Thursday, June 18, 2015

This Blog is MOVING!

Yup, not only is the bricks & mortar location moving, but so is our blog!  Blogger has been great, but it's time to upgrade to something with a few more bells & whistles.

From now on, we will be broadcasting out news from

If you are subscribed to our newsletter you'll still keep receiving our updates, and we have migrated the old blog posts over to the new blog (although the formatting might be off). We also have a link on the new blog to the old one. This blog feed will not be deleted, it'll still be around, we just aren't going to add any more new posts to it.

See you at our new address!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Moving Sale Extended!

The renovations have finally started! We don't have a ton of work to do, but you never know about these things. We are extending our Moving Sale a few weeks to June 30th to keep the party going! 

Friday, June 05, 2015

New Store Project: Groovy in Noro SGSS

I just finished blocking our Groovy made with Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo.  The yarn is deceptively puffy, and we accidentally used the wrong needle size (3.5mm/US4) and it came out a bit too tight for my liking. You can go up a size or two, to 3.75mm or 4mm needles (US5 or 6) and it'll worked great!  The pattern was simple, not at all complex, well written and easy to follow. You can make your wrap/scarf deeper without doing math. The yarn is pretty, slightly tweedy, a slightly textured single ply. I tried blocking with both Soak and Eucalan and preferrred the Eucalan for this yarn - it makes it soft and pouffs it up. The garment is very flexible, it can be worn as a scarf, wrap or shawl, a great accessory for any wardrobe!

You'll Need:

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Report on the Becel Ride for Heart

Last Sunday I took part in the Becel Ride for Heart with my father (I blogged about it last April) for the Heart & Stroke Foundation (they help buy defibrillators & put them in public places, fund medical research, educate, etc - lots of important work).  I raised 86% of my $1500 goal - not bad. 

At the start, on the Gardiner Expressway, stopping to fix our clothes.
If you were in Toronto on Sunday at 5:30am you may have noticed the weather was less than hospitable for a fun charity bike ride. It was about 8 degrees celsius (46 Fahrenheit) and teaming rain. But Canadians are tough, and after the rain eased up a smidge people were eager to hit the road. Note: my helmet cover is pointy because I didn't get a chance to remove the light on the top of my helmet.

A quick overview: the ride starts at 6:30am, downtown near the lake, at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), snakes across the bottom of the city along the Gardiner Expressway, then the hard part starts as it goes uphill along the Don Valley Parkway up to highway 401, and then you go back down, the same way you came up. There are three routes: 25km (15.5miles), 50km (31miles), and 75km (46.5 miles) for the truly hardcore. The 25 is pretty easy because you don't hit the tough hills until after the point where they turn around and go back. We did the 50km. The 75km is really tough, they extra distance is made by repeating the hardest, uphill part of the course.  I saw one guy on a super fancy road bike flying by; I like to think think he was an athlete and probably did the 75km twice!

Pit Stop, port-o-pottie Selfie
The ride is big, there were 15,000 riders this year, and it was EXTREMELY well organized. Because of the rain we hit the road late, and thus hit the port-o-potties early. 

The return ride, on the Gardiner Expressway in front of the city.
I'm a commuter cyclist, I ride to work as long as the weather allows, and I'm used to riding in the rain. I have all kinds of wonderful rain gear from MEC (coat, pants, hat, special mitts, gloves, booties, ankle warmers, etc - it's a little like getting dressed for skiing, lots of swishing nylon fabric), but riding in the rain for two and a half to three hours isn't a party. We bore down and took pictures again when we were in the home stretch (and had a pretty back-drop of the city).  

Unfortunately, because we were so focused on finishing I didn't get a picture of the pavilions that are set up at the half-way points. They play exciting music, have tents with bananas & water, energy bars, bike repairs, and port-o-potties as far as the eye can see. It's a nice place to pat yourself on the back for making it up the big hill.

Did you notice that the cyclists in the picture behind us are kids?  There were TONS of kids taking part in the ride, lots of families. Some were on training wheels, some really little ones were pulled along in tent-like carts. 

After the ride selfie (my front camera lens needs cleaning)
When you complete the ride you return to the CNE to a celebration! Excited volunteers and booming motivational music welcomes you home. Sponsor tents are set up with food & other stuff (I never have a chance to see what else is being given out).  VIP fundraisers (over $1000 raised) return to a brunch, where an entire building (I want to say the food building?) is filled with tables & chairs, which are in turn filled with tired cyclists. It's amazing to see how many people are committed to this cause. Well, I guess it's not *that* surprising. Who doesn't know someone who's had a heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, angioplasty, or a heart defect?  

Last but not least, here's the story about the medals (above). Because of the bad weather this year we started later than normal, and when we pulled into the parking lot I saw a few people with these gold medals around their necks. I thought they must be among the first finishers, the people who completed the ride in record time or something sporty and important. When we were completing our ride I saw more medals and thought "Wow, these people are really sticking around for a long time after. Is there some kind of ceremony for them?" I passed through the food tent, crammed a banana in my face, and saw a bunch of people standing in line, waiting for something at another tent. What kind of sponsor swag was so good that these tired & hungry people would stop to line up? Medals - by the armload. I got two for my niece & nephew. Not having been an athletic kid, I've never really know what it feels like to wear a medal (the only award I ever received was a plaque from the Toronto Geography Teachers Association). I've gotta say, it doesn't feel bad.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Unicorn Dreams & Colour Palettes

I don't know about you, but I love looking at rainbowy, colour combined projects. They're rainbow eye-candy. People keep asking me what Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails are used for, and the best, most all encompassing answer is eye-candy. That said, I don't often wear all the colours of the rainbow at the same time. Most people don't, so I've assembled some colour combinations that work together. They're still colourful, but a slightly restricted palette.

Madeline Tosh shades are kind of tricky, they don't all compliment each other. The colour combinations I've assembled are based on skeins I ogled and considered for long stretches and that actually compliment each other in real life. If you feel like I neglected some colours palettes it's because I didn't feel the actual skeins worked well together.  This doesn't mean you shouldn't use those colours, they're just outliers to my eye. Please note: based on the actual dye lots we received, the colours Onyx and Dirty Panther are very close and are almost indistinguishable.

A regular scarf would normally require about 200g/400m of fingering weight yarn.

Photo: Westknits

Photo: Madeline Tosh

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Store Hours Start!

Photo: Pimp Your Bike  Crochet Skirt Guards (pattern)

Sunday May 31st the store will be opening an hour late and closing an hour early on because I'm riding in the Becel Ride for Heart! It's not too late to sponsor me! If you live in Canada your donation is tax deductible. 

We will also be moving to our summer hours on June 1st. We will be closed on Sundays, and our Stitch 'n Bitch shifts to Monday, Wednesday, & Saturday (rather than Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday).

June1 to Labour Day

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat:  11am to 6pm
Wed: 11am to 8pm
Sun: closed

Stitch 'n Bitch
Mon: 1-4
Wed: 5-8
Sat: 1-4

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moving Sale EXTENDED!

We are only moving a couple of doors North of where we are now, but it looks like it will take a little bit more time than expected to get into our new digs, so we are extending our Moving Sale to June 13th! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

SALE Noro Prism Kits

I wear this shawl all the time in the store, so much in fact that we had to make a second sample for the store.  People are constantly asking me what it is and how to make it. It's a free pattern from Ravelry, and is really easy - the yarn does all the work. Our samples were made with two skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock in two colourways: one main colour and one contrast colour (you can also use Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo for the contrast colour). The colours are carried up the side and alternated every other row - no cutting yarn, no weaving in endless ends.  Added bonus, it's on sale until the end of May!

  • 3.75mm/US5-32" (or longer) circular needles
  • stitch markers

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Store Project: Lala's Simple Shawl

Fresh off the blocking mat, we just finished up this shawl and it is great! The pattern is FREE, Lala's Simple Shawl. We made it extra big, and it is super cozy and a truly stunning wrap. I didn't realize that when triangular shawls are made really, really big, they don't really look very triangular when worn. 

We used the new Noro Kureopatora yarn and it was PERFECT! It's a single ply, woollen spun yarn, which means it's light, airy, and warm. It feels a bit coarse in the ball, but it softens up in your hands while knitting, and even more so after washing in Eucalan and blocking. It's also got amazing yardage, we only needed 3 skeins to make this great big wrap! Oh, and the yarn is on SALE until the end of May!  If you want a Summer friendly version you can substitute 4 skeins of Noro Taiyo (also on sale).

The pattern (Lala's Simple Shawl) is definitely beginner/novice friendly, so much so that I got a little bored and threw in a few modifications: 
  • Instead of increasing with a yarn over down the middle, we used a backwards loop cast on.
  • I got bored with the stitch pattern and threw in some variety: see stitch & crossed stitch  (see our Ravelry page for the nitty gritty). 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

It's Crochet Day! FREE Artfully Simple Scarf (or Wrap)

Photo: Moogly

This simple crochet scarf/wrap is a great project for crocheters of all levels! It's easy and makes a great gift. Use up stashed sock yarn or pick up that pretty little skein  you've been eyeing (I'm thinking some Madeline Tosh Merino Light might come home with me). 

Yarn Suggestions

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SALE Schulana Slouchy Angora Hat Kits

Last month we brought our Slouchy Angora Hat Kit to the Toronto Knitter's Frolic, and it was such a hit that we made it available in our Online Store! Plus, until the end of May it's on SALE for 25% Off!

Our Slouchy Angora Hat is casual comfort with a bit of sumptuous fuzz. Wear it with the brim turned up or down for super-slouch. 

The pattern is knit with 2 strands of DK weight angora yarn held together. Two colours are blended to create a depth of colour and marl. Due to it's nature, angora is very stretchy and it will stretch with wear, so don't worry about the hat being too small. 

Kit Includes
  • 2 skeins Schulana Angora
  • pattern 

fuchsia & red combo

Friday, May 15, 2015

Crochet Day! FREE Augusta Shawl

Photos: Fairmount Fibers
A simple something, light and easy for spring and summer. Use a light cotton like Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, which is easy to wear all year round, and crochet's like a dream, and won't break the bank. I think this pattern would also look amazing made with Freia Ombre Lace with it's gradual colour shift, or Schoppel Crazy Zauberball

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Volunteers Needed for Bestival Music Festival

Photo: Bestival 

Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for volunteers to inhabit & help out in the knitting & yarn bombing tent at the upcoming "Bestival" music festival (rock concert), Friday June 12 & Saturday June 13. Please also contact me if you’re interested in Yarn Bombing for the event.

  • Volunteers receive a free pass to the even for the day/s they are volunteering
  • The event is held on the Toronto Island - lots of pretty trees
  • Volunteers get to take a special ferry over, reserved for event organizers and talent (no annoying lineup at the ferry terminal)
  • The tent & all materials will be organized by the event planners, we won’t do any heaving lifting
  • You can volunteer for both days or just one day, and we'll create shifts do you can see your favourite band/s
  • 'Florence & The Machine' is headlining

Volunteers will be required to
  • hang-out and knit/crochet
  • teach random pop-ins how to knit/crochet
  • take shifts occupying the tent

Haley ~  info (at)

Victoria Day Long Weekend Hours

Queen Victoria Crocheting

Victoria Day Long Weekend Hours

Friday      11am to 6pm
Saturday  11am to 6pm
Sunday    11am to 6pm
Monday   Closed

Rikochan Kits Available Online

Do you remember the Rikochan spring/summer wrap we made a few weeks ago? 
We made up some kits and brought them to the Toronto Knitter's Frolic ... 

 ..... now you can get them ONLINE!  Plus, they're on SALE until May 31st!

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