Holiday knitting? It’s a wrap!

Don’t be alarmed, but there is less than a month until the big C-day, and if you’re still wondering what to knit for the people in your life, you’ve come to the right place. We can always suggest a pattern, but we have just released three new scarf patterns, all of which are perfect for gifting (or, for giving to a knitter, bundled with the yarn required‚ suggestions below).

The Bloor Scarf, knit in Misti Alpaca Chunky in Ember and Lipstick.
The Bloor Scarf, knit in Misti Alpaca Chunky in Ember and Lipstick.

The Bloor Scarf is a free pattern and absolutely perfect to carry you into the holidays. The soothing rhythm of garter stitch is sure to help ease any stress the holidays bring, and the anticipation of working up to the colour change (or colour changes, if you prefer) is just enough to keep things interesting. Knit at a generous gauge of 5 stitches per inch, this scarf will practically knit itself, making it a perfect gift for a loved one who needs something to help keep them cozy this winter. The pattern is written for Misti Alpaca Chunky, a soft and cozy yarn with excellent drape (just what you want in a scarf). You could amp up the luxury by using Lang Cashmere or speed up the knitting with Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky — of course, when changing yarns, make sure to keep an eye on your gauge and your yardage.

Find the Bloor Scarf on our website and on Ravelry.

The Holly Scarf in Alpine.
The Holly Scarf in Alpine.

The Holly Scarf is another deceptively quick knit. Worked in Rowan Cocoon at a very generous gauge of 3.5 stitches per inch, you’ll be watching these lace leaves climb off your needles before you know it. Holly is a perfect gift for someone who works in an office and/or commutes on some form of public transit. The lace combined with the cozy yarn make for a scarf that is stylish, warm, but but not so thick and toasty that the wearer will feel stifled. Some other yarn options to try would be a luxurious combination, like holding Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino double with Shibui Silk Cloud, which will soften the details slightly without sacrificing the drape of the fabric, or you could try something a bit lighter, like Blue Sky Alpacas Extra, though you might want to add a repeat of the lace pattern and work it at tighter gauge, which would give the scarf a slightly different look.

Find the Holly Scarf on our website and on Ravelry.

The Ilsa Scarf knit in Handmaiden Fine Yarns in Jacobean Blue.
The Ilsa Scarf knit in Handmaiden Fine Yarns in Jacobean Blue.

At first glance, the Ilsa Scarf seems a little different from the previous two: Knit in Handmaiden Fine Yarns Maidenhair, this is a luxury wrap you (or its lucky recipient) will reach for again and again, all year round. The Ilsa packs a lot of warmth into its lightness, making it a perfect shield against winter winds and office air conditioning alike. Perhaps the best part, though, is how enjoyable the knitting is! The ruched stripes help the wrap keep its shape and serve as little technical palate cleansers in the otherwise simple scarf — perfect picking up and putting down as your fit your knitting time in around the holidays. The Ilsa Scarf would be a fantastic gift, but we suspect you’ll have a hard time parting with the finished wrap, so you might want to consider picking up enough yarn to knit yourself one when you’re done! Aside from the recommended yarn, Shibui Silk Cloud or ArtYarns Rhapsody Light would be gorgeous. For a denser, slinkier version, Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca-Silk would be divine.

Find the Ilsa Scarf on our website and on Ravelry.

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Free Pattern: Red Rasta Cowl

We’ve all been tempted, but there’s a better way to wear Malabrigo Rasta.

We originally knit up this quick and simple cowl as a way to show off Malabrigo Rasta, one of our favourite yarns. It sure did its job. Malabrigo Rasta has been flying off our shelves almost since we opened, and we frequently get requests for simple cowl patterns that show off the gorgeous kettel-dyed colourways and knit up quickly. So, here you go! This is our go-to, most recommended, absolute favourite. It’s suitable for beginners and quick and enjoyable for more advanced knitters, and in a season when there always seems to be a last-minute gift to produce, it never hurts to have an easy, stylish, and speedy project in your back pocket.

We call this the Red Rasta Cowl, but it would look fantastic in any of Malabrigo’s colourways. The pattern is easy to memorize, but since it never hurts to have backup, there’s a link to a printable pdf at the bottom of this page. If you make one (or ten), please let us know how they turn out!

RED RASTA COWL

Better, right? (Sample knit in Malabrigo Rasta, colourway Ravelry Red.)

Size: One size – fits most adults comfortably
(To make larger or smaller, increase or decrease stitch count by multiples of four stitches. If increasing, be aware you may need more yarn to complete cowl.)

Materials: 1 skein Malabrigo Rasta in any colour, or 98 yards of your preferred super-bulky yarn; 10mm 16-inch circular needle; large stitch marker; darning needle

Abbreviations:
k – knit
p- purl
* * – repeat instruction all the way around

Begin:

Loosely cast-on 48 stitches. Join in the round, being
careful not to twist.

Work *k2, p2* rib for 14 rows.

After ribbing complete, work four repeats of the following four rows (16 rows total):

Rows 1 & 2: *k1, p1* around
Rows 3 & 4: *p1, k1* around

Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and marvel at your speedy creation.

Download a pdf: Red Rasta Cowl


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We have moved!

After three amazing and wonderful years in Mirvish Village, we have moved to a new space at 832 Bloor St. West (almost on the corner of Bloor and Shaw, right between the Christie and Ossington subway stations, on the north side). Our new location is bigger (so much bigger) and brighter and we can’t wait to welcome all of you!

New, larger yarn shelves.
New, larger yarn shelves.

As many of you know, the impending construction in Mirvish Village meant that our lovely street was soon to become a mess of machines, noise, and blocked sidewalks. Although our building was not among the ones being torn down, we knew we couldn’t stay there during the years of building. We were quite worried about it, actually, both because we loved our neighbourhood and because we weren’t sure we would find another space as lovely that was also easily accessible by transit.

Enough space to really expand our selection of your favourite items, like this Valdani hand-dyed thread.
Enough space to really expand our selection of your favourite items, like this Valdani hand-dyed thread.

But, of course, we did! 832 Bloor St. West, was perfect: More space, in the downtown, close to the subway and ample parking made the decision more or less easy. Once we found it, all we had to do was figure out how to transform this former credit union space — with its low ceilings and boxy structure — into something beautiful and cozy and bright. We won’t bore you with all the details (so many paint tests…) but we are really proud of the result, and this it honours the aesthetics of our original shop while providing a large, more functional space for classes, shopping, and (of course) displaying our ever-growing collection of yarns, fabrics, embroidery threads, and notions.

So much more space for displays
So much more space for displays

Building something  like this is always the work of a community, and we would like to thank the people who helped and encouraged us through the whole process. To name but a few: The EweKnit team — Caroline, Nikoleta, Angela, Yvette, and Scottie — and friends of the store — Antonella, Connie, Joanna, and many, many more. And, of course, all of you! Thank you for your kind words, encouragement, and excitement about this next step. We can’t wait for you to come see this new space!

Huge, beautiful new front windows — look for our sign when you're walking along Bloor St.
Huge, beautiful new front windows — look for our sign when you’re walking along Bloor St.
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Take it with you

Liberty of London florals mean you can wear summer all year long.
Liberty of London florals mean you can wear summer all year long.

And, by “it,” we mean the exuberance of summer colour. It’s still August, but there is a definite feeling of fall in the air. Part of that is the back-to-school reminders we see everywhere, but there’s no denying the coolness in the air in the evenings or how the days have grown shorter. Don’t get us wrong: Like almost every knitter, we love the fall, but summer… it’s hard to let go of. So this year, we’re going to try and take some of it with us, in the shape of summer-fun fabrics and yarns, and projects to match. Join us?

Koigu KPPPM
Koigu KPPPM

We are year-round knitters, but our needles definitely get a little extra click as fall arrives. Koigu, both KPM and KPPPM and the DK-weigth Kersti, is a staple for us, and as were getting ready for fall it’s no wonder we’re looking at all the bright, glorious colour and seeing our fall accessories. We’d love a Meandering Shawl in Koigu KPPPM brioche, or a Fluid Slouchy Beanie in Kersti.

Sashiko sampler and thread.
Sashiko sampler and thread.

While not technically a tied to summer, we’ve really increased our stitch work this summer, and there is no doubt that Sashiko is to credit for it. This Japanese embroidery technique is stunning on its own, as a wall hanging or cushion cover, and adds incredible detail to hand-quilting and gorgeous details to clothing. We carry a number of Sashiko samplers, as well as the thread, needles, and thimbles you’ll need to get started. We can’t wait to take our summer obsession with us into the cozy days of fall (and winter!)

summer1Of course, sewing something fantastic in a floral is a classic way to carry summer colour through to the rest of the year. We have a stack of Liberty Tana Lawn just waiting to become Asters, Granvilles, and Emery Dresses. We pretty much thought we had our summer-to-fall sewing covered, and then Noodlehead’s Handmade Style arrived in the shop and we became obsessed with sewing bags! We definitely want at least one Double-Zip Wallet (we even carry the fabric used in the samples) and the  Zip Top Tote is also stunning — it would be perfect for a combination of Cotton + Steel‘s new prints, like Zephyr-Puff (above, in Mustard, Porcelain, and Teal).

Handmade Style by Nodlehead
Handmade Style by Nodlehead
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Colour Theory: Firebrand

Hot hot hot. We love this weather and all the things that come with it: patio drinks, backyard barbecues, sparklers, bonfires — it’s the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fiery centre of summer where it feels like everyone hits pause and basks in the season. In an effort to make it last just a little bit longer, we’ve collected some of our favourite fire-inspired items from the shop.

fire-colourtheory

1. Lecein Colour Basic Double Gauze Red/White Polkadots
2. Yarn Bowl
3. Tosh Merino Light in Sun Rose, Tart, and Phoenix
4. Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Rage
5. Lizzy House Mini Pearl Bracelets in Tomato, Art Gallery Prisma Elements in Passion Garnet, Art Gallery Cultivate in Row by Row (Lit)
6. Liberty Tana Lawn in Kitty Grace E, Capel F, and Eleonora C
7. Tosh Twist Light in Cardinal
8. Shalimar Breathless Lace in American Beauty
9. Art Gallery Happy Home in Bedside Journal Candid, AdornIt Crazy for Daisies in Daisy Darling (Cherry)
10. Handmaiden Maiden Hair in Beet
11. ArtYarns Rhapsody Light in #909
12. Lizzy House Natural History in Dinosaurs (brown)
13. Valdani hand-dyed thread in #O533

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Silk for summer

Is there anything more luxurious than the feeling of silk against your skin in the summer? It’s cool and smooth, and has the kind of drape and shine that make even wrinkled garments look chic. We’ve carried silk yarns since we opened, and we are beyond thrilled to be adding Liberty of London silks to our shelves: We got our first shipment of Liberty Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine, Chelsea Silk Georgette, and Belgravia Silk Satin. These fabrics are incredible, and we are so, so excited to show them to you.

Liberty Morris A in: Chelsea Georgette, Belgravia Silk Satin, and Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine.
Liberty Morris A in: Chelsea Georgette, Belgravia Silk Satin, and Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine.

Each of our new Liberty silks has its own unique characteristics. The Chelsea Georgette is floaty and sheer, perfect for an ethereal dress (with a slip, unless you’re feeling daring), a kimono-style jacket, or a light sheer top like Victory Patterns Roxanne. The Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine is a great choice for silk beginners. The crepe texture helps keep your fabric from sliding as you sew and gives your finished garments a nice — it would be perfect for a dressy-yet-understated Grainline Alder, Sewaholic’s new Harwood Dress or a Deer & Doe Arielle Blouse. Liberty’s Belgravia Silk Satin is a statement fabric, with a luxe sily shine and smooth hand — use it for a a Colette Dahlia or a By Hand London Anna Dress and you’ll be all set for any party that comes your way.

Liberty Archive Lilac C in Chelsea Goergette, Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine, and Belgravia Silk Satin
Liberty Archive Lilac C in Chelsea Goergette, Torrington Silk Crepe de Chine, and Belgravia Silk Satin

Of course, just because these new Liberty silks have turned our head doesn’t mean we don’t have your silk-knitting needs covered.

Left: Filatura di Crosa Luxury in #36, #5, and #2 Right: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Jade
Left: Filatura di Crosa Luxury in #36, #5, and #2
Right: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Jade

Handmaiden Sea Silk and Filatura di Crosa Luxury are incredible silk yarns that feel incredible to wear. Perfect for garments and accessories, we would love a silk Waterlily or Balta tank. To pair with one of our new (dream) Liberty silk dresses, though, an Ocean Breeze or Lakeshore shawl would be a perfect addition.

Silk-Mohair blend cardigan
Silk-Mohair blend cardigan

And, lest you think silk is only for warm weather, we are beyond thrilled with our new cardigan. The simple shape of the yoke is augmented with garter-stitch stripes, and the whole thing is worked up in silk-mohair blend yarns: we used ArtYarns Rhapsody Light (colour 307) for the body and Rowan Kidsilk Haze (in Steel) for the contrast. The result is an incredibly lightweight, but very warm, cardigan that we can’t wait to wear this fall.

ArtYarns Rhapsody Light in and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Steel
ArtYarns Rhapsody Light in #37 and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Steel
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Perfect patchwork

As our summer days (and evenings, and weekends in general) get busier, we’re always on the lookout for projects that can be picked up and put down without fear of losing our place in a chart or ending in the middle of a long row. These kinds of projects are perfect for summer, and generally end up littered around the house — something near the couch, something by the front door, something else in the car, you know how it goes. This summer, we’re turning our attention to patchwork of both the knitting and sewing variety. It’s the perfect take-anywhere, pick up and put down project, and best of all, it means that when the cold weather returns we’ll have blankets all ready to go.

1. Art Gallery Fabrics Anna Elise in: Daisies Lilac Scent, Bunny Binkies Fluff Metallic and Geo Mist Gold; and Prisma Elements in Pearl and Gold Metallic. 2. Art Gallery Fabrics Prisma Elements in: Solar Quartz, Matte Zirconia, Jet Onyx, and Pearl and Gold Metallic. 3. Art Gallery Fabrics Indian Summer in Drops of Clay and Woodland Oak; Prisma Elements in Latte; and Indian Summer in Menagerie Timberwolf and Forest Trail Mountain. 4. Art Gallery Fabrics Indian Summer in Shimmer Creek Aqua and Woodland Pine; Prisma Elements in Larimar Sea; and Anna Elise in Let it be Breeze and Wind Melody Soft.
1. Art Gallery Fabrics Anna Elise in: Daisies Lilac Scent, Bunny Binkies Fluff Metallic and Geo Mist Gold; and Prisma Elements in Pearl and Gold Metallic.
2. Art Gallery Fabrics Prisma Elements in: Solar Quartz, Matte Zirconia, Jet Onyx, and Pearl and Gold Metallic.
3. Art Gallery Fabrics Indian Summer in Drops of Clay and Woodland Oak; Prisma Elements in Latte; and Indian Summer in Menagerie Timberwolf and Forest Trail Mountain.
4. Art Gallery Fabrics Indian Summer in Shimmer Creek Aqua and Woodland Pine; Prisma Elements in Larimar Sea; and Anna Elise in Let it be Breeze and Wind Melody Soft.

One of the most fun aspects of a patchwork project is the planning! Choosing a palette is so much fun, and then, once you’ve got your fabrics picked out, you get to choose how to arrange them! For a really simple project, patchwork-squares (either arranged in a perfect grid, or with alternating rows like bricks) are about as basic as it gets. Once you know what size you want your finished quilt to be, you can cut your squares and plan your rows. They stitch up very quickly on a machine, or for a more portable project, you can draw your seam allowances on and sew them by hand.

Check out our selection of books and patterns here.
Check out our selection of books and patterns here.

Of course, that’s just the starting point, we have lots of books and patterns that take patchwork to a whole other level: Working with different shapes, organizing your colours, creating blocks — the sky really is the limit. We’re also converts to the art of hand quilting, which is such a peaceful process, perfect for summer evenings when you finally get a minute to slow down.

Biscotte & Cie Gobelin in Vanille, Pruneau, and Nuit
Biscotte & Cie Gobelin in Vanille, Pruneau, and Nuit

If sewing isn’t your thing, though, knit and crochet patchwork blankets are fantastic summer projects. Individual blocks are relatively quick to finish, and until the sewing up (which you can save for the fall), you never have a big project heating your lap. Our current favourites are tincanknits’ Fly Away, which offers so many possibilities for design, and the gorgeous African Flower Hexagon crochet pattern by Heidi Bears. If you want something scrappier (for leftover skeins from other favourite projects, or just an excuse to indulge in some Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails), Kay Gardiner’s Mitered Crosses pattern fits the bill nicely.

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Summer coverups

The weather this summer has been a bit … unpredictable. We’ve had some gorgeous, hot summer days, but there have been more cool days than usual, and the nights have been noticeably cool. If we were knitters, we might lament this, but since it has given us the opportunity to knit and wear cardigans and large, lightweight shawls, we’re not complaining (too much, anyway). Here are some of our favourite summer coverups, in case you (like us) have been reaching for an extra layer more than you expected.

Shalimar Breathless Lace in Glacier, Mole, and Love Potion
Shalimar Breathless Lace in Glacier, Mole, and Love Potion

Shalimar Breathless Lace is luscious, lightweight, comes in incredible colours, and offers very generous yardage. Perfect for an large, airy, lacy Fantoosh shawl — just the thing to have on hand for cool evenings out and about.

Anzula Sebastian in Dusty Rose and Au Naturel
Anzula Sebastian in Dusty Rose and Au Naturel

If you would prefer to wear your lace, the Hitofude cardigan is a fantastic choice. It offers both drape and structure, making if flattering for a range of sizes and body shapes, and the lace is a simple enough repeat for an adventurous beginner and still interesting for a more experienced knitter. Worked in Anzula Sebastian, you get the shape-retention benefits of wool and the shine and sleekness of the sea cell. Pretty perfect, we think.

Madelinetosh Merino Light in Cosmic Wonder Dust
Madelinetosh Merino Light in Cosmic Wonder Dust

For fun summer colour, it’s hard to go wrong with Madelinetosh’s speckled Merino Light. The neutral background keeps the yarn (and your finished garment) from feeling too busy, and the multi-coloured specks keep it fun. This kind of colourway is best suited to a less-busy pattern, and the Anisos shawl from the latest Wool People is perfect: a simple stockinette and garter-stitch body, with a large-scale lace edge. We also love the shape of this shawl, which offers excellent wrapping ability — perfect if a breeze picks up .

Louet Euroflax in Lake Placid
Louet Euroflax in Lake Placid

What would summer be without linen? Euroflax in general, and this colour in particular (despite its name), whisks us off the the South of France, and has us dreaming of that perfect, easy-yet-chic summer piece. The Lineal Cardigan comes pretty close to that aesthetic, we think, with its modern shaping and pared-down details. Perfect for a crisp linen that will only get softer and more lovely each time you wear it.

Berroco Maya in Papaya and Lavenda
Berroco Maya in Papaya and Lavenda

Perhaps one of the most useful summer coverups, though, is a garment that basically amounts to just sleeves. The Top-Down Shoulder Warmer is a perfect way to carry your sleeveless summer dresses into cooler weather, since its smart design keeps the front fully open and the short back means the shape of your outfit isn’t obscured by long hanging sides. Knit up in Berroco Maya, you’ll have a warm (but not too warm), lightweight layer that you’ll reach for again and again.

Classic Elite in Laurel
Classic Elite Provence in Laurel

Provence is one of our go-to cottons. It has a love hand and comes in fantastic, rich colours, which offer lots of choice for this Empire Waist Cardigan. This is a perfect weekend coverup, managing to be both breezy and casual without sacrificing good fit or style.

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New Liberty prints

Lovely, lovely Liberty. Opening up the big boxes that come from London is truly a highlight, and this week we got in a shipment so big we couldn’t get it unwrapped fast enough to photograph it all! You can see all the new prints in our online shop, but we thought we’d highlight a few just to get you started.

Liberty Tana Lawn in Donna Leigh, Tamsyn, and Emerald Bay
Liberty Tana Lawn in Donna Leigh, Tamsyn, and Emerald Bay
Liberty Tana Lawn in Lady Zadie B, Heidi, and Lady Zadie A
Liberty Tana Lawn in Hekseth, Nikita, and Kit
Liberty Tana Lawn in Lady Zadie B, Heidi, and Lady Zadie A
Liberty Tana Lawn in Lady Zadie B, Heidi, and Lady Zadie A
Liberty Tana Lawn in Scharing, Helen and Norman, and The Braided Brocade.
Liberty Tana Lawn in Scharing, Helen and Norman, and The Braided Brocade.

There is so, so much more where those came from. Of course, these prints have us dreaming about new projects. At the top of our list? Well, for right now, we’re thinking a pair of City Gym Shorts and an Adelaide dress are no-brainers, and we could definitely get behind an Endless Summer Tunic in one of the Lady Zadie prints. After whipping up a couple of quick projects, we think our enthusiasm would be under control enough to tackle something with more detail, and a short-sleeved Aster, in Donna Leigh or Braided Brocade, would be a great fit for the cooler summer weather we’ve been having lately.

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Garden Party

We’re not sure why we always think summer will offer up seas of free time (leftover childhood memories, perhaps?) but every year summer brings a happy twirl of events and parties all too good to say no to. Besides the fun of seeing friends and loved ones, and the general loveliness of the weather, summer parties offer the chance to dress up in pretty dresses and fancy shawls, and we can’t argue with the delight of that.

gardenparty5As we continue to expand our handmade wardrobe, we couldn’t resist sewing up a pretty summer party dress and then, naturally, we had to knit up a co-ordinating shawl. The shawl, Henslowe, is one of our favourite patterns (this is our third), knit up in the gorgeous Yarn Indulgences Indulgent Grand Style (600 yards in one skein!) in Buttercup. This feeds into both our love of this pattern and our recent obsession with this colour. The dress, sewn in Liberty Tana Lawn in Elizabeth A, is a bit of a mash-up: It has a similar bodice to Colette Patterns’ Dahlia, but the back is open, and it has a simple gathered skirt — the ability to customize patterns is what makes sewing so appealing to us, and we’re so happy with how this dress turned out.

gardenparty4_480
gardenparty1_480
One of the reasons we think this pairing works so well is because of the proportions. The open back is fun and a little sultry (especially compared with the full-coverage front), but the shawl balances that out perfectly. Its relatively shallow shape, and the fact that a third of the depth is made up of lace, means that you can cover up (for warmth or modesty) without fully covering the dress. The colour of the shawl also picks up on the subtle yellows in the print, which ties the whole look together.
gardenparty6

We love this pairing, and (of course) it got us thinking about other fantastic combinations. For example, how about a Belladone paired with the modern lace of Rosebud? Or a full-length Anna Dress matched with a Mirepoix knit up in a slinky silk blend (Anzula Mermaid would be a great choice)? Or (one more) for a more casual event, we love the full-length Southport Dress, which would pair beautifully with a Pebble Beach Shawl.

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