I think every day should be buy local day and not just for yarn. When I started building up my personal stash of yarn (not on purpose by any means but it just kind of happens as you all know), I purchased most of my yarn from Michael’s with the occasional treat from a LYS (local yarn store) if I needed something particular. I then got in the habit of buying a skein of yarn from the cities I travel to as a souvenir rather than having another magnet or teddy bear or what not. I love going into the independent shops in my travels and chatting with the owners and I fully expect to pay double or triple for some sock yarn (compared to Michael’s shopping where I never go without at least a 40% off coupon).

When I started crocheting, I got hooked (pun intended) on CALs (crochet-alongs). The CALs typically recommend a kit from a company such as Rowan, Scheepjes, Stylecraft, etc. Because I couldn’t just walk into a Michael’s to buy the kits (or even a ball of this coveted yarn), I started to look online. That is when I discovered the big online retailers. I could order the kit from a big online store and get it shipped to me in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable price. Great … until I started to feel guilty.

My family eats at locally owned restaurants whenever possible and we try to buy from farmers’ markets and other local retailers so it seemed hypocritical to be ordering a box of yarn from the UK or the US. I did a little research and found The Knotty House in Calgary! Calgary is about 3 hours from me which, by Canadian standards, makes it a local shop! Of course I would rather buy from there! I immediately hopped on the website and picked the kit and clicked add to cart and I’m ready to check out … and then shipping is added to my total and it’s a full stop for me. I realize shipping from Calgary is more than double than from the big UK retailer. I abandon my order and proceed to start ordering from the UK to save about $7 (on about $150 of yarn to put it into context). Then, I get an email from The Knotty House saying I’ve left something in my cart and do I want to complete my transaction? If not, why not? I email back stating I’m sorry but I can get the product for the same price from the UK and the shipping is cheaper. As I’m typing I realize how ridiculous this is. If I can afford $150 of yarn, I can put my money where my mouth is and pay the extra 5% or so to buy it from the shop in Calgary!

Long story short (it never is with me haha), I now buy all of my Scheepjes yarn from The Knotty House in Calgary and the lovely owner Laura has been an amazing mentor to me as I opened my online shop!

While shopping local is the right decision for me (whenever possible), I’m not at all saying people should not shop at Wal-Mart. I’m simply asking that you look at what options are out there and decide what’s the right decision for you.

Every sale I make, means something to me as I didn’t open a yarn shop to be on the Forbes list – I love yarn and making things and want to share that passion with others. I’ve already met so many lovely folks through yarn, knitting and crocheting and I’m excited to meet more of you! If anyone wants to give a shout out to a local business of any kind in their area, please leave a comment below.

As a thank you for supporting my local shop, until midnight MST on April 21, you will get 15% off your purchase using the coupon code LYSDAY (cannot be combined with other discounts but free shipping still applies on orders > $100).

~ Monika ~

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We are still very much slugging through winter here in Northern Alberta so it’s still a great time to be working with cozy wool on your needles.

This week, I cast on a triangle shawl with Cascade Pacific Color Wave and I love the way it works up. You will need to stay tuned for this easy pattern as I am developing it for my beginner knitting class and don’t want to spoil the surprise just yet. Cascade has some wonderful patterns to complement this yarn and they are free! I have chosen a few of my favourites for you.

The Moss Cabin Afghan

This crochet pattern uses 14 balls of Pacific Color Wave and is super cozy and snuggly. This is the perfect project to have on your hook on a cool summer evening or sitting by the lake, as it will keep you cozy while you work on it.

Whoever ends up with this blanket once it’s HOTH (hot off the hook) will surely have many snuggly days and evenings in it. I absolutely love the edging as it gives it a professional looking finish.

To download the pattern, click here.

To shop this yarn, click Cascade Pacific Color Wave.

 

Pacific Wavy Scarf

For those of us who don’t get to see the Pacific Ocean’s waves often enough, this scarf will have to do!

This lovely design showcases the beautiful colors of the yarn in a wave motif. There’s absolutely no reason that you have to stick with blue tones, I think it would look lovely in any of the Pacific Color Wave variations and I would love to see it worked up in Sunrise.

This is an intermediate knitting pattern and uses only three skeins of Pacific Color Wave.

To download the pattern, click here.

To shop this yarn, click Cascade Pacific Color Wave.

 

 

One of my favourite things about this yarn is that it can be machine washed and tumbled dry on low – which is very important if you want your afghan to get used.

If you have an item that you created with Pacific Color Wave, we would love to see it! Feel free to share in the comments or in our Facebook group The Stitchery.

~ Monika ~

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It’s April and it certainly doesn’t feel like spring yet where we are in Alberta! There is still plenty of snow on the ground and subzero temperatures. I’m not too upset about it though as it’s a great excuse for knitting and I’m excited to make up a pair of socks with the new yarn that just arrived.

Spring Socks

I have 8 awesome graffiti inspired colours of German-made Supersocke. Supersocke is a 4 ply Superwash virgin wool blend (25% polyamide to give you stretch and durability). This wool is perfect for gorgeous socks that you don’t have to be afraid to wear because you can toss them in the washing machine.

If you’re a sock knitter and haven’t tried the fish kissed lips heel yet, I urge you to give it a go. I just recently found out about it and decided to give it a try and I will never make a regular heel again. It is so easy to remember the pattern and there are great YouTube videos and photos to walk you through the steps if you’re more of a visual learner. Get the pattern Ravelry for $1.00 USD. It is definitely the best dollar I have ever spent! Thanks to Sox Therapist for changing my life as a sock knitter.

Spring Baby Knits

New in stock for baby is the budget-friendly but still soft and durable Jack & Jill Little Darlings and the luxurious super soft Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk.

The Baby Cashmere isn’t just for babies and kiddos though, there’s nothing wrong with knitting yourself a lovely cardi or top with this luxurious wool. You will definitely know why it’s sublime when you get your hands on it.

On-The-Go Knitting

If you’re anything like me, you have a knitting project with you everywhere you go – car rides, plane trips, doctor’s appointments, kids’ sporting events, coffee with friends …

One of my favourite finds and must have accessories is the Sidekick Bag. The Sidekick Bags are sewn by women in Pakistan with supplies provided to them by Diamond Yarn. The women sew these lovely, durable project bags which allows them to become self-sufficient to support their families. The bag is completed with a draw string close and has a snap loop to allow you to attach it to another bag, purse strap, stroller, etc.

Toss your yarn and your needles or hook in one of these colourful bags and you’re ready to take your project on the road while supporting hard-working women and their families in Pakistan.

Happy Spring,

~ Monika ~

 

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