Selecting yarn for Annetarsia Projects

The response to the projects in “Annetarsia Knits” has been gratifying, and I shouldn’t be surprised because I love them, so why wouldn’t you?  But now you want to knit your own versions, and finding yarn is proving to be a problem.  Annetarsia is a place to use leftover yarn, and small amounts.  A design like Astoria Sock, which has 8 stripes per sock, could actually use 8 colors if you wanted every stripe a different color and matching socks.  Or, you could go wild and make coordinating socks that don’t match, and use 16 different colors over the 2 socks!  Annetarsia is really a place to use your imagination and whatever yarn you have on hand.

Columbia Top

Astoria Socks









Books don’t work that way, though, so I generally kept to 2 or 3 colors, so that a knitter could re-create a project without buying a whole stash of colors.  At least I tried to do this, I really did.  But when the Sandy Hook school tragedy happened, and I wanted to knit something to commemorate it for myself, I made the Namanu shawl with Plucky Knitter Primo Sport and used different colors for boys, girls, and teachers.  I didn’t use 26 different colors for the dolls, but I did use 8, plus additional colors for the body and the edging, and the 27th doll to represent those who remember the lost.  I had no idea that this shawl was going to resonate so deeply, become a favorite of everyone working on the book, and end up on the cover…but, that is what happened.

Sandy Hook WIP

Sandy Hook Shawl

Sandy Hook Shawl









Cheryl Scallon earned Master Knitter status this spring, and asked if she could borrow Sandy Hook to wear at her pinning ceremony this weekend at the TKGA national convention.  I sent it to her, and she decided that she wanted to knit one of her own, but it would mean ordering a lot of yarn, and Plucky Knitter yarn is made in limited batches.  She suggested that “someone” could make up kits for the Sandy Hook shawl.  I went to my stash and made a pile of butterflies (each doll uses less than 5 yds of yarn), and she will be getting a “kit” for the 26 dolls, as a present when I see her at Stitches Midwest next week (Shhh, don’t tell).  So she will just need to buy yarn for the body and the edging.  As long as I was at it, I made a couple more kits, so if anyone really, really wants to duplicate my shawl, let me know.  Eventually, I’ll run out of yarn, but I’ll send you what I can as long as I have yarn.

Sandy hook doll colors

Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, 8 different colors, for Sandy Hook version of Namanu shawl.

Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, 8 different colors, for Sandy Hook version of Namanu shawl.

What I suggest that people do is look for small “yarn sets” that are popping up since Heidi Bears started the hexipuff craze.  Heidi is my Best Friend, because no one was making yarn sets for me!  But I am very happy to ride the Hexipuff band wagon.



Canon Hand Dyes - Downtown Abbey set

Canon Hand Dyes – Downton Abbey set




  1. Cheryl Scallon

    Ooops! You know I always read your blogs…OMG!! THANK YOU!!! I am so excited and cannot wait to get started on knitting this beautiful shawl. I want everyone reading this blog to know how special this shawl is, particularly Anne’s inspiration to design it. As I walked through TKGA conference, so many people stopped and said “that is a beautiful shawl.” Each time, I told the story, it was met with a heartfelt response. Anne, all of your designs are wonderful; however, the Namanu Shawl Sandy Hook variation is absolutely exceptional!!

  2. Sheryl Allred

    Yes, I would like to buy the kit for the Sandy Hook Shawl if any are left. I received your book this month. I am excited to make this shawl.

    • annetarsia

      I’m starting a list of people who would like doll kits. I’ll update you in a few weeks. Thanks for the interest! In the meantime, check your stash of leftovers for possibilities…

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