Meet the Yarn: Serenity

My dictionary defines serenity as the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. It is true, I found that while working with this new 100% Cashmere fingering weight yarn all my worries disappeared, at least for a few moments. What is Anzula's new yarn, Serenity ? It is 185 yards (169 meters) of four softly plied strands of creamy white 100% cashmere. The bare fiber takes the dye beautifully and looks stunning in all the colorways that make Anzula yarns pure luxury.

Serenity in Au Natural

Serenity in Au Natural

As we've seen already from several designers, the stitch definition for knitted cables is stunning . It is also true for stripes and slipped stitch colorwork , I'll discuss lace later (spoiler -- it's lovely). Looking at beautiful photos and working with this yarn are two very different actions. I wish technology was at a point I could let you feel the swatches. The stockinette is soft and lets you see the hint of halo. The garter stitch is pure squish and in my opinion is pure serenity! My swatch became a micro (3.5in/9cm) comfort blanket.

Serenity, knitted swatches

Serenity, knitted swatches

So now that I've gushed about the knitting, how is the crochet? Does the slight halo of the lofty cashmere fibers adversely affect stitch definition? How does it drape?

Go get your crochet hook. You will want to work with this yarn and it loved every stitch I tossed at it. My stitch definition ranged from about 4-5 spi for my swatches and I need to figure out how to photograph the drape. I'm in love!

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

I apologize that these simple stitch swatches are flat, and you can't touch them. I wish I could capture them in a way to excite you. The depth created by the crochet stitch creates a warm texture without adding unwieldy bulk. The single crochet swatch (at 4in/10cm square) has given the garter stitch a fierce challenge to become the swatch I carry everywhere.

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

When I make the swatches, the granny square is most often made first. It took control to stop, which was true of every swatch. A draft of this post was delayed because after laying it out on my desk, I rested my head and took a quick nap.

Serenity, crochet swatch - granny square

Serenity, crochet swatch - granny square

If the depth of the plain stitches or the granny square didn't impress you, let me offer this textured swatch. It is not bulky and offers as beautiful a drape as the single crochet.

Serenity, crochet swatch - texture swatch

Serenity, crochet swatch - texture swatch

I'll confess that the swatch I love the least is only because it's late November here in the Northeast. I gravitate away from delicate lace this time of year. From my tiny swatch, I know that it is stunning, and know it could be scrunched in the morning when it's extra chilly. As the warmth of the day arrives, the lace could emerge. It looks beautiful in open knitted stitches too.

Serenity, crochet swatch - lace

Serenity, crochet swatch - lace

The nature of crochet stitches mean yardage for a project is always a concern. While I've not completed final maths, my 4in/10cm single crochet square weights 5.22g. By my quick estimates that means you could make a small one skein project! In single crochet you could make a cowl of approximately 6in/15cm width and 26in/66cm length.

Yes, gauge and stich choice will influence what you can make but one skein projects are possible!

With that generous yardage I urge crocheters to feel confident to pick up a skein of this luxury yarn their crochet hooks and give it a try.

Serenity, knit and crochet swatches

Serenity, knit and crochet swatches

All swatches are in a one-of-a-kind colourway very similar to Orchid, worked with 3.75mm needles and a 3mm crochet hook. Any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer.


Penny Shima Glanz spends her days spinning yarn and code into memorable projects. Small businesses rely on her for smart technology decisions. Designers rely on her to sample, test, and edit their hand-knit and crochet patterns. She loves muddy trail runs, fosters kittens, and lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and cat.

You can find Serenity in our gorgeous Nubivagant Kits, shop list here.

You will also find individual skeins in all of these shops (links to online shops where available):


Knitting Garden


Knit One Purl Two


Crafty Lady Trio
Woolly & Co
Yarn Garden


Amazing Threads

New York

The Knitting Store

North Carolina

Silver Threads & Golden Needles




Knitting to Know Ewe

South Carolina

The Needle Tree


Bliss Yarns



Meet the Yarn: Luster

Jill Wolcott

Miles Davis said he had to quit playing ballads because he loved them so much.  Not sure what a ballad is?  Check this list, you have probably heard many of them. I had to step away from Luster in the same way!  Luster is a fingering version of It Could Be Worsted. As much as I enjoyed It Could Be Worsted, fingering is more my gauge.  I almost lost myself on the swatches of twisted stitch rib with cables and lace from the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.

I have done my usual exploration swatch of garter, stockinette, seed, and 1x1 rib. The yummy blend of 50% super wash merino and 50% tussah silk means it looks good in all types of stitches. Tussah silk is not as refined as some silk filaments, so you get little bits of variation in the fiber.

The yardage for Luster is 405 yards or 370 meters to 114g or 4 ounces.  I used a US size 3(3.25mm) needle.  The exploration swatch used 40g, I have approximately 36g remaining unknit, and so my other swatches used about 38g.  I know what I’m going to do with the unknit Luster—because I have an other skein which I’m going to knit up — it will become accents.

So let’s get to the details so you can start having Luster-ous dreams:  

Do note that there isn’t a lot of change in gauge from unblocked to blocked, but that the stitch pattern gauges vary quite a bit.  I used the same needles throughout my swatches.  Every stitch looks great in this yarn.  Knit it tight enough to counteract the in-elasticity of the silk, and to insure even stitches.  I love it in the twisted stitches, but I need a different skein for that because the other one I picked up is multi-colored.  This is a yarn worth waiting for!

8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

I love looking at the projects and stashes on Ravelry.  Prices online vary from $33 per skein to close to $37 per skein.  A shawl or project taking two skeins will cost about $70-75 and to my thinking, that is a nice price for the hours of knitting pleasure you will get.  Then, of course you get to wear it!

I do a cost analysis for my yarn based on knitting time.  I recently worked up a project in 1 skein of Sport with similar yardage and spent about 12 hours knitting.  Double that if you use 2 skeins.  That means it costs $3.125 an hour.  About the same as the cost of my Saturday double espresso.  That does not take into account the future wearing.  

Seeing photos of a yarn worked up is always a good way to take its measure.  Here are some Luster projects I selected from the 158 listed on Ravelry.  I added the number of skeins used — so you can do the cost math.  There are 203 stash entries on Ravelry, and of the six listed for sale or trade, two are just the remainder from projects knitted. 1 skein plus a second yarn 6 skeins (5 colors) 2 colors 1 skein 3 skeins, size small 4 skeins unknown, but sweater appears to be an XS.

Looks like there is plenty of user satisfaction!  Take a look, then purchase a skein or two and set sail on your next beautiful knitted thing!

You’ll find more great pattern ideas for Luster on our Pinterest page!

Keep up on all things Jill Wolcott:
Twitter: @jillwolcottknit
Instagram: @jillwolcottknits
Pinterest: Jill Wolcott Knits 

Pattern Spotlight:  Blackstar Cowl by Andi Smith

I have to admit to being a huge FanGirl of Anzula yarns, and when I was designing for the book, I’d planned on creating this cowl in Dreamy, but fate had plans.

I’d found this obscure star cable that intrigued me, and was somewhat obsessed with designing something very graphic with it. I grabbed my yarns, caked, and swatched like a crazy person! I think this motif broke my record for number of swatches to make it perfect!

I was so happy with it though; sometimes, the yarn, the color, and the pattern just gel to create the perfect trifecta. This was one of those times.

When you’re working with two colors, and a tricksy cable motif, having an uninterrupted field of purl bumps in the background can be hard to achieve. A stitch that was one color became a different color on the next round, and that differently colored purl bump became all- encompassing problem for me for longer than I care to admit!

After much playing around, and experimentation, and frogging, fixing that issue on the round before solved was the solution, and I was crazy happy with the results.

I sat down to write the pattern, and that is when disaster struck! In my mad rush to knit-all-the-things, I’d inadvertently picked up a skein of Cricket for the cables, not Dreamy! What’s worse, is that I didn’t have another skein of Dreamy in the One Red Shoe colorway!


I know the amazing ladies at Anzula would have sent one out to me right away, but I wanted to knit this cowl NOW! Waiting was NOT an option! Do you ever have a project like that? I know I do.

So, I broke my must use the same weight for the cables and background rules, and went with what I had.

I’m so glad I did! Using a DK for that red pop of deliciousness was such a great choice. I’m thrilled that my impatience paid off! I love how the star pops out majestically, how graphic and understated it is; how just a few cables makes such a big impact!

If you want to knit Blackstar, you’ll find it in my new Color Cables book, (©Cooperative Press 2018), which also includes full color tutorials for all the techniques featured in the book.

Stay up to date on all things Andi:

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