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loop london

Woolful Podcast

Episode 49: Meri Tanaka- Japanese fiber culture, Twitter connections, building a magazine, and Amirisu

February 25, 2016

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Sponsor: Loop is London’s leading local yarn shop, created by Susan Cropper in 2005, with the intention to bring the joy of colour, texture and design to the local fibre community. The shop itself is a warm, friendly place…full of inspiration and charisma, and you can see the care Susan has taken to create an inviting environment where folks can find the yarns they love and learn from the masters of their crafts…including Juju Vail, Jane Lithgow, Stephen West, Helene Magnusson, and Melanie Berg to name just a few.

This past Fall Loop celebrated their 10th anniversary, and to celebrate they released their newest book aptly named, ’10’…featuring twelve gorgeous patterns from designers Meghan Fernandes, Stephen West, Rachel Atkinson, Paulina Popiolek, Donna Higgins, Kristen Kapur, Ysolda Teague, Juju Vail, Tif Fussell, Claire Montgomerie and Pam Allen. I’m a big fan of Susan’s eye for composition, with each pattern being beautifully photographed and knit in a color dyed just for Loop. You can find the book at Loop, their shop online and at a handful of lovely local yarn shops and some great news, you can now find the e-book version of ’10’ on Ravelry.

Loop has an extensive online shop in addition to their cozy London shop in Islington. Make sure to visit Loop in person if you’re nearby or just passing through, and online at loopknitting.com and on Instagram @looplondonloves.

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Fiber folk: Print publications play an important part in this fiber community of ours, and a key player in this editorial and inspirational world is Amirisu…a Japanese knitting magazine founded by Meri and Tokuko, featuring patterns in both Japanese and English accompanied by beautifully written articles and photography. Meri left her career as a consultant to pursue this passion in fiber and never looked back. From Amirisu to Walnut, Amirisu’s local yarn shop, Meri is a creative inspiration and fiber powerhouse. You can find Meri at amirisu.com and on Instagram @amirisushop.

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Sponsor: Moeke yarns was founded by Ioana van Deurzen in 2014, alongside her brother Radu, his wife and their parents. Ioana and her family have an incredible story, which you can hear about in Episode 8, and this story is what spurred the dream and now reality of creating a yarn company. The Moeke yarns are full of character, from the unique European breeds they’re made of, to the traditional Romanian spinning mills and the natural dyeing that Ioana’s parents do in their home in Romania. From her childhood, growing up in Romania during the revolution, her immersion in fiber through her grandmother and her purposeful journey to bring something back to the Romanian community, Moeke yarns is one of my favorite yarns and I hope it becomes one of yours as well.

You can find a selection of beautiful patterns created with Moeke Yarns and designed by Junko Okamoto, Francoise Danoy, Leslie Anne Robinson and more on Ravelry. Look for Moeke yarns online at moeke-yarns.com and on Instagram @moekeyarns

moekeyarnsGiveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway is Claudia Manley. You’ve won Romi Hill’s new book “New Lace Knitting” and 4 skeins of The Fibre Company’s Terra yarn from Kelbourne Woolens.  Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Amirisu and they’re giving away 3 copies of the Amirisu magazine. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post.

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Music by Jónsi.

Woolful Podcast

Episode 40: Pam Allen – Motherhood, Nursing School, Coastal Maine, and Quince and Co

November 10, 2015

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Sponsor: Loop is London’s leading local yarn shop, created by Susan Cropper in 2005, with the intention to bring the joy of colour, texture and design to the local fibre community. The shop itself is a warm, friendly place…full of inspiration and charisma, and you can see the care Susan has taken to create an inviting environment where folks can find the yarns they love and learn from the masters of their crafts…including Juju Vail, Jane Lithgow, Stephen West, Helene Magnusson, and Melanie Berg to name just a few.

This Fall Loop celebrated their 10th anniversary, and to celebrate they released their newest book aptly named, ’10’…featuring twelve gorgeous patterns from designers Meghan Fernandes, Stephen West, Rachel Atkinson, Paulina Popiolek, Donna Higgins, Kristen Kapur, Ysolha Teague, Juju Vail, Tif Fussell, Claire Montgomerie and today’s guest, Pam Allen. I’m a big fan of Susan’s eye for composition, with each pattern being beautifully photographed and knit in a color dyed just for Loop. The Meandering Shawl by Stephen West is on my list to make this Winter. You can find the book at Loop, their shop online and at a handful of lovely local yarn shops.

Loop has an extensive online shop in addition to their cozy London shop in Islington. Make sure to visit Loop in person if you’re nearby or just passing through, and online at loopknitting.com and on Instagram @looplondonloves.

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Fiber folk: There are a handful of special soul’s in this fiber industry, that have laid the groundwork and forged paths for what it is today and what it will become…having been a great influence on so many fiber folks. Pam Allen is one of these people.

From motherhood and design, nursing school to Interweave knits, Classic Elite and now Quince and Co…Pam’s fiber journey is an inspiring one. When I first began talking with Pam, she started out by telling me that what she hoped to share was her personal journey…and honestly, that’s exactly what I hoped she would say.

You can find Pam in her Coastal Maine home, making and designing, or in the mountains on a hike. You can find her company Quince and Co online at quinceandco.com and on Instagram @quinceandco.

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Sponsor: 6 Bits Storybooks, a digital quarterly publication for knitters who love to immerse themselves deeply in their knitting experience…from the mouths of story tellers: knitters, photographers, writers, designers, friends & nature. These storybooks incorporate designs, imagery, location, words, learning and tools to create an deeply engaging experience, taking readers on a journey. 6 Bits was created by two incredibly passionate and inspiring folks within this community, Melissa and Melody, and this past month they released the first issue Unearth of this beautiful digital editorial magazine, featuring articles from international knitters and dyers, where you hear the ‘whole’ story behind the designs and modeled in beautiful environment tied to the issues theme. Visit 6 Bits Storybooks at 6bitsstorybooks.com to subscribe to this stunning new publication and follow along on Instagram @6bitsstorybooks.

And this past week 6 Bits launched their first Knit A Long, an opportunity to join in and knit a project from the first issue, Unearth. This time of year there are so many thing happening, our attention and time have many demands that may keep us from finishing projects, but don’t let that deter you from joining…embrace it as a starting point! So grab your issue of Unearth or find the patterns on Ravelry and start soon and simply be proud of what you do knit!

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Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked the question, “Does your natural environment influence your fiber arts?”. We had some great answers from Abby @abbygoodknits, Carmen @theneedleseye, Hope @hopehawley, Shannon @whiskeyknitter_shannon, Sonja @atreebytheriver.

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway is Tera, you’ve won a skein of Jill Draper’s yarn Rifton. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway’s are sponsored by Cream City Yarns and Loop London. Cream City Yarns is giving away two skeins of Quince and Co Osprey yarn in Caspian and Loop London is giving away a copy of their newest book ’10’. To be one of the winners of this week’s giveaways, leave a comment on this blog post.

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Shop Update: It’s been awhile since I’ve given a Woolful Mercantile update, but being that Fall is upon us and I’ve got a few wonderful restocked and new things in the shop, I wanted to make sure and let you all know. If you’re on Instagram you may have seen the Sheep Breed calendar I announced. This is a special collaboration between artist Emily Fratson and myself, featuring 12 beautiful sheep breeds illustrated in watercolor, alongside 12 natural dye plants. Each of these sheep were inspired by folks from the podcast or other fiber friends. There’s only a few left in the shop, but soon there will be a handful of local yarn shops carrying the calendar as well, so stay tuned.

As for yarns, I am most excited about the most recent batch of Moeke yarns, which includes two yarns that you’ll only be able to find in the Woolful shop…Heritage which is a blend of Moeke’s new Transylvanian Merino and black Elena wool AND a 100% Transylvanian Merino naturally dyed with Madder to create a beautiful coral variegated look. The founder and creator of Moeke yarns is the wonderful Ioana, which you can find more about in Ep 8. Visit woolfulmercantile.com to check out all these goodies.

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Music by Jónsi.