I was so happy when Anzula contacted me to let me know a new yarn was on the way! How exciting! Even better, the fiber content of Ava is the same as Squishy, my favorite (although now it's tying with Ava).
Would I like to design with it? Of course! And with that I was off tearing through the house to find my Moleskin notebook.
I had a general idea of what I wanted to do withing the time constraints, something that didn't need sizing and something larger than an accessory. My first thought was a large throw.
Then reality sank in.
Maybe a baby blanket would be a better size... That would be an interesting photo-shoot to take on with no cribs or babies available. Perhaps a lap blanket, that's a real thing, right?
I poured through Anzula colorways and Aqua and Blueberry looked particularly Mediterranean to me. I grew up in Greece and having the sea as my playground is something for which I've always been incredibly grateful. I didn't live on an island, but the sea by my apartment would take on the most amazing colors; pale greens on a calm day or dark grays during strong winds. And the blue waters matching the shutters of the island homes. How could I not incorporate that? With the overall design and colors chosen I sent Anzula my idea and request for yarn.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and some yarn winding on my knees. I then started working on my swatch and I had an epiphany. If there's something I don't feel like knitting why would anyone else want to knit it?
I asked myself a few questions: Do I care more about making it complicated or just interesting enough where I could still watch Property Brothers and not have to pay too much attention? What is the root cause of the abandoned 25 WIPs in my china cabinet?
After some thought I realized that the cause of my WIPs is that I simply lost interest. Either the pattern was too difficult, too easy, or the yarn didn't want to become a stole/sock/vest. so how could I prevent this from happening in my own design?
I’m big on memorizable yet impressive patterns and I wanted them to retain a Mediterranean influence that would blend cohesively with the colors. After some more swatching, I decided on an easier lace pattern with simple repeats and reverse stockinette borders which turned to lovely waves below the lace and a textured pattern for the blue as opposed to a Greek key, which would’ve involved more chart reading.
Now there’s nice balance between the lace and colored resting rows. It has achieved the look I was going for, a reflection of the ubiquitous island architecture, a beach with a stone walkway leading up to a white house framed by beautiful flowers.
Working with Ava is like a dream. It’s a wonderful yarn, incredibly soft and warm. The stitch definition is wonderful, every stitch shows up crisply and cleanly. It makes the blanket a uniquely beautiful work of art.
So bring a piece of the Mediterranean into your home with this cozy lap blanket. Perhaps you’ll even catch a whiff of the salty sea…
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.