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Entries in Anzula (24)

Thursday
May012014

Whit's Knits: Striped Crew Socks

I live with a five year old boy, and if you know anyone like that, you've probably noticed how much he likes to chat about dirty socks (and stinky cheese and slimy worms); and so it comes as a welcome respite for me to knit up something that is on the opposite end of that conversational spectrum. These Striped Crew Socks have such an incredibly nice, fresh feeling that all icky talk seems miles away.

A simple one-round stripe takes on a little complexity when a 1 x 1 rib moves into stockinette stitch. I love how the shift from one to the other feels like an optical illusion and, on top of that, how the different stitch patterns serve a practical function: ribbing for anti-gravitational hold on the leg and stockinette for smooth comfort on the foot.

Our favorite sock yarn at Purl Soho is definitely Anzula's Squishy. It's amazingly soft (thank you, cashmere), wonderfully springy (thank you, merino) and totally durable (thank you, nylon). It's also hand dyed in unbelievebaly beautiful colors that feel plucked from nature herself. The Nimbus blue I used here (paired with Au Natural ecru) gives the effect of rippling cool water or windswept skies, just right for a brand new pair of spring socks!

I do love my son's boyish pleasure in the disgusting and the creepy, but I have to admit, I love the quiet elegance of these socks at least as much! - Whitney

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Sunday
Apr272014

Laura's Loop: Colorblock Bias Blanket

Whenever I am faced with a pile of undeniably beautiful yarn, I turn to an old-friend-of-a-project, the Colorblock Bias Blanket. It is a project that never grows old; it soothes your knitting soul when you’re stumped by a contiguous sleeve or bogged down by too many bobbles; it inspires combinations of color and texture that never before seemed possible; and like all of my most treasured things, this pattern was handed down to me by my dear Aunt Julie.

Julie’s wild sense of color and unique personal style constantly inspire me to freely experiment with textures and values and tones. So recently, when I found myself strolling the aisles of Purl Soho with seven skeins in a vice-grip-like hug, realizing I couldn’t let a single skein go, I knew exactly how I could pull them all together.

I knit my Colorblock Bias Blanket in simple garter stitch, using three different hand-dyed, DK-weight yarns in a spectrum of seven amazing colors. Starting with pops of peach, I used Koigu’s crisp and lively Kersti Merino Crepe. Then to contrast with the smooth consistency of the Kersti, I moved on to Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino DK, a single ply yarn that quietly shifts from thick to thin. Next I used Anzula’s luxurious Cricket , a blend of superwash merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon. Its machine-spun quality and soft, sandy colors add elegance and subtlety. And finally, I finished the blanket with two more skeins of quirky Tosh Merino DK.

The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts (thank you, Aristotle). Each of these yarns has its own special personality, but together, they create a rich and complex fabric. You can create your own beautiful blanket with Purl Soho’s Yarn for Colorblock Bias Blanket kit. Choose from three lovely colorways: this toasty Peach, cool Mint or burst-of-yellow Lemon! -Laura

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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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