Pattern Spotlight: Zora by Jennifer Wood

I’m one of those knitters that always has at least 2-1,000,000 things on the needles. Of course, there’s always one project that pulls my attention more than the others, and Zora has been one of them.

I. Love. This. Shawl.

I only had to cast on a few stitches to get started, one the reasons I love shawls so much. There’s enough going on to keep me interested, but not so much that I can’t take it with me. Once you get it going, it’s so easy to “read your knitting” which means I can look at the pattern less. I don’t get to completely ignore the pattern, but I’m not staring at it counting every stitch. Some good stitch markers and I can even watch some not-too-intense TV. (GoT might be a bit much for this pattern, but honestly, who can knit while watching GoT?!)

zora jennifer wood woodhouseknits wood house knits anzula squishy miniskeins mini skeins skeinettes temperance citizenskein yellow grellow gray grey

Jennifer started with our Squishy Skeinettes in Citizen Skein, our gray gradient pack, and added a skein of Squishy in Temperance for a pop of color. I put together more color combos I thought would work really will with this pattern; Citizen Skein and either Alice, Au Natural, Garnet, Poppy, or Temperance. What do you think?

You can special order these from any shop that carries Anzula. We have a few ready to go, so if you’re quick, there’s no wait! (Shop owners, you’ll find these in stock now in our wholesale shop here. Shoot me an email if you need access).

The best thing about this shawl is how easy it will be to wear once it’s done. This shape is so comfy and easy!

zora shawl03.jpg

We love working with designers, so if you have an idea, tell us about it here! We welcome submissions from all levels in any fiber craft.

Meet the Yarn: Dottie

Are you looking to knit with a new and different yarn? Anzula's newest, Dottie is for you!

It is 420 yards of a fingering/sock weight that is a blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 17% Acrylic, and 3% Polyester.

Dottie in Gravity

Dottie in Gravity

What?! Acrylic? Polyester?

Dottie is special, there is a tweedy effect created by the neps of black Acrylic. It creates a very unique fabric, as you'll see in the swatches below.

Dottie swatches

Dottie swatches

I personally find tweedy yarns very difficult to work with as I want to re-spin it into a smooth yarn. As they aren't a yarn I tend to choose on my own, I don't have much experience with them. That made this post much more educational for me than I expected when the yarn first arrived on my doorstep.

Tweed yarns sing best with simple stitches. We'll change things up in this post and I'll begin with crochet before I share the knitting.

My first swatch was a large one worked in single crochet. The structure of crochet traps the tweed neps into each stitch.

Dottie swatch, single crochet swatch

Dottie swatch, single crochet swatch

The effect changes slightly half-double and double crochet. While there is some stitch definition, it's subtle.

Dottie, crochet swatches

Dottie, crochet swatches

So what if you were to work different stitches? What happens with lack of sharp stitch definition?

I personally don't find the effect of combining this tweed yarn with a motif stitch exciting. That could change with a different hook or blocking. I sprayed this lightly with water and finger pulled it to its roughly square shape. This is why swatching is important!

Dottie, granny square swatch

Dottie, granny square swatch

Does it work in a texture stitch? This is the same stitch I've worked for all my other texture swatches. It's ok, however I feel the essence of the texture is lost in the tweed. Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not. If you enjoy this stitch why not work it?

Dottie, texture crochet swatch

Dottie, texture crochet swatch

Ok, lace. I think in a certain design, and at a different gauge and with attention blocking, it could work as an accent (or edging) to a piece worked in a more basic stitch.

Dottie, lace crochet swatch

Dottie, lace crochet swatch

What have I learned from these few humble swatches? That it's very important to swatch. Maybe you’ll love the look in a very different stitch, such as crocheted (post-stitch) cable. Maybe you'll decide that single-crochet is the way to go. This is a very different yarn in Anzula's current line-up and I think you'll be able to have lots of fun with this yarn.

Next up: knitting!

It looks different than when crocheted. There is still stitch definition in the stockinette section and the garter stitch looks very different.

Dottie, knit swatches

Dottie, knit swatches

I'm surprised by how much I want to squish this garter stitch swatch. I find the tweed neps fun in this swatch in a way they weren't in any of my crochet swatches.

Dottie, knit garter stitch swatch

Dottie, knit garter stitch swatch

The same is also true in this stockinette. It's a more subtle effect than in crochet in a way I'm not yet able to articulate.

Dottie, knit stockinette swatch

Dottie, knit stockinette swatch

Dottie is a unique yarn that I think will entice you to swatch (in either knit or crochet -- or both) to find the combination of stitch and gauge that speaks to you.

If you'd like to try Dottie, head to your favorite local yarn store on April 27th for Local Yarn Store Day and pick up a kit for a gorgeous knit shawl by Jen Lucas! It features stockinette and some slipped stitches in a contrast color for a unique look. Crocheters, as each kit includes 420 yards of Dottie and 3 mini skeins of Squishy, why not combine a simple crochet stitch with your favourite scarf or shawl recipe and have some creative fun?

Click this photo to find a list of shops!

Click this photo to find a list of shops!

All swatches are in the Teal colourway with 3.75mm needles and hooks, any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer.

Dottie, yarn ends

Dottie, yarn ends

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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. www.pennyshima.com

Meet the Yarn: Ava

It's delightful to write about a lovely yarn in a very happy colourway as a contrast to the frigid weather outside. What yarn is that?

It's one with perfect twist, bounce, drape, and most importantly smoosh. I want to do more than introduce you to my favourite sport weight yarn, I want you to meet and get to know Ava. Let's get swatching.

Ava Au Natural in all of it’s pure, creamy, bouncy perfection.

Ava Au Natural in all of it’s pure, creamy, bouncy perfection.

Before we get to the fun stuff, let's get some numbers out of the way. Ava is 330 yards of the same 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon blend you know and love in Cloud, Squishy, Cricket, and For Better or Worsted. What makes it different? It's a sport weight. Ok, I hear you say, Squishy is fingering weight and Cricket is DK. Do we need this sport weight?

Yes.

Let me show you why.

Ava knitted swatches

Ava knitted swatches

Look at these knitted swatches. I'm sorry that technology is what it is and you can't feel them. The round yarn sings and begs to be worked.

As I spent quite a bit of time squishing my garter stitch swatch, I knew it would work well for crochet.

But before I show you my standard swatch views, I want to show you something else. On the left is the knitted garter stitch swatch. On the right is the single crochet. Look at the smoosh!

Ava swatches. Garter Stitch on the left, Single Crochet on the right.

Ava swatches. Garter Stitch on the left, Single Crochet on the right.

Look at that height! The nice thing about crocheting a sport weight -- there isn't heavy bulk.

Ok, let's look at the basic stitches in Ava, single crochet, half double, and double crochet. Isn't it stunning?

Look at that stitch definition!

Ava crochet swatches in single crochet (front), half double crochet (middle), and double crochet (back).

Ava crochet swatches in single crochet (front), half double crochet (middle), and double crochet (back).

Stitches sing in this yarn. Choose your favourite music. It works in everything I tried!

Ava crochet swatch, granny square

Ava crochet swatch, granny square

Based on this granny square, don't you want to treat the granny square crocheter in your life to an upgrade to a cashmere blend? With so many colors to choose, I'm sure you'll find one for them.

Want to be more adventurous with your stitches?

Look at Ava in a simple lace. Stunning. It's not bulky. Add a little picot to that stitch and it'll take a star role.

Ava crochet swatch in lace stitch

Ava crochet swatch in lace stitch

Want texture? I'm out of adjectives. Sorry. I really wish you could touch this. It's squooshy.

Ava crochet swatch in a textured stitch.

Ava crochet swatch in a textured stitch.

I think Ava is a great yarn for crocheters who want something a bit heavier than Squishy but don't want their fabric to be bulky.

Bright-Yarn-Grey-Day.jpg

I want to take one more moment to wax poetic about this beautiful colourway. I love it against the endless grey that is winter. This colourway feels as if Opal asked if was ok to turn up the bright dial to max and Sabrina said yes. I've surprised myself by loving this colour. I don't think I'd wear it in anything I'd make as the primary colour, but it would love to be an accent/highlight.

_All swatches are in the Misfit colourway with 3.75mm needles and hooks, any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer._

Ava-Love-feature.jpg

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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. www.pennyshima.com