Lang Yarns- Celebrating 150 Years

As it just so happens, world renowned yarn company Lang Yarns is celebrating a very noteworthy birthday this year! Based out of Reiden, Switzerland at 150 years young, Lang Yarns, has been a key player in the yarn industry for as long as our country has been… well, a country!

While knitwear styles, habits of handknitters/crocheters and technology may shift as the years march on, one thing is certain- Lang’s commitment to quality in their products has not swayed. From the very beginning until present day, knitters and crocheters can be certain that when they pick up a ball of Lang Yarn to work with, they will be working with the highest of quality standards.

Something that makes Lang Yarns so outstanding, aside from how smoothly the company has transitioned with the times, is that it continues to remain a family business, even after six generations. According Forbes, less than one third of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation, and another 50% don’t survive the transition from second to third. The Lang family however, has been a wildly exceptional exception to that rule.

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Jakob Lang

Operating under it’s sixth generation, Jakob Lang is the family member presently at the helm. Founder Bernhardt Lang is Jakob’s Great Great Great Grandfather, who began producing yarns in 1867, working from of the historic buildings in Reiden, Switzerland where Lang continues it’s operations to this day.

Throughout the 1920’s, Lang’s hand knitting yarns began production at a mill that was originally powered by water from the Wigger River. While this mill continues to operate to this day, the technology has evolved. Since the turn of the millennium, Lang Yarns has kept a keen focus on the development of new yarns and knitting designs. While their facilities and technologies have moved forward with the times, one thing is certain- their attention to quality remains unwavered.

In honor of their 150th anniversary, Lang chose a handful of their most popular yarns to showcase in a publication that was distributed at their 150th anniversary event. We felt that if Lang thought these yarns were worthy of being mentioned to all of their closest friends, family and business associates, then they were certainly worth mentioning to you!

Merino +
This yarn is made from extra-fine merino fibres, and is first combed, and then finely spun. Given the long staple length of this fibre, this yarn is soft, even to the most sensitive of knitters. The palette of colours is intense, and the yarn produces knitting that pops- perfect for cables and stitch patterns!

 

Mohair Luxe
It seems as though people either love mohair, or hate it. But for those of us that love it- this is a mohair that should not be missed. It is the ultimate in luxury! The mohair fibres are twisted with a shiny thread of pure silk into a boucle style yarn, which is then brushed out to create a soft, gorgeous halo.

Malou Light
This yarn is truly light as air. Composed of 78% Baby Alpaca, 16% Nylon and 12% Wool, this yarn is incredibly soft and warm. The nylon and wool are blended together with the dyed fibres to create a knitted tube, and the baby alpaca is then blown into the tubing and fixed. The end result is unlike any other yarn on the market, providing fantastic yardage, and an amazing colour palette.

Cashmere Premium
The name of this yarn really does say it all. Fine fibres are combed from the undercoat of cashmere goats to achieve the softest yarn possible, and the spinning technology ensures that it won’t pill immediately upon wearing. Cable twisted with two and three strands, this yarn is the ultimate in both luxury, and durability.

Nova
The undercoat of camels and extrafine Merino is what makes up this irresistable yarn, but it is not spun like traditional yarns are. Rather, it is knitted into a mesh yarn, and the fine fibers are blown into the centre of the knitted mesh, partially fixed by a sturdy polyester strand. This allows the soft halo and natural luxury of the camel/wool blend to escape.

To get your hands on any of these gorgeous Lang Yarns, please click here to locate a local yarn shop near you. If you have any questions about locating a particular Lang Yarn, do not hesitate to get in touch with us! We will be happy to connect you with a retail establishment that can provide you with whatever yarn it is that you may be looking for.

And finally, from all of us at Estelle Yarns, to everyone at Lang Yarns, we wish you many more years of continued success. All the best, from all of us!

And to all of the rest of you- Happy Knitting!

New Contest- Canucklehead by Jessie McKitrick

With our ChiaoGoo contest now behind us (Congratulations once again to all of our winners!), we are excited to announce the launch of our next contest, which kicks off TODAY!

But before we announce the next contest, allow us to introduce you to Jessie McKitrick, a knitting enthusiast and designer, based out of Edmonton, Alberta.

Jessie lives with her husband, and two daughters, all of whom are very supportive of her knitting habit. And why wouldn’t they be? Alberta is a province where hand knits come in VERY handy, as Jack Frost is commonly found overstaying his welcome in those parts. With a fierce love of stranded colourwork, Jessie can boast a timeless, and technically sound pattern repertoire, all of which can be found on her Ravelry page. With classic colourwork, rich cables and intriguing stitch combinations, Jessie has patterns that are suitable for enthusiastic beginners, as well as ones that will challenge even the most seasoned of knitters.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday, Jessie has designed a tuque and cowl set specially for Pam’s Woolly Shoppe, located in Stoney Plain, Alberta. Appropriately naming her design the ‘Canucklehead Tuque and Cowl‘, this pattern is the perfect addition to any proud Canadian’s Winter wardrobe.

While designing this pattern, much sweating and swatching was required in order to create a leaf image that was unmistakably that of the Canadian flag. Wanting to provide a ‘rest’ between those long floats that the leaves require, Jessie opted for a satisfying checkered pattern band between each of the motifs.

Using our popular acrylic/wool/nylon yarn, Estelle Worsted, this hat and cowl combo washes fantastically well, and will suit even those who are prone to itching in their knits. With such a broad palette, the Estelle Worsted is available in four different shades of red, and both white and ecru, making the seemingly straightforward colour options open to interpretation!

Should you find yourself to be one of those die hard Toronto Maple Leaf fans however (we know that you’re out there!), you may even want to consider swapping out the red and white for your favourite shade of “Maple Leaf blue”! Who are we to stop you?

CONTEST DETAILS- Are you interested in winning a copy of the Canucklehead Pattern, a skein of Estelle Worsted in both the Ecru and the Red as well as a set of needles to make your own Canuckle Set? Then simply head on over to our Facebook page, like our post that features this blog post, and then leave a comment, telling us what it is you love about living in Canada. Just like that… and you’re entered!

This contest will close on Friday, July 14th, and we will announce FIVE lucky winners on Monday, July 17th. This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Happy knitting everyone!

New Yarns for Estelle- Fall 2017

It has been said before, but we will certainly say it again- with each new season, comes new yarn, and what could possibly be more exciting than new yarn? We are so thrilled to introduce to you two of our new Estelle Yarns, both of which are scheduled to arrive in our warehouse, just in time for the Fall 2017 season.

First up, we have Atlantis. Gorgeous, rich jewel tones, available in a chunky weight, with a hint of glimmer tossed in for good measure, this yarn is softly spun out of 54% Superwash Wool, 42% Acrylic, 2% Nylon and 2% Metallic Polyester. This yarn will be perfect for big cozy cowls, slouchy hats and perfectly playful (but of course, tough wearing) mittens.

Available in four tonal shades, as well as one colourway that incorporates all the colours of the rainbow (which has been appropriately named “Prism”), the temptation to cast on a project in each of these shades is a fierce temptation, indeed.

Perfect for gift knitting, and for dressing up an otherwise plain (but practical!) winter coat, a ball or two of Atlantis are certain to get your creative knitting juices flowing. One ball of this new yarn is not a huge commitment of either time or money, so buying a ball of it simply for the sake of inspiration might be something that you should consider doing. You just never know what might fall off of your needles!

Next up is a yarn called Lumiere. Knitting at a worsted weight gauge, this yarn has fantastic yardage at 200 meters per 100 gram ball. Composed of 50% Acrylic and 50% Wool, this yarn is warm, washable, and economical. Knit a pair of mittens for your sister, add a few rows into a throw for your mom, or whip up a slouchy hat for yourself. With washable, worsted weight yarn, the possibilities are truly endless!

With new yarns from Estelle, often you will find that new patterns are not too far too behind, and Lumiere is no exception! We are pleased to give you a sneak peek of this stunning shawl, designed by Robbie Laughlin, which is made using just two balls of Lumiere. Knit from point to point, Robbie had fun with the striping nature of the yarn, by straying from the traditional shawl construction of working from the neck down. This pattern is knit mainly in stocking stitch, with the occasional vertical stretch of eyelets, making it a fairly easy project, all while maintaining a touch of interest. A great knit for those lazy days of late Summer, this pattern is perfect for getting a head start on holiday knits- or planning your cooler weather wardrobe!

This pattern will be available to you for free on our website, and on Ravelry later. We promise to alert you when it is available for download.

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Both Atlantis and Lumiere will start appearing on the shelves of a local yarn shop near you, as of late-July, 2017. So be sure to check in with your local shop owner, to see when you can expect their shipment to arrive.

Happy knitting everyone!

New Yarn- Creative Melange Lace by Rico Yarns

As the weather slowly warms, many of us find ourselves shedding our layers, working in the garden, and searching for that perfect Summer project to kick back and relax with once the yard work is all done. (Is it ever really done though?) Gone are the days of big woolly projects, and now is the time to embrace the fleeting warm weather, with a cool Summer knitting or crochet project.

Lace weight yarns are perfect for the warmer days ahead. They aren’t only gorgeous once they have been knit up, but they are also incredibly great ‘bang for your buck’! Given that yarn is sold by weight, the yardage in a single ball of lace weight yarn is almost enough to take you right through the season!

Rico Yarns has recently introduced a new yarn to their line up called Creative Melange Lace. This 95% cotton and 5% polyester lace weight yarn is perfect for delicate shawls, lightweight sweaters, or even used double (or triple!) to create a thicker fabric.

And given that cotton is not commonly used in lace yarns, anyone will an aversion to wool will surely appreciate working with (and wearing!) this new yarn.

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The uniqueness in this yarn lies not just in the cotton rich fibre content however, but also in the way that it has been dyed. Not only does it appear quite graphic and printed on the ball, giving the appearance of being speckled, but it also knits up into softly shifting stripes. Subtle enough for some gorgeous lace work, but interesting enough to be used in plain stocking stitch, this yarn perfect for both knitting and wearing in the warmer months!

Should you be looking for a few pattern suggestions for this yarn, look no further! Rico has published a stunning lace wrap, that would be gorgeous in any of the available colourways. Sold as leaflet and available at your favourite local yarn store, this wrap has softly undulating waves, that compliment the self striping nature of the yarn beautifully.

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Should you be interested in taking on the task of knitting a cardigan using this gorgeous lace weight cotton yarn, then you may want to consider knitting Hannah Fettig’s wildly popular Featherweight Cardigan. Knit in one piece, from the top down, this pattern will play with the striping of the yarn in a most beautiful way, creating stripes of difference widths, depending on where in the sweater you are/how many stitches are on the needle.

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Photo courtesy of Hannah Fettig and Knitbot Essentials

Creative Melange Lace is available in local yarn shops across the country, so be sure to stop by and have a look!

Thinking you might make something with this yarn? Let us know! Nothing inspires us more than all of you.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Twist Fibre Festival- August 19-20

For those of you in the Ottawa/Montreal region, there is a fibre festival coming near you, that we are pretty certain you will not want to miss.

Nestled approximately halfway between Ottawa and Montreal in St-André-Avellin, Quebec, Twist Fibre Festival claims to be the largest of it’s kind in Canada. With an extensive class list, offering a wide variety of workshops in both French and English, this festival is not to be missed!

What sets the Twist Fibre Festival apart from all other fibre festivals, is that it’s not just about knitting and crocheting- rather, it is about everything fibre related! With a selection of classes and vendors covering everything from knitting to beading to weaving to felting to rug hooking to dying to arrowsash (something we would love to know more about!) to embroidery to spinning, there is truly something to interest everyone in your family and social circle!

So why not gather up a few of your favourite people and make a road trip of it? Head up to the Ottawa/Montreal region to buy some fibre craft related supplies from fantastic vendors and take a few classes from a wildly talented roster of people.

Well known yarn dyer Julie Asselin (pictured above) will be teaching several workshops, including one on colour theory, as well as Hand Dying yarn: The Hand Painted Method. Designer extraordinaire Bristol Ivy will be found teaching a few Brioche classes, and Alana Wilcox, a truly talented spinner will be teaching four different classes, Novelty Yarn, Fibre Prep/Carding, 12+ Ways to Spin a Hand Painted Top for Colour, and Spin for a Project.

Not only is the class selection varied, there is also a selection of classes aimed at the younger crowd!  So bring your best knitting buddy, and bring your teenagers! This is truly an event that will appeal to all walks of life.

So if you are looking for something a little different to keep you out of trouble over the latter days of Summer break, book yourself some accommodationssave some dollars for the marketplace of over 140  fantastic vendors, and let the countdown begin!

For more information on this exciting event, please click here to explore the Twist Fibre Festival website. And be sure to let us know if you plan on going! Maybe, we just might see you there!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

WIN! A ChiaoGoo Interchangeable Mini Set

It’s contest time again! And this time around, we are so excited to announce that you have the opportunity to win one of two ChiaoGoo 4″ Twist Mini Red Lace Interchangeable sets! 

This contest is open to both our Canadian AND American followers. Big thanks to ChiaoGoo for partnering with us on this contest and supplying the American winning set!

In order to enter, simply head over to our Facebook page by clicking here, ‘LIKE’ our contest post, and enter your country of residence (either “Canada” or “America”) as a comment for your chance to win. See? Easy as pie! You’re entered!

On June 15th we will randomly draw one winner in both Canada, and the USA!

Each set of of ChiaoGoo Interchangeable Twist Red Lace Stainless Steel Mini sets includes:

1.5 mm (US 000), 1.75 mm (US 00), 2.0 mm (US 0), 2.25 mm (US 1) and 2.5 mm (US 1.5) 4″ surgical-grade stainless steel, lace tips.

Two 8″, one 14″ and one 22″ red, flexible, multi-strand, nylon-coated, memory-free steel cables with lifeline holes.

A tool kit, which includes two cable connectors, two end stoppers, four tightening keys, six stitch markers and a heart-shaped rubber gripper.

And everything comes neatly packed in a stylish, black mesh pouch with two zippered pockets!

This set of needles is perfect for your Summer road trips, or anyone who loves to ‘knit on the go’. If you love lace knitting or knitting socks using the Magic Loop method, you really must have a set of these needles in your knitting bag! There are just so many options!

If you don’t happen to win a set of these needles- worry not! Simply give your local yarn shop a call and see if they can get some in for you. Should you be interested in a set with larger sizes, be sure to check out ChiaoGoo’s Complete Set, which includes 2.75mm-10mm needles, as well as the ChiaoGoo Small Set, which includes sizes from 2.75mm-5mm.

In the meantime, good luck to all of you lace knitters out there!

And happy knitting one and all!

 

Free Chunky Blanket Pattern- Borgo Grosso

If you are a knitter or a crocheter, a friend has likely sent you a link to a video in recent months, that shows someone arm knitting a GIANT fluffy blanket, with the message “Can you make this for me?”

If you have found that video continues to lurk in the back of your mind, or if you are gunning to win “Pal of the Year” award, then you may just be interested in the free pattern we have to share with you today!

Allow us to introduce to you Grosso by Borgo de Pazzi, and a pattern called Grosso Plaid by Chiara Chiavacci.

While this yarn is not a new one to the Borgo family, it certainly is a good one to keep around. Massively thick, and scrumptiously soft, this yarn is exactly what one would want to cuddle up under on cooler nights at the cottage.

Recently relaunched with a new range of beautiful shades, Grosso is now new and improved! The original version of this yarn had a white thread throughout, but the white thread has now been over-dyed, so it is no longer as visible.

Having that thread run throughout the yarn not only adds some texture and interest to the finished product, but it also helps keep the yarn from pilling too quickly, a common complaint among many who have managed to source some of the thick, merino roving for those chunky arm knit blankets.

Using ten skeins of the gorgeous Grosso yarn, this blanket knits up in record breaking time, on 35mm needles.
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To get your hands on the pattern, and to view a video on how to successfully manage such large needles, and splice the yarn together as you change from one skein to the next click here! The designer utilizes a splicing technique using lemon juice that we had never seen before, so be sure to have a look. We are learning something new everyday!

Happy knitting everyone!