Well, hello there. Welcome to Loops. The one-and-only, new, consolidated, bigger, even better, even loopier Loops at 61st & Yale in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This store has been nearly 10 years in the making. We invent, we grow, we learn, we reinvent. We add more spinning, more play, more fun. We add more comfort, more […]
It takes a brave person to open their deepest, darkest secrets up to the public.
As I’m about to show you, Loops Troops member, Tracy is a very brave person.
In the spirit of National Knit in Public Week, I asked Tracy to share all of the projects she currently has on her needles. An admitted cast-on-aholic, Tracy has, shall we say, quite a few. But we know that sharing these may not only relieve some of the guilt you feel for having so many projects, but also inspire you to cast on something new! We’re sneaky like that. Mwahaha.
Now, here’s where it gets really dark and even more secret.
Next, in a moment of unprecedented courage (and perhaps just a little pressure from me), Tracy agreed to share photos of her stash. You know how you all feel so guilty about that one bin of unused yarn hiding in a closet or under your bed? Well, behold the stash of Tracy:
And these are her knitting books:
Plus a little more yarn on the top shelf:
Now, don’t you all feel just a little bit better? And don’t you all feel the need to cast on something new? Yeah, we thought so. And we know a couple of places you can find a great new project.
shop online at loopsknitting.com
Sixteen has always been my lucky number.
So when we were setting up for our Spring Hot Loops Party, and I started counting on my fingers how many Hot Loops Wall reveals we have had, and realized it was 16, I could’ve felt a little old. But instead, I decided to feel lucky.
Plus, there are 16 projects on the wall. Starting to feel like kizmet here.
And there’s the fact that the event was a sellout, yet again. Still more luck.
Then we started the runway fashion show, and Pat hit the red carpet in a trench coat to the song “Itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini.” She worked that runway like a pro, and opened her trench to reveal…a cute outfit with our new Meryl Vest. All to huge hoots and hollers from the crowd.
I had that familiar feeling that so often washes over me at Loops, surrounded by our crazy Loops Troops and all of our devoted customers and all of that luscious yarny goodness, and I knew it was going to be a very lucky night indeed.
Then Dana walked in wearing her Lanesplitter skirt, that she just finished as part of our Spring Knitalong Challenge.
And then I got to show all of these partygoers the results of more than six months of work, searching out the newest and best yarns, and finding or creating the very best patterns to show them off, and schlepping out to Cassidy’s new homestead on the edge of Osage County, fighting off ticks and styling outfit after outfit on the fly, and then photoshopping and cropping and writing and printing in a mad dash of just a few days to produce this:
And this and this.
These are the two daughters of Cassidy, photographer and Loops Trooper extraordinaire. Cora is 2, and Ava is 6, and they are modeling the same shrug. It’s an evolution of a classic Loops Original design by Holly McAlister, “Sophie’s Shrug,” reinvented in a new Classic Elite Yarn called Mesa. This cotton yarn is a wonder because not only is it soft and light, it has the look of an expensive kettle-dye or hand-dye without the hand-dye price tag. And the versatile design will grow with your munchkin from age 2 to around age 6 – a lot more mileage than the usual kid’s knit. Plus, just gaze upon these colors.
And then, when my poor husband-slash-designer-slash-photoshopper-slash-webmaster was nearly at the brink and ready to slash his wife, I asked him to get all the Hot Loops projects online (plus a few bonus projects), which he did. You can see them all here.
And finally, because I know exactly where the tip-tip-tipping point is, I asked him pretty pretty please to print out more photos so we could prepare another Hot Loops Wall for our South store customers. Which he did.
And then he slept for two days.
Did I mention how lucky I am?
shop online at loopsknitting.com
For those who’ve never been to our stores, the Hot Loops Wall is, literally, a wall of hot new projects. Years ago, before I started Loops, I was always bemoaning the fact that I could spend hours in a yarn store and leave without a great project. So I devised this grab-and-go system where you can see the project, the yarn, the knitted model and the photo all in one place.
We spend many months curating the best new yarns and projects for fall, then debut them all at once with a big party at our flagship store.
Then, we create a second wall at our South store.
Then (i.e. now, right this moment!), we start rolling out the projects online.
I first saw this project, the Array Cowl, at the Shibui booth at market in January. I was instantly smitten by the generous, oversize proportions and the simple slip stitch pattern, which is the easiest, cheater-pants way to do colorwork – perfect if you want to dip a toe in the water with your first multi-color project. This is the color combo of the model I saw at market.
And then, there was the chance to work with not one, but two fabulous, squishy Shibui yarns. Staccato is a luscious blend of merino and silk in a versatile fingering weight with subtle sheen.
Shibui Merino Alpaca is a round, bouncy worsted weight blend of superfine merino and baby alpaca fibers. Dense and warm, it knits up into a plush, cozy fabric with great stitch definition.
To shop the Array Cowl, click here. You need 3 skeins Merino Alpaca and 2 skeins Staccato (we’ll include a printout of the pattern free with yarn purchase).
Ruth was the Loops Troops member who knit up our sample in Natural Merino Alpaca and Lumen Staccato. Here’s what she said: “I loved working with both of the Shibui yarns. Love the feel of them and the end product was a nice thick cowl that would brighten any cold, gray fall day.”
“I worked on it at a family gathering. It is mindless knitting so I could knit while visiting with nieces and nephews. My older brother (who is a manly man – hunts, fishes, built his own boat!) felt the cowl and commented on how soft it was. He said, ‘That’s not that scratchy yarn!'”
See how manly he is?
Ruth adds this tip: “Remember to slip the stitches purlwise and always do so holding the yarn in back. Also, bind off very loosely!”
FYI, Shibui Merino Alpaca is also the yarn used in the Shift cowl by Larissa Brown that I featured in the Loops Scoop mid-September edition.
What a gorgeous project! You can have lots of fun picking out the 5 colors you need (1 skein each).
To shop Merino Alpaca to make a Shift cowl, click here. We’re happy to provide a copy of that pattern too with your purchase – just ask!
shop online at loopsknitting.com
Sometimes you just need what I call a sorbet knitting project. You know, a little something light to cleanse the palate between bigger courses.
I just got three big projects off my plate. This shawlette will be debuting soon as a new Loops exclusive kit:
And this top called “Nicole” was begun on our beach vacay, in Sublime Tussah Silk (pattern booklet and yarn both available here).
So yes, I needed a quick-and-easy project before I dive into my next big knitting adventure. I was working at the Utica store and my eye kept coming back to our big basket of Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon. I matched up a beautiful blue-and-silver with a ball of ubersoft Lang Estrella.
And wa to the la, a new cowl was born. Just look what it does for a plain grey T. Here’s the “before”:
And here are the “afters”:
And now…here is the free pattern!
Sorbet Ribbon Cowl
1 skein Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon
1 ball Lang Estrella
Size 13 needles
Cast on 14 sts with Estrella.
Knit 4 rows in Estrella.
Switch to Sari and *K1, wrap yarn 2 times around needle* across row, ending K1.
Next row, knit across in Sari, dropping the extra wraps that aren’t connected to a knit stitch.
Repeat this 6-row pattern 24 times. Knit 4 rows in Estrella and cast off. Cut 50 pieces of Sari, each about 12″ long, and use a crochet hook to create fringe along one side of the cowl. Use the darning needle to seam the ends of the scarf together, forming a loop. That’s it!
This Sorbet comes in many flavors. Here are some other good color combos.
For the sophisticate:
For the party girl:
For the girly girl:
Which one are you? I’ve been known to be all of them
Whirlwind really doesn’t begin to describe my last 72 hours.
I think I went to Columbus, Ohio with Gina for The National Needlearts Association convention. I think I was there for Loops, to buy awesome yarn and other cool stuff, but I was also there to meet with some clients of Branders Inc., our branding company. I think I brought my knitting, but aside from the first hour in the airport waiting to leave Tulsa, I barely had a chance to touch it. I think there was lots of very fast walking in 3″ heels and precious little sleep. And I think, when I got off the return flight to Tulsa feeling dizzy and fried, I somehow managed to go play a tennis match. (But I may have dreamed it.)
Here’s what I know.
I know we left for the airport at an absolutely unholy hour. Proof I can sleep with my eyes open:
I know we got to hang out with some really cool people, and got re-acquainted with some old friends (hey, Lobsterpot lady!).
|Amy from Knit Collage|
|Amy in a new beret|
|Gina with Julie from Cocoknits (she’s coming here in a few weeks and you really must meet her, she is so fun and brilliant!|
|Donna from Deep South Fibers, wearing a Habu piece|
I know we got some really fun display ideas.
|Something new coming from Blue Sky|
I know I can’t wait until these things come in, because I want to make them all.
|Truly, the softest yarn I have ever had the pleasure to touch – this will be on my needles very soon!|
|A new yarn from Rowan – fun and fast|
|That’s hot designer Josh Bennet in the background|
|Another project in the uber-soft yarn mentioned above|
|New design in Alchemy Tweedy – will be free with yarn purchase soon|
|Lovely Lobster lace|
I know that the world really, really doesn’t need sheep seat covers. It’s just a hundred ways wrong. (See, Billie Anne? I don’t buy everything at market).
And I know, now that I’m back in Tulsa, that summer has officially, mercilessly arrived.
Which means, all hail the beginning of summer indoor knitting season! And now that I’ve finished blogging, I think I’ll go do a little indoor knitting of my own. ‘Cause frankly, it’s all I’ve got the energy for.
Wait, where did I put my knitting again?