Archive for 2007

Sock Kits Galore

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

We unpacked box after box of stunning Fleece Artist yarn this week. No complaints, we love that part of the job. Our walls are loaded up again with gorgeous sock kits which would make a great Christmas gift, just grab one and you’re done. If you’re an industrious knitter like the Yarn Harlot, you still have time to knit many pairs of socks before Christmas. Read the Harlot’s hilarious posts about her busy Christmas knitting schedule right here. Or you could always gift the kit with a promise to knit the socks in the New Year…

We have the Cherry Swirl sock kit, with 350m of Somoko yarn, 65% merino, 20% kid, 10% nylon and 5% silk:

The Tilting Block Sock kit, with 325m of Nova Sock yarn, 100% machine washable merino wool:

The Bordello Sock kit, with 350m of Sea Wool, 70% merino, 30% seacell:

Or the Casbah Sock kit, with 325m of Casbah sock yarn, 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere for softness and 10% nylon for strength:

We also have lots of skeins of Merino 2/6 sock yarn, 360m of 100% machine washable merino, in many gorgeous colourways. And we received a bunch of the ultra soft and luxurious Peter Rabbit, 70% angora, 20% nylon and 10% wool. Not exactly a sock yarn but if you like angora you’re going to love this one.

If you want some great Christmas gift ideas for your knitting friends, or better yet, for yourself, check out our December newsletter for a list of suggestions.

And be sure to have a look at Garnstudio’s advent calendar, with a featured pattern for each day from December 1 – 25. You can’t see the upcoming patterns until the day arrives. We have lots of the popular Garnstudios yarn including Alaska, Alpaca, Eskimo, Fabel and Paris.

Happy Holiday Knitting!

The Show Must Go On

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

It snowed in Vancouver on Sunday. Our city pretty much shuts down when it snows. Schools and stores close early, people don’t drive, everyone hunkers down at home, drinking a hot beverage and talking about THE SNOW. It’s really weird. Anywhere east of the Rockies, it’s business as usual on a snowy day. Not here.

Sure enough, the phone started ringing on Sunday afternoon. “Has Debbie cancelled?”, “I can’t go out in the snow”, “Is the event still on?”, “I don’t have snow tires” etc. , etc.

Of course Debbie Stoller is a trooper, she didn’t cancel. She enchanted the diehards who showed up and signed many books, despite THE SNOW and a nasty earache. Thanks Debbie!

Lorra braved THE SNOW, enjoyed the event and wrote us a lovely email the next day: “I wanted to say “Thank You!” for hosting the book launch with Debbie Stoller last night. I really enjoyed hearing her speak and I just love her style and positive outlook. I’ll be having a great week – despite all the rain – every time I think about her hip message and funky attitude. Thanks again for an inspiring event.” Thanks Lorra, we’re glad you could join us, the pleasure was all ours!

We took a few photos. These are some very cool mitts from Debbie’s new book:

And an edgy toque:

Love the scarf:

Want the shirt:

We have a few autographed copies of Son of Stitch and Bitch available for purchase – they won’t last long.

And now for the Tuesday specials. This week’s featured yarns are Plassard Bibop and Grignasco Karma, at 30% off. These are fun, bobbly yarns that are great for scarves, edging and well, almost anything you’d like to knit. Julia knit a very cute vest out of Karma awhile ago. Julia, please send a photo!

Have a look at the specials page on our website for all of our current and upcoming specials.

Bunches of new Books

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Be sure to check out the great new Harmony Guides series of books. They’re updates of the classic handcrafters’ reference books that were first published over 30 years ago. There are 3 books in the series, each featuring 250 stitch patterns and authored by Erika Knight:

Knit & Purl starts with the most basic stitches, then quickly moves far beyond into a variety of stitch patterns that are sure to inspire. There’s a great mix of classic and contemporary patterns from the basic seed stitch to bobbles, ladders and diamonds. Or try the Space Invaders stitch?!There are also lots of design tips to help you create your own unique look.

Cables and Arans is a great guide to creating textures, dimension and scale in your knitted fabric. This is another great mix of classic and contemporary designs – a wonderful and easy to reference library of ribs, twists, cables, woven and aran stitch patterns.

Lace and Eyelets showcases some delightful lace designs that will add a touch of sophistication to your knitting projects. Try knitting some little flowers, falling leaves or butterfly lace. From simple eyelets to gossamer-like cobwebs, lace stitches offer endless possibilities for experimentation.

These are great reference books for knitters of any level who’d like to expand their repertoire. Watch for two more Harmony Guides, Basic Crochet Stitches and Crochet Stitch Motifs, coming in Spring, 2008.

We have some other fabulous new books from Interweave. This one is The Best of Interweave Knits, Our Favorite Designs from the First 10 Years, by Ann Budd:

You can’t go wrong with this one. There are 25 designs from more than 20 notable designers, including scarves, stoles, cardigans, pullovers, vests, jackets, tops and totes. Also included are 12 of the best articles from the popular Beyond the Basics column, a great reference tool. These articles provide detailed info on essential techniques including casting on, increasing, decreasing, binding off, seaming, grafting, blocking, reading charts and working short-rows.

We also have Getting Started Knitting Socks, by Ann Budd: says this is… “The best beginning sock book that has been published so far. That is all. Go buy it.” Nuff said.

You should also have a look at the latest books in Interweave’s popular “Style” series. Bag Style, with 22 designs for inspirational handbags, totes and carry-alls to knit and crochet:

Or Folk Style, by Mags Kandis, with loads of innovative designs to knit including sweaters, hats, scarves, gloves and more.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the classic Vogue Knitting Quick Reference book:

Nothing new about this one but it’s a must-have technique and reference book. It’s a handy, portable and less expensive version of Vogue’s The Ultimate Knitting Book. We think that “Quick Reference” contains the best elements of the hardcover “Ultimate”, with 128 pages of excellent illustrations and explanations of essential knitting information.

Any of these books would be a very welcome Christmas present for a knitting friend, or even better, for yourself! Better check ‘em out….

Lovely New Things

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

A bunch of Fleece Artist boxes arrived this week. You’re going to love these gorgeous new kits.

There’s the Perl Grey Lu sweater:

It’s a cute little top that’s knit in one piece with the luscious Scotian Silk, 65% wool and 35% silk on 6mm needles. We have lots of beautiful colourways.

Or for a quick little knit, try the Hans gauntlet style gloves:

Very cool. They’re knit with Blue Face Aran, 100% wool, on 5mm needles.

We have more of the popular Imogen Jacket kits:

These are knit sideways in one piece, with Aran Alpaca, 50% alpaca and 50% wool, on 5.5mm needles. It’s a simple knit that translates into a beautifully soft and stylish sweater.

We received lots more of the very useful and attractive Perl Grey pewter ringsticks:
Choose a stick from a variety of colours, including cranberry, violet, moss, ochre, blueberry, earth or birch.

We also have the new Fleece Artist Keep Me Warm Blanket kit:

This blanket has a finished size of about 40″ x 60″. The kit includes 200g of Merino Boucle, 200g of Super Kid Loop and 500g of Blue Faced Leicester, on 9mm needles. I just might have to have one of these. The striking textures, colourways and combinations of yarn in these kits is simply stunning. It is truly Fleece Art.

And there are some great new colourways in the Soft Wavy Wrap kit:

This kit contains 250g of Baby Alpaca and 250g of Mo and is knit on 7mm needles. Isn’t that a fine picture of warmth and coziness? I need one of those wraps right now. Brrr, winter’s coming, it’s definitely time to pick up the needles and knit something cozy and warm.

Dazzle and Malizia Specials

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Today’s featured yarns are Estelle Dazzle and Malizia, on sale at 50% off.

Dazzle is a sparkly ladder yarn, perfect for a glitzy, holiday scarf accessory. It can be knit on it’s own or combined with another yarn.

Malizia is a popular yarn with cute little flowers strung along it. We recently knit a stunning Malizia scarf with 2 balls of Malizia and a pair of 8mm needles. Cast on 14 stitches and knit each row until the yarn is used up. Voila, your beautiful scarf is ready to wear.

Be sure to look at the specials page on our website for all of our current and upcoming specials.

Knit a Noni

Monday, November 26th, 2007

We adore the Noni bag and flower patterns. They’re absolutely bursting with colour, style and creative design. Be adventurous with these patterns, use different colour combinations, add bobbles, blossoms, buttons or whatever to create your own unique statement. Here are a few of the fantastic designs from the Fall, 2007 collection:

The Noni Green Earth Grocery Bag is a stylish alternative to other shopping bags or worse, the evil plastic bag. The handle hardware is felted right into this bag for extra strength. The Recycle It! Arrow is knit in intarsia on both sides of the bag. This is a simple intarsia design that is suitable for a beginner knitter. If you’d rather avoid intarsia, simply knit a continuous stripe around the bag.

The edgy Whimsical Backpacks for Grownups and Kids. Spiney Beast is a bright blue monster and Grassy Hill is covered with grass and flowers. Or you could create your own fabulous backpack design. These bags are knit in one piece with flap embellishments and I-cord closures.

Winter Berries is a gorgeous yet practical bag that you’ll love to knit and wear. The bag is knit in one piece with a zipper closure. The I-cord branches and bobble berries are arranged and sewn on by hand.

Liven up your home with these Round Pegs in a Square Accent Pillows. There are three construction options for these pillows. I’d opt for the Single Faced-Pillow with Felted Back, knit all in one piece with an opening for the zipper. This method requires the least finishing of the three options and is the one pictured on the pattern.

These projects are knit with Cascade 220, a great felting yarn. Or try the Ella Rae Classic yarn, another fantastic felting yarn that’s already wound into balls. We have loads of colours of both.

Check out the entire Noni collection. We regularly stock many of these patterns and we’re happy to make special orders. Knit a Noni and get your creative juices flowing!

Show and Tell

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Here’s Julia in her fabulous creation from Rowan’s “The Kasbah Collection”:

A stylin’ sweater with a fantastic combination of colours in the popular Rowan yarn, Summer Tweed. It’s a succulent combination of 70% silk and 30% cotton. We have all of these colours and more…

Linda’s knitting the Minimalist Cardigan, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2007, with the sumptious Mirasol Sulka yarn:

This will be one of the softest cardigans ever. She’s promised to send us a photo when it’s finished. I suddenly think I need a new project.

After all, I recently finished both a scarf and a hat:

Here’s a close-up of the scarf:

It’s Jared’s pattern. This one’s knit with 2 balls of each of Noro Silk Garden colours 252 and 268 on 4.5mm needles. Cast on 39 stitches, 1 x 1 ribbing throughout, working 2 row stripes. Slip (purlwise) the first and last stitch on the second row of every stripe for straighter edges. This scarf was really fun to knit, the constantly changing yarn colours were very addicting enjoyable. The refrain of “just a few more rows” was heard even more often than usual.

Here’s a closer view of the hat:

It’s Amanda’s pattern. It’s knit with less than a skein of Manos del Uruguay in the Wildflowers colourway, with 5.5m (US 9) circular needles, switching to dp’s for the last few rows. This hat is a size s/m, I’m going to knit another in a larger size. Apparently I can’t have this one, the tween finally wants to wear a handknit creation.

Anina is knitting a beautiful scarf with 2 skeins of Manos. It’s gorgeous.

And to wrap up for today, another bit of holiday inspiration:

This snowman was knit for a little boy who absolutely loves it, won’t leave it anywhere. He’s squishy-soft and cuddly, as any good companion should be. We have the pattern.

Hope you’re able to curl up and knit or crochet somewhere warm and cozy on this chilly November weekend.

Yarn Tasting

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

We had a full house again last night for the Handmaiden Yarn Tasting. Jana Dempsey, the Main Maiden, arrived with tubs full of beauteous, lovingly hand-dyed yarn for us to taste. Much of this luscious yarn went home with new owners who will no doubt give it the attention and adoration it deserves. Here’s Jana, her friend Christie and a fan who found lots of cashmere and silk calling her name:

There were many smiling knitters with baskets full of sumptuous yarn they couldn’t live without:

Nicholas’s family was in town so they all dropped by, including the two proud Grandmas who taught him how to knit:

A very fun time was had by all. If you didn’t make it to the Yarn Tasting, don’t feel left out. We couldn’t let Jana go home with any leftovers so we kept loads of her luxurious yarn to hang on our Handmaiden wall, including some Camelspun, Grande Godiva, Great Big Sea, Lace Silk, Lady Godiva, Mini Maiden and Silken. You can look at them all right here.

We’ve just received some great new kits from Perl Grey, part of the Fleece Artist/Handmaiden family. The Coco kit:

And the Ana Bandana kit:

Both gorgeous, quick knits that are flying off the shelves. Happy Knitting!

Chanson and Mambo Specials

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Today’s featured yarns are Grignasco Chanson and Mambo, on sale at 30% off.

Chanson is one of our “green yarns”, made up entirely of natural, renewable fibres including bamboo, linen, silk and viscose. It’s a versatile dk weight yarn.

Mambo is a lovely aran weight cotton blend with a subtle bit of sparkle.

If you’re in need of a set of 15m, 26″ bamboo circular needles, you’re in luck. We’re overstocked in this size so we’ve put a few sets on sale at 40% off the regular price.

Be sure to check out the specials page on our website for all of our current and upcoming specials.

You should also check out the Globe’s review of Debbie Stoller’s new book, Son of Stitch and Bitch. We have a few spots left for the Canadian launch of the book in Point Grey on Sunday, December 2, 6-9 p.m. To register, please send us an email, phone us at 604-228-1122 or drop by one of the stores.

Felting Fever

Monday, November 19th, 2007

We love the Pick Up Sticks felted knit patterns and kits. If you’ve never tried felting, they’re a great place to start. And if you’ve already caught the felting fever, we guarantee you’ll love these products.

If you’re a felting rookie, try the Coin Purse kit. This kit has enough yarn to make 3 little wallets with a finished size of about 5″ wide and 4″ high:

Or check out the beautiful Blooms Bracelet kit that you can knit up in a couple of hours:

The Sushi Wallet is a great kit for advanced beginners. Knit.1 magazine said: “These sushi wallets from Pick Up Sticks look good enough to eat. Kits come in adorable sushi takeout packages and include all 3 patterns, a coordinating zipper and enough yarn to make 1 wallet. The instructions are easy to follow; the hardest part will be deciding which wallet to make.” Finished size: about 5″ high, 7.5″ wide.
Or try knitting the adorable Snugs. We have the baby and adult snuggly-soft Snug kits. The kit includes suede sole pads for traction and the lining is pure alpaca. Oooh so soft…

We also have many of the popular Pick Up Sticks leaflet patterns for felted bags, hats, flowers and pillows. Be sure to have a look but be warned, felting fever is infectious!