Guest Blogger: Tanis Gray on Wanderlust!


Tanis & Vickie on the set of Knitting Daily TV

Greetings, dear readers! Tanis Gray here, guest blogging today for Vickie in honor of Mother’s Day. Vickie and I go way back to the days of knit.1 magazine, and more recently, working together on Knitting Daily TV. Vickie is an amazingly eclectic crafter, a spitfire TV personality, a curious crafter and a mother 3 times over. I’m excited to have her pass her blog reins over to me today to share with you my latest knitting book.

I’m a huge fan of superwash yarns, but something I see over and over is people living under the misconception that superwash yarns are only for knitting baby and child items. NOT TRUE! Being a mom to a young son myself, I am usually covered in dirt, paint, snot, food, play dough and juice.

Living a rather messy life doesn’t mean I have to pack up my knitted garments and stash them away until my son is older. I did some research, shopped around my LYS and found some really beautiful superwash yarns. Superwash yarns have come so far (just like all modern fibers have) and can be hand dyed, soft, bouncy and elegant. The best part? They can be chucked in the washing machine without fear. So if you’re one of those people that think superwash yarns aren’t for you, I recommend looking around your local yarn shop and see what you’ve been missing! I knit all my sweaters in superwash and many of my hats and fingerless mitts as well. Living a busy, sometimes messy life doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice quality or luxury when it comes to choosing a yarn.

Wanderlust - jacket art

Wanderlust: 46 Modern Knits for Bohemia Style By Tanis Gray Interweave/F+W; $18.99

Inspired by my love of machine washable yarn, the idea for my new book, Wanderlust, was hatched. What if I could curate a collection of beautiful garments and accessories for women and men done in all superwash and have not one single baby or kid’s item in there? I was up for the challenge and got to work.

The result was a book I am pleased to have my name on. With over 45 knitted garments (hats, mittens, fingerless mitts, sweaters, scarves, cowls, shawls, afghans and gift sets) from designers across the globe, this book will have you reaching for superwash yarn again and again! Everything in this book used the same yarn – Cascade’s Longwood (which comes in just shy of 200 yards a ball with a very reasonable price tag) meaning you can use your leftover bits and bobs of yarn for another project. It also means you won’t break the bank knitting yourself up one of the gorgeous sweaters (one of my favorites is Elena Nodel’s Penelope Cardigan).

Penelope, by  Elena Nodel

Penelope, by Elena Nodel


Since Mother’s Day is here, what about knitting Paulina Popiolek’s stunning Blizzard Hat & Scarf set for mom? Or Linda Medina’s Cabled Cowl & Wristers for your sister? I love Jennifer Wood’s Twigg Mitts, which would knit up quickly and be a great gift for anyone, or Beth Kling’s lacy Snoqualmie Wrap for someone extra special. I swooned a little when I first saw Nataliya Galifianakis’ Slip-Stitch Scarf and I’ve already knit up 3 of Svetlana Volkova’s Karite Hat for gifts (and may or may not have kept one for myself!).  Robin Melanson’s Progression Cowl and Judy Marples’ Quixote Shawl went straight in my knitting queue and I currently have the Flurry Hat on my needles. There is absolutely something for everyone in this book and I’m proud of the collection and the hard work of everyone involved.


One other thing I’m really proud of are the skill levels covered in Wanderlust. I teach the advanced knitters frequently at my LYS in Alexandria, Virginia. I love watching beginner students from afar go from their first nervous cast on to taking more and more classes, educating themselves on proper materials (and appreciating different fibers and tools) to eventually taking a class with me. Knitters come with all different skill sets – some may not have cabled, others may be fearful of lace, some think Fair Isle is something they’ll never be able to master – but this book has EVERYTHING! From easy beginner projects, all the way through complex cabled sweaters, this is a book you’ll come to again and again to make you and your loved ones amazing, washable knits. It’s like having a slew of knit classes at your fingertips with techniques from short rows to saddle shoulders to setting in a zipper.

tanis 2

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick peak into Wanderlust and that you find yourself knitting from it over and over again.

Happy knitting and Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Tanis Gray

4 Responses to “Guest Blogger: Tanis Gray on Wanderlust!”

  1. Linda Beckham

    Tanis thank you for the inspiring information. I am a beginner knitter and Tanis you and Vickie have both inspired me to branch out and try something other than knit and purl. I am currently making a dish cloth using Lily and Cream yarn using Noni’s Favorite Pattern which reminds me of a basket weave look. Thank you both for showing how easy it is to learn new things and for a wonderful show on Knitting Daily TV. Happy Mothers Day to both of you as well. I hope to continue to learn from you two ladies for a long time. Thank you and knit on!!


    • Vickie Howell

      Aw, that’s nice to hear, Linda. I’m so glad you’re loving knitting and feeing comfortable enough to try new techniques! Also, on behalf of, thanks for using Lily Sugar n’ Cream yarn!

  2. Angela Baugher.

    I am just quirking about a yarn you featured on a recent Knitting Daily the week of August 16th. You had small squares knitted as examples. This one was a variegated bluish. You mentioned that it did not pool and would be perfect for sweaters. I was not giving you the proper attention and the name got by me. As a hint I will say in ly heard something like( blue face silk blend???). I am interested I the yarn. Coils you please send along info. I thought it was show 1202, but no luck. I have searched the shows and cannot find it. Help.