SPECIAL ORDER KIT Berroco Lanas Fern Lake

NEW Special Order Kits

Some of our yarn distributors have been creating special kits to help knitters and retailers during COVID, and as I come across ones I think you’ll like (and that I know I would enjoy) I’ve been sharing them. We can’t stock all these kits for you (there’s only so much room in the store) but we can special order them for you, so that is what we are doing! I’ve created a special section on our website in the main menu under “Kits” called SPECIAL ORDER KITS, and there you can find the cool things that I find! All of these kits can be special ordered online directly through our website (for your midnight yarn shopping needs) and we’ll get it for you! You can have your order shipped of you can pick it up in store – whatever makes you happy.

Use code KITSTOGO10 at checkout to take 10% off your Special Order Kit purchase!

Fern Lake Blanket Kit

Details

Whether you’re fireside indoors or out we love how Fern Lake blanket will make you feel at your coziest. A simple ombre texture flows through the blanket in a simple rhythmic stitch pattern. You’ll love making this blanket as well as getting cozy beneath it. Fern lake is designed with Berroco Lanas, a 100% Peruvian wool yarn. Made from a special blend of South American wools, Lanas is a classic yarn with a soft touch and beautiful luster.

Size

Approximately 45″ wide x 68″ long (lap or sofa blanket sized). 

Kit Includes

  • 12 skeins of Berroco Lanas: 2 balls each of C1, C3, and C5; 3 balls each of C2 and C4 (shown in colourway V1: Greens/Dove/Yellow)
  • Pattern

Notes

  • This yarn is NOT machine washable. If this is important to you we suggest substituting Berroco Vintage (which we carry in-store and online).
  • If you’d like to see the colours more closely you can visit us in-store and look at our shade-cards.
  • This Kit does NOT include 4.5mm/US7 – 32″ circular needles.
  • This kit is a Special Order, and it may take up to 2 weeks for us to receive it.The colour combinations listed are the ones on offer from the company, but if you would like to create your own combination we are happy to ask them and see if we can make that work. We can also ask about substitute a comparable machine washable 100% Peruvian wool yarn like Berroco Ultra Wool.

USE code KITSTOGO10 at checkout to take 10% off your Special Order Kit purchase!

Purga Kit

Knit from the top down in the round, Purga features a bold colorwork pattern, knit with a solid color yarn, set against the color shifts of Berroco Pixel

Size

  • Bust:  34¼ (39½, 43½, 45, 49½, 55½, 58¾, 61)”
  • Length:  21 (21½, 22, 22, 23½, 23, 23½, 24)” (down center back)
  • Shown in size 39½”. Recommended ease: 2–4″ positive ease

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

  • 16″ and 29″ circular needles, sizes 4 (3.50 mm) and 6 (4.00 mm) or size to obtain gauge
  • 1 set each double-pointed needles, sizes 4 (3.50 mm) and 6 (4.00 mm)
  • 1 stitch marker
  • Waste yarn to hold sleeve stitches

Notes

  • These yarns ARE machine washable
  • If you’d like to see the colours more closely you can visit us in-store and look at our shade-cards
  • Berroco Pixel is a soft, single ply double knitting weight yarn yarn that is dyed in a fun speckled, self-striping colourway.
  • Berroco Ultra Wool DK is a soft, multi-ply, 100% Peruvian wool superwash, double knitting weight yarn. It is machine washable, but still has a bit of texture to it, and it comes in solid and heathered colours.
  • The colour combinations listed are the ones on offer from the company, but if you would like to create your own combination we are happy to ask them and see if we can make that work.

Use code KITSTOGO10 at checkout to take 10% off your Special Order Kit purchase!

NEW & RESTOCKED Crafty Kits!

We’ve been restocking some popular craft from The Crafty Kit Company and I’ve found a few adorable new one too! Most of the kits are suitable for beginners, which makes them great for gifting (they come in extremely pretty boxes) and making. All are made and assembled in Scotland, and are part of the B1G1 program – your purchase enables the company to support global charities.

NEW Holiday Needle Felting Kits

These needle felting kits contains everything you need to make your own pair of cute needle felted Nordic Gnomes or a festive snowman! They are ideal for beginners, with step-by-step instructions and clear photographs you’ll be shown exactly how to create your gnomes using the materials in the kit. Designed and made in Scotland, Recommended for age 10+. Finished sizes approximately 15cm and 10cm. Warning: This kit contains sharp needles. Adult supervision required.

Kits Include:

  • 100% Wool roving
  • Felting needles
  • Foam to work on
  • Full colour instructions
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NEW Baby Animals Needle Felting Kits

New from the Crafty Kit Company, these needle felting kits contain everything you need to create adorable baby animals. You’ll learn how to make the basic shapes, then build them up with felting wool, and finally, add the details that will really bring your creation to life. Each kit comes with all the felting wool you need, a tube with felting needles, a mat to work on, wire pipe cleaner, nesting materials and clear step by step instructions. Skill Level: Easy Peasy, great for beginners. Recommended for age 10+. $25.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • 100% Wool roving
  • Felting needles
  • Foam to work on
  • Full colour instructions
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Animal Needle Felting Kits (Mounted Heads)

Something for those whose tastes run slightly darker … these needle felting kits contain everything you need to create a beautiful and realistic animal head. You’ll learn how to make a wire armature, then build it up with felting wool, and finally add the details that will really bring your creation to life. $32.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • all the felting wool you need
  • a tube with 3 felting needles
  • glass eyes
  • wire
  • pipe cleaners
  • nylon
  • a mat to work on
  • wood slice for mounting
  • faux leather strap
  • clear step by step instructions.

NEW Applique Sewing Kits

New from the Crafty Kit Company, these needle sewing applique kits contain everything you need to create something fun. These kits contain paper templates, not pre-cut pieces, making them a great way to teach traditional sewing skills. Each kit comes with everything needed to finish the project, along with easy to follow instructions. Perfect for beginner sewers aged 10 and up. Designed and made in Scotland. $25.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • 15cm bamboo embroidery hoop
  • wool-mix felt
  • needle and thread
  • paper template
  • Step-by-step instructions and clear photographs 
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NEW Cross Stitch Kits

Relax and create these adorable Cross Stitch Kits from The Crafty Kit Company! Part of the new “woodland creatures” cross-stitch collection, the kit contains everything you need to make a beautiful cross stitch. With full colour pattern chart and a beginners guide to cross stitch, this kit is ideal for beginners or for those who have tried and enjoyed cross stitch before. Perfect for making yourself, or as a lovely boxed gift. Suitable for beginners, designed and made in Scotland. $29.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • 15cm embroidery hoop
  • 14 count Aida fabric
  • DMC embroidery threads
  • cross stitch needle
  • full colour pattern chart
  • beginners’ cross-stitch guide

Crafty Kit Company Teddy Knitting Kit

This Knit your own Teddies knitting craft kit has to be the cutest – and the simplest – knitting kit ever! Create mummy (or daddy, granny, whoever) bear and baby bear using only garter stitch, with no shaping. You will also need to know how to cast on and off. The Knit your own Teddies Kit is suitable for all crafty people over the age of 7, and is suitable for new knitters. Once complete mummy and baby will measure approximately 35cm and 19cm. Everything comes packaged in a beautifully designed cardboard box, making the kit a lovely gift! $29.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • 3.25mm bamboo knitting needles
  • 100% acrylic yarn
  • Wool needle
  • Sewing needle
  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Instructions

NEW Crafty Kit Company Sewing Kits

New from the Crafty Kit Company, these needle sewing kits contain everything you need to create something fun. These kits contain paper templates, not pre-cut pieces, making them a great way to teach traditional sewing skills to children. Each kit comes with all the fabric, thread, stuffing, templates and a sewing needle to finishing the project, along with easy to follow instructions. Perfect for beginner sewers aged 7 and up. Read more about each kit HERE. $25.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • Felt
  • Plastic sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • Glue
  • Instructions

NEW Wreath Needle Felting Kits

The Crafty Kit Company’s new wreath needle felting kit contains everything you’ll need to make your own needle felted wreath decoration. Suitable for beginners, each kit comes with all the materials you need, plus instructions. Suitable for children ages 10 years and above. Adult supervision is required as the kit contains a very sharp needle. Made in Scotland. $45.97 each.

Kits Include:

  • vine wreath
  • 100% wool
  • felting needles
  • foam to work on
  • string for hanging
  • step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process
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RESTOCKED Fleece Artist Woollen Thrum Mitten Kits

Fleece Artist Woolen Thrum Mitten Kits

Thrumming is a very old technique that is seriously fun and functional. Small tufts of super soft merino roving (wool that hasn’t been spun into yarn yet) are knit into the garment creating a fuzzy warm layer on the inside and irresistible dots of colour the outside. As you wear them, the thrummed roving felts down, keeping your hands warm and cozy (take note dog owners, these are ideal winter dog walking mitts). The mittens will be the colour of the yarn and the thrums (roving) will peek through. Each kit is lovingly hand dyed in Nova Scotia Canada, no two will be exactly alike. (Kit does not include needles:  5.5mm/US4 double-pointed needles.)

Wonder Woolen Yarn

Wonder Woolen is a new-ish yarn from Fleece Artist. It is 100% regionally sourced wool (25 Micron, Woolen Spun). It is heartier and sturdier than the yarns they have used in the past for their thrum kits, and will wear harder, last longer, and keep you warmer. They are so happy with this new yarn at Fleece Artist that they have discontinued all of their other thrum kits. Wonder Woolen is also thicker than the previous yarns used, and knits up faster on larger 5.5mm/US9 needles. If you like the Saltwater Knits series of books by Legrow & Scott you’ll love this yarn!

last year’s pattern was a little weirdly, but it’s been fixed!

New & Improved Kits for 2020!

This year’s kits come with some positive updates ….

  1. Last year there was an error in the pattern which we didn’t catch until we knitted up a pair and made our store-sample (that’s why our sample above looks a bit weirdly). This error has been corrected, so your mitts won’t look weirdly (although we still love ours).
  2. The pattern is now written for ALL adult sizes (small, medium and large).
  3. This year’s colours are a little different too – all the yarn colours are semi-solid and the thrumming is variegated (multicoloured). This creates a mitten with a depth of colour and little random pops of contrasting colour where the thrumming peaks out. No more unpredictable, pooling colours, your mitts will be the colour of the yarn. I also tried to design the kits with colours that are easy to wear and match, and there’s lots for both men and women.
  4. We’ve included some hacks below to make your thrumming experience as smooth as possible!

Skill Level

If you’ve already made a pair of mittens or gloves (with or without fingers) you are ready for thrumming! The concept is the same, just throw in little tufts of roving every once in a while.

Kit Includes

  • Pattern & instructions for adult size Small, Medium & Large
  • Yarn: Fleece Artist Wonder Woolen, 113g (100% wool)
  • Merino Roving: 60g (100% merino wool) 
  • Love

Thrum Hacks!

Here’s a quick little hack to get you started on your thrumming adventure ….

  1. Prepare your thrums BEFORE you start knitting. I estimate for ONE mitten you’ll need about 105(115, 150) thrums for size S(M,L), but you might want to budget a few extras as a buffer (if you find you’ve got extra you can throw them in near the top of the mitt, but it’s better than being short).
  2. Divide your thrums into two piles, one pile for each mitten.
  3. Lay out each pile of thrums on a bandana or tea towel – you can get a general overview of the colour distribution.
  4. Roll up your tea-towel/bandana to keep your thrums safe and tidy. This also makes your thrums PORTABLE.

ACCESSORIES in Fibre Co Acadia

Prologue

Today is accessories day! Last time we covered some inspiring sweater projects, but now it’s time to look at some smaller, faster, and simpler projects. I’ve included a link for finished projects in the materials section for each project, so you can check out how people peoples look. Here’s a link so you can see ALL the accessory project ideas.

My choice of projects is simple and accessible. There have been so many new knitters since COVID landed, and I know you don’t have the same access to in-person education that you normally would. Knitting has historically been taught from person to person, and i know how hard it’s been on you trying to learn from books and the internet. I’m also hearing from so many people who tell me they’re experiencing brain-fog and are having a hard time focussing – you’re in VERY good company and I’ve been trying to keep that in mind when I choose suggestions.

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

  • This offer is only available for a limited time and EXPIRES at 11:59pm October 26, 2020.
  • Make as many purchases as you like, there’s no limit on the number of times you use this discount code before it expires.
  • This offer does NOT apply to in-store purchases.
  • You can have your online order shipped or pick it up in store, you can chose at check-out.

Fibre Co. Acadia is a luscious, and slightly rustic looking blend of silk-noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool. It’s Ideal for creating a handmade wardrobe that can be worn almost all year round, Acadia comes in a range of colours that sit well together to offer makers ample choice for projects.

Most of the shades in Acadia have a heathered appearance created from layers of beautiful raw fibres of natural brown baby alpaca, ecru merino tops and silk-noil, which is then kettle dyed creating subtle duotones. Shades such as Egret, Sand and Mountain Ash use other natural shades of alpaca including white, light fawn and grey.

  • 60% Merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk
  • 50g/133m (145 yds)
  • DK weight
  • 21 to 23 sts = 10 cm/4″
  • 3.75/US5 to 4 mm/US6 needles
  • Gently hand wash colours separately in cool water.
  • We recommend alternating hanks as you work to give an overall blended appearance.
  • Made in Peru
Photos: Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, KnitOnePurlTootoo

Easy Folded Poncho

I love this poncho, it transcends trends and always keeps you cozy and warm. It’s easy to knit (just one long stockinette rectangle), easy to finish, and easy to throw on.

Skill Level

Beginner (after your first scarves), less experienced knitters, or those of us with COVID related brain-fog who need something REALLY simple.

Size

  • Poncho: 22 x 50″/56 x 127cm, before folding
  • Cowl: 24″/61cm around x 8″/20cm tall.

Yarn

Fibre Co. Acadia:

  • With cowl: 7 skeins
  • Without cowl: 6 skeins 

Other Materials

Photos: Susus, Happy Knits

Rikke

A lot of people undervalue the textural possibilities of garter stitch, but it makes for simple, a beautiful aesthetic while adding extra warmth and stretch. It doesn’t hurt that the Acadia’s luxe-rustic texture just looks better with texture.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters. You may not want to make it your very first-ever hat (go for a thicker yarn and very basic beanie or slouchy beanie shape for that), but it’s good for adding a few more small skills.

Size

  • One Size
  • Fits Adult – between 21-23″

Materials

Photos: Orange Flower Yarn, YarnFolkAnn

Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief

Kerchief sized wraps are great little projects, a good way to test out a smaller quantity of yarn, and if you want it bigger you can keep knitting. Kerchiefs are super popular as scarfy/neck accessories: they cover up your vulnerable parts without all the bulk around the sides and hanging down your front.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters.

Materials

Photos: barbarascohen, Stephen West

Boneyard Shawl

The Boneyard Shawl is an oldie but a goodie. The simplicity of the design lets the yarn shine, plus its an easy knit for less experienced knitters. It’s a bit bigger than the Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief, and gives you more coverage.

FYI: if you adore the the hand-painted red in the picture of above try Malabrigo Arroyo in 33 Cereza.

Skill Level

This project is great for less experienced knitters.

Materials

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

SWEATERS in Fibre Co Acadia

Prologue

When I started researching Fibre Co. Acadia I found more project ideas than I ever expected, although it makes a lot of sense, it’s YUMMY! In this post I’m looking at sweater ideas so that people who need sweater quantities of the yarn can get them first (a post with smaller projects and accessories will follow in a couple of days). I’ve included a link for finished projects in the materials section for each project, so you can check out how people peoples look. Here’s a link for ALL the clothing ideas. I’m about to have a shipment of some other yarns shipped, so if you need more than we have in stock PLEASE contact us, I may be able to make some magic happen!

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

  • This offer is only available for a limited time and EXPIRES at 11:59pm October 26, 2020.
  • Make as many purchases as you like, there’s no limit on the number of times you use this discount code before it expires.
  • This offer does NOT apply to in-store purchases.
  • You can have your online order shipped or pick it up in store, you can chose at check-out.

Fibre Company Acadia

I originally ordered a bag of Fibre Co. Acadia to play with, and as soon and I handled the bag I knew I had to get it for you! It’s just so luscious, so gorgeous, it made me happy, and now that the stock has arrived in the store I adore gazing at those cubbies and putting it away. Swatching it was a joy, and I’ve been feeling a little envious of the clients who’ve already snapped some up (I’m currently working of a hat for my beau, it’s loved-ones need hats & scarves season).

Fibre Co. Acadia is a luscious, and slightly rustic looking blend of silk-noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool. It’s Ideal for creating a handmade wardrobe that can be worn almost all year round, Acadia comes in a range of colours that sit well together to offer makers ample choice for projects.

Most of the shades in Acadia have a heathered appearance created from layers of beautiful raw fibres of natural brown baby alpaca, ecru merino tops and silk-noil, which is then kettle dyed creating subtle duotones. Shades such as Egret, Sand and Mountain Ash use other natural shades of alpaca including white, light fawn and grey.

  • 60% Merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk
  • 50g/133m (145 yds)
  • DK weight
  • 21 to 23 sts = 10 cm/4″
  • 3.75/US5 to 4 mm/US6 needles
  • Gently hand wash colours separately in cool water.
  • We recommend alternating hanks as you work to give an overall blended appearance.
  • Made in Peru
Photos: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Lucinda

Lucinda is a great basic pullover made for comfort and ease. It’s means to be a roomy, casual that looks great on everyone. Lucinda is worked in one piece in the round from the bottom-up until the underarms, then the fronts and the back are worked separately, joining the shoulders with a three-needle-bind-off. There are instructions for two sleeve lengths (shown in the shorter sleeve). The sweater was designed with Fibre Co. Acadia, and it’s actually been knit up 76 times with it on Ravelry (there are lots of great looking Acadia Lucinda’s to be seen).

Skill Level

Lucinda should be good for anyone at the advanced-beginner to intermediate skill level.

Size

  • Finished Bust: 37¼ (40¼, 44, 47¾, 51¼, 54¼, 58, 61¾, 64¾, 68½)“
  • Shown in size 44” with shorter sleeves and 10” positive ease

Yarn

Fibre Co. Acadia:

  • For shorter sleeves: 8 (9, 9, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) skeins
  • For longer sleeves: 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16, 17) skeins

Other Materials

Sheffield Cardigan

The Sheffield Cardigan is an easy-to-wear, fun-to-knit, fluid and elegant piece which was created specifically for the lusciously-tweedy Fibre Co. Acadia. Sheffield is an open cardigan with slightly-dolmaned sleeves that looks great in a variety of different fits. It’s worked from one sleeve cuff to another, in a single piece. The subtle Garter Stitch ornamentation highlights the lustre and drape of this nubby, tweedy yarn. The pattern is suitable for a beginning sweater knitter.

The sizing on Sheffield is very flexible. If you’d prefer a closer-to-the-body look, like Naomi in the tan sample, try a size that’s 2 – 4” (5 – 10 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference. If you like things extra-generous and kimono in feel, go for a size that’s at least 12” (30.5 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference, like Naomi in the grey. Or, anything in between.

Size

  • The sizing on Sheffield is very flexible. If you’d prefer a closer-to-the-body look, like Naomi in the tan sample, try a size that’s 2 – 4” (5 – 10 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference. If you like things extra-generous and kimono in feel, go for a size that’s at least 12” (30.5 cm) larger than your upper torso circumference, like Naomi in the grey. Or, anything in between.
  • Finished bust circumference: 34 (36½, 38, 40½, 42, 44½, 46, 48½, 50, 52½, 56, 60)’’ or 86.5 (92.5, 96.5, 103, 106.5, 113, 117, 123, 127, 133.5, 142, 152.5) cm

Materials

Photos: Jennifer Steingass, sarah-lee

Arboreal

I really like this sweater, I had eyeballed it for a first fair-isle sweater and when it popped up in my search I was super excited. It looks absolutely gorgeous made with Fibre Co. Acadia, it really took the idea of a fair-isle into a different place for me. I’ve always thought of them as sheepier/woolier kinds of things, and the sheen in the yarn appealed to my subconcious magpie. As I implied, I also feel like the pattern is a good place to try-out the fair-isle colourwork technique.

Skill Level

An Intermediate knitter should be good for this project. The technique is fair-isle, so if you’ve never done that before it’s a good idea to practice the technique on something smaller beforehand to establish your tension, like a hat or cowl.

Size

  • Bust circumference: 33.25 (36, 38.5, 42, 45)(47, 49, 51.5, 53.25, 56)” 84.5 (91.5, 98, 106.75, 114.5)(119.5, 124.5, 131, 135.25, 142.25) cm

Materials

Photos: Boylandknitworks, Esmith43

Ninilchik Swoncho

Wha is this garment? A “swoncho” is what happens when a poncho and a sweater have a baby. It’s a great cover-up, oversized, fairly shapeless, but it also has arms, so you can hold things and have greater mobility. The shape is also a great place to practice your fair-isle, it won’t matter if your tension isn’t spot-on, it’s raison d’etre is being oversized … and being pretty too, of course! The colours in Fibre Co. Acadia are all complementary, their tones are all complementary and go with each other, so none will clash (of course, if you can’t make it to the store and want help choosing colours please feel free to contact us for a colour consultation, it’s actually one of my favourite parts of my job).

Skill Level

An Intermediate knitter who’s on the advanced side of the spectrum should be good for this project. The technique is fair-isle, so if you’ve never done that before it’s a good idea to practice the technique on something smaller beforehand to establish your tension, like a hat or cowl.

Special Skills Required

  • Knitting in the round
  • short rows
  • stranded colourwork (note that while most rounds use only 2 colours, there are 2 rounds which require carrying 3 colours)

Sizes

  • Sizes: 1 (2)
  • Size 1 will fit XS-M, size 2 will fit L-3X
  • Body Circumference: 69 (83)” 175 (211) cm

Materials

USE code ACADIA10 at checkout to receive 10% OFF your ONLINE purchase of Fibre Co. Acadia!

PROJECTS Over Easy, Kelowna & Kinikin

In my last post I talked about tension, why it’s important and how to do it properly. In this one I’m sharing two projects that inspired me to swatch. In that post I mentioned that it’s a great idea to upload your swatch data to your Ravelry account for posterity, which is already proving handy today as I’m writing from home, without my swatch at hand! All the patterns today are beginner friendly, accessible and affordable.

Photo: Espace Tricot

Over Easy

This is the pattern that got me swatching, Over Easy. I thought it would make a great, quick ‘n easy fall knit, especially for the less experienced knitters. It’s knit in the round from the bottom up, the upper front and back are each worked flat, the shoulders are seamed, and then the sleeves are picked up and knit from the top-down. It’s worked up on BIG needles, and the yarn is fuzzy and hides a multitude of sins.

The yarn I was testing out is Drops Melody, a super soft, light and fluffy blend of alpaca and wool. What I really love about this yarn is that it looks like a bulky mohair, but it feels like a baby’s bum! Seriously, every time I touch a ball I’m shocked that it doesn’t have new-baby smell. The reason I was testing it was because I recognized that it would look great worked holding multiple strands together, but I didn’t precisely know how it would respond on different sized needles, or the difference between holding two or three strands together. It turns out my first instinct was right, I think this pattern would work best with12mm/US17 needles and holding two strands together. If you find you knit tightly on larger needles (some people do, but I don’t) then you’ll want to go up to a 15mm/US19 needle.

Photos: Espace Tricot

Size

  • Sizes: 1 (2, 3, 4)
  • Body circumference: 64 (69, 76, 76)”
  • Sleeve length: 8.5 (8.5, 7.5, 7.5)”
  • Length from shoulder to bottom: 18 (18, 21, 23)”

Use the following as a general guide for sizing based on bust measurement:

  • Size 1: if you have a 28″- 34″ bust
  • Size 2: if you have a 36″- 44″ bust
  • Size 3: if you have a 46 – 52″ bust
  • Size 4: if you have a 52″ + bust

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 5(6, 7, 8) balls
  • 12mm/US17 – 32″ circular needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • 12mm/US17 – 16″ circular needles OR double pointed needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • Stitch marker to indicate beginning of round
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • FREE Pattern
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kelowna

This is the other sweater that got me swatching, Kelowna. This one is knit in the round from the top-down, and is approachable to everyone- at any knitting level. For this sweaterI’d use two strands held together and whatever size needle gets you gauge (my swatch was closest with a 9mm/US13, but you might want go bigger … it’ll be a great opportunity to practice checking your tension!

This might be my next COVID sweater (I haven’t been especially prolific), but I’m not sure which colour …maybe the petrol green?

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 9mm/US13, and 12mm/US17)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

If fuzzy isn’t your thing but you like the bones of this sweater check out Frid by Tara-Lynn Morrison – You can use Malabrigo Rasta or Cascade Spuntaneous. If those options are a little too spendy for you right now, try Drops Andes and go down to a 9mm/US13 needle and go up to the larger size).

Photos: Tara-Lynn Morrison
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kinikin

Kinikin is a cardiganzied version of the sweater above with a looser tension. Based on my tension swatches I’d use 12mm/US17 needles instead of 15mm/US19 and hold two strands of Drops Melody together.

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 10mm/US15, and 15mm/US19)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

SKILLS Tension/Gauge

I’m so sorry, but I feel like it’s time for us to have ‘the talk’ …. about tension and gauge. Seasoned knitters can probably skip to the end, but over the last half year there have been a lot of new knitters coming into the fold, and they could use a little support.

What is Tension and/or Gauge?

Tension or gauge is the way knitting and crochet is measured mathematically. It represents the relationship between the size of your needles and the thickness of your yarn. It is math, and we check it to try and figure out the size and proportions of the garment we want to make. If your needles are too small in size for your yarn your tension will be too tight, the fabric will be too tight and rug-like, and the garment will come out smaller. Similarly, if your needles are too large in size for your yarn, your tension will be too loose, the textile will be too loose, open and floppy, and the size will be too large.

Why Can’t You Skip over it or Estimate it?

Primarily, tension is numbers, math, as in the bones and sinews of the universe, the laws of nature. You can’t cheat nature … well, you can try, but you will *not* like the results. An accurate tension swatch gives you the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your sweater. If your number of stitches is smaller than the one given in the pattern, your sweater will be too big, and if it is larger than theirs it will come out too small. Major bummer.

Secondarily, tension varies from person to person, everyone holds their yarn a little bit differently, so even if you are using the same yarn and needles as someone else, your work may not come out at the same tension. Furthermore, peoples’ tension can change from time to time, depending on their emotional and psychological state. Unsurprisingly, when you’re in a tense place you knit tighter, when you’re relaxed you knit looser. For example, my tension has always been fairly consistent, but after I took up meditation my tension loosened up. Another good example are my “Haley Special” sweaters – over the years I’ve made 6 iterations of the same sweater using the same yarn, pattern and needles and I’ve noticed that the tension on each is a little bit different.

Thirdly, if you want to get really niggly, the tension on balls of yarn can vary from colour to colour and dye lot to dye lot. Some times the milling process changes and the yarn is slightly different. The tension on an older ball of yarn may not be exactly the same as a more current version of itself. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’ve seen it happen.

How NOT to Measure Tension

Most people start off knitting their tension swatches incorrectly, but IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, it’s the system! This is because knitting patterns are kind of like cooking recipes – they’re a set of directions and they assume that you already know how to do the techniques they are directing you to do. Much like a cooking recipe doesn’t teach you how to crack an egg, a knitting pattern will most likely not explain how to knit a tension swatch.

Most people learn about tension the hard way … on their first sweater. They find a pattern and the ‘yarn people’ tell them to knit a tension swatch before casting on. The pattern says the tension is “18 sts & 24 rows = 4″/10cm” in stocking stitch, and so they cast on 18 stitches and knit away. Maybe the swatch comes out 4″, and maybe it doesn’t. (I usually hear about it when it doesn’t, and that generally leads to a mini-intervention.) Unfortunately, this is NOT the correct way to measure your tension, because it doesn’t give you the accurate information you need to make sure your garment will fit.

How to Measure Tension (Properly)

Swatching is an expedition in information gathering, and you need to make sure that your recon is accurate, otherwise it isn’t going to help you.

  1. You need to make a larger piece of fabric, ideally something around 6″ x 6″. To find this number take the suggested tension of the yarn ball-band (ex. 18 sts = 4″) and multiply it by 1.5. If the yarn label gives you a number in one inch, multiply that by 6.
  2. Work your swatch in the stitch pattern described in the pattern’s gauge information. If a pattern calls for a K2P2 rib working your swatch in stocking stitch won’t give you the information you are looking for.
  3. Wash your swatch and dry it in the way you will launder the finished garment.
  4. Measure the number of stitches and rows over 4 inches/10cm on the INSIDE of the swatch. The stitch tension on the edges is wonky, try to avoid them.

Other Useful Things to Know

  • Try to swatch with the needles you expect to be knitting with. Different materials and needle lengths can result in different tensions. For example, I find I knit tighter on metal needles than I do on wood. Also, any time I use 16″ circular needles or shorter my tension tightens up, and it is not the same as when I knit on the same size, longer circumference needles.
  • If you are swatching for a garment made in the round you need to swatch in the round. This is because your knit and your purl stitches don’t have exactly the same tension. A demo of how to swatch in the round is HERE, the technique starts at 2:56.
  • Swatches are a good source of extra yarn if you need to mend your finished sweater. I often label mine, pack them up in a little ziplock bag and throw it in my sewing basket just in case.
  • I label my swatches with the pertinent information, because I will inevitably immediately forget what it is, the size needle I used, and the tension measurement. Sometimes I also take a photo and upload the details into Ravelry for potential later use (because I’ll probably misplace my swatch too).

Swatch Demo

Above is some swatching I recently completed. I wanted to know how a new yarn, Drops Melody, would knit up on different sized needles and holding multiple strands together, so I swatched it. Whenever I changed needle size I worked a purl row to differentiate the two sections.

Here’s a section of my swatch being measured. The ruler is in the centre of the piece, the green line represents 4 inches, and I tired to highlight the stitches with the yellow “V”.

Thats about all I’ve got for you for now, but in my next post I’ll share with you the projects that inspired my swatching – hint: they’re soft, fuzzy, easy, and fast!

xox Haley

STORE HOURS Thanksgiving & COVID Update

Thanksgiving Store Hours

Like the picture says, we’re open this weekend Saturday & Sunday from 11 am to 6pm, but closed Monday for Thanksgiving.

COVID Update

The update for COVID is there’s nothing to update, at this time we aren’t making any changes to our hours or service. We continue to be open for In-Store shopping, and to keep our clients and staff safe we are continuing to implement the following measures:

  • THREE customers (from different households) are allowed in the store at a time. You do not need to book an appointment to come in, drop-ins are welcome. 
  • Customers MUST WEAR A MASK (fabric or medical). Face shields are NOT an acceptable substitute, unless they are worn over a mask. Please see City of Toronto Bylaw 541-2020:  “The mask or face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin, without gapping.”
  • Customers MUST USE HAND SANITIZER or WASH THEIR HANDS prior to touching products. We’ve tried to make this easier by keeping plenty of hand sanitizer on hand in the store (it is made by an organic food company and has a natural smell of fruit).
  • We CAN NOT ACCEPT CASH. We are accepting contactless forms of payment like a credit or debit card with ‘tap’ or Apple Pay, etc. 
  • Please mind personal space and stay approximately 2 metres (6 feet) from other people.
  • We are happy to wind yarn purchased from us, but due to limitations on physical space during COVID we may have to ask you to leave it with us for pick-up later.
  • Presently, WE CAN NOT TEACH OR OFFER SOCIAL KNITTING. We are offering PROJECT HELP BY APPOINTMENT; as long as it can be done 6 feet apart we can try to help you out. Please book an appointment with our online booking. If your problem only takes a few minutes to fix we are happy to provide the service for free. For more in-depth project help we charge $4.97/10 minutes. You can pay in-store after we have helped you. 

On a personal note ….

We’ve already done this and we’ve got it down. COVID has been a bit of a moving target, but we’ve already played several rounds, we know the game now. I don’t have any plans to close in-store shopping unless the government mandates it or I feel it is no longer a good idea. Our website is always open, and if you don’t feel comfortable coming in you can have your order shipped or opt for curbside pick-up (if the weather is reasonable you can even drive up and we can come out and pop your purchase in your trunk).

xox Haley

UPDATE COVID Memorial Blanket Project

Getting Ready to Ship!

Please bring in your finished Covid 19 Memorial Blanket Squares! I’m getting ready to ship all the squares in about a week (not seen above, that pictures is from the blanket project organizers) and I’ve still got some room in the great big shipping bag. Plus, it’s makes for a nice little trip out of the house, right? If you’re concerned about getting too close to people I totally get that, feel free to leave your little package in our mailbox.

What is the Covid19 Memorial Blanket Project?

The creators of this project are creating a massive, 9000 square foot blanket (a bit like the AIDS blanket?) to honour the Canadians who have been lost to COVID19. They’ll also be creating a memorial book and donating individual blankets to various aid agencies.

To make this happen, they are putting out a all to all Canadian knitters and crocheters, to knit or crochet a square. The pattern and square instructions are on their Facebook Page and Ravelry. The main blanket will be made of Berroco Vintage, and the individual blankets from any washable worsted weight yarn. They have chosen colour Colour 5125 Aquae to represent all front line/essential workers in the memorial blanket. 1skein should make approximately 1.5 squares.

Materials

  • Berroco Vintage: 1 skein (1skein should make approximately 1.5 squares)
  • 4.5mm/US7 needles (straight or circular, it doesn’t matter)
  • FREE pattern

The Artists & Contact Info

This project is being organized and led by Heather Breadner, Amanda Sharpe, and Ally Day. If you would like to contact them, they can be reached at admin@aberdeenswool.ca, please include “Covid_19 Blanket” in the subject line. They can also be reached through messaging on Facebook or Instagram. You can find all the information, patterns and upcoming events at their Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Covid_19-Memorial-Blanket-111818693934448) or on Instagram (@covid_19_memorial_blanket).

Donating

If you live in Toronto, you can drop off your squares at our store and we’ll arrange to get them to the artists! Our address is 1382 Bathurst St, Toronto ON M5R3J1, currently open Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 6pm.

If you do not live in Toronto, you can mail your squares directly:

Covid_19 Memorial Blanket
111 Cable Road
Fenelon Falls, Ontario
K0M 1N0

Please include with your square the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • If you would like to include a message of hope, love, or memorial, please include with your square.

Your personal information will not be released. For the purpose of the memorial book, only your name and general location, (ie. province) will be included. If you wish not to have your name NOT published, please let them know.

NEW Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits

Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits

Handmaiden Luxe Thrum Mitten Kits are a delicious combination of hand dyed merino-cashmere blend yarn and merino roving. They’re soft, cozy, and delicious! Plus, they’re made right here in Canada. Each kit is individually hand dyed, no two will be exactly alike. Sizes included are Adult S(M, L). Kits DO NOT include needles:  4mm/US6 double-pointed needles

Kit Includes:

  • Pattern by Fiona Stevenson & instructions on how to thrum
  • Yarn: Handmaiden Cashbah Plush 100g (20% cashmere, 70% wool, 10% nylon)
  • Roving: Fleeceartist/Handmaiden 100% merino wool roving, 60g 
  • Size: Adult small (medium, large)

What is a Thrum?

Thrumming is a very old technique that is seriously fun and functional. Small tufts of roving (wool that hasn’t been spun into yarn yet) are knit into the garment creating a fuzzy warm layer on the inside and irresistible dots of colour the outside. As you wear them, the thrummed roving felts down, keeping your hands warm and cozy (take note dog owners, these are ideal winter dog walking mitts). The mittens will be the colour of the yarn and the thrums (roving) will peek through.

Is thrumming hard to do? Definitely not, but you should make a pair or regular mittens first so you get used to using double pointed needles and understand mitten construction before you dive into the fluffy world of thrumming. Below are two videos from Very Pink Knits on thrumming.