Knit to your heart’s content

heart jpeg 2

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!

map

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

Turtlepurl is Back!

Seeing as we are neck deep in deepest, darkest winter, isn’t it time we injected a little sunshine?  I think it is timely this arrival of yarn from Turtlepurl for just this reason.  Now feast your eyes on the colour-happy colours!

turtlepurl

Striped Turtle Toes yarn is a hand-dyed, self-striping yarn from Quebec.
This 75% merino, 25% nylon, fingering weight yarn was carefully dyed to make a pair of socks where the stripes match foot to foot. Sold as two 50 gram skeins couple together, one skein per sock.  Imagine how happy your toes will be with all these sunny colours to keep them snugly.

turtlepurl

One outstanding colour-way is Burberry ↑.  You can see how the stripes manifest in the sample behind the skeins.  Most of the colours from our last shipment (including Burberry) are now back in stock and you can see just how they look right here.

Here are the brand new colour ways ↓. Unfortunately Genvieve was not able to send us knit samples so we will have to use our imagination when it comes to the stripe pattern, but I think we all can manage that!

turtlepurlAngry Birds

turtlepurlNano

turtlepurlMystic Topaz

turtlepurlBruised

turtlepurlDream Room

turtlepurlIris

turtlepurlPow!

We received a batch of Striped Turtle Toes in November and it sold out before Christmas, so if you see something you like I would scoop it up now. The set of two skeins, with a total yardage of 450yds is $27.

Craftily yours
Kristin

As soft as a cloud!

So soft – they called it Cloud!  Also wispy like a cloud and light like a cloud!
A combination of 60% kid mohair and 40% silk makes for a lightweight yarn with a dreamy fluffiness and a delightful sheen.
Check out these gorgeous shades ↓

shibui cloudpool

shibui cloudabyss

shibui cloudwatermelon

shibui cloudivory

shibui cloudbrass

shibui cloudcypress

shibui cloudsuit

shibui cloudash

shibui cloudcamel

Each skein has 300 metres of lace weight yarn for $18.50.  The furriness means it looks great knit with loose tension. Iwona is developing a pattern that takes full advantage of all the best aspects of this yarn.  Here’s a sneak peak ↓

shibui cloudsooo beautiful!

Craftily yours
Kristin

go big!

This week we received a package of Outer by Spud and Chloe – it’s an extra bulky yarn.

outerouterouter

Colours from top: Sandbox, Peat, Fearless, LeapFrog, Mermaid, Bayou, Carbon, Rhino, Rocket.

With this auspicious arrival we have a collection of 3 quite different extra bulky yarns to choose from, and therefore a good time to do a little comparing and contrasting.  Are you with me?

extra bulky yarn

From left to right: Madelinetosh ASAP in Silver Fox, Spud and Chloe Outer in Rhino, Brown Sheep Burly Spun in Grey Heather.

Extra chunky knits are still really popular knits! They look great – combining drama with coziness! They are also fast knits and are perfect for new knitters, or hurried ones.  The 3 types of extra bulky yarn shown here would all do the trick for your extra bulky projects – but which one do you choose?

asap

ASAP by Madelinetosh is:
- hand dyed
- one ply
- 100% merino wool
- machine washable, lay flat to dry
- 8-10 stitches per 10 cm with a 9mm-12mm needle.
- each skeins has 82 metres for $23
That’s the grocery list, but what else?
ASAP pulses with Madelinetosh’s infamous colour prowess; it is decadently soft as only merino wool can be, and has a slight sheen.
Here’s something you may not know – one ply yarns are usually softer in feel due to their soft spin.  They are also more likely to pill.  To mitigate this, knit your projects tighter.  The softness of the merino will allow for a tight knit without stiffness.
The first finished project I have seen with the Madelinetosh ASAP was a Mondo Cowl made with two strands of ASAP held together to bulk up the weight and make a tighter knit.  It was off-the-charts-gorgeous! A tightly knit hat would also be a great project in this yarn, Jane Richmond’s Autumn for example!
Hand dyed colours give interesting depth and character and accentuate the one-of-a-kind nature of the hand knits.

spud and chloe outer

Outer by Spud and Chloe is:
- uniform in colour
- 2 ply
- 65% superwash wool and 35% organic cotton
- machine washable and tumble dry
- 8-12 stitches per 10 cm with a 8mm-10mm needle.
- each skeins has 55 metres for $17
Wool blended with cotton makes a really soft yarn. Despite the girth of this yarn it is not as warm as the ASAP or the Burly Spun due to the cotton content. It is a better choice for folks who run hot but still love the bulky knits, and not so great for those of us who want the warmest possible knit.
This is also the “easiest care yarn” of all three.  You can wash it and dry it in a machine!  That makes it a terrific choice for projects that need this kind of consideration.  Parents for example really like getting garments and blankets for their wee ones that don’t require hand washing. Spud and Chloe have a wonderful pattern called Leaf Blanket, that is pretty much too cute to be true.

edie's cardi in outer

I love this guy ↑.  It’s a baby sized sweater, knit by Edie in Spud and Chloe Outer.  I love how she combined the colours.  Outer comes in colours that are especially suited to children’s wear – the bright and cheerful kind! This is an adaptation of the Baby Sophisticated Pattern  which is really for a much lighter weight of yarn , but Edie is so clever she MacGyvered it.  If you would like to try the same, she suggests casting on the same number of stitches as the pattern indicates and then increase as suggested till the shoulder width seems baby sized. The rest of the sweater is knit to the bottom without shaping.

burly spun

Burly Spun by Brown Sheep is:
- heathered or uniform in colour
- 1 ply
- 100% wool
- hand wash
- 10 stitches per 10 cm with a 9mm needle.
- each skeins has 120 metres for $19.50
The Burly Spun is a staple yarn around The Knit Cafe.  We have found numerous applications for this yarn! It is the heaviest of the extra bulky yarns, in other words the biggest of the big! It is also the most cost-effective choice – if that is a concern – and when is it not?
It is not as soft as the ASAP merino, nor as soft as the Outer’s cotton blend, but has a squishy, wooly feel that is comforting and quite comfortable for many people, even around the sensitive neck area.

extra bulky yarn samples

Above, are three examples of the Burly Spun knit into garments.  The top is the Mondo Cowl which is knit on a 20mm needle, the middle is an example of a garter stitch scarf knit on a 15mm needle, the bottom is the Chunky Cardi which is knit on a 10mm needle. This illustrates how the same yarn can be knit to many different gauges from tight to loose to very different effect.
The Mondo Cowl is knit extra loose to make a fabric with enough drape to wear comfortably around the neck.  The large size stitches really emphasize the bulky qualities in the yarn. The 15mm project has a nice medium tension, that is neither tight nor loose. The Chunky Cardi is knit on the tight side.  It is a firm fabric which makes this sweater more like a coat; an appropriate application for such a heavy wool. The tighter knit will help the sweater keep it’s shape and will make it extra warm.
Burly Spun is a very elastic yarn thanks to it’s 100% wool fibre content, this allows for knitting at different tensions.

martin scarf

This is the Martin Scarf, modeled by Edie Kim. It’s one of our favourite projects made with the Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn.  An easy projects that’s got panache, and is a little bit more interesting to knit then a straight scarf.  This project has a triangular shape and long ties that fasten it closed.  Pom poms are adorable finishes! This Deep Charcoal Heather colour makes the unusual design still look  classic.  The Martin Scarf is knit on a 15mm needle.

Now that all your bulky yarn needs are met, I will bid you farewell for now.
Craftily yours
Kristin

Classes in 2014

Traditionally, the beginning of a new year is a time people start to think about new projects and adventures.  If – for you – this includes some crafting plans, then have a look at our line up of classes for this winter season.  We’ve added on a few new dates for some of our more popular classes, such as the Cable Cowl Workshop, and the Hat Workshop.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER

bowl

learn to knit or crochet!

Crochet 101
Sunday Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 12:30-2:30
Wed Feb 26, break Mar 12, 19, 26, 7-9pm
Sun April 6, 13, break 27, May 4, 12:30-2:30

Knit 101
Fri Jan 10. 17, 24, 31
Mon Jan 20. 27. Feb 3, 10
Fri Feb 21, 28, Mar 7, 14
Mon Feb 24, Mar 3, 10, 17
Thurs Mar 13, 20, 27, April 3
Mon Mar 31, April 7, 14, break, 28
all 7-9pm

needlepoint class

needlepoint class

Crochet Crash Course
Thurs Feb 6, 6:30-9pm
Wed April 2, 6:30-9pm

Knitter’s Crash Course
Mon Jan 13, 6:30-9pm
Mon Feb 10, 10am-12:30pm, JUST ADDED!
Mon Mar 17, 10am-12:30pm, JUST ADDED!
Mon Mar 24, 6:30-9pm, JUST ADDED!

Needlepoint Workshop
Thurs Jan 30, 6:30-9

hexagon blanket jpeg

crochet blanket class

Crochet Blanket
Wed Jan 29, Feb 5, 12, 7-9pm
Sun Mar 23, 30, 12:30-3:30

Needle Felting Workshop
Sun Mar 9, 12:30-3pm

Drop Spindle (Introduction to Spinning) Class
Sun Feb 9, 16, 23, 12:30-2:30

baby blanket workshop

baby blanket workshop

BEGINNER

Baby Blanket Workshop
Fri Feb 7, 6:30-9pm
Thurs Mar 6, 6:30-9pm
Mon Mar 24, 10am -12:30pm, JUST ADDED!
Fri April 11, 6:30-9pm

Project Class
Thurs Jan 9, 16, 23, 7-9pm
Mon Feb 24, Mar 3, 10, 10am-12:30pm, JUST ADDED!
Thurs April 10, 17, 24, 7-9pm

simply twisted

cable cowl workshop

Cable Cowl Workshop
Wed Jan 22, 6:30-9pm
Wed March 5, 6:30-9pm JUST ADDED!

Hat Workshop
Mon Jan 6, 6:30-9pm
Thurs Feb 13, 6:30-9pm JUST ADDED!

INTERMEDIATE

Amigurumi Workshop
Sun Mar 2, 12:30-3:00

Mitten Class
Thurs Feb 20, 27, 7-9pm

mitten class

mitten class

Crochet Blanket Finishing
Wed Feb 19, 6:30-9pm

Reading Charted Patterns for Crocheters
Sun Mar 16, 12:30-3:00

ADVANCED

Sock Class
Fri Mar 21, 28, 4, 7-9pm

sock master class

sock master class

Sock Master Class
Sat Feb 8,15, 22, 10:30-12:30

Steeking Workshop
Sat Jan 18, 10:30am-1pm

Sweater Design Class
Sat Mar 8, 15, 22, break, April 5, 10:30am-12:30pm

Knitting in Colour
Wed April 16, 23, 7-9pm

To see the full class descriptions – look HERE.

To register for classes call us at 416 533 5648 or drop by the Knit Cafe at 1050 Queen St. West.

Pashmina!

Pashmina by Madelinetosh! – That’s one special yarn!

It’s a decadent blend of merino, silk and cashmere.
329 metres is $32.50

pashmina

Top Left – Tern, Top Right – Antique Lace
Bottom Left – Weathered Frame, Bottom Right – Graphite

pashmina

Top – Georgia O’Keefe
Bottom Left- Nectar, Bottom Right – Tart

pashmina

Top – Baltic
Bottom Left – Candlewick, Bottom Right – Celadon

To get your pick of the litter come in soon.
Craftily yours
Kristin