Category Archives: freebies

STORE HOURS Victoria Day + Summer Hours

Porcupine lace Washcloth by Jennifer Hansen, featuring a mid-Victorian lace pattern

Victoria Day Weekend

Saturday May 22: 11 am to 5pm

Sunday May 23: CLOSED

Monday May 24: CLOSED

Porcupine Lace Wash Cloth

Crochet Grocery Bag by Knit-O-Matic

Summer Store Hours: May 23 to Sept 13

We’re shifting over to our Summer Store Hours after the Victoria Day long weekend, so please note that we are CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. We go back to the regular store schedule the week of September 13th.

Monday to Saturday: 11 am to 5pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Crochet Grocery Bag

NEW Urth Galatea + Projects

Urth Galatea

Urth Galatea is a super soft and super stunning bulky weight cloud cotton. It’s a truly special hand-painted, self-striping yarn that knits up in sophisticated, self-striping colourways. Urth Galatea is vegan, machine washable, and perfect for babies, kids, spring and summer sweaters, tanks and tees, and blankets! We have found it knits up well on 6.5mm/US10.5 to 7mm/US10.75 needles. 

  • 100% Cotton (mercerized)
  • 100g/85m (95yds)
  • 5.5mm to 8mm (US9 to 11) needles
  • 14 sts = 4″/10cm
  • Bulky Weight
  • Machine wash, lay flat to dry
  • Made in Turkey
  • See the yarn on Ravelry
  • The pattern for our mini-sweater swatch is HERE; we used 6mm/US10 needles.

How Much Will I Need?

  • 1 skein: hat
  • 2 skeins: scarf
  • 5 skeins: baby blanket (approx 27″ x 30″ in garter stitch on 6.5mm/US10 needles)

Inspiration (yet to be realized)

I think Galatea would especially great as a loose, cropped, oversized drop-shouldered sleeveless summer tee (you know, the kind made from two rectangles sewn together … something that is shaped like THIS). I’d use big needles, 8mm/US11

Long Beanie

My first thought when I found Galatea was babies & kids! We made the smallest size in this hat pattern to fit a little person. Because the yarn is a bulky weight cotton it doesn’t have a lot of give, so you can go up in needle size. We tried 6mm/US10 needles but I think the yarn would be best on 6.5mm/US10.5 or 7mm/US10.75 needles.

Materials

Meadow Lane Baby Blanket

Meadow Lane is one my go-to blanket patterns because it’s extremely effective with hand-painted yarns and it’s mostly brainless, so you can get some binge-watching in, letting the yarn do all the work. We used 5 skeins of Urth Galatea in colour 2089 Pinata and our blanket is 27″ wide x 30″ long.

Modifications

We cast on 76 sts and used 6.5mm/US10.6 needles, although I think you can easily go up to a 7mm/US10.75. To block the blanket we hand-washed it and laid it flat to dry.

Materials

Knit Hack

If your yarn is pooling or not striping the way you want it to, try using a denser stitch, like garter stitch or a K1P1 rib. Variegated yarns look especially good in garter stitch (knitting every row), and it makes self-striping yarns extra interesting to the eye.

CLOSED Family Day Monday Feb 15

We are CLOSED on Family Day Monday, February 15th.

Photo: Tin Can Knits

Rye

in honour of Family Day, I say let there be socks! I’ve always loved these simple socks, and they knit up lickety-split with worsted weight yarn and 3.75mm needles. Rye makes a great first sock for beginners or something quick & easy for more experienced knitters (the designers even have an online sock tutorial for sock newbies). And the FREE pattern is written for the entire (human) family, from baby to all the adults.

Notes

Women’s socks should require about 1 skein/100g of and of the yarns listed below, for men’s socks I’d get a second skein (or make them shorter). Socks tend to be stretchy, so an Adult small isn’t really all that small and fits my size 8.5 feet.

If you don’t like double pointed needles never fear, you can try using some super short circular needles from Chiaogoo. The 9″ length is good for children’s sizes and average women’s size socks. The 12″ circulars will work with men’s socks, and women’s shoe sizes 10 & up (or if your feet are 12″ in circumference or larger).

Size

  • Baby (Toddler, Child, Adult S, M, L) 
  • Foot (adjustable): 4 (6, 7.5, 9, 10, 11.25) inches
  • Leg (adjustable): 4 (6.5, 8, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5) inches 
  • Cuff: 5 (5.75, 6.5, 7.25, 8.25, 9) inches around 

Yarn Suggestions

All of these yarns are 100% machine washable. If you want to really wear these sock hard, like in winter boots, I suggest you go with a yarn that has a good amount of nylon in it, like Berroco Vintage or Berroco Comfort Print. If they are intended as house socks any of the following suggestions will be gorgeous:

Materials

PROJECT Rosie’s Flax

Rosie’s Flax

I think binge-watching Drag Race during lock-down has paid off, because Rosie has NAILED sweater modelling. Seriously, she’s killin’ it. File that away under “unexpected pandemic-aquired skills”. Thank you Rosie, for sharing your project. Also, mad props for putting yourself out there. Letting yourself be seen can be a REALLY hard thing for many people, myself included. You are IN the arena, you inspire me and I couldn’t be prouder. YOU GROW GIRL! (By the way, if you are looking for details for Rosie’s Hat, you can find that HERE)

Things I love about Rosie’s sweater:

The Colour. The world needs colour right now, people need colour. It doesn’t matter which colours have been forecast, are trendy, or which celebrity is wearing what, just grab a colour that makes you feel good and run with it …. RUN WITH COLOURED SCISSORS!

The Simplicity. It’s a basic raglan construction, no fancy shaping, just a casual sweater. The garter stitch down the shoulders and sleeves is a simple decorative detail that adds a bit of interest without any fuss. The pattern is worked from the top-down, so you can make it cropped or you can make it long, or like Rosie it can be right in between – whatever suits your body.

The Pattern

Rosie made her sweater with Flax, a free pattern by the very reliable Tin Can Knits. The pattern is unisex and very size inclusive and ranges from 6 months old to 6XL (66″ chest). It is also novice inclusive, and is written with inexperienced knitters in mind, assuming that you have never made a sweater in the round before (it even has little illustrations to help you understand the construction). It is such a good pattern that it has been made 19,300 times on Ravelry, that’s an accomplishment.

The Yarn

The yarn Rosie used is Cascade Eco+ Merino, an affordable merino wool that’s big on colour and squish. She only used 2 skeins to make a size M/L, which is always a satisfying feeling. Eco+ Merino is a Bolivian merino wool, which makes it a good sweater kind of soft. It has lots of body and a lot of bounce. Both of the Eco yarns are fairly flexible when it comes to gauge, and Rosie used the suggested needles and got the extact gauge. You can also use other yarns, listed below:

Pragmatic Yarn Options

In-Between Yarn Options

  • Kelbourne Woolens Scout (for a gorgeous, classic wool sweater; go down to 3.5mm/US4 & 4.5mm/US7 needles and go up one size in the pattern)
  • Cascade 220 Superwash Merino (super soft and Machine washable; go down to 3.5mm/US4 & 4.5mm/US7 needles and go up one size in the pattern)

Sexy Yarn Options

Rosie’s Project Details

  • Size: M/L (39″ bust circumference)
  • Yarn: Cascade Eco+ Merino, 2 skeins
  • Needles: 4mm/US6 & 5mm/US8
  • Tension: 18 sts = 4″/10cm

BEGINNER PROJECT Toboggan Hat

Toboggan

There are a lot of new knitters picking up sticks for the first time, so I thought a nice little pattern to get you beyond scarves might serve you well. If you’re already an experience knitter you might want to keep this project in mind for people you end up teaching down the line!

Toboggan is a basic hat knit flat and seamed up the back. It only uses the knit stitch, which I think makes it great for kids as well as adults.

Size

  • Kids L / Adult XS (Adult S/M, Adult L/XL)
  • Circumference (unstretched): 17½ (20½, 23¼)“

Yarn Options

You’ll only need about 100g of yarn for this project, so one ball of any of the following yarns will work:

Needles

Beginners generally do best with straight needles (circular needles tend to get confusing early on). Because you are going to be putting on a bunch of stitches a longer 13″ or 14″ needle is a good idea. (9″/10″ straight needles are my favourite to start people off with, especially for scarves, but for a hat you’re really going to have to jam the stitch on there and it gets uncomfortable).

If you knit tight go up a size to a 6.5mm/US10.5 and if you knit loose consider going down a size to a 5.5mm/US9 needle. (I prefer to knit my hats a little bit tighter on purpose to block out the wind, so I go down).

In general, beginners seem to learn fastest with wood needles: they’re light, easy to use, and they aren’t too slippery (slippery is NOT good for beginners).

Notions

Either will do, they’re basically the same thing, except one is straight and the other has a bent tip.

Accessories

What’s a craft hobby without accessories?! But seriously, a good Pom-Pom *makes* a hat. You can either make your own pompom or buy a real or synthetic fur pompom. Personally, i swear by the Clover brand pom-pom makers (I’ve made A LOT of pom-poms with them). These days, I’m partial to a raccoon fur pom-pom – they’re light and fluffy and the way they bob around makes me happy.

Pattern

I came across Toboggan a few years ago, it was a freebie from Classic Elite Yarns, which unfortunately no longer exists. I’ve found a link for you through the Internet Archive, but be sure to download it and save it in your preferred cloud drive (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc) – don’t take your patterns for granted, sometimes the internet lingers and other times things disappear.

The pattern is written in two ways; knitted in the round and knitted flat. Be sure to use the version that suits your skillset. Working in the round will require 16″ circular needles and double pointed needles, but you won’t need to seam it. Working flat uses one pair of straight needles, and it has to be seamed to finish it up.

DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN HERE

Skills & Resources

There are lots of good resources on the web for knitters, it’s really an embarrassment of riches. A few reliable favourites are KnittingHelp.com, VeryPink.com, and Interweave has a great Knitting Glossary. If you want to take a great online class check out Craftsy.

NEW Manos del Uruguay Serpentina

Manos del Uruguay Serpentina

I came across Manos del Uruguay Serpentina on a distributor’s website while I was browsing through their patterns and BAM! I saw it and thought “What IS that?! WHY is that?! What is THAT??!!!” Pattern after pattern, it knit up so consistently stunningly (plus Manos is an ethical company with a great track record) …. It’s the holidays, and we could all use a little extra cheer this year, so I got some!

Manos del Uruguay Serpentina is a stunning artisanal experience … its both hand dyed and handspun, which automatically makes it both scrumptious and glorious. Gorgeous colours run throughout the yarn at random which enhances its tactile quality. The result is a fabric that is soft and squishy to the touch with plush stitch definition.

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 100g/120m (131 yds) 
  • Aran to Bulky Weight
  • 15 to 16 sts = 4″/10cm
  • 4.5mm/US7 to 5.5mm/US9 needles
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • Made in Uruguay

Chimel

A simple toque takes on new dimension with this stunning yarn

Materials

Double Seed Stitch Scarf

Sometimes the simplest is also the most effective. A double seed stitch is just knits and purls. Be sure to keep track of your rows, and if you aren’t a pro at fixing mistakes try inserting a Lifeline every time you complete Row 4.

Materials

Minimalist Hat

Keep it simple – this hat pattern is actually a great little go to – it’s written for 4 thicknesses of yarn (DK, worsted, aran & chunky).

Materials

Shoulder Cozy

This shoulder cozy (or capelet) is soft, light, airy, and oh so cozy! Wear it over your shoulders or around your neck as a cowl.

Pattern Notes

Don’t be tempted to work another cast-on method here. You really do want the stretch of the e-loop around the bottom where it will hit both your bust and your arms. At the same time, don’t work a traditional bind-off on this piece. Follow our instructions and work it loosely. If you have to, pull it out and try again. You’re after a relaxed, stretchy neck edge so that you can style the finished piece in a variety of ways.

Size

  • Without cowl: Approx. 9 ( 11, 16, 18)”/ 23 (28, 41, 46)cm long when laid flat, after blocking.
  • With cowl: Approx. 13 1/2 (16 1/2, 24, 26)”/34 (42, 61, 66 )cm long when laid flat, after blocking.
  • To fit 4-7 year old (8-12 year old, Adult S/M, Adult L/XL).
  • Instructions are given for 4-7 year old size, with larger sizes in parentheses ().
  • Shown in Adult S/M with cowl. We knit this Shoulder Cozy in Color 1562, which is no

Materials

Hanmora

Colour and texture come alive in a basic hat

Materials

PROJECT Midsommar Shawl

Midsommar Shawl

I’ve been looking for something quick-ish but also with some interest to make with Berroco Estiva and I was so happy to come across the FREE Midsommar Shawl! It’s knit on 6mm/US10 needles, so you’ll be able to finish it and wear it out by the time social distancing is a distant memory.

The Pattern

The pattern is pretty straightforward, and it is broken down line-by-line (I especially like this for newish knitters, it makes it easier to read and follow the pattern). For the more experienced, it can still be an asset, as it’s a lot less likely you’ll forget where you were if you’re ticking off each row on the pattern as you go.For those with dyslexia or ADHD, it’s a treasure!

The Yarn

Berroco Estiva is a soft, 100% cotton tape yarn that knits on a 6mm/US10 to 8mm/US11 needles. It’s already knitted, so it isn’t heavy or bulky and there’s no splitting when you work with it. It’s also machine washable, so no shrinkage. Last year we used it for several projects (including a forthcoming pattern I’ve yet to finish) and it’s a keeper. They came out with some brighter colours this year, which I think is really needed right now (although they still have the more muted colours too).

Materials

Blanket Projects For Extended Stays Inside

I’m sorry it’s been a week, I’ve been acclimatizing myself to the changes that have sort of swept into our lives. I know life has slowed down and gotten a little smaller for a lot of you and you’ve finally got time to MAKE things! I think this is an excellent time to take on a large project. Many people have been buying yarn to make throws and afghans. Plus spring is in the air and it’s time for colour! All of the patterns below are FREE and available online.

The store is open for shipping and curbside pick-up, and you can shop online, by email, facebook messenger, and phone. Pick-up is available Monday to Saturday 12 to 5 pm.

Colourful Crochet for Spring

I’ve always liked the free crochet blanket patterns by Attic24, she’s having a love affair with colour! The patterns. are usually straightforward and make use of lots of different colours. They are designed with a DK weight yarn like Berroco Vintage DK, but if you want to move into a broader colour selection you can easily upsize to Berroco Vintage or Cascade 220 Superwash. If you choose to use the latter two yarn options I recommend going up to a 4.5mm/7 hook. One note: Attic24 is British and therefore written in British crochet terms – here’s a glossary to convert them to the North American vernacular.

Blankets for Beginner Knitters

Purl Soho always comes up with stylish beginner friendly throws.

Log Cabin & Basic Garter, Top row:

Bias Blankets: Bottom Row:

These two blankets are worked on the bias (the diagonal) so you can use any thickness of yarn you like, just be sure to adjust your needle size to suit the yarn. For basic machine washable yarns go for Berroco Vintage or Cascade 220 Superwash, if you want something thicker that goes faster try Berroco Vintage Chunky, or hold two strands of Drops Air (use 7mm/US10.75 to 8mm/US11 needles). The Drops Air is also stunning held single and would be a joy to work with and snuggle under! If you’re interested in a thinner fabric and a summer weight yarn I’d go for BC Garn Bio Balance, Cascade Ultra Pima, or the super luxe Fibre Company Road to China Light.

Cable Blanket

I’ve seen this blanket knitted up several times and I promise you, it’s STUNNING, you won’t regret it. Make it with Berroco Vintage Chunky (15 skeins) – I especially like the neutrals and heathered colours. (Because this pattern uses so much yarn in a single colour we may need to place a special order with our distributor to make sure you get the same dye-lot)

Greenway

I love this simple crochet blanket in muted tones. Use Berroco Vintage or Cascade 220 Superwash, both are great options!

Cedar River Blanket

I love the contrast between crisp white and bold, graphic colours in this blanket. I also love that this pattern comes in different sizes:

  • Small Throw (Large Throw, Single Bed, Double Bed)
  • 110 x 110cm (110 x 165cm, 165 x 215cm, 215 x 260cm)

Use Berroco Vintage DK in colours:

  • 2100 Snow Day or 2101 Mochi (white/off white): 3(5, 9, 15)
  • 2143 Dark Denim (navy): 1(1, 2, 4)
  • 2123 Blush (pink): 1(1, 2, 3)
  • 2192 Chana Dal (yellow): 1(1, 2, 4)
  • 2132 Sky Blue: 1(1, 2, 3)

If you want to change up the colours or go a bit thicker and try Berroco Vintage or Cascade 220 Superwash (their yellows are closer) and a 4.5mm crochet hook.

Fibre Co Road to China Light

On The C Train

Finally a moment to myself … this project is LONG overdue for blogging, I apologize to you and to it! It’s an On the C Train that I made for my new beau … his first knitted gift. It didn’t really fit him, he turned out to have a surprisingly large head and required more slouch … this is why people date, you need to learn about each other (hat size being crucial for a knitter).

Fit notwithstanding, it came out beautifully! I used Fibre Company Road to China Light and held two strands together, so it is nice and dense and warm. The yarn is OMG WTF DROOL!!! It’s a blend of cashmere, silk, camel and baby alpaca, and it’s totally to die for. I made the hat, but I still hadn’t had enough of it for I made a cowl (below) and after that I cast on for a sweater (still in the works). I was also thinking about making a wrap with it, maybe a Night Shift.

Materials

Pashmina Cowl

My second project with Fibre Company Road to China Light … a Pashmina Cowl. I found the pattern in one of my favourite older books Last Minute Knitted Gifts, which can be accessed digitally though the public library. The pattern is so dead easy anybody can do it, it’s very beginner friendly. Check out my project notes on Ravelry for direction. I like it because it’s all about the yarn, which kind of deserves a party thrown in it’s honour.

Size

  • 17″ long x 11″ wide (after blocking)
  • fit is loose & casual

Materials

Fibre Company Road to China Light

Fibre Company Road to China Light is the sexiest yarn I’ve ever come across. Seriously, it’s ambrosia! Some clever person thought to combine cashmere, silk, camel and baby alpaca and it feels like … joy and gratitude and unconditional love. This yarn is seriously stashable, but even more knittable! Two skeins makes a Cowl (see above).

  • 10% cashmere, 15% silk, 10% camel, 65% baby alpaca
  • 50g/145m (159yds)
  • 3.25mm/US3 to 3.5mm/US4 needles
  • 24 to 26 sts = 4″/10cm
  • ​Sport weight
  • Hand wash, lay flat to dry
  • Made in the UK
  • See other peoples Projects
  • See pattern ideas

PROJECT Barbara Cowl

Barbara

Please forgive me for falling behind, I’m still catching up on my blogging (and knitting, and other things) … why does December have to consume such a large part of January? Anyway, I wanted to show you another success story, the Barbara cowl.

It’s a simple knit, and a free pattern, and makes for a nice splash of colour mid-way through winter. We used 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rios in colour 96 Sunset (I thought it would nice and sunny looking forward to spring, like Pantone colour Saffron), but any worsted weight yarn will do.

Mods

Barbara is knit lengthwise like a scarf and then seamed, so it isn’t particularly technically advanced. You can seam it into a regular loop or a mobius loop, whatever tickles your fancy. If you wanted to turn it into a scarf I’d work about 1.5″ in K1P1 rib at each end to give it a nice finish.

Materials

Other Yarns

Barbara would of course look great in other yarns … I can see a nice fluffy version made with Drops Air (3 skeins). Something classic in a heathered colour would be great made with Cascade 220 Superwash (2 skeins/5mm-US8 needles) – a great knit for anyone who likes things simple. Personally, I’m really into Fibre Co. Road to China Light right now, I can see it making a super sexy accessory I’d never want to take off (3 skeins/4mm-US6 needles) … oh god, please help me, I think I just fell down a rabbit hole …. I’ll tell you about my progress with Road to China Light in my next post!