Author Archives: kristinledgett

Westlake Knits Trunkshow at The Knit Cafe

The day is drawing near my friends when this talented local hand dyer sets up shop in The Knit Café for a one day only event. We are really excited!

Join us on
Saturday October 20, from 11am-4pm
55 Roncesvalles Avenue

I hear tell that Kerri from Westlake will be bring several yarn bases in different weights. All of them will be naturally dyed of course and many will feature woolen yarns that are breed and milled locally.

I am also excited to report that we will also have some of Westlake Natural Dye Kits on hand so interested parties can try some natural dyeing at home. Fun!!!

If you are a lover of hand dyed yarns there is no better time to visit The Knit Café then right now. In the last week we have received stock from Canadian Hand Dyers Lichen an Lace and also (brand new to The Knit Café) Ancient Arts Fibre, and all the way from Ireland a big batch of Hedgehog Fibre yarns.


Lichen and Lace – 80/20 Sock. We also have some beautiful worsted weight!


Ancient Art Fibres – Big Squeeze


Hedgehog Fibre Sock. We have mini skeins too!

See you on Saturday
Craftily yours
Kristin

rug hooking and punch needle supplies

It is fun trying new things, non?
Iwona and I have been really enamoured with all the rug hooking projects we have been seeing about lately. This traditional textile craft is back in vogue thanks to talented artisans like Arounna Khounnoraj who is teaching a Punch Needle Class here at The Knit Café in October.

Here’s the gist: Punch Needles and traditional Rug Hooking Tools are used to pull loops of yarn or fabric through an even-weave fabric. With a skilled hand and a little imagination all sorts of beautiful designs can be made this way.

A traditional rug hooking tool looks like this ↑. These hooks can ben used with a variety of sizes of  yarns with different textures and also wool fabric or other cloth cut into strips. Find the hooks in our webshop HERE.  Thanks to our lovely collaborator Maurie Todd, The Knit Café has been offering Rug Hooking lessons for years.

Once you have your tool you will need a “foundation cloth” on which to build your masterpiece. One option is Primitive Linen. This 100% linen fabric is woven loosely enough to use with a rug hooking tool and also with larger punch needle tools like the Amy Oxford Fine Tool. Another option is Monks Cloth which is woven with 100% cotton and works great with both traditional rug hooking tools and Oxford Punch Needles both Regular and Fine.
Punch Needle tools are made in different sizes to fit different sized yarns. Shown above is the Oxford Punch Needle Fine which takes worsted weight yarns. The Knit Café has  Oxford Punch Needles in stock in the bricks and mortar shop only.

Here I am trying out the Oxford Punch Needle Regular Size on the Monks Cloth ↑ . This is the back side of the work but is it the right side?

This is the side I was looking at while I was working which is traditionally the wrong side but many contemporary needle punchers like this side better. What do you think?

FYI: With a traditional Rug Hooking Tool you are looking at the side with the three dimensional pile while you are working.

The Knit Café also carries the Ultra Punch Needle Tool.  This is a fine needle that comes with interchangeable tips so a selection of fine yarns and threads can be used with this tool.

We used the Ultra Punch and scraps of fingering weight yarn to make our Open Sign.

Craftily yours
Kristin

Back to School Fall 2018

It’s that time of year when all the kiddies go back to school, but why should they have all the fun?

The Knit Café’s Fall and Winter Schedule of Classes is here!

This season at The Knit Café we have some classes hosted by guest instructors.


Six Starter Stitches 
This class has just been announced! It’s an embroidery class taught by Sam Lamb. I love that this class includes a printed sampler designed by Sam.


Natural Dyeing Basics with Kerri Westlake
We are really excited that this talented local hand dyer will be teaching a class here. Kerri will also be showing off her beautiful yarns at The Knit Café in a trunk show on October 20. Find the details HERE


Punch Needle Workshop with Arounna Khounnoraj
This class SOLD OUT lickety-split! but don’t worry we are planning another Punch Needle class and we will announce details soon.

Other brand new classes include…


Knitting Level 2
A class for graduates of Knit 101 or anyone who wants to improve their knit game. This class includes three brand new Knit Café patterns for a trio of chunky accessories.


Toe Up Sock Knitting
If you have mastered sock knitting from the cuff down it might be time to try it the other way around. This class is full of interesting tidbits; a seamless cast on, knitting with the magic loop technique, German short row shaping, and stretchy bind offs.


Beyond Basic Brioche
This is a second level Brioche Knitting Class for advanced techniques. We also run an Introduction to Brioche Class which you can check out HERE


Needlepoint Workshop – Bargello!
This is a little different than our regular needlepoint class but everyone is welcome even if you have no experience with needlepoint. Novice or not this is a great opportunity to learn how to add patterning into your needlepoint designs. So cool!

… and some old favourites are back!


Drop Spindle Class (Introduction to Spinning)
Hooray! Our yarn spinning class is back. If you were ever curious about making your own yarn then this is a good chance to find out how it’s done.


Thrum Mitten Class
These mittens – stuffed with fuzzy, unspun wool are extra warm, extra cute, and extra fun to make!

Be sure to book early for our most popular classes like:


Introduction to Weaving
This is weaving a on a lap loom called a Rigid Heddle Loom. With it you can make your own beautiful fabrics. In this class we learn the basics from start to finish while working on scarf projects. This is a great class!


Tapestry Loom Weaving Class
If freeform wall hangings are inspiring  you then you should try Tapestry Weaving. In this class you even learn how to make your own loom!


Introduction to Rug Hooking
Rug hooking is a traditional craft where you can make rugs but so much more!


Crochet Blanket for Absolute Beginner
Yup! You heard right. You need no crochet experience before learning how to make a really beautiful blanket


Introduction to Macramé
This macramé class is a new one at the Knit Café but it seems to be in demand. In this one night workshop you will learn basic macramé techniques while you make a classic plant holder project.

Check out our full calendar of classes and register  in our webshop!

Craftily yours
Kristin

Crochet Yourself A Plant Holder

It takes a neighbourhood to make a plant holder! We got these beautiful, fish hook  plants from Willem and Jools which is a wonderful plant and container shop just down the street from us on Roncesvalles Avenue. The chains and findings that hold the plant holders came from our local Home Hardware store. We custom made these hanging plant baskets with a trusty, large size crochet hook and yarn made from recycled jersey fabric found right here at The Knit Cafe.

The best part was embellishing them with tassels and pompoms!

You can make one too. You will need some of this great yarn from Wool and the Gang called Jersey Be Good. It’s available in our webshop HERE or instore.  Gather some pretty yarns for your tassels and pompoms and visit your local hardware store for the findings, then follow the FREE PATTERN that you will find at the bottom of this post.

Here’s How We Made The Fancy Tassels

Make 4 bundles of tassel yarn and fold each in half
Wrap one around another and place as shown in picture 2.
Now you have two connected bundles of tassel yarn.

Take one of the bundles that is wrapped around the other and thread the ends through the loop of the other connected bundle. Do the same with the other connected bundle.
Now all four of the bundles are connected!
Pull them tight to make a pretty knot.

Add a tie to the top with a spare piece of tassel yarn and a darning needle. Thread the yarn from the top down through the knot and then from underneath back up again.
Let all the tassel strings hang down. Use contrasting coloured yarn to wrap around just under the base of the knot, making sure to hide the contrast colour tail as you wrap.

When wrapping is complete tie a knot and use your darning needle again to hide the tail of your wrapping yarn.  You can add more colours if you want.
Trim!
and done

You can find a pompom making tutorial HERE

Get an easy to print PDF of the Plant Holder Pattern HERE

Craftily yours
Kristin

Summer Sale Time!

This year will be better than ever. Never have we had so many goodies in the store during summer sale time. That means you will receive 20% off on all yarns including your favourite Canadian Hand Dyers and Brooklyn Tweed too, and more and more and then some.

Sale Begins: Saturday July 14, 10am
Sale Ends: Saturday July 21, 7pm

20% off everything in store –
Yarn, Needles, Accessories!

Deep Sale on selected items.
come by early for these!

This sale is in store at 55 Roncesvalles Ave only, not available in the webshop.

Cannuk Yarn on this our Canada Day Weekend!

We will be open this HOT, HOT, HOT, Holiday Weekend!
Saturday 10am-7pm
Sunday 12-4:30pm
Monday – CLOSED

If you are about you should come in and see these new skeins from Riverside Studio Yarn. Kathryn from Riverside is one of Canada’s best and brightest hand dyers. She does beautifully polished work with lots of subtleties. These beauties are dyed on her Super Sock base. This is a fine yarn suitable for sock knitting and so much more besides. It is too hot for bulky projects but a summer sock project is great for beating the heat for those of us who must knit – and I mean all the time!

Amongst the goodies is Firefly! That’s The Knit Cafe’s custom colour from Riverside Studio. It’s only available here. This beautiful colour-way will make you think of an inky blue, night sky scattered with glowing fireflies when you knit it up. We love it! You can check it out in our webshop HERE

If you have been watching our Instagram then you know I just finished knitting this sweater↓

It’s Deschain by Leila Raabe

I must say it was a fun knit and quick too. Also, very easy for a sweater. Two rectangles sewn together and picked up sleeves is all there is to it.   The Kestrel Linen yarn by Quince and Co was so fun to work with too. Never, have I knit with such chunky linen and found it very pleasant indeed.
The Knit Café has a dozen colours of Quince and Co Kestrel in stock – you can check them out HERE

Craftily yours
Kristin

Hats off to Peerie by Brooklyn Tweed!

We are so impressed with this new yarn from Brooklyn Tweed. This fingering weight merino comes in such vivid colours that will be wonderful for colour-work projects. It’s plush and soft texture will make happy-making garments of all kinds

The lovely folks at Brooklyn Tweed have released a pattern for the new Peerie yarn and they have provided The Knit Café with a free download code for all customers who purchase the Peerie to make their own version of the Lucerne Hat.

Come into the shop and pick your colours for the Lucerne Hat and don’t forget to ask us for the free pattern code. Get it now as this promotion is only available till June 30th.
Shop the webshop HERE

Very soon Brooklyn Tweed will be releasing a brand new group of patterns. It’s Wool People 12! Here’s a sneak peak of one of the sweaters that will be included in this new collection.

Craftily yours
Kristin