Archive for July, 2013

These are some of my favourite things

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

First off, I apologize for being a bit light on the posting the last few weeks. You see, when your computer decides to finally up and kick the bucket, it tends to put a bit of a damper on anything involving photo editing, or the internet, or word processing…

But, I’m back and Urban Yarns Headquarters (UYHQ) is functional once again!

Actually, speaking of UYHQ (the real store, not the one that is just my laptop on my coffee table in front of my couch), Anina has been the busiest bee this month. The Point Grey store has got a completely new layout with a brand new front console and a much nicer wall layout – you should come check it out! (I would have a photo, but that would require that I remember to charge my camera’s battery… The heat makes me a bit of a mess, ok?)

Anyway, I was in the store today and found two really really exciting things – new patterns from some of my favourite designers.

First up, we have a brand spanking new book from our ex-pat, Emily Wessel, entitled Handmade in the UK. Emily always comes up with elegant and cheerful designs. While she seems to be working more exotic yarns now that she is overseas, any of our staff can easily help you pick a good substitute.



My favourite designs so far are Bonny and Vivid.



The other pleasant surprise was a whole stack of patterns from Julie Hoover, one of my all-time favourite designers when it comes to simple, clean, timeless designs. We now have copies of Frontenac, Doux, Garance and Becot, as well as more copies of Insouciant, Chaleur and Decouverte.

Out of the new batch, Garance is definitely the group favourite.


Silk for Summer

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

So it’s hot hot hot out there, but heat or no heat, I want to knit with something fabulous, time to break out some silk. Annabella’s Cowl in Alchemy Silk Purse is the perfect thing for summery knitting!

Silk is a dream to knit with and beautiful to wear. Alchemy offers it up in 2 ways: cool and crisp in Silken Straw (you simply must come in and feel this yarn!), and sumptuously soft in Silk Purse. Annabella’s Cowl from Churchmouse Yarns is done in the hand dyed, single ply, Silk Purse.

Annabelle’s Cowl is a simple project, perfect for car trips (only one set of needles and an easily memorized stitch pattern), plane rides, or just sitting on the beach! I always need a simple project on the needles for summer, there are so many BBQ’s and evenings on the patio with friends, I need some ‘conversation knitting’. Something I don’t need to pay too much attention to.  So the only question is: which beautiful color will you choose?!

Knitting With Amanda

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

The funny thing about knitting is that it’s both seasonal and not. While people tend to think about knitting in the fall, when the weather starts to turn, it’s prudent to start thinking about your knitting in the summer. The problem? Who (other than me of course) wants to be knitting in the middle of summer when it’s 28 degrees!? Well I say, let practicality win over comfort, hole up somewhere cool and get your needles out.

If you haven’t had a change to knit with Amanda yet you really should. Her classes are wildly popular, with students returning with each project they cast on. Amanda is patient and kind of a knitting genius. While she has both beginner and beyond beginner classes coming up, you can also feel free to call the shop and set up a private lesson. Here are some great reasons to take a class with Amanda:

1. Beginner knitting: if you haven’t knit before, now’s the time! Amanda will start you off on your knitting journey right.

2. Your first sweater: while there are many options for beyond beginner, it’s highly recommended to do your very first sweater. There are lots of techniques to be learned and Amanda knows them all!

3. A pile of questions: if your pile of unfinished knitting is starting to add up it might be time to take stock. What point are you at and what are the questions you have. Once you have a list written up, set a time and bring them all in. It’s like spring cleaning but for knitting.

Rowan Fine Art

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Rowan has always been an interesting company to me. A much-storied history paired with many interesting collaborations (Erika Knight, Kaffe Fassett, Martin Storey, to name just a few favourites), but I’ll admit, sometimes their concepts don’t quite… hit the spot with me.

Enter the new Rowan Fine Art collection. This is a two-part venture, with a new line of yarn (apparently the first sock yarn to come out of Rowan? Really?), and an accompanying book of sock and accessory patterns.

First, the yarn. 45% wool, 25% polyamide, 20% mohair, 10% silk. Sadly, the mohair will likely preclude my own personal use of this yarn, but it should make a very durable pair of socks. Oh, did I mention the colours?

Rowan Fine Art

I didn’t? Here’s another.

Rowan Fine Art

Rich, deep, dare I say engaging colours? I definitely like – especially the darker, sultry tones.

As mentioned before, the is also a book with 10 sock (in a variety of lengths), and 4 accessory patterns. I’m not always a bit fan of variegated yarns, but in this case they work really really well together.

Rowan Fine Art

Not to mention, the photography and feel is classic Rowan – I just want to dive right in.

Rowan Fine Art

New Product: Juniper Moon

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Rare is the day we get new products in the middle of Summer. It’s not that we don’t love showering you all with new wooly goodness, but come on, it’s hot. We basically work in a giant bowling alley insulated with hundreds (thousands?) of kilos of wool and other fantastic fibres.

Given the… stores sweltering summer state, I was a bit skeptical upon walking in the other day to discover a lovely looking little pile of Something New – naturally, I was immediately drawn to it. On closer inspection, I realized that it was…. Alpaca! Horror of summertime horrors (especially for a self-confessed, dyed in the wool, non-alpaca fan), why oh why did we have a new stash of alpaca in the middle of summer?

Juniper Moon Herriot

Well, it turns out we brought it in because it is just a little we bit fantastic. The yarn is by Juniper Moon, and so far we have three different options: Herriot (above), and Findley and Findley Dappled (both below).

Juniper Moon Findley

Juniper Moon Findley Dappled

Herriot is a 100% alpaca, 19st yarn in a lovely palette of neutrals. We also have the Herriot pattern book which has some gorgeous designs in it.

Herriot Book

The Findley and Findley dappled are both 50% alpaca, 50% silk laceweight (the dappled is the variegated version of the solid Findley), and the colours are just jaw-dropping – jewel tones for miles! (or least 800 yards). Silky, with a perfect sheen, and so far no tell-tale splitting or excessive shedding…. And I hear that they’ve got a really fantastic book coming out soon as well…

In the meantime, come check out the new Juniper Moon products. After all, can you really say no to this face?

Herriot Book

Prehistoric Pals

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

When I was a kid I LOVED dinosaurs. I would practice saying their long names and memorize little tid-bits about each one. Alright, I was a bit of nerd! One year my family went on a road trip to Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum. My brothers and I were in heaven! A few years ago I took a trip with my cousin and it was just as magical as I remembered.

Now I read books about dinosaurs to Hunter and Jones and one day soon we will take them to Tyrrell too. Until then knitted dinosaur toys will have to suffice! Knitting at Knoon has many wonderful patterns for knitted toys (like Feathers and Safari Friends) but the Prehistoric Pals are easily my favorite. Kathleen knit up a great Brontosaurus in Noro Kureyon and it was just perfect!

Spud and Chloe Sweater

Spud and Chloe Sweater

Toys can be knit in pretty much any yarn but I have a few faves. Cascade 220 is a great price and comes in so very many colors, so it works well. Anina likes Spud and Chloe Sweater for their range of colors and washability (toss ‘er in the machine as long as your stuffing allows). Of course there is Noro for a self striped toy, skip changing colors and let the yarn do the work!

We have a wide range of Knitting at Knoon patterns along with many yarn options so drop by to create a Stega of your very own!

Happy Canada Day!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

There is nothing like a long weekend to get me thinking about vacation knitting. My favorite thing about knitting on the go is the memories. Each time you look at the hat, scarf, or cowl, (or whatever you knit on the go) you will remember the trip that you took. ‘I knit that on the plane to California’ or ‘That was the road trip where we ran out of gas!’ etc. So this begs the question, what will you knit on the road?

Malt by Tin Can Knits

What can I knit in the car, what works well around the campfire, what kind of knitting works well for planes, so many things to consider! I personally like to have 1 larger project and at least 1 smaller project, depending on the trip length. For my road trip this summer I will be knitting a blanket (Malt) and a cowl (Lionsgate). Both worsted weight yarn, and a simple, but easy to memorize pattern. Only 1 needle per project, so there is less of a chance I will lose them (it’s a problem).

Lionsgate by Tin Can Knits

Lionsgate by Tin Can Knits

If you are picking up a road trip project this week, why not choose a great Canadian yarn dyer? There are Koigu, Handmaiden, SweetGeorgia, and Fleece Artist to choose from!