Friday, February 29, 2008

Juicy New Yarn

We unpacked a bunch of boxes from Blue Sky Alpacas today. Ooh la la. We love the juicy new colours of Alpaca Silk. With names like passionfruit, guava, lime, mango and papaya we just know you'll be in a happy place while you knit or crochet your new Spring project.

We're also enamoured of the 5" rosewood needles that come in collectible tins:

These needles are polished to a brilliant luster that shows off the gorgeous grain patterns without the use of harsh chemicals. They're handcrafted by highly trained and skilled Vietnamese artisans who work in family-owned and managed businesses that offer training and opportunity to their workers. There are six sizes, US 0 - 6 (2mm to 4.25m). The tins have a different design and colour for each size. So cute and practical as well.

There are some great new Blue Sky designs. Check out the stunning Fitted Evening Top, knit with Alpaca Silk. This would be perfect for those warmer spring and summer evenings that are just around the corner.

There are also some great patterns for the new 100% organic, Skinny Cotton. Have a look at the Skinny Cardigan, the Lacy Wrap Sweater and the Sleeveless Wrap Top.

And we like the Tie Sweater that's knit with Suri Merino. This wrap won the "most popular new design" at Blue Sky's TNNA booth.

Last but not least, there's the 1930's Inspired Evening Gown that's crocheted with Alpaca Silk. This gown opened the Fashion Show at the TNNA convention. It's a gorgeous, glamourous gown, inspired by a bygone era. If you'd rather have a knee-length cocktail dress than a floor-length gown, just shorten it up. We think it would be lovely either way.

Blue Sky Alpacas greets each new season with stunning designs that never fail to inspire us. They've done it again with these great new styles. We can't wait to see your finished projects.

Our February Newsletter went out today. (Better late than never). Drop us an email if you'd like to subscribe. And have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prehistoric Pals

The adorable Knitting at Knoon dinosaur patterns have arrived:

There are four different dinos: a stegosaurus, triceratops, brachiosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex. Knit these with any aran weight yarn - we love the striped dinosaurs that are knit with Noro Kureyon. They range in height from 6" to 10" seated, the perfect size for little hands.

The Safari Friends designs are just as cute:

Again there are four different creatures: an elephant, lion, zebra and giraffe. Use any aran weight yarn for these as well. The safari friends range in height from 8" to 10".

We also like the KaK Jersey Shore kids sweater design for ages 3 - 10:

This is a classic raglan crewneck with a lovely checked texture. It's a relaxed, oversize fit that's practical for both comfort and growing room. Any DK weight yarn will work for this one.

And check out the beautiful Wrap Me Up Shawl knit in Noro Silk Garden:

Valerie has already started one of these shawls. It's a modular sampler wrap that has a beautiful assortment of colours and textures. This is one of KaK's most popular designs.

Look here for lots more fantastic Knitting at Knoon designs. We have many of these including the Li'l Sunhats, Sweet Pea and Wee-One Welcome Set for babies, Spanky for kids and Our Gang, Shizuka and The Lucy for women. And we're happy to special order any other patterns that catch your eye.

You should also have a look at the KaK free designs. We think the Mitered Squares Afghan that's knit in Noro Silk Garden is stunning. And we've conveniently just received many new colours of Silk Garden. We're thinking of scheduling a mitered squares workshop - please call us if you're interested. This is a magical technique that can easily be mastered by a determined beginner.

And speaking of Noro, the intriguing new Kureyon sock yarn should arrive any day. We adore all the Noro yarns and we're looking forward to expanding our collection!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank-you to the Fleece Artists

The boxes were stacked up everywhere yesterday. Becky's working like a little energizer bunny receiving all the new products. (Psst, Herman, she might need a break for a couple of days!)

The Fleece Artists in Nova Scotia have been working their usual magic. We've unpacked several boxes of their delicious yarn this week. There was a big box of the popular Hans gauntlet style glove kits:

These are 100% Blue Face Leceister Aran wool. We have tons of stunning colourways. Definitely something for everyone here:

We also have many more skeins of the lovely Peter Rabbit yarn:

Beautiful new cotton-candy colourways. Ooh that angora is sooo seductive.

Winter will soon be over but you'll still need a cozy cardigan for those cooler Spring days and evenings. We have some beautiful new Imogen and Lady of the Lake cardi kits. Check out these gorgeous colourways:

The rich, jewel tones and textures of these skeins are incredibly appealing.

And we've added many other new kits to our Fleece Artist wall today. It's absolutely bursting with luscious colours and textures. This really is art, pure and simple.

Our special yarn this week is the luxurious RYC Cashmere Tweed at 50% off the regular price. Indulge yourself with this sumptuous mix of 90% cashmere and 10% silk. It's a velvety soft yarn with a beautiful tweedy texture.

Check back often for updates on all the lovely Spring things we're pulling out of our boxes. And Herman, we're just kidding about the break. Please keep those boxes coming. It never seems to be enough...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coffee, Cookies and Counting

Well our 2008 inventory count is pretty much done. Anina is the official "Inventory Queen" having logged over 12 hours in Point Grey on Wednesday and countless additional hours in Edgemont. She's about to head off to cruise around the Caribbean so she'll soon get some well-deserved R & R.

None of us were looking anywhere close to glamorous on inventory day so photos were hard to come by, however, I managed to snap a few shots. Here are Becky and Valerie, diligently counting away:

Cathy was hard at work as well:

Kathleen also slogged it out the whole day and well into the evening but she refused to have her photo taken. And here's the Inventory Queen, clipboard in hand:

We drank too much coffee, ate too many cookies (at least I did) and counted way too much yarn. But the good thing is that with inventory now behind us we can unpack tons of boxes of exciting new products.

We recently opened some big cartons of Louet. We have the Gems sportweight that's 100% merino wool:

This is a fantastic yarn with excellent stitch definition. It's spun with a tight twist to minimize pilling while maintaining a high elasticity. It knits to a gauge of 5 - 6 stitches per inch on 3.25m - 3.75m needles. And best of all, it's machine washable and dryable.

We also have the Louet Euroflax sportweight that's 100% linen. This is one of the best quality linen yarns available. The yarn is double-boiled and steam processed to ensure maximum softness. It knits to a gauge of 6 stitches per inch on 2.75m - 3.5m needles. It's also machine washable and dryable.

We have an extensive colour assortment of both Euroflax and Gems. We think these Louet yarns will be a popular addition to our collection. Drop by and have a look!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Get ready for Easter

We have a few options for Easter knitting this year. We've just received the Knitwhits Easter Egg kits:

Each kit has a pattern and enough yarn to knit the six eggs and a basket. There are also single egg kits. These would be fabulous, colourful Easter decorations.

You could also knit the cute little bunny from the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino 2 book:

Love the matching dress with a heart on it. You'll need two balls of Baby Cashmerino and it will be finished in no time. What a great Easter gift!

Or you could knit and felt some Easter chicks:

It's a Fiber Trends pattern that's knit with worsted weight yarn. Apparently "Henrietta" can be used as a doorstop with some weight added to her stuffing.

Looking for Tuesday specials? We'll start those again next week. In the meantime, check out all of our current specials right here.

And don't forget, we'll be closed to count our inventory in Point Grey tomorrow, February 20. Ugh.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hats Off!

We've seen some fabulous hats lately. Hats are such great projects - everyone needs one (or more) and they're usually quick to finish.

Check out Jenny's wonderful slouch hat:

It's Wendy Bernard's "Le Slouch" design. Jenny can't remember exactly which yarn she used but we think Rowan's Scottish Tweed Aran would work well for this one.

Next up is Sheila's daughter, the adorable and spunky Miss Anna, modelling her "Toasty Topper":

Sheila worked in our Point Grey store until about a year ago when she left to become a busy full-time mom. This hat is a great design for kids. The built in scarf not only keeps the neck warm but also keeps the hat on the head. It's knit in one piece with very little finishing. Sheila can't remember which yarn she used but the pattern calls for a 16 stitch gauge in stockinette stitch. Try using Gedifra Living, single-stranded. Or knit two strands of a DK weight yarn together, as suggested in the pattern.

Later the same day, Carmen wandered in wearing a fantastic, whimsical hat of her own design:

It would be a great stash-buster! There are little bits of many different yarns used in that hat.

And if like me, you're a member of the Jared Flood fan club, you've probably seen his latest hats. The gorgeous yellow hat with earflaps is an adaptation of the Thorpe pattern. It looks like a great design, knit from the top down with abundant colour options. And check out Jared's second hat that's knit with Silk Garden and Cascade 220. Love the shape, love the colours. Once again, Jared's creations are simply stunning.

Finally, here's my latest hat:

It's the Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat, knit with BSA Duotones. It's a size XL, I have to fold up the brim to keep it out of my eyes. But it's still a pleasure to wear. The yarn is 50% wool, 50% alpaca, which makes it warm, cozy and supersoft. No itchy forehead with this one. I thought I'd finish the hat with two skeins but sadly I had to use about 10% of a third skein for the last few rows. Rowan Big Wool or Ribbon Twist should work well for this design.

And if you want an uber-original, edgy hat that would be great for cold days skiing or boarding, check out the Jackyll & Hide. Too funny.

Hats off to all of you creative souls, knitting and crocheting such fantastic creations that never cease to inspire us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Indigo Moon

We're so glad Trish Moon recently dropped by for a visit. When we saw her delicious handpainted yarn we had to have some (lots!) :

Trish handpaints her yarn over on Gabriola Island in this charming cottage:

Here's Trish in her studio with some of her stunning handwoven creations:

Read more about Trish and her passion for nature and fiber right here. And be sure to have a look at her inspiring customer gallery of finished projects.

We have the fingering weight merino in both semi-solids and handpainted. Knit a strand of each together for a stunning effect:

Here are a couple of great colour combos:

We like to support our talented local artists in their endeavours, especially when the finished products are second to none. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Benjamin's New Friend

That's Jen on the right. She works in Point Grey on Saturdays. She's an energetic little dynamo who also works as a corporate candy buyer M-F. She has shelves full of candy in her office and she brings us new treats every week. Thanks for all the snacks, Jen!

Anyways, Jen's always knitting for her friends and she recently knit this kitschy poodle wine cover for her friend, Tracy:

Isn't he cute? It's a design from Erika Knight's book, New Knits: 20 Knitting Projects with a Contemporary Twist, knit with Rowan Handknit Cotton. You're probably wondering why Jen chose to knit her friend a poodle wine cover. Meet Benjamin, Tracy's poodle:

Sometimes one photo says it all...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knit from the Heart

I spent this morning at a funeral for a friend who passed away a few days ago. The place was packed, he was a well-loved and wonderful man. I shed some tears while reminiscing with his wife and kids, watching his little grandchildren run around the room.

Although I felt terribly sad afterwards, one memory brought a smile to my face. It was the thought of the hat I knit him a couple of years ago, not long after he was diagnosed with cancer. He told me he loved the hat, loved the colours, that it was a perfect fit. I think he was quite tickled that I had taken the time to knit something for him.

I regret not spending more time with him over the last few months but I'm so glad I knit him that hat.

Knit or crochet a gift from the heart for someone you love. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An extra 10% off

We've extended our pre-inventory sale to February 17. Then it's time for us to start counting everything, ugh. And this year we have two stores to count, double ugh.

You can take an extra 10% off all sale items. The complete list is right here. Yup, all those books at 40% off, now you can take 50% off. And that big table that's chock-a-block full of Blue Sky Alpacas, Ella Rae, Fleece Artist, Louisa Harding and Rowan? Was all 25% off, now it's 35%. The sale also includes our weekly specials, take an extra 10% off everything on our Specials list. Berroco Candy FX was 70% off, now it's 80%. You get the idea, I could go on and on but you can read the list yourselves.

If you like incredible bargains, now's the time to drop by for a visit...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Join the Sock-Knitting Stampede

We have some fabulous new colours of SWTC Tofutsies on our shelves. This yarn is a great combination of superwash wool, soysilk, cotton and chitin (made from shrimp and crab shells). And for all you Tofutsies fans, we've just received some Collectors Edition Tofutsies kits:

The kits include a cute little project bag, four skeins of Tofutsies and a CD with ten sock patterns on it. The bag and CD are thrown in for free - it's a great deal!

If you're looking for some new sock patterns for your Tofutsies, check out these SWTC designs: Tidal Wave, Feet Tart, Dusty Rose and Cutesie. Or have a look at these 'Through the Loop' sock patterns: Nasturtium and Rhodie.

If you've never knit a pair of socks but would like to learn how, sign up for one of our Sock Boot Camps. Learn to knit a sock in just one day! Our next SBC runs on Thursday, February 21, 6-9 p.m., in Point Grey.

Or if you'd like to move beyond the sock-knitting basics, sign up for Sivia Harding's Coriolis Sock Class that starts this Wednesday, February 13, from 7-9 p.m. You'll learn to knit a very cool new sock design, as well as how to perfectly customize your socks to different sizes.

Phone us at 604-228-1122 to register for a sock class and join the Sock-Knitting Stampede...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Many More Rowan titles

The floodgates have opened, we have a great new source for Rowan books. Could be very dangerous...

We've had many requests for this one:

There are over 35 versatile designs for women sized 14 - 24, including cardigans, sweaters and jackets, sleeveless tops, bags, scarves and more. The book is divided into three colour palettes. First cool blues, greys and blacks, next the neutral shades of nature and finally some splendid autumn colours. It's nice to see that Canadian book prices are finally dropping - this one is $29.95, a great value for 128 pages of fantastic designs, photos and all sorts of informative bits and pieces.

There are a couple of great new books for babies. This one's called Baby Knits:

It's a collection of 20 great designs for babies from newborn to 24 months. There are cardigans, tops, rompers, hats, bootees and the cute all-in-one teddy suit that's on the cover. There are also some great ideas for decorating the nursery like a colourful wall hanging with pockets and a matching blanket and cushion.

If you prefer to crochet, check out Baby Crochet, equal opportunity for crocheters, again with 20 cute designs for babies from newborn to 24 months. This one also has garment designs, as well as some great decorating ideas.

Scottish Island Knits is another fantastic new Rowan title:

This is a collection of designs by some of Rowan's top designers like Kaffe Fassett, Sarah Dallas and Sarah Hatton. Create a stunning new cabled Scottish tweed sweater using the gorgeous Scottish Tweed Aran or Chunky that are currently on our specials list at 30% off the regular price.

And don't forget, our pre-inventory sale continues through this weekend. There are tons of great bargains left, the entire list is right here. We've added a few new items this week like the RYC Cashmere Tweed at 40% off. If you're a cashmere kitten, be sure to have a peek and meow at this one.

Yesterday I picked up a bright red Colinette sweater kit that I'm hoping will meet my needles later today. I stayed up late last night finishing my version of the Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat, knit with BSA Duotones. The gauge didn't work out perfectly, it's kind of a monster-size hat. But I'll just roll up the edge and it'll be fine. This yarn is 50% alpaca, it's one of the softest and warmest hats I've ever knit. A perfect soccer mom hat. Photos will follow...

Anyways, it's finished so I can start on the new sweater. Not that I have project monogamy or anything, I must confess that there are at least three unfinished blankets in my closet, among many other partially finished items. I haven't abandonned you, my lovely blankets, but Colinette's scrumptious yarn is calling me today. I've been knitting scarves, shawls, blankets and hats lately, I haven't knit a sweater for a year or so and I'm looking forward to this one.

Anina went home yesterday with a couple of balls of SWTC Amaizing to knit a little baby outfit. Be sure to check out this yarn, it's one of our 'go green' yarns, 100% corn fibre and very soft when knit up. It's on sale at 25% off and there are lots of great colours left.

So many beautiful knitting options and so little time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Heavenly, Relaxed and Elemental

Herman just brought us a box full of the new Rowan magazines!

There are 147 pages of stunning photographs, informative articles and over 35 inspiring designs.

The first section is Heavenly, with a beautiful collection of ethereal and dreamlike designs, like Spook, by Sarah Hatton, knit in Kid Silk Haze:

Next up is Weekender, a colourful and fun to wear collection of relaxed designs inspired by 1960's and 1970's London. We like Sarah Hatton's Capri cardigan, knit in Calmer:

Finally there's Elemental, a sophisticated collection of gentle and unassuming designs inspired by the natural textures of rock and wood. I'm adding Lisa Richardson's Stoney vest to my wish list. It's knit in the wonderful Summer Tweed yarn that's 70% silk and 30% cotton:

In addition to the fantastic designs there's an informative section on sewing up your garments (I'm studying this one). There's also a great article about going green with the new Rowan Purelife cotton (coming soon..) - it's produced in a way that respects the environment and all those involved in creating it. And there's a great profile of Sarah Hatton, one of Rowan's talented in-house designers.

We also received a bunch of other fantastic new Rowan books, stay tuned for details...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Get the Skinny

The much requested BSA Skinny Organic Cotton is in the house:

We have the entire colour palette. This cotton knits to a gauge of 5-6 stitches per inch on 3.25m - 3.75m needles.

Use this yarn to crochet the cutest baby dress for sizes 9 months to 4 years:

Or knit the lovely Sleeveless Wrap Top for yourself:

We also have the delicious new Spring shades of the ever popular BSA Alpaca Silk yarn:

They're juicy colours like passionfruit, guava, lime, mango and papaya. Yum!

And check out the adorable new sundress design for little girls aged 6 months to 5 years:

This one's knit with the popular aran weight organic cotton, we have loads of colours to choose from. Or if you prefer, use the undyed organic cotton in natural shades that are totally free from bleach or dyes.

There are snowdrops popping up in the garden today, next to a little patch of snow. Sundresses, sleeveless tops and snowdrops... Spring is definitely on the way!

Monday, February 4, 2008

What did Herman Bring?

Meet Herman, our Postie:

We're always happy to see Herman's smiling face, especially when he's delivering some big boxes of Fleece Artist yarn.

On Friday he brought us some of the charming new Sea Vines vest kits:

These have 200g of Seawool (70% merino and 30% seacell) and are knit on 4mm needles.

And some new Little Squares Blanket kits:

It looks so cozy. These have 500g of Mo and 500g of Blue Face Leicester, knit on 7mm needles. I just might have to add one of these kits to my stash(es). Yes, Anina and I often take things home with us and tuck them away like little squirrels. My handsome groom was recently puzzled to find yet another stash in one of our closets, he just doesn't get it. "But you have a whole store full of yarn?!?", I think I heard him mutter. (He's learned not to speak so disrespectfully at normal volume.) Needless to say, his comment did not justify a reply...

We also have lots more of the luscious, supersoft Peter Rabbit angora, in a bunch of new colourways:

Warning: to touch it is to covet it!

And there are tons of great bargains left in our Pre-Inventory sale that runs until February 10. The entire list is right here. Might be a good time to add to your stash or better yet, start a new one....