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Entries in Whit's Knits (76)

Sunday
Sep092012

Whit's Knits: Thank You Hats

Every now and then someone enters our lives to help us through a tough spot, to somehow give what we need when we need it. These hats are for those people! They express gratitude in the way that only something made with our own hands can. They say "Thank you. No, really... thank you."

The need for such a hat is upon me. I broke my foot last year, and since then, my physical therapist has become, not only the person I spend more time with than any other non-family member, but also my coach and cheerleader. And now that our time together is nearly up, words just don't seem enough to tell her how grateful I am. I hope a hand knit hat will take her through the winter knowing how appreciated she really is!

The Simple Rib Hat is sized for most women and some men and really only takes a few hours to whip up. Just one skein of Blue Sky's beautiful Worsted Hand Dyes makes an incredibly soft and cozy hat!

And the Big Rib Hat, which is sized for most men and some women, is made out of Swans Island's spectacular Worsted. One hundred percent organic merino wool, this yarn is special for its gorgeous all natural dyes and unbelievable softness.

Maybe for you it's a teacher who cared enough to recognize something special in your child; or a neighbor who watched your dog when you suddenly had to leave town for a week; or a nurse who brought laughter and hope to your parent through a difficult hospital stay. Whoever it is, a quick knit goes a long way!

Let us know who you want to thank; we'd love to know!

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Friday
Aug242012

Whit's Knits: Big Pink Pig

I know that in person pigs can be... well, a bit much. But in theory, pigs are just amusing. Their pot bellies and stubby snouts, their floppy ears and rosy hue, their lollygagging in the mud and snorting in the dirt, it's all totally lovable!

That's why designing this Big Pink Pig was so much fun. The third in my collection of my giant gumdrop animals, this one is maybe my favorite! I love the cool mystery of the Big Snowy Owl and the sweet innocence of the Big Cuddly Bunny, but this guy has it all. He's goofy and mischievous with a deep well of knowingness.

Knit up in Blue Sky's extra cuddly Bulky, the Big Pink Pig comes together in no time, all ready for hugs and snuggles! - Whitney

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Saturday
Aug182012

New Super Easy Baby Blanket

One of our most popular projects over the years has been the Super Easy Baby Blanket. When I made it over four years ago, I was newly pregnant and full of dreams for the tiny baby who would be wrapped up inside. Now, that that baby is old enough to write his name, we thought it was time for an update to this wonderfully straightforward pattern!

Faye, whom you may know (and love!) from shopping at our store, suggested this time trying the Super Easy Baby Blanket with Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe. Since in the last few years Faye, too, has become a mother, she thought Kersti's ultra springy loftiness would be perfect not just for a soft and cozy blanket, but also for a comfy play mat.

Plus, since Faye is one of Purl Soho's very first employees, she has spent nearly a decade with Koigu, contemplating its vast array of colors, playing with combinations and developing favorites. So she already had up her sleeve a beautiful summertime palette that starts with the blues of the cool ocean, passes into the bright light of the horizon and then rises to the hot flames of the sun. Spectacular!

If you know how to cast on, knit and bind off, you're ready to start your own Super Easy Baby Blanket! And if you're curious about the original, you can check it out right here. Enjoy both!

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Sunday
Aug122012

Whit's Knits: Lines + Squares Baby Blanket

One of my favorite books growing up was When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, a little collection of children's poems. The one I always loved best was called "Lines and Squares". It's about a kid who carefully avoids the lines of the sidewalk, stepping just in the squares while taunting a pair of bears "Who wait at the corner all ready to eat/ The sillies who tread on the lines of the street".  I loved the terror and the bravado of that poem!

As I knit this blanket with its red lines crissing and crossing, the verses of that poem replayed in my head, keeping time with my needles and sending me into reveries of times and places where nurseries, rice pudding and knickers were the norm. I think now that the Lines + Squares Baby Blanket with its timeless colors and classic simplicity would have been right at home there!

Although a grid to non-knitters may look like the easiest thing in the world, experienced knitters have to wonder, "How did you do that?" Luckily, there's a trick. The vertical lines aren't actually knitted into the pattern; they're crocheted on top of the knitting, nestling right into the design as if they were born there and making lines and squares a snap!

For this special project I chose one of our most special yarns, Anzula's Cricket. Amazingly soft merino with a touch of cashmere, beautifully hand dyed and machine washable, it's the perfect choice for a precious baby! And here's a vote for the main color I used, Au Natural. In person it glows like the inside of an oyster shell, complex and absolutely stunning. Pick your favorite contrast color and you've got an heirloom!

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Sunday
Jul222012

Whit's Knits: Pebble Tank

We talk a lot about color here, but beautiful texture is really just as intriguing! Texture is the reason we bother with stitch patterns; it's why we decide between hand-spun and machine-spun fibers; and it's why we adore some of our very favorite yarns, like Alchemy's Silken Straw, Knit Collage's Pixie Dust and this one, Habu Textiles' Natural Cover Cotton.

At Habu's workshops, fearless designers explore innovative ingredients and fascinating spinning techniques, embracing the wild and interesting textures that result from their mad science. Natural Cover Cotton starts with a simple cream colored plied cotton yarn that is then beautifully wrapped in a very fine colored thread. In reverse stockinette, I think the effect is absolutely gorgeous, like the stony bed of a mountain stream or the pebbly remains of a retreating tide.

The simple silhouette of a warm weather tank is the perfect backdrop for all of this earthiness. Together the impact is chic and casual. Wear it with jeans and flats in Soho or with shorts and moccasins in the Rockies!

 

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