Knit a Warm Embrace
Posted on July 23 2021
Ann Budd is a knitter’s knitter. Among her many tasks as managing editor at Interweave Knits, she edited Beyond the Basics―a column that provided a comprehensive examination of knitting techniques from how to make a yarn over in different contexts to how to increase in lace patterns to the whys and wherefores and variety of short rows. Ann is not only a master of technique, she’s a talented designer, putting sweater shapes, stitches, method, and colors together with imagination and skill.
Ann is also an excellent teacher. Her classes at workshops and retreats quickly sell out. This past year, however, when we all had to sit out our knitting get-togethers, Ann designed a shawl that she likes to think of as a virtual (a now oh-so-familiar word) hug. Its name is Warm Embrace.
When we first saw Warm Embrace, we knew immediately that it would be a perfect fit for our Limited Edition Cotswold yarn. The stitch patterns show off some of this yarn’s best characteristics: Cotswold is a crisp yarn that resists the pull of gravity, keeping lacy eyelets rounded and open. The fiber has a pearly sheen, easily appreciated when you work elongated stitches that float over the surface of the fabric, as in the final tier of Ann’s shawl. Cotswold also has a halo reminiscent of mohair, which makes for a soft, romantic blur.
When we asked Ann about the patterns in her shawl―how she came to choose and blend them―she told us that she spent hours swatching from her stitch dictionaries. She wanted patterns that contrasted enough to be interesting next to each other, but that would also relate to each other and connect in a visual way. Given this past year of the pandemic was all about making connections with others while sitting in solitude, Warm Embrace might be considered an expression of a difficult time when people gathered together (virtually) to draw strength from the practice of knitting.