the signs say we’re moving!

At least the sign in our window says “we’re moving!”. Below is a pic of our current Knit Cafe window. It makes me a bit sad that this is the last window I will design and dress at this location.  Over the last 10 years this has been one of my most satisfying projects.  No doubt more fantastic opportunities are to come at our new Roncesvalles location, but for now I thought I would just take a trip down memory lane and share some photos of windows-past.  Unfortunately it is pretty tricky to take a picture through a pane of glass so some of the photos are not nearly as special as the knit-displays were.  Also unfortunate is that I do not have pictures of many of our displays, including my first knit-art windows that featured my anatomical hearts.  If you have some photos of Knit Cafe windows you would like to share – please do get in touch!kc window

Beautiful Lace Medallion by Natalie Selles, 2013

natalie's window

Cat with Pom Pom, 2013

poppom window

Clouds made with fleece and a variety of precipitation, 2011

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Close-up of same. Photo from Robbie Eddison

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Snail Climbing a Felted Peony, 2012

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Over the years we have welcomed many wonderful guest artists to set up shop for a time in our window gallery.  Here are a few ↓

Felted Lion Head by Keily Stewart

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Yarn Tornado by Stacey Sproule

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Wool Stick Forest by Barbara Klunder, 2006

branches

Crocheted triangles = Triangle, made by Becky Johnson

triangles

This Crocheted Coral Reef was made from discarded plastic bags by a lovely group of ladies, Becky Johnson, Shannon Gerard, Angelune des Laurier and Kalpna Patel. The picture was taken by Angleune Des Lauriers

toxic reef

Shanell Papp’s Crocheted Skeleton.  Shanell was visiting from Alberta for the City of Craft Show 2009.

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Part of the City of Craft event from 2011 was this display.  These hand knitted envelopes were made by Dear Toronto.  This was an interactive installation that encouraged folks to write love letters to Toronto and leave them in the fuzzy envelopes.

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One of my favourite windows ever! It was designed by talented Iwona for Gay Pride week.  The photo is Robbie’s.

rainbow bears

Bunting by Jana Reid

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…and then there were owls.
It started off innocently enough. Edie Kim crocheted an adorable owl that we all wanted to copy, so I asked our resident knitters to make a bunch and I went about collecting a bushel full of pine cones to go with them.

owls @the knit cafe by Robbie Eddison

and then we dressed some of them up for Halloween! This was our exhibit from Nuit Blanche 2011 called “Tecolote

Robbie NB 4Capture

heysus

Followed by the Christmas window of 2013

chritmas owls

For our 2009 Nuit Blanche exhibit the owls went to the circus.  This knitted parasol took many wee owls for a ride.  It was on a motor and turned continually!

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More Cirques Des Hiboux from 2009

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What is up with this Nuit Blanche thing?  Well, because we are crazy knitter’s – every year since we opened here on Queen Street we have been participating in this all night arts event.  That’s right- we’re up all night knitting and showing off some knit-art.
One of our first exhibits was “The Late Great Pom Pom Exchange”, where about a million art enthusiasts learned how to make Pom Poms.

late great pompom exchnage

Our third year as part of Nuit Blanche we created one of our most popular exhibits ever! It was called “Knit City”.

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Then in 2010 there was this crazy concoction – we called it Knit Magic!

Nuit Blanche 2010, 1

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This past year we made Salon Des Equreuils – or in other words – fancy, arty squirrels!

nuit blanche 2013

nuit blanche 2013

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2012 was “She’s come Undone
It started out like this↓

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…and then every hour we unraveled a layer of the doll revealing the knit doll beneath.  At the end of the night this is what was left↓

matroyska

The very long scarf that is now the feature in our window was made from the yarn that was once these knit-Matroyshkas.

Last but definitely not least – Polar Bears!

polar bears

polar bears

Craftily yours
Kristin

getting Misti!

That’s right! It’s Misti Alpaca!  One of the softest yarns you will ever touch – truely! In these days of demonic cold I look back on the day I bought my alpaca coat with a great deal of favour!  It is so warm! Alpaca is one of the warmest fibres and one of the lightest too.

The Misti Alpaca Chunky we just received, is a bit different then we’ve seen it before! Check it out – hand dyed alpaca!DSCN0005

Lake Superior

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Pico

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Winter Queen

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Granite

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Midnight

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Faberge

If you’ve taken our Knit 101 class you have in hand the perfect pattern for this yarn.  If you have not taken this class you can find the pattern HERE. One skein will make a very warm toque.
The Hand Painted Misti Alpaca Chunky is $27 per skein, the solid colours are $18 each. A little bird tells me that prices are scheduled to rise soon, so this is a good time to squirrel some away.

Craftily yours
Kristin

5 new classes starting this week!

Heads up folks!  We have some pretty special classes starting this week!

owls
Amigurumi
It’s crocheting adorable toys.  You can practice in class by making these sweet owls and learn techniques like 3D shaping and pattern reading so you can create more critters on your own.
Sunday March 2, 12:30-3pm, $32, materials not included

simply twisted 2
Cable Cowl Workshop
An introduction to cabling class, where you make this classy cable cowl!
Wednesday March 5, 6:30-9pm, $32, materials not included

baby blanket
Baby Blanket Workshop
Learn to recognize your knit from your purl and back again while you stitch away at this blanket.  Pattern reading is another key ingredient in this class curriculum. Bonus – you end up with a terrific blankie just in time for spring!
Thursday March 6, 6:30-9pm, $32, materials not included

baby sweaterSweater Design Class

That’s right – you can design your very own sweater.  You will use simply formulas to construct a top down raglan sleeve sweater to fit your own measurements. Cardigan or pullover – it’s your choice!
chunky cardi
Sweater Design Class
Saturday March 8, 15, 22, break, April 5, 10:30am-12:30pm, $100, materials not included.

needle felting
Needle Felting Workshop
No experience necessary! Transform fluffy fleece into 3D forms!
Sunday March 9, 12:30-3pm, $32, materials not included.

Wow!

To register for classes, give us a call at 416 533 5648.

Craftily yours
Kristin

mix and match

How about this wonderful project by Miss Edie Kim?

edie's cowlIt’s the Knit Cafe’s Mondo Neck Cozy pattern made with Madelinetosh ASAP and some delectable additions that come care of Koigu skeinettes

edie'e cowl 2

Edie is an excellent “maker of things”.  She is always quick to let inspiration take over and tinker with an idea till it becomes a one of a kind enterprise.
Her version of the Mondo Neck Cozy uses extra big Madelinetosh ASAP, which is a soft merino wool that is so comfortable to wear, and mixes it with a happy selection of mini skeins to add pops of colour and texture.

koigu mini skeins

Blending colours and textures by knitting with several strands of yarn held together is an easy and instantaneous way of creating a unique fabric.  It’s incredibly fun to do  and so straightforward a new knitter will be able to do it with neither fuss nor fighting.

koigu mini skeins

Edie blended a neutral with a selection of her favourite colours of mini skeins to amazing effect, but the possibilities of colour combos for this project are indeed endless!

burlyspun

Edie’s colour choice “Paper” is in amongst the small amount of the ASAP we have left on the shelves.  We also have a wonderful crop of Brown Sheep Burly Spun which includes this delicious sunshine colour called “Lemon Drop” (one of my personal favourites). Mix it up with your own crackle and pops of colour for your version of the Mondo Neck Cozy!

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Mondo Neck Cozy Pattern

The Mondo Neck Cozy is a fast and easy project, but I encourage you to try blending colours and fibres in other future projects.  It’s a gas!

Craftily yours
Kristin

Hooray for Maple Leaf!

Maple Leaf, the hand dyed colour from Madelinetosh that is. ↓

madelinetosh vintage

It a beauty, eh?

This gorgeous colour of Madelinetosh Vintage (which is a worsted weight, superwash, merino yarn) came with friends.  They just arrived on Friday!

madelinetosh vintage

On top: Bloomsbury
Middle left: Leaf, middle right: Nutmeg
Bottom left: Candlewick, bottom right: Maple Leaf again!

madelinetosh vintageTop left: Fragrant, top right: Tart
Bottom left: Manor,bottom middle: Thunderstorm, bottom right: Dr Zhivago’s Sky

madelinetosh vintageand a close up of Fragrant.

More friendlies came in the form of Madelinetosh Merino Light!

madelinetosh merino light

Top left: Ink, top middle: Tern, top right: Graphite
Bottom left: Baltic,bottom middle: Nebula, bottom right: Courbet’s Green

madelinetosh merino light

Top left: Weathered Frame, top middle: Antique Lace, top right: Molly Ringwald
Bottom left: Sequoia,bottom middle: Vermillion, bottom right: Pop Rocks!

madelinetosh merino lightOn top: Cove
Bottom right: Opaline, Smokey Orchid

madelinetosh merino lightmadelinetosh merino light

and Fathom and Candlewick too!

Carla's StasisThis awesome sweater was knit by Carla, who graciously let me take pictures.  We spent a lot of time picking out the colours and I think a pat on the back is in order.  This is the Madelinetosh Merino Light in colours Antique Lace and Pop Rocks.

Carla's StasisThe pattern is Stasis by Brooklyn Tweed.

It’s a good time to start making your spring sweater in this light weight yarn! Spring will come one day!

Other Knit Cafe projects made with the Merino Light are the Big Wrap………………………………………….. and the Soho Scarf
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So many possibilities…

Craftily yours
Kristin

Knit to your heart’s content

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Valentine’s Day is this Friday!
Not all of us celebrate this occasion, but few would argue that any excuse for spreading some love can be all bad.

heart

Take back Valentine’s Day and make this snugly anatomically inspired heart for someone close to your heart.  It’s not so hard to make for knitters who are adept with the double pointed needles and it knits up fast too.

This pattern appears in Knitty Magazine – published in 2008.  I made it up!

I also wrote up a little tutorial on how to start the project in case anyone has trouble.  You can find it HERE 

I heart rainbows

If anatomical heart’s don’t make your heart go boom, then I will leave you with something that certainly will.  Combine babies, with hearts and rainbows – that’s off the charts on the “cute-scale”.  The pic above is from the Tin Can Knits pattern called “I Heart Rainbows”.  We have it here at the Knit Cafe or you can find it on ravelry HERE

Last minute V Day presents anyone?

Our Hat Workshop happens to be the day before Valentine’s Day.  It’s a good opportunity to learn how to knit in circles using those pesky double pointed needles. A hat is fast to knit and there’s a good chance if you start on the evening of the 13th it will be ready by evening on the 14th to present to your sweetheart.

hatHat Workshop
Thursday February 13th, 6:30-9pm

Call us to register 416 533 5648

Craftily yours
Kristin

ps. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this knitting related Olympic story

We’re on the Move!

Some of you may have already heard our big news!

We’re Moving!!

After 10 years hanging out on Queen Street we are packing up our wagon and moving west.  Not too far west and not to the wild one.  We’re moving to Roncesvalles Ave!

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55 Roncesvalles Ave is just a block north of Queen.
We are so excited to be moving into this wonderful neighbourhood!  This is a terrific community with a wonderful mix of shops and cafes.  If you are not familiar with it, you have a real treat in store for you when you next visit us there.

There is still a lot to do and so much to plan for.  We will be sitting tight in our Queen Street digs till the Spring.  We will keep you up to date with all our plans and give you a firm opening date when we have it sorted.

We are certainly sad to leave our first home on Queen Street, but we are even more eager to see what the future will hold in our new home.

Craftily yours
Kristin