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baby, baby

I’m sure it’s because of the birth of my first nephew in April, but I’ve become very taken with knitting for babies. I like how quickly baby clothes can be knit and I love seeing him in something I’ve made.

I recently finished the Baby Surprise Jacket in Artyarn’s Supermerino. The pattern was written by Elizabeth Zimmerman and must be one of the most popular knitting patterns of the 20th, and now 21st, century. It’s knit flat with lots of increasing and decreasing and some picking up of stitches, and just when you think it’s the oddest looking thing you’ve ever knit it becomes a jacket.

Baby Surprise Jacket in Artyarn's Supermerino

There’re no sizes. Zimmerman suggests fingering weight yarn for a newborn and DK for a 1-year old. I chose the worsted weight Supermerino and knit it on a 6 instead of the usual 7. I used almost all of three skeins. My nephew is only 7 weeks old, but I’m taking it to him tonight to see how it fits.

Now that I pay more attention to babies, I know there’s a broad range of sizes and growth rates, so it’s hard to know what size sweaters to make. I think the next time someone I know tells me they’re pregnant, I’ll just pick a yarn I like and knit them a Baby Surprise Jacket. It’ll surely fit at some point!

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sheep in the city

Alfie and Buddy stopped traffic last night when they entered their pen in front of the shop. People in cars and on buses reached for their cell phones and took pictures. Passers-by stopped and gave Alfie a pat.

Of course Margrit Lohrer and Albrecht Pichler were here, too! Knitters and farm enthusiasts alike lined up to talk to them and to get Margrit to sign their copy of her fantastic new book – Morehouse Farm Merino Knits.

The evening was a blur of talking with friends and making new ones. Fortunately, Laura and Marc caught some great pictures.

Alfie from Morehouse Farm
This is Alfie.

Buddy from Morehouse Farm
This is Buddy.

Margrit Lohrer, Albrecht Pichler and the Loop Staff
front row: Albrecht Pichler and Margrit Lohrer from Morehouse Farm,
Loop Staff members Rachel, Laura and Kathy; back row:Loop Staff
members Craig and Grace.

Girl and Buddy
A customer’s daughter pets Alfie.

Girl and Buddy
She’s too cute for just one photo!

Martha's friends
Martha brought her neighbors to see the sheep. They weren’t
thrilled that we wanted a picture!

Group watching the sheep.
This group really liked the sheep!

Albrecht, Margrit and Craig
Albrecht, Margrit, and Craig.

We had a wonderful time with Albrecht and Margrit, and as with all good times, it passed too quickly. We helped Albrecht get Alfie and Buddy back in the trailer and sweep up the hay they hadn’t eaten, and then they were off to their next stop.

Before she left, we asked Margrit to sign a few extra copies of her book for those of you who couldn’t be here last night; you can order one online or stop in the shop. It’s a great way to get a little of the farm in your life!

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farm fresh

Morehouse Farm Merino Knits by Margrit Lohrer arrived in the store this afternoon!

Morehouse Farm Merino Knits

There are 40 fantastic patterns, anecdotes about farm life, and gorgeous photographs of the farm. You can almost smell the hay!

If you haven’t already – save the date – Friday, May 5 from 6 to 8!

Margrit, her husband Albrecht Pichler, and two of their merino rams – Buddy and Alfie – are visiting Loop! Margrit will sign your book while you discuss farm life and knitting with her and Albrecht!

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Stephanie and the knitters

Knitters like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

Stephanie was scheduled to speak at 7. Since the store closes at 6, I thought we might run out for a quick pizza. Wrong. The first knitter arrived at 4:30. By 5 there were half a dozen people and by 6 there were about twenty.

When Stephanie began – at 7 – I don’t know how many people were there, but it was standing room only. Within moments, she had us all laughing and feeling warm and fuzzy like you expect to when you’re among your own, so to speak.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at Loop

With all the fun and excitement, I forgot to take pictures, so I’ve borrowed one from Christy. Thanks, Christy!

After Stephanie finished speaking, folks lined up to say hello and to have their books signed. Unlike the pictures, I did remember to get a book signed for myself. When everyone had left, we sat down and chatted before Stephanie headed off to her next gig.

It’s great to feel the kind of excitement that comes from a special guest, especially one who’s so enthusiastic about knitting. If you weren’t able to make it, Stephanie autographed a few extra copies of her new book Knitting Rules! which are available in the shop so you can be a part of the fun, too!

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fun with Ann and Kay

We had a great time with Ann and Kay last Friday night. They arrived with the moses basket full of projects from their book Mason Dixon Knitting. Everyone went wild as they displayed the pieces – including the original Mitered Square Blanket, the original Tailgate Rag Rug – on the table. We even saw the original Dragon Jacket and met its creator, Cristina Shiffman, a fellow Philadelphian.

Ann and Kay told us how they met and why they wrote the book. They read a short excerpt, then folks lined up to get their books signed. The night flew by as we ate, drank, and talked knitting and more knitting.

As we wished them well on their rest of their tour, I found myself already thinking about having them back. The night just went too quickly.