Each week on the blog this summer we have been revealing a little more about our anniversary book. There are a whole host of amazing contributors that have worked with us making a beautiful collection of yarns and patterns that celebrate ten years of Loop! This post, we’re finding out more from top shawl designer Kirsten Kapur and the talented gals behind DyeforYarn.
You may well be familiar with Kirsten’s shawls, as we are guilty of featuring them once or twice (or several times!) on the blog. And who can blame us? Kirsten is a designer who knows the power of a good stitch pattern and has put some exquisite ones together for the ‘Islington Shawl’.
Hi Kirsten! We love your shawl designs at Loop and can’t wait to reveal this one, what was your process behind this new design?
I love working with two colors, so when Susan approached me to create a shawl for Loop, I knew I wanted it to be a two color design. I love contrasting delicate lace with more structural/graphic elements, and the DyeForYarn with its blend of merino and silk really lent itself to this approach. I selected stitch patterns that would show off the yarn and take advantage of the strength and drape of the silk. The exclusive DyeForYarn colour ‘GoldenBeehive’ is paired with ‘Bat in a Dark Mood’ for the Islington Shawl.
Why did you chose DyeForYarn for your shawl design?
I love the blend of merino and silk. Silk is a wonderful fibre, it is incredibly strong yet elegant. It soaks up dye allowing for rich colors, and drapes beautifully. DyeForYarn colours are always sublime. They have a way of creating shades that are sophisticated, wearable, and are distinctively their own.
DyeForYarn works so beautifully for this pattern, but do you have any other yarns you would like to try for this shawl?
I’m obsessed with Kismet’s yarns. I have a skein of Refuge that I picked up when I was at Loop last Autumn that I dream over constantly. I can’t wait to find the time to get it on my needles. Refuge would be delightful in this pattern with its blend of Baby Camel and Silk. It has a silk content like the DyeForYarn but the baby camel would create a gentle halo lending the design a softer look than the original. As with the DyeForYarn, Kismet‘s colours are sophisticated and unique, and combine beautifully for two colour shawls.
Any thoughts for us as we near our 10th Anniversary?
Loop has been selling my patterns for several years, and I admired the shop from afar for years before that, so it was quite a treat to finally visit Loop last October. The shop exceeded my expectations with its amazing selection of hard to find yarns all beautifully displayed. What a thrill it was to find samples of a few of my patterns hanging in the shop. I was like a kid in a candy store, and went home with armloads of yarn, each skein something special that I would never be able to find in my local LYS. Everyone who works at Loop is kind, creative, and very knowledgeable about knitting and yarn. I wish I lived closer so I could visit more often. I can’t wait for my next trip to London, so I can visit Loop again.
Not only do DyeForYarn create the most amazing colours, we are also endlessly entertained with the colour names they chose – ‘Tarzan’s Very Bad Day” and “Dream of a Dyeing Periwinkle” to name just a few! Nicole and Cordula aim to create the colours that are outside of what they deem the ‘normal range’ and we feel they have struck upon something very special. ‘Golden Beehive’ is an ochre and russet mix, with hints of almost violet too. Stunning as a single colour and a shade that just sings when it is paired with rich purples and teals.
In our old lives before we founded DyeForYarn, we worked in a science lab at the university and knitting was our favourite hobby. We couldn’t find the right yarns for our lace projects, though, so we started to dye tussah silk lace, (Loop sells a very similar version!) back then in our lab. That was when DyeForYarn was born, because we soon had dyed up so many colours, that we thought selling them might be a good idea.
Susan was our first retailer, back when our company was in its baby shoes. So she and Loop hold a very special place in our history. We visited Loop in 2013, which was very exciting for us. It’s a strange and surreal feeling to see the yarns we dye lying next to so many famous yarn brands like Handmaiden or Madelinetosh.
What were your plans for the exclusive Loop colour ‘Golden Beehive’?
When Susan wrote to us about a special colourway for Loop’s birthday we were thrilled to create one for her.
We usually dye semi solid to solid colours for our shop, but Susan likes our variegated ones the most. She told us about her vision of the special birthday colourway, which was a colour we’ve never tried before. After a little experimentation we found the one Susan was looking for.
Susan let us know a little more about what she was looking for with this colour –
“Two of my favourite colours, that I am always drawn to, are ‘Crumbling Nori Sheets’ and ‘Lichen on a Tombstone’. I’m crazy about those two shades together. Lately I am drawn to Ochre tones. An old Madelinetosh colour (which is being revived for Loop!) called ‘Olivia’and Malabrigo ‘Frank Ochre’ resonate with me big time.
I know Nicole and Cordula do an amazing job with deep tones and somehow manage to create glints of other colours in there. I thought a deep Ochre with the barest hint of Violet would look stunning on its own or paired with a deep green/blue like Lichen on a Tombstone and so many others. Lucky for us they did indeed work their magic.”