Posts tagged ‘Extreme knitting’

Chocolate brown web feature
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Super chunky knit cowl or infinity scarf in a rich chocolate brown.

Extra bulky 100% fine pure new wool from Finland, very soft and warm.

Measures: 8 inches / 20 cm high, 44 inches / 112 cm circumference.

Original design, hand-knit in London.

Hand wash in cold water and mild soap only.

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Size Matters grey
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Super chunky knit cowl or infinity scarf in a lovely marl / heather grey color.

Extra-bulky 100% extra fine pure new wool from Finland, very soft and luxurious.

Measures: 8 inches / 20 cm high, 42 inches / 108 cm circumference.

Original design, hand-knit in London.

Hand wash in cold water and mild soap only.

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Size Matters mint 1

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Super chunky knit cowl or infinity scarf in a lovely mint green color.

Extra-bulky 100% extra fine merino wool, very soft and luxurious.

Measures: 8 inches / 20 cm high, 38 inches / 98 cm circumference.

Original design, hand-knit in London.

 

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Loopy Mango Big Loop cowl

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I had been eagerly waiting to start knitting my gigantic skein of Loopy Mango’s Big Loop Yarn Merino in dirty pink since my visit to their Manhattan shop last October. I wanted to make the most of it: savoring every stitch, taking a break every now and then for a kiss with my beautiful man. An exercise in delayed gratification, if you wish.

Then my mum came to visit. She is an extremely experienced knitter, but she had never worked with anything as chunky as the Big Loop… I couldn’t say no (none could say no to my mum). An evening of woolen adventure later, she had produced the coolest, warmest infinity scarf!

If you want to give it a try, you will need:

  • one skein of Loopy Mango’s Big Loop Yarn Merino, which is about 400 grams, and
  • a pair of US 50 / 25 mm circular needles. Circular needles are recommended because they are lighter and considerably easier to use than normal ones of the same size. However, this scarf is not knit in the round. Simply turn the work at the end of each row, as you would with normal needles.

Loopy Mango’s Eternity Cowl pattern suggests to cast four stitches, but you can pump up the volume and cast five.
Knit all, turning your needles at the end of each row, until you have about 80 cm of yarn left.
Cast off. You should have a rectangle of approximately 220 x 15 cm.
Fold the rectangle in half and join the shorter sides to make a loop.
Enjoy!

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If the word ‘knitting’ conjures up images of auntie Sally’s itchy acrylic yarn and plastic yellow needles, think again. Modern knitting is all about precious natural fibers, softly tactile textures and stylish designs. Here’s the definitive guide to the perfect Christmas present for the cool, creative knitters in your life.

©The Wool Company

©The Wool Company

1. The Wool Company luxury DK 100% cashmere yarn

This is the yarn equivalent of angel’s breath: 100% cashmere yarn, undyed and untreated, in a wonderful DK (double knitting) weight. Spun (mainly) in Italy for The Wool Company, a family-run business in Cornwall.
(£19.80 for 50 grams, plus postage, The Wool Company website).

©Kelly Connor

©Kelly Connor

2. Kelly Connor Designs knitting project bag

Forget about chintzy flowers. Kelly Connor, an artist based in Aberdeen, Scotland, makes quirky tote knitting bags with funky slogans, perfect to show off on public transport. I like big balls and I cannot lie (remember Sir Mix-A-Lot?) is my tongue-in-cheek favourite.
(£13.75 plus postage, Etsy)

©karoArt

©karoArt

4. KaroArt’s Yellow Stars Knitting Yarn Bowl

KaroArt’s stoneware clay knitting bowl matches the star at the top of the Christmas tree! Unglazed and beautifully textured on the outside, brightly yellow glazed on the inside, it has a comet-shaped slot for threading the yarn through and a star-shaped opening on the rim to support the knitting needles. Handmade in Dublin, Ireland.
(£30.16 plus postage, Etsy)

©Cotton&Cloud

©Cotton&Cloud

4. Cotton & Cloud’s Maku Wrap Cardi pattern

Looking for something as elegant as a kimono and as warm as an Aran jumper? Kyoko Nakayoshi is a London-based Japanese knitting designer who blends Japanese and Western aesthetics in innovative ways. Her textured and delicate knitting patterns are available on her website, Cotton & Cloud, as well as in books and magazines in the United Kingdom and the United States.
(£3.50, downloadable online, Cotton & Cloud website)

©SixSkeins

©SixSkeins

5. SixSkeins’ Sugar skull stitch markers

There are many stitch markers out there, but not as spooky and cute as these ones! Sugar skulls are votive figurines, traditionally used in Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead. This set of five stitch markers (the little hooks or rings used to mark specific stitches in a pattern) is handmade in England from small glass beads and lightweight paper beads. It fits all sizes of knitting needles up to 10mm (US 15).
(£5.00 plus postage, Etsy)

©Johan Ku

©Johan Ku

6. Mary Ward Centre Extreme Knitting Course

This is where I will be from next January and I am truly excited! Suitable for beginners, this course aims at exploring alternative materials and scales in knitting. You will get to use giant knitting needles, make knitting devices of your own and work with non-traditional materials including rope, wire and plastic.
In the photo: Johan Ku’s Emotional Sculpture, 2004.
(£87 for six three-hour classes at the Mary Ward Centre, London)

©Search Press Ltd

©Search Press Ltd

7. The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth Lovick

If you have never tried lace knitting before, make this an aspirational buy… Shetland’s lace stitches, with names like ‘Crest of the Wave’, ‘Razor Shell’ and ‘Cat’s Paw’, have been used by the women of the Northern Isles for hundreds of years. This book by Elizabeth Lovick, the Scottish designer behind Northern Lace, introduces the ethereal beauty and intricacy of Shetland lace knitting with stitches, techniques, and projects for lighter-than-air shawls, scarves, hats and more.
(Search Press Ltd, £10.34 on Amazon)

©Hélène Magnússon

©Hélène Magnússon

8. Knitting trip to Iceland

Iceland is a wonderful place with a great knitting tradition (you can buy yarn at the supermarket!). These tours, a collaboration between Icelandic designer Hélène Magnússon and Icelandic Mountain Guides, mix knitting with the beautiful Icelandic nature. Participants explore the island hiking, trekking or by short walks and meet local knitters, spinners, dyers, designers and farmers.
(from 155.000 ISK, about £790.00, for a 4-day tour)

©Lantern Moon

©Lantern Moon

9. Lantern Moon Rosewood Needles

Every knitter deserves some truly scrumptious tools! Lantern Moon knitting needles are handmade in Vietnam by skilled craftspeople. Their distinctive design combines two fine woods to make the most beautiful and functional knitting needles available. Rosewood needles have ebony tops in the thinner sizes and palm wood tops in the thicker sizes. Available in the UK from Knit with Attitude and Loop.
(£15.00 plus postage from Knit with Attitude)

©Vogue Knitting

©Vogue Knitting

10. Vogue Knitting one year subscription

Although there are millions of patterns online, often available for free, sometimes it is just nice to cosy up with some good old glossy paper magazine. Vogue Knitting is a monthly knitting bible – as stylish as its fashion sister, minus the Devil Wears Prada chief editor.
(One year subscription, 5 issues: 27.97$ in the US; £58.02 in the UK)

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LM wall of wonders website 2 Loopy Mango is an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful and unusual clothes, linens, blankets, antiques and lifestyle items in the heart of Soho, Manhattan. Its greatest feature, though, and the reason to make it a destination of any visit to New York, is a red brick wall stacked floor-to-ceiling with the chunkiest merino wool.

Big Loop Yarn is a 100% merino yarn, sourced, dyed and spun in the United States, especially developed for chunky knits. One skein (40 oz, approx. 120 yards or 110 meters) knits up in just 2-3 hours with size 50 (25 mm) needles and will make a 28” x 40” (71 cm x 101 cm) blanket. It comes in a variety of natural and vibrant colors, including ivory, oatmeal, pink, red and grey.

Russian Anna and Korean Waejong started Loopy Mango to develop their own yarn and hand knit products. The idea of the Big Loop Yarn came from their knitting classes: Anna and Waejong wanted to offer absolute beginners satisfying designs that could be completed in the time of a knitting class. Because the Big Loop Yarn and needles are oversize, beginners could better see and understand the stitches’ movements.

According to the lovely Loopy Mango people, even advanced knitters will knit faster and make fewer mistakes on the Big Loop Yarn than on smaller yarn and needles. Free patters are available on the Loopy Mango website and you can watch several video tutorials on YouTube.

Before starting planning how to fit all of this wonderful wool into your suitcase (I went for a pink Eternity Cowl scarf kit) have a look also at the rest of the Loopy Mango shop: among others, they stock delightful Pagewood Farm feathers and puffs yarn. Loopy Mango deliver worldwide and have stockists in several countries.

 Here is how I did with Loopy Mango’s Big Loop yarn and 25 mm circular needles!

LM logoLoopy Mango
78 Grand St.

New York, NY 10013
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