02/26/15: Bright colors, warm yarns.

If anyone asks you why you knit or crochet, here’s your answer: February.

Joan’s Simple Luxury Giant Scarf/Shawl from the Pickles website (also on Ravelry in a smaller version) is one of the best ways we know to wrap yourself up in soft, soft warmth. We loved it so much, in fact, Catherine made us a shop sample in the same Manos del Uruguay Maxima and Shibui Silk Cloud Joan used. Here’s Joan’s on US17s with a decorative I-Cord edging…

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… and Catherine’s version (bigger stitches but smaller scarf) on US19s:

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The combination of the buttery 100% merino and the luxurious silk/mohair is unbeatable. The fact that we have so many color matches between the two yarns is a nice bonus! Garter stitch makes it a perfect project for a beginning knitter. Grab one skein of Silk Cloud and two of the Maxima, and you’ll have your own Luxury Scarf/Shawl in no time.

Maxima yarn makes two more appearances this post, next in Jill’s Cobblestone Neckwarmer* by Andrea Marquis. The chic hardware is a JŪL leather Venetian Hinge, a screw-in, no-sew repositionable closure. Our JŪL pedestal buttons can work the same magic, transforming scarves into statement cowls in seconds.

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02.22.15.34And here (drumroll, please!) is Brigid’s Maxima masterpiece, her very first sweater, Beaubourg* by Julie Hoover, which was designed specifically for Maxima. Another pattern suitable for a new knitter, Beaubourg is a very wearable, fuller and deeper in the back than the front. Exposed seams mean no fussy stitching. Seriously, wouldn’t you like to have that “I just knit a sweater” smile? (You can, you know!)

Jill again used a plummy palette for a shop sample of our easy, graceful pattern for a Self-Fringing Shawl*. Her yarn is Lorna’s Laces Grace, a hand-dyed mohair/wool boucle. This pattern made its debut on the blog in the January 22nd post, thanks to Joan’s elegant Trendsetter Dune and Cin Cin version.

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Bonnie liked Joan’s Self-Fringing Shawl so much, she stocked up on both Dune and Cin Cin to make shawls as take-along travel projects. Below, her two shawls. The pattern is a great stash buster, ideal for bulkier yarns or combinations of yarn on US15-19s.

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Bonnie used Plymouth Gina for her Greenwich hat by Diane Serviss from her book Knitted Beanies & Slouchy Hats.

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The matching Gina fingerless mitts are from a personal pattern.

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Hikoo Simplinatural was a natural (and beautiful) choice for Bonnie’s Kenzie Shawl* from Stephen West.

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Bonnie’s #33 Heart Blanket* by Bonnie Franz was also pictured in our January 22nd post. Below, a second blanket Bonnie created based on the same pattern but worked in blocks rather than strips. The yarns are Plymouth Gina and Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.

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Joanne knit this eye-catching Turbulence Cowl* in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The design comes from Laura Chau.

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Sue used Plymouth Gina Chunky for our chunky version of Laura Meyers’ Modern Rustic.

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Charlotte joined in Carolyn Kern’s Playgound Shawls KAL in the fall. Here is her Cat’s Cradle* in Geilsk Tweed. It arrived on a Thursday evening attractively pinned to Charlotte’s jacket, so that’s how I photographed it.

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And here is Charlotte herself, graciously modeling her snazzy Zuzu’s Petals* from Carina Spencer for us. The yarn is Freia Ombré Sport.

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The Barley hat from tincanknits is shown here in Rowan Pure Wool, fresh off Jane’s needles.

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Tina knit another design from tincanknits, a pretty little Lush* cardigan in Classic Elite Liberty Wool.

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Wanda has the best luck with mystery knit-alongs. Below are two projects knit from MKALs. First, Bonnie’s Wish*, the Fiddle Knits 2014 MKAL from Erica Jackofsky. Louet Gems Sport really shows off the intricate cabling in this spectacular shawl.

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And here is her Aglow, the Wild Prairie Knits 2014 MKAL from Cindy Garland. Wanda’s choice of Schulana’s ever so slightly iridescent Mosco was perfect; the shawl really does glow!

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Finally, Wanda’s Busting-Stashes-Every-Chance-I-Get baby blanket in Cascade Pacific Chunky from Brianna Mewborn.

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Molly is a huge fan of Kay Dahlquist’s Menagerie* pattern because it can be worn so many different ways. She knit hers in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk. Here, Maude models Menagerie as a tee, both a long and a wide ponchette…

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…and even as a stylish scarf and an ascot.

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Patterns marked with an asterisk (*) are available for sale at Gosh Yarn It!

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