Visit us in the quaint hamlet of Myrtle Station, ON at: 9585 Baldwin St. N. (905)655-4858
(17.8km north of 401 exit 410. Look for the green house with the red roof a few doors north of the Myrtle Station railroad tracks)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Everything that goes around

In August our Kim decided to knit a sweater out of Alfa chunky, a beautiful mix of super wash wool and mohair from a vintage issue of Vogue Knitting
It is a mix of fairisle, with some purled stitches and moves towards in the neck as a cabled yoke
Kim knit the entire sweater in the round, and I think she must have air conditioning, because you will remember what a hot summer we had.
I find diamond shapes in colourwork have a great deal of integrity when is comes to fabric stability.
The kiss of mohair in the yarn adds a smokey touch to the cable pattern
However, besides the fact that Kim knit this stunning sweater from 1994, it the remarkable coincidence that the new Vogue features exactly the same sweater
Which Kim worked on well before the issue arrived on the news stand
so on my recent holiday I read "Big Magic" the latest book by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I am absolutely convinced this is a perfect example of it
Thanks Kim, you are tuned to the cosmos, we are honoured!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Yarn Crawling

World wide knit in public day and a yarn crawl, what a combination!
The yarns all over Durham are ready to party
We have our usual spectacular collection of yarns and some great specials!
Looking forward to your excellent company!

Joining the Shetland Wool Week festivities

In honour of the Shetland Wool Week festival I have made the time to complete this shetland wool vest I began in 2002.
It is from my much loved volume "Classic British Knits" by Madeline Weston. Not sure though if the folks in Shetland think of themselves as British. My Scottish Aunt Joan used to tell me Britain was not part of Europe, an opinion I never pressed her on, because it is certainly a truth.
I have always loved shetland wool, to dream about, to knit with and to wear, it tops my list. Sometimes I get distracted by Icelandic Alafoss Lopi and Norwegian Peer Gynt. It is the way yarns with that right amount of stickiness produce fabric with integrity, working so perfectly with the techniques of stranded colour work and cut and sew.
All knitters world wide are invited to participate in the Shetland Wool Week with a free pattern written by Ella Gordon.
The fairisle pattern is Crofthoose after the traditional small homes that dot the Shetland islands.
Kim's version is in the coned shetland we have in stock. She wound off one ounce of each of her chosen colours. When completed, the hat used: A-10g, B-5.5g, C-7g, D-9.5g and E-6g for a total of 38g or a little under 3 ounces.
She did her increases a bit differently than those suggested in the pattern, and I see lots of advice on Ravelry for this step in the process. Here are the wee hooses in the purple twilight
and a striped decrease variation
My version also uses our coned shetland yarn. It is oiled on the cone, and functions similar to authentic aran yarn in terms of the knitting experience and water resistance when wearing.
Here it is before washing.
Here it is after, still wooly but nice, soft, and fluffy.
Kim has picked and organized many different combinations to explore
Alpaca, both of brands we carry, are very soft and light.
Lots of shades to choose from.
Einband is similar to Shetland Jumper weight.
Kim has superb talent for colour selection, and we are lucky to have her here in Myrtle Station.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


My new spanish word is agaraderra. I love to really roll the r's in the word. It means potholder! Here is my vintage Spinoff magazine with a recipe for crochet potholders.
Spring 1996 was dedicated to using small and well loved amounts of handspun. My 2015 new years resolution is to make new potholders for the in house chef, aka her majesty's loyal opposition. The previous ones had very exciting thin spots when in use, it was time!
The technique allows you to use many and any small scraps. You needn't even tuck the ends in, because they are all enclosed in the finished potholder. Just remember to tie a sturdy knot on the inside with each new join. I use the surgeons knot for complete confidence.
Start with a chain as usual, I prefer to use a hook one size larger for the cast on.
Single crochet the next row, don't turn the work at the end, single crochet at the end and along the other side of the chain. Some people crochet 3 stitches into the end stitch on the foundation row, I didn't find it made much of a difference. I swtiched to the new Clover hook for the main work, the one in orchid purple, and found it just delightful to use. The grip material is just a bit sticky, so no slippage. The other hook is a Clover ergonomic hook, which is also good for me because of the robust handle.
Add the new colours as you will, I tried many variations on the stripes, each one had it's own charm. I like the way the work looks like a little canoe at the beginning. Make me think of summer and camping. 
Keep going around and around in a spiral, until you have a pencil case sized bag.
Then fold it diagonally and sew up the seam. Double thickness works for me. I also sew a ring to one corner, using Coats button and craft thread for strength. Finished! and on to the mate agaraderra. In the magazine article they also suggest this technique for chair pads and cushions.
I used Tove for the agaraderra's. The previous ones had been made with Lopi, which was quite lovely, but having used Tove for other projects I know it is a stronger yarn for cooking purposes. Tove is special for felting, has a pretty colour range and attractive price. I have seen versions of this agaraderra on Ravelry made in cotton, though I prefer the heat resistence and felting of wool which happens as the agaraderra's get laundered.