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Entries in Whit's Knits (83)

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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Tuesday
Nov152011

Whit's Knits: Rick Rack Scarf

I recently unearthed the first project I ever knit, a moth-eaten stockinette scarf. I made it over twenty years ago while I was spending a school year in rural France. My French "mother" was the town librarian and an amazing knitter. She opened her stash basket to me and walked me through every step of that crazy scarf.

Since then I've made dozens of scarves, and I wonder sometimes if I've run out of fresh ideas for the next one. After all, the criteria for a scarf pattern are rather stringent: something that lies flat, that looks good on both sides and that has a soft and beautiful drape. I was so happy to discover this Rick Rack Rib; it meets all of those standards and also happens to evoke one of my all time favorite things, rick rack! Thanks, Barbara Walker!

With the holiday season upon us, I made sure to use a super special yarn for the super special people on your list, including scarf-o-phobe men! Jade Sapphire's softer-than-soft 8 Ply Mongolian Cashmere amazes everyone with its cloud-like loft and downy touch. This is definitely a far cry from that first wonky scarf!

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Sunday
Nov132011

Whit's Knits: Homespun Boot Socks

Handknit socks have a special feeling, and I'm not just talking about the yarn and the fit. I'm talking about the feeling, the knowing that every stitch was created by real hands and that those hands belong to someone who must care an awful lot about you! What a feeling!

These Homespun Boot Socks are big on feeling. Their hearty warmth and cushiony softness hug feet in deep comfort and love. Made out of Madeline Tosh's superbly beautiful Tosh Merino, you'll have a hard time taking them off! Tosh Merino is 100% superwash, supersoft merino with a rustic, handspun look, and each lovely skein is saturated with sparkling hand dyed color.

These simple socks are knit from the top down at an easy 5 1/2 stitches to the inch (on US size 6 double pointed needles) and are sized for both men and women. To make a pair like ours, you'll need two skeins of Tosh Merino in the main color and one in the contrast color. Or for both pairs, as pictured, you'll need two skeins of each color, or for one solid pair you'll only need two skeins! 

To choose your favorite Tosh Merino colors, just click here! And you can purchase a copy of our Homespun Boot Socks Pattern right here. Make a pair for yourself... or for someone you really like!  - Whitney

Tuesday
Nov012011

Whit's Knits: Felted Thanksgiving Oven Mitts

The thought of Thanksgiving puts me right into the heat of my mother's kitchen. We chop and stir and baste for days, scrupulously following stuffing recipes many pages long, peeling endless sweet potatoes like we're in the galley of an aircraft carrier, praying that some relative will notice the difference between a parsnip and a turnip and the fact that we've pureed both.

Of course all the toil is an act of love, and while the meal is important, the preparations are the true heart of the holiday. So this Thanksgiving, I'm adding to the pleasure with the sumptuous goodness of hand knit Felted Oven Mitts. Now I'm looking forward to every basting!

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Sunday
Oct092011

Whit's Knits: Colorblock Hand Warmers

The sweet spot of knitting, for me, is when it starts to feel a lot like painting. When the form is fluid and mutable and when the palette is supple and free, then I feel that knitting really hits its creative stride. Creating these Colorblock Hand Warmers delivers just that kind of deeply satisfying experience.

The idea behind these simple mitts was to give free rein to the gorgeous colors of Madeline Tosh Merino Light, to allow the spectacularly hand dyed palette to speak its own story and to create its own beauty: from moonlight gray to buttery yellow to bronzed apricot to blazing tangerine.

Follow your own color whimsy or take a page from our book!  -Whitney

 

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