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Entries in Laura's Loop (60)

Sunday
Jun092013

Laura's Loop: Rib-Wise Tank

"It’s tank top season y'allllllll!!!!!!!” This was recently yelled in my direction by a peppy pilates instructor who I think would have rather been teaching a 90s hip-hop sculpt class. As my arms began to burn, I bristled at the proclamation, but once in the comfort and security of my couch, knitting needles in hand, I had to admit that she was right. It IS tank top season, y’all.
This simple Rib-Wise Tank is just right for the season with a bit of room to breathe but not so much that you’re weighed down in the heat. Ribbing along the sides, straps and between the shoulder blades creates subtle shaping and streamlining, while Anzula’s beautiful new Milky Way offers a soft shine, a slight drape and a cool touch.
You know, I learned something else that day at the gym… It’s SHORTS season y’alllllll!!!! But don’t worry, I need to spend a lot more time in the gym before you see knit shorts from me! -Laura

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Thursday
May092013

Laura's Loop: Salt and Pepper Cowl

At Purl Soho we have a customer who, no matter the season, breezes into the store draped in the most meticulously combined textures layered to perfection and always, I mean always, in neutrals from head to toe. She makes one color feel like a rainbow with her play of hues and shades, textures and cuts. This woman, she can really wear gray.
This lovely fashionista was on my mind when I coupled this dynamic duo of yarns. One, Habu’s Viscose Sizing, a crisp, stark white ribbon wrapped in a delicate black thread. The other, Alchemy’s Haiku, a gorgeous hand-dyed silk and mohair blend with a downy glow.
As with our customer’s ensembles, the Salt and Pepper Cowl is an in-depth exploration of tactility and versatility. The ends are ribbed pulling both yarns, contrasting with the nearly weightless body of the cowl, which is knit in a smooth single row stripe. A slit at one end can be worn at the top, folded over like a collar. Or flip the cowl over and wear the slit draping over a shoulder for some extra length, drama and jaunty asymmetry.
Thank you, chic, beautiful customer of ours, for the inspiration. You’re one of so many who exhilarate our senses every day! --Laura

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Sunday
Apr282013

Laura's Loop: Knit Tote

I don’t know if it’s just a New York thing, but it seems as though the appearance of muslin tote bags is as sure a sign of spring as blooming flowers and chirping birds. 

As the wintery skies lift and coats are shed, so too are those heavy leather bags. So in true New York spring fashion, I started digging around for my freshest, cleanest tote, and as I often do, I wondered how it was I didn’t have a knit version of this object, this thing I love and use every time the sun shines!

I dressed up this simple sack with Louet’s Euroflax, a naturally chic 100% linen yarn. This hearty, elegant linen pairs perfectly with Tunisian stitch for a gently textured fabric with a whole lot of simple grace. Use this pretty Knit Tote for your shades and a lipstick or even for the early spring peas and radishes you’ll be grabbing at the market.

There’s still a bit of bite in the air here in New York, but I am yearning for the warmth and levity of spring. As soon as I can, I’ll be rocking a tote bag, just like so many of my neighbors! -Laura

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Wednesday
Apr102013

Laura's Loop: Knit T-Shirt

I recently learned that the first T-shirt was born in the 19th century when someone decided to cut in half his one-piece union suit, the undergarment of choice in those days. To the wielder of those scissors, I say thank you.

Since then, the T-shirt has become a truly universal garment. From its beginnings as an undershirt for miners, farmers, longshoremen, and troops to its celebrity-inspired mass appeal as the uniform of cool (a la Marlon Brando, James Dean, even Marilyn Monroe), the T-shirt has always fit right in.

Every modern decade has integrated the T-shirt into its trends. Sure, slight alterations have been made here and there (in the 80s it was all off-the-shoulder Flashdance; in the 90s it was all down-to-the-thighs Snoop Dogg ), but it always comes back to the basic, ever-so-classic, white, "T"-shaped shirt.

While of course T-shirts are typically made of cotton, I couldn't resist the brillant white and lustrous sheen of Habu's fingering weight 100% Bamboo. It's magically cool to the touch and has a drape that's both casual and elegant. I also couldn't resist adding my own little alteration: an optional breast pocket that provides an opportunity for a POP of color, knit here in Koigu's intensely saturated hand-dyed Koigu Premium Merino.

I know I'll wear this piece for years, since there's no chance of it going out of fashion. Perhaps one day paired with jeans, the next with a long, flowing, fanciful skirt. The T-shirt, it's lasted the test of time, it knows no bounds! -Laura

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Sunday
Mar172013

Laura's Loop: The Sweatshirt Sweater

I grew up wearing a school uniform, which, for me, turns out to be a hard habit to kick. Some people seem to totally reject their childhoods of forced attire, opting for recklessly eclectic wardrobes. But I can't fight it; I'm a uniform kid, through and through.

I am sure you'll be relieved to read I am no longer sporting ill-fitting plaid jumpers, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I'm not in my own personal uniform. Lately, it's been dark-wash Levi's paired with some form of a baseball T or an athletic-gray sweatshirt. Naturally, I need handknit interpretations of these basics! I accomplished the first this past autumn when I stitched up the Everyday Linen Raglan. And now, I'm happy to add a thicker, cozier, woolier version to my collection... the Sweatshirt Sweater!
The Sweatshirt Sweater is my new go-to garb, spacious enough for underlayers and soft enough to go without. It's knit in Swans Island 100% organic merino, a beautiful light worsted yarn that evokes a natural refinement. I'll be in this uniform for these last snowy days of March, all the way through the crisp nights of spring!
Spoiler alert: as the seasons change, so does my uniform, so keep your eye out for some more knit basics in the months to come!

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