Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring/Summer Tunic Project Ideas

Tunic with Curved Edge
  • free pattern from Drops
  • worsted weight yarn like Berroco Linsey (6 to 9 skeins)
  • 5mm-24" & 29" circular needles
  • knit flat in 2 pieces and seamed

  • free pattern from Drops
  • knit top-down in the round!
  • worsted weight yarn like Berroco Linsey (8 to 14 skeins)
  • 5mm-24" circular needles
  • 5mm crochet hook

  • free pattern from Drops
  • worsted weight yarn like Berroco Linsey (7 to 12 skeins)
  • 5mm-29" circular needles
  • worked in the round from bottom up.

  • free pattern on Ravelry
  • Bulky yarn with drape, like Berroco Karma (5 skeins) or Berroco Versa (4 skeins)
  • 8mm-24" or 29" ciruclar needles
  • knit in the round from the top-down!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FYI: TTC Knitalong Sat July 20th

The following is the press release from the organizers of the TTC Knitalong ....

The Great TTC Knitalong
Bigger & Better in 2013!!

The Great TTC Knitalong is an annual Toronto event that brings together knitters and crocheters from the GTA and beyond! This year’s Knitalong (KAL) rolls out on Saturday July 20th, 2013 and runs from 11am to approximately 7pm.

Once again, enthusiastic groups of knitters will spend the day shopping across Toronto, making friends, and boldly knitting in public. Travelling from Parkdale to Scarborough, from North Toronto to downtown, all via TTC, the Knitalong teams create visibility for their craft and raise funds for a wonderful charity. Participants pay a small donation to join and in return they receive amazing discounts and generously donated loot from local shops and yarn distributors. Proceeds from the day go to Sistering, a multi-service centre for homeless, at-risk and socially isolated women in Toronto.

Since 2005 the TTC Knitalong has been fuelled by a committed group of knitters. Led again this year by Michelle Hotchin and Joyce Poon, the volunteers work together to organize routes, register participants, and acquire sponsors. On July 20, fourteen volunteer captains will lead up to seven teams across the city visiting more shops than ever before. Romni Wools, Creative Yarns, EweKnit, The Knit Cafe, Lettuce Knit, The Purple Purl, Passionknit, Americo, Knit-o-matic, Mary Maxim, and Sew’N Knit’N Serge Outlet have all confirmed their participation. The day culminates with all team members meeting at a downtown pub for drinks, snacks, and an awards ceremony. Prizes are drawn and everyone enjoys swapping stories and showing off their day’s haul.

Last year’s Knitalong rallied 100 knitters and this year even more are expected to join. Come flash your sticks & string on transit, shop discounted yarns, and discover new stores, all while supporting a great cause!

The Great TTC Knitalong
Tickets: $15.00 Registration opens June 3, 2013
For full registration details visit ttcknitalong.blogspot.com

Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter @TTCKnitalong for updates and live-tweeting the day of the KAL!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

NEW Colours of Cascade 220 Superwash & Sport

We've stocked a pile of more colours in Cascade 220 Superwash and Cascade 220 Superwash Sport! These are colours that are not presently available in Canada, including shades like the ones used in the Gradient Pullover (above) from this spring's Interweave Knit.Wear (we've also received more copies of that too).   

  • we now carry the full complement of colours (see images below for the new colours)
  • sport weight/3.5-4mm needles
  • machine wash cool, lay flat to dry
  • 100% merino wool
  • 50g/125m
  • $6.97 ea
Cascade 220 Superwash Sport  

  • the selection is exhaustive so we couldn't get everything, but we've brought in more heathered colours, quattros/'tweed', and gaps in the palette (see images below)
  • worsted weight/4.5mm needles
  • machine wash cool, lay flat to dry
  • 100% peruvian wool
  • 100g/200m
  • $11.97 ea
Cascade 220 Superwash

  • we now have baby friendly shades not otherwise available in Canada (see images below)
  • worsted/4.5mm needles
  • hand painted
  • machine wash cool, lay flat to dry
  • 100% peruvian wool
  • 100g/200m
  • $14.97 ea 
Cascade 220 Superwash Paints

All of the Cascade Superwash yarns are machine washable, soft, 100% wool, and great for babies, kids, men, blankets, hats, scarves, mitts, sweaters, toys, and people who'll never ever wash a garment by hand. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

NEW: Sweet Georgia Yarn Tough Love Sock

Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock
A new shipment of Sweet Georgia Yarns just rolled in, this time we've brought in their Tough Love Sock. It is a very soft and bouncy blend of machine washable wool & resilient nylon. Plus it comes in the same great saturated Sweet Georgia colours. I'm really happy with this yarn, it feels great, looks great, it's hand-made at home, and it doesn't break the bank.

  • Soft, lots of squish and body
  • 80% superwash merino wool, 20% nylon
  • 115g/388m (1 skein makes a pair of socks)
  • 7.5 to 8 sts/inch on 2 to 2.25mm needles
  • Machine wash gentle, lay flat to dry
  • Hand painted in British Columbia.
  • $23.97 ea.

upper: oceanside, lower: tourmaline

upper: snapdragon, lower: hummingbird

upper: tumbled stone, lower: boheme

upper: berry tart, lower: Honey Fig

upper: cherry, lower: berry tart

upper: autumn flame, lower: pomegranate

Upper: tumbled stone, Lower: stillwater

upper: boysenberry, lower: berry tart

Monday, May 13, 2013

SALE: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK has unfortunately been discontinued, and our stock needs to find forever homes.  It's a soft, springy, happy yarn that you will love and we will miss. It is great for both knitting and crochet, and is soft and washable, so great for making everything from baby booties, hats, scarves, sweaters, and blankets. 

  • Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry
  • 4mm needles
  • 50g/110m (120 yards)
  • Cashmere, Merino, Microfiber
  • 20% Off!  $7.60 (reg. $9.47 ea)

  • Free pattern by Lucy of Attic24 This version by KnitKnatKnotUK
  • You can make any size, the above version was 65" or 165cm wide x 83" or 220cm (3 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in each of 22 colours, 10 balls in 23rd colour.)
  • 4mm crochet hook

Thursday, May 09, 2013

International Yarn Bombing Day June 8, 2013

Join our Facebook Event Page to collaborate with other Yarnbombers!

The Third International Yarn Bombing Day is coming up in a month and we are super EXCITED! Since March people have been asking what we are cooking up ... well, we're organizing a Buffet (so to speak). 
What is Yarn Bombing? Yarn Bombing is a type of guerilla or graffiti knitting, a kind street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre, rather than paint or chalk. Some people refer to it as 'knitting in the wild.'

From June 1 to 8th, we are going to yarn bomb our neighbourhood, and we want YOU to join us!  It doesn't have to be anything big, tiny little 'tags' are just fine. Think of a little crochet flower hanging from a cross-walk button or a small strip sewn to a pole. You can even tie a pom-pom or even just string around a post. If you want/have the time to go big, please do! The result will be a proliferation of whimsical fibre 'graffiti' that takes over the neighbourhood, creating a happy spring experience for all the members of our community.  

There are no aesthetic restrictions, make what you want, as much as you want, and put it up when you can. My only request is 'Do No Harm' and use good judgement.  Please don't hurt any plants, we don't want another Trinity Bellwoods Yarn Tree scandal. Also, I don't suggest yarn bombing private property, unless it's your property or you have permission from the owner. 

What: Yarn Bombing!

When: June 1 to 8, 2013
Where: Your Neighbourhood
Why: FUN!

Yarn Bombing in Canada

Saturday, May 04, 2013

NEW YARN ALERT: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Print

Rialto DK Print is a fab new yarn from Debbie Bliss which we are sure you'll love. It is made with soft, 100% Superwash Merino Wool - which means it's great for everybody and everything, including kids, men, blankets, etc, even boot socks! It knits up in stripes that will wow everyone. Use Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in a contrasting colour for ribbing to make your stripes pop!
  • Available in 6 self-striping colourways
  • 50g/ 105m
  • 22 sts & 30 rows = 10cm/4" on 4mm needles
  • Machine wash cool, lay flat to dry
  • $9.97 per ball


I know it's hard to visualize how the yarn will knit up, so take a peek at the patterns from the Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Print Book drew up for this yarn HERE

Nutmeag made these Striped Baby Legwarmers (free pattern Legwarmies) with 1 ball of Rialto DK Print and 1 ball of contrasting yarn.  Or Try Hopscotch (another free pattern) for children's sizes.

Make a Caramel cardie (free pattern) using Rialto DK Print alternated with a solid contrast colour of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK

I think it would make an amazing Chevron Baby Blanket (use 4mm needles and cast on 193sts for a blanket about 31" wide) but keep in mind the striping will be much narrower. 

More modest striping options: use  Rialto DK Print alternated with a solid contrast colour of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK for pattern OhLaLa

Friday, May 03, 2013

NEW YARN ALERT: Manos del Uruguay Alergria Sock

Alergria means 'Joy' in spanish, and we don't disagree - Manos Del Uruguay Alergria is a great new sock yarn!  It is super soft, which is really nice is a sock yarn that is 75% superwash merino wool and 25% polyamide. Each skein is hand dyed, no two are exactly alike. The yardage is good at 425m/100g, and it knits on 2.25 to 3mm needles. machine or hand wash cool, lay flat to dry. The price aint bad either at a very reasonable $21.97 per skein. 

Manos Del Uruguay is a non-profit organization which assembles women in cooperatives scattered throughout Uruguay to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women.

Get it while it lasts! Uruguay isn't a busy international shipping destination, so it takes a while to get inventory onto a boat and out of the country. 

9 Things You Need to Know About Storing Your Knitwear

Listen to Me Now, Believe Me Later
The biggest mistake people make is putting their sweaters away for storage without cleaning them first. Body oil, dirt, and food provide a veritable shmorgasbord for moths.

Picture via Yuppee.com

1. Round Up the Usual Suspects
Everyone remembers to store the sweaters, but unfortunately the step-children are often left behind. Don’t forget your wool socks, hats, mitts, gloves, scarves, cowls, and other sundry accessories. Don’t forget blankets and anything felted - the bugs especially love the felties.

Photo via Ehow

2. Inspection!
Take a close look to see if your knits need any repairs. Look for little white bits of fluff that look like a long grain of rice, or small deposits of granules that feel like sand. If you have either of these, I regret to inform you that you’ve got bugs. Pick off the offending bits outside, put the victim in a bag and leave it in the freezer for a week to make sure any residual eggs are good and dead. With needle and contrasting thread, gently sew up any holes (you can take this out later and fix it properly). Wash (see next section).
Do not wash sweaters with moth holes without sewing them up. The holes will stretch and get bigger and less fixable.

3. Lather Up  
Hand wash in cold water with a delicate wash that does not need to be rinsed, like Eucalan or SoakWash (read the instructions on the botttle). Eucalan is great for animal fibres, it has a little bit more lanolin than Soak and comes in a series of natural scents like lavender, grapefruit, eucalyptus, jasmine, or unscented. Soak is a bit lighter (it’s great for lingerie) and comes in an assortment of blended, exotic scents (Aquae, Celebration, Lacey), as well as unscented. I suggest you let your nose choose, both Eucalan and Soak will get your knits clean and ready for hibernation, and both are made in Canada by really nice people.  

After washing, gently squeeze out the excess water - never wring! Wrap knits in a towel and gently squish out the excess water (I like to step on it and give it a ‘massage’). Any kind of towel will do, but microfiber towels are especially useful, since they can absorb a ton of water and dry quickly.

If you don’t have a wash tub at your disposal, Soak makes excellent plastic wash basins in 2 sizes (affectionately named Carrie & Phil) that are great for year round laundrification.

If hand washing is not feasible for large blankets, you may have to b

oogey on down to the laundromat. W

ash blankets individually in a large-ish front loading washing machine on the delicate setting with Eucalan or Soak. Don't use a top-loader, it won't end well - you need to avoid abrasion as much as possible.

4. Dry ‘Em
Lay your knits flat on a dry towel or drying rack. Flip the sweater to make sure both sides dry, and make sure your knits are completely dry before putting them away, you do not want them to mildew (ew!).

5. Fold ‘Em
Try to fold your knits as little as possible to avoid creases when you break them out next fall. This especially goes for finer knits, like machine made cashmeres. Lay the sweater on a flat surface with the front down, fold the arms in at the shoulder seam, and bring the bottom up, folding the sweater in half with the arms tucked in.

Knits need to breathe, so skip the vacuum storage bags which can trap moisture. I prefer a plastic zipper storage bag with breathable cloth sides (you can buy them from us in store of HERE). The nylon zippered under-bed storage bags are ok, or you can also stash them in a zippered cotton pillow case. Those big Rubbermaid storage tubs are not impervious to pests, so if your winter knits are going into storage in one, make sure they go into a storage bag first.
The small zipper bags (see picture above) are great for a single sweater! Consider storing your sweaters in singles - in the fall, when you break out your knits, you only need to expose the ones you are currently wearing to the elements. Additionally, if one of your sweaters has a little moth colony, keeping them all quarantined can prevent an infestation from spreading to all your knits.

Addenda April 3, 2014
Dollarama stores in Toronto now carry Extra Large Zipper Seal Storage Bags (3cm x 39.6cm, find them with the other plastic bags and food wrap) which are perfect for a single sweater: 6 bags for $1.25!

7. Additives?
Please do not add moth balls to your storage bags. Besides smelling awful, the chemicals are terrible for you. I’ve never been impressed with cedar balls, there’s rarely enough of the cedar oil left in the wood to chase off the buggies. If you want to add a little scent to your arsenal, try a sachet of natural lavender (you can knit the sachet pouches or buy them at a dollar store). No lavender plants blooming around your house? You could also try rosemary springs, look in the vegetable section of your grocery store. You can also try some heavily scented soap, like Lush. I cut it up into little pieces, tie the pieces into little bits of old panty-hose, and spread them liberally around inside the bags.
Addenda May 4, 2013: Catherine Schaus says she uses bags of lavender tea as a sachet. Great idea Catherine!

8. Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Unless you only have a handful of knits or limitless amounts of drying space, you aren’t going to get this chore done in a day. Wash one or 2 sweaters every other day (my drying rack holds two) and stow them away as you go. In a few weeks you’ll be done and your knits will be safe. You might want to start the process in April with your thick knits (oops, too late this time round, I’ll try harder next year), and move progressively to the lighter knits as you move into May.

9. Don’t Forget Your Stash!
You yarn needs TLC too. It probably doesn’t need to be washed, but a little inspection can’t hurt, and it definitely needs to be bagged. Animal fibres hold humidity, so stowing the woolens will make your summer hydro bill a little less painful. But more important, the humidity has a deleterious effect on the fibres, they become less resilient, and feltable yarns will lose their feltifying properties.

Addenda: September 9, 2013
I am sooooooooo glad I packed away my winter knits last spring! 

1. I was rooting through a basket in my bedroom today and found a small selection of woollens that didn't make it through the big wash 'n store process. I laid them out on my bed to fold & put away, and what should I find on my bedspread after? A tiny little worm!  That's right, it was a pre-moth. Hopefully no damage was done, but at least I have proof that all my washing and bagging efforts were not in vain. 

2. I went to get out my first sweater of the season, and it was easy to find, I didn't have to take out my other sweaters, and it was in great condition. Yay! 

3. I'm hoping that by the end of the season the items still in bags will give me some indication of which garments didn't get work, making it a little easier to purge the unused. 

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