Attention Sockaholics! Prepare to get excited!

Turtlepurl Self Striping Sock Yarn is Back!

turtlepurl

There are currently 21 seriously fun colour patterns to choose from in this yarn, but they won’t last long so come in soon to get your first pick.
What’s so great about this yarn? – you might ask. Firstly, it is made in Canada, hand dyed yarn, which is always special.  Secondly, the yarn is cleverly dyed so that it will knit into stripe patterns with no extra effort from the knitter.  In addition the skeins are bundles into couplets, dyed to match each other so that sock knitters can match up the stripes in their socks.

socks

These socks were knit by Ellen in the Turtlepurl colour called Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock! Ellen’s socks are so dreamily soft because they are a special blend of sock yarn called Softshell Turtle Toes composed of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon. This super soft sock yarn makes for very happy feet.  We have a few colours in this decadent blend.  Colours like:

turtlepurl

Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock

turtlepurl

Origins of Purple

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Miss K’s Big Day

turtlepurl

Gothic Plum

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Old Glory

Most of the Turtlepurl sock yarn in the shop is the hard wearing Striped Turtletoes yarn which is a blend of superwash merino and nylon. Many old and friendly colours are making a reappearance and a few new ones too!  Colours like:

turtlepurl

Superman
I just couldn’t resist the name of this one! Who doesn’t want super hero socks?

turtlepurl

Snow White
All the colours of this leading ladies dress! These would make such sweet socks! Non?

Turtlepurl Striped Turtletoes would be terrific yarn to use an After Thought Heel Sock Pattern with.  That way the delightful stripes will not be interrupted by the heel knitting.  Check out the blog post for things to knit for Christmas for links to two different after thought heel patterns.  One in toe-up and the other is top-down!

Craftily yours
Kristin

5 Weeks till Christmas

So it’s 5 weeks now before Christmas.  Have you started your gift knitting yet?  If you need a push in that direction here it is.  I need to start a few things myself.  Still lots of time to do something really special for someone who will really appreciate the work. Below are some patterns, good for gift knitting and crocheting that are all for DK or Sport weight yarns.  Yarns like fancy Pashmina from Madelinetosh, or Sweet Georgia DK merino, or terrific old favourites like Cascade 220 Superwash will all be good bets for these projects.

Keaton Slouch Beanie by doverandmadden on etsy

Isn’t this a wonderful design! Once again imagine all the fun you could have mixing colours to make this hat.  Better yet – it is sized small (for a 12 monther) to big (adult).  The designer forewarns that you will have to know how to use double pointed needles and know how to increase and decrease.  This implies that the colour pattern is not fairisle nor stranded so if you are not used to colour work you should have no fear attempting this pattern, as only one colour should be worked at a time each row. You can purchase the pattern on etsy HERE

Keaton Slouch Beanie

Tee by The Knit Cafe

This brand new release from us – The Knit Cafe – is knit with sport weight yarn.  As all things knit for little ones it is a fairly fast knit.  You should be used to reading patterns and know how to increase and decrease and seam to make this wee sweater. The polka dots are added on once the knitting is done with a easy and super-fun technique called duplicate stitch.  We have added a picture tutorial on how to do duplicate stitch on The Knit Cafe’s Blog HERE, so you will have no trouble with it.  You can come in and let us advise you on polka dot colours, picking up some mini skeins for them, and get the pattern too. Or you can also purchase the pattern HERE

tee

Soft Cotton Cardi by Katya Novikova

This cute crocheted baby cardi has a lovely open texture and pretty colour details. It is sized to fit 6-9, 9-12, and 12-24 months. The written pattern has step-by-step instructions and a chart for the yoke. So grab your hook and go to it. You can purchase the pattern HERE

soft cotton cardi

Bea by Andi Satterlund

I like this headband because it has a great retro feel.  This is probably partly due to the DK weight yarn which makes a slimmer headband.  This will make an adorable hair adornment for your friend and a fast knit for you.  You can purchase this pattern HERE

For a chunkier, warmer headband have a look at The Knit Cafe’s free pattern called KNIT 101 HEADBAND.

bea

Hedgehog by Littlecottonrabbit on etsy

You can make this guy any size you like just by switching your yarn and needle size. The instructions suggest DK, Aran or Fingering weight. It also suggests that it would be a terrific project for using up scraps and I agree.  Whether you make it pincushion size for your crafty sister or hugable size for your sweet nephew this would be a great gift. you can purchase this pattern HERE

hedgehog

Sunday Shawl by The Little Bee

All you crocheters can get excited about this one!  It’s a generously sized crochet shawl pattern that allows you to get fun with colour! Have a look at some of the individual projects made from this pattern and you will see how different this shawl can be based on colour choice.  Crocheters know that it is a fast craft so even though it requires 1200 – 1365 m of yarn to complete this project you still have plenty of time to make it for Christmas. You can purchase the pattern HERE

sunday shawl

Ottograph Street by Cello Knit

The button on the top of this hat is like the delicious cherry on top.  It is that kind of terrific, one of a kind detail that really makes a hand knit sing! This hat is worked in rounds and with a simple lace pattern and a twisted rib hem. It is free! Find it HERE

Ottograph Street

Dr Who Scarf by Chris Brimelow

I love it when someone comes into the cafe and wants to choose colours to make an authentic Dr Who scarf.  It is a fun challenge to find just the right hues for this iconic piece of knitwear.  Anyone who is familiar with the series knows that there are a few different versions of this scarf.  The designer says “This is the first scarf worn by Tom Baker for his portrayal of Doctor Who from Robot in season 12 through The Seeds of Doom in season 13, and in scenes from The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, and The Deadly Assassin in season 14” so you know what you are getting into.  This is a long, long, long, long scarf but is knit completely in good old garter stitch and any knitter new to the craft or old will have no trouble with it.  If you have any Dr. Who aficionados in your life, I am sure they would greatly appreciate this gifty. The pattern is knit in DK weight yarn and you can find it for free HERE

Dr Who scarf

A New Family Portrait – A Collection of 3 Christmas Stockings by Dorene Delaney Giordano

How about this for a seasonable gift?  This is an advanced knitting project that will require some time to make.  If you are speedy you may be able to get one done for this Christmas.  At any rate, if you fancy hand made stockings for the family, it is a good time to get started.  These stockings have a wonderful classic farm-house feel, and would be such a joy to use year after year.  The pattern includes charts for all letters so that you may spell out the names of your loved ones. You can purchase the pattern as a set of three as there are three different surface patterns on these socks.  Or you can buy each pattern alone.  Find them HERE

Three Christmas Stockings

If all this doesn’t suit you, there is always the ever popular HoneyCowl! This free pattern has two sizes, so you can make it as a one or two skein project. Find it HERE
Craftily yours
Kristin

 

I got sunshine on a cloudy day!

shibui silk cloud

Look at these↑ beauties!  It is Silk Cloud by Shibui, a dreamy blend of silk and mohair, that is fine as lace, and silky soft to the touch.  Knit it up and you will feel that it is light as a cloud!  The colours are radiant and gorgeous!
To celebrate their arrival we thought we would pre-release one of the patterns we have been developing.  Sorry this is only an in store preview, the pattern will be ready for one and all to download soon, but if you are in the Rouncesvalles neighbourhood drop by.  You  can check out the Shibui Silk Cloud and if you fancy it you can get our new “Cloud” pattern free with purchase of the Silk Cloud yarn.

shibui cloud

Here is a teaser.  It is a detail pic of our “Cloud” patten all knit up.
To see it in all it’s glory, you will have to come by the shop.

The “Cloud” pattern will only be free with purchase till the end of the month!

silk cloud

See you soon
Craftily yours
Kristin

 

6 weeks till Christmas

Yes – today’s the day the countdown begins! If you are familiar with The Knit Cafe’s blog then you know that every year we throw out a few suggestions  for what you might knit or crochet for seasonal gifts.  We start with 6 weeks of knit time before December 25, and then every week we post more.
This post will make suggestions for stitchery in fingering (sock) weight yarn.  We still have a good amount of time to knit or crochet a fine project with time to spare before Christmas. Many of these patterns despite their call for fine yarn are decently small and should work up pretty fast. Here we go:

504 King West

504 King West by The Knit Cafe

This free Knit Cafe pattern was released this summer in conjunction with the TTC Knitalong. It is an asymmetrical scarf that explores fun with colour.  I have worn our scarf sample whilst in the shop and feeling a little chilly and I am a very big fan.  It is a lovely, light neck warmer with wonderful drape.  Terrific for Spring or Fall, great for an accessory piece worn indoors and wonderful to layer with bigger scarves when the world gets colder.  The pattern is free and you can find it HERE

mini mittens

Infant Mittens by The Purl Bee

Everything miniature is cute! It’s a fact! This will undoubtedly be a fast project, there are not even  thumbs to slow you down.  Use Koigu mini skeins as the accent colours and save on yarn costs, we have them here for $3 a skeinettte.
This pattern is free HERE

afterthought sock

After Thought Heel Socks by Juju

The “after thought” method is a wonderful way of knitting a sock and a really good way for a less experienced knitter to try.  You knit the sock tube, cuff to toe and then add on the heel after.  This is a great technique when using self patterning yarn like delightful Turtlepurl Turtletoes which is on it’s way to the Knit Cafe and should be on our doorstep soon. A toe-up pattern with great how-to pictures can be found HERE.  If you prefer a top down method then you can look at this pattern by Laura Linneman HERE.  Both are free!

unicorn stripes scarf

Unicorn Stripes by Antonia Shankland

A scarf in all the colours of the rainbow.  Thanks to our friends mini skeins you can get a bit of this colour with a bit of that colour to make this scarf.  Madelinetosh has just released a curated selection of colours of small skeins in her Merino Light yarn.  She calls them Unicorn Tails for obvious reasons.  Iwona has just unpacked them today!!!! You can purchase the pattern for this pretty scarf  HERE

splatterdash mittens

Spatterdash Wristwarmers by Dagmar Mora

These fancy mitts are bound to make any lovely ladies you know very happy. They are so pretty and elegant. Knit and wrapped around the hand the lacework is knit flat, and looks so great in hand dyed yarn! The pattern is free in Knitty Magazine HERE

rascal racoon mitts

Rascal Raccoon Mittens by Alison Stewart-Guinee

If the Spatterdash mittens are too fancy, how about a cute option for hand warmers, ones that look like raccoons maybe. These adorable mitts are sized from a 2 year old size to adult sizes. You can purchase the pattern HERE

simple garter stitch slippers

Simple Garter Stitch Slippers by handepande

This is a bit of a cheat because though the pattern calls for fingering weight yarn,  it is knit double stranded.  Alternatively you could use a single strand of worsted weight yarn. These simple cozy slippers have a crochet detail so the pattern is suitable for knitters who know a wee bit of crochet. This pattern is free and you can find it HERE

spiders

Spiders by Katya Novikova

Speaking of crochet, here’s one for the crocheters! This pretty scarf pattern has a lovely eyelet pattern .  You can purchase the pattern HERE

nangou

Nangou by Melanie Berg

I love this simple shawl.  It is almost all garter stitch with a subtle eyelet detail in a complimentary colour.  I really prefer shawl and scarf patterns to be reversible and this one is! You can purchase this pattern HERE

baby kimono

Garter Stitch Baby Kimono by Joji Locatelli

This very simple style looks so refined and is easy to take on and off baby.  It is sized newborn, 1-3 month. 0r 3-6 month. Perhaps you know a new Mom or Dad who needs something to warm their newborn. It is a free pattern too! Find it HERE

Next week we will showcase some projects with DK and sport weight yarns, until then get those needles working. You have 6 weeks to go!

Craftily yours
Kristin

 

 

The skinny and the fat on Madelinetosh

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Coming in a box at a time, the drawn out process of receiving our fall Madelinetosh order makes it even more exciting.  There are some new things coming, and some have already arrived.
Above is a lovely collection of Merino Light.  The perfect yarn for shawls and lightweight scarves, including our Soho Scarf project!
On top: Tart
Middle left to right: Vermillion, Mourning Dove, Smokestack
Bottom left to right: Candlewick, Forestry, Ink

tosh sock
We were so pleased with the last batch of splatter colour-ways we recieved from Madelinetosh that we requested more and more!  Here ↑ is Cosmic Wonder Dust in Tosh Sock yarn

tosh sock

Optic in Tosh Sock

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Holi Festival in Tosh Sock

Expect more splatters to show up in Tosh Chunky and Vintage (worsted weight) too!

The biggest cushiest yarn that Madelinetosh makes is called ASAP because it knits up real fast.  We have restock of ASAP in lovely blues and greys as well as bright pinks, oranges and yellows, and this brand new colour ↓

ASAP

It’s called Spectrum!

More Madelinetosh updates to come soon
Craftily yours
Kristin

 

 

 

 

The Buzz on Halloween

DSCN0004Happy Halloween Everyone!

Look at the adorable hat Iwona made for Charlie’s first Halloween costume. There is a wonderful striped romper that goes with it too.  That’s what you get when you have a crafty Mom!
Sorry – there is no pattern for this hat.  It was improvised!
Crochet is a great medium for improvisation, since one stitch is added at a time and you can see your project grow and develop as you build – kinda like lego!

If you are not yet a crocheter – why not join our upcoming crochet blanket class?

crochet blanket hexagonsI love this blanket pattern! It is so fun to make and there are so many ways of making it unique by choosing different colour combinations.

It is also a terrific way to learn how to crochet in circles which is the first step to improvising your own bumble bee hat!

Crochet Blanket Class
Sunday November 9, 16, 12:30-3:30pm
$74, materials not included
Register HERE
or call us at 416 533 5648

crochet blanket hexThis is the back side of the blanket which is decorating up our window this week.  Drop by and see it!
Craftily yours
Kristin

Tee

Today I would like to highlight the final pattern in The Knit Cafe’s Wee Collection Fall 2014. It’s called Tee!

It’s a small size t-shirt, to fit baby and up to 3-years in size. Knit in organic cotton it is meant to be casual and comfortable, the polka dot embellishment is meant to be a whole lot of fun!

tee front cropThis is the front!

tee back cropThis is the back!

teeYou may add the polka dots where you will as they are added on after with a marvelous and easy technique called duplicate stitch.

Duplicate Stitch is a wonderful way to add coloured embellishments to your knitted garments.  It is more akin to an embroidery than a knitting technique and is so simple and fun to do. I will demonstrate in the form of a tutorial!

DUPLICATE STITCH TUTORIAL

You will need: a darning needle, and contrast colour yarn in the same thickness as the yarn you used to knit your garment, and sharp scissors too.

Cut a piece of yarn. The length of which will depend on how large an area you intend to cover, tempered by how long a piece you can handle pulling up through your work repetitively without getting tangled up. It takes approximately 147cm length of yarn to make a polka dot but we made each polka dot with two separate lengths of yarn. We started with a piece of yarn about 80cm long.

duplicate st 1

Thread your yarn on your darning needle and thread it through your knit fabric just under the stitch you intend to cover. Duplicate stitch is always worked over stocking stitch so each stitch will resemble a V in shape.  The needle will come up at the base of the V, shown here with a  red dot!
Leave a length of yarn on the reverse side of the fabric which is long enough to darn into your work once you are finished the duplicate stitching.

duplicate st 2

Next, thread your yarn through the stitch above the stitch you intend to cover.  The needle goes under one arm of the V and through the other arm.  See illustration above.

duplicate st 3

Then insert your needle through the original spot where your yarn first appeared.  Pull just so that the yarn covers the stitch, not so tight that it puckers the fabric and shows the stitch underneath and not so loose that it looks untidy.

duplicate st 4

To place a duplicate stitch beside the one you just finished, bring your needle up under the base of the V beside the stitch you just covered (indicated with blue dot) and repeat the steps above.

duplicate st 5

Or you can place a stitch above the duplicate stitch you just completed by bringing your needle up under the base of the V above the completed duplicate stitch as shown by the blue dot in the diagram.

Repeat as necessary to finish your polka dot or whatever pattern you fancy.

tee

We used Anzula’s Mini Skeins in For Better or Worsted yarn to make our polka dots. One skein in each of the 3 colours was plenty to make the polka dots we required. Hooray for mini skeins!

Other patterns in the Wee Collection Fall 2014 are Baby Harem.  and Tremblant Blanket and Bunting for Beginners too. You can see all The Knit Cafe’s Pattern on our Ravelry Page HERE.

Craftily yours
Kristin