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Entries in Anzula (22)

Sunday
Dec112011

Colorful Crafting with Jen: The Sweetie Pie Hat

When I first designed the Sweetie Pie Hat four years ago, I had plenty of time on my hands to create patterns. With no one tugging at my sleeve while I knit, I had deep reserves of concentration and loads of patience.  But now that I have a one and half year old, updating an old beloved pattern with new yarn and simpler instructions is about all I can handle!!    

The original Sweetie Pie Hat was striped, because back then, had no reason to mind switching colors every eight rows (not to mention weaving in all those ends!). I still love that hat and will continue to wear it, but after knitting the Forever Baby Blanket for a friend, the For Better or Worsted from Anzula was calling my name. I decided it was just the right  yarn for a fresh take on an old favorite!  

With its crisp and clean stitch definition, For Better or Worsted is the perfect choice for interesting stitch patterns, and it just couldn't be nicer to work with! Super duper soft and sumptuous, this merino, cashmere and nylon blend is also machine washable. The new Sweetie Pie Hat takes only one skein of For Better or Worsted and will knit up in no time at all, even with a toddler on your lap! Happy Holidays! -Jen

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Tuesday
Nov222011

Whit's Knits: Hudson's Bay Inspired Crib Blanket

We love the Hudson's Bay Blanket for its classic simplicity and beauty. And maybe more, we love the underlying belief that, even in the midst of the great Canadian wilderness with its arduous cold and haunting vastness, the Hudson's Bay Blanket will protect us. 

Originally, the Hudson's Bay Blanket's lightweight warmth and insulation made it common barter for Native American goods, like beaver pelts, buffalo robes and moccasins. But in the last three hundred years the Hudson Bay Blanket has come a long way. Now it is practically a national symbol to many Canadians, and to the rest of the world, an unmistakable design icon.

I love the idea of a handknit version, borrowing the iconography of the original and lending it a little homemade twist! Sized for a baby's crib, I'm also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult. No baby in sight? Use it as a gorgeous throw over your favorite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace. It may not be an open fire deep in a white pine forest, but, hey, you're probably not a fur trapper either!

For this special project we turned to Anzula's absolutely gorgeous For Better or Worsted. A merino, cashmere, nylon blend, it is the perfect blanket yarn with its machine washable durability and cuddly soft coziness. And its quirky hand dyed colors give the Hudson's Bay Blanket a fresh look, warm and bright!

So, for a great barter idea this holiday season, give a handknit Hudson's Bay Crib Blanket. In exchange, you'll get a whole lot of love!

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Thursday
Aug182011

Laura's Loop: Whit's Pom Pom Peds

I have been working on the Purl Bee team for only a short while (6 months, last week!), but the Purl Bee has had a place in my life for years. I have been a faithful reader and follower of the blog almost since its creation!  My crafting bag of tricks is filled with techniques picked up from this very site. I can remember my first foray into hand hemming with Page's beautiful Rolled Hem Handkerchiefs, just as I remember feeling that Whitney was holding my hand right through my very first pair of socks, the Pom Pom Peds.

The Pom Pom Peds were my first hand-knit socks, and to this day, they remain my favorite! Whitney describes the pattern as being perfect for beginner sock knitters and short attention span knitters. How right she is! The first time I knit them, all my fears and insecurities about sock knitting flew out the window. Now these peds are my go-to pattern for last minute gifts or for short subway rides. I have turned to this pattern again and again due to its simple construction and super friendly instructions.

So when I set my eyes on the new Purl-tastic color of Anzula's Squishy, Hyacinth, I knew exactly what I was going to knit:  my old friend, the Pom Pom Peds in Hyacinth and Natural. Squishy has been a Purl Soho favorite for a little over a year now. Joelle used it to make her 'Squishy' Log Cabin Baby Blanket and her Stirrup Socksand Whitney used it to knit her Ribbed Hand Warmers, but I still can't help thinking of Squishy as the new kid on the block. I am constantly astonished by how amazing it is, as if I am encountering it for the first time, every time. Its lofty spin of merino and cashmere not only makes it sumptuous to wear, but also luscious to knit. Plus, Squishy comes in a range of gorgeous hand dyed colors, from petal soft Dusty Rose to high octane Ducky to toasty warm Coco.

Two of these generous 385-yard-skeins (one in each color) are enough for four pairs of Pom Pom Peds as long as you are conservative with your tails and pom poms. Worst case scenario, you'll end up with three socks in each color to mix and match at your whim!  Hope y'all enjoy these peds as much as I do. Thanks for the great pattern, Whitney! To make your own pair vist our Pom Pom Peds Project Journal right here.  --Laura

Sunday
Aug072011

Whit's Knits: Little Baby Sweater

My son Bear is a rowdy, mysterious, extremely silly two and a half years old. I love his toddlerhood, its questions and observations, its vicissitudes and surprises, but there's one thing I really do miss about his infancy. Those amazingly tiny little clothes! With their itty bitty sleeves and miniature proportions, they seem to me now like they were made for enchanted elves instead of babies! This irresistible cuteness makes baby gear almost everyone's favorite thing to knit, me included.

And so to satisfy this hankering, I designed this charming Little Baby Sweater. It's a simple knit, inspired by the no-nonsense engineering of knitting great, Elizabeth Zimmermann. Its inset sleeves pay homage to her genius Tomten Jacket, and its easy, low maintenance finishing would maybe please the guru herself! If you love Elizabeth Zimmermann's style but have always felt a little intimidated by her approach, this is a very friendly place to start!

I was happy to have a great excuse to try out our newest yarn from Anzula, Sebastian, because it includes sea cell, a fiber I had never heard of.  It turns out that sea cell is a seaweed and cellulose blend with the rigor and breathability of a plant fiber, the feather lightness of wool, and the soft shine of bamboo. It also turns out that sea cell plus superwash merino makes Sebastian the perfect choice for a baby!

 

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Sunday
Jun052011

Whit's Knits: Perfect Fit Socks

I think hand knit socks are one of life's underrated pleasures. Like juicy watermelon on a steamy day or good rainboots in a downpour, hand knit socks make everything okay! 

I designed these Perfect Fit Socks to wrap your feet in extra deep comfort. For an honestly perfect fit, the toe shapes around your toes with no ouchy seams; the length of the sock is customized to your foot (size charts included); the heel has cozy slip stitch padding; and the leg and top of the foot conform wonderfully to any body, thanks to 2 x 2 ribbing.

And for truly happy feet, I turned to Anzula's latest creation, Cloud. Cloud is a beautiful blend of superwash merino (for softness and structure), nylon (for durability), and cashmere (for dreamy goodness). This yarn is so lightweight and fine that you can look forward to hand knit socks that will actually fit in your shoes! And, at a whopping 575 yards a skein, the best news is you'll only need one!

These socks are sized for men and women, so, while you may want to get started on a pair for yourself, don't forget dad! Father's Day is around the corner, and in the thoughtful present category, nothing beats hand knit socks. Let him know it's time to kick his feet up!

You can purchase a copy of our Perfect Fit Socks Pattern right here, to choose a skein of Cloud, just click here!

Thanks! -Whitney

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