We love yarn! So much so we are compelled to compose knitting patterns that take advantage of all of our yarns best qualities. We also love teaching and sharing the love of crafting! We host lots of classes here at the cafe and are always available to trouble shoot knit-trials, large and small.
What a beautiful day it is in Toronto! After such a cold and rainy spring – we are deserving!
We have these cute purple guys growing in our Knit Cafe garden, I have no idea what they are but I like em!
Besides the sunshine another thing that made my day is when a checked out the new offerings from Amirisu Magazine. It’s their Summer edition #19. You should take a look too HERE.
I especially like this stranded colour-work shawl called Tiger Lily
The punches of white overlapping the earthy coloured patterning is quite original, not to mention the fringe!
This sweater called Tilea, has a great graphic design and is knit with our beloved Brooklyn Tweed Loft!
An aptly named hat called Escher is very striking and knit with two colours of Peerie, which is Brooklyn Tweed’s fingering weight merino. Peerie comes in so many lovely colours – I am already picking out combinations for this project.
Shout out to fellow Cannuck and lovely lass Julie Asselin who contributed the yarn for this pullover called Mio.
What is “marled” except for a really hard word to say? Does it not make you feel like your mouth is full of marbles or is it just me?
Marled yarns are a melange of more than one colour separated into strands and spun together. If you are familiar with past Brooklyn Tweed Colours like “Newsprint” and “Narwhal” then you are familiar with marled colours. Brooklyn Tweed has just added a few more of these colour hybrids to their gorgeous pallet. Above ↑ check out “Caraway” and” Amaranth”. These two new marls are available in both the Shelter and the Loft yarns from Brooklyn Tweed and good news….
…colours “Narwhal” and “Newsprint” are now available in Loft too! Previously they were only available in Shelter.
The Knit Café just received our shipment. You can have a look at all the new stock of Brooklyn Tweed including the new Marled Colours in our webshop
LYS – That’s “Local Yarn Store Day” is tomorrow Saturday April 27.
If you are like me you are thinking “gosh! there really is a day for everything”. It’s true, but this is our day so why not give it some props?
Come in to The Knit Café to wish us a Happy LYS Day and while you are at it pick up the latest project from Brooklyn Tweed,
Skipp is a brioche hat project. If you have not tried Brioche Knitting yet – this is a good pattern to start with. It can be made with 2 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft.
The Knit Café has a free download of the Skipp Pattern for every knitter who purchases the 2 skeins of Loft for the project.
This generous offer from Brooklyn Tweed is only available till April 30th. So why not come in on LYS Day to get yours?
If you are planning your summer wardrobe look no further for the perfect knitting fibre – it is linen! Linen looks classic and clean and sophisticated when knit into garments. It is easy to care for – in fact linen gets softer the more it is washed and even likes the dryer! It’s true! Linen lets the wind breeze through the fibres making it a cool choice for the summer season.
The Knit Café just received a great shipment of organic linen yarn from Quince and Co. Both Sparrow and her bigger cousin Kestrel are in stock!
Look at these pretty Spring Colours of the Sparrow!
We have several new colours available including the melange colour called Rosa Mundi and also Sky and Viburnum. See the updated stock of the Sparrow HERE
The Quince and Co knitting pattern collection: Sparrow 2019 is now available
Quince and Co has lots of lovely patterns tailored to this sweet linen yarn and now they have added more! This pic above of a sweater pattern called Dekla is my personal favourite but you can see the whole collection HERE.
These rug hooking needles are the best. They are made for comfortable punching thanks to the curvy, smooth, wooden handle and the sleek, surgical steel needle. The Oxford Punch Needles come in a variety of sizes so you can switch the size of your yarn and also change the length of your pile for lots of interesting textural possibilities.
I have made a handy chart for The Knit Cafe to illustrate!
The Oxford Punch Needles come in sizes #14, #13, #10, #9 and #8. It breaks down like this:
#14 creates the shortest pile and only comes in “Fine” (which is for worsted or DK weight yarns. It make 3mm tall pile
#13 is slightly taller with 4.75mm tall pile. Also only comes in “Fine”
#10 comes in both “Fine” and “Regular”. “Regular needles suit bulky yarns.
The #10 has 6.35mm high pile.
#9 also comes in both “Fine” and “Regular”. The pile is 9.5mm.
#8 comes in both “Fine” and “Regular”. the pile is 12.7mm high
So which one should you choose?
Choose the “Fine” size if you think you want more details in your pieces.
Choose the “Regular” size if speedy punching is important or if you plan to make less detailed more abstract work and like those fat stitches!
Choose a lower pile for details and a cleaner look. Choose taller piles for more texture! The chart shows the longest pile – the #8 twice. The first time in the grey is made with the standard punching technique and the maroon yarn shows the piles of the yarn cut to get a tufted effect. It’s shaggy!!! Another kind of texture for you to try. The centre of the chart that is not marked in the lilac colour has no pile length because it is punched on the other side. This is a great way to get a flat look and can be done with any size of punch needle.
Check out the Oxford Punch Needles at The Knit Café HERE
The next Punch Needle Class at The Knit Café
is Tuesday July 9, 2019, 6:30-9pm.
We are so happy to be announcing another year of Yarn Club with The Knit Café. This is now our fourth year of creating patterns in collaboration with talented yarn producers and then sending them off to knitters near and far to be turned into gorgeous things.
Yarn Club is for you if you want to get to know new yarns and fibres and be introduced to yarn-artists from Canada and abroad that you are yet to discover. It is also for you if you would like to try new knitting techniques and delve into patterns that are different from your norm. Yarn Club will also be for you if you would like to have a little bit of formal structure built into your knitting pursuits. Yarn Club members receive 5 projects spread throughout the year to sustain a whole year of happy knitting times!
Knit Café Yarn Club projects have run the gamut from socks to shawls to mittens and hats and slippers and toys and on and on! In the past we have worked with talented artists such as Lichen and Lace and Hedgehog Fibre, Julie Asselin and Madelinetosh. What and Who will it be this year? Each project is a surprise, so you will have to wait and see.
This year Yarn Club memberships will include extra patterns and discounts beyond the 5 projects.
The last project from our Yarn Club 2018 edition is Equinox
It’s a simple shawl pattern to show off this ↓ yarn.
Equinox was knit with this gorgeous yarn from Olann of Ireland. This custom colour was dyed just for us and our Yarn Club Members 2018. The colour is called “Hatchling”. The Knit Cafe has other gorgeous colours of Olann Sock Lite in our webshop now but they are moving out fast.
This is one side of my new cell phone cozy! I made it with a punch needle.
This is the other side.
I have been having so much fun trying out different sized punch needles, changing my foundation fabrics and of course playing with different types of yarns.
This cozy was made with a punch needle made for worsted weight yarns and set for a low pile – the pile is the height of the loops! With a low pile your work is less hairy and you can achieve more detail. Still, I have found with some trial and error – simple is best when it comes to punch needle and rug hooked designs. This is good news for those of you who think you can not draw. Even you can make beautiful stuff with basic beginnings.
The Hello Side has two different heights of pile – can you see it? It’s a bit subtle in this picture.
The telephone side is actually what is considered the wrong side of the work where you get the lowest pile and the stitches are closest to embroidery. This is how you can get the crispest look and the most detail.
Here’s the eyeglass case I made. I liked the hairy side best on this one!
On this side of the eyeglass case I think you will be able to see the different heights of the pile. I find it super effective with this geometric design.
For these two projects a tried several yarns but mainly Retrosario Beiroa, Knit Cafe Small Batch and Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and Arbor. The truth is I liked them all. The Beiroa produced such amazing texture, the Small Batch made puffy stitches that bloomed as I punched. The Arbor made crisp predictable stitches that were good for detail, and the Shelter held flecks of colourful tweedy surprises that are super-duper charming.
I am pretty excited that The Knit Cafe has just received a supply of No Slip Hoops for Rug Hooking and Punch Needling. Sadly they came in after I finished these projects so I will try them out on the next one. These are really sturdy hoops! Just check out those tightening bolts. What makes these loops extra specail is an internal lip and groove system that will hold your project firmly in place. If you would like to try one of these guys for yourself you can find them in our webshop HERE.
Last Spring we were lucky enough to get a delivery of linen yarns from Quince and Co. Sparrow and Kestrel are the perfect summer-jumper yarn. Now, we are pleased to announce that we are showcasing another great yarn from this yarn institution. These snowy and blustery days deserve a warm and woolly sweater yarn and “Owl” has flown in to fit the bill.
Owl is a blend of Alpaca and American Wool. It is produced with the same socially and environmentally conscious ideals that Quince and Co applies to all it’s products; picking local fibres when possible and having their yarns spun in a historical wool mill. Owl is a woolen-spun yarn which means it is spun to be light and lofty. It has a spongey and crisp feel. It softens when knit and reveals the drape and the halo of the Alpaca fibre.
The colours are so enticing – from subtle to deep and rich. These colours are derived from blending different colour of natural fibres before over dyeing.
You can check out all the colours available at The Knit Café in our webshop
For inspiration; you can do not better than this book by Pam Allen called “Plain and Simple”. It is full of the kind of sweaters that you would want to wear every day! We have a few copies in the shop-proper. Feel free to drop by and take a look. You can have a look at more patterns designed for the Owl yarns on the Quince and Co website HERE
Also new in-shop are Twig and Horn Interchangable Knitting Needle Cases. When you buy your needle tips and cords separately for your circular needles you will need somewhere to house them. Wouldn’t you feel like a super-pro with a stunner needle case like this?
The Knit Café has a few in the shop you can check out along with newly stocked needle tips and cords from HiyaHiya. You can now buy interchangables by the piece and mix and match to your hearts content.
I also have pattern news! The Knit Café has just released a new pattern on ravelry. It’s our latest knitting pattern designed for ourYarn Club. The pattern is called Way Up North. Sweet and cozy slippers are knit in a seamless construction similar to a toe up socks. They feature geometric, colour-work style and loops at the back of the heels we call “slipper grippers”. You can use them to help ease the slippers on your tootsies or to hang them up when not in use.
The slippers are knit with Julie Asselin Douillet. This is a super-sweet, bulky yarn. A sturdy one-ply with excellent fat stitches that really show off Julie Asselin’s beautiful hand dyed work. Julie is one of our favourite Canadian hand dyers. She always seeks out unique yarns to work with. The Douillet is a sturdy woolly mix of Rambouillet and Columbia sheeps wool. We still have a bit of the Douillet in stock but act fast as we are running low!
What a year it’s been!
We brought a few new crafts to the Knit Café, including embroidery classes taught by our new collaborator Sam Lamb, and punch needles classes. The first one was hosted by the super-star Arounna Khounnaraj. The Knit Café also hosted our very first Trunk Show featuring Westlake Knits, followed by another Trunk Show with Yarn Indulgences.
We also added new supplies to our stock including Linen yarns from Quince and Co and sweet embroidery floss and darning wools from Sajou, and we got a brand new yarn line from Brooklyn Tweed – a merino wool called Peerie.
New Knitting patterns were created like our very first toe-up sock pattern called Tulip the Tip-Toer and a fluffy, oversized scarf called Plume, a handmade mushroom ornament pattern, and cables mittens made with Yarn Indulgences’ yarn called Branching Out, and now for 2019…..
A mitten pattern called “Knock Out Mittens”
These mittens are made with this really neato yarn from local alpaca farm Old Mill Alpacas. Complete and total creation of this yarn is produced just a short drive from The Knit Café. We love that this yarn has such a small footprint, but that is not it’s only appeal. Made with Alpaca fibre, it is so soft and thanks to the unusual spinning technique called “core-spun” it has a really unique look. So bubbly and bobbly and fat too, this is a bulky weight yarn on it’s way to being super-bulky. This core-spun yarn is very different then other yarns we have worked with so we embarked on making a pattern that would suit the rarities in the yarn. The “Knock Out Mittens” are the result. You can get this pattern free with purchase of the yarn in the shop and in the webshop too HERE.
Also new is the shop…
Eco Cashmere from Blue Sky Fibres made with 50% recycled cashmere, and 50% virgin cashmere. Wow!