Back to school time! Love it or hate it, back to school also signals that fall is coming so fibre artists start to get very excited! We can start digging out the chunky yarns and wool and get going on blankets, scarves, hats, mitts – pretty much anything goes for this time of year (even crochet bikinis if you’re going on a beach holiday haha).
We have some wonderful yarns to give you some motivation for fall and winter and we also have the Ubuntu crochet along kits to give you something to work on weekly as of September 12th to create the beautiful blanket in small, medium or large as designed by Dedri Uys (crochet queen!). The special stitches and techniques file is already out and let’s you check your gauge and practice new stitches before start day. Shop for your own Ubuntu kit here and also check out the Clover Amour hooks which are comfortable for hours of crocheting – which I can attest to personally.
Now that your we’ve got you thinking about blankets, check out the Cascade 220 Solids. We have this lovely 100% Peruvian wool available in Hudson’s Bay colours for some very cozy winter projects. Daisy Farm Crafts has a free pat
tern on her blog for a baby-sized blanket but you could make it any size you like! If a blanket is too big a project, maybe try mittens, slippers or a scarf as those will also make great gifts. The only limit is your imagination – and when that runs out, go to Pinterest and Ravelry 🙂
If you’re looking for a one skein project that will look great for yourself or for a gift, check out the Mondial Bacio which is a soft merino blend chunky kit (it comes with 2 wooden buttons). The single skein kit makes a hat or scarf and is available in wine, royal blue or dark grey.
Last (but not least), if you’ve been a subscriber you know that I love knitting socks and I think they are great for any time of year. Socks make for a very portable project, work up fairly quickly and leave you with something usable, comfortable and warm when you’re done! We have a range of sock yarn available for various budgets in a wide range of colours. New to The Stitchery is Scheepjes Invicta Matterhorn (only $7 for a 100g ball!). Don’t let the price fool you, this isn’t a discount yarn and is a virgin wool blend from the Netherlands.
Thanks for sharing your time with me! I look forward to seeing some of your fall and winter projects!
Dedri has shared her inspiration behind the name of the CAL: “The word Ubuntu in a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity towards others” or “I am because we are”. Through Crochet-alongs, [she has] found a community that constantly reminds [her] of the essence of Ubuntu: connection, community, and mutual caring for all. We wanted to honour and celebrate that in this CAL, both in the design and how we choose to engage with each other as we embark on this journey.” Isn’t that a beautiful statement?!?
Videos and tutorials will be available to make this dream a reality for all levels of crocheter
Kits will be available for pre-order right here as soon as the details are released
More details will be released THIS week!
Stay tuned to pre-order your CAL kit and follow our Facebook group for announcements as they become available!
Not only will we be stocking the CAL kits, but we have also ordered in some of the most popular Scheepjes whirls and whirlettes. Scheepjes Whirls are 1,000 metres of soft, drapey cotton/acrylic blend and have taken the crochet and knitting world by storm. The Whirlettes are 100g of co-ordinating solid colour to complement your Whirls. If you need a bit of inspiration, check out Katie’s blog with the top ten whirl projects. There are also many lovely projects to be found on Ravelry. I have completed three projects with whirls:
Crochet – Lost in Time Shawl by Miho Crochet (Link)
I’m about to embark on my fourth project crocheting with Blueberry Bam Bam to make the Indigo Shrug by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk (link).
Now, I don’t know if you’re like me and like to have pretty needle and hook sets but I suspect some of you are. To get you crocheting comfortably, we have also started stocking the Tulip Etimo Royal Silver Crochet Hook Set. If you haven’t treated yourself to some ergonomic hooks yet, here’s your chance. They are not only beautiful but allow for hours of comfortable crocheting. The Tulip sets are currently available for pre-order along with the Whirls and Whirlettes.
As promised, I tried out the ChiaoGoo Shorties with the Urth Uneek sock yarn. Since a picture says a thousand words, I made a video of the experience for you.
Since not everyone has time to watch a video, I will give you the Coles notes:
Shorties – two thumbs up! They glide wonderfully, are so easy to change tips on, don’t kink and work beautifully with the yarn. I love the stoppers which makes it super easy to change cords and the stitch markers are absolutely adorable.
Uneek sock – two thumbs up! I was worried it would be splitty and it wasn’t at all. The colours are amazing, the yarn feels lovely and it works up great.
Don’t forget to download your free sock patterns for your Uneek socks (or any other socks – enjoy!) and share your pics with us. If you’re one of the customers we shipped shorties, we’d love to hear your feedback as well.
It’s almost vacation time and, if you’re anything like me, what knitting project(s) to pack and how much yarn to bring is always part of the planning process. I usually have an on-the-plane/in-the-car project and, depending how long we’re gone for, a lounging at the beach/pool/campground project.
A popular question on the Facebook knitting groups right now is “Can I take knitting needles on the plane?” The last thing you want happening is an overzealous security agent to confiscate your favourite needles! While you will get much advice on Facebook, it is always best to check with your airline and any airports you are travelling through. I always risk taking needles on a plane but I make sure to take an inexpensive set of double-pointed sock needles just in case they are taken away. Socks are my go-to travel project as I can take several balls of sock yarn without taking up too much room and the finished socks also don’t take up much room on the way home. It’s also great to have a pair of cozy socks for a cool hotel room or plane ride so you really can’t go wrong!
Even though I am now the proud owner of a set of ChiaoGoo twist shorties, I will be leaving those at home, as I would be devastated if they got lost in my luggage and I’m certainly not going to risk taking them in carry-on.
We just got the Shorties in the shop this week and if you’re interested in seeing what comes in the kit, I did an unboxing video just for you!
This was my first ever unboxing video (or video for that matter) and I appreciate your patience as I learn what works best for you. If you watch through to the end, you are in for a special sneak peak of another brand new item which is the Urth Uneek sock kit.
I absolutely LOVE these perfectly matched hand-dyed balls of Urth sock yarn. No weighing, cutting, guessing – just knit one and then the other (or two at a time, if that’s your thing). I will be casting on a pair while camping this weekend and will post a review and pictures soon. These have just become available so take a look at the five colourways we have on hand by clicking here. Urth was also kind enough to publish three free patterns that you can also download from our website. We really love Urth yarns and if the great yarn and free patterns aren’t enough to excite you, Urth plants a tree for every skein of yarn purchased! Ok, still not enough for you to be impressed? Urth also proudly employs women in Turkey to hand-dye the yarns – that’s right, women NOT machines. For more information on this company we are proud to partner with, please check out their website at Urth Yarns.
One more thing that is summer-related and suitable for vacation is the announcement of the arrival of ONline cotton smooth! I have been waiting for this to arrive from Germany for a few months and am so excited to have it available for you! It is available in three colourways in the shop and is so beautiful. It is 100% cotton and a lovely aran weight perfect for knitting a top, sweater or shawl. Shop Cotton Smooth by clicking here. I posted a few pics on Instagram when the Cotton Smooth arrived today and you can check those out by clicking this link. Please give us a follow on Instagram as well as we love to throw contests and coupons up there.
We would love to see some photos of you knitting on your summer vacations! Please share them here or tag us on Instagram or Facebook.
We have been very lucky with our hot weather here in Alberta and it feels like summer has arrived. Gardens are growing, flowers are blooming and there’s a rush to get outside whenever possible. I’m very excited about Knitting in Public Day coming up on June 9th as I think a cafe patio will be just the right place to take part.
With it being so nice and hot out, the blankets have been put on time out and I’ve been knitting socks, knitted knockers and a summer cardigan. I’m very excited for the ChiaoGoo shorties that I’m expecting any day now and hoping to show off when I knit in public on June 9th! If you’d like to pre-order your own set, click here to pre-order and to see all of the extras included with this kit.
New from Estelle Yarns (on pre-order and coming in June) are the sock twins! These are so cute and take away all the guess work, weighing and fiddling about to make two perfectly matching socks. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you can see the ten wonderful colourways and pre-order your very own twins by clicking here.
If you can’t wait to cast on some new socks, grab some of the Cascade Heritage 150 Prints which is on sale for just $13 while quantities last. Click here to take a peek.
Final bit of news to share is that we now ship to the United States! Just like with Canadian orders, the shipping quoted is the maximum amount (and free if over $100 in Canada or $150 to US) and if actual shipping is lower, we will issue a refund for the difference.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We already know that knitting and crocheting is enjoyable on your own or with friends but some of us find it even more fun with thousands of random strangers all over the world! I was first introduced to the world of CALs (Crochet Alongs) when learning to crochet. My mom was having a milestone birthday and I wanted to make her something special. When I saw the Lisa Richardson Spring CAL, I jumped right on board. This project was amazing to learn on as it had a huge, supportive Ravelry group. While there may have been quite a bit of frogging at the beginning of each hexagon pattern, I truly learned many new skills and became part of a community of crocheters on Ravelry.
To add to the excitement of the CAL/KAL/MAL, sometimes the finished item remains a mystery! You will have a general idea (making a shawl, a blanket, a pair of socks, etc.) but you won’t know what the final item looks like until you receive the last clue. I like to take part in the mystery alongs as they keeps me more excited for each pattern/clue to come out. Sometimes I do like to see what I’m working towards, especially if it will be an article of clothing or shawl. Since my first CAL, I have participated in another KAL through Rowan designed by Martin Storey. This beautiful blanket is still a WIP as I have a few more squares to finish knitting before I can begin assembly. However, another great feature about alongs is that you can do them at your own pace! Nobody cares whether you finish them on time or not.
I really love that most alongs have kits put together by the yarn supplier. These kits make ordering simple and are usually a better deal than buying individual yarn. Sometimes, there are even bonus items or bonus patterns included in the kit. While the kits are very nice and often filled with luxurious yarn, your budget may not accommodate your wishes. Please let us know if you would like assistance putting together a kit of alternate yarns to suite your budget. We would be more than happy to provide those to you or point you in the direction of another supplier if we are not able to provide an alternative that suits your needs.
While I have participated in various other alongs, I have been most addicted to the ones hosted by Scheepjes. Scheepes is a wonderful Dutch yarn company which supports a great group of designers and bloggers and generally has at least one CAL per year. We are still eagerly awaiting this year’s CAL but have been keeping busy with the Read Between the Lines Shawl (a MAL – you may choose to crochet or knit). If you are interested in shopping for Scheepjes yarn or finding out about the latest kits, head over to The Knotty House. The Knotty House is another Canadian online retailer with phenomenal service and wonderful stock.
If you’d like to join in on the Knitterati KAL (it just started!), take a look at the kits we have in stock which come in a Cascade Logo Bag for convenient storage of your project. We also have the beautiful patina bamboo ChiaoGoo needles in stock to get you started.
As always, please feel free to share your comments and photos. We would love to see what alongs you have participated in!