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Winter Classes

Happy New Year! I hope the last days of 2013 were filled with warmth, good cheer and lots of wool. If you’re anything like me, you knit a LOT but there were still some projects you never quite got to knit! Maybe you were reticent to try a new technique on your own, or weren’t able to make the time to get started. Either way, there are projects you love just waiting to be knit!

classes

Let’s change that in 2014! Make time for yourself and your knitting and join us for a class this winter. We’re making sweaters, socks, mittens and cowls. We’re crocheting, cabling and knitting on double points! It’s all happening right here at Loop, surrounded by cozy, colorful yarn with other adventurous crafty souls! Sounds like a good way to spend a chilly winter night, doesn’t it? I think so too!

To register for a class, please call 215-893-9939 or stop by the shop! See you soon!

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Avery Hat

Avery Hat

Kira wearing an Avery hat.

I’ve always loved hats of all kinds. I remember my mom making hats for me and my brother when I was kid. She’d let me wrap the yarn for the pom-poms while she knit.

I watched with a mix of awe and impatience as she cut and trimmed the pom-pom just right, then attached it to the hat. My new hat – what a thrill! That feeling is the inspiration for Avery, a watch cap with a pom-pom for babies, toddlers, and kids.

Avery Hat Lime

Avery hat in Storm and Lime.

Avery is knit with Milla Mia’s Naturally Soft Merino yarn. It’s 100% extrafine merino wool spun into a light and bouncy, machine washable, sport weight yarn. We chose the neutral shade Storm for the main color and used the bright shades Lime and Fuchsia for the brim and pom-pom.

The neon trend is hot right now – I’ve seen it everywhere from sneakers and athletic wear to women’s tops and accessories – and this is a fun way to bring it into your knitting.

Avery Hat Fuchsia

Avery hat in Storm and Fuchsia.

These hats work up quickly and beautiful pom-poms are a snap with Clover’s Pom-Pom Maker. I’ve spent a lot of time trimming pom-poms in the past, but with the Pom-Pom maker, they pop out perfect and will look adorable on your little one’s head!

AVERY

SIZE
baby (toddler, child) 14.5 (16, 18.5) inch head circumference

MATERIALS
Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino [100% extrafine merino wool; 136 yards/50 grams ball] 1 ball in Main Color and 1 ball in Contrast Color.
Size 4 16-inch circular and double-point needles, or size to obtain gauge.
Size 3 16-inch needles.
Stitch marker and darning needle.
Clover 3126 Pom-pom Maker.

GAUGE
6 sts = 1 inch in St st in the round

ABBREVIATIONS
k knit
k2tog knit two stitches together
p purl

PATTERN
Brim
Using larger needles and Contrast Color, loosely cast on 88 (96, 112) sts. Switch to smaller needles, place marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work K2, p2 rib for 1.5 inches.

Body
Switch to larger needles and Main Color. Knit every round until piece measures 4.5 (5, 5.5) inches from cast on edge.

Crown
Round 1: * K9 (k10, k12), k2tog; rep from * to end.

Round 2 and all even rounds: knit all sts.

Round 3: * K8 (k9, k11), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 5: * K7 (k8, k10), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 7: * K6 (k7, k9), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 9: * K5 (k6, k8), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 11: * K4 (k5, k7), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 13: * K3 (k4, k6), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 15: * K2 (k3, k5), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 17: * K1 (k2, k4), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Toddler and Child Sizes only
Round 19: * K1 (k3), k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Child Size only
Round 21: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * to end.

Round 23: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end.

All sizes
Final Round: *K2tog; repeat from * to end. (8 sts remain)

Cut yarn leaving 8 inch tail. Using a tapestry needle, pull the tail through the remaining sts. Tighten, bring tail to inside of hat and weave in.

Pom-pom
Using smaller 2 1/2 inch Clover Pom-pom Maker and Contrast Color, make pom-pom. Attach to top of hat and weave in ends.

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Seaside Blanket

Seaside Blanket

A few months ago I found out that we’re expecting a new baby in my family – a little boy!

As soon as I heard the good news, I knew I wanted to knit a blanket with Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Cotton yarn for the baby. (Thinking about knitting is a normal reaction to hearing about a new baby, right?) I like that it’s 100% certified organic cotton, so it won’t irritate the baby’s sensitive skin.

And with 36 fantastic colors, I have plenty of choices whether I’m knitting for a boy, a girl, or a baby whose parents won’t tell me the gender (which is frustrating as a knitter, but a surprise that’s fun to look forward to).

Seaside Blanket folded

Because the parents of this baby have a modern style, I decided to go with clean and simple garter stripes. I chose three bright shades – Dandelion, Lemongrass, and Caribbean – to stripe with the warm and beautiful natural color of Bone.

both sides of the Seaside Blanket

With garter stripes – alternating 2 knit rows in one color with 2 knit rows in a second color – you get a bold stripe on one side and more subtle stripes on the other. The photo above shows both sides and you can see how they complement each other.

Seaside Blanket Color Combinations

We’ve named it the Seaside Blanket and created kits in four fun color combinations, shown above, clockwise from top left:

Caribbean, Lemongrass, and Dandelion with Bone
Hyacinth, Orchid, and Thistle with Bone
Mediterranean, Ash, and Sky with Bone
Periwinkle, Dandelion, and Flamingo with Bone.

The pattern is included with the kit and follows here if you’d like to select your own colors. Enjoy!

SEASIDE BLANKET

SIZE
30 x 36 inches.

MATERIALS
Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton: 3 hanks of Color A, 1 hank each of Colors B, C, and D.
40-inch circular needle, Size #8 or size needed to obtain gauge.

GAUGE
15 stitches to 4 inches, in garter stitch, after blocking

PATTERN
Section 1
With Color B, cast on 115 sts. Knit 4 rows.

Rows 1 & 2: Knit 2 rows with Color A.
Rows 3 & 4: Knit 2 rows with Color B.

Repeat Rows 1 to 4 a total of 20 times.

Section 2
Cut Color B and join Color C.

Rows 1 & 2: Knit 2 rows with Color A.
Rows 3 & 4: Knit 2 rows with Color C.

Repeat Rows 1 to 4 a total of 20 times.

Section 3
Cut Color C and join Color D.

Rows 1 & 2: Knit 2 rows with Color A.
Rows 3 & 4: Knit 2 rows with Color D.

Repeat Rows 1 to 4 a total of 20 times.

Cut Color A. Knit 4 rows with Color D.

Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and block.

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Blossom Baby Sweater

Unbeknown to me, there is a mill in Philadelphia manufacturing yarn for hand knitting. I found out from a yarn sales representative from Virginia, ironically, who came to see me earlier this summer. I was happy to know there was yarn being made so close to home and wanted to see it.

Super Soft Cotton

Among their offerings I found Florafil Super Soft Cotton. It’s a chunky yarn made from a single ply of cotton wrapped with a nylon thread. The wrapping gives the yarn a crimped texture, which translates to the finished knitted fabric. Super Soft Cotton is dyed in many beautiful colors that are inspired by flowers.

Blossom Baby Sweater

Laura suggested the Blossom Baby Sweater. It’s a simple one-button cardigan for babies that calls for a chunky, textured yarn; perfect! I chose the Red Hibiscus colorway.

Because hand painted yarns can pool, I knit from two balls at once, working two rows with one ball and two rows with the next. The yarn that’s not in use is simply dropped and picked up again when it’s needed. I didn’t cut and reattach the yarns.

Blossom Baby Sweater

The pattern is easy to follow. Because of the chunky yarn and big needles, the pieces worked up quickly and I was seaming and weaving in ends in no time. It’s sized for babies 6-12 months and 12-18 months. Both can be made with 2 hanks of Super Soft Cotton.

The Blossom Baby Sweater and Super Soft Cotton yarn is a great first seamed sweater project for new knitters and an easy project for experienced knitters looking for a fast, cute gift!

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Baby Kersti!

kersti3

It’s the last week of April- how did that happen so fast? That means just a few more days of Kersti as our yarn of the month! So far, I’ve talked about accessories & sweaters, but one of our favorite Kersti uses is baby knitting.

This 100% merino hand dye is machine washable and so soft. The crepe construction wears well against repeated washings, which tends to come in handy when comes to baby clothes! Kersti’s color & speckles are bright, cheerful & just right for little cuties!

babykersti

Stay On Baby Booties – There’s nothing cuter than a baby bootie- especially when it stays on a tiny, kicking foot! This pattern is worked up 2 weights: fingering & DK- perfect for Koigu & Kersti respectively.

Easy Peasy Baby Jacket – We knit a darling button closure version of this in the shop- everyone is loving it! You can also knit this as a vest & in multiple weights.

kersti1

Picot Edge Baby Blanket – A simple knit with a pretty edge, ideal for gifting. Let the yarn do the work while you enjoy a a relaxing knit!

Ribbons Baby Blanket – Knit in the round from the center out, this striped rib blanket has endless color possibilities!

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Wave Blanket Kits!

6

A new baby is often the catalyst that brings new people to knitting, or brings the lapsed knitter back to the fold! In both instances, a simple project that yields a beautiful result is in order. Cue the Wave Blanket: 5 colors of Blue Sky’s Worsted Cotton plus feather & fan stitch make a perfect match!

Since we made our first version in 2008, this blanket has been knit countless times. Blue Sky Cotton is organically grown for ultimate in softness for baby and the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and accomplish. The hardest part is picking the colors! That’s where our new Wave Blanket Kits come to the rescue!

1

Knowing that picking the right colors can be a challenge, we put together 3 color combinations. A bright rainbow for a baby whose gender will be a surprise, cool blues with a turquoise pop for baby boys and a purple & pink party for little baby girls!

Each kit comes with the pattern & one skein of each color shown all wound up and ready to go! With the color guesswork taken way & the yarn rolled up, you can relax, knit and dream about the sweet babe that’s soon to come!

2

I love thinking about how many babies have been wrapped up in our design! If you’d like to knit one more to swaddle your little one, here’s the free pattern! Have fun!

WAVE BLANKET

SIZE
approximately 33” by 39”

MATERIALS
5 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Cotton
40 inch US 9 circular needle

GAUGE
16 sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, but gauge is not critical for this project

ABBREVIATIONS
K – knit
P – purl
K2tog – knit the next 2 stitches together as one stitch.

STITCH PATTERN
Row 1 (right side) – knit
Row 2 – purl
Row 3 – *(K2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times; repeat from * to end.
Row 4 – knit.
Repeat Rows 1 to 4.

BLANKET PATTERN
CO 144 stitches. Repeat pattern. Change to new color after finishing Row 4 of pattern. We knit 8 pattern repeats for each color.

Bind off loosely and weave in ends.

Enjoy!