Holiday Stitch Exchange: New Clover Pattern from Huelo!

We are super excited that our old friend and coworker, Huelo, is continuing her design work and has a brand new pattern out using our yarn Clover! It's a cute hooded cowl, worked in stockinette and garter stitch and shaped with short rows.

We love her design and can't wait to knit it ourselves. It's available to purchase on Ravelry today, and there's lots of wonderful Clover in stock at the shop and online to knit it out of. Without further ado, here's Huelo to tell you about her life in Bulgaria and her new pattern, Chervena.


Hi there Verb friends! It’s me, Huelo, of Verb circa 2013. I’ve been following Kristine’s yarn-making and dyeing adventures from afar, and I’m so excited to introduce a new design using her beautiful Montana Targhee wool/silk blend, Clover.

It’s been almost a year since my boy and I packed his Camry full of all of our stuff and left California, Bulgaria-bound (well, Portland-bound at first. We couldn’t drive the Camry to Bulgaria). We’ve been living in a lovely little block apartment in the country’s capital, Sofia, for almost nine months.

A couple things have happened since we got here. We got married and became full-time freelance creative-types, Lorenzo blogging about our wacky lives here, and me mostly just knitting. I miss the sunshine, the creative and energetic people, and the taco trucks of Oakland. But in exchange, I have wonderful new friends, plenty of time for knitting and writing, and gorgeous post-Soviet decay all around me as constant inspiration (not for long, sadly; Bulgaria is embracing capitalism as fast as she can, and Sofia is leading the charge).

Amidst the concrete, the shiny metal dumpsters, and the leafy playgrounds ringed with benches, the color red defines Bulgaria’s aesthetic, to me. Salads are usually more red than green here, loaded with tomatoes and sweet peppers. In traditional folk costumes, embroidery and textiles, red is the constant, defining color. The political associations of the color are recent and superficial, against red’s long associations with life, strength and fertility.

In September I took a trip to Chiprovtsi, a small town in the Balkan Mountains famous for handwoven carpets. Yulka, one of the town’s few remaining master weavers, explained to me the color red’s significance in Chiprovtsi textiles. The rugs’ traditionals symbols and motifs often represent family, birth, and womanhood, and are often depicted in dark red wool. Yulka unfolded one of her largest, reddest rugs and told me that one hundred years ago, this would’ve been a rug “only for rich people.” Red was important not just because it’s beautiful, but because it’s dear. Before synthetic dyes, the richest reds came from snail shells, Yulka told me, and a room-sized red carpet required the sacrifice of thousands of snails.

It’s a little bit magical to me that today, with some madder root extract and Kristine’s natural dye expertise, a rich, bright red can be achieved without chemical dyes, and without all those poor snails. I named this hooded cowl “Chervena,” after the Bulgarian word for red. I plan to wear it all winter, as a reminder that spring is always coming, no matter how cold or dark it gets.


Thanks for sharing a slice of your life with us, Huelo!

To celebrate the debut of her pattern, Huelo has kindly offered us 20 free copies of the pattern to give away! If you would like to knit Chervena, come into our brick and mortar store or shop online and receive a free copy when you buy 2 skeins of Clover to knit it! If you're shopping online, please mention "Chervena" in the comments section and we'll include a copy with your order.

I hope you'll cast on with me!

-- Sarah