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Entries in Anzula (22)

Sunday
Mar162014

Whit's Knits: Kid's Fair Isle Vest

For this Kid's Fair Isle Vest I used a technique credited to a tiny island north of Scotland (aka Fair Isle) and a stitch pattern from another tiny island, this one west of Estonia (Muhu). In times and places where, by logic, function should have ruled sweater design, instead, knitters seemed to have taken sheer joy in form. It seems to me that, when they cast on for a new sweater, the women from these cold, isolated island places threw all of life's hardships and frustrations right out the window.

Such knitting ingenuity from anywhere, anytime is awe-inspiring, and the creation of this vest was a wonderful opportunity to get inside the minds of the incredible knitting women who came before us. Armed with the beautiful book, Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island, I used a pared-down palette and design to bring a modern sensibility to this extraordinary traditional stitch pattern.

And since my son, the intended recipient of this vest, doesn't plan on spending the next few months aboard a fishing vessel, instead of thick, scratchy wool, I chose Anzula's soft and supple Cricket. A combination of merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon, this subtly hand dyed yarn isn't necessarily seaworthy, but it is what we modern city-dwellers have come to appreciate!

The Kid's Fair Isle Vest is a fun challenge and also a truly satisfying trip into knitting history. Thank you to all those inspiring women who innovated such beauty by lantern light! -Whitney

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Sunday
Jul072013

Whit's Knits: Baby Bloomers

When my son was born I was pretty sure that he was the only baby who had ever existed in the history of the world. And even now, four years later, I still sometimes forget that other peoples' babies have come after him... but they have. Lots of them! And each one is right at the center of its parents' universe.

That's exactly why babies inspire our most special ideas, because to us, they are, in fact, very special. I made these Baby Bloomers to reflect that feeling, to be as lovely and indeed, as special as the babies who will wear them! Designed to fit over diapers in sizes from 6 to 18 months, these bloomers are really sweet over a onesie or under a loose top. Fold over the ribbed waist or pull it up to the armpits for a great vintage look.

Anzula's Mermaid brings a particluar beauty to this design. As light as air and as soft as babies' skin, it is a hand dyed mix of silk and sea cell (which is an unusual seaweed-cellulose blend). The result is gently shiny and absolutely gorgeous. You can pick up the two skeins you'll need right here with our Yarn for Baby Bloomers kit.

I wish I'd thought of these for my own baby, but since he's not the only baby in the world, I'm happy to think of these bloomers on yours! -Whitney

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Sunday
Jun092013

Laura's Loop: Rib-Wise Tank

"It’s tank top season y'allllllll!!!!!!!” This was recently yelled in my direction by a peppy pilates instructor who I think would have rather been teaching a 90s hip-hop sculpt class. As my arms began to burn, I bristled at the proclamation, but once in the comfort and security of my couch, knitting needles in hand, I had to admit that she was right. It IS tank top season, y’all.
This simple Rib-Wise Tank is just right for the season with a bit of room to breathe but not so much that you’re weighed down in the heat. Ribbing along the sides, straps and between the shoulder blades creates subtle shaping and streamlining, while Anzula’s beautiful new Milky Way offers a soft shine, a slight drape and a cool touch.
You know, I learned something else that day at the gym… It’s SHORTS season y’alllllll!!!! But don’t worry, I need to spend a lot more time in the gym before you see knit shorts from me! -Laura

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Sunday
May052013

Whit's Knits: Woven Scarf

When I was in college I spent a January break deeply ensconced in a weaving studio in Maine learning the ins and outs of heddles, warps and wefts. I became fascinated with the beauty of woven fabric, but once the month was over, I faced the same dilemma as many aspiring weavers before me: even if I could have afforded a room-size loom, where in the world would I put it? My dorm room? Or later, my first New York City shoebox apartment?

And so, about a million years later, I'm so excited to be back at the loom! This time with Schacht Spindle Co.'s perfectly engineered Cricket Loom. About the size of a record player, this rigid-heddle loom turns out beautiful woven fabric without requiring its own room. The Cricket is also super easy and insanely satisfying!

For this Woven Scarf I worked a plain weave, choosing yarns that would add their own complexity and depth. Habu's Dyed Bamboo forms a strong, smooth and wonderfully lustrous warp. And the hand dyed subtlety of Anzula's Squishy gives the weft a gently variegated beauty. The result is a stunning lightweight scarf with all the classic simplicity of woven fabric!

As a lover of all crafts that involve my hands and some yarn, the Cricket Loom is my new best friend. It swings open the door to a whole world of fiber arts whose inspiration is truly endless!

Get the Woven Scarf how-to's right here, and be sure to also check out our Cricket Loom Tips here. Happy weaving! -Whitney

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Thursday
Mar142013

Whit's Knits: Baby Jumper

When there's a baby in the picture, knitters have a hard time sitting idle. Our fingers twitch until we've outfitted that little bundle in our finest efforts. So when Molly's baby Guadalupe joined the Purl Bee family, that was my cue to get knitting!

I designed this Baby Jumper to appease little Lupe's budding sense of style but also her mother's legendary concern for practicality! Loose and soft and comfy, this simple dress is easy to slip over a squirmy baby's head and really works for the longhaul, first as a jumper, then as a tunic, and even later as a shirt. Plus, it's machine washable. Even Molly has to approve!

And since every hand knit baby gift has heirloom potential, I knit this one up in Anzula's very special Sebastian yarn. Sebastian combines superwash merino with sea cell, a newfangled seaweed-cellulose fiber that offers durability, drape and a very pretty soft shine!

PS Want to catch a glimpse of sweet Lupe in her Baby Jumper? Click here to see her on Instagram!

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