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 - https://www.ravelry.com/designers/andi-smith

Pattern Spotlight: Swirled by Lisa K. Ross

I first encountered Anzula Gerty last summer while attending the TNNA summer trade show. I was so excited to see that one of my favorite dyers now carried this rustic, natural wool yarn. I knew it would be perfect for stranded colorwork and started playing around with color combos. Pink is a favorite color of mine and, with four boys at home, not one I get to use very often. Taffy is a bright and happy shade of pink that easily pops when paired with the darker Charcoal colorway.

Paper Daisy Creations Swirled Peace Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty

I had a lot of fun playing around with Gerty and trying out a variety of colorwork stitch patterns to create a hat. In the end, I created an original colorwork swirl that is easy to work with terrific graphic appeal. Through trial and error I came up with charted crown decreases that both feature the swirled motif and make the hat look exciting from every angle. Swirled Peace is as much fun to knit as it is to wear.

Paper Daisy Creations Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty Swirled Traveler Peace

After finishing the hat, I knew it wasn’t enough. I wanted an additional design that would complete the look. A cowl was just the thing! Creating a cowl filled with swirls would be a bit much, especially if worn at the same time as the hat. Cowls squish down when worn, which would cover up all the beautiful two-color knitting. What if I worked just the border in colorwork? With the colors inversed from that of the hat? Thus, Swirled Traveler was created. The colorwork border is knit first and is later folded and seamed. This creates a thick fabric with inversed color swirls on each side that holds itself up when worn to show off the design. The body of the cowl is swirled with diagonal ribbing in a single color. This creates a wonderfully warm and squishy texture, perfect as a backdrop to let the swirls shine.

Paper Daisy Creations Lisa Ross Anzula Gerty Swirled Traveler Peace

All of my designs are on sale for 50% off with code MERRYCHRISTMAS through December 23, 2017 (11:59EST), so hop over to Ravelry to grab your new designs and cast-on!

P.S. If you’re looking for socks to knit, my Emerald City socks feature the luxurious Anzula Squishy and are included in the pattern sale. Happy knitting to you all!

Emerald City Lisa Ross Paper Daisy Creations Anzula Squishy

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 sunsetcat.com.  

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