Category Archives: Community

Our Next KAL: Options Sweater by Amy Herzog

It’s YU’s first ever sweater knit-along!

Many of our serious regulars have already got yarn and even started up a few swatches, but the rest of you have a couple of days to pick up your yarn before we officially begin.

If this is all news to you, here’s a brief summary of the plan:
“…it’s an Amy Herzog design, so you know it’s going to be a great-fitting sweater. Amy is the sweater-fit guru behind tons of beautiful designs and the brains behind CustomFit. Options allows you to knit a sweater customized to your own needs: crew or v-neck, cardigan or pullover, textured, smooth, striped, or not. It’s done in pieces and then sewn together, and the KAL would involve lots of help from our staff on how to complete this step, and any other step that might be baffling you along the way.”

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Pattern: Options (Pullover or Cardigan)
Yarn:
DK/sport weight, or whatever you need to get a 23 sts/4” gauge. We suggest Georgian Bay Fibre Co Bayfield DK (the yarn that inspired the project that inspired the KAL), or Estelle’s Eco Andean DK Wool. Both are in stock in a beautiful range of colours, and we’ve got more of the Georgian Bay en route to us as we speak. Come see us to choose your size and style and to get your yarn all sorted if you haven’t yet.

Schedule:
Start: Wednesday, April 19th
Sunday Drop-In Clinic (FREE for KAL participants): April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9
Seaming classes with Kate Atherley, especially catering to the Options pattern, $35 (20% off the usual price, and an extra hour long):
Pullover finishing on Monday June 26th 6-8pm
Cardigan finishing on Tuesday June 27th 6-9pm
End: Wednesday, July 12th (3 months)

Prizes:
Most Amusing Finished Object Photo: Break out the camera and let’s see your modelling skills. Prize will be a $15 gift card for Yarns Untangled!
Most ingenious alteration: Options is ideally designed for tweaking, changing, shortening, lengthening, adding fancy cables or colourwork, etc! Stretch your imagination as far as you can, and the winner will get a free digital copy of Pattern Writing for Knit Designers.
Best mess up and recovery: KALs can be wonderful learning experiences, so share yours with us! The person who learns the biggest lesson will get a coupon for a private lesson with either Brenna or Amelia.
The Random Draw: one winner will be randomly chosen from among the participants, see below for parameters. Prize will be a $15 gift card for Yarns Untangled.

Participation: In order to be considered for entry for prizes, and to receive discounts on classes, crafters must either join this Ravelry thread or post on Instagram (#YUOptionsKAL) and announce which yarn you’ll be using. Once the project(s) is/are finished, you must post at least one picture of it. If you’d rather, come see us in person and we’ll get a snap of it for you and help you to post it on Ravelry.
Hashtag: #YUOptionsKAL (use this wherever good hashtags are accepted)
Pattern: the project must be following the Amy Herzog Options pattern, or at least based on it. Alterations are encouraged.
Yarn: Crafters must use yarn purchased from Yarns Untangled, but it doesn’t need to have been purchased during the time of the KAL. If you choose to use yarn purchased elsewhere, you are still welcome to knit-along with us, but you will not be eligible for prizes, discounts, or free drop-in clinic help.
That’s it! If you have any questions, reply to this thread, shoot us an email at info @ yarnsuntangled.com, give us a call at (416) 603-2338, or drop in and see us in person!

Pussyhat Global Virtual March

The pussyhat project continues! The Women’s March was a great success and there continues to be a lot of momentum for this movement. We’ve had a considerable interest from the wider community for more pussyhats for future events so we’ve come up with several ways for you to get one of your own!

Right now we’re making more hats in preparation for the next major event: the Pussyhat Global March on International Women’s Day!

The goal of this march is similar to the original: provide marchers with a unique, collective visual statement and to provide women’s rights supporters with a way to come together in a virtual march. The virtual march is taking place across social media with the hashtag #pussyhatglobal. For more information on how to participate check out the Pussyhat Project website, and make sure to wear your own Pussy Hat on Wednesday March 8th to keep the movement going.

Want a pussyhat of your own? For the original women’s march, all pussyhats were made by crafters who generously donated their time and money to create each hat. Each hat takes several hours to make and could cost anywhere from $5 to $30 in materials. While we’d love to keep donating hats to the cause, the demand is so high we can’t afford to! It’s actually kind of a wonderful problem to have because it means so many of you are eager to participate in this important movement. Everyone who wants to participate in the pussyhat project should be able to, so to address this we’ve decided to move forward in two ways.

Learn to knit your own pussyhat!  The first is for those interested in making their own pussyhat, our Knitting for Beginners I class covers the skills required! Our next Knitting for Beginners class is scheduled for March 7th & 14th from 6-7pm and as of this posting there are still spaces available! We also offer private lesson scheduled at your convenience for $30 an hour. Email or call us during business hours to book a time.  The pattern is a pretty easy one, so this is a great time to learn.

Looking to buy a pussyhat instead? We at Yarns Untangled will be selling the ones we make for $45 and all of the proceeds going to the Native Women’s Association of Canada. There were SO many great options for charities and non-profit organizations that we could support with our donated funds, and it was with great deliberation and lots of discussion that we decided to go with NWAC. NWAC is one of the five officially recognized National Aboriginal Organizations, whose purpose is to represent and speak, at the national level, on behalf of Aboriginal women in Canada.

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Indigenous women continue to be marginalized socially, politically, and economically. According to Stats Canada, indigenous women are close to THREE TIMES as likely to be victimized in a violent crime. A truly equal society should always be supporting those that are working to represent all women’s rights. We need now more than ever to be especially supportive of those living in communities still struggling to cope with the damages done through centuries of racism and violence. This sort of systemic oppression is deeply rooted – and we have a long way to go to acknowledge and repair the damage.

The NWAC works to address issues such as education, employment and labour, environment, health, human rights and international affairs and violence, with a special focus on the currently missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. We hope the donations we contribute will make a true difference to help address the incredibly serious, and life-threatening racism that Aboriginal women are facing today.

All hats are paid for in advance and made to order, and they support an important cause. To order yours, just give us a call or send us an email!

And of course, as always, if you knit/crochet/sew you can make your own using any of the patterns available on the Pussyhat Project website!

That’s all for today. Have a great International Women’s Day!

-Amelia, Brenna & Nicole

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Rhichard Devrieze Trunk Show!

Rhichard Devrieze and his beautiful yarns are coming back to Yarns Untangled for another fantastic trunk show! Saturday, January 28th from 11am to 5pm, our table and shelves will be full of Fynn, Peppino, and Phantom, as well as some limited one-of-a-kind colourways and bases that are otherwise unavailable anywhere else.  Last year’s RDV trunk show was a huge success, so we know this one will be even better.  Get there early because the most popular colourways go quickly!

For every $50 you spend on Rhichard’s ravishing yarns, you can fill in a raffle ticket to win a fantastic RDV-themed prize pack! RSVP on Facebook to give us an idea of numbers, and bring all your friends.

Socks and Shawls and Sweaters, Oh My!

by Nicole Tavares and Amelia Lyon

Ding! Ding! Ding! Our Kate Atherly Knit Along officially came to a close this week. Kate is one of our favourite teachers, and her patterns sparked a great deal of creativity over the past two months. With two hundred and fifty designs to choose from – anything was possible, and at least 30 of you glorious knitters and crocheters jumped in with both feet.  We are so pleased and impressed with every WIP and FO we’ve seen throughout this process, so congrats to everyone who participated, regardless of whether you made it past the finish line in time, or not!

Our collected finished projects covered baby sweaters, shawls, mitts, and of course – SOCKS! Kate is very often referred to as “The Sock Guru,” and the name is very very well-earned.  Out of all of her published patterns, virtually half of them are for socks, and the variation therein is so inspiring; from the plain ol’ top-down sock, to some of the fanciest colourwork and cablework out there, Kate’s socks are our go-tos whenever it’s time to keep our tootsies warm.

One of the best parts about knit-a-longs is watching crafters expand their skills and this one was no exception. We had a few people attempt their first ever pair of socks, while others went for a new method: two at a time socks.  Congrats to Jen C, Karen, Rachel, Ni, Jen H, and Annabel for tackling this tricky challenge this summer, we loved watching your progress.

cuff down socks and two at a time socks

Knit wavedeck pi shawl

The Wavedeck Pi Shawl was a very popular choice. This half pi shawl by Kate paired perfectly with two skeins of our Mineville DK and it’s tiered lace pattern is simpler than it first appears. With Pi shawls the increases aren’t worked every row, instead the stitch count is doubled periodically in order to achieve the circular shape. Don’t worry if math isn’t your thing – the pattern has done it for you!

This pattern is a half pi shawl, meaning it’s a half circle instead of a full one. As Kate herself says in the pattern, “quicker to knit and easier to wear!”

Our sample in the shop offered lots of inspiration for those looking to make their own.

With dozens of gorgeous mineville DK colours to choose from, little Wavedecks started appearing all over the place in blues and greens.

wavedeck-collage

Along with the wavedeck shawls came a parade of socks in all shapes and sizes, from the most basic cuff down patterns to intricate colourwork.  Seen here are just a few of the sock FOs that crossed our path this month.

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Still other knitters tackled chart reading, colourwork, brioche and more. In the end, we had more than 25 projects finished (or almost finished…).

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No KAL is complete without a celebration at the end and some prizes. Without further ado, the winners are:

Most Individual Projects Completed

Goes to Rachel for finishing a Wavedeck shawl AND a pair of socks!  If you haven’t met Rachel, she started out as a loom knitter and has only recently moved into working with needle-knitting as well.  Obviously she’s rocking it!  Her prize is a $15 gift card for Yarns Untangled.

Biggest Mess Up/Lesson Learned

Goes to Cheryl for her work on the Asking for Flowers shawl!  This pattern was a step up for her since it offers the instructions for the lace in chart form, and there are quite a few short rows used to turn around the centre point of the left-to-right shawl.  With a wee bit of help from Brenna, Cheryl was able to turn out this just gorgeous shawl using three skeins of Rhichard Devrieze Peppino she picked up at the summer trunk show, and she is very pleased with it.  So are we!  Her prize is a coupon for a private lesson with either Brenna or Amelia whenever she wants!  Can’t wait to see what she learned next.

Most ingenious pattern alteration: 

Goes to Francesca for her work on the circular Wavedeck.  This pattern was by far the most popular one throughout this KAL, but Francesca took it up a level when she turned the half-pi into a full-pi!  She used two skeins of Riverside Studios in “Midnight;” these pics don’t do it justice, it has to be seen in person to be full appreciated.  Way to go Francesca!  Her prize is a digital copy of Kate’s amazing book, Pattern Writing for Knitwear Designers.

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Pre-blocking, but slightly more colour-accurate
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Blocking!

Of course the Random Draw! The two winners of our draw were awarded a collection of beautiful yarn from Kate’s stash. Lucky lucky knitters!  Congratulations to Claire and Vidya who made a Wavedeck and a One-Piece Baby Sweater respectively!

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Thanks to everyone who participated, you guys all rock.  As we head into the Fall season, we have lots coming up in terms of classes, trunk shows, events, brand new yarns, and a selection of old favourites. Check us out on the social media platform of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or sign up for our mailing list to be kept in the loop. Happy Stitching!

Our Next KAL: “KAAL,” a Kate Atherley-A-Long!

After the success of our previous knitalong where each crafter worked with yarn dyed by Megan of Lichen & Lace for a project of their choice, we’ve decided to base this one around another favourite artist of ours, the infinitely wise and wonderfully talented designer Kate Atherley.

In addition to being an extremely accomplished knitwear designer, Kate is in high demand as a knitting teacher throughout the English-speaking knitting community.  Just this spring and summer she has been invited to Interweave Yarn Fest in Colorado, Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and the Austin Texas Knit & Crochet Guild, to name a few.

As such, we count ourselves as very lucky to be one of few yarn stores that can claim as a regular teacher on our roster.  She can be found teaching at Yarns Untangled virtually every Tuesday and Thursday, and we are especially excited to announce that she will be joining us this Wednesday night (July 13th) for stitch night!  The puck-drop will be Friday July 15th, so this will be your chance to meet Kate, get some advice on which pattern would be best for you, or to pick her brain on any questions you might have for your chosen design(s), two days in advance of the beginning of the KAL.

Kate has generously set up a discount code on Ravelry.  Check the Ravelry thread for the code that gets you 30% off of any of her patterns from today until August 15th.  You can peruse through all of her designs on Ravelry here, but we’d like to take this moment to showcase some of our very favourites.

Always a crowd-pleaser, Asking for Flowers is a fingering weight, garter stitch shawl/scarf with a simple lace edging that is knit as-you-go.  It’s simpler than it looks, an extremely rewarding knit, and great for anyone looking to try out lace chart reading for the first time.

Asking for Flowers
Asking for Flowers

For those of you into cables, or looking to advance your skills, the Oswin the Impossible mitts are a joy to make.  They use one skein of DK weight yarn, suit any gender, and are a great way to show off a truly special hand-dyed yarn.

Oswin the Impossible
Oswin the Impossible

If you’ve visited the store in the past few months, you might have seen either Amelia’s or Nicole’s Wavedeck projects. Wavedeck is a half-pi shawl that is quite a bit less complicated than it looks, we promise.  Pi Shawls are a concept initially developed by knitting pioneer Elizabeth Zimmerman, and although it’s based on the mathematical concept of pi, no math is required to put this together (although if anyone wants to geek out, we are ready and waiting).

Wavedeck
Wavedeck

And of course, many of you will know that Kate is truly a sock guru.  Her sock knitting classes are some of our most popular workshops, and sock patterns make up almost 40% of her published work.  These designs range from the most basic (Basic Ribbed Socks)…

Basic Ribbed Socks
Basic Ribbed Socks

…to the most fancy (Lindisfarne).

Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter feeds for more spotlights on Kate’s patterns as a countdown to the start of the KAL.

Prizes:

Most individual projects completed (two socks count as one project) – bang out as many things as you can in two months!  Single skein projects count, so this is a great way to plow through your queue. Prize will be a $15 gift card for Yarns Untangled!
Biggest Mess Up/Lesson Learned – tell us your pain!  Every new project is a learning experience, and it’s always nice to hear about personal growth. 😉  Prize is a coupon for a private lesson with either Brenna or Amelia at Yarns Untangled.
Most ingenious pattern alteration – show us your knit hacks!  A little bit of shaping, an extra big shawl, a special sock toe, bonus mitten fingers, or whatever your heart desires, other knitters can always learn from your changes and your experience.  Prize is a digital copy of Kate’s book Pattern Writing for Knit Designers.
Special Crochet Prize – Since Kate’s patterns are all written for knitters, we’ll be offering a special prize for anyone who tackles the challenge of transcribing one of her designs into crochet!  Prize is a $10 gift card for Yarns Untangled.
Of course the Random Draw, two winners this time! – each will be awarded a collection of beautiful yarn from Kate’s stash (she gets great stuff sent to her in the mail, this is some primo promo yarn!)

The Knitty Gritty, or “The Rules”
(If this happens to be the first you’re hearing of the term “Knitalong” (or knit-a-long, or knit-along or KAL), we refer you to a short write up from our previous undertaking.)

Important Dates: starts July 15th, ends September 15th
Wednesday July 13th – Kate joins us for Stitch Night
As always, our Drop-In Clinic on Sundays is free to anyone participating in the KAL, so if a pattern seems like a bit of a challenge, we are here to help.
Participation: In order to be considered for entry, crafters must either join the Ravelry thread or post on Instagram (#kaal) and announce which pattern and yarn you’ll be using. Once the project(s) is/are finished, you must post at least one picture of it. If you’d rather, come see us in person and we’ll get a snap of it for you and help you to post it on Ravelry.
If you don’t have a Ravelry account, send us a quick email at info @ yarnsuntangled.com announcing your intention to participate. We’ll make sure you’re kept in the loop
Hashtag: #kaal (use this wherever good hashtags are accepted)
Pattern: the project must be following a pattern designed by Kate, alterations and adjustments are of course just fine.  All patterns are 30 % off on Ravelry for KAL participants using the code from the Ravelry thread.  Code is active as of today until August 15th.
Yarn: Crafters must use yarn purchased from Yarns Untangled, but it doesn’t need to have been purchased during the time of the KAL.
That’s it!  If you have any questions, shoot us an email at info @ yarnsuntangled.com, give us a call at (416) 603-2338, or drop in and see us in person!  

 

 

 

And just for good measure, we made this:

KAAAAAAAL

YU in the Community: Adopting a Lamb!

  • by Nicole Tavares

We have exciting news to share with you: Yarns Untangled has adopted a foster lamb through our friends at Topsy Farms!

We’ve dubbed our wobbly little friend “Cardigan” and he’s doing extremely well now. According to the Farm staff, he is the littlest of his group, but feisty and mighty of spirit. We are told he drank a full bottle immediately upon arrival, and then took a long nap.

Cardigan’s vibrant personality is already visible. He’s reported to be a loving, personable creature whose’s made fast friends with another adopted lamb named Purl. He’s also approaching farm staff for food, suggesting that he’s a smart little guy!

While the vast majority of lambs are born perfectly fine and will proceed to nurse and grow into healthy sheep, 1–2% will face dangerous complications. These lambs may born small, weak, injured, or they might be rejected by their mother. Lambs like Cardigan aren’t able to nurse properly, so they require special care in order to survive and thrive. That’s where Topsy’s foster lamb adoption program comes in!

Our donation assists the Farm in providing Cardigan with the extra attention he needs to thrive. He is being bottle-fed by hand in order to get the nutrition he needs and he’ll be cuddled by volunteers that visit the farm. Fortunately, there are lots of generous volunteers for such a task!

Cardigan the lamb being cuddled by a volunteer
Cardigan and his buddy, Purl, having a cuddle with Sally of Topsy Farms.

Once a lamb reaches adulthood they are officially sheep and typically shorn once a year. The fleece that’s produced is then washed and carded. Then, the resulting fibre is spun, dyed and made into the yarns we know and love.

Topsy Farms worsted weight yarn available at Yarns Untangled
A selection of Topsy Farms Worsted Weight available at Yarns Untangled.

Hopefully we’ll be able to take a field trip and visit Cardigan soon. Stay tuned for updates!

Why We Did It

Throughout this process, one of the first questions that almost everyone asked us was something along the lines of, “What made you decide to open your own store?”  That’s of course not quite what they mean; some of them mean, “What on earth do you think you’re doing, in this economy?” or “That’s going to be a lot of responsibility, are you sure you’re ready for it?”

Speaking for myself, it never really seemed necessary to me to put into words why we were doing this.  To me, it was obvious: for the yarn!  What knitter or crocheter hasn’t admitted to themselves that they have enough yarn to stock an entire shop?  By owning our own store, we would be able to buy exponentially more yarn than ever before, and obviously there isn’t anything that could go wrong with that.

So far, the benefits of being a professional yarn buyer have proven to be better than even I could have imagined.  We’ve stocked our shelves with goodies from so many of our favourite dyers (Riverside Studios, NBK, Mineville, Caitlin Ffrench, Malabrigo), and we have even more on the way (Rhichard Devrieze, Lichen and Lace, Indigo Dragonfly, and more).  Not to mention the awesome factory-produced yarns we’ve got, such as Cascade, Lang, Borgo de’ Pazzi, Mirasol, Noro, and the list goes on.  I get to spend my days surrounded by colour and texture and softness, and it’s wonderful.

But after all of this, I have something I have to confess.  I don’t think that it’s really for the yarn.  Don’t get me wrong, the yarn is awesome, but after being open for a little over a month, it isn’t the yarn that greets me every day with a smile and a hug.  It isn’t the yarn that spent an entire weekend cleaning, plastering, sanding, and painting the store.  It isn’t the yarn that got in the truck with us to move furniture in from all across the city.  It isn’t the yarn who donated coffee machines, plates, cutlery, shelving, cups, and a kettle to get us operational in the kitchen.  And it isn’t the yarn who designed our logo, took our photos, built our website, stored furniture in their living for a month, and worked tirelessly to make sure that we weren’t alone in this set up process.

As I write this, I’m sitting at a Wednesday evening stitch night surrounded by new friends and old, men and women, each with a set of needles or hook in hand, and each creating a beautiful thing.  The chatter is warm, kind, friendly (and usually pretty informative!), and I feel completely safe and at peace.  As people come and go, there are loud greetings, catching up, meeting new people, learning new skills, and generally being bad influences on each other.  As I write this, I’m realising that it truly isn’t for the yarn at all that we did this, but that it’s for this, for the warmth, the kindness, the community.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, the more I think about it, what made us decide to open our own yarn store was that we needed to make sure we had a home where amazing people and beautiful yarn can come together.  Thank you to each and every one of you who helped us get set up, and thanks in advance to those who are planning on coming to see us soon.  We can’t wait to meet you!

-Amelia