Pattern Spotlight: Mentzelia Shawlette by Tian Connaughton

Tian Connaughton is a knit and crochet designer who specializes in accessories. She has a wide range of designs and many techniques in her tool belt: textures, cables, lace, trims, and clever shaping. You'll also find some really cute cardigans in her Ravelry store. She  joins us today with her newest design, Mentzelia Shawlette

With the brand Anzula, you know what to expect with their yarns, every time. Their yarns are consistently high quality and the colors, beautiful. Their latest addition to the line, Ava, a sport weight 80/10/10 (merino/cashmere/nylon) blend is no exception. It's everything I've come to expect from this brand and dyer.

A couple months ago, Charlie at Anzula reached out to a bunch of designers about their new yarn, seeking designs featuring the new yarn. I was so thrilled to be included in that list of designers. Immediately my brain went into overdrive. So many ideas came up, but for my first pattern, I wanted to create a pattern that would be perfect for a single skein (because sometimes we grab just one skein at a show or our LYS to try out), and a design that is easy enough to adjust with additional skeins. Thus, the Mentzelia Shawlette was born.

You know when you have that single skein of precious yarn that you can’t imagine just knitting any ole’ pattern. Well, I had only the one skein of this color of this yarn and I wanted to make the very best of it. Of course the yarn is in Poppy. I have to say, this color is by far my favorite color in the long range of Anzula's colorways

At 330 yards per skein, I figured for this design, big needles and lace would make this skein go pretty far, which it did! Worked sideways in stockinette stitch with a lovely lace edging, the Mentzelia Shawlette allow you to use up every ounce of your precious single skein. The pattern is easy to remember and very intuitive. As you progress through the lace pattern, the edge stitch counts changes, increasing and decreasing as you to create the beautiful points along the edge of the shawlette.

You can find the Mentzelia Shawlette pattern on Ravelry. Ava will be appearing in yarn shops in the next couple of weeks and is available for special order from all shops that carry Anzula yarns, both LYS and online


Pattern Spotlight: Mrs Clark Cowl by Taiga Hilliard

Taiga Hilliard of Cashmere Junkie joins us today with her new pattern for Ava which we released earlier this week. She is a self-proclaimed yarn snob and we are so glad we can satisfy her need for luxurious yarns: 

I am often inspired after seeing and playing with the yarn I have in mind. It could be the color, the yarn texture, or the synergism of feelings toward the whole. Some yarns just want to be a shawl, or a dress. And others, only a cowl will do. 

With me being a self admitted yarn snob, it just follows suit that Anzula makes yarns using some of my favorite fibers out there: Fine Merino, Tussah Silk, Cashmere. And then when you add the wonderful color palette; Saffron yellow, Garnet red, Chiva blue, Hyacinth pink... All amazing. Anzula yarns are a joy to work with, plus the inspire a strong desire to create a compliment to the combination. 

The new Ava yarn has a luxurious feel that runs through the fingers with delight and ease, plus has a sheen to it that makes it look rich. It also matches drape and stitch definition beautifully, a quality rarely found, but unquestionably enjoyed.

Indeed, this Ava yarn is perfect to wear on you skin and so a cowl seemed the natural route to go. The Mrs Clark Cowl pattern was designed to highlight the wonderful tonal dyeing that Anzula has refined to a fine art. I wanted something interesting and fun to knit, but that would not distract from the color. I started with a ribbed edge and added a mixture of simple lace stitches and cables. The pattern moves enough to stay interesting, but is never overly complicated.

It is my hope that you will savor Ava yarn and the Mrs Clark pattern together as much as I did. 

Happy Knitting!

You can find the pattern for Mrs Clark on Ravelry and the Ava yarn at VK Live today and tomorrow in the Yarnover Truck booth (121-123)!

Can't make it to VK Live? No worries, Ava will be appearing in shops soon. If you want it even sooner you can always place a special order at your favorite Anzula shop.

Pattern Spotlight: Lucienne Scarf by Katy Carroll

Katy Carroll's designs are bold, full of bright colors, and usually, at least a few cables. Sounds pretty great right? She joins us today to tell about her newest pattern, Lucienne Scarf:

I was so excited to have a chance to work with Ava, Anzula's new sport weight blend. Of course, I hadn't seen Ava yet, but having knit with several Anzula yarns, and having scoped out even more of them at trunk shows, I knew it wouldn't disappoint. 

The first thing that struck me about Ava was its bouncy twist, which is one of my favorite things to discover in a yarn. While I like a lot of different knitting techniques, I'm a cable-lover at heart, and I'll always try to find a way to sneak them into designs and projects. A round yarn like this shows off cables so well, but the softness from the MCN content also gives it a beautiful drape. it was a tactile treat to knit! I also think Ava has a lot of inherent versatility, both in terms of gauge and the types of projects for which it could be used. it would make an amazing sweater!

Knowing that Ava would be released in the spring, I chose the vibrant, sunny Saffron colorway for my design. And thinking about Spring further, I knew I wanted a pattern that had an open and airy feel to it. I decided that I would incorporate dropped stitches somehow, but while dropped stitches can be fun (it feels so subversive to drop them on purpose!), they can leave the stitches on either side looking sloppy. Unless you're aiming for a deconstructed, "Matrix-y" look, that may not be what you want. This "cables and lace" motif is ideal for the purpose, though - it's bordered by decreases on either side, which keep the edges crisp and distinct. A few purl columns in between the motifs are dropped down at the end of the work, and while you don't get to enjoy that moment of transformation until the very end of your knitting, it's well worth the wait!

Ava's generous yardage allowed me to use most of all of two skeins to make a wide, lengthy scarf that could be draped loosely during transitional months, or worn more snugly in colder weather. Look for Ava's debut at VK Live in Pasadena this weekend, with the Anzula yarns at the Yarnover Truck booth 121-123! 

Can't make it to VK Live? No worries, Ava will be appearing in shops soon. If you want it even sooner you can always place a special order at your favorite Anzula shop.