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Posts from September 2009

What I've Learned While Touring College Campuses

The Lad is eager to join a team.

Squishy and Slouchy

That's the way my girls seem to like their hats these days.  In a fit of "I-need-some-instant-gratification-knitting" last week I made two new hats.  They are both based on the same stitch pattern with a few changes from one to the other. 

Laurie's Beret #4

The first one is made with Farmhouse Yarns, Andy's Merino II.  It is a lovely, squishy, delicious yarn that comes in a wide range of equally appealing colors.  

Laurie's Beret #5

Laurie's Beret

The second was made with Knit Picks Gloss HW.  This is a really nice Merino/Silk at a very good price.  You can't really see it in these photos, but the yarn has a lovely luster from the silk.

Laurie's Beret #1

I'll be tweaking the pattern and knitting this one more time.  There are a few little details I'd like to improve on before I release it. 

Now for the fun part - digging through the stash for a yarn to knit the third hat with.  I always discover something I'd forgotten I had when I do that.

The kids have a day off from school today, so the "Lad" and I will continue our quest to find the perfect college for him.  Although we think we may have found it on our outing on Friday, it doesn't hurt to see a few more.  (Is it me or are colleges much nicer than they were back in the dark ages when I went to school?)

So, who's going to Rhinebeck this year?  I'll be there on Sunday.  If you see me, say "hi".

Another Mystery Sock!

Yarn Cake, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

It's time to wind all of your sock yarn into pretty little yarn cakes. Socktoberfest is one week away!

After a bit of gentle nudging from the kind folks who visit the Through the Loops group on Ravelry, I've decided to do another Mystery Sock KAL again this year.

I sat down to swatch on Monday, and a day and a half later I had a sock. I hope it's as much fun to knit as it was to design.

The first clue will go up here on my blog on Thursday, October 1 at 9 am (ish). I hope you join us!



The pattern is free. It will be offered in 5 parts: the cuff, the leg, the heel, the foot and the toe. I will post a new part here on my blog every Thursday during the month of October.

The pattern is worked in fingering weight yarn. I used Schaefer Yarns Nichole for the original design. (By the way, this stuff is really lovely to work with and the semi solid colorways show patterning really nicely.)

I worked the sample on a US #2 (2.75mm) needle. Relaxed the sock measures 6” it will stretch to fit 9.5”.

My gauge is 29 sts=4” (10cm) in stockinette.

My sock used a 64 stitch cast on. I will try to adapt it for 68 sts & 60 sts. But I can’t make any promises until I play with the charts a bit.

I will offer both charts and written instructions for the stitch patterns.

There will be prizes. The winner(s) will be chosen from a random drawing of those who complete their pair by the end of November. More details to follow.

That’s all I can think of for now.

Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the "Joy of Sox" contest.  You all have some great plans for Autumn knitting.  Since today is the last full day of summer, it seems an appropriate day to announce the winners of the contest.

Oh Hai

(A cutie from the Garden State Sheep Breeder's Festival that my girls and I attended on the 13th.)

I used a random number generator to pick one grand prize winner and 5 second place winners.  I have sent emails to all of the winners, but I haven't heard back from all of you yet. Please check your spam folders.  If I haven't heard from all of the winners by Friday 9/25 I will redraw numbers to give away the remaining prizes.  Now without further ado the winners:

Grand Prize:  a copy of the new book "The Joy of Sox"
#24 Jackie Fisher (blogless)

Second place winners:  A Through the Loops pattern of their choice
# 57 LaVerna
#138 Kathode Ray Tube
#164 Ayako (blogless)
#206 Cheryl (blogless)
#213 Erika (Ravelry link)

Ulmus Rectangle

Thanks for your patience.  The rectangular version of my Ulmus pattern is finally ready.


The pattern is written for three sizes ranging from a scarf sized 11" wide to a generous 24" wide shawl. The length is easily customized, my sample shawl is 24x68" and instructions are given for working the 68" length.  I used most of two skeins of the MC (STR Lightweight in Mossay) for that size. 

Ulmus Rectangle 1

After getting a few requests from knitters who are uncomfortable with charts, I decided to do both written and charted instructions for this pattern.  You will also find instructions on a version of this shawl with fringe in place of the lace border for a more casual look.  (I personally love a bit of sassy fringe.)

RU Med 6

This lovely version was knit by test knitter Andrea.  Thanks Andrea!  Hers is worked in Koigu KPPPM and Spud and Chloe Fine.  Andrea made the medium size, although hers is a little smaller than the measurements on the pattern since the yarns are a bit finer than STR.

Ulmus Rectangle 8

I really like the versatility of a rectangular shawl.  It may be worn scarf-like as pictured above or as a wrap.  I know we'll be wearing ours quite a bit this fall and winter.

Ulmus Rectangle 4

Ulmus 10

RU Med 5

Ulmus Rectangle

Sizes:  S, M, L

Finished Measurements: 11[14, 24]” x 68” (or desired length)

Needles:  US 5 (3.75mm) or size to obtain gauge.

Gauge:  20 stitches = 4”(10cm) in slipped stitch pattern “Body Chart”.  Be sure to block your swatch!

Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight, 100% Superwash Merino, 360 yrds/329m per 4.5 oz/127g Skein. 

MC:  Mossay 1(2,2) skeins. 

CC:  Blue Moonstone 1(1, 2)  skeins

Additional Materials: 

Crochet Hook Size 4mm

Tapestry needle

Scrap yarn (cotton yarn in a weight similar to the project yarn works best.)

Place Markers

Ulmus Rectangle on Ravelry

Price:  $6.00 US

Now Available: Pattern Bundles

Just in time for holiday knitting, I've created bundles of my hat patterns and my mitten patterns.  There are 4 bundles so far, Hat Bundle #1, Hat Bundle #2, Mitten Bundle #1 & Mitten Bundle #2.  (Really creative names, huh?)  The bundles have either three or 4 patterns in each and there is a savings over purchasing the patterns individually.  All of the patterns are still available separately. 


Through the Loops Hat Bundle # 1
contains Joni, Dorothea & Naragansett.

If purchased separately these three pattens would be $18.00 as a bundle they are $15.00.


Through the Loops Hat Bundle # 2
contains Lisa and Katie's Berets, Empire & Sikkim.

If purchased separately these three pattens (four if you count Lisa's and Katie's Berets as 2) would be $18.00 as a bundle they are $15.00.


Through the Loops Mitten Bundle # 1
contains Breathe Deep, Gallus, Genmaicha & All the Water.

If purchased separately these four pattens would be $24.00 as a bundle they are $20.00.


Through the Loops Mitten Bundle # 2
contains Reykjavik, Clematis & Furrow.

If purchased separately these three pattens would be $18.00 as a bundle they are $15.00.

Coming soon:  Rectangular Ulmus (by tomorrow morning, I promise), shawl bundles, sock bundles.

Blame the Patient


Blame the Patient, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

I think I've mentioned once or twice here that two of my kids, the lad and DD#2, are in a band. "Blame the Patient" has been together for just under 2 years. It's been amazing to watch them grow as individuals, musicians and as a band in that time.

Last night they played at the Bell House in Brooklyn. They were incredible! (Could that last statement be laced with a bit of mother's pride?)

The kids spent the last few weeks of August recording their first album. From the mixes that I've heard I think it's going to be pretty great. They will be uploading some of the mixes as they are ready on their Myspace page. I think one, "The Clapping Song", is already up there. The other songs you'll hear there are older recordings of theirs.

What an amazing experience the past two years have been for these 5 kids. The band members ages range from 15-18. I am so thankful to think of the opportunities that they have had through their music at such a young age. From the confidence and poise that live performance has given them, to developing their creative skills through song writing, to learning to work collaboratively with their band members, not to mention the time spent in studios working at a professional level with recording engineers I am certain that they have developed skills that they will draw on throughout their lives whether they choose to follow a career path in music or not.

And now for a PSA. Support music and arts in your local school system. The skills and opportunities these programs bring to kids are equal to and enhance those that they get in math, science, language arts and history.

Sikkim the Second

Thanks for all of your kind comments on the Joy of Sox book, Golden Dahlia and the Make-Up Socks.  I'm thrilled that you like the designs.  You have until 9/15 to enter the contest.

Sikkim II Front

The Sikkim hat, which I designed and knit last fall, has been IJK's favorite since that time.  Even in the summer months she often wore it.  Last week while we were visiting our friend Justine in her store, Angelfire Studios, IJK decided it was time for another Sikkim in a new colorway.  I'm not one to refuse an excuse for an impulse yarn purchase, so I agreed.

Sikkim II Back

IJK chose three shades of Koigu KPM in a bold orange, a dark brown and a medium blue with the slightest hint of green.  These are colors that it would never have occurred to me to put together, but I love the result.  IJK has a really unique and fearless color sense.  I think I'll have her choose colors for me more often in the future.  We took a little trip to DC over the weekend to visit a few colleges.  This afforded me just the right amount of travel knitting time to finish the hat.  You will find more details on the hat on Ravelry.

The kiddos went back to school yesterday.  "The Lad" is a senior (how did that happen so fast?) and my girls are sophomores.  Last night they were already swamped with homework.  I don't remember it being this demanding when I was in HS. 

I hope to get back to posting to this blog a little more often, but with the college search in full swing I'm not sure it will be as often as I'd like.  (I've got to save a little time for actual knitting after all.)

Secret Knitting Revealed: The Joy of Sox

Joy of Sox Pairs

I finally get to reveal to you two pairs of socks that I designed back in the spring of '08 for Lark Books.  I was thrilled to learn that they chose both of the patterns that I submitted   for 9781600592850L[2] the recently published Joy of Sox, by Linda Kopp.  Don't let the kitschy title fool you, this book is filled with wonderful patterns for all levels.  You can see many of them on Ravelry.  The book is filled with more than 30 new designs by a host of talented designers.  I am humbled to have my designs included with all of them. 

The publishers have given me an extra copy of "Joy of Sox" to give to one of my readers.  Just leave a comment on this post and let me know what your fall knitting plans are.  I'll use a random number generator to pick one person who will win the book and five others who will each win a Through the Loops pattern of their choice.

ETA:  Hmmmm, it might be helpful to have a deadline for this contest.  How about a week from today, 9/15 at midnight eastern time.

Make Up Socks 2

Make-Up Socks  (Pages 67-71)

Yarn:  I used Shibui Knits' Sock in color #S1395 Honey

Needles:  US1 (2.25mm)

More info on Ravelry.

Golden Dahlia 3

Golden Dahlia (Pages 156-159)

Yarn:  I used Koigu KPM in color #2100

Needles:  US1 (2.25mm)

On Ravelry.

Sneak Peek

Ulmus 12, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

The pattern for the rectangular version of Ulmus is almost ready. I can see already that I'll be wearing this one a lot this fall.  More photos on Ravelry.

Pictured is the largest size which is approx 24x68". I used 2 skeins each of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock lightweight in Moonstone and Mossay.

We're off to look a colleges with the lad. Hope every one in the US has a wonderful Labor Day!