Monthly Archives: February 2013

Summer with Habu

I finally made it to a store I’ve only heard mention of for years, Habu Textiles. It was gorgeous – so many fibers and different blends of fibers that make this brand so unique. The most interesting part is they are actually spinning fibers and running machines behind the curtains, so to speak. I was itching to peak, but somehow managed to restrain myself – I could only imagine what beautiful chaos ensued from the humming and clacking in the background.

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What could I possibly be shopping for at this time of year when temperatures are heating up and people are shedding layers? Knitters are stereotyped to have a season. Whether it’s the dawn of a new, trendy hobby (YES, that’s right, I said it), or light-weight knitting has always been a thing – there are a slew of beautiful projects that can be worn in the hot, steamy summer months.

During my trip to Habu Textiles, I chose some exciting fibers to experiment with. Two of those fibers are Shosenshi Linen Paper (which has a thin coating of viscose) and Wool Stainless Steel.

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Here’s a preview of the summer knit in progress – I love the opaque quality of the linen:

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Stay tuned!

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Brioche Blankets for Babes

I love knitting –shock– because there are always new things to learn. I’ve been knitting for almost 7 years and I learn new stitches, techniques, and tricks constantly. I find it keeps my skills fresh and even helps me understand or improve on the basics.

One of my favorite advanced stitches is Brioche. The first time I tried Brioche was for my niece’s baby blanket. Brioche is a fascinating stitch as you pull two yarns through each row separately – it’s hard to explain without getting technical. What this does is create two very different sides to the finished product. It comes out as ribbing, but (depending on what stitch and how many colors) the knits and purls comes out as different colors and the two different sides emphasize a different color.

20130213_Cousins_elizaThis is Eliza, my sister’s daughter. For this blanket, I used Blue Sky Alpaca’s Hand-Dyed Worsted (a wool / alpaca blend). While this came out beautifully … I wish I had gone with something more washable! For this blanket, we’re looking at the side that emphasizes the green knit stitch and receding orange purl stitch. The other side is the opposite – an orange knit dominates the green purl.

For my second adventure into Brioche, I made another baby blanket (though delivered a little late, it was more of a toddler blanket) for my other niece.

20130213_Cousins_aspenThis is Aspen, my brother’s daughter, giving her auntie a kiss from across the country. For Aspen’s blanket, I played with stripes on one side and a solid color for the other side. You can see the two very different sides depicted much better above. For Aspen’s blanket, I used Spud & Chloe’s Sweater yarn – a superwash which can with stand a washing machine, though I wouldn’t recommend the machine.

A great and wealthy source for learning Brioche Knitting is briochestitch.com.

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Cousin Elephants

Last year, we welcomed two sweet girls into our family! My two nieces were born within a month of each other. It has been so fun to watch the two girls grow this first year. My brother’s daughter, Aspen Rose, lives down in the Atlanta Sun while my sister’s daughter, Eliza Grace, has been bearing the Boston Winter.

These past few weeks, my two nieces turned 1 year old! I wanted to do something special for them that would link them through the distance of the East Coast, so I knit them each my favorite animal. I call them the Cousin Elephants – using the same two pop colors for different elements so they match, but are not the same.

Cousin Elephants

Pattern: Olli Polli the Elephant
by Heidi Bear Designs
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Fine (washable for the little rascals!)

This pattern is great – very instructional & informational. I learned many new techniques and tricks from this! I especially love this pattern because it’s written it in such a way that it’s easy to simply use a different gauge yarn and make the finished project larger (I would not go any smaller). I will most definitely be making a giant Olli in the future … for myself!

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