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Entries in Whit's Knits (83)

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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Saturday
Mar012008

Whit's Knits: EZ's Mitts

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I'm a huge yellow fan, especially in the context of cold, wet and gray days. I'd take a yellow umbrella over anything. Walking along under your own personal yellow sky while the rest of the world melts into non-color is a beautiful feeling.

So when this "Saffron" skein of Andy's Merino from Farmhouse Yarns screamed out to me, "Winter blues, be gone!", I could hardly ignore its pleas. Andy's Merino is one of my favorite, favorite yarns at Purl. It is very soft and light, but, more importantly, it just reeks of creative energy and originality. Carol, the engine behind Farmhouse Yarns, pours so much love and abandon into the dying process of her yarns that you can't help but be infected by the passion.

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What to make with this jewel? For inspiration, I turned to my one of my old standbys, The Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This modest little book really packs a wallop. Along with wonderfully funny thoughts and stories, each month of the year includes brilliant patterns and ideas. From big elaborate Aran sweaters to little delicate lace ornaments, Zimmermann covers the whole knitting gamut in one short year.

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