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.

Stay up to date on all things Andi:

ravelry -

Pattern Spotlight: Escondido Falls Shawl

Ready for an adventure with cables and lace and color? The Escondido Falls Shawl is a wedge-shaped shawl worked from the bottom up, with an edging of lush lace and dense cabling. You can work it in either two colors, in one color, or in one color for the body and cable section, and a second color for the lace.

I got to meet Gerty, Anzula's new 100% Targhee yarn, this past summer at TNNA. I'm big fan of American wool, and was thrilled that Anzula was coming out in a breed-specific American wool, milled in the US, in their amazing palette of colors.

I decided to do a two-colored cable shawl to explore how Gerty would play with the cables, lace, and colorwork. I chose Clay, a greenish neutral, as the contrast color for the lace and cables, and Teddy, a warm rich brown, as the main color.

Escondido Falls Shawl in Clay & Teddy Anzula Gerty.

After working on the pattern, I thought it's be great to do a single colored version as well, for those of you who just want to play with TWO techniques (cables and lace) at a time. :)  

Escondido Falls Shawl in Blueberry Anzula Gerty.

The Targhee is extremely bouncy. You can block the heck out of it and it springs back.  I initially blocked the two-colored cable shawl to 90¼” / 229 cm along the lace edge to really open up the lace; it now measures 77¼” / 196.5cm, two weeks or so later (the lace edge looks great). 

The lace is still perfect even with the spring back of this bouncy yarn.

I chose to give this shawl a California place name. I love exploring California parks, and especially waterfall hikes. There are some really neat waterfalls in the Los Angeles area, especially if we’ve had a wet winter, and one of the best is Escondido Falls in Malibu.

See my blog post here for more details. (Tip: sign up for my newsletter via my blog to get a discount on this pattern through midnight October 2nd 2017 PST.)

The pattern is available on Ravelry for $7. Line by line instructions are included for the single color version; the two colored version is charted only.

Keep up with all things Stephannie on Ravelry here and on her website  

Gerty is available in the shops listed below, all of whom are happy to ship!

Baskets of Yarn - Charlotte, NC - (704) 733-9053
Wasatch and Wool - Park City, UT - (435) 575-0999
Yarn Refuge - Reno, NV - (775) 384-1600
Knit One Purl Two - Rockford, IL - (815) 904-6030
Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - (234) 208-9482
Avenue Yarns - Albany, NY - (510) 526-9276

Special orders only: Swatches - Fresno, CA - (559) 435-2813
Special orders are dyed to order and are typically ready in 3-5 weeks.You can place a special order for Gerty (or any of our yarns) at your favorite local shop. See a list of shops here and our map here

Pattern Spotlight: Mrs Clark Cowl by Taiga Hilliard

Taiga Hilliard of Cashmere Junkie joins us today with her new pattern for Ava which we released earlier this week. She is a self-proclaimed yarn snob and we are so glad we can satisfy her need for luxurious yarns: 

I am often inspired after seeing and playing with the yarn I have in mind. It could be the color, the yarn texture, or the synergism of feelings toward the whole. Some yarns just want to be a shawl, or a dress. And others, only a cowl will do. 

With me being a self admitted yarn snob, it just follows suit that Anzula makes yarns using some of my favorite fibers out there: Fine Merino, Tussah Silk, Cashmere. And then when you add the wonderful color palette; Saffron yellow, Garnet red, Chiva blue, Hyacinth pink... All amazing. Anzula yarns are a joy to work with, plus the inspire a strong desire to create a compliment to the combination. 

The new Ava yarn has a luxurious feel that runs through the fingers with delight and ease, plus has a sheen to it that makes it look rich. It also matches drape and stitch definition beautifully, a quality rarely found, but unquestionably enjoyed.

Indeed, this Ava yarn is perfect to wear on you skin and so a cowl seemed the natural route to go. The Mrs Clark Cowl pattern was designed to highlight the wonderful tonal dyeing that Anzula has refined to a fine art. I wanted something interesting and fun to knit, but that would not distract from the color. I started with a ribbed edge and added a mixture of simple lace stitches and cables. The pattern moves enough to stay interesting, but is never overly complicated.

It is my hope that you will savor Ava yarn and the Mrs Clark pattern together as much as I did. 

Happy Knitting!

You can find the pattern for Mrs Clark on Ravelry and the Ava yarn at VK Live today and tomorrow in the Yarnover Truck booth (121-123)!

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.