Archive for March, 2012

Party Time!

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

That’s right, it’s time to pull an all nighter people, Tiny Owl Knits party is tomorrow! I’ll be working on my little Bee-Keeper Cushion to the last minute even though I happen to know a few knitters will be attired in multiple items. Feel free to bring your WIP’s along, I might be joining you….


Kynna has finished her pretty legwarmers. I thought for some reason she had knit them in the Berocco Ultra Alpaca but of course she knit them in the luxurious Pear Tree Yarns.


Amanda added to her beautiful Oh My Bear with a cute little pair of Rosie Wristlettes. She crocheted these in Rowan Cocoon, Debbie Bliss Angel and Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (along with a couple of odds and ends for the leaves).

Party is tomorrow at 6:30 and there will be cookies and tea as usual! See you there!

Ribbon Tank

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The charming and talented Donna (of North Van Urban Yarns fame) has come up with a great little summery tank that is sure to get you in the mood for some hotter weather. She knit this beauty up in the Great Adirondack 1/2-inch ribbon, a unique yarn in its ribbon-y texture. Great Adirondack comes in some fantastic hand dyed colours, perfect for the bright season ahead.


The tank knits up quick on 8mm (US 11) needles with a cable detail in the middle to keep things interesting. The yarn has a lot of drape (it’s made of rayon) so it works well for a swingy tank! The pattern is available for free in the shop with yarn purchase.

A Spot of Tea

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

There may be no greater combination than knitting and a warm beverage. Whether you are a tea drinker, a coffee-holic, or if you enjoy a soothing hot chocolate, any of them go swimmingly with a pair of needles and a ball of wool. Thus I began my search for a simple, classic looking, tea pot cozy pattern. I think I have found just the pattern and wool combination in a Churchmouse pattern and Harrisville’s Tweed yarn.

Churchmouse designs are simple and straightforward, nothing terribly fancy, just well written classics. The ribbed tea cozy (and it’s ruffly counterpart) are done in an 18 stitch gauge yarn and I felt that something rustic and tweedy was in order. Enter the Harrisville’s Tweed. It’s a rustic wool yarn that is light and warm, perfect for keeping tea hot hot hot.
Of course some people enjoy getting their warm beverages on the outside and a coffee cozy like this one is just the right thing to bring the warmth of home to your local coffee shop. Something simple to make for you (and an easy peasy gift for others) from your aran/worsted weight scraps.

Tea Leaves Accomplished

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

img_7086I have now knit the Tea Leaves and it’s mini counterpart, the Tiny Tea Leaves, 3 times. I think I could whip one up from memory if pressed. I think I might be most happy with the last one I finished, my SweetGeorgia wonder. This sweater is knit from the top down (my current favorite construction) and once you get past the yoke it’s pretty simple (the yoke isn’t really that tricky either).


The best thing about this sweater? When Kynna tried it on for me, it looked great! Not every sweater I have created looked as good when finished as this one. It has just the right swing, it’s just the length I wanted (long for butt coverage), and it isn’t too loose or too tight in the arms. I could not be more pleased with the results if I tried. It took me 5 skeins of SweetGeorgia Superwash worsted and the colourway is Cypress. The colour is a wonderful mix of green and grey and I just love it too. Are there any more ways to say how much I love this project?! This sweater will be keeping Ursula (the shop mannequin) warm for a while and then it will gifted to a deserving recipient, and I can admire it all over again when it graces the shoulders of it’s intended wearer.


Friday, March 16th, 2012

The latest Vogue magazine is gracing our shelves and it is full of summer knits. It feels like it’s still pretty wintry outside but the latest Vogue gives me hope that summer is in fact coming. There is a lovely article on one of my faves in there too, Ysolda Teague. If you ever wanted to know about Ysolda’s journey to knitwear design, pick up this issue and find out!

Some of the intriguing patterns this season are the Lace Tank top and the Lace Triangle Shawl.


The Lace Tank is knit up in (as the name suggests) a lace weight yarn. Going lighter is a hallmark of summer knits and there are many good reasons for this. The obvious one being that lighter weight works well for warmer weather. A lovely side effect is that lighter yarn travels so well, with more knitting time per ounce.


The Lace Triangle Shawl is more of a summer evening item, knit in a worsted weight. There is something nice about lace in a heavier weight yarn, it really shows all the delicate details, just in a larger format. I’m being won over by Jared Flood, who has always advocated lace be knit in a bigger gauge!

Whimsical Little Knits 3

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

That’s right, one of our favorites, Ysolda Teague has a brand new book in the shop. Whimsical Little Knits 1 and 2 are really just that, some smaller scale knits all touched with Ysolda’s personal flair for detail and whimsy. Book number 3 has her same great flair for fashion and fun but I think it has an added sophistication as well.


Some of my faves from the book are her adorable button cap, Hendreary. This hat has my favorite things this spring: yellow, and buttons. Of course the yellow part is optional and the buttons are done in colourwork but you see what I mean! I will be knitting mine up in Blue Sky Alpacas Sport (or perhaps some Melange…)


Kynna (possibly one of Ysolda’s biggest fans) is knitting up a pair of Sherman socks in the lovely Madelinetosh Pashmina. She went with Glazed Pecan, which is no great surprise considering she seems permanently attached to her beautiful honey cowl in the same colour!


Whimsical Little Knits 3 is available on the shelves and there is an interesting little article in the latest Vogue Magazine featuring Ysolda as well so give it a read!

A Little Treat

Monday, March 12th, 2012

As I mentioned before, I’ve been on a real alternative fibre kick. It all started with some Rowan Creative Linen and it’s really just expanded from there. I don’t know if it’s just being around the shop and having the chance to peruse/feel/obsess about all the different fibres but I am hooked. While this kick seems to have started small, it’s quickly expanding and I’ve been eying the Qiviuk yarn on a daily basis.


Qiviuk is a rare and interesting fibre to say the least. It’s made from the downy undercoat of the Muskox in the Canadian Arctic. The Muskox aren’t likely to let someone shear their coat (plus they really need it in the far north) so their down is collected from branches and underbrush after the herds have passed. The blend we carry is 15% qiviuk, 80% merino, and 5%mulberry silk. Each little 28 gram cake has 145 yards of a lace weight yarn. Pick yourself up a little treat!


Thursday, March 8th, 2012

dsc_0538_medium2There are certain garments in existence that remind us, without skipping a beat, of eras past. The tye-dyed shirts (and everything else) of the 60’s, the neon of late 80’s and early 90’s, poodle skirts of the 50’s, and those charming hats from the 1920’s. Kynna (a girl who is often described as ‘retro’, ‘vintage’, or ‘a bit of a throw back’) knit up Regina and there is no mistaking that sense of style.


It all started with a new yarn in the shop, Berocco Flicker. It has just a hint of sparkle running through a super soft yarn. After scouring the pattern books, binders, and Ravelry, she decided on Regina for her 2 shades of grey. Her project is an aptly named Vancouver Grey Hat.


The Flicker offers a nice texture and a bit of interest with the shimmer, while managing not to steal the show from this cute design. The feather/fan looked completely crazy until blocked and sewed down by the way (I may not have mentioned that while it was in progress Kynna….). To knit up a Regina hat of your very own you will need 2 skeins of Flicker and the pattern (which you can get for free here)!


Sunday, March 4th, 2012


Most projects for me are about the journey. It’s about watching stitch by stitch, loop by loop, as a pattern or fabric begins to form and create a new and glorious garment. This was not that project. This project was about results! The journey wasn’t great but I just can’t argue with the amazing results. I have a warm, cozy, hug around the neck that both looks and feels amazing. I didn’t always feel this way about this cowl though…..


It started out pretty well. My Big Herringbone Cowl had all the makings of a great new piece of knitwear to add to my wardrobe. I used one of my favorite indulgences, Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand-dyes, and the pattern is from one of my favorite websites for fashionable patterns, The Purlbee. I started the cowl on my first camping trip of the season last summer and vacation knitting always makes me happy. What could go wrong?


Well, the stitch looks amazing, but it’s a bit of a pain. Hard to rip back (something I tend to do a lot of) and there is a tricky little bit when you change rounds. Nothing I couldn’t conquer but not the most fun. The other problem I had didn’t appear until I was finished. The cowl came out too small. When doubled around the neck my finished cowl felt like it was trying to cover my whole head, instead of just keeping my neck warm. I had to put the cowl in a time out for a bit and concentrate on something else. When I finally pulled it out of it’s hiding place last week I brought it to the ladies at UY and asked for their advice. Should I rip it out and start over? Should I rip it out and re-purpose the yarn for something else? No, they answered confidently. It’s alpaca, it’ll grow, just give it a block and see what happens.

So I did. That’s all it needed. Just a little water and Soak and I have an amazing new cowl that I absolutely love! The journey was worth it, try one for yourself!