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Entries in Whit's Knits (83)

Sunday
Jun052011

Whit's Knits: Perfect Fit Socks

I think hand knit socks are one of life's underrated pleasures. Like juicy watermelon on a steamy day or good rainboots in a downpour, hand knit socks make everything okay! 

I designed these Perfect Fit Socks to wrap your feet in extra deep comfort. For an honestly perfect fit, the toe shapes around your toes with no ouchy seams; the length of the sock is customized to your foot (size charts included); the heel has cozy slip stitch padding; and the leg and top of the foot conform wonderfully to any body, thanks to 2 x 2 ribbing.

And for truly happy feet, I turned to Anzula's latest creation, Cloud. Cloud is a beautiful blend of superwash merino (for softness and structure), nylon (for durability), and cashmere (for dreamy goodness). This yarn is so lightweight and fine that you can look forward to hand knit socks that will actually fit in your shoes! And, at a whopping 575 yards a skein, the best news is you'll only need one!

These socks are sized for men and women, so, while you may want to get started on a pair for yourself, don't forget dad! Father's Day is around the corner, and in the thoughtful present category, nothing beats hand knit socks. Let him know it's time to kick his feet up!

You can purchase a copy of our Perfect Fit Socks Pattern right here, to choose a skein of Cloud, just click here!

Thanks! -Whitney

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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Sunday
Apr102011

Whit's Knits: Striped Cotton Cowl

Spring is here on our calendars, but it sure doesn't feel like it here in New York! Everyone is still walking around bundled up in... you guessed it, cowls! They were the word on the street this winter when we brought you the Big Herringbone Cowl, and as we move into spring, cowls are here to stay, now in cool cottons and spring colors. It's really no wonder we love the cowl: no questions of wrapping or tying, no loose ends dragging through mud puddles and no getting caught in subway doors! I'm sold!

And so for spring, I decided to make a cuddly soft cotton cowl because April is no picnic! For the main yarn we chose the superlatively cozy Blue Sky Cotton in the subtly beautiful color, "Drift", a pale, pale gray, almost white. To it we added Olympus's Sashiko Thread in bright, beachy stripes. The simple matte cotton of the Sashiko Thread and the casually natural Blue Sky Cotton conspire to make a no-fuss cowl with a whole lot of style. A little off kilter, a little rustic and a lot charming!

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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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Sunday
Dec122010

New Felted Christmas Trees!

Last year Whitney created a wonderful heirloom Felted Christmas Tree pattern that I've had my eye on for this Christmas.  As you no doubt have noticed if you are a regular follower of The Purl Bee, we just can't get enough of pink, red and white at Christmas so I thought it would be fun to revisit Whitney's pattern in our favorite holiday color palette (plus it just so happens that this color palette looks great in my own house!).

Last year's felted trees were knit with Cascade 220, a great basic yarn that is wonderful for felting.  This year's felted trees were knit with Manos Del Uruguay Handspun in Natural, one of my all time favorite yarns,  (two skeins made one large tree and one small tree) and it worked beautifully for this project. 

Please note, for this year's trees, I felted them BEFORE decorating them.  Once they're felted the tall tree is approximately 11-inches tall, the small tree is approximately 6-inches tall.  

I decorated the trees with Koigu KPM in hot pink, color #1150, and bright red, color #2229 (one skein each is enough to decorate about 12 trees).  I love the way the two colors work together, glowing like real ornaments on a tree.

The embroidery stitches I used to decorate the trees are very, very simple.  The challenge of the embroidery is finding a needle that is sharp enough to get through the felted wool, but big enough to accommodate the yarn.  I found several that did the job in this collection of needles.  A thimble for pushing the needle through the felted wool was also a big help.

To decorate the little tree I made little plus marks (in the neighborhood of 1/4-inch wide and 1/4-inch tall) in bright red all over the tree, then went back over a few of the larger plus signs with hot pink.  

On the big tree I first made big plus signs (around 1/2-inch wide x 1/2-inch tall) all over the tree and then went over those again in the center with a diagonal plus sign, both in hot pink.  Then I went over the diagonal plus signs again with bright red.  To finish the large tree I made small plus signs (about 1/4-inch wide by 1/4-inch tall) in hot pink all over between the large motifs.

I did the motifs on both trees totally freehand and without any attempt at uniformity which gives the design a lively quality that I am really fond of. Also, there is no need to cut the yarn between shapes (just bring the needle back out wherever you want the next motif to be) so the decorating goes very quickly.

If you need help with these stitches, please visit Molly's Asterisk Embroidery Tutorial right here which explains the technique for the motifs step by step.

I was so delighted with the way these trees turned out.  They have a sweet simplicity and happy quality that makes me smile every time I look at them.  They make great gifts too!

If you'd like to make them you can find all you need right here:

Merry Christmas!  --Joelle