Archive for July, 2012

Alexa’s Baby Wardrobe: The bootie edition

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I’m coming down to the wire (hopefully) and while there is still probably time to knit another sweater, I’m probably not going to. So I look to the humble but helpful bootie. Some people definitely look down upon the lowly booty but I think it’s a crowd pleaser at showers, quick to knit, and I say useful! Hunter practically lived 24/7 in the Zimmerman booties I made her (I thought the Madelinetosh Poprocks Pink might identify her as a girl for a change but no dice).


Without further adieu here are some cute little patterns on my list:


Closeknit’s Striped Baby Booties by Sarah Owens


Bittie Booties by Natalie Larson- I love the idea of embellishing these little cuties in a million ways!


and of course, Cable me Softly by me!

Things I Never Learn

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I have been knitting a long time. 13 years or so now. I have designed garments, dyed yarn, knit many many patterns of varying difficulty, and still: there are things I can’t quite seem to learn! I thought I might list a few of them here in the hopes that you can avoid the same mistakes.

1. Knitting takes time: This may seem obvious but I still feel the need to ignore this fact every so often. I think to myself ‘why that will knit up instantly!’, or ‘I’ll have that done in no time!’. Let me tell you, it will not knit up instantly and it will not be done in no time. I’m quick (not Anina quick but pretty quick) but knitting takes time!

2. I’m finished: I am not finished. There is blocking to be done, buttons to be sewn on, occasionally seams to be sewn up, and always ends to weave in. This is not finished, this isn’t really even almost finished. Something to learn: your not finished until you are REALLY finished. And finishing work takes time too.

3. I should make a few more of these, it’ll be fun!: this kind of obsessive re-knitting is not as fun as I think it will be when I set out with a grand notion of knitting many of something. The end result can certainly be worth my while and I do like knitting something in many different yarns/fibers/colors just to see what will happen but it’s never been as fun as I think it will be.

4. I can have that done by x: I probably can’t. Even if I could have something done by the allocated date and time, I will probably leave it to the last and well…..see problem 1.

Of course I love knitting, don’t get me wrong, it’s just so much more fun if it’s well planned!


Sunday, July 22nd, 2012


That’s right Madelinetosh Vintage is back in stock! I’m not only excited to see some of my old favorites (I used Grove and Twig to make my Gramps sweater and Copper Penny for my favorite baby blanket: Waffles) but there are some bright and fun new kids on the block too: Tomato and Chamomile.


We have been begging Anina and Jan for bright pops of yellow all summer and they have obliged but nothing tops the sunny disposition of Chamomile. It’s so vibrant, any child would be lucky to have a garment made in this washable hand dye, or perhaps your own wardrobe needs something bright and cheerful?


A few skeins of Tomato have already made their way home with me, the only question is what shall I do? Is there another baby blanket on the horizon? Do I need some accessories in this orangey-red that makes everyone smile? Pairing it with some dark grey Graphite would also be stunning….oh the possibilities!

Yarn Tasting!

Friday, July 20th, 2012


What in the world, you might be wondering, is a yarn tasting? It sounds like it might not be that good…but of course yarn tastings are as delicious as any other tasting!

This is a chance to taste/sample/try out a new and fabulous fiber or colour, who wouldn’t love that? And of course, it’s especially nice when paired with a little wine. Urban Yarns is hosting a Fleece Artist and Handmaiden Fine Yarns yarn and wine tasting on July 26th. Tickets are $10, which can be put towards any Fleece artist or Handmaiden purchase.

Give us a call or drop by to get your tickets and we will see you Thursday!

On the Road

Monday, July 16th, 2012

While I am sticking close to home for the next month or so and designing madly, it seems like everyone else is hitting the road! Vancouver is wonderful in the summer but who doesn’t love a road trip? Getting up early, hitting some fast food or coffee joint, letting the breeze (or AC) blow through your hair. Lucky for me I don’t get car sick and my hubby likes to do the driving. It’s a knitters dream!


It seems that summer road trip knitting falls into 2 major categories: accomplishments, and small practical projects. First category is the accomplishment. This is something larger, perhaps a garment, that you hope to finish or nearly finish on your trip. A sweater knit as your wind through the Rockies, or maybe a pair of lined mittens, ready for gifting in the winter to come. Try a Whisper Cardigan by Hannah Fetig. It’s a lace weight so it’s easy to carry around and a nice light weight item for summer nights.


The second category is the small and portable project. I find socks a go to on this one. There’s something simple about a sock, with just a few interesting points to keep me going. I cast on and I can knit away until I’m ready for a heel. Once that’s turned I’m ready to knit up a foot on a particularly long stretch. Then it’s just a toe and I’m done! It’s also easier to be diligent on the road. If you only have one or two projects, that’s all you can knit! Try out a pair of Tootsie socks, I’m thinking Spud and Chloe Fine or perhaps some Handmaiden Casbah is just the ticket for these cozy socks.

Brooklyn Baby

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Part two of ‘what would Alexa knit’ has to be the baby blanket edition. The nicest thing about baby blankets is that they don’t have to be knit in a certain size. There is no 0-6 months/6-12 months sizes for baby blankets. They really can’t be too big or too small because they just get used for different purposes. I prefer a blanket 26-30″ because that’s the idea carseat/stroller size, but bigger is just fine for putting down underneath a baby on the floor or the grass.

Tweed Baby Blanket

Tweed Baby Blanket

There are 3 great baby blankets from Brooklyn Tweed, I’ve knit 2 and I’ll be casting on for the 3rd shortly! First is the Tweed Baby Blanket. It has a classic hap-style construction with a large chunk of garter stitch in the middle and a lace edging.I used Rialto Aran (note, this is a thicker yarn than the pattern calls for)

Wool Leaves

Wool Leaves

Next is the wool leaves blanket. It’s a thicker weight blanket in a bulky yarn (or a worsted weight held doubled). I did mine in the Spud and Chloe Sweater held doubled.

Shale Baby Blanket

Shale Baby Blanket

Last but not least is Shale. I just love a cable, any time any place! I think a nice soft grey is in order because it just goes with everything and looks classic and well loved all at the same time!

What Would Alexa Knit?

Friday, July 6th, 2012

As a knitter (and as someone who works in a yarn shop) I am constantly coming across excellent patterns both new and classic. There are never as many patterns as there are for little ones. It seems that a lot of people even start knitting just to make something for a baby to be! There are so many adorable patterns out there and with one on the way (not soon enough let me tell you) I am thinking baby wardrobe.

I am sticking with a lot of my faves from knitting for Hunter, but knitting them in a different colour/yarn/size to keep a little variety. I’ve also got some new ones on the horizon and of course, a design or 2 in the works. I thought I would start with the sweaters and share some of my favorites from the recent past and those I will be casting on in the near future.


First up is the Owlet. I knit this adorable little number up for Hunter in some the Madelinetosh Vintage and it was such a quick knit! Simple enough to knit, with an adorable little owl cable detail, need I say more? It took 2 skeins to knit up an 18 month size.


Next is Puerperium. I can’t love this pattern enough really. I think I might even have it memorized! I knit 2 up for baby showers this past year and they were extremely well received. You can pick a great yarn (you know I love a hand dye) and then pair it with some funky or cute buttons, whatever fits your style! I have already knit one of these up. I knit up a very special one of these for the new babe in Rocking Yak yarn. I used 1 ball but it’s the smallest size with some short sleeves (less than a yard to spare!).


Last is one I will be knitting for the first time is the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono. I’ll be using some Gourmet Crafter Sock for this one, I just have to decide on a colour….

Summer Flies and Summer Yarns

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Ashley's Summer Flies

Ashley's Summer Flies

So I just got back from Tofino and I have to say, the weather there was pretty terrible! It is, however, still summer. I’m torn on the subject of weather because as a knitter I love indoor weather but as a parent of a busy bee of a 1.5 year old I need some better weather before we go stir crazy! But I digress. It’s time to think about some summery fibers and I have just the combo for you: Firefly from Classic Elite and Summer Flies by Donna Griffin.

Kynna's Summer Flies

Kynna's Summer Flies

This pattern seems to be an addictive one. It’s on a lot of people’s lists of ‘To Knit’, which isn’t too surprising since it combines simplicity and interest, a winning combination. What is surprising is that those who have knit it seem to feel an urge to cast on for a second right away. Perhaps in a different colour. Maybe a different yarn or fiber. Maybe one for a gift….the list goes on!

A perfect yarn for this pattern is Firefly from Classic Elite. It has an intriguing mix of linen and rayon, giving it a light summery feel. It also has great colours and a certain sheen to it that gives me pause when I walk by it’s cubby. A lovely yarn for Summer Flies!