Happy Merry!

goat

Happy Happy Happy Happy Holidays Everyone!

We sure hope this  season brings you much joy and some knitting too!

Knit Cafe Holiday Hours

December 24th 10am-3:30pm
December 25th Closed
December 26th Closed
December 27th – 30th regular store hours
December 31st – 10am-5:00pm
January 1st 2015 Closed

Boxing Day Sale
Saturday December 27th -
Wednesday December 31st

 

What Knitters and Crocheters want for Christmas

Do you have a knitter to shop for?  Are you a knitter or crocheter who has a few empty spots on  your Christmas wish list?   Here is a short list of items we think would make any knitter and/or crocheter one happy crafter!

interchangable needle sets

Interchangable needle sets! Yes please! These are circular knitting needles sets that come with different cord lengths and a variety of needle tip sizes that you can mix and match.  You may never need to buy another needle with some of these. We have two brands in stock.  The luxury liner of knitting needles Addi Turbo has stainless steel tips with superior joins and cords, sizes in the sets range from 3.5-10mm. We also have some lace tip sets too.  The turbo needles come in a sleek vinyl case. The whole set comes to $195

HiyaHiya interchangable needle sets are available in either bamboo or steel tips. You can buy the larger set which has sizes 5.5-10mm or the smaller set which has sizes 2.75-5mm. The HiyaHiyas have an attractive silky case. Each size costs $90.

crochet hooks

Crocheters can keep all their hooks handy and organized too, in this bright pink carrying case.  The colour coded hooks make finding a size a snap! The set which includes hook sizes 2.25-6mm is $100.
For crocheters who need a hook that is a little bit easier on the hands (and who doesn’t really) we have some hook with soft grips that making crocheting even more fun! The soft touch crochet hooks are sold separately and are $8.50 each.

project bag and turtlepurl

Pretty Project Bags by Blue Sky Alpaca have lovely printed designs.  Choose from 6 different bird motifs in 6 different colours, for just $7.50 each.  To make the knitter in your life extra happy fill the project bag with yarns from Turtlepurl.   This yarn knits in a delightful stripe pattern.  We have worsted weight for hats and mittens and scarves and such, and fingering weight skeins that come bundled in sets of two so you can make matching socks.  See some of the lovely colour choices HERE and HERE.  Turtlepurl worsted is $30 a skein and Striped Turtletoes for socks is $28 for two 50g skeins.

kate austin bags

Look at these fancy bags for all your bits and pieces!  They are the perfect length for double pointed knitting needles, plus they’ll fit your scissors and stitch markers, row counters and cable needles (if you need any of these gadgets we have them too!). The patterns on the bags are the original designs of our very own Kate Austin, sturdily made here in Canada for only $15.

knit cafe knit kits

scarfeasy peasy mittens

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn to knit kits by The Knit Cafe are here! They contain our very own booklet that describes the basic skills needed to knit a simple project.  You can choose either a scarf pattern or an arm warmer pattern and yarn and needles to go along with it. In short – everything a new knitter will need to get them started. The price will vary with the project and the yarn choice. If you were thinking of teaching someone to knit over the holidays this would be a terrific starter kit!

knitter's crash coursecrochet books

You can also purchase the Knit Cafe’s learn to knit booklet called “Knitter’s Crash Course” on its own for only $6.50. The booklet contains instructions for casting on, binding off, the knit stitch, weaving in ends and seaming.
For crocheters or crocheter wannabes we have a few really good learn to crochet books in shop. Both have lovely pics, clear instructions and inspiring projects.

023shawl pin

If you need some stocking stuffers – look no further then Eucalan. Even if you are not a knitter, but especially if you are, you will want a little Eucalan for Christmas.  This gentle soap is terrific for washing hand knits but also for anything that needs extra care.  It comes in delightful scented or non scented varieties and two sizes, 100ml for $5 and 500ml for $13.
A shawl pin would also fit nicely in a stocking.  This one is hand made in Nova Scotia by River John, and is only $12.

needle felting

Exciting news for Needle Felters – we just got in a great big shipment of colourful fleece perfect for this craft.  We now have 35 colours! Sold in 15 gram bits for $2.75 each you can pick and choose your favourite colour palet.  Of course we have needle felting needles too, and this great “how to” book by Ashford.  Soon you will be crafting your own tree ornaments!

madder

Knitters also want gorgeous pattern books by independent knit designers.  Books like this one called “Madder Anthology” by Carrie Bostick Hoge.  It is delicious to look at and has wonderful knitted garments to dream about stitching.  We also have lovely pattern books from Hannah Fettig also known as Knitbot and Alana Dakos too.  They just came in today!!!

 One more thing that Knitters and Crocheters want:

Gift Certificates from The Knit Cafe

We can send one to you in an email too, just get in touch by writing to: theknitcafe@hotmail.com
or call 416 533 5648

Craftily yours
Kristin

1 week till Christmas

One more week!  Are you all done your gift knitting yet?  If you need one more thing to stuff a stocking or for under the tree, then check out these ideas for projects that use Super Bulky yarn.  You might notice that most of these projects are hats and other small accessories.  That is no accident! All of these should be quick knits.

the gathering

The Gathering by Kalurah

I have had a few folks come into the shop lately with this pattern on their mind. The designer was inspired by the cowl worn by Claire Randall on the series Outlander. It is knit with two strands of extra bulky yarn held together on a 25 mm needle, so it is extra, extra, extra big. Two full twists in the cowl makes it hang just so, and so big it can be pulled over you head as a hood or over your shoulders as a capelet. This pattern features a provisional cast on and kitchener stitch to seam it together, but you could omit these details if you are an inexperienced knitter.  The Gathering cowl is a free pattern found HERE

For a similar pattern that takes only one skein of Burly Spun by Brown Sheep, have a look at The Knit Cafe’s Mondo Neck Cozy Pattern right HERE

childrens quick knitted cable cowl

Childrens Quick Knitted Cable Cowl by A Crafty House

The name says it all! It’s quick to knit, it’s cabled and it’s for kids to wear.  There is also a version for adults which can be found HERE. The designer says you can easily finish the kids version in an hour.  It takes only 46 – 50 m of yarn, so one skein of Madelinetosh ASAP will do the trick.  This merino wool will not cause the ichies and it’s machine washable too! Find this free pattern HERE

bonnie beret

Bonnie Beret by Rachel Oglesby

This pattern is only 9 rounds long.  Imagine how quick that must be to make.  You’ll need a sizable hook and an extra chunky yarn like Brown Sheep Burly Spun or Malabrigo Rasta and maybe an hour of your time to make this fashionable crocheted beret. The pattern is free and you can find it HERE

bohemian

Bohemian by Eva Stone

Extra chunky yarn shows off the different textures in this hat. Hats are just the ticket for fast knitting.  This pattern is a free one and you can find it HERE

acorn hat

Acorn Hat by Susan B. Anderson

This is a nice thick hat that resembles an acorn.  Knit it in two tones like the picture shows to accentuate the acorn effect, or all in one colour. The hat fits newborn, baby, toddler/young child, or older child/teen/adult.  The original hat was knit in Spud and Chloe Outer, but Madelinetosh ASAP would also be splendid. Find this pattern for sale HERE

meathead hat

 Meathead Hat by Larissa Brown

I love the pocket in this hat! The pointy shape is adorable too, and of course it is knit in chunky yarn! You can find the pattern HERE

headbandknit 101 headband

Knit 101 Headband and Knit 101 Headband Too! by The Knit Cafe

If you are really short on time try the Knit Cafe’s chunky headband pattern. Both are free patterns on our blog.  HERE and HERE.

That is all the knit suggestions for this year.  I’m sure you have all come up with your own great ideas.  We would love to know about them.  Do share!

Craftily yours
Kristin

The new yarn keeps coming!

If it seems like every week I have a new yarn to brag about, it is because that’s true.  Today I have two more!
One of them is Flicker by Berroco.  This deliciously soft yarn is made with 87% baby alpaca and (yes your eyes are not deceiving you) a wee bit of sparkle.  It has just enough flash to add the glint of glamor, but not so much that it’s kitschy. The corded construction in this yarn gives the alpaca extra elasticity and means knitted goods will keep their shapes nicely.

berroco flicker

We used two strands of Flicker held together to make this chunky hat. The Twinkle Hat is a great hat for beginners. You don’t even need to know how to knit in circles to make it.  We are offering it as a free in store pattern till Christmas with purchase.  If you can’t make it into the store you can buy just the pattern HERE.

twinkle toquetwinkle toque

Also new in the shop is a small amount of the Super Bulky yarn from Malabrigo called Rasta.  Many of you may be already familiar with this lovely soft merino yarn.  It comes in pretty hand dyed colours like this one ↓

malabrigo rasta

The Rasta might be just thing for a last minute knit gift like a chunky headband.

Last year we published a free pattern right here on the blog called Knit 101 Headband.  Since then I have seen many charming versions of this pattern all knit up and keeping ears cozy.  Many clever people have adapted the pattern. One beautiful version combines knits and purl stitches in a stocking stitch pattern to make a more refined look.  I thought I might knit up a version like this and share the results with you.  Here it is ↓ and the pattern too!

head band

Knit 101 Headband Too

Finished Dimensions: Width 10cm (4″), Circumference unstretched: 44cm (17″)

9mm needles, and cable needle

1 skein Spud and Chloe Outer 55m (60yds). For my version I used exactly half the ball.  Or like the original Knit 101 Headband you can double strand an Aran Weight yarn like Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky.

Gauge in stocking stitch – 12 sts/10cm (4″)

Cast on 12 stitches
Slip 1, Knit to end
Slip 1, Purl to end
Repeat these 2 rows till measures 23 cm (9″) or to fit half way around your head when stretched out some. End with a purl row.

To make Cable Twist:

Slip 1, Slip the next 5 stitches on a cable needle and hold behind the rest of your stitches
Knit the next 5 stitches from your original needles (not the ones on the cable)
Knit the 5 stitches from the cable needle
Knit the last stitch from your original needle.

For a picture tutorial on how to do the cable twist check out the original Knit 101 Headband pattern HERE

Slip 1, Purl to end
Slip 1, Knit to end
Repeat these two rows till measures 23 cm (9″) or to fit half way around your head when stretched out.

Bind off, leaving a long tail for seaming and seam ends together.

Note: Slip 1 as follows: On knit rows slip the stitch knitwise by inserting your needle as if you were knitting and transfer it to the other needle. On purl rows slip the stitch purlwise by inserting your needle as if you were purling and transfer it to the other needle.

Much like the first Knit 101 Headband project I think there are a few different ways to seam it together. One way will leave a less bulky seam but not as pretty a finish on the right side.  For this type of seam:
Insert needle through the cast off edge and the cast on edge straight through.

head band

Pull through both, and change the direction of your needle to connect cast on to cast off. Keep weaving back and forth till you have connected all the stitches.

head band

Or you can make a very pretty looking join with a more bulky underside like this:

head band

Insert your needle under a stitch on one side of your headband.   Make sure you get both sides of the V shaped stitch.

head band

 Insert your needle under a stitch on the other side of the seam . Move back and forth across the two pieces to join stitch to stitch.

head band

When you are done it will look much like this!

head band…but as I mentioned, a little thick on the underside.  You can see the seam a little bit in this pic.
Seam it up however you like.  I hope you enjoy the pattern.

Craftily yours
Kristin

 

2 weeks till Christmas

There are 2 weeks till Christmas, but don’t panic! There is still time to get some wonderful knit projects done before the big day.  Big yarn and big needles will make the work go faster.  Below you will find ideas for knittables that use Bulky weight yarn.  You will also find some projects that use Super Bulky yarn.  There are so many wonderful projects that use the biggest of yarns that I couldn’t resist putting a few in this post.  There will be even more Super Bulky projects next week.yeti and sasquatch

Yeti and Sasquatch by Barabara Prime

These guys top my list of things I would most like to knit.  Adorable! Just look at those feet! The pattern comes with instructions for the knitted backpack and beret too.  I will say it again -Adorable! You can purchase this pattern right HERE

Sentiment

Sentiment by Andrea Rangel Knits

The extra bulky yarn makes the lace stitching in this shawl even more obvious so all your hard work will get the attention it deserves.  The sample in the picture is knit with soft Malabrigo Rasta yarn.  We just received a small shipment of this super bulky hand dyed merino.  It would be a great choice for this cuddly shawl as would Brown Sheep Burly Spun which is also back in stock in an abundance of colours.  You can purchase this pattern HERE

Willy the Wiley Fox

Willy the Wiley Fox by Kasia Smolak

This foxy coat will turn any wee one into an adorable wild child.  It fits toddlers 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years old.  Thick yarn will make this project a fast one and also keep the recipient snuggly warm. The instructions include photos and diagrams to help you out.  You can purchase it HERE

woodland fox baby

 Woodland Fox Baby by Kristen Cooper

What! Two fox projects!  It is the animal of the moment after all, everyone seems crazy about this woodland beastie.  This hat will be faster to knit then the full sweater version and an easier project for newer knitters.  The pattern also comes with instructions for making the fox tail.  Think Halloween costume for next year already covered! The hat is only available in one size, 3-12 months.  It is a free pattern right HERE

whipped blanket pattern

Whipped Blankets by Leslie Scanion

You might be shaking your head and wondering why I am suggesting you make a blanket with only two weeks to do so.  I firmly believe that this is not a pie in the sky suggestion.  This blanket can be knit at a fast and furious pace with the aid of bulky or even extra bulky yarn.  The pattern includes instructions for blankets in both weights and also three possible knit textures.  The edges of this lovely, chunky throw are whipped stitched (hence the name). This is where you can add a splash of colour to your blanket and make it extra darn special.  This blanket pattern takes 475 – 594 m which is a pretty small amount of yardage for a blanket and amounts to about 4 skeins of Brown Sheep Burly Spun. You can purchase this pattern right HERE

slipper boots

Slipper Boots by Bernat Design Studio

This free crochet pattern makes really sturdy looking slip on boots. The kind that would go on easy when your eyes are still blurred in the morning and keep your tootsies cozy as you shuffle about in your morning routine.  There are sizes for all ages – shoe sizes 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12.  If you are a crocheter have a look at this free pattern HERE

chickadee cowl

Chickadee Cowl by Kirsten Kapur

A linen-stitch cowl! Linen stitch is a very beautiful stitch pattern that looks almost like weaving. It is particularly lovely in multicoloured yarns but looks tailored and trim in plain colours.  This cowl pattern uses thicker yarn which makes up for the time that is usually required to make this dense stitch.  It is also a close fitting cowl, shorter than your average scarf and thus faster to knit. Good for a gal or a gent, if you make this cowl, please have fun with your colour selection.  It is a free one! Find it HERE

Baylie bear cowl

Baylie Bear Cowl by Heidi May

Last year I showcased this adorable cowl, but now there is a crochet version too.  The original knit pattern can be found HERE.  Crocheters can now make this cute, bear-eared hood and neck warmer for little ones 3/6 months, 6/12 months, 12/18 month, toddler, and older child sizes.  In fact  the sizing goes into adult sizes. Brown Sheep Burly Spun comes in so many bear friendly shades, browns and greys and black, so that would be my first choice for yarn.  You can purchase the crochet pattern HERE

twinkle toque

Twinkle Hat by The Knit Cafe

This hat is knit with a 8mm needle and 2 strands of soft Berroco Flicker held together to make it a chunky and fast knit hat.  You may also notice that the hat is knit side to side (not bottom to top).  It is knit flat and shaped with “short rows”.  This is a great project for knitters who are intimidated by double pointed needles but are itching to make a hat.  Flicker is an incredibly soft alpaca yarn with a small bit of  festive sparkly.  We just got some of this yarn on the shelves and to celebrate it’s arrival we thought we would offer the Twinkle Hat pattern free with purchase.  Sorry this offer is only for in-store purchases.  You can purchase the pattern that includes a picture tutorial on the short row shaping right HERE

Have fun with your gift knitting! Stay tuned for next week and more quick, Super Bulky knit and crochet projects.
Craftily yours
Kristin

Something BIG from Turtlepurl!

Oh happy day! I have very exciting news to share.
We just received a package from Turtlepurl yarns, the creator of delicious Stripe Turtletoes (the wonderful self striping yarn).
This is especially good news for anyone who has been tempted to knit with this amazing yarn but has been intimidated by the skinniness.  It now comes in worsted weight! There is currently a selection of 6 stripey colourways and we have some of all of them.

turtlepurl worsted

Trenchcoat

turtlepurl worsted

City Girl

turtlepurl worsted

Gothic Plum

turtlepurl worsted

Nano

turtlepurl worsted

Om

013

Yuppie Love

017

The labels come with a pic that hints how the stripes might develop.

Exciting differences would appear depending on whether you cast on for a baby sweater or a set of mittens. The potential for cute projects seems unlimited in this yarn. Imagine a striped scarf without darning in all the ends.  Ditto for a hat!
This yarn is spun from 100% Superwash Merino and has a yardage of 200yds, for $30.
We can’t wait for you to see it!

Craftily yours
Kristin

 

3 Weeks till Christmas

We’ve got three weeks to knit gifts for Christmas! Below are some suggestions of knittables that take Aran Weight yarns.

Clouds by The Knit Cafe

It is a brand new pattern from The Knit Cafe.  We have been teasing you with this pattern for a while but now it is available to one and all, near and far. True, this project is knit with a lace weight yarn , but the 6mm needles that are used to knit it puts this project squarely within the parameters of an aran weight project. Silk and mohair conspire to make this dreamy, light shawl.  It is knit loosely making it a faster knit and a transparent fabric.
Start dreaming about your favourite colour combos of  Shibui Silk Cloud, and find the pattern HERE

clouds

Tremblant Blanket by The Knit Cafe

This baby blanket was introduced just a few months ago as part of The Knit Cafe’s Wee Collection Fall 2014.  The body of the blanket is knit with a reversible knit and purl stitch pattern.  The colourful border is knit on after by picking up the stitches along each side.  Oh what fun to choose 4 contrasting colours! We used Cascade 128 which is a plush superwash merino, so blankie will go in the washer too. You can purchase this pattern HERE

tremblant blanket

Cadeautje by Ysolda Teagues

I love thrumming! I have made a few thrummed mittens in my time, even designed a Thrum Mitten pattern which you can purchase HERE, and many a thrummed slipper has been created through my efforts.  This thrummed slipper looks so awesome I think it will be one of my next projects.  Thrumming happens when strips of unspun fleece are knit into a project leaving tuffs of fluffy wool lining the inside.  This makes a cushion of warmth that can’t be beat! Currently you must purchase this pattern as part of a booklet called Knitworthy which you can find HERE.  The designer says the pattern will be available to purchase solo on December 15.  Read all about it HERE

The knit cafe has a sweet selection of hand dyed fleece from Sweet Georgia that would be perfect for this project.

cadeautje thrum slippers

Lunatic Fringe by Jennifer Dassau

This is a sweet, rustic looking wrap.  The fringe is knit right on to the shawl by casting on and off. Best of all the pattern can be found in Knitty magazine and is therefore free to try.  You can find it HERE

lunatic fringe

Dot Craze Cowl by Pickles

The designer describes this cowl as “a quite easy cowl filled with dots”, and so it is!  Bobbley type dots decorate this cowl which is knit bigger on the bottom for a nice fit on the shoulders.  This pattern is free and you can find it HERE

dot craze cowl

Robin Cowl by Caroline Weins

This button up cowl is extra wide so that it ca be worn over the shoulders or up around your ears like a hood. It is knit flat, so if you are not experienced working with circular needles but would still like to make a circular scarf this might be attractive to you. Have fun picking the buttons, I can picture it with all different colours! The pattern is free and you can find it HERE

robin cowl

Cocoon Hat by La Maison Rililie

Looking for the perfect slouchy toque?  This one looks like a new classic with it’s chunky ribbed pattern.  Even better the pattern is free and you can find it HERE

cocoon

Magnolia by Maria Socha

If you are looking for a hat pattern with some more details in the stitching how about Magnolia?  It has a rib brim and a lace stitched top with lots of dimension. You can purchase this pattern HERE

magnolia

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nicoles Nerdy Knots

It is just a wonderful thing that this exists – a crochet pattern for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  Perhaps you know someone who has more than a passing acquaintance with Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo, if so, I think I found your gift for them.  The crochet pattern  for these guys can be found right HERE.  It’s free!

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Snail Twist Headband by Laura Irwin on Etsy

This is quite a fancy head wrap, appropriate for any fashionable types on your list. You can buy the pattern from the designer on Etsy HERE

snail headband

That is it for this week.  Next week I share some suggestions for bulky and extra bulky yarns too.

Craftily yours
Kristin