It’s that time of year again … time to tidy up your yarn stash and purge the stuff you’re never going to use. That’s right, you can bring us your shame and leave your guilt in our yarn swap bins with the assurance that the yarn that didn’t work out for you will have a second (or third, or fourth) life in a new home. What do you do at a swap? Bring in the yarn and needles you don’t want and take home whatever you like from our swap bins. The leftovers are donated to charities, and don’t be embarrassed by the quality of the yarn you bring, whatever is left over is donated to charities like Street Knit, West Toronto Support Services, and Gilda’s Club, most of whom prefer acrylic! If you want to donate but can’t make the date please feel free to drop it by when we are open, sealed up in a plastic bag. The only yarn we can’t accept is anything that is strongly scented (cigarette smoke or perfume). We are also a drop-off point for Street Knit and Knitted Knockers of Canada.
$5 to participate in the swap (proceeds go to the Red Door Women’s Shelter)
Mineville Merino-Nylon Sport is soft, versatile, machine washable – what more could you ask for? This beautiful 3ply sport weight yarn is perfect for so many projects – from socks to sweaters – you’ll love working with this yarn. The added nylon makes it a bit more durable than regular yarns, making it especially reliable for socks and kids knits.
90% Merino Wool, 10% Nylon
350 meters / 120 grams
3 – 3.5 mm
Made in Canada
Mineville Wool Project is an “off-brand” brand from the sisters at Fleece Artist and Handmaiden. The prices are excellent because we purchase the yarn in one-time-only lots. This means that once it’s gone, it’s GONE, so be sure to order enough for your project.
You’ll learn all the basics: how to knit, purl, put stitches on your needle (cast on), finish up (cast off), change yarn in the middle of your project, weave in your ends, and how to read a ball band as well as a basic pattern. You should be able to make a scarf in this class (get ready to spend a few hours of down-time working on your knitting in front of the TV).
Skill Level: beginner (after scarves)
The next step after making scarves is working in the round, and the perfect project to do that is making hats! Hats are fast, easy, and very, very satisfying! With a choice of three great basic styles, we’ll teach you how to knit in the round, how to knit on double pointed needles (the ones that look like little chopsticks), how to decrease stitches and how to read a pattern. Knowing how to cast on and knit is the only requisite. You can choose to make a basic beanie, a ribbed hat, or a slouchy hat.
Beginner Mittens or Fingerless Gloves
Skill Level: beginner (after hats)
The next step after working in the round with circular needles is managing double pointed needles, that perfect way to accomplish that is making mitts! Mittens are extremely quick and satisfying, and make great, inexpensive gifts! We’ll teach you how to knit in the round on double pointed needles, how to decrease and increase stitches, how to pick-up stitches and how to read a pattern.
Cables for Beginners & Beyond
Skill Level: beginner & beyond (after hats)
Love the sumptuous texture of cables? Then try this workshop on for size. Here you have the opportunity to choose a project that suits your skill level–a cowl with giant twist cables (perfect for beginners), or a hat with travelling cables (for those who prefer more of a challenge). By the time you finish, you will have learned how to knit in the round, how to use a cable needle or hook, how to make basic cables, travelling cables, and how to read basic cable patterns.
Skill Level: absolute beginner
This course is designed for the absolute beginner and covers ALL of the basics you’ll need to get started and keep you going. You will learn how to hold a hook, make a foundations chain, the basic crochet stitches, how to change yarns and colours, how to keep your edges straight – you should be able to make wristwarmers at this point. Then you’ll learn how to make a foundation ring or magic circle, how to keep your round flat with symmetrical increases, how to close your rounds properly, and how to interpret a schematic diagram (at this point you should be able to make a hat or a granny square).
Intro to Socks
Skill level: intermediate-beginner (afte mitts)
Whether you’re just up for something different or you would like to learn to make socks for the first time, this class is a great place to begin. Here you will learn how to use double pointed needles, how to make short-row toes and heels, a mitred alternative to the heel-flap of the traditional cuff-down sock, and how to bind off with elasticity. Materials not included, but we sell everything you need and you receive 10% off all materials during your class.
Intro to Sweaters: Carbeth Cardie or Pullover
Skill Level: intermediate-beginner (after mitts or hats)
A great way to build your knitting skill-set, this fast and easy chunky cardigan will get a sweater under your belt in no time! Among other skills, you’ll learn knitting in the round, picking up stitches, decreasing, following a pattern, making buttonholes, and weaving in ends. You can choose to make this sweater as a cardigan (you’ll learn more skills) or if you’re feeling less intrepid as a simpler pullover.
Lace: Beginner & Beyond
Skill Level: moderate-beginner (after hats)
Lace isn’t just for advanced knitters! Novices learn the basics of knitting lace while making a gorgeous little wrap for yourself or as a gift for someone else. You’ll learn how to read a pattern, increase, decrease, make eyelets (yarn-overs), and use a life-line. Knitters who already have the fundamentals under their belt and want to up their game can also take this class and work on more advanced techniques and lace patterns. To take this class you must already know how to cast on, cast off, knit and purl.
NEW Intro to Brioche
Skill Level: intermediate-beginner (after mitts or sweaters)
In this class you will make a beautiful bi-colour brioche scarf while adding tons of new techniques to your knitting repertoire: a two colour cast on, hooded stitches (aka barks and burps), slide knitting, and a two colour bind-off. Don’t worry if that sounds daunting, our gentle instructor has got you covered!
Intro to Sweaters: Baby/Child Cardie
Skill Level: moderate-beginner (after hats or mitts)
A great way to build your knitting skill-set, this fast and easy little baby cardigan will get a sweater under your belt in no time! Among other skills, you’ll learn knitting in the round, picking up stitches, decreasing, following a pattern, making buttonholes, and weaving in ends.
We just finished making our FREE Easy Garter Scarfy Wrap with one of the new multi-coloured Handmaiden Casbah 5ply Gradient Wrap Kits – I knew it would come out beautifully! Handmaiden always comes up with interesting colour combinations that I wouldn’t normally think of, and the pop of colour is just what’s needed on dreary winter days.
I tried this pattern a few weeks ago, and I thought it would make a great post-holiday knit because it makes great use of bits ‘n bobs of stash yarn. It’s really nice to find a stash busting project that’s small and fast – so many are blankets! The pattern is Snap from Tin Can Knits, who are great designers (and are very reliable).
The colour variation and gradation are achieved by working with multiple strands of yarn held together and periodically changing them out. I used 4 strands of fingering weight yarn held together, although the pattern offers guidance for combinations with lace weight and sport/DK weight yarn. Working with multiple strands of yarn wasn’t hard, but if this is a new thing for you it’s just a good idea to take things slow and don’t rush your stitches.
All of the yarn I used was fingering weight from stash, and almost all of it was variegated. I worked the ribbing in a combination of 4 colours, and then I started changing out a single strand of yarn every 4 rounds, graduating from the darkest colours to the lightest. I think I used approximately 9 to 10 different colours/yarns in all. I started with the darkest greens and then transitioned up through the lighter or more yellowy greens, and then into the yellows.
I’ll be honest and tell you that while I was working on the hat I fussed in my head about which colour should go next, but I don’t think it was necessary. There was so much going on visually with 4 strands of variegated yarn, and I had so many colours that were somewhat close, that each individual change of yarn didn’t make a huge difference. The hat is knit on the knit side and then turned inside out after it is finished, and the colour changes are much more subtle on the purl side.
I made the size “adult S/M”, but after blocking it fits an adult M or 22″ head. If you are knitting for a smaller head (20.5 to 21″) I suggest going down a size. The fabric is heavy, a bit on the dense side (which makes sense, sock yarn doesn’t tend to be fluffy stuff).
Better late than never, look what just showed up I the mail – the prettiest yarn bow on the block! Yarn bowls are a great way to hold your yarn while you’re working on a project. These yarn bowls are made of mango wood, so they’re sturdier and lighter than their ceramic cousins. They won’t snag or imprison your yarn in the carved swirl, so you can access your project at any time. They’re heavy enough to stay in place while you’re working but light enough that you can bring it with you to knit night.