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Entries in Worsted/Aran Weight Yarn (35)

Tuesday
Nov152011

Whit's Knits: Rick Rack Scarf

I recently unearthed the first project I ever knit, a moth-eaten stockinette scarf. I made it over twenty years ago while I was spending a school year in rural France. My French "mother" was the town librarian and an amazing knitter. She opened her stash basket to me and walked me through every step of that crazy scarf.

Since then I've made dozens of scarves, and I wonder sometimes if I've run out of fresh ideas for the next one. After all, the criteria for a scarf pattern are rather stringent: something that lies flat, that looks good on both sides and that has a soft and beautiful drape. I was so happy to discover this Rick Rack Rib; it meets all of those standards and also happens to evoke one of my all time favorite things, rick rack! Thanks, Barbara Walker!

With the holiday season upon us, I made sure to use a super special yarn for the super special people on your list, including scarf-o-phobe men! Jade Sapphire's softer-than-soft 8 Ply Mongolian Cashmere amazes everyone with its cloud-like loft and downy touch. This is definitely a far cry from that first wonky scarf!

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Sunday
Nov132011

Whit's Knits: Homespun Boot Socks

Handknit socks have a special feeling, and I'm not just talking about the yarn and the fit. I'm talking about the feeling, the knowing that every stitch was created by real hands and that those hands belong to someone who must care an awful lot about you! What a feeling!

These Homespun Boot Socks are big on feeling. Their hearty warmth and cushiony softness hug feet in deep comfort and love. Made out of Madeline Tosh's superbly beautiful Tosh Merino, you'll have a hard time taking them off! Tosh Merino is 100% superwash, supersoft merino with a rustic, handspun look, and each lovely skein is saturated with sparkling hand dyed color.

These simple socks are knit from the top down at an easy 5 1/2 stitches to the inch (on US size 6 double pointed needles) and are sized for both men and women. To make a pair like ours, you'll need two skeins of Tosh Merino in the main color and one in the contrast color. Or for both pairs, as pictured, you'll need two skeins of each color, or for one solid pair you'll only need two skeins! 

To choose your favorite Tosh Merino colors, just click here! And you can purchase a copy of our Homespun Boot Socks Pattern right here. Make a pair for yourself... or for someone you really like!  - Whitney

Tuesday
Nov012011

Whit's Knits: Felted Thanksgiving Oven Mitts

The thought of Thanksgiving puts me right into the heat of my mother's kitchen. We chop and stir and baste for days, scrupulously following stuffing recipes many pages long, peeling endless sweet potatoes like we're in the galley of an aircraft carrier, praying that some relative will notice the difference between a parsnip and a turnip and the fact that we've pureed both.

Of course all the toil is an act of love, and while the meal is important, the preparations are the true heart of the holiday. So this Thanksgiving, I'm adding to the pleasure with the sumptuous goodness of hand knit Felted Oven Mitts. Now I'm looking forward to every basting!

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Sunday
Oct162011

Gina's Brioche Hat and Cowl

Like all members of the Purl family, I live in a world where color rules. If you shop at our store in Soho, you've probably seen me restocking shelves and cutting fabric. I'm the one wearing a colorful dress (that I made myself, most likely out of lovely Liberty of London!) and the reddest red lipstick. In my view, nothing perks up a gray day more than a brightly hued ensemble. Top it all off with a handknit scarf or hat, and I'm happy!

But in all that colorific bliss hides a small problem. How to limit myself to just one color, especially when I'm surrounded by a veritable rainbow of temptation all day! Luckily, I recently discovered the Brioche Stitch (click here to find our Brioche Stitch in the Round Tutorial). Brioche knitting is a simple multicolor technique that creates a beautiful fabric of ridges and valleys. The color play of fair isle or intarsia without the bother of tangled balls of yarn and pesky tails? Yes, please!  And better still, Brioche fabric is truly as lofty and luxurious as its namesake, the light and buttery brioche bun, making it just right for cozy cold weather accessories. I'm completely obsessed!

For my perfectly simple Brioche Hat and Cowl, I chose Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima and Blue Sky's Suri Merino. I love how the vivid intensity of Maxima peeks out from between the soft, fuzzy clouds of Suri. A two color project that's twice as nice

Want to become obsessed too? Check out my Brioche Hat and Cowl Project Journal right here! --Gina

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Thursday
Sep012011

Laura's Loop: Heel Stitch Hat

It happens to the best of us... You wander into a yarn shop, anxious, antsy, raring to knit, but then, you are faced with it: the Wall. It's packed full of vibrantly colored fiber, cubbies upon cubbies of yarn, arranged to inspire. But instead of igniting direction, this vertical display of skeins causes, what I like to call (in a hushed voice), Knitter's Wall (gasp!).

It's the knitter's version of writer's block. You find yourself standing there, staring aimlessly, hands thrown in the air, asking yourself, asking the wall, "What should I knit?!?!?!"

Although you can't find Knitter's Wall in any psychology books, I don't need to tell you, it is a real affliction. The good news... there's a solution! All you need is a warm-up project, a project to get those finger muscles moving and knitting neurons shooting. Something that's sparks your interest, grabs your attention, and gets you back into your knitting groove.  The even better news... I've got just the thing for you! The Heel Stitch Hat. 

Heel Stitch is traditionally used for, you guessed it, the heel of a sock. Designed for its durability and cushioning effect, I knew such a striking texture and impressive loft would make up an incredibly handsome and cozy hat.  For gorgeous stitch definition and sumptuous warmth, I used Swan's Island's beautiful Worsted weight organic merino, but most any worsted weight yarn will suit! Once you've completed it, you'll have a hat to keep the cool air out and Knitter's Wall at bay 

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