Author Archives: Knit-O-Matic

TRUNK SHOW Amano & Kits (pt. 2)

As promised, more inspirations from Amano! If you already caught Part 1 of the Trunk Show Goodies, feel free to ship down to where the pictures begin. If not, you can go back with the magical time-machine that is the link below.

SEE PART 1 of the AMANO TRUNK SHOW

P.S. I am placing an order with the distributor this week, so if you order your kit now it should arrive by the middle of next week.


We received a little trunk show from Amano, and some of the samples are so lovely I thought they merit becoming pre-order kits! A ‘Trunk Show’ is a small selection of samples on loan from a designer for a short period of time. They’re a great opportunity to feel the yarns in action, see how they behave worked up, and actually try on the samples. I often find surprises in trunk-show collections – gems I never would have known about if they hadn’t fallen into my hands – literally.

Amano is Peruvian company and they make gorgeous yarns with the highest quality Alpacas, Pima Cotton, Peruvina Highland Wool, and Silk.

We received A LOT of samples, so I’ll be posting over a few every day or so, and I’ll curate and pick out the best. If you live near the store we are open 7 days a week, from 11 am to 6 pm, and everyone are welcome to come by and check them out! We are only a retail store, so you don’t need to show proof of vaccination, but you have to wear a mask at all times in the store, and we ask that everyone keep their physical distance from each other. The samples will be in store until the 25th of October.

SEE ALL THE AMANO KITS HERE (as we load them)

Pre-Order

These kits are SPECIAL-ORDERS – we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis, but you have the option to order them at any time (it will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes it available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. 

Rafaella Chullo Hat Kit PRE-ORDER

Details

Designed by Isabel Kraemer, this super-soft, super warm, fun hat is a feast of texture! Except for the earflaps, it is worked in the round (besides the earflaps) in the round with a cute pixie style crown shaping. 

When you order your kit you’ll receive a link to download the pattern digitally, as well as a printed copy with the yarn. 

Yarn

Amano Eco Puna Black Alpaca is a super soft 100% natural baby alpaca. The colour is the natural colour of the coat from pure black alpacas. Eco Puna black represents Amano’s strong desire to preserve this unique beautiful black color. Amano supports the Andean communities in the breeding of alpacas with pure black fibre in an effort to re-establish this population, called the Yanapaco (black alpaca) program, part of the Pacomarca Sustainable Alpaca network.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Size

  • One size
  • To fit head circumference 20″ to 22″
  • From brim to top: 9″ (23cm)
  • Circumference at brim: 20.5″ (52cm)

Kit Includes:

  • Amano Eco Puna Black (100% natural baby alpaca): 4 balls
  • Pattern

Kit Does NOT Include:

Substitutions

If you want to start making this hat right away and don’t want to wait for your yarn (or you want another colour or a more economical option), you can use any of the following yarns:

Paula Mitten Kit PRE-ORDER

Details

I really love the texture and simplicity of these mitts. Designed by Isabel Kraemer, these super-soft, super warm, mittens are all about little luxuries! They are knit from the bottom up in the round, and more length can be added by working more rounds before starting the top shaping. (texture is only on the upper side of hand, the palm side is stocking stitch). Please note, the colour is Pure Black. 

To make a matching set see the RAFAELLA CHULLO KIT

When you order your kit you’ll receive a link to download the pattern digitally, as well as a printed copy with the yarn. 

Yarn

Amano Eco Puna Black Alpaca is a super soft 100% natural baby alpaca. The colour is the natural colour of the coat from pure black alpacas. Eco Puna black represents Amano’s strong desire to preserve this unique beautiful black color. Amano supports the Andean communities in the breeding of alpacas with pure black fibre in an effort to re-establish this population, called the Yanapaco (black alpaca) program, part of the Pacomarca Sustainable Alpaca network.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

Size

  • One size
  • Length: 11″ (28 cm)
  • Hand Circumference: 8″ (20.5 cm)

Kit Includes:

  • Amano Eco Puna Black (100% natural baby alpaca): 3 balls
  • Pattern

Kit Does NOT Include:

Pre-Order

These kits are a SPECIAL-ORDER – we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis, but you have the option to order them at any time (it will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes it available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. 

TRUNK SHOW Amano & Kits (pt. 1)

We received a little trunk show from Amano, and some of the samples are so lovely I thought they merit becoming pre-order kits! A ‘Trunk Show’ is a small selection of samples on loan from a designer for a short period of time. They’re a great opportunity to feel the yarns in action, see how they behave worked up, and actually try on the samples. I often find surprises in trunk-show collections – gems I never would have known about if they hadn’t fallen into my hands – literally.

Amano is Peruvian company and they make gorgeous yarns with the highest quality Alpacas, Pima Cotton, Peruvina Highland Wool, and Silk.

We received A LOT of samples, so I’ll be posting over a few every day or so, and I’ll curate and pick out the best. If you live near the store we are open 7 days a week, from 11 am to 6 pm, and everyone are welcome to come by and check them out! We are only a retail store, so you don’t need to show proof of vaccination, but you have to wear a mask at all times in the store, and we ask that everyone keep their physical distance from each other. The samples will be in store until the 25th of October.

As we load them to the online store you’ll be able to find the kits HERE

Pre-Order

These kits are SPECIAL-ORDERS – we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis, but you have the option to order them at any time (it will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes it available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. 

Margarita Cowl Kit PRE-ORDER

Details

Margarita is a pretty lace cowl is worked seamlessly in the round. The lace pattern is both written and charted. When you order your kit you’ll receive a link to download the pattern digitally, as well as a printed copy with the yarn. 

Yarn

Amano Apu is a gift from the Inca gods, it is a fiber like no other. This particular type of alpaca is called Imperial because it is the softest alpaca that exists.

Size

  • 8½” (21.6 cm) high x 20” (51 cm) circumference

Kit Includes:

Kit Does NOT Include:

Substitutions

If you want to start making these mitts right away and don’t want to wait for your yarn (or you want another colour or a more economical option), you can use any of the following yarns:

Ariel Bobble Sweater Kit PRE-ORDER

Details

The Ariel  Bobble Pullover is an adorable sweater for kids 12 months to 6 years. The body and sleeves are worked separately in the round from the bottom up, then they are joined, and the yoke is worked in the round to the neckline.

When you order your kit you’ll receive a link to download the pattern digitally, as well as a printed copy with the yarn. 

Yarn

Amano Sami is a buttery soft, 100% Organic Peruvian Pima Cotton(often called the “silk of the south”.) It’s an extremely soft cotton to knit with and wear, with a matte finish that gives garments a cozy, casual look and feel. Sami also somes in somer eally beautiful colours for babies and kids!

Size

  • 12 months(2, 4, 6) years
  • To fit chest size: 18(20, 22, 24)”
  • Finished chest circumference: 20.25(21.75, 24, 26.25)”
  • Length: 14(15, 16.5, 17.25)”

Kit Includes:

  • Amano Sami (100% pima cotton): 3(4) skeins 
  • Pattern

Kit Does NOT Include:

Similar Patterns

The same pattern designer has also made similar designs for thicker yarns and for adults:

Substitutions

If you want to start making these mitts right away and don’t want to wait for your yarn (or you want another colour or a more economical option), you can use any of the following yarns:

HOURS Canadian Thanksgiving & Projects

Pumpkin Beanie … by Knit-O-Matic!

Store Hours For Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving comes a bit earlier north of the 44th parallel in Canada, it has something to do with our harvest being earlier, therefore we we dine earlier. We are open regular store hours (11 am to 6 pm) on Saturday & Sunday, and closed on Monday. Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Saturday October 9: 11 am to 6 pm

Sunday October 10: 11 am to 6 pm

Monday October 11: CLOSED


Some Cieslak for the Weekend

Never wanting to leave you without some inspiration, here are a couple of pullovers by designer Jacqueline Cieslak. I love that Jacqueline’s designs are size inclusive, but I love even more that her designs LOOK GREAT on different sized women. Her casual little tops are always just right for people, no matter what shape they may be. Wear them over a dress or a loose shirt, it’s all beautiful! Plus, they aren’t immense projects, so they won’t break the bank, and you’ll actually wear it (an important factor to my mind). they’re pretty, and I think its good to make yourself feel beautiful on the outside, because you are beautiful on the inside.

I think my favourite yarns for these projects would be Fibre Co Road to China Light (’cause I’m indulgent when it comes to nurturing myself), but I’d make at least one size larger because the tension will be smaller. Another idea that gets me going would be two strands of Fibre Co Meadow held together (also indulgent, but I love nice textiles) – ideally this would be in 2 different colours to create a marl.

Bay Pullover

The Bay Pullover is your dream all-weather sweatshirt, whether you’re getting cozy at home or being tousled by a crisp ocean breeze. This relaxed fit pullover features dolman sleeves, uninterrupted stockinette on the front and back panels, and decorative 3-needle bind offs, making for a simple, seamless knit with a clean, modern look. The pattern includes 9 sizes, 6 original video tutorials, technical illustrations for understanding the unique construction, and detailed guidance for choosing your size and adjusting the sleeves.

Size

Because of the dolman sleeves and relaxed fit, BAY works with an extremely wide range of positive ease (anything from 6-20”/15-50cm). If you prefer more drape or a more oversized fit, feel free to size up! In the photos, Jacqui is wearing a size 7 (62”/155cm). Her bust circumference is 54”/135cm, her waist circumference is 49”/122.5cm, and her bicep circumference is 20”/50cm.

  • Finished Bust Circumference: In inches: (38, 42, 46) [50, 54, 58] {62, 66, 70} inches or (95, 105, 115) [125, 135, 145] {155, 165, 175} cm
  • To choose your size, measure the circumference of your torso around the fullest part of your bust/chest and add at least 6”/15cm.
  • To see how BAY looks across the size range with varying amounts of ease, check out the test knitting round up here!

Yarn Options

Because the recommended yarn is a silk/linen blend, both of which are fibres that stretch and have a lot of drape, I recommend using something that also has some stretch. Superwash yarns, blends with cotton, linen, wool, silk, or alpaca tend to be good at this.

All the Other Materials

Bay Slipover

The Bay Slipover is your dream all-weather slipover, whether you’re getting cozy at home or being tousled by a crisp ocean breeze. This relaxed fit top features dolman sleeves, uninterrupted stockinette on the front and back panels, and decorative 3-needle bind offs, making for a simple, seamless knit with a clean, modern look. The pattern includes 9 sizes, 6 original video tutorials, technical illustrations for understanding the unique construction, and detailed guidance for choosing your size and adjusting the sleeves.

Size

Because of the dolman sleeves and relaxed fit, BAY works with an extremely wide range of positive ease (anything from 6-20”/15-50cm). If you prefer more drape or a more oversized fit, feel free to size up! In the photos, Jacqui is wearing a size 7 (62”/155cm). Her bust circumference is 54”/135cm, her waist circumference is 49”/122.5cm, and her bicep circumference is 20”/50cm.

  • Finished Bust Circumference: In inches: (38, 42, 46) [50, 54, 58] {62, 66, 70} inches or (95, 105, 115) [125, 135, 145] {155, 165, 175} cm
  • To choose your size, measure the circumference of your torso around the fullest part of your bust/chest and add at least 6”/15cm.
  • To see how BAY looks across the size range with varying amounts of ease, check out the test knitting round up here!

Yarn Options

Because the recommended yarn is a silk/linen blend, both of which are fibres that stretch and have a lot of drape, I recommend using something that also has some stretch. Superwash yarns, blends with cotton, linen, wool, silk, or alpaca tend to be good at this.

All the Other Materials

RESTOCKED Rasta, Spuntaneous, Wish, Melody

The fall inventory is arriving fast & furious, and with it new project ideas spring to life! Quick knits are always fun, especially when they’re made with super soft yarns.

Strathcona

Size

  • (XXS/XS), S/M, (L/XL), (XXL/XXXL)
  • Width at bust (lying flat): approx (48.5cm / 19”) 53.5 cm / 21” (61cm / 23.75”) (67.5 cm / 26.5”)
  • Length (46 cm / 17” ) 48.5 cm / 19” (51cm / 21”) (58.5cm / 23”)
  • Model is 5’9, wearing S/M size.

Yarn Options

All of the yarn options listed are super soft and utterly delicious against the skin – you can’t go wrong with any of them, the only choice is the aesthetic you prefer.

1. WATERCOLOUR MARVEL: Malabrigo Rasta: 4(5, 5, 6) skeins

Malabrigo Rasta is a hand-painted, single ply, 100% merino wool made in Uruguay. It’s very popular and we generally have a hard time keeping sweater quantities in stock, so if you’re in love be sure to put a ring on it and lock it down!

SEE FINISHED PROJECTS MADE WITH MALABRIGO RASTA

2. SIMPLE & CLASSIC: Cascade Spuntaneous: 3(4, 4, 5) skeins

Cascade Spuntaneous is single ply, 100% merino wool made in Peru. It’s machine dyed and comes in solid and heathered colours. If you want a classic look, look no further.

SEE FINISHED PROJECTS MADE WITH CASCADE SPUNTANEOUS

3. SUPER LIGHT ‘N FUZZY: Drops Melody (3 strands together): 7(8, 9, 9) balls

Drops Melody is a super fuzzy blend of alpaca and wool that looks like mohair and feels like the downy feathers on a baby chick (or a puppy, kitten, etc. other baby animals). Hold three strands of this yarn together to get a super thick mohair look without sacrificing softness.

4. FUZZY WITH BODY: Drops Wish (5(5, 6, 6) balls + Drops Melody 3 balls (hold 1 strand of each yarn)

Drops Wish is a blown yarn with super soft alpaca & merino wool blasted into a knitted core of pima cotton. The result is a lofty, airy yarn that’s light with a fuzzy aura. Pair one strand of Wish with one of super soft Drops Melody (see above) to get a sweater with both body and a bit of fuzzy happiness.

Colours that work together:

  • Light Grey Heather: Wish 03 + Melody 03
  • Charcoal Grey Heather: Wish 07 & Melody 04
  • Oatmeal Heather: Wish 05 & Melody 15
  • Off White: Wish 01 & Melody 01
  • Curry: Wish 12 & Melody 18
  • Denim Blue: Wish 09 & Melody 07
  • Raisin: Wish 10 & Melody 20
  • Rust: Wish 11 & Melody 19

Needles

We think Interchangeable needles area great way to go when a pattern calls for a bunch of sizes you don’t normally use. The Knitter’s Pride tips can be a great value, while the Addi Interchangeables are the premium option. If getting interchnageables, be sure to get the shorter 3.5″ tips for the 16″ length needles – the 4.5″ tips are too long and will not work with a cord that short.

If you prefer fixed circular needles, Clover and Addi both make wonderful quality circular needles, and if you want a wood 15mm/US19 circular check out the Knitter’s Pride Fixed needles.

  • 9mm/US13 – 16″ circular needles (if buying interchangeables get the shorter 3.5″ tips, the 4.5″ tips are too long for this length cord)
  • 10mm/US15 – 24″ circular needles
  • 15mm/US19 – 24″ circular needles
  • 15mm/US19 – 32″ circular needles (or longer, for optional magic loop, or use double pointed needles)

Other Materials

Nanaimo Cardigan

Size

  • XS/S, (M/L), (XL/XXL), (XXXL)
  • Width at bust (lying flat): approx 49.5 cm / 19.5” (56 cm / 22”), (62. 25cm / 24.5”) ( 68.5 cm / 27”) (75 cm /29.5”)
  • Body length: approx 42 cm / 16.5” (46 cm / 18.5) or desired

Yarn Options

See Strathcona above for yarn descriptions and extra details!

1. WATERCOLOUR MARVEL: Malabrigo Rasta: 4(5, 6, 7) skeins

SEE FINISHED PROJECTS MADE WITH MALABRIGO RASTA

2. SIMPLE & CLASSIC: Cascade Spuntaneous: 4(4, 5,6) skeins

SEE FINISHED PROJECTS MADE WITH CASCADE SPUNTANEOUS

3. SUPER LIGHT ‘N FUZZY: Drops Melody (3 strands together): 7(8, 10, 12) balls

4. FUZZY WITH BODY: Drops Wish (5(6, 7, 8) balls + Drops Melody 3(3, 4, 4) balls, (hold 1 strand of each yarn)

Needles

Needle sizes aren’t listed, so check the pattern to confirm what you’ll need (although we expect it will be similar to the pattern above). We think Interchangeable needles area great way to go when a pattern calls for a bunch of sizes you don’t normally use. The Knitter’s Pride tips can be a great value, while the Addi Interchangeables are the premium option.

If you prefer fixed circular needles, Clover and Addi both make wonderful quality circular needles, and if you want a wood 15mm/US19 circular check out the Knitter’s Pride Fixed needles.

Other Materials

Frid

Size

  • XXS/XS) S/M, (L/XL), (XXL/XXXL)
  • Width at bust (lying flat): approx (43 cm / 17”) 48.5 cm / 19” (56cm / 22”) ( 64 cm / 25”) across chest
  • Body length: (41 cm / 16” ) 41 cm / 16” (46 cm / 18”) (51 cm / 20”) in body length
  • Model is 5’9, wearing S/M.
  • Positive ease approx 3–5” / 7.5–13 cm

Yarn Options

See Strathcona above for yarn descriptions and extra details!

1. WATERCOLOUR MARVEL: Malabrigo Rasta: 4(5, 5, 6) skeins

2. SIMPLE & CLASSIC: Cascade Spuntaneous: 3(4, 4, 5) skeins

3. SUPER LIGHT ‘N FUZZY: Drops Melody (3 strands together): 7(8, 9, 9) balls

4. FUZZY WITH BODY: Drops Wish (5(5, 6, 6) balls + Drops Melody 3 balls (hold 1 strand of each yarn)

Needles

We think Interchangeable needles area great way to go when a pattern calls for a bunch of sizes you don’t normally use. The Knitter’s Pride tips can be a great value, while the Addi Interchangeables are the premium option. If getting interchnageables, be sure to get the shorter 3.5″ tips for the 16″ length needles – the 4.5″ tips are too long and will not work with a cord that short.

If you prefer fixed circular needles, Clover and Addi both make wonderful quality circular needles, and if you want a wood 15mm/US19 circular check out the Knitter’s Pride Fixed needles.

  • 8mm/US11 – 16″ circular needles (for interchangeables get the shorter 3.5″ tips)
  • 9mm/US13 – 16″ circular needles (for interchangeables get the shorter 3.5″ tips)
  • 10mm/US15 – 16″ circular needles (for interchangeables get the shorter 3.5″ tips)
  • 12mm/US17 – 24″ circular needles
  • 15mm/US19 – 24″ circular needles (or longer)

Other Materials

Mooseonee

Size

  • (XXS/XS) S/M, (L/XL), (XXL/XXXL)
  • Width at bust (lying flat): approx (48.5 cm / 19”) 53.5 cm / 21” (61 cm / 23.75”) (67.5 cm / 26.5”) across chest
  • Body length:(44.6 cm / 17”) 47 cm / 18.5” (52 cm / 20.5”) (57 cm / 22.5”)
  • Model is 5’9, wearing S/M

Yarn Options

See Strathcona above for yarn descriptions and extra details!

1. WATERCOLOUR MARVEL: Malabrigo Rasta: 4(5, 5, 6) skeins

2. SIMPLE & CLASSIC: Cascade Spuntaneous: 3(4, 4, 5) skeins

3. SUPER LIGHT ‘N FUZZY: Drops Melody (3 strands together): 7(8, 9, 9) balls

4. FUZZY WITH BODY: Drops Wish (5(5, 6, 6) balls + Drops Melody 3 balls (hold 1 strand of each yarn)

Needles

We think Interchangeable needles area great way to go when a pattern calls for a bunch of sizes you don’t normally use. The Knitter’s Pride tips can be a great value, while the Addi Interchangeables are the premium option. If getting interchnageables, be sure to get the shorter 3.5″ tips for the 16″ length needles – the 4.5″ tips are too long and will not work with a cord that short.

If you prefer fixed circular needles, Clover and Addi both make wonderful quality circular needles, and if you want a wood 15mm/US19 circular check out the Knitter’s Pride Fixed needles.

  • 9mm/US13 – 16″ circular needles (for interchangeables get the shorter 3.5″ tips)
  • 10mm/US15 – 24″ circular needles
  • 15mm/US19 – 24″ circular needles

Other Materials

ORANGE SHIRT DAY Knits

September 30th is Canada’s first official National Day for TRUTH and Reconciliation, but before it was a federal holiday it was know as Orange Shirt Day. While every day should be Orange Shirt Day, I thought today was a good time to revisit some Canadian Indigenous contributions to knitting.

On a serious note, this is a holiday that recognizes an immense cultural trauma, but not everyone can handle other people’s pain, they’ve got enough of their own to unpack. If you aren’t at a place where you can connect, I suggest following the very wise insights of Resmaa Menakem and work on processing your own cultural guck … after all, on this side of the pond the vast majority of us are immigrants, and from my perspective, nobody moves to Canada for the weather. Plus, why lug around a bag of stuff that makes you unhappy, when you can work towards sending it to the curb? The great thing about the universe is that all energy is recycled, there aren’t any landfills!

But back to the knits ….


Processed with VSCO with al3 preset

Indigenous Designer: Jessie Mae Martinson

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.

To make the sweater above choose a fingering weight yarn (Cascade Heritage, Artfil Belle, Fibre Co Amble, Fleece Artist Merino Slim are all perfect, Fibre Co Meadow would also be lovely) as the base and pair it with a fuzzy yarn like Drops Kid Silk. The base yarn will be the dominant colour and the mohair will create a halo effect.

Stories & Patterns: Sylvia Olsen

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!

I also found an interview with Sylvia Olsen on the Cabin Boy Knits Podcast!

Photo: Joshua Lawrence

Infinity Scarf

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).

It would also be GORGEOUS made with Fibre Co Amble in Scaefel Pike (light brown), Fair Hill (medium brown), and Saddleback Slate (dark grey) …. the colours are all heathered, so they keep that ‘sheepy’ look, but they are soft as a puppy, so you can skip the itchy, sheepy feel.

Photo: Jane Richmond

West Coast Cardigan

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: Articles & Documentaries

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.

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.

A 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.

NEW & RESTOCKED Kits from Fleece Artist & Handmaiden

RESTOCKED Gradient Wrap Kits

Soft and luxurious, Cashbah 5 Ply is a wonderful DK weight yarn made with cashmere and merino! These gradient sets transition from one skein to another naturally, and have an amazing depth to their colours. These kits make a great little travel project or a gift. See finished projects on Ravelry. Each kit comes with 2 patterns, one is great for beginner knitters and the other for intermediate knitters. 

NOTE: Each kit is individually dyed and unique. No two kits will be the same.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate

  • Each skein is 82m(87 yards)/50g (80% merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon).
  • Made in Canada.
  • Each kit is individually dyed, no two are exactly alike, images may vary a bit.
  • The project requires 5mm/U8-29″ circular needles (or longer, not included in kit).

Kit Contains

NEW Fleece Artist Bluenoser Mitten Kits

Welcome to an authentic East-coast mitten experience! The Fleece Artist Bluenoser Mitten Kit is designed with Fleece Artist Wonder Woolen, a 100% regionally sourced wool (25 Micron, Woolen Spun) a hearty and sturdy yarn that will wear harder, last longer, and keep you warmer. Made in Nova Scotia, Canada. The main colour is the background colour (the first colour listed/larger skein), the contrast colour is the flecks & stripes (the second colour listed/smaller skein).

NOTE: Each kit is individually dyed and unique. No two kits will be the same.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Kit Includes:

  • Fleece Artist Wonder Woolen yarn in 2 colours: MC – 113g, CC 56g
  • Pattern

Kit DOES NOT Include:

  • 4.5mm/US7 double pointed needles
  • Tapestry needle

NEW Fleece Artist Flouf Headband Kits

This one-skein wonder is our new favourite! A single cable headband knit using Fleece Artist Flouf (a new super soft and lofty 100% merino wool) on an 8mm needle. It can be knit in a day (or evening) and makes for great gifts knit up or as a kit! This kit is very friendly for newer knitters.

NOTE: Each kit is individually dyed and unique. No two kits will be the same.

Skill Level: Intermediate-Beginner


Kit Includes

  • Pattern  
  • 1 skein of Fleece Artist Flouf (bulky weight, 100% super soft, merino wool)

Kit DOES NOT Include

  • 8mm/US11 needles (straight or circular)
  • tapestry needle

RESTOCKED Fleece Artist Merino Thrum Mitten Kit

These mitten kits are super popular around here and always fly off the shelf! 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. This kit can also be used to make Thrummed Socks (great as house-socks or slippers)! Each kit is individually hand dyed, no two will be exactly alike. 

NOTE: Each kit is individually dyed and unique. No two kits will be the same.

Skill Level: Advanced-Beginner (after a regular pair of mitts)

Kit Includes:

  • Pattern & instructions  (or you can download them free HERE)
  • Yarn: Fleece Artist Fleece Artist Chinook, 125g (super soft, 100% superwash merino wool)
  • Roving: 60g (100% super soft merino wool) 
  • Sizes included: Adult S, M, L, XL

Kit DOES NOT Include: 

  • 3.5mm/US4 double pointed needles
  • 4mm/US6 double pointed needles

RESTOCKED Handmaiden Maiden Hair

Handmaiden Maiden Hair is one of my all-time favourite yarns, and we just received some new stock, so it’s time for it to shine! I personally like the semi-solid colours, but the multis are super popular around the store. Two skeins make the Cottage Wrap (above), one makes a Quaker Yarn Stretcher (below).

The Cottage 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).

Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced-Beginner

Red Wrap

Blue Wrap

Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced-Beginner

NEW Pumpkin Beanie Kit

Pumpkin Beanie Kits

Our local knitting guild, The Needlework Guild of Canada, very graciously invited me to attend their first Knit in the Park, so I whipped up a little kit for them, a Pumpkin Beanie. I figured it’s timely, what with harvest season approaching. Plus, there is no child ever who isn’t ADORABLE in a pumpkin hat. Since our guild knits for charity I wanted it to be something that was gender neutral, and makes a great gift for anyone. I sized the hat from preemie to kids of all ages, and you should be able to get 2 pumpkin hats out of one kit (and probably a third green hat too). The yarn is the ever soft and Berroco Vintage, but if you want to upgrade go for the combo I assembled with Malabrigo Rios.

You can purchase the pattern separately HERE.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

We wanted the skill level to be accessible to knitters in the beginner spectrum, so there isn’t any colourwork or charts, you just need the following skills:

  • Read a knitting pattern
  • Cast on & Bind off
  • Knit & Purl in the same row
  • Work in the round on circular & double pointed needles
  • Weave in ends

See our curated list of knitting skills for tutorials

Not sure how to make the fancy knot at the top? No problemo, there’s a link in the pattern to a little video that shows how it’s done!

Size

  • preemie (0-6 mos, 6-18mos, 18mos-4yrs, 4yrs-adult S)
  • To fit head circumference: 14.5(16.75, 18, 20.5, 21.5)” or 36(42, 45, 51, 54) cm
  • Note: Fabric is stretchy. If you want a tighter fit go down a needle size
  • Photo is size 0-6mos: after blocking it measures 7.75″ wide

Gauge

  • 20 sts & 26 rounds = 4”/10cm with 4.5mm/US7 circular needles after blocking

Kit Includes

  • Berroco Vintage (or Malabrigo Rios): 1 skein in each of 2 colours. Our sample is made with Vintage (MC) 5176 Pumpkin & (CC) 51174 Spruce.
  • Pattern (PDF & printed)
  • one kit is enough yarn to make at least 2 pumpkin hats, with lots of green leftover to make another hat. 

Kit Does Not Include

UPDATE Store Hours + Sale + Great Podcast

Fall Store Hours

I can’t believe I forgot to mention yesterday (smack my head) that we are going back to our Fall store hours this SUNDAY! Starting THIS WEEK we will be open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 6pm.

Use discount code SHOP10 to receive an extra 10% off all online orders of $75+

We really need to move out the summery yarns … if you are inclined towards the linens and cottons and blends therein, or you live in a warm climate, this is an excellent opportunity … use the discount code SHOP10 in your online order of over $75 and you’ll get an EXTRA 10% Off, on top of the 25%. Seriously, we need the space ….

After my update yesterday my friend Jo sent me a great podcast episode. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I didn’t have an opportunity to share it because it’s timely with the pandemic psychology …. but now I do! As with many things Jo sends me, I have to listen to it again to really take it all in. I thought it was just going to be about the pandemic stuff, but it was so much more. Amy Cuddy’s story is just remarkable, it deserves its own episode. At the start of the episode I felt really intimidated and resistant, like these women were so far beyond me, but within a few minutes I was like “No, these women are my people … I’ve just been undervaluing myself”. Thank you Jo, I love you and I’m so grateful for you. I don’t know how to access the heart emoji on my keyboard, so in their absence please visualize a bunch of them.

Now I must go back to work and do things with strings (and internets) …. xox Haley

COVID Catch-up!

It’s time to touch base and connect! I initially wrote this blog post/newsletter in mid August in a state irritation, but I didn’t want to pass those feelings on to you, so I sat on it.

Classes? Sorry, still on hold for Pandemic.

Unfortunately, I am not presently scheduling classes and don’t plan on it in the near future. I mentioned in July’s Housekeeping that we are not offering any service where people have to spend more that 5 to 10 minutes together, and that still stands, vaccination or no. I wrote a whole big segment explaining why I’m not comfortable doing it, citing lots of references, but you know what …. it’s doesn’t matter. We’ll offer classes again when we feel it’s SAFE. Reading and editing that section was SUCH A BUMMER (probably why I sat on it for a month). I want to embrace and engender joy, and growth, and change. The world is going to spin, it doesn’t need me to keep it going. I’ve got my sights set on greater things, I choose to lean into the positive and see what comes out of that.

What I’m Working On

Last week on CBC radio I heard a journalist say “Let’s face it, at this point (in the pandemic) we’re all just phoning it in”. He was referring to the psychological burnout a lot of people have been experiencing. I haven’t gotten to that place yet (or maybe I have and I’m just in denial). Anyway, since COVID started I’ve been struggling with creative block. Luckily it hasn’t affected ability to come up with projects for you, my research skills are all intact, but I’ve been struggling with a serious case the UFOs (unfinished objects). I have a pile of marginally started projects on my dining room table … they’re sad little things, languishing in project bags. Anyway, if you’ve been wondering where my personal finished projects have gone, they haven’t.

You guys often ask what I’m working on, so the following are the very best of my best laid plans and good intentions …..

STRIPES! By Andrea Mowry

I have started swatching for STRIPES!. I’m using Fibre Co Road to China Light. I’m trying to work with the yarns that make me happiest and bring me the most joy. I’ve combined some neutrals and purples for my palette (see below … they’re in no particular order). The yarn is all wound up and ready to go!

Fibre Co Road to China Light colours (clockwise, starting from the left): Tanzanite, Riverstone, Agate, Ametrine, Carnelian, Grey Pearl, Smoky Quartz.

On the C Train

I plan on making an On the C Train (aka. hat) for the guy in my life. I levelled up this summer and I have an awesome new person in my life, one who definitely deserves a hat made with something beautiful. I’m again using Fibre Co Road to China Light, but this time a bold colour that celebrates life – sapphire!

Reykr

My upstairs neighbour David often pops for a chat and to pick up the mail, and one day he laid eyes on this shade of yellow and it was LOVE, nothing else would do (the yarn is Berroco Vintage 51131 Citrus). David is both sight impaired and profoundly colour blind in really interesting ways, so he experiences colour in a very different way than most people. In my experience, for him to get excited about a colour is unusual. So David gets a hat so he can enjoy his yellow all the time.

On a tangent … I wonder how he sees his yellow? I don’t know why I’ve never realized just how much I take my ability to perceive colour for granted? I come from a family rich in colour blind genes and I have a few friends who are colour blind – I feel like I should have noticed this a long time ago. Enjoying colour is one more thing to add to my gratitude list. Maybe enjoying all of my senses can be piled on as well … a gratitude list is a list that never needs to end.

Some Kind Of Hat for the Kid

I decided to be slightly proactive and start scouting holiday gifts for the kids early this year. Over dinner I was talking to my sister-in-law about sizing and in a bit of a panic, my nice asked if I was still going to do my annual crazy coloured hats (they aren’t actually crazy, I just choose bold colour combinations). I told her that if she wanted one I would make it for her, but I think this year it should actually be ‘crazy’. My niece is the girl in the Rolling Stones song “She’s a Rainbow” … she takes after her aunt, but unlike her aunt, she has been known to wear all of the colours at the same time. So this year she gets ALL THE COLOURS. The loose plan is to make a basic beanie with 2 strands of Schoppel Edition 3 (colour 2296 English Garden) held together, and topping it off with a synthetic pompom (colour 1250 Mermaid) that attaches with a snap. The yarn and the pompom match perfectly, so that should be a sight. The yarn is already marled and transitions as you work with it, so overall it should be quite a carnival of millinery.

Read & Knit

My current audiobook recommendation is Joyful by Ingreid Fetell Lee. I assumed (incorrectly) that it was going to be a self-helpy type thing, but I was happy to found some kind of new or unique genre – literary non-fiction about a quasi-spiritual topic from a design (as in the stuff people go to art school to learn) perspective. Joy is one of those emotions that shares a lot of space in the venn diagram of spiritual/mental/physical life. The book addresses joy from a very physical standpoint, which is interesting because the two things I’ve noticed when people talk about joy is 1. you’ve got to cultivate gratitude, and 2. you’ve got to get into your body. I think kids (and puppies) are extremely good at being joyful, and it wasn’t until I got on a trampoline with my nice and nephew that I realized how physical an experience childhood is, and how completely they are in their bodies (and in contrast how disconnected I was from mine by comparison). Fetell Lee isn’t going to lead you down the path to enlightenment, but she’s collected a lot of valuable insight about how to find and create joy though our physical surroundings, so if you want to cultivate more joy in your life, it’s a very worthwhile read.

Growth & Connection

Since January of this year I’ve added online courses as part of my self-care practice. I’ve taken a few on Mindvalley, and currently I’m doing The Formula with Dr Joe Dispenza. I’ll qualify that I prefer the type class where the coursework is a meditation – I’ve been to university several times and I’m a little over jumping through the hoops of acquiring information, I’m more into stretching my soul (which is actually a lot less heavy lifting, since souls are naturally very bendy). One of my favourite things about online courses is it’s all on your timeline and at your pace. You can take as little or as much from it as you like (or need), and like a good book or movie, you’ll be able to go deeper and learn more the second or third time you take it (I know Jeffrey Allen designs his courses this way).

I don’t always understand analytically what Dispenza is going on about, but because this type of course isn’t about consuming information, I just take it as a “listen to me now, believe me later” kind of thing and don’t worry about the rest. I’m taking the course with six other people and we’re all at different places in it, each of us going at our own speed. Anyway, we all feel like it’s helping and we’re making progress …. I feel like deleting the original blog post is a good sign of transformation and growth.

PRE-ORDER Knitter’s Pride Self-Love Interchangeable Needle Set

PRE-ORDER Knitters Pride Self-Love Interchangeable Set

PRE-ORDERS will ship/be available for pick-up in store as soon as they arrive (we expect to receive our shipment around the start of October).

This beautiful Interchangeable knitting needle set features calming and delicate pastel colour needles in eight different sizes and includes a Knitting Journal to keep records of your projects or write other notes, as well as a crocheted rose bookmark.It comes with an assortment of accessories (cables, end caps, keys and connectors, bookmark) enclosed in a luxurious suede pouch.

Set Includes:

  • Interchangeable Needle Sizes 3.50mm, 4.00mm, 4.50mm, 5.00mm, 5.50mm, 6.00mm, 7.00mm, 8.00mm or US sizes 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.75, 11
  • 4 memory-free, stainless-steel cables in lengths of 60cm, 80cm (2 nos.) & 100cm
  • 4 end caps
  • 4 keys
  • 1 set of cable connectors
  • 1 crocheted rose bookmark
  • 1 Knitting Journal
  • 1 suede pouch for accessories
  • 1 suede needle case

Self-Love ….

As an aside … I love that the subject of self-love is coming up. Self-love is one of the most important things in life … when you are able to love yourself unconditionally you are able to share love with everyone and everything else. I know I’m stating the obvious, which is that no ‘product’ can give you self-love. Unconditional self-love is something that has to be cultivated and grown, it takes time and work. Beware of marketing that promises instant results (and usually comes with a hefty price-tag), it’s snake-oil. Self-love is as much about the journey as it is the destination (this is a reminder for me also), so lean in, relax and enjoy the journey … you only get to live this particular life once, fill it with joy!