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Entries in Whit's Knits (76)

Friday
Sep242010

Whit's Knits: Long Striped Hand Warmers, Revisited

We loved last winter's Long Striped Hand Warmers so much that we're still thinking about them this fall! The opportunity that a one row stripe offers to play with color is just irresistible to us. When two colors are in such intense juxtaposition they can start to effect each other in really unexpected and exciting ways, bouncing, shifting and glowing.

For the original version we used the unbelievably beautiful Swan's Island Fingering. We LOVE the Swan's Island and it's still a great choice for this project, beautifully hand dyed, sophisticated and as soft and light as a feather.

We thought that it would be an interesting (and fun!) exercise to see how the Long Striped Hand Warmer's stitch pattern would look if we used Alchemy's Juniper. Also a fingering weight merino, Alchemy's vivid palette is very different in tone from Swan's Island's more subdued colors. We knit up swatches of these six color combinations, each one surprising us in the end!

The above colors are Kai's Goldfish (bottom) and Husk (top), a mixture of spicy tomato red with a soft and mellow camel.

These are Fuchsia and Fool's Gold, a shocking cool pink with a rich curry color.

These are Hush and Fieldstone, two quiet colors, one a dusty lavender and the other a warm mushroom.

These are Turquoise Pool and Cornflower Blue, one a pumped of version of the other.

These are Tea Leaf and Dragon, a pure grass green with a deeply saturated olive.

These are Canary and Fieldstone, a sunny perfect yellow with a hushed warm gray.

It's fun to pick your favorite. We can't agree! Page's favorite is the Kai's Goldfish, Joelle's is the Fuchsia, Molly's is the Canary and Whitney's is the Tea Leaf.  What's yours?

PATTERN NOTES: If you decide to try the Long Striped Hand Warmers with the Juniper you will still only need one skein of each color, but you will probably need to go down a needle size. I used a set of US #1 and a set of US #2 double pointed needles. --Whitney

Sunday
Jun132010

Whit's Knits: Woven Flower Necklace

I recently spent some time experimenting with Purl's newest craft accessory, the Hana Ami Flower Loom, and the result is this charming chain of flowers. It was a real joy to make, combining simple weaving techniques with some basic needlework. I love these flowers with their quirky little personalities and bright dispositions. They really bring a smile!

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Friday
Feb192010

Whit's Knits: The Wonderful Wallaby!

One of my all time favorite patterns is The Wonderful Wallaby by Cottage Creations. While it's true that the Wallaby is cozy and classic and the construction is beautifully engineered, the thing that makes this pattern my favorite is the charm and accessibility of the writing and illustrations.

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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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Wednesday
Oct282009

Whit's Knits: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Booties

I have long loved these Elizabeth Zimmermann booties. Last year I made them with fingering weight yarn to fit my newborn baby, and they got him through his first cold winter. Recently my family received wonderful news that made me want to knit some bigger booties.

My sister-in-law has been trying to adopt a baby for a long time, and this month she was finally told that there is a beautiful baby boy who needs her. He gets to come home in January and, by then, will be ten months old. His name is James, and his smile would melt an ice cube.

From waiting in line to waiting for a baby to arrive, knitting is how I get through all the episodes in my life that challenge my patience. I'm pretty sure that the next three months are going to yield a whole pile of hand knits for little James!

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