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Entries in Whit's Knits (83)

Sunday
Jun162013

Whit's Knits: Slip Stitch Dishtowels

These dishtowels look really complicated to make, don't they? I love that because, just like you want hard things to look easy, it's a great coup to make easy things look difficult!

These three stitch patterns all come from Barbara Walker's classic Treasury of Knitting Patterns and are created by the simple technique of hiding yarns behind slipped stitches. There's no tricky stranding or two-hand knitting or even issues of tension; there's just the easy matter of slipping stitches and watching as amazing patterns emerge!

Slip stitch color patterns are terrific for scarves (check out Laura's gorgeous Reversible Stripes Scarf), sweaters, blankets and even dishtowels. For these, I looked for patterns that would evoke traditional kitchen textiles: no-nonsense designs with the geometry of vintage linens.

And for a yarn that would match these hard-working stitch patterns I chose Louet's Euroflax 100% linen. As tough and absorbent as any fiber around, linen is a great friend to have over your shoulder when you're cooking up something good!

You can pick up all the Euroflax linen you'll need with our Yarn for Slip Stitch Dishtowels kit. Choose either this crisp and classic Indigo colorway or our Natural palette of earthy neutrals.

Either way, happy slip stitching! -Whitney

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Thursday
May232013

Whit's Knits: Pin Loom Coasters

Imagine a group of extra-terrestrials gathered in a living room. They're poking and prodding a stack of coasters; and once condensation is explained to them and the subsequent ring on the table's surface is demonstrated, they all start bleeping and nodding their heads. Then they ask in their inter-galactic native tongue if it would be okay to take the coasters home with them... as proof of civilized life on Earth.

I doubt this set of Pin Loom Coasters will be leaving the galaxy anytime soon, but in the interim, I'm happy to have them around! They're fresh and summery, cute and simple, and very civilizing.

To make these pretty little squares I picked up Schacht Spindle Co's fabulous Zoom Loom. An updated version of a classic pin loom, the Zoom Loom is thoughtfully designed with smart details that make weaving a breeze. And now my head is swimming with ideas for all the things I'll make with my new skill: cute pockets, sachet pillows, gingham placemats, even blankets!

To get everything you need to weave your own adorable set of Pin Loom Coasters, just click here. And make sure you whip up a few extras for any, ahem, visitors. -Whitney

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Sunday
May192013

Whit's Knits: Knit Octopus

I can't say that I've ever felt the desire to hug an actual octopus, but a stuffed one has a distinct appeal: eight embracing arms! With such magnanimity, a Knit Octopus makes a pretty sweet companion!

What I didn't know about designing an octopus was that it would put me on a deep-sea exploration of knitting's inherent intelligence. Knitting, like the ocean itself, answers to an inscrutable essence, part natural law and part mystery. Bound by the mathematics of eight, this Knit Octopus practically created itself, and so to me, the result feels magically inevitable.

And for mathematical magic there's nothing better than the purity of warm white. Blue Sky's Sport Weight Alpaca in Natural White brings a lovely serenity and simplicity to the Knit Octopus, while the wonderful softness of 100% baby alpaca (doubled!) brings us back to all that hugging I was talking about!

I hope, like me, that when you create your Knit Octopus you feel a little bit like the Jacques Cousteau of knitting, probing the fathomless world of knits and purls, learning a little something along the way! -Whitney

 

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Sunday
May052013

Whit's Knits: Woven Scarf

When I was in college I spent a January break deeply ensconced in a weaving studio in Maine learning the ins and outs of heddles, warps and wefts. I became fascinated with the beauty of woven fabric, but once the month was over, I faced the same dilemma as many aspiring weavers before me: even if I could have afforded a room-size loom, where in the world would I put it? My dorm room? Or later, my first New York City shoebox apartment?

And so, about a million years later, I'm so excited to be back at the loom! This time with Schacht Spindle Co.'s perfectly engineered Cricket Loom. About the size of a record player, this rigid-heddle loom turns out beautiful woven fabric without requiring its own room. The Cricket is also super easy and insanely satisfying!

For this Woven Scarf I worked a plain weave, choosing yarns that would add their own complexity and depth. Habu's Dyed Bamboo forms a strong, smooth and wonderfully lustrous warp. And the hand dyed subtlety of Anzula's Squishy gives the weft a gently variegated beauty. The result is a stunning lightweight scarf with all the classic simplicity of woven fabric!

As a lover of all crafts that involve my hands and some yarn, the Cricket Loom is my new best friend. It swings open the door to a whole world of fiber arts whose inspiration is truly endless!

Get the Woven Scarf how-to's right here, and be sure to also check out our Cricket Loom Tips here. Happy weaving! -Whitney

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Sunday
Apr212013

Whit's Knits: Beautiful Spring Scarf

There's a fine line between a fringe that puts a swing in your step and a fringe that makes you feel like a bedraggled alley cat. A fine line maybe, but a world of difference. This fringe is certainly the fabulous kind, the kind that gives you special powers of infectious happiness!

The secret to this fringe's sass is our new Chinese Knotting Cord, a thin nylon cord more traditionally used for hand crafted jewelry. As fringe, it is smooth and tangle-free, nimble and zippy! And using two slightly different electric pinks lends an extraordinary glow, enough to light up the night!

The fringe is exciting, but what fills me with deep satisfaction is Jade Sapphire's new cashmere-linen blend, Slyph. Exquisite cashmere and straight-from-nature linen, together they are pure beauty. Some people remember the best sunsets of their lives, the best tiramisus, the best arias, but for knitters, it's all about the best yarn, and this one is definitely on my list!

Okay, it's not just the fringe and the yarn, it's the whole thing together. The contrast of the soft and rustic yarn with the galactic nylon fringe, the sumptuous feeling, the generous size, the serious fun, it all makes the Beautiful Spring Scarf one of my favorite projects ever. And the good news is you don't have to be an expert knitter to make one. If you can cast on, knit, purl and bind off, you can make your very own Beautiful Spring Scarf! Really! -Whitney

 

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