Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekly Specials

This week it's Teva Durham's Moss, a gorgeous extra fine merino with 15% nylon for extra strength. Love the colour palette, we have all eight colours in stock. The yardage is a generous 147 metres per 50g ball. It's a versatile DK yarn with a 22 stitch gauge on 4mm needles so there are endless pattern possibilities. It's 40% off at $7.77 per ball.

We didn't blog about last week's special but it was mentioned in our September newsletter. It's Rowan Soft Baby:

We have loads of the cream colour in both stores and little bits of the other three colours in Point Grey only. This is a supersoft and fuzzy yarn that's perfect for baby garments and blankets. It's a mix of wool, polyamide and cotton with 150 metres per 50g ball and a 20 stitch gauge on 4.5mm needles. 50% off at $5.48 per ball.

I recently knit a baby blanket with Soft Baby:

The finished size is 32 x 33 inches and it knits up quickly holding two strands of yarn together on 6.5mm needles. One of those great mindless knitting projects, perfect for knitting when helping with homework or while watching Roger Federer win the US Open. You'll need eight balls of Soft Baby to knit the blanket and the pattern's free when you buy the yarn.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shop Talk

We enjoy hanging out in our stores, helping fellow knitters find the perfect yarn for the perfect project. It's the best job we've ever had.

And so inspiring! Every day we see beautiful and amazing knitted pieces that ooze creativity and a passion for the craft. This is one of the most stunning pieces we've seen lately:

Natalie creates her own Kaffe Fasset inspired masterpieces, chock a block full of colours, shapes and textures. This amazing piece of art was knit with Fleece Artist Goldilocks yarn that has sadly been discontinued. Incredibly gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Natalie.

We also love hearing the appreciative comments that flow freely in our stores. It's so rewarding to hear all the oohs and aahs as yarn is fondled and books are reviewed. That's what keeps us going on days when there are too many cheques to be signed, mixed up shipments, squirrels in the storage cupboad (seriously!) and the multitude of other not-quite-so-nice parts of this business.

Not to brag or anything but we've heard some pretty nice comments lately. The lovely lady who writes the Under the Influence blog had this to say about us after a recent visit from Toronto:

"It's a very well-kept store with substantial selection: comprehensive Fleece Artist and Noro selections, and Mission Falls & Cascade, Mirasol, Indigo Moon, Rowan, Blue Sky Alpacas, Alchemy, a little bit of just about everything else, and a sale section where you could do serious damage... I found Urban Yarns a memorable store not just because of their inventory but because of their comfortable store atmosphere and enthusiastic and professional staff. When I mentioned I was visiting from Toronto the owner gave me a very friendly tour of their store, showed me sale items and new additions to the inventory and showed off sample knits they'd just received in. They know where every piece of their stock is, and could tell me just how many skeins remained of any yarn I'd had my eye on... These ladies know their business and know their customers."

And Valerie from New Jersey sent us this happy email after her visit this summer:

"Thanks for a great visit in your two yarn stores while I was there on vacation in Vancouver from New Jersey! You are truly my favourite yarn store now! Thanks for being so kind and welcoming to your store and your city. I really enjoyed myself."

Well, I guess we are bragging a bit but you have to pat yourself on the back once in a while, don't you?

Today we overheard one of the more quirky comments ever in Point Grey:

Customer to Nick: "Do you have any 3 ply acrylic?"

Nick to customer: "What are you planning to knit?"

Customer to Nick: "Oh no, it's for flossing my teeth."

True story.

Thanks to all of our loyal UY customers for your constant inspiration and appreciation. We couldn't do it without you....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cathy was Killed Today

Have you met Cathy?

She's an occasional UY staffer who's always up for anything fun. When she heard about Hat Attack, she signed up right away. Sadly she's been too busy to knit much of her hat this week and today she met her demise.

Helen of Liverpool has confessed to the crime. She sent a card to her victim:

This is the note inside the card:

In case you have trouble reading the note, it says: "Hello Cathy, I'm sorry to say that you are dead. Slain with a blue and green horror. May it keep you warm in the afterlife." And yes, in the photo above Cathy's wearing the 'blue and green horror' that killed her. Too funny...

Are the rest of you Hat Attackers still alive? Let us know how you're doing in the competition...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pure Bliss

Had a cup of tea this afternoon while flipping through the pages of the fabulous new Debbie Bliss magazine:

It's awesome! There are more than 30 designs including a collection of fashion knits, contemporary home designs and adorable baby blankets.

The magazine has a wonderful personal flavour with Debbie's style, wit and charm evident throughout. After reading her Editor's letter and checking out an eclectic assortment of Debbie's favourite things in "the Blissful Life" section, I almost felt as if I'd had my cup of tea at her kitchen table. The only thing missing was the enticing plate of scones with strawberry jam and cream featured on page 11. I'll try that recipe sometime soon...

Debbie also has a wonderful new collection of yarn and books. There's Rialto 4 ply:

A lovely lightweight addition to the popular Rialto range. And there's a great new book, Rialto Classics:

With a fantastic collection of knits for men, women and children in the Rialto line.

Como is a another fantastic new Debbie Bliss yarn:

This one's a superchunky roving that's mainly wool with her trademark touch of cashmere. Quick to knit and light to wear. And there's an accompanying book, Como:

It's a collection of sixteen designs for some quick and simple knits.

Finally there's Winter Essentials, with twelve designs using the Cashmerino, Donegal Tweed and Alpaca Silk lines:

From relaxed cardigan coats to a cozy cabled wrap, it's all incredibly inspiring!

Debbie Bliss has outdone herself with this latest collection of books and yarns, there's something for everyone. Drop by and have a look sometime soon...

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Cute

This adorable little tot fell asleep on our tangerine couch while mom shopped. Lucky mom!

The snuggly cover is the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch, knit with Koigu PPP Merino.

Thanks for the photo, Alexa...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Noro

If you're a Noro fan (and really, who isn't?) you're going to love the new Fall books.

There's Noro Family by Jane Ellison:

This one features eighteen designs for men, women and children using several Noro yarns including the new Silk Garden Chunky and Silk Garden Sock.

Noro 24 is another great new Noro book:

What a stunning creation on the cover. This is another fantastic collection of designs using a number of different Noro yarns.

Last but not least is Catwalk:

With sixteen designs by Jenny Watson, taking inspiration from the fashion runways of the world. These designs utilize a great selection of Noro yarns including Kureyon, Silk Garden, Silk Garden Lite and more.

Wondering about our special this week? Better late than never... We've picked a book special for a change, it's a fantastic resource book if you're knitting for kids these days:

"Style Your Own Kids Knits" is full of inspiration for creating your own unique knits for kids. It begins with several basic patterns for different sweater styles including jackets, pullovers and vests. There are instructions for customizing your garment with collars, hoods, pockets and other options. Then flip through the pages of choices for borders and embellishments to further customize your project. And finally, check out the fabulous collection of cute motif patterns to truly personalize your kid's sweater. There are animals, fish, pirates, ghosts, soccer balls and many, many more. I rate this book a ten out of ten and best of all, it's 40% off the regular price!

And here's some late-breaking news: Becky and Jess spent yesterday unpacking boxes and boxes of Fleece Artist that arrived this week. Most of it's now hanging on our walls in both stores in splendid hand-dyed beauty. There are loads of great new colours and kits, stay tuned for more details....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

British Sheep Breeds Collection

Rowan has joined up with British farmers and Yorkshire mills to produce a new yarn for Fall 08. This yarn is shorn and blended from British sheep and spun into beautifully undyed yarn at mills in Yorkshire. The wool is hard wearing, with its natural lanolin intact, providing superb protection against our chilly Canadian winters.

The collection includes five undyed colours that come from different breeds of sheep, including Bluefaced Leicester, Jacob, Black Welsh and Suffolk.

There's a fabulous accompanying book:

With twelve excellent designs by Marie Wallin.

Knitters Review published a glowing review of this yarn which you can read right here.

We join Clara Parkes in applauding Rowan... "for rediscovering its British roots and bringing public attention to the unique sheep breeds that still roam the British countryside... With each skein purchased, we're not just getting a good yarn but we're also helping support sheep farmers in the British hills and millworkers in Yorkshire. Their trades are built upon knowledge and skills that we can't afford to lose."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jane Ellison

We're excited to announce that Jane Ellison will be joining us for an event on Saturday, October 25, from 12 noon - 3 pm. Mark your calendars...

Jane is a fabulous knitwear designer and a very sweet person, with tons of experience in the knitting industry. She first completed a degree in fashion with a knitwear specialty, then worked with both Rowan Yarns and Debbie Bliss and subsequently published a multitude of knitting designs.

Her first book was Simply Noro, published in 2003:

It was a smash success and in the last five years Jane has amazingly published another thirty books!

She's produced some of our favourite Noro books like Noro Knits, Naturally Noro, Pure Noro, Joy, and the latest, Noro Family.

And in the past year she's published three books for the Mirasol line of yarns. Sales of these yarns help to support the Mirasol Project, a cause that is very dear to Jane's heart.

Jane will bring loads of sample garments. She'll talk about her experiences as a knitting designer and the design process. And she'll share some of her experiences with the Mirasol Project in Peru as she's seen firsthand the remarkable accomplishments of this program.

We've booked space at the UBC Golf Club for this event and the admission fee will be $10. Participants will receive a 10% discount on any purchases of Mirasol yarn or Jane's books on the day of the event. Phone us at 604-228-1122 or send an email to reserve your spot. Should be tons of fun!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Check out Jane Ellison's fabulous Mirasol Book III:

There are loads of fantastic designs as well as some wonderful photos shot in Yorkshire, UK.

And we have two stunning new Mirasol yarns. Tupa is a gorgeous combo of merino and silk:

Love the lustrous sheen...

We also have the lovely Qina, a beautifully soft blend of baby alpaca and bamboo. The Mirasol yarns are all so tempting, with beautiful, rich colour palettes.

And we've re-stocked our shelves with several other luscious Mirasol yarns like Hacho, Miski, Sulka and T'ika.

We feel good buying these yarns because a portion of all the Mirasol sales benefit the disadvantaged Peruvian community where the yarn originates. The Mirasol Project is named after a young girl named Mirasol who, with her younger brother, tends 350 alpacas. The Project funds a boarding house for the local alpaca shepherds' families in Mallkimi, Peru, where impoverished children like Mirasol now benefit from an education and other important resources that Canadian children take for granted. In less than one year, over $160,000. Cdn. was contributed to the Mirasol Project from the sale of Mirasol yarn. Read more about the Mirasol Project right here. What a wonderful story...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mission Falls

Go Canadian with Mission Falls, one of our most popular lines. There's a terrific range of contemporary colours. And all MF yarns are machine washable which is very appealing for those of us who can't seem to keep food and drink off our hand-knit garments.

The Mission Falls line of yarns has recently been expanded with a new DK weight 136 Merino superwash wool yarn. It's available in all the fabulous colours of Mission Falls 1824 cotton and wool:

And there are two new pattern books. Dreamer 136 is a great collection of ten women's designs in the new 136 Merino:

Mission Falls Goes Crochet includes twelve fantastic crocheted designs that use either 1824 wool or 1824 cotton:

1824 wool and 1824 cotton are conveniently interchangeable, both with the same gauge of 18 stitches and 24 rows to a 10 centimetre square.

We have several Mission Falls pattern books in our stores with designs for both adults and kids. The new yarn and books are currently on the shelves in Point Grey and they should arrive arrived in Edgemont today. If you haven't yet had this yarn on your needles or hooks, you should really check it out....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to School

Summer's almost over and the air is crisp. It's time to pick up the needles and knit some cozy things for the chilly days ahead... Why not learn a new skill while you're at it? You can go back to school this Fall - we have some great classes scheduled for you.

Monday night it's all about crochet in Point Grey. First up is the Crocheted Amigurumi Class starting on September 15, 7 - 9 pm. You'll learn to make a cute little crocheted amigurumi doll in just two nights. Basic crochet skills are required for this class. If you can't crochet but would like to learn how, register for Beginner Crochet, starting on October 6, 7 - 9 pm, for four consecutive Mondays.

Tuesday evenings in Edgemont will see Beginner Knitting starting on September 30, 7 - 9 pm for four sessions, and a Felted Bags class starting on October 7, 7 - 9 pm, also for four sessions. In Point Grey we'll run the popular Sock Boot Camp where you'll learn to knit a sock in just one night. There are six SBC's scheduled with the first camp running on Tuesday, September 16 from 6 - 9 pm.

Sandra Dunkin will teach her popular Aran Block of the Month class in Edgemont on Wednesday evenings, 6 - 8 pm., starting on October 1. This class runs over 7 months, starting with simple twist patterns and progressing each month to more advanced cable work. You'll complete a new block every month and by the last class you'll be ready to finish your gorgous afghan! In Point Grey, the talented Sivia Harding will teach a Beginner Lace Knitting class, starting on September 17, 7 - 9 pm for four sessions. You'll learn to knit Sivia's beautiful Moonshadow Stole. Sivia will also teach a Jewelry Knitting class later this Fall, stay tuned for further details.

There are some great options on Thursday evenings in Edgemont with an Intermediate Knitting Class starting on October 2, a Hat Class starting on October 9 and a Fingerless Glove class starting on November 6. These classes will all run from 7 - 9 pm. Take your pick! And in Point Grey it's back to the basics with a Beginner Knitting class starting on September 11, 7 - 9 pm for four sessions. If you're ready to move beyond the basics, sign up for Beyond Beginner Knitting starting on October 9, 7 - 9 pm, also for four sessions.

Christa will be back in Point Grey on Friday afternoons, 1:00 - 2:30 pm, with her Painless Project sessions. Take this class to get help with a current project or to learn a new technique. Sign up for one or more classes, the first one runs on September 12.

Astor Tsang will be waiting for you on Sunday mornings in Point Grey with her Knitting Q & A class, 11:00 am to 12 noon. Bring your projects and questions to this quiet semi-private lesson for help with pattern reading, complicated stitches or finishing. Astor also has some great demos planned for the Fall, watch for further details in the next few weeks. Sandra Dunkin will run her Aran Block of the Month class in Point Grey on Sunday afternoons, 12:00 - 2:00 pm., starting on October 5.

Whew, what a great list of classes, I'm going to try to drop by and pick up a few new skills myself. For more information, have a look at our class schedule.

And if you don't see what you're looking for, we're happy to customize a class for you. We'll set up a lesson for one or more students with flexible class times. Grab a couple of friends and have fun learning a new skill together. For more details, phone Kathleen or Becky at 604-228-1122.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Simply Sublime

We have a sublime new yarn, Organic Merino Wool DK:

It's gently dyed with environmentally friendly products, using the softest organic merino wool fibers from Australia. Go green with this one.

And there's a great new accompanying pattern book, with twenty fabulous designs for women, men, girls and boys:

It's an inspiring collection of knits for cosy winter layering.

If you're knitting for babies these days, be sure to check out the new Sublime book with nineteen designs for babies from 0 - 3 years:

Both the patterns and babies are adorable.

There's also a fantastic new Sublime pattern book for kids aged one to twelve years of age:

This one is crammed full of fun and trendy designs that are perfect for any kids wardrobe. There are twenty-three designs in all. Simply sublime indeed!

Our special this week is RYC Soft Tweed at 50% off the regular price. This is a luxurious chunky yarn that's perfect for new winter projects.

We have loads of new yarns, books, patterns and notions going out on the shelves right now and there's lots more on the way. It's a very inspiring time of year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Boxes and Boxes

Man are we getting boxes...

Too busy to post but stay tuned for details.