Category Archives: Make it!

Project Inspiration- things to knit and crochet

What to knit with less than one week till Christmas

It’s true that time is running out but you may still have time to make a few more hand made gifts. Plan right! Choose projects that are small or are made with oversized yarns and the work will go fast!

The Knit Café has just released our latest knitting pattern. This toque can be made in an evening if you are an expert, a few evenings if you are not. We call it Polar Vortex Toque – A Gateway to Brioche Knitting. This is a warm hat made with a bulky yarn.  Our version is so pretty because it is knit with the very lovely hand dyed bulky merino from Lichen and Lace.  The variation in the colour looks great with the squishy brioche stitches.
If you have never tried to knit a brioche project before then this is a good one to try first. The bulky yarn means your stitches are easier to identify and it is only one colour so that makes it a bit easier. In addition our pattern includes some helpful photos that explain the brioche technique.

Look at these Lichen and Lace Bulky skeins! We don’t have all these colours left but we still have a great selection. It takes just one skein to make an adult medium Polar Vortex Toque, a large with dip into a second skein.

Make the Martin Scarf. We love this neck warmer, it is so fun to wear, with its triangular shape and long ties. You can make it really fast because it is knit with a Super Bulky yarn. We especially like to make it with Burly Spun by Brown Sheep. Check out the pattern right HERE

The Knit 101 Headband project is a really fast knit. Choose a bulky yarn or double up your Aran weight yarn to a bulky gauge. That is what we did with the version pictured above. Best of all this pattern is free to try from The Knit Cafe’s Blog right HERE.

Craftily yours
Kristin

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Gifts For New Knitters!

Do you know someone who has just picked up knitting and is feeling the joy? Here are some things that will spur them on to even greater heights of craft-mania! Also, some gift ideas for the knit-curious with no experience as of yet.

Gizmos and bobbles, all of them useful!
1. Some call it a corker, others a French knitter. Either way it is a basic tool to make a knitted string and often the first knitting experience for a tiny tot (not yet needle age). $11
2. Needle Keepers for double pointed needles.  This doo-hicky keeps the double pointed needles organized whether you have a project on them or not. They come in two sizes, one for short, and one for long double pointed needles. $7.75
3. A knitting needle gauge to measure your needles when you’re just not sure what size they are. $7.50
4. Eucalan is for washing woollies. No rinse, so half the work! Shown here is a trial size 100ml for $5, also available in 500ml for $13. Different scents and unscented are available.
5. “made with love” labels that you can sew on to all your hand made gifts. They are made in Canada from ultra suede and come in two colours. $1.75 each
6. Buttons by Katrinkles. Hand made from bamboo. Elegant round buttons, set of 4 for $10.25.
7.  Hedgehog shaped buttons by Katrinkles, 4 buttons for $15. 50
Other styles of buttons are available. Come and see!

KNIT KITS for Beginners
and Absolute Beginners

The Knit Café has put together a bunch of bundles complete with pattern and yarn and all the fixins. Here are some geared to new knitters!

Knit Critter Knit Kit
This is a project for knitters who know how to knit and purl, but no other experience is necessary. Instructions encourage the knitter to make up their own knit critter by changing up ears and tails and other embellishments, so you can make the bunny or the bear (shown) or any critter your imagination can conceive.
Kit Contains: 2 colours of Berroco Vintage of your choosing, a Knit Critter Pattern, a set of safety eyes, and polyfil for stuffing for $25 , add needles $38


First Scarf Knit Kit
This is an absolute beginner kit. If you are giving this package to a brand new knitter you can add on The Knit Cafe’s “Knitter’s Crash Course” booklet which describes the basic stitches involved.  this is an easy, plain stitch scarf with a colour-mix-bundle for making the fringe. The pattern includes instructions for adding on the fringe.
Kit Contains: 2 skeins Berroco Vinatge Chunky, you choose the colour,  a bundle of fringe colours, different assortments are available, a First Scarf Pattern, and a Knitter’s Crash Course booklet (optional) for $28 , add on needles for $41


Dawson City Toque Knit Kit
This hat pattern was designed with absolute beginners in mind. It is knit flat and then seamed up with a really chunky yarn which is knit double for a really warm hat. Pattern includes instructions on how to make the cute pompom too!
Kit Contains: One skein Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn, you choose the colour, and the Dawson City Toque Pattern, and a Knitter’s Crash Course Booklet (optional) for $28 , add needles $46.50


Last Minute Cowl Knit Kit
Another one for absolute beginner knitters. No experience necessary! Really fat yarn and needles make this project go fast and makes knitting seem like a breeze.
Kit Contains: One skein Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn you choose the colour, and the Last Minute Cowl Pattern, and a Knitter’s Crash Course Booklet (optional) for $28 , add needles $43


Knit 101 Headband Knit Kit
Another one for newbies! This project is knit flat with just knit stitches and then seamed up. There is a twist added to the middle of the headband to make the pretty shape but the pattern explains how to do this and includes pictures you can follow along with.
Kit Contains: One ball of Andes by Drops  you choose the colour, A Knit 101 Headband Pattern, a double pointed needle so as to make the twist, and  a Knitter’s Crash Course Booklet (optional) for $10 , add needles $25


Easy Peasy Arm Warmer Knit Kit
Absolute Beginners can make these too! Knit back and forth with plain knit and then seamed up and voila!- arm warmers. It’s as easy as a scarf. We’ve paired this project with beautiful hand dyed yarn from Lichen and Lace to make it really special but there are other options- just ask!
Kit Contains: One skein Lichen and Lace Worsted Merino, pattern for Easy Peasy Arm Warmers, and a Knitter’s Crash Course Booklet (optional) for $28 , add needles $41


Magical Striped Scarf Knit Kit
This one is for new knitters who have learned both the knit and the purl stitch already. Once you know these basic stitches this scarf should be simple to make. The yarn does all the work. Two different colours of a colour-changing yarn is striped and magically a myriad of colours appear. This is a really fun project!
Kit Contains: two balls Noro Kureopatora in colours of your choice, and a Magical Striped Scarf Pattern for $40 , add needles $53

If you would like to make your Knit Kit really special get it packed up in a hand printed project bag from Kate Austin Designs.  Shown here: draw string bag $20 and tote $40

New Knitters also need yarn. Make it chunky please! For a splurge try this yarn which is brand new in the shop. It is Tundra from The Fibre Company; a decadent blend of merino, alpaca, and silk; so very soft and cozy! It would make a gorgeous hat. If you know someone who has attended The Knit Cafe’s Knit 101 Class this yarn will work perfectly for the hat project we make in that class. One skein will do it – $32 each.

If none of that seems quite right, let the fledgling knitter pick out their own supplies and get a Knit Café Gift Certificate!

Craftily yours
Kristin

What to knit with two weeks till Christmas

Make head-toppers! Something for the head generally takes less time to make then something for the neck.

The Knit Café just released this pattern last month! It is called Fay Wray. Quite a glamourous headband made from The Knit Café in house yarn called Small Batch Number One !

Small Batch is  a soft yarn produced entirely in southern Ontario, from farm, to mill to shop. You can only purchase it from us in-shop or from our webshop HERE.

Starry Night Chapeau is one of The Knit Cafe’s most popular hat patterns. It is a classic shape with a pretty twist-stitch pattern, Sizing is available for tiny tots and full grown folks too!
Our version is knit with Riverside Studio’s Single Ply Worsted. This makes the hat super-soft, really pretty, and made in Canada!

Make sure to check out Brooklyn Tweeds new collection of Holiday Knits. It includes this fashionable hat they call Quincy. This hat is knit with chunky Quarry yarn and has a really interesting construction for a really unique hat. You can find the pattern HERE
Quarry is available in The Knit Café on Roncesvalles and also in our Webshop!

Also check out this lovely cabled hat by Brooklyn Tweed called Skiff. This hat can be knit into a tighter fitting beanie or (as shown) a slouchier version. Find the pattern HERE.

This hat is knit with Shelter from Brooklyn Tweed which is available here too!

Making presents is such fun!
Craftily yours
Kristin

What to Knit with 3 weeks till Christmas

Make scarves! They don’t have to be your regular old scarves they can be interesting shapes and textures in yarns of all shapes and sizes but make them quick to knit – yes please!

Try The Knit Cafe’s latest neck charmer pattern called Bonnie Bandit.
This bandana style cowl can also be worn by a tiny tyke as a poncho.  Knit with the so inspiring Hedgehog Fibres you will really enjoy making this project and even though the yarn is fine this is still a one skein project. Choose three colours like we did and blend them together or just choose one – this bandana looks great either way!

Hedgehog Fibre Skinny Singles↓

This Magical Striped Scarf is brought to you thanks to Noro Yarn. Noro is the wonderful Japanese yarn that gently changes colours as it progresses. If you stripe it like we have in this scarf project you get a multicoloured wonder that is so fun to knit! We have a pattern and lots of lovely Noro Kureopatora wrapped up in a Knit-Kit here in shop for this project but you can also find the pattern HERE

Noro Kureopatora ↓

Both Sides is a cowl project by the Knit Café. The pattern includes instructions for the short neck warmer shown here and also a double wrap version. Whichever you choose pick a pretty soft yarn like a hand dyed merino. We have lots of beauties from Lichen and Lace that will fit the bill. Knit in a worsted weight in an easy knit-purl stitch this project should give you no trouble.

Lichen and Lace Merino Worsted ↓

Brooklyn Tweed has been producing some great knit accessory patterns as of late. Have you seen their Holiday Collection? Among the gems in this collection is this cowl called Fretwork.  Such a good looking cowl which features pretty stitches on both sides!

Then there is Notch – also by Brooklyn Tweed. This lush scarf features a simple 2 row repeat with open stitches matched with cushy ribbing.

Both these Brooklyn Tweed Patterns are knit with Quarry, the fattest of the Brooklyn Tweed yarns, so a good choice for this time of year. Quarry comes in gorgeous colours and is so cozy to wear.  You can check out Quarry colours at Thee Knit Café HERE but we have a few restocked that haven’t made it to the webshop yet – pretty Geode and stunning Lapis.

Craftily yours
Kristin

What to knit with a month till Christmas!

Have you made your Christmas knitting plans yet? Or did you wake up one day and realize it’s almost December. That’s what I did. So, now that I truly believe Christmas is coming I have started to knit in earnest. I am making socks. In fact I am making these socks ↓

Sweet Sock by The Knit Café. This is our basic sock pattern, with a difference. Difference #1: you can make any size from child size to man size. Difference #2: these socks have a really cool looking reinforced heel that has a beautiful honey comb texture. Difference #3: these socks fit great because of the ribbing. Difference #4: a knitters could have a lot of fun switching up the toe colours. Difference #5: this pattern does not assume you are an expert sock knitter and is very detailed – there are even pictures!
PS: I started the day before yesterday and I am half way through sock number one!


Socks make a great gift. There are some real serious fans of hand knitted socks out there and that is who you should reserve your sock knitting for. For a sock with extra personality try The Knit Cafe’s Maud Sock Pattern. These socks have a textured stitch and an “after thought heel” knit in a contrast colour. These socks are sure to wow! This slip-stitch looks excellent with hand dyed yarn. The socks in the pic were knit with Zen Yarn Garden. Coincidentally we just got an amazing batch of this terrific sock yarn in stock.

This is not a sock ↓  – It’s a sock monkey! So, even better!

Curious by The Knit Café, is knit like a sock – that is – all in one piece (except for the ears). We knit this sample with a self-striping yarn made by Turtlepurl but they look smashing in plain colours too. At the Knit Café we also stock the stuffing, and the safety eyes and the 100% wool felt for the face. Everything you need!

Mittens are the cutest! Iwona is making these adorable pint size mits in multiples because little folks are known for losing their mittens.  The pattern is by Tin Can Knits. It is called The World’s Simplest Mittens . It is a free pattern and mittens can be made in all sizes. Iwona’s versions are made with Noro Kureopatora. It’s a gorgeous yarn that has a gradual colour change. If you knit with it in stripes you will end up with a practically endless colour variety.

The best mittens ever were designed right here in Canada. They are called thrum mittens! Thrum Mitten are super warm because a fleece lining in knit right into them making them thick and cushioned and wind stopping. The colourful heart shaped stitches on the outside are pretty wonderful too. The Knit Café has their own Thrum Mitten pattern with lots of sizes available. You can find the pattern HERE

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If you have never made thrum or any other kind of mittens before you can join our Thrum Mitten Class this Friday!

Thrum Mitten Class
Friday December 1, 8, 7-9pm
Register for this class HERE

Craftily yours
Kristin

 

 

Knit Cafe Yarn! What?

Yes, The rumors are true – The Knit Café has it’s own house yarn! It’s called Small Batch Number 1, and like the name suggests it is a limited edition yarn. It was created with the help of a local sheep farm, and a nearby mini mill. This yarn has a small footprint!
Spun with the Ontarian Sheep breed called Norbouillet, this is a soft wool, that resembles in feel to Rambouillet: the French merino


Colours from left to right: Night Swimming, Dream a little dream, Grass hopper, Gold rush, Sailor’s delight, Woolly Mammoth. The colours were created by combining three different colours of fleece resulting in heathered colour-ways.

You can find out more about our Small Batch Number 1 in our webshop. It’s for sale online Whoopee! and in the shop proper too of course.


Along with the arrival of our new Small Batch Number 1 yarn is a new pattern. It’s a stylish headband  knit with ribbing stitches and a cable placed asymmetrically in a flapper-esque style. This pattern is called Fay Wray. You can find it right HERE

Also new and exclusive to The Knit Café is this ↓

You may remember this yarn, it is a special custom colour made for The Knit Café from Riverside Studio called “firefly”. This colour was originally made for The Knit Cafe’s Yarn Club 2016 in a worsted weight but we loved it so much we could not let it go and have asked Kathryn to make it for us again but in a sock weight. Here it is on Riverside Studio’s Super Sock yarn base, a blend of 80% merino and 20% nylon.
This colour knits-up AMAZING! It looks like little copper coloured fireflies in a midnight sky. You can see how it looks knit up in worsted weight if you check out The Knit Cafe’s Starry Night Chapeau. Please note this is a thicker yarn then what we have in stock.

Riverside Studio Super Sock in Firefly is also available in The Knit Cafe’s webshop.

New in the Knit Café on Roncesvalles Ave only is more lovely Riverside Studio Worsted Singles! This is the stuff you should use for your Starry Night Chapeau.

Craftily yours
Kristin

Strange Brew Knitalong 5

This will be my last post for our Strange Brew Knitalong. My sweater is all done! This is how that last few steps went.

The Strange Brew – design your own fairisle sweater pattern by Tin Can Knits is knit all in one piece from the bottom up. In my last post I showed how I knit my sleeves and body of my sweater together so that it was all in one piece. The last step is to knit the yoke of the sweater. This is also the part of the sweater that is the most fun to knit as it has all the colour-work patterns in it. Yahoo!


If you are new to fairisle knitting you might not recognize this as the back side of the sweater. All those long bits of yarn you see are called “floats” They are the bits of yarn that are carried with you across a row while you are knitting with another colour in the same row. The most crucial of tricks with fairisle knitting is to keep the tension of these floats relaxed. If they are too taut they will distort your knitting pattern and make you knitting projects too small. Try to make your floats a little loose. Your knitting should not look buckled, if it does you are too tight with your floats. If you swatched your fairisle knitting on a different size needle now is the time to switch to that needle size.

One thing to consider when you are using multiple colours in a fairisle project is whether you will “carry” your yarn colours up a row when you are not using it. It’s worth thinking about. How many rows will you carry? The more rows you carry the less ends you will have to weave in, but on the other hand the more rows you carry up will mean that your pattern may get distorted in that area or if you are carrying several colours if will add lots of extra bulk in that section. Me, personally, I will only carry a yarn over one row, and that’s why I have soooooo many ends to weave in.
This is quite a chore. Best to take a few breaths and make a cup of tea.

…and now the big reveal!

Volila! I just need to graft the underarm stitches and block this baby!

Thank you for knitting along with me. If you would like to make your own version of the Strange Brew Sweater you can find the pattern HERE.

The Knit Café has a fairisle knitting class
you can read all about it and register HERE

Craftily yours
Kristin