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On the Ferris wheel of Zaub it’s an up and down ride. We love Schoppel Wolle’s Zauberballs. We carry all the types we can get in. Straight up Zauberball is the single ply fingering weight. Crazy (which does not mean that the other Zaubs are in any way sane) is the 2 ply fingering weight, plying two singles at different points in their colour sequence. We have also carried their lace weight which is akin to the non-crazy but still coo coo sock weight. We are now carrying their 6 ply (Stärke 6) which is a sport weight which uses the same plying technique as the Crazy sock weight.

Everyone loves Zauberballs and we have several customers who are on our books to receive ‘Zaubalerts’ when new colours come in. Trouble is it’s hard to get. If you covet this yarn too, consider joining our Zaub Club, adding your name to our list of Zauberball lovers. You’ll get a call as soon as it arrives and can have first pick of the colourways.


Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue”
Manos Del Uruguay yarns, Solids and Variegated
Connexion: Blue…kind of

Donovan, “Mellow Yellow”
Brown Sheep, “Burley Spun”
Connexion: Yellow
Smothers Brothers “Think Ethnic!”
Manos Del Uruguay yarn
Connexion: Ethnic

The Rolling Stones “Black and Blue”
Naturally “Aran Tweed” yarn
Connexion: Black and Blue

This fall we’re showing two new Bulky yarns.  Unfortunately, both ‘Bulky’ and ‘Chunky’ can seem like subjective terms.  I thought I would write a little about our new yarns, Burley Spun, and Grande to explain how chunky chunky is.

The Craft Yarn Council tops out their Weight System with their 5th and 6th categories; Bulky and Super Bulky.

The Bulky category comes after Medium (worsted and aran yarns) and includes Chunky, Craft, and Rug Yarns.  Their gauges over 4″ of stockinette stitch should work out to 12-15 stitches.  For most knitters these yarns require needles from 5.5mm to 8mm.  Crocheters are advised to use a 6.5mm to a 9mm hook.

Super Bulky is the heaviest category and comes after Bulky.  This whimsical title is applied to Roving, but also to Bulky yarn. ?!?!?!  Confusing or what?  Best to focus on gauges.  The CYC describes Super Bulky as having a gauge of 6-11 stitches (in 4″ worked in stockinette stitch).  These yarns should be worked with needles larger than 8mm (15mm is the biggest needle in most shops.  The Loop carries these sizes and does get in circular Addi needles in sizes over 15mm.  We can always special order these for you!)  Crocheters should use a hook size greater than a 9mm.  I would advise using the biggest hook you feel comfortable with.

Our first new Bulky yarn comes from Schulana.  Grande comes in brightly coloured 50g balls.  It provides 9 stitches over 4 inches, using 12.75mm needles.  Bouncy, soft, and fun to work with, Grande looks great in textured stitches and cables.  It’s 2 plies also make it look accomplished in plain knitting.
The Loop is thrilled to provide free patterns with the purchase of a 50g ball.  Thrilled, because Schulana has put together a free booklet of four smashing hat patterns.  Just take a look!  Each hat takes just one ball.  You can find a growing gallery of these projects at Ravelry.
Visit the Grande Hat Gallery Here:
Brown Sheep yarns are a firm favourite with knitters, and a new addition to The Loop.  Our first yarn from this company is their heaviest offering, Burley Spun.  In skeins of 226g, Burley Spun’s single ply looks a bit wild and untamed.  It also looks like good fun, and I can’t wait to make an oversized winter cowl in one of the super saturated colours.  We will also be receiving Burley Spun in Handpainted colourways which will look stunning in plain knitting; perfect for beginners and for Holiday knitting.

This yarn is also considered Super Bulky, its gauge at 10 stitches over 4″.  The good people at Brown Sheep would like knitters to try a 9mm needle, but in my books bigger is better.
Learn more about Burley Spun at Ravelry

Stay tuned for a tutorial on using this extraordinary new yarn.

Revolution baby blanket

Revolution baby blanket in progress

My friend is having a baby this summer and I wanted to make a blanket that was quick and easy, without being too boring. Too much to ask? I was looking at the fun designs of British math geeks Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer (Woolly  Thoughts). I had a hard time deciding which of their intriguing patterns to go with, but thanks in part to the projects posted on Ravelry, I chose “Revolution”.

A couple of dozen people had posted Revolution on Ravelry and many talked about how easy it is. Looking at the images I felt that it must be fairly simple, but my mind just couldn’t grasp how exactly the funky jagged spiral effect was created. I  purchase and downloaded the detailed, colourful pattern booklet and began to study it. Indeed once you read the instructions and get started, it’s blessedly simple to do. This is a fun pattern, a way to make garter stitch interesting! I’m using Estelle’s organic Cloud Cotton, which itself is a delight to work with. This is going to be a lucky baby, if I may say so myself.

Denise Interchangeable needles are made for this project!

One of the things that is making this project so enjoyable for me is my Denise Interchangeable Needle set.  It’s like the Denise kit was made for this kind of project. The blanket is a circle but you are only ever knitting one “wedge” at a time. Stitch holders are important, and as the segments of the blanket get bigger, you would need to use multiple circulars or lengths of yarn as stitch holders. With the Denise set, I just add lengths of cable and carry on. Most of the time the same needle I am knitting on is acting as a stitch holder for another part of the blanket.

Denise needle sets

We love the Denise Interchangeable company not just because of their products, but because they are a small company with a great customer service ethic.  The product itself is made with a conscious effort to support local (to Denise) manufacturing. We are always delighted to chat with them and they are incredibly friendly and helpful. And how many big corporations would send a package in the mail looking like this? (Yes those are individual postage stamps.) We love Denise.

Simpsons stamps

Cotswold sheep (image, wikipedia)

The other day, a new local yarn arrived in the store, brought by the very farmer who raised the sheep. This lovely Cotswold was lovingly raised near New Germany, on the beautiful south shore, at Lange’s Rock Farm. It has the high lanolin content that is characteristic of traditional Maritime yarns, but a softer feel that will soften even more as the garments are washed and worn. In two natural colours–a heathered brown and a natural cream–this medium-weight 2-ply is a perfect choice for traditional “fisherman” knits, outdoor sweaters and weatherproof hats and mitts.

The Langes’ homegrown fibre joins our growing range of locally-produced fibres. Another recent shipment, from Noah’s Place Farm, includes an assortment of mohair-wool blends–more great yarns processed by the Tonning sisters at Legacy Lane Fibre Mill.

Spring brings a desire to rearrange the furniture. We’ve done a little of that.

Spring brings malevolent cold viruses. I can do without that, thanks.

Most importantly, spring has brought us new yarn and fibres.

We recently received a large shipment of Lucy Neatby’s hand-dyed fingering weight Celestial Merino Dream from across the harbour, in all the multicolours and many of the beautiful mottled solids too. This lightweight wool yarn is lovely for lace scarves, and the 300 yards per skein will go a long way.

Lucy also delivered a hefty load of her gorgeous DK weight blue-faced leicester, in giant 225 gram skeins. These are also available in solids or multicolours, and they may not be available for long. This yarn would make a fantastic cozy shawl, for example Ilga Leja’s Lady of the Forest.

A brand new product to The Loop is Tanis Fiber Arts‘ hand-dyed sock yarn. This cushy blend of 80% merino and 20% nylon is perfect for socks, and the multilayered solid colours are truly eye-catching.

Now I really need to get off of this blog and see what else awaits in this box of needle felting fibre and more from Louet, that just arrived this morning …

Cathy is merriment
Mimi is starlings
Morgan is pomoboho
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