In August 2020, we invited our very first 'Guest Blogger' to write a post for Baa! She did a grand job telling the story of the creation of a gorgeous blanket.
Almost 3 years on, Lorna Reid (otherwise known as Never at a Loose End) has returned to introduce you to a new yarn brand that recently found a home at Baa!
I'm well acquainted with designs by Along Avec Anna. The French handknit pattern designer, now based in Exeter, Anna Dervout, founded her eponymous brand in 2017 after the success of her knitting blog.
Last year I knit her Trescao Sweater.
And I also knit myself the versatile Rosa Cardigan, another Along Avec Anna design.
It's unusual for me to knit the same pattern more than once but I've knit the Rosa cardie three times now. I made one for each of my daughters and it compliments their own personal style.
That's testimony to clear pattern instructions and an enjoyable knit! As well as designing desirable knitwear for women and wee ones, in multiple languages, Along Avec Anna now has its own yarn range. When Janice told me she intended to stock Along Avec Anna Merino 4ply, she invited me to choose a pattern and pick a colour to create a shop sample for Baa!
Look at these gorgeous shades.
After much deliberation, I chose the colour 'Trѐsor', reminiscent of antique gold.
Janice sent me the yarn and I was delighted with the colour and the softness of the Merino wool when I opened my envelope. Knitting a wee test swatch is a great way to see how the yarn knits up, as well as checking gauge. It’s a delightfully plump 4 ply with an authentically woolly handle. After washing and drying my test square I knew the knitted fabric would drape nicely.
Now – what to make? I'd settled on a short sleeve top by Along Avec Anna to showcase her yarn, and chose to knit the Rospico Tee. Here's my work in progress as I knitted the body upwards from the lacey hem. It's quite normal for me to have three projects on the go at a time so, as well as the Rospico Tee, I was making a hat and these mitts. It also proved to be a great on-the-go knit as I took it to the dentist to work on during treatment which involved a wait whilst an inlay was being made. Having busy hands certainly took my mind off the dental work!
Along Avec Anna patterns incorporate elegant design features. I'm working a three-needle bind-off below which ensures the shoulder seam is smooth and well-fitting as the back and front pieces are joined together.
And the short sleeve fits well and isn't too tight. I've had some mixed experience with sleeve fit in other patterns - not the designer's fault, usually mine. It’s not something I can't fix but it's great when it works out first time!
As I was scheduled to attend a knitting technique workshop at Baa!, I was keen to finish and take the completed sample knit with me. Fortunately, the day was sunny enough for some outdoor photos.
And some indoor ones…
The sun made the colour really glow whilst inside it looks a tad more muted.
Here's the completed Rospico Tee in Along Avec Anna Merino 4 ply in the colourway Trѐsor on display at Baa! It’s a beautiful yarn and lovely to wear.
Did I mention Baa! stocks Along Avec Anna silk/mohair too?
If Lorna is not knitting, crocheting, or learning a new craft. You may find her curled up with a good book, traveling, or composing her latest Blog post. Find out more of Lorna's antics on her blog, "Never at a Loose End".
I hope you enjoyed reading Lorna's post. She definitely discovered Anna Dervout long before Baa did. And, it is always a good testament to the quality of a pattern when it has been knitted multiple times. Just like Lorna did with the Rosa Cardigan.
Here at Baa, Linda made a Dandelion Hat, as soon as the yarn was placed on the shelves!
This design uses one strand of Merino 4ply and one strand of mohair/silk lace held together. This creates a DK weight which in turn makes Anna's patterns very versatile in choice and ease of substitution when selecting yarns. For instance, you could create this hat in any DK yarn giving you a wider choice of colour and price.
I have always tried to make good choices at Baa, most especially when it comes to yarn. We are all about natural fibre and as the business grows, so does my desire to provide you with yarns of quality, which are produced using ethical and sustainable methods.
The raw materials for Anna's yarns come from South Africa. The certified spinning mills used to produce the yarn work with farms whose practices ensure the well-being of animals and the environment. This includes the dyes and the dyeing process which reuses and saves water during all steps of production.
You can read more about the certification and sustainable approach to Anna's yarns here.
Meanwhile, I have cast on Iris Tank Top. With a bit of luck, I might have finished it by June 2024!
Please let us know in the comments below if you have already made any designs from Along Avec Anna. Or... If you, like me, are tempted to cast on.
Bye for now,
Janice and Lorna