Tag Archives: knitting patterns

Why Balaclavas?

Every single day in the last month knitters have been coming in The Knit Cafe looking for supplies to make a balaclava. Why are we so obsessed?

Surely not all of us have been watching Audrey Hepbourne looking ever glamourous wearing her Balaclava in Charades? So how does one explain this Balaclava-mania?

A hat and a cowl combined might be a very practical accessory but it really has not been in vogue for the last few decades. So why now? There is no way of knowing but like most things these days the rise in popularity of the balaclava may be due to the pandemic. A warm and wooly covering to tightly envelope your head and neck is the embodiment of emotional armor we need at this moment. The balaclava is a bit of cozy reassurance that we can take with us when we leave the protection of our at-home-bubbles.

Here are some balaclava patterns that have caught my eye

…and now some Crocheted Balaclavas

For the Kids

Will you be next to jump on the Balaclava Bandwagon? It is so tempting!

Craftily yours

New Year Thoughts. 2020

2019 was quite a year!

  • It was the year The Knit Café got crazy for Punch Needling
  •  We introduced some new classes, including a really inspiring Natural Dye Class that yielded swoon-worthy results, and a fairisle sweater knitting class where we ended up with a colourful array of Soldotna Sweaters
  • The Knit Cafe hosted a trunk show from Brooklyn Tweed
  • Canadian Hand Dyers like Hello Stella were added to The Knit Cafe’s Yarn menu
  • Our home sweet home got some improvements including a large communal table that is great for classes and also for our Social Night which is now the first Friday of the month and is so much fun! You should come.
  • A new year of Yarn Club began.
  • Brand new Knit Cafe patterns were introduced.
  • Patterns like the Arts and Crafts Hat, the Be My Guest towel, the Warm Thoughts cowl, and the Equinox shawl.

Our Schedule of Classes for 2020 has some goodies!

Brioche Class

Knitting Level Two

Sweater Class

Introduction to Embroidery Class

Introuction to Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom Class

Rug Hooking Class

You can read all about the 2020 classes at The Knit Café HERE.
Happy New Year
Craftily Yours


Sunday Inspiration!

What a beautiful day it is in Toronto! After such a cold and rainy spring – we are deserving!

We have these cute purple guys growing in our Knit Cafe garden, I have no idea what they are but I like em!

Besides the sunshine another thing that made my day is when a checked out the new offerings from Amirisu Magazine. It’s their Summer edition #19. You should take a look too HERE.

I especially like this stranded colour-work shawl called Tiger Lily

The punches of white overlapping the earthy coloured patterning is quite original, not to mention the fringe!

This sweater called Tilea, has a great graphic design and is knit with our beloved Brooklyn Tweed Loft!

An aptly named hat called Escher is very striking and knit with two colours of  Peerie, which is Brooklyn Tweed’s fingering weight merino. Peerie comes in so many lovely colours – I am already picking out combinations for this project.

Shout out to fellow Cannuck and lovely lass Julie Asselin who contributed the yarn for this pullover called Mio.

See the full line up of Amirisu #18 patterns HERE and if you want more knit inspiration the Pom Pom Magazine Issue #29  and the Laine Magazine #8 are newly published and include some gems!

Craftily yours

Quince and Co Linen is at The Knit Cafe

Oh happy day! Lets start planning our summer wardrobe. I can’t think of a better day than this with an April ice storm raging outside. I’ve got that summer feeling. How about you?

I have long admired this yarn from afar. It will be no surprise to you to hear then that I am exceedingly pleased that it has finally made it’s way to The Knit Café. Linen is my favourite plant fibre. It feels so cool next to the skin. It hangs beautifully and oh the gentle sheen! Linen somehow manages to be knit into garments that have both structure and drape. It turns out Flax is not just a superfood it is also a superfibre!
Quince and Co has two 100% linen yarns. Above is a pic of Sparrow. It’s the fingering weight linen.

This is Kestrel ↑ . It’s aran weight.  A thick linen yarn  is super-unusual. Quince and Co makes this work by constructing a yarn with a chainette/ribbon treatment. Now knitters who want to give linen a try but don’t like to knit with super fine yarns can give it a go.

One of the best things about Quince and Co is that they create gorgeous patterns for their yarn. I encourage you to check out their whole catalogue HERE
There are many lovely knittables for the Sparrow yarn. For example above is a pic of the Bolan pattern (left) and the Perkin’s Cove pattern (right).
Find more patterns for Sparrow HERE

Here are two designs for the Kestrel yarn. The one on the left is called Deschain and the one on the right is from Quince and Co’s  new pattern collection it is called Gully.
Find more patterns for Kestrel HERE

Some of your other favourite knitwear designers have made awesome things from Quince and Co linen. On the left is a pic of Linho by Joji Locatelli. On the left is the Ula Tee by Isabell Kraemer. It’s a new pattern from Making Magazine 5. Which is right now on it’s way to The Knit Café. Hooray!

Craftily yours

PS. Did I mention the Quince and Co linen is organic? It is!


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

What we’re making

Iwona and I both, have just finished projects.


Because we can’t get enough of the Sashiko Pattern, Iwona knit up another version. The Sashiko Pattern can be knit into a cowl but it can also be knit into a scarf. Here it is in the scarf version in a poppy pink and a graphic black and white mix. So pretty!


With the Sashiko you mix and match your favourite colours of Shibui Silk Cloud (silk and mohair) and Madelinetosh Prairie (merino) to get yourself a decadent masterpiece!

shibui silk cloudMadelinetosh Prairie
Here are some mix-and-matchables that are in shop right now. ↑

I just finished this ↓


This big guy is called Snoqualmie. It is a Brooklyn Tweed Pattern from the Winter 2016 Collection made from Brooklyn Tweed Quarry. What knitter does not want to make a classic fisherman sweater? I certainly did, and I can’t wait till it gets chilly enough to wear it. Fall come soon!

You can find the Snoqualmie pattern HERE

Brooklyn Tweed has just released it’s latest patterns -Fall 2016! Check it out HERE


Craftily yours

Sneak Peek for Knitter’s Frolic!

Every year at this time we gather up some gorgeous yarns, pack up a truck and head north. Just a wee bit north to The Japanese Cultural Centre for the annual event that all Toronto Knitters look forward to. It’s called The Knitters Frolic!

This year we have a few show specials that will only be available during that one day event – this Saturday April 25.

During the Frolic look for The Knit Cafe’s Knit Kits. We will be bringing them to show. Knit Kits contain yarn and an original Knit Café pattern (patterns come free in the Knit Kits.

All Knit Kits will be 15% off at the Knitters Frolic!
soho-combo-2blackberry combocloud comboTwinkle-Toqueharem-pants-knitkit504 king west  knit kit

We will also be introducing brand new knitting patterns and Knit Kits to coincide with this Knitters Frolic 2015.
fishin    I'm biased    sashiko

These details are all you get till the big unveiling on Saturday!

The Knit Café will have a special gift for all who make purchases.

More details about the Frolic’s ins and outs can be found HERE.
Maybe we’ll see you there.

Craftily yours

3 Weeks till Christmas

We’ve got three weeks to knit gifts for Christmas! Below are some suggestions of knittables that take Aran Weight yarns.

Clouds by The Knit Cafe

It is a brand new pattern from The Knit Cafe.  We have been teasing you with this pattern for a while but now it is available to one and all, near and far. True, this project is knit with a lace weight yarn , but the 6mm needles that are used to knit it puts this project squarely within the parameters of an aran weight project. Silk and mohair conspire to make this dreamy, light shawl.  It is knit loosely making it a faster knit and a transparent fabric.
Start dreaming about your favourite colour combos of  Shibui Silk Cloud, and find the pattern HERE


Tremblant Blanket by The Knit Cafe

This baby blanket was introduced just a few months ago as part of The Knit Cafe’s Wee Collection Fall 2014.  The body of the blanket is knit with a reversible knit and purl stitch pattern.  The colourful border is knit on after by picking up the stitches along each side.  Oh what fun to choose 4 contrasting colours! We used Cascade 128 which is a plush superwash merino, so blankie will go in the washer too. You can purchase this pattern HERE

tremblant blanket

Cadeautje by Ysolda Teagues

I love thrumming! I have made a few thrummed mittens in my time, even designed a Thrum Mitten pattern which you can purchase HERE, and many a thrummed slipper has been created through my efforts.  This thrummed slipper looks so awesome I think it will be one of my next projects.  Thrumming happens when strips of unspun fleece are knit into a project leaving tuffs of fluffy wool lining the inside.  This makes a cushion of warmth that can’t be beat! Currently you must purchase this pattern as part of a booklet called Knitworthy which you can find HERE.  The designer says the pattern will be available to purchase solo on December 15.  Read all about it HERE

The knit cafe has a sweet selection of hand dyed fleece from Sweet Georgia that would be perfect for this project.

cadeautje thrum slippers

Lunatic Fringe by Jennifer Dassau

This is a sweet, rustic looking wrap.  The fringe is knit right on to the shawl by casting on and off. Best of all the pattern can be found in Knitty magazine and is therefore free to try.  You can find it HERE

lunatic fringe

Dot Craze Cowl by Pickles

The designer describes this cowl as “a quite easy cowl filled with dots”, and so it is!  Bobbley type dots decorate this cowl which is knit bigger on the bottom for a nice fit on the shoulders.  This pattern is free and you can find it HERE

dot craze cowl

Robin Cowl by Caroline Weins

This button up cowl is extra wide so that it ca be worn over the shoulders or up around your ears like a hood. It is knit flat, so if you are not experienced working with circular needles but would still like to make a circular scarf this might be attractive to you. Have fun picking the buttons, I can picture it with all different colours! The pattern is free and you can find it HERE

robin cowl

Cocoon Hat by La Maison Rililie

Looking for the perfect slouchy toque?  This one looks like a new classic with it’s chunky ribbed pattern.  Even better the pattern is free and you can find it HERE


Magnolia by Maria Socha

If you are looking for a hat pattern with some more details in the stitching how about Magnolia?  It has a rib brim and a lace stitched top with lots of dimension. You can purchase this pattern HERE


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nicoles Nerdy Knots

It is just a wonderful thing that this exists – a crochet pattern for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  Perhaps you know someone who has more than a passing acquaintance with Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo, if so, I think I found your gift for them.  The crochet pattern  for these guys can be found right HERE.  It’s free!

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Snail Twist Headband by Laura Irwin on Etsy

This is quite a fancy head wrap, appropriate for any fashionable types on your list. You can buy the pattern from the designer on Etsy HERE

snail headband

That is it for this week.  Next week I share some suggestions for bulky and extra bulky yarns too.

Craftily yours





Tremblant Baby Blanket

Last week there was some show and tell here concerning our new knit pattern Baby Harem. It’s  part of  The Knit Cafe’s recently released series of patterns – Wee Collection Fall 2014.  Today I would like to introduce the Tremblant Blanket from the same collection.

triangle blanket

This blanket was named for it’s geometric stitch pattern which resembles mountain peaks.  Knit in creamy white it brings to mind the snow covered ski runs in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

triangle blanket

The body of the blanket is knit all in one with knits and purls defining the triangle texture. The border is knit on after using a pick up and knit technique. triangle blanket schematic crop

Make the blanket your own in the picking and choosing of the four contrast colours that border the blanket.

tremblant blanket

The aran weight yarn makes this blanket thick and cushioned. We used Cascade128 which is a wonderfully soft merino that is machine washable too!

Check out the TREMBLANT BLANKET and the rest of our Wee Collection Fall 2014 and more Knit Cafe patterns to boot in our Ravelry store HERE.

Craftily yours

4 weeks till Christmas

4 weeks still to Christmas.  A whole month to make hand-made-extra-cozy-filled-with-love-gifts!  Here are some options.  All of them are more or less 400 yards of knitting.

Twinklebaum  by Thea Eschliman

Is under 400 yards of bulky, aran, or dk weight.  The yarn selection will adjust the size to fit. This super festive hat is a classy stand-in for the very trendy “Christmas Sweater”, but better! It’s quicker, easier and sweeter to knit.  You can  purchase the pattern for $5 USD HERE


TaDaa by Hanne Katajamaki

Takes 380 – 400 yards of bulky yarn like Lamb’s Pride Bulky by Brown Sheep.

This is what the designer had to say about here pattern: “The idea with this scarf is that you are able to wear it just the way you like: as scarf, tube scarf, poncho or almost like sweater. I used drop stitches, so almost every stitch can be used as a buttonhole. To button up the scarf I used two buttons which are attached together. That way the buttons can be moved anywhere on the scarf”.

You can find this pattern for free HERE


Snag Snood by Newedist Handknits

Takes 132 – 396 yards of extra bulky yarn like Burly Spun by Brown Sheep.

There are two versions of this project, one is a big and snugly fit, and the other a big and generous one.  The double seed stitch pattern looks wonderfully textural in the thick yarn and it is easy to do.  This pattern is free and you can find it HERE

sag snood

sag snood 2

Hedgehog from the Purl Bee

Takes 314 yards of a combo of aran weight yarn like Cascade 128 and a worsted weight like Cascade 220 Superwash.

Who would not want a version of this fellow? The pattern is free! HERE


Rye by TinCan Knits

Takes 150 – 350 yards of dk weight yarn.

DK weight socks! What a fast knit! These chunky socks are sure to keep cold feet warm.  The pattern is written with new sock knitters in mind and comes with tutorials.  There are also sizes that range from baby to adult large.  In other words – socks for the whole family.  Kudos to Tin Can Knits on this pattern that they are offering for free HERE.


Ice Breaker Thermal Leg Warmers by Kalurah

Takes 410 – 430 yards of worsted, so it is just a wee bit over our 400 yard boundary, but what’s a Christmas knitting list without a pair of leg warmers?

This is what the designer has to say: “Break the ice! Knit up a pair of these toasty, wool legwarmers in one weekend. The thermal knit stitch creates a plush, thick and stretchy fabric, making these perfect for just about any size”.

You can download the pattern for $4 HERE

ice breaker

Puff Mama by Anna and Heidi Pickles

Takes 328 yards of extra bulky yarn.  Burly Spun!

A terrific gift choice for someone who wants to spruce up their digs.  You can find this charming pattern for free – right HERE.

puff mama

Mallory Cowl by Shannon Cook

Takes 220 – 440 yards of worsted weight yarn held doubled or a bulky weight yarn single.

It’s a chunky cowl that is sized for children and also adults.  How nice is that?  You can find the pattern for $1.99 CAD HERE.


Christopher by Jane Richmond

Takes 448 yards of worsted weight yarn like Madelinetosh Vintage or Berroco Ultra Alpaca. (So I’m a bit over 400 yards here – but I think it’s worth it)

This is how Jane Richmond describes her pattern: “Christopher is a reversible hat featuring solids and stripes. Knit in one continuous piece means there are no seams or picked up stitches. Generous in length, this hat is more than a beanie but less than a slouch and is flattering on both men and women”.

You can purchase the download for $4.95 HERE


christopher 2

Grand Central by Natalie Selles

Takes 380 – 400 yards of worsted weight like Anzula For Better or Worsted

Many a day during last years chilly season I saw lovely Natalie wearing her version of this cowl.  It looks great on her and it is sure to be equally lovely on someone you know.  The cowl  looks different but equally pretty  on both sides.  Buy the pattern for $5 from Natalie HERE

grand central

Through the Woods by Kalurah

Takes 350 – 380 yards of worsted weight yarn

This hand knitted hood could be for the romantic type who likes to romp in woodlands and pretend they are in a fairytale or for someone very practical who will appreciate that this item is both a head and a neck warmer in one garment.

You can purchase this pattern for $4 HERE

through the woods

Join me next week when I will present knitting patterns that take less then 3oo yards to complete.  See ya then.

Craftily yours