« November 2010 | | January 2011 »

Posts from December 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.


Ida's Kitchen

I was a child of the 1970's. My friends' homes usually had wood paneling, shag carpeting & naugahyde recliners in shades called avocado, rust or harvest gold. My best friend's mom, Ida, embraced this aesthetic with enthusiasm. We sat on harvest gold upholstered kitchen chairs as we sipped our Tab and ate cold lasagna out of pyrex casserole dishes that we'd found in the avocado fridge. The linoleum floor coordinated with the wall paper which had a stripe in the same shade as the trim-line phone.

That 70's Hat 1
Inspired by Ida's color palette I went in search of the yarns for this hat. Luckily Blue Sky Alpacas offers a good range in their Melange and Sport Weight lines (both are the same weight and put up so they mix together nicely). I spent a few very happy hours at Angelfire Studios pulling skeins of each color off the shelf, discussing options with visitors to the shop.

Ida in Florence
I had so much fun making the first hat that I had to make a second. I think my love of color is well documented and I do have two daughters to keep happy after all. I'd love to show you the second, made with 7 lovely shades of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, but unfortunately the hat is sitting in lost luggage which is probably somewhere between New York and Rome. I meant to get a photo of it on our Christmas trip to Florence but was too distracted by that beautiful city to think about photo shoots. Luckily IJK wore the Blue Sky version often so it appears frequently in the photos from our trip.

Ida on the Street in Florence
I promise photos of the Berroco hat if our bags ever find their way home.

Ida in Tuscany
Ida's Kitchen

Sizes: One Size

Measurements: 20”circumference at brim,will fit up to 24” head, 10” deep

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Melange & Sport Weight; 100% Baby Alpaca; 110 yrds/100m per 50 g skein *since each color requires significantly less than one skein I have given yardage and weight rather than number of skeins for the colors below.

Color A: Melange #800 “Cornflower”, 44 yds - 20g, Color B: Melange #806 “Salsa”, 40 yds - 18g,   Color C: Melange #802 “Pesto”, 40 yds - 18g, Color D: Sport Weight #514 “Pale Aqua”, 35 yds - 16g, Color E: Sport Weight #536 “Citron”, 35 yds - 16g, Color F: Melange #813 “Pomegranate”, 22 yds - 10g, Color G: Melange #807 “Dijon”, 22 yds - 10g

Gauge: 21 sts & 28 rows = 4”/10cm on larger needles. in Chevron Pattern, blocked

Needles: 1 set of 5 US 6/4mm DPN’s 1 set of 5 US 8/5mm DPN’s or size to obtain gauge

Other Materials: 8 place markers, tapestry needle

Price: $6.00 US

T Shirts & Libraries

TNWN Printing
My home sometimes doubles as a tshirt factory. The day before Thanksgiving IJK and I screen printed about a hundred tshirts for Anders & Sofie's band The NowhereNauts.

TNWN Tshirt Factory
They had a show at the Mercury Lounge  that week and as is too often the case in this house, we had waited until the last minute to print the shirts.

TNWN Tshirt

The show went well, although poor Sofie had a fever of 103 the day before. She is a trooper that one. She sang her heart out and most in the audience had no clue that she was sick.  About a week or so later the kids were thrilled to have their band featured on the ModCloth Blog. Sofie was beyond excited since she spends a good bit of time drooling over the goodies on ModCloth.


In other news, I will be at the New York Public Library this Saturday, December 18 along with Melissa Wehrle for a knitting event, Handmade Crafternoon: Emerging Designers' Knitting Circle. It should be a fun day of knitting & chatting so if you are in NYC please come and join us.

Now I'm off in this fridgid winter wind to take Sofie to her vocal lesson. Good thing I've got a few handknits to keep me warm.



Several months ago Kate from Dragonfly Fibers sent two skeins of her Djinni Sock yarn in the most extraordinary color - "Heroine". From the moment I opened the package I knew they had to become something special. Unfortunately, I was unable to accurately depict the color in these photos. In reality it is much more plum than wine.

Coleus 1

(I know, I know, this photo is a little blurry - blame it on my bad eyes - but I like it anyway.)

As soon as time allowed I set to work trying to design something worthy of Kate's lovely yarn. Semi-circular shawls have been a favorite of mine lately. For evidence of this see the  Moody Kerchief & the Snow Drops & Snap Peas Shawl. I find them easy to wear and a versatile shape for design. As I sat listening to the dean of my son's university speak at parent's day, suddenly the idea for this shawl popped into my mind. Out came my notebook where I drew sketches and wrote down my thoughts.  I wonder if the dean thought I was diligently taking notes on everything she said.

  Coleus 2

As often happens when I am inspired by a new design, I knit this up in a matter of two or three days. It is so hard to put down the needles when you are excited about a project - and the deep rich color of this yarn certainly didn't help matters. I was obsessed.

The Coleus shawl is worked from the top edge in garter stitch, it increases outward to the lace border. The leaf lace pattern creates a gently scalloped bottom edge.

Coleus 4
Karen and Stacey kindly stepped in to test knit - thank you both so much! Have you seen the amazing things Stacey makes with handspun? Inspired by her I thought this shawl might work up nicely in handspun yarn so I sent her a skein of mine to work with. She'll post photos after the holidays.

Coleus 3

Coleus Shawl

Sizes: One Size

Finished Measurements: 64” across top edge, 24” from top edge to base of curve

Yarn: Approximately 600 yards fingering weight yarn.
The sample shown used Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock, 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 450 yds per 4 oz skein. Color: Heroine, 2 skeins.  (I used about 1/3 of the second skein)

Gauge: 19 sts & 36 rows = 4”/10cm in garter stitch, blocked.

Needles: 1 set of US 7/ 4.5 mm or size to obtain gauge.

Other Materials: tapestry needle, 12 place markers (PM)

The pattern has both charted and written instructions for the lace border.

Price: $6.00 US