Author Archives: Knit-O-Matic

PROJECT Beginner Friendly Four Score Pullover

Four Score

One of the cool things that have come out of COVID is that there are a lot of new and inexperienced knitters out there, so I’ve been on the lookout for patterns and projects that you guys can do at home without the support of an in-person class. I think Four Score is a great sweater project for newbies or just people whose skill threshold isn’t advanced, but they want to try and do something more.

The sweater is worked flat in four pieces, on two straight needles (or circular if you prefer) and sewn up later using mattress stitch. The back and front are the same. A generous 4×4 rib pattern makes this a stretchy, flattering sweater with a bit of cling. It is designed to be worn with 3-6” of ease.

The yarn, Drops Air, is also super accessible. It’s super soft, light as air (hence the name), fluffy (which can be both cozy *and* forgiving), and affordable. I think this project is one you’ll love making as well as snuggling into. It’s a good thing many people are working from home, because when people see your new sweater they are going to ask you to make them one!

Size

Finished Bust: 34(37.5, 41, 45, 49, 52.75) inches or 85(94, 102.5, 112.5, 122.5, 132)cm

Materials

  • Drops Air: 6(6, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles (13″ straight or 29″or longer circular)
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pattern

Skills & Techniques

The skills and techniques used in this project are not complicated! The most advanced skill is seaming. Don’t let seaming scare you, it isn’t complicated, you just have to do it to practice it. The yarn that this project is made with is a great canvas to learn on – you don’t have to be perfect, the fuzzy aura will obscure so many sins.

  • cast on
  • knit
  • purl
  • ssk (slip, slip, knit – an easy type of decrease)
  • knit 2 together (a very easy type of decrease)
  • purl 2 together (a very easy type of decrease)
  • bind off in rib (knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches)
  • seaming with mattress stitch

Online Support

If you’re looking for help on the interweb I always recommend the following two resources to new knitters:

  • Knittinghelp.com: All the basics with great videos and photos!
  • Very Pink Knits: I usually just google whatever I’m searching for (ex. “knit 2 together”) and “very pink knits” and the right video pops up!

REMINDER Lopi Blankets Special Order

This is just a gentle reminder that our annual deadline for ordering Lopi Blankets is coming up soon! Please place your order by September 15th to reserve yourself a gorgeous blanket (they make great holiday gifts too).

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 15th 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.

SUMMER SALE EXTENDED

SUMMER SALE EXTENDED!

Since life this year is a little inside-out, backwards and upside down, I’m extending our Summer Sale another couple of weeks. You can shop in-store or online, and you can have your orders shipped or pick-ed up.

IN-STORE SHOPPING UPDATES

Good news – our COVID strategy seems to be working smoothly and well! Now that we’ve had a little experience I’m going to try expanding the number of clients allowed in the store from two to THREE! I know, it’s not a dramatic shift, but I want to stay conservative and cautious. We’ve had a lot of clients come in and tell us that we are the first store they’ve visited, or that other than the grocery and the drug store we are the only store they visit. We also have a goodly number of seniors who have visited us. Your trust t is an *immense* compliment, I am grateful, thank you!

FALL INVENTORY & COVID

Adding to the uncertainly fo the times, COVID has unfortunately disrupted the fluid availability of yarns coming out of South America, especially Peru. For a while their manufacturing has been reduced to 30% their normal output, and while they seem to have passed the peak of the first wave, distributors expect disruptions this fall. For us hobbyists, this means that there are probably going to be shortages of the most popular colours (usually the greys, black, off-white), and we won’t be able to reliably tell you when more will be available. It also means that we aren’t receiving all the colours we have ordered (our Malabrigo order had many gaps). My best advice this fall is that if it’s available and you want it, then buy it – especially if you need it to finish your project.

WINTER OF IMAGINATION

That said, constraints can open up exciting opportunities if you lean into them! Fall/Winter 2020-2021 can be OUR WINTER OF IMAGINATION! This weekend in yoga class my instructor told us to “let go of the outcome”, and I thought, “yup, that is an excellent principle to apply to EVERYTHING”. I’d heard it before in various ways from wise sources like Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins and Tara Brach, but I guess it didn’t click until I’d done the work and it came out of Shellie’s mouth … (that’s just how these things generally go, increasingly I find “A-ha!” lightbulb moments tend to be “Well, DUH … that was right in front of you.” moments).

So maybe we can lean into this new path that COVID has opened up and trust ourselves, give ourselves permission to let go of our expectations and let go of the outcome. We don’t need to be ‘this’ or ‘that’, we just need to Be.

xox Haley

NEW Cute Cat & Dog Totes

Cotton Cat & Dog Totes

Ultimately, can you can go wrong with a cat wearing cat’s eye glasses or a chihuahua dressed as Urkle? How can they fail to brighten your day? Unpossible!

Gleener’s Cotton Tote bags are as rugged as they are stylish. They are extremely sturdy, made from thick 100% cotton canvas, so you can use them for hauling groceries as well as yarn and projects! The images are printed and then embroidered with applique.

  • Size: 10.5″ x 14″
  • 100% cotton canvas
  • gentle wash on cold, lay flat to dry
  • Made in India

S’Wet Bags

Since I’ve got your attention … we’ve also restocked our supply of Gleener’s awesome S’wet Bags! We think Gleener’s S’Wet Bags make perfect project bags, but they’re so much more. Gleener is primarily a laundry company, so these bags are designed to do more than hold stuff and look pretty; they’re well made, they keep odours, wetness and messes contained. The zipper and lining are both waterproof, so they also make a great travel companion to the gym, swimming or beyond. Keep your projects safe, clean and dry anywhere you go. Gleener is also a Canadian company, the truly lovely people who work there reside in Montreal Quebec.

  • Medium: 10.5″ x 14″
  • Large: 16″ x 21″ (fits a large sweater or blanket)
  • Machine wash in cold water, flip it inside out and hang it up to line dry overnight.

On Wet Projects …

As an aside, getting your project caught in the rain kinda’ sucks. I’ve done it (I got caught on my bike in some torrential rain on my way home from work), and while it doesn’t qualify as a major life trauma, I was grateful that I didn’t have a ton of yarn left in the ball because I had to skein it up with the project still attached. Since then, I have a deep appreciation for water resistant project bags.

Soak Hand Sanitizer

Much like many companies during covid, Soak is now in the hand sanitizer business! Unlike many other companies, Soak’s hand sanitizer is great! I’ve got one up at the front cash in the store and I’ve been using it in between clients and to clean the debit machine. I’m happy to report that my hands are normal, they aren’t dry, and my cuticles are happy. I’ve come to appreciates the benefits of liquid hand sanitizer – it dries quickly and you don’t end up with your hands covered in goop.

What it is: Antiseptic skin cleanser. Contains 62% Ethanol. Kills harmful bacteria/germs. For personal hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of bacteria.

How it works: Spray small amount of sanitizer onto hands. Rub thoroughly into hands for at least 30 seconds. Allow to dry. spray. cleanse. carry on.

Adults and children over 2 years. 1-5 mL, 1-10 time(s) per day. For occasional and personal domestic use. Supervise children when they use this product. Store at room temperature (15-30 Celsius).

• 62% Ethanol
• Contains hydrating Aloe Leaf Juice
• Designed and made in Canada
 Meets Health Canada hand sanitizer standards

Ingredients: Medicinal ingredients: Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol) 62%. Non-medicinal ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.

PRE-ORDER Drachenfels Wrap Kits (With links!)

Photo: Urth Yarns

Drachenfels Wrap Kit

This simple wrap makes for great TV knitting! Stave off the chill wind with this cosy shawl, which pays homage to the dragon of lore with a slipped garter colorwork pattern that hints of scales. It’s worked in garter stitch from tip to edge, then neatly finished with I-cord bind-off. Asymmetrical increases create an elongated triangle shape. Size: 83“ [210 cm] wingspan along top edge and 25.5“ [65 cm] width.

Kit

The Drachenfels Wrap Kit features a stunning shawl pattern is by Melanie Berg. It contains one skein of Urth Yarns Uneek Fingering and two skeins of Urth Yarns Monokrom Fingering (a total of1200m of fingering weight merino yarn per kit). Each kit comes packaged in a clear plastic bag with full-colour insert. Both yarns are super soft 100% superwash merino wool, made and hand-dyed in Turkey. The pattern recommends a 4mm/US6 and 5mm/US8 needle. 

The brown colourway in the photographs is 03. The purple is colourway 02 (photos by Ninkka).

Pre-Order

We’re selling these kits as a pre-order and are not intending to stock them regularly in the store – they’ll function almost like a special order, and you have the option to order it 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. That said, the vendor is very fast, reliable, and close-by, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. Please also let us know in advance if you’d like the yarn wound (you can leave a note when you are checking out online).

10% Off All Pre-Orders of Urth Yarns Kits, use code URTHY10 at checkout.

Photo: Urth Yarns
Photo: Urth Yarns

Photo: Ninkka

10% Off All Pre-Orders of Urth Yarns Kits, use code URTHY10 at checkout.

PRE-ORDER NIXE Shawl Kits

NIXE by Melanie Berg

We’re Taking Pre-Orders For Nixe Kits NOW!

I just ordered the NIXE kit this afternoon – it’s so pretty I couldn’t pass it up! Nixe is an upcoming new pattern by designer Melanie Berg, scheduled to launch on August 26th, 2020. This two-colored asymmetrical triangle shawl, with an easy-to-knit yet beautiful stitch pattern that resembles a mermaid’s tail. The yarn, Balayage by @pascuali_filati_naturali, is a gorgeous blend of alpaca and organic, non-mulesed merino wool. 

  • Finished Size: 98.5” [250 cm] wingspan and 23.5” [60 cm] deep 98.5” [250 cm] wingspan and 23.5” [60 cm] deep
  • Gauge (after blocking): 11 sts x 22 rows = 2 x 2” [5 x 5 cm] in garter stitch
  • Requires US 3 [3.25 mm/US3 circular needles or size to obtain gauge (not included in kit)

Kit Includes:

  • 3 skeins Pascuali Balayage 190 yds/50g 3 Hanks: colour Ica (natural)
  • 2 skeins Pascuali Balayage Handdyed 190 yds/50g: colour Paracas 
  • Pattern: Digital copy (via Ravelry); provide your Ravelry username or email address to receive your pattern.

Pre-Orders

The pattern will be released on August 26, 2020. We will ship/contact you for pick-up as soon as our stock arrives. This kit is only available as a limited run and once it is sold out we most likely will not be able to get more. 

USE code NIXE10 at checkout to take 10% Off your Nixe Kit purchase!

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER Lopi Blankets

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 15th 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.

SALE Extended & Closed Monday Aug 3

We are closed Monday August 3 for the Simcoe Day long weekend, but here’s a quick little freebie!

tolt
Photo: Tolt Yarn and Wool

Tolt

tolt 2
Photo: hellodarlingknits

Summer Sale Extended

We’re extending our summer sale until the end of August – happy shopping over the long weekend!

UPDATE & A HACK COVID Memorial Blanket

COVID Memorial Blanket

It seems like you guys have been very busy bees, knitting up squares for the COVID Memorial Blanket … I made one too, and I plan on getting my niece, brother and sister-in-law to make one each. It’s a very easy pattern, suitable for beginners – you only need to know how to knit and purl.

If you aren’t already familiar with it, the COVID Memorial Blanket is a country wide project to honour and remember Canadians lost to COVID. Knitters from all over the country are knitting squares (with Berroco Vintage), which will be joined together to make a MASSIVE blanket … you can read more about it HERE.

This week CBC news did a story on it, it was also on TV. Since then we’ve sold out of colour 5125 Aquae (the colour designated to represent healthcare workers), the distributor is also out of stock, and we don’t expect to have it again until mid-September. That said, there are lots and lots of other colours available in Berroco Vintage, and the only limitation is what makes you happy! There aren’t really any front-runners for popularity, but I can tell you that when given the opportunity, people are going for COLOUR!

Yarn Availability & COVID

As an aside, I’ve been told by a few sales reps that availability is going to be a little spotty this fall on any products coming out of Peru – they’ve been hit pretty hard by COVID and the mills are only working at 30% capacity. Going forward, if you were thinking of making a large project and you want specific colours in Berroco Vintage, Berroco Vintage DK or Berroco Vintage Chunky, you should order your yarn now because I may not be able to get the inventory later. I think this especially applies to the neutral colours like white, off-white, ecru, all of the heathered greys, black, oatmeal, etc.

MINI-HACK! The Baggy Bind-Off Stitch

Yesterday Erica and I were looking at swatches and the subject of that last bind-off stitch came up. Somehow it’s always stretched out … and while I never really cared about it, it got me thinking that someone, somewhere on the interweb, must have found a solution. It turns out lots of someones have resolved the issue, the video below is the first one that popped up in my Google search, and I liked it a lot.

PREORDER Beaubourg Wrap Kits

Beaubourg Wrap Kits

I swa this kit and immediately thought it would made a great project to keep busy hands occupied … and since it’ll be about a year and a half until a vaccine is available for COVID, we might be at this a while. Beaubourg is a large rectangular wrap that features two-colour brioche and slipped stitches against a background of garter stitch to represent the colourful pipes that run up the façade of the Beaubourg museum. Because this pattern uses the brioche technique, I don’t feel like its for the beginner knitter, but if you wanted to make something similar you can make a project Meadow Lane and alternate the two colours every-other-row. If you love it, but don’t wear really big wraps, you might also enjoy it as a STUNNING throw for your home.

Kit

Each kit comes with 8 skeins of Urth’s gorgeous hand-dyed, 100% superwash merino wool. It features 4 skeins of Urth Uneek Worsted, a hand-painted self-striping yarngasm (the main colour), and 4 skeins Urth Monokrom, a hand-dyed semi-solid (the contrast colour).

The colourway in the photographs is #01 (it’s a pretty bright rainbow colourway). The other colours that I think will look gorgeous include 05 (the red is sensational as a contrast colour, not for the faint of heart), 02 (I love, love, love the autumnal neutrals with the yellow), 03 (this combo will come out looking like pinks and reds), and 06 (inky!!). Or, If you’re like me and you have your own creative vision and just can’t stick to the items on the menu, you can contact us and we can talk about combining another shade of Urth Uneek Worsted with a dark or medium grey .

Pre-Order

Because they’re fairly substantial we’re selling these kits as a pre-order and aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis – they’ll function almost like a special order. Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. That said, the vendor is very fast, reliable, and close-by, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. Please also let us know in advance if you’d like the yarn wound (you can leave a note when you are checking out online).

Materials