Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

We're just two little pumpkins in a pumpkin patch.....

Have a happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jolliet Special

Today's featured yarn is Filati FF Jolliet Multi, on sale at 40% off. This is a gorgeous multicolour, shimmery ribbon yarn.

I knit this Jolliet scarf for Donna, my mother-in-law, and it's now her favourite scarf. At least that's what she tells me...

Mitzi is modelling today:

Here's a close-up:

The finished size is about 4" wide and 44" long. I used 2 balls of Jolliet no. 207, with 7mm needles. If you'd like a wider, longer scarf, use 3 balls and cast on a few more stitches. Here's the pattern:

Cast on 14 stitches. Repeat the following 4 rows throughout:

Rows 1 & 2: Slip 1st stitch, knit to end.
Row 3: *Knit 1, YO*, to end of row. You'll have 28 stitches on your needle.
Row 4: Knit to end of row, dropping off all YO's. You're back to 14 stitches.

Cast off when yarn is almost all used up.

Talk about easy, this is a one movie scarf. Just fling it around your neck to liven up your drab winter coat. It's a lively, colourful accessory.

Be sure to check out the specials page on our website for all of our current and upcoming specials.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fiber Trends

We received a box of the popular Fiber Trends patterns today. There's a great variety of well-written patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are a couple of festive Christmas patterns. The felted Christmas stockings:

And the felted Christmas ornaments. There's a mini stocking, mitten, bell and santa boot. You could knit these in an evening:

For all you sock lovers and Sock Boot Camp grads, there's the Railroad Rib Socks pattern, knit in a garter rib. This versatile pattern can be used for different yarn weights, from fingering to sport to worsted.

There's also the beautiful Leaf Lace Sock pattern:

If you like to knit lace shawls, you'll love the Peace Shawl. It depicts men and women joining hands outside an evergreen forest on a starry night to celebrate the message of peace.

And the stunning Pacific Northwest Shawl. If you're from this area it will make you feel right at home with it's depictions of seagulls, evergreen trees, sand dollars, water, fish and shells:

For something completely different, knit and felt a pink flamingo:

Be sure to send us a photo if you do!

We have lots of other great Fiber Trends patterns in stock. We also have the Fiber Trends pattern catalogue in our stores. There are numerous patterns for babies, kids and adults and we're happy to place a special order for you.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


"Badass knitting for badass knitters. Want to be a whip-smart knitter? Let the Domiknitrix show you how it's done." Jennifer Stafford is the Domiknitrix and author of this fantastic book.

We score the book 11 out of 10 for the excellent and succinct method descriptions and photos. It's a no-nonsense guide to essential knitting techniques, including step-by-step instructions for all the basic stitches used in the patterns. You'll learn an easy technique for "hiding the join" when knitting with circular needles. You'll see why certain methods of increasing and decreasing should be used for different purposes. And there are perfect descriptions of a myriad of other techniques including picking up stitches, short rows, lace knitting basics, joining new yarn, colourwork and many more. Our friend, Jen, who often works Saturdays in Point Grey, credits this book for greatly improving some of her knitting techniques. Anina and I both have this book in our home reference libraries.

Did I mention the edgy projects? There are over 20 great designs for skill levels from novice to apprentice to domiknitrix. Anina and I knit the mohawk hats for our little dudes. We used Mission Falls 1824 wool for the hat and Garnstudios Eskimo for the hair:

That's Luc on the left and Brodie on the right. Here's a close-up:

Anina knit the gorgeous Sweetheart pullover that Ursula is modelling in Point Grey. She used Filature di Crosa Zara for this one:

This sweater is so beautifully knit, you'll swear it was secretly done on a machine. Trust me, we saw this sweater in various stages on Anina's circular needles. It's a perfect example of her masterful knitting. Wait until you see one of her exquisite Norwegian sweaters. You will be awestruck.

You should really check out this book, you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Handmaiden Yarn Tasting

We had so much fun launching "Crochet Me" that we've already planned another event. On Tuesday, November 20, 6-9 p.m., in Point Grey, we'll host the Main Maiden, Jana Dempsey. Jana runs Handmaiden Fine Yarn, the Fleece Artist line for sumptious fibres, here in Vancouver. She creates gorgeous skeins of luscious cashmere, silk, camel and sea silk, all lovingly hand-dyed in small batches.

Jana will bring some sample skeins for swatching, she'll talk about the heavenly Handmaiden yarns and show off a few garments. Then we'll have a little sample sale of some of her discontinued yarns and other bits and bobbles from the Handmaiden studio. Yes, you heard me right, a Handmaiden sample sale. Only in Vancouver, folks. There will also be snacks, beverages and door prizes. Be sure to bring your needles (2.5 - 4.5mm) so you can taste the yarn.

We're charging a $5. admission fee for this event. To register, please send us an email, phone us at 604-228-1122 or drop by one of the stores. We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Crochet Me

The house was packed last night for the launch of Kim Werker's new book, "Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution". Kim gave a fascinating talk about her passion for crochet, the startup of and her involvement with Interweave Crochet. She showed us some beautiful samples from her book and past issues of Interweave Crochet. Julie Holetz talked about her design process and showed off the striking plaid scarf and edgy messenger bag she designed for "Crochet Me".

Kim's presentation was so engaging that we almost forgot to take photos. We finally got around to snapping a few shots. Kim showed us the Larger-than-Life Bag, designed by Cecily Kein, from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet.

And the stunning Babette Blanket, designed by Kathy Merrick, from the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet:

There were also many fantastic knitted and crocheted garments in the crowd. Sadly, we have photos of only a small sampling of the many beautiful creations we saw last night as I have the attention span of a gnat and was constantly distracted.

Valerie wore a lovely crocheted sweater of her own design:

Jill wore a great crocheted vest, accessorized with a cute little crocheted flower:

Stacey wore a gorgeous cardigan, knit with Rowan Felted Tweed and Kid Silk Haze:

Stacey's cardigan is NOT lopsided. It just looks that way because of my terrible lack of attention to detail. Sorry about that, Stacey. I clearly need photography lessons.

We were mesmerized by the Babette Blanket:

Kim says it's an easy project that's suitable for a beginner. Anyone up for Crochet Boot Camp?

This is the Circle Rug, designed by Donna Hulka, from Crochet Me:

Jackie modelled the "I'm a Crochet Sweater", designed by Missa Hills, from Crochet Me:

There were many more fantastic samples that we fondled and modelled and lusted after. It's definitely a new generation of crochet and we love it!

Kim sent us a sweet thank-you note: "I cannot thank you enough for the amazing launch event you put on last night! With so much of my work focused on travelling and far-off places, I was all a-tingle to be here in my hometown, at my LYS, doing my crochet schpiel and meeting people, with friends and family in attendance to boot. It was a very special, and terribly fun night for me. Thank you."

Thanks Kim. We had tons of fun and were honoured to host such a special event. We'll do it again sometime soon.

P.S. Check out Kim's, Julie's and Carol's reviews of the event. And Kalin's fantastic review of the book...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Candy FX Special

Today's featured yarn is Berroco Candy FX, on sale at 40% off. This is a beautiful shimmery yarn with little bobbly bits on a string. It's best used to glam up a second yarn that has more substance but less glitz.

I knit a scarf combining Candy FX and Rowan Kid Soft:

Max modelled because there were no humans nearby. Here's a close-up:

The scarf is cozy, lightweight and has a lovely shimmer. The finished size is about 4.5" wide and 64" long. Only $15.50 for the yarn and it's a very quick knit. I used 1 ball of Kid Soft no. 756 and 2 balls of Candy FX no. 8757, with 7mm needles. Here's the pattern:

Cast on 16 stitches, holding one strand of each yarn together. Repeat the following 4 rows throughout:

Rows 1 & 2: Slip 1st stitch, knit to end.
Row 3: *Knit 1, YO*, to end of row. You'll have 32 stitches on your needle.
Row 4: Knit to end of row, dropping off all YO's. You're back to 16 stitches.

Cast off when the yarn is almost all used up.

Couldn't be simpler. I think I'll knit this scarf for last minute Christmas gifts. Only 62 knitting days left....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby Bamboo

This is a beautiful new yarn from Sirdar that's 80% bamboo, 20% wool. Baby Bamboo is incredibly soft so it's perfect for wearing next to a baby or toddler's delicate skin. We re-stocked our supply last week and have all ten colours, plus some great patterns.

The Baby Bamboo Knits book has 13 designs for babies, girls and boys from birth to 6 years:

We also have a few Baby Bamboo leaflet patterns.

We received some new Sirdar books and leaflets that we think you'll like. The books are well-priced at $14.95 and the leaflets are only $4.95.

There's a great Baby Blanket book:

There are 10 diverse blanket patterns from a classic cable patterned blanket to a cute one with a pocket for a knitted teddy and a beautiful keepsake blanket with the baby's name and birthdate on it.

If you like to knit with DK-weight yarns, there are two new books for you. Lazy Days and Holidays has a collection of contemporary designs for babies and children to 10 years:

And Vintage Snuggly DK Knits has a beautiful collection of designs for sizes new born to 8 years:

If you prefer aran-weight yarns, Secret Garden has a collection of 14 updated classics. The patterns are designed for children aged 2 to 13 years:

We also have the Sirdar Design Collection catalogue 2007 - 2008 in our stores. If you have a design in mind but can't find a pattern, this catalogue might help you out. There are hundreds of patterns for babies, kids and adults and we're happy to place a special order for you.

Finally, for those of you who'd like to knit the perfect Christmas baby outfit, we have just the thing:

Or not.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Needles on Planes

This time of year some of our lucky customers head down south to escape the Wet Coast weather. One of the most FAQ's in our stores is: "Can I take my knitting needles on the plane?" Yes Virginia, you can take your needles.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has deemed that knitting needles and crochet hooks are not a security threat. They're on the list of permitted items for air travel, in both carry-on and checked baggage, under the heading "Penetrating objects".

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also declared that... "knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage." Oddly, the U.S. notice goes on to say that... "Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security." So don't take those mace-emitting needles with you, okay?

If you're still concerned about losing your favourite pair of rosewood needles, we suggest you take a self-addressed stamped envelope with you. Then if you happen to encounter a grumpy clerk who doesn't like knitting, you'll be able to save those needles.

Have a great trip and send us a postcard!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Mirasol Project

We're proud to carry the Mirasol yarn collection. A portion of every purchase of Mirasol yarn goes directly to the funding of a childrens' centre in the village of Munani, in the Peruvian highlands.

The Mirasol Project is named after a young Peruvian girl who, with her brother, tends 350 alpacas. Meet Mirasol here. The project will assist in the education of and care for the children of the alpaca shepherds' families in Munani village.

We have three new yarns from the Mirasol collection, Sulka, Hacho and Miski. They're all gorgeous. And there are some fantastic patterns in the Mirasol Collection Book One.

There are Mirasol sample garments displayed in both Point Grey and Edgemont.

We published our October newsletter today. Have a look and send us an email if you'd like to subscribe.

Be sure to check out Angela Murrill's amusing review of our Sock Boot Camps in today's Georgia Straight. We have three Sock Boot Camps scheduled for November. Phone us to register!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


We recently received a big shipment of the Zephyr Laceweight Wool-Silk yarn. It's a beautifully soft blend of 50% merino wool and 50% Tussah silk. There are some great new colours.

Alison knit this gorgeous Peacock Feathers Shawl with the Zephyr Laceweight:

Here's a close-up:

This was Alison's first laceweight pattern - what a stunning accomplishment! Alison told us "... it was very straight forward to make and to block. I simply adhered to all D. Siemens' instructions, right down to the needle size et voila, a lovely shawl!" I'll say. More from Alison on the shawl's esthetic appeal, " has a sheen and is gossamer-like transparent..." And did we mention, simply exquisite?

We have some other beautiful Fiddlesticks patterns, including the Lotus Blossom Shawl:

And the Paisley Long Shawl:

Inspired yet?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kid Soft Special

Today's featured yarn is Rowan Kid Soft, on sale at 40% off. Kid Soft is 70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, 4% nylon. Knitters Review called this yarn "truly's a luxuriously soft but 'wooly'yarn with the perfect combination of depth and sheen."

We also have the Rowan Kid Soft pattern magazine with 4 great patterns for only $6.95.

We recently re-stocked some of our popular Gedifra specials. We have some new colours of Beauty Cotton, Living, Ombretta and Wellness.

Check out the specials page on our website for all of our current and upcoming specials.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Leaping Lizards

I loved this blanket pattern the moment I saw it. I bought the yarn right away and started knitting. It was challenging at first but once I got going, I adored knitting it and couldn't stop. It's an excellent pattern, with links to useful technique pages like this one on blocking techniques. I used Kureyon no. 185.

"Ta da", here's the finished blanket:

And here's a close-up...

I was lazy and didn't do the edging. Maybe one day... If you'd like a closer look, the blanket is on display in Point Grey.

We love all the Noro yarns and we recently ordered a new one, Silk Garden Light. This is a DK version of the current aran-weight Silk Garden. It's 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool, 125 metres per ball and knits to a 20-22 stitch gauge on 4.0 - 4.5mm needles. We'll start with 5 colours, 2013, 2028, 2030, 2031 and 2033:

A terrible photo, I know, but it's the best we have. Come into the store for a better look, it should arrive any day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's New

Bunches of sock kits! This big box full of gorgeous Fleece Artist Bordello sock kits and Tilting Block sock kits arrived this week.

We also received more of the beautiful Colinette Jitterbug sock kits.

Jennifer took Sivia's recent Coriolus Sock Class and knit this wonderful pair of socks:

Check out the lovely subtle pattern and the ridges that hug her calf. No slouching socks here. Jennifer used Cascade 220 yarn, just one skein for the pair. The pattern is from Cat Bordhi's popular new book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One":

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Talented Sivia Harding

Sivia was one of our first visitors when we opened our Point Grey store over 3 years ago. She's been teaching lessons for us ever since.

Sivia is both a talented designer and instructor. She designs beautiful lace and beaded knitting patterns. We received a big shipment of her patterns this week, including the Gothic Leaf Stole, the Angel Pearls Beaded Scarf, the Hanging Garden Stole, the Follow the Leader Faroese Shawl, the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl and the gorgeous new Waves in the Square Shawl. If you're a lace knitter, you will adore these patterns.

If you'd like to learn how to knit lace, you should register for Sivia's new class, "Lace Knitting for the Adventurous Beginner" on Wednesday evenings, Oct. 17, 24 and Nov. 7, 7-9 p.m. You'll learn how to knit her popular Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Check out the Yarn Harlot's review of this shawl. She gave the pattern a "10 out of 10". Cara called it the most gorgeous thing she's ever knit. You'd better make time for this class...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Designer Royalty

I recently found some photos I'd intended to put on our website. They never made it to the website so I thought I'd post them here.

Back in June, we attended the TNNA convention in Columbus, Ohio. One evening we were at a cocktail party with lots of store owners, suppliers, designers and other industry folk. Debbie Bliss came over to say hello. (As some of you know, we hosted Debbie for two days last November while she was here on a promotional tour. We had a fabulous time and have stayed in touch.) Anyways, Debbie introduced us to her friend: "I'd like you to meet Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton". Okay. "Hi Cornelia, very nice to meet you." We chatted for awhile, then two other women joined us. "And this is Jane Ellison and Louisa Harding". Seriously. "Hi Jane, Hi Louisa, lovely to meet you, may we have a photo?"

There we are with the Designer Royalty, from left to right: Debbie, Jane, Cornelia, Anina, Leslie and Louisa. Sadly, we look like we just came from the beach. Due to a teensy scheduling error, our party clothes were left at the hotel.

The next day we saw Debbie at the convention. There's Debbie trying to help with Jenny's problematic sweater project. Jane Ellison is assisting:

It's a Debbie Bliss pattern and Debbie Bliss yarn, why not ask Debbie for help? Unfortunately they didn't solve the problem. Oh well, we tried.

Now for some late breaking news about our "Crochet Me" event on October 23, Point Grey store, 6-9 p.m. Julie Holetz, crochet designer extraordinaire, will be up from Seattle for the event. Julie designed the beautiful plaid scarves and felted messenger bag in Kim's book. She also designed the Fat Bottom Bag pattern in Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet, The Happy Hooker. We almost have a full house registered for this event so if you'd like to attend, please sign up right away.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inspiration by Linda

Our customers are a constant source of inspiration. We see countless amazing projects in our stores every day. We're looking forward to sharing with you some of these knit and crochet masterpieces. Please send us your photos by email, we'd love to post them.

Linda T. is a regular. She's a beautiful knitter who often arrives with a bag of lovely knitted items to show us. It's so much fun to see all of her beautiful creations.

Linda loves her Blue Sky Alpacas. This cardigan was knit with the luscious BSA Royal. It's a pattern from the Debbie Bliss book, Pure Silk.

Isn't it stunning? All together now, ooooh, aaaah...

This beautiful shrug was knit with the popular BSA Alpaca Silk yarn. It's a pattern from the same Debbie Bliss book.

Thanks for sharing, Linda. We can't wait to see your latest treasures. Please drop by again sometime soon...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Big Wool Special

Today's featured yarn is Rowan Big Wool, a pure merino, super chunky wool. We have eight colours of this beautiful yarn on sale, at 30% off. It knits up quickly on 12 - 15mm needles.

We have some great books with Big Wool patterns. New for Fall, 2007, is Newshapes:

This is a fantastic book with 15 designs featuring Big Wool and Little Big Wool, by Sarah Hatton. We love the "pea coat inspired jacket" on the cover.

We have many other books with Big Wool patterns, including Big It Up, Big Just Got Bigger, Bigger Picture and The Next Big Thing, with lots of great patterns for cozy scarves, hats, bags, vests and sweaters. You're sure to be inspired to pick up your needles and knit some lovely things...

Monday, October 8, 2007

October Lessons

Take a knitting lesson and learn a new skill this Fall! We have lots of classes starting this month:

Edgemont Village: Sock Boot Camp
October 15; 6-9 p.m.; $25.

Point Grey: Beyond Beginner Knitting
October 16, 30, November 6, 13; 7-9 p.m.; $95.

Point Grey: Lace Knitting for Adventurous Beginners
October 17, 24 & November 7; 7-9 p.m.; $85.
Instructor: Sivia Harding

Edgemont Village: Aran Block of the Month
October 18, November 22, December 13, January 24, February 21, March 20, April 24;
6-8 p.m.; $140.

Point Grey: Sock Boot Camp
October 11; 6-9 p.m.; $25.

Point Grey: Knitting Q & A
Every Sunday; 11 a.m. - 12 noon; $20.
Instructor: Astor Tsang

Point Grey: Aran Block of the Month
October 14, November 18, December 9, January 20, February 17, March 16, April 20
2:30-4:30 p.m.; $140.

For more details and a complete list of lessons, check out our class schedule.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Go Green

Check out our collection of earth friendly fibres from the Southwest Trading Company. Both UY stores currently have displays of earth-friendly SWTC yarns, sample garments and free informative handouts.

We recently received the SWTC "Amaizing" yarn, made of 100% corn fibre. Corn fibre is a completely natural, renewable resource and is wholly biodegradable. The yarn is very soft, the colours won't fade and it is machine washable and dryable. This is a perfect yarn to use for children's garments, baby blankets and baby clothes. Just wash those spills away in the machine. Come to think of it, I should knit myself a sweater with this one...

We also have the SWTC "Pure" yarn, made of 100% soysilk and dyed in gorgeous, rich jewel colours. Soysilk fibre is made from the soybean residue remaining after tofu is produced. Soy is another natural, renewable resource that is wholly biodegradable. Soysilk fibre feels as soft as real silk and has a shiny pearl-like lustre.

One of our most popular new sock yarns is SWTC "Tofutsies", a yarn containing the chitin fibre. Chitin is made from the shells of shrimp and crab! It's extracted from the shells discarded by the commercial seafood industry. This yarn has natural deodorizing and anti-bacterial properties. Shouldn't all socks contain this fibre? If you love to knit socks with Tofutsies, check out the Tofutsies Sock Club.

You should also have a look at the SWTC yarn, "Love", made of 70% bamboo and 30% silk. Bamboo is another natural and renewable resource that is processed free of any petrochemicals. It's cool to the skin and comfortable to wear, with a beautiful drape and softness.

For your next project, choose one of these beautiful, earth-friendly fibres and Go Green with your knitting!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sheltering Stitch

How would you like to help out some of Vancouver's homeless men and women this winter? You can help a homeless person stay warm by knitting a hat, mittens, scarf, sweater, socks or blanket and donating it to the Sheltering Stitch. Or you can donate those bits of your stash that may never make it onto your needles. The donated yarn will be knit by volunteers.

The Sheltering Stitch was founded and is coordinated by Vancouver author and avid knitter, Nancy Lee. A very sweet lady with a generous heart.

We've discovered that there are many benevolent knitters in Vancouver. Between September and December, 2006, the Lookout Emergency Aid Society was the appreciative recipient of 75 hand knit hats, 57 scarves, 10 sweaters, 5 blankets and 1 pair of gloves. Kudos to champion volunteer knitter, Nancy Chen, who donated 40 hats and 34 scarves!

Terri recently donated this box full of treasures:

Thank you Terri! And thanks to all of the generous donors and volunteer knitters. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday Specials

Our Tuesday specials are back!

The featured yarn this week is Rowan Ribbon Twist at 30% off. Ribbon Twist is a beautiful yarn with a spray dyed ribbon wrapped around loosely twisted wool. It knits up quickly on big 12mm needles.

Take this opportunity to knit a sweater from the "Ribbon Twist Collection" with 15 designs featuring Ribbon Twist. The book includes patterns for cozy sweaters, jackets, capelets, hats, scarves and bags, by popular designer, Kim Hargreaves.

We put a few other tidbits on sale today. Look in the specials section in Point Grey for 30% off select colours of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and 35% off select colours of Rowan 4 ply soft. They won't last long...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sock Boot Camps

We've had a lot of fun with our Sock Boot Camps. Troops learn to knit a mini-training sock in a 3 hour session, then take their new techniques home and knit a real pair of socks. Does it work? Just ask Heidi:

"I attended your Sock Boot Camp in West 10th on August 21st and have now completed my first sock. Just one so far but the other has been started. I just wanted to say that the "boot camp" really seemed to work as I did not need any help during the time it took to knit this one. I did seem to remember the steps as I went along even though I was skeptical going in to class that I could pull this off. I wanted to make one right away before the training left my head.... I am confident now and want to thank you for offering the class and for Jackie for being a good teacher. (I've only been knitting since May of this year and am still very much a beginner.)"

This is Heidi's first sock:

Not only is it gorgeous, it's a perfect fit. And the second sock is almost completed. Congrats Heidi!

Sock Boot Camps are scheduled in Point Grey on Thursdays, October 11 & November 1 and in Edgemont Village on Monday, October 15. All classes run from 6 - 9 p.m. To register, send an email or phone us at 604-228-1122. Have a look at our class schedule for more information on all of our upcoming classes.