Archive for October, 2014

Premium Product: Swans Island Company Yarns

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Butter. The very first thing that came to mind when I picked up my first skein of Swans Island (I distinctly remember it was from their 100% organic merino line), was ‘Butter’. I mean, this yarn was just *so* *incredibly* *soft*. Not to put down any of my favourite luxury yarn producers (you know who you are), but this yarn blew them all away as far as pure hand-feel goes. I knew immediately that I wanted to knit with it.

Fast forward a few years, and we have been stocking it for a couple of months now. Above you can see some of the Swans Island that we stock. From left to right, Worsted (100% organic merino), Worsted (85% organic merino, 15% alpaca), Sport (superwash, 100% merino), Fingering (100% organic merino), and Lace (50% merino, 50% tussah silk).

The two different Worsted base yarns – Merino on the left, Merino/Alpaca on the right.

Left to right: Sport, Fingering, Lace

For the ultimate in smoosh, sqoosh, squish, or smush, you want the 100% organic merino (worsted).

For something with just a little more fuzz, fluff, or fondle, check out the merino/alpaca.

The Sport and Fingering have all the goodness of the Worsted, just in a lighter, thinner, more tightly spun package. Hats, warmers, mitts, oh my! Personally, the Lace with it’s 50/50 merino/tussah blend really called to me. I’ve nabbed several skeins of it for a really exciting new project. If you ask really nicely, maybe I’ll even blog about it.

To me, Swans Island really represents the new luxe. Natural, complimentary colours, forgiving, decadent base yarn. It all just silently screams elegance, taste, comfort. Simply divine.

Have you tried Swans Island? What would you like to knit with it? Tell us if you’d like to see more of their products in store.

Colourful Colour Work

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Thank you to every one who came out to meet Alex Winslow of Graphic Knits on Sunday. Have you got your favorite sweater picked out?

Then why not come and knit it in Karen’s Sunday Intarsia class starting, Nov. 9th from
12:00 to 2:00.
You can learn how to knit one of Alex’s fun but functional sweaters, or you can pick a different sweater pattern, just make sure you email Karen the pattern before the start of class.
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If colour work isn’t your cup of tea we have a ton of new classes starting in November,
just check out our class schedule.

Trunk Show- Come meet Alexis Winslow!!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Urban Yarns is pleased to announce and super stoked to host a book signing and trunk show for  Alexis Winslow’s new book “Graphic Knits”. These events are few and far between so we get very excited when we have the opportunity to have an out of town “knit-designista” come to our shop, this is an event you won’t want to miss!!!


You may know Alexis already or recognize this popular ravelry pattern of hers, the Reine cardigan from Wool People Vol. 3 by Brooklyn Tweed:


But if not here is a little background info on the very talented, Alexis Winslow- “she is a knitwear and textile designer living in Brooklyn New York. Her knitwear designs have a bold graphic aesthetic and often utilize interesting construction techniques. Alexis is the creative force behind and author of the book Graphic Knits (Interweave Press). Her designs have also been published in print magazines including Interweave Knits and Knitscene as well as on the web through Brooklyn Tweed Yarn Company and She has also contributed many designs to books and anthologies including Ann Budd’s Scarf Style 2 and Lisa Shroyer’s Free Spirit Shawls.

Alexis splits her time working as a textile print designer by day, the Creative Director/ Cofounder of by night, and running things around in every moment between. Her hobbies include painting, sewing, and embroidery. In addition to numerous gallery shows, her artwork has also been featured on the television show Broad City (Comedy Central) and commissioned by Van’s Shoes for their company archives.

Alexis is originally from Norman, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma and received her BFA in 2005, focusing on painting and pottery. After moving to New York City in 2007, she studied textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Alexis now works as a printed textile and product designer, creating children’s bedding and bath products for a large firm in New York City. She established in 2010, and cofounded in 2011. Alexis began self-publishing her independant knitting patterns in 2009, and by 2012 landed her first full length book deal for Graphic Knits (Interweave Press).

Alexis’ eclectic experiences and prolific career gives her a unique perspective in her design work. Creativity, high craft, and mindful design are a thread throughout everything she does. You can see more of her work at and”

And now about her newly released book-



Go bold with gorgeous, graphic color!
“Graphic Knits is a must-have for the fashion-forward modern knitter. Enjoy knitting 20 bold and colorful designs!
Graphic Knits is a collection of 20 patterns featuring modern colorwork inspired by geometric motifs. Fresh and bold, the projects are created by an up-and-coming design star for the Knitscene set. Author Alexis Winslow makes use of color-knitting techniques such as stripes, Fair Isle, intarsia, and slipped stitches to create visually appealing garments.
Shape and pattern engage in a playful and mutually flattering relationship across the 20 projects in this book. Many patterns have unexpected, modern details. An oversized, chunky cable scarf is given vivid personality through color blocking. A shapely sweater sports a pretty pattern around the collar—but instead of a traditional Scandinavian motif, bright polka dots create something fresh and new.
The color designs are truly eye-popping in this trendy and fashion-forward knitting book on bold, high-impact knits!”



Now can’t you see why we are thrilled to host this event and why you don’t want to miss it?!! So clear your calendar for next Sunday, Oct. 26th from 2-4pm and come join us at our Point Grey store to try on and gush over all of the designs, meet Alexis and have your book signed, enjoy some refreshments and mingle with friends. Help us kick off Alexis’s westcoast tour with a bang!!


FYI-We have the books already in stock (PG store only….sorry NV folks) if you can’t wait until the 26th….or if you are anything like me and just can’t resist:)!!

Again here are the details:

Date: Sunday, October 26th
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Urban Yarns Point Grey store
Refreshments served :)

Hope to see you there!!





Local Knit News

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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Hey all,

Did you make it to Knit City over the weekend? If you missed it or haven’t heard about it yet, it is time to get in the loop because you definitely don’t want to miss out again! Knit City was created by young mom’s, Fiona and Amanda who met in a local knit group and desired to unite all knitters and fibre enthusiasts in our local community.  Their mandate is “to help this community of crafters and artisans grow and become even more closely tight-knit”.  This they definitely have accomplished and even so much so that they had to change venues this year to accommodate its growing success at becoming Vancouver’s best knitting event!  As a result it was held at the PNE Forum instead of the Croatian Cultural Centre.  The change in venue allowed for more vendors, a larger class selection and more space to just hang out and knit. In classic Knit City style there was a long line up of eager knitters waiting at the door well before the 10am open on Saturday and the traditional hand dyed colour way yarn, special for the event was sold out by the end of the day!!  We look forward to this event every year, to be part of such a fun knitting extravaganza in our own community.  This year Urban Yarns staff were very busy teaching arm knitting to all ages, it was packed with enthusiastic people getting all tangled up in yarn.

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What did you think of the new venue? Were you one of the lucky ones that got into the sold out Steph Pearl Mcphee’s Knitting For Speed and Efficiency class or did you hang out with Kate Atherley, Holli Yeoh, Amy Singer, just to name a few.  Did you get a skein of the 2014 colour way yarn?  What are you going to make with it? and what were your highlights and fine finds from the market place?  We would love to hear all about it, what  you couldn’t resist and what you have now casted on those needles.  Let’s see those arm knitting pictures!!

It was so wonderful to see so many enthusiastic knitters, thank you all who came to say hi to us and those who took the plunge at arm knitting….it was a blast to get all tangled up with you!!  Don’t forget to use your special coupon from the show, we look forward to seeing you again soon:)



Share your favourite Urban Yarns story!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

As you’ve probably heard by now, we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, and we’d love for you to celebrate with us.

Some of you have been with us from the beginning, and some of you are newer additions to our family. One thing that we all have in common (other than an insatiable love for all things yarn), is that we have some great stories about  our experiences at Urban Yarns. To that end, we are collecting stories (urban… ‘yarns’, if you will) from friends, neighbours, customers, staff… pretty much anyone who will share them!

Not only are we collecting these stories, but we want to share them with everyone. Select stories may appear in our upcoming 10th anniversary book (shh, it’s still a bit of a secret), our monthly newsletter, this blog, and on our website. We are so proud of all of you, and so thankful that you’ve been part of our community!

Spread the word, tell us your favourite story, help us celebrate, and enter to win a prize!


Contest details are as follows:

Tell us your best Urban Yarns story! Did someone go above and beyond helping you? Did we find that unfindable skein of yarn? Did you learn something invaluable from one of our teachers? Tell us about it!

250 word limit

Deadline is Friday, October 10th, 2014 (yes it’s a tight deadline, but we know you can do it!)

Send your submissions* to

There are prizes to be won for the top stories (as chosen by  a select team of Urban Yarn aficionados).

1st place: one copy of the upcoming Urban Yarns 10th anniversary book and a $50 gift certificate to Urban Yarns

2nd place: one copy of the upcoming Urban Yarns 10th anniversary book and $25.00 gift certificate to Urban Yarns

3rd place: one copy of the upcoming Urban Yarns 10th anniversary book


* By entering, you are giving permission for your story to be published in the upcoming Urban Yarns 10th anniversary book, and online for promotional purposes. Please include your full name and contact information so we can contact the winners once chosen. If you would like your submission to be published anonymously, under your given name, under a pseudonym, only with your initials, or with some other identifier, please include your preference in the submission email.