June 2019 Show & Share

Judy brought in the Spiral Sock without Heel she has in progress.
Wendy brought in the Tundra Sweater she made for her husband.
Fran brought in the Secret Paths shawl she is making with Songbird Yarn SW Sock in the Blackbird colourway.
Victoria brought in the Eivor Cardigan she is making for her niece with Pickles Pure Wool sourced from Norway.
Barb wore the Vitamin D cardigan she made with Classic Elite Firefly.
Judy brought in the yarn she bought on her trip to Ireland – O’Maille Donegal Heather
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Knitting in Canada – further reading

Last Thursday I held the Yarn Club hostage in overtime to dissect approximately 300 years of Canadian knitting history. Thanks for sticking it out, team! Today I’m rounding up some of the resources I used in my research for those of you who’d like to take a deeper dive into some of the topics we covered. I’ve tried to organize them roughly by topic.

First off though, I owe a great debt to Canada Knits by Shirley A. Scott. I’m not sure by what license the full text of this book is available online at the link above. I own a hard copy, but was able to access the book in PDF as well. Published in 1990, this is a great overview, especially of early Canadian knitting history, and the history of knitting on the East Coast in particular. It set me on the right track many a time as I filled out the stories I wanted to tell and traced more recent developments from the last 30 years, after its publication date. Recently, Ms. Scott has co-authored another book, to great acclaim: Saltwater Mittens.

Cowichan Sweaters


Ice Harbor Compass Mittens

East Coast Mitten & Sock Innovation


(We did decide that the correct spelling is Toque, FYI. You heard it here first.)

Toque Basic pattern

Knitting in the Interior of Canada

Wartime Knitting

Briggs & Little

Patons & Baldwins Ltd. (Beehive)

Spinrite Yarns

Mary Maxim

Independent Yarn Producers

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Stranded Colourwork Resources

At the May Yarn Club meeting we talked about Colourwork techniques with a focus on stranded knitting. I’ve rounded up some of the online resources I referred to in my talk below.

I got some great historical information from Lela Nargi’s book, Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition.

BluPrint has some great online classes for starting or just perfecting your stranded knitting skills. I enjoyed:

  • Fairisle Fundamentals with Tanis Gray
  • Modern Stranded Knitting Techniques with Mary Jane Mucklestone
  • Custom Colorwork Techniques with Stephanie Tallent
  • Cut Your Knitting: Strand & Steek with Confidence with Beth Whiteside

You can learn more about colour choice, colour theory, and online colour resources (including my favourite, Design Seeds) in my post about our colour theory for knitters meeting. Find Part 2 of that post here.

Other Online Resources for Stranded Colourwork:

Other Colourwork Techniques

Do you have a favourite blog post, book or colourwork pattern? Let me know in the comments!

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Show & Share May 2019

The Grand River Bead Society is accepting fibre arts & fibre artist vendors to its annual Show & Sale this October 19 – 20, at the Evergreen Centre. Check back to the website for vendor applications or contact vend.grbs@gmail.com to request an application

Rose brought in her Cushy Smocked Throw made with Patons Classic Wool Worsted.
Mindy wore her Chandail cardigan made with Cascade 220
Liz wore her Tilda top made with Lang Yarns Xenia
Judy brought in her Umina cape made with Random Ranch Alpacas yarn
Barb brought in the Anchorage Cardigan she made for her husband using Kelbourne Woolens Scout
Kris brought in her Gnome de Plume!
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April 2019 Show & Share

Cheryl wore her Mine Hill cardigan made with Indigodragonfly Wingenhooven Fingering.
Valerie shared her then-WIP (look! it’s all finished now!) Tsumuzikaze, made with Shipwrecked Sheep Anji Sock.
Victoria brought in her Training Wheels brioche cowl made with Gaynor Homestead Worsted.
Liz wore her Truss cardigan made with Julie Asselin Nurtured.
Alexis was working on an Oliver (cardigan version) with West Yorkshire Spinners Jacob Aran
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March 2019 Show & Share

Roxann shared the following resource after last month’s meeting: Betsan Corkhill is a UK Physiotherapist and wellness coach who wrote the book Knit for Health and Wellness.

Wendy brought in her Diamond Edge Shawl which she test-knit for the designer.
Wendy also brought in the Almaz Cowl that she test-knit as a gift for her son.
Mindy brought in her Little Vine Hat that she made with yarn from Songbird Yarn & Fibres purchased at the February meeting.
Valerie wore her Cabeladabra sweater made with Canadian Ewe yarn.
Valerie also brought in her Citrus Hat that she made with Qiviut yarn
Jennie wore her Colorwork Yoke Pullover from the Fall 2018 issue of Knit Simple
Jo brought in her Carbeth sweater made with Cascade Eco+
Liz wore her Gehry sweater made with Brooklyn Tweed Loft
Lize also brought in her A Girl’s Best Friend shawl made with Lichen & Lace and Hedgehog Fibres yarns
Judy brought in the Close to You shawl she made with Songbird Yarn & Fibres yarn purchased at the February meeting.
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Healthy Knitting & Crochet: Ergonomics, Activity & Maintenance

Three years ago, we held a Yarn Club meeting where special guest Terri Rowan, RMT, talked about strategies for keeping our bodies in shape to keep us doing the crafts we love longer. Last month I asked Terri to help me revisit this topic from a perspective of specifically keeping our knitting & crochet habits healthier. At the link above you’ll find Terri’s post about posture and exercises for keeping our crafting muscles in shape. Here I’ve assembled some of the resources I used to inform the talk, and some of the links I referenced during the presentation.

Keep in mind the four key concepts we talked about throughout the meeting:

  • Keep moving – holding one position for a long period of time, regardless of the position, is detrimental.  Reposition, take breaks, get up & move.
  • If it hurts, change it – be aware of discomforts that develop and adjust accordingly. Take breaks!
  • Create routine – you are more likely to adopt as habit physical activity that is incorporated into your daily routine.
  • Vary your type of activity – even if this means knitting using a different technique, or working on a different-sized project, commit to change movements more frequently.
Carson Demers’ book is seminal on this topic, not to mention a great resource for help in other areas such as office work. In Canada you can order it from Indigodragonfly.


DIY Ergonomic Crochet Hooks from Polymer Clay

Cyclo Knitter by George Barratt-Jones from George Barratt-Jones on Vimeo.

The Fabric Knitting Sheath – Uniquely American?

If there’s anything I’ve missed that you’re looking for from the meeting, please let me know and I’ll post an update! Happy crafting.

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February 2019 Show & Share

Mindy brought in the sample for her recently released pattern This Good Earth, available on Ravelry, made with Cascade Alpaca Lana D’Oro.
Laura brought in her Strokkur Sweater (above) and her Rose Quartz shawl (below).
Frieda brought in a sweater she made from repurposed yarn and created based on patterns from Lang Wolle FAM and Filati magazines.
Judy brought in the Skyline Cowl she’s been working on.
Sandy brought in her “Who Spiked the Shawl?” in progress, using Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk (From the Lake No 1 1924), and Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Fine (Black River Stone).
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January 2019 Show & Share

We had a surprise multimedia show & share item in January. Kris brought in her Dalur Design #7 Pullover that she had wired with LED Christmas lights!

Kris made her Dalur Design #7 Pullover with Alafoss Lopi.
Roxann brought in her own design, Flying With One Wing.
Valerie brought in her New Start shrug.
Valerie also brought in her Leg Warmers.
Liz brought in her Uniform Cardigan.
Gillian brought in her Big Love cardigan test knit.
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Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for K1P1 Rib

Next up in my series of cast-on/bind-off tutorial videos is the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off for K1P1 Rib. I love the finish on this. Many Yarn Club members asked about a bind-off for toe-up socks: this is my favourite. See the seminal work Cast On, Bind Off by Cap Sease for a K2P2 version.

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