Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVID Check-In

This is just a little check-in/housekeeping/staying in touch update, nothing too heavy (hopefully). Everyone is feeling the winter this year, myself included, so we’re all in good company.

Shopping

Because of the new COVID variants I have tweaked our service policy a little, and we are no longer able able to sell stuff at the front door. I know this is a bummer, we know everyone is tired of jumping through hoops. The science is constantly updating, but the trend is clear – these new strains are very contagious and if they aren’t taken seriously we will end up in a third wave in April. I know everyone is hoping for things to reopen to in-person shopping in March, but I don’t honestly think that it will be safe for a while.

In the mean-time, here’s what we’re trying to do:

  • We are trying to complete all transactions before you come to the store, and payment in advance is always the safest thing for everybody. If you call your order in we can email you an invoice for your order lickety-split and you can pay securely online.
  • If circumstances determine that you have to pay when you get here you can use a tap card with our little machine through the glass, or we can email you an invoice and you can pay directly from that. We’ll get your information before you come to speed up the transaction when you arrive, but please bundle up if it’s cold out because it isn’t a fast process.
  • If you need to look at something in person you can call us in advance, tell us what you want to eyeball, and we can lay it out in the window for you.
  • I’ve always been niggly about colour accuracy in our photography (although reds and turquoises are always tricky), and we’ve been working on updating the images on the website; Noel is currently shooting and colour correcting the Cascade 220 Superwash (she just finished the 220 Superwash Heathers).
  • Shipping, delivery and pick-ups are still working very smoothly. The same-day pick-ups have been great – our turn-around on orders has been well under an hour, often it’s half-an-hour or less. The courier who does our same-day/next-day delivery has been wonderful and we have been working together to make it even better. Canada Post continues to be reliable, there have been very few bumps since the holidays and when there has been the odd hiccup everything has ended up happily-ever-after.

The Government has been talking about reopening non-essential stores to in-person shopping, but as long as I feel it is unsafe I’m not going to do that. I know it may be an unpopular choice, but I won’t put anyone at risk. There is a Jewish adage: “To save a life is to save a world.” This pandemic isn’t over, and even without a third wave the epidemiology is still predicting another eleven-hundred COVID deaths in Ontario over the next two and a half months. For now, shopping online is a very small price to pay for life.

Inventory Disruptions

International shipping has also been disrupted by the pandemic … I actually wrote a whole paragraph about it, but then thought better of putting you to sleep with shipping-container drama (if people were interested in international shipping logistics there would be reality TV shows about it). Basically, everything is a bit of a hot mess, and I’m grateful I don’t work in that industry.

Inventory has been very sticky during COVID, for many reasons. Many lovely yarns are milled in South America, especially Peru, which has been badly affected by the pandemic. The mills there have been running at 30% capacity since March of last year, so subsequently all of the yarn companies orders are delayed and thinned out.

Everyone in the yarn industry has been working really hard, trying their best to get you the products you want as soon as they can lay their hands on them. We’ve all been getting extremely bendy as we flex and jump through hoops and over hurdles (some of them on fire).

Growth

This is very off-topic, but I’ve noticed lately that A LOT of you are struggling with growth. This isn’t a shocker, periods of disruption often trigger periods of growth. Growth is AWESOME, it’s the goal, and you DO NOT want to stay stuck in one place and not grow, it’s a horrible way to live. But ‘growth periods’ can be stressful, destabilizing, and can make life not so much fun for you or the people around you.

Growth Period Symptoms (you may be in a growth period if):

  • Your body feels weak or achy, but you aren’t sick
  • You’re feeling grumpy, impatient, angry, or irritable
  • You’re blaming other people (‘WTF, what is *with* everyone?! What are they so incompetent?!”)
  • Feeling defensive, explaining yourself, feeling the need to prove yourself (Note: you’ll want to send long, angry emails – DO NOT PRESS SEND!)

Some people resist and avoid growth because of the discomfort, but that’s really the opposite of what you want to do. If you’re in a growth period it’s because you are ready to grow, it’s your time and opportunity to level-up. You need your growth, you’ve earned your growth, you deserve your growth, and once you’re through it you are going to be sooooo much happier! What you want to do is lean into your growth and ease yourself through your growth period with as much ease, grace and joy as you can muster. Think of leaning-in as chicken soup for your growth period.

How To Heal a Growth Period:

  • Stop analyzing and/or blaming. You’re creating more negative energy, you need to put it in check.
  • Stop talking about what you think your problem is. You’re spreading pain around to others, and besides hurting other people, it’s going to wreck havoc in your life.
  • Admit and accept that you’re in a growth period. Own your growth period, be open and ok with it, let the people around you know you’re having a bad day (or week) and are feeling irritable. Acceptance will help you get back to a neutral place.
  • Engage in gratitude and amusement. Apologize to anyone who was in the the path of the storm. Feeling negative? Stop and write down 20 things your’e grateful for, charge up your positive energy.
  • Focus on healing yourself. I’ve read that ‘running your energy‘ is an ideal type of meditation for a growth period, but any kind of healing you are comfortable with is always good.

These aren’t my insights, they come from Jeffrey Allen, who deserves much credit for his remarkable work. Ok, some insights are mine, but the core concepts and directions are pure Allen.

Last Thoughts

Don’t let a scarcity mentality wear you down, we live in an unprecedented place in the history of humanity. We are so fortunate to live in such profound abundance – even in a period of disruption we have access to so much, it’s really an embarrassment of riches. I have heard that gratitude creates abundance, but I wonder if we are also already swimming in abundance and the practice of gratitude opens our eyes to what has always been surrounding us?

P.S.

My current binge-worthy TV picks are Ted Lasso, The Morning Show and Oprah Winfrey’s Conversations on Caste on Apple TV+. Upload on Prime Video was ok, so is Wanda Vision on Disney+ – but I like a good Marvel super-hero action movie.

UPDATES Yarn Tasting Event & Kits

Yarn Tasting Kits Have Arrived!

The Berroco Spring Yarn Tasting Kits have arrived from Berroco! Sorry that took so long, they were waiting for a shipment with the yarns – international shipping is bit of a mess because of COVID. If you wanted one by didn’t pre-order that’s ok, we have a few extras in stock. If the whole thing is new to you all the details are below, after the Yarn Tasting Event info.

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Yarn Tasting Event!

When last I wrote I said that if we sold enough we would hold a virtual yarn tasting. Well, we sold a bunch of kits, so a Yarn Tasting is happening! The session will take place via Zoom (or a similar platform) on a Sunday (time TBA, see the survey below). The big question is, what type of Yarn Tasting do you want?! You have 2 options:

1. Guided Yarn Party with Professional Instructor (2 hours/$20)

Professional yarn-partier Lynne Sosnowski will lead you through a very informative and educational Yarn tastingLynne will send out info ahead of time on needle recommendations and other supplies you might need or want, a hand-out on how yarn tasting works and a hand-out on effective swatching (for a garment or fitted accessory). During the session she will guide you through casting on a small taster swatch and will talk about the yarn itself – it’s composition, the things it’s suited to, etc. She will also offer some project suggestions for the yarn you’re sampling.  

2. Informal Yarn Sampling with Haley (45 min to 1 hour/Free)

Professional yarn store owner Haley will go with the flow and show you how she swatches for the store and answer all the fibre related questions you can throw at her.

Please tell us what you’d like to do by filling out our survey below (please don’t let us know by emailing/messaging/replying to our newsletter, the survey is the best way for us). The survey should take less than a minute and is anonymous:

TAKE SURVEY HERE

Berroco also sent us several little giveaways and a couple of really nice kits as prizes for our Yarn-Partiers: each of the kits comes with 3 balls of Berroco Remix Light and a copy of their most recent Remix collection Berroco Remix Family (a $65 value all together – not too shabby). We also have several of their summer pattern books to give away ($17 value).

Pattern: Kyrie

Berroco Yarn Tasting Kits

This season Berroco is doing something neat and is making their Spring Yarn-Tasting kits available to the general public (via their retailers, like us). It contains samples of the new yarns they are launching or promoting this season, which you can swatch and work experiment with. I receive one of these kits every season and I dutifully swatch with my sample to get a feel for the different yarns. It helps me decide what to order for you, but also it gives me insight into what’s out there, even if I don’t want to carry it (sometimes people come to me looking for something specific and I can special order it for them).

A Yarn Tasting Kit might be for you if:

  • You are thinking about making a spring/summer project (or two) and want to find a yarn that makes you happy.
  • You like swatching (some people sincerely do enjoy it, they exist, I know them).
  • You’re allergic to wool (or know someone who is) and want to try-out some alternatives (5 of the 6 yarns included in the kit are wool-free).
  • You’re stuck in a bit of a rut and you’re ready for a gentle exercise to help you moving outside of your comfort zone.
  • You like ‘NEW’.
  • You don’t like ‘NEW’, but you’re tired of being afraid of it (file this under ‘comfort zone’ above).

What you’ll get in your Yarn Tasting Kit:

  • 6 Mini balls (10-20g) of each new spring yarns (plus a few spring favorites): Summer SesameZinniaChai, Ultra Wool HandpaintMedina, and Remix Light
  • Yarn Tasting Menu
  • Berroco Spring ’21 Newsletter
  • Berroco Spring ’21 Lookbook
  • Berroco Alpaca Sticker
  • Thank you note with a 50% off pattern coupon code!

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

SALE Bye-Bye Winter!

Hello Groundhog! Bye-Bye Winter! Take 20% off Select Products when you shop with us online – used code BYEWINTER20 when you check-out and your discount will be applied to the qualifying products. Sale lasts to the end of February (but it’s not a leap year).

SHOP THE SALE HERE

PROJECTS Unisex Sweater Kits

Pre-Order Kits

These kits are a special-order – we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis but you have the option to order them at any time (it will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes it available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. 

Unisex (fits all adults)

The following projects/kits are designed & sized as unisex patterns, which means they are meant to fit any gender and body (the sizes range from 34″ chest up to almost 70″). The designs are casual, relaxed, loose fitting shapes in classic styles – which means they’ll look great FOREVER.

The Yarn: Berroco Lanas

The projects are all designed with Berroco Lanas, a new 100% Pure Wool, their newest go-to workhorse yarn – it’s the high quality yarn for when you just want WOOL. Lanas is a class yarn, it’s made from a special blend of South American wools. It’s springy, a worsted spin with lots of body, that both knits and blocks easily. It holds cables and texture beautifully, and is perfect for colourwork or felting. Made in Peru; hand wash in cold water, lay flat to dry. 

Optional Yarn Substitutions

The following are suggestions for alternative yarns to the ones in the kits/patterns – because lots of times people really DON’T want plain ‘ole wool. Please contact us with your preferred yarn, colour number and size and we can set up a special order for you). The yarn quantities will be the same for all of the following yarns:

Wools & Blends (machine washable)

All Season Options (machine washable)

 Synthetic (machine wash and dryable)

  • Berroco Comfort (50% Super Fine Acrylic, 50% Super Fine Nylon, Great for care homes, 9.97/skein)

Wools (hand wash)

Sensitive Skin

Dutton

Dutton is a simple and stylish pullover in all over seed stitch – a great everyday kind of sweater. Stripes leading down the body give the sweater a flattering look. Dutton is worked in the round, from the bottom up, with drop sleeves picked up and worked in the round. Dutton is designed with Berroco Lanas, 100% wool from Peru (see above for substitutions).

I’ve set up some flattering colour combos to help feed your inspiration, but you get to choose your own colours, so do what makes your heart sing (or do a Google search for images of “Striped Sweaters” and see what comes up, you never know what will fire-up your imagination).

Incidentally, I think this pattern would look sensational as an an All Season sweater (no wool or wooly fibres) made with Berroco Remix – the yarn’s natural tweediness would enhance the texture of the seed stitch.

Size

  • Bust: (34½, 38¾, 43) [47¼, 51¼, 55½] {59¾, 64, 68¼}” / (87.5, 98.5, 109) [120, 130, 141] {152, 162.5, 173.5} cm
  • Length:  (21½, 23½, 24¼) [24½, 25¼, 25¾] {26¼, 27, 27½}” / (54.5, 59.5, 61.5) [62, 64, 65.5] {66.5, 68.5, 70} cm 
  • Shown in size  47¼” / 119.5 cm. 
  • Recommended ease:  4–6″ / 10–15 cm positive ease

Kit Includes

  • Berroco Lanas: (4, 4, 5) [5, 6, 6] {7, 7, 8} balls in Main Colour, and (1, 1, 1) [2, 2, 2] {2, 2, 2} balls in Contrast Colour. Shown in 95115 Lime Light & 9501 Cream
  • Pattern

Other Materials (kit does NOT include)

  • 4mm/US6 – 32″ circular needles
  • 5mm/US8 – 32″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6 – 16″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6 double-pointed needles
  • 5mm/US8 double-pointed needles
  • 2 stitch markers
  • Waste yarn to hold stitches

Leicester

Leicester (pronounced ‘Lester’ in North American english) is a classic cabled cardigan with a shawl collar and set-in sleeves. It’s perfect for layering, especially out for a spring/autumn walk or curling up with a good book. The interesting cable design keeps things interesting without being overwrought or too busy. Leicester is designed with Berroco Lanas, 100% wool from Peru (see above for substitutions).

Size

  • Bust/Chest (closed): (35¼, 38½, 42¼) [45½, 49½, 53, 57¼] {60¾, 64, 68} “ / (89.5, 98, 107.5) [115.5, 125.5, 134.5, 145.5] {154.5, 162.5, 172.5} cm
  • Length: (28, 28½, 29) [29, 29½, 29½, 30] {30, 30½, 30½}” / (71, 72.5, 73.5) [73.5, 75, 75, 76] {76, 77.5, 77.5} cm
  • Shown in size 42¼” / 107.5 cm. 
  • Recommended ease:  4–8″ / 10–20 cm positive ease.

Kit Includes

Other Materials (kit does NOT include)

  • 5mm/US8 needles (straight or circular)
  • 4mm/US6 – 32″ circular needle
  • removable markers
  • Five 1″ buttons

Dunmore

Dunmore is a classic unisex sweater. Classic, rugged, and a perfect sweater for everyday wear. Dunmore is as simple to wear as it is to make with texture on top and easy-breezy stockinette on bottom.

Size

  • Bust/Chest:  (35, 38½, 43½) [46½, 52, 55, 60] {63½, 68½, 72}” / (89, 98, 110.5) [118, 132, 139.5, 152.5] {161.5, 174, 183} cm
  • Length:  (25, 26, 26) [26½, 26½, 27, 27] {27½, 27½, 28}” / (63.5, 66, 66) [67.5, 67.5, 68.5, 68.5] {70, 70, 71} cm
  • Shown in size 43½” / 110.5. 
  • Recommended ease:  2–4″ / 5–10 cm positive ease.

Kit Includes

Other Materials (Kit DOES NOT Include)

  • 3.75 mm/US5 needles (straight or circular) 
  • 4.5 mm/US7 needles (straight or circular)
  • 3.75 mm/US5 – 16″ circular needles
  • 2 stitch markers
  • 6 removable stitch markers
  • 1 stitch holder

PROJECTS 7 Classic Bulky Baby Blankets

I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for baby blanket projects for less experienced knitters. All the projects below are make with one yarn, in one colour, and feature a texture created with knit and purl stitches. They are all made with 6mm/US10 needles, to get things moving along at a brisk pace! I also recommend using Berroco Vintage Chunky, an affordable, soft, machine washable blend of wool & synthetic that comes in a bunch of pretty colours. You’ll be able to find all of these projects on our website under PROJECTS, SKILLS & HACKS – Baby.

Resources for New-ish Knitters

Before we launch into the projects, I wanted to make sure you know about some great resources to help you along:

photo: Knit Picks

Sunshine Chevron

The simple chevron texture in this blanket makes me happy and reminds me of simple graphic prints and classic Charles Schultz characters.

Size

  • approx 29″ wide
  • to make blanket wider add stitches in increments of 8 (8 sts = 2.25″)

Materials

Photo: jenschuetz on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/jenschuetz/concentric-squares-baby-blanket

Concentric Squares Baby Blanket 

Simple, graphic shapes are always in style.

Size: appox 32″ x 32″

Materials

Photo: Fifty Four Ten Studio

All These Places

This pattern actually comes in a series of sizes, up to a XXL afghan, but what can be scaled up can also be scaled down.

Size

  • Baby Blanket: 27.75” wide x 35” long: 5 skeins
  • Small Blanket: 31” wide x 39.5” long: 6 skeins
  • Medium Throw: 34.5” wide x 44” long: 7 skeins

Materials

Photo: Fifty Four Ten Studio

Happy Endings

This pattern actually comes in a series of sizes, up to a XXL afghan, but what can be scaled up can also be scaled down.

Size

  • Baby Blanket: 26” wide x 30” long: 4 skeins
  • Small Blanket: 30” wide x 34” long: 5 skeins
  • Medium Throw: 34” wide x 42” long: 7 skeins
Photo: Sarah Keller

Cuddly Baby Blanket

A simple, repetitive pattern makes a classic blanket in a pretty colour.

Size: approx. 31 x 34″

Materials

Photo: dahlias on Ravelry

Garter Block Baby Blanket

The building blocks of life … is actually DNA, but simple blocks make for a great blanket too!

Size

  • approx. 34″ x 34″ (depending on your tension)
  • to make blanket wider add stitches in increments of 16 stitches (16 sts = approx 4.5″)

Materials

Guernsey Style Baby Blanket

This blanket is more of an intermediate level knit, but I thought I’d throw it in because it looks so nice and makes such a lovely, classic gift.

Size

  • approx. 24″ x 25″ (or larger, depending on your tension)
  • to make blanket wider add stitches in increments of 8 stitches

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

Q & A Choosing a Size (Fit & Measurement)

I received some really good questions this week after posting about Men’s sweaters, and since I love sharing I thought some of you might also want to hear the answer …

This would be my first time making a sweater and I am not sure how to measure the finished chest dimension?

1. Measuring

Great Question! We often understand how our own body relates to clothes and fit, but it’s harder with someone else, even when they are close to you. The most important place for a sweater to fit, especially for women, is in the shoulders. For women you can adjust the bust size, but you can’t change the shoulders. For men, the chest measurement is an anchor. Use a measuring tape and with a t-shirt on (or whatever the recipient will be wearing under their sweater) measure the circumference of the widest part of their chest, just under their underarms. Here is a short article about how to take a chest measurement:

Amy Herzog also has good little videos on how to measure:

If you really want to learn more about this, check out Amy Herzog’s Knit to Flatter class on Craftsy. FYI: Knitwear designers use the measurements from the charts from the Craft Yarn Council (picture below) – we’ll talk about those next.

Image: Craft Yarn Council: Standard Body Measurements/Sizing

2. Choosing a Size

Choosing the right size also involves ease. Ease is the amount of space between a sweater and the body it is on. Positive ease is extra space, so the more positive ease, the looser the garment will be. Negative ease is the lack of space between a body and the garment, so the how much the garment will be stretching around you. zero ease means the garment is the same size as the body. After measuring, you need to decide how much ease you want in your sweater; for example, in the size section a pattern might suggest the garment be worn with 2″ to 4″ of positive ease. Ease is the amount of space between a sweater and the body it is on.

You need to make an executive decision and decide how loose or tight a fit you want (see below for a Measurement Hack that can help with the decision making process). If you want a fitted look, make sure the size is around 2″ bigger than the body size you measured above. In this case, if you have a person with a 38″ chest then you may want to choose a size that’s in the 39 to 41″ range. If you want a looser fit you can choose a size with 4″ of ease. For your person above, you might go for a size in the 43 to 45″ range.

For more on ease and measuring you can go straight to the source, the Craft Yarn Council’s directives on Fit, Measurement and Size. They show you the basics of how to measure all the body parts, what different fits mean, and links to all the size charts are in the list on the right side of the screen (here’s a link to the men’s size chart).

There are a couple things to also keep in mind, that may throw a wrench in your plans

  • Different fibres behave differently, and some work better with less ease. Fibres like linen, silk, some cottons, alpaca, camel, cashmere, some superwash yarns, etc … they don’t have a lot of memory and do better with less ease. To make things more complicated, how a yarn will behave also depends on the spin and construction of the yarn.
  • The yarn you choose takes up physical space in the sweater; the thicker your yarn is, the more ease you need. 6″ of ease might be roomy with a worsted weight yarn knit on 4.5mm/US7 needles, but it’ll be closer to a classic fit with a Super-bulky weight yarn knit on 10mm/US15 needles. This is why the sizing might look a bit large in patterns designed with thick yarns.

If you’d like to read more from anothre author, check out this article from Tin Can Knits on Fit and Size and Measurement (they’re great designers, their patterns are very reliable, I recommend them frequently).

Babies & Kids Sizing Hack

By the way, the size charts from the Craft Yarn Council are EXTREMELY helpful when choosing a pattern size for babies and kids. Here’s the scenario: the child you’re knitting for is a ‘size 4’, but the pattern only gives sizes in chest measurements. So, you can check the children’s size chart, and under size 4 it lists the average chest size is 23″ (the charts give the average actual body measurements, not garment measurements). So you would want to choose a size that around 25″ to fit a size 4 child.

Measurement Hack

If you don’t have an actual body to measure, or you don’t know what kind of fit they like, try to find a sweater or sweatshirt that’s approximately the same thickness as your yarn (don’t use a thin cashmere sweater to measure for a thicker worsted weight yarn – your ease will be off). Lay the sweater out on a hard, flat surface (like a table or the floor, not the sofa), and take a measurement across the chest at the underarms. This gives you half of the full chest measurement you’ll be looking for in the pattern.

PRE-ORDER Super-Bulky Knits

The Yarn: Berroco Coco

Today we’re featuring a fun yarn, super-bulky weight yarn, Berroco Coco. Coco is 100% superwash merino wool dyed with splashes of color for fast and fabulous projects. It’s soft, easy to work with, it’s machine washable, and works up in a flash! Plus, it’s made in Italy, the birthplace of gorgeous textiles. See below for more details and colours available.

Pre-Order

These kits are a special-order, we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis but you have the option to order them at any time (they will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes them available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s doable. 

Bingen

Bingen is a super-chunky cardigan that will work up FAST on 10mm/US15 needles. It is worked flat in pieces in seamed, making it a bit easier for newer knitters to wrap their head around. Seams might seem a bit old skool for seasoned knitters, but they serve a structural function, giving a garment shape and tailoring that is lost when you knit in the round.

Size

  • Bust (closed): (36, 41, 44) [49, 52, 57] {60, 65, 69½}” / (91.5, 104, 112) [124.5, 132. 145] {152.5, 165, 176.5} cm
  • Length: (25½, 26, 26½) [27, 27½, 28] {28½, 28½, 29}” / 65, 66, 67.5) [68.5, 70, 71] {72.5, 72.5, 73.5} cm
  • Shown in size 44″ / 112 cm
  • Recommended ease: 4–6″ / 10– 15 cm positive ease

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Garafano

Garafano is a cozy ruana that knits up quickly with a super-bulky yarn. What is a ‘ruana’? It’s a comfy wrap that’s open at the front and under the arms, for maximum mobility and comfort. You can wear it open or throw one side over your shoulder and pin it in place. This pattern begins at the back and has minimal finishing.

Size

  • Approximately 46 (50, 54)” wide x 58″ long (29″ long when worn)
  • Shown in size 46″

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Perham

Perham is a boxy turtleneck pullover with an allover basketweave pattern. It’s a cozy and warm sweater that will go well both outside and fireside. Perham is knit in pieces and seamed together.

Size

  • Bust:  (39, 42½, 46¼) [49¾, 53¼, 56¾] {60½, 64, 67½}” / (39, 42.5, 46.25) [49.75, 53.25, 56.75] {60.5, 64, 67.5} cm
  • Length:  (22, 23¾, 23¾) [23¾, 23¾, 23¾] {25½, 25½, 25½}” / (56, 60.5, 60.5) [60.5, 60.5, 60.5] {65, 65, 65} cm
  • Shown in size 42½” / 42.5 cm
  • Recommended ease:  2–4″ / 5–10 cm positive ease

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Margherita

This basic bottom-up raglan sweater is a great introduction to sweater knitting. The body and sleeves are knit in the round before being joined, and the super-bulky yarn, Berroco Coco, means it can be finished quickly!

Size

  • Bust:  38½ (42½, 46½, 50½, 54½, 58½, 62½)”
  • Length:  17½ (17½, 18½, 19¼, 19¾, 20¼, 20¾)” 
  • Shown in size 42½”
  • Suggested ease: 2–4″ positive ease.

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Becker

Becker is a simple broken rib scarf. Its super size and fringe make it a statement scarf you’ll want to throw on over any fall outfit (or winter coat).

Size: Approximately 13½” / 34 cm wide x  64″ / 160 cm long (not including fringe)

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

  • 10mm/US15 needles (circular or straight)

Berroco Coco

Berroco Coco is 100% superwash merino wool dyed with splashes of color for fast and fabulous projects. It’s soft, easy to work with, it’s machine washable, and works up in a flash! It’s ideal for sweaters, hats, mitts, scarves, cowls, blankets (adult and baby). This yarn is a PRE-ORDER, we aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis but you have the option to order it at any time (as long as the distributor makes it available to us).

  • 100% Superwash Merino Wool
  • 100g/70m (77yds)
  • Super Bulky Weight
  • 10mm/US15 knitting needles 
  • knitting gauge: 10 sts & 14 rows = 4″ (10cm)
  • P (US) / 12 mm crochet hook
  • crochet gauge: 7 sc & 9 rows = 4″ (10cm)
  • Made in Italy
  • Washing: Place garment in a mesh wash bag, machine wash separately in cold water on delicate cycle. Lay flat to dry.
  • Patterns for Berroco Coco

How much yarn will I need?

PRE-ORDER Sweaters for Men

Everybody is knitting these days, so we’re trying to make more options easily accessible for you. I’ve been adding new Pre-Order Kits to our website, and I’ve been happy to fill in a much neglected area, sweaters for men. The projects below are a selection of the kits we’ve uploaded (mostly a combination of handome sweaters on guys I wouldn’t kick out of bed for eating crackers). You can find even more patterns we can kit-up for you HERE.

Fibres & Colours

People have very different needs and preferences when it comes to their yarn, so we’ve set the kits up in the yarns they were designed in, but have also listed several possible substitutions in different fibres, both machine and hand washable, and we are happy to special order your kit in any of them. Due to the limitations of digital media we’ve also chosen a selection of colours that tend to be popular for men’s sweaters. That said, we know better than most that people love all kinds of colours (I wouldn’t have it any other way), and we are happy and able to order any colour that is available.

North

North is an easy, quick-knit pullover with set-in sleeves and a roll-neck collar. This sweater is worked flat from the bottom up, and seamed. North is deigned with Berroco Vintage Chunky, a soft, bulky weight weight machine washable wool/synthetic blend. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater.

Anthony

Anthony is the perfect simple sweater, an easy men’s sweater knit with Berroco Ultra Wool. The body is knit in pieces and seamed (though it would be very easy to modify for knitting in the round if that’s your preferred method), and the sleeves set-in. Anthony is made with Berroco Ultra Wool, a worsted, 100% superwash wool that is machine wash and dryable. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite for this project is Berroco Ultra Alpaca). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater.

Ketch

Ketch is a classic pullover worked in pieces from the bottom up, it has set-in sleeves and a one-button shawl collar. It is designed with Berroco Vintage, a soft, worsted weight machine washable wool/synthetic blend. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite for this project is Berroco Ultra Alpaca). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater.

Artin

Sure to be a favorite for years to come, Artin is a long-sleeved pullover with a stunning traditional stitch pattern in an easy, classic silhouette. It is knit flat in pieces and seamed, and the stitch pattern is charted. For a woman’s version, see Retta. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite for this project is Berroco Ultra Alpaca or Berroco Lanas). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater.

Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is an Aran-style cardigan with a shawl collar and raglan shoulders.Pattern is charted. This sweater is worked flat from the bottom up, and seamed. Fitzgerald is deigned with Berroco Vintage Chunky, a soft, bulky weight weight machine washable wool/synthetic blend. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite for this sweater is Berroco Mercado). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater.

Beagle

Beagle is a classic gansey with easy to follow texture patterns that will entertain the knitter and add just enough interest for the wary sweater wearer. Beagle is designed with Berroco Vintage, a soft, worsted weight machine washable wool/synthetic blend. The pattern is a basic construction, knit in pieces and seamed. There’s also a Beagle Scarf, a textured scarf that coordinates with the Beagle pullover. If you’d prefer a different yarn we’ve listed a number of alternatives we can substitute (my favourite for this project is Berroco Ultra Alpaca or Berroco Lanas). Click on the picture above or the button below to read more about this sweater