Guest Post: Introducing Vernal by Irina Anikeeva

Guest Post: Introducing Vernal by Irina Anikeeva

Cover of the Vernal book

We have been admiring Irina Anikeeva's beautiful textured knitwear designs for years. Today, we are thrilled to introduce her newest book of patterns, Vernal. We have provided some of our favorite yarns in Merino wool as well as wool and silk blends for the book.

We love how Irina’s elegant and classic designs transform these yarns into special garments that will remain relevant in your wardrobe and that you will find yourself reaching for again and again in years to come.

From here, we're turning the blog over to Irina to introduce herself and her new  book!

Hello, my name is Irina Anikeeva and I’m an indie knitwear pattern designer, living in Southern California. I began designing as Irmian Design full-time in 2014 and have contributed work to many yarn company collections, magazines and books.

I clearly remember the hot sunny summer day in 2019 when recently finished with the current project, I thought: “Well, it’s time for the new book”. It has been a year since I published my first book, Nautical Accessories Collection, and finally, I felt ready to start the new big adventure. The theme was decided on very quickly. I love summer knitting and wanted to design more garments perfect for warm weather.

I shared this idea with Miss Babs team and their enthusiasm about this project reassured me and gave me the energy to get started as soon as possible.

For this book, I wanted to create a collection of patterns you can wear all spring and summer long, but honestly, since most of us live in temperature-controlled environments, any wardrobe benefits from garments that are comfortable to wear at 75 degrees.

Sample garments from the Vernal book, folded and sitting in a pile

I was aiming to create timeless pieces that can ensure style without being too warm and bulky, and be your perfect companion at home or at the beach as well as at work or in the restaurant.

Warm weather knits are perfect for layering because we all ultimately want the garment that we can wear for more than two seasons of the year. You may wear the lightweight cardigan over a blouse or camisole. The knitted tank may work as the vest when the weather cools down.

The design details are the key in the pieces, suitable for summer – the open stitches, loose gauge, and a good few inches of positive ease will keep you cool when it’s needed. But for me, a cable enthusiast, there is no way I can discard this type of knitting in my collection. Cables, as well as lace, are remarkable enough by themselves, but in combination, they always look special. You may find the cable elements, cleverly combined with lace and openwork, in quite a few designs in this collection, including Giesel Cardigan, Encinitas Top, or Montelena Shawl (shown below).

The yarns I was working with, creating the designs for Vernal, became a huge source of inspiration for me.

Yummy 3-Ply yarn in shades of yellows, greens, and blues


You will notice that quite a few designs were worked in beautiful Miss Babs Yummy 3-Ply. The stitch definition of this sport-weight yarn, the close relative of another gem, fingering weight Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply, makes it perfect for texture of any kind, from airy lace to intricate cables (or a combination of these two) while keeping fabric light with beautiful drape.  

Killington yarn

Another great choice for the warm weather knits is Miss Babs Killington. Although it is a DK weight yarn, the generous amount of silk in this blend helps to create light and lofty knits.

Woodbury yarn

Miss Babs Woodbury is also an impressive wool and silk blend: the wool makes this yarn versatile and bouncy; and silk adds beautiful sheen and intense colors. Woodbury is the fingering weight wool and silk blend with a toothy crispness that will show off your careful stitching and hold up well in a garment.

Even the warmest Spring can bring some chilly evenings. The two luxurious yarns will be perfect for this occasion: Kaweah and Kunlun. Kaweah, a 100% merino yarn, is round and bouncy with a slightly rustic character, and knits into defined and balanced stitches. Kunlun, on the other hand, is simply heavenly. It’s a luxurious blend of merino wool, cashmere, and silk, plush and round, with a velvety sheen from the silk and wonderful softness from the cashmere. It’s a special treat to work with - but also a yarn that will hold up well in the finished project.

I do hope this book will inspire you to make and wear knits all year round!

You can purchase the Vernal book (printed, which includes a download code for an e-book) directly from Irina on her website - we will also have books available soon. Each design is also available as an individual PDF download from Ravelry. You can also see more photos and yarn suggestions on our Project Gallery.

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