HOUSEKEEPING Bags, Pima & Pilgrims

Paper Bags

Disposable plastic shopping bags are starting to make their departure here in Canada, and I think it is a good time to start weaning us off their paper cousins in the store. Several years ago I did some research into what was the best option for the environment, and ultimately it came down to the inconvenient truth all disposable options are problematic – including paper.

I replaced our plastic shopping bags during the heyday of COVID because we had so many pick-up orders going out and the amount of plastic going into the landfill made me a bit nauseous. But paper bags haven’t been a panacea – they’re pretty, but they are expensive. They cost four to five times more than their plastic counterparts, they are also costlier to have delivered because they are much heavier than plastic, and they take up a lot of storage space.

During the pandemic, many of us got a little bit complacent about bringing our own reusable shopping totes when we leave the house … why is it so easy to create bad habits?! Anyway, as you can imagine, all those paper bags have begun to add up … and, on top of that, they’re still disposable and end up in the trash in one form or another. Environmentalist David Suzuki always said recycling should be the last option you choose, the first is to REDUCE.

So, moving forward, we will continue to have paper shopping bags in the store for your convenience, but we will charge $0.75/per bag to cover our costs and encourage their reduced consumption.

FREE Market Bag Patterns

If you’re feeling like you want to channel your love for the planet into crafting here are some project ideas for making market bags:

Cascade Ultra Pima Going Away

Unfortunately, due to steep increases in production costs, our beloved Cascade Ultra Pima is going away. Over the last year the price has jumped from $12 to $18. It is a beautiful yarn, one of my favourite cottons since the way it is milled gives it a consistency similar to silk, but alas … another victim of COVID supply chain and manufacturing disruptions. I’m looking for a suitable replacement, but I wanted you to have a heads up in-case you are a die-hard fan of Ultra Pima and want some in your stash – especially if you’re a maker of Knitted Knockers or Chemo caps.

Cascade Ultra Pima is a super soft, machine-washable pima cotton. It’s great for everything from baby blankets, hats or sweaters (like the French Macaroon below), grown-up blankets & afghans, bags and totes (like the market bags above), and of course warm-weather sweaters …..

For the time being the distributor is continuing to carry Cascade Ultra Pima, so we will be able to special order it for you at your request (but you must order the full bag of 10 skeins for $18/skein).


The Knitting Pilgrim is Back for ONE Night!

The Knitting Pilgrim is in town for one night on Saturday, Feb 4, 2023 at 7:30pm for a performance at Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church, 4 Morningside Avenue, Toronto, come to the door. The show is Pay What You Will. For more information, go to the website,, or call 416.766.4765.

The Knitting Pilgrim, which premiered at the Aga Khan Museum’s Auditorium in May, 2019 and has toured Ontario for 50+ shows, was given 6 out of 5 stars by CFMU Hamilton, 5 out of 5 stars by Mooney on Theatre, and was named a Critic’s Fringe Pick in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, as well as One of ‘Top Ten Shows to See’ by NOW Magazine. It tells the story of a journey that you need to experience.

Created by actor, writer and knitter Kirk Dunn, Stitched Glass is a triptych of large hand-knitted panels, designed in the style of stained-glass windows, which looks at the commonalities and conflicts amongst the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The textile masterwork was supported by a Chalmers Foundation grant through the Ontario Arts Council in 2003, and took Kirk an incredible 15 years to complete. There is no other knitting project like it in the world.

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