ACCESSORIES in Fibre Co Acadia

Prologue

Today is accessories day! Last time we covered some inspiring sweater projects, but now it’s time to look at some smaller, faster, and simpler projects. I’ve included a link for finished projects in the materials section for each project, so you can check out how people peoples look. Here’s a link so you can see ALL the accessory project ideas.

My choice of projects is simple and accessible. There have been so many new knitters since COVID landed, and I know you don’t have the same access to in-person education that you normally would. Knitting has historically been taught from person to person, and i know how hard it’s been on you trying to learn from books and the internet. I’m also hearing from so many people who tell me they’re experiencing brain-fog and are having a hard time focussing – you’re in VERY good company and I’ve been trying to keep that in mind when I choose suggestions.

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

  • This offer is only available for a limited time and EXPIRES at 11:59pm October 26, 2020.
  • Make as many purchases as you like, there’s no limit on the number of times you use this discount code before it expires.
  • This offer does NOT apply to in-store purchases.
  • You can have your online order shipped or pick it up in store, you can chose at check-out.

Fibre Co. Acadia is a luscious, and slightly rustic looking blend of silk-noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool. It’s Ideal for creating a handmade wardrobe that can be worn almost all year round, Acadia comes in a range of colours that sit well together to offer makers ample choice for projects.

Most of the shades in Acadia have a heathered appearance created from layers of beautiful raw fibres of natural brown baby alpaca, ecru merino tops and silk-noil, which is then kettle dyed creating subtle duotones. Shades such as Egret, Sand and Mountain Ash use other natural shades of alpaca including white, light fawn and grey.

  • 60% Merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk
  • 50g/133m (145 yds)
  • DK weight
  • 21 to 23 sts = 10 cm/4″
  • 3.75/US5 to 4 mm/US6 needles
  • Gently hand wash colours separately in cool water.
  • We recommend alternating hanks as you work to give an overall blended appearance.
  • Made in Peru
Photos: Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, KnitOnePurlTootoo

Easy Folded Poncho

I love this poncho, it transcends trends and always keeps you cozy and warm. It’s easy to knit (just one long stockinette rectangle), easy to finish, and easy to throw on.

Skill Level

Beginner (after your first scarves), less experienced knitters, or those of us with COVID related brain-fog who need something REALLY simple.

Size

  • Poncho: 22 x 50″/56 x 127cm, before folding
  • Cowl: 24″/61cm around x 8″/20cm tall.

Yarn

Fibre Co. Acadia:

  • With cowl: 7 skeins
  • Without cowl: 6 skeins 

Other Materials

Photos: Susus, Happy Knits

Rikke

A lot of people undervalue the textural possibilities of garter stitch, but it makes for simple, a beautiful aesthetic while adding extra warmth and stretch. It doesn’t hurt that the Acadia’s luxe-rustic texture just looks better with texture.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters. You may not want to make it your very first-ever hat (go for a thicker yarn and very basic beanie or slouchy beanie shape for that), but it’s good for adding a few more small skills.

Size

  • One Size
  • Fits Adult – between 21-23″

Materials

Photos: Orange Flower Yarn, YarnFolkAnn

Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief

Kerchief sized wraps are great little projects, a good way to test out a smaller quantity of yarn, and if you want it bigger you can keep knitting. Kerchiefs are super popular as scarfy/neck accessories: they cover up your vulnerable parts without all the bulk around the sides and hanging down your front.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters.

Materials

Photos: barbarascohen, Stephen West

Boneyard Shawl

The Boneyard Shawl is an oldie but a goodie. The simplicity of the design lets the yarn shine, plus its an easy knit for less experienced knitters. It’s a bit bigger than the Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief, and gives you more coverage.

FYI: if you adore the the hand-painted red in the picture of above try Malabrigo Arroyo in 33 Cereza.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters.

Materials

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

SWEATERS in Fibre Co Acadia

Prologue

When I started researching Fibre Co. Acadia I found more project ideas than I ever expected, although it makes a lot of sense, it’s YUMMY! In this post I’m looking at sweater ideas so that people who need sweater quantities of the yarn can get them first (a post with smaller projects and accessories will follow in a couple of days). I’ve included a link for finished projects in the materials section for each project, so you can check out how people peoples look. Here’s a link for ALL the clothing ideas. I’m about to have a shipment of some other yarns shipped, so if you need more than we have in stock PLEASE contact us, I may be able to make some magic happen!

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

  • This offer is only available for a limited time and EXPIRES at 11:59pm October 26, 2020.
  • Make as many purchases as you like, there’s no limit on the number of times you use this discount code before it expires.
  • This offer does NOT apply to in-store purchases.
  • You can have your online order shipped or pick it up in store, you can chose at check-out.

Fibre Company Acadia

I originally ordered a bag of Fibre Co. Acadia to play with, and as soon and I handled the bag I knew I had to get it for you! It’s just so luscious, so gorgeous, it made me happy, and now that the stock has arrived in the store I adore gazing at those cubbies and putting it away. Swatching it was a joy, and I’ve been feeling a little envious of the clients who’ve already snapped some up (I’m currently working of a hat for my beau, it’s loved-ones need hats & scarves season).

Fibre Co. Acadia is a luscious, and slightly rustic looking blend of silk-noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool. It’s Ideal for creating a handmade wardrobe that can be worn almost all year round, Acadia comes in a range of colours that sit well together to offer makers ample choice for projects.

Most of the shades in Acadia have a heathered appearance created from layers of beautiful raw fibres of natural brown baby alpaca, ecru merino tops and silk-noil, which is then kettle dyed creating subtle duotones. Shades such as Egret, Sand and Mountain Ash use other natural shades of alpaca including white, light fawn and grey.

  • 60% Merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk
  • 50g/133m (145 yds)
  • DK weight
  • 21 to 23 sts = 10 cm/4″
  • 3.75/US5 to 4 mm/US6 needles
  • Gently hand wash colours separately in cool water.
  • We recommend alternating hanks as you work to give an overall blended appearance.
  • Made in Peru
Photos: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Lucinda

Lucinda is a great basic pullover made for comfort and ease. It’s means to be a roomy, casual that looks great on everyone. Lucinda is worked in one piece in the round from the bottom-up until the underarms, then the fronts and the back are worked separately, joining the shoulders with a three-needle-bind-off. There are instructions for two sleeve lengths (shown in the shorter sleeve). The sweater was designed with Fibre Co. Acadia, and it’s actually been knit up 76 times with it on Ravelry (there are lots of great looking Acadia Lucinda’s to be seen).

Skill Level

Lucinda should be good for anyone at the advanced-beginner to intermediate skill level.

Size

  • Finished Bust: 37¼ (40¼, 44, 47¾, 51¼, 54¼, 58, 61¾, 64¾, 68½)“
  • Shown in size 44” with shorter sleeves and 10” positive ease

Yarn

Fibre Co. Acadia:

  • For shorter sleeves: 8 (9, 9, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) skeins
  • For longer sleeves: 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16, 17) skeins

Other Materials

Sheffield Cardigan

The Sheffield Cardigan is an easy-to-wear, fun-to-knit, fluid and elegant piece which was created specifically for the lusciously-tweedy Fibre Co. Acadia. Sheffield is an open cardigan with slightly-dolmaned sleeves that looks great in a variety of different fits. It’s worked from one sleeve cuff to another, in a single piece. The subtle Garter Stitch ornamentation highlights the lustre and drape of this nubby, tweedy yarn. The pattern is suitable for a beginning sweater knitter.

The sizing on Sheffield is very flexible. If you’d prefer a closer-to-the-body look, like Naomi in the tan sample, try a size that’s 2 – 4” (5 – 10 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference. If you like things extra-generous and kimono in feel, go for a size that’s at least 12” (30.5 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference, like Naomi in the grey. Or, anything in between.

Size

  • The sizing on Sheffield is very flexible. If you’d prefer a closer-to-the-body look, like Naomi in the tan sample, try a size that’s 2 – 4” (5 – 10 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference. If you like things extra-generous and kimono in feel, go for a size that’s at least 12” (30.5 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference, like Naomi in the grey. Or, anything in between.
  • Finished bust circumference: 34 (36½, 38, 40½, 42, 44½, 46, 48½, 50, 52½, 56, 60)’’ or 86.5 (92.5, 96.5, 103, 106.5, 113, 117, 123, 127, 133.5, 142, 152.5) cm

Materials

Photos: Jennifer Steingass, sarah-lee

Arboreal

I really like this sweater, I had eyeballed it for a first fair-isle sweater and when it popped up in my search I was super excited. It looks absolutely gorgeous made with Fibre Co. Acadia, it really took the idea of a fair-isle into a different place for me. I’ve always thought of them as sheepier/woolier kinds of things, and the sheen in the yarn appealed to my subconcious magpie. As I implied, I also feel like the pattern is a good place to try-out the fair-isle colourwork technique.

Skill Level

An Intermediate knitter should be good for this project. The technique is fair-isle, so if you’ve never done that before it’s a good idea to practice the technique on something smaller beforehand to establish your tension, like a hat or cowl.

Size

  • Bust circumference: 33.25 (36, 38.5, 42, 45)(47, 49, 51.5, 53.25, 56)” 84.5 (91.5, 98, 106.75, 114.5)(119.5, 124.5, 131, 135.25, 142.25) cm

Materials

Photos: Boylandknitworks, Esmith43

Ninilchik Swoncho

Wha is this garment? A “swoncho” is what happens when a poncho and a sweater have a baby. It’s a great cover-up, oversized, fairly shapeless, but it also has arms, so you can hold things and have greater mobility. The shape is also a great place to practice your fair-isle, it won’t matter if your tension isn’t spot-on, it’s raison d’etre is being oversized … and being pretty too, of course! The colours in Fibre Co. Acadia are all complementary, their tones are all complementary and go with each other, so none will clash (of course, if you can’t make it to the store and want help choosing colours please feel free to contact us for a colour consultation, it’s actually one of my favourite parts of my job).

Skill Level

An Intermediate knitter who’s on the advanced side of the spectrum should be good for this project. The technique is fair-isle, so if you’ve never done that before it’s a good idea to practice the technique on something smaller beforehand to establish your tension, like a hat or cowl.

Special Skills Required

  • Knitting in the round
  • short rows
  • stranded colourwork (note that while most rounds use only 2 colours, there are 2 rounds which require carrying 3 colours)

Sizes

  • Sizes: 1 (2)
  • Size 1 will fit XS-M, size 2 will fit L-3X
  • Body Circumference: 69 (83)” 175 (211) cm

Materials

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

PROJECTS Over Easy, Kelowna & Kinikin

In my last post I talked about tension, why it’s important and how to do it properly. In this one I’m sharing two projects that inspired me to swatch. In that post I mentioned that it’s a great idea to upload your swatch data to your Ravelry account for posterity, which is already proving handy today as I’m writing from home, without my swatch at hand! All the patterns today are beginner friendly, accessible and affordable.

Photo: Espace Tricot

Over Easy

This is the pattern that got me swatching, Over Easy. I thought it would make a great, quick ‘n easy fall knit, especially for the less experienced knitters. It’s knit in the round from the bottom up, the upper front and back are each worked flat, the shoulders are seamed, and then the sleeves are picked up and knit from the top-down. It’s worked up on BIG needles, and the yarn is fuzzy and hides a multitude of sins.

The yarn I was testing out is Drops Melody, a super soft, light and fluffy blend of alpaca and wool. What I really love about this yarn is that it looks like a bulky mohair, but it feels like a baby’s bum! Seriously, every time I touch a ball I’m shocked that it doesn’t have new-baby smell. The reason I was testing it was because I recognized that it would look great worked holding multiple strands together, but I didn’t precisely know how it would respond on different sized needles, or the difference between holding two or three strands together. It turns out my first instinct was right, I think this pattern would work best with12mm/US17 needles and holding two strands together. If you find you knit tightly on larger needles (some people do, but I don’t) then you’ll want to go up to a 15mm/US19 needle.

Photos: Espace Tricot

Size

  • Sizes: 1 (2, 3, 4)
  • Body circumference: 64 (69, 76, 76)”
  • Sleeve length: 8.5 (8.5, 7.5, 7.5)”
  • Length from shoulder to bottom: 18 (18, 21, 23)”

Use the following as a general guide for sizing based on bust measurement:

  • Size 1: if you have a 28″- 34″ bust
  • Size 2: if you have a 36″- 44″ bust
  • Size 3: if you have a 46 – 52″ bust
  • Size 4: if you have a 52″ + bust

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 5(6, 7, 8) balls
  • 12mm/US17 – 32″ circular needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • 12mm/US17 – 16″ circular needles OR double pointed needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • Stitch marker to indicate beginning of round
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • FREE Pattern
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kelowna

This is the other sweater that got me swatching, Kelowna. This one is knit in the round from the top-down, and is approachable to everyone- at any knitting level. For this sweaterI’d use two strands held together and whatever size needle gets you gauge (my swatch was closest with a 9mm/US13, but you might want go bigger … it’ll be a great opportunity to practice checking your tension!

This might be my next COVID sweater (I haven’t been especially prolific), but I’m not sure which colour …maybe the petrol green?

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 9mm/US13, and 12mm/US17)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

If fuzzy isn’t your thing but you like the bones of this sweater check out Frid by Tara-Lynn Morrison – You can use Malabrigo Rasta or Cascade Spuntaneous. If those options are a little too spendy for you right now, try Drops Andes and go down to a 9mm/US13 needle and go up to the larger size).

Photos: Tara-Lynn Morrison
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kinikin

Kinikin is a cardiganzied version of the sweater above with a looser tension. Based on my tension swatches I’d use 12mm/US17 needles instead of 15mm/US19 and hold two strands of Drops Melody together.

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 10mm/US15, and 15mm/US19)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

SKILLS Tension/Gauge

I’m so sorry, but I feel like it’s time for us to have ‘the talk’ …. about tension and gauge. Seasoned knitters can probably skip to the end, but over the last half year there have been a lot of new knitters coming into the fold, and they could use a little support.

What is Tension and/or Gauge?

Tension or gauge is the way knitting and crochet is measured mathematically. It represents the relationship between the size of your needles and the thickness of your yarn. It is math, and we check it to try and figure out the size and proportions of the garment we want to make. If your needles are too small in size for your yarn your tension will be too tight, the fabric will be too tight and rug-like, and the garment will come out smaller. Similarly, if your needles are too large in size for your yarn, your tension will be too loose, the textile will be too loose, open and floppy, and the size will be too large.

Why Can’t You Skip over it or Estimate it?

Primarily, tension is numbers, math, as in the bones and sinews of the universe, the laws of nature. You can’t cheat nature … well, you can try, but you will *not* like the results. An accurate tension swatch gives you the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your sweater. If your number of stitches is smaller than the one given in the pattern, your sweater will be too big, and if it is larger than theirs it will come out too small. Major bummer.

Secondarily, tension varies from person to person, everyone holds their yarn a little bit differently, so even if you are using the same yarn and needles as someone else, your work may not come out at the same tension. Furthermore, peoples’ tension can change from time to time, depending on their emotional and psychological state. Unsurprisingly, when you’re in a tense place you knit tighter, when you’re relaxed you knit looser. For example, my tension has always been fairly consistent, but after I took up meditation my tension loosened up. Another good example are my “Haley Special” sweaters – over the years I’ve made 6 iterations of the same sweater using the same yarn, pattern and needles and I’ve noticed that the tension on each is a little bit different.

Thirdly, if you want to get really niggly, the tension on balls of yarn can vary from colour to colour and dye lot to dye lot. Some times the milling process changes and the yarn is slightly different. The tension on an older ball of yarn may not be exactly the same as a more current version of itself. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’ve seen it happen.

How NOT to Measure Tension

Most people start off knitting their tension swatches incorrectly, but IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, it’s the system! This is because knitting patterns are kind of like cooking recipes – they’re a set of directions and they assume that you already know how to do the techniques they are directing you to do. Much like a cooking recipe doesn’t teach you how to crack an egg, a knitting pattern will most likely not explain how to knit a tension swatch.

Most people learn about tension the hard way … on their first sweater. They find a pattern and the ‘yarn people’ tell them to knit a tension swatch before casting on. The pattern says the tension is “18 sts & 24 rows = 4″/10cm” in stocking stitch, and so they cast on 18 stitches and knit away. Maybe the swatch comes out 4″, and maybe it doesn’t. (I usually hear about it when it doesn’t, and that generally leads to a mini-intervention.) Unfortunately, this is NOT the correct way to measure your tension, because it doesn’t give you the accurate information you need to make sure your garment will fit.

How to Measure Tension (Properly)

Swatching is an expedition in information gathering, and you need to make sure that your recon is accurate, otherwise it isn’t going to help you.

  1. You need to make a larger piece of fabric, ideally something around 6″ x 6″. To find this number take the suggested tension of the yarn ball-band (ex. 18 sts = 4″) and multiply it by 1.5. If the yarn label gives you a number in one inch, multiply that by 6.
  2. Work your swatch in the stitch pattern described in the pattern’s gauge information. If a pattern calls for a K2P2 rib working your swatch in stocking stitch won’t give you the information you are looking for.
  3. Wash your swatch and dry it in the way you will launder the finished garment.
  4. Measure the number of stitches and rows over 4 inches/10cm on the INSIDE of the swatch. The stitch tension on the edges is wonky, try to avoid them.

Other Useful Things to Know

  • Try to swatch with the needles you expect to be knitting with. Different materials and needle lengths can result in different tensions. For example, I find I knit tighter on metal needles than I do on wood. Also, any time I use 16″ circular needles or shorter my tension tightens up, and it is not the same as when I knit on the same size, longer circumference needles.
  • If you are swatching for a garment made in the round you need to swatch in the round. This is because your knit and your purl stitches don’t have exactly the same tension. A demo of how to swatch in the round is HERE, the technique starts at 2:56.
  • Swatches are a good source of extra yarn if you need to mend your finished sweater. I often label mine, pack them up in a little ziplock bag and throw it in my sewing basket just in case.
  • I label my swatches with the pertinent information, because I will inevitably immediately forget what it is, the size needle I used, and the tension measurement. Sometimes I also take a photo and upload the details into Ravelry for potential later use (because I’ll probably misplace my swatch too).

Swatch Demo

Above is some swatching I recently completed. I wanted to know how a new yarn, Drops Melody, would knit up on different sized needles and holding multiple strands together, so I swatched it. Whenever I changed needle size I worked a purl row to differentiate the two sections.

Here’s a section of my swatch being measured. The ruler is in the centre of the piece, the green line represents 4 inches, and I tired to highlight the stitches with the yellow “V”.

Thats about all I’ve got for you for now, but in my next post I’ll share with you the projects that inspired my swatching – hint: they’re soft, fuzzy, easy, and fast!

xox Haley

STORE HOURS Thanksgiving & COVID Update

Thanksgiving Store Hours

Like the picture says, we’re open this weekend Saturday & Sunday from 11 am to 6pm, but closed Monday for Thanksgiving.

COVID Update

The update for COVID is there’s nothing to update, at this time we aren’t making any changes to our hours or service. We continue to be open for In-Store shopping, and to keep our clients and staff safe we are continuing to implement the following measures:

  • THREE customers (from different households) are allowed in the store at a time. You do not need to book an appointment to come in, drop-ins are welcome. 
  • Customers MUST WEAR A MASK (fabric or medical). Face shields are NOT an acceptable substitute, unless they are worn over a mask. Please see City of Toronto Bylaw 541-2020:  “The mask or face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin, without gapping.”
  • Customers MUST USE HAND SANITIZER or WASH THEIR HANDS prior to touching products. We’ve tried to make this easier by keeping plenty of hand sanitizer on hand in the store (it is made by an organic food company and has a natural smell of fruit).
  • We CAN NOT ACCEPT CASH. We are accepting contactless forms of payment like a credit or debit card with ‘tap’ or Apple Pay, etc. 
  • Please mind personal space and stay approximately 2 metres (6 feet) from other people.
  • We are happy to wind yarn purchased from us, but due to limitations on physical space during COVID we may have to ask you to leave it with us for pick-up later.
  • Presently, WE CAN NOT TEACH OR OFFER SOCIAL KNITTING. We are offering PROJECT HELP BY APPOINTMENT; as long as it can be done 6 feet apart we can try to help you out. Please book an appointment with our online booking. If your problem only takes a few minutes to fix we are happy to provide the service for free. For more in-depth project help we charge $4.97/10 minutes. You can pay in-store after we have helped you. 

On a personal note ….

We’ve already done this and we’ve got it down. COVID has been a bit of a moving target, but we’ve already played several rounds, we know the game now. I don’t have any plans to close in-store shopping unless the government mandates it or I feel it is no longer a good idea. Our website is always open, and if you don’t feel comfortable coming in you can have your order shipped or opt for curbside pick-up (if the weather is reasonable you can even drive up and we can come out and pop your purchase in your trunk).

xox Haley

UPDATE COVID Memorial Blanket Project

Getting Ready to Ship!

Please bring in your finished Covid 19 Memorial Blanket Squares! I’m getting ready to ship all the squares in about a week (not seen above, that pictures is from the blanket project organizers) and I’ve still got some room in the great big shipping bag. Plus, it’s makes for a nice little trip out of the house, right? If you’re concerned about getting too close to people I totally get that, feel free to leave your little package in our mailbox.

What is the Covid19 Memorial Blanket Project?

The creators of this project are creating a massive, 9000 square foot blanket (a bit like the AIDS blanket?) to honour the Canadians who have been lost to COVID19. They’ll also be creating a memorial book and donating individual blankets to various aid agencies.

To make this happen, they are putting out a all to all Canadian knitters and crocheters, to knit or crochet a square. The pattern and square instructions are on their Facebook Page and Ravelry. The main blanket will be made of Berroco Vintage, and the individual blankets from any washable worsted weight yarn. They have chosen colour Colour 5125 Aquae to represent all front line/essential workers in the memorial blanket. 1skein should make approximately 1.5 squares.

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage: 1 skein (1skein should make approximately 1.5 squares)
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles (straight or circular, it doesn’t matter)
  • FREE pattern

The Artists & Contact Info

This project is being organized and led by Heather Breadner, Amanda Sharpe, and Ally Day. If you would like to contact them, they can be reached at admin@aberdeenswool.ca, please include “Covid_19 Blanket” in the subject line. They can also be reached through messaging on Facebook or Instagram. You can find all the information, patterns and upcoming events at their Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Covid_19-Memorial-Blanket-111818693934448) or on Instagram (@covid_19_memorial_blanket).

Donating

If you live in Toronto, you can drop off your squares at our store and we’ll arrange to get them to the artists! Our address is 1382 Bathurst St, Toronto ON M5R3J1, currently open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 6pm.

If you do not live in Toronto, you can mail your squares directly:

Covid_19 Memorial Blanket
111 Cable Road
Fenelon Falls, Ontario
K0M 1N0

Please include with your square the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • If you would like to include a message of hope, love, or memorial, please include with your square.

Your personal information will not be released. For the purpose of the memorial book, only your name and general location, (ie. province) will be included. If you wish not to have your name NOT published, please let them know.

NEW Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits

Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits

Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits are a delicious combination of hand dyed merino-cashmere blend yarn and merino roving. They’re soft, cozy, and delicious! Plus, they’re made right here in Canada. Each kit is individually hand dyed, no two will be exactly alike. Sizes included are Adult S(M, L). Kits DO NOT include needles:  4mm/US6 double-pointed needles

Kit Includes:

  • Pattern by Fiona Stevenson & instructions on how to thrum
  • Yarn: Handmaiden Cashbah Plush 100g (20% cashmere, 70% wool, 10% nylon)
  • Roving: Fleeceartist/Handmaiden 100% merino wool roving, 60g 
  • Size: Adult small (medium, large)

What is a Thrum?

Thrumming is a very old technique that is seriously fun and functional. Small tufts of roving (wool that hasn’t been spun into yarn yet) are knit into the garment creating a fuzzy warm layer on the inside and irresistible dots of colour the outside. As you wear them, the thrummed roving felts down, keeping your hands warm and cozy (take note dog owners, these are ideal winter dog walking mitts). The mittens will be the colour of the yarn and the thrums (roving) will peek through.

Is thrumming hard to do? Definitely not, but you should make a pair or regular mittens first so you get used to using double pointed needles and understand mitten construction before you dive into the fluffy world of thrumming. Below are two videos from Very Pink Knits on thrumming.

RESTOCKED Schoppel Edition 3 (get your SHIFT On!)

Schoppel Edition 3

We’ve been restocking our supply of Schoppel Edition 3 – it’s been drifting in in dribs & drabs, a small parcel every week as the distributor gets their hands on it. Schoppel Edition 3 is a 100% superwash merino yarn that knits in a long colour gradation that shifts through marled colours. Because of this special colouring, it’s a great substitute for the yarns used in Andrea Mowry’s ‘Shift‘ series of patterns (it also makes a great Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman). Andrea has also graciously published some technical videos on youtube, so you don’t have to go searching far and wide for instructions for techniques you may not be familiar with (she has a sweet voice and I find them accessible). The skills required vary among these projects, I’ve ranked the projects from the easiest to the hardest skill-wise. For each project I’ve also linked to the finished projects in Schoppel Edition 3 on Ravelry, so you can see what other people have done and get colour inspiration … you never know what will catch your eye.

Shiftalong

Shiftalong is the smallest and in terms of skills required the simplest of the ‘Shifts’. The hat is made with two colours, one a solid or semi-solid, and the other a yarn that changes colour on it’s own.

Skill Level

  • Advanced beginner to intermediate.
  • The hardest skills in this pattern are keeping track of your rows and seaming – not big hurdles.
  • You should already have made at least one basic hat before starting this project

Size: Child (Adult Small, Adult Large)

Materials

  • Malabrigo Arroyo (main colour/solid): 1 skein
  • Schoppel Edition 3 (contrast colour/multi): 1 ball
  • 2.75 mm/US2 – 16”/40 cm circular needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 – 16”/40 cm circular needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 – DPNs (or a longer circular for Magic Loop)
  • stitch marker: 1
  • Pattern: Shiftalong

Inspiration

Techniques

Generally, I prefer to use the ‘German Twisted Cast On’ because it’s easier, but if you want a thicker, sturdier brim you should try the tubular cast on. If you kind both daunting you can skip them and do a regular cast-on, just be sure to make is looser so it will be stretchy enough to fit on your head! If you have a hard time casting on at a looser tension, try casting on with a needle that’s at least 1mm larger in size (possibly 2mm if you are very tight). This also works well for binding off loosely.

  • Tubular Cast On or Twisted German Cast On
  • Mosaic knitting (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Ribbing (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Slipping stitches
  • Decreasing
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Knitting in the round

The Shift

I made a Shift with Schoppel Edition 3 Last year and it was a great little project, it was immensely satisfying and I highly recommend it! As I worked I really had no idea how it was going to look, but it turned out gorgeous, the combination of the stitch pattern and the yarn really did most of the work for me.

Skill Level

  • Advanced beginner to intermediate
  • The hardest skills in this pattern are keeping track of your rows and seaming – not big hurdles.

Materials

Inspiration

Techniques

For good video tutorials for basic knitting skills see Knittinghelp.com, for everything else I usually start with a google search for the term I’m looking for + “Very Pink Knits” – she has lots of wonderful instructional videos!

  • I-cord edges (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Bias shaping (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Mosaic knitting (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Mattress stitch (seaming)
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Slipping Stitches

Nightshift

This wrap was super popular when it first came out, and for good reason – it’s gorgeous! The pattern calls for 6 colours, but their yarn is a bit thicker than ours, so to get yours larger you might want to bump it up to 9 colours, or repeat a few of your favourites.

Skill Level

  • Advanced beginner to intermediate.
  • The hardest skills in this pattern are keeping track of your rows and the I-Cord Bind off (just go slowly and you’ll be fine)

Materials

Inspiration

Techniques

For good video tutorials for basic knitting skills see Knittinghelp.com, for everything else I usually start with a google search for the term I’m looking for + “Very Pink Knits” – she has lots of wonderful instructional videos!

  • Sideways shawl construction (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Mosaic knitting (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • I-cord edging (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • I-cord bind off
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Slipping Stitches
  • Changing colors

Shifty

Oh, how much do I love this sweater! Every time I settled in to figure out the colours I wanted to use for my own I sold them out …. this is not a complaint, it’s a problem I LOVE having.

Skill Level

  • Intermediate
  • This pattern is a bit more advanced than the ones above.
  • It’s a good idea to have already made at least one basic sweater with a round yoke construction before starting this project.

Size

  • 1 (2, 3, 4)(5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Finished Bust: 30 (34, 38, 42)(46, 50, 54, 58)” or 76 (86.5, 96.5, 107)(117, 127, 137, 147.5) cm
  • Recommended ease is -2 to +2”/-5 to +5 cm; Sample is shown in Size 2 on a 34”/86.5 cm bust with no ease. It is highly recommended to size down instead of up if you are between sizes so that the yoke fits properly.

Yarn

Schoppel Edition 3

  • Colour A: 5(6, 7, 7)(8, 9, 10, 11) balls
  • Colour B: 1(2, 2, 2, 2)(2, 2, 2, 3) balls
  • Colour C: 1(2, 2, 2, 2)(2, 2, 2, 3) balls
  • Colour D: 1(1, 2, 2)(2, 2, 2, 2) balls

Other Materials

  • 3.5 mm/US4 –24”/60 cm to 40”/100 cm circular
  • 3.5 mm/US4 double pointed or 12″ circular needles (or use magic loop technique)
  • 2.75 mm/US2 – 16”/40 cm circular 
  • 2.75 mm/US2 – 32”/80 cm 
  • 2.75 mm/US2 double pointed or 12″ circular needles (or use magic loop technique)
  • Spare 2.75 mm/US2 needle for tubular bind-off
  • Row counter (optional but useful)
  • stitch marker
  • row counter (recommended)
  • waste yarn or stitch holders
  • Pattern: Shifty

Inspiration

Other people’s Shiftys made with Schoppel Edition 3

Techniques

  • Tubular Cast On
  • Tubular Bind Off
  • Round yoke shaping (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Mosaic knitting (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • A little bit of stranded color knitting
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Short Rows
  • Knitting from the top down, seamlessly (writtten directly into the pattern instructions)
  • Picking up a few stitches

UPDATE Store Hours + COVID Protocols

Fall Updates

Fall is closing in, and it’s supposed to be a beautiful one this year with nice sweater weather – yay!!! It’s getting pretty busy in the store, which means it’s time again for change. I’ve gone into detail below, but here are briefly the things being tweaked:

  • Fall Hours resume: Monday to Sunday, 11 am to 6pm
  • Max 3 clients in the store
  • You may be asked to leave your yarn with us to wind and return for it later
  • Please wear a proper medical or cloth mask

Return to Fall Hours

It’s time to go back to our Fall/Winter/Spring hours. Starting Sunday September 20th we will be open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 6pm.

Walk-in Shopping: Yes

The door is open and there is no time limit. THREE customers are allowed in the store at a time.

Masks & Hand Cleaning: YES!!!

The health and safety of our clients and staff are our top priority, and while I know that many people find them uncomfortable, wearing a proper mask is a MUST in the store. Face shields and crochet/knit masks must be worn with a proper medical mask or a cloth mask made of at least two layers of cotton. Unfortunately, gaiters and bandanas also do not provide adequate protection for either the person wearing them or the people around them. (If you aren’t sure how reliable your mask is, try blowing out a candle while wearing it. If the flame goes out then your mask isn’t providing adequate protection). If you forget your mask at home we completely understand, and have disposable medical masks available in-store for $1 each. (Some of you have asked where I get my masks: THESE are the ones I’ve been wearing recently – they’re cheap, cheerful, made of 3 layers of cotton, have a pocket to put a filter in, and they don’t fog up my glasses.)

As for touching the yarn, we have two kinds of lovely hand sanitizer, and if you’d like to wash your hands, you can use our bathroom, we have nice smelling organic citrus soap and disposable hand towels for you. You are of course always welcome to use your own hand sanitizer, whatever makes you happy and keeps everyone safe!

Winding Yarn: Yes, But You May Have to Leave It With Us

Yes, we are always happy to wind your yarn, but physical space is limited and the restrictions on the number of bodies in the store is putting a cramp in our style. If it looks like it will take a while and the store is busy we may ask you to leave your yarn with us to wind and come back for it in a little bit (our neighbours on the corner sell nice plants and flowers, there is a coffee and pastry shop down the block, and we are located in an ice-cream district).

Cash: Nope

Paying by cash falls under “not touching other peoples stuff”. COVID does not like living on textiles or other fibrous materials like paper, but it does get along quite nicely with smooth, flat surfaces like plastic and metal. For the time being we are only accepting credit and debit (or apple pay, google pay, etc), and we appreciate it if you have ‘tap’ enabled.

Support: Yes, No and Maybe

If you need help with something we can eyeball it and talk you through it, but it’ll have to be from the other side of a table. Support is by appointment only, which you can book HERE. As always, our support is free for something quick & easy, and more in-depth work is $4.97/10 minutes. If you aren’t sure or you have a last minute knitted problem you can call us at 416-653-7849 and we’ll take it from there.

Classes & Stitch Socials: Nope

Classes, private and group, and Social knitting are still cancelled until it is feasible for people to be within a foot of each other. We probably won’t be able to offer these services until a reliable vaccine for COVID is available – sorry.

Returns and Exchanges: Yes

Returns and exchanges are ok – COVID doesn’t tend to survive well or for very long on porous surfaces like textiles.

Shipping and Curbside Pick-Up: YES!

Shipping and curbside pick-up are still going strong and are great options. All the details for curbside pick-up are HERE, but it’s working smoothly and we are always flexible. If you order a colour you don’t like, you can exchange it, no problem. If you’d like your yarn wound, please tell up, we’re happy to do that too. Our shipping pick-up is approximately 3 pm from Monday to Friday, so if you get your order in by 2 pm on a weekday it should ship the same day. We’re also working on making same-day delivery available too!

Thank you for your patience, you’ve been troopers, and I know you’ll continue to be.

Much Love,

Haley

LAST CALL! Lopi Blankets extended to Sept 17

This is just a gentle reminder that our annual deadline for ordering Lopi Blankets is coming up soon! Please place your order by September 17th to reserve yourself a gorgeous blanket (they make great holiday gifts too). I know I said the September 15th before, but I’m a bit forgetful so I pad my deadlines in case of sieve-brain.

USE code LOPI20 at checkout to take $20 off your Lopi blanket purchase!

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 2020 Blanket Catalog HERE.

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 2020
  • 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. 
  • View the Lopi 2020 Blanket Catalog HERE (includes larger images)

Pre-Orders

All pre-orders must be received by September 17th and will ship/be available for pick-up in October 2020 (exact date will depend on when we receive our order). 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 LOPI20 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.

Most Popular Blankets for 2020

It seems everyone is excited to snuggle up this winter and we’ve sold enough for me to extract the trends! Colour is popular this year, as are colour blocks. If you’re feeling like you want to make your own colourblock, the yarns with the best colour range and durability for a throw are Cascade 220 Superwash and Berroco Vintage. Both are soft, comfortable, easy to work with, affordable, and MACHINE WASHABLE! To make an average throw blanket you’ll need approximately 12 to 15 skeins of yarn.