Thursday, September 27, 2012

Array and Shift Cowls.

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!

- Shelley
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