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SPECIAL PRE-ORDER Lopi Blankets 2021

Lopi Blankets

Lopi’s ready-made blankets are back! These blankets are gorgeous heirloom pieces, prefect for your home or cottage, ideal in the living room or at the end of the bed, and they also make beautiful gifts. Made of Icelandic wool, they are extremely durable, lightweight, breathable and warm. The fabric is additionally combed after weaving to make it soft. The blankets come in a wide variety of patterns and all are reversible. The offerings are extensive this year with twenty-seven styles available, so there’s something for everyone (I’m partial to the ones with the colour blocks, the monochrome textures and the graphic polka-dots). To see larger images check out the Lopi 2021 Blanket Catalog HERE. We also have a sample in store for you to see and feel. 

Please note, these are ready-made blankets, they are not a knitting kit and unfortunately do not come with a stunning landscape as a back-drop.

  • Sizes vary, see images for dimensions
  • 27 styles are available for 2021
  • Fully reversible
  • Made in Iceland
  • Hand Wash (or machine wash on delicate alone) in cold water with delicate wash (Eucalan or Soak), lay flat or hang to dry. 

Pre-Orders

All pre-orders must be received by September 16th and will ship/be available for pick-up in early November. We will only be ordering these blankets once this year, and will only be filling pre-orders, so be sure to place your order if you want one! 

USE code LOPI21 at checkout to take $20 off your Lopi blanket purchase!

The Wool

Icelandic wool has historically been crucial to the survival of the nation as it provided both warmth and protection throughout centuries of harsh weather. It is also quite unique compared to the wool of other sheep breeds. The inner fibres are fine, soft and highly insulating while the outer fibres are long, glossy and water repellent. Therefore products made of Icelandic wool are extremely durable, lightweight and breathable

The Manufacturer
Ístex Ltd. is the main wool manufacturer in Iceland, with over a century of wool tradition behind their products. They create wool blankets, with narrative threads that weave together a modern sensibility of style, the artistic inspiration of a dramatic landscape and the unique quality of Icelandic yarn.

PROJECT Farmhouse Towels

Farmhouse Towels

Make some towels that are so beautiful you’ll never want to use them! That’s ok, some things you use until they’re shredded, and some you keep out to please the eye. Both have their roles in our lives. The pattern is a FREEBIE, and makes for some simple, elegant summer knitting.

Quince & Co Sparrow is my favourite yarn for this project, I love how this linen looks, the silky feels after being washed, and also how resilient it is (it gets better going through the wash) . My second personal choice would be

Kelbourne Mojave – their colours make me so happy, and the I love the the subtle texture of the fibre.

Berroco Remix Light is the budget friendly, earth friendly, use-friendly option – it has so much yardage, two skeins of the main colour will make 3 towels, and 3 skeins will make 5. Plus it’s recycled, has a neat texture, is easy to knit with and wash.

Cascade Ultra Pima is the last on the list, but not the least. This silky smooth pima cotton is a staple, and is always a joy to knit with and wear. If you like a plain, flat aesthetic, this is your yarn of choice.

ALL OF THE YARN SUGGESTED ARE ON SALE TO AUG 9th!

Materials

Alternate Yarn Options

For the following yarn options you’ll probably want to go up to a 4mm/US6 needle.

  • Cascade Ultra Pima: MC: 2 skeins, CC: 1 skein. (3 skeins of MC will make 2 towels)
  • Berroco Remix Light: MC 1 skein, CC: 1 skein. (2 skeins of the MC make 3 towels, 3 skeins of the MC will make 5 towels)
  • Kelbourne Mojave: MC 2 skeins, CC 1 skein. (3 skeins will make 2 towels)

HOUSEKEEPING Covid Policies & Fun Stuff

Image: The Nib

COVID Policy FYI

As things open up, the rules of the game seem to be getting pretty fuzzy. People don’t really seem to know what is allowed, what is not – it almost makes you crave the certainty of lockdown … almost. Retailers and other service businesses aren’t given very little guidance, so each of us has to make up our own rules. Throughout the pandemic people have beens asking me when will classes and Sit ‘& Knit will resume, and my answer has always been “When it’s safe for strangers to sit next to each other”. This of course begs the question, what is ‘safe’, because let’s face it, in life control is really more of a concept than a ‘thing’. Ultimately, my choices are predicated on the fact that COIVD transmission is airborne, meaning breathing the same air is a problem.

Classes & Sit & Knit

After much consideration, I’ve decided that we can’t even consider resuming classes or sit & knit until there are no legal repercussions if COVID it enters your life (kind of like the flu). This means there has to be ZERO self-isolation necessary. If you have to quarantine yourself for two weeks after you attend a class because someone in the group later tests positive for COVID, then vaccinated or not, the pandemic isn’t over. We’ve started getting bits of our lives back, and I don’t want to do anything to disrupt that. Last week I got to hug my nephew for the first time in 16 months, and when my nice comes home from a stint at summer camp I’m going to squeeze her so hard her eyes pop out. I know you have similar things in your lives that you are grateful for and don’t want to ever lose again, and I’m comfortable being conservative in this department and waiting.

Project Help

If you want to bring in your project for some help because you are stuck, we can accommodate that if it is something small and will take about 10 to 20 minutes (or you can leave your project with us). Our normal rates still apply ($4.95/10 minutes), and we can’t do pop-ins, you still have to contact us beforehand to make an appointment. We can not do anything that involves people sitting down in the room for any extended period of time.

Store Capacity

I’m keeping the store capacity capped at 3 adult clients. We have plenty of room to keep 3 grown-ups (with or without a kid or two) and 2 staff members out of each others’ space. Legally we can now have more people in the store, but it’s a terrible idea.

Social Distance

Working in retail, I get to meet lots of different people, and one thing I’d like to address is that we aren’t all on the same page regarding our comfort level with reopening. Some people are ready to go out and party with 200 strangers, others still feel a lot of anxiety around the virus, and there are tons of people in the spectrum in-between. I’d like to ask everyone to try to maintain a sensible amount of physical distance in the store, especially around other customers. It is human nature to want to connect with people and we instinctively move physically closer when we do that, but we really just don’t know who’s good with it and who isn’t.

The Fun Stuff To Do While You Knit

I always offer a spoon full of sugar, so here are some fun things …. with pictures!

Something to Make you Laugh: The Vinyl Cafe

The Vinyl Cafe is being re-broadcast by CBC radio … my mom hooked me up with this one, apparently my father and brother pulled some Odd Jobs style handiwork at the cottage and the only way she could adequately describe it to a friend was with one of Stuart MaLean’s stories. If you aren’t familiar with the Vinyl Cafe, it’s a hilarious radio show that ran on Canadian Radio for many years. The original show included music, a short story and a long story … it’s worth listening to a show in its entirety, but it’s the stories that are the GEMS.

Something to Make you Grateful (for plumbing): The Victorian Farm

If you’re having a hard time filling up your gratitude list, The Victorian Farm on Amazon Prime will give you lots of material. Watch as a historian and two archaeologists walk the walk, living as victorians on a victorian farm. If you get into the first season, you may be interested in The Victorian Farm Christmas Special. Unfortunately there is no knitting in this show, the three of them were run ragged with the work of running the farm and I don’t think they had much leisure time. If you’re into history and fashion, you might also like A Stitch in Time.

Image: Awkward Yeti

Something to Help You Grow: Self Talk

This great little article on Self Talk for Athletes got me thinking. So, I already know the benefits of positive thinking, but I decided to try it with my exercise too. While I don’t tell myself negative things, I don’t have much control over what’s streaming through my subconscious. I figured I’d try to be my own trainer and actively tell myself positive things. It took a little experimenting to see which phrases work for me. Things like “You’ve got this Haley!” and “You can do it Haley!” didn’t really motivate me. But when I gave myself validation like “I’m so proud of you Haley!”, and “I believe in you Haley!” it really kicked in and I had access to more power. I also found that having a purposeful, positive dialogue brought me into my body, made me more present (what the dharma crowd call “Embodied Awareness“), and of course kept my subconscious mind from wandering to negative places. By the way, positive self-talk isn’t just the domain of athletes, you can use it with anything in life, including your crafts. If you need help with your self pep-talks check in with Lisa Nichols, she’s brilliant!

Something Else to Help You Grow: Trusting the Gold

I bought Trusting the Gold for my boyfriend’s birthday, but I started skimming it before wrapping it up, and now I really want to read it! It’s a petite book, not a “fix-yourself self-help manual”, and is very readable. Is there anyone on this planet who couldn’t go for more goodness? Unfortunately the book is not yet available on Audible, so you’ll have to do this one old skool. If you want to listen, Tara Brach has LOTS of podcasts on various platforms … she’s so awesome, I can’t do a pandemic without her!

PROJECTS Crochet Macrame

If you love the look of macrame, but aren’t presently interested in learning a new craft, there are some beautiful patterns for macrame-like projects made with crochet.

Photo:

Crochet Macrame Curtain

This gorgeous crochet piece is inspired by macramé and embodies the Modern Boho Chic style. It works well as either a curtain or a wall hanging and is worked side-toside so creating the width you want is a breeze. The written instructions also include a chart, making this pattern an easy to follow how-to!

Size

  • Approximately 77” 196 cm wide X 6” 15 cm tall, excluding fringe.
  • Note: When fringe is attached, work will stretch to approximately 7” 18 cm tall plus fringe
  • Diamond Repeat is approximately 5 1/2” 14 cm wide

Yarn Optionst

Materials

Photo: Erin Black

Crochet Lumbar Pillow

Front-post stitches, back-post stitches, and chains combine to create a macramé style crochet design in this gorgeous pillow. This pattern includes complete instructions for how to make and assemble both an inner and outer cushion cover. The written instructions also include a chart, making this pattern an easy to follow how-to.

Size

  • +16” X 26” 40.5 x 66 cm.

Yarn Options

Materials

Photo of teal bedroom by Photographee.eu and available from Shutterstock, Photoshopped by Erin Black.

Crochet Macrame Square Pillow

Front-post stitches, back-post stitches, and chains combine to create a macramé style crochet design in this gorgeous pillow. This pattern includes complete instructions for how to make and assemble both an inner and outer cushion cover. The written instructions also include a chart, making this pattern an easy to follow how-to.

Size

  • 20” 51 cm square

Yarn Options

Materials

Photo: minimalism with yarn

Simple Macrame Inspired Crochet Wall Hanging

Admiring the works of macrame artists as a crocheter, I created this wall hanging to honour the sophisticated simplicity of macrame knots by using just crochet techniques. With this FREE easy crochet pattern, you will be able to create a simple yet sophisticated wall hanging that will surely leave your fingers yearning to make more than just one! Experiment with different fibers and weights of yarn, and you may well create yourself a whole wall of crocheted wall decor, adding simple texture to the walls of your home, child’s room, or nursery.

Yarn Options

Materials


Macrame Inspired Table Runner

This macramé-inspired crochet table runner is a textural masterpiece! The pattern comes to life with a simple 4-row repeat. Featuring back post treble crochet, you’ll love the versatility of this pattern that’s easy to shorten as needed, to fit your table. It’s ideal for everyday use and special occasions. Make a set in a different color for every season!

Size:

  • Approximately 15″ x 90″ [38 x 228.5 cm]

Yarn Options

Other Materials

PROJECTS + TUTORIALS Real Macrame

I found these great Macrame video tutorials from Soulful Notions on Youtube, and I thought I’d share. They’re clear and easy to follow, and I just kind of like her. One of the great things about Macrame is there aren’t a lot of tools – Macrame cord, sharp scissors and a glue gun or fabric glue get the job done! It isn’t the kind of project you can take on the bus, but it only requires fingers and can be a fun activity at the cottage or just over the summer. In addition t project tutorials, there are also tutorials for Beginner Knots and Intermediate Knots.

30 Minute Macrame Wallhanging

Size

  • Length: 12inches/30.5cm
  • Width: 26 inches/66cm

Materials

Easy Macrame Market Bag

Size

  • Length: 24 inches/61cm
  • Width: 15 inches//38cm

Materials

Spiral Plant Hanger

Materials

Reversible Macrame Bag

Size

  • From top of handle to the bottom: 25 inches/63.5cm
  • Width: 12in/31cm
  • Just the body (not including handles): 14in/35.5cm

Materials

Macrame Basket

Size

  • Medium (Large)
  • Black(Mustard)
  • 10″/25.5 cm x 8″/20.5 cm (12″/30cm x 12″/31cm)

Materials

Modern Macrame Wall Hanging

Size

  • WIDTH: 3 feet/91cm
  • LENGTH: 22inches/56cm

Materials

SUMMER SALE 20% OFF!

Our Summer Sale is on! Take 20% off select (summer) products until August 4th, 11:59pm. The discount will automatically be applied at check-out, so you don’t need to jump through the hoops of remembering to enter the code.

SEE SALE PRODUCTS HERE

NEW FREE PATTERN The Cottage Wrap

Cottage Wrap

This simple wrap combines two fundamentals of knitting to create a reversible, welted texture: stocking stitch and reverse stocking. It is knitted on the bias, increasing in width as you go, so you can make it any size you like and use any tension of yarn you like – it’s a great stash-buster! The pattern may look long and complicated, but it isn’t, it’s just written with detail for inexperienced knitters and people with short attention spans. The pattern repeat is long, so a chart is included to guide you and help you keep track of where you are in the pattern. You can use any yarn you like, which makes it a great stash buster (see amounts below).

Its called the cottage wrap because it’s a great thing to wrap around your shoulders on a cool night, but maybe especially at the cottage. It is a freebie, from us to you. Please enjoy this pattern as we all emerge from our nests with joy and trepidation.

Orange Cottage Wrap

Size

  • Depends on your yarn and the size you desire
  • approx 82”/205cm long (from tip to tip) & 20”/50cm deep (at longest point)

Yarns

The amount of yarn you use is flexible and depends on the type of fibre you choose and the thickness of the yarn – you’ll probably need 2 scarves worth of yarn. Yarns that are knit as a looser fabric will go further, yarns knit tighter may require some extra, especially bulky to super bulky weight yarns. Use a needle size that works for your yarn. 

General Yardage Requirements

  • 3sts/inch – 550m/610yds
  • 3.5sts/inch – 690m/755 yds
  • 4 sts/inch – 825m/905 yds
  • 4.5 sts/inch – 915m/1005 yds
  • 5 sts/inch – 1000m/1100 yds
  • 5.5 sts/inch – 1100m/1200 yds
  • 6 sts/inch – 1185m/1300 yds
  • 6.5 sts/inch: 1260m/1370yds
  • 7 sts/inch – 1275m/1400 yds

Red Cottage Wrap

Notions

Lastly ….

This pattern has been percolating for a long time … it was a victim of a bit of “scope-creep“, the result of some underlying issues with perfectionism (and the sundry crud that that springs from). I’d like to say thank you to my sample knitters Tessa and Adrienne, who made the wraps in the pictures and helped edit the pattern. Thank you to Erica, Noel and Rosie for just putting up with me. Thanks to Judit who helps me clear the blocks. Thanks also go to everyone whose been so patient and waited for me to finish the pattern. This pattern was far from being my dissertation and definitely not my life’s work, but it was a bit of an albatross. I’d like to raise a toast to letting go of our tethers and stretching our wings: may it be the first of many similar experiences for us all. In the words of my then eight year old nice: “You watch this girl go!”

~ Haley

NEW T-Shirt Yarn Phildar Phil Creativ’

Phildar Creativ’

 Phildar Phil Creativ’ is a super bulky weight T-Shirt yarn made from recycled fabric reclaimed from the garment industry. T-Shirt yarns are generally great for home projects, they are especially popular to making baskets! ‘Tarn’ is extremely good for crochet, and also works extremely well for wall hangings.

  • 100% Recycled Fibres (50% Polyester, 50% Other Fibres)
  • 400g/ 90m to 100m
  • 10mm/US15 to 12mm/US17 needles/hook
  • Knitting Tension: 9 sts & 13 rows = 4″/10cm
  • Made in France

Projects for T-Shirt Yarn

Here are a few searches for patterns that feature “T-shirt Yarn” or “Tarn” :

Photo: viliana

Mandala Floor Mat

Materials

Photos: Eilen Tein

Nest

Nest is exactly what it looks like – a nest for your pet (or someone else’s pet). I would make one of these in a second, but unfortunately small enclosed spaces encourage breeding behaviour with birds (which comes with hormonal shifts), and Gruau has already getting a little too personal with my lunch bag.

Materials

Photo: Heather Moore

Grasslands Hanging Basket

The hanging basket is a new-ish idea for me, but I quite like it, as it serves a dual purpose of oragnizing stuff (getting it off the floor) and decorating.

Materials

Photo:  Thilde Folke Olsen

T-Shirt Yarn Basket

How much do you want to fill your house with little crocheted baskets? This pattern is from the UK, so the terms are slightly different than north America, so here’s a UK/US a Chart of US vs. UK Crochet Terms . The only difference in this pattern is that dc (double crochet) means sc (single crochet).

Materials

So You Wanna Make your Own T-Shirt Yarn …

If you are feeling inspired to make your own t-shirt yarn, I unfortunately don’t have a lot of insight for you – I’ve tried it a couple of times but didn’t get very far. Here is a tutorial for you, and a few of my insights:

  1. You need A LOT more material than you think you do. Like WAAYYYYYY more. In the tutorial they suggest 7 to 8 XL sized t-shirts to make a basket. So it’s probably a good idea to collect your materials ahead of time and then start cutting.
  2. The quality of the fabric matters. The really inexpensive t-shirts fabric fray, I suggest passing those over.
  3. The fibre content makes a difference. You know how some shirts have more give than others, some flows and some are stiff? That’s going to be a factor for your t-shirt yarn, because the yarn will behave differently, stretch more or less, and end up different thicknesses.
  4. It also goes that if you want to make something that is stiff and stands up, like a basket, you’ll want to start with fabric that is stiffer and has less give.

PRE-ORDER Knitted Bliss Embroidery Kits

Knitted Bliss Embroidery Kits

This is a Pre-Order and will ship/be available for pick-up as soon as it arrives from the distributor.

Knitted Bliss Embroidery Kits are designed and hand-assembled in Toronto by Julie Crawford. You won’t find a more eco-friendly embroidery kit anywhere else! The packaging and materials are designed to be as eco-friendly and plastic-free as possible. On top of being very sustainable and Canadian-made, they are beautiful, whimsical and really fun to stitch and easily portable for summer crafting, and they also make a great gift.

Kits are available in Blue, Pink & Purple.

Kits include everything you need (except scissors):

  • bamboo embroidery hoop
  • design pre-printed on 100% cotton
  • stainless steel embroidery needles included
  • 100% cotton DMC threads organized on a thread card
  • a plastic-free needle threader
  • floral enamel needle minder
  • instruction sheet, with a link to a dedicated webpage for additional support and guidance for the stitches and techniques specific to that design

STORE HOURS Canada Day Long Weekend

Canada Day Long Weekend Store Hours

Wednesday June 30: 12:30 pm to 6 pm

Thursday July 1: CLOSED

Friday July 2: CLOSED

Saturday July 3: 12 pm to 4 pm

Sunday July 4: CLOSED

Monday July 5: 11 am to 6 pm


Normally around holidays I post a free pattern for a project that’s somewhat related to the holiday, and around Canada Day it’s usually something maple-leafy or involving a beaver or a Canada Goose. Recent events have me thinking about this holiday, and what our country’s birthday means in a broader sense. I wanted to feature designs by Canadian Indigenous designers of knit/crochet patterns, but disappointingly nothing turned up. My research was limited to a day and unfortunately I didn’t have the time to start digging below the surface, so if you know of any please send me a note and I’ll update this blog post and include them.

What I did manage to extract from the interweb follows ….

Photo: Jessie Mae Martinson

Indigenous Designer

I found some gorgeous patterns by Jessie Mae Martinson, an incredibly talented indigenous designer from the US (I tracked her down through BIPOC in Fiber). She designs pretty little tops & bottoms, great for warm weather. Her patterns are size inclusive and priced on a “choose what you pay” scale. If you want a summer yarn to make her projects designed in fingering weight yarn, try Quince & Co Sparrow. For the DK weight I’d go for Kelbourne Woolens Mojave (no wool, it’s just super soft cotton and linen in gorgeous colours).

Canadian Indigenous Knitting Tradition

I also came across an older documentary made in 2000 for the NFB about the Coast Salish Knitters. I like this film, it’s older, but it addresses the complicated and often exploitative history connected with the makers of these sweaters. For us knitting is a leisure activity, but it’s important to keep in mind that for many of the families involved in the production of these sweaters, knitting meant the difference between starving and survival.

See the bottom of this page for a couple of articles on the Cowichan Sweaters of the Coast Salish people.

I also came across the book, Knitting Stories: Personal Essays and Seven Coast Salish-inspired Knitting Patterns (2014) by Sylvia Olsen, which you can buy as a Ravelry Download or as a soft cover from Sononis Press. You can also download 7 of the patterns individually. Alexa Ludman of Tin Can Knits highly recommends the book!

Olsen is non-native, but has spent much of her life living in Tsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. She is also author of the very recently published Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey (2021) and Working with Wool (2010), which received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing. She has several knitting patterns available as downloads on Ravelry. I’ve only just discovered Olsen’s work, but if you’ve read her books please let me know what you thought!

Photo: Joshua Lawrence

If you want to make the cowl above, I suggest using Cascade Heritage in colours 5742 Silver Grey Heather, 5631 Charcoal Heather, and 5672 Black. This pattern also includes a link to a video of Sylvia Olsen demonstrating Intuitive Colourwork (I don’t know what that is either, but it sounds interesting, I might have to buy the pattern to find out).

Photo: Jane Richmond

Should you now be feeling inspired to whip up your own Cowichan sweater, consider Canadian designer Jane Richmond’s West Coast Cardigan, which is not a real Cowichan sweater, but is respectfully inspired by the traditional style of the Cowichan Sweaters of the Coast Salish people. I suggest using Drops Andes, or for a more contemporary look try a blown yarn like Drops Wish.

More Insight

For those who are academically inclined or just want more context, I also found a journal article from 2012: The Coast Salish Knitters and the Cowichan Sweater: An Event of National Historic Significance, by Marianne P. Stopp. You can download it HERE (it takes a few seconds to load the site) or HERE. I’ll be reading this over the long weekend!

Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

And if journal articles aren’t your speed, I also found a nice little article in a lifestyle Magazine from Victoria: The Story of the Cowichan Sweaters.