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The Expectant Knitter

Marie Connolly, author of The Expectant Knitter, will be at Loop for a book signing on Saturday, November 22 from 2:30 to 4:30pm. Pick up your copy of the book and get to know a talented author and mother!

Highlights from The Expectant Knitter by Marie Connolly

We’re always on the lookout for beautiful baby patterns. There are many, but it’s rare to see a collection as complete as The Expectant Knitter. As I thumbed through the patterns, I couldn’t help but think about all of the lucky babies and toddlers in my life who will be receiving new handknits thanks to Marie Connolly!

What’s clever about The Expectant Knitter is that the book is broken down by trimester. Simpler projects are reserved for the first and third trimester when “fatigue may get in the way of nimble knitting,” with more challenging projects rounding out the second trimester.

I love that The Expectant Knitter keeps you and your family in mind. In addition to adorable sweaters, blankets, and socks for baby, there are also sweaters for the big brother or sister, and a beautiful cashmere sweater for you!

The Expectant Knitter is a great book for the mom-to-be and a lovely addition to any knitting library!

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Chic Cabled Cowl

Chic Cabled Cowl

A chunky scarf is great to snuggle into on snowy days, but what if it’s just not cold enough for all of that bulk? It’s time to embrace the cowl!

The Chic Cabled Cowl is the perfect on-the-go winter accessory. It’s big enough to keep the chill away, but small enough to keep in your coat pocket when the temperature begins to rise. Buttons on the side let you control how warm you want to be, and the cables add a classic texture.

Chic Cabled Cowl

For this project I used one of my very favorite yarns, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted. Shepherd Worsted is a beautiful hand dyed yarn with wonderful stitch definition and great depth of color. It’s also happens to be a superwash wool, which makes it the perfect yarn for outerwear!

Quicker than a full-sized scarf, the Chic Cabled Cowl is a great first cable project. You can keep the cables even, or add a personal touch by working cables at random intervals throughout. The Chic Cabled Cowl makes a great holiday gift, whether you’re planning ahead or looking for a last-minute knit.

Chic Cabled Cowl

CHIC CABLED COWL

MATERIALS
1 hank of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Poppy
Size US7 (4.5mm) needles
4 Buttons
Cable Needle

GAUGE
4.5 stitches per inch on US7 needles

ABBREVIATIONS
k knit
p purl
CO cast on
BO bind off
C2F place 2 stitches on cable needle and hold to front of work, knit 2 stitches from left needle, then knit two stitches from cable needle.

PATTERN

CO 50 stitches.

Row 1 (ws): k2, *p4, k2*
Row 2 (rs): p2, *k4, p2*
Row 3 (ws): k2, *p4, k2*
Row 4 (rs): p2, *k4, p2*
Row 5 (ws): k2, *p4, k2*
Row 6 (rs): p2, *c2f, p2*

Repeat rows 1-6 until work measures 19 inches, ending with Row 5.

Buttonhole rows:
Row 1: p2, k4, *BO 2, k3, p2, k4* rep from *to* to last 8 stitches, BO 2, k3, p2
Row 2: k2, p4, *CO 2, p4, k2, p4* rep from *to* to last 6 stitches, CO 2, p4, k2

Continue in rib pattern for 1 inch.
Bind off in purl, weave in ends.
Sew on buttons 3 inches from cast on edge.

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Blue Sky Alpaca Kid’s Designs Trunk Show

This week, we have a trunk show of kid’s designs from Blue Sky Alpaca. The new fall patterns are adorable, and I’m itching to cast on for a kid’s sweater! Here are some of the highlights:

Kid's Pullover

The Kid’s Pullover is a great little fair isle project. It’s knit with Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Cotton yarn, a soft DK-weight cotton that’s completely machine washable. The pullover you see here is definitely for boys, but the colors can be easily customized for a girl.

Girl's Sundress

The Girl’s Sundress looks summery, but it’s really a great all-season garment. Your little one can wear it alone in warm weather, or layer it over tights and a long-sleeved shirt in the cooler months.

Baby Hoodie

The Baby Hoodie is a staple garment at Loop. It knits up quickly, and with all of the colors of Dyed Cotton available, the possibilities are endless!

One Fish, Two Fish

If you’re not sure if the baby will be a boy or a girl, why not knit a toy? This fish is not only adorable, it’s entirely unisex. Knitting toys is a great way to spice up your knitting–and you’ll never have to worry about whether or not it will fit!

Those are only a few of the samples we have on display. The trunk show is only here for a few days, so be sure to stop in and take a look!

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Grace Lace Beret

I love a slouchy beret. It’s the perfect thing to cover up my (many) bad hair days and still look stylish, but I can rarely bring myself to buy one. The details are never quite right–the ribbing doesn’t flow into the lace pattern, or the crown decreases seem careless–and I, as a knitter, know it can be done better.

Grace Lace Beret
Elizabeth wearing her Grace Lace Beret

The Grace Lace Beret has all of the right details. The cast on is a modified and simplified tubular cast on, and the simple lace pattern flows evenly from ribbing to crown decreases. The yarn, Louisa Harding Grace, is one of my favorites. The 50/50 wool/silk blend has a beautiful halo and just the right amount of drape. It feels delicate, but wears incredibly well, and is–of course–soft as silk. This season Harding introduced Grace in beautiful hand-dyed colors, too. The Grace Lace Beret works up super-fast, which makes it perfect for last-minute holiday gifts.

Grace Lace Beret - side view
the side view of the Grace Lace Beret



GRACE LACE BERET
SIZE
One size fits most women

MATERIALS
2 balls of Louisa Harding Grace or Hand Dyed Grace yarn
16” circular and DPN in US 9 or size needed to achieve gauge
set of 5 dpn US 4
crochet hook, waste yarn, stitch markers, darning needle

GAUGE
4 stitches per inch in lace pattern

ABBREVIATIONS

K knit
P purl
DD double decrease, slip two stitches together as if to knit 2 together, knit one, pass two slipped stitches over.

PATTERN

With crochet hook and waste yarn, chain 65 stitches. With working yarn, and US4 needles, pick up 60 stitches from back of crochet chains. Distribute stitches evenly over dpn’s and join in the round, being careful not to twist.

Round 1: (increase round) With working yarn, *k1, yo; rep from * across all stitches (120 stitches)

Round 2: *slip 1 with yarn in front, k1; rep from * across all stitches

Round 3: *p1, slip 1 with yarn in back; rep from * across all stitches

Continue in p1, k1 rib for 1 1/4″ from cast on. Remove waste yarn from cast on.

Change to US9 circular needles and work rows 1-10 of chart 3 times, then work rows 1-6 once. (see below for chart.)

Crown Decreases:

Round 1: *k5, DD, k4; rep from * across all stitches. (100 sts)

Round 2: k 1 round

Round 3: *k4, dd, k3; rep from * across all stitches (80 sts)

Round 4: k1 round

Round 5: *k3, dd, k2; rep from * across all stitches (60 sts)

Round 6: *k2, dd, k1; rep from * across all stitches (40 sts)

Round 7: *k1, dd; rep from * across all stitches (20 sts)

Round 8: k1, *dd, k2; repeat from * to last 3 sts, dd, k1 (15 sts)

Cut yarn leaving 8 inch tail. Draw through rem sts and pull tightly. Weave in end on inside.

Lace Chart

Enjoy your beret! And don’t forget to send us a picture!

UPDATE: We no longer carry Louisa Harding Grace and Hand-Dyed Grace yarn. The Grace Lace Beret can be knit with any DK weight yarn that gives you 5.5 stitches per inch in stockinette. I think Filatura di Crosa Zara yarn would be a great choice.

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Melody Superwash and the Swirl Shawl

JoJoLand’s Melody Superwash yarn is a runaway hit this fall. This beautiful fingering weight superwash wool yarn has slow, subtle color transitions that are similar to Noro yarns, but the colors are much more muted. Dusty pinks, deep blues, and shy violets mingle together in quiet harmony.

Melody Superwash yarn, color 28
Melody Superwash yarn, color 28

Each ball has 220 yards and costs $6. It’s ideal for socks and a pair will cost $12.

The Swirl Shawl
The Swirl Shawl

If you’re looking for a little challenge, you could also cast on for a Swirl Shawl. The Swirl Shawl was designed with Melody’s slow color changes in mind. The pattern is made of hexagons that decrease into their centers. Each hexagon is different from the one before it, creating a subtle patchwork look.

We’re offering a second session of the Swirl Shawl class, if you missed the first one. The class begins Monday, October 13.

We’re just beginning to experiment with Melody’s subtle colorations. Let us know what you discover!

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Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham Trunk Show

This week we’re featuring a trunk show of garments from Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop Fall 2008 Collection. Here are some of my favorites.

Tundra Coat

For fall, Teva wanted a yarn that was both super-bulky and ultra-light. Tundra is just that – 100% extrafine merino that knits at 2 stitches per inch and is amazingly light. So light, in fact, that the Tundra Coat with Leaf Motif won’t weigh you down like bulky sweaters often do.

Tundra Coat

Teva’s signature leaf motif tops off the look of this soft, cozy, and stylish coat.

Shale Tunic Dress

The Shale Tunic Dress is knit with one of the most unusual yarns at Loop, Shale. Shale’s combination of fuzzy mohair and shiny viscose adds just the right amount metallic to your fall wardrobe. The Shale Tunic Dress would be lovely with leggings for a night out, or over jeans for everyday.

Mini Cable Pullover in Loop-d-loop Moss

The Mini Cable Pullover is the most classic piece in the collection. Knit with Moss yarn, a lofty wool-nylon blend, it’s a simple and sophisticated pullover.

Geometric Purse knit in Loop-d-loop Fern

And of course, no collection would be complete without a great bag! The Geometric Purse uses Fern, a light and lacy woven tape yarn, and an ingenious construction to create a cool checkerboard effect. And it’s just the right size to carry all of the essentials and a knitting project or two.

There are even more samples to see in the shop. Stop by and take a look at these beautiful garments and fabulous yarns.