Blankety Blanks – Sock Blanks are Here!

Blankety Blanks

Blankety Blanks sock blanks are a fun and exciting way to knit socks! Each blank is hand painted, and often silkscreened with an illustrated pattern. The unique nature of these blanks means that you never know exactly what your socks will look like. The colour story of each blank will determine the overall colour of your finished socks, but it’s impossible to know how the colours will translate to your finished project’s pattern, which is what makes knitting with Blankety Blanks so much fun!

Lumberjack Beaver Sock Blank

Blankety Blanks are a family effort. Rosehaven Yarn Shop owner Lesley Snyder paints all the blanks, and her husband Tim of Ton-up Creative creates the illustrations and screen prints each blank by hand. Sometimes the kids help too!

Sock Blank Printing in Progress
Sock Blank Printing in Progress
Piles of Sock Blanks
Mounds of Sock Blanks
Drying Sock Blanks
Drying Sock Blanks
Birds of a Feather Sock Blanks
Hand Painting Sock Blanks

Browse our current selection of Blankety Blanks. We’re always making new ones, so check back often!

Blankety Blanks are part of Lesley Snyder’s personal line of yarn products, called Baaa’d Girl Yarns. Baaa’d is always better!

Yarn Swap

April 9th, 2016 at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn

2 pm to 4:30 pm

Jackson’s Falls Country Inn

1768 County Road 17 Milford

This is a free event for the whole community!

Bring along full balls or skeins of yarn that you are interested in trading with someone. We will be doing the swap in a way that you will be swapping yarns of equal value with the yarn that you bring in.

Any yarns that are leftover after the swap will be going to a group of charity knitters.

Also bring along any knitting magazines, books or patterns that you are tired of and want to trade as well!

Yarn-Swap-Horizontal

Bursting With Colour!

It seems that every February I become so irritated with the grey weather and cold that I feel the need to create a very colourful new project.

I crave lots of bright colour, a dash of texture and some simple but interesting stitches to keep my brain happy.
rosehaven poncho
The fresh colours seem to bring in spring so much faster since I know that usually by the time I finish the project spring might well be on my doorstep. This also makes me stay on task and knit faster!! Oh the silly games we play with our brain to make the winter end as quickly as possible.

IMG_0947I made the “Summer Breeze” triangular shawl last year and my “Wonder Vest” the year before that so I decided on creating a poncho this year. I knew I wanted it to be a generous size that would cover down to at least my waist and I wanted it to be a rectangle that I would sew up to make the poncho.

This is my Wonder Vest that I used Malabrigo Worsted yarn a bit of Nuna (green) and every 3rd row is Fiesta Yarn’s Boucle in Rainforest.

summer breeze shawlThis is my “Summer Breeze” shawl that I actually did write down as a pattern and we have available in the shop. It’s a free pattern if you buy the yarn to make it. I made it with all cotton and linen yarns. Rowan Handknit Cotton (2 balls @ $7 each), Baby Bamboo by Sirdar (1 ball @ $7), Quince & Co.’s Sparrow (1 skein @ $12) and Katia’s Tahiti Spray (1ball @ $10) , which is a varigated cotton ribbon yarn.

 

 

 

I always start by going through tonnes of free patterns on ravelry to see if I can find something along the lines of what I want to make. I check on what needle size they are using and how many stitches they are casting on. After that I do my own thing.

Then I run around looking for colours that call out to me and textures as well. I try to start looking for yarn in my own stash but as you can imagine owning a yarn shop is sooooo hard! All those yarns calling out, “Take me! Take me!”, “I’m so pretty, you really must use me!”, “Look at me, I’m new and gorgeous and you know you need a sample of ME!”

IMG_0981I grabbed all my balls and piled them on my desk and then look at how well they will work together if I used the same needle size throughout the project. This usually cancels out a few balls. Then I look at colours and which ones look best next to each other. The colours to me are very, very important. They need to compliment each other and in this case I wasn’t looking for any background colours. I wanted all the colours to have equal prominence. Sometimes you want the fancy yarn to stand out and therefore need any other yarn to just be more of a framework or background.

This project I wanted all the colours to equally pop so they all had to have an equal intensity of chroma or brightness and clear colour. Lower chroma colours are usually a bit greyer. As if grey or a dash of black has been mixed into the colour to dull or quiet it’s intensity.

grey bluebright blueThese are two blues that show a good example of what I mean. The bright turquoise has a very high chroma while the more denim blue has a much quieter, more grey tone to it.

 

I found a poncho design that cast on 225 stitches and I was using 6.5 mm needles with a 60″. I started with a heavy cotton boucle yarn so that the bottom edge wouldn’t constantly try to curl on me. I also did few rows of garter stitch to also help it want to lay flat.

After that I just played with rows of K2tog and YO so it would create some eyelets in rows. I also added an occasional row of  K1, YO x 2, K1 repeat then on the next row I dropped all the yarn overs so that the stitches became nice and long and stretched out. This is a great way to make a row wider quicker too!

Every 6 rows or so I would switch yarns to change up the colours and textures. I always try and make any rows of one yarn a different number of rows to the next new yarn colour. Keeping the rows different widths keeps the design interesting to look at and doesn’t bog you down with having to be symmetrical. The human eye will look for symmetry in a design of colour so good design need to stick with good symmetry or go completely away from it or there will be something about the design that will bother you when you look at it. I like to pick asymmetrical since I then don’t have to do so much counting!!

I bound off the rectangle the other night and realized pretty fast it was way longer than I thought it was going to be. Now the question is do I keep it as a rectangular shawl using a pin or buttons to wear it or sew up the front edges like the image below?

front seam poncho wrap with button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to play with some buttons and see if anything talks to me otherwise I’ll be sewing up of the edges. Also I’m not sure if one button will be enough to hold the shawl together well. It’s fairly heavy and it might just pull the whole thing a bit wiggy.

Well it turns out the button size I need for the weight of the shawl don’t fit through the fabric well and smaller buttons don’t hold the weight well so a sewing we will go.

IMG_0986Well sewing up the seam was definitely the way to go and it turned out fabulously!! It’s going to be a keeper for myself for a change, to actually wear!

I sewed the front seam but I didn’t start the seam at the edge but up about 6 inches. This leaves a bit of an opening which works great for your right arm to be able to easily come out from the edge of the poncho.

I love how it turned out, so bright and cheerful. I can’t wait for the weather to actually warm up enough to wear it out!

IMG_0983

New Cool Tools!

I’ve been working on this cable sweater for my husband for a while now and working with the chart has been a bit of a highlighterheadache at times.

I have tried to knit this sweater at Knit Night but usually have to put it away because there are too many interesting conversations and distractions for me to keep track of where I’m at!

I knit everywhere I go; the movies, a restaurant, the doctors office, the kids school functions where ever I’m sitting down. Some projects work fine for this but boy this sweater is not one of them!

knit chart keeper

 

Knitting on the run doesn’t work when you have to track each and every stitch and row. I know there are the magnetized chart holders with the long magnet bars holding them in place. I’m always moving too fast and I know I would end up shoving it into my bag and those magnets would move and I would be lost as to where I left off!

I like having my patterns in a plastic holder keeping them away from the inevitable tea stains and such.

Then the day came that someone whipped out of her knitting bag her highlighter tape and slapped a piece onto my pattern and I was hooked!

The highlighter tape is inexpensive ($5.75), repositionable on paper or a plastic cover and covers three to four lines of your chart so you know where you are and where you left off. I can run around with it clutched in my hands and have no worries about magnets slipping or sliding.

Plus you get a whole role of the stuff so you will have plenty for all those charts in your knitting future!!

 

Knitting in the Round the Magic Loop Way

Knitting in the round is one of those things that comes up often in the shop when chatting to customers. There begins a discussion about favourite approaches and tools of choice and the Magic Loop method usually comes up. Lots of people don’t know exactly what this method is or in the case of new knitters they look apprehensive and just want to avoid the thought of trying to figure out another new thing. After all learning how to simply hold the yarn in your hand and how to knit and purl without dropping it is a bit daunting!

Isn’t it funny how simply giving a technique a fancy sounding name can make it seem like it will be scary and complicated? I was always intimidated when I would come across some new stitch in a pattern or horrors of horrors the dreaded bobble/pop corn stitch! I would tense up and then start the search online with our dear friend google and then off I go to see which of these links will actually explain clearly and give visuals so I can do it right. Then as I go through the steps and do it myself I find that I am surprised that it wasn’t nearly as scary as I though.

This definitely holds true with the Magic Loop method. I discovered I was already doing the magic loop method when I was determined to make a hat but couldn’t find my usual needles that are the correct length. The trick was that you use an extra long cable needle so that the excess cable can sneak out between two stitches on the far side of where you are knitting. Well duh! My cable has popped out through my stitches plenty of time when I was decreasing on my hat and hadn’t bothered to switch to my DPN’s.

Many new knitters when wanting to take on the next challenge after the creation of a rectangle, also known as the scarf, want to try creating a hat or socks or some other tube like creation. This of course means you are stepping into the unknown of “Knitting in the Round”!! (que scary music!). Cheryl Toy is our go to knitting guru in the shop and has classes on this exact thing so if you need a hand to hold while you try this then sign up! Cheryl is a fabulously patient teacher and knows all the ways to learn this easily.

Of course for those of you that can’t squeeze into your busy lives a class on this we have to rely on the good old internet! While crashing through various web searches (surfing is way too smooth and cool to describe my way of finding what I want on the web!) I came across a very decent and clear video of knitting in the round. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was done by our favourite knitting needle makers KnitPicks, all the more reason to trust it!

So without further ado here is the link to the “Magic Loop” video tutorial.

Happy knitting!

Wine & Wool in the County Knitting Retreat was FABULOUS!

DSC_0001 DSC_0009 DSC_0020 DSC_0012We had an amazing 1st Knitting Retreat at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn this past November and all the feedback from the ladies that attended has been fantastic!

The Inn keepers Lee and Jason were so great at making us welcome and keeping us cosy by the fire with tea and excellent food all weekend long.

The classes were enjoyed by all and the surrounding area coaxed a few ladies out exploring and walking to enjoy all the fall colours.

 

Wine & Wool In The County – A Knitting Retreat!

jacksons fallsWe are putting together our first ever Knit Retreat and we are so excited to invite you all to come and enjoy a fabulous weekend in beautiful Prince Edward County, the capital of fabulous food and wine for eastern Ontario.

There will be classes each day being taught by Robin Hunter and Elizabeth McCarten.  Robin has been knitting her whole life, so long she has no recollection of learning. She brings her extensive background in sewing, tailoring, pattern drafting and millinery to her designs and to share with students. Elizabeth McCarten is a top knit designer and has created amazing and beautiful garments with the patterns available on Ravelry. Both of these ladies have also been showcased in Vogue knitting magazines for their talent and designs.

Jackson’s Falls Country Inn is built around the original old school house for the area and is filled with old artifacts from the school house including the original chalkboards and maps. There is a wood stove to cuddle up next too and a friendly dog that likes to wander in for an occasional pat.

Elizabeth steekingYou are welcome to bring your own wine to the Inn and can drink it in the public rooms or your own room with only a $5 cork fee to cover the legalities of the liquor license for the Inn. All the rooms are set up to be a shared occupancy so tell us in the registration form who you will be rooming with.

We have also invited a few vendors to join us and show us their wares on the Saturday so bring along some cash for a yarn treat to take home. Silver Cloud Alpacas, Anwyn Yarns and us of course Rosehaven Yarn Shop.

Follow this link to see the itinerary and to register.

 

Come join the fun in the County!

Rosehaven on the Road

iStock_000019190021Medium_900_600_c1

Leslie Hits the RoadWe squished, stacked, stashed and dashed down the road last weekend to two separate yarn/craft sales in Toronto. We pillaged the shelves of our little shop and took Rosehaven on the road; Diane and Amy headed to Knitter’s Folic while Lesley and I camped at CreativFestival. Though it was exhausting and the learning curve was steep, I think we arrived home to the County inspired and enlightened by the experience.

At Creativ, I had the pleasure of teaching two knitting demonstrations, one about Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-on and the other on the joys of i-cord. It was great to meet such fearless and  inquisitive participants, some of whom visited in the Rosehaven booth post-lecture. Several people asked about follow-up instructions for Judy’s Magic Cast-on and I’ve decided to post them here.

Back in 2006, Judy wrote a wonderful tutorial for the online knitting magazine, Knitty.com. The photos that follow are from that tutorial (which is worth a look if you find yourself confused). The following instructions assume you’re using a circular needle; this cast-on can be accomplished using double-points, but I don’t recommend it.

Judy's Magic 11) Hold your needle in the right hand with the tips together.

2) Leaving a tail (at least 18″, or long enough for the desired number of stitches), loop the tail over the top of the upper needle. Hold the yarn in place with the index finger of your right hand so it doesn’t slip off.

3) Position the yarn in your left hand as you would for a long-tail cast Judy's Magic 2on. Your index finger will be loading stitches onto the lower needle, your thumb will be loading stitches onto the upper needle.

4) With your index finger, carry the yarn under the lower needle and between the needles. With your thumb, carry the yarn between the needles and over the top of the upper needle.

5) Continue in this manner (under-the-lower-and-between, between-Judy's Magic 3and-over-the-top) until you’ve cast on the desired number of stitches.

Huzzah! Judy’s Magic Cast-On! That’s all there is to it! You’re now ready to proceed with your project, whether it’s the toe of a toe-up sock or the beginning of our Bird’s Nest Bag.

Happy knitting!

New Textural Yarns In the House!

I am a lover of anything colourful and textural when it comes to my knitter’s dreams so when Marsha came with her books of samples from Estelle and I saw these my heart was going pitter, patter rather loudly!

hudson-estelle yarnhudson_455 ocean floor hudson_768red hudson_760pastel rainbow

 

 

 

These are the three colours we currently have in stock. I make a cowl out of the pastel rainbow one. It turned out gorgeous and it only took an evening to knit up.

I love those quick instant gratification projects!

They also come with a pack of the free patterns that the yarns have been used on, like this one.

Knitting Class for Beginners or a Refresher

Hello all,

Well here we are 2014! I came in like a lion or maybe a polar bear would be more appropriate considering the deep freezing temperatures and loads of snow. There sure was no worries about it being a white Christmas this year!

We are starting off with a two evening class on the Thursday the 16th and Thursday the 23rd, from 7 to 9 pm to learn how to make a simple mobius cowl. A mobius means that the item will have a single twist in the design of the cowl.

Mobius cowlIt uses one skein of Malabrigo’s Rasta yarn. This yarn is 100% merino wool and is very soft and is handpainted so the colours of each skein are unique and beautiful.

The class fee is $15 plus the cost of materials. The Rasta yarn is $28 and the large needles are 10mm with a 40″ cable, $14.75.

Call the shop if you are interested in taking this class. Right now we only have 3 spots left. 613-476-9092

Summer Theatre Play Time

IMG_8443I have, crazily, joined in as a chorus person in Festival Players production of “The right Robert and His Robber Bride”. I say crazily because it is insanely busy at my shop the Galloping Goat Gallery with the last weeks of summer whizzing by. Plus trying to organize this transfer of ownership of Rosehaven and get the online shop here up and out into the world. Crazy and insane, yes, I must be to add this into the mix but it is sooooo much fun being in theatre it was impossible to resist. Plus my daughter who is going into grade 11, is very interested in doing more acting so it seemed like an excellent opportunity!

Of course during rehearsals when you are a background player there is a lot of sitting around, which means knitting time! So far I have whipped up one hat and working on the second one after only four rehearsals!

It was so chilly and windy on the site where the play is (did I mention it was outside?) that I actually ended up wearing the hat I had finished, but not sewn up the top, and just kept on knitting!

I don’t have a picture yet of the hat but soon I will!