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?


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.


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._



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.

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!

Pattern Spotlight: Dividing Lines by Adventure Du Jour Designs

We're friends who met on Ravelry and now our knitting and designing is as entwined as our friendship and families. We had been friends for years and designing separately for just as long. We were always consulting each other on design ideas and knitting techniques. It only made sense a year ago when we decided to join forces and design together as Adventure Du Jour Designs.

We have learned over our collective 75 years of knitting experience that knitting is a social sport and experience. Recent years have only enhanced this as the internet and fiber arts events have opened so many doors for formerly solo knitters. As many close friends find, we have similar tastes in not only yarn but also what we like to knit. We've collaborated up to offer other friends like us patterns that are simple enough to knit in social settings yet interesting enough, in either yarn or pattern, to hold your excitement during the knitting process. The result is a shared of experience and souvenir marking a special time together.


Anzula Luxury Yarns is a favorite brand of ours. Who can resist those beautiful yarn bases and colors?? When presented with the opportunity to design with the newest yarn Ava, we were delighted and jumped! We are equally excited that Anzula will be offering Ava paired with Dividing Lines at TNNA’s Sample It! on June 10th in Washington DC.

As lovers of color and accessories, we had no trouble in designing something that would be as fun to knit as it is to wear. Dividing Lines, a convertible accessory, from wrap to cowl, is perfect for cool spring and fall days worn as a wrap and equally versatile as a cowl in the winter when bundling up under a jacket. With the right buttons on the decorative ribbing, Dividing Lines makes a statement no matter how you wear it. It's the only accessory you’ll need for your weekend trip because it brings a new look to every outfit.

This DK weight yarn, Ava was wonderful to knit with as it glided through our hands. The subtle shifts of color made the visual experience as pleasurable as the tactile. Ava knits into a fabric that is both soft yet sturdy. The real test is the final fabric and Ava did not disappoint after its proper washing. Ava held its shape while allowing the cashmere to bloom fully. Combined with the beautiful Anzula colors, the stitches flew off the needles.

Look for Anzula’s Ava and Dividing Lines at TNNA! The kits will be available at Sample it on the evening of June 10th! 

You can find more of our designs in our joint Ravelry Store, Adventure Du Jour Designs and our individual stores, Debbi’s The Stitches of My Life Designs and Marcy’s Steppingstone Fiber Creations. 

As we are fond of saying, Plan Your Next Adventure and Knit On!