The Empire Knits Back

Coming Soon – Loyal Pattern Print from Naturally Yarns!

This might be my new favourite yarn of all time! It has everything I love – colour changes, pattern changes, easy to knit with, soft on the hands. I made these two little hats to show as samples and you can see how the yarn patterns differently depending on the size of the item that is being knit.

Every time it will be different – how cool is that. I can’t wait to see the patterns that Naturally has done with this yarn.

Yarn and patterns won’t be available until late summer 2014 – put it on your list of yarns to look for.

Liberty Prints Hats

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Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal…

The Champion’s Cowl

Ok, I might be getting a little big-headed but it nice to win another challenge after such a long losing streak.

Thanks to all of our great athletes who made us so proud to be Canadian. I know this seems a little late to be posting this, but there were a few problems with the pattern that needed to be ironed out and it seems that has now happened.

The pattern is Sunriver Reversible Cowl. It is available for purchase on Ravelry. As you can see, mine is knit with the print and solid colours reversed to how Lynn did it.


Beth Oly Cowl

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We have a winner!

The Olympic Cowl Challenge has a winner!!!!!!

Congrats Beth, she did some serious speed knitting to catch up and is becoming a knitting guru. I needed more medals and when they finally came I was not free to knit….weLynn Oly Cowlll that’s my story and I am sticking to it! We have had the “lunch” discussion and I think we are both craving a gourmet Canadian Tire hotdog. We just need a nice warm day to go!

Here is a picture of my cowl knit in Liberty and Liberty Print.


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From our friends at Classic Elite Yarns

How do you take your patterns?

Are you old school (paper) or new school (phone or tablet) when it comes to knitting patterns? I am a little bit of both. Sometimes I like having a paper copy of my pattern that I can make notes on (but always a copy…I NEVER write in my books or magazines), but if I am making something that has a small chart, I will upload the chart to my phone and use a app like GoodReader to view it. And of course there are the times when I use a combination of the two.

I want to tell you about a cool new way CEY is offering patterns. When we started our new format in November, we wanted to not only have really nice books, but a way for you to access the pattern online. We came up with a plan that will have many of you jumping up and down for joy.

If you purchase the hard copy of the pattern book from your LYS, you will notice on the inside of the back cover there is a scratch-off sticker and a link (click the image below to enlarge). If you follow the link and put in the code, found under the scratch-off, you will be able to download a copy of the book. Another great feature of this platform is that the download is provided through Ravelry, which means will be able to store the copy of your book in your Ravelry library and access it anywhere you have web access.

CEY DownloadCode
If you don’t have a Ravelry account*, you can still use the link to download the PDF copy of the book. But you will want to make to save it to your computer as this is a one-time only download. If you try to use the code a second time, it will not work.

I love this. Now I can have access to my pattern no matter where I am. How many times have you been at the doctor’s office (or dentist…or at the auto shop…or on the subway…or just about anywhere you take you knitting) and had to stop working, because you know you had to do something different with your knitting, but couldn’t remember what? Now you can pull your pattern up on your phone and keep going (now I just need to master the guesstimation of how many balls of yarn I need to bring with me).

Please note this this feature is available only one way. The download code is available to you if you buy a hard copy of the book. Unfortunately we cannot offer it the other way around.

Now that you have this great new way to view CEY patterns, I have to ask again…are you old school, new school or a combination?

Knit on!

*For those you who may not have a Ravelryaccount, I ask WHY NOT? Ravelry is an awesome tool for fiber enthusiasts. You can see what other people are doing, talk about yarns and patterns (or just about anything else on their forums), use their ‘library’ of patterns to search for the perfect project, track your projects and so much more. The best part of Ravelry? It’s free! If you don’t already have an account, I encourage you to sign up today.

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Cowl Challenge Update

Wow! Have our Canadian Olympians ever come out to compete! I am so proud of all of our athletes so far – they are doing so well and giving all of us here at home a lot to be excited about.

So, after a little bit of a rough start (the pattern needs a few corrections – luckily the BS figured it out for us) here is our progress to date. Both Lynn and I have some time banked up since it has been difficult to keep up with all of the knitting time that the athletes are earning us. As you can see from the pictures, I am a little behind, but I hope to catch up with some speed knitting in the next few days.


Beth's Olympic Cowl - progress

Lynn's Olympic Cowl - progress

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Liberty Wool Print Mitered Square Mitts

Cathy was in the warehouse the other day and she brought in mittens that she had knit using Liberty Wool Prints.

The pattern is from Classic Elite and is available to local yarn stores that have the Liberty Print Subscription. The pair with purple is knit out of #7834 (one of the new colours). The pair with orange is knit out of #7802; Cathy added a few extra ridges to make the cuff longer on this pair. The pattern takes 2 balls of yarn.

Mitten 7802Mitten 7834

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Our Olympic Challenge

Beth and Lynn have agreed on a new cowl challenge! They have been preparing all season for the Olympic Challenge.

The pattern has been decided on; Sunriver Reversible Cowl by Kay Hopkins available for purchase on Ravelry. Sun River Cowl

The yarn has been picked – Liberty Wool Solid and Liberty Wool Print by Classic Elite Yarns.
The rules are quite simple:They cannot cast on until the opening ceremonies begin and they are allowed to knit during the opening ceremony.

They will rely on our Canadian Athletes for their knitting time:

o for every Gold Medal won they get 1 hour of knitting time

o for every Silver Medal won they get 45 minutes of knitting time

o for every Bronze Medal won they get 30 minutes of knitting time.

The big challenge for will be the provisional cast on and Kitchener stitch join at the end. Beth, due to her amateur status, is allowed to have help with this while Lynn, as a seasoned veteran, have to rely on her reference material.

Let the games begin!!!

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Introducing Wayne…

A few days ago, we posted a picture of the monster in progress.  Well, here he is at work in the warehouse.  As you can see – he is big!  The great thing about making monkeys or monsters is that you don’t have to worry about gauge or size, but sometimes that means you get an unexpected surprise when you are about half done and you realize that your monster is monster big.

A few notes about Wayne’s construction:

  • 1- His eyes are actually practice golf balls that we cut the back 1/3 off of to make a flat surface to sew them in.


  • 2 – The pattern does not call for eyebrows, but I wanted him to have a muppet look to him so we added them on.  It was the BS’s idea to only sew them partially on so that they could be moved to change his expression and as you can see from the pictures, it can completely change his look.


  • 3 – The pattern calls for a tooth, but this was very hard to configure on his fuzzy body.   We tried many options for a mouth including felt and foam but couldn’t make it work right.  So instead Wayne was given a giant furry nose.  This is actually a pompom that we took most of the stuffing out of.   (these pompoms look great on hats too – will show you pictures next week).


Wayne has spent the last few weeks travelling (part of his time was spent in LA at the Craft and Hobby Show) and we hope to have him back in Ancaster next week – I miss the big guy (click on the images below to enlarge).

Wayne's confused Wayne's scared Wayne's mad

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The first 2014 Cowl Challenge winner is…


I knew this day was coming; I lost my first cowl challenge.

We knit the Aleatory Cowl by tshep. This pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry.

Beth was clearly the winner this time around; I needed her help reading the pattern. It had me stumped. I am not new to knitting cables but I knew I was doing something wrong because I could hear Fiona Ellis’s voice was in my head saying that the Pips never changed in front of Gladys Knight. Why were my cables changing from knit to purl in the front? After Beth pointed out that I was following the chart in the wrong direction it occurred to me that I have never worked a pattern that had only a chart to follow. Once she got me straightened out all was good. I just did not have a chance of getting caught up.

Beth knit her cowl in Misti Tonos Worsted – Rosebud, from the Misti Yarn Collection. Her cowl is so soft.

Aleatory Cowl Misti Tonos Worsted






I knit my cowl Charly by Filitura di Crosa. Charly really showed off the cables definition in this cowl. The yarn has great body and has been perfect during our ‘polar vortex’. My neck has never been this toasty. It would be perfect yarn for a cabled sweater.

Aleatory Cowl - Charly








As the loser I was happy to buy lunch for Beth. I think she already enjoyed her waffle!


Prize Winning Lunch

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Arm Knitting

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a store up north who was looking for chunky yarn because the big thing with her customers was arm knitting. I had no idea what this was and she explained the idea behind it and sent me to Youtube to see how it was done. I checked out a couple of videos and decided that it looked really interesting and figured we should try it out. Lynn and I picked out a colour of Misti Alpaca Chunky and I asked if she could give it a try. (I figured that Lynn had a lot more knitting experience and a lot more patience).

Here is her finished cowl along with a note from Lynn:

“I finished the arm knitting cowl and I like it, very easy to do, less than 30 mins to knit up and only a few more to knit together and weave in the ends. This is one skein of misti chunky with only inches left.”


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