Thursday, 13 February 2014

Pantone’s New Colour Of The Year For 2014- Radiant Orchid

Pantone’s new colour of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. Specifically, PANTONE® 18-3224.
This picture is a collage of all the yarns available at The Yarn Store... inside The Quilt Store.
Last year we told you about Emerald green and how it served as a “symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity.” This year it’s all about Radiant Orchid… an “enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones that inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

“Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

Fashion designers including Emerson by Jackie Fraser-Swan, Juicy Couture and Yoana Baraschi, are incorporating Radiant Orchid into their spring collections and variations of this hue will carry into men’s and women’s clothing and accessories throughout next year. Too see what they are up to, and read about the rest of the Fashion Influences, check out the Pantone Fashion Colour Report 2014.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hobby Horse

Think back to when you were little and you used to gallop around your house on a toy horse pretending that you were a cowboy/ girl. Well if you remember doing this, you were riding around on what is called a Hobby Horse.

One of our teachers, Lynn, got a hold of a Hobby Horse design and decided that she would love to make it.

The materials needed in order to make this Hobby Horse are:
* 2 skeins of Noro Transitions yarn (substitution: Noro Diamond Wadaiko, Noro Nadeshiko, or Noro Diamond Ordi)
* 4 buttons for harness
* fibre fill to stuff the head
* yarn needles
* crochet needle
* stick to mount the horse head on

Lynn started off by casting on at the end of her sock by where the stick will be mounted.

She then worked her way up to form the heel of her sock and then turned her stitching in order to make the head of the horse.

As Lynn was making her way up the sock, she decided that she would make the horse's ears two different colours because she wanted to have fun with Noro yarn.

Once her sock was made she stuffed half of her new sock with fibre fill and then mounted it onto her stick. Lynn fastened her sock onto the stick by drilling a hole through the stick, attaching the yarn underneath the horses ears and then criss-crossed  her yarn through it in order for the head to stay on and not flop all over. She stuffed the rest of her horse's head.

Now that Lynn's horse is made and mounted on the stick, its time for her to put the features on her horse. She then decided that she would make the mane. In order to attach the horses main, Lynn had to crochet the mane using the slip knot method.

The next thing that she did was start making the facial features. Lynn crocheted the eyes and nose of the horse. The mouth was created by sewing together the bound off edges.


Once the face and main body features were on her horse, it was time for Lynn to add the final finishing touches to her horse. She then decided that it was time to make the harness. The harness was half knit and the other half was braided for the bridal and reigns. She attached these pieces by sewing them on. Then Lynn, added a button on either side in order to make the reigns and bridal fit together better.

Lynn found her pattern on how to make this Hobby Horse on Ravelry. While browsing Ravelry, she found the exact pattern she wanted to work with by They Are All of Me. This website gives you a step by step in depth tutorial of how to make your Hobby Horse.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Spool Knitting

Do you remember when you were little and your parents or grandparents gave you a little wooden spool that had four nails sticking out of it? Then they showed you how to add yarn to it and make a fun craft? Well, if you do remember this entertaining craft it was referred to as either spool knitting or corking. 

There are many different things that you can make with spool knitting, like a long snake, coaster, hot pads, and Barbie carpets. Recently, we have seen many new cool things like little animals, pin cushions, mug rugs, jewelry and even sweaters. They have updated the old wooden spool to awesome new tools like the Clover French Knitter Jewelry Maker and the cute Knitting Spool Set from Estelle.

Estelle Knitting Spool Set- available at The Yarn Store

One of the easiest projects to start with is a circular mat. Once the spool knitting is done or you run out of yarn, you can coil it and sew it together on the back. This is a great way to learn how to sew things together. Don’t worry about getting it perfect if you make a mistake it is easy to hide. 

Image from

Image from airali_gray on Flickr
A bracelet can also be made from spool knitting. You can make these in several ways. Some of the ways to add charms on is to finish corking and sew your charms on after. Another way is to buy charms that have a metal clasp at the end. This way you can either open the clasp with pliers or a clasp that can be opened with your fingers. Something else that you can use to help you make jewelry is the Clover French Knitter Jewelry Maker.  

Clover French Knitter Jewelry Maker- available at The Yarn Store

This Jewelry Maker can also make purse straps, sparkly curtain ties, necklaces, fancy waist belts, and other decorative items.
Image from

If you are looking for more ideas, check out our Pinterest board! Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

The kits that we have mentioned all come with instructions, but if you are looking for further guidance here is a tutorial. We hope we have inspired you to use our idea or create your own using spool knitting, enjoy!

Estelle Knitting Spool Set, TYS #84956, $12.99
* comes with pom pom makers

Clover French Knitter Jewelry Maker, TYS# 76221, $16.59

Knitter’s Pride- Beginners Craft Kit, TYS# 83709, $15.00 (shown on right)

  • A useful set of products to get youngsters started on their craft journey
  • Each packaged set contains:
  • One pair of stainless steel scissors
  • Straight acrylic needles (US 7 (4.5mm)/ 7” (18 cm))
  • Bright Red “Knitting Dolly” spool
  • Grey Aluminum Crochet Hook
  • Plastic Tapestry Needles
  • Measuring Tape

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Pom Pom Mobile Tutorial

Hello there!  Welcome to a cross-over blog of the Quilt Girls, Shannon, got her hands on some yarn, and we thought we'd share the details of just what happened.

Shannon has a thing for circles, and usually it's contained to the sewing realm, but one day, she was working with her step-daughter, making some pom poms, and creativity struck.  They decided to make a mobile from all the colourful, fuzzy pom poms. Here's how...


We started with a bunch of scrap yarn, to which I added a few irresistible Dye Hard Merino Minis.  These mini skeins are so rich and colourful - and the perfect size for making pom poms!

You can use cardboard templates, or you can pick up a couple modern wonders: Clover Pom Pom Makers. Don't forget to grab a good, sharp pair of scissors.
Pom Pom tools...templates or gadgets - you choose!
I grew up using the cardboard templates.  You can download one from Mia's Craft Ideas (it's got several sizes to choose from) and cut them out from cereal boxes.  They work just fine, but there's a bunch of cutting to do before you get to the fun part.

Last year, I discovered the joy that is the Clover Pom Pom Maker.  They come in lots of different sizes (and we've had them here at The Yarn Store) from teeny to jumbo.  For this project, I used the two small ones, and one large one (the smaller of the pair).  They are super easy to use, and the results are fantastic.


If you're using the cardboard templates, the instructions are basically the same as using the 'Maker, but you'll want to work with shorter cuts of yarn, since you have to pull the whole thing through the hole.  I'll be showing you how to use the Clover 'Makers.

1. Trap one end of the yarn between a pair of arms.

2. Gently begin wrapping the yarn around the pair of arms. Continue wrapping until the arms are evenly full, but not too bulky.

3. When one side is full, fold those arms into the centre, and pull out the other pair, continuing to wrap with the yarn. When evenly full, fold the arms in.

4. With the tool all folded in, use sharp scissors to cut the yarn.  There's a handy space between the arms just for this.  Be sure to keep the arms closed.

5. Here's how it looks with one half snipped.  Now trim the other side - but keep the tool closed!

6. Take a length of yarn (check to make sure it's strong enough not to break when you pull on it) and wedge it into the space between the arms, and tie a good knot.  I usually flip the tool over and tie a second knot on the opposite side, just to be sure.

7. Gently lift each arm up and out from the tied, trimmed yarn.  Make sure you snipped every piece of yarn, otherwise you'll have trouble opening it.  Getting excited yet?

8. Pull the sides of the tool apart (by holding on to the white parts, one in each hand), and then pull your pom pom off the pin. Yay!  Hold the long strings, and shake it out!

9. Trim any straggly, hairy bits from your pom pom.  If your pom pom looks somewhat oval, you've used too much yarn for the 'Maker.  Shape the pom pom as desired, and know that you can use less yarn next time.

It's easy to get carried away!

Here lies the pile of pom poms we popped out!  Now, onto the Mobile part of this project.


You could choose to get all creative and scientific and test your balance-building skills and make a truly twisty mobile with arms, but we went for simple.  Sticking with the circular theme, I found an inexpensive masonite floral ring at a craft supply store.  I decided to wrap the ring with fabric, but you could do it with yarn, too.  Keep your sharp scissors on hand, and add a glue stick or glue gun.

This 14" circle used about .25 m of cotton print fabric (from Riley Blake, Sugar & Spice), cut into 3/4" bias strips (but not a perfect 45 degree bias).  I'm a raw-edge kinda girl, so I didn't fold or finish the edges.  Bias edges will get slightly fuzzy, but the strips won't disintegrate, and the extra stretch will make it easier to keep the fabric smooth over the curves.

Swipe a little glue on the end of a bias strip, and stick it to the ring.  If you're using a styrofoam ring, you will probably need to pull out the big glue gun to make it stay.  When you reach the end of the strip, just glue it down.  Then, begin by gluing the next strip on top of it.  I didn't bother gluing anything in the middle of the strips, but you can if you're feeling a little controlling.

Once the ring is wrapped, use ribbon or yarn or other string to make the hangers.  I cut four even lengths of 1/2" organza ribbon.  The ring came with pre-drilled holes (bonus!) so I poked a big-eyed needle through four opposite holes, and threaded the ribbon through.  Note: watch out for the selvedge ends of the strips! You can't pull ribbon through selvedges. :(  Trimming them off when you're making the strips is highly recommended. 

Tie the bottom ends of the ribbon, keeping them as identical as possible.  Then, gather the top ends together and fasten them with a knot, or tie or stitch them over a ring for hanging.  Be sure the ring hangs level, with even weight on all ribbons.

Make a layout.  Rest assured it will probably change.
Next, find a space to lay out your pom poms.  Vary the sizes, the colours, and whatever other variables you've introduced (types of yarn, etc.) and the distance from the ring.  Take a picture or make notes to (try to) avoid obsessing about the layout.

I decided to use 1/8" wide ribbon to dangle the pom poms, to allow them to spin and sway in the breeze.  First, tie a loop at one end of the ribbon.  Using the tails of the string that tied the pom pom, tie the ribbon loop tight to the centre of each pom pom, being careful not to snag any of the pom pom fluff in the knots. Trim the tails so they don't show.

Tie the pom poms to the ring, varying the height/hang of each pom pom according to your layout, checking occasionally to make sure the mobile still balances evenly.

The Pom Pom Mobile, completed

This is such a fun (and flexible) project to do with kids, or by yourself.  The great thing about this mobile, is that the dangling bits actually have a shape when you're looking up at it from underneath.  The hardest part will be to stop making pom poms!

For your safety and enjoyment, be sure to hang the Pom Pom Mobile out of reach of curious kitties and grabby baby fingers.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Yarn Bombing FAQ

If you've never heard of a Yarn Bombing, your first question might be, "what's a yarn bombing?"  For those who've heard a little about this phenomenon/fad, here's some more information for your arsenal.

1. What's a Yarn Bombing?
A:  It's a form of graffiti that uses colourful yarn that is knit or crocheted into various shapes, and then anonymously affixed to objects in public spaces.  There are other names emerging for this spontaneous craft: yarn storming; guerrilla knitting.
Yarn bombing rarely has gorey after-effects

2. Who does this sort of thing?
A:  Artists, crazy yarn types, charity groups, anyone with some "string" and spare time.  Yarn bombings have been sighted all over the world, and only a few people have taken credit for their actions.  Even kids are being encouraged to get in on the action.
Yarn is easier to remove than spray paint...

3. When & where did this all start?
A:  The first recorded yarn bombing took place in the Netherlands in 2004.  Beginning in 2002, Oregon artist Shanon Schollian knit stump cozies for clear-cut forests. Texan wool shop owner Magda Sayeg was inspired to cover her shop door with a cozy in 2009. Several knitting collectives have since sprung up throughout the US and the UK, and a group in Lethbridge, Alberta founded the first International Yarn Bombing Day on June 6, 2011 (and it has indeed been celebrated worldwide since then).
Stump Cozy by Shanon Schollian

4.  Why??
A:  That depends on the motives of the 'bomber, really.  It's not exactly a political social activism movement, but it can be.  Generally, yarn bombing takes place for the betterment of the world, the beautification of the landscape, to make a point of public art, and just for the sake of having fun.

5.  Is it legal?
A:  Not really.  Because it is still technically defacing public property, yarn bombing is a form of graffiti.  However, it is ultimately removable and rarely damages the item/object it covers, so we have yet to hear of any major legal proceedings resulting from a yarn bombing anywhere in the world.  Sadly, there has been a recent theft:  a woolly mammoth sculpture has been robbed of its knitted onesie in Whitehorse. The group Yarn Bomb Yukon is asking that the blankets be donated to charity by the thieves, as per the organization's original intentions.
Yarn bombing done to coincide with museums conference in Yukon.

6.  Has it happened here?
A:  We have yet to hear of any yarn bombings in Newmarket.  (Do send us pics if you find something!) The Fall 2012 Creativ Festival downtown had yarn-bombed columns outside the entrance doors.
Creativ Festival Fall 2012 - yarn bombing site

7. How do I do one?
A:  There are lots of resources for the wannabe yarn delinquent, including books like Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, websites like KnitTheCity, and you can even find some friends on Facebook.  If you're shy, start with Wikipedia. Check this out if you're looking for a yarn bombing community. Basically, if you've got yarn, needles or hooks, go find yourself a target and have a sense of humour!
Yarn Bombing warrants actual print publications!

The Yarn Store doesn't necessarily endorse the activity, but we'd love to see fibre making a local impression.  Send us pics if you find a yarn bombing site!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

198 Yards of Heaven

Latest edition of "what did you make?" features Jacqueline and the "198 Yards of Heaven" shawl she's made.  Twice. (Happily, as opposed to last time, she got two shawls!)

Originally, she had knit one for her daughter (who occasionally hangs out with us at The Yarn Store) but was forced to make another for the store for fear her daughter would hate us all for keeping her pretty shawl from her.  No one wants that scenario.
198 Yards of Heaven by Christy Verity

So, Jacqueline knit another gorgeous shawl, and it's hanging in the store for all to see.  198 Yards of Heaven is a free pattern you can download from Ravelry. It's designed to use one skein of luxury yarn (198 - 220 yards / 180 - 200m) and the designer Christy Verity describes the project as a shawlette or a scarf.

Jacqueline chose to knit with the lovely natural fibre Araucania Ruca Multi which is available chez nous in  eight colour combos, as well as Ruca Solid in seven single colours, using a 4mm needle. This yarn has a luxurious drape, and is made of 100% sugarcane viscose.
Araucania Ruca Multi 18 (#74968)

Now, Jacqueline's not one to do things exactly by the rules, so she's made this one a little bigger than prescribed, using two skeins right to the very last inch.  
Jacqueline's (more than) 198 Yards of Heaven

Heavenly, wouldn't you agree? In the next photo, she models the shawl (officially a shawl, in this size).

Keep in mind that blocking is a very important step in the process of completing this - and any other - project.  Blocking will set the size and shape of your hand knitted item, including shaping details like the pretty points on this hem.
photo by Christy Verity

Here at the store we have two kinds of blocking mats.  One from Block 'N Roll and a modular set from Knit Picks.  If you've never blocked a project, come talk to us - we'll help convince you to try it (and suggest soap products for you, too) - and we'll bet you'll never skip this step again.

Come in to The Yarn Store to see and feel this little bit of shawl-shaped heaven, and get some of the yarn that Jacqueline used.  We've got a sale on right now, too...!

Block 'N Roll blocking mat #76410 (38x50" flat). 
Knit Picks Blocking Mat sets #70615 (9 mats each 12" square);