Author Archives: Knit-O-Matic

SUMMER SALE!

Our Summer Sale is ON! Select summery yarns) are 20% Off all July.

Can’t make it in? No Problem! It’s all in our Online Store, which offers a Free In-Store Pick-Up option at check out. Can’t make it in at all? That’s ok too, you can have your order shipped – plus Orders over $150 ship forFREE!

COVID Update – Slow Shopping

Good News!

Just a quick update on the status of the store vis-a-vis COVID … things have been working well, the protocols put in place seem to be keeping everyone safe – I’ve come to think of it as “Slow Shopping”. Some of you have told me that coming into the store has been your first venture out since the lock-down started, and I can’t tell you how grateful that makes me feel.

I’ve been directed that things have progressed to the point where we can safely have two clients in the store at the same time, with masks, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining physical distance. Yay!!!! I’m not used to having too many people around, but I’ll get used to it again.

Walk-in Shopping: Yes!

Things seemed to have slowed down enough with the weather and the time of year that I don’t think we need to have a controlled entry anymore. There is no longer any need to book an appointment before coming in, the door is open, and there is no time limit. TWO customers (from different households) are allowed in the store at a time.

Masks & Hand Cleaning: YES!!!

I know many people find them uncomfortable, but wearing a mask is still a MUST in the store (a study just came out connecting the wearing of masks to substantially lower death rates). We also have a big container of some very nice smelling hand sanitizer produced by a company that normally makes organic apple cider vinegar, please make use fo it, I don’t mind buying more. If you’d like to wash your hands, you can use out bathroom, we have nice smelling organic citrus soap and disposable hand towels for you.

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 (although I clean the machine after every transaction, regardless of whether it has been touched by the hand of man).

Support: Yes, No and Maybe

Unfortunately, we still can’t offer any support where we touch your materials, or are within 2m of you. 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, which you can book HERE. As always, our support is free for something quick & easy, and more in-depth work is $4.97/20 minutes.

Classes: Nope

Classes, private and group, are still cancelled until it is feasible for people to be within a foot of each other – sorry.

Winding Yarn: Yes

Yes, we are happy to wind your yarn! If it looks like it will take a while you can leave it with us and come back for it (our neighbours on the corner sell nice plants and flowers, and we are located in an ice-cream district).

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. Canada Post has lowered its commercial rates during COVID, so that’s a bonus too.

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

Much Love,

Haley

UPDATE Mask Mates For Healthcare Workers

Update on Mask Mates For Healthcare Workers

We didn’t receive a lot of donations of Mask Mates, but we sent them off and the response was overwhelmingly positive:

So it seems we have found a way to make a positive impact on the lives of people who in turn directly help other people … I like to think of it as a part of the butterfly effect (something as small as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can eventually grow into something substantial). My friend also says that the doctors have received a new model of PPE masks that are oversized and don’t really fit over your ears properly, so the mask mates will be even more helpful.

If you are interested in making a contribution, please drop off or send your ‘Mask Mates’ (they also go by the alias of ‘Ear Savers’) and I’ll pass them on to my friend who will take them to the hospital and distribute them.

Here are the project requirements:

  • They have to be made with a yarn that is seriously machine wash and dryable at high heat, like Lily Sugar & Cream craft cotton
  • The fabric should not stretch, and we decided that a dense crochet stitch is ideal – a 4mm//G or 4.5mm/US7 crochet hook is good and a pattern like the free Mask Mates Ear Saver.
  • The buttons should be 0.75″ to 1″ (20mm to 25mm) wide
  • Drop them off or mail them to us at Knit-O-Matic
Photo by Willow Designs

I also stumbled across this pattern for extremely adorable ear savers, which you can purchase individually or as a collection/ebook. They brightened my day, and I thought they might do the same for healthcare workers and their patients. Joni Memmott/BriAbby and Glenna Gordon both also have some really adorable Mask Mate patterns.

xox Haley

PROJECT Colorfield Hand Towels (Freebie)

Photo: Purl Soho

Colorfield Hand Towels

I came across these sunny hand towels a few times and felt like they were full of YUP! They’re a good size, 22″ wide x 37″ long, but of course you are welcome to up or downscale them – they’re just rectangles, after all. They’re made with a simple linen stitch that creates a woven look on one side and a nubbly texture on the other. And the pattern’s free – sweet!

The Yarn

Cascade Ultra Pima is a silky soft, light cotton. It’s easy to work with on both knitting needles or crochet hook. I often recommend it for baby blankets or afghans because it’s so soft and machine washable, and it doesn’t have the hardness or lack of give that’s common in so many cotton yarns.

I was so eager to share this project with you that I rephotographed the Cascade Ultra Pima (it was time). All the new images have been colour corrected, so they’re as close to the original as was possible … not an easy task with cotton, the light reflected off the surface makes it really tricky! Any old photos left are colours that were out of stock and couldn’t be photographed.

Photo: Purl Soho

Materials

  • Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 skeins in main colour, 1 skein in contrast colour (makes 2 hand towels, recommend 3718 Cream for main colour and 3764 Sunshine for contrast colour)
  • 4.5mm/US7 – 32″ circular needles
  • FREE Pattern

Colour Suggestions

The following colours of Cascade Ultra Pima are all smashing combined with colour 3718 Cream:

  • 3755 Tomato
  • 3764 Sunshine
  • 3833 Antique Moss
  • 3845 Robin’s Egg Blue
  • 3772 Cornflower
  • 3759 Taupe
Photo: Purl Soho

PROJECT Rift

Rift

I came across Rift in a Ravelry search and thought it was a great little sweater for just about everyone. It cracks open all your assumptions about what a “basic tee” pattern should be. This lightweight, bottom-up knit includes instructions for two necklines, optional bust darts, short or long sleeves, and a custom fit bicep. The design features a slightly cropped body and a split high-low hem in twisted rib, giving it enough detailing to be interesting while maintaining a timeless simplicity. The pattern is super size inclusive, and the style is flattering on everyone (you can see the finished projects on Ravelry). Of course, you can make the body longer, that’s why we knit, right?

The Yarn

Kelbourne Mojave is a super soft and light blend of cotton & linen. It comes in some really beautiful muted colours and also some awesomely bright colours – I’m especially fond of Seafoam Green and Flamingo Pink (it’s really peach). The more neutral colours tend to be nuanced, the type of colour that’s constantly changing based on the light. The fabric texture is supposed to be light, airy and open – the kind of thing you wear over a cami or a sun dress.

Other Yarn Options

If you want a little bit of texture I think BC Garn BioBalance would look gorgeous worked holding 2 strands together (5, 5, 6) [6, 6, 7] {8, 8, 9} skeins …. you could also use two different colours and make it a marled look: (3, 3, 3) [3, 4, 4] {4, 4, 5} skeins in each for two colours. Some people like a high contrast marl, like combining black or dark grey with white. When I’m combining I prefer two colours that are closer in value (the level of light or dark in a colour), the blend together a bit and create a depth of colour.

If you wanted to make something more autumnal I can see it as a gorgeous, mohairesque little top knit up in Drops Brushed Alpaca & Silk (4, 4, 5) [5, 5, 6] {6, 7, 7} balls or Handmaiden Maiden Hair (2, 2, 2) [3, 3, 3] {3, 3, 4} skeins (I have a couple skeins in my stash at home, I might have to make this a reality).

Size

  • Finished Bust: (40, 44, 48) [52, 56, 60] {64, 68, 72} inches or (102, 112, 122) [132, 142, 152] {163, 173, 183} cm
  • To choose your size, measure the circumference around the fullest part of your bust, then add 6-12” (depending on how much ease you want) and choose the closest size.
  • This tee is designed to be worn with 6-12” of ease; however, to get the fit represented in the pattern sizes, folks at the smaller end of the size range may prefer less ease (6-9”) and folks at the higher end may prefer more ease (9-12”).
  • In the pattern photos, Jacqui (short sleeve mustard and long sleeve cream) is wearing the size 60 with 12” of ease, and Julia (cerulean) is wearing the size 48 with 9” of ease.

Materials

  • Kelbourne Woolens Mojave: (3, 4, 4) [4, 5, 5] {5, 6, 6} skeins
  • 5mm/US8 – 32” (sizes 34-46) or 40” (sizes 50-66) circular needles
  • 5mm/US8 double pointed needles (or 12″ circular needles)
  • stitch markers
  • darning needle
  • extra needle in similar size or smaller than project needle for 3-needle bind-off
  • Pattern

PROJECT Keane Wonder

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Keane Wonder

Keane Wonder is a funky summer tank with a sporty racerback, worked in pieces from the bottom up. Short rows shape the hem, and a-line decreases shape the sides of the tank. The colour is fab, and the details are interesting and flattering (if you aren’t sure about the stripe situation feel free to skip over any elements you want).

The Pattern

When shaping the racerback, you will be working increases and decreases on both right side and wrong side rows. Pay attention to the stitch pattern and maintain the pattern as set when working the increases, working purl increases or decreases when necessary. The increases and decreases on the back neck shaping occur simultaneously, but the instructions are written separately due to the differing rate of increases and decreases on each size. Make sure you read through the entire back neck shaping and work both components of the shaping simultaneously.

  • Kelbourne has also included free tutorials for some techniques that newer knitters might be less familiar with (see links below).
  • You can see the rest of the patterns from the Mojave Collection HERE.

The Yarn

Kelbourne Mojave is a super soft and light blend of cotton & linen. It comes in some really beautiful muted colours and also some awesomely bright colours – I’m especially fond of Seafoam Green and Flamingo Pink (it’s really peach). The more neutral colours tend to be nuanced, the type of colour that’s constantly changing based on the light.

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Size

  • 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58)” [86.5 (96.5, 106.5, 117, 127, 137, 147.5) cm] bust
  • Sweater is designed to be worn with 2” (5 cm) of positive ease. Please see schematic for more detailed finished measurements

Materials

  • Kelbourne Mojave: 3 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7) skeins, shown in 737 bright yellow
  • 3.25mm/US3 – 16” (40 cm) circular needles
  • 3.25mm/US3 – 29” (80 cm) circular needles
  • 3.5mm/US – 29” (80 cm) circular needles
  • darning needle
  • Pattern
Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Tutorials

Short row shaping, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Mattress stitch, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Evenly picking up stitches, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Three Needle Bind-Off, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

PROJECT Two Crochet Bags with Estiva

Both of these Bags are made with Berroco Estiva, a super soft, 100% cotton tape yarn that’s perfect for Spring & Summer knits and crochets. It’s comfortable, easy to knit with, and it comes in gorgeous gradient colours that fade from light to dark. It’s bulky weight yarn so it works up fast!

Saba Island

This crochet bag is substantial! Seriously, it looks big enough to carry EVERYTHING. Measuring in at 58″ around top edge and 19″ deep (not including straps) the only thing that won’t fit inside is the kitchen sink. It’s a dense crochet, so it’s going to be sturdy … nothing’s falling out the bottom of this baby.

Materials


Magra

I really like this pattern … the medallions in the upper third are really pretty, they’re a very crochet aesthetic. But I also like the stitch pattern that’s been used for the middle part of the bag. It creates a really subtle feature that adds extra interest and visually breaks up the bag. Many crochet bags are designed in the single crochet stitch because it is dense and sturdy, but it’s also a bit bland. I’m going to give this one a try and see how the stitch turns out, maybe I’ll be able to add something to my repertoire!

Materials


PROJECT Ashtona Wrap

Ashtona

Quince & Co just released this super pretty wrap, Ashtona, as part of their new Shawls 2020 Collection. I thought its a pretty, not overly ambitious piece suitable for advanced beginners and intermediate knitters (I don’t know about you, but my mind has been super fuzzy lately – I blame COVID and humidity). This is the first pattern to be officially released from the collection, but I think you can buy the entire collection as a e-book right now (I’m quite fond of the crochet wrap Sand Dollar).

The Pattern

Ashtona is an asymmetrical, sideways knit shawl, that combines pretty ribbon lace with an uneven ribbing motif. The piece is worked on the bias from the right tip to the wide left edge. The skills required are long-tail cast on (link provided); increasing, decreasing, and reading a pattern (both charts and line-by-line instructions are included in the pattern).

The Yarn

It’s made with one of my favourites, Quince & Co Sparrow. If you aren’t already familiar with Sparrow it’s a super soft, organic linen that’s made in Italy. Linen is generally crisp in the skein or ball, and then loosens up completely once it goes through the wash (like, seriously, it lets go on a buddhist level). Sparrow is machine washable, but I put it in a delicate bag to keep it from abrading with other garments in the wash. I often put it in the dryer for 15 to 20 minutes too. If you’ve never used my Panty Hose Hack I suggest you try it out the with linen, it’s slippery and can get a little unruly when left to its own devices.

Materials

  • Quince & Co Sparrow: 5 skeins (shown in colour Maize)
  • 3.5mm/US4 – 29″ circular needles (or longer)
  • tapestry or darning needle
  • Pattern

PROJECT Desert Queen

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Desert Queen

For a long time I didn’t really ‘see’ the top in this picture because of all of the the armpit action. I advise you take a good, long look at the armpit, really get your fill of armpittiness. Look at the gorgeous woman’s impressively exfoliated underarm until you don’t see it any more, and then take in the tank top. The top is pretty too, it deserves some love. The lines are simple and flattering, the eyelet detail is lovely without being overwrought, and the finish around the neck and armholes give it a really polish (try out the technique, you might end up adapting it and using it in other projects).

The Pattern

Desert Queen is a basic tank, worked from the bottom up in pieces (old skool). The back features a garter border and A-line shaping. The shoulders are elegantly shaped with short rows and then joined with a 3 needle bind-off. The only seaming is through the sides, which is among the easier stitching in knitting. Stitches are picked up at the neck and armholes, one round is worked, and then stitches are bound off to create a clean edge.

  • Kelbourne has also included free tutorials for some techniques that newer knitters might be less familiar with (see links below).
  • You can see the rest of the patterns from the Mojave Collection HERE.

The Yarn

Kelbourne Mojave is a super soft and light blend of cotton & linen. It comes in some really beautiful muted colours and also some awesomely bright colours – I’m especially fond of Seafoam Green and Flamingo Pink (it’s really peach). The more neutral colours tend to be nuanced, the type of colour that’s constantly changing based on the light.

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection shoot
Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Size

  • 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58)” 86.5 (96.5, 107, 117, 127, 137, 147.5) cm bust.
  • Sweater is designed to be worn with 2” (5 cm) of positive ease.

Materials

  • Kelbourne Mojave: 3 (3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6) skeins (shown in 025 slate grey)
  • 3.25mm/US3 – 16” (40 cm) circular needles
  • 3.25mm/US3 – 29” (80 cm) circular needles
  • 3.5mm/US – 29” (80 cm) circular needles
  • 4 locking stitch markers
  • darning needle
  • Pattern
Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

Tutorials

• Working from charts, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Short row shaping, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Mattress stitch, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Picking up stitches, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.
• Three Needle Bind-Off, visit Kelbourne’s Tips and Tricks here.

Kelbourne Woolens, Mojave Collection

SHOP + WIN WEEKLY DRAW

Our Local BIA is Sponsoring a Weekly Draw of $1000!

  • In order to enter, you just need to upload a photo of your receipt for any purchase of $25 or more (including taxes, excluding delivery fees or tips) to the contest website: www.shopandwinstclair.ca.
  • Draw applies to both in-store AND online purchases (pick-up and shipping)!
  • Draw is from June 7 to July 19, and is open to ALL residents of Ontario
  • All the contest rules and details on the contest website.
  • If you live in our neighbourhood you can shop at other local retailers and upload your receipts to enter too (one receipt per business per day, see the contest website for geographic boundaries)

Just one thing … please promise me that if you win you’ll spend the money on something that brings you JOY!