It's Mystery Shawl Time Again!!

May 06, 2015

Mystery Shawl Image

I'm really excited about this year's TTL Mystery Shawl. I think it might be my favorite Mystery Shawl to date. It's a two-color, half-pi, and is worked from the top-down. I designed the TTL Mystery Shawl 2015 using two delightful shades of Dragonfly Fibers Pixie that I picked up at Vogue Knitting Live NYC back in January.

Winter woods and peach melba 2


That's Winter Woods on the Left, and Peach Melba on the right.

You can use any two colors you like -- as always with lace shawls I recommend solid or semi-solid colors -- or you can pick one of the color combinations that Kate, of Dragonfly Fibers has selected for us. Head over to the Dragonfly Fibers website to see these colors and more.

Mystery KAL Colors 

The clues will be released on the following dates:

Clue 1 — June 1

Clue 2 — June 8

Clue 3 — June 15

Clue 4 — June 22

Clue 5 — June 29

Clue 6 — July 6

To join the KAL simply purchase the pattern (you'll find more details on the pattern page too) then head over the the Ravelry Group to join in the discussion.

The pattern is $4 until the first clue is released on June 1st. After that the price will be $6. 

Yarn Thing Podcast!

May 04, 2015

Just a quick post to let you know that I'll be on Marly Bird's Yarn Thing Podcast this Thursday, May 7th at 10am Mountain Time (that's noon here on the East Coast). The broadcast is live, and Marly welcomes listeners to call in with questions. We're also going to have some prize giveaways.

Hope you'll tune in.



Vestry Street

April 25, 2015

I love the photos of Vestry Street that Gale took for the book. A friend of Gale's kindly lent us her colorful front porch -- the salmon-colored shingles and mint green trim just melted my heart when I saw them. Bobo, Gale's adorable dog, even got in on the act. Bobo is a sweetheart -- he let us tie a tulle bow around his neck, without a single complaint -- and as you can see both Katrina and Sofie adored him.  The brightly colored soft drinks, a local treat in Gale's neighborhood, were just the thing to pull it all together. I love the lazy summer afternoon attitude  Gale captured in these photos.

Vestry Copyright Gale Zucker

Vestry can be knit in either fingering or lace weight yarn. The lace weight version is shown in a gorgeous gradient from Play at Life Fibers.

Vestry Copyright Gale Zucker


While the fingering weight version is shown in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering

Vestry Copyright Gale Zucker

Vestry Copyright Gale Zucker

Nine Years

April 24, 2015

It is hard to believe that it has been nine years (as of yesterday) since my first Through the Loops blog post

My kids were 12, 12, and 14 at the time:



I was much younger too:


And we lived on our hill with the beautiful view.



A lot has changed in that time. My oldest has graduated from college, my girls are in the final weeks of their junior year, I have gone from casual knitter to professional designer, I've written and published a book, and we now live in a New York City apartment with a different kind of view. 

Thank you to all of you who have stopped by over the years to read my posts. Your support and comments have meant the world to me. I have met some of my favorite people because one day in April 2006 I decided to start a blog. There have been times that my attention to this blog has lagged, but I remain committed to continuing, even if the posts are less frequent than they once were. 


April 20, 2015

What a weekend! The weather was spectacular, and I was out in NJ chatting with awesome knitters and signing books at Trillium Yarns. I didn't want it to end. This morning I woke up to rain, but I would rather think about the sunny days to come. In that spirit today's featured pattern from Kirsten Kapur Shawl Book One is Thalia.


I love the photos Gale Zucker took of this design. Sofie has had the vintage bathing suit she's wearing in the images for years, and it couldn't have been more perfect for capturing the lighthearted spirit we were after. The well-loved beach bike, also just right for the look we wanted, belongs to a friend of Gale's. 


 Thalia is a true summer shawl. Double yarn overs create a very open fabric, making it an excellent choice for warm weather knitting. The leaf lace border, with a crochet chain bind off adds just the right feminine touch.


The simplicity of the openwork created by the yarn overs also allows for working the pattern in two colors. Just alternate yarns every two rows throughout the body with two semi-solids or one semi-solid and one variegated yarn. I love the one I made with Claudia Handpainted in Mangled Tangled and Lipstick. 


Here's to the warm summer days ahead! 




April 15, 2015

Thanks for your kind response to Shawl Book Oneand for the birthday wishes. I had a very full day yesterday. For the next couple of weeks I'd like to do feature posts on each of the patterns from the book. 

Today I begin with my most popular pattern to date, and the cover design on the book, Cladonia. Cladonia  is a half-pi shawl that begins with a basic two color stripe before moving onto delicate lace. Although the lace looks complicated, there are only 16 rows of it, and once you get going you'll see that it's not so difficult after all. The pattern has both a chart and written instructions for the lace, so knitters may work the way they are most comfortable. After the lace there is a unique looped picot bind off. All picots take a bit of extra time, and this one is no exception. But I think it's with it.

When it came to naming this design I looked to the design elements for inspiration. The frilliness of the looped picot bind off reminded me of  lichen, and after a search for different types of lichens, I settled on Cladonia which is a lovely, delicate genus of lichen

And have you seen Gale Zucker's fabulous photos of Sofie modeling Cladonia?


I love the above photo of Sofie the shawl so much it made the cover. But I also love Sofie's eyes, and that sweet "Mona Lisa smile" she sometimes gives the camera, so although the photo below didn't make the book it was a favorite too.


Then there were the whimsical Cladonia photos that are on the inside of the book. Sofie as tightrope walker, using train tracks as tightrope, her parasol for balance.



If you are interested in making your own Cladoina, I recommend looking through the finished Cladonias on Ravelry. You will find loads of inspiration there for color combinations, and even ways of arranging the colors. I'm also teaching a class on this pattern at The Yarn Spot, in Silver Spring, MD on May 17th. Join us for the class and I'll show you how simple this pattern actually is.

Book, Book, Book!

April 14, 2015

I'm super excited to announce that my first independently published book is now available! 

Kirsten Kapur Shawl Book One

By Kirsten Kapur

52 pages, published 3/18/2015

Kirsten Kapur's first independently published book, Kirsten Kapur Shawl Book One, is a collection of her best loved shawl patterns from her blog, Through the Loops. Patterns included in are Andrea's Shawl, Ulmus, Roma, Ziggity, Moulin Rouge, Laight Street, Vestry Street, Cladonia, Thalia, and Nefertem.The book is beautifully photographed by Gale Zucker, of She Shoots Sheep shots.

The book is a collection of some of my most popular shawl patterns, along with a few of my own personal favorites, all exquisitely photographed by the insanely talented Gale Zucker. 




You can purchase a print or digital copy of the book over on MagCloud (all print copies purchased there come with a free digital copy) or purchase the digital version only on Ravelry. You can also see more of Gale's amazing photos on Ravelry.


Denmark in Photos

April 07, 2015

Was my last post really way back in January?? I honestly don't know where the time has gone. There has been a lot of knitting, but all of it is the secret sort and sadly cannot be shown here. My sincere apologies for the long silence. 

I've just returned from visiting IJK who is spending the semester studying abroad in Copenhagen (lucky kid). This is not my first time there, but it is the visit where I fell in love with this magical city. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed Copenhagen every time I've been, but those were each brief one or two day stopovers.  On this foray, I had the luxury of time -- time to wander without a plan and discover, time to sit enjoying a special meal (and trust me Copenhagen is an amazing city for food), time to spend in museums learning about Denmark's culture and history, and time to to drool over all things wooly.

It was not easy to say goodbye -- either to IJK or to Copenhagen. I'm not sure when I will have the chance to visit again, but until then I have photos to remember my trip.


The view from my hotel window.


The view was so good we spent one afternoon painting it.


My painting of the view (My watercolor skills are rusty, IJK's results were much better).


Copenhagen is a city of bikes. Everyone bikes everywhere at all times of day and night, and in all weather. 


Beautiful architecture -- the spectacular Dragon Spire on Børsen. . . 


. . . charming Nyhavn . . .


. . . and Kronborg Slot aka Hamlet's Castle, in Helsingør, an easy day trip from Copenhagen.


Let's not forget the shopping -- yarn at Uldstedt . . . 



. . . vintage wallpaper at Retro Villa. . . 




. . . fabric and pillows at a sweet boutique (sadly I don't remember the name of this one, but it was a few doors down from Retro Villa). . .


. . . windows at Royal Copenhagen . . .


. . .and  bold prints at Valentino. 


Then there were the museums. At the National Museum of Denmark we saw Viking drinking horns. . . 


. . . delicate lace cuffs . . .


. . . Inuit fur underwear. . . 


. . . spindles. . . 


. . . and whorls galore (These are 4000-5000 years old). . . 


. . . and this lovely painting of a woman sheering a sheep. 


I swooned over beautiful embroidery at the Danish Museum of Art and Design . . .


. . . and admired this delicate pair of men's stockings from the late 18th century. 


And finally there was the food, even breakfast was a delight. 


IJK knew all of the good spots for lunch and. . .


. . . matcha (I know, not Danish, but this is an international city and they excel at food from all over the world.) There were at least three meals that were too sublime to photograph. Sometimes the camera needs to be forgotten so that the moment can be fully experienced.


Tomorrow's the Day!

January 14, 2015

The first clue of this year's TTL Mystery Sock 15 goes out tomorrow, January 15th! If you haven't joined the KAL yet there's still time. Head over to Ravelry to purchase the pattern, and then join us in the Fans of Through the Loops group to chat, ask questions, and share your work. You can join anytime during the KAL. The pattern price is $4.50 now, but will go up to $6.00 at the end of the day on January 15th.


I'm also excited for tomorrow because it's the beginning of an exciting weekend of knitting fun. Tomorrow evening (Thursday, January 15th) I'm heading over to lf8elevate  (80 E 7th Street, NYC) to visit the  Starcroft Fibers Pop-Up shop. I helped set up so I know how much gorgeous yarn is there from Nash Island in Maine. Jani the extraordinary talent behind Starcroft, kettle dyes all of her yarn in small batches in drool worthy colors.


I'll be at the Starcroft Pop-up shop Knit and Chat from 6-9 tomorrow, with Jani from Starcroft, Kay Gardiner, knitting photographer extraordinaire Gale Zucker, and many others. If you're in NYC I'd love to see you there. 

If you can't make it on Thursday night, the Starcroft pop-up shop is open every day this week from noon to 6pm (9pm on Thursday for the Chat & Knit). And there's another gathering on Saturday from 3-6.


As if all that weren't enough, Friday is the start of VK Live. I'm excited to be taking two classes, and when not in class will definitely be cruising around the Marketplace. Not to mention a few additional trips to the Starcroft pop-up shop!

So much knitting excitement. I can barely contain myself.

Scrappy Duane Park Triangle

January 13, 2015

I feel badly for people who don't create. They miss out on the joy of middle of the night inspiration. You know what I mean. Those times you wake up in the wee hours with an idea that just cannot wait. Maybe you force yourself to stay in bed until morning, or perhaps you convince yourself that 4 am is a perfectly reasonable time to get up and start right in. About a month or so ago the idea for my Scrappy Duane Park Triangle was born in this way. For the record, I did force myself to stay in bed that night. But when morning arrived I hopped right out of bed and immediately began searching my fingering weight scraps.

Scrappy Rainbow

Once I had a good sized pile of yarn, I arranged the colors in order -- roughly approximating where they would fall on the color wheel -- and cast on. I could hardly put this one down. Duane Park Triangle is a quick knit, so from start to finish this shawl took only a few days. I am delighted to report that the finished piece lives up to that late night dream of a lovely colorful shawl. A absolutely love it!