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Entries in Laura's Loop (60)

Friday
Mar162012

Laura's Loop: Men's Mini Herringbone Scarf

I have accumulated quite a bit of neckwear over the years. Some bright, some bulky, some sleek, lots ecru, but hands-down, what earns me the most compliments is my Big Herringbone Cowl, scooped off these pages of the Purl Bee!

It is undeniably wonderful. After making one for myself, I was hooked on herringbone. It creates a flat, woven-like fabric on one side while remaining quite lofty and full on the other. It has a fascinating texture with a hypnotizing rhythm, and its drape is just  beautiful. Considering this unique combination of characteristics, I had to have more herringbone!

My scarf counterpart to Whitney's cowl showcases a mini-herringbone pattern, bordered by slip stitch rib edges. To highlight the timelessness of herringbone, I knit this scarf with Swan's Island Worsted, a sumptuously soft organic wool inspired by the rugged traditions of coastal knitting. I hope you find this pattern as classic and handsome as Whitney's cowl is modern and chic!

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Sunday
Mar042012

Laura's Loop: Flannel Receiving Blankets


I'm starting to think that there is something in the water. Friends, left and right, are turning up pregnant. Thrilled with the good news, I've become a receivin'-blanket-makin' machine. No sooner am I done with one, then I am on to the next. With each blanket I find myself guessing baby names, picturing my friends in the role of 'Mom' and imagining the nervous excitement of the dads-to-be.

I am so happy sitting with this super soft flannel draped in my lap, hypnotized by the rhythm of crochet and the feeling of merino wool as it winds through my fingers. The soft touch of these remarkable materials soothes me in the same way I know it will the new babes!

While it is a pleasure to make these Receiving Blankets, it is an even greater joy to think of them in use. The foggy, warm stripes of Ecrulet's Flannel and the crisp, rich colors of Koigu's merino combine in such pretty harmony, that I can’t wait to see my friends’ littles bundles all wrapped up inside! 

Congrats to all those expecting! --Laura

PS: Check out Molly's Lap Duvets for more ideas on how to use Ecrulet’s magnificent Flannel Stripes!

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Sunday
Feb122012

Laura's Loop: Grecian Rib Scarf

Someone once told me, "If you aren't ready to rip it out, then you aren't ready to knit." Years later, I fully understand. Ripping things out, or rather the ability to rip things out, is one of the many reasons I love to knit. Another reason, which goes hand-in-hand, is that I never stop learning from knitting. And now, a quick tale of both...

Recently I was working on a project that was sure to be my favorite of the season. It was a vintage-inspired, fitted cardigan vest. I had worked out the shaping and paired it with a (new-to-me) handsome stitch I had just fallen in love with,  the Grecian Rib Stitch. I was sure the combination of the stitch with the cut couldn't be beat!  Oh, how wrong I was. 

The Grecian Rib Stitch slants... a lot... even after blocking. I finished the back of the vest, and suspicious, I rigorously blocked it, only to see my askew darts still pointing off toward the top left shoulder. What should have been somewhat of a rectangle turned out to be quite the rhombus. Needless to say, I started ripping. The good news: one, I learned the nuances of this lovely stitch, and two, the Grecian Rib Scarf was born.

The Grecian Rib Stitch lends itself beautifully to bias knitting, with softly textured ribs that move gracefully from one corner to the other. And for total elegance (and comfort!), I used Jade Sapphire's sumptuous Zaego 6-ply cashmere. It's so soft and beautiful, I felt lucky to use it, not just once, but twice!  

While it's no vest, this Grecian Rib Scarf makes me smile and is, in fact, a favorite of mine. Here's to ripping things out, may it be rare, but fruitful!

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Sunday
Jan292012

Laura's Loop: Heart and Arrow Pin Cushion


Every Valentine's Day, my sweet twanging Southern grandmother used to recite to me:  

"Up the Hickory, Down the Pine, 
Won't you be my Valentine?" 

As a child, I would picture Cupid's arrow, zipping around trees and through limbs, avoiding all obstacles to tag me with her love. After chanting this ditty, Amama would also remind me to treat every day like Valentine's Day, to be sweet and to let your loved ones know you care. This was always followed by a big ol' hug and a "Give me some suga'!"

This Valentine's Day I am sending arrows straight to my loved ones' hearts with my pretty Heart and Arrow PIncushion. This simple Valentine motif is made modern with a funky choice of colors, plucked from Sajou's classic collection of Retors Du Nord cotton embroidery floss. 

Useful, beautiful and meaningful, plus super quick and fun to make, you'll be spreading a whole lot of love this year! Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday
Jan192012

Laura's Loop: Father and Son Knit Ties

When it comes to gifts for my dad and brothers, I often find myself stumped. Thanks to Page's Rolled Hem Handkercheifs, their pockets are chock-full of squares; and thanks to years of knitting, their heads and feet are warmed by piles of hats and socks. In need of a new go-to gift, the Father Son Knit Ties were born! 

Now, my dad and brothers aren't fancy men, but they are gentlemen of the southern variety. They don't flinch at dressing up, and somehow even their "casual" is always quite pulled together. I think these chic and simple hand knit ties will be right at home with their refined style, dressing up jeans and a sweater or adding a kick to slacks and a blazer.
I made these ties with two gorgeous yarns, Koigu's Premium Merino and Anzula's Sebastian: one matte and one shiny for  textural complexity and both with a sophisticated polish that makes these ties special!  The Father's Tie is in reverse stockinette with a handsome stripe, and the Son's Tie is a sweet and easy Fair Isle pattern. Both are delightful to make, for dads and brothers or yourself! And, just in time for Valentine's Day!

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