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:

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Pattern Spotlight: Argyroneta

Hi I’m Barbara Benson and I am so excited to be able to introduce y’all to my new summer shawl in Silken! Argyroneta is a fast and easy knit that is super flexible when it comes to yardage and gauge. It is the perfect pattern to carry along on your summer adventures or simply to knit night when you want to do a bit more chatting than paying attention to your pattern.

Argyroneta Shawl.

As a designer I have a wee hoard of yarns that are “on my list”. Beautiful yarns that spoke to me when I saw them and I just had to acquire them even if I didn’t have an immediate idea what their special purpose would be. This summer I decided that I had to realize the potential of several of these skeins, mostly because I really, really wanted to knit with them.

This skein of Silken (color Lapis) was calling to me and couldn’t wait to become … something. But luckily I had an idea, and a rather simple one at that. What would happen if I moved the lace that typically trims the bottom of a shawl up to the top where it could frame the wearer’s face? The more I thought on it the more ideas I had that simply had to be pursued.

Lace along the top edge, "face framing lace!"

Also contributing to the design was the fact that it is summer and I wanted simple knitting. Once I started swatching with the beautiful 50% silk/50% merino blend that Silken brings to the table I knew that it was a perfect match for my plans. Some squooshy garter paired perfectly with the openwork created with double yarn overs in this straightforward lace.

And when I say straightforward I mean it. After you finish the set-up (which is pretty short) there is literally a two row repeat! By working the shawl on the bias the shaping does all of the heavy lifting. The stitches added to the right side increase just enough to offset the lace pattern so that you are working the same two rows over and over again until you’ve had enough or a fixin' to run out of yarn.

Argyroneta, from the back.

Argyroneta, from the back.

I chose to knit my sample for Argyroneta with only one skein and I was pleasantly surprised at my end size. But if you would like a larger shawl it would simply be a matter of adding on another skein and continuing to knit!

Perfect for summer!

Now that this shawl is done I have started looking towards the Fall and knitting something that is a bit … snugglier. The lovely people at Anzula have said that it is OK for me to give y’all a little sneak peek at something I am working on in their decadent new 100% cashmere yarn Serenity.

Sneak peek: fingerless mitts in Serenity!

I do like things easy so I am working on a pair of fingerless mitts that look like stranded knitting but are actually created using a slip stitch technique. No carrying multiple yarns along a row - simply knitting stripes and slipping stitches. I don’t have a name yet but be on the lookout! You can follow me on Instagram to make sure you don’t miss anything new!

You can find Silken at the following shops, all of which would be happy to ship to you:

Knitting Off Broadway - Fort Wayne, IN
Twisted Ewe - Garden City, ID
Knitorious - St Louis, MO
Knit 1 - Chicago, IL
Stitch Niche - Lexington, KY
Fancywork - Bend, OR

You can find Serenity at these shops: - Online only
Woolly & Co - Birmingham, IL and online
Knitting to Know Ewe - Newton, PA
Yarn Garden - Charlotte, MI

We have more Serenity in the dye pots for Amazing Threads 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