Category Archives: cotton

PROJECT Baker’s Twine Dish Pot Holder

Baker’s Twine Pot Holder

Hi guys! I’m sorry I’ve been away so long, I am very well, just busy in the store …. you’ve been very graciously keeping me on my toes! I’ve been arranging orders for pick-up and shipping, over the phone, email, our online store and even through Facebook messenger! I’m very proud to report that many blankets have been conceived in the last week, many colours have been combined, consulted, and recombined. Much yarn has been wound.

I have a few minutes before the phone rings and my email is quiet, so I thought I’d show you my very small project. I saw the Baker’s Twine Pot Holder on Ravelry and it kind of appealed … plus it’s a small, easy project not requiring too much bandwidth.

I’m test-driving a new yarn, Borgo de’ Pazzi Amore Cotton. It’s a very affordable bulky weight, recycled cotton that’s made in Italy. It comes in marled colours and I thought it would make a good craft yarn for dish cloths and such. I think one skein is going to be enough for my square pot-holder, it’s 10″ wide and I’m knitting it tight on small needles. Unfortunately, I haven’t has the time to photograph all the colours, but they’re pretty straightforward (pink & white is what you’d imagine … pink & white).

The little aqua ring is made with Kelbourne Woolens Mojave … I love their bright colours and the lovely texture. Mojave is a blend of cotton and linen and it’s just a lovely combo. The ring was actually kind of interesting, it’s constructed in the round first and then you knit the fabric around it.

Hacks

  • Use slippery metal needles. The tight tension made things harder on wood needles.
  • I book-ended my slip-stitch sections with stitch markers. The dual-colour system you see in the picture isn’t actually necessary, I think I had a bit of ‘pandemic brain-fog’ when I started and I was getting disoriented. Now that I’m better seated in this transitional period I look at the markers and I’m like “What? Why did you think that was a complicated concept?” Still, while it was ultimately unnecessary, I’m impressed with my little system.
  • If you want a smaller piece you can omit one pattern repeat (12 sts) and it should come out around 7.75″ to 8″ wide.

Materials

Quick Haley Update

Just a quick Haley update … I’m here in the store and I’m well. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to caring for myself, both physically and mentally. I’ve been making a point of exercising and eating properly to buttress my immune system. Mentally, I’ve made a point to slow down and let myself adjust to the experience. I’ve also expanded my meditation practice. As for mindfulness, I’m trying to lean into the experience, let myself really go into it, absorb and process all I can get from it.

Not that that’s an easygoing thing. Life has been “Go!Go!Go!STOP”, which is both exhilarating and a bit taxing. Adapting to this pandemic has been like going through the stages of grief – I think I’m mostly in acceptance (or I could be completely in denial, but I don’t think so).

Several people have suggested I host events on Zoom or host online classes, but I am being pulled inwards now more than ever. My need to connect with myself and ground myself is strong. I know a lot of people are struggling with feeling disconnected and are looking to connect with others through digital media. For what it’s worth, that isn’t my calling. I can’t connect with others if I’m not connected with myself, I can’t love others if I don’t love myself. I view this as a period of transition, and I’m letting the currents make their changes and transform me. We all get the experiences we need to grow.

Anyway, I’m still here for you, and those of you who need me are definitely reaching out. But I’m letting the way I’m here evolve and recalibrate naturally.

PROJECT Nera in Berroco Estiva

Nera

So good news … spring is coming! More good news … I got a present! This little shrug was a gift from Berroco yarns, so we didn’t actually make it … but we totally could have! Very easily, in fact! Its a nice little cotton shrug for spring & summer, knit on big-ish needles (6mm/US10). The fit is easy and the construction isn’t too involved. Wear it over a dress, a shirt, a tank or a cami, with jeans, a skirt, a romper, knickers … you name it, it goes with it! Plus, it makes a great little ‘office sweater’ when the weather gets warmer and the office temperature gets colder.

I especially love the yarn, Berroco Estiva, a bulky weight cotton tape that’s really lovely to knit with and to wear. I’ve used it before for our Beach Wrap, a Deschain Pullover, and a new pattern I designed that’s coming out soon. It knits up in a slow monochrome gradient, giving the colour some interest without making you look like you’re wearing Joseph’s Technicolor Dream-coat. Plus, we have some gorgeous new colours this year (see pictures below), so you’ve got even more inspiration to choose from!

Size

  • Bust (closed): 36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”
  • Length: 15½ (16, 16, 16½, 16½, 17, 17)” (including lower ribbing)
  • Shown in size 40″ with approximately 5″ of ease.

Materials

  • Berroco Estiva: 3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4) cakes in colour 2634 Tradewind
  • 5.5mm/US9 – 29″ circular needles
  • 6mm/US10 – 29″ circular needles
  • Spare knitting needle: 6mm/US10 (for 3 needle bind off)
  • waste yarn to hold stitches
  • Pattern

Notes

The sides, including sleeves and yoke of this garment are worked in one piece from sleeve cuff to center back. The sides are joined at center back using a 3-needle bind off. The lower ribbing is then picked up and worked down.

To ensure gradient pattern is similar to the sample shown, work from the cakes as follows for sizes 36–52″: Start at the beginning (dark-coloured) part of a new cake for each sleeve, using remaining yarn to knit the lower section and neckband. For sizes 56″ and 60″, 2 cakes of yarn are used through out. Alternate cakes

For a linen version with lots of drape try using Quince & Co Kestrel yarn.

P.S.

Many, many thanks to Michelle at Paris Calling for the stunning black Proenza Schouler dress!

FREEBIE & STORE HOURS August Long Weekend

August Long Weekend Store Hours

Friday August 2: 11 am to 6pm

Saturday August 3: 11 am to 6pm

Sunday August 4: CLOSED

Monday August 5: CLOSED

Farmhouse Towels

Make some towels that are so beautiful you’ll never want to use them! That’s ok, some things you use until they’re shredded, and some you keep out to please the eye. Both have their roles in our lives.

Materials

You can also use Cascade Ultra Pima and 4mm/US6 circular needles: MC: 2 skeins (3 skeins will make 2 towels), CC: 1 skein.

NEW Berroco Estiva

Berroco Estiva

Berroco Estiva is a bulky weight, 100% cotton ribbon yarn, so it’s super soft, easy to knit with, and works up FAST! Plus, it has scads of yardage, so you can make a smaller size of Deschain with two skeins, or a shawl/wrap with one. The ball-band calls for 6.5mm/US105 to 8mm/US11 needles, so there’s lots of flexibility to play around. The yarn is made in Italy (personally, I’m always pleased to see milling happening in Italy, they do it beautifully there), and it is MACHINE WASHABLE (a good thing for summer garments)!

  • 100% Cotton
  • 150g/306m (336yds)
  • Knitting Gauge: 3.5 to 4 sts = 1″ (2.5cm) on 6.5mm/US10.5 to 8mm/US11 needles. 14 to 16sts = 4″ (10cm)
  • Crochet Gauge: 3.75sc = 1″ (2.5cm) on 6.5mm/K hook. 15sc & 16 rows = 4″ (10cm) 
  • Made in Italy
  • Machine wash in cold on delicate, lay flat to dry.
  • See Berroco Estiva on Ravelry
  • Patterns Designed with Berroco Estiva
Photo: whiteon

Deschain (in Berroco Estiva)

When I ran across these projects on Ravelry I knew we had to make one! The pattern, Deschain, was designed a few years ago by Quince & Co for their organic linen yarn, Kestrel (which is also stunning and I love and we sell and makes me very happy). But the pattern looks equally awesome made with a new bulky weight cotton yarn, Berroco Estiva.

Note: you might need to work extra pattern repeats to get your sweater long enough. While you are working, hold it up to your body as you go (for a size small you might need to knit extra length to get good coverage).

Photo: Whiteon

PROJECT-SPIRATION Kalaloch Pullover

Kalaloch Pullover

I don’t know if you caught this pattern on Ravelry a few weeks ago, but I filed it away somewhere in the middle of my mind. It’s made with BC Garn Bio Balance, a gorgeous spring/summer weight yarn made from a blend of organic wool & cotton. We’ve worked up a sample shawl with it and it was delightful to work with and wear. When you work with it, it kind of moves like a soft wool with a bit of texture and grab to it, you don’t really feel the cotton. But when its knitted, the fabric doesn’t feel like wool at all, it feels like a blended plant fibre you’d find in a commercial garment. It’s interesting, and really nice!

Anyway, I love the combination of texture and oversized ease in this sweater. It’ll be extremely comfortable and breathable, perfect for slouching around the cottage, the house and the city. I don’t love the colour they chose, I don’t know about you but I have a hard time visualizing myself in a dark green summer sweater! Good thing BC Garn Bio Balance comes in a bunch of pretty colours for warmer seasons (they have a medium green that is beautiful). If you want to cast on right away, here are your best bets (if you have your heart set on another colour that we don’t have in stock let us know and we can get that for you):

Needle Hack: Interchangeables ROCK!

The body and sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up to the yoke, then the pieces are joined for working the circular yoke. If skipped ahead to the materials, you’ll notice that the pattern calls for a bunch of needles in different lengths – if you have been thinking about buying yourself a set of interchangeable needles this might be a good opportunity. If not, I’d buy individual interchangeable tips and cords: for the circulars I’d get Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Tips 3.5mm-4.5″, 3.5mm-3.5″, and 3mm-4.5″ (to sub for the 2.75mm), and corresponding Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Cords/Cables in 16″, 24″ and 40″. For the double pointed needles you can get them in 3mm & 3.5mm, or use your 40″ cord for the magic loop technique.

If you already have an interchangeable set check to see if it comes with the 3mm tips – most do not, but Knitter’s Pride makes them as individual pairs in the metal “nova platina” (chrome plated brass).

Pattern Hack: Libraries ROCK!

We no longer carry Interweave Knits, but you can still find the paper edition in grocery stores, drug stores, and online as an e-publication through Interweave. But there is a fourth option: the public library! Check your public library to see if they provide digital magazines. Interweave Knits is available from the Toronto Public Library though the RB Digital service, which is a FREE service – all you need is a library card (also FREE) and a digital device (smart phone, tablet or computer). If you don’t have a device you can go to the library and use one of their computers and printers – you can even ask the librarian for help if you are having trouble, helping people access information is their calling. You can also ask a librarian for help if you have a portable device but you don’t know how to use the digital system to access the magazine. Librarians ROCK!

These are screenshots of the magazine, that I downloaded to my i-Phone through my public library’s website.

Size 

  • 42 (48, 54, 60, 66)“ circumference at underarm.
  • Pullover shown measures 48”; modeled with 15” of positive ease.

Materials

  • BC Garn Bio Balance: 6 (7, 8, 8, 9) skeins.
  • 2.75 mm/US2 – 40″ circular needles
  • 2.75 mm/US2 double pointed needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4- 40” circular needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 double pointed needles
  • 3.5 mm/US4 – 16” and 24” circular needles
  • stitch markers
  • Pattern

CLEARANCE DMC Natural XL

We’re clearing out some summer yarns that we aren’t bringing back, so grab it on sale before it’s gone!

 

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CLEARANCE 30% OFF DMC Natura XL

DMC Natura XL is a bulky weight, machine washable 100% cotton yarn, and is especially great for baby & kid projects, fast sweaters, blankets pillows and afghans, as well as crocheted baskets and other home decor projects.

  • Super Bulky
  • 8mm/US11 to 9mm/US13 needles
  • 6mm/J to 7mm hook
  • 100% cotton
  • soft & comfortable
  • machine washable
  • 100g – 75m(82yds)
  • Made in the EU
  • See patterns for DMC Natural XL

 

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

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Photo: Yarnplaza

DMC Natura XL Baby Blanket

 

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Instant Gratification Cardie

We just finished a VERY quick & satisfying summer quickie, our Instant Gratification Cardi! We used a thick & quick cotton, DMC Natura XL, and 8mm/US11 needles – can’t go wrong with big needles! Also, because the yarn is thicker than the one the pattern was originally conceived with, we went down about 4″ in size (we made the 34″ size and got a 38″ size). If you want the sleeves longer, definitely buy an extra skein of yarn.

Materials

Finished Dimensions

  • 18” wide at bust at underarms
  • 6” wide at upper arm
  • 17” long at back
  • 24” long at front (from shoulder to bottom tip)

 

 

natural xl cmobo

Photos: Yarnplaza, DMC

 

 

PROJECT Big Mike

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Photo: Brandi Simons

Big Mike

I think my client Adrienne just introduced me to my soul mate, Big Mike. Big Mike hails from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, and we’re going to have to continue to get to know each other better before we commit (I have to acquire the book), but I really feel like he’s the ‘one’. It;s no surprise that I’d fall hard for him, I’ve always felt pretty sentimental about Claes Oldenberg’s ‘Floor Burger’, it’s one of my must-sees on every visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’ll probably use Berroco Vintage Chunky, it’s the right tension and it wears well, and that’s important because this dude is gonna received a LOT of hugs!

Size

  • 14″ (35.5cm) wide and 10″ (25.5cm) tall

Materials

 

PROJECT Norwegian Fir

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Photo: OGE Knitwear Designs

Norwegian Fir

I love the combination of simplicity and detail in this little cardie. It makes a great little baby gift made with Cascade Ultra Pima (ON SALE NOW), a silky, soft and machine washable cotton yarn. (Seriously, Ultra Pima is so soft and comfortable that it’s the recommended yarn for Knitted Knockers.) It also won’t break the bank so your gift will impress without stress. The pattern is a seamless, top-down knit, a simple construction with a little bit of interest in the lace detail to keep things interesting.

Note

Just one small caveat: I’ve listed the yarn amounts below based on the pattern specs, but I have a *feeling* that the baby sizes are a bit too generous. Trolling through the completed projects on Ravelry, it seems like 3 to 6 mos & 6 to 12 mos should require 2 skeins, and 12 to 18mos should be 3 skeins. The pattern is heavy on garter stitch, which sucks up yarn, so if you are a tight knitter (which also consumes extra yarn) I would lean towards the conservative side and go with the buffer yarn. If you’re on the average or looser side of the spectrum you might not need all the yarn the pattern is suggesting. I think the yardage amounts for the larger sizes might be ok. If you don’t enjoy playing yarn chicken, go with the recommended amount below -the worst thing that can happen is you might have extra yarn for a matching hat (and moms always tell me that they LOVE receiving baby hats and use them constantly).

Size

  • 0 to 3 (3 to 6, 6 to 12, 12 to 18) months, 2 to 3 (4 to 5, 6 to 7,  8 to 9) years

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

 

 

 

PROJECT Ondawa (in denim)

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Ondawa (in denim)

My friend Reney is into Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW), and the other day she asked me a common question; What would look good in it? This is a question I both dread and adore. The dread comes on first because I usually need time to think about things and give a thoughtful answer. Then, once I’ve had some time to process, comes the love; I get to trot out all the different ideas and examples, it’s a big creative game of research and “compare and contrast”.

One thing that’s at the top of my mind for Rowan Original Denim is Guernsey or Gansey (a style of fisherman’s sweater) – the denim yarn looks STUNNING knit up in a guernsey. The picture above is a project I found on Ravelry of Michelle Wang’s Ondawa made with Rowan Original Denim – I think it’s a thing of beauty!

Notes

Find our Denim Hacks & reference links (basically, wash it in vinegar to stabilize the colour and knit it a smidge longer).

Size

  • finished bust: 43¼ (47½, 51¾, 56¼, 60½, 65)”
  • Sized to fit approximately 30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52)” bust

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

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Photos: janetwynne, Brooklyn Tweed, Amirisu.

Other patterns that I think would look amazing made with denim are Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood and Void by Melanie Berg (the denim Guernsey Wrap on the left is made by janetwynne).

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Guernesy looks especially good on men (maybe because they were created for them): above are Bowline by Tin Can Knits (you should knit with 4mm/US6 needles and make one size larger) and Beagle by Norah Gaughan.

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Photos: Tin Can Knits, jennyinmaine.

Flax is a simple top-down, seam-free FREEBIE from Tin Can Knits that would look awesome made with Rowan Original Denim for anybody at any age to be worn in any season!

 

 

 

 

NEW DMC Natura XL

DMC Natura XL DISPLAY

DMC Natura XL

Buying yarn is a bit like grocery shopping for a large family – you look for products that suit the whole family. When I came across DMC Natura XL I was super excited because it ticked A LOT of boxes ….

First, it’s a super bulky weight cotton. Yup, really thick cottons are really hard to come by, especially yarns that look and act like regular, real yarn. Seriously, it calls for 8mm/US11 to 9mm/US13 needles! Second, it’s 100% cotton, all natural, so perfect for vegans, sensitives, and babies. Third, it’s soft and machine washable – which is essential around here, so many baby & kid knits start with us (see the baby blanket pattern below). Fourth, it has good yardage. So many times you find a yarn but one ball isn’t long enough to do much of anything. Fifth, it comes in lots of NICE colours …. it drives me batty when the yarn base is lovely but the colours are acrid. Sixth, it isn’t made in China, nobody was exploited in the manufacture of this yarn. Seventh and actually much higher on my list of priorities is the price, which is very reasonable – only $8.97 for a 100g ball.

DMC Natura XL is especially great for baby & kid projects, blankets pillows and afghans, as well as crocheted baskets and other home decor projects.

  • Super Bulky
  • 8mm/US11 to 9mm/US13 needles
  • 6mm/J to 7mm hook
  • 100% cotton
  • soft & comfortable
  • machine washable
  • 100g – 75m(82yds)
  • 30 colours
  • Made in the EU
  • $8.97/ball
  • See patterns for DMC Natural XL

DMC Natural XL COMBO

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

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Photo: Yarnplaza

DMC Natura XL Baby Blanket

 

 

 

Crochet Baskets & Stool Cover

I think I need to get myself a stool so I can crochet it a sweater …. These two crochet patterns both use DMC Natura XL and work up in a jiff! The patterns are published in Women’s Weekly Knitting & Crochet June 2015, which is available for free through our public library as a digital download (if you live outside of Toronto you should check your local library to see if they offer this service). Alternately, you can also pay to download the patterns from the magazine’s parent company:

 

natural xl cmobo

Photos: Yarnplaza, DMC