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Entries in Habu Textiles (16)

Sunday
Jul222012

Whit's Knits: Pebble Tank

We talk a lot about color here, but beautiful texture is really just as intriguing! Texture is the reason we bother with stitch patterns; it's why we decide between hand-spun and machine-spun fibers; and it's why we adore some of our very favorite yarns, like Alchemy's Silken Straw, Knit Collage's Pixie Dust and this one, Habu Textiles' Natural Cover Cotton.

At Habu's workshops, fearless designers explore innovative ingredients and fascinating spinning techniques, embracing the wild and interesting textures that result from their mad science. Natural Cover Cotton starts with a simple cream colored plied cotton yarn that is then beautifully wrapped in a very fine colored thread. In reverse stockinette, I think the effect is absolutely gorgeous, like the stony bed of a mountain stream or the pebbly remains of a retreating tide.

The simple silhouette of a warm weather tank is the perfect backdrop for all of this earthiness. Together the impact is chic and casual. Wear it with jeans and flats in Soho or with shorts and moccasins in the Rockies!

 

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Thursday
May242012

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Jewelry Dishes

I love the vitrines at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that are filled with household artifacts from places long ago and far away. Tightly woven mats and perfectly crafted sandals, hammered metal and braided leather, ancient objects still feel alive with the integrity and vitality of their makers.

What sometimes also strikes me is how little our aesthetic values have changed over the thousands of years. Beauty is still a human imperative and careful craftsmanship is still a revered skill. We still respond to simple shapes and beautiful materials, to whimsical embellishments and practical uses.

I thought about this a lot as I crocheted these Jewelry Dishes. I wondered if I were given the opportunity to slip them into a glass case at the Met, would they be so out of place? Or, if I put them on my dresser and filled them with my rings and bracelets, my pieces of sea glass and other curios, would it be that much different than, say, a Pacific Islander from centuries back storing glass trade beads and shell earrings in her own hand crafted vessel? And isn't this connection to the past really, deep down, why we craft?

My trip into antiquity was greatly assisted by the purity and simplicity of Habu's extraordinary fibers. I held two yarns together, Copper Bamboo and Dyed Linen. The bamboo and linen lend an exquisite rusticity to the finished pieces, while throughout, the copper flashes its chestnut sparkle, glowing like a warm ember.

It's not hard to make your own pretty little trays and bowls, just some simple crocheting... like it's always been done! --Whitney

PS Wouldn't these gorgeous brass bracelets be right at home in a museum case? The Maggie Bracelets were designed by our good friend Kerrilynn Pamer and are for sale online right here and at her lovely West Village store, Castor & Pollux!

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Thursday
Apr122012

Whit's Knits: Mother's Day Washcloths

Not much is humbler than a washcloth. A small square of fabric drenched, soaped and wrung, it may not be glamorous, but a washcloth is one of the day's small pleasures. And when that washcloth is handmade, it is also one of life's pleasures!

Moms are notably deserving of such things. And so with their special day around the bend, I crocheted up this pretty set of Mother's Day Washcloths. Blue Sky's 100% organic Skinny Cotton combines with Habu's very distinctive Natural Cover Cotton for a vintage look with a modern edge.

Paired with beautiful soaps, your mom will really feel your love this Mother's Day... and every day!

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Sunday
May152011

Whit's Knits: Bamboo Wedding Shawl

My wedding was over ten years ago, and at the time it felt like a big, swirling blur. But now I can remember every single detail like it was yesterday, from my red sequined shoes to the strawberry cobbler.

With the gift of time, I'm going to offer some totally unsolicited advice. It is this: the absolute, very best way to make your day memorable is to infuse it with details that come from your heart, such as... a beautiful hand knit shawl!

I truly believe that hand knit objects have power. As you or someone you love knits this Wedding Shawl, it will become steeped in the hopes and dreams of your big day. And as your wedding night cools down and you wrap your shawl around your shoulders, you will not only look drop dead gorgeous, but you will be reminded of those hopes and dreams, and you will take an important minute to thank your lucky stars!

This Wedding Shawl gets its extraordinary drape and beautiful shine from Habu's Bamboo 20/12. In pristine white, Habu's Bamboo is a perfectly cool choice for spring nights. Knit up in a simple, geometric pattern called Flemish Block Lace, the result is an understated elegance that never goes out of style.

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Monday
Sep062010

Whit's Knits: Color Change Scarf

Purl Soho's most subtle yarns come from Habu Textiles. They tend to be extremely fine and very delicately colored. They also tend to leave customers scratching their heads, "I LOVE this yarn, but what can I possibly make with it?" A great answer has been Habu's all white Kusha Kusha Scarf pattern, but, for this project, I wanted to also engage with Habu's amazing spectrum of colors.

I envisioned a scarf that would shift from one color to the next, making a beautiful color journey from one end of the scarf to the other. Joelle, with her unique genius for color, picked these five Fine Merinos. While knitting, my excitement grew and grew as I introduced each new color. More like painting with watercolors than knitting with yarn, it was a fascinating process!

This simple lace ladder stitch is a perfect antidote to such fine yarn. With only two easy rows to memorize and so much open lace work, you'll be surprised how quickly you fly through this scarf. The result is a perfect accessory for fall that will inspire you every day!

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