Category Archives: freebies

PROJECT The Beach Wrap (Full of Colour)

This will be the last project with Berroco Summer Sesame, I PROMISE! I just finished a new iteration of our Beach Wrap, this time made with some COLOUR to brighten things up. I was playing around with combining two multi-coloured yarns to see if I could take it to a greater depth, make it even more interesting, and of course knit the project up faster on larger needles. I held two strands of complementary colourways together, and just let them do their thing. You can also try holding two strands of the same colour but starting at different parts of the colourway.

Please see the notes below for a bit of strategy to help keep your colours consistent. When I started I was in a rush and I didn’t pay attention to where the yarn was in the colourway … when it was time to start the second balls of yarn my project evolved from a shawl into an exercise in letting go of expectations/the outcome/control and surrendering to the flow. Can you see in the picture above where things kind of shift? I like to think of it as a shawl of multiple possibilities, different paths and choices. When things just don’t want to go the way you wanted, the best thing you can do is let go and lean into the faith that life is working for your highest good (and maybe find the humility to accept that you may not know what that is).

The Beach Wrap has been a super popular project since its debut, and it makes a great canvas to paint on. It was created with accessibility in mind – I wanted it to be simple to knit, and incredibly wearable. The simple welted texture is random, completely reversible, and creates a classic, timeless look. The pattern is knitted on the bias, increasing in width as you go, so you can make it any size you like and you never have to worry about running out of yarn. We’ve written the pattern with a line-by-line chart, to help you keep track of your rows (a beneficial thing for everyone, but especially helpful for people with learning disabilities, brain fog, mommy brain, COVID brain, messy brain, etc). And the final bonus – it’s a FAST knit on 6.5mm/US10 (think quick gift)!

Notes

  • On this version we did three full pattern repeats, then worked 43 rows on the 4th repeat, then bound off. Our goal was to work until we ran out of yarn, which we did.
  • When you choose your yarn, try to choose skeins that start at or around the same point in the colourway.
  • When you start your project note whether you are taking the yarn from the inside or the outside of the skein, so you can do the same with the second ball.
  • If you want your dominant colour muted/toned down pair it with colour 5250 Sand

Size

  • 98”/245cm long (from tip to tip)
  • 23”/58cm deep (at longest point)

Materials

STORE HOURS Victoria Day Weekend

Victoria Day Weekend Store Hours

Friday May 20: 12 to 6 pm

Saturday May 21: 12 to 6pm

Sunday May 22: CLOSED

Monday May 23: CLOSED

Victorian Knitting Manuals

Normally I post a little pattern for you, but I feel like a national celebration of the birthday of a long-dead Monarch (Queen Victoria) deserves something a little more …. today I share the digitized collection of Victorian Knitting Manuals, gratis the Univerity of Southampton’s Knitting Reference Library & JStor. There are 67 books in the collection, so it should keep you busy.

I like the Silkworm Series: Myra’s Knitting Lessons no.1, it has lots of stitch patterns you can swatch & experiment with. You can also find free old-timey (and more recent) knitting books on the Internet Archive. The Art of Knitting from 1892 (brought to you by the Smithsonian), has a bunch of patterns worth exploring.

It just goes to show, you can take the girl out of the library and put her in a store full of yarn, but apparently, you can’t take the library out of the girl!

PROJECT Four Points Blankets (Baby + Throw Sizes)

Photos: © Purl Soho

KNIT Four Points Blanket

I’m in the Dominican Republic this week … but I promise I’m still thinking of you! While I’m gone, here’s a popular favourite ….. the four points blanket is a great project all year round. It’s available in both knit and crochet, and you can make it in a baby blanket size or as a throw. It’s a simple composition and can be made in a number of different yarn options. The patterns are free, so you can read them over and see if they work for you without committing. If you want something a bit more jazzy, try the Easy Puzzle Blanket, which uses 6 colours.

MODIFICATIONS

  • use 3.75mm/US5 to 4mm/US6 needles
  • for a crib (throw) size cast on approximately 140(204) sitches. You will pick up & knit the same number of stitches.
Photos: © Purl Soho

CROCHET Four Points Blanket

The original version of the Four Points Blanket was made in crochet … inspired, isn’t it?!

MODIFICATIONS

  • Use a 3.75mm to 4mm crochet hook
  • chain approx 123(178) sts for baby(throw) size, and and pick up the same number of stitches.

YARN OPTIONS Baby Friendly Staples

1. Berroco Vintage Baby

Berroco Vintage Baby is a new yarn that just cam out this spring. It’s very similar to it’s sibling Vintage DK, but it has a slightly silkier texture and comes in 50g balls. It’s soft, easy to work with, machine washable, reliable and is generally great on both the skin and the wallet. The yarns in the Vintage line are a blend of wool and synthetic, and generally work well for people with sensitive skin. We carry this yarn all year.

  • KNIT 4 Points Baby: 3 skeins in each of 4 colours ($59.64)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw: 5 skeins in each of 4 colours ($99.40)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours ($79.52)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw: 7 skeins in each of 4 colours ($139.16)
Berroco Vintage Baby: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage Baby: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage Baby: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage Baby: 4 Points Blanket Combos

2. Berroco Vintage DK

Berroco Vintage DK is a staple around here, we sell tons of it for every kind of project for babies, grown-ups, and everything in-between. It’s soft, easy to work with, machine washable, reliable and is generally great on both the skin and the wallet. The yarns in the Vintage line are a blend of wool and synthetic, and generally work well for people with sensitive skin. We carry this yarn all year.

  • KNIT 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours ($79.76)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw Blanket: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours ($159.52)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours ($79.76)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw Blanket: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours ($159.52)
Berroco Vintage DK: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage DK: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage DK: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage DK: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Vintage DK: 4 Points Blanket Combos

3. Cascade Ultra Pima

For several years Cascade Ultra Pima has been the go-to yarn for these projects. Its silky soft texture is seductive, and it’s ideal for babies as it’s machine washable, allergy-friendly and excellent for warm climates (no animal fibres in it), and comes in a bunch of great colours.

  • KNIT 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours ($95.76)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw Blanket: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours ($191.52)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours ($95.76)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw Blanket: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours ($191.52)
  • 3.75mm/US5 to 4mm/US6 needles/hook
Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Cascade Ultra Pima: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Photos: © Purl Soho

NEW SPRING Vintage Baby Collection

Berroco Vintage Baby Collection

Berroco just launched an adorable new capsule collection of vintage & retro-inspired designs, the Vintage Baby Collection. The collection features 6 sweet designs made with the poplar Berroco Vintage Baby, a soft hand, washable, and affordable yarn. If you like the other yarns in Berroco’s Vintage family, then Vintage Baby will please.

Berroco Vintage Baby

Berroco Vintage Baby features an even softer blend of machine washable fibers than the other yarns in the Vintage line, in a DK weight. The two-ply yarn has a slight sheen and is perfect for all your projects that need a gentle touch. It comes in a smaller, 50g ball and lots of baby-happy colours.  It’s great for just about everything: babies, kids, men, blankets, hats, afghans, socks, etc. It’s soft, easy to work with and comes in a spectrum of great colours – great for colourwork! It’s a blend of wool and high-end synthetic fibres, but it isn’t shiny (or squeaky), and doesn’t feel acrylicy. This yarn is also available in a DK weight, Berroco Vintage DK , a worsted weight, Berroco Vintage, and a chunky/bulky weight Berroco Vintage Chunky. 

SEE OUR FAVOURITE PROJECTS WITH BERROCO VINTAGE BABY

  • 40% Wool, 52% Acrylic, 8% Nylon
  • 50g/132m (145yds)
  • DK weight
  • 4mm/US6 needles, 4mm/G hook
  • Knitting Gauge: 22 sts & 28 rows = 4″ (10cm)
  • Crochet Gauge: 18sc & 24 rows = 4″ (10cm)
  • Machine wash inside out in cold water on gentle cycle, tumble dry on low.
  • Made in Peru
  • Pattern ideas from Ravelry

Harper the Elephant

Harper the Elephant – the newest member of the stuffy family! Harper is a darling elephant ready to take on the days events! Pattern includes sweater for Harper.

Size

  • Approximately 12″ / 30.5 cm long x 9″ / 23 cm around body

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage Baby (50 grs):  2 balls #10023 Orange (C1) for elephant and 1 ball #10006 Ballet Pink (C2) for sweater
  • 3.5 mm/US4 double pointed needles (for elephant)
  • 4 mm/US6 double pointed needles (for sweater)
  • Fiber fill stuffing
  • Black yarn for eyes
  • Waste yarn
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pattern

Kirby

Kirby is a sweet top-down cardigan featuring a simple lace motif on the yoke. Pattern includes both charted and written instructions

Size

  • (3, 6, 9) [12, 18, 24] mos. Shown in size 3 mos.
  • Chest (closed): (17¼, 18, 19¾) [20¾, 21¾, 22½]” / (44, 45.5, 50) [52.5, 55, 57] cm
  • Length: (9½, 10, 11) [11½, 12, 12½]” / 24, 25.5, 28) [29, 30.5, 32] cm

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage Baby (50 grs):  (2, 2, 3) [3, 3, 3) balls #10020 Sunflower
  • 3.5 mm/US4 needles (straight or circular)
  • 4 mm/US6 needles (straight or circular)
  • 3.5 mm/US4 double pointed needles
  • 4 mm/US6 double pointed needles
  • 2 Stitch Markers
  • Three ½” buttons
  • Pattern

Ray Bonnet & Socks

Ray Bonnet is a simple and darling striped bonnet with contrasting pom-pom. Ray Socks are a simple and quick baby socks pattern worked from cuff to toe, with two cuff options. You won’t be able to make just one pair!

Size

  • Bonnet: Approximately 8″ / 20.5 cm around neck edge x 12″ / 30.5 cm across (measured from one neck edge, across head, to the other neck edge).
  • Socks: Approximately 4″ / 10 cm around leg and foot x 4″ / 10 cm long (foot)
  • Sized to fit approximately 3–6 months.

Materials

  • BONNETBerroco Vintage Baby (50 grs):  1 ball each #10071 Pepper (C1), #10002 Pearl (C2), and #10020 Sunflower (C3)
  • SOCKSBerroco Vintage Baby (50 grs): 1 ball (Version 1 shown in #10002 Pearl, Version 2 shown in #10006 Ballet Pink, #10021 Turquoise, and #10023 Orange)
  • 4 mm/US6 – 16″ circular needles (for bonnet)
  • 2″ / 5 cm pompom maker (for bonnet)
  • 4 mm/US6 double pointed needles (for bonnet and socks)
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Pattern

Frankie Crochet Blanket

Frankie is a blanket made with simple crocheted squares, using six colors of Berroco Vintage Baby.

Size

  • Approximately 37” / 94 cm wide x 44” / 112 cm long
  • 1 square = 7” x 7” / 18 cm x 18 cm

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage Baby (50 grs):  1 ball each #10020 Sunflower (C1) and #10023 Orange (C2), 3 balls #10005 Haze (C3), 2 balls each #10002 Pearl (C4) and #10021 Turquoise (C5), and 4 balls #10035 Navy (C6)
  • 4.5mm/7 crochet hook
  • Pattern

FREE Pattern Billie

Cute and cozy, Billie are the perfect pants for that little one in your life. Keep their baby legs toasty warm with this simple-to-make pair.

Size

  • Infant sizes (3, 6, 9) [12, 18, 24] mos
  • Waist Circumference (measured unstretched): (13, 13¼, 13½) [13¾, 14¼, 14½]” / (33, 33.5, 34.5) [35, 36, 37] cm
  • Length (with cuff and waistband unfolded): (16½, 17, 18) [19, 20½, 22]” / (42, 43, 45.5) [48.5, 52, 56] cm
  • Shown in size 3 mos / 33 cm.
  • Recommended ease: 5″ / 12.5 cm of negative ease at waist.

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage Baby (50 grs):  (2, 2, 3) [3, 3, 3] balls #10072 Toast
  • 3.25 mm/US3 – 16″ circular needles
  • 4 mm/US6 – 16″ circular needles
  • 3.25 mm/US3 double pointed needles
  • 4 mm/US6 double pointed needles
  • Stitch marker
  • Waste yarn to hold stitches
  • FREE Pattern

FREE Baby Fern Lake

Colors flow from stripe to stripe in this ombré mosaic stitch blanket. Made in crib size for perfect snuggle. For throw size, see the Fern Lake blanket.

SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR DETALS & COLOUR SUGGESTIONS

Size

Approximately 32″ / 81 cm wide x 44″ / 112 cm long

Materials

FREE Baby Eden

I love how a simple one row chevron lace repeat can look in a fun stripe pattern in Baby Eden. Made in a crib size. For throw size see the Eden Blanket.

SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR DESTAILS & COLOUR SUGGESTIONS

Size

Approximately 31″ / 79 cm wide x 46″ / 117 cm long

Materials

PROJECT Four Points Blankets (Baby + Throw Sizes)

Photos: © Purl Soho

KNIT Four Points Blanket

The four points blanket is a project we have a lot of clients coming in to get yarn for all year round. It’s available in both knit and crochet (see below), and you can make it in a baby blanket size or as a grown-up throw. The pattern is all knitting in garter stitch, and they provide a video tutorial for the single ‘fancy’ technique, picking up stitches. We’ve got lots of suitable yarns included in our SUMMER SALE, there are lots of options to advantage of for a baby or an adult blanket.

Photos: © Purl Soho

CROCHET Four Points Blanket

The original version of the Four Points Blanket was made in crochet … I’m always glad when crocheters aren’t left out, it makes a great blanket!


YARN OPTIONS

1. Berroco Remix Light ON SALE TO SEPT 6

Berroco Remix Light is soft, easy to work with, machine washable, eco-friendly (it’s recycled), allergy friendly and great for warm climates (no animal fibres in it), comes in a bunch of great colours, and is ever so affordable (especially on sale)!

Berroco Remix Light: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Remix Light: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Remix Light: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Berroco Remix Light: 4 Points Blanket Combos
  • KNIT 4 Points Baby: 1 skein in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $47.91, Reg. $63.88)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $95.82, Reg $127.76)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby: 1 skein in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $47.91, Reg. $63.88)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $95.82, Reg $127.76)
  • 3.75mm/US5 to 4mm/US6 needles/hook

2. Kelbourne Mojave ON SALE TO SEPT 6

Kelbourne Mojave is soft, easy to work with, machine washable, allergy friendly and great for warm climates (no animal fibres in it), comes in a bunch of stunning colours, especially baby friendly brights, and is a great deal on sale! Use 3.

Kelbourne Mojave: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Kelbourne Mojave: 4 Points Blanket Combos
  • KNIT 4 Points Baby: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $68.82, Reg. $91.76)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $137.64, Reg. $183.52)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby: 3 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $96.35, Reg. $137.64)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw: 5 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $172.05, Reg. $229.40)
  • 3.5mm/US4 to 4mm/US6 needles/hook

3. Quince & Co Sparrow ON SALE TO SEPT 6

Quince & Co Sparrow is a linen that turns silky smooth once it’s washed. It’s eco firendly (100% organic linen), machine wash and dryable, allergy friendly and excellent for warm climates (no animal fibres in it), comes in a bunch of great colours, and is a great deal on sale! If you live in a hot climate or are making a blanket for someone who does, this yarn is remarkable, as it has something of a cooling effect. This yarn would make a very special blanket.

Quince & Co Sparrow: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Quince & Co Sparrow: 4 Points Blanket Combos
Quince & Co Sparrow: 4 Points Blanket Combos
  • KNIT 4 Points Baby: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $89.82, Reg. $119.76)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $179.64, Reg. $239.52)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby: 3 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $134.73, Reg. $179.64)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw: 6 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $269.46, Reg. $359.28)
  • 3.25mm/US3 to 3.5mm/US4 needles/hook

4. BC Garn Bio Balance ON SALE TO SEPT 6

BC Garn Bio Balance is soft, a pleasure to work with, eco-friendly (it’s GOTS certified organic), and comes in a bunch of great colours. It is NOT machine washable, but would make a stunning throw! It;s unique blend of wool & cotton make it great for temperate climates or people to run a bit warm.

BC Garn Bio Balance: 4 Points Blanket Combos
BC Garn Bio Balance: 4 Points Blanket Combos
BC Garn Bio Balance: 4 Points Blanket Combos
  • KNIT 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $77.82, Reg. $103.76)
  • KNIT 4 Points Throw Blanket: 3 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $116.73, Reg. $155.64)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Baby Blanket: 2 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $77.82, Reg. $103.76)
  • CROCHET 4 Points Throw Blanket: 4 skeins in each of 4 colours (SALE PRICE $155.64, Reg. $207.52)
  • 3.25mm/US3 to 4mm/US6 needles/hook

NEW FREE PATTERN Elena Children’s Tee

Elena Pullover By Åsa Buchta

If you didn’t catch it, Berroco just published a new free pattern, a darling colourwork kids tee made with Berroco Vintage DK. Worked from the top down in one piece, it’s a perfect next step for less experienced knitters who want to expand their skills, or a simple yet effective knit for more advanced knitters. Since it’s knit from the top-down, you can also lengthen the sleeves and make it into a full pullover.

The yarn, Berroco Vintage DK, is soft, machine washable, easy to work with, knits great in stranded colourwork, is long wearing, and is very affordable … ie. great for projects for kids! See below for a couple other yarns that are equally perfect for this project.

Skill Level: Intermediate

For tutorials for stranded/fair isle knitting see our Skills Page under “Colourwork”. For a full online course, check out the fair isle knitting classes on Craftsy, like Tanis Gray’s Fair Isle Fundamentals.

Size

  • Directions are for children’s sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.
  • Chest: (25, 27, 29, 31, 33)” / (63.5, 68.5, 73.5, 79, 84) cm
  • Length: (12½, 15, 17, 18½, 20)” / (32, 38, 43, 47, 51) cm
  • Shown in size 4.
  • Recommended ease: approximately 2–4″ / 5–10 cm positive ease.

Materials

Other Yarn Options

Berroco Remix Light

  • Remix light is prefect for warm weather or people who can’t tolerate any animal fibre. It it has a slightly tweedy texture which makes it great for stranded knitting and comes in a palette or really pretty colours.
  • 1(2, 2, 2, 2) balls of Main Colour and 1 ball of Contrast Colour

Berroco Vintage Baby

  • Vintage Baby has a slightly silkier texture, is machine washable, and comes in it’s own palette of colours
  • 3(4, 4, 5, 6) balls of Main Colour and 1 ball of Contrast Colour

FREEBIE & HOLIDAY HOURS

Holiday Store Hours

We will be closed on Sunday August 1 and Monday August 2 for the holiday long weekend.

Saturday Jul 31: 12 pm – 5 pm

Sunday Aug 1: CLOSED

Monday Aug 2: CLOSED

Tuesday Aug 3: 11 am – 6 pm

Very Amooseing Pillow

Something fun for the long weekend!

Yarn Options

Other Materials

  • 8mm/US11 needles (straight or circular)
  • 20″ square pillow form (very affordable at Ikea)
  • FREE Pattern

CONTRIBUTE! Crochet Coral Reef

The Ontario Science Centre is looking for contributors to their Satellite Crochet Coral Reef Project! Read below for all the details, instructions, and informations (and I mean ALL … I went to town with the ‘copy-cut-paste’). We have a donation box at the store where you can drop off your crocheted corals. I think it goes without saying that this is a super fun collaborative project, as well as a great way to use up bits of leftover yarn. It’s a great opportunity to explore colours and textures, and just play around with being creative – kind of like sketching with yarn.

I think it may be especially good if you’re just learning to crochet or teaching someone (you can find Crochet Tutorials HERE), because the wonkier the results are the better. When it comes to perfection, I always say that there are no straight lines in nature (or life), even the horizon is really curved:

Nature, however, does not stick to mathematical perfection and just as there is nothing in nature that is perfectly spherical, so in nature there are no perfect hyperbolics. Living forms result from imperfection, deviation and aberrancy.

HOW TO CROCHET HYPERBOLIC CORALS By the Institute For Figuring

The Crochet Coral Reef is an exhibition rooted in environmentalism. It calls attention to the devastation of living reefs due to climate change while exploring the beauty, science and vital importance of reefs through a community crafting art project. Crocheting corals could be a craft that engages both kids and adults, possibly a teachable moment for us all.

Photo Credit: Coral Forest, by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring. Image by Stephanie Veto for Lehigh University Art Galleries.

Crochet Coral Reef Project – Ontario Satellite Reef

Calling all creative, curious crafters …

The Ontario Science Centre is currently seeking contributions to a province-wide community art project, the Ontario Satellite Reef. Help them create a colourful coral reef—made entirely from crochet! The Ontario Satellite Reef is part of Margaret and Christine Wertheim’s Crochet Coral Reef endeavour, an international initiative inspired by art, science and environmental activism. Since the Wertheims started the project in 2005, nearly 20,000 people from around the world have participated in crocheting 40-plus Satellite Reefs.

Create colourful pieces of coral, then send your work to the Ontario Science Centre (we are a drop-off point)! Your crocheted coral will be displayed at the Science Centre as part of the Ontario Satellite Reef. Plus, upload a pic of your work to social media to contribute to the virtual satellite reef.

How can you participate?

Follow these steps to contribute to the Ontario Satellite Reef:

  1. Use this guide to learn how to crochet coral. You can find Crochet Tutorials HERE.
  2. Check out pics from the virtual satellite reef (below) and read about the Ontario Satellite Reef sections for inspiration.
  3. Create your coral!
  4. Share a pic of your work on Instagram with the tag @OntarioScienceCentre and the hashtag #OntarioSatelliteReef.
  5. Tell them about yourself and your coral creation! On a small piece of paper or index card, write the following information: Name, age, location and any details about your creation you would like to share. Attach it to your coral before you drop it off.
  6. Bring your coral to a designated drop-off spot, or contact the Ontario Science Centre to arrange a drop-off.

Once the science centre receives your coral, they will add your work to the Ontario Satellite Reef. They will also add your name to the list of contributors on display.

Photo: Instagram #OntatioSatelliteReef

Contribute to the virtual satellite reef

To contribute to the virtual satellite reef, upload a photo of your work to Instagram with the tag @OntarioScienceCentre and the hashtag #OntarioSatelliteReef. Your photo will automatically be added to our online gallery.

Want to keep your coral creation? No problem! All crafters are welcome to contribute to the virtual reef. For more details on this project, check out these pages:

Photo Credit: Jayne Jenkins Coral Reef Image Bank

About the Ontario Satellite Reef Sections

The Ontario Satellite Reef is composed of five sections, each with a different theme. Before you crochet your coral, check out the themes below for inspiration. If you don’t have a particular section in mind for your work, we’ll decide where it fits best in the Ontario Satellite Reef.

Tropical Coral Reefs

Tropical reefs exist in shallow, sunlit waters because the microscopic plants that live inside this coral rely on sunlight to produce food. These reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, providing food and shelter for an estimated 25% of all ocean species. Suggested crochet materials: Any smooth or textured yarns in vibrant colours.

Cold-Water Coral

Canada has coral, too! Cold-water coral and sponges occur in coastal and offshore waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans. These slow-growing corals consume plankton to survive and live in very cold water without sunlight. Suggested crochet materials: Smooth white yarn; textured orange, bright pink or purple yarn.

Photo Credit: The Ocean Agency;

Bleached Coral

Under stressful conditions—such as temperature increases, overexposure to sunlight and pollution—coral expels the symbiotic algae living within its tissues, causing it to turn completely white. Although coral can survive bleaching events, continued stress causes coral death. Suggested crochet materials: White or beige yarn in any shade or texture.

The Impacts of Consumerism

Millions of tons of plastic waste, which contains harmful microorganisms, enter our oceans each year. This plastic waste also blocks sunlight from reaching the coral, which can cause coral death. Suggested crochet materials: Cut-up plastic bags (to create plastic yarn); old T-shirts; other recycled materials.

Solutions to the Coral Crisis

Around the world, scientists and activists are working to restore and protect coral reefs. Use your imagination to create coral that lends us hope for the future. Plastic-eating coral, lab-grown coral, 3D-printed coral and more—we want to see your creative ideas for addressing threats to reef survival. Suggested crochet materials: It’s up to you!

Photo Credit: Pod World – Plastic Fantastic, by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring. Image by Francesco Galli for 2019 Venice Biennale.

Environmentalism meets crafting with Crochet Coral Reef

Crochet has an amazing ability to model the mathematically distinct geometry found in coral reefs (see below for a video on geometry in nature), all while bringing together crafting communities and science education. That’s what inspired science writer Margaret Wertheim and artist Christine Wertheim, twin sisters from Australia, to create the Crochet Coral Reef project.

Residing at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft and community art practice, the Crochet Coral Reef responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash through a process of collective creativity. The endeavour highlights not only the damage humans do to Earth’s ecology, but also our power for positive action.

The Wertheims’ collection of Crochet Coral Reef sculptures has been exhibited worldwide, including at the 2019 Venice Biennale, The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Hayward Gallery (London), Science Gallery (Dublin) and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.). It will be at the Science Centre until the end of October 2021.

The project also encompasses a community-engagement program in which nearly 20,000 people around the world have participated in making 40+ locally-based Satellite Reefs. The Ontario Satellite Reef is the latest addition to this ever-evolving collection.

Photo Credit: Pod World – Hyperbolic, by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring. Image by Francesco Galli for 2019 Venice Biennale.

The Story Behind the Crochet Coral Reef project

Global warming is destroying the ecology of living reefs. That’s what drove science writer Margaret Wertheim and artist Christine Wertheim, twin sisters from Australia, to create the Crochet Coral Reef project in 2005. They realized crochet has an amazing ability to mimic the mathematically unique forms of reefs while bringing crafting and science education together.

The Crochet Coral Reef calls attention to the devastation of living reefs due to climate change while exploring the beauty, science and vital importance of reefs through a community crafting art project. The Wertheims’ Crochet Coral Reef travelling exhibition has been presented around the world, inspiring community activism, environmental awareness, and math and science learning.

Margaret and Christine also founded and co-direct the Institute for Figuring, a non-profit organization that hosts the continuing evolution of the Crochet Coral Reef project.

Through a participatory program the sisters designed, more than 20,000 people have crocheted more than 40 community-based Satellite Reefs—from Chicago, New York, London and Melbourne, to other sites across England, Ireland, Latvia, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. The Ontario Science Centre is currently building Ontario Satellite Reef—the latest addition to the ongoing global network of Satellite Reefs.

Photo: https://www.margaretwertheim.com/crochet-coral-reef

The Artists Behind Crochet Coral Reef

The Crochet Coral Reef project was created by sisters Margaret Wertheim and Christine Wertheim, who are also co-directors of the project’s host organization, the Institute For Figuring, in Los Angeles. The Wertheims have created Crochet Coral Reef exhibitions for more than 20 museums and galleries internationally, and together they are the authors and editors of the Crochet Coral Reef book.

About Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally recognized writer, artist and curator. Focusing on the interconnected relationships between science, art, culture, crafting and community STEM engagement, her honours include the Scientia Medal for Science Communication (Australia), and the American Association of Physics Teachers prestigious Klopsteg Award for “conveying the excitement of physics.” 

Ms. Wertheim is the author of six books, including a trilogy about the cultural history of physics, and has written for publications ranging from The New York Times to New Scientist. Before moving to the USA in 1991, she conceived, wrote and co-directed Catalyst, a six-part television science series aimed at teenage girls. 

margaretwertheim.com


About Christine Wertheim

Christine Wertheim is a poet, performer, artist, critic, curator and collaborator. She has a PhD in literature and semiotics and is a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts in the Department of Critical Studies, where she teaches courses on art+feminism, pataphysics, nonsense and rubbish. 

Christine has authored and edited eight books, including three poetic suites and three literary anthologies. She is a former director of the CalArts MFA Writing Program and has written for many magazines, including X-TRA and Jacket. 

christine-wertheim.com

Photo Credit: Coral Forest, by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring. Image by Stephanie Veto for Lehigh University Art Galleries.

PROJECT Farmhouse Towels

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. The pattern is a FREEBIE, and makes for some simple, elegant summer knitting.

Quince & Co Sparrow is my favourite yarn for this project, I love how this linen looks, the silky feels after being washed, and also how resilient it is (it gets better going through the wash) . My second personal choice would be

Kelbourne Mojave – their colours make me so happy, and the I love the the subtle texture of the fibre.

Berroco Remix Light is the budget friendly, earth friendly, use-friendly option – it has so much yardage, two skeins of the main colour will make 3 towels, and 3 skeins will make 5. Plus it’s recycled, has a neat texture, is easy to knit with and wash.

Cascade Ultra Pima is the last on the list, but not the least. This silky smooth pima cotton is a staple, and is always a joy to knit with and wear. If you like a plain, flat aesthetic, this is your yarn of choice.

ALL OF THE YARN SUGGESTED ARE ON SALE TO AUG 9th!

Materials

Alternate Yarn Options

For the following yarn options you’ll probably want to go up to a 4mm/US6 needle.

  • Cascade Ultra Pima: MC: 2 skeins, CC: 1 skein. (3 skeins of MC will make 2 towels)
  • Berroco Remix Light: MC 1 skein, CC: 1 skein. (2 skeins of the MC make 3 towels, 3 skeins of the MC will make 5 towels)
  • Kelbourne Mojave: MC 2 skeins, CC 1 skein. (3 skeins will make 2 towels)

NEW FREE PATTERN The Cottage Wrap

Cottage Wrap

This simple 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).

Its called the cottage wrap because it’s a great thing to wrap around your shoulders on a cool night, but maybe especially at the cottage. It is a freebie, from us to you. Please enjoy this pattern as we all emerge from our nests with joy and trepidation.

Orange Cottage Wrap

Size

  • Depends on your yarn and the size you desire
  • approx 82”/205cm long (from tip to tip) & 20”/50cm deep (at longest point)

Yarns

The amount of yarn you use is flexible and depends on the type of fibre you choose and the thickness of the yarn – you’ll probably need 2 scarves worth of yarn. Yarns that are knit as a looser fabric will go further, yarns knit tighter may require some extra, especially bulky to super bulky weight yarns. Use a needle size that works for your yarn. 

General Yardage Requirements

  • 3sts/inch – 550m/610yds
  • 3.5sts/inch – 690m/755 yds
  • 4 sts/inch – 825m/905 yds
  • 4.5 sts/inch – 915m/1005 yds
  • 5 sts/inch – 1000m/1100 yds
  • 5.5 sts/inch – 1100m/1200 yds
  • 6 sts/inch – 1185m/1300 yds
  • 6.5 sts/inch: 1260m/1370yds
  • 7 sts/inch – 1275m/1400 yds

Red Cottage Wrap

Notions

Lastly ….

This pattern has been percolating for a long time … it was a victim of a bit of “scope-creep“, the result of some underlying issues with perfectionism (and the sundry crud that that springs from). I’d like to say thank you to my sample knitters Tessa and Adrienne, who made the wraps in the pictures and helped edit the pattern. Thank you to Erica, Noel and Rosie for just putting up with me. Thanks to Judit who helps me clear the blocks. Thanks also go to everyone whose been so patient and waited for me to finish the pattern. This pattern was far from being my dissertation and definitely not my life’s work, but it was a bit of an albatross. I’d like to raise a toast to letting go of our tethers and stretching our wings: may it be the first of many similar experiences for us all. In the words of my then eight year old nice: “You watch this girl go!”

~ Haley