Manos del Uruguay 50th Anniversary

This year Manos del Uruguay celebrates 50 years of producing some of the finest Fair Trade yarns available. At Estelle, we couldn’t be prouder to be the Canadian distributor for this wonderful company.

While most of you are already familiar with Manos del Uruguay, let us take a minute to talk about this amazing cooperative. Manos del Uruguay is a non-profit social organization that strives to generate and develop work sources for women in the interior of Uruguay. The craftswomen themselves are the owners of Manos del Uruguay, and the objective is to generate work for rural women, allowing them to stay in their own home towns to earn their living, and to develop themselves as human beings.

All Manos del Uruguay yarns have an identification tag on them, with the signature of the craftswoman who made it, along with the name of the locality and the cooperative where it was made. You can actually go online and see the woman who dyed your yarn and her location! How’s that for a connection?!

If you’d like to know more, Manos del Uruguay has produced this insightful video to talk about their history, what they stand for and how they have helped women in the countryside of Uruguay for over fifty years.

Not only does Manos del Uruguay offer breathtaking colourways and exquisite yarns, they also have an extensive selection of tasteful patterns designed with hand painted yarns in mind.

Paisano Vest is the latest and greatest in the free pattern line-up from Manos del Uruguay. Knit in super soft Serpentina on 9mm and 10mm needles, this is one project that is guaranteed to fly off your needles in no time.

Paisano Vest is a simple vest designed to highlight the rustic look and soft feel of Serpentina. Available in two sizes, it is knit flat from the bottom up. Paisano Vest features a fashionable split hem in the back and decorative faux seaming. This trend setting vest is an excellent layering piece that is sure to be a hit this Fall. Knit it for yourself or whip one up as a last-minute gift for a special friend, they’ll never forget you for it!

Serpentina is both hand dyed and hand spun, making it truly an artisan experience! Gorgeous colours run throughout this 100% merino yarn at random which enhance its unique quality. The result is a fabric that is soft and squishy to the touch with plush stitch definition.

Serpentina gets its name from the delicate colour twirling effect, reminiscent of the paper streamers, or serpentina in Spanish, that are thrown at Carnival parties. If you’re in the mood to party with an incomparably elegant yarn, stop in to your LYS, grab a ball or two (or three or four!) of Serpentina and let the fun begin!

Join us as we wish Manos del Uruguay Happy Anniversary! And be sure to stay tuned here for more details of what’s to come from for Fall 2018.

 

New SuperSoxx & TwinSoxx from Lang Yarns

What’s the one thing knitters have an abundance of in their stash? Why sock yarn of course! Knitters never get tired of the new and exciting colourways, the different patterns, and the different ways the yarns are presented.

Look in any knitter’s stash bag/cupboard/room and you will always find at least two or three (or ten or twenty!) balls of sock yarn. That’s because there are a multitude of options with just one ball of sock yarn. Of course, there’s the obvious – socks! But one ball of sock yarn is also enough to make a gorgeous shawl, a newborn baby sweater, fingerless gloves, a hat, legwarmers, mittens, or even a necktie!

We have a great new sock yarn from Lang Yarns that we can’t wait to introduce you to. Lang SuperSoxx is a high quality, easy to care for sock yarn that has been dyed for fantastic effect. Lang TwinSoxx is the same product, but with an excellent addition – halfway through the ball, there’s a contrasting coloured section to mark where the colour sequence will begin again. The perfect solution to perfectly matching socks!

Just to keep you on your toes (pardon the pun), Lang switch the collections up every month. One month your LYS will receive a delivery of SuperSoxx, and the next month will be TwinSoxx, and so on. What a great way to keep things fresh and fun!

We’ve got a sneak peak of the collections for the next few months, some of which you may have been lucky enough to see already in your LYS. Have a look at these beauties and mark your calendar so you can make sure you get to your LYS in time!

June 2018 SuperSoxx Collection

July 2018 TwinSoxx Collection

August 2018 SuperSoxx Collection

September 2018 TwinSoxx Collection

October 2018 SuperSoxx Collection

Lang Yarns never disappoint when it comes to sock yarn. After all, they’ve been making high quality yarns for 150 years, so they’ve pretty much perfected the practice. SuperSoxx/TwinSoxx are comprised of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, guaranteeing long lasting and durable socks that are machine washable. You’ll be putting your best foot forward every time you step out in your new socks from Lang Yarns.

Ask for SuperSoxx/TwinSoxx at your LYS today and surrender yourself to the serenity of sock knitting.

 

 

Our Biggest Contest Giveaway Ever!!

In last Friday’s blog post we told you all about Wool Addicts, an exciting new collection from Lang Yarns. So exciting in fact, that we’ve decided that a hot new collection like this deserves a monumental contest!

Now that you’ve read about Wool Addicts, are you bursting to find out the details of our latest, and by far our biggest, contest giveaway? We have five incredible Wool Addicts kits to give away to five incredibly lucky knitters! All you need to do is go to our Facebook page and like and share this post. That’s it! Your name will automatically go into a draw to win one of these ultra cool kits, and on Friday, August 3rd we will randomly select five fortunate fibre fanatics and make their day. Take a look at the five super cool and awe-inspiring kits that are up for grabs. Which one is on your must have list?

The Mint to Be Scarf begs to be worn and worn with pride! Wrap yourself in luxurious softness in this delicate, cozy, crazy long scarf knit in Wool Addicts Air. Air is perfect for all cable knits and adds some extra texture to this triple braided scarf in a beautiful mermaid colour.

The Pebbles Hat is knit in Wool Addicts Earth, a sublime blend of alpaca and merino. Let the soothing rhythm of a simple pattern and an exquisite yarn melt away all your cares and transport you to your happy place.

We love the intentionally messy look of the Achieve-Mint fingerless gloves! Knit in Wool Addicts Water, these are the perfect compliment to the Mint to Be Scarf, or on their own to decorate the sleeves of your favourite coat.

We call the combination of Jen’s Wristlets and the Berries Hat the dream team! Both hat and wristlets are knit with Wool Addicts Fire, a multi-talented chunky merino. Extraordinarily soft, Fire is sure to put a smile on your face. Never apologize for the fire in you!

Our final prize is a double whammy! Nothing is as much en vogue as headbands and the Braid Mate Headband knit in Wool Addicts Fire is no exception. If you have ever wanted to hold fire in your hands, now is your chance. The Kinda Bow Scarf is definitely a statement piece. Feel like a stylish French girl with this one ball accessory knit in Wool Addicts Air.

There you have it, five incredible prizes!! We’ve never had a giveaway of this magnitude before! Once again, all you need to do is like and share this post on our Facebook page and then sit back and cross your fingers.

If you just can’t wait to see if you’ll be one of the lucky winners, take a trip to your favourite LYS and keep your eyes peeled for all the Wool Addicts swag and promotional materials. Your LYS will  have posters and stickers in their doors and windows to let you know that this shop is a proud supplier of Wool Addicts.

This contest is open to Canadian residents only, including LYS owners and employees! 

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone, and good luck!

 

Wool Addicts by Lang

Never before have we seen the kind of buzz about a new yarn collection as we have about Wool Addicts! The brain child of the folks at Lang Yarns, Wool Addicts was a year and a half in the making while they perfected the brand. And trust us, perfect is an understatement!

Wool Addicts had its official release on July 1st and judging by the response on both Facebook and Instagram, we can see that knitters are chomping at the bit to get their hands on cutting edge designs and fibres in their LYS.

Targeting younger and newer knitters, Wool Addicts embraces the uncomfortable “what if’s” new knitters have, and encourages them to own their mistakes and experience that feeling of finishing that just can’t be bought.

Wool Addicts is all about going back to basics, simple lines and designs in sophisticated natural fibres. This collection of five exquisite yarns focuses on the four elements of nature, Fire, Water, Earth and Air, plus the one thing human beings need to survive: Love.

Wool Addicts feature eleven colourways in each of the five yarns. In keeping with the back to basic idea, there are eight natural, muted shades plus three trending colours. Each colour represents its own theme when combined with the eight warm neutral tones. Ocean Spray embraces the sea, salt air, sand dunes and seashells with shades of aqua, mint and petrol. Cute, but…combines dreamy pinks and glorious greys in stylish but casual patterns that will appeal to any young knitter looking to dress without stress! The last theme is Shine Out, featuring decorative seams and asymmetric shapes with a vibrant pop of gold, the “cool girl” colour of this season. Shine Out reminds us that all is not gold that glitters!

Fire

Super chunky and extra-fine merino at its best! Fire is a super-soft yarn for big-knit looks. This is the chunkiest member of the Wool Addicts family–perfect for accessories and bulky knit sweaters.

Water

100% crimped baby alpaca for soft and voluminous looks without being too fuzzy. Water is the most textured member of the Wool Addicts family.

Earth

Blended alpaca and merino fibres with an extraordinarily soft touch. Earth is the most crisp member of the Wool Addicts family.

Air

Coloured merino fibres are airspun around a core of nylon. The result is a cloudy, foamy look in vibrant colours. Air is the loftiest member of the Wool Addicts family.

Love

A chained thread made of supersoft merino. Love is the leanest of all the Wool Addicts family and creates super-lightweight pieces.

All of the patterns featured above, and way too many more to list, are available in Wool Addicts Book #1. Bulky sweaters, cowls, scarves, fingerless mitts, a kimono…how will you decide which one to knit first? There are oodles of patterns for each of the yarns ranging from easy accessories to full garments and are available in English, French, Dutch and German.

We are confident that you are going to love these delicious new yarns, but we feel we should issue some sort of warning… as the name implies, Wool Addicts may become addictive! Ask for Wool Addicts at your LYS and let the addiction begin!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Knit the Knitterati Squares with Marsha – Block #6

The sixth block of the Cascade Knitterati KAL was released only yesterday and we were stunned to see on Ravelry this morning the amount of progress knitters made overnight! You are certainly a creative bunch! It’s so interesting to see you coming up with your own different ways to approach the different stitches, and then sharing your tips! If you’ve not been following the Ravelry thread for this KAL, you definitely should be!

Block #5 required a little less intense pattern following than some of the previous patterns, which was warmly welcomed. Make no mistake, we love a good, challenging pattern, but we also get great satisfaction from a simple pattern that gives outstanding results.

This delicate pattern was fast and pleasing to knit. We feel this is an excellent pattern for someone new to knitting from charts. The explanation of “no stitch”, something rookie chart readers find so daunting, was so well explained in the pattern notes that any new knitter could tackle this without fear. We really love the attention to detail in these patterns.

Block #6 is an introduction to lifelines for those who have never used them before. Knitted short rows combined with picked up stitches created a raised, textured surface. Lifelines are inserted to assist in identifying stitches when creating the welts.

Marsha has been knitting away at her KAL blocks but assures us that the time frame is just perfect. With three weeks to complete each block, she never feels overwhelmed by pressure and still finds time to work on other projects. “Block #6 is a fun knit and works up quite quickly. The pattern is easy to memorize and follow, and it’s been interesting learning another new technique.”

We’re getting in to some bolder colours in our colour scheme now and it’s going to be fascinating to see how all the different patterns and colours come together. We are loving the colours of Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in our blanket but we can also imagine all the other possible combinations. With over seventy colours available the options are endless.

What colours did you pick for the Knitterati KAL? Did you purchase a kit of the suggested colours by Cascade, or did you choose your own colours of 220 Superwash Merino? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a picture, we love hearing from you!

The Cascade Knitterati Lapghan KAL is absolutely perfect for a summer project! Small squares that you can take anywhere and complete in a short time, what’s not to love? Don’t miss out on all the excitement this summer, register here to receive the patterns via email and take a trip to your LYS to pick up some Cascade 220 Superwash Merino. Let the fun begin!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

King Cole Funny Yummy

Summer has officially arrived which means as fibre lovers our focus tends to shift to smaller, more portable projects in soft and lightweight yarns. Knitters want projects that knit up quickly and easily that they can throw in a beach bag or take to the cottage.

We have a fabulous and fun new yarn from King Cole that we think you will love for summer knitting, as well as some terrific new colours in Cascade Ultra Pima so read on for all the details!

King Cole Funny Yummy

The folks at King Cole have outdone themselves once again! Just when you thought they had adorable covered, they present us with Funny Yummy!

Beyond adorable is all we can say about this plushy, soft, nubbly yarn. So soft it’s almost impossible not to squeeze and snuggle. Available in four dreamy shades that are sure to inspire any knitter or crocheter.

It will be love at first feel the moment you get your hands on a ball of Funny Yummy. You will want to wrap every wee baby you know in a blanket, or make one of King Cole‘s darling little sheep or piggie stuffies. Funny Yummy knits at an incredible five stitches to four inches on 12mm needles, making fast weekend projects easy to complete.

We think you will agree that Funny Yummy is the perfect choice for baby blankets, toys and anything that needs to be soft and sensational!

Visit our website to view the large selection of King Cole yarns and patterns.

Cascade Ultra Pima

Our favourite yarn for summer knits has had ten new solid shades added to its already remarkable line-up. Now with over eighty delectable shades to choose from, you can be sure to find every colour you could imagine!

Ultra Pima has a soft, delicate hand and, unlike other cotton yarns on the market, it’s not stiff or rigid therefore allowing for beautiful drape. Ultra Pima is mercerized using a different process which we believe puts it in a league of its own.

We also have five new shades in Ultra Pima Tonal which couldn’t have come at a better time! Tonal yarns are all the rage right now as they are perfect for adding a little colour variation or as a compliment to a solid.

We just know that you’re going to love Ultra Pima for all your summer knitting needs. A superb choice for shawls, tops, bikinis, and market bags. And let’s not forget Knitted Knockers —  Ultra Pima is the number one yarn choice for Knitted Knockers due to its softness and washability.

Visit our website to view all of the colours available in Ultra Pima and Ultra Pima Tonal, and to see the full selection of Cascade Yarns.

Don’t forget to stop by your Local Yarn Shop to feel for yourself the softness of King Cole Funny Yummy and to see the massive colour selection available in Cascade Ultra Pima. There’s really nothing like the wonderful experience of a yarn shop! What’s your favourite LYS? Let us know in the comments section below, we love hearing what you have to say.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

New from Estelle Yarns

Gradient yarns are certainly enjoying the limelight this year. A slow colour transition with each shade fading gradually in to the next, it’s no wonder gradients have taken centre stage in the knitting industry.

We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of the Estelle gradient family, Rainbow Autumn.

Rainbow Autumn is a luscious blend of 50% wool and 50% cotton, the perfect combination for drape and excellent stitch definition. Wool blended with cotton enhances its ability to retain its shape, and greatly improves wrinkle recovery. By combining the memory of wool with the cooling effect of cotton, this superior blend offers unrivalled resiliency, breathability and flexibility.

Rainbow Autumn is a slow colour gradient which means there are no colour repeats, no colour pooling, no extra colours to buy and best of all, less ends to weave in!

Rainbow Autumn is available in six scrumptiously delectable shades. With colour names such as Peanut Butter and Sour Candy these mouth-watering gradients look good enough to eat!

Rainbow Autumn packs a walloping 680 meters per 200-gram ball! That’s more than enough for a generous shawl, a toddler sweater or even a small baby blanket. The possibilities are endless!

Ask the staff at your favourite LYS if they have Rainbow Autumn on order for Fall. This is one gradient yarn you don’t want to miss out on!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Yarn Forward, The End of an Era

We know that all good things must come to an end at some point, but we cannot help but wish they didn’t have to. It is with sadness that we bid a fond farewell to Carol and all the staff at Yarn Forward, a long-standing staple on the fibre scene in Ottawa, and an equally long-standing supporter of Estelle Yarns.

“Carol Manship was determined and always had a strong sense of what she wanted for her store,” said Chris Peacock of Estelle Yarns. He fondly remembers being a young salesman and presenting Carol with a new sock yarn called Invicta. “Little did I know but the word Invicta had a strong meaning for Carol, not only is this the motto of the County of Kent (where Carol grew up in the UK), but it was also the name of Roger and Carol’s boat, which they kept in the Thousand Islands.”

That was just the beginning of a lasting relationship. Over the years we’ve enjoyed every meeting and every phone call with Carol. She will be greatly missed by our Sales Reps, as well as the Estelle office staff who have come to know Carol quite well.

We can’t imagine that any knitter in Canada hasn’t at least heard of Yarn Forward or shopped there online or in person. June 30th will truly be a sad day for knitters, but for Carol, this is a time for a new chapter in life. Have a listen to what Carol had to say in this CBC Radio One interview, or you can view the CBC News article here.

For more than twenty years Carol has operated shops in both Kanata and The Glebe, and has assisted and inspired thousands of knitters. Perhaps you learned how to knit at Yarn Forward, or maybe they helped you pick out the perfect yarn for your most prized project. Do you have a favourite memory of Yarn Forward? Let us know in the comments section below.

We close with these final, and truly appropriate words from Chris Peacock, “Invicta, meaning undefeated, was a motto Carol brought with her to Canada and carried with her throughout her career. She is still making her own decisions for which we have great admiration. Thank you, Carol, for the memories and best wishes for what the future may bring.”

New Sock Twins!

What is the one thing knitters just can’t seem to get enough of? Why, sock yarn of course! We know that you’re always looking for something new, fun and innovative when it comes to your sock knitting and Estelle has just what you need to keep you in your happy place.

Estelle Sock Twins couldn’t have come at a better time – socks are the number one Summer knitting project! Lightweight and portable, sock knitting is perfect at the cottage, on the beach or in the car on a road trip. And what’s better for portability than having your sock yarn pre-wound and all matched up and ready to go?

Estelle Sock Twins are dyed so that two perfectly matching socks can be knit. Fantastic for those who want identical socks without the work of finding the repeat. Sock Twins are available in ten gorgeous, slowly graduating shades that are sure to make you want one in every colour!

Sock Twins are made with a hard-wearing blend of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. Each 50-gram ball contains 200 meters that are impeccably matched, for a total of 400 meters per set. Whatever your preference, toe up or top down, your socks will match!!

They say good things come in pairs and we couldn’t agree more. Estelle Sock Twins will make a perfect pair of perfectly matched socks so that you will always put your best foot forward!

Stop in to your favourite LYS today and check out Estelle Sock Twins, we’re sure you’ll be thrilled!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Knit the Knitterati Squares with Marsha – Block 5

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that we are one third of the way through the Cascade Knitterati Knit Along. Four squares down, eight to go! If ever there was a way to knit a lapghan, this is it! There is absolutely no pressure in knitting one twelve-inch square every three weeks. The patterns are intriguing enough to keep you interested, and small enough to ensure the three week suggested deadline is easily attainable.

Block #4 required a fair amount of concentration, lots and lots of cables! Marsha said she really loved having both the written and charted instructions for this block – it was so helpful to be able to read the pattern row and then have the visual from the chart before starting.When the butterfly emerged in all her glory, it was well worth the meticulous attention paid to this well written pattern. What clever use of cables and twists in this charming design by Shannon Dunbabin.

Block #5 was released Wednesday and Knitterati participants on Ravelry were thrilled by a welcome break from cables!This elegant design by acclaimed designer Susan B. Anderson draws long loops up between decreased stitches to create a pretty, textured fabric reminiscent of delicate Summer blossoms. Clearly an addictive pattern, one Ravelry knitter had her square done in three hours! Marsha did say this block was a faster knit than the previous blocks, you can see below that she got quite a bit done as well.We just can’t say enough about Cascade 220 Superwash Merino. Stitch after stitch it is consistently evenly spun, well plied and a pure delight to work with. It delicately slides through your hands and never dries out or chafes your skin. They say that once you go merino you’ll never go back, and now we truly understand why!

It’s not too late to sign up for the Cascade Knitterati KAL, simply click here to register. Now all that’s left is for you to stop in to your favourite LYS and purchase your pre-packaged KAL kit, or pick out your own custom colours in Cascade 220 Superwash Merino, grab your needles and get knitting! These patterns are so addictive you’ll be caught up before you know it!

Don’t forget to keep sending us pictures of your finished blocks and your WIP’s, we love seeing your progress!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!