A black-tie affair or: how I realized I don't have enough fancy knits

Last weekend was pretty special. I had one of those rare invites that only come along once in a blue moon if you aren't a Kardashian. I was on the guest list to a black-tie party to celebrate the launch of a major new tech endeavor here in Fresno. 

Awesome, right? Well, if you aren't a Kardashian, it may not be as fun as it sounds. I had to go through at least 4 different closets to cobble together an appropriate outfit. Finally, I ransacked my Grandma's closet and found a vintage 1970's LBD and pearls, but came up empty handed when it came to a jacket, shawl, or wrap. 

I even went through my own knits, but I have a penchant for really bright, unicorn-laser-cat colors, and so my shawls more closely resemble something Molly Weasley from Harry Potter would have on, not so much Paris Hilton. 

So you know what I did? I froze. 

This is me, hanging out with Grumpy Cat at  Bitwise South Stadium , hiding inside while everyone else was drinking chilled champagne and listening to live music outside, all because I didn't have an appropriate wrap.

This is me, hanging out with Grumpy Cat at Bitwise South Stadium, hiding inside while everyone else was drinking chilled champagne and listening to live music outside, all because I didn't have an appropriate wrap.

There are a lot of potentially fancy gatherings coming up with the holidays just around the corner, so I figured I'd better get my warm-and-elegant act together before I end up wearing a hoodie to the company Christmas party.

Thank goodness for Anzula Nebula. 86% Superwash Merino, 14% Sparkling Stellina, 100% classy. 

Here are a couple of patterns that would look divine with any LBD or floor-length sequined number.

Artesian by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

Asymmetical and lacy, this one won't keep you warm at an outdoor Christmas party in, like Michigan, but then again, are there even outdoor Christmas parties in Michigan? So sayeth the California girl. This would have been perfect for me last weekend.

Riddles with Dragons Shawl by Kate Poe

A glamorous stunner, this scale pattern is sure to be a conversation starter in case you're having the "Ugh, I won't have anything to talk to these people about!" dilemma that so often comes up at fancy gala events. 

Marcella Evening Gown by Lacie Lynnae

Take knitted elegance one step further and make the whole evening gown. Isn't it amazing? This pattern incorporates three Anzula yarns, Cloud, Milky Way, and Nebula. Might want to start working on this for next Thanksgiving, if you're not a super knitter. My sister could totally do it. I, unfortunately, am not my sister. I might as well start it now to have it ready for my daughter's eventual wedding. My daughter is one. Actually, maybe I can bribe my sister to make this for me. <3

So what's your favorite go-to, hoity-toity-event knit? 

And now, here's my inner monologue: If I make one of these in a normal color like Sexy or Elephant, I can go back to knitting in my happy, though impractical place. Which is pretty much like Paradise.

If Billy the Kid can play Croquet...

It's not often enough that Fresno, CA- the home of Anzula, gets into the Trending Sidebar on Facebook. However, over the last few days, sandwiched between the usual Politics + Gossip there has been a story about a photograph of Billy the Kid playing croquet that was found in a Fresno antique shop and is now valued to at around $5 million. 

Now, I'm a fan of the smooth segue, so watch me turn this around to be about yarn.

Wait, those croquet balls look peculiar...

Billy the Kid, an outlaw with well over 15 men who found themselves at the wrong end of his gun, played Croquet. It kind of shakes everything up that you ever thought about Billy the Kid (while simultaneously giving a little more credibility to the goofy Billy the Kid from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).

If he played croquet, then why not picture him knitting. Can't you see it? After a long, hard day of fighting the sheriff's posse and running from the law, Mr. The Kid kicking back with his boots up and knitting a pair of socks by campfire light. Totally plausible, right? Or do they only do the campfire thing in the movies?

Anyway, Anzula has a line of yarn named Croquet that is simply killer. (see what I did there?) This DK weight made of 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tussah Silk basically is the sharpshooter of luxury yarns. And just like Billy the Kid, it has a softer side. Okay, so maybe all of the sides are soft. It's yarn. 

From the second your hands touch the skein it feels like heaven. This yarn produces garments with amazing drape and is perfect for sweaters. The silk gives it a gorgeous sheen that rivals the sun at high noon.

While they might be gorgeous, croquet balls made of Croquet by Anzula may not travel very far when hit with a croquet mallet.&nbsp;

While they might be gorgeous, croquet balls made of Croquet by Anzula may not travel very far when hit with a croquet mallet. 

Unlike a cold-hearted outlaw, Anzula's yarns use only wool from a source that does not participate in mulesing, making our Superwash Merino a kinder choice. 

So what would I recommend to Billy the Kid if he were looking for a pattern to knit in Croquet? 

I would definitely have to be a cowlette like this Camille Cowlette from Taiga Hillard Designs- it looks like a handkerchief, without the potential disaster of coming undone at that moment of really needing it to cover the face whilst train robbing or shooting, or doing any of those other old-timey-wild-west things.

Channel your inner "Billy the Kid, who BTW totally plays croquet" and knit one for yourself!



The new kid on the blog

Greetings, earthlings!

I'm Kim and I'm the newest voice on the Anzula blog- so if things go from 0-Quirky real fast, you can probably pin most of that on me. I've been a pretty huge fangirl of Anzula for about 5 years now, and have had the pleasure of traveling with Sabrina on a few cross country road trips (The delirium is REAL) so I'm pretty familiar and obsessed with Anzula's line of luxury fibers for those of us who like the super-fancy cast-on. 

I started out as many of us did, by bugging my poor grandmother relentlessly to teach me how to crochet. Finally, she gave in and pacified me with a hook and teeny-tiny ball of leftovers from a baby blanket or flouncy toilet paper roll lady and I was, ahem, hooked. Well, at least for that afternoon. 8 year old attention spans, whaty'gonnado?

I picked the hobby back up in college while I worked a receptionist job that had a lot of downtime and not enough work to fill it with. Instead of sitting up front with a gossip mag I crocheted my first afghan. I tweaked it as I went, based off of this Skullholders pattern, then found historical pirate flags and mapped them out on graph paper with pencil. I didn't use much math- which accounts for the edges not really matching up and there being a pretty major difference in the gauge between the first square and the last one. 

I've gotten better at gauge since this photo was taken... and photography. Yikes! Hello, bare mattress?

I've gotten better at gauge since this photo was taken... and photography. Yikes! Hello, bare mattress?

Crochet was my jam, I was a machine. Oh, it's Christmas? Congrats, you all are getting coasters that look like lime wedges. Hey! It's your birthday? I hope you like the taste of amigurumi cupcakes

Sabrina and I at  TNNA  in 2011.

Sabrina and I at TNNA in 2011.

Then I met Sabrina while standing in line for a food truck, and got sucked out of the world of Wal-Mart yarn and down the rabbit hole of Anzula. I learned to knit in the truck with Sabrina on a trip to Ohio, she dictated what I should do next from the driver's seat and I would do it. I was successfully doing entrelac before we were out of Utah. 

Entrelac on the road. And the yarn is  Haiku  in Poppy. How I remembered that, I'll never know.

Entrelac on the road. And the yarn is Haiku in Poppy. How I remembered that, I'll never know.

Eventually, I moved onto another job- cause a writer's gotta write, write, write, write, write, but the surprisingly glamorous world of indie yarn has stuck with me. It's been 4 years since I worked full time at Anzula, and the growth the company has experienced has been awe inspiring. Even though I wasn't physically helping to produce the product and get it out the doors anymore, I still had this very strong sense of pride for Anzula.

Three across in the truck all the way to Portland. You gotta love what you're doing to get that snuggly with each other!

Three across in the truck all the way to Portland. You gotta love what you're doing to get that snuggly with each other!

So fast forward to two Tuesdays ago- picture this. I'm actually sitting on my bed, my baby asleep for the first time in what feels 12 months and staring at my long abandoned collection of hexipuffs for my Beekeeper's Quilt. I'm thinking "Ugh, I wish I had time to actually finish projects and get some more one-on-one with my real true love- cashmere." when I get a text from Sabrina asking if I'd be interested in blogging. 

Show of hands, who else has a billion jars, vases and other receptacles around their house filled with their WIP hexipuffs?

Show of hands, who else has a billion jars, vases and other receptacles around their house filled with their WIP hexipuffs?

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, of course I said yes! I can only sneak in so many hours a week to knit and crochet, but writing is different! I can do that without worrying about a tiny baby pulling the needles out of my project and having to pick up stitches. There's a lot less cursing involved in holding a skein of yarn and harnessing its power to share with the world. Game-changing opportunity.

So you'll be hearing from me, hopefully frequently, and I'm excited to be able to get a toe back into the waters of the knitting scene again. Is there a topic you're interested in hearing about, a yarn you want to know more about, pattern ideas, close parallels drawn between worsted weight and your high school crush- hit me up in the comments and I'll do my best to make it happen!

xoxo!