Who isn’t working on a “Find Your Fade” shawl right now? This weekend at our annual knitting retreat, I was thrilled to see all shades and sizes of Fades—all breathtakingly beautiful. If Ravelry numbers are anything to go by, knitters worldwide are also captivated by this shawl. Currently, there are 3,090 Fades on this website, which I pour over on a weekly basis. Also, knitters who attend our Wednesday knit night are not stopping at one Fade, but are finishing up their second, and dreaming about their third. What is it about this shawl? (Kari’s Fade in progress) (Odessa’s Fade in progress) Is it the size—like a well-loved blanket we can walk around in all day? Or the shape, which seems to wrap perfectly and hang just so? Or is it the challenge designer Andrea Mowry has set us, to… Read more »
I can’t believe tomorrow is April 1st. Winter finally seems to be over and the beginnings of spring are arriving. With the warmer weather, the melting snow and the fresh smell of rain and new grass also comes the excitement of new spring yarns. I love Shibui yarns and was really happy to hear they were working on a replacement for their linen chain yarn. Linen and linen blends are some of my favourite yarns to knit with and to wear, especially when the weather is warmer. Shibui Reed arrived in the shop last week and I was so pleasantly surprised by the softness of this 100% linen yarn. The same beautiful drape that I’ve come to expect from linen, but with a soft handle which is not something I usually associate with linen until it’s been washed a few… Read more »
Of the projects I have on the needles right now, I’m most excited about the Fallen Cloud shawl by Lisa Hannes. My love of this project springs from the design—those cables are gorgeous—and the yarn I’ve chosen, Woolstok Worsted in Quartz Crystal. Blue Sky Fibres’ Woolstok is my newest favourite yarn. The bounce and stretch of this yarn is unparalleled. Although I was attracted to the yarn’s colour, tooth and loft at first, I held back on purchasing it. But that all changed when I wore Mona’s Endless Wrap by Sylvia Hager, in the colourway Golden Meadow, for an afternoon in the shop. The elasticity and warmth of the fabric clinched the sale. I had to have it. And I have not been disappointed. I love knitting with this yarn because it feels so darn good in my hands, and the stitches virtually spring off my… Read more »
I love non-superwash wooly yarns. A woman I used to knit with used to explain her love of Lopi by saying “I like that it’s scratchy, that’s how you know it’s working.” For me it’s not so much that it iss scratchy, but with non-treated yarns you do often feel the tooth of the yarn, and that’s what lets me know that it has the kind of bloom that I love in projects. Right now the yarn that I’m in love with it Blue Sky Fiber’s Woolstok. Made from 100% Fine Highland wool, it is a lofty wooly light worsted weight yarn. Woolstok comes in 50g skeins, with 123 yards. It comes in 21 colours (all colours are included in the 21 Colours hat kits that have been so popular here in the shop), and the bloom of the… Read more »
Most of the time I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to be able to do what I do for a living. Last week was no exception to that especially when the 21 Color Slouch Hat kits came in from Blue Sky Fibers. The kit was made with teeny skeins of Woolstok and I became dreamy, not only from the colours but from the soft feel of what looks like a toothy yarn. As soon as Odessa started knitting on the kit sample we knew we had to order all the colours of this yarn. Blue Sky Fibers creates really gorgeous yarn. They are also really kind people and provide us with great advice and tons of support as well and within 24 hours I had a kit in my hand for the Endless… Read more »
I just finished a sweater using Cascade Longwood and its just such a lovely yarn. I’ve used it a few times and the stitch definition is incomparable! I like to refer to this yarn as plies on plies as its plied strands of super soft merino yarn plied together for great bounce and loft. The Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli I finished this week in this yarn turned out so lovely. The yarn makes a fabric that feels like a luxe version of a favourite comfy sweatshirt. Last year I also knit a Stovetop hat from Tin Can Knits out of this yarn – the construction of this yarn really makes the cables pop!
I’m on a huge blanket jag right now. I love to knit or crochet blankets for my home, to give away, or just for me as a special indulgent treat—it’s like a big squishy hug from me to me. I’m lovin’ working on Stephen West’s Garter Squish blanket. I’m knitting it up in Cascade’s Longwood, and I challenge anyone to find a squishier yarn for this project! The blanket is made by holding two strands of yarn together, carrying one colour all the way through, while switching out 8 or 9 other colours. This is the most comforting blanket I’ve ever knit! Because less more is more (LOL), I’ve also got a crocheted blanket on the go. I’m in love with Lucy of Attic 24’s patterns. Her blankets are so inspiring because her colour combinations are amazing! For my Summer Garden Granny… Read more »
I have always been a huge fan of all the Manos yarns and in recent years I am so impressed with their new yarns and colours. Alegria, a high twist sock yarn, Fino, a single blend merino/silk blend and Gloria, a high twist worsted yarn, have all quickly become my favourites. I have been eagerly awaiting this season’s new yarn from Manos and I was not disappointed. Manos Milo is a sport weight single yarn blended with merino and linen. It is so soft to the touch, which is a little unexpected from a linen yarn, and so squishy once it’s been knit up into a fabric with a wonderful drape. I knew we were going to focus on Manos at our recent Manitoba Fibre Festival and i wanted to have a new sample knit up. I chose the… Read more »
Right now I am busy working away on some Fleece Artist Vamps! We just got these kits in and brought them to the Manitoba Fibre Festival over the weekend. What are vamps? They are super warm, slippers or boot socks. Traditionally knit in Newfoundland, they are great for keeping your feet cozy! Over the weekend a woman mentioned to me that her daughter loves them to wear in her Toms to wear them a bit longer into the fall and I was all about that! The kits come with a merino yarn and a fuzzy mohair blend from Fleece Artist which you hold along with the merino for extra warmth and coziness! The kit comes with all the yarn and the pattern for the Vamps – all you need is a set of US 6/4mm needles.
One of my favourite yarns is Eco Andean Dk. Nice and woolly, it comes in a range of natural colours (and soon, dyed colours as well.) I’ve used it for two sweaters (Polwarth and Stasis). Polwarth is a fairly plain sweater, with an interesting texture detail at the neck that stands out well in this yarn. Stasis has a colour work pattern on the yoke, wrists and at the hem, and this yarn gives it a very crisp definition. While it isn’t the softest yarn, I did find it to be pretty durable- I wore Stasis to a soapstone carving class and it held up well to a lot of friction. It’s a lighter weight yarn, making it a great choice to layer.