Sure, you’ve been knitting up a storm making gifts for your loved ones, but what about you?! We’ve got lots of gifts (big and small) to keep knitters, crocheters, and needle felters of all skill levels happy. All our stock is available through our website and is available in-store.
I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from me a few days, you guys have been keeping me very busy in the store! I did manage to get a quickie off the needles this week – check out my Mega Rib! I managed to knit up this beanie in a single night – does that make it a one night stand? It;s definitely last-minute-giftable! It was quick & easy, I used one skein of Fleece Artist Merino Stream and 8mm/US11 needles. This yarn was a bit thinner than the one specified in the pattern, but I think it still works. The hat would also look good made according to the pattern’s directions with Cascade Spuntaneous (a super soft, single ply merino wool). Oh, and I forgot, the pattern is a freebie!
I used 8mm/US11 needles and the tension was comfortable a bit loose for a Canadian winter. Use 7mm/US10.75 needles for a denser tension.
I cast on 48 stitches, it fits an Adult medium. For an adult large cast on 51 sts, for a small cast on 45 sts.
A client came in last night who wanted to make some granny slippers, and it occurred to me that I’ve NEVER made a pair, and maybe I should step outside my box and try a pair. I’m happy to report that they were SUPER EASY, beginner friendly (like after scarves), fast, and don’t use a ton of yarn, and are super cosy and warm! I whipped up a pair in one evening, so they’re definitely doable for holiday gifts. They aren’t fancy, but they are definitely cosy, warm, and fast!
A. I used 5mm/US8 needles, and it made the tension a bit tighter, 15 sts = 4″ (10cm). My feet are narrow, so this didn’t make a big difference in size, but if you are knitting for wider feet I would add a couple of stitches to the pattern.
B. The pattern, which was not originally written in english, has one phrase that novices might find confusing. It says “K sts tog 2 by 2”. What they want you to do is K2tog across the row (so knit 2 stitches together, and keep doing this to the end of the row. For beginners, the pattern website also has a how-to video on how to knit 2 stitches together.
C. For beginners who do not know how to seam (or for more experienced knitters who may not know how to do this particular seaming prettily), the pattern website offers some handy how-to videos to get you through the project. To make a tidy seam at the back of the foot (because it is a cast-on edge) this may be a helpful video.
D. Please see our Hack below for suggestions on making sure the colour distribution of hand painted, variegated yarns is the same for both your slippers! If you’re using a solid, heathered or semi-solid yarn you don’t need to worry about this, but you might find it interesting and useful information for the future.
And now for the hack! It’s a universal knitting truth that variegated yarns have a tendency for the colours to pool in ways we can’t anticipate. Sometimes it’s fun, funky, and enhances the project, and sometimes we don’t really care for it. It’s random, it happens, and we learn to accept it. You can usually play around with this effect by varying the needle size, the number of stitches you put on, and the stitch pattern you choose. But while knitting these slippers I found out something new – the place in the colourway that you cast on (where you place your slip knot or first stitch), can have an effect.
Option A) Asymmetrical Pooling Approximately half of the colourway in this particular skein is dark, and the other half was colourful (lets say it starts with the dark blue, the moves into a second part, the brighter warm colours). In the picture above, I made the slip knot around where the colour is changing between the two. The colours pooled kind of randomly, and I thought it worked with the skippers once they were seamed – they’re kinda funky.
Option B) Symmetrical Pooling In this picture, I made the slip knot around the centre of the dark part of the colourway (so about 1/4 of the way through the colour repeat). The colours ended up pooling completely symmetrically! All the Blues stacked up on the right and the reds lined up on the left. It was super cool. It also didn’t suit my sensibilities for this project, although I kind of want to make a neckwarmer this way.
Caveat Emptor: every skein of hand-dyed yarn is different, so this isn’t a rule. so much as a factor. Like I said at the start, the number of stitches, the tension and the stitch pattern also have an effect on the colour distribution. But if you are making your own slippers with hand-dyed, variegated yarn, be sure to cast on in the same place in the colourway to get a similar colour distribution.
So there you go, you learn something new every day! For more information on colour distribution in variegated yarns, I highly recommend the book Artful Color, Mindful Knits.
While Rose was making worsted weight mittens last week, we were working on something a bit thicker, in a Bulky weight Fleece Artist Back Country. The yarn worked out perfectly, and I kinda love the colours – they’re bright and funky and cheer me up on those dreary winter days. If you want an even faster knit mitt, try the Burly Mitts we made a few years ago with Fleece Artist Merino Stream.
Modifications & Size
The pattern calls for an unusual amount of yardage, I think because the cuff is so extra-long. Because we weren’t sure about how far the yarn would go (based on the pattern requirements), we made the cuff shorter (18 rows). In the end, we were fine and had LOTS of yarn left (35% of the skein) … Fleece Artist Back Country comes in generous 125g skeins. We made a Ladies size small, but I think it fits a ladies Medium (it fits me). I have a feeling 2 skeins will make 3 pairs of mittens in this size (or smaller).
We just finished this easy Classic Ribbed Hat, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The pattern was a freebie, so yay! We used a single skein of Diamond Baby Alpaca Sport, which is a BULKY weight, supremely soft 100% baby alpaca, and it feels marvellous! We used 5.5mm/US9 needles, so the tension is tight and the fabric will hopefully be a bit on the dense side, and more Canadian winter friendly. I kinda really like the colour, sometimes pinks and purples can be so surprising. And of course, we topped the whole thing off with a Raccoon Fur Pompom – I think they add a little polish and finish the look. I think it makes a beautiful, personal holiday gift (and it works up fairly quickly, so you can get it done in time).
I wasn’t sure about the sizing, so we cast on for the child side to fit an adult S/M, and then followed the instructions for the adult size. We also did an extra round of decreases at the end, to make the top more manageable to close. We always try to write out mods in the project notes on Ravelry.
DellaQ’s Yarn Caddies and Bowls are a lot like their brilliant needle cases – beautiful, well made, and extremely useful. They’re specially designed to hold and care for your needlework. They’re also ethically made in Vietnam under Della’s own watchful eye, which goes a long way to ensure the high quality of the product. As you can see, we really believe in these products!
DellaQ Cleo Yarn Caddy (Medium Bag)
DellaQ’s Cleo Yarn Caddy is a great way to stash and transport your small and medium-sized knitting and crochet projects. Cleo stands on her own with pockets, pockets, pockets – four on the outside and two on the inside. She won’t let you down and fall over. The Cleo Yarn Caddy is perfect for medium size projects or a bunch of small ones. The inside includes a zip pocket and an open pocket for smaller tools.
Width: 8 inches
Height: 12.5 inches
Machine wash delicate, air dry
DellaQ Tess Yarn Caddy (Large Bag)
DellaQ’s Tess Yarn Caddy is all the knitting bag you’ll ever need! It’s a large bag designed to hold and carry your projects, and it’s big enough for a sweater or blanket project. Tess stands on her own with pockets, pockets, pockets – four on the outside and two on the inside. Plus Tess stands up, and won’t let you down and fall over. The inside includes a zip pocket and an open pocket for smaller tools.
Machine wash delicate, air dry
NEW DellaQ Soft Yarn Bowls
Finally, a yarn bowl that can travel with you and won’t break! DellaQ’s fabric bowls are stiff enough to hold your work, yet soft enough to collapse for storage when not in use. The top band unfolds to increase the bowl size. Accented with detailed stitching.
DellaQ makes some of the best needle cases we’ve ever found, and we think they’re definitely the best that are currently on the market. Della’s products are well thought out, high quality, and have been tested and used by knitters and crocheters for over a decade and a half – they’re made to be beautiful, to be used, to be useful, and to last. They organize your needles in a compact, portable solution that’s easy to put away, but also easy to take out and use. They’re also ethically made in Vietnam under Della’s own watchful eye, which goes a long way to ensure the high quality of the product. As you can see, we really believe in these products – I personally have at least 4 of her needle cases!
DellaQ “The Que” Circular Needle Case
For those who don’t know about DellaQ’s circular needle cases, let’s just say they rock, and “The Que” circular needle case is one of our longstanding favourites (actually, it’s the best solution we’ve found so far)! It includes twelve numbered pockets. Did you catch that? Numbered. For those who need directions, put the size 6 needle in the size 6 pocket. You can even store more than one set in each pocket. The security flap on each pocket can be folded over the top or tucked in like an envelope. Includes a small zip pocket behind the sixth pocket for storing notions or an emergency piece of chocolate. This case is an excellent gift for anyone with a burgeoning collection of circular knitting needles!
Haven’t made the decision yet whether you like straights, circulars or double points? Maybe you like them all and want them in one case. This tri-fold case includes nine pockets in the centre for circulars. The outer flaps hold 18 straights and/or double points. We know this is a common design, but our case holds more than most cases and it is far prettier! The case is tall enough for those needles that insist on being a bit too tall to fit in any other case. There are no numbers like many of our other cases so you’ll need to be a little bit organized or keep a needle gauge in the case. Oh, right, there is also a zip pocket for stitch markers or a piece of chocolate. Fold it up and tie it in a bow (refer to your mother for bow tying instructions).
Eighteen unnumbered pockets for straights and double points
Nine unnumbered pockets for circulars
Includes numbered tabs for customization
Open: 14.5″ w x 15″ h Closed: 15.5″ x 6″
Taffeta silk and Poly Silk
DellaQ Double Point Roll
It’s time to organize your double pointed needles and store them in something other than those plastic sleeves or “ahem” your special needle drawer. DellaQ’s DPN roll is the best solution we’ve found, and we swear by it for our own personal needle collections!
Two rows of fourteen numbered pockets, two unnumbered