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: Dance of the Hours by Sara Burch

I was super excited when I heard about Anzula’s new 100% cashmere yarn, Serenity, and almost
immediately started thinking of ways to use it. When I really sat down to design this pattern, I came up with a list of different things I wanted it to have. I wanted the pattern to feature a few different techniques to keep things interesting. I wanted it to have two colors, but to not be all-over colorwork or stripes. I wanted it to use the yardage of a cowl, but look like a shawl when worn. And thus, Dance of the Hours was born.

This cowl starts off just like a top-down triangle-shaped shawl, in garter stitch, and features simple cabling of slipped stitches to get the subtle texture in the first section. Serenity is slightly fuzzy, which makes it so incredibly soft, but the stitch definition is still gorgeous and shows off texture well.

Once it’s joined in the round, this cowl features one of my favorite techniques: two-color slipped-stitch cabling. The delicate cables dance their way across the purled background, the two colors intertwining as one takes over from the other. Although it looks complex, the technique is actually really simple since you are only working with one color at a time. I’ve used it many times in other patterns, and it worked perfectly here as a way to transition from one color to the other. I often use this technique on a garter stitch background, but here I chose to purl the background, which allowed me to change colors every row and keep the colorwork section more compact.

I decided to finish the cowl off with a lace border. If you know my patterns you know I don’t do a lot of lace, but for this pattern I wanted to have the strands from the cables continue into a lace section. The lace here is both somewhat architectural but also almost reminiscent of leaves, an Art Nouveau inspired combination that shows up in some of my other work.

The end result is a deliciously soft cowl that is wonderful to wear and easy to style. And you get the joy of chosing two colors to play with from Anzula’s lovely offerings; I decided I wanted to go with a blue and grey, which is nice and neutral and would go with nearly anything I wear. This pattern would also work fabulously with bright colorways for a pop of color.

Dance of the Hours can be found on Ravelry.

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.

Stay up to date on all things Sara Burch:

Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/sara-huntington-burch

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dinosaraknits

Website: http://dinosaraknits.saraburch.com


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