Estelle Yarns Blog

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

Tag: yarn shop

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!

 

Introducing Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine

Even though this may be the the first official week of Summer, in the yarn industry, we always have to be one step ahead of Mother Nature- which means that we are already welcoming tonnes of new yarns for Fall 2016 into the Estelle warehouse! This season we have put a strong focus on creating classic, staple yarns of the highest quality, that will produce exceptional garments and accessories to be worn for years to come!
One new yarn that we are particularly excited about this Fall is our Alpaca Merino Fine, a blend of 55% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon and 20% Alpaca. Made in Bolivia, this fingering weight yarn is warm, breathable, hard-wearing, and it only gets softer, the more it gets washed, worn and loved.

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Being that this yarn is so new, we haven’t yet had a chance to publish any new patterns for it. But fortunately for us, the World Wide Web provides us with plenty of pattern ideas, options, and inspiration. So without further ado, allow us to share with you a few patterns that we think would be simply stunning knit in our new Alpaca Merino Fine. 

The nice thing about fingering weight yarn is that it has absolutely incredible yardage. One skein often will get you a very generous sized scarf! Which is why we thought that the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronique Avery would be beautiful knit in the Alpaca Merino Fine. With a gentle lace pattern that zigs and zags throughout the entire length of the scarf, this project is compact enough to take anywhere with you, easy enough to work on while socializing, but challenging enough to satisfy your inner lace knitter. Want to make it longer? Or wider? No problem! Just be sure to pick up an extra skein (or two!)

And while we are on the topic of one-skein-projects, this hat is perfect if you’re new to knitting in the round- or if you are new to knitting generally! Using only one skein of Estelle’s Alpaca Merino Fine, the Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure is the absolute perfect “cottage knit”. Pick up an extra skein in a contrasting colour and knit some stripes! Or maybe even use up those pesky little balls of left over sock yarn to throw in a few pops of colour along the way.

For those of you who really like knitting with the finer gauge yarns, then the Boxy Sweater by Joji Locatelli is just the project for you. While it is not overly challenging as far as sweater patterns go, it could be considered a bit time consuming due to the thinner nature of this yarn. However, this sweater (much like the yarn) is a classic, and you will be able to wear it for years to come. Since the majority of this project is stocking stitch, it will make for an ideal Summer project- perfect for knitting on your porch with a drink! And by the time you are about ready to cast off, it will be just the time of year that you will find yourself wanting to wear it.

Since so many knitters automatically think “socks” when they see a 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn (especially one with a dash of nylon thrown into the mix!), it would be remiss of us not to share our sock pattern with you once again. One skein of the Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine would knit you a pair of the warmest socks imaginable. Know someone who works outside in work boots all winter long? Then what are you waiting for? Cast a pair on! Absolutely nothing will keep their feet warmer. With that 25% nylon thrown in for good measure, these socks will withstand some pretty heavy duty wear and tear before they find themselves in need of a mending job. To get your hands on our sock pattern, click the link below.

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And of course, we would not (and could not!) forget the crocheters in the crowd, so here is a pattern for all of you that are keen to get hooking. Purl Soho’s Granny Stripe Blanket is simple, classic and irresistibly snuggly. This project would make the perfect wedding gift, cuddly Christmas present, or addition to your very own corner of the couch. While many of us don’t tend to think of working on big blankets in the warmer weather, the lightweight nature of the fingering weight yarn won’t bog you down during those warm weather crochet sessions.

Should you be on the hunt for even more ideas and inspiration for our new Alpaca Merino Fine yarn, then be sure to sign up for a Ravelry account (if you haven’t already), click on the ‘Patterns’ tab, and search through fingering weight pattern ideas. But watch out! Doing so will severely impact the amount of time left that you actually have to knit.

To view the full range of Alpaca Merino Fine shades, please click here. And to find a yarn store near you that stocks this yarn, click here.

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!

Five Free Patterns from Borgo de Pazzi

Italy and its people are known for their enviable style, top notch cuisine and of course, high-quality yarns. Borgo de Pazzi is an Italian yarn company that certainly offers the latter, providing a gorgeous range of distinct yarns for knitters and crocheters who appreciate working with, and wearing natural fibres. And as if that weren’t enough… Borgo also offers many free patterns to knitters and crocheters, just like you.

So read on for a collection of five new patterns, courtesy of the kind people over at Borgo de Pazzi perfect for yarn lovers of all styles and skill sets.

The Castanga Crocheted Cape  by Illaria Caliri of Airali Handmade uses five skeins of Borgo’s Nature (only four if you aren’t interested in having a fringe!) This capelet is quick to make, and easy to wear. Perfect for afternoon strolls in the Autumn, or for staying cozy in your home throughout the Winter. Pieces like this give any outfit just the right dose of ‘effortless style’, all while serving a very important purpose- keeping us toasty warm!

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‘Soavia Set’ by Daniela’s Woolcreations is a pattern that includes not one… not two… but FIVE patterns in one! Talk about generous! Included in this pattern are instructions for a bolero, a cowl, fingerless gloves, wrist warmers and a kidney/neck warmer (you decide where you want to wear it). Wear each piece separately, mix and match a few at a time, or go ahead and wear them all at once!

Soavia is a beautifully luxurious yarn, with a gentle halo, containing 65% merino wool, 20% mohair and 15% silk. It is available in four saturated jewel tones and three tasteful neutral shades. Combine your favourite colours together for a bright statement, or knit all five pieces in just one for a more classic, neutral look.

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Isn’t there something just so satisfying about crocheting in a beautiful, crisp cotton?Tunisian crochet patterns are not easy to come by, but this generously sized ‘Seawaves Stole’ by Chiara Chiavacci is perfect for those who like to dabble in the craft. Using three skeins of Borgo’s new yarn Pima HD, this stole is perfect for Summer evenings and Spring mornings, or if you just need an extra layer- at any time of the year!

The multi-coloured nature of the Pima HD works so beautifully with the gentle stitch pattern, as neither the variation in colour, nor the stitch pattern are too complex. However, should tonal yarns not be of interest to you, the option to work with Borgo’s equally beautiful yarn Pima is always an option instead.

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While it may feel a little premature to be thinking of gift-giving season- it isn’t! As time marches on, the clock only seems to tick faster and faster (or is that just us that feels this way?), so there is no reason why one shouldn’t start planning this far in advance. This ‘Ivory Capelet’ by Ekeloa is classic, stylish, and practical for our cold, cold climate, and makes the perfect gift due to it’s ‘speedy-to-knit-up’ nature! Bundled with a big scarf, it is the definition of cozy! Anyone on your gift-list would be most fortunate (and grateful!) to have such a piece introduced into their wardrobe.

Using five skeins of Borgo’s Grosso, and a set of 20mm needles, this project is sure to work up in a mere few episodes of your favourite show on Netflix.

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Simplicity is key when knitting with Zoe, a brilliantly multi-coloured, 100% wool yarn. No fancy stitch work required! Zoe is a yarn that can easily stand on it’s own, using basic, simple stitches to highlight the yarn beautifully.

This beautiful pattern, titled Katar Shawl, designed by Simone Villa of Riot Clothing Space requires five balls of Zoe, and will knit up quickly on 10mm needles. Not only will it look gorgeous thrown over your shoulders with your favourite pair of jeans, it will even look amazing tossed over your knitting chair in the living room! Who says we can’t incorporate our knitting and crocheting into our home decor?

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To get your hands on many more free patterns by Borgo de Pazzi, be sure to check out the Borgo de Pazzi ‘Free Patterns’ page on our website. We post patterns to the site regularly, so be sure to check in often!

And to find a local yarn shop near that you stocks Borgo de Pazzi products, please click here. 

Happy knitting everyone!

Some Spooky Inspiration

Thanksgiving is now behind us, and we hope that each of you had a wonderful one! Now the time has come to look forward to the ‘spookier’ side of things, and get our homes and workplaces all decked out for Hallowe’en!

Which is exactly what it looks like they are doing over at Georgetown Yarn.

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What a perfect way to use up bits and pieces of stash yarn!

So what are you doing with your yarn and needles to get into the spooky spirit of things? Be sure to let us know!

Happy knitting everyone!

Soper Creek Yarn- Bowmanville , Ontario

Soper Creek Yarn is an independent yarn shop that is located in the beautiful downtown district of Historic Bowmanville. Being less than an hour from Toronto, it is easy to get to from the city, as it is just off the 401. Having been in business for seven years, Soper Creek Yarn has evolved into a larger space, and the owner Tina Barrie has worked hard at making a shop that appeals to knitters of all tastes and skill sets .

Tina was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for the blog about her shop, and we hope that you enjoy reading all about her business. Should you ever be in the Bowmanville area, be sure to stop by Soper Creek Yarn!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born outside of this country and my family immigrated to Canada when I was two. We arrived in the  Bowmanville area in 1965. As a farm kid we learned about hard work and making do. During high school, I was one of those students that took Home Economics all 5 years.  I became the costume person for Drama Productions.  I love fabric, weaving, quilting, knitting and crochet. They  were all techniques that I learned through 4 H projects. My husband is a full-time Farmer and we have two grown children.  We are a family that makes things!

How long have you been knitting?
My mother taught me to knit when I was nine and I made the best misshapen triangles. I knit a little bit throughout the teen years. After completing  high school, I began working at Rickaby’s which was a small department store. The shop sold giftware, business stationery and greeting cards. There was a Wool Department at the very back of the store, and the ladies in the shop taught me so much about knitting and over the 10 years working there that I gleaned a lot of knitting knowledge.

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An freshly arrived arrive from Estelle Yarns!

What is your “Go-To” knitting project?
I love garter stitch- plain old knitting all the time! But, I also like a challenge. Lace is fun! I have to admit that I admire those that do Aran sweaters. I look at those and find them exhausting. There is always a sock or two on the go, but I must admit that there are a lot of lonely socks hanging up in the shop, as that is all one really needs for a store sample.

When did you decide to open a shop?
I think that having my own shop was in my mind for about 30 years. After my children were born I worked part time at various places. I picked apples, worked at a garden  centre, a country market and I did contract sewing from home. I also have been doing the billing and accounting for our farm business. When our son was finishing high-school and Rickaby’s had closed, I started to make noises. Then in 2008 I received a call from a friend who said: ‘There is the perfect space for you and I told them you would be in to talk to them!’

How long have you been in business?
The shop celebrates 7 years this December!

What inspired you to open a yarn store?
I really felt there was a need for one in the area.  I also wanted to create a place where I could put all of my creative energy and make a job for myself.  Even though I had completed marketing and accounting courses my job prospects were limited. This gives me the opportunity to use all the skills I have gleaned over the past 30 years.

What makes your shop unique?
I am fortunate to have a very large space in a downtown location. Every yarn shop (the independent kind) is a reflection of the owner’s  tastes and style. But that being said I have had enough experience to know that you must listen to your customers and choose things that they would like to see as well.

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A cupboard full of Cascade 220!

Do you have a website? And are you active on social media? If so, where can we find you?
There is a website
, not the greatest but it will give out basic information and I try to keep it up to date.  I have the most fun on Facebook and Instagram.

Do you offer any classes? Which ones are your most popular?
I struggle with classes. Everyone is very busy so that makes it hard to lock down a single time that works.  Our knitting clinics have been quite well received. They are alternate Wednesday’s from 6:30 – 8:00 pm and we cover any and all knitting dilemmas.

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New colours of Lang Jawoll in stock

What is your favourite Estelle Yarn? (Includes all yarn that Estelle stocks. ie- Cascade, King Cole, etc).
There a lot of favourites. Cascade Ecological Wool is beautiful and soft, and the Cascade 220 is a great all purpose yarn makes wonderful  garments and warm accessories. Manos Alegria  has amazing colours, and  Heritage Sock Yarn makes a great pair of socks. King Cole Authentic is a lovely cotton blend. It is well priced, and good for both kids and adults. We have difficulty keeping King Cole Fashion Aran in stock. It is washable, soft and a really nice yarn for cable sweaters!

What do you want people to know about running a shop?
It’s a lot of work, but I love being in the shop. I have met so many wonderful generous people. I know I can’t please everyone, but I try! I will only purchase yarn or products that I would use myself. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to yarn and tools.

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So much more than just yarn at Soper Creek Yarn!

Is there anything else that you think we should know about you or your shop?
I could not do this without the support of my husband (The Farmer).  He always said that I could do this.  Sunday’s and Monday’s are important to my health and well-being. Closing on those days ensures that I have time to do those other things regular people do on their days off.

I also like the fact that I am still connected to agriculture. The fact that the shop sometimes has the aroma of sheep reminds me that there are men and women working very hard caring for the animals that produce the fibre that we use.  Natural fibres ultimately come from the earth and there are families that rely on this income.

I feel very lucky to have two great employees help me out. Helen (who designs for us at Estelle Yarns) keeps me tidy and organized, and Mary works weekends. I don’t know where I would be without them!

The shop is a bit unique as it is one of the few that don’t have a comfy place for people to sit and knit all day. I struggle with that constantly.  I like the fact when people come into the shop it is a quiet place to wander and sometimes recover.  Many times I have had people come in just to find a bit of quiet in their busy lives.  For me, the process of doing anything creative is therapy.  The shop is so much more than just yarn.

Thank you so much to Tina for taking the time to chat with us!
Soper Creek Yarn is located at 80 King Street West, Bowmanville, ONT, L1C 1R2.
To give them a call, they can be reached at (905) 623-2336.
To find Soper Creek Yarn online, please click here.

Happy yarn shopping everyone! And big thanks once again to owner Tina.

KnitTraders- Kingston, Ontario

Today we are featuring a yarn store in the Kingston, Ontario area. Easily accessed from the 401, this yarn shop is a delight for knitters and crocheters alike! So without further ado, we would like to introduce you to Anne, of KnitTraders.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I have lived in Kingston for 20 years and have 3 launched daughters, and a great guy at home who makes me supper now that he is retired. I taught French Immersion for 12 years and when we moved to Kingston I lost my seniority so decided to try another career that would be more secure and predictable. (Boy, was I naive!)

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One of the many available kits from KnitTraders- a colourful infinity scarf!

How long have you been knitting?

My brother and I learned to knit by watching my grandmother. When each of our 2 younger brothers were born, she would come to help out and knit each of us a sweater (Mary Maxim).

My skills were refined by a ridiculous grade 7 teacher who literally taught us nothing of any use, except how to follow a knitting pattern. I made one of those swirly lace beanies that were all the rage in the 60’s and I must admit, it was a heck of a challenge for a 12 year old, but it did give me a sense of confidence. My first sweater was when I was 12. Each week I would take the bus to town  to buy another skein to keep me going for the next week. I followed a pattern but was not at all concerned about gauge so I do believe that my beautiful blue wool sweater had a chest size of at least 52inches but I didn’t mind. I just threaded a bright red ribbon through the bottom of the ribbing and it looked quite smart – or at least I believed so.

What is your “Go-To” knitting project?

My latest favourite is Diving In, a great “fichu”. It is totally mindless and completely fun and allows me to focus on just enjoying how the colours play together. I’ve also just begun my second “Basic Black” by Glenna.  I just finished the last one a couple of weeks ago and decided that I loved it so much I wanted one in every colour, or at least a second one, this time in red Cascade 220 Superwash Sport.

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Anne’s latest version of “Diving In”- what a great stash-buster!

When did you decide to open a shop?

In the spring of 1996, I was laid off from my teaching job. I had knitted commercially for yarn shops in Victoria for a few years in the early ’80’s and had developed and kept up my skills since then so it seemed like an interesting field to look at as Kingston had only one small knitting shop at the time.

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    Opening Day! September 12th, 1996

How long have you been in business?

September 12th, 1996 we opened as an independently owned franchise of Wool-Mart/Wool-Tyme out of Ottawa.  In 2012 we changed the name to KnitTraders of Kingston in order to make a clearer distinction between the 2 stores and to be able to develop a greater on-line presence.

What inspired you to open a yarn store?

It was a great way to build on the skills I had been developing to that point in my life as a knitter, a business person and a teacher. People often ask me if I miss teaching and the answer is that I never left it.

What makes your shop unique?

At KnitTraders we are dedicated to helping every knitter succeed. This is our mission. Obviously it doesn’t mean that we could possibly guarantee that all knitting projects sold in our store will be a success, but we do recognize our customers as unique individuals who see knitting as having a particular role in their lives. We want to be part of developing that relationship. Translated to real life that means that we’re committed to offering a broad selection of projects including yarns, patterns, accessories of course, but also quality classes (group and private) and support to help our customers along their knitting journey. I’ve made a great effort over the years to hire staff who can work within that supportive framework with each of our customers.

Do you have a website? And are you active on social media? If so, where can we find you?

Website Www.knittraders.com

Ravelry group: KnitTraders of Kingston

Blog: www.knittraders.blogspot.com 

Site of free patterns designed at/for KnitTraders of Kingston. Www.wtkpatterns.blogspot.com

Facebook: KnitTraders

We also have our monthly e-newsletter that is received by friends and customers who have gone on to share it with others on each of the continents around the world. It’s very cool. People can sign up to receive the newsletter from the home page on our website.

Do you offer any classes? Which ones are most popular?

We have offered a weekly set of classes for the past 17 years that is essentially a “Rent an Auntie” session. This is where people come with their projects and we have a couple of teachers who help participants interpret patterns and learn new techniques. Kingston has a lot of shift workers so it works well to offer this flexible format.

Our most popular workshop class is the “Sock In A Day” class during in which we make a very funny looking chunky sock between 10am and 3pm. It may be odd looking, but it does a fine job of teaching the different steps sock knitting.

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             KnitTraders roadside sign

To view the full class schedule, click here.

What is your favourite Estelle Yarn? (Includes all yarn that Estelle stocks. ie- Cascade, King Cole, etc).

I have not met a Cascade yarn that I didn’t really like. I was surprised and a bit skeptical when they started bringing out more acrylic based yarns, but I have been won over and we now stock Pacific Worsted and Pacific Chunky, Bentley, Pluscious, and Swaddle. 

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The shop baby swaddled in some Cascade Swaddle

What do you want people to know about running a shop?

It was a wise business consultant/friend who pointed out that people who begin a business based on their passion and/or hobby no longer have that hobby to turn to for relaxation and restoration. Anyone planning to get into this line of work should ask themselves very seriously: “Am I prepared to move my knitting over to the “work” column of my life?” I still enjoy knitting and designing, but they do play a very different role in my life now.

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Anne in Florence on one of her knitting trips that she organized.

Is there anything else that you think we should know about you or your shop?

Because we are the biggest yarn store between the GTA and Montreal along Hwy 401, and we have 3 post secondary institutions in town (to which parents regularly drop kids off) and a huge “cottage country” just north of us, we have wonderful regular customers who come from all over. We all love to visit yarn stores when we’re traveling or in a different city. I’d like to let your readers know that we are so easy to find (South at exit 611 off the 401), and would love to have them visit us when they come to the Kingston area or are on their way through while whizzing down the highway.

KnitTraders can be found at:

725 Gardiners Road, Kingston, Ontario, K7M 3Y5.
Phone- 613-384-3951
Email- shop@knittraders.com
Web- www.knittraders.com

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Saturday 9:30-5:30
Sundays & Holidays- Closed

A huge thank you goes out to Anne for answering all of our questions! We hope that you are all given the opportunity to get yourself into Anne’s store at some point soon. We guarantee that it is worth the trek- no matter where you reign from!

And if it really is just too far for you, be sure to sign up for her newsletter! It is always informative, and full of great yarn related chatter- definitely worth a read! So be sure to head over to her site and sign up.

If you are a yarn shop- or know of a yarn shop!- who does business with Estelle Yarns, and would like to be featured on our blog, please let us know in the comments below! We will be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you!

Happy knitting everyone!

Creative Yarns- Scarborough, Ontario

We are well overdue for another yarn shop feature, so we thought that we would try a shop that is fairly ‘close to home’ for us- this shop is literally just around the corner from Estelle!

So, without further ado, we introduce to you Nina Klecki of Creative Yarns.

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When did you open your shop? It was eight years ago this month. Where does the time go???

What made you want to open up at yarn store? I’m still not sure. That’s a good question. HAHA! My husband really encouraged me and inspired me. He knew that it was something that I had wanted to do for a really long time, and so we finally decided together, to make my dream a reality.

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                                                            Creative Yarns- Scarborough, Ontario

What do you personally like to knit? Garter stitch- anything in garter! Garter stitch is good for when I am at the shop, as I can help customers- but still knit at the same time! I also like to work on my own designs.

Do you sell your finished sweaters? Yes I do! They are available for purchase in the shop.

Do you have a website? Yes, I can be found at www.creativeyarns.ca. I also have a page for my sweaters on my shop’s site, which can be found here.

How long have you been knitting? AGES! OH MY GOSH! Since I was a little girl.

What makes your shop unique? COFFEE! And lots of chocolate.

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                                                              Creative Yarns- Scarborough, Ontario

Do you offer classes? Which ones are your most popular? Our finishing class is our most popular. Then I would say, twined knitting. The full lineup can be found online.

What is your favourite/most popular Estelle Yarn? Lang sock yarn sells really well for us. People just can’t get enough sock yarn!

What do you want people to know about running a shop? That it doesn’t make you rich, that’s for sure! Haha! But that it’s so nice to do what I love every single day.

Anything else that you would like to share about your shop? We are a great place for people to come to, who might feel lonely, and want some extra moral support in regards to their knitting. My shop is always full of friendly knitters, so you can come and makes friends, and find encouragement.

Thank you Nina for taking the time to chat with us!

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                                                           Creative Yarns- Scarborough, Ontario

If you are interested in visiting Nina’s store, she can be found at 269 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, ON M1R 4E4. She can also be reached by phone at 416-331-8085, and online at www.creativeyarns.ca.

We hope that you all have an opportunity to visit Nina sometime soon. She is sure to make you feel right at home.

Happy knitting everyone!

Yarn Bombed Timmy’s Truck

The wonderful people at the downtown Toronto knitting store Lettuce Knit, were approached in late October by a PR firm with a pretty unusual request. This request wasn’t out of the ordinary just because it’s not something that you hear of everyday, but also because it came with a deadline that would make ANY knitter’s head spin.

But you know what? With the help of social media and a gaggle of wonderful knitters, they pulled it off, with flying colours.

So as to not keep you guessing, I shall reveal the secret project that was steamed and seamed by November 17th after casting on October 30th.

Tim Hortons Truck

A Tim Hortons truck cozy!

Cascade Eco+ was knit triple stranded on 12 mm needles, with a crew of thirty knitters all taking part.

On top of all of this excitement, there’s more! Every time you tweet #warmwishes, Tim Hortons will donate a hat to a child in need.

Nice work Tim’s! And job well done Lettuce Knit!

To read the full report from the ladies at Lettuce Knit, click here.

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             The Knitting Dream Team

Coffee and knitters… the ultimate combination.

Don’t forget to tweet!