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Entries in Blue Sky Alpaca (25)

Sunday
Aug112013

Whit's Knits: New Log Cabin Washcloths

Knitting doesn't offer too many shortcuts. Maybe that's exactly why we love knitting so much, but every now and then, even diehard knitters need a little instant gratification. Enter the washcloth!

I love to give (and use!) hand knit washcloths. They are an unexpected luxury that's not on anyone's list but would be if they only knew the pleasure. And I love the satisfaction of a small square that's open to a whole world of possibilites. And finally, I love how very fast they are to knit!

These New Log Cabin Washcloths are the second set I've made using the same design principle. The first set tinkered with juxtapositions of bright color, while this set has its eye on texture. Blue Sky's organic Skinny Cotton plays the straight guy to Habu's uber-playful Natural Cover Cotton. The result is a little bit mid-century modern and a little bit now; a little bit city and a little bit country; a little bit methodical and a little bit wonky!

For a great summer travel project, choose one of our Yarn for Log Cabin Washcloth kits in Red, Navy, Shell or Khaki. Your first washcloth will be done before you return your seat back to its full, upright position!  -Whitney

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Friday
Jul262013

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Balls

They may not be able to walk, talk or parallel park, but one thing babies are very good at is playing with balls! Like cavemen inventing the wheel, babies love to marvel at the physics and possibilities of a thing that rolls. It makes them giggle, which makes us giggle, which makes everybody happy!

These soft and squishy Crocheted Balls are just right for little explorers. A simple crocheted sphere serves as a canvas for colorful cross-stitched stripes. Don't worry if you've never cross stitched before, because not only do we explain it all, but it's also really easy!

A set of all four Crocheted Balls makes a wow-I-love-these present for baby showers, birthday bashes and just cuz. Get everything you need with our Materials for Crocheted Balls kit right here and get rolling! -Whitney

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Sunday
Jul142013

Whit's Knits: Shadow Stripe Baby Blanket

Don't tell the socks and sweaters, but my favorite thing to knit (or crochet!) is blankets. I guess because my background is in painting, I have a real affinity for the blank canvas, a four-sided shape of pure potential. But what I love most about making blankets is that in the end you have... a blanket! A thing that comforts and warms, a thing that babies and children hold dear, a thing that brings happiness into everyday life.

If a blanket is a painting, then the Shadow Stripe Baby Blanket is high Minimalism, circa 1966. The bold geometry of horizontal stripes is intercepted by a shift in color halfway through every other stripe. The technique is simple, but the impact is totally satisfying!

And since we're knitting for babies, I used Blue Sky's super cuddly Worsted Cotton. Unlike most other cottons, this one invites companionship with its cushiony spring and surprising softness. I love this palette of crisp, nautical Blues with its summertime freshness, or choose our Natural colorway which assembles three misty neutrals for a more subtle statement. Both kits of seven skeins are available right here!

Wielding your yarn the way a painter brandishes her brush, enjoy this fun knit, and end up with a beautiful blanket to boot! -Whitney

 

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Sunday
May192013

Whit's Knits: Knit Octopus

I can't say that I've ever felt the desire to hug an actual octopus, but a stuffed one has a distinct appeal: eight embracing arms! With such magnanimity, a Knit Octopus makes a pretty sweet companion!

What I didn't know about designing an octopus was that it would put me on a deep-sea exploration of knitting's inherent intelligence. Knitting, like the ocean itself, answers to an inscrutable essence, part natural law and part mystery. Bound by the mathematics of eight, this Knit Octopus practically created itself, and so to me, the result feels magically inevitable.

And for mathematical magic there's nothing better than the purity of warm white. Blue Sky's Sport Weight Alpaca in Natural White brings a lovely serenity and simplicity to the Knit Octopus, while the wonderful softness of 100% baby alpaca (doubled!) brings us back to all that hugging I was talking about!

I hope, like me, that when you create your Knit Octopus you feel a little bit like the Jacques Cousteau of knitting, probing the fathomless world of knits and purls, learning a little something along the way! -Whitney

 

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Sunday
Apr142013

Whit's Knits: Tunisian Crochet Washcloths

I worked in our store for years before I finally learned the story of the weirdly long crochet hooks that kept getting tucked away in a forgotten corner. Oh, those? They're just the tool you need to whip up one of needlework's most beautiful fabrics!

Tunisian Crochet may get overlooked in the corner sometimes, but the distinctiveness of its fabric warrants closer scrutiny. It combines a waffle-like grid with a squishy density that is just right for blankets, pillows, dishtowels, and these washcloths!

If you already know how to crochet, you'll be old friends with this new technique in about ten minutes. And even if you've never held a crochet hook before, Tunisian Crochet is one of the easiest places to start. Our new Tunisian Crochet Basics Tutorial will get you on your way!

Use your new skills to whip up these decadently thick and wonderfully soft Tunisian Crochet Washcloths. They're made out of a combination of organic and pima cottons which subtly play off each other with their matte and lustrous finishes. We think a set of three is just what mom will love this Mother's Day! -Whitney

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