Another few clues from Loop’s upcoming 10th Anniversary book! This post we are finding out more from Paulina Popiolek, shawl designer extraordinaire and Shilasdair, yarn of the finest blend complimented with gorgeous natural dyes.
Paulina has been a regular customer of Loop for many years, and the designer of several of our most loved designs. She was the mastermind behind our pattern ‘Josephine‘, which uses one skein of the Squoosh Merino Cashmere Lace, so we knew she would come up with something equally beautiful for the book. We had a chat with Paulina to find out more.
We first knew you as a regular customer and then started selling your designs – tell us more about how that developed and how Loop was involved.
It all came about after I had designed the Lenora shawl for Skein Queen. Debbie Orr aka Skein Queen displayed it at her booth during Knit Nation in London – Susan must have spotted it there. A few weeks after the show I went to visit Loop incognito and as usual I started chatting with the lovely girl at the register. Susan joined the conversation and my cover was blown when the Loopette said it was me who designed Lenora. To cut a long story short Susan asked me to bring some samples of my work to Loop and then placed an order for my printed patterns… the rest as they say is history!
How did the shawl develop and what were your initial ideas?
The shawl was a ‘no brainer’ really. When Susan sent me the skein of Shilasdair I almost instantly knew what to do. The colour, and the fact that the book is going to be released in the autumn, made me think of the gorgeous foliage at that time of year. After trying out a few different leaf patterns I have chosen one which is simple to make yet looks pretty. I had to take into consideration the fact that the yarn also contains angora
which will develop a halo eventually, so the simpler the pattern the better the end result.
Why do you think the Shilasdair works so well with your design, and what other Loop yarns recommend for the shawl?
The yarn is lovely to work with, plus it transforms and softens even more after blocking. It also shows the pattern so well and it comes in such wonderful colours.
The pattern itself would lend itself to various different yarns and there are many gorgeous skeins on Loop’s shelves to choose from. In this instance I would like to try it in The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering or maybe even in thicker yarn- the Shilasdair Luxury DK springs to mind.
‘Autumn Leaf Shawl’ by Paulina P – coming soon in September!
We’re big fans of your patterns, two of our favourites being Cameo and Monarch Butterfly – how do you think this shawl compares to these?
This new design lays in between Cameo and Monarch in terms of the skills needed to make it.
The main question though is if other knitters will like it. Like with all my shawls I have tried to make it easy to make yet it looks more complex than it really is. To me knitting is all about having fun with just enough challenge to keep the work interesting.
As Loop approaches its 10th Anniversary, do you have any memories that you’d like to share?
I remember my first visit to Loop – it must have been around 9 years ago. I had only got back into knitting after a few years on hiatus and I had searched the web for yarn shops in London which carried different fibres. Loop popped up on the screen and I decided to check it out. When I strolled in I knew it was the place I would not leave empty handed.
The shelves were packed with gorgeousness, I felt like a child in a candy shop! Juju and Meghan were in the store and of course we started talking about yarns and patterns – without realising I’d ended up with a bag full of goodies and a head full of ideas.
To me Loop is like a Treasure Cove, I always find something in it….
Shilasdair 4ply (L-R) Summer Loch, Tansy Gold, Thistle Bloom, Bracken
Paulina’s shawl uses the Shilasdair Luxury 4ply (we also stock the Luxury DK) a special blend of 10% Cashmere, 10% Baby Camel,40% Angora and 40% British Merino Lambswool. Shilasdair was set up in 1971 by Eva Fleg Lambert, based in a studio in the Isle of Skye. The name is the gaelic for ‘Flag Iris’ which is significant as a historical dyeplant, which represents the commitment to the natural dyeing process that Shilasdair use for their yarns.
Shilasdair ‘Highland Twilight’
We have always loved Shilasdair‘s unique and rich colour range – and now we have one at Loop to call our own! Highland Twilight is a shifting grey, evoking the soft hues of nightfall. Logwood is the main dye sourced used for our custom colour. A flowering tree native to south Mexico, the heartwood (the dense inner part of the tree) is used to produce deep purples.
‘Highland Twilight’ and all the other custom colours will be available in September, along with our new 10th Anniversary book – we can’t wait!
See you next week where we will reveal another exciting collaboration….
Happy Knitting and Crochet!