CONTEST CLOSED New Contest- Margaret’s Gift

If you have been knitting in this country for any amount of time, you will be well familiar with the name Sally Melville.

An accomplished designer, a sought after teacher, a prolific author, (not to mention- a Canadian!), this woman is known around the world for her work in the hand knitting industry.

One of her more recent patterns, Margaret’s Gift, has a special story to accompany it, and is the subject of our latest contest. So read on to learn the story of the sweater, and how you have a chance to win everything that you need to knit one.

Sally’s friend Susanna is the owner of the gorgeous painting that you see pictured below. While Sally was admiring it one day, she said to her friend “We should knit that sweater!” Susanna agreed to the challenge, but it was when the yarn shop 88 Stitches, in Langley BC sent out a note on Ravelry, challenging knitters to knit something by a Canadian designer, Sally immediately thought of the painting.

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Upon studying the painting, Sally noted how clear the details of the sweater pictured were. Such perfect stitch definition! She concluded that the artist either had to have been a knitter, or the sweater actually existed in real life- or both!

In order to get the full story (and permission to write a pattern for the sweater), Sally emailed the painter, Steven Rhude, and inquired. Turns out, the sweater did in fact exist. Steven’s mother Margaret knit it for his father in the 50’s. Steven wore it while attending art school in Florence, then lent it to a friend who was hitchhiking through Germany. It was then brought back to Canada, where his wife wore it so that he could paint the evocative image that you see above. The sweater was eventually lost in a clothing drive, but Steven has hopes that whoever owns it now, is warm!

Photos courtesy of Sally Melville

Sally searched for a pattern, but was unable to find one, and Steven seemed to feel as though his mother “Just went for it” while knitting. Given that Canada did not even have it’s official flag at the time the sweater was knit, this was a truly impressive feat, if in fact it were true! Steven suggested to Sally that she do the same, which is exactly what she did; ‘actualizing’ the pattern that you see today- the product of her Canada 150 Challenge!

And while this could be considered a very happy ending, the story continues! (Hint: it gets happier!) Once Sally had posted the completed pattern onto Ravelry, a woman contacted her to to tell her that her mother had also knit the sweater for her father. Her father’s version had a hood, but it was seemingly the same sweater. So perhaps there was a pattern after all? The woman was so thrilled to discover that someone had re-released the pattern! Which leaves us wondering, has she knit an updated version yet?

For a chance to win the pattern Margaret’s Gift, the appropriate needles, and the Cascade Eco Yarn required to complete an adult large version of the sweater, simply tell us on our Facebook post about a fond memory you have of a sweater from your past. And it doesn’t have to be hand knit! (But it certainly doesn’t hurt if it is). On Monday, August 14th we will randomly select two lucky winners, and contact them through our Facebook page. Contest open to Canadian residents only please.

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Happy knitting everyone.

Free Pattern- Knitted Sunseeker Beach Bag by Lin Damrell

Summer is in full swing, and trips to the beach and the pool are (hopefully) happening on the regular for you by now. And what’s the one thing that every beach goer and pool partier needs? Why, a beach bag- of course!

Using only two skeins of Cascade Yarns Sunseeker, and two sizes of circular needles, you too could have a gorgeous beach bag of your very own! Composed of a durable combination of 48% Acrylic, 47% Cotton and 5% Metallic, Sunseeker is available in thirty nine shades, all with a subtle coordinating sparkle spun directly into the yarn. A beach bag seems like the perfect project for this yarn! Besides, who doesn’t love a little bling with their Summer accessories?

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This beach bag begins at the bottom with a garter stitch rectangle. Stitches are then picked up around each of the sides, and then continued with a simple lace pattern knit on a larger sized needle. Given the combination of the lacy pattern and the larger needle, this bag will stretch to easily accommodate your beach towel, bathing suit, sun screen and trashy magazine- no problem!

With the wide range of shades that Sunseeker is available in, you may find yourself itching to knit one for yourself, one for your sister, one for your mother… Once you have worked your way through the family, you will need to be sure to get a Beach Day on the calendar together!

However, should one of you want something a little more ‘flashy’ than what any of the thirty nine solid Sunseeker shades can offer, be sure to check out the sixteen variegated shades of Sunseeker Multis!

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To get your hands on this free pattern, courtesy of Cascade Yarns, please click here. And to pick up a few skeins of Sunseeker from a local yarn shop near you, please click here to check out our directory of Canadian retailers.

Happy knitting everyone!

Yarn Spotlight- Cascade Hampton

The warmer days are finally upon us (at least, in this part of the country they are!), and if you haven’t already lined up a few warmer weather projects- it’s about time that you do!

Knitting with cotton and linen in the warmer Spring weather is heavenly, and wearing it is even more so! And while Cascade Yarns can boast a very healthy line up of warmer weather yarns, one in particular stands out to us these days.

Cascade Hampton is a 70% Pima Cotton, 30% Linen yarn that knits up at a DK weight gauge. Available in fifteen Summer-suitable shades, this yarn is perfect Summer tops, warm weather accessories, and blankets for those Summer babies.

We know that working with linen yarn is not something that every knitter or crocheter loves, as it does has a tendency to be somewhat harsh in the hands. However, once washed and worn, it softens into a drapy, gorgeous fabric.

Being that Cascade Hampton is a blend of both cotton and linen, the gorgeous drape of linen, and the softness and comfort of cotton marry together beautifully, making it an absolute pleasure to work with.

If you are unsure as to whether or not a cotton/linen blend yarn is right for you, allow us to suggest this quick, one skein project to hopefully sway you in favour of this beautiful blend.

The Navarre Shawl by Laurie Beardsley is the perfect size for popping on when the air conditioning gets too brisk on the nape of your neck, or the sun gets too intense on your shoulders. Pick up a single skein of Cascade’s Hampton, download the pattern by clicking here, and get knitting!

To find a skein (or two!) of Cascade Hampton, click here to find a local yarn shop near you that carries it, and get your needles poised to cast on a Navarre Shawl for you, and everyone you know.

Happy knitting!

Top 10 Cascade Patterns of 2017 (So Far…)

We have been counting down the Top Cascade Patterns for 2017 (thus far) over on the Estelle Facebook page, but we thought it might be fun to round up the top ten on the blog!

Not only is it always fun to see what other knitters and crocheters are making/downloading, but it’s fun to explore new (not to mention- free!) patterns! You just never know… you may find yourself inspired by a pattern that you would have never looked at otherwise.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 downloaded free patterns from Cascade Yarns’ website for 2017.

Number 10Blueberry Hill by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade Anthem

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Number 9– Groovin’ Cowl by Shannon Dunbabin in Cascade 220 Superwash Aran 

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Number 8Textured Top Down Cardigan by Cheryl Beckerich using Cascade Sarasota

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Number 7Alpine Shawl by Cristina Mershon using Cascade Ultra Pima (this pattern is crochet!)

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Number 6Knotted Openwork Cowl by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade 128 Superwash Multis

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Number 5Swirls Hat by Anna R. Simonsen using Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Merino (this pattern is crochet!)

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Number 4Tivoli Hat & Mitts by Cheryl Beckerich using Cascade Yarns Tivoli

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Number 3Danny Boy Hat by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade 220 Superwash Merino

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Number 2Milestones Blanket by Shannon Dunbabin using Cascade Pacific Color Wave

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Number 1Beginner Brioche Cowl by Andrea Maglisceau using Cascade Yarns Pacific Chunky

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So be sure to queue up the patterns that you love on Ravelry, and let us know which ones you have cast on! If you want to keep up with the Top Cascade Yarns Patterns of 2017 (thus far), be sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook, where the countdown continues!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

New Contest! Tiny Pebbles Poncho by Helen Firing

With our last contest having recently wrapped up, and all of the winners having been contacted, we are excited to announce the launch of our next contest which is being held over on our Facebook page!

We have introduced everyone to Helen Firing on the blog before, as she is responsible for many of the free Estelle patterns available on our website and in local yarn shops across the country. The latest of her patterns, Tiny Pebbles is a gorgeous poncho, knit using one ball each of Lang Yarns Tosca Light, and Cascade Yarns Roslyn.

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Knit while alternating between the solid Roslyn yarn, and the gently colour shifting Tosca Light, this poncho has flattering lines, that promise to keep you cozy throughout those transitional days and months, and a comfy cowl neck that will help keep the chill at bay. This garment would look just as perfect over a pair of jeans as it would over a little black dress and some boots. It is such a versatile piece!

A great project for socializing or being on the ‘go’, one size will fit most. Perhaps you might consider whipping up a couple as Christmas presents? Because who wouldn’t love opening up one of these on Christmas morning? We guarantee that each recipient will throw it on over their shoulders the minute they unwrap it, and will proceed to leave it on until their turkey dinner forces them to shed a layer (or two!)

Entering this contest could not be more simple.  Simply click here to view our Facebook post, ‘Like’ the post, leave a comment, and you are entered!

This contest runs until May 25th, so you have plenty of time to spread the word throughout your knitting circle. Only catch? This contest open to Canadian residents only please.

Should you want to get started on this poncho right away, you can purchase Helen’s pattern on Ravelry for only $5.00, and cast on today! Click here to view the full range of Tosca Light and Roslyn shades, and then pop over to your local yarn shop to pick up all of your required supplies. (Don’t forget those 5mm needles!)

Happy knitting everyone!

Announcing Our Latest Contest Winners!

Greetings Knitters and Crocheters!

It is with great pleasure that today we announce the names of our three contest winners!

First off however, we would like to genuinely thank each and every one of you who took the time to enter. We loved reading everyone’s comments, and finding out which Cascade Yarns you all love to work with!

So without further ado, we are happy to announce the following three commenters as our winners.

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1- Comment #13:  lrlspencer –  “Hmmmm…tough question! I’ll pick Cascade 220 sport weight.

2- Comment #21: Chris –  “Anchor Bay is my go to right now.”

3- Comment #31: Todd Daniel – “Cascade is a well-developed line. I love working in Aran weight, so I’m going to go with 220 Aran. Classic.”
All of the contest winners have been contacted, and we look forward to announcing another exciting contest to you all VERY soon!
Stay tuned!
And Happy Knitting and Crocheting everyone!

Blog Contest Ends TOMORROW

Knitters, Crocheters and Yarn Lovers alike! Back on March 14th, we announced the launch of an exciting new contest, right here on this blog.

The ‘rules’ are simple. All that we ask is that you comment on our original contest post, telling us what your favourite Cascade Yarn is. Then, sign up your email in the sidebar to receive post notifications directly into your inbox. That’s it!

The prize? One of three kits to make Robbie Laughlin’s ‘A Shawl for Sharing’, including the required two skeins of Cascade Eco Wool in shade 8061, needles, and both a digital and paper copy of his pattern.

This contest closes tomorrow, Friday, April 14th at 11:59 EST, and we would hate for you to miss out!

So head on over to this blog post, leave a comment, sign up for email post notifications, and just like that- you’re qualified to win!

Already signed up for email post notifications? Great! Just leave a comment, and you are entered.

And while we love knitters and crocheters from all around the world, we regret to inform you that this contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Happy knitting and Crocheting everyone!

Contest- Win Robbie Laughlin’s “A Shawl for Sharing” Kit

Robbie Laughlin is a talented Toronto designer and knitting/crochet instructor, who is well known and well loved within the local knitting community- and beyond! Today we are thrilled to be announcing a brand new contest, giving you the opportunity to win a kit to make your very own version of Robbie’s design, “A Shawl for Sharing”.

But first, a little bit about Robbie- Robbie is an avid knitter, but as is often the case, it doesn’t stop there! In the past eight years, after learning to knit from a few friends, he also learned how to spin his own yarns, weave, and work tatting. He has picked up crochet again as well, which he learnt as a young child, but set aside in pursuit of music and technology.

In the past, he worked several different day jobs based in technology and teaching that made high demands of him, and these handcrafts brought a sense of tranquility back to his life.
Knitting has helped him find and build a community full of people he adores. Most importantly, it has taught him not to take life so seriously. To relax, and have fun, to create, and to share.
About Designing the Shawl for Sharing:
“I spent a lot of time down by the lake this summer, often late at night. What started off as a smaller style shawl to warm my own back, quickly became a much larger piece after realizing there was someone I wanted to share these late night shorelines with. Inspired by Gansey sweaters, this shawl uses only simple knits and purls, with occasional slipped stitches, to form chunky textures.
The smaller size will cover your back. The large size can become a warm layer to share with a loved one, or you can wrap yourself up in it when you’re alone. Add buttons and loops to the large, and it turns into a very versatile poncho.”
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How to Win Everything You Need to Make a “Shawl for Sharing”:
We want to give you the opportunity to win everything you will need to make this shawl! Including a hard copy of the pattern, a digital copy, the appropriate needles as well as two skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool in shade 8061 (the shade pictured), enough to make the larger version of the shawl.
In order to qualify for this kit, all you have to do is subscribe to our blog by entering your email address in the sidebar, and then commenting on this post, telling us what your favourite Cascade Yarn is.
Not yet familiar with Cascade Yarns? Then click here to view the entire collection. Have a browse and let us know what yarn looks like something you would love to get your hands on in the comment section below.
And it is as simple as that! Subscribe to our blog, comment on this post and you’re entered.
This contest closes on Friday, April 14th, and three winners chosen by random number generator will be announced on Monday, April 17th.
Contest open to Canadian residents only.
Happy knitting- and good luck!

UPDATE: This contest has now closed. Thank you to all who participated!

Some Free Pattern Sharing- from Cascade Yarns

For those of you who meet regularly with a group of fellow yarn-fanatics, you will know the feeling when a knitting/crocheting friend pulls their latest masterpiece out of their knitting bag for everyone to “ooh” and “ahhh” over- such excitement!

And isn’t it just the best when that knitting/crocheting friend of yours announces to the circle which pattern it is they used, and you say to yourself “Wait a minute… REALLY!?!?!? He/She used THAT pattern???” It may be a pattern that you have seen at one point in time, but simply brushed over during one of your Ravelry sessions. However, having seen it worked up in person, and in different colours, perhaps even with a few ‘tweaks’ made to the original pattern… and you’re in love.

Sharing pattern ideas with friends is such a great way to discover new ideas and inspiration. And since we consider you all to be such good friends, we thought we would show and share with you a few patterns that might not register on your radar otherwise. Today we have compiled a list of  the top five most downloaded patterns from Cascade Yarns website from April, 2016 for you to browse! Some of these patterns may be ones that you would otherwise skip over, had they been presented to you in some other form. But knowing that they’re the ‘top five’, you may stop and look at them just a little differently. Things don’t make it to the ‘Top Five’ for no reason! Especially when the competition is so fierce.

#5 Pinwheel Entrelac Baby Blanket

If you haven’t tried your hand at entrelac, a baby blanket is a great place to start! Even if you don’t know a baby right now… you will! The technique is much simpler than it looks, and produces rather impressive results. Entrelac appears as though you have knit individual strips, and woven them all together like a basket- but you haven’t! Using a self-striping yarn such as the Pinwheel is a great way to maximize the woven effect of entrelac. It also saves you from having to buy multiple balls of solid coloured of yarn- which saves you from sewing in  millions of ends!

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#4 Cherub Heart Cardi

Kids clothes are an absolute riot to knit, so it’s no surprise that this sweet little cardigan rolls in at #4! Knit using Cascade’s Cherub DK, it makes for an affordable (and washable!) gift for the little girl in your life. Looking for something a little more natural? Cascade’s Ultra Pima would make for a gorgeous alternative!

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#3 Arches Baby Cardigan

Another baby pattern! Knit with Cascade 220 Superwash, this pattern is incredibly sweet and would look great paired with either a pretty dress, or a tiny pair of overalls! Little sweaters like this one are a really great way to brush up on your lace knitting skills. In fact, kid’s clothes are a great way to practice all sorts of knitting techniques, as knitting a miniature sweater doesn’t end up being a big investment of time- or money! Once you feel confident in the skills mastered in your baby knitting, it is time to cast on a larger scale sweater for yourself. You deserve it!

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#2 A Robot Blanket

For those of you who aren’t so into knitting lace for the little ones, here is another option for you- a robot baby blanket! But of course… this doesn’t have to be just for a baby. Make it bigger for the toddler or maybe even the ‘young-at-heart’ in your life! Knit using Cascade’s new yarn Anthem, this 100% acrylic yarn is washable, affordable, and available in a rainbow of bright colours. The colour combinations you could come up with for this blanket are truly endless! Looking to use a cozy, washable wool instead? Why not try Cascade 220 Superwash and you will find yourself with even more colours to choose from!

#1 Ultra Pima Alpine Shawl

We are certainly happy to report that a crochet pattern has made it to the number one spot on this list, which means that Summer must be coming! Light, airy and elegant, this shawl will kick any outfit from 0-60 the second that you put it on.

Made using only four skeins of Cascade’s gorgeous Ultra Pima Cotton, you will take just as much pleasure in making this piece, as you will wearing it.

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So be sure to click the links, explore these patterns, and perhaps you may just find yourself casting on something that you may have never looked twice at, had we not brought it to your attention.

Should you find yourself craving even more inspiration, be sure to check out the entire range of free Cascade Yarns Patterns on both their websiteand ours! And of course, be sure to let us know what’s next in your queue! We wouldn’t mind a dose of fresh inspiration ourselves!

Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!

Counting Down the Top Five Cascade Yarns

Whether you have been knitting for a little while, or a long time, there is no doubt that you are familiar with Cascade Yarns. Known for their high quality, wallet-friendly products, knitters and crocheters of all skill sets and style know and love this popular line.  But with such a large range of products, it can often times be overwhelming for knitters and shop owners to narrow it down to just a few. So we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of the top five yarns from this ever popular range. Should you not yet know much about Cascade Yarns, this list is most certainly a good place to start!

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#5 Cascade Heritage 

Socks, socks and more socks… Sock knitting has gone far beyond being just a trend, and has now become a staple in so many knitter’s project rotations. Sock knitting is where Cascade Heritage yarn originally found it’s ‘footing’, and while sock knitters begin to explore new avenues in which to use up some of their sock yarn stash, Cascade Heritage has also been exploring different variations on their best selling, classic sock yarn.

With nine different yarns now making up the Cascade Heritage family, the selection is plentiful. And as with all families, each of the nine members brings something unique and different to the table. Made up of a combination of different weights (fingering and sport), different fibre blends (merino/nylon and merino/silk), and different patterns/colour combinations (solid/self striping/ variegated and ombre), no two yarns are the same. Similar? Perhaps. But most definitely not the same. (See? Just like family!)

What these yarns all have in common is that they are easy to care for, and are sure to produce heirloom quality projects, whether that project may be a pair of socks or a christening shawl.

To meet all nine members of the Heritage family, click on each one as we introduce them by name; Heritage Sock Solid, Heritage Sock Paints, Heritage Silk, Heritage Silk Paints, Heritage Prints, Heritage 150, Heritage 150 Prints, Heritage 150 Multis and the newest member of the clan, Heritage Wave. 

#4 Magnum

While this yarn has been around for quite some time, it has exploded in popularity over the past few years as chunky knits have come back into vogue. A single strand of this yarn is as thick around as your index finger is, and one skein will knit you up a cowl in an evening. Sold in a skein as a soft, single ply, bulky wool yarn, Magnum is soft and cozy- getting softer and softer the more that it’s worn! Just be sure to hand wash this yarn however, or you may just find yourself with an incredibly thick felt trivet!

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#3 Cascade Eco Wool and Eco Wool+

Many of you will be familiar with our Number Three yarn, due to it’s incredible value and sheer quantity on each skein! Packaged in a 250 gram skein, with a whopping 441 meters on each, it is not unheard of to need only two or three to make up an adult garment. Four skeins could even give you an average sized adult coat! Also popular for making throws and home decor items, this 100% Peruvian wool is just the ticket for curling up under on damp chilly nights.

The difference between the Eco Wool and Eco Wool+ you ask? Eco Wool + has been dyed, while the Eco Wool is ‘au natural’- the colour you see is the colour of the flock it came from!

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#2 Cascade 220 Superwash

This washable, worsted weight, 100% wool yarn is exactly what yarn stashes are made of. Available in dozens of colours, and packaged in a donut style ball, this yarn is an absolute hit. Lovely to knit with, and a dream to wash, this yarn is the one that you should definitely stock up on for all of your Christmas knitting needs. Grab an arm full of your favourite shades, and get making hats and mitts (that won’t shrink in the wash!) for everyone in your family. Then go ahead and practice your colour work techniques with all of the leftovers, once your loved ones have all been knit for!

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#1 Cascade 220

If you have heard of Cascade Yarns, you have more than likely heard of Cascade 220. So it should come as no surprise that this yarn rolls in at #1! Often times this yarn can be seen taking up an entire wall or shelf in a yarn shop, looking like a gorgeous rainbow of colour! Available in hundreds of shades (we kid you not!), this 100% wool yarn is a staple in any yarn store, as well as in any knitter’s stash. Cascade 220 is a worsted weight yarn that not only knits up into a soft, warm fabric, but felts up beautifully also. But you may not think it felts up so beautifully, should the felting be unintentional. So make sure to hand wash anything made out of this yarn! Otherwise you may find yourself passing it on to a person much tinier than the original recipient, once you have finished up with the laundry.

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All available shades of Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Heathers can be found by clicking these links to our site.

So there you have it dear yarn-lovers! A collection of the top five yarns from one of North America’s largest yarn companies. Should you be looking for some pattern inspiration, be sure to check out the dozens of free patterns available from Cascade Yarns, on both our site, and theirs. And of course, we urge you to look up each of these yarns on Ravelry. The projects ideas are simply endless! But be careful! Doing so could lead you to a deep, dark, black hole- cutting into your knitting/crocheting time significantly!

To find a yarn shop near you that stocks Cascade Yarns, please click here.

Having said that.. Happy knitting and crocheting everyone!