Archive for July, 2011

West Knits

Thursday, July 28th, 2011


Alongside our rounds of Knit Alongs (if you’re not up on it, we are working on some lovely Ysolda Teague Knits right now, details here) I’ve been on a shawl kick as usual. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, summer is lace and shawl time! Although I am a big lace fan there are those out there who like a shawl that’s not too lacy, to those I say: meet Stephen West.



West Knits (Stephen’s first book) is full of fabulous shawls, scarves, and hats with hardly any lace in sight. The key to a West shawl/scarf in my opinion is the contrast in colours. The wilder the contrast and colour pairings the more interesting the shawl. The sharp contrasts of shocking yellow and subtle grey, lime green and white, autumn orange and warm brown make the lovely stitches pop. If you want something more subdued a monochrome will also work, but of course I’m leaning towards the wild and crazy!



The other great thing about these shawls is that they are a great opportunity to use some fantastic variegated sock yarn and pair it with a solid. Pairing a crazy variegated yarn with a solid can really change the yarn. Pairing a yarn with warm or cool tone will pull out those colours and make them appear stronger in the variegate, it’s a wonderful effect. So check out your favorite sock yarns and cast on for a West Knit today!

Felt it Up

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I spend so much time keeping my knitting OUT of the laundry (hubby can’t be trusted with knits) that I forget the excellent effects of washing your knitting: felt! Felted items are lots of fun. My hubby’s favorite knitted items are his felt slippers. They are really more like boots. They are warm and soft and lovely. He doesn’t like much of my knitting but those he can get behind. I’ve only ever felted item that I’ve knit but that’s really only half (or less than half) of the felting world.


Enter Sue Pearl. She is the author of Making Felted Friends. She currently lives in London but she is making the trip to Urban Yarns for a fantastic workshop event! Sue is a very accomplished individual with a permanent exhibition in the Museum of Oxfordshire among others. Her felted creatures are made using a variety of felting techniques so there is a lot to learn in her workshop!


The workshop will be an all day affair (10am-4pm) with lunch and materials provided at the UBC Golf Club on August 21st. The cost is $140. You will be leaving the workshop having made a very funky bird and ready to make a lot more! To reserve yourself a spot give us a ring 604.228.1122


Thursday, July 21st, 2011


I don’t often find myself casting on for a knit for myself and I find myself casting on for a sweater even less often. And yet, I find myself doing both this week! I’m casting on for a Larch cardigan in my most recent favorite yarn: Madelinetosh DK. The yarn is fantastic and I’m working in a dark purple. This sweater has to be the most debated and long awaited project of all time.


I hummed and hawed over the pattern and the yarn for ages. When I finally decided on the Tosh DK I had to wait for the latest shipment to come in. I have been thinking/dreaming/obsessing over this sweater for months! I debated about the colour most. It looks so great in a mustard yellow but I just felt I would wear a darker colour much more, even if some of the details were lost in the darkness of it.

The pattern is the Larch Cardigan and it’s simple but lovely, I’m so excited! As usual I dream of this being the greatest sweater ever knit, visions of grandeur! Definitely come and check out our latest supply of the ever popular Madelinetosh yarns!

Pigs Three Ways

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


A novel but fantastic idea: a knitted toy in a bulky weight yarn! While the original pattern called for a worsted weight yarn (about 18 stitches per 4 inches) but ingeneous Amanda knit up these three adorable little (a relative term) pigs in Spud and Chloe Outer.


I quite like the idea of a bulky weight toy, it’s so quick and they look so very fantastic. I have balked at the idea of knitting toys in the past because of the tiny needles and yarn but no more! Worsted and Bulky weight toys are making a serge and I’m on board! They are bulky, true, but the pattern so nicely compliments the yarn because, well, pigs are a bit of a bulky animal. Especially the pigs that fly!


The pattern is Oink by Susan B Anderson. In case you haven’t heard of her, she is the lovely woman behind the Spud and Chloe designs. She designed the Spud and Chloe book as well, Spud and Chloe at the Farm, an adorable collection of knitted farm animals and accessories in all three yarns, Fine (sock), Sweater (worsted), and Outer (bulky)

Summer Flies

Friday, July 15th, 2011


Despite what my window tells me, it is in fact summer time! It’s no surprise that one of the most popular patterns right now is the Summer Flies shawl by Donna Griffin. It’s a pretty aran weight shawl with several different lovely stitch patterns. The texture is fantastic and I love the little butterfly motif. Kynna had hers draped over a chair in my living room and I immediately wanted to knit one for myself!


I am thinking that an aran weight shawl seems impractical for an average summer (in Vancouver anyways) but really it’s ideal. I have spent many evenings walking, watching frisbee games, camping, or just chilling on the patio in the evenings this summer and a shawl is just right. It’s stylish and warm so the party doesn’t have to end early.


Kynna knit hers up in Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca (I think she’s knitting everything up in this yarn, it’s become a bit of an obsession Kynna….). The mustard yellow gives it a kind of retro vibe, which is perfect since Kynna is the only person I know who can really rock a blazer with a crest.

Flood-along complete!

Monday, July 11th, 2011


It was another great time on Friday finishing up our Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed knit-a-long! (in case anyone is confused Jared Flood is a designer and he designs/blogs as Brooklyn Tweed). There were some lovely projects knit during the allotted KAL time and Anina and Michael brought some lovely Floodish projects already completed (or nearly so).


There were more Rock Island’s than anything else. I knit one myself! The pattern is intense with lace on both sides and an interesting construction. It was probably one of the most complicated things I’ve knit, although garments have their own measuring challenges. Iona, Marianella, and I all knit our Rock Island shawls in SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Lace. It’s just irresistible! (Colours are Slate, Riptide, and English Ivy)



There were 2 Terra shawls, one knit in Cascade 220 and one in Berocco Ultra Alpaca.





Ashley brought her beautiful Juneberry shawl. It’s also a tricky lace piece with lace on both sides and a different construction. Hers is a stunning blue in the Berocco Ultra Alpaca as well. (Ashley has an awesome blog, you can check it out here)



Anina brought her Umaro, a lovely thick blanket and Michael brought his Koolhaus hat and Grove mittens.


So now that the Flood-along is finished it’s time to KAL something new! This Friday we will be casting on for our Ysolda Teague KAL so pick your projects and yarn and join us either in person or on Ravelry!

The New Guy

Friday, July 8th, 2011


Yet another new face at Urban Yarns, welcome to the New Guy! Michael is the newbie at Urban Yarns but he is no stranger to knitting, that’s for sure. Having recently come across his blog (and I may have spent some time perusing his projects on Ravelry as well) I’m already a fan of his knitterly taste. I have been swept up by the lovely lace and cables! To see for yourself you can check out Michael Knits.



Michael has been knitting for a few years now and he’s mastered some pretty tough projects. One of my faves fits right in with our theme of the week: Jared Flood! This is Bridgewater from the Brooklyn Tweed book. 2000 yards of lace and just stunning. I think the natural colour is just right for this project because it shows off every gorgeous stitch.


Michael is hoping to bring the boys to the knitting circle and he will be hosting Men’s knit nights on Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 so boys bring your knits!

Reminder: Flood Night is tomorrow night (Anina and I laughed about the weather fitting right in….) so bring your project finished or not for some tea and cookies!

Party Time

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011


This Friday is the Jared Flood Knit Along party! Come one come all for some tea and cookies and Floodish goodness. I have been mentioning to people all week that I will be attending a Flood party on Friday and they seem to think I’m going to a party with short pants. Non-knitters may not be as familiar with Brooklyn Tweed’s body of work as we knitterly folk are…..


Since we are all theoretically casting off our BT/JF projects this week (I know a few of you aren’t done, the world won’t end, come party anyways) it must be time for the next KAL! I was chatting with Kynna last week and she said the next KAL just had to be her favorite: Ysolda.


The greatest thing about an Ysolda KAL is that there are so many different types of patterns to choose from. She has a lot of accessories if you are feeling like something small and very finishable or if you are feeling more ambitious she has some serious sweater patterns too. I’m thinking Coraline…..


The end date for the Ysolda knit has yet to be determined but it will most definitely be in the last couple of weeks of September, we are giving this one a nice long time for those who are knitting sweaters! Hope to see you Friday and we can all plot our next KAL knits!

This weeks special is:

Araucania Ranco

Solids 30% off was $14.95, now $10.96

Multis 30% off, $16.95, now $11.87

Happy Canada Day!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Maple Leaf Mittens

Time to pick up some red and white  yarn and knit yourself up something Canadian! I am personally proud to be a Canadian and I’m pretty excited for baby Hunter’s first Canada day. She will be appropriately clad in red and white and waving a flag (while mummy makes sure she doesn’t poke herself in the eye with it….) today.

There is something fantastically unique about our flag, it stands out distinctively on an encyclopedia page and the symbol of the maple leaf is easily recognizable around the world. On the knitting scene there are many fantastic Canadian designers and dyers so perhaps today you might want to check out their work.

1. Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarn, dyed in Nova Scotia for your knitting pleasure. Fleece Artist and Handmaiden are lovely hand dyed yarns that come in a wide variety of colours and fibers.

2. SweetGeorgia, dyed in Vancouver. Felicia is (obviously) one of my very favorite dyers and her ‘Unapologetic Colour’ is stunning both in the skein and on the needles.

3. Koigu handpainted sock yarn. This yarn hails from Ontario and has long been a favorite. Be sure to check out the Babette blanket in the shop, all Koigu and stunning!

4. Gourmet Crafter Yarns. This is my own line of yarns with colourways based on photographs I have taken around town. Perhaps some Davie Street or Granville Island Cherries to make you feel Canadian!