Friday, January 21, 2011

Knitting in the Details!

 Knitting in the Details

First there was Knitting Little Luxuries...
now there's Knitting in the Details. 

I'm a true-blue fan of knit-wear designer Louisa Harding's books!

Knitting in the Details has 24 projects presented in four sections (embellishing ideas) in the book: 

Embroidery, Beading, Added Elements and In the Details. 

This book features Louisa's trademark romantic style, pretty flowers and embellishments and is sure to inspire knitters of all ages and skill levels.

Lisette's Vintage Treasures
(I'm ready to knit in the details!)

Besides beautiful patterns and photographs (taken on the coast of France), I always enjoy Louisa's introduction in her books.  Her introductions always give a glimpse of who she is and how special her family and knitting are to her. 

This book's introduction shows us her personal studio filled with her vintage treasures.  She says "In my studio, I have an evergrowing collection of boxes, tins and jars that contain my many treasures".   How about that...I do, too!

This excerpt from the book really sets the stage for this book on embellishing:

"My desire to collect all things that sparkle or glisten is insatiable.  I love anything that looks as if it has a hidden story, such as a vintage brooch at the thrift shop, a jar of old belt buckles in the dusty corner of my local haberdashery shop, and my mother's jewelry boxes filled with broken trinkets.

I'm not only a collector of vintage buttons and embellishments, I'm a huge collector of Louisa Harding yarns.  I'm so glad I'm a stasher...I've already selected four projects to knit from the book with yarns from my stash.

Here's a look at my four favorites from the book: 


My favorite hats to knit are Louisa's berets!  As soon as I saw her Erin beret with its pretty embroidered flowers, I knew it would be my first project from the book.  It's knit in her luxurious Grace Wool & Silk yarn with oddments of yarn for the embroidery.

I'm currently knitting Louisa's beautiful Cameo shawl in Grace and purchased all the Grace colorway my LYS had.  Luckily for me, I have enough Grace to knit this beret and her Victoria gloves from her Knitting Little Luxuries book to wear with my shawl.  What an ensemble it will be!


I adore pretty and lacy knits so I love Louisa's Nina scarf!  This project is embellished with beads and pretty flower embellishments.  Louisa says "Although it looks complicated, this scarf is very simple to knit-the excitement is in the beads".

It's knit with four balls of her sparkly Jasmine yarn and one ball of Jasmine for the flowers.  Luckily for me, I just happen to have Jasmine in my stash, too!


April is my favorite garment in the book.  This "tres chic" bolero features Louisa's trademark flowers and button embellishing.   Louisa offers two versions, one knit in Hulda a discontinued yarn (I have enough in my stash) and one in Rosetti.

Louisa knit the flowers in her Grace yarn and adorned them with petal-shaped buttons from the Parisian store La Droguerie.  Luckily for me, I'm going to Paris in May so you know where I'll be button shopping!


Louisa's Grace yarn range is my most favorite yarn to knit with.  I love her Grace Wool & Silk and her Grace Hand-Dyed.  Luckily for me, I have a huge stash of her Grace Hand-Dyed to knit her beautiful button embellished Ella scarf. 

Her Ella scarf is knit in three hanks of Grace Hand-Dyed or there is a bulkier version knit in discontinued Hulda requiring three balls.  I love that it is embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons. 

Knit Details!

Can you tell, I love this book and love Louisa's idea of...
 Knitting in the Details! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pretty Knits

Pretty Knits

I love Pretty Knits!

Pretty Knits is a knitting book by Susan Cropper, the American owner of the popular yarn store Loop in London.  

Pretty Knits was published back in October, 2007.  Once I saw the cover...I knew I had to have it!  The book's cover features Louisa Harding's pretty and romantic Cameo Shawl

The Cameo Shawl is by far my favorite project in the book.  I am happy to report that I am finally going to cast on for my Cameo Shawl.   My version is in beautiful blue Louisa Harding yarns that I stashed quite a while back.  I'm so glad I bought my blue yarns when I spotted them because now they are discontinued colors or yarns.

My advice:  If you fall in love with a project like I did for the Cameo Shawl, I highly recommend buying the yarns and stashing them.  (Yes, I have a huge Louisa Harding yarn stash and my husband doesn't mind!)

How I found the shop Loop

Loop in London

I love magazines. 

I have discovered so many wonderful places in the world, travel tips, decorating ideas, fabulous products, incredible restaurants and favorite recipes from magazines.

Some of my favorite magazines are from Britain.  I love English decorating magazines the most.  I found out about Loop in London in an article in the November, 2005 issue of Homes & Antiques.  I tore the article out and put it in my London file.  That write-up led to a great day out of London to visit Loop and the Camden Passage Antique Market. 

(The Original Shop)

I love Loop!

I'm a lucky American knitter to have visited Loop.  It was in May, 2006.  Back then, Loop was in it's original tiny shop tucked back on a quaint curvy street in Camden Passage in London's Islington. I remember the day so well.  I was like a kid in a candy store that day at Loop.  It was the first real yarn shop I had ever been in.  Back then I was still shopping for yarn at the big box craft stores...I hadn't discovered the wonderful world of local yarn stores yet!

Shopping at Loop in London was the real start of my true love for yarn and knitting.  Loop set me on my quest to find fabulous yarn shops in the States.  And it was while visiting my local yarn shops back home that I discovered designer Louisa Harding.  Louisa's beautiful books drew me back into knitting and inspired me to take knitting lessons so I could knit her lovely designs.

I am so thrilled where my knitting journey has taken me since that day I visited Loop... 

and I'm pretty excited to finally cast on for my Cameo Shawl!