Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Team Knit-O-Matic Goes Riding for Heart!

Better late than never .... I get to join the Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart this year! I'll be riding 50km up and down the Don Valley Parkway (a major highway) with my father to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. Heart disease can be hereditary, so I'm riding for my grandfather who died from heart disease, my father who is learning to manage heart disease, my brother and I who may have inherited a predisposition for the disease, and my niece and nephew who hopefully will never be affected by it. 
~ Haley

Friday, May 23, 2014

We're Going Online!

It's been a long time coming, but 10 years after we opened we're finally launching our ONLINE STORE! We went live last week, and we've been adding new products every day. We'll be progressively putting the store stock online, we hope to be done by August - fingers crossed, it's a BIG job! All of the store's downloadable patterns are presently loaded, and about 20 yarns + rovings (and counting). 

  • All Prices are in Canadian Dollars (a deal for people spending US dollars!)
  • On occasion we may offer special deals through the online store. Prices of products in the online store are only valid online, and may not be reflected in in-store prices.
Free Patterns
  • All Free patterns are still free, you just need to go through the check-out and you'll receive an e-mail with a download link
  • You don't have t crate an account to get the Free patterns
  • Free Store Pick-Up option is available
  • FREE SHIPPING to Canada + the US on orders over $100 
  • Flat Rate shipping to Canada + the US on orders up to 2kg (regular parcel)

On the Main Website
You can get to the online store by clicking on the big aqua coloured "Shop Now" button on our website, knitomatic.com. It's at the top of every page of our website, no searching necessary.

On the Blog
The ubiquitous "Shop Now" button is also at the top of our Blog.

In the Newsletter
In our newsletters, you can find the same "Shop Now" Button at the top of the letter, as well as a little shopping cart icon.

You'll also find little "Buy Now" buttons which connect directly to the products being discussed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Store Project: Liesl Spring/Summer Cardie

Liesl Spring/Summer Cardie

I'm in love with the new Spring/Summer cardie I just finished, Liesl.

The Yarn
I used Cascade Ultra Pima, which I really, really loved! It's a very deceptive yarn, it looks like a plain cotton, but it is soft, pliable, has a slight sheen, and is easy to work with. I used needles 2mm larger than suggested and they weren't pointy, and it was still easy to work with - I definitely did not expect that. I don't normally relish summer knitting because cotton is a little hard on my hands, but this yarn was great! I'm already planning my next project with it (Rebel Lace Cardie by Jennifer Hansen).

The Pattern
Liesl is a great pattern, I've made it before and it's lace for people who don't like knitting lace. It's knit top-down, so you can try on the project as you go. All the details are spelled out in the instructions, and they are very well written. The pattern repeat is only 4 rows, but you only knit lace on one of the rows - 3 holiday rows! The lace pattern is also incredibly easy to remember and mark with stitch markers. I also marked my rows with locking stitch markers, making the project mostly mindless.

Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima (2 skeins)
Needles: 6mm-29" + 6mm-16" circular needles, 8mm needles (for cast-on)
Notions: locking stitch markers, pointy darning needle, steam iron
Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague
Our Project Notes: Spring 2014: Liesl

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Projects in Pieces: Spring Blankets

What is it about spring that makes you want to make a blanket? It makes no sense, and yet there it is. The most important part of making a spring blanket is to make it in pieces and keep your project portable. The second key point is to keep it simple, complicated patterns tend to lie fallow at this time of year. The following are a few ideas to get your motor running!

Monday, May 05, 2014

DKC Relay for Life

Our friends at the Downtown Knit Collective (downtown Toronto's knitting guild) are taking part in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life, in support of the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre. God willing, none of us will ever have need, but if we do, I know I'll be happy that the extremely skilled staff at Sunnybrook is there. 
In their own words ....

Our team spins and knits through the night, creating chemo caps, scarves, and shawls as hugs for people undergoing cancer treatment. Joan Kass, special events coordinator at the DKC, calls the knit items they make and give away - hugs. "I was working at a healthcare clinic and one of the girls, Sharon, had a reoccurrence of breast cancer. I thought, "What can I do for Sharon?" Kass remembers. "I knew I couldn't go to treatment with her because I was working so I thought, I'll make her a scarf and when she wears it she'll remember that I'm thinking of her." 

Joan's story got me thinking and questioning how close I am to cancer. These are the people in my life touched by cancer:
  • my sister-in-law's father, prostate + bone cancer, deceased last week
  • my dad's life-long friend Ian, lung cancer (from smoking) + bone cancer, deceased
  • my cousin Jason, lymphoma, survived
  • my sister-in-law's mother, survived cancer three times
  • my friend Weronika's husband, brain cancer, deceased
  • my friend Maggie's mother, lung, bone + brain cancer, deceased
  • my grandfather, leukemia, deceased 
  • my great grandfather, leukemia, deceased
  • my grandmother, breast cancer, survived

The list was longer than I expected, and it doesn't include clients. 

So if you haven't already donated all your disposable income to charitable requests from co-workers, friends, and family, please consider donating a few tax deductible dollars via some very generous knitters. 

New Store Sample: Pebbles Baby Vest

Last week Liane whipped up this adorable little baby vest, Pebbles, with less than 1 skein of Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino DK.

The Yarn
OMG, Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino DK  is a yummy, yummy yarn! It's a 100% merino superwash, squishy single ply, with a little bit of sheen, and the beautiful subtle colouring Tosh is know for. It's called a DK but it blooms, so we used a 4mm needle. 

The Pattern
1. It's free.  2. It's been pretty popular on Ravelry and has over 3400 projects, so there are lots of notes from other people.  3. It's only one size, but if you want to make it larger consider browsing through some of the aforementioned notes.  4. It comes from the mind of professional designer Nikol Lohr, but it's a "this is how I did it" freebie.  

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino DK, 1 skein 
Needles: 4mm needles
Notions: 7 little buttons + matching thread
Pattern: FREE Pebbles
Ravelry Project: Here

Saturday, May 03, 2014

New Store Project: Bulky Chevron Baby Blanket

We finished this great chevron baby blanket a couple of weeks ago with Juniper Moon Yearling and I love it more every day! 

The Yarn
I really loved working with  Juniper Moon Yearling, after the project I was done I was still itching to work with it. It's a blend of cotton & wool that feels like a cotton with squish (ie. the cotton of my fantasies). It's also slightly textured which gave it a smidge of rustic interest (cottons are so often smooth and a little on the boring side).

The Pattern
The pattern was free and pretty straightforward, just two rows. It was not hard, but I had to pay attention because both of the rows were action rows, neither were holiday rows (straight knitting). Basically, Row 1 makes decreases, and Row 2 makes increases (in contrast to a feather & fan pattern that creates both increases and decreases in the same row). Another hitch was that stitch markers weren't as easy to use as in a regular feather and fan pattern. My solution: A. I used two colours of locking stitch markers, one for Row 1 and one for Row 2, and B. the markers will be one stitch short of the correct count, so when I reached the correct colour marker for my row I moved it one stitch to the left. 

Yarn: Juniper Moon Yearling, 1 skein in each of 7 colours
Needles: 7mm-29" circular needles
Notions: Clover locking stitch markers
Ravelry Project: Here

The yarn has unfortunately been discontinued (I don't know why, it's lovely), but we've made up kits with what we have left. We sold two kits as soon as they hit the shelf, and as of this blog post we have four left: 3 rainbow combos (the sample above) and 1 boy colour combo (greens, blues & grey). Each kit comes in a zipper project bag and they are on SALE!

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