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Entries in Laura's Loop (55)

Thursday
Mar202014

Laura's Loop: Purl Soho's Cardigan Vest

A light bulb more than went off when Whitney (yes, of Whit’s Knits) walked into our Bee meeting and proclaimed, “I’d make that vest!” I was trying on the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat mid-project, pre-sleeves, when Whitney pointed out that there was a vest pattern not so stealthily hiding in my coat pattern. Honestly, I was so focused on the sweater coat of my dreams that I hadn’t stopped to notice the sweater vest of my dreams!

In my defense, it was September when I made the Purl Soho Cardigan Coat; sleeves seemed smart at the time. But it’s six months later and signs of spring’s arrival are finally appearing. And so, rather than unravel the sleeves of my sweater, I thought a re-knit was in order. (Plus, for my vest I needed less room for layers and decided to go down a size for a more snug fit!)

Like the Cardigan Coat, the Cardigan Vest is made of Purl Soho’s delightfully soft and springy Worsted Twist merino wool. This time I used Oyster Gray, a luminescent neutral color, perfect for pairing with just about anything! -Laura 

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Sunday
Mar022014

Laura's Loop: Arctic Wrap

My mom and I have a deal. Every Christmas she gives me an IOU for a class I’d like to take, and in return, I share with her what I learn. Over the years I’ve taken quilting classes, Italian, calligraphy, weaving, machine knitting, the list goes on… What will this year’s class be you ask?!?! Indigo dyeing!

I picture this class in a flower-filled garden or a breezy field (proof, I suppose, that I’ve grown very tired of winter). While I wait to find this perfect springtime class, my imagination fills with inky blues and seeping dyes, and so, I decided to translate the as-of-yet unknown art of indigo dyeing into something I do know… knitting. And since this polar winter is seemingly endless, it feels just right for right now! 

For my Arctic Wrap I used Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist merino in the color Heirloom White as a constant backdrop and Purl Soho’s Alpaca Pure for beautiful, shifting color. In a basic 1 stitch x 1 stitch Fair Isle pattern, the blooming halo of Alpaca Pure hovers over the smooth finish of Worsted Twist, highlighting the textural difference and softening the pixilated stitches into a gorgeous knit translation of a dip-dyed fabric. 

Working on this generously sized wrap has kept me cozy warm as I daydream about my indigo dyeing class, the sun on my cheeks, my fingers stained deep blue. Are any of you chronic class takers? What are you most curious about lately? Whatever it is, I hope it inspires you to create… maybe even this Arctic Wrap! -Laura

PS: You can get all of the yarn you'll need for this wrap with Purl Soho's Yarn for Arctic Wrap kit!

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Sunday
Feb162014

Laura's Loop: The Purl Soho Friendly Fair Isle Sweater

Being partial to lore and a sucker for furry creatures with power, each year leading up to Groundhog’s Day I wonder what Punxsutawney Phil will predict. And each year, I am conflicted. Do I want the warmth and light that come with an early spring, or do I want six more weeks of winter cold so I can keep knitting with gloriously thick and wooly yarns?

Well, my ambivalence didn’t stop Phil from deciding. His decree: six more weeks of winter. But fear not, those who’ve grown weary of windburn, this Friendly Fair Isle Sweater is for you! Not only is it cuddly warm for an enduring winter season, but this punchy sweater also spreads the brightness and cheer of spring. And just in case Punxsutawney Phil’s meteorological skills aren’t quite on point this year, the Friendly Fair Isle is such a fun, quick knit, you’ll be weaving in your ends long before that early spring arrives!

I designed this no-fuss pullover with a classic cut and a raglan sleeve shoulder. And for speed and coziness, I used Purl Soho’s aptly named Super Soft Merino. The colors, I picked purposely to pop out like spring’s first flower buds peeking through the earth.

Since Phil is as unpredictable as the weather itself, I’m glad that this year I have my bases covered, a toasty sweater for winter, done well before spring… no matter when it comes!

For more information about the Friendly Fair Isle Sweater, please read below. And for the full pattern, please click here. -Laura

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Sunday
Feb022014

Laura's Loop: The Boyfriend Hat

In Levis, flannel button downs, canvas sneakers, and grandpa cardigans, a friend of mine and I used to laugh that rather than dressing for the boys we wished we were dating, we dressed like the boys we wished we were dating. And the funniest part was that despite our different taste in men, somehow our fantasies of their wardrobes were identical. Some things are for the everyman and, as it turns out, for the everywoman too.

I designed the Boyfriend Hat with the versatility of any timeless article of clothing. Man or woman, wear it slouchy or cuffed. Pull it down taut or let it hover above the ears. Cuff it twice for a Wes Anderson style watchman cap.

Knit up with two different colored strands of Purl Soho’s Line Weight merino, the effect is gently marled and toasty warm. In a tight 1 x 1 rib, this hat is also exceptionally elastic and durable, hugging the head and feeling decadently soft, even through winter’s wear and tear.

The Boyfriend Hat is the hat you wish he had so you could steal it from him. Or is it the hat you have that he wants to steal from you? I don’t know… Just make two. -Laura

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Thursday
Jan232014

Laura's Loop: Garter Ear Flap Hat

This Garter Ear Flap Hat was an engineering feat to get me back on my feet. You see, I didn’t exactly have that quintessential fresh-start feeling that so often comes with the New Year. Instead, I spent January 1st in bed with the flu and its attendant fever, aches, chills, and delirium. Just as the worst was passing, Mother Nature blasted us with a Polar Vortex that I did not have the strength nor will to face.

Cabin fever set in! Groggy from illness and stir-crazed from quarantine, I was determined to prove my health (and sanity), and so, making this hat became a triumphant product of my bruised spirit. I created this hat that simultaneously hangs on and hugs my head, which provides protection and insulation from a season that had been beating me down.

Still enamored with the ease of working short rows in garter stitch (as with my Knit Elbow Patches), I constructed this hat in one seamless piece using Purl Soho’s soft and lush Alpaca Pure. The more I knit with this incredibly comforting yarn, the better I felt. And the topper made it official. Slightly pointed with a tiny tassel, the finish delivered cheer and whimsy. I was back to my healthy self!

With my head toasty warm and back in full heath, that fresh-start feeling did arrive… just a little late this year. A belated Happy New Year to all! May it be a healthy one. -Laura

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