Meet the Yarn: Serenity

My dictionary defines serenity as the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. It is true, I found that while working with this new 100% Cashmere fingering weight yarn all my worries disappeared, at least for a few moments. What is Anzula's new yarn, Serenity ? It is 185 yards (169 meters) of four softly plied strands of creamy white 100% cashmere. The bare fiber takes the dye beautifully and looks stunning in all the colorways that make Anzula yarns pure luxury.

Serenity in Au Natural

Serenity in Au Natural

As we've seen already from several designers, the stitch definition for knitted cables is stunning . It is also true for stripes and slipped stitch colorwork , I'll discuss lace later (spoiler -- it's lovely). Looking at beautiful photos and working with this yarn are two very different actions. I wish technology was at a point I could let you feel the swatches. The stockinette is soft and lets you see the hint of halo. The garter stitch is pure squish and in my opinion is pure serenity! My swatch became a micro (3.5in/9cm) comfort blanket.

Serenity, knitted swatches

Serenity, knitted swatches

So now that I've gushed about the knitting, how is the crochet? Does the slight halo of the lofty cashmere fibers adversely affect stitch definition? How does it drape?

Go get your crochet hook. You will want to work with this yarn and it loved every stitch I tossed at it. My stitch definition ranged from about 4-5 spi for my swatches and I need to figure out how to photograph the drape. I'm in love!

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

I apologize that these simple stitch swatches are flat, and you can't touch them. I wish I could capture them in a way to excite you. The depth created by the crochet stitch creates a warm texture without adding unwieldy bulk. The single crochet swatch (at 4in/10cm square) has given the garter stitch a fierce challenge to become the swatch I carry everywhere.

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

Serenity, crochet swatches simple stitches (single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet)

When I make the swatches, the granny square is most often made first. It took control to stop, which was true of every swatch. A draft of this post was delayed because after laying it out on my desk, I rested my head and took a quick nap.

Serenity, crochet swatch - granny square

Serenity, crochet swatch - granny square

If the depth of the plain stitches or the granny square didn't impress you, let me offer this textured swatch. It is not bulky and offers as beautiful a drape as the single crochet.

Serenity, crochet swatch - texture swatch

Serenity, crochet swatch - texture swatch

I'll confess that the swatch I love the least is only because it's late November here in the Northeast. I gravitate away from delicate lace this time of year. From my tiny swatch, I know that it is stunning, and know it could be scrunched in the morning when it's extra chilly. As the warmth of the day arrives, the lace could emerge. It looks beautiful in open knitted stitches too.

Serenity, crochet swatch - lace

Serenity, crochet swatch - lace

The nature of crochet stitches mean yardage for a project is always a concern. While I've not completed final maths, my 4in/10cm single crochet square weights 5.22g. By my quick estimates that means you could make a small one skein project! In single crochet you could make a cowl of approximately 6in/15cm width and 26in/66cm length.

Yes, gauge and stich choice will influence what you can make but one skein projects are possible!

With that generous yardage I urge crocheters to feel confident to pick up a skein of this luxury yarn their crochet hooks and give it a try.

Serenity, knit and crochet swatches

Serenity, knit and crochet swatches

All swatches are in a one-of-a-kind colourway very similar to Orchid, worked with 3.75mm needles and a 3mm crochet hook. Any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer.

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Penny Shima Glanz spends her days spinning yarn and code into memorable projects. Small businesses rely on her for smart technology decisions. Designers rely on her to sample, test, and edit their hand-knit and crochet patterns. She loves muddy trail runs, fosters kittens, and lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and cat. www.pennyshima.com

You can find Serenity in our gorgeous Nubivagant Kits, shop list here.

You will also find individual skeins in all of these shops (links to online shops where available):

Florida

Knitting Garden

Illinois

Knit One Purl Two

Michigan

Crafty Lady Trio
Spun
Woolly & Co
Yarn Garden

Minnesota

Amazing Threads

New York

The Knitting Store

North Carolina

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

Oklahoma

Loops

Pennsylvania

Knitting to Know Ewe

South Carolina

The Needle Tree

Tennessee

Bliss Yarns

Texas

McKnittey

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: 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:
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 Barbara Benson:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tumpedduck/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tumpedduck/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/watchbarbaraknit42

Website: https://www.tumpedduck.com/