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Entries in Blue Sky Alpaca (25)

Sunday
Mar202011

Colorful Crafting with Jen: Bunny Hop Bunnies from Knitting at KNoon

When I saw these adorable bunnies from Knitting at KNoon's Bunny Hop Pattern in January I knew I would be soon be making them for Easter on The Purl Bee.  Like the Knitting at KNoon SnoBuddy family I made 2 winters ago, I think these bunnies are among the cutest knit toys I've ever seen! 

The bunnies have lots of parts: bodies, ears, arms, feet and charming accessories, but still I managed to make the four of them pictured here over just three evenings after my daughter's bedtime.  

Like the snowmen, it was the accessories for each bunny that made them come to life.  I especially loved knitting the sweet tiny carrot that the little boy bunny is holding.

If you'd like to make your own Bunny Hop Family to look like mine, here is what you'll need:

Bunny Hop Pattern from Knitting at KNoon

For the bodies, feet, arms, ears and pom pom tail:

For the accessories, eyes and noses, 1 skein each Gumnuts Blossoms Needlepoint Yarn as follows:

  • Flower stems and carrot top:  color 608
  • Flowers: color 709
  • Carrot: color 787
  • Apron: color 843 for the apron, plus small bits of 785 and 706 for the bows
  • Kerchief: colors 909, 961 and 859

For the accessories I used US size 4 double pointed needles

Happy Easter! -- Jen

Sunday
Feb272011

Whit's Knits: Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan

I love to knit for babies. Not just for the usual reasons of it being fast and immediately gratifying, but because I love while I'm knitting to think about the baby herself, her budding life and the amazing road ahead of her. I love to think about the explosion of feelings the baby's parents are experiencing and the cocoon of love they are busy creating for their little one. And I love to think that all of these thoughts and good wishes are soaking right into the gift I'm knitting!

I wanted to design a sweater that would reflect these thoughts, that would feel almost as precious as the baby herself.  I wanted it to be delicate and pretty, but practical too, a small version of something that I would want to wear. In short, I wanted to design a super special baby sweater!

Of course a super special baby sweater would have to be made out of something incredibly soft and beautiful and so I turned to Blue Sky's Royal Alpaca. Spun from a very rare quality of luxury alpaca fiber, this yarn is as sumptuous as cashmere and as singular as the baby herself! Royal Alpaca comes in a vintage palette of gentle colors, from petal pink to warm cocoa, perfect for heirloom baby gear. (You'll only need one skein for the newborn or 6 month size and two skeins for the 12 month size.)

So things didn't get too serious, I decided to add a burst of happy color around the yoke in a simple fair isle pattern. When just a little bit of yarn is needed, we love to use mini skeins of embroidery or needlepoint yarn, like Gumnut's Blossoms crewel yarn. It's 100% wool and comes in such a huge array of rich and sophisticated colors that choosing four is a real pleasure.

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Saturday
Feb272010

Colorful Crafting with Jen: Big Red Bobbi Bear

If you're a faithful reader of The Purl Bee, you may remember that a few weeks ago we mentioned that we're having a baby boom at Purl Soho.  I'm very excited to say that I happen to be one of the very happy Purl Soho-Mother's-To-Be! When I started thinking about knitting for my baby, I didn't have to think very hard about what my first project for my little one would be. I have always loved the Bobbi Bear (and the Baby Bobbi Bear) pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas because it's so big (almost 2 feet tall!) which makes it great to cuddle with, plus the pattern is very well written, very quick and it doesn't involve a lot of sewing up.

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Thursday
Nov192009

Colorful Crafting with Jen: SnoBuddy Family from Knitting at KNoon

These snowmen may be the cutest project I've ever completed. The pattern is from the creative minds at Knitting at KNoon, and is called The SnoBuddy Family

The snowmen were super quick and easy to make, and it was so fun to make their little tiny accessories. The tiny scarves for the mom and dad were done in no time and made my Snobuddy family come to life! 

I think my favorite accessory to make was the little boy snowman's gloves.  I'm not sure what made this particular part was so gratifying, but it may have something to do with the finished product, could it be any cuter?

To make my entire SnoBuddy family I used just one skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Suri Merino, a super soft, slightly fuzzy yarn that reminded me of a freshly fallen snow (but any soft white worsted or aran weight yarn will work for the pattern). For needles I used Crystal Palace double pointed US size 6 bamboo needles. For their accessories, I went into my stash and found some scraps in the same gauge as the Suri Merino to ensure that the hats, scarfs and gloves would fit.

You can find the SnoBuddy Family pattern from KNitting at Knoon right here!

I hope you'll enjoy making these snowmen as much as I did! --Jen

Sunday
Nov152009

Whit's Knits: Men's Rustic Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts 

It's been five years since Purl's owner, Joelle Hoverson, published her first book, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Since then it has become a modern classic in today's knitting world, joining with other books to bring the craft of knitting from the dark ages of garments that seemed to come from a parallel fashion universe to the present day of beautiful, elegant hand knits.

Every day customers come into Purl, dog-eared copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts under arm, wanting to replicate their favorite projects. Over the past five years, however, some of Joelle's original yarn recommendations are no longer available.  At Purl we always have to be ready to suggest new, equally exciting alternatives.

One common request is for the yarn to make the Men's Rustic Scarf, a ruggedly masculine scarf perfect for all the men in our lives. Rowan no longer makes the Yorkshire Tweed Chunky that first gave the scarf its distinctive flair, so we decided to update the pattern here with a new, beautiful Blue Sky Alpacas version.

For two of the colors we used Blue Sky's Worsted and for the third we used Blue Sky's Sportweight Alpaca doubled. Both yarns are incredibly soft, which in our experience is the number one concern when it comes to knitting for men (it's true!). The textural shift between the different yarns adds a subtle layer of interest to the scarf, and the drape of alpaca gives this version a gorgeous heft.

I don't necessarily want to say that this scarf is better than the original, but it's definitely a close call! --Whitney

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