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I just opened a shipment of new magazines and books.

We’re starting to carry Interweave’s Spin-off magazine, and the first batch arrived today. It contains articles for spinners of all levels, and looks to be full of inspiration.

New issues of Knitter’s and Interweave crochet also arrived, along with more of the popular “Twinkle’s Big City Knits”.

Just for fun, The Loop is joining the social experiment called Twitter. It may also be because I have been finding it challenging to manage actual blog posts. Can I handle 140 characters?? Follow us at  http://twitter.com/theloophalifax

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If your home has  a backyard or even a balcony, you may already offer feeders or baths to your avian neighbours, but have you ever thought of offering them yarn or fibre? Birds can use short scraps of yarn and small tufts of fluff in building their nests.  Cut yarn into 10 to 20 cm lengths and put them into suet cages. It’s like a homebuilding centre for birds! Find out what other materials make good nests in  the Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s excellent guide to attracting birds.

It may yet be chilly, but the days are a little longer, the sun a little stronger, and most of winter’s ice and snow have melted away.

Spring is a great season for knitting: a new hat or fine-gauge mittens or gloves to go with your new spring coat; lacy scarves and wraps to give your mood a lift; new socks to celebrate the end of boot season; bright colours to tide you over until the blooms arrive. I’ve found a few patterns in this spirit:

  • Classic Elite’s adorable Daisy Chapeau [links to PDF], knit in supersoft Minnow Merino–a perfect union of easter bonnet and tuque.
  • Also from Classic Elite, either the simple Interlude Lace Stole and more challenging Floral Fantasy Shawl would be beautiful made in Silky Alpaca Lace. Just use a smaller needle (3.5mm, perhaps), and add a couple of repeats.
  • Berroco’s very easy Fascinate scarf, worked in a dropped-stitch pattern, would make a beautiful spring accessory scarf  in shimmery Seduce.
  • Morgan’s chic and springy be-bobbled Lady Parker beret–a new addition to our free patterns page–is quick to chrochet in worsted weight yarn.

I often listen to the American radio network NPR online. Last week, during an interview on the news quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me with a woman who knits sweaters for featherless chickens, comedian Mo Rocca took a swipe at homemade sweaters, calling them “itchy”.

American knitters swiped right back, and this week, Rocca apologized for his use of “the i-word”. You can hear both the original clip and Rocca’s retraction on the WWDTM site.

While the slight did net him an offer of a soft handmade sweater from some Ravelry members, Rocca’s troubles are unlikely to end there. His apology makes some pretty uneducated references to alpaca!

Cathy is merriment
Mimi is starlings
Morgan is pomoboho
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