an ode to phoebe

The first time I held a skein of Phoebe was at Craft South in Nashville, Tennessee. I was choosing colors for a mosaic knitting class, and Venus called to me from the shelf. That tonally dyed, dusty pink was just what I was looking for. I paired it with Pluto, a warm gray with undertones of night sky blues and purples. I held the soft merino to my cheek as I carried the skeins to the counter to be wound into cakes. Spinning on the swift, the tonal shifts became clearer, and I couldn’t wait to knit with Phoebe and watch the color variations begin to appear.

I’ve fallen in love with more than one yarn, I’ll admit. As knitters, we know the feeling is common. But Phoebe? Well, Phoebe is special. Venus, in particular holds a special place for me. Like the planet of its namesake, which the ancient Greeks and Egyptians first thought was two different stars, the Morning Star and the Evening Star, Phoebe in Venus contains a lot of complexity and duality. A single object, one skein of Venus is whole palette of subtle pinks, from dusty rose to clay, to the color one might find on the underside of a conch shell. There’s a reason all of Phoebe’s color-ways are named for celestial bodies. Phoebe’s extra-fine merino wool composition and painterly color palette aspires to make tangible the feeling you get when you gaze up toward the ever expanding field of stars and planets that surround us. You hold in your hands a tiny universe when you decide to make something new. Maybe that’s a lot of pressure for a little, DK weight, wool yarn, but we think Phoebe is up to the task.

We have two new patterns debuting this week in Phoebe! Until then here are a few of our favorites from the archives.

 left to right: Sunday River by Bristol Ivy, Datura by Leila Raven, Iris by Dawn Catanzaro

Sunday River by Bristol Ivy

Originally published in our Lodge collection, the Sunday River slipper socks are a real treat, just like the best weekend mornings. A twisted stitch pattern creates a cozy all over texture. The traditional heel gusset make these a snap for all of you sock knitters out there.

Datura by Leila Raven

From To the Point: The Knitted Triangle, Datura is a bottom up shawl, knitted in Phoebe in pale Jupiter. Relaxing garter stitch gives way to a section of geometrical eyelet with a twisting branch motif, finishing again in a soothing field of even more garter.

Iris by Dawn Catanzaro

A sweet little cardigan, with some ingenious shaping and sophisticated details by Dawn Catanzaro, Iris is perfect to show off the drape and color of any shade of Phoebe, from Jupiter to Chiron.

left to right: Lyre by Noriko Ho, Kepler by Pam Allen, Rococo by Lana Jois

Lyre by Noriko Ho

What could be better than being wrapped up in extra-fine merino Phoebe? With Lyre, by Noriko Ho, you can wrap yourself in a super soft poncho featuring squishy fisherman’s rib and a leaf pattern border. Trust us, you won’t want to take it off all winter. 

Kepler by Pam Allen

Requiring just a single skein of Phoebe, Kepler is a great weekend knit. With cables and textured stitches, it remains engaging all the way to the optional pom-pom on top.

Rococo by Lana Jois

Ethereal Rococo is from our most recent shawls collection. Knitted in Juno with an all over lace pattern, Rococo is a statement piece that shows off Phoebe’s beautiful drape and stitch definition. Lana’s clever faux cables, and botanical lace details make Rococo an engaging knit.

Working with tonally dyed yarns, like star gazing, isn’t without its surprises. We recommend alternating skeins to avoid pooling. Our favorite method for alternating is with a technique called Helical Knitting. Please enjoy this tutorial.



All my love,

Meredith Luby

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