July 27, 2016

Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Tolt Yarn and Wool was not the only knitting store I visited on my trip to the west coast.  My husband and I took the 35 minute ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and I had the pleasure of visiting Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, another knitting store on my bucket list.

This store has a wonderful variety of yarn such as Brooklyn Tweed, Shibui, Koigu and Rowan.

Brooklyn Tweed


Brooklyn Tweed Plains
Embroidery thread 
What really impressed me was the number of knitted samples they had in the store.  It's one thing to see and touch a skein of yarn, another to see that skein knit up, to see if it is what you imagined.  Here are some of the samples I saw:

Beret (Brooklyn Tweed Loft + Rowan Kidsilk Haze)

So many sweaters!

Box Stitch Baby Blanket

Bias Before and After Scarf (Shibui Rain)
Rowan Kidsilk Haze:
 Bright orange scarf is Birch and the purple one is the Colorplay Mohair Scarf

Spectrum:  Shibui Rain plus Silk Cloud
The  trip was definitely worth it.  Churchmouse Yarn and Teas had a great variety of beautiful yarn, tea, patterns and notions. There were many other interesting shops and restaurants to explore on the island. We also enjoyed a great view of Seattle from the ferry too.

While in Seattle we also had the opportunity to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibition.  Pieces by this artist were displayed both inside and outside in a garden.  I must have taken a hundred pictures.  Here are a few of my favourites.

This exhibit was my favourite thing to do in Seattle.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Seattle I would encourage you to check the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit out.  My pictures do not do the pieces justice.

Pike Place Market:  another fun place to check out

I hope you are having some great summer adventures too!

July 17, 2016

F.O. The Elder Tree Shawl

I mentioned to you a few posts ago that I had purchased a skein of Clara Parkes yarn called CVM/Romeldale 2.0 in the Aborio colourway, and that I was on a hunt to find the perfect pattern that would showcase and utilize each inch of this beautiful skein. The pattern I settled on was The Elder Tree Shawl by softsweater, a Vancouver based designer who has many beautiful patterns on Ravelry. 

After swatching on several different sized needles I decided to go with 4.0 mm. The pattern itself was a joy to knit. It can be adapted for any weight  and amount of yarn you want to use.  The pattern was simple to knit but not boring at all.  Any knitting mistakes I made were quickly evident and easy to correct.

The yarn itself was so lovely to knit with that I took my time knitting this pattern, wishing that I had another skein, to make a larger shawl.  First of all the yarn smelled delightfully sheepy.  It was quite lofty, hardly weighing anything, and it seemed to be quite hardy, as it didn't seem bothered whenever I had to rip out a few rows and reknit.

My favourite part of knitting a lacy shawl is blocking it.  The shawl was quite tiny (40.5 x 15")  prior to blocking and thankfully grew (54 x23") to a perfect sized shawlette.  Here are the before and after shots.  
L-Pre blocking   R-After Blocking

I am so happy with how the lace opened up and the yarn itself softened up considerably.  This is the second yarn I have tried by Clara Parkes.(See my blog entry reviewing the first one I knit with).  Each yarn she creates is so different and I can hardly wait to see what she comes out with next. 

After Blocking

When I was on my holiday last week, driving back to Vancouver from Seattle, I did a quick stop at 88 Stitches in Langley.  On display, to my delight, were a collection of softsweater's knitted shawls.  Her designs Waiting for Rain and   The Rain Outside are very popular right now, but these earlier shawls are worth checking out too.  When viewed in person these shawls are just stunning.  I asked if I could take a couple pictures to remind myself of what I needed to add to my queue.  I have linked the shawls to Ravelry.
L to R :  Grateful MomentsFossil & BoneAuthenticity

L to R:  Salt WaterSolarium, Grateful Moments

L to R:  Lanterns,  A Certain Darkness, Lonely Tree Shawl


I don't know if my pictures do them justice, but trust me when I say, if you are looking for a shawl pattern to knit you might want to try one of these.  You won't be sorry.  I, myself, love the look of Lanterns and Fossil & Bone....hmm let's not forget about Authenticity.   Actually I could knit any of these and be extremely happy.

So thank you Clara Parkes and softsweater...you made my knitting experience very enjoyable.

July 13, 2016

Tolt Yarn and Wool: Part Two

Visiting Tolt Yarn and Wool Shop was such a joyful experience for me. Yesterday I took you on a general tour of the store.  Today, I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the yarn available at Tolt.  Whoever is responsible for designing this space and displaying the yarn should be congratulated. Every item in the store is thoughtfully presented, and the store is spacious making it the perfect size to showcase the wonderful variety of yarns available.  It was so thrilling for me to actually see and touch yarn that I have only ever read about. 

Although Tolt Yarn and Wool carries brands like Madelinetosh and Malabrigo a lot of the yarn sold here is very sheepy, minimally processed and much of it is American sourced.  Below is just a small fraction of what is available.  I provided links to Ravelry for each of  the yarns pictured below although I highly recommend you visit their gorgeous online store to get further information.

Brooklyn Tweed:  Loft, Shelter, Plains & Quarry
Brooklyn Tweed (left) and Imperial Yarn:  Columbia (right)

Imperial Yarn:  Erin 

Woolfolk:  Tynd & Sno
Isager:  Silk MohairAlpaca 1 & Spinni
Fancy Tiger:  Heirloom Romney
The Fibre Company:  Road to China, Cumbria & Acadia
Quince & Co.  Chickadee, Owl & Lark
Quince & Co. Chickadee and Owl
Yoth Yarn: Big Sister
Cestari Traditional 2 Ply, Swans Island, & Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic
Elemental Affects Shetland Fingering
Spincycle Dyed in the Wool
When it came to picking out skeins I wanted to buy I have to be honest and say that it was overwhelming.  There were so many choices.

Of course, I finally made up my mind and here a few of the beauties I bought:
Even the packaging is pretty

Baa Ram Ewe:  Dovestone DK:  Yorkstone
Peace Fleece:  Marigold

Green Mountain Spinnery:  Mewesic

Cestari Traditional Collection
Imperial Yarn:  Columbia
I wish that all of you yarn lovers get the opportunity to visit Tolt Yarn and Wool.  You will love it.