Contest Time!

It’s contest time again, and who doesn’t love a contest? We have two amazing Hudson Bay Goes Pacific Blanket Kits to give away to two lucky winners, so read on for more details!

We love to celebrate our wonderful country and there is no better way to say “I am a Canadian and proud of it” than with this  Hudson Bay Goes Pacific Blanket Kit. Designed by Sheila Griffith, owner of Serenity Knits in Newmarket, Ontario this pattern is a great expression of our Canadian heritage. As Canada 150 draws to a close, we think it fitting that we give away kits to knit this iconic blanket in our last contest of the year.

hbc blanket

Hudson’s Bay wool blankets were first introduced in 1780 as a means of trade for beaver pelts. They were highly sought after because of wool’s ability to retain heat and wick away moisture. Over 200 years later these blankets are world famous for their traditional green, red, yellow and indigo stripes, and are sold in high end department stores all over the world.

 

Before we go any further, let us tell you a little bit about Sheila, the creative mind behind the design of the Hudson Bay Blanket. Sheila was born in Toronto but now calls Newmarket home. Sheila’s grandmother taught her to knit at the young age of five years old, and she remembers that her first project was cuffs to go inside her winter coat. Like most knitters, Sheila’s creative streak doesn’t stop there–she’s also an avid sewer and quilter. In fact, she makes all of her presents for her 8 nieces and nephews every year!

In 2016 Sheila’s dream came true and she purchased her little piece of heaven, Serenity Knits. Sheila claims she doesn’t really have a favourite item to knit, “Sometimes I really want a challenge and other times I pick up socks for some mindless TV knitting.” We can all relate to that can’t we?

The lucky winners of this incredible kit will receive the yarn and pattern to knit their very own quintessential Canadian blanket. Knit in Cascade Pacific, an amazingly soft blend of 60% acrylic and 40% superwash merino, you will get as much enjoyment knitting this as you will displaying it in your home.

pacific

If you are new to Cascade yarns, have a look at here at the extensive range of yarns and colourways they have available. With that kind of selection there is without a doubt something for everyone.

Should you wish to get started on this right away, a free copy of the Hudson Bay Blanket pattern is available for download on our website or our Ravelry page.

Here’s all you need to know to enter this awesome contest:

Head on over to our Facebook page, like this post, and then leave us a comment about a Hudson Bay memory you have, or what comes to mind when you see the iconic colours of the Hudson Bay blanket. Simple as that, leave us a comment and you are all set to become one happy knitter! Or should we say, two happy knitters considering we’re giving away two kits!!

Contest closes December 20, 2017. Winners selected using a random name generator and announced on December 21, 2017.

This contest is open to residents of Canada only.

 

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Cascade Mondo

Mondo–the name says it all. Big…beyond big. In fact, if you look up “mondo” in a dictionary the definition is humongous.

mondoA favourite in the Cascade family, Mondo is just what it’s name implies, SUPER bulky. And because it’s a velvety blend of superfine alpaca and wool, it is SUPER soft as well!

With a gauge of .75 – 1 stitch per inch on size 25mm (US50) needles this jumbo yarn knits up in record speed. Knit a cowl in an hour or a squishy blanket in a day! Cables will pop with Mondo, and decorative stitches will stand out for miles, as they should!

The creative minds at Cascade know that plied yarn is integral to good stitch definition and so they have plied three loosely spun singles together to make Mondo. Plied yarns are better balanced thereby making your knitted stitches better balanced too. They are also more durable than single ply  yarns and tend to pill less.

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Thanks to TV shows like Outlander, jumbo knits are literally bigger than ever. With the seemingly never ending supply of cozy knitted cowls, shawls and gauntlets parading across our screens, knitters have taken notice and have taken it upon themselves to recreate their own Outlander inspired accessories. A quick pattern search on Ravelry for Outlander yielded 266 matches, that’s a whole lot of options for patterns!

And what about those jumbo blankets we are seeing all over the internet these days? Mondo is exactly what you need to make these bold statement pieces. Another quick Ravelry search and we see quite a few blankets knit with just one or two balls of Mondo.

As with all of their yarns, Cascade have a couple of patterns for Mondo on their website that you can download for free. The Giant Steps Cowl uses just one ball of  Mondo and knits up in the blink of an eye. A simple drop stitch pattern is all that’s needed to highlight the beauty of Mondo. The Hearthstone Throw is knit with three balls of Mondo and makes for the perfect gift for any wee one.

If you haven’t seen or tried Mondo yet, head on over to your LYS and give it a try. You’ll be delighted by it’s softness and versatility.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!!

Yarn Spotlight: Sudz Crafting Cotton

If there is one thing we can be sure we will never run out of, it’s dirty dishes. As much as we would love to never have to look at them again, it’s simply not going to happen.

So, if we have to do dishes we might as well make it interesting!doing dishes

Sudz Crafting Cotton is a durable yet soft cotton in a pleasant array of colours. This workhorse of a yarn will scrub dishes and counter tops to a gleaming clean yet it won’t irritate or dry out your hands. And unlike other dishcloth cottons on the market, there is no unpleasant odour.

There is nothing saying you HAVE to knit dishcloths with Sudz. Sudz is also great for all things baby. Sweaters, blankets, bibs, you name it! Because Sudz is perfectly safe for the washer and dryer, it’s a no-brainer for new moms who don’t always have time to hand wash.

 

 

 

Sudz makes for ideal gifts. Gift it in the ball with a simple dishcloth pattern for new knitters and they will be thrilled! One ball projects are just the ticket for neophytes. And they have a functional product at the end. It’s win win!!

Or maybe you make up a nice little spa set as a gift for a new mom. Knit a delicate, lacy pattern for a spa cloth, wrap it around a bar of beautiful handmade soap, and ta-dah!! A perfect “pamper yourself” gift!

The extensive variety of colours offered in Sudz allows you to match your colours to your kitchen and bring a little personality in to your home. Have a friend who just bought a new house? What a wonderful housewarming gift–a few handmade dishcloths to coordinate with their new kitchen!

 

Sudz is an affordable way to try out new stitch patterns on a small scale. You probably don’t want to use your fancy ball of cashmere to try out that new cable pattern you saw. Why not use a ball of Sudz? You get to try out your new pattern without risking the integrity of your art yarn, and you have a finished dishcloth or doily when you are done! Have a few mistakes in it? The dishes won’t mind, we can assure you of that!!

Reusable grocery bags are all the rage these days, so now’s the time to head on down to your LYS and grab a couple of balls of Sudz and go green! A wonderful last minute gift idea, these knit up in a couple of nights and people can’t get enough of them. WARNING: these can be addictive to knit!!

So the next time you need a last minute gift, want to try out a new stitch pattern or just need a break from a bigger project why not ask for Sudz and try it out? You’ll be so glad you did!

Let us know what you like to knit with dishcloth cotton. We love hearing from you and we get a lot of ideas from your comments, so please keep them coming!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Cascade Magnum

With only nine weeks until Christmas, time is of the essence for knitters right now.

The most wonderful time of the year is also quite often the busiest time of the year. And nothing is better for those with little spare time than super bulky yarns. One of our all time favorite super bulky yarns is, without a doubt, Cascade Magnum! With oodles of colours available and a ton of free patternsMagnum is great for last minute Christmas gifts.

 

 

There are so many reasons to love Magnum. Too many in fact, to mention them all, but we thought we could mention a few.

Magnum is a 100% Peruvian Highland wool that is available in a multitude of exquisite shades. Have a look at some of the plush colours available.

 

 

Rich heathers and sophisticated solids make up this palette of over 55 colours. This many options will make it easy to find a colour to please everyone on your wish list! Your biggest dilemma this year will be deciding which of your Magnum masterpieces you are willing to part with! We know you started out knitting them as gifts, the intention was there–it’s just that Magnum endears itself to you with each and every stitch making it so difficult to say goodbye to.

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Due to the lofty, unspun nature of Magnum, it is amazingly warm yet astoundingly light–a pleasant surprise for a super bulky yarn! By virtue of it’s loftiness, sweaters knit in Magnum tend to keep their shape rather than stretching out because of the weight. And since Magnum is 100% wool, you’re not compromising on warmth.

 

 

Magnum knits up at an unbelievable 2 stitches per inch, meaning projects literally fly off the needles! Knit on jumbo needlesMagnum makes weekend projects a breeze.

Arm knitting? Yes please!! Magnum is absolutely perfect for arm knitting! Use a single strand for an understated look, or strand it together with different shades to create your very own custom variegated yarn.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to knit or crochet with super bulky yarns, we are positive that you will love working with Magnum as much as we do. Leave us a comment about what you love about knitting with Magnum, we love hearing from you.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

 

Comfort Wolle Sock Collection

We have waxed on in the past about our love for H&W Comfort Wolle and with the newest collection of colours now available in yarn shops across the country, we just can’t seem to stop talking about it. HW-Comfort-Wolle

You probably find yourself wondering what the difference is in all of the sock yarns that are available these days. The primary difference with Comfort Wolle is the price point. This durable yarn is affordably priced making it a highly sought after sock yarn. A 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon blend, Comfort Wolle is strong and soft with consistent colour changes.

If you were to do a yarn search on Ravelry for Comfort Wolle, you would see that this yarn is a favorite around the world. With over 40 pages of projects, inspiration will not be a problem! While Comfort Wolle is a tried and true sock yarn sweetheart, you will be thrilled to see all of the other projects such as shawls, sweaters and even doll clothes!

One of the things we love the most about Comfort Wolle is that they introduce new colours every month. What a great way to keep lines fresh and interesting. And unlike other sock yarns, they don’t just reintroduce the same colours every couple of years, they actually come up with new and innovative colour combinations all of the time! How great is that?!!

Have a look at these 8 new shades for the October Collection. Rich shades with incredible colour saturation, this is a wonderful selection of self striping and jacquard patterns.

 

 

Should you prefer a solid sock yarn, Comfort Wolle has you covered with their Uni line. Certain projects pair best with solid colours, cables and lace for example, will show their intricacy better in a solid shade. We positively love Comfort Wolle Uni for stranded colourwork, or Fair Isle, also. Like the self patterning version, Comfort Wolle Uni is also a  blend of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon.

 

 

For those who like to indulge themselves in something a little more sumptuous, you will fall in love with Comfort Wolle Cashmere Wellness. Luxuriously blended with 65% superwash merino, 25% nylon and 15% cashmere, every stitch is pure bliss. Cashmere is said to be seven to eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, and is one of the world’s most decadent fibres. There is no way you’ll stop at just one ball! Here is a sampling of some of the newest colours available this month.

 

 

If you haven’t yet seen Comfort Wolle in your favorite LYS we strongly recommend you ask for it and give it a try. We are positive you won’t be disappointed!

Let us know what you think about Comfort Wolle and what you are making with it. We always love to hear from you!

Happy knitting and crocheting  everyone!

Cascade Square of the Month Afghan KAL

Calling all afghan lovers!! Our friends at Cascade Yarns have done it again! They’ve partnered with designer Hannah Wallace and Knit Simple Magazine and come up with yet another gorgeous afghan Knit Along.

cascade kal

The folks at Cascade know that you don’t have a ton of spare time, but almost everyone has the time to knit one square a month. One square–that’s not a huge commitment. And what a sense of satisfaction you feel, at the end of the year, when you have this exquisite afghan finished up in time for the Holidays. The only difficulty will be deciding if you keep it for yourself or gift it to that special someone.

To participate in this KAL, all you have to do is purchase a copy of the Knit Simple Holiday 2017 Issue. You probably planned on buying it anyway, right?! All twelve afghan square patterns are in here, so you definitely need this issue in order to participate.

knit simple holiday

This pattern uses 4 shades of Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash, a buttery soft, machine washable merino. And let’s face it, you need a yarn that’s washable for this. You’ll be cuddled up under this afghan with a nice hot cuppa and your knitting, and chances are you spill a little something. Accidents happen right? No fear!! Superwash wool allows you the freedom to pop it into the machine on gentle and voilà! A nice clean afghan!

If you’re looking for some neutral shades for your afghan, why not try out the colours Cascade have chosen. Rich, earthy brown tones are sure to coordinate with everything. The colours pictured above are 875 Feather Grey, 1926 Doeskin Heather, 862 Walnut Heather and 247 Tuffet.

 

If you’re still thinking along a neutral theme but you want something a little more industrial, maybe shades of  grey is more your thing. Cascade has a suggestion for that palette as well. 871 White, 1946 Silver, 900 Charcoal Heather and 1913 Jet. Classic!!

 

Looking for something a little more vibrant? Let us suggest this lovely palette of blues. These rich, fully saturated colours will make the designs in this afghan pop.  Take a look at 897 Baby Denim, 845 Denim, 1959 Deep Sapphire, and 854 Navy.

 

And our last suggestion is something a little softer, more delicate if you will. Everyone loves getting roses and we think this colour combination will remind you of just that–a lovely bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Perfect for the girly girl in you! 1963 Tutu, 901 Cotton Candy, 903 Flamingo Pink and 216 Beet Red.

 

Whatever colours of Cascade 128 Superwash you choose we would love to see them! Post pictures of your progress on our Facebook or Instagram, we’re eager to see the colour combinations possible! Be sure to follow along on the Knit Simple Facebook page as well.

Let us know if you plan on joining in on this KAL. It’s really a great way to make some new friends, become part of an online community and most importantly, get some serious knitting done!!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Spotlight on Alpaca

With temperatures hitting record highs across the country this Fall, it may be hard to think about knitting scarves and hats. However, Jack Frost will be upon us in no time and we will be digging out our warm woollies once again.

There is no better way to combat the frostiness of Winter than with alpaca. Did you know that alpaca is three times warmer than wool, hypoallergenic, water resistant, and unbelievably durable? Alpaca fibres contain tiny hollow air pockets that reduce the weight of the wool, keep heat in, but also lend breathability to keep you cool. It is also closest in softness to cashmere, but at a fraction of the price. Did we mention how cute they are too?

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We like to think we have you covered as far as alpaca goes this season. Our newest addition to our extensive line of alpaca products is Estelle Alpaca Merino Bulky. This extraordinarily soft yarn knits like a dream and is composed of 60% Superfine Alpaca and 40% Merino. What a blend! Alpaca Merino Bulky has terrific twist, beautiful color selection, and would be ideal for home accessories or your favorite bulky sweater pattern. This dream blend is also available in chunky, worsted, and fingering weights. Because we think your feet are also worthy of this amazing yarn, our fingering weight is blended a little differently: 55% merino, 20% alpaca, and 25% nylon for reinforcement. The Alpaca Merino line truly has a yarn for every project!

alpmerchunkyWe have two terrific free patterns for Alpaca Merino Bulky available on Ravelry. Designed by the ever talented Michelle Porter, this cable brim hat and cabled shawl collar are this Winter’s latest craze.

 

 

Estelle Eco Alpaca Chunky is an undyed, superfine alpaca perfect for those who want to use natural fibres. To complement our natural shades, Estelle Alpaca Chunky is available in 15 superbly saturated colors. With a silky smooth hand, this yarn glides across your needles and produces an exquisite finished product.

 

Michelle Porter stuns us again with this free mitten pattern for Estelle Chunky Alpaca. No one will have cold hands wearing these this winter! Using only 2 balls of yarn, these mittens are elbow length and have an opening on the palm for your fingers. Perfect for texting or photography.

chunky mitts

We are fairly confident that once you start knitting or crocheting with alpaca you won’t be disappointed. Whether you choose to use it for its hypoallergenic properties or for the warmth and feel, be prepared to fall in love. We sure have!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!