Tag Archives: fleece artist

what the Easter Bunny left us.

It was either the Easter Bunny or the UPS delivery guy (I get them confused) but regardless we received some real treats over this last week.

rowan dk

These little bundles look much like Easter eggs don’t they? They are the little cousins of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. These 50 gram egg shaped balls of DK weight yarn are comprised of 100% superwash wool, which means they are washer safe as well as being cute!  They are also a very economical choice, only $7 a ball.

shibui silk cloud

One of our favourite yarns ever came in this week too! Check it out! It’s Shibui Silk Cloud. This yarn is a dreamy blend of silk and mohair in a whisper fine lace weight yarn. We have used it in several of our Knit Café patterns including Clouds.shibui cloud






We also received some really beautiful skeins of sock yarn from Fleece Artist. It is so amazing to me how each hand dyer we have welcomed to the store over the last few months have such a unique sense of colour. These Fleece Artist skeins are completely different then anything that has preceded them. I have taken a few pics of the ones that are striking my fancy ↓ but there are many more.

fleece artistfleece artistfleece artistfleece artistfleece artist

Craftily yours

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↓


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?



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


then there’s Peony B and Peony A


and Norway


and Princess, and many more!

Craftily yours

Born on the Bayou

I had entertained calling this post “Rock the Casbah” but then I reproached myself.  That’s just a little too easy, isn’t it?

by Handmaiden

3 out of 5 Knitters put Casbah on their Favorite Yarns of 2011 List.
Let me tell you why.  It rocks!
It’s a sock yarn made with merino wool with a dose of cashmere and a dab of nylon (for strength). There are other yarns with this make-up, but this (in my opinion) is the nicest of it’s kind.  There is something extra dreamy about Casbah and the Knit Cafe just got a whole lot richer with it.
Kate was recently in Nova Scotia and was able to take time for an excursion to Fleece Artist/Handmaiden HQ.  She hand picked some stunners and had them sent along by post. The best thing about this shipment of Casbah in comparison with the other orders we have received of the same, is that the colours came in batches this time.  Usually we get one-offs, sometimes twosomes, but now with bunches of 4 to 8 skeins all the same – make yourself a Casbah sweater why don’t ya? Heaven! Casbah is $29 for 325m.

The special ingredient in Fleece Artist/Handmaiden yarn is Nova Scotian bog water.  I was told this by Kate who got the inside scoop whilst gathering wool.

Craftily yours

go goat!

Cashmere goats in Tibet↑
If you want to produce cashmere you will have to work at it.  Get out the big hairbrush and become a goat-stylist. The softest, warmest, and lightest finds will be under the chin and on the belly.  The rest of the hair is just good for  paint brushes. A good week of brushing should do the trick.  Have fun in the mountains!

Hand dyed 100% cashmere from Handmaiden.  One skein is enough for a hat or a neck warmer.  I made the Jacques Cousteau Hat with a skein, just recently.  The hat needed to be just a”hair” shorter to accommodate the yardage.  How much will depend on your tension.  In my case about a half an inch.  This makes very little difference on a hat with this long a brim.  Or ask us at the Knit Cafe about the Devin’s Toque(pictured here), a pattern by Handmaiden made just for this yarn.

Speaking of shearing; here is something closer to straight off the sheep then we are used to seeing it.  Merino hand dyed fleece from the Fleece Artist can be spun into your own yarn or used in felting projects. Needle felters can separate the colours so one bundle becomes a whole pallet. Or try this↓
A beautiful example of a Thrummed Mitten if I ever saw one.  Which I have.  I made a half dozen of these when I first learned how to knit. This insulated mitten originally haling from Newfoundland is fun to make especially when you have colourful thrum (a fancy term for fleece) to work with. That’s what gets my goat!

Craftily yours

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
-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