Thursday, December 02, 2010

Visual Soundtrack at The Loop #2

Visual Soundtrack at The Loop:
Smothers Brothers "Think Ethnic!"
Manos Del Uruguay yarn
Connexion: Ethnic

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hilda Ogden

Who doesn't love Jean Alexander's Hilda Ogden? Even Lord Larry Olivier was a member of her fan club. In fact, he founded the Hilda Ogden Appreciation Society. Her iconic scarf and rollers make me swoon with all the ignorance of post-war youth. Somewhere between Rosie the Riveter and Joan Crawford comes this modern take on a 1940s headscarf, modernized into an easy to wear headband. It is very quick and easy to knit.
The expansive rib is worked in Brioche Stitch, a great yardage extender and a very warm knit.
You may omit the provisional cast on by gathering the cast on edge with the tail when finishing. Do try the provisional cast on though; it's important to 'start as you mean to go on'!

1 skein Jill Eaton Minnow Merino yarn (Available at The Loop, Halifax)
6mm Knitting Needles
Large eye Darning Needle or 3.5mm Crochet Hook

Yarn Substitution:
Minnow Merino is an aran weight yarn. It is a soft bouncy one ply. One 50g skein contains 70 metres. This project takes less than one skein. A heavy worsted weight yarn may be substituted.

With 6mm needle work
Provisional Crochet cast on with slippery, contrasting, dk or lighter weight scrap yarn.
Cast on 14 stitches.
Note: the original headband, shown in photos was worked with a cast on of 12 stitches. Over time it's width didn't hold up. A cast on of 14 provides a more utilitarian headband for Northern climbs and oceanside cities like mine.

Knit one row with main yarn leaving a 8" tail .
With Main Yarn, begin Brioche Stitch.

Brioche Stitch:
Row 1 (Foundation Row): *yo, sl1pw, k1* Repeat from *to* to the end of the row.
Row 2: *yo, sl1pw, k2tog* Rep *to* to the end of the row.
Repeat Row 2 for pattern.

Continue Brioche Stitch until headband measures 19" from cast on, or until the headband fits around head, slightly stretched.
Final Row: *K1, P1, drop yarn over of previous row* Repeat from *to* to the end of the row.
Leave stitches on needle and cut yarn leaving 8" tail

Rip out provisional cast on
Note: If you have substituted a dissimilar yarn, or a an acrylic yarn, the stitches may not remain pert and ready for pickup once exposed (as in the photo below). If you have floppy stitches prone to unraveling, you may choose to rip out the provisional cast on 'as you go' or to catch up the live, exposed stitches on the needle.

Thread cast on tail through cast on stitches
Thread cast on tail through cast off stitches and pull fairly taut
Thread cast on tail back through cast on stitches, keeping taut.
Thread cast off tail through cast on stitches and cast off stitches, keeping taut.

Weave cast on tail through a few of the cast off stitches and then hide end in the ribbing.
Weave cast off tail through a few of the cast on stitches and then hide end in the ribbing.
Blocking is optional but may help to exaggerate the drawn-in effect

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Visual Soundtrack at The Loop #1

The Rolling Stones "Black and Blue"
Naturally "Aran Tweed" yarn

Connexion: Black and Blue

Friday, October 29, 2010

Visual Soundtrack at The Loop #11

Lou Reed, "The Blue Mask"
Freedom Spirit Yarn

Connexion: Blue that is really purpley.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pinwheel Pillow

This classic crochet project is very pomo. It's also totally The Loop. Our store in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia sees my business partners and I, in turn, perched on quite a hard little bar chair for most of the day. It seemed silly not to try and create our own pillow, and I have always wanted to stitch one of these nostalgic pinwheels. I was surprised that I could not find a pattern, even amongst my vintage books and pamphlets, so I reverse engineered a pattern from a 1970s pinwheel pillow I had in the house. I didn't much care for what I ended up with. This new pattern is modernized with simplified shaping. It is also streamlined by omitting one feature; most of these cushions, in decades passed, were worked with a hard circular centre covering the join, much like the centre of a flower. With this new pattern it is no longer necessary to cover the centre join. I think it looks much more modern this way. It's comfier too. I have included instructions for a centre though, in case you're feeling nostalgic.
There are also optional finishing instructions for 'couching' the pillow.

This pattern was designed for The Loop and directions can be found on their Free Pattern Page, as a pdf file. Post your projects on Ravelry and see other crocheters' results.

This is the Colour Sequence I finally set upon for the store's pillow. I used my good friend Cascade 220 wool. The colours are inspired by The Loop. If you would like to use your own sequence, I suggest trying The Random Stripe Generator. Of course, you could just dive in, changing colours when you feel inspired to do so. Don't forget that you can change the number of colours used to amazing effect, and that this project is a great stash buster; just change yarns when you run out of each colour.

Biscuits & Jam's Random Stripe Generator can be found here. I use it all the time. I find it difficult to come up with colourways and sequences that look random. Mine always look laboured. What I really like about the online stripe generator is that it not only shuffles colours, it allows you to program in a range of rows over which the colours are spread. I asked for a sequence for 6 colours with rows ranging from 1 to 4 rows. The pillow could be worked with as little as 2 colours to amazing effects. Of course a hard candy inspired pinwheel would be striking as well.
Questions or Comments? PM me on Ravelry, or post a comment here (you don't need a login to do so). If you are in the Halifax area and want to try this, or any of The Loop or Pomoboho patterns drop by the store. Sundays are always good.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Featured Product at The Loop

This fall we're showing two new Bulky yarns. Unfortunately, both 'Bulky' and 'Chunky' can seem like subjective terms. I thought I would write a little about our new yarns, Burley Spun, and Grande to explain how chunky chunky is.

The Craft Yarn Council tops out their Weight System with their 5th and 6th categories; Bulky and Super Bulky.

The Bulky category comes after Medium (worsted and aran yarns) and includes Chunky, Craft, and Rug Yarns. Their gauges over 4" of stockinette stitch should work out to 12-15 stitches. For most knitters these yarns require needles from 5.5mm to 8mm. Crocheters are advised to use a 6.5mm to a 9mm hook.

Super Bulky is the heaviest category and comes after Bulky. This whimsical title is applied to Roving, but also to Bulky yarn. ?!?!?! Confusing or what? Best to focus on gauges. The CYC describes Super Bulky as having a gauge of 6-11 stitches (in 4" worked in stockinette stitch). These yarns should be worked with needles larger than 8mm (15mm is the biggest needle in most shops. The Loop carries these sizes and does get in circular Addi needles in sizes over 15mm. We can always special order these for you!) Crocheters should use a hook size greater than a 9mm. I would advise using the biggest hook you feel comfortable with.

Our first new Bulky yarn comes from Schulana. Grande comes in brightly coloured 50g balls. It provides 9 stitches over 4 inches, using 12.75mm needles. Bouncy, soft, and fun to work with, Grande looks great in textured stitches and cables. It's 2 plies also make it look accomplished in plain knitting.
The Loop is thrilled to provide free patterns with the purchase of 50g. Thrilled, because Schulana has put together a free booklet of four smashing hat patterns. Just take a look! You can find a growing gallery of these projects at Ravelry.

Visit the Grande Hat Gallery Here:
Brown Sheep yarns are a firm favourite with knitters, and a new addition to The Loop. Our first yarn from this company is their heaviest offering, Burley Spun. In skeins of 226g, Burley Spun's single ply looks a bit wild and untamed. It also looks like good fun, and I can't wait to make an oversized winter cowl in one of the super saturated colours. We will also be receiving Burley Spun in Handpainted colourways which will look stunning in plain knitting; perfect for beginners and for Holiday knitting.

This yarn is also considered Super Bulky, its gauge at 10 stitches over 4". The good people at Brown Sheep would like knitters to try a 9mm needle, but in my books bigger is better.

Learn more about Burley Spun at Ravelry

PS Can you guess what our inventory code for "Brown Seep Burley Spun" is? Yeah, it's double BS. Totally.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shop Windows

In the past I've shied away from posting about The Loop, if only because I didn't feel that this was the place (or really, 'that it was my place') to do so.

Now that I'm an owner though, I have no hesitation in posting pictures and talking about what's new at the store. I will be blogging with Cathy and Mimi at The Loop's blog and contributing to our main website at

There may be some overlap, and at times double posting, but something that will only be here at the pomoboho blog is an ongoing record of our Store Window Displays.

We've had some doozies over the years, and while I have been really quite proud of some of them I cannot take credit for them all. Indeed, many of our windows have been collaborative efforts, open to the public.
Right now our Barrington Street-facing window has a camping theme, flanked as we now are by two excellent outdoorsy shops, TAO and MEC.

I have a tendency to lose sight of the bigger picture when constructing a window display, so I was less than dismayed when my business partner de-naughtified what I had done. I can show you though, gentle readers:

Can you see the Amigurumi eggs and bacon in the tiny pan?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Retro Knit and Crochet Beach Wear

-Vogue Knitting 1967
-McCalls 1974

Halifax is in the middle of a heat wave! It is very hard to knit.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holiday Knitting 1940's Style

Pretty, cream-coloured slub linen is the material used;
it washes splendidly.

We chose jade green striped with white for this new idea in beach suits. Close-fitting pants are worn under the wide swinging skirt which you can also wear in casual fashion as a shoulder cape.

-Stitchcraft Magazine, Holiday Issue

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Woollen Bathing Suits #2

For sunny days by the sea or river this trim two-piece swim suit is knitted in a simple four-row pattern which produces a firm close stitch and ensures a smooth-fitting garment. The neat-looking shorts of the original set were in light green, and the brassiere in dark green with light borders.
A narrow band of ribbing at the waist of the shorts is threaded with a crochet cord which ties at the side for a comfortable fit. Elastic is threaded through a hem at the lower edge of the brassiere.

The -edit-will love to spend as much time as possible in the open air by the sea, or in the garden, if she is wearing this attractive little one-piece swim suit. The original was in pale blue and navy.
The main part of this neat little swim suit is in a six-row box pattern, and the narrow waistband, borders and shoulder straps are in rib stitch.

For hot sunny days out of doors, this delightful little swim suit, with its effective chicken motif marching gaily across the bib front, will prove an indispensable summer garment. -edit  It has a high bib back and front, and fits snugly at the waist with a band of deep ribbing.
The chicken motif is embroidered in "Swiss-darning," and a shell crochet edging adds a decorative finishing touch. The original garment was in red and white.

Trim-fitting and neat, this attractive two-piece swim suit is ideal. -edit  Knitted in two colours, the original garment looked gay and charming, the main part in bright yellow, with Fair Isle borders and edges trimmed with bright blue. A crochet cord is fitted through a hem round the top edge of the shorts to allow for a snug fit. The brassiere is tied at the back.
Small holes at centre-front of the brassiere are threaded with a crochet cord which is drawn up to fit.

Complete Family Knitting Illustrated 1946ish

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Mitford Sweater Girls

I think these ladies from a 1935 Monarch knitting magazine look remarkably like the Mitford Sisters. Well, four of them. Sir John Betjeman and I love them for their sins....even the 3rd model's hat.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Centenial Crafting for Canada Day

This Canada Day marked the 100th birthday of the Canadian Navy. Here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that's a pretty big deal. Our celebrations were made downright electric by the attendance of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at the International Fleet Review in Halifax Harbour.
For reasons perhaps known to locals, I have much much more to report on the Queen's visit. For now, please enjoy some Navy inspired vintage knitting and crochet.

Here is an insert from a Canadian wartime craft magazine (cover title missing) with patterns approved by the Canadian Red Cross and the IODE for service knitting.
Does anyone know what 'wheeling' (a yarn type), mentioned in the article below might be? The article gives gauges for wartime knitting yarns and lists what type of service garment each yarn is best for.

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