Estelle Yarns Blog

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

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 15)

Toronto Knitters Frolic 2018

Does a one-day fibre extravaganza sound too good to be true? Just imagine an entire day with more than 50 vendors offering you the best selection of the best hand dyed, hand spun and commercial yarns, fibres, needles, hooks and notions. No you’re not dreaming, it’s the Toronto Knitters Frolic and the countdown to this fibre celebration is on!!

This annual event is organized by a crew of dedicated volunteers from the Toronto Knitters Guild and is held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre on Saturday, April 28th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The doors open at 9:00 a.m. sharp and there is always a queue of fibre enthusiasts eagerly waiting so be sure to arrive early. There is an $8 cash only admission fee and children under 12 get in for free.

There is an information kiosk in the common area upon entrance, and vendor maps will be available to guide you to your favourite vendors, but if you’re anything like us you’ll just want to wander around the whole event breathing in all those fibre related smells and enjoying the tactile experience. There are lounge areas for when you need a break from lugging around all your new-found goodies, and a winding station where, for a nominal fee, you can wind up your new yarn and start knitting right away. They’ve thought of everything!

While we don’t have a booth at the Frolic ourselves, there will be lots of LYS providing you with all our great yarns. And be sure to check out our friends at the Knitted Knockers booth, we’ve donated some fabulous goodies for their fun door prize giveaways. They have prizes for the knitter who has dropped off the most Knitted Knockers, the most uniquely made Knitted Knocker, and then a draw for everyone that has dropped off any Knockers. How fun!!

If you are a knitter, crocheter, spinner, weaver, dyer, or just a general fibre lover and you live in, or plan on being in the GTA on April 28th, this is one event you do not want to miss! There is no doubt we will see you there!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Local Yarn Store Day

Mark your calendars!! April 21, 2018 marks the first annual Local Yarn Store Day. Created by the TNNA Yarn Group, LYS Day is designed to show support for small businesses worldwide, while driving awareness and celebrating the craft.With the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, we all need to let our LYS know just how much we value and support them. A fibre lovers passion is so tactile that without the ability to see and touch, many patterns and designs might never have become a reality.

Everyone remembers the person who taught them to knit, crochet, spin or weave. In fact, most feel forever indebted to that individual who took the time to foster their new-found love of fibre. For many, this life changing event took place in their LYS. People looking for a hobby found a passion inside them that they never knew existed. Small communities developed out of classes and knit nights, and in many cases, life long friendships were formed. The camaraderie created is like a second family for some. The love of fibre is notorious for bringing people together. And all thanks to the hard working and dedicated staff at your LYS. Where would we be without them?

So make sure you save some time on April 21st to stop by your LYS and show your appreciation and your commitment to shopping locally. Teach a friend how to knit and bring them with you, let them see for themselves just how invaluable Local Yarn Stores are.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Knit the Knitterati Squares with Marsha – Block 2

The second pattern for the Cascade Knitterati KAL was released yesterday to eager knitter’s across the globe. Ravelry was abuzz with knitters sharing their enthusiasm and expressing their anticipation to get started. The best part about a knit along is seeing all the other colour combinations that are possible, so we would absolutely love it if you would send us pictures of your afghan squares. We want to share the fun of a knit along and share your progress as well as Marsha’s. Email photos of your WIP’s and your finished blocks to cascadegradientlapghan@estelledesigns.ca.

Block #2 is an all over diamond cable pattern adorned with garter and seed stitch centres, and framed with a garter stitch border. The body of the square is knit first in an addictive and fast knitting cable pattern. Stitches on the sides are then picked up separately to create the flat, smooth border.Marsha has made great progress on her second square and by the looks of things, she’ll be done long before the third pattern is released! Look at how well the stitches pop in Cascade 220 Superwash Merino, the tight twist lends itself perfectly to cables.

If you’re not already participating in the Cascade Knitterati Knit Along, it’s not too late to sign up. All you have to do is enter your email address here, head down to your LYS to pick up some Cascade 220 Superwash Merino, and start knitting!

Don’t forget to send pictures of your progress to cascadegradientlapghan@estelledesigns.ca.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Cascade Knitterati KAL

The first pattern for the Knitterati KAL from Cascade Yarns was released a few short weeks ago and Marsha has finished her square, have you? As promised, we have pictures of Marsha’s progress, but what we really want to see are your afghan squares. In progress, finished, however you want to send the photos, we want to see them! We just can’t wait to see what colours you used, and how the pattern itself looks in the different colourways. We would simply love it if you would send your pictures to cascadegradientlapghan@estelledesigns.ca so that we can follow your progress and share photos of your work with other enthusiastic Knitteratis!

Not signed up for the Knitterati KAL yet? It’s not too late to start, just click here for the first pattern and start knitting!

Marsha diligently took photos as she went along, and we’ve shared them with you below.  See her first square unblocked, being blocked, and the finished results. This is a terrific example of the importance of blocking and how it truly does open up your knitting and allow your yarn to bloom.

It really is amazing how much the stitches opened up with a gentle blocking. Using a high quality yarn also helps with blocking, and Cascade 220 Superwash Merino certainly fits the bill! This buttery soft wool is beautiful to work with, has the warmth of merino and is washer/dryer friendly, it just doesn’t get any better than that!

The cables stand out exceptionally after blocking, they have so much more depth and texture. These pictures certainly emphasize the importance of blocking as the final step in the knitting process.

Once again, we urge you to send your photos and comments to cascadegradientlapghan@estelledesigns.ca. We want to share the knit along experience and our love for Cascade 220 Superwash Merino with all of you.

One square down, 15 to go! We encourage you to join us on our Casacade Gradient Lapghan Knitterati journey.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

Knit the Knitterati Squares with Marsha

We love Cascade 220 Superwash Merino and we love a mystery knit along so we thought it would be fun to participate in the Knitterati KAL offered by Cascade Yarns and document our progress here. We are hoping some of you will jump on the bandwagon with us, if you haven’t already, and send us pictures of your progress as well.

Our volunteer knitter is none other than Team Estelle member, Marsha. LYS owners and staff on the West Coast and in Ontario will recognize Marsha as their stellar Sales Representative who always tempts them with the goodies that they in turn tempt their customers with. Marsha is a talented and avid knitter, as you will see for yourselves as she documents her afghan squares.

In order to participate, visit the Cascade website and sign up here for their newsletter. Once you’ve signed up you will receive the patterns via email every three weeks. Sixteen 12″ squares in total, with the first square being released last week.

Small cables adorn a woven Stamen slip-stitch pattern background for the first pattern installment. This pattern contains both written and charted instructions, as well as informative notes and a helpful video link. What a wonderful way to try out new stitch patterns and techniques!

We couldn’t be more pleased to be knitting this with one of our all time favourites, Cascade 220 Superwash Merino. This buttery soft wool has a high twist which exquisitely highlights cables and textured stitches. Every stitch knit with Cascade 220 Superwash Merino is pure bliss.

If the softness of Cascade 220 Superwash Merino wasn’t enough to tempt you, the colours for this gradient afghan surely will! Two colour combinations have been suggested and we think you will love them as much as we do!2Soft lilacs that flow through tranquil greys and blues into warm shades of green comprise the colours of the first colour suggestion from Cascade. These dreamy colours highlight one another perfectly and would look elegant in any living room.3The second suggested colour combination embodies beauty. Seashell pink transitions to rich aubergine, gold, indigo and deep chive green. Every colour is a work of art and the combination of colours will result in a true masterpiece.

To follow along with Marsha, simply sign up for our blog posts at the top of the page to automatically receive email notification. Have a look at how far Marsha has come with her first block already!We strongly encourage you to knit along with us! And be sure to send pictures of your progress and your finished blocks to cascadegradientlapghan@estelledesigns.ca.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

 

 

 

A Uneek Contest

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Calling all contest lovers!! It’s our first contest of the year and we couldn’t be more excited! We have two incredible Papillon Shawl Kits to give away to two lucky knitters so read on for all the details!

The Papillon Shawl pattern was created by designer Marin Melchior in 2015, and has since been tackled by intrepid knitters all over the world. It boasts an impressive 341 project pages on Ravelry, not bad considering Marin states that the pattern would never have been written without the insistence and “shoving” by the staff at her LYS! We’re so glad they pushed!!

The Papillon Shawl pattern actually looks a lot harder than it really is. Short row sections in the main colour, a long transition gradient, combined with ridges of garter stitch in the contrast colour, a striking solid, create a stained glass effect that makes for an addictive and gratifying knit.

Every effort has been made in this design to create a pattern that the “average knitter can find success with”. Carefully written instructions are colour coded to ensure easy interpretation, and there are tons of pictures throughout to help guide you along your journey.Uneek Papillon editThe Papillon Shawl calls for a fingering weight yarn with a long colour transition and we think Urth Yarns Uneek Fingering is the perfect fit! Each and every skein of Uneek Fingering is truly a work of art with its rich, vibrant colours, its earthy feel, and the exceptional softness in every skein. This outstanding 100% Superwash Extrafine Merino has sensational hand and comes in a true kaleidoscope of colours. For this contest we are including two skeins of Uneek Fingering in the Reggae colourway.uneekFor the contrast colour, we are using Harvest Fingering, also from Urth Yarns. Harvest is naturally dyed using fruits, roots and nuts to create deep, intense, natural tones. The colour names are all based upon the source of the colour from which the dye was derived. Our colour choice for The Papillon Shawl Kit is Thuja. Thuja is a coniferous tree and the tannins from the tree bark are used to create this wonderfully rich hue.Harvest-Thuja2If all of this isn’t tempting enough, let us tell you a little bit more about Urth Yarns. Urth is a company located in Turkey who produce high quality hand dyed yarns, support local women and make a huge commitment to the environment. Urth Yarns specialize in innovative dyeing techniques to create vibrant colours and unique self-striping yarns. Urth also works in partnership with Trees for the Future, an organization dedicated to ending extreme hunger and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. For every skein of Urth Yarns sold, a tree is planted in Africa!!

The lucky winners of the Papillon Shawl Kits will receive two skeins of Uneek Fingering and one skein of Harvest Fingering, as well as the complete, revised Papillon Shawl pattern.

Here’s all you need to know to enter:

Head on over to our Facebook page, like and share this post, and then sit back and cross your fingers! As simple as that!

This contest is open to all Canadian residents, as well as all LYS owners and staff. So what are you waiting for? Shawl season is right around the corner!!

Contest closes March 31st at midnight (EST). Winners will be selected using a random name generator and will be announced on April 1, 2018.

Cascade Knitterati KAL

Cascade has done it again! A beautiful collection of twenty-four gradient shades in 220 Superwash Merino is being released to support a new Knit-Along that will be launched in March at Chicago Vogue Knitting Live. GradientLapghan_Top1b_smCascade had so much fun with last year’s 30th Anniversary Afghan that they have created an all-new design for 2018. The folks at Cascade know that if anything motivates a knitter more than a knit-along, it’s a mystery knit-along! This Mystery Knit-Along is sure to be as exciting as it was last year. Knitters all over were sitting at their computers, eagerly waiting for the next pattern to land in their inbox. Once the pattern arrived the knitting frenzy began as inquisitive knitters couldn’t wait to see how the block would knit up.

 

The Knitterati Knit-Along starts in March, 2018 and a new pattern will be released every three weeks for a year. There will be sixteen squares in all, created by sixteen top designers.GradientLapghanAd_smWe couldn’t be happier with the choice of yarn for this Knit-Along, 220 Superwash Merino is one of our all time favourites!! Similar in gauge and in yardage to the classic Cascade 220, but with the softness of merino and the washability factor of a superwash. We just don’t think it could get any better than a buttery soft, machine washable merino. But it does get better! There are seventy-five incredibly rich, solid colours in the 220 Superwash Merino palette so there is sure to be something suitable for everyone!

 

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The Knitterati Knit-Along follows a gradient theme to correspond with a special gradient section that Vogue is featuring this Spring. There are sixteen colours of 220 Superwash Merino in this afghan — four graduating shades of four different colours.

There are two magnificent colour choices using the new shades available in 220 Superwash Merino for the Knitterai Knit-Along, and kits will be available in fine yarn shops across the country very soon.

 

Should you be thinking of subtle shades for your afghan, let us suggest the original colour option. Soft lilac that flows through tranquil grays and blues and in to warm shades of green. Perfection!

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Looking for something a little more bold? Why not try out the alternate colour option? Rich aubergine that coordinates exquisitely with shades of gold, blue and green.

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With such a massive colour palette available in 220 Superwash Merino the possibilities for the Knitterati Knit-Along are endless. What colours would you choose? Be sure to post pictures of your progress and your colour selections, we love seeing what you’re working on!

Please note that in order for you to participate in the Knitterati Knit-Along and to receive pattern releases for each square, you must sign up at www.cascadeyarn.com.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting everyone!!

New from King Cole

King Cole — a name we know and love. And love is exactly what we’re feeling for the newest additions to the King Cole range.

King Cole Logo

We’ve got two delightful new yarns to introduce to you today, as well as some fabulous new patterns to inspire warm weather knitting. And inspire they will!!

Curiosity

We know you love cakes, so feast your eyes on our luscious Curiosity DK. 100%  Premium Acrylic, with a jaw dropping 480 meters per ball!! That means one ball for a child’s sweater, and two for a small adult sweater!

Curiosity is available in nine swirling variegated shades that give a wonderful stripy effect in a long colour change. These kaleidoscopic colours will inspire the inner fibre artist in everyone.

 

And just to further entice you, a free pattern for a lace wrap is available with every purchase!!

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Look for Curiosity in fine yarn shops across Canada this Spring. Its unbelievable softness and alluring colourways will have you hooked in no time!

Calypso

When one thinks about warm weather yarns, it’s hard not to think about King Cole.

King Cole produce a wealth of yarns for the Spring and Summer months with a strong focus on pattern support.

Calypso will be taking yarn shops by storm this Spring! Colours that are reminiscent of summer with shade names such as Sandy Beach, Clearwater Blue and Lilac Breeze, and the eye catching pink flamingos that grace the ball-bands will truly get you in the mood for summer.

calypso

Calypso is available in eight gorgeous tropical colours, each with a twist of white. This Premium Acrylic creates beautiful garments suitable for everyone.

If all of the above isn’t tempting enough, wait until you see the massive pattern support for Calypso! Eight leaflets comprising of two patterns each — they’ve thought of everything! From kids tops, to a classic baggy v-neck boyfriend sweater, to ruffles and lace. Amazing!

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If you’re looking for inspiration for warm weather knits, look no further! Curiosity and Calypso will motivate your inner artist and have you creating the summer wardrobe you’ve always craved.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Cascade Luminosa

Cascade Luminosa — the name says it all! Luminous colours and a beautiful blend of fibres resulting in a luxurious, shimmery ball of goodness that you won’t want to put down. A blend of 52% viscose, 44% baby alpaca, and 4% wool, Luminosa is sumptuously warm and impeccably soft. A worsted weight yarn, Luminosa packs 220 meters in a 100 gram ball, making it a perfect choice for one ball wonders.

Luminosa is a jewel toned, chainette tube filled with black alpaca fibres which bloom gloriously and create an ethereal halo making this the perfect yarn for shawls, cowls and hats. As always with Cascade, free patterns are available on their website for your selection.

If you haven’t had a look and a feel of Luminosa yet, be sure to pop in to your LYS and ask about it and any other fine yarns from Cascade.

New Yarns for Spring!

Finesse

New from King Cole for warm weather knits. A DK weight available in 10 contemporary colours – perfect for spring and summer wearables and accessories. An exquisitely soft blend of 78% cotton and 22% silk, Finesse offers great breathability and gorgeous drape.
This palette of muted pastels and warm neutrals  is sure to tempt knitters and crocheters alike. Equally tempting are the three on trend crochet patterns available for Finesse, like this classic Jackie O inspired cardigan, bell sleeved sweater, and retro shawl. Timeless!

Finesse is destined for fame this Spring so watch for it in fine yarn shops across the country, and be sure to let us know what you make with it. We love to see your finished projects!!

 

Ayumi

New from Lang YarnsLang is synonymous with quality yarns with a European flair reminiscent of catwalks and haute couture. Ayumi is a light chainette yarn made from high quality Mako cotton. The yarn is then dyed with a degrade gradient effect, resulting in attractive colour repeats when knitted up.

Mako cotton is an Egyptian cotton spun from a long staple fibre to develop a very fine, durable, premium quality cotton. Ayumi is then blended with 23% nylon which adds to the durability of the cotton and thus provides options for sock knitters who don’t want to use wool. Ayumi is a fingering weight making it absolutely ideal for socks, baby sweaters and blankets, summer tops and accessories. With 700 meters per ball, one ball goes a long way!

Also new this Spring from Lang are two new Fashion Magazines with runway inspired tunics, shawls and scarves to knit with just one and two balls of Ayumi.
Lang 251 Collection is a pattern book with timeless designs to gracefully get you through spring seasons for years to come.
Lang 252 Casual features relaxed and cozy knits featuring yarns with beautiful colour saturation for the spring season.
If you’re looking for fashion forward yarns and patterns, Lang Yarns are for you. Available in fine yarn shops across Canada.
We’d like to take a moment to thank you for your readership throughout the year, and to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!
From all of us at Estelle, Happy Holidays! And as always, happy knitting and crocheting everyone!!

New LYS Alert

Attention Knitters in Southern Ontario!!

We’d like to welcome a new shop to the family! Yarn It! in Cobourg, ON is having their Grand Opening this Saturday. They will be celebrating with a No Tax Sale all day! There will be refreshments and goodies served, as well as door prizes and a ribbon cutting with a representative from the mayor’s office. If you are going to be in the Cobourg area this weekend, stop in and say hello to Cathy and check out her new LYS. And while you’re there, you should probably top up your stash from her great selection of yarn!

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New from King Cole

King Cole Baby Book 8 has a bounty of designs for boys and girls using colourful stripes, playful motifs and simple textures including cables and lacy effects.  These are classic designs you will knit over and over for your loved ones.

The wonderfully creative Sue Batley-Kyle has amazed us once again with her imaginative and precious designs. Using a stunning palette of shades in the luxuriously soft Comfort DK, there are knits to delight both the beginner through to the most experienced knitter.

Let yourself be enchanted by this irresistible book comprising of patterns sure to charm your family and friends.

King Cole Aran Book 3 is the third book in a series of traditional, time-honoured aran knits for babies and kids up to 7 years of age. Another timeless classic by the prolific Sue Batley-Kyle who drew her inspiration for this collection from the glorious Yorkshire countryside where she lives.

Combining traditional aran stitches with modern shapes and a gorgeous palette of colours, Sue has designed adorable knits for babies and children using a fabulous palette of colours from King Cole’s Fashion Aran.
There are 28 darling patterns to choose from including overalls, a poncho, dresses, sweaters, and a onesie. Not to mention a knitted crown for your little prince or princess!
These patterns will be available in fine, local yarn shops across the country.

Cascade Spuntaneous

Gracing the cover of Knit Simple Winter 2017 is one of our all time favourites, Spuntaneous from Cascade. Spuntaneous is a super bulky, single-ply yarn that is buttery soft. Made with 100% extra fine merino wool, its design and texture will have you thinking cushy, warm comfort the minute you feel it. This BFF hat pattern is sure to become this season’s hottest accessory!

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These stripey confections couldn’t be simpler. From the garter stitch band through the stocking stitch body, they are worked in the round on 10mm  (US 15) needles. Put a personal spin on the design by choosing the position, width, and sequence of the stripes.

 

These are the ultimate in last minute gift ideas! 2 balls + 2 nights = 2 amazing hats!! Stop by your LYS today and pick up your favourite colours in Spuntaneous to create your very own show stopper!

Have a look at the awe inspiring colours of Spuntaneous here. And here to see more of the incredible yarns from Cascade.

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

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