Category Archives: Uncategorized

Upcoming Classes!

Beginner Knitting

Skill Level: absolute beginner!

You’ll learn all the basics: how to knit, purl, put stitches on your needle (cast on), finish up (cast off), change yarn in the middle of your project, weave in your ends, and how to read a ball band as well as a basic pattern. You should be able to make a scarf in this class (get ready to spend a few hours of down-time working on your knitting in front of the TV).

Beginner Hats

Skill Level: beginner (after scarves)

The next step after making scarves is working in the round, and the perfect project to do that is making hats! Hats are fast, easy, and very, very satisfying! With a choice of three great basic styles, we’ll teach you how to knit in the round, how to knit on double pointed needles (the ones that look like little chopsticks), how to decrease stitches and how to read a pattern. Knowing how to cast on and knit is the only requisite. You can choose to make a basic beanie, a ribbed hat, or a slouchy hat. 

Beginner Mittens or Fingerless Gloves

Skill Level: beginner (after hats)

The next step after working in the round with circular needles is managing double pointed needles, that perfect way to accomplish that is making mitts! Mittens are extremely quick and satisfying, and make great, inexpensive gifts! We’ll teach you how to knit in the round on double pointed needles, how to decrease and increase stitches, how to pick-up stitches and how to read a pattern. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is class-cables-for-beginners.jpg

Cables for Beginners & Beyond

Skill Level: beginner & beyond (after hats)

Love the sumptuous texture of cables? Then try this workshop on for size. Here you have the opportunity to choose a project that suits your skill level–a cowl with giant twist cables (perfect for beginners), or a hat with travelling cables (for those who prefer more of a challenge). By the time you finish, you will have learned how to knit in the round, how to use a cable needle or hook, how to make basic cables, travelling cables, and how to read basic cable patterns. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is register-online-button-250-jpg.jpg

Beginner Crochet

Skill Level: absolute beginner

This course is designed for the absolute beginner and covers ALL of the basics you’ll need to get started and keep you going. You will learn how to hold a hook, make a foundations chain, the basic crochet stitches, how to change yarns and colours, how to keep your edges straight – you should be able to make wristwarmers at this point. Then you’ll learn how to make a foundation ring or magic circle, how to keep your round flat with symmetrical increases, how to close your rounds properly, and how to interpret a schematic diagram (at this point you should be able to make a hat or a granny square). 

Intro to Socks

Skill level: intermediate-beginner (afte mitts)

Whether you’re just up for something different or you would like to learn to make socks for the first time, this class is a great place to begin. Here you will learn how to use double pointed needles, how to make short-row toes and heels, a mitred alternative to the heel-flap of the traditional cuff-down sock, and how to bind off with elasticity. Materials not included, but we sell everything you need and you receive 10% off all materials during your class.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is carbeth-class-.jpg

Intro to Sweaters: Carbeth Cardie or Pullover

Skill Level: intermediate-beginner (after mitts or hats)

A great way to build your knitting skill-set, this fast and easy chunky cardigan will get a sweater under your belt in no time! Among other skills, you’ll learn knitting in the round, picking up stitches, decreasing, following a pattern, making buttonholes, and weaving in ends. You can choose to make this sweater as a cardigan (you’ll learn more skills) or if you’re feeling less intrepid as a simpler pullover.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is register-online-button-250-jpg.jpg

Lace: Beginner & Beyond

Skill Level: moderate-beginner (after hats)

Lace isn’t just for advanced knitters! Novices learn the basics of knitting lace while making a gorgeous little wrap for yourself or as a gift for someone else. You’ll learn how to read a pattern, increase, decrease, make eyelets (yarn-overs), and use a life-line. Knitters who already have the fundamentals under their belt and want to up their game can also take this class and work on more advanced techniques and lace patterns. To take this class you must already know how to cast on, cast off, knit and purl. 

NEW Intro to Brioche

Skill Level: intermediate-beginner (after mitts or sweaters)

In this class you will make a beautiful bi-colour brioche scarf while adding tons of new techniques to your knitting repertoire: a two colour cast on, hooded stitches (aka barks and burps), slide knitting, and a two colour bind-off.  Don’t worry if that sounds daunting, our gentle instructor has got you covered!

Intro to Sweaters: Baby/Child Cardie

Skill Level: moderate-beginner (after hats or mitts)

A great way to build your knitting skill-set, this fast and easy little baby cardigan will get a sweater under your belt in no time! Among other skills, you’ll learn knitting in the round, picking up stitches, decreasing, following a pattern, making buttonholes, and weaving in ends. 

NEW Knitscene Spring 2019

Knitscene Spring 2019

The new issue of Knitscene has arrived! I know it’s a little hard to think forward to spring, but this issue has a bunch of pretty knits as well as some great articles.

SHOP ONLINE

YARN SWAP Sunday Jan 20

NEXT SWAP: SUNDAY Jan 20, 1-3 pm

$5 – Proceeds go to the Red Door Women’s Shelter

It’s that time of year again … time to tidy up your yarn stash and purge the stuff you’re never going to use. That’s right, you can bring us your shame and leave your guilt in our yarn swap bins with the assurance that the yarn that didn’t work out for you will have a second (or third, or fourth) life in a new home. What do you do at a swap? Bring in the yarn and needles you don’t want and take home whatever you like from our swap bins. The leftovers are donated to charities, and don’t be embarrassed by the quality of the yarn you bring, whatever is left over is donated to charities like Street KnitWest Toronto Support Services, and Gilda’s Club, most of whom prefer acrylic! If you want to donate but can’t make the date please feel free to drop it by when we are open, sealed up in a plastic bag. The only yarn we can’t accept is anything that is strongly scented (cigarette smoke or perfume). We are also a drop-off point for Street Knit and Knitted Knockers of Canada

  • $5 to participate in the swap (proceeds go to the Red Door Women’s Shelter)
  • Drop-in, no need to sign up
  • Everyone is welcome, all skill levels
  • Location: 1382 Bathurst St, Toronto ON
  • In-Store only, NOT ONLINE

PROJECT Easy Garter Wrap

Easy Garter Wrap

We just finished making our FREE Easy Garter Scarfy Wrap with one of the new multi-coloured Handmaiden Casbah 5ply Gradient Wrap Kits – I knew it would come out beautifully! Handmaiden always comes up with interesting colour combinations that I wouldn’t normally think of, and the pop of colour is just what’s needed on dreary winter days.

All of the Handmaiden Casbah 5ply Gradient Wrap Kits are one-of-a-kind so no two colourways will be the same. The pattern is free, VERY beginner friendly, and mostly mindless. I used THIS TUTORIAL for weaving in the ends on garter stitch – it is super helpful. This project didn’t require many notes, but you can find it on Ravelry anyway.

Materials

PROJECT Snap

Snap

I tried this pattern a few weeks ago, and I thought it would make a great post-holiday knit because it makes great use of bits ‘n bobs of stash yarn. It’s really nice to find a stash busting project that’s small and fast – so many are blankets! The pattern is Snap from Tin Can Knits, who are great designers (and are very reliable).

The colour variation and gradation are achieved by working with multiple strands of yarn held together and periodically changing them out. I used 4 strands of fingering weight yarn held together, although the pattern offers guidance for combinations with lace weight and sport/DK weight yarn. Working with multiple strands of yarn wasn’t hard, but if this is a new thing for you it’s just a good idea to take things slow and don’t rush your stitches.

All of the yarn I used was fingering weight from stash, and almost all of it was variegated. I worked the ribbing in a combination of 4 colours, and then I started changing out a single strand of yarn every 4 rounds, graduating from the darkest colours to the lightest. I think I used approximately 9 to 10 different colours/yarns in all. I started with the darkest greens and then transitioned up through the lighter or more yellowy greens, and then into the yellows.

I’ll be honest and tell you that while I was working on the hat I fussed in my head about which colour should go next, but I don’t think it was necessary. There was so much going on visually with 4 strands of variegated yarn, and I had so many colours that were somewhat close, that each individual change of yarn didn’t make a huge difference. The hat is knit on the knit side and then turned inside out after it is finished, and the colour changes are much more subtle on the purl side.

I made the size “adult S/M”, but after blocking it fits an adult M or 22″ head. If you are knitting for a smaller head (20.5 to 21″) I suggest going down a size. The fabric is heavy, a bit on the dense side (which makes sense, sock yarn doesn’t tend to be fluffy stuff).

Size

  • baby (toddler, child, adult SM, adult L)
  • fits head 16 (17.5, 19, 21, 23)” around

Materials

PROJECT Christmas Stocking

Quick & Easy Christmas Stocking

I haven’t made a Christmas stocking in a few years, but my fingers were itchy last weekend and I was feeling the store needed a bit more decorative cheer. The pattern is one of our older freebies (sorry about the formatting, I need to update that) but like many classics, it works. The stocking is constructed as a basic toe-up sock (with a short-row toe and heel), with really bulky yarn on really big circular needles. 

I used Bernat Roving (2 strands held together) on 10mm/US15-16″ circular needles. The yarn was a “cheap ‘n cheerful” choice, and I’ll be honest, the yarnie in me was yearning for the merino Cascade Spuntaneous. Actually, what I’d love to use is an especially colourful skein of the hand dyed Fleece Artist Merino Stream (on 8mm needles and with a few extra stitches) …. it may still happen. You could also use the Drops Andes and 8mm/US13 needles (or 2 strands together on the larger needles) – they make a very canonical Christmas Red and their white is nice too.

Mods

  • I worked the foot section until it was 7″, but on my next stocking I’ll make it 6″. 
  • The 10mm/US15 needles and 2 strands held together made a slightly dense fabric. Since my stocking is purely decorative, I would use 12mm/US17 needles if i used this particular yarn again (held double).

Materials

  • Bernat Roving: 1 skein (colour 100 Rice Paper) – hold 2 strands together
  • 10mm/US15-16″ circular needles
  • 10mm crochet hook (for provisional cast on)
  • bulky scrap yarn (for provisional cast on)
  • 10mm/US15 double pointed needles (optional, for i-cord)
  • jumbo tapestry needle

SHOP ONLINE

PROJECT Granny Slippers (and a Hack)

Granny Slippers

A client came in last night who wanted to make some granny slippers, and it occurred to me that I’ve NEVER made a pair, and maybe I should step outside my box and try a pair. I’m happy to report that they were SUPER EASY, beginner friendly (like after scarves), fast, and don’t use a ton of yarn, and are super cosy and warm! I whipped up a pair in one evening, so they’re definitely doable for holiday gifts. They aren’t fancy, but they are definitely cosy, warm, and fast!

I decided I wanted a funkier pair and used one skein of hand dyed Fleece Artist Back Country, but another great (less pricey) yarn would be Berroco Vintage Chunky. The yarn was lovely (as always), soft and smooth. If you want a pair of fuzzy slippers you could hold together 1 strand of Cascade 220 Superwash and 1 strand of Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk (1 ball of each should be enough. The pattern, Easy Steps by Drops, is a freebie, and was fairly easy to follow. Please read below for our modifications and notes. 

Modifications & Pattern Notes

A. I used 5mm/US8 needles, and it made the tension a bit tighter, 15 sts = 4″ (10cm). My feet are narrow, so this didn’t make a big difference in size, but if you are knitting for wider feet I would add a couple of stitches to the pattern.

B.  The pattern, which was not originally written in english, has one phrase that novices might find confusing. It says “K sts tog 2 by 2”. What they want you to do is K2tog across the row (so knit 2 stitches together, and keep doing this to the end of the row. For beginners, the pattern website also has a how-to video on how to knit 2 stitches together. 

C. For beginners who do not know how to seam (or for more experienced knitters who may not know how to do this particular seaming prettily), the pattern website offers some handy how-to videos to get you through the project. To make a tidy seam at the back of the foot (because it is a cast-on edge) this may be a helpful video

D. Please see our Hack below for suggestions on making sure the colour distribution of hand painted, variegated yarns is the same for both your slippers! If you’re using a solid, heathered or semi-solid yarn you don’t need to worry about this, but you might find it interesting and useful information for the future.

Materials

Knit Hack

And now for the hack! It’s a universal knitting truth that variegated yarns have a tendency for the colours to pool in ways we can’t anticipate. Sometimes it’s fun, funky, and enhances the project, and sometimes we don’t really care for it. It’s random, it happens, and we learn to accept it. You can usually play around with this effect by varying the needle size, the number of stitches you put on, and the stitch pattern you choose. But while knitting these slippers I found out something new – the place in the colourway that you cast on (where you place your slip knot or first stitch), can have an effect. 

Option A) Asymmetrical Pooling  Approximately half of the colourway in this particular skein is dark, and the other half was colourful (lets say it starts with the dark blue, the moves into a second part, the brighter warm colours). In the picture above, I made the slip knot around where the colour is changing between the two. The colours pooled kind of randomly, and I thought it worked with the skippers once they were seamed – they’re kinda funky.

Option B) Symmetrical Pooling  In this picture, I made the slip knot around the centre of the dark part of the colourway (so about 1/4 of the way through the colour repeat). The colours ended up pooling completely symmetrically! All the Blues stacked up on the right and the reds lined up on the left. It was super cool. It also didn’t suit my sensibilities for this project, although I kind of want to make a neckwarmer this way. 

Caveat Emptor: every skein of hand-dyed yarn is different, so this isn’t a rule. so much as a factor. Like I said at the start, the number of stitches, the tension and the stitch pattern also have an effect on the colour distribution. But if you are making your own slippers with hand-dyed, variegated yarn, be sure to cast on in the same place in the colourway to get a similar colour distribution. 

So there you go, you learn something new every day!  For more information on colour distribution in variegated yarns, I highly recommend the book Artful Color, Mindful Knits.