Pattern Spotlight: Point/Counterpoint 4

I’ve been in a gray mood lately.

I’m not really talking about state of mind, though there has been some of that, too. But I’ve been gravitating toward a palette of neutral grays lately as a solid basis for playing with geometry.

My name is Mary Hull, and I’m the designer and podcaster behind Kino Knits. One of my proudest projects has been the Point/Counterpoint series. Four times now, I’ve paired up with another designer to create a collection of four accessories. My partner and I each choose a yarn and independently create an accessory. Then we swap yarns and photos (but not pattern instructions) and use our partner’s first design as inspiration to create another to pair with it. The result is two accessory sets with one item in each by each designer. The concept and process always get my creative juices flowing in completely unexpected ways!

For Point/Counterpoint, Volume 4, I was delighted to partner with Lisa Ross of Paper Daisy Creations. We decided to go rainbow for one set and gray in the other… and for my first design, I pounced on a set of gray Anzula Squishy Skeinettes.

Citizen Skein runs from a light gray to a dark black, and the temptation, of course, is to use them in the gradient as presented in the pack. However, I’ve never been that interested in doing what’s expected in my knitting! I find it much more interesting to break things up, and in the Parallelograys hat pattern, I went for maximum contrast.

I’m really delighted with this hat. It’s visually striking and comes in seven sizes, and the cashmere content in the yarn makes it a real treat to wear. It’s knit in the round, and I played with stitch counts to make the parallelograms occur naturally. Plus, when you knit it, you’ll feel like you’ve pulled off a little sleight of hand, because a shifting round marker makes it nearly impossible to find a color jog between rounds.

Lisa then used photos of Paralellograys to create the coordinating Lateral Quadrants mitts in five sizes. Instead of parallelograms, these mitts feature high-contrast colorwork squares elongating into rectangles for a flattering look. Coordinating, but not matching… which is exactly the point of Point/Counterpoint. It’s a sweet little set with high impact.

And if you’re not in a gray mood, Anzula Squishy Skeinettes come in bright colors, too. Two sets will be all you need to make the hat and mitts (for most sizes).

Point/Counterpoint, Vol. 4, is available through the Kino Knits Ravelry store starting August 30. The entire pattern collection (both monochrome patterns, as well as a rainbow shawl and rainbow mitts) is just $5 through September 30 with Ravelry checkout code RAINBOW

Also, join the Kino Knits and Paper Daisy Creations Ravelry groups for all our latest news! For example, the Kino Knits Ravelry group is hosting a Point/Counterpoint, Vol. 4 knitalong (KAL). Knit any item from the collection by October 31 for a chance to win great prizes – including yarn from Anzula and other dyers, rainbow project bags, and themed stitch marker sets.

You'll find a list of shops that carry Squishy Skeinettes here

Now go play!

#pointcounterpoint4 #parallelograys #berelentlessmitts #makeyourownluckshawl #lateralquadrants

Pattern Spotlight: Spigato Mitts by Barbara Besnon

One of the best perks of being a designer is getting a sneak peek at new yarns from my favorite yarnies, so when Anzula asked if I would like to work with a new 100% cashmere yarn I couldn’t say yes fast enough! We discussed what might be the best type of pattern for me to create and decided that fingerless mitts with some colorwork ticked all of the boxes. I am super excited to introduce you to the Spigato Mitts designed for the new fingering weight yarn Serenity!

I wanted to have the buttery softness of this yarn somewhere where I could really feel it – and what is more feely than your hands? Since Anzula has so many amazing colors restricting myself to just one seemed to be a bit unfair so colorwork was a must. After we decided on the colors Saffron and Blanche all that was left was to decide what kind of colorwork.

I seriously considered stranded work because I love how intricate it looks, but it seemed to be such a shame to have all of those floats of cashmere running along inside the mitt where no one will ever see it. It’s no secret that I adore slip stitch colorwork and it occurred to me that I might be able to develop a pattern that looked like stranded work but actually only involved using one strand of yarn per row. The trick was to change colors at the beginning of every round – something that can only be done if you are working in the round.

Can you believe that these mitts are created by knitting stripes and slipping stitches? Seriously, the primary stitches involved in this pattern are knit, purl, and slip. There are a few make 1s to create the thumb gusset, but all of the patterning is slip stitch colorwork. There are no floats to manage, no yarn to carry along the inside. If you would like to hear me talk more about these mitts and the process that went into developing them you can check out my Pattern Tour video on my YouTube channel Watch Barbara Knit.

And the softness? It really has been turned up to eleven. After blocking the yarn blooms into an amazing halo and the urge to pet them is very, very strong. The pattern is written for sizes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large with the shown mitts being Mediums. The samples took just about half of each 50 g skein, so you have plenty of yarn for another project or you can extend the cuff for a more gauntlet effect for the mitts if you so desire.

The urge to knit another pair in another color combination is very strong but hopefully y’all will put together some amazing choices so that I can see the amazing variety that is possible with Anzula’s extensive palate. I have already been asked if I feel that these mitts would work for guys as well and I have to say 100% yes. You could go super subtle and combine neutrals like Elephant and Sexy or go super high contrast while sticking with different shades of the same color like Storm and Gravity. It’s really hard to go wrong.

You can find Serenity at these shops: - Online only
Amazing Threads - Maple Grove, MN
Bliss Yarns - Brentwood, TN
Knit One Purl Two - Rockford, IL
Knitting Store - Oceanside, NY
Knitting to Know Ewe - Newton, PA
Needle Tree - Greenville, SC
Spun - Ann Arbor, MI
Woolly & Co - Birmingham, IL and online
Yarn Garden - Charlotte, MI

We have more Serenity in the dye pots for Loops and Yarn Kandy, and more shops so check back for updates.

As always, you can place a special order at your local Anzula shop for any of our yarns, we will dye it just for you and send it to your LYS.

Stay up to date on all things Barbara Benson:




Book Review: Unobtainables, the super super hero knitting book!

My title may have given it away just a bit, I'm really loving this book. It's seriously super and fantastically fun! Designers Allison Sarnoff and Heatherly Walker put together a huge collection of gorgeous patterns, cleverly organized with a Periodic Table of "Fake" Elements. My nerdy heart is so happy. 

Periodic Table of "Fake" Elements.

Periodic Table of "Fake" Elements.

Here are some of my favorite patterns:

Ithilmar by Heatherly Walker knit with Squishy in Hippo. 

Ithilmar by Heatherly Walker knit with Squishy in Hippo. 

Ithilmar is a light, strong metal forged by Elven magic. (You got the hint that this was gonna be pretty nerdy, right?) It's lustrous and beautiful, just like these socks! Even if you aren't into elves, these are some gorgeous socks. They're knit with Squishy in Hippo so every stitch will be magical. (I really can't help myself).

Tesseract by Heatherly Walker.

Tesseract by Heatherly Walker.

If you're a fan of Marvel super heroes, you already know what a Tesseract is. Just in case you don't, click here for a quick background. Most recently, Loki (swoon) snagged one and took it to Asgard and then... well spoilers. Maybe you've not seen Ragnarok yet, and I'm not going to ruin even a second of that for you. I think this shawl would be stunning in Lunaris, our sparkly and luxurious Merino, Cashmere, and Stellina fingering weight. 

Adamantium by Allison Sarnoff.

Adamantium by Allison Sarnoff.

Oh, Logan... my heart broke the last time I saw you on the big screen. (That's all I'll say, although if you still haven't seen Logan, it's a little late to expect no spoilers, LOL). Just in case you aren't following, Logan = Wolverine. Adamantium is the super strong metal that was surgically adhered to his skeleton to make him unbreakable on top of already having super human healing speed. He's grumpy, sweet, and one of my favorite characters. These fingerless gloves are perfect for everyone and would be awesome in Squishy, Dreamy, Lunaris, Haiku, Silken, or Luster. Just choose your favorite fingering weight yarn and cast on!

Amazonium by Allison Sarnoff

Amazonium by Allison Sarnoff

My (current) favorite: Wonder Woman! She has everything I hope to be; intelligent, compassionate, strong, and gutsy! When you get a little chilly this winter (or need a little confidence boost) you can pull on your Amazonium wrist warmers. You'll feel warmer and more ready to conquer your day! These are knit with fingering weight as well, so choose your favorite and get stitching. Personally, I love Anzula's Curry colorway for Wonder Woman yellow. 

There are 25 "super" patterns in this gem, so head over to Ravelry to see them all. Which one do you want to knit first? 

Update 11/30/17 - This just in! We get to do a giveaway!!! Comment below with your favorite pattern from the book along with which Anzula yarn and colorway you will use to make it. A random commenter will will a digital copy of Unobtainables.

Make sure to use your email address so we can notify you. One entry per person, please. Entries accepted through December 15, 2017.