Through the Loops with Kirsten Kapur

We love holding classes at Loop – from guiding beginners through their first tentative stitches to revealing new skills to improve even the most experienced knitters techniques. We are also proud to have many talented designers visit from all over the world and very soon we are playing host to Kirsten Kapur. Teaching two classes, one on her classic pattern ‘Andrea’s Shawl’ and another on understanding Japanese stitch patterns, we were able to catch her for a quick chat to find out more.

Through the Loops With Kirsten Kapur. Loop, London. www.loopknitlounge.com

Perhaps better known for her designs under the brand ‘Through The Loops’, Kirsten has been knitting for as long as she can remember. After working in New York in the fashion and textile industry she found her place with knit design. For her it allows her to combine a  ‘love of garment construction and surface design‘.

Hello Kirsten! We are so looking forward to your visit to Loop. You are teaching two classes over the weekend, one on your pattern Andrea’s Shawl and one about understaning Japanese Stitch Dictionaries – what can people expect from your classes?

 I’m really excited about both classes that I’m teaching at Loop. I love working with knitters and helping them develop their skills. It is very rewarding for me to watch a new skill click with a student. In Andrea’s Shawl we’ll work on swatches of each stage of the shawl so that participants will have the skills required to complete the project on their own, and have an understanding of the construction of this unique shawl. By the end of class everyone will cast on and begin their actual project.
Andreas Shawl by Through the Loops. Loop, London. www.loopknitlounge

 In the Japanese stitch pattern class we will learn how to decode the charts in Japanese Stitch dictionaries. We’ll knit swatches. Learn what a few of the Japanese characters mean, and try some new stitches. Students will leave ready to use these stitch patterns in their knitting.

Japanese Stitch Dictionaries Loop! www.loopknitlounge.com

Andrea’s Shawl is such a popular and well loved pattern, could you tell us the story and design process behind this knit?
 Andrea’s Shawl started as a mitt design. I’ve always loved the way classic stripes combine with softer lace patterns to create something that is both delicate and casual, so I swatched different stitch patterns to see what I liked best with a simple two color stripe. In the end I selected the lace border pattern for the way it gives the bottom edge a graceful scallop. After I completed the mitts I realized that the elements of the mitt pattern would work really nicely as a shawl.
 Since the mitts, like most mitts, were worked bottom up and I wanted to be sure that the shawl worked with the mitts, I decided to work the shawl bottom up too. I’ll never forget the day I blocked that first Andrea’s Shawl, I fell in love with the pattern at that moment. It remains one of my favorite designs.
Andrea's Shawl - Sample knit with Skein Merino Cashmere in Urban and Daisy

Andrea’s Shawl – Sample knit with Skein Merino Cashmere in Urban and Daisy

We have several visitors to the shop who swoon over the many Japanese knitting books we have. What is it about Japanese design and knitting that inspires you? 

 Japanese stitch dictionaries take the same stitches we use over and over again, and create some of the most intricate and beautiful stitch patterns available to knitters.
 Some of the patterns combine elements of familiar stitch patterns to create something new while others use unique stitches in patterns that are unlike any we find in stitch libraries from other places. I turn to my collection of Japanese stitch dictionaries again and again when I design, often modifying the designs, but the inspiration always starts those patterns.
Have you any places that you want to visit while you are in London?
 When I’m not teaching at Loop I’ll be exploring the city with my sisters (one of my sisters lives in England, and the other is flying over to join us for the week). I know we’ll visit Liberty since that store was a favorite of my mom’s, and we inherited her love of beautiful fabrics. I’m sure we’ll also visit a few museums like the Tate, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Fun to Knit, Want to Wear Everyday

‘Fun to Knit, Want to Wear Everyday’. One of our new gorgeous Japanese books

Thank you Kirsten for taking the time to answer our questions.
We are also giving one lucky winner the chance to win a copy of Andrea’s Shawl! All you need to do is leave a comment below saying what Loop yarn you would use for such a project… and then keep your fingers crossed. This competition will close on Wednesday 9th July at midnight – Good Luck and Happy Knitting! *This competition is now closed.*
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33 comments on “Through the Loops with Kirsten Kapur
  1. What a glorious shawl. I’d be very tempted to make it in some of the lovely Quince yarn. A great opportunity to try them out!

  2. Liesel says:

    I would use Squoosh Merino Cashmere in Ink and Sunshine :-)

  3. I would love to knit the shawl and the mitts, reversing the colours to bring out the subtle funkiness of the design.

  4. I would love to have the pattern or a kit for the shawl and mitts, it looks so soft and cosy on a chilly winters day

  5. Uylond says:

    I would use Uncommon Thread’s gorgeous yarns – all the colours are so luscious.

  6. Sue says:

    Eden Cottage Titus in Midnight and Silver Birch sounds just perfect!

  7. Andrea says:

    I think every Andrea should have Andrea’s Shawl and Andrea’s mittens, too! I would be very proud to wear something that carries my name!
    I have some Punta Del Este Mericash stashed away – in a beautiful turquoise blue and subtle cream. They would be perfect for this project.

  8. Linda Rumsey says:

    I think Koigu Merino Lace would make a wonderfully airy shawl!

  9. Katlijn says:

    As a belgian knitter, I was only so lucky to be once at Loop and to discover the wonderfull Shetland Spindrift, so I would use this yarn :-) mustard and rust!

  10. Lena says:

    I would use my new favorite yarn; Squoosh merino cashmere lace I bought at Loop last week. Some sunny colors.

  11. Ailsa says:

    The Eden Cottage Titus 4 Ply would be absolutely beautiful for the Andrea Shawl. Gorgeous!

  12. Julie says:

    I would use the Eden Cottage Titus 4ply in Black Rose and Coal. I love the combination of stripes and lace and have made several pairs of Andrea’s Mitts and I would love to try the shawl.

  13. Sarah says:

    Ooh, I’ve been wanting to try Blue Sky Alpaca’s Metalico for AGES, and this could be just the pattern! Perhaps in Silver and Platinum…

  14. RENE WALKIN says:

    Shilasdair ‘Blaeberry’ and Jamieson Spindrift ‘Granny Smith’ would work for me!

  15. Grete says:

    I would go for my favourite: Madelinetosh merino light. In Mandala and Well water, perhaps.

  16. Philippa Swann says:

    Definitely Skein Queen’s neon yellow and a dark grey from my stash. This will surely glow in the dark!

  17. sandra mathieux says:

    I would love to be there to listen to the talk on the Japanese stitch patterns.
    It would perhaps give me the push I need to buy one of the many beautiful books.

  18. judy burke says:

    it would have to be knitted in bcgarn Jaipur silk fino that drapes beautifully and in purple and yellow a fantastic combination

  19. Jules says:

    Would love to win a copy of Andrea’s shawl but what to knit it in, too many choices but I think I would go for Uncommon thread as I have been looking for an excuse (if one were needed) to try this yarn.

  20. Rhoda says:

    It has to be Shilasdair luxury 4ply. I can then dream of the view on Skye and all those shades of the sea knitted into snugly waves. Summer loch, Winter loch, Atlantic spray, Uig sea green…what a choice!

  21. I would love to knit the mitts and the shawl and purple and pink would be my colours or choice . I love that colour combination as I love the juxtaposition of stripes,sporty and lace,feminine.

  22. Ann dewey says:

    Totally fascinated with Japanese knitting books. I live on the wrong side of the world to come to a class, but you have inspired me to have a go finding a Japanese friend to translate. So , I would knit andrea shawl in kettle yarn old smoke and chambray. Made my first shawl in kettle yarn that I bought from loop while in holiday in the uk, I love the feel and look of it and it is the kind of softness you would like near your neck.

  23. Cynthia says:

    Madeline Tosh sock in William Morris and a Robin’s Egg blue color!

  24. I love the shawl and would love to knit it. I think it looks perfect in the colours you used for your sample knit.Skein merino Cashmere in Urban and Daisy.

  25. Janet says:

    Having just finished my first ever shawl, using Skein, I know how gorgeous it is! I would use Skein merino cashmere in Midlands and Loam for an autumnal look. Andrea’s shawl looks so beautiful!

  26. Sue says:

    Quince Yarn would be lovely – sorry the workshop has been cancelled will it be offered again later in the year/next year?

    • Loop says:

      Hi Sue,

      Nothing confirmed yet, but we do hope that we can hold this class in the future. We will add you to our waiting list and keep you informed.

      Loop X

  27. Kate says:

    It would have to be Squoosh Merino Cashmere Lace in Powder and Chantilly

  28. Annelie Storbjörk says:

    I would like to do the shawl in Unkommon thread sock yarn colors attic room and charred. Elegant I think.

  29. Jill Dalrymple says:

    I have loved her patterns forever! I want to try some Skein merino cashmere in lace.

  30. Annette says:

    Your shawl looks so beautiful.The colours you used look
    elegant and casual. It fits for many occacions. I have some nice mohair in purple and blue or brown and orange.
    Well, both would look wonderful. Maybe I will win yours,
    that would be great!
    Annette

  31. Rachael says:

    I love this pattern! I have already knitted several of Kirsten’s designs and would be delighted to add this to my collection. I was considering Quince & Co. or a newly discovered to myself, Fiber Co., I think both would be amazing!

  32. Susie Shriner says:

    My daughter has a yarn shop in Wickford, Rhode Island U.S.A.
    Which is on the street I live on!! Love following your blog, saw Andrea’s Shawl and whipped it up using Madeline Tosh sock yarn.My friend is also making it and we will send a photo when done. Sorry to see Kristin Kaput could not visit. My daughter has had Cirilia Rose visit her shop and join us on her annual “Knitting Cruise” on Narragansett Bay. I hope to come to your shop in May 2015.Cheers!

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