Category Archives: Uncategorized

OOPS! Updated Links

Looks like we had some links that didn’t work in our last couple of posts, so here are the updates … thanks for letting us know!

I once saw a promotional post-card in the return area of Ikea that read something to the effect “Only in our dreams do we not make mistakes.” According to Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, fear of making mistakes is the enemy of development. I’ll be honest, this is someting I’m still working on. We’re pretty lucky as knitters and crocheters, when we make mistakes we have the opportunity to rip them back and fix them. Even better, we have the choice to accept our mistakes, leave them and move forward.

If you’d like to know more about some Ikea products that didn’t take flight (my favourite is the composting sofa) read HERE … from the Ikea Digital Museum.

So there you go – life, brought you by …. MISTAKES!

It looks like the links for the market bag patterns from our last update didn’t want to stay saved, so I’ve updated them in our blog and am adding them here below …. for a quick one-skein project try our Crochet Grocery Bag, you’ll only need 1 skein of Cascade Ultra Pima or Quince & Co Sparrow (last year’s stock is still on SALE).

Free Market Bag Patterns

By the way, when I did my research a few years ago into the environmental friendliness of fibres, the baste fibres came out on top (linen, hemp, nettle, jute) … so I opt to use jute string around the store. Cotton landed on the bottom because it uses so much water and so many chemicals to grow (organic cotton still sucks up a lot of water, and produces lower yields than conventional cotton, so it isn’t a panacea). Cellulosic fibres like bamboo are in the mid-range, because they’re easy to grow, but are heavy on the processing end. Animal fibres are also in-between because of the feeding & watering. Basically, the less intervention a fibre needs to grow, be harvested, and be processed, the better.

If you want to learn the ins & outs of fibre, the best book for our purpose is The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.

Neons & Neutrals by Aimee Gille

RELEASE DATE MARCH 3, 2023

Neons & Neutrals: A Knitwear Collection Curated by Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée is a sequel to Aimée’s first book, the best-selling Worsted.

This collection, if possible, is even better and includes 16 patterns from 16 talented designers. It is an eclectic collection of patterns that invites crafters to combine yarn in new and unexpected ways across brands and bases. The designs showcase modern knitting at its best, using a variety of techniques and unique and unexpected color combinations. SEE THE FULL POST WITH PICTURES HERE.

MORE PHOTOS TO BE RELEASED FEB 9

HOUSEKEEPING Bags, Pima & Pilgrims

Paper Bags

Disposable plastic shopping bags are starting to make their departure here in Canada, and I think it is a good time to start weaning us off their paper cousins in the store. Several years ago I did some research into what was the best option for the environment, and ultimately it came down to the inconvenient truth all disposable options are problematic – including paper.

I replaced our plastic shopping bags during the heyday of COVID because we had so many pick-up orders going out and the amount of plastic going into the landfill made me a bit nauseous. But paper bags haven’t been a panacea – they’re pretty, but they are expensive. They cost four to five times more than their plastic counterparts, they are also costlier to have delivered because they are much heavier than plastic, and they take up a lot of storage space.

During the pandemic, many of us got a little bit complacent about bringing our own reusable shopping totes when we leave the house … why is it so easy to create bad habits?! Anyway, as you can imagine, all those paper bags have begun to add up … and, on top of that, they’re still disposable and end up in the trash in one form or another. Environmentalist David Suzuki always said recycling should be the last option you choose, the first is to REDUCE.

So, moving forward, we will continue to have paper shopping bags in the store for your convenience, but we will charge $0.75/per bag to cover our costs and encourage their reduced consumption.

FREE Market Bag Patterns

If you’re feeling like you want to channel your love for the planet into crafting here are some project ideas for making market bags:

Cascade Ultra Pima Going Away

Unfortunately, due to steep increases in production costs, our beloved Cascade Ultra Pima is going away. Over the last year the price has jumped from $12 to $18. It is a beautiful yarn, one of my favourite cottons since the way it is milled gives it a consistency similar to silk, but alas … another victim of COVID supply chain and manufacturing disruptions. I’m looking for a suitable replacement, but I wanted you to have a heads up in-case you are a die-hard fan of Ultra Pima and want some in your stash – especially if you’re a maker of Knitted Knockers or Chemo caps.

Cascade Ultra Pima is a super soft, machine-washable pima cotton. It’s great for everything from baby blankets, hats or sweaters (like the French Macaroon below), grown-up blankets & afghans, bags and totes (like the market bags above), and of course warm-weather sweaters …..

For the time being the distributor is continuing to carry Cascade Ultra Pima, so we will be able to special order it for you at your request (but you must order the full bag of 10 skeins for $18/skein).

POPULAR PROJECTS FOR CASCADE ULTRA PIMA

The Knitting Pilgrim is Back for ONE Night!

The Knitting Pilgrim is in town for one night on Saturday, Feb 4, 2023 at 7:30pm for a performance at Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church, 4 Morningside Avenue, Toronto, come to the door. The show is Pay What You Will. For more information, go to the website, www.morningsidehighpark.com, or call 416.766.4765.

The Knitting Pilgrim, which premiered at the Aga Khan Museum’s Auditorium in May, 2019 and has toured Ontario for 50+ shows, was given 6 out of 5 stars by CFMU Hamilton, 5 out of 5 stars by Mooney on Theatre, and was named a Critic’s Fringe Pick in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, as well as One of ‘Top Ten Shows to See’ by NOW Magazine. It tells the story of a journey that you need to experience.

Created by actor, writer and knitter Kirk Dunn, Stitched Glass is a triptych of large hand-knitted panels, designed in the style of stained-glass windows, which looks at the commonalities and conflicts amongst the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The textile masterwork was supported by a Chalmers Foundation grant through the Ontario Arts Council in 2003, and took Kirk an incredible 15 years to complete. There is no other knitting project like it in the world.

PRE-ORDER Neons & Neutrals by Aimee Gille

Neons & Neutrals by Aimee Gille

RELEASE DATE MARCH 3, 2023

Neons & Neutrals: A Knitwear Collection Curated by Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée is a sequel to Aimée’s first book, the best-selling Worsted.

This collection, if possible, is even better and includes 16 patterns from 16 talented designers. It is an eclectic collection of patterns that invites crafters to combine yarn in new and unexpected ways across brands and bases. The designs showcase modern knitting at its best, using a variety of techniques and unique and unexpected color combinations.

MORE PHOTOS TO BE RELEASED FEB 9

Most of the patterns are photographed in two different samples – worked in different colors and yarns, giving you ample inspiration for your own versions.

The collection celebrates solidarity and cooperation: to showcase the many talented people in the knitting community, Aimée has put together a collection of not only patterns from designers around the world, but yarns from a variety of producers and dyers.

All of them work beautifully together and different sizes and price points have also been taken into account. Sweaters and cardigans are graded into various sizes, reaching from size 1 (30″ / 75 cm bust circumference) to at least size 8 (or 60″ / 152 cm bust circumference).

Aimée writes: “My goal was to curate a knitwear collection that you’ve never seen before. Neons and Neutrals is a collection full of unexpected colors and textures that hopefully will invite you to knit beyond your comfort zone. I believe anyone can wear any color or texture as long as you believe in the fiber story you are making.”

Aimée Gille was born and raised in the United States, in Kansas, and later moved to France, where her passion for knitting was reignited. In Paris, where she now lives with her family, she first opened L’OisiveThé, a wonderful knitting café, and later La Bien Aimée, a yarn company whose gorgeous hand-dyed yarns are sold worldwide. Her debut book, Worsted, was published by Laine Publishing in 2021. Neons & Neutrals is her second book.

The book features designs by the following designers: Inese Sang, Maaike van Geijn, Karen Cronje, Anna Husemann, Layla Yang, Caitlyn Turowski, Cecelia Campochiaro, Valerie Ng, Maysa Tomikawa, Florence Spurling, Lotta H Löthgren, Brandi Cheyenne Harper, Marie Régnier, Susan Chin, Brienne Moody and Julia Wilkens.

  • 200 pages
  • Hardback
  • 16 knitting patterns (4 sweaters, 4 cardigans, 4 shawls, 2 hats, 1 vest and 1 cowl)
  • Editor: Aimée Gille
  • Dimensions: 195 x 232x 23 mm
  • Weight: Approx. 740 g / 1.65 lb
  • ISBN: 978-952-7468-50-0
  • Printed in Latvia.
  • Available also in French and Japanese
  • PRINT ONLY, no digital download available
  • YARN INFO

LAST CHANCE To Join Knitsana Mindfulness Workshops!

There’s Still Time To Join!

I have found that if you look closely, the Universe is a pretty loving place. The things we need are presented to us (especially if we ask for them), we just have a tendency to get in our own way and block our own joy (I avoid using the term ‘happiness’ – according to Eckhart Tolle the world is not here to make us happy, it’s to make us conscious …. but being conscious feels pretty frickin’ good and brings happy things like joy and peace and contentment, so while it isn’t the same thing, there’s a connection).

People don’t pay attention to the little synchronicities in their lives, which is a shame, because when you open up to those little nudges from the universe they can put you on a completely different path … normally a brighter one. Sometimes it’s an author, a book that catches your eye, or a podcast or a video, an email …. whatever it is, it’s something new, something you maybe might normally dismiss. New things are scary to the human mind, our brains are engineered to keep us alive, but joy … not so much. That’s where the practice of mindfulness comes in, it helps us learn to create the space necessary to reach for the nourishment we need, break old patterns, and create new, happy ways of living.

If you’ve been thinking or reading about our Knitsana mindfulness workshop and haven’t committed, what are you hesitant about? Are there other areas of your life that you are experiencing pause? Is it time for you to open up to more joy, more contentment, more peace, more love? Join Michelle Bloom, a registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist with a passion for knitting will guide you in your mindfulness as you learn the basics (or go deeper).

Whatever synchronicities are laid out in front of you, trust the universe, trust life, and follow the crumbs it’s leaving for you.

If you have any questions about the Knitsana Workshop or want to register, simply e-mail Michelle.

Past participants share their inspiring experiences …

“Knitsana has been a “moment” of peace and growth over the past few months.  I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, find some balance and focus on ‘now’ not ‘then’.  I look forward to the group hour as my time to learn and grow.  Of course, the growth continues as the learning continues … I appreciate change is wonderful and necessary as long as we are alive …” ~ F.D.

“I joined the Knitsana group last winter …  It was lovely – so relaxing, so interesting.  I love knitting & being able to incorporate mindfulness to knitting is joyous.  Knitting can be so relaxing & so loving – especially if you are creating things for loved ones.  I realized I put so much love into what I create.” ~ Lisa H

“As someone who has practiced mindfulness meditation for a few years, I found the Knitsana group a fantastic way to extend that practice and to bring mindfulness and a greater sense of calm into other parts of my life.” ~ Linda B.

“Knitsana for me is a mindfulness knitting community right in my living room. It’s meditative, relaxing, and peaceful—my one hour of contentedness in a stressful world.” ~ Karen H

“I’m relatively new to knitting, and I love it for the relaxation factor. Knitsana brought me together with a group of warm, creative people and helped inspire me to love the journey, not just the outcome. “  ~ J.F.

Discounted Option Available!

If you want to take the workshop with the lovely recommended yarn you can do that for $200, but if you want to save a little bit of money and use some yarn from your stash we are now offering the course at a discounted $175. We want you to have a great experience when you practice your mindful knitting, but ultimately it’s about practicing being present.

Reminder: You May be Eligible for Insurance Benefits!

Because this group is led by a licensed Social Worker and considered to be ‘therapeutic’, any participant residing in Ontario that has insurance coverage for social work can apply for benefits. Otherwise, you may be able to write off the cost of this group on your taxes (talk to your accountant to see). Michelle will issue an official receipt at the end of the session.

KNITSANA 1: Introduction to Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: SUNDAY JANUARY 29, 2023  

Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present and aware. The practice can help us  when we feel overwhelmed, and help us manage how we react to stress. Luckily, mindfulness is a quality that every person already possesses, you don’t need to conjure it up, you just have to learn how to access it and practice using it. In this workshop, we will use knitting as an entry into the practice of mindfulness, with the intention to help you learn how to both improve and maintain your well-being. The craft of knitting with its repetitive and rhythmic motions is well known for its calming and healing properties. Mindfulness practice has been used for years to help people focus themselves in the present moment. Together, we hope to provide you with the needed tools to decrease stress and support your daily well-being. 

The only prerequisite is that you already know how to cast on, knit and purl. You do not need any prior experience with mindfulness or meditation, you just need to show up and be present. 

When

Every SUNDAY morning for one hour from 10:30 am  to 11:30 am for SIX WEEKS
(January 29; Feb 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5) 

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


KNITSANA 2: Expanded Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2023 

Welcome to Knitsana 2 – if you are looking for a way to expand your mindfulness skills then this is the group for you! We will continue to use knitting in your practice with mindfulness. Knitting with its repetitive motion, illuminating colours and textures offers so much in the way of healing properties. This group will ‘go deeper’ into concepts explored in the first Knitsana group (ie. perfectionism, burnout, etc.) and will help bridge into your daily living. 

When

Every WEDNESDAY evening for one hour from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for SIX weeks. (February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8)

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


Details that Apply to Both Workshops

Important Notes

  • These groups DO NOT include any knitting instruction
  • Groups are presently only held online
  • Space is limited to 20 participants per group, so please don’t wait to register

Who

This group is facilitated by Michelle Bloom, a registered Social Worker with a thriving counseling practice who has a love for knitting and a passion for healing.  Haley Waxberg, owner of Knit-O-Matic will be co-hosting. 

Where

These online groups and will be held over a secure zoom channel. 

You will also have access to the Knitsana Facebook Group, a private forum exclusively for Knitsana members to share their mindfulness growth and experiences.

Cost

The cost of the group WITH YARN is $200.00 for all six sessions, and WITHOUT YARN it is $175. Payment and registration will NOT be going through us at the store – because Michelle is a Registered Social Worker it is more cost-effective to offer this workshop directly through her (if it went through the store we would have to charge tax, cover overhead, etc).

Insurance Benefits

Because this group is considered to be ‘therapeutic’, any participant residing in Ontario that has insurance coverage for social work can apply for benefits. You may otherwise be able to write off the cost of this group on your taxes (talk to your accountant to see). 

Registration

Register by e-mailing Michelle. Payment will be made directly to Michelle Bloom (by ETF), who will issue an official receipt upon completion of all 6 sessions. 

Skills Required

You must already know how to cast on, knit and purl. For knitting tutorials please see our Knitting Skills Page.

Materials (optional)

We will all be using the same, specially selected yarn for our mindful journey. If you are a new knitter we recommend 10” straight bamboo or birch needles. If you are a crocheter that is also fine, you will need a 4.5mm or 5mm crochet hook.

1 skein of Malabrigo Rios (colour of your choice)

  • Total 200m/100g
  • 100% merino wool (superwash)
  • machine wash, lay flat to dry
  • 4.5mm/US7 to 5mm/US8 needles required

Projects

This is NOT a knitting skills course, so we won’t be taking on a specific project, but here’s a list of simple project options that are well suited to mindfulness knitting (choose something that is simple for you):


Getting Ready for the COCOKNITS Mabel KAL

I’m getting ready for the COCOKNITS MABEL KAL (knitalong) starting in February!

The sweater is knit with the Cocoknits method, a unique technique for working a sweater seamlessly from the top-down, and I’m curious to finally learn it! I think I’ll make it as a turne neck …. it gives the shape a bit more substance.

I’ve done my swatching and tried 3 different yarns:

I tried 7mm/US10.75 needles and 6.5mm/US10.5 needles, and got the best gauge by combining Drops Air & Drops Kid-Silk on 6.5mm/US10.5 needles.

In the video I also flip through the pattern … it’s very professional and comprehensive, I’m looking forward to it and I know we will be in good hands!

P.S.

The ring I’m wearing in the video is from Kormar Jewellery. I bought it at the Toronto Outdoor Art Show and LURV it! It’s 3D-printed silver and doesn’t get caught on my yarn when I knit or crochet (an essential quality in my jewellery).

Mabel

Mabel is a loose-fitting, comfortable pullover that fits the bill. She is also infinitely adaptable … try knitting the neck ribbing into a cowl or extra long fold-over turtleneck. Add cables, split the hem, knit it knee length, add stripes … the sky’s the limit. It is written in 10 sizes from 36 to 72” bust, so you have options for fit, as well!

This sweater is worked using the Cocoknits Method, a commonsense system for knitting seamless, tailored sweaters from the top down. The Cocoknits Method is explained in detail in Cocoknits Sweater Workshop by Julie Weisenberger.

Size

  • Small (Medium, Large, 1X)(2X, 3X, 4X)(5X, 6X, 7X)
  • Finished Bust: 36 (40, 44, 48)(52, 56, 60)(64, 68, 72)”/ 91.5 (104.5, 112, 122) (132, 142, 152.5)(162.5, 172.5, 183) cm
  • Finished Length: 15.5 (17.5, 19, 20)(21, 21.5, 22.5)(23.25, 24, 25)”/ 39.5 (44.5, 48.5, 51)(53.5, 54.5, 57.5)(59, 61, 63.5) cm

Materials

DISCOUNT For Knitsana Workshops

Hi All!

With the long days of winter seem to want to stay grey this year, COVID making a comeback, and the rising cost of living, taking care of our mental wellbeing has never been more crucial! When we started Knitsana we wanted to do something to help people heal, not just from the trauma of the pandemic, but all the build-up we all unknowingly carry around. We must be doing something good, past participants of our Knitsana workshops have been coming back for more, making it possible for us to expand and add a second, more advanced workshop.

Now with the rising cost of living, Michelle and I want to find a way to make learning and growing your Mindfulness and peace of mind more accessible. We talked and decided the best way was to offer you the choice of joining Knitsana with or without the yarn. If you want to take the workshop with the lovely recommended yarn you can do that for $200, but if you want to save a little bit of money and use some yarn from your stash we are now offering the course at a discounted $175. We want you to have a great experience when you practice your mindful knitting, but ultimately it’s about practicing being present.

Reminder: You May be Eligible for Insurance Benefits!

Because this group is led by a licensed Social Worker and considered to be ‘therapeutic’, any participant residing in Ontario that has insurance coverage for social work can apply for benefits. Otherwise, you may be able to write off the cost of this group on your taxes (talk to your accountant to see). Michelle will issue an official receipt at the end of the session.

What Past Participants Are Saying About Knitsana

“Knitsana has been a “moment” of peace and growth over the past few months.  I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, find some balance and focus on ‘now’ not ‘then’.  I look forward to the group hour as my time to learn and grow.  Of course, the growth continues as the learning continues … I appreciate change is wonderful and necessary as long as we are alive …” ~ F.D.

“I joined the Knitsana group last winter – we met Sunday mornings for a few weeks.  It was lovely – so relaxing, so interesting.  I love knitting & being able to incorporate mindfulness to knitting is joyous.  Knitting can be so relaxing & so loving – especially if you are creating things for loved ones.  I realized I put so much love into what I create.” ~ Lisa H

“As someone who has practiced mindfulness meditation for a few years, I found the Knitsana group a fantastic way to extend that practice and to bring mindfulness and an  greater sense of calm into other parts of my life.” ~ Linda B.

“Knitsana for me is a mindfulness knitting community right in my living room. It’s meditative, relaxing, and peaceful—my one hour of contentedness in a stressful world.” ~ Karen H

“I’m relatively new to knitting, and I love it for the relaxation factor. Knitsana brought me together with a group of warm, creative people and helped inspire me to love the journey, not just the outcome. “  ~ J.F.

KNITSANA 1: Introduction to Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: SUNDAY JANUARY 29, 2023  

Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present and aware. The practice can help us  when we feel overwhelmed, and help us manage how we react to stress. Luckily, mindfulness is a quality that every person already possesses, you don’t need to conjure it up, you just have to learn how to access it and practice using it. In this workshop, we will use knitting as an entry into the practice of mindfulness, with the intention to help you learn how to both improve and maintain your well-being. The craft of knitting with its repetitive and rhythmic motions is well known for its calming and healing properties. Mindfulness practice has been used for years to help people focus themselves in the present moment. Together, we hope to provide you with the needed tools to decrease stress and support your daily well-being. 

The only prerequisite is that you already know how to cast on, knit and purl. You do not need any prior experience with mindfulness or meditation, you just need to show up and be present. 

When

Every SUNDAY morning for one hour from 10:30 am  to 11:30 am for SIX WEEKS
(January 29; Feb 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5) 

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


KNITSANA 2: Expanded Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2023 

Welcome to Knitsana 2 – if you are looking for a way to expand your mindfulness skills then this is the group for you! We will continue to use knitting in your practice with mindfulness. Knitting with its repetitive motion, illuminating colours and textures offers so much in the way of healing properties. This group will ‘go deeper’ into concepts explored in the first Knitsana group (ie. perfectionism, burnout, etc.) and will help bridge into your daily living. 

When

Every WEDNESDAY evening for one hour from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for SIX weeks. (February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8)

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


Details that Apply to Both Workshops

Important Notes

  • These groups DO NOT include any knitting instruction
  • Groups are presently only held online
  • Space is limited to 20 participants per group, so please don’t wait to register

Who

This group is facilitated by Michelle Bloom, a registered Social Worker who has a love for knitting and a passion for healing.  Haley Waxberg, owner of Knit-O-Matic will be co-hosting. 

Where

These online groups and will be held over a secure zoom channel. 

You will also have access to the Knitsana Facebook Group, a private forum exclusively for Knitsana members to share their mindfulness growth and experiences.

Cost

The cost of the group WITH YARN is $200.00 for all six sessions, and WITHOUT YARN it is $175. Payment and registration will NOT be going through us at the store – because Michelle is a Registered Social Worker it is more cost-effective to offer this workshop directly through her (if it went through the store we would have to charge tax, cover overhead, etc).

Insurance Benefits

Because this group is considered to be ‘therapeutic’, any participant residing in Ontario that has insurance coverage for social work can apply for benefits. You may otherwise be able to write off the cost of this group on your taxes (talk to your accountant to see). 

Registration

Register by e-mailing Michelle. Payment will be made directly to Michelle Bloom (by ETF), who will issue an official receipt upon completion of all 6 sessions. 

Skills Required

You must already know how to cast on, knit and purl. For knitting tutorials please see our Knitting Skills Page.

Materials (optional)

We will all be using the same, specially selected yarn for our mindful journey. If you are a new knitter we recommend 10” straight bamboo or birch needles. If you are a crocheter that is also fine, you will need a 4.5mm or 5mm crochet hook.

1 skein of Malabrigo Rios (colour of your choice)

  • Total 200m/100g
  • 100% merino wool (superwash)
  • machine wash, lay flat to dry
  • 4.5mm/US7 to 5mm/US8 needles required

Projects

This is not a knitting skills course, so we won’t be taking on a specific project, but here’s a list of simple project options that are well suited to mindfulness knitting (choose something that is simple for you):


HOUSEKEEPING Covid & Midfulness

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve sent you a COVID housekeeping update …. I know we all would have loved to leave COVID in 2022, but viruses just seem to do what they want.

Currently, NOTHING is changing in the store …

  • We still ask that everyone put on a mask before coming into the store, and there’s a box attached to the front door with a bunch in there, so if you don’t already have one in your pocket please help yourself.
  • All classes and help are booked privately through our website HERE.
  • All social knitting is still suspended.
  • We ARE accepting donations of yarn, needles and hooks for charity (please drop your donations off in a sealed plastic bag and make sure it contains no perfume, cigarette smoke or moths) … read more on our ABOUT US page.

What is changing (or may be changing) is the COVID situation, and since in the past you’ve let me know how much you appreciated the heads-up from my intuition/spidey-sense, I thought it might be a good idea. A new COVID Omicron variant is out and about, making its way around the world – its science name is XBB.1.5 (no, it’s not named after Elon Musk & Grimes’ baby) but it also goes by the name Kraken. As far as I’ve read, they don’t know a lot about this subvariant right now, but it is definitely the most contagious thus far and is spreading around the world (things seem to be blossoming in China, but their government isn’t reliable about sharing information, so who knows.)

According to doctors, it’s important to make sure your COVD and Flu vaccines are up to date – if your last COVID vaccine was over 6 months ago your protection has expired and you need to get a booster. Luckily, there are now ‘bivalent’ vaccines that cover the Omicron subvariant, and you can get them pretty easily at your local drugstore. COVID vaccines are not the “one-and-done” type of vaccine, they are like the Flu vaccine, you need to get them updated for them to work. Covid vaccines also aren’t the type that prevent you from getting the virus, but they can help keep you from getting really sick and ending up in hospital, and that helps keep the hospitals running so the people who do need care can get it.

Other important precautions include staying home when you feel sick, washing your hands, and wearing a mask when you’re out and about (I equate this to wearing a seatbelt when you’re driving …. it’s just a super easy way to protect yourself from illness.)

Some people still feel a lot of fear around COVID, some are indifferent, and the rest of us are somewhere in the middle, swimming in an Olympic-sized pool of mixed emotions. I’m pretty good about masking, and when I’m out with my family or friends and they ask me “Should we wear masks?” I always respond “What are your plans next week, and would you prefer to do that or be stuck at home, sick?”

The past and the future don’t actually exist, they’re just concepts in our minds. None of us actually have control over anything beyond the choices we make in the present moment, so I say try to live consciously. If you’re having a hard time being in the present (or letting go of the past, or worrying about the future), want to work on getting out of your head, still feel shaken or burned out by the pandemic, or just want to try something new with your life, check out our Knitsana Mindfulness Workshops below.

KNITSANA 1: Introduction to Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION STARTS: SUNDAY JANUARY 29, 2023  

Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present and aware. The practice can help us  when we feel overwhelmed, and help us manage how we react to stress. Luckily, mindfulness is a quality that every person already possesses, you don’t need to conjure it up, you just have to learn how to access it and practice using it. In this workshop, we will use knitting as an entry into the practice of mindfulness, with the intention to help you learn how to both improve and maintain your well-being. The craft of knitting with its repetitive and rhythmic motions is well known for its calming and healing properties. Mindfulness practice has been used for years to help people focus themselves in the present moment. Together, we hope to provide you with the needed tools to decrease stress and support your daily well-being. 

The only prerequisite is that you already know how to cast on, knit and purl. You do not need any prior experience with mindfulness or meditation, you just need to show up and be present. 

DETAILS & REGISTRATION INFO

KNITSANA 2: Expanded Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION STARTS: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2023 

Welcome to Knitsana 2 – if you are looking for a way to expand your mindfulness skills then this is the group for you! We will continue to use knitting in your practice with mindfulness. Knitting with its repetitive motion, illuminating colours and textures offers so much in the way of healing properties. This group will ‘go deeper’ into concepts explored in the first Knitsana group (ie. fierce self-compassion, perfectionism, burnout, etc.) and will help bridge into your daily living. 

Prerequisites: Knitsana 1 (or prior expereince with mindfulness practice). You should already know how to cast on, knit and purl.

DETAILS & REGISTRATION INFO

What Our Clients Are Saying

“Knitsana has been a “moment” of peace and growth over the past few months.  I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, find some balance and focus on ‘now’ not ‘then’.  I look forward to the group hour as my time to learn and grow.  Of course, the growth continues as the learning continues … I appreciate change is wonderful and necessary as long as we are alive …”  ~ F.D.

“I joined the Knitsana group last winter – we met Sunday mornings for a few weeks.  It was lovely – so relaxing, so interesting.  I love knitting & being able to incorporate mindfulness to knitting is joyous.  Knitting can be so relaxing & so loving – especially if you are creating things for loved ones.  I realized I put so much love into what I create.”             ~ Lisa H.

“As someone who has practiced mindfulness meditation for a few years, I found the Knitsana group a fantastic way to extend that practice and to bring mindfulness and an  greater sense of calm into other parts of my life.” ~ Linda B.

“Knitsana for me is a mindfulness knitting community right in my living room. It’s meditative, relaxing, and peaceful—my one hour of contentedness in a stressful world.” ~ Karen H

“I’m relatively new to knitting, and I love it for the relaxation factor. Knitsana brought me together with a group of warm, creative people and helped inspire me to love the journey, not just the outcome. ” ~ J.F.

KNITSANA Winter Sessions

The winter session of Knitsana starts Jan 29 & Feb 1st!

Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist and author Thich Nhat Hanh believed mindfulness was the secret not just to happiness but to being authentically alive. If you want more from your life, the best place to look is inward, and practicing mindfulness is an essential skill for making space in there. In our Knitsana workshops we adopt knitting as a point of entry into learning and nurturing a mindfulness practice, in addition to the essentials of self-acceptance, self-love, and letting go of perfectionism. We’d love it if you can join us, every group is different and your experience is what makes it special. This new year give yourself the gift of positive change – I promise you that you are worth it!

With much love,

Haley


KNITSANA 1: Introduction to Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: SUNDAY JANUARY 29, 2023  

Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present and aware. The practice can help us  when we feel overwhelmed, and help us manage how we react to stress. Luckily, mindfulness is a quality that every person already possesses, you don’t need to conjure it up, you just have to learn how to access it and practice using it. In this workshop, we will use knitting as an entry into the practice of mindfulness, with the intention to help you learn how to both improve and maintain your well-being. The craft of knitting with its repetitive and rhythmic motions is well known for its calming and healing properties. Mindfulness practice has been used for years to help people focus themselves in the present moment. Together, we hope to provide you with the needed tools to decrease stress and support your daily well-being. 

The only prerequisite is that you already know how to cast on, knit and purl. You do not need any prior experience with mindfulness or meditation, you just need to show up and be present. 

When

Every SUNDAY morning for one hour from 10:30 am  to 11:30 am for SIX WEEKS
(January 29; Feb 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5) 

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


KNITSANA 2: Expanded Mindfulness Through Knitting

NEXT SESSION: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2023 

Welcome to Knitsana 2 – if you are looking for a way to expand your mindfulness skills then this is the group for you! We will continue to use knitting in your practice with mindfulness. Knitting with its repetitive motion, illuminating colours and textures offers so much in the way of healing properties. This group will ‘go deeper’ into concepts explored in the first Knitsana group (ie. perfectionism, burnout, etc.) and will help bridge into your daily living. 

When

Every WEDNESDAY evening for one hour from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for SIX weeks. (February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8)

SEE BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE DETAILS


Details that Apply to Both Workshops

Important Notes

  • These groups DO NOT include any knitting instruction
  • Groups are presently only held online
  • Space is limited to 20 participants per group, so please don’t wait to register

Who

This group is facilitated by Michelle Bloom, a registered Social Worker who has a love for knitting and a passion for healing.  Haley Waxberg, owner of Knit-O-Matic will be co-hosting. 

Where

These online groups and will be held over a secure zoom channel. 

You will also have access to the Knitsana Facebook Group, a private forum exclusively for Knitsana members to share their mindfulness growth and experiences.

Skills Required

You must already know how to cast on, knit and purl. For knitting tutorials please see our Knitting Skills Page.

Cost

The cost of the group is $200.00 for all six sessions (yarn is included, see the yarn options below for details). Payment and registration will NOT be going through us at the store – because Michelle is a Registered Social Worker it is more cost-effective to offer this workshop directly through her.

Registration

Register by e-mailing Michelle. Payment will be made directly to Michelle Bloom (by ETF), who will issue an official receipt upon completion of all 6 sessions. 

Insurance Benefits

Because this group is considered to be ‘therapeutic’, any participant residing in Ontario that has insurance coverage for social work can apply for benefits. You may otherwise be able to write off the cost of this group on your taxes (talk to your accountant to see). 

Materials

We will all be using the same, specially selected yarn for our mindful journey. If you are a new knitter we recommend 10” straight bamboo or birch needles. If you are a crocheter that is also fine, you will need a 4.5mm or 5mm crochet hook.

1 skein of Malabrigo Rios

  • Total 200m/100g
  • 100% merino wool (superwash)
  • machine wash, lay flat to dry
  • 4.5mm/US7 to 5mm/US8 needles required

Projects

This is not a knitting skills course, so we won’t be taking on a specific project, but here’s a list of simple project options that are well suited to mindfulness knitting (choose something that is simple for you):


What Our Clients Are Saying

“I’m relatively new to knitting, and I love it for the relaxation factor. Knitsana brought me together with a group of warm, creative people and helped inspire me to love the journey, not just the outcome. “  ~ J.F.

“I joined the Knitsana group last winter – we met Sunday mornings for a few weeks.  It was lovely – so relaxing, so interesting.  I love knitting & being able to incorporate mindfulness to knitting is joyous.  Knitting can be so relaxing & so loving – especially if you are creating things for loved ones.  I realized I put so much love into what I create.” ~ Lisa H

“Knitsana has been a “moment” of peace and growth over the past few months.  I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, find some balance and focus on ‘now’ not ‘then’.  I look forward to the group hour as my time to learn and grow.  Of course, the growth continues as the learning continues … I appreciate change is wonderful and necessary as long as we are alive …” ~ F.D.


SALE Boxing Week 20% OFF!

I’m so sorry, yesterday’s note was supposed to be a BOXING WEEK SALE, not Black Friday (that’s soooo last month) …. I guess it gives me an opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and look forward to a fresh New Year! The store is closed today, but the sale is online as well and we will reopen tomorrow for in-store shopping. Love you!

Boxing Week SALE

From Dec 25 (4pm) to Monday Jan 2 (11:59pm) take 20% OFF:

Sale is online and in-store. Discount is automatically applied at check-out, and can not be combined with any other offers or discount codes.

Curbside Pick-up, shipping & same-day/next-day delivery are available!

SHOP SALE NOW

PROJECTS Knit for the Homeless This Holiday

YOU MADE IT! The holidays are here, it’s that part in the reality game show where there buzzer rings and the host tells the contestants to put down their blow-dryers/air-brush/frosting-bag/makeup-brush, or other hyphenated tool. No matter what, whatever it is that you’ve created is marvellous … because it came from you. So sit back, let go of all your expectations for what may or may not come, and soak in the present.

Personally, I love the quiet of Christmas morning. In the pre-dawn I walk to my brother & sister-in-law’s home. It’s dark and quiet, a few people are out, but there isn’t usually much traffic on the road. The city at rest is a serenity I relish. I let myself into their house, which is dark except for a tree that’s lit up and showing off (it’s its day, after all). The kids are corralled upstairs, and I creep up to let them know the blessed time of liberation is upon them. The lights come on, and the show starts ….

Have a great holiday, enjoy your show, whatever it is! xox Haley

Knit for the Homeless This Holiday

It’s been a cold autumn and early winter, and the need for warm accessories for the homeless is higher this year. If you’d like to knit for the homeless you can drop your knits & crochets off at the store, or if you aren’t in our neighbourhood you can contact shelters in your community (you can also look into organizations that collect donations for refugees, or who are sending outerwear to the Ukraine).

Considerations when knitting for the homeless:

  1. The yarn MUST be machine washable. Machine washable wool, wool blends, or synthetics are best.
  2. The knit should be warm – a loose, holey tension doesn’t serve
  3. Keep it simple … fancy isn’t important
  4. Preferred accessories include hats, neck-warmers, and mittens.

To make thing easy all the patterns below recommend Berroco Vintage Chunky – it’s machine washable, warm, a little bit thicker (so it goes a bit faster and makes a knit that’s a bit warmer), and relatively affordable. You don’t have to use this particular yarn, it’s just a guideline that’s works for me.

Yarn Combining

If you want to use up your stash you can hold a few strands together. Here are some general guidelines. A project like SNAP (above) is great for using up stash yarn. :

  • 2 strands of sock-weight yarn = light worsted weight (4.5mm/US7 needles)
  • 2 strands of DK weight = worsted to arm weight (5mm/US8 to 5.5mm/US9 needles)
  • 2 strands of worsted weight = chunky weight (6mm/US10 to 6.5mm/US10.5 needles)

Neckwarmers/Gaiters/Cowls

Whatever way you want to refer to it, a neckwarmer is a great way to stay warm! It stays on your body, and there are no long ends to flop around, get wet, trail in the snow – just snuggle down into it and stay warm.

The Cowl

This pattern calls for 3 different sized needles, but for you purposes we don’t need to get fancy, one pair is fine.It also holds a couple of strands of yarn together, and we can skip that – you only need the single strand of Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Clara’s Sorbet Cowl

This pattern is good for newer knitters, especially if you’ve learned how to knit and purl, but you haven’t got the knack of doing them in the same row. If you don’t know how to knit in the round you can find a good video tutorial on our Knitting Skills Page under “Working in the Round”. If you’re still not up to working in the round, you can cast on and knit the neckwarmer on regular old single pointed needles and them seam it up the back (see “Seaming & Sewing” on the Skills Page).

Hats

Jason’s Tweed Hat

A basic watch cap is a great solution for cold weather.

Barnes

A simple 1×1 rib makes for a warm watch cap or slouchy hat – whichever way its worn works!

Northward

Don’t be intimidated by basic cables – they only look hard, they’re really very easy – check out some good videos under “Cables” on our Knitting Skills Page.

Mittens

World’s Simplest Mitts