Tag Archives: sock yarn

It’s sock time!

It is no accident that we have a sock class starting on March 21, and ending on April 4th.  This is the perfect time to learn how to make socks! The sock is one of the worlds greatest spring and summer knitting projects.  Here’s why:
1. Portability. Socks are a one skein project.  You may throw it in your purse, your backpack, your picnic basket, or your bike basket.  Have sock – will travel!
2. Light Weight.  Socks are usually made with fine, so called “sock yarn” which means it doesn’t feel hot and heavy in your hands and on your lap while you work it on your balcony on a clement evening.
3. A very fun knit! Sock patterns are a great combination of stimulating, entertaining knitting, broken up with periods of automatic, repetitive stuff.  Take it to the patio and gab with your pals as you knit these parts. Sock patterns are also easy to memorize so there’s no need to worry whether you forgot your pattern on the sofa.
4. Sock yarns come in delicious, summery colours, and it’s easy to take some wardrobe risks when it comes to the feet!
5. At the end of it all, you’ll have socks!  Socks that will be ready for next fall to keep your toes warm, socks that will be ready by December to give as gifts.

DSCN0003

Some sock inspiration ↑. It’s a sock-in-progress by Lilja.  She’s using one of the self striping yarns by Turtlepurl called “Angry Birds” .

Sock Class
Thursday March 21, 28, April 4, 7-9pm
$76, materials not included
Students should be familiar with double pointed needles before joining this class

You can register by calling 416 533 5648, or coming by 1050 Queen St. West.

Craftily yours
Kristin

Visions of Koigu dance in their heads

koigukoigukoigukoigukoigukoigukoigukoigukoigukoigu

Look at them Sugarplums!
These guys would be nice found in the stocking or knit-up into stockings! Koigu KPPM is a carefully hand painted merino yarn that is ideal for socks and other light weight projects that call for fingering weight yarn.  Baby duds, shawls and mittens, for example would be gorgeous in this yarn. It’s a local-yocal yarn from Ontari- ari -ari -o!

There’s an introduction to sock making class starting this week. In other words the perfect opportunity to try out some of the Koigu.  If you’ve knit on the double pointed needles before and have a burning desire for warm feet, then this is your class.

Sock Class
Wednesday December 4, 11, 18, 7pm-9pm
$76 materials not included
Call to register 416 533 5648

Craftily yours
Kristin

ps. we just got some more fingering weight yarn that’s gonna blow your socks off! Stay tuned for pics!

When there’s only one skein.

What do you make with only one skein?  It is a fair question and one that came to my mind while unpacking one delicious box of yarn this week.

A box that came from beautiful Nova Scotia.
Every summer lucky Kate and Matthew visit our home away from home on the east shore. On their itinerary is paying a visit to the Fleece Artist (also home of Handmaiden), and of course picking out some yarn while they’re there. Hand picked colours are the best kind!

Here are some beautiful pictures from Kate↓photo 1 You can really see where the Fleece Artist gets their colour inspiration.

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

Now we have the payoff in the form this amazing box-o-yarn; a wonderful selection of goodies, but many of these treats are one-offs.  Every hand dyed yarn is unique of course, but colour-ways are repeated and dyers try their darndest to reproduce their colours with some accuracy.  Still,  there are those other times (or so I imagine) that they let their fancy fly, throw away the recipes and the beakers and scales and go colour crazy!  The results can not be replicated with present day technology , thank heavens!

We have some of those results here;  veritable “one of a kind” skeins.

What to do…
What to do…
Well, luckily many of these delightful yarns are of the sock variety.  In these cases you can always make socks, but also there is usually enough yarn on a 100gram skein of sock yarn to make a light weight hat, a shawlette, a fine pair of gloves, or a wee baby sweater.
You could make any of these things this these beauties↓
casbahcasbah

casbahcasbah

Casbah, 81% merino, 9% cashmere, 10% nylon, 325 m, $29.
I always tell people this is a spoiler yarn, once you knit with it, it is hard to imagine knitting with anything else.  The Knit Cafe’s Yoga Sock Pattern and our Extra Long Glove Pattern, both take one skein only of Casbah!

BFL sockBFL sock

BFL sockBFL sock

BFL Socks, 80% Superwash Blue Face Leicester and 20% Nylon, 325m, $20
Strong, reliable, tried and true, English yarn with a reasonable price tag attached. Takes dye beautifully, wears well and gets softer with each wear and wash.  Why not try Rachel MacHenry’s favourite sock pattern with these guys?

kidazzlekidazzle

kidazzlekidazzle

Kidazzle, 70% Merino, 20% Kid, 10% Nylon, 365m, $20
“Made Fuzzy to Flatter” If I was writing an ad campaign for this yarn this would be the slogan.  The kid mohair adds a halo to this yarn that is super charming and wooly.  I think it would be very suitable for this fingerless mitten pattern called Lady Violet’s Dinner Gauntlets, it seems to show off a variegated colour-way nicely – thank you very much!

4 ply cashmere4 ply cashmere4 ply cashmere4 ply cashmere4 ply Cashmere, 100% cashmere, 170m, $39

Not sock yarn – it is sport weight, but still possible to find a one skein project for this special yarn.  Hand dyed cashmere is after all not something you will buy everyday.  It is something you will want to wear everyday however.
Our Raspberry Beret Pattern takes only one skein of this stuff!

peter rabbitpeter rabbitpeter rabbitpeter rabbit
Peter Rabbit, 70% Angora, 20% Nylon, 10% wool, 250m, $32

“Extra Fuzzy=Extra Fabulous!” these slogan-things write themselves! Peter Rabbit looks really beautiful knit into a Soft Lacy Cowl.  The simple lace stitching really shows of the colour variation.

Also new in the shop is some Janana Yarn!

You can’t get more one-of-a-kind then this!  Hand spun yarn made from hand dyed fleece from the spinning wheel of our lovely neighbour Jana.

jananaThis one is called Caldron

janana

then there’s Peony B and Peony A

janana

and Norway

janana

and Princess, and many more!

Craftily yours
Kristin

Sweet Fiber’s Sweet Fibre!

This is the kinda post I love to write.  The kind that has a whole lotta pictures of beautiful yarn!

This is a brand new brand for us.  A hand dying company haling from British Columbia called Sweet Fiber.  We received a beautiful sampling of two different yarn types.  Firstly, a one ply, fingering weight, superwash merino, 434m (467yds) called Sweet Merino Lite.  Delish!

DSCN0002
top – Ina’s Red, bottom left – Charcoal, bottom right – Black Currant

DSCN0005 top – Tarnish , bottom left – Spanish Coin , bottom right- DriftwoodDSCN0009
top – Moonstone, bottom left – Envy, bottom right – Ever GreyDSCN0012
top – Abyss, bottom – Smoke
DSCN0013
top- Teal, bottom – Something Blue

Secondly, a 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon, sock yarn, 379m (415 yds) called Super Sweet Sock. Yum!DSCN0017
top – Vintage Lace, bottom – Chartreuse
DSCN0018
top – Tea Leaves, bottom left – Spanish Coin, bottom right- Paper BirchDSCN0024
top – Nocturnal, bottom – FountainDSCN0021
top- Alizarin, bottom left – Verve, bottom right – Fossil

Craftily yours
Kristin

Gobble Gobble!

Amongst my favorite television shows of all time is WCRP in Cincinnati.  In case you don’t know, and if you don’t know I’m so sorry, WKRP is a 1970′s sitcom set at a local Cincinnati radio station.  At WKRP the office is brimming with characters of the colourful kind who get up to all types of hyjinks.  Hilarity ensues!
In a particular episode, Mr Carlson (the big boss at WKRP) plans a Thanksgiving promotion campaign for the radio station, the nature of which is kept secret till the big day. Les Nessman (WKRP’s news reporter) is live relaying the action.  A helicopter appears in the sky with a banner attached wishing folks a Happy Thanksgiving and then objects begin emerging from the chopper. As they hit the ground with a splat, Les Nessman and all bystanders are horrified to realize that they are turkeys!
Later – Mr Carlson says in his own defense “as God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”.

Why am I telling you this?
See the yarn on the bottom of the pile which looks kinda like a turkey might? It is dyed in a colour called “as God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”. So of course I had to get some for the store.  The beautiful red on top is called “Only the exact phrase I used was “Don’t””, the gorgeous blue beneath it is called “You punched the highlights out of her hair”.
Indigodragonfly takes colour inspiration from film and television and when it comes to naming these colours there are no limits on the word count. Thank goodness!

The green is called “Turtljagar: for when Frogschlager just won’t do”. The teal is called “Is the monkey okay? Did they hurt the monkey?”.  The yellow is called ” Tweety of Versailles”.  The multicoloured one is called ” Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock”

On top we got “And then Buffy staked Edward, The End”. On the left “A thin line between love and batteries”.  On the right, “Bright lights, big city, busy highway, slow unicorn”.
I don’t pretend to know where all these references come from, although I do recognize a few.  Regardless, I am so glad they are there.  It must be one of the best parts about making your own yarns – thinking up the colour names, and Indigodragonfly takes full advantage of this perk!

The yarn pictured here is all the sock-weight variety.  A tight spin of merino with a bit of nylon for strength and endurance.  It is $26 for 356m (390yds) and made right here in Ontari-ari-O!
Must be time to make some socks. Our Sock Class is beginning on Monday November 12.  See the description and details here, and register by calling us at 416 533 5648.

Craftily yours
Kristin

everything is coming up cashmere…

…and that is not a bad thing!
I am not upset that every box of yarn that has come through our door in the last week is laced with the good stuff.  Cashmere is the Platinum, the Cadillac, the Cary Grant of yarn fibres. In other words – it is the best!  For example try Casbah. A sock yarn with a hit of cashmere hand dyed by Handmaiden in a delicious blend of colours.  Tempting to just take them home and pet them and gaze at them lovingly.

And then there is Dream in Color  who has gone and  added cashmere to their”Smooshy” sock weight yarn.  As a result Smooshy is feeling a little extra smooshy – if you know what I mean.  They have also added an array of new hand dyed colours: Electric Mauve, Peacock Shadow, Twilight Lime, Wicked Royal. Dramatic names like these ones have spawn deep and highly saturated colours.

Also new at the Knit Cafe this week are patterns from Knitbot.  This wonderful designer is the lady who brought us the Wispy Cardigan pattern.  Who would of thought a lace weight cardigan would become so popular? We have several additional sweater patterns from her now.   Two of these are childrens patterns that span the size gap all the way from babyhood to teenagedom.

The Calligraphy Cardigan and the Effortless Cardigan

Wispy Cardi and the Contented Cardigan

Sock Yarn Sweater and Yoked Cardigan

Big thanks goes out today to Bobby.  His help was needed and very appreciated at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitting Fair on Saturday.  We couldn’t have done it without him.  What a guy! Hooray for Maurie too who let us park our big truck at her house.  I hope your tree stump is ok.

Craftily yours
Kristin

waving the flag

Big fat thanks to Jana for lending us her beautiful flag bunting for our window this month.  It is high on the gorgeous scale ! It was a communal effort – friends knit together a banner of love for Jana’s wedding.
We are so well decorated, with our window full of life and our shelves filling plump with yarn.  Here are some that have arrived just this week. 

Maxima by
Manos del Uruguay.
-Single Ply
-Hand spun
-Hand dyed
-Fair Trade
-Brilliant colours
-Soft as the dickens!
-Worsted weight 

Fleece Artist
Silver Merino Roving. 
- for Spinners
-and Felters
-and Thrum Mitten Makers
-dyed by hand
-soft  fleece
- delicious colours

Fleece Artist Trail Sock
-merino
-with nylon for strength
Handmaiden Silk Lace
-yum, yum!
Sea Silk
-silk and seacell (seaweed)
-also lace weight
-also amazing
-hand dyed in NS and BC

As I write this more boxes arrive.  To be continued…
Craftily yours
Kristin  

Comings and Goings

Is this old news now?
For sure it is good news, so all the better to repeat it.
We have Noro!
Noro Taiyo,  cotton, silk, wool, nylon
Noro Taiyo Sock  (same as above but sock weight)
Noro Kureyon, 100% wool
Noro Silk Garden, silk, mohair, wool
Noro Silk Garden Sock (same as above but sock weight)
The Taiyo is new to us.  I am especially excited to have a yarn to recommend to folks who are eager to get their needles into some Noro colour-ways but are put off by the wooliness.  Some might say darn right itchiness in the case of Kureyon (I would not- I love a wooly-wool)).  Did you know Kureyon means crayon in Japanese? A fitting name for yarn that captures the imagination much like a new box of crayolas might. All the other Noro varieties capture the same magic.
My first Noro project was my first sock project too, and I was hooked. A Noro addict and a sock addict too.  If it has been said once, then it has been said again, and it is about to be said once more now: knitting with Noro is like reading a good book you never want to put it down.  The anticipation of what will happen next is too much to bear.  What colour will it be?
Since the sock days though I have sadly not knit much with Noro. I rediscovered the joy of it all when I made my Confetti mittens. Whoever said one can never go back was not talking about Noro.  I was even more enraptured.

Also showing off Noro’s Style  are these knit works from Jared Flood. The first pic is the Mitered Mittens, a simple beauty of a pattern by the genius knitter Elizabeth Zimmerman. Made more beautiful thanks to Noro. You can find the Mitten-How-To in both “The Knitter’s Almanac”, and “Knitting Around”, books by EZ.  The second pic is Jared Flood’s Noro Striped Scarf, easy, effective, and a joy to knit!

Since December I have been diligent about blogging. Rain/shine-twice a week was my regiment.   I must now admit that my perfect attendance record has been shattered.  I missed my weekend post. Fortunately I have always found that perfection is over- rated. Perhaps you all will also forgive me for my truancy.
But really – can you blame me? The computer’s charms, they fade compared to the view from Bear Island.  Notice the yarn on the bench?  Though I may be a truant, I am no idler.

I was lucky that my vacation did not come earlier.  If it had I might have missed the visit of our old friend Sophia.  It was good to see her.  I had not done so since she moved back to the UK, some time ago. Now here I am back in the big smoke and she is now safe and sound on her own side of the pond where she is writing the nicest things about us.  I felt a little teary when I read her blog post but I concede that it is true.  The nicest people do come to the Knit Cafe- bar none!

Read all about it on Sophia’s blog aquarterto 

Nice to be back among the yarn.
Craftily yours
Kristin

Robot Overlord and the Turtle Rodeo

A new batch of Lorna’s Laces hand dyed Shepherd Sock Yarn all lined up and looking pretty pleased about it!In order of appearance , right to left: Amy’s Vintage Officer, Zombie BBQ, Turtle Rodeo, Robot Overlord, Edgewater.

Did you know that The Knit Cafe does mail order?  It’s true! So if you must have 3 skeins of Zombie BBQ to make a sweet as pie pullover, then call us up (416 533 5648) and we will oblige by sending it your way.  I am pleased that this photograph is pretty true to life and captures both the depth and subtlety of the colours in the yarn

I am also pleased to present this bit of eye candy.It  shows off two rag rug projects that are really smile-worthy! As I look forward to the Knit Cafe’s Rug Hooking Class on  May 19th I find myself locking lids with more and more rug pics.  This one shows a hand fabricated rug and poof in a glossy interior design shot.  So stylish!  This decor-dandy image was found here.