Saturday, March 28, 2015

New! Ultra Pima Fine

Cascade Ultra Pima Fine is soft, very light, and has a pretty, natural sheen. It has a gorgeous hand, and is great to knit and crochet with. Its machine washable, and is great for kids & babies. 
    • 100% Pima Cotton
    • 50g/125m (136.5 yds)
    • 24 to 26 sts = 4" (10cm)
    • Knitting Needles: 3.25mm to 3.5mm/US 3 to 5
    • Crochet Hook: 2.25mm to 3.25mm/B to D
    • Heavy Fingering to Sport Weight
    • Machine Wash Cool, Tumble Dry Low
    • Made in Peru

    Makes a Great Substitute For

    Photo: purlpixie2

    Photo: PurlBee

    Photo: Lete's Knits

    • Cascade Ultra Pima Fine (3 to 9 skeins)
    • 3mm & 3.5mm (US2.5 & 4) needles (see pattern for details)
    • Sizes: 9, 12, 18 months, 2, 3, 4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 years

    Photo: Knit Picks

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    New! Louet Euroflax Sport

    Louet Euroflax linen is the paradigm of natural, summer linen yarns. It's extremely breathable and summer sweaters feel cool. It's also machine wash and dryable, and with wearing it will become very soft with a beautiful lustrous silky effect. It feels stiff in the skein but loosens and softens up tremendously with wash and wear. It's also one of the only yarns that looks and feels better the *more* you wash and wear it! 
    In addition to garments (pullovers, cardigansdresses, skirts, wraps, teestanks & camis, shrugs, etc) Euroflax is also great for homewares like bags, tea-towels (to satisfy your inner Martha Stewart), table runners, curtains, facecloths, pillows, blankets, soap-sacks. After you have worked with Euroflax linen, you will definitely want to use it some more! 
    • 100% Wet Spun Linen
    • 100g/246m (270yds)
    • 2.75mm to 3.5mm (US 2 to 4) needles
    • Sport Weight
    • 24 sts = 4" (10cm)
    • Machine wash on delicate with SOAK and machine dry, steam iron to enhance sheen (see full care instructions)
    • Pattern ideas

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    NEW! Quince & Co. Sparrow

    Sparrow is a plain little yarn, beautiful in its simplicity. Its clean, smooth hand is crisp as you knit it. But after washing and wearing it becomes handkerchief-soft and drapey. It’s spun in Italy from organic linen grown in Belgium. Knit Sparrow on a variety of needle sizes—try needles from size 2.75 to 4mm (US 2 to 6) —depending on the drape and feel you want in your project. The yarn is a natural in lace patterns, carving out the yarn overs, but it’s fluid, too, in simple stockinette. It’s great in tanks, shawls, and breezy cardigans, and lovely as can be in bags, wash cloths, and other home accessories.

    NEW Quince and Co. Kestrel!

    When you want quick summer knitting in lovely linen, use Kestrel! It knits up quickly at 3½ to 4 stitches to the inch on 6mm/US10 needles and it looks great in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) and simple silhouettes—the better to show off its texture and drape. Kestrel is a new take on a simple linen yarn. Quince and Co. took the same Belgium-grown organic linen that they use in their little Sparrow and spun it this time in a ribbon structure (actually its a 'chainette' - a small knitted tube). Its flat surface adds a slight texture to simple knit and purl stitches. But we think the best thing about it is its incredible drape. Like all things linen, woven or knitted, Kestrel only gets better as you wash and wear it.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Restocked: Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton

    Cascade Ultra Pima is soft, light, and has a pretty, natural sheen. It has a gorgeous hand, and is great to knit and crochet with. Its machine washable, and is great for kids & babies. It also come variegated, but that's for another update.

    Photos: Cocoknits

    Photos: Cocoknits

    Photos: Tangled Yarns

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    New Project & Kit: Shibui Mix Shawl

    Our lovely and prolific Rosie just finished this store sample, the Shibui Mix no. 3 Shawl, made with sumptuous Shibui Staccatto and Silk Cloud! 

    I was planning it as a kit for the upcoming Toronto Knitter's Frolic (please don't forget to take our survey), but it was so lovely I dropped everything and immediately whipped up the kits and put them out. I don't know if the kits will last the month until to the Frolic, but I'm sure I'll come up with something else, equally wonderful and clever.

    You'll also need:

    At Shibui, sometimes two strands are better than one. They are very into combining yarns to create incredible aesthetic effects. This shawl alternates stripes of a single strand of Shibui Silk Cloud (silk & softest kid mohair) and two strands of luxe Shibui Staccatto (squishy silk + merino with a slight sheen) held with Shibui Silk Cloud. The overall effect is soft and airy, yet also geometric - very modern, elegant, and never boring.

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Tips & Tricks: How to Wash & Store Knits

    Spring seems to be starting to sprout and that means it's time to WASH AND STORE YOUR SWEATERS! Well, at least start. You probably won't need to put them all away until the end of April, but you can definitely start with the heavy ones now.

    The cruel little buggies who leave those wicked holes in your lambswool and cashmere are most often feasting on bits or food, skin, and other human detritus on your sweater. Washing is essential to it depriving the little buggies of their buffet, and proper storage keeps them from getting to the restaurant. 

    Hand wash in specialty delicate wash Soak or Eucalan. Both brands are no-rinse (an essential feature), made in Canada, and work pretty much work equally well. 

    Personally, I prefer Eucalan for anything made with animal fibres (wool, alpaca, mohair, etc), it is formulated with more lanolin which is a natural conditioner. I like Soak for garments made with plant fibres or synthetics (you can find it in quilting and lingerie stores as well as knitting stores). 

    Detailed instructions are on the bottles and product websites, but this is how it's basically done:
    • soak garment in cool water for 10 minutes
    • add a little bit of delicate wash and squish it through garment
    • soak for another 10 minutes
    • drain water and gently squeeze out water (do not wring)
    • wrap in a towel and press out excess water
    • lay flat to dry

    Washing Tips
    • Avoid the big corporate store brands like Woolite, they're still 'detergents' and the results will end up making you cry.  
    • If the dye is saturated and you think it might bleed, add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the water before adding your garment. The vinegar will act as a mordent and stabilize the colour. 
    • If you don't have a laundry room or suitable sink (I don't) you can pick up a plastic wash basin at the dollar store (which are also wonderful for a nice foot soak). If you want a higher-end, very high-quality basin that will last forever try a 26 Litre Tubtrug - I have one at home for laundry and we've been using the same bins all over the store for over 5 years (the best price is from and you can get free shipping). 
    • Instructions usually suggest drying garments flat on a towel, but I've found that if you have already pressed out the excess water with a towel Blocking Mats are a much faster method. 
    • If garments MUST go in the machine (socks), use Soak or Eucalan in cold water on the delicate cycle and put them in a Honey-Can-Do Sweater Wash Bag
    • All fibres are susceptible to moth damage, even plant fibres like cotton and synthetics, wools just happen to be their favourite meal . Wash and store all the sweaters you wore over the winter.

    Now that your knits are clean it's time to put them away. Thankfully extra-large (33cm x 38cm) zipper freezer bags are ubiquitous and can be found at grocery stores like Loblaws. Presently, my favourites are from Dollarama (they're tough, the seal is easy and stays put, and they are cheap). One sweater per bag seals the bugs out, plus it ensures that if one of your knits is infested it won't spread to the others. If you want to seal in a nice, subtle, clean smell you can add a dried bay leaf to the bag - it smells like smiles.  If you're feeling a little anxious or just enjoy zipper bags, you can hermetically seal all your pre-packaged sweater cutlets in a second, super-sized meta 4XL Zilpoc Bag  

    Storage Tips
    • All of the bags mentioned are tough, do not tear easily, and can be used over and over (we use them for storage in the store). 
    • I don't suggest you rely on big tote storage bins to keep your sweaters safe. They don't fully seal and my past experience has been disappointing. 
    • If you're feeling extra organizey you can label your sweaters. A roll of masking tape and a sharpie pen go a long way, and when the cold hits next fall you'll know which black sweater is which, without opening all the packaging (I learned this the hard way).
    • Non-sweater knits need to be put away too! Wool socks, mitts, hats, scarves, cowls, legwarmers and blankets also need love. Even if you don't get around to washing them you should definitely seal them up for the summer (those super-duper big Ziploc bags are especially great for blankets). 
    • Felted projects are wool too: felted bags, baskets, bangles, trivets, etc, are a favourite feast for tiny beasts. Bag 'em up!
    • Don't forget to bag up your stash! While your skeins may not have been exposed to any human detritus, they're still vulnerable. Ever worked with a skein of yarn that constantly breaks (not counting tight knitters working with delicate yarns)? Yup, buggy. I've known people who had to pitch their entire stashes because of infestation. 


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