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.

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ravelry -

Meet the Yarn: It Could be Worsted

Jill Wolcott

Hi there!  I’m back after a hiatus, and there are still fabulous Anzula yarns to be reviewed, so let's leaping back in.  Next in the lineup is It Could be Worsted.  

“It could be worse” than this soft, yet strong worsted blend of 50% silk and 50% merino.  I have to admit that I love this yarn and wasn’t at all upset when I realized I had to reknit my Tangiers sample because I had failed to return to seed stitch after completing the moss stitch neckband.  Yup, I ripped it back to the end of third Arabesque, then decided to just go all the way back and reknit the whole thing.   

I also did my standard gauge swatch, beginning with garter, moving to stockinette, on to seed stitch, then rib, and on to moss stitch.  Unblocked, there was some biasing in this yarn.  I used US size 6[4mm] needles, but liked the fabric I got, so don’t think that was a problem. Although there was some biasing, I was able to block it flat so it wasn’t a long-term problem.  It did unsettle me though!  Biasing is leaning in one direction and is usually the result of the way the yarn was spun.  If it blocks out, it is usually not a problem.  I just caution you to do a swatch and to block.  Having noticed these things swatching, I might not knit a large piece in the round.


I’ve looked through the projects on Ravelry, and don’t see anyone with problems, although there are not many comments.  I was amused to see my notes were equally incomplete!  There are 58 stashes, and 53 projects.  Such a great yarn needs more love!  Looking online, it sells for about $38/skein, so a single skein project might fit into a lot of budgets.  My new Tangiers pattern is made with two colors in It Could be Worsted (shown in Gumball and Aqua), and a version in a single color (sample uses For Better or Worsted).  


The yardage is 190 yards or 174 meters to 114g or 4 ounces.  There were several games of yarn chicken, probably owing to the 10 yard difference between It Could be Worsted and For Better or Worsted!  Judging by what I have remaining one could knit opposites of Tangiers.  If needed, some fudging could be done to make it work.

So let’s get to the details:  

Do be sure to take extra time on the blocking.  Pinning it to shape should do the trick.  I also steam blocked mine.  The Tangiers 2-color Scarf just needed a little patting into shape when I steam blocked it after wet blocking it.  Due to the small number of stitches, no biasing occurred.

Worsted is a great weight for knitting gifts—the knitting goes pretty fast and in this yarn, it looks super impressive—everything we want in our gift knits.  The colors are sharp and clear in this yarn,  I thoroughly enjoyed Gumball and Aqua both.

Tell me why—in the comments—you think there are 10 fewer yards in a skein of It Could Be Worsted than in a skein of For Better or Worsted.  I’ll do a drawing and give away one Tangier’s pattern for every 50 comments.  Deadline for comments is October 9, 2018.


You can find It Could be Worsted at these shops:

Admit Ewe Knit - Raleigh, NC
Amazing Threads - Maple Grove, MN
Baskets of Yarn - Charlotte, NC
Do Ewe Knit - Westfield, NJ
Fiber Artwork - Huntsville, AL
Harps & Thistles - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
KnitKnit - Couer d’Alene, ID
Knitorious - St Louis, MO
Knitting Garden - Coral Gables, FL
Sated Sheep - Dripping Springs, TX
Swift Stitch - Santa Cruz, CA
Online @

You’ll find more great pattern ideas for It Could be Worsted on our Pinterest page here!

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

Pattern Spotlight: Dance of the Hours by Sara Burch

I was super excited when I heard about Anzula’s new 100% cashmere yarn, Serenity, and almost
immediately started thinking of ways to use it. When I really sat down to design this pattern, I came up with a list of different things I wanted it to have. I wanted the pattern to feature a few different techniques to keep things interesting. I wanted it to have two colors, but to not be all-over colorwork or stripes. I wanted it to use the yardage of a cowl, but look like a shawl when worn. And thus, Dance of the Hours was born.

This cowl starts off just like a top-down triangle-shaped shawl, in garter stitch, and features simple cabling of slipped stitches to get the subtle texture in the first section. Serenity is slightly fuzzy, which makes it so incredibly soft, but the stitch definition is still gorgeous and shows off texture well.

Once it’s joined in the round, this cowl features one of my favorite techniques: two-color slipped-stitch cabling. The delicate cables dance their way across the purled background, the two colors intertwining as one takes over from the other. Although it looks complex, the technique is actually really simple since you are only working with one color at a time. I’ve used it many times in other patterns, and it worked perfectly here as a way to transition from one color to the other. I often use this technique on a garter stitch background, but here I chose to purl the background, which allowed me to change colors every row and keep the colorwork section more compact.

I decided to finish the cowl off with a lace border. If you know my patterns you know I don’t do a lot of lace, but for this pattern I wanted to have the strands from the cables continue into a lace section. The lace here is both somewhat architectural but also almost reminiscent of leaves, an Art Nouveau inspired combination that shows up in some of my other work.

The end result is a deliciously soft cowl that is wonderful to wear and easy to style. And you get the joy of chosing two colors to play with from Anzula’s lovely offerings; I decided I wanted to go with a blue and grey, which is nice and neutral and would go with nearly anything I wear. This pattern would also work fabulously with bright colorways for a pop of color.

Dance of the Hours can be found on Ravelry.

You can find Serenity at these shops: - Online only
Amazing Threads - Maple Grove, MN
Bliss Yarns - Brentwood, TN
Knit One Purl Two - Rockford, IL
Knitting Store - Oceanside, NY
Knitting to Know Ewe - Newton, PA
Needle Tree - Greenville, SC
Spun - Ann Arbor, MI
Woolly & Co - Birmingham, IL and online
Yarn Garden - Charlotte, MI

We have more Serenity in the dye pots for Loops and Yarn Kandy, and more shops so check back for updates.

As always, you can place a special order at your local Anzula shop for any of our yarns, we will dye it just for you and send it to your LYS.

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