Estelle Yarns Blog

A blog to excite and inspire knitters and crocheters from around the world.

Category: 40th Anniversary

New Yarn- Estelle Worsted Heather and Estelle Chunky Heather

In celebration of our fortieth anniversary last year, we launched two yarns that we had hoped would become staples in every knitter and crocheter’s stash. Available in a wide range of colours, and at a great price point, we introduced Estelle Worsted and Estelle Chunky to you all.

Based on the response that we have received since the launch, it is safe to say that these two yarns have both fulfilled the role that we were hoping they would, they both make great ‘go-to’ yarns, no matter what your knitting/crochet style may be! Both yarns are composed of 50% acrylic, 40% wool and 10% nylon, making them soft to wear, a pleasure to knit, and easy to wash.

Despite the success of this yarn, we have been hearing some rumblings that people have been hoping for some heathered shades to round out the existing vast, solid palette. Well, when the people speak- we listen! And we are so happy to report that we have just added twelve shades of heathered tones to the Estelle Worsted and the Estelle Chunky collections.

These new shades are beautifully subtle, and classic. After playing around with all of the twelve colours, we felt as though no matter which two (or three!) skeins we paired together, any combination will look simply stellar. This collection of heathers will make perfect accessories for your man’s leather jacket, a cozy cardigan for your sister whose laundering habits might require something on the slightly more ‘forgiving’ side, or fingerless gloves for your neighbour who has offered to blow out your driveway more than once this year. It is truly a versatile yarn- and available in two gauges!

Available to ship to your local yarn store by mid-February, the Estelle Worsted Heather and Estelle Chunky Heather are on our website for viewing and ordering as of today.

Should you be keen for some further ‘yarnspiration’, be sure to check out what people have been making with our yarn on Ravelry! Simply click the ‘yarn’ tab, and type in Estelle Worsted or Estelle Chunky for lots more great ideas!

Happy knitting everyone!

Introducing Estelle Chunky

Being that Estelle Yarns is celebrating 40 years of business this year, we wanted to introduce a timeless yarn to our Estelle range, as a way of marking this very special occasion. We were aiming for the kind of yarn that could be a staple in any knitter’s stash, knitting bag or local yarn store. A yarn that knitters and crocheters will continue to ask for in their local yarn store forty years down the road from now. The kind of yarn that will produce blankets, sweaters and mittens that will continue to be worn, loved and cared for another forty years after that.

Estelle Chunky is a yarn that is vast in it’s colour palette, easy to care for, soft to the touch, and available at a price point that is accessible to everyone. It is the kind of yarn that someone with even the mildest of yarn habits may feel so inclined to pick up multiples of, ‘just in case’. One never knows when a last minute hat may need to be knit up to match a nephew’s new snowsuit! Or when a friend may ask for a pair of striped mittens to be knit for their husband to celebrate a looming anniversary. It is always best that one be prepared, and having a few skeins of some staple yarns on hand is never a bad idea!

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Composed of 50% Acrylic, 40% Wool and 10% Nylon, this yarn is easy to launder- which is key when knitting or crocheting for other people as gifts. With Estelle Chunky, there will be no dreaded phone calls from your loved ones to declare “You will never guess what happened to that throw you made us for our wedding… Donny tossed it into the dryer, and now it’s the size of a place mat!” You can gift projects made with this yarn with confidence, knowing that they will remain (more or less) the same size as the years go by. (Sidenote: We recommend ALWAYS avoiding the dryer with anything that is hand knit or crocheted, but should Estelle Chunky somehow find it’s way into the dryer by accident, it won’t shrink into something unusable- just to be clear!)

As a fibre, wool gets a bad rap as a result of too many pairs of really itchy mittens having been made for people over the years from relatives near and far. However, 100% synthetic yarns do not allow our skin to breath in the same way that natural fibres do, which can leave us feeling clammy and chilled. But when natural fibres are combined with synthetic fibres, magic happens! The end result is an incredibly soft, wonderfully breathable garment that holds it’s shape over years of being loved. When natural and unnatural are mixed, we are presented with the best of both worlds. The wool is no longer itchy, and the acrylic is now breathable, keeping us cozier, and warmer in the end. In this country, isn’t that exactly what we look for in a yarn?

And lastly, the gauge! Chunky yarn is what one needs when time is of the essence! Estelle Chunky knits up quickly on a 6mm needle, giving 14 stitches over 4″. With lots of patterns available online, and at your local yarn store, the project possibilities are endless.

Should you prefer to work with something a little thinner? Not a problem! We have you covered. Estelle Worsted is available in the same great range of forty colours, and at the same great price- only thinner!

Estelle Chunky is now available in stores across Canada, so call your local yarn shop to have a few skeins set aside for you today. And be sure to let us know what you are planning to make with it. Our biggest inspiration is all of you- so keep us posted!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Celebrating 40 Years of Business with Iris Peacock- Founder of Estelle Designs and Sales Limited

It is an exciting year for us at Estelle Designs and Sales Limited, as we are celebrating 40 years of business! Our business has grown, and we have watched the industry evolve, but no one has seen these changes take place more so than the founder of Estelle Designs- Mrs. Iris Peacock.

We sat down with Mrs. Peacock to have a chat about the past 40 years at Estelle Designs, and are happy to share some of that conversation with you here today.

40th

What inspired you to start Estelle Designs?
I had the opportunity to work on proofing embroidery samples for a major company, and this sparked my interest.

Did you have any experience in the textile/handcraft industry before starting Estelle Designs?
Not exactly, but I was up for the challenge. My love of handwork, design and colour has been with me from a very early age.  I studied at Harrogate School of Art, and one of the courses was the history of embroidery. We made samplers of all the different stitches, and I really enjoyed it!

Where does the name Estelle come from?
Estelle is a name my parents gave to me- it’s my middle name!

Mr and Mrs Peacock

Mrs & Mr Peacock

Tell us about the early days of the business. Where did you operate out of? How long was it before you hired staff?
I operated the business out of my home in the beginning, and our son Philip was involved- Estelle has always been a family business. The Estelle line of stitchery grew, and we were noticed by a major company and received a very large order- this is what put us on the map!

Estelle Designs is a family business, and you have four children. How have they been involved in the business over the years?
We rented a warehouse in the East end of Toronto, which Chris was in charge of. Our daughter visited yarn shops across Ontario, and our son John moved to the west coast and began covering that area for us. To the areas of the country that we simply couldn’t get to, we sent samples out to our limited number of sales reps.

Today, Chris and John are still very active in the business, but my son Phillip and my daughter have gone on to do other things.

You haven’t always sold knitting supplies. How did the transition from needlepoint to knitting supplies take place?
When stitchery started to take a downturn, we decided to explore the yarn industry. After receiving favourable results, we took the plunge and I said to my husband, “I think that we are on to something!”

What is your favourite part about running the business?
I love meeting our customers, and I loved travelling around Ontario, selling.

Do you still knit or do needlepoint? And if so, what are you working on these days?
No, those days are behind me now.

How are you involved in the business today?
I am still president!  However, I am not often found at the office these days- I like to sleep in!

How have you seen the handcraft industry evolve over the years?
It has changed so much! When we first entered the industry, there was a trade show where we would show our products to potential customers, but that show no longer exists.

Women are working outside the home now, and young ladies are knitting on their way to work. Their interests involve smaller, portable projects. Yarn fits this need, and it can be picked up at any moment. So many young people are knitting!

Looking back over the past 40 years, what is your fondest memory of the business that you have grown? And what are you most proud of?
I am so proud that we are still here! I have been extremely fortunate to have the family that I do. We could not have reached 40 years without the support and guidance of Philip, my husband, and the loyalty of all our family and friends. There have been difficult times, but we are Yorkshire people who “stick with it”, and we are so grateful that in some small way, we have been able to give back.  Thank you to all our wonderful customers.

And thank YOU Mrs. Peacock, for taking the time to speak with us today. Congratulations on 40 years of success in the industry!