Saturday, February 28, 2015

Store Project: Soft Spring Ombre Cowl

Some people are skinny yarn knitters and some are not. I don't know about you, but I am not - working with gossamer yarns hurts my arms. It also takes a long time to knit, and I'm not a particularly speedy knitter. Enter my friend who has a big, beautiful stash of yarn (seriously, I spend every day surrounded by yarn and I find her collection moving).  I've been thinking a lot about how she can put some of her gorgeous but neglected fine filaments to use. 

My solution is plies. Lace weight yarns, like Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace, knit extremely well with two or 3 strands held together. It also offers an opportunity to play around with colour without requiring and any technical skill - Yay! 

FREE Pattern via Ravelry
3 skeins Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace (1 in each of 3 colours, we used: 27 bobby blue, 98 tuareg, 150 azul profundo)
3.5mm/US4-16" circular needles 

Our Silkaca Ombre Cowl turned out FABULOUS! It's soft, light, and just warm enough for spring. There was also lots of yarn left over, enough to make your cowl larger, a second cowl (in a different colour order), or a matching hat (you can see the yardage amounts in our Ravelry Notes).

The yarn is super-duper lovely (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk). It has all the softness of baby alpaca and a little bit of sheen from the silk content. 

Colour Combination Suggestions
Below are some ideas for colour combinations. Because Malabrigo's dye lots tend to vary all of our suggestions are based on the actual yarn in the store (yup, I spent an afternoon playing Malabrigo mix-n'match. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SALE Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light & Project Ideas

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light is one of my absolute favourite yarns to knit with and wear. It's soft, warm, and light. It's also stretchy and knits keep their shape, which is unusual for an alpaca or alpaca blend (they usually stretch out of shape and grow to your knees). It has a light hailo, making it a forgiving knit, and the heathered colours have an extra beautiful depth of colour. It's very good for colourwork, and is especially for stranded work. It's also especially popular for fingerless mitts and sweaters (I've been wearing mine since December). 

During our Big Fat Winter Sale Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light is on Sale! Make something light and new for spring that can be worn into fall and winter too. 

A very simple and easy (mindless?) knit! Elegant and incredibly wearable indoors and out for almost all seasons!

A little bit of ruffle adds just the right amount of femininity to see you into spring.

A little shoulderette goes a long way on chilly spring days (or in an air conditioned office). You can modify it by omitting the cowl neck or making it longer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SALE Shibui Silk Cloud for a Gradient Cowl

4 skeins Shibui Silk Cloud (1 in each colour, see suggestions below)
5.5mm/US9 needles (straight or circular)
Scrap yarn

Make yourself something stunning in anticipation of spring! Shibui's designs tend to be very artistic, combing fibres and colours for a very unexpected and painterly (it's a real word, I swear) effect. Their free pattern Gradient is a great example - it's super easy TV knitting (just seed/moss stitch), but combines and changes colours to create a stunning gradual ombre, or gradient. Our Big Fat Winter Sale is a great opportunity to indulge in Shibui's super soft, light & airy Silk Cloud - snuggle in & get ready for spring!

Suggestions for colour combinations below ...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cascade's Goin' Up

We're really sorry to the bearer of bad news, but because of the sluggish Canadian dollar our distributor of Cascade Yarns has to raise their prices. Starting March 15, 2015 the price of several Cascade yarns is going up.  We'll try to keep our price static as long as possible and sell the inventory we already have at the old price. But alas, all special orders will be at the new price, and we might reconsider carrying some products. 

New Prices

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NEW Book Private Classes Online

You might already know that we offer private lessons in the store from Monday to Friday, from 11am to 5:30pm. You used to need to call us to make an appointment, but we're taking a  step up in the digital world and you can now book us online, any time of day or night! You find the link on the Classes page of our website (both the bricks & mortar and online store), under Private Classes

Or you can check it out Right Here.

You'll be able to choose the type of lesson you want, your instructor, and you'll be able to see when available spots are open. You'll also have an estimate of how long your lesson will take and how much it will cost. After you book your appointment you'll receive a confirmation e-mail with all the details. If you use an online calendar system (like iCal, Google Calendar, etc) there is also an option to add the appointment to your calendar. If you need to cancel or reschedule there are links right in the email to do that. The day before your appointment you'll also receive an email with a reminder. 

Of course, you can still call us and book your appointment the old fashioned way: 416-653-7849. 



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Open Family Day & Happy Valentines

Happy Valentines Day! 

Wool you visit us on Family Day, Monday February 16? We'll be open regular hours from 11am to 6pm.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Big Fat Sale!

  • 100% Peruvian Highland Wool
  • 250g/112m (123yds)
  • Super Bulky Weight
  • 10mm to 15mm/US 15 to 19 needles
  • Single ply
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • Made in Peru
  • Pattern Ideas for this yarn

  • 100% Peruvian Highland Wool
  • 100g/80m
  • Super Bulky Weight
  • 12mm/US17 Needles
  • 8 sts = 4" (10cm)
  • Made in Peru
  • Project ideas on Ravelry
  • Read our Blog Post with project ideas

  • 50% Alpaca, 50% Wool
  • 50g/133m (144yds)
  • Sport weight/DK weight
  • 3.75mm/US5 needles
  • 23 sts & 32 rows = 4"/10cm
  • Hand wash in cool water, lay flat to dry
  • Pattern Ideas

  • 100% Superwash Merino Wool
  • 100g/120m (130yds)
  • Chunky to Bulky Weight
  • 6 to 8mm/US 10 to 11 needles
  • Made in Uruguay
  • Machine Wash, lay flat to dry
  • Pattern ideas for this yarn

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 100g/95m (104yds)
  • Bulky Weight
  • 6mm to 8mm/US10 to 11 needles
  • 14 sts = 4"/10cm
  • Made in Uruguay
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • Pattern ideas for this yarn

  • 100% Baby Alpaca
  • 100g/100m
  • 6mm to 8mm (US10 to 11) needles
  • 15 sts & 19 rows = 4"/10cm on 6mm/US10 needles
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry.
  • Pattern ideas for this yarn

  • 100% Baby Alpaca
  • 100g/100m
  • 6mm to 8mm (US10 to 11) needles
  • 15 sts & 19 rows = 4"/10cm on 6mm/US10 needles
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry.
  • Pattern ideas for this yarn

  • 58% Alpaca, 10% virgin wool, 19% polyester, 13% nylon
  • Bulky Weight
  • 7mm to 9mm (US10.75 to 13)  needles
  • 12 sts & 15 rows = 4" (10cm)
  • Project Ideas

  • 80% Angora, 20% Polyamide (but you can't feel it!)
  • 25g/112m
  • DK Weight
  • 4mm/US8 needles
  • 22 sts & 28 rows = 4" (10cm)
  • Made in Italy
  • Project ideas for this yarn

  • 40% Silk, 60% Kid Mohair
  • 25g/300m (330 yds)
  • Lace Weight
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles
  • 20 sts = 4" (10cm)
  • Project Ideas

Really, Really, Really FAST Knits!

Bernat Mega Bulky is an arm knitter's dream! It's so big it calls for 19mm/US35 needles (19mm/S crochet hook)! One skein is enough for a hat or smaller cowl, two is good for an infinity scarf. It's especially well suited for making the Outlander Cowl.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Finished Project: Simple Yet Effective Cowl

You already know that I'm having a love affair with cashmere, so it won't be much of a surprise if I told you I made another cowl with the stuff. It couldn't be helped, this damnable cold winter made me do it. I caved and bought a parka - don't tell my old wool coat, she'll never forgive me.  The down-filled usurper is a very boring grey and desperately needs some colour ...... some snuggly, baby soft, cashmere colour. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

  • I like wearing it inside out
  • Used German Twisted Cast On
  • Worked 10 pattern repeats and then 3 purl rows.
  • Bound off with 5.5mm/US9 needles

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Finished Project: Devin's Toque

Is there a better gift than a cashmere hat? Well, any kind of cashmere accessory is fine by me! It's so cozy, I love having it near my face. 

I finished a new Toque just in time for my mom's birthday - and it is LOVELY!  It was an easy gift, she put in a request for an updated version of an earlier hat matching her Tuesday Night Cowl

The pattern, Devin's Toque, is an oldie and goodie. It is written for flat knitting (and seamed up the back), but is easily translated to a circular knit. 

My mom's head is very small, and cashmere tends to stretch with wear, so I made a few mods to accommodate.

  • Worked in the round
  • Used 3mm needles
  • Used German Twisted Cast On
  • Did not cast on with 2 strands (as recommended by pattern)
  • Cast on 96 sts for a size XS (head size 20.5" circumference)
  • Worked until close to using up the yarn.
  • Blocked using Eucalan
  • For decreases: I used k2tog instead of k2tog tbl (looks nicer)
  • Second last round: knit (instead of purl)

Friday, February 06, 2015

FYI Friday: Knit-speriments with Colour Pooling

Welcome to adventures in colour-pooling! My interest was revived after I attended a talk in January by Robin Hunter at the Toronto Knitter's Guild on negotiating pooling with hand painted yarns. I've been curious about 'planned pooling' since I read the book Artful Color Mindful Knits, and I've been interest in controlling pooling has been in the back of my mind ever since. The premise is you can measure the colour repeat in a hand painted yarn and predict how it will pool, based on your tension and the number of stitches.

But this story really starts with the the run up to the holidays, when a client, Di, was busy making gifts for her grandchildren. She chose a skein of Cascade 220 Superwash Paints (colour 9914), I gave her a generic hat pattern (Ribbed Watchman's Hat), and  she was off. And when she came back, she had a hat with the coolest striped pooling! The patterns had hit the 'magic number', and it looked amazing! 

First Try
So we tried it in the store. The awesome thing about Cascade 220 Superwash Paints is that the yarn is meticulously and consistently dyed, so all the skeins and colourways will behave in a similar way. We cast on with 4mm/US6 needles and colour 9919, working in the round, and things got interesting .....

The colours kind of stacked, rather than striped. The needle must have been too small, but the result was even cooler than expected! 

So we gave it another shot, this time on 4.5mm/US7 needles and colour 9997 (still working in the round, and we worked a couple extra inches to make the hat longer - the first one turned out a bit small). Stripes Ahoy! What a difference half a millimetre makes!  I thought I would like the lower contrast colourway (9997), but I think I actually prefer our first knit-speriment.

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