Pattern Spotlight: Pax Shawl

It’s no secret that I love shawls, especially those knit out of fingering weight yarn. When I received word that Anzula had a new fingering weight cashmere yarn, I had to check it out for myself.

When those three lovely skeins of Serenity ended up on my doorstep, I knew that I had to make a shawl that could easily use as much of that luscious yarn as possible. A sideways-knit shawl seemed to the way to go – without much effort you can increase the shawl until you’ve used half the yarn, and then decrease the shawl to a point. Pax was born.

Pax starts with just a few stitches and is worked sideways, slowly increasing to form the triangle shape of the shawl. The geometric lace pattern is interesting to both look at as well as knit – I couldn’t put this shawl down! Once I reached the center, I worked the mirror image of the lace while decreasing on the second half of the shawl. The small lace border is worked as you go, giving Pax a delicate touch.

Pax can be found on Ravelry, or if you’re a shop owner, you can order individual printed patterns from Stitch Sprouts or kits from Anzula.


You can find Serenity at these shops:
McKnittey.com - 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.



Pattern Spotlight: Tinos Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this, but I find that pieces I’ve knit carry with them all of sights, sounds, and emotions surrounding the time when I did the knitting. A cabled cardigan puts me back on my couch in San Francisco watching a Harry Potter marathon during a rainy weekend; a lacy cashmere shawl knit while on vacation at a foggy central coast beach will always make me feel a little chilly; the pink silk scarf I worked on in the hospital after my son was born will always take me back to the bliss and exhaustion of new parenthood. It’s as if memories are knit together with the yarn into each stitch, and one look or one touch transports me right back to that moment in time. My newest design, the Tinos Cowl, which was knit with and inspired by Anzula’s fabulous new yarn, Serenity, carries with it some particularly poignant memories that inspired its name, and I’d love to share them with you today.

The Tinos Cowl.

Tinos is a cowl designed to mimic the look of a little asymmetrical shawl wrapped around the neck – it’s a shape I’ve played with before, and it’s one of my favorites. In Tinos, two skeins of Serenity alternate in a stripe pattern that appears pixelated and textured due to the use of slipped stitches. Tinos is knit flat with increases and decreases creating its shape, then is seamed up the back. It’s simple and quick and I can tell you that it is absolutely glorious having that cashmere draped around your neck. You can read a bit more about the Tinos Cowl and download it on Ravelry here.

Tinos Cowl, from the back.

I designed Tinos last spring and, in the middle of the knitting of it, my dear Grams, the grandmother who patiently taught me how to knit when I was a child, passed away. This amazing woman was almost 94 years old and had lived in her own home, knitting, gardening, active in her community, calling the shots on her life, until a mere two weeks before her passing, when a stroke rendered her unable to care for herself on her own. No loss of a loved one is ever easy, but there was solace in Grams’ rich and adventurous life, her deep faith, her sound mind, and absence of suffering; the tragedy was that she couldn’t live forever.

Originally I wanted to name the cowl after her…but since I had already paid homage to her with a pattern name, Betty was out. But a glance back at the name of the yarn that inspired the pattern – Serenity – transported my mind to a peaceful little Greek island that I got to visit with Grams in the summer of 1996. I was 15 at the time, when my mom, my cousin, Grams, and I went on an adventure through Greece that culminated in a stay on the island of Tinos. This trip was hilarious and eye-opening and supremely memorable – the history, the food, the cute boys in the village square, beaches, fake nose rings, naked statues, Nescafé frappe, multi-generational cat-calls, the fact that Grams could strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone, and the time she felt compelled to give our Athenian taxi driver an in-depth description of public transit in the San Francisco Bay Area. Suffice it to say – that trip was one of the best experiences of my life, and Grams is right in the center of it.

Grams, being awesome, in Tinos, Greece.

Grams, being awesome, in Tinos, Greece.

Grams was the closest person to me that I have lost, and I miss her terribly. But over these past months, within this mixture of sadness in missing her and joy in remembering the amazing person she was, I do what makes me feel closest to her: I knit. Each stitch (formed Continental-style, just like she taught me) feels like a little tiny part of her legacy, a little part of her living on. And in those first days of losing her, the Tinos Cowl is where that energy, and that legacy, was directed. The pain, the joy, the memory of her, they were all knit directly into those slipped stitches and stripes. And the Tinos Cowl will carry those feelings for me forever.


You can find Serenity at these shops:
McKnittey.com - 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.


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