Pattern Spotlight: Swirled by Lisa K. Ross

I first encountered Anzula Gerty last summer while attending the TNNA summer trade show. I was so excited to see that one of my favorite dyers now carried this rustic, natural wool yarn. I knew it would be perfect for stranded colorwork and started playing around with color combos. Pink is a favorite color of mine and, with four boys at home, not one I get to use very often. Taffy is a bright and happy shade of pink that easily pops when paired with the darker Charcoal colorway.

Paper Daisy Creations Swirled Peace Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty

I had a lot of fun playing around with Gerty and trying out a variety of colorwork stitch patterns to create a hat. In the end, I created an original colorwork swirl that is easy to work with terrific graphic appeal. Through trial and error I came up with charted crown decreases that both feature the swirled motif and make the hat look exciting from every angle. Swirled Peace is as much fun to knit as it is to wear.

Paper Daisy Creations Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty Swirled Traveler Peace

After finishing the hat, I knew it wasn’t enough. I wanted an additional design that would complete the look. A cowl was just the thing! Creating a cowl filled with swirls would be a bit much, especially if worn at the same time as the hat. Cowls squish down when worn, which would cover up all the beautiful two-color knitting. What if I worked just the border in colorwork? With the colors inversed from that of the hat? Thus, Swirled Traveler was created. The colorwork border is knit first and is later folded and seamed. This creates a thick fabric with inversed color swirls on each side that holds itself up when worn to show off the design. The body of the cowl is swirled with diagonal ribbing in a single color. This creates a wonderfully warm and squishy texture, perfect as a backdrop to let the swirls shine.

Paper Daisy Creations Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty Swirled Traveler Peace

All of my designs are on sale for 50% off with code MERRYCHRISTMAS through December 23, 2017 (11:59EST), so hop over to Ravelry to grab your new designs and cast-on!

P.S. If you’re looking for socks to knit, my Emerald City socks feature the luxurious Anzula Squishy and are included in the pattern sale. Happy knitting to you all!

Emerald City Lisa Ross Paper Daisy Creations Anzula Squishy

Pattern Spotlight: Jesse's Girl by Kate Oates

Thank you so much Anzula for having me as a guest to talk about one of the designs in my new book, Grown.  I'm honored to be here!  In addition to design details, I'd also like to share some modification info that could be of interest to knitters who prefer cardigans :)

This is Jesse's Girl.  It was inspired by Jesse Half-Zip, a sweater that was part of my Knits for Boys book and is also now available as a single pattern. My husband and my oldest son share the name Jesse. My son is the 4th generation actually, so the name has been in the family for quite a while. He modeled the Jesse Half-Zip, of course.  And so, I decided it was fitting for me to wear the Grown version.  I openly admit that I made Erica spend WAY more time shooting this piece than the others because I knew I was going to have trouble looking at these photos of myself, ha!

Both sweaters share a central cable pattern and utilize Anzula For Better or Worsted.

I can't help it.  Sometimes I accidentally have a favorite and from Grown, Jesse's Girl is it.

It has all of the things I love. Squishy yarn with incredible color and depth. Textured fabric with cables that pop.  Flattering lines. A scoopneck that I can accent with big sparkly jewelry. Purple.

I had a "knitting disaster" with this sweater.  I knit the entire body and then realized I needed to make an adjustment to the cable pattern.  For a day or two I sat on it, trying to figure out a way around ripping the whole thing out.

NOPE. I had to do it. Frogged the entire thing.  It was painful. So painful. I had been petting those cables for several weeks.  I forced myself to get right back on the horse and reknit it quickly before I had time to get more frustrated. As has happened every time I have made this kind of decision, I don't regret it.  All in the name of perfection!

This sweater is worked from the bottom up with raglan-style seamless sleeves. Shaping at each side flatters.  I am a mom of four.  These things are important. The shaping occurs outside of the underarm stitches in a sweet spot that works whether you are trying to create some curves or nicely accent those that are there without messing with either of the stitch patterns in the body.

I have already had several comments from folks who would like to see this design in a cardigan version.  I don't have any immediate plans to do that, but I am happy to share a few instructions on how you can accomplish this modification!  It is really nothing fancy.  It will be easiest to follow along with the Jesse's Girl pattern while reading these notes, but the principles are definitely applicable to other designs as well.

First, adjust the cast-on to remove width for the buttonband. For this design, I suggest you CO 6 fewer stitches.  This removes the center front cable only while providing for 2 selvedge stitches (one at each edge).  The selvedge stitches make it easy to pick up for your buttonband.  In this design, it is important to set up the Ribbing properly, so that your side Ribbing matches with the hem. With this in mind, set-up your Ribbing like this:

Row 1 (WS): P1, k1, *p2, k2; rep from * to last 4 sts, p2, k1, p1.

Row 2 (RS): K1, p1, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p1, k1.

After you work the hem, and this is the only tricky part, map out your cable set-up row since the end-of-round for the pullover is not in the center front.  The easiest way to do this is to draw yourself a little picture like so:

Using the information in the existing pattern, fill in stitch count numbers for each section.  During the following row, you should be able to establish the stitch patterns properly and then you can knit back and forth for a while without thinking too hard. Do not forget to leave your first and last stitch as selvedge sts (that is, work them as knit on the RS and purl on the WS throughout the entire project and don't include them in your cable set up). You won't need to modify the sleeves or the sleeve join.


Next, determine your new center front neckline numbers. Subtract 6 sts (for the width you left out in your CO) from the total front neck stitches that are slipped to hold in the pullover  and divide the remaining sts in half.  The example below shows the smallest size. 22 stitches are slipped to hold for the front neck in the pattern.  After subtracting 6 and dividing by 2, 8 stitches should be put on hold for each side.

Work the remaining shaping just like for the pullover, taking into account that your end of row does not match the patterned end of round.  Your stitch counts both in total and in each section should match up at this point.  When you're all finished, pick up a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 along those neckline stitches and use the same Ribbing pattern I provided for the hem.

Finish up with your buttonband, once again picking up a multiple of 4 sts plus 2, including along the vertical edge of the neckline.  This time, establish your Ribbing slightly differently...

Row 1 (WS): *P2, k2; rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 2 (RS): *K2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Your buttonband should be about 1.25" wide; place buttonholes as you like, with the top and bottom buttonholes about an inch away from each edge.  If you need help placing the buttonholes, use the Scholar Cardigan instructions as a guide. Buttonhole instructions are included in the Technique section of Grown.

I hope that sharing some of these notes with you is helpful! Grown is full of lots of tips and tricks to help you personalize your knits. After all, if you're making your own clothes, they might as well be just right.  For more details about the entire collection, check out this post. Click here to buy it now.

All the sweaters from Grown will be touring around in a Trunk Show next year, which is wonderful but kind of a downer for my closet.  I would really really REALLY like to knit myself this sweater.  Along with several others.  But I've already admitted this one is my favorite so yeah...  first up!  Before I say goodbye, here's a photo of the other Anzula sweater in Grown, shown on my guy. This is is the Eli Cardigan.



Pattern Spotlight: Dear Prudence by Afifa

I'm Afifa, an indie designer who's been publishing knitting patterns for over a year now. In that time, I've designed everything from from fingerless mittens, to scarfs, shawls and cozy sweaters. As I have a background in fashion, I bring a modern sensibility and love of construction to the art of knitting.

So, how did Dear Prudence come to be? A couple of months ago, I reached out to Anzula asking them if they would be interested in working with me. Charlie, The Big Cheese, Ruler of This Universe, (Charlie is the office manager of Anzula) responded almost immediately and was so extremely gracious and generous in directing me towards the yarns in need of patterns. (Thank you for that, Charlie! I so adored working with Ava!) As a designer, it’s magnificent when a dyer is so open!

A few weeks later, Ava in the gorgeous Orchid colorway arrived in my mailbox. (Rumors that I was camped out or stalking my mailman, waiting for my squishy package, may or may not be true.) 


At first touch I could tell that Ava would become a special summer knit. And coincidentally I’d been wanting an easy-wear top with a bit of embellishment that would be a great on-the-go piece. (Seriously, it’s already become an indispensable part of my wardrobe!)

I’m not a huge fan of seaming – who is, right? So when I cast on for Dear Prudence I started in the round, from the bottom up. I think the rib is a fun little twist on a traditional, too. Increases are made every few rows to create a drapey, dolman style effect. (If you’re not familiar with a dolman, it’s the second most perfect summer attire– a breezy, flowing robe.)

Obviously this is the most perfect attire– a top that’s designed for the kind of ease that practically whispers, relax, chill, it’s summer!

And Ava yarn is so perfect for this design– it has the drape, softness and stitch definition to work really well with the subtle increases. Once the torso is completed, you’ll separate for the front and back and create the lacy cap sleeves. Now, my absolute favorite bit of this top is the sleeve design. I think it’s intriguing and a little bit sexy while bringing a definite summertime feel to the garment. Plus, everyone who’s seen me in this has said, “Super-cute, Afifa! Where did you find that top?”

Think we’re done talking about the sleeves? No way! See, initially, I had the lace pattern running along the edges of the armhole and all across the front and back of the neck. I finished it, bound off, put it on and stepped in front of the mirror with a happy goofy smile on my face. It didn’t last!

And, oh boy, talk about a hot mess! It looked – seriously – like I‘d taken two different tops and spliced them together. Not a pretty sight! So, back to the drawing board I went. I ripped it back down to where it separated for the front and back and, voila! I added a delicate, stepped lace pattern just where the sleeves hit. That way, you can have the delicate airy lace, and still wear traditional undergarments without looking like... well, use your imagination, okay? Like this, it’s comfy, pretty AND functional. Oh, and super-cute! A three needle bind off at the shoulders adds the perfect finishing edge.

I really hope you love Dear Prudence. I promise you’ll enjoy the process of creating it as much as you’ll enjoy wearing it (especially since you won’t have to rip it out to the arm pits and re-knit it as I did!)

Tell us which colorway you will use to make your very own Dear Prudence in the comments!