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

Meet the Yarn: Squishy, part 2

Squishy

80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon
+/- 385 yd / 352 m
7.5 sts / in US #2

Squishy the fingering weight sibling to For Better or Worsted is a crocheter’s dream yarn! It takes all the wonderful parts of that worsted weight, 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon in a 3-ply blend, and spins it out to a finer more crochet-friendly fingering weight.

Squishy swatches

Squishy swatches

While the exclusive LYS Day kits are for knitters, please crocheters, don’t feel left out! This is the first year for LYS Day and everyone (yarn companies, designers, and yes, your LYS) is still figuring their way around! Anzula's kits are made with exclusive colorways and all include yarns that work beautifully in crochet projects, including Squishy. Should you pick up a skein or three of Squishy on LYS Day? YES! 

This yarn provides shine, warmth, and wear in a generous skein, 385 yards for 114g. There are now new Squishy options including 25 & 50g skeins and the Skeinette 5-packs there are many color combination possibilities!

I initially brought home the skein featured in the samples last June from TNNA, our industry trade show, with a plan to pair it with a braid of merino fiber and ultimately weave it. I'm happy I haven't yet had a chance to spin for that project and instead discovered how lovely Squishy is to crochet. There will be more in my future!

It feels as lovely in the skein as you think it would – that’s the fiber content. This is an essential yarn for the crocheter who wishes to add a little cashmere to a project without breaking the bank. It's easy to wind and holds its shape in a ball or cake well.

For these swatches, I used a 3mm (D) hook or a 3.75mm knitting needle. I urge you to play with different size hooks and find the fabric that makes you excited for Squishy.

Knitted Squishy swatches

Knitted Squishy swatches

Every single stitch I put Squishy through was a delight, from simple to texture to lace. No splitting as I worked stitches. I can attest that it can put up with both indecision about gauge and disagreement as to stitch counts. In other words, it holds up well to multiple experiences with frogging and being reworked.

I was surprised to discover that there weren't as many designs in Squishy as I expected. This yarn begs to be crocheted. I know because I had to pause in the writing of this post to sketch a design and work up a swatch!

**Charlie sticks her nose in Penny's post** "Calling all crochet designers, Anzula wants to see your proposals! Email me here"

Crocheted Anzula Squishy swatches in SC, HDC, and DC.

Crocheted Anzula Squishy swatches in SC, HDC, and DC.

It’s well known that I prefer half double crochet, but as these swatches show, it looks great in each of the standard three, single crochet, half double, and double crochet stitches.

My granny square threatened to eat the entire skein -- it was difficult stop! It's stunning next to garter stitch. Again, if you know how to knit and crochet, what's stopping you from working up Miriam Felton's Granny Log Cabin?

Squishy swatches, a granny square next to garter stitch.  

Squishy swatches, a granny square next to garter stitch. 

This texture swatch is super squishy and lovely. I enjoyed it so much that I worked up another one and sent off a design proposal! We’ll see what happens with it!

Squishy, crocheted texture swatch

Squishy, crocheted texture swatch

The lace begs to be tossed over the shoulders as a simple shawl. The Harwinton Easy Lace Boomerang by Tian Connaughton is stunning in one skein of Squishy!

Squishy, crocheted lace swatch

Squishy, crocheted lace swatch

I think two skeins would create a nice interpretation of my VLSI stole -- I started a swatch using only one color and I think it's lovely. If you would like to use Squishy, two skeins should create the shawl. Feel free to experiment! I have a soft spot for Dark Matter that I love to pair with a grey! it's up to you if you wish to work it all in one color or find a pairing of a 114g skein and a skeinette pack, please be aware that this yardage combination hasn’t been tested!

Squishy crocheted swatch for VLSI by Penny Shima Glanz

Squishy crocheted swatch for VLSI by Penny Shima Glanz

What do you plan to make with your LYS Day Squishy purchase? With this yarn, the possibilities are yours!

Squishy swatches

Squishy swatches

All Squishy swatches were worked in Lapis colorway.


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 two resident cats. www.pennyshima.com

Meet the Yarn: Squishy

Jill Wolcott
passion.fashion.knits

Squishy in 1 Red Shoe

Squishy in 1 Red Shoe

I left TNNA in late January with a lot of skeins of Anzula Luxury Yarns.  I had a list of what I needed for my 2018 yarn reviews, so I chose colors and checked things off my list.  Somehow I also convinced myself that I needed an extra Squishy.  I loved it so much in Endora (for the review) and 1 Red Shoe, that I took both, knowing I would make something for myself from the 1 Red Shoe.

If you haven’t tried Squishy, I would move this one to the top of your list.  It is the yarn featured in the Anzula kits to be offered to local yarn stores for Local Yarn Store day.  This is clearly a Ravelry favorite with over 3300 projects and yarn in over 3200 stashes.  I got curious about that stash number, so I looked more closely (my numbers are approximate).

  • 6 pages of Traded/sold/gifted
  • 12 pages of All used up
  • 107 pages of In stash (not for sale)
  • 3 pages Will trade or sell

Exploration - Blocked, Jill Wolcott

I began my Squishy research without my usual exploration swatch because I was creating a project for an Anzula kit and time was short. I dove right into the swatch for that project, which was based on a shawlette I’d done for myself in a plant-fiber yarn. I did a swatch, the knitter did a swatch, and that project got going.  The shawlette project is done on US size 3 (3.25mm) for the 2x2 Rib Collar and the Drape (body) is done using a US size 8 (4.5mm).  

Blocked Savoie Swatch, Jill Wolcott

Then I went back to my exploration swatching.  For that I used US size 3 (3.25mm) needles.  After washing, drying, and steam blocking my exploration swatch, I decided to weight the garter section for 24 hours because the garter was quite stretched out after washing and drying.  I was able to use the steam blocking to get it back into shape, but then I worried about whether it would stretch out again.  So let's look at the numbers.

Squishy Stitch Pattern Table, Jill Wolcott

Complete Exploration, Jill Wolcott

By the time I got to my exploration swatch the yarn I used had been wet blocked, steamed, then frogged. Then the yarn was wet blocked and steamed.  I knit, and frogged again, and did my swatch without more blocking.  The blocked swatch from the yarn that took all that use is just as lovely as the one knitted from the fresh skein.  The photo of the unblocked swatch shows it was not in perfect shape when I knitted it.  Frogging has so many learning opportunities and I love knowing that a yarn stands up well to a little exploration.  I do not hesitate to reuse yarn!

Seeded Chevron, Jill Wolcott

Squishy is an affordable luxury yarn.  It will stand up to use, and makes yummy projects.  It is a joy to knit and works in seemingly anything.

Ravelry Projects

There are so many!  I got through about one third of the pages.  This is a nice representation of what you can do with Squishy—which is almost anything.

  1. Wonder Woman Wrap (3 colors) 
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/FishWithSticks/wonder-woman-wrap-knit
  2. Verdon (color block shawl/4 skeins)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/aladner/verdon
  3. Celtic Climbers (sock/1 skein)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mnelder/celtic-climbers
  4. Ravello (pullover/4 skeins)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/sockfiend/ravello
  5. Twisted Tracks (pullover/4 skeins)  
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/KayGee64/twisted-tracks
  6. Breathing Space (pullover/1 skein/also uses Cloud)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Sit-N-Spin/breathing-space
  7. Close to You (1 skein)  
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/mishmash/close-to-you
  8. Vintage Prim hat  
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/emilyconnell/vintage-prim
  9. Misty Lily (baby set/1 skein)  
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Laephi/misty-lily
  10. Loasa Latieritia (sock/1 skein) 
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/dwolverton/loasa-lateritia-sock
  11. Shetland Shorty (cropped /1.25 skeins)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/sharkfoot00/shetland-shorty
  12. Netty Cowl (3 skeins) 
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Ozette/netty-cowl
  13. Banyan Tree Scarf (1 skein) 
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/marthajane73/banyan-tree-practice-dishcloth-afghan-square-block-4
  14. Copilot Cowl (the kitty!/1 skein)
    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/kittyknitty/copilot

Shops where Savoie will be available for Local Yarn Store Day:

Savoie Shawl by Jill Wolcott

Ewe Knit It
eweknitit@midco.net
South Dakota

Hook a Frog
hookafrog@gmail.com
Alabama

Knitique
knitique@gmail.com
California

Personal Threads
Joe@personalthreads.com
Nebraska

Tinsmith's Wife
tinsmithwife@hctc.net
Texas