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Entries in Whit's Knits (76)

Saturday
Feb092013

Whit's Knits: Knit Hedgehogs

The first hedgehog I ever met was Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Beatrix Potter's kindly washerwoman of the Lake District. From her tiny country cottage to her "little black nose [that] went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes [that] went twinkle, twinkle", she was everything I thought charming and good as a child.

Since then I have always felt a love and affinity for hedgehogs. But not until I sat down to write this story did I actually realize that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was not only the first hedgehog I ever met, she is the only hedgehog I've ever met.

You see, I've always vaguely imagined that hedgehogs were all around me, hiding in burrows and hollow logs and hedgehog-sized cottages, but a quick look into the matter has thoroughly disavowed me of my silly assumptions. Hedgehogs don't even live in the United States, let alone outside my window! They live most everywhere else, but not here. I'm sure this doesn't surprise our worldly readers, but to me this information was a little bit shattering.

This newfound knowledge only makes my trio of Knit Hedgehogs more germane, because now they're not just cute and adorable, but they also offer a very practical way to hang out with hedgehogs if you happen to live in the Americas!

England is one place hedgehogs do live (just ask Beatrix Potter!), and so for a truly native hedgehog, we turn to British crafter Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. Just before posting this story, Little Cotton Rabbit's equally adorable Little Oddment Hedgie was pinned to our Pinterest page. We love it!

For our hedgie I used Manos del Uruguay's pretty Silk Blend for its head and belly. With a gentle handspun shine, Silk Blend makes a lovely contrast to the Cascade yarns I used for the hedgehog's garter stitch back. Both Eco Cloud and Superwash 128 are great heavy worsted weight choices for cuddling!

These guys are seriously fun to knit with not one lick of sewing or even grafting! So, if you'd like to populate your world with adorable little Knit Hedgehogs, get started by clicking below! -Whitney

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Thursday
Jan242013

Whit's Knits: Soft and Sweet Hats

Angora twin sets may have gone the way of beehive hairdos, but a touch of angora is still totally enchanting. Nowadays, we prescribe the fuzzy decadence of angora in small doses, because really, just a little tuft here and there is all you need to feel sweet!

The thing I find so wonderful and amusing about angora is that it so closely resembles the animal from which it came. Astonishingly soft fibers are gently combed from astonishingly soft angora rabbits and are left so unadulterated that the resulting little fluffy ball could easily be mistaken for an actual baby bunny!

For these Soft and Sweet Hats I chose Koigu's lovely Kersti Merino Crepe to play the straight man to Joseph Galler's wild Belangor 100% angora. In gentle, dusky colors, the result is classic, just the way we like it!

Choose from three sizes (baby, toddler or child) and three designs. The Anchor Hat, above, reminds me of an old fashioned nursery where boys wore bloomers and sturdy leather shoes. But I'd adore this hat for my sneaker-wearing son too, and so in the end, it's its timelessness that I really love.

The Stripes Hat is simple to knit but finishes with a beautifully complex interplay of textures. Lines of downy angora fibers form a diaphanous veil over stripes of smooth, crisp merino. Wow!

And want to give something super sweet this Valentine's Day? The Hearts Hat is an easy fair isle design with a whole lot of whimsy and love!

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Thursday
Jan102013

Whit's Knits: Gem Gloves

Because there was a time when ladies didn't leave the house without them, gloves have always suggested to me the elegance of horse-drawn carriages, drawing rooms and balls. I have long imagined knitting a fine pair of gloves that would be as appropriate for that life as this one.

A simple cuff that can be worn long or folded, a thumb gusset and fingers that fit your own, the result is a classic pair of gloves. Perhaps they're the sort that could have been worn by the tragic Lily Bart or even by Edith Wharton herself.

To knit for such a heroines, I chose Blue Sky's Royal Alpaca. One hundred percent of the finest alpaca around, this yarn is as soft, light and warm as cashmere and as gorgeous as anything. It truly is fit for a lady, and for the rest of us too!

Since, like turn-of-the-century Washington Square, whopping sapphires mostly just reside in my imagination, I stitched my own pretty jewel onto one finger. An impressive gem, but a simple embellishment, this little touch really makes me feel like my dance card is full!

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Sunday
Jan062013

Whit's Knits: Super Easy Lap Blanket

The Super Easy Baby Blanket has become something of an institution here at the Purl Bee. We love how accessible this pattern is to knitters of all levels, and even more, we love the opportunity to play with gorgeous palettes of color!

I knit up the original Super Easy Baby Blanket four and a half years ago in Alchemy's gorgeous Temple superwash merino. Later, Faye knit her own interpretation with Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe. With its ocean and sunshine colors and a squishier feel, her New Super Easy Baby Blanket was such a smash that we made it into a super easy kit! And most recently, we used our own Super Soft Merino for a bigger, even cushier version that we call the Super Easy Crib Blanket.

And now here is our biggest version yet, the Super Easy Lap Blanket! Knit out of Manos Del Uruguay's amazing Maxima, this one is cozy soft, decadently toasty and looks absolutely stunning in kettle-dyed, hand-spun 100% extrafine merino wool.

The Super Easy Lap Blanket is perfect for drafty winter evenings on the couch and chilly mornings at the kitchen table. And in colors that meander from rich Mahogany, through the land of pinks and blues, to finish in deep Dark Chocolate, this version has a sophisticated drama that will light up any room!

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Saturday
Dec012012

Whit's Knits: Snowflower Ornaments

Last weekend, with the feeling of having eaten way too much pumpkin pie still in my belly, I got busy decorating my Christmas tree. Actually, I would have done it even sooner if it had been at all seemly. The fact is I love Christmas trees, Christmas lights and Christmas ornaments more than any other part of any other holiday.

I love it all so much that I grow my Christmas tree inside my apartment all year long. I have an old potted Norfolk Pine that, at about ten feet tall and almost as wide, takes up way more than its fair share of New York City real estate, but when this time of year rolls around, it's totally worth the loss of square footage!

Like my tree, my ornament collection keeps growing every year! This season I am so excited to add these sweet crocheted ornaments to my crowd of sequined owls, vintage glass balls and painted tin donkeys. Simultaneously evocative of fluffy snowflakes and plump dahlias, I call them Snowflowers.

Rich in texture and elegant in spirit, these pretty little ornaments look wonderful on my Norfolk Pine and also on this spare winter branch. They'll bring lots of cheer to more traditional choices of timber too!

Because ornaments are forever, I made these with Blue Sky's very special new yarn, Metalico. Fifty percent baby alpaca and fifty percent mulberry silk, Metalico combines naturally occurring shades of each for a wonderfully pure and gorgeously earthy yarn. And each Snowflower starts off with a bright splash of gorgeous Koigu hand dyed color. Thank goodness for mini KPM Needlepoint Skeins who make spots of color actually affordable!

Pretty ornaments made with your own two hands seem to me to embody the very spirit of Christmas! -Whitney

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