Cozy Countdown to 2016

Go Big and Bold to Finish 2015!

It’s a modern version of the cobbler’s children going without shoes: our family is headed to the mountains over the holidays and somehow I don’t have a warm hat for playing in the snow. What’s a yarn shop owner to do? Whether you need a last-minute accessory for yourself or a loved one, a hand-knitted or -crocheted gift doesn’t have to mean late nights and cramped fingers. Choose a beautiful yarn–worsted or heavier–and a small, simple and fun project, and everyone comes out a winner.  (Skip to the end for a REALLY fast gift idea, and support a good cause as well.)

From the Top

For my snowy headwarmer, I chose the Super Cupcake hat by Chic Knits, knit in Rowan Hemp Tweed held together with Be Sweet Grace + Style for a bit of sparkle. The style is timeless and the cowl actually looks quite smashing with the addition of a JUL button. I’ve also set aside a gorgeous skein of Madelinetosh ASAP for Abi Gregorio’s Vermonter–it’s worth it just for the chunky pompom!

A good cloche always makes a statement. Crocheters can try the adorable Buttoned Emma Hat by Chandi Agee, while knitters have Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s jazz-tastic Suffragette from the recent Pom Pom Quarterly. Either would be simply marvelous in one of the new colors of Dragonfly Traveller (just arrived) or Damsel.

Heading South…

I recently knit up Purl Soho’s Bandana Cowl in Frog Tree Chunky Alpaca. Besides being a must-have, gender-neutral neckwarmer, it’s a great way to practice short rows and get results quickly.

Both the Viking Eternity Cowl by Whisper Twister and Arika Cowl by Jane Richmond are like catnip for boho chic stitchers looking for boutique styles. My top yarn suggestions are Berroco Peruvia Quick for hearty warmth, and Classic Elite Chateau/Mountain Top Chalet for lofty and luscious softness.


In Good Hands

Toasty hands will make your loved ones think of you warmly all winter long. Rowan Cocoon is a lovely heathered roving yarn, a perfect choice for the Charlotte Gloves. Are you dreaming of snowball fights? Twilight-inspired Bella’s Mittens by Marielle Henault have chunky cables and full coverage to keep you enjoying the outdoors for hours. Finally, Campout Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm are a fast and fabulous way to use any leftovers, especially self-striping yarns such as Noro Silk Garden or Taiyo. Best of all, each of these three patterns is free!




Bling for a Benefit: LARC   

I’m excited to host a unique jewelry sale this coming Friday, December 18. Imagine browsing through the treasures of your friends’ and neighbors’ jewelry boxes and finding unusual, vintage and simply beautiful pieces for unbelievable prices. My friend and neighbor Ruth Handel has collected jewelry donations from around the Bay Area and Los Angeles to stock the sale, and all proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Residential Community for developmentally disabled adults. Please drop by the shop this Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to have a look at her carefully edited assortment of baubles and bling–it’s good fun for a great cause.