Archive for August, 2010

Back to School

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010


It’s back to school for the kiddies, so why not for you too? Time to learn a new skill or brush up the old ones. We have lots of great classes coming up this fall, a lot to get excited about! We have more classes then ever this fall, and more room for them in our new space. It’s a good time to be knitting.


Beginner Knitting

(With Deanna Krushinsky)
Have fun learning the basics of knitting.  This is a techniques based class where you learn to cast on and off, knit, purl, increase, decrease and whatever else you have time to do!  Follow this with the Beyond Beginner Class.
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4 & 18
Cost:   $95.00 + HST

Beginner Crochet

(With Deanna Krushinsky)
Learn the basics of crochet with stitches such as the slip stitch, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, and the triple crochet, increasing & decreasing, and crocheting in the round.  You will also learn chaining and working back & forth in rows from a foundation chain.  If time, basic pattern reading skills will be taught.  Most will have time to start some sort of beginner project, or you can make swatches and turn them into a scarf in the end.
Supply Requirements:  Crochet hook (5mm) and DK weight yarn to match.  Wool or acrylic is best as opposed to cotton or novelty yarn.
Time:  6:30-8:30pm
Dates:  Oct. 25, Nov. 1, 15, & 22
Cost:  $95.00 + HST


Beginner Lace Sampler Scarf Class

(With Alison H)
Alison, an avid lace knitter, will teach you a number of beginner lace stitches, of progressive difficulty in this class.  This is your opportunity to learn how to read charts if you wish, and walk away with a beautiful piece of wearable art, in the form of a Sampler Lace Scarf.
Time: 10-12 noon
Dates: Sept. 14, 21, & 28
Cost:  $75.00 + HST

Socks Soar on 2 Circular Needles

(With Alexa Ludeman)
Double pointed needles just aren’t for everyone! In this class we will learn to knit socks using 2 circular needles, no double points in sight.
Time:  6:30-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 14, 21, 28
Cost:  $75.00 + HST

Glove Class

(With Amanda Kaffka)
Learn to knit the perfect fingerless texting gloves, with a convertible mitten flap, for extra warmth.  This simple pattern will get you going on double pointed needles, and teaches you basic glove-knitting techniques, using a fun hand dyed yarn , with fantastic colour choices
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 14, 21, & 28
Cost:   $75.00 + HST

Toy Workshop (CID designs)

(With Amanda Kaffka)
This whimsical class is going to be a lot of fun, using the ever-so-cute, CiD Hanscom Design kits.  There are a number of sweet creatures to choose from:  Harry Rabbit, Squeak the mouse, Tadeus Crocker, Croco Dehlia to name a few.  Amanda will assist you in working through the pattern, and help you with its final construction.
Supply Requirements:  Suggested yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Sport or Melange & 2.25 mm needles, and fiber fill.
*Please Note:  Since these toys are fairly small, basic knitting skills are a prerequisite, with a concentration on fine motor skills.
Time:  6:30-8:30pm
Dates:  Oct. 26 & Nov. 2
Cost:    $50.00 + HST

Fiddlehead Mittens

(With Alexa Ludeman)

This popular class is back in action! Learn to knit using Fair Isle techniques (that’s 2 colours at once) and come away with a most beautiful pair of mittens with a sumptious soft lining.

Time:  6:30-8:30pm
Dates:  Oct. 5, 12, & 19
Cost:   $75.00 + HST (Materials Extra)
Supply Requirements:  Fiddlehead Mitten Pattern from plus yarn & needles to match.


Making Knitting Possible (Level 1)

(With Astor Tsang)
Ever wanted to learn to knit? Thought you had two left thumbs?  Well here is your opportunity to finally learn how.  Astor has been teaching “know nothing” beginners for over 7 years in the lower mainland.   She believes that everyone can knit, even if some unconventional teaching methods are necessary to do so.
Time: 9:30-11:30am
Dates: Sept. 15, 22, 29, & Oct. 6
Cost:  $95.00 + HST (cost of book extra)

King Kong of Sock Monkey’s Class

(Alexa Ludeman)
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 15, 22, & 29
Cost:  $75.00 + HST


Knitting is Possible Level II

(Astor Tsang)
You already know how to knit, so what’s next you say?  This Beyond Beginner class covers a new topic and or technique each week.  Students are encouraged to pursue their own knitting projects during the class.  The class is structured so that there is ample time for problem solving and answering specific questions.  Come to the 1st class with an idea of what your want to work on, and Astor can help you pick out materials.
Time:  9:30-11:30am
Dates:  Sept. 16, 23, 30th, & Oct. 7
Cost:  $95.00 + HST

Lunch Hour QnA

(With Amanda Kaffka)
Time:  12-1
Date:   Starting Sept  16
Cost:  $20.00 + HST

Kids Club

(With Amanda Kaffka)
Amanda will instruct the basics of knitting whilst making a simple garter stitch scarf, and other fun interesting projects of your choice.
Time:  3:30-5:00pm
Dates:  Sept. 16, 23, & 30
Cost:   $60.00 + HST

Beyond Beginner Knitting

(Sandra Dunkin)
Now that you’ve learned the basic’s of knitting, and can’t wait to make a project, come join the beyond beginner knitting class.  From learning to read a pattern, to finishing techniques, Sandra will coach you through the obstacle course of your first garment.
Supply Requirements:  Basic pattern of your choice, and the yarn & needles that it specifies.
Time:  6:30-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 9, 16, 23, & 30
Cost:  $95.00 + HST


Advanced Beginner Lace High Line Shawl Class

(Alison H)
Join us for a quick knit lace stole.  This charted pattern is knit up with 10mm needles and bulky yarn.  Take your beginner lace knitting skills to the next level!
Time:  10:00-12:00noon
Dates:  Sept. 17, 24, & Oct. 1
Cost:   $75.00 + HST
Intermediate Lace (Ophidian Lace Shawl)

(Alison H)
The Ophidian Shawl is worked from the top down, in a sock weight yarn.  The pattern begins with garter stitch, then gradually transitions to a textured lace pattern.  Beads are added as a subtle accent to the overall design, which ends with a gently scalloped border.
Time:  10:00-12:00 noon
Dates:  Oct. 8, 15 & 22nd
Cost:    $75.00 + HST (Cost of pattern not included)

QnA Session

(With Alexa Ludeman)
Have you taken any of Alexa’s ever so popular classes, but still had a question or two to ask her?
Well this is the place to do it.  Bring your projects and question’s to this semi-private (Min.2 Max. 3 people), for help with pattern reading, complicated stitches, or just clarification on a knitting technique.  You are welcome to stay for our Stitch n’ Bitch which follows, every Friday night, from 7-9pm.
Time: 5:00-6:00pm
Starting Date:  January 15
Cost:   $20.00 + GST
*Please register by the Wednesday before*


Intermediate Lace Class: The Hemlock Ring Blanket

(With Alison H)
Knit a circular lap blanket!  The Hemlock Ring Blanket is Brooklyn Tweed’s retro modification of a 1942 doily.  Beginning at the centre, a star motif is worked, surrounded by waves of feather and fan stitches, and ending with a lovely loop border.
Time:  10:00-12:00noon
Date:   Sept. 11, 18, &25
Cost:   $75.00 + HST

Sock Bootcamp

(With Jackie Blackmore or Alexa Ludeman)
Learn to knit a sock in just one night!  Basic knitting skills are required.  You will knit a top-down, mini training sock on 4 DP needles, by the end of the 3 hour class.  An educational “Sock Knitting” handout and a free sock pattern will be included.
Supply Requirements:  3.25mm or 3.5mm DP
Needles and a small ball of aran weight yarn
Time:  1:00-4:00pm
Cost:    $30.00 + HST
Dates:  Session A: Sept. 11
Session B:  Oct. 9
Session C:  Nov. 13
Session D:  Dec. 11


QnA Session

(With Amanda Kaffka)
Time:  11-12
Cost:  $20.00 + HST
Any of the following Dates:  Sept. 12,
Or 19, or 26

Jewlery Knitting

(With Amanda Kaffka)
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make knitted beaded jewellery?  Well now you can, in this fun and informative class, where you will learn how to make the perfect accessory; a beaded necklace.  Learn basic beading techniques and simple short row shaping, to create a beautiful piece of art you can wear or give away as a special gift, you can give this holiday season.
Time:  1:00-3:00pm
Dates:  Sept. 12, 19, & 26
Cost:   $75.00 + HST

Aran Block of the Month

With Sandra Dunkin
Begin with simple twists and progress to glorious cable work to create blocks for an incredible afghan.  Start a new block during the class session each month, and then finish it at home on your own time.  Please ensure you have ordered your yarn at least 2-3 weeks prior to the starting date of the class, to ensure you get to work in your favourite choice of yarn!
Prerequisite:  Basic knitting skills are required.
Supply Requirements:  2,259 meters of Aran Weight Yarn (Mission Falls 1824 Washable Wool is a great choice.  You will need 30 balls of this yarn.  There is a sample swatch of various different blocks, knit in different yarns, so you can make the best choice for you.
Dates:  4th  Sunday of the Month for 7 Months
(not including December)
Oct. 24, Nov.28, Jan. 23, Feb. 27, March
27, April 17 & May 17
Please Note:  Final sign up date is Nov 28th
Time:  12:00-2:00
Cost:    $140.00 + GST (includes pattern)
This class will have a maximum enrollment # of  6 participants, so be sure to sign up early.

Advanced Knitting Techniques

(With Sandra Dunkin)
Time:    2:30-4:30pm
Cost:   $75.00 + HST
Dates:  Oct. 24,Nov. 14, 28, & Dec. 28th

If your looking to sign up just give us a call!

Knitting with a Cloud

Friday, August 27th, 2010


I have long been a big fan of the beautiful soft Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri. It is almost like knitting with a cloud! I first fell in love with the stuff when I started lining mittens last year. The mittens look pretty on the outside but it’s always nice to hear the exclamations as people try them on and slip their hands into a super soft and warm lining. It’s almost always a nice surprise.


Well, just when I was starting to wonder what else I could do with this lovely stuff, BSA came out with a great new pattern: the Brushed Suri Tunic! Anina knit it up in what felt like 2 minutes (she’s a bit wild though, do not attempt) in the charming Sweet Potato colour.


The pattern is kind of sixties inspired and I just love the shape of it. It’s as soft as it looks to put on too. Just lovely. If orange isn’t your colour I recommend the bright pink. It’s so fun!

A Perfect Day of Knitting

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


Well, the weather is getting cooler and I am back to knitting! Yesterday was a most lovely day for it and I thought I would really make the most of it. I made it my perfect day of knitting.

Everyone has their favorite yarn, a yarn treat if you will! For me, my personal fave of the moment is the Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes. The yarn has a nice twist for some beautiful stitch definition and the  combination of alpaca and wool is super soft. It’s a thickish yarn (16 stitiches per 4″) so it knits up quick too.

The pattern I chose is something that’s been hanging out in my pattern stash for quite some time: Baby Bobbi Bear. There are a load of Blue Sky Alpaca samples in the store right now and I was re-inspired to knit it up. I was also feeling a little left out of the toy knitting crew, so I decided to follow the crowd too.


A perfect day of knitting is nothing without a cup of tea and something sweet. So I settled into my knitting spot on the couch with a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of Key Lime Pie and got to knitting! It was a perfect day.

Habu at Urban Yarns!

Friday, August 20th, 2010


Well, Urban Yarns is hosting yet another exciting and fabulous event: September 28th and 29th Takako from Habu Textiles will be teaching four 45 minute Japanese schematic pattern reading workshops! There will also be a trunk show where you can enjoy a “hands-on” presentation of over 30 kit garments.  We will have some kits available for sale in the store and you will also have an opportunity to consult with Takako and place orders.


What is Habu? For those of you not in the know, Habu is a textile line. I would use the word yarn here, but Habu seems to be something a bit more than yarn, hence the term textiles. Habu makes their ‘yarns’ from fibres I never would have thought possible. The one I am most intrigued by is the combination of stainless steel and silk. You would think this combination would be scratchy and strange but it’s shimmery, soft, and beautiful. Habu also makes yarns from paper, cord, and ramie. Some of these fibres I haven’t even heard of before!


Habu has quite a following. Although their kits often have no pictures to accompany them, people seem to flock towards these unique designs and fibres that create truly one of a kind garments. Venus, one of our UY gals, created a beautiful tunic from one of the Habu kits and it is stunning, you can check it out at the shop if you drop on by!


The Habu Details:

Who: Takako from Habu Textiles

What: Japanese Lace Classes

Where: Urban Yarns of course!

When: September 28th from 1-2 and 4-5 and September 29th 12-1 and 3-4

The cost of a class is only $10.00 and there are only 12 seats available per class so give us a call and reserve yourself a seat!

Amanda’s Animals

Monday, August 16th, 2010


There seems to be a bit of a toy craze sweeping the ladies at Urban Yarns. As usual, I think Anina may have started it, but others have taken the toy obsession to a whole new level…..


Enter Amanda. Amanda is a spectacular knitter, her attention to detail is awe inspiring and her rate of completed projects boggles the mind! She has a prolific blog, The Knitty Knitty Gritty, in which she expounds on knitting and on life in general. Amanda is not only knitting up a storm (you can’t throw a rock at UY without hitting a sample she has made) she has a few designs as well. Her headbands are my personal favorite, they have a nice touch of class about them, I imagine ladies wearing them in the 20’s and 30’s on the ski hills of the Rockies…but I digress.


The toy phase is nothing short of amazing to me. There are so many techniques and details in a toy, but of course, they are small so they have a lot of instant gratification. These toys pictured here are from some super cute kits we have in the shop. The kit includes all of the eyes and bits and bobs as well as the pattern, all you need is some scrap yarn. I say scrap yarn, but I’m pretty sure Amanda went all out with some luscious Blue Sky Alpaca, a girl after my own heart!


We’ve got lots of kits left and if you are particularly interested in Harriet Rabbit, Amanda even designed an adorable Tutu pattern for her! Join the craze and start knitting a few toys of your own..tune in next week for Sara’s adorable monsters…

Happy knitting!


A Charming Tam

Friday, August 13th, 2010


We recently got in a nice new yarn from Malabrigo called Twist. It has all the beautiful colours, softness, and gauge (16-18 stitches per 4 inches) of Malabrigo Worsted but with a Twist…..literally! While Malabrigo worsted has a bit of a reputation for pilling (zero twist is a gauranteed recipe for a bit of a pill) the new Twist avoids this problem because it’s, well, twisted.


We have some beautiful colours, as Malabrigo always does. I’m thinking there might be an orange hat in my future….Anina wasted no time in whipping up a lovely tam in the new yarn herself. It took 2 skeins because it is a rather slouchy cap. It’s the One Day Beret by Kirsten Kapur. This bad boy really does take just one day and you can find the pattern free on Ravelry here.


My favorite little detail is the decreasing at the top. Many berets have nice deceasing but I’m paricularly smitten with the starfishy pattern on this one. So, drop by to check out the new yarn and get started on your very own One Day Beret today!

A Fall Hat

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


There’s something great about knitting a hat. They are fashionable (most of the time, I suppose that’s up for debate….) and I can whip one up in an evening, as long as it’s not in a sock weight yarn, which it rarely is. There are what seems to be a million hat patterns out there, ranging from the cute and ridiculous to the woodsy and warm. So many to choose from.

Hats also make wonderful gifts, even for those you are not sure will appreciate them. It’s a great knited gift test because it’s low comittment, high pay off. If they toss your hat aside, you know you probably shouldn’t try to knit them a sweater. If they love the hat, it’s gold! I knit a hat for my Uncle Kenny this past Christmas, not sure what the reaction would be, and he loved it! I got a text message the next morning saying ‘I’m still wearning the hat!’. It was a great knitting moment.

I also think any hat that has been designed for a guy is officially unisex. I have yet to come across a hat and think ‘too masculine for me’. There are two hats that I really come back to though, I’ve knit both of these many times. The first is the Basketweave toque that was designed by Nick. Nick used to work at the shop and this is his design. It’s a great hat, simple but with enough detail to keep it interesting. The hat pattern comes in 2 formats, knit in the round and knit flat. It’s nice for those who are a little skitish about knitting in the round, you can knit flat and sew it up.

This particular hat was knit extra long to give it a roll up brim but that’s optional, the original pattern is for a hat that goes just over the ears. My two favorite yarns to knit this bad boy up in are Mirasol Sulka (soft, shiny with silk, great colours) and Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes. I can’t say enough about how much I love this yarn, it’s little pricy but completely worth it. Super soft combination of alpaca and wool with a great twist. It knits up like a dream.


The other hat, the one I’ve made for several boys, both family and friends (including Uncle Kenny) is Jordan’s Toque. This toque was originally designed for my little (6’4″) brother, who still loves his hat a few years later. It’s been quite popular with recipients of this hat and it’s nice and exciting to knit. TIP: make sure to knit the fair isle portion of the hat loosely, lest the hat become too tight to go over the head.

This hat is also knit up in Mirasol Sulka, it’s great that this yarn comes in 50g skeins for knitting fair isle, that way you don’t have as many leftovers. Both patterns and matching yarns are readily available at UY so come on down and get started on a great fall hat today!

Who is Kaffe Fassett?

Thursday, August 5th, 2010


Some (but probably not too many of you) might be wondering who Kaffe Fassett is and what all the hubbub is about. Well, let me tell you because Kaffe is coming to town!  Urban Yarns and The Cloth Shop (a lovely little shop, just down the block from UY. I’m not much of a quilter but I never leave there empty handed….) have joint ventured to bring Kaffe Fassett and his partner Brandon Mably to give a talk and a workshop. Anyone with a love of colour should not miss this opportunity to hear Kaffe speak or to learn from Brandon in his workshop.

The name Kaffe Fassett has long been a staple in the world of knitting and quilting. He is best known for his colour and design work which has gained such popularity he is even the subject of a one man show! Kaffe’s revolutionary colour combinations have spawned lines of yarn and fabric and several books on the subject. He is a man of simple designs that show off the beauty of his unique colour combinations. His book Kaffe Knit Again is in the shop and it’s quite the inspirational book to flip through.

Brandon has been working with Kaffe for many years now and shares his love of colourwork. While Kaffe’s talk will focus on elements of design, the workshop will have demonstrations and instruction on the Fair Isle knitting method with up to 12 colours at a time! This is a once in a lifetime chance to see and work with 2 very talented men.

The talk with Kaffe will take place on Friday, October 1st from 7:30-9:00 at the UBC Golf Club, and the Persian Poppy Workshop is Sunday, October 3rd from 10-4 with a break for lunch (which is provided). Give us a call to sign up for these events. Tickets are selling fast so snap up your tickets in a hurry!

An Old Standby

Monday, August 2nd, 2010


Thinking about learning to knit last week got me thinking about great beginner projects. What to do with a beginner is obviously quite dependant on the individual but I think there is one project that is really great for anyone learning to knit. It’s an oldy but a goody, both useful and sometimes beautiful: the dishcloth. A lot of people make dishclothes. This may horrify some knitters I’m sure. Wipe dirty dishes with my long slaved hard work!? Perish the thought. I myself, however, am more of a process knitter and since I so enjoy knitting, I really care a lot less about the finished product than I probably should. So, dishclothes work just fine for me.

Why knit a dish cloth at all? Well, I think there is something to be said in defence of a useful knit. If you are thinking to yourself that you can just BUY dishclothes for reasonable little money, let me stop you right there. You can buy anything you knit. They sell socks, sweaters, blankets, toys, skirts, blouses, shawls, anything you can knit is sold in many locations near you. That is certainly no reason to not knit something! I happen to think knitting creates a very nice fabric for a dishcloth as well. They really excel at wiping down counters especially.

Now, why are dishclothes perfect for beginners? Because you can do absolutely anything in a dishcloth. Swatches of different stitches make excellent learning tools and why let them go to waste? They can easily become useful and pretty dishclothes. Dishclothes also make a nice gift if you feel the need to make many in order to perfect a newly learned skill. So, with that in mind I have a few pattern and yarn recommendations.

1. Wedding Dishclothes from the PurlBee. These little babies are simple and nice and they are done in Blue Sky Skinny Cotton. I’ve made several of these myself and they wear VERY well. It’s a yarn with a hearty spin and they have lasted what feels like a million washes. I’ve also made them for friends and they have gone over quite well. I like that I know this not because they told me they like them, but because I’ve seem them in action. It’s a good feeling.

To make these you will need the pattern here and a skein or two of Blue Sky Skinny Cotton.

2. The Mitered Dish Towel is a charming way to use my 2 favorite things: bright yarn and fun buttons! Also an absolutely wonderful gift these towels can teach a beginner all about increases and decreases and I think they have the right level of interest for a beginner.

To make these you will need some 18 stitch gauge cotton (come on in and we can certainly help you pick some out) and the pattern is a freebee here.

3. If you are looking for something a little more challenging you can try this trio of dishclothes. They are each a different stitch so when you are ready to experiment a little and branch out it’s a good new project.

To make them you will need a few skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton and the free pattern from Ravelry here.