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Entries in Whit's Knits (83)

Thursday
Sep222011

Whit's Knits: Big Snowy Owl

There's something about owls. Is it their baby-wide eyes? Their mysterious nighttime habits? Or their totemic gumdrop shape? I'm not sure, but owls somehow manage to be simultaneously enigmatic and totally lovable.

This one is heavy on the lovable! With a big, pudgy belly and a cozy soft alpaca-blend yarn, the Big Snowy Owl is one heck of a hugger. At a foot and a half tall and a yard around, he's just right for little arms to squeeze and for young imaginations to love. Although, you're never too old for an unconditionally amiable friend!

Making the Big Snowy Owl was probably the most fun knitting I've done all year. From easy stitch patterns to simple shaping, there's never a dull moment! Plus I love just being around the downy softness of Blue Sky Bulky, big wonderful stitch after big wonderful stitch!

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Thursday
Sep152011

Whit's Knits: Chevron Baby Blanket

If you lived through the 60s and 70s perhaps you have vivid memories of a chevron afghan. Perhaps you appreciated it at the time; were indifferent to it in the 80s; despised it in the 90s; and have developed a deep affection for it over the past decade, itchy acrylic, zany colors and all!

This knitted Chevron Baby Blanket makes some accommodations both for modernity and for babies. Instead of hard-to-cuddle acrylic, this 100% cotton blanket is as deep and soft and cozy as a cloud. And instead of fast food orange and kitchen appliance avocado, this version is a delicate spectrum of natural colors just right for babies!

The next generation of chevron blankets starts with Blue Sky Cotton. Loosely spun into a uniquely cozy cotton, this is one of our very favorite baby blanket yarns. For delicate skin, it's non-allergenic cotton, and for busy parents, it's machine washable (yay!).

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Sunday
Aug212011

Whit's Knits: Sunshine Scarf

I feel a little guilty divulging this information, as if I'm betraying the whole rest of the spectrum, but I have to admit that I have a favorite color... yellow. And not just any yellow, not baby yellow or lemon yellow or mustard yellow, but deep and bright and clear sunshine yellow, the kind of yellow that emits its own light and whistles its own carefree tune. 

When it comes to this kind of yellow, Alchemy is the master, hands down. Alchemy's yellows are saturated and fresh, like pollen-soaked blossoms. Using them to make a scarf in August feels like the perfect way to bring the heat of summer into the upcoming crisp nights of autumn.

While Madeline Tosh's beautiful Tosh Merino Light serves as the soft, neutral ground, Alchemy's Kozmos provides the entertainment, not only with its splash of intense color, but also with its play of texture: a little fuzzy, a bit shiny, and a lot gorgeous!

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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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