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 Sparrowis 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.
Normally around holidays I post a free pattern for a project that’s somewhat related to the holiday, and around Canada Day it’s usually something maple-leafy or involving a beaver or a Canada Goose. Recent events have me thinking about this holiday, and what our country’s birthday means in a broader sense. I wanted to feature designs by Canadian Indigenous designers of knit/crochet patterns, but disappointingly nothing turned up. My research was limited to a day and unfortunately I didn’t have the time to start digging below the surface, so if you know of any please send me a note and I’ll update this blog post and include them.
What I did manage to extract from the interweb follows ….
I found some gorgeous patterns by Jessie Mae Martinson, an incredibly talented indigenous designer from the US (I tracked her down through BIPOC in Fiber). She designs pretty little tops & bottoms, great for warm weather. Her patterns are size inclusive and priced on a “choose what you pay” scale. If you want a summer yarn to make her projects designed in fingering weight yarn, try Quince & Co Sparrow. For the DK weight I’d go for Kelbourne Woolens Mojave(no wool, it’s just super soft cotton and linen in gorgeous colours).
Canadian Indigenous Knitting Tradition
I also came across an older documentary made in 2000 for the NFB about the Coast Salish Knitters. I like this film, it’s older, but it addresses the complicated and often exploitative history connected with the makers of these sweaters. For us knitting is a leisure activity, but it’s important to keep in mind that for many of the families involved in the production of these sweaters, knitting meant the difference between starving and survival.
See the bottom of this page for a couple of articles on the Cowichan Sweaters of the Coast Salish people.
Olsen is non-native, but has spent much of her life living in Tsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. She is also author of the very recently published Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey (2021) and Working with Wool(2010), which received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing. She has several knitting patterns available as downloads on Ravelry. I’ve only just discovered Olsen’s work, but if you’ve read her books please let me know what you thought!
If you want to make the cowl above, I suggest using Cascade Heritage in colours 5742 Silver Grey Heather, 5631 Charcoal Heather, and 5672 Black. This pattern also includes a link to a video of Sylvia Olsen demonstrating Intuitive Colourwork (I don’t know what that is either, but it sounds interesting, I might have to buy the pattern to find out).
Should you now be feeling inspired to whip up your own Cowichan sweater, consider Canadian designer Jane Richmond’s West Coast Cardigan, whichis not a real Cowichan sweater, but is respectfully inspired by the traditional style of the Cowichan Sweaters of the Coast Salish people. I suggest using Drops Andes, or for a more contemporary look try a blown yarn like Drops Wish.
Saturday April 3: 11 am to 5 pm (pick-up & delivery)
Sunday April 4: Closed
Monday April 5: 11 am to 5 pm (pick-up & delivery)
Last Minute Adorable Easter Creatures
New from the Crafty Kit Company, these needle felting kits contain everything you need to create adorable baby animals. You’ll learn how to make the basic shapes, then build them up with felting wool, and finally, add the details that will really bring your creation to life. Each kit comes with all the felting wool you need, a tube with felting needles, a mat to work on, wire pipe cleaner, nesting materials and clear step by step instructions.
There’s a nip in the air (and my niece & nephew need to be picked up from school on Tuesdays) so we’re rolling out our Fall Store Hours a week early! Starting Monday September 16 we’re back to our regular hours, and we will be open again on Sundays and Mondays.
We have someone new in the store! Erica will be working on Sundays and Mondays, so please give her a warm welcome and introduce yourself. It will take her a little time to settle in and get up-to-speed, but she is sweet and lovely and awesome and I know your are going to fall in love!
Additionally, the Sit ‘n Knit will only be on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons this season (see times below).
Fall/Winter/Spring Store Hours
Monday: 11 am to 6 pm
Tuesday: 11 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm (Sit ‘n Knit 5 pm – 8 pm)
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.
Does anything say Canada to Canadians more than the iconic Hudson Bay Blanket? It’s simple design is timeless and a hand-knit version would make for a super-special baby gift. The pattern is beginner friendly (it’s just straight knitting), and makes a great low-brain activity, summer project. And it’s FREE, so that’s a bonus too!
The Hudson Bay Inspired Baby Blanket is made with worsted weight yarn, so you’ve got several great options to choose from! I’ve colour combined and art-directed the colours, so you don’t have to worry about which shades match and balance together – I’ve got you covered! Working with the palates available from each yarn line, I tired to create as many combinations that looked good as possible. I also tried to go for different aesthetics, the classics are closest to the iconic blankets sold by the Hudson Bay Company, and feature clearer, brighter colours. The subdued combos are a more modern, grown-up take on the hues, and are darker.
Cascade 220 Superwash is an affordably priced, machine washable Peruvian wool yarn. It’s soft enough for baby garments and blankets, knits easily, and has been a staple around here for a LONG time. If you aren’t into synthetics this is a great choice!
classic colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 251 Evergreen, 809 Really Red, 877 Golden, 1924 Midnight Heather
slightly darker colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 1950 Hunter Green, 893 Ruby, 877 Golden, 854 Navy.
Berroco Vintage is a super soft, machine washable blend of wool, acrylic and nylon. It’s easy on the hands and the pocketbook, and is another very popular choice for babies and kids. This yarn is also a longstanding resident around here.
classic colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5152 Mistletoe, 5151 Cardinal, 5121 Sunny, 51182 Indigo Heather.
somewhat subdued colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5193 Yukon Green, 51181 Ruby Heather, 5127 Butternut, 51182 Indigo Heather.
grown-up heathered colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5177 Douglas Fir Heather, 5181 Black Currant Heather, 5192 Chana Dal Heather, 51182 Indigo Heather.
We’re shifting over to our Summer Store Hours after the Victoria Day long weekend, so please note that the daytime Sit & Knit moves to MONDAY & SATURDAY, and we are CLOSED ON SUNDAYS. We go back to the regular store schedule the week of September 16th.