You may recall us swooning with excitement earlier this year over one of our new yarns, Squoosh. Whether you’ve been savouring the colours online or experienced the softness in the shop, we now have the perfect pattern to compliment. A collaboration between Loop’s owner Susan Cropper and designer Paulina Popiolek, with photography by Kristin Perers, we are thrilled to introduce ‘Josephine’.
The design process started for Paulina before Squoosh even graced our shelves, when Susan gave her a skein to experiment with. Between the two of them, the idea for a long crescent shaped shawl began to form and, with her confidence in Paulina’s creative decisions, Susan entrusted the rest of the process to her.
Paulina described to us how the yarn’s characteristics started to inform her ideas of what the finished item should represent: ‘something girly, pretty and whimsical’. Her swatching process was somewhat instinctual, letting her imagination take over and trying different stitches for the border. Though drawn to a classic picot edging, Paulina designs with an aim to involve a different technique in each pattern. Therefore, an elegant short row edging was the answer to finish the shawl.
Paulina is a long time friend and regular at Loop, producing stunning shawls that we adore. She finds knitting the perfect medium to express her creativity as it combines the beauty of art with the practicality of making something you or others can use. Her initial venture into pattern writing started when someone asked for the instructions of a self-designed garment she was wearing. Though she never thought it would be the start of something professional (she jokes that Ravelry was to ‘blame’ for that), she is delighted that her creations are finding their way out of her wardrobe to be recreated on your needles
The images for ‘Josephine’ were again a collaboration, this time Susan styling for the photographer Kristin Perers. Susan and Kristin have worked together for many years, meeting when they both worked for magazines. This artistic partnership has also seen Kristin involved with the shooting of the patterns ‘Honeyblossom’ and ‘Charm’, as well as the shop’s publications Vintage Crochet and Juju’s Loops.
Originally from Chicago, Kristin studied Fashion Design and, after working for companies such as Calvin Klein, moved to London. Writing her book ‘The Seasonal Home’ lead to a spell working with Elle Decoration and Toast as a photographic stylist. Her most recent project, ‘This is 50’, is a moving and inspiring series of photographs and interviews, exploring different women’s lives. Kristin describes it as ‘role models who can show me how to do it [turning 50] with style and grace.’
You may also recognise our charming model Ali, the latest Loopette to join the team at the shop. Ali has recently relocated to London from South Dakota to study Theatre Direction (and knitting!).
So, now you know a little more of the background of ‘Josephine’, but there is of course the all-important catalyst to the design – Squoosh! The oh-so-soft mix of merino and cashmere (with just a touch of nylon for a little sturdiness) comes from indie dyer, Erica. As she is currently based in the States, we are proud to be the only UK stockist of Squoosh. The only question is which colour…
Whether you opt the sample colour ‘Winterfell’, or a similar classic neutral…
…deep purples and pinks?
Or maybe the emerging daffodils and crocuses are putting you in the mood for a spring palate.
As Squoosh is classed as a heavy lace weight yarn, you could also chose a shade from our large selection of 4ply yarns . Just make sure you have at least 512m (570 yds) for your project.
We think the Eden Cottage Titus with its blend of merino and silk would give the subtle drape and stitch definition needed for Josephine.
If you love a pop of colour, the saturated hue of Shalimar Breathless would add a fantastic addition to your shawl collection.
Whether that’s with mouthwatering berry shades…
Or making a fresh and zingy shawl with blues and greens.
There is also the luxury of Artisan Yarns Camel and Silk, with its amazing lustre and drape.
Whichever yarn you choose, we can’t wait to see your beautiful finished shawls. Several of the Loopettes are waiting to cast this project on, so we are sure we will be seeing a few versions of Josephine on customers and staff alike!