New from Manos Del Uruguay- Fino Mini Skein Sets

Fino is a yarn produced by Manos del Uruguay, one which we suspect many of you reading this blog are very familiar with. But if not, allow us to introduce the two of you!

Fino is a single ply fingering weight yarn, composed of 70% Merino Wool and 30% Silk, which is typically packaged in a 100 gram skein.

Available in a beautiful range of hand dyed, tonal shades, this yarn is incredibly popular among the lace knitting crowd, and those of us that love a fine gauged yarn. Knitting up into a drapy, lightweight fabric, and with a beautiful gentle sheen (thanks to the silk content!), this yarn is an absolute pleasure to work with, and a joy to wear.

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Also wonderful for colourwork, Fino can be a little daunting for knitters to have to purchase multiple skeins of. Not only does the cost quickly creep up, but one also ends up with more than enough yarn for multiple projects, which is not always ideal.

Well, we have great news! Manos has recently launched Fino Mini Skein Kits! Available in seven assorted colour combinations, with each kit including five different colours, knitters and crocheters are now able to play with colour- without having to break the bank! Each mini skein includes 90 metres, which gives plenty of yardage to make a substantial project, but without leaving you with enough yarn to get you through to the end of 2019.

But that’s not all! We have three FREE patterns on our website that are available for download, each one using one of the Fino Mini Skein sets, and one full skein of Manos Fino. 

From left to right, the Rings of Rings Cowl, the Charnley Scarf and the Incremento Scarf all require just one skein of Fino, along with one Mini Skein kit. Each pattern is fun to knit, easy to wear, and would make a great gift for a loved one, or as a treat for yourself!

To view and download each of these patterns, please click here.

The Fino Mini Skein Kits will be available in local yarn shops across Canada by mid-October, so now is the time to start planning your projects! Don’t be too shy to ask your friendly yarn merchant which kits they have on order. Then you can really get to planning. Because if you’re aiming for a Christmas knit, October is the time to kick it into high gear!

To view the full range of Fino Mini Skein Sets, please click here. And to view the full range of Manos Fino, please click here.

And finally, should you feel so inclined- let us know what YOU would do with a Fino mini skein set! We would love to to hear from you!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Contest Winners! Margaret’s Gift

On July 24th, we announced an exciting contest on the blog. For a chance to win the pattern, the yarn and the needles to make this gorgeous sweater as ‘actualized’ by the talented  Sally Melville herself (read more on the story by clicking here!), all that was asked of you, was to comment on our Facebook post, telling us about a memory you have of a favourite sweater- hand knit, or not!

We so enjoyed reading all of the comments- some heart wrenching, some heart warming and some comical. And we would like to thank each and every one of you for making this contest so fun!

Photos courtesy of Steven Rhude and Sally Melville

Last night, using a random number generator, we selected Lisa Clousten and Diane Devey as our lucky winners!

From Lisa- “My father used to wear a beautiful thick sweater with a zipper and pockets for curling. It had a plaid design on the pockets. It was so unlike his regular farm clothes. After he died, my nephew ended up with it. I have often thought about replicating one for myself. I am a knitter now, thanks to my Aunt Lillian, who taught me the Continental stitch and the value (and pleasure) of using only natural fibres.”

And from Diane- “My favourite sweater was a light denim blue cabled cardigan that I made in the early 1980’s. It was the first time that I attempted to knit cables. I got help from my grandmother and mother. I was so proud of it. I wore it on a trip to Europe where it kept me warm at night, acted as a pillow on long bus trips, and covered my arms in churches. About a year after returning, I came home to discover that my kitten had tried to chew the buttons off, leaving huge holes in the front. My mother declared it unsalvagable and put it in the rag bag. I cried. I have knit many sweaters since, but none that I loved as much as that blue one.”

Thank you so much for sharing your stories ladies! Please contact us at support@estelledesigns.ca to claim your prize. 

To read more from other knitters across the country, be sure to check out the comments on our https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpermalink.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D1415175158596981%26id%3D472549632859543&width=500“>Facebook post by clicking here.

And we want to thank you each and every one of you once again, who took the time to participate.

Happy knitting!

Interview with Inger Bussanich- Estelle Yarns Sales Rep for over 24 Years

If you are not a yarn shop owner, the thought may have crossed your mind while browsing in your local yarn store, “So where exactly does all of this yarn come from?”

Each yarn shop owner spends countless hours sourcing products, and carefully selecting each and every item that goes on their shelves, making each store a unique version of it’s owner. But it is with the help of friendly sales reps like Inger Bussanich that help make that part of the job just a little easier (and possibly less overwhelming!)

With each new season for over 24 years, Inger has regularly visited yarn shops all across Vancouver and the surrounding area, showcasing new products from  Estelle Yarns . While it is ultimately up to the store to decide what yarns are most suitable for their shelves, it is with Inger that they are able to place their orders, and address any questions or concerns they may have about the products.

After many years of service to the Vancouver Area Local Yarn Shop Community, Inger will be retiring from Estelle Yarns. We thought we would take the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her years of selling yarn, and what she plans to do with her retirement.

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How did you get into the yarn industry?

I was recently divorced and needed to find some work. A friend of mine got me in contact with a friend of hers who had a company selling embroidery and notions. I worked for him for one year. In the meantime, John Peacock (of Estelle Yarns) was out in Vancouver, and in search of a sales representative for Estelle. He asked around in some local stores, and a shop called Homecraft recommended me to him.

You are from Denmark. Was knitting a large part of your upbringing/heritage?

I grew up during the Second World War, and my cousin and I would spend a lot of time at my grandmother’s big apartment. She had a room in the middle of the apartment with no windows, so when we heard the sirens indicating danger, we went into this little room instead of going into the basement (probably not too safe!) This is where my grandmother taught us to knit and crochet.

What do you love to knit?

When I was younger I knitted big sweaters for everybody, but nowadays it is small projects like baby blankets and dish cloths, just to have my hands occupied when I watch TV.

What is your favourite yarn?

There are so many that it is hard to choose! Estelle’s Cloud Cotton has been an all time stable yarn for me. It’s nice to knit with, and very durable.

How big is your yarn stash?

I only have sample balls of all the yarns that I am currently selling, including a few older yarns. Usually, once they are discontinued I give them away to either charity, or friends.

Will you continue knitting once you have retired?

Oh yes. I will definitely continue knitting in my retirement, but only smaller projects. I really love to travel, and hope to get to see many more exciting places in the world.

What will you miss most about working at Estelle Yarns?

I will miss the customers for sure. It is always nice to meet the store owners who are such nice people- many have become friends! I love to show them the latest yarns and have a chat. I look forward to the big boxes of yarn for the new season, and to get everything sorted out and ready to show. Stores have come and gone, and I want to thank everybody for their patronage over the years. It has been fun!

I will also really miss the staff at Estelle, who have always been very supportive.

And of course- I will miss the Peacock family. They have been wonderful to work for, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sell yarn for them over the years.

Inger- From the Peacock family, from all of us at Estelle Yarns, we wish you a retirement full of adventures and good health. We thank you for all of your years with us, it has been our pleasure working with you and we wish you all the very best!

NEW- Fall 2017 Yarns from Cascade Yarns

Today is the first day of August! And while it may feel a tad premature, this is the time of year that we are busy at Estelle Yarns, shipping out the beginnings of the Fall orders to local yarn shops across the country.

So you know what that means… that means that your local yarn shop is also very busy, making room for all of the new and exciting products that are beginning to land on their doorstep daily. While it is always a pleasure to walk through the doors of a yarn store, this time of year is especially so! There are new products waiting to greet you, virtually every time you walk through the doors! What could be better than that?

We thought that today we would give you a peek at a few of the exciting new yarns that Cascade has been rolling out for the Fall/Winter 2017 season. That way you can start planning your projects for those cooler months that are just around the corner!

220 Superwash Wave

If you are familiar with Cascade Yarns, you are no doubt familiar with their hugely popular yarns, Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Superwash. Both are 100% worsted weight wool, available at a fantastic price point, as well as in a massive range of shades. What’s not to love?

Well, the 220 family is expanding this Fall, and we are so excited to announce the launch of Cascade 220 Superwash Wave. Available in 14 shades, this colour shift effect yarn boasts very long repeats, with some shades more subtle and tonal and some shades very vivid and full of contrast. As the name suggests, this yarn is washable, making it perfect for gift giving and kids projects. Given that this yarn is a worsted weight, there are countless patterns available for this yarn. Should you be short on inspiration, Cascade Yarns has an extensive ‘Free Pattern’ section on their website, and any of their patterns written for Cascade 220 or 220 Superwash will work beautifully with this yarn.

Love the look of the 220 Superwash Wave, but looking for something a little thinner? Have a peek at the Heritage Wave! This fingering weight version may just be exactly what you’re looking for.

To view the full range of Cascade 220 Superwash Wave shades, please click here.

Spuntaneous Worsted

Another reincarnation of an existing yarn, only now available in a thinner weight, Spuntaneous Worsted is a buttery soft, singly ply, 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool. With Spuntaeous having been launched last year in a chunky weight, the worsted weight version is a welcome addition to the Cascade Yarns line up. Available in 21 eye popping shades, this yarn is irresistible as a go-to for those who love knitting and crocheting big, bold accessories. Sold in 100 gram skeins, with 190 meters per skein, only a couple of hanks and you’ve got yourself a matching cowl/hat/mitt set.

To view the full range of vivid Spuntaneous Worsted colours, please click here.

Luminosa

This luxury, aran weight yarn is loaded with elegance and sophistication. Composed of 52% Viscose, 44% Baby Alpaca and 4% Wool, this yarn is available in a palette of ten shimmery jewel tones, gorgeous enough to make you want to channel your inner Hollywood starlet.

This yarn is constructed with a coloured, shimmery tube, then filled with black baby alpaca, giving it a soft, subtle halo. Available in a palette of ten jewel tones, this yarn is perfect for elegant, Winter accessories, or lightweight (but warm!) garments. This yarn is light as air! You won’t even know that you’re wearing it.

Cascade has already published some fantastic free patterns for this new yarn, so be sure to check them out by clicking here!

To view the full range of Luminosa shades, please click here. 

But that’s not all! We have even more great products from Cascade coming down the pipes, but we don’t want to give it all away at once. However, these products are being adding to to our website daily, so don’t hesitate to check out the “What’s New” tab on the Estelle Yarns website in order to stay on top of all of the latest knitting and crocheting yarns and accessories for this Fall.

And of course, to find a local yarn shop near you  that carries all of the products we talk about here on the blog, please click here to view our full Canadian directory of stores. You may just discover your new favourite place to shop!

Happy knitting everyone!

Comfort Wolle Collection Sock Yarn

Every once in a while, it is such a joy to walk into a yarn shop, pick up a single ball of yarn, and leave knowing that your purchase will knit or crochet up into a project that is something you will actually use/wear regularly.

A single skein for a hat or a cowl, or perhaps a ball for a pair of socks. Just one ball of yarn, and you’ve got yourself a pair! Sock yarn makes for such a wonderfully ‘guilt-free’ purchase/souvenir, and before you know it- you may find that you have a (sock yarn) stash!

Comfort Wolle Yarn is a company that operates and produces yarn out of Germany. Making gorgeous, economical yarn for knitters of all tastes and skill levels, this is a company that we urge you to check out at your local yarn shop–  that is, if you haven’t already!

A sampling of September 2017 Sock Colours

Well known for their sock yarn, this company likes to do things a little differently. Rather than release all of their newest shades of sock yarn all at once, they instead spread them out over a few months. How genius! One can only knit so many socks in a month anyway… so this seems like a perfect plan! Starting in September, a new collection of eight shades of self striping sock yarn will be released each month. Available in bright bold palettes, and neutral and subdued combinations, each month we can guarantee that there will be a colour available for every taste.

A sampling of October 2017 Sock Colours

Should you prefer to knit the more traditional, solid coloured socks, Comfort Wolle also has a selection of eight solid shades in their Sockenwolle Uni. Great for cables, lace and those pure and simple ribbed socks for the more conservative sock wearers in your life. This 75% Superwash Wool and 25%  Nylon wool is hard wearing and easy to care for- much like the self striping version!

All of Comfort Wolle sock yarns are packaged in 100 gram balls, meaning that just one ball will make you a pair of socks. With the Sockenwolle Uni currently available in local yarn shops across the country, and new self striping shades rolling in as indicated on our website, this yarn will surprise you, and the price will delight you.

Click here to view the full range of Comfort Wolle Sock yarn shades, and click here to find a local yarn shop near you.

Happy knitting everyone!

CONTEST CLOSED New Contest- Margaret’s Gift

If you have been knitting in this country for any amount of time, you will be well familiar with the name Sally Melville.

An accomplished designer, a sought after teacher, a prolific author, (not to mention- a Canadian!), this woman is known around the world for her work in the hand knitting industry.

One of her more recent patterns, Margaret’s Gift, has a special story to accompany it, and is the subject of our latest contest. So read on to learn the story of the sweater, and how you have a chance to win everything that you need to knit one.

Sally’s friend Susanna is the owner of the gorgeous painting that you see pictured below. While Sally was admiring it one day, she said to her friend “We should knit that sweater!” Susanna agreed to the challenge, but it was when the yarn shop 88 Stitches, in Langley BC sent out a note on Ravelry, challenging knitters to knit something by a Canadian designer, Sally immediately thought of the painting.

© Copyright Steven Rhude, 2016

Upon studying the painting, Sally noted how clear the details of the sweater pictured were. Such perfect stitch definition! She concluded that the artist either had to have been a knitter, or the sweater actually existed in real life- or both!

In order to get the full story (and permission to write a pattern for the sweater), Sally emailed the painter, Steven Rhude, and inquired. Turns out, the sweater did in fact exist. Steven’s mother Margaret knit it for his father in the 50’s. Steven wore it while attending art school in Florence, then lent it to a friend who was hitchhiking through Germany. It was then brought back to Canada, where his wife wore it so that he could paint the evocative image that you see above. The sweater was eventually lost in a clothing drive, but Steven has hopes that whoever owns it now, is warm!

Photos courtesy of Sally Melville

Sally searched for a pattern, but was unable to find one, and Steven seemed to feel as though his mother “Just went for it” while knitting. Given that Canada did not even have it’s official flag at the time the sweater was knit, this was a truly impressive feat, if in fact it were true! Steven suggested to Sally that she do the same, which is exactly what she did; ‘actualizing’ the pattern that you see today- the product of her Canada 150 Challenge!

And while this could be considered a very happy ending, the story continues! (Hint: it gets happier!) Once Sally had posted the completed pattern onto Ravelry, a woman contacted her to to tell her that her mother had also knit the sweater for her father. Her father’s version had a hood, but it was seemingly the same sweater. So perhaps there was a pattern after all? The woman was so thrilled to discover that someone had re-released the pattern! Which leaves us wondering, has she knit an updated version yet?

For a chance to win the pattern Margaret’s Gift, the appropriate needles, and the Cascade Eco Yarn required to complete an adult large version of the sweater, simply tell us on our Facebook post about a fond memory you have of a sweater from your past. And it doesn’t have to be hand knit! (But it certainly doesn’t hurt if it is). On Monday, August 14th we will randomly select two lucky winners, and contact them through our Facebook page. Contest open to Canadian residents only please.

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Happy knitting everyone.

Canucklehead Contest Winners!

Back in June, we announced our latest contest on the blog. For a chance to win a copy of the appropriately named cowl and hat pattern ‘Canucklehead’ by Jessie McKitrick, all that was asked of you, was to tell us what it is that you love about Canada on our Facebook post.

So simple! Right?

 

Well, we are pleased to announce that the winners have been drawn, and they are as follows: Carol Proctor-McGavin, Cheryl Van Viet-Brown, Linda Dueck Sigsworth, Valerie McInall and Gabriella Irving. Each of the winners has been contacted through Facebook, but if you happen to see your name here, and haven’t received a note from us, please contact us by email at support@estelledesigns.ca.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your entries. We truly loved reading each and every one of your posts! It’s pretty hard not feel like an incredibly proud Canadian after scrolling through each one!

And on that note… we are off to cast on our very own Canucklehead!

Stay tuned for our next contest, to be announced sometime next week!