial bases that would allow you to knit the most possible patterns from our repertoire, as well as many others! Not only can the yarns be used separately, but they can be combined in all combinations to make a range of different weights to adapt to your preferences and pattern choices! Here is a quick breakdown of some of the possibilities with our two different bases:
Of course, this is just a rough guide, and will also depend on your preferences in tension, density and drape! With all of these possible combinations, you can knit virtually any Along avec Anna pattern with just these two yarns, some combinations and some imagination! With this in mind, I would like to highlight some of my top picks and suggestions from among our many patterns for those of you ready to give these yarns a whirl!
The Snow Drop Headband
We’re sure you’ll love them, but what better way to try out our new yarn than a beautiful accessory that’s super quick to knit it up! And even better, the pattern is entirely free! This makes it a great introduction to our patterns in general and should give you an idea of our style for when you’re ready to throw yourself into a garment!
The headband features a beautiful motif created with double stitches and increases. It isn’t difficult once you get into a rhythm and would be a great choice for a motivated beginner!
The Snow Drop headband uses only one ball of merino and one ball of mohair, which makes it a perfect chance to take our two bases for a test drive. But if the fluffiness of mohair isn’t your thing, you always have the option of substituting with two strands of fingering merino!As I write this, the Snow Drop Headband is on my needles in a combination of Louve (grey) merino and Tourmaline (pink) mohair! You can keep an eye on my progress on my Instagram page (@mailles_stitches)!
The Dandelion Hat
If you need your knits to provide full head coverage (it’s already very cold here in the UK!) then the dandelion hat would be a great choice! It features twisting ribs and a pretty dandelion stitch, which is fun to work and provides a nice bit of variation as you knit.
Like the headband, it’s knitted in one strand of merino and one strand of mohair, which makes it extremely warm and cosy for the Winter months! And why not top it off with a beautiful pompom? We now sell natural fibre alpaca pom poms in our online and brick-and-mortar shop!
You can check out our site for more accessory options, including beautiful shawls such as the Blossom Shawl, which is a lacey aran weight shawl that would be perfect for one strand of merino and two strands of mohair! Keep an eye out for new accessory pattern releases over the coming months too (just a hint)!
If you’re familiar with our patterns, you’ll know that we have a huge range of women’s jumpers and cardigans to suit your knitting style and keep you cosy throughout the year! You can check out our full range of designs here. All of our jumpers can be knitted in our new yarn, so why not stock up on a sweater quantity to make the most of the postage costs? Here are a couple of my favourites with some tips for knitting them Along avec Anna from start to finish!
The Trescao Jumper
Our free Trescao Jumper pattern is a perfect choice for a first garment to knit (but will equally be a pleasure for experienced knitters!). It is a cropped-sleeve, top-down Raglan jumper, with a beautiful lace detail on the raglan increases and some elegant shaping with German short rows. It’s simple and classic in its design and is fully size inclusive (as are the majority of our patterns!).
The Trescao Jumper is knitted in one strand of merino and one strand of mohair for a DK weight equivalent that’s light but comfy and warm, and it would look wonderful in any of our new colorways! Why not create a new version in Colombe (cream) for a crisp and neutral wardrobe staple? Or perhaps something more eye-catching in our gorgeous Tomette (terracotta) colourway?
The Minaouët Cardigan
This is one of our most popular patterns and with good reason! It’s an extremely fluffy, comforting cardigan that’s perfect for snuggling up in throughout the Winter! It’s more of an intermediate design due to the German short row shaping and the pretty broken rib stitch pattern throughout, which gives it both texture and warmth!
This pattern uses one strand of merino and two strands of mohair for extra fluffiness! For a complex, multi-tonal finish, Anna chose to use a cream merino yarn with two strands of pale pink mohair for that subtle sheen. If you want to achieve the same look, one strand of Colombe and two strands of Tourmaline would be the perfect combination! It would look equally gorgeous in one single colourway, or an entirely new colour combination of your creation!
Of course, we have too many patterns to list here, so I encourage you to browse the website – I’m sure you’ll find something that calls to you! Be playful and explore your creativity with the yarn, patterns and colours! Try out different garments, accessories, textures and motifs! The gauge is the limit, so just make sure to knit up a swatch and wash and block to ensure that you’re creating your dream knitted fabric. And make sure to tag us on Instagram @along.avec.anna and use the hashtags #alongavecanna and #alongavecannayarn, so that we and other knitters can be inspired by your work!
Where can I find out more information about your yarn?
We have already written two blog posts with lots of information about our new yarn! In our first post, you can read about our bases and all the details about the choices we made to produce this ethical yarn. In our second post, you can read about the inspiration behind our six unique colourways!
What are your plans for future products?
We have already developed three new colorways which will be available in the spring. We can’t wait to show you! We are also planning in the near future to release a DK base, so you have the option of knitting many more of our patterns with a single strand. Since it is not possible to farm enough merino yarn in the UK, we would eventually like to add a British yarn base to our collection, such as Bluefaced Leicester, to support local and provide variety. But we have to go one step at a time, so thank you for sticking with us as we develop these projects!
Is superwash yarn suitable for fair isle knitting?
It can be slightly more tricky, but superwash merino can be used to knit our fair isle patterns! For example, our popular Marieke pattern with its beautiful colourwork yoke can be knit in a single strand of our merino fingering. As with all colourwork, you will get the best results by using two yarns that contrast strongly with each other. My top combination would be a Colombe (cream) main colour with a Chataigne (warm brown) contrast colour! Or perhaps a Royal (blue) main colour with a Louve (grey) contrast colour! There are two many to choose from…
If I’ve combined super wash merino with non-superwash mohair, how should I wash and block?
Our merino is a superwsh yarn, meaning it can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle wool program. The mohair itself is usually washed by hand, with lucky warm water, however, there is usually no problem to machine wash it if it was knit with a superwash merino. We do recommend however that you try first with your swatch before washing your garment.
We recommend you to only use the wool program (gentle 30 degres) with a spinning of 800 tours/minute. It is recommended to place your knit in a “sac filet”. This way, it should not felt. But again, always try with your swatch first!
Is superwash yarn suitable for steeking?
While it is more difficult to steek with superwash yarn, it is very much possible! The important thing is to use a sewing machine to secure the sides, instead of the crochet chain method, since this will hold the wool more firmly in place. This means you can knit our Pia’s Day set in our yarn: a pretty set for babies with a colourwork cardigan and a bloomer with an elasticated waistband.