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Entries in Worsted/Aran Weight Yarn (35)

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
Jan032013

Laura's Loop: Sweater Shawl

From a seaside town in Italy, the Serra-side of my family has always sparked my imagination. I grew up poring over old family photos of women promenading arm in arm, weaving in and out of little alleyways. So, when last year, I found myself in that same seaside town ringing in the New Year with a warm and boisterous group of Serras, I harbored secret hopes of living out those images I had so long adored.

According to the old photos and confirmed by my own experience, it seems that no Serra woman has ever left the house without tossing a sweater across her shoulders as a shawl. It’s a style I'd grown accustomed to seeing on my grandmother (a true lover of knitwear), but it never felt more right than in that seaside town.

This Sweater Shawl is my interpretation of a classic Serra sweater, the one you want to drape over your back but have no intention of actually wearing. With “sleeves” for crossing, wrapping or tying and a back placket for keeping warm and looking very Italian, this piece is half sweater, half shawl!

I knit it up in a lofty brioche stitch, using Anzula's very lovely For Better of Worsted. This hand-dyed merino-cashmere blend has a graceful drape and a cozy weight that hugs your shoulders beautifully!

The Sweater Shawl has been in the making for a year (or maybe a lifetime!), and now that it’s done, it has become a staple in my wardrobe. Over a coat, a buttondown shirt, a long sleeve T, I've worn it every which way. My favorite, of course, is over another sweater, because after all, I am a Serra, and for us, the more knits, the better! -Laura

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Thursday
Nov012012

Lovely Ribbed Cowl

I came to the surprising realization last winter that I am someone who prefers a cowl to a scarf. Perhaps it's because I live in a drafty old house and always want something toasty around my neck, something that stays put, something chic and easy, something that doesn't find its way into the soup I'm making or the dog food I'm pouring!

So I decided to make a cowl that is as simple to knit as it is to wear. I love the idea of a vertically ribbed cowl that gently hugs your neck like your favorite turtleneck sweater. However, one thing I definitely didn't want was a whiplash collar, so this cowl is knit in a relaxed gauge that creates soft, billowing ripples. With a very loose bind off, it subtly widens at the bottom for an easy and totally comfy fit. Beginners will love the do-able challenge, and old pros will appreciate the late-night-movie no-brainer!

The simplicity of this pattern serves as a great platform for gorgeous yarn. I spent a lot of time talking through the options with all of our wonderful knitters at Purl Soho. Yarn aficionado, Faye, suggested one of our all time favorites, Blue Sky's Suri Merino. With its wonderful drape, soft halo and palette of lovely vintage colors, everything about Suri Merino is perfect for this Lovely Ribbed Cowl!

Be cozy! -Page

 

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Thursday
Oct042012

Laura's Loop: Shawl Collar Cowl

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a picture of some wool socks with an accompanying message, "Today is the greatest day." Now, these socks weren't a gift from me or made by me; they weren't even handmade at all. But I knew exactly why he was so excited. I knew, because it's how I feel about neckwear: Fall is here! I get to wear wool again!
While Brian is happily slipping his feet into thick cozy socks, I am joyfully layering up with my new Shawl Collar Cowl. Unabashedly inspired by my college days of yore, this piece harkens back to treking across campus for early morning class, tailgating for the big game, apple picking and other such quaint and collegiate autumnal activities. 
The Shawl Collar Cowl shamelessly conjures the classic 'New England professor', if there is such a thing. The gray ribbed exterior transitions into a smooth, creamy white stockinette interior. Folded over and wrapped around, you'll be outstandingly warm, but not weighted down! This cowl is knit up in the nearly weightless Blue Sky Techno, a feather-light cloud of baby alpaca, extra-fine merino and silk.  
It may not be quite cold enough here in New York for wool socks, but it certainly is for some knit neckwear. You won't catch me without a scarf or cowl, shawl or dickie for the next six or so months. If you want to add the Shawl Collar Cowl to your woolen accessory collection, you can find the full pattern just below!

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Saturday
Sep152012

Laura's Loop: Petite Popover

They were skeptical at first, but I think I’ve finally convinced my colleagues of the magnificence of the dickie! I mean, seriously, what could be better?
No worrying about cramming layers into layers, just pop it on over a shirt or sweater, under a coat or jacket. Snug as a bug, I say! Your baby or tot's core will be toasty warm and his or her arms, flexible and free. Plus, this one has a cozy hood, eliminating one more thing bound to fall behind at the park or sadly slip out of a pocket.
Can you feel my soapbox enthusiasm? I do not exaggerate when I write that for a solid year of meetings I have espoused the renaissance of the dickie. And let’s be honest, the majority of my co-workers'  doubt focussed on the name. “Dickie” is not nearly as cute or endearing as Popover! (Thank you for the re-brand, Whitney!)
So here is my attempt to resurrect the dignity of the side-less vest. Knit in classic Worsted, rich, organic merino from Swans Island, and another in the super soft, plush and elegant 8-Ply Cashmere from Jade Sapphire. One needle. One little hood seam. Two classic stitch patterns. From both a knitter’s and a parent's point of view, it’s a no-brainer!
So, what do y’all think?!?! Can we bring back the dickie? Say yes!

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