Friday, September 7, 2012

We've moved!

Looking for all the latest at Knits by the Sea?  We have switched our blog to a Wordpress site!  Please join us there at 

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One ball short!!

Most of us have had this experience.  You are happily knitting/crocheting away only to discover that you are short just ONE BALL!  It can be so frustrating and sometimes impossible to track down a matching skein that has the same dye lot.  So what do you do when this happens?  Sometimes it's just impossible to finish the project without another skein and it ends up being frogged.  Other times you can rip back enough or change the pattern just enough to finish it.  And sometimes you can just add a new colour.

I have been happily knitting away making the "Two-way Shrug & Tank" in a mercerized cotton in red. I had finished the top part of the tank and was getting ready to cast on for the bottom.  Only to discover I had not set aside enough yarn...and of course it was sold out! So what to do?  Fortunately I was at a point in the project where I could change the colour.  So I decided on blue.  I figured it would look nautical.  But 3 rows into the bottom I realized it was less nautical and more gladiator/superwoman looking.  Not willing to quit at this point I carried on and fortunately had my lovely ladies at stitch night to complain to.

So what does one do when they have created a superwoman tank top?  Put on your gold heels and head to karaoke on Independence day with all your friends dressed in red white and blue of course! And that's just what we did.  Thank you to all my awesome knitting ladies who came out last night in red, white and blue. We had a wonderful time and my superwoman top made it's debut.  And to top it all off we had to sing "Party in the U.S.A" by Miley Cyrus since it was the 4th of July.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What to wear?

Our last Sex and the City Stitch Night at Tough City Sushi.

Part of the reason Sex and the City Stitch Night was started is because living in a smaller community there aren't as many opportunities to wear our stilettos and dresses for a night out on the town.  This past Stitch Night discussion turned to what we were going to wear for the upcoming Sex and the City night on August 15th!  Living remotely we typically have to plan a bit ahead.  We have some lovely local boutiques here in town but if you are looking for a particular style/size sometimes you need to either shop online or head to Nanaimo and beyond for some shopping!  This brought us to sharing our favourite online shopping places and I thought you might be interested to see as well!  So while at work if you need a break from browsing patterns on Ravelry these are fun sites to make some wish lists on! ;) - free shipping and returns in Canada! - great dresses, tops...well all of it is great! - vintage inspired clothing. - literally endless in terms of the amazing shoes that are available at great prices - so many shoes... - all the Aldo styles you love online.  Make sure to select Canada!

And if you want to get really fancy and original and don't mind spending a bit more you can design your own shoes here!!

What are some of your favourite sites to browse?  We would love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fun Run and Accessories

A couple of knitters getting ready to run the 1/2 marathon!

What a fun and busy weekend here in Tofino!  With the Rip Curl surf competition and the Edge to Edge Marathon Tofino was buzzing!  I had the pleasure of meeting another knitter who was also running the 1/2 marathon!  We even discussed future knitting projects while waiting for the race to start that we could wear while running (leg warmers were the project we discussed)!

My favourite leg warmers...Romeo! Haha just had to add this photo in for fun!

I finished my first ever 1/2 marathon in the Edge to Edge this weekend which has been one of my goals!  Very excited to have that one done and I'm looking forward to attempting other 1/2 marathons in the future.  And a big thank you to all the amazing volunteers who helped make the marathon so fun.  So many amazing people handing out water, guiding runners and traffic as well as encouraging us along the way.  They really made the run so much more fun!  If you want to participate next year keep your eyes on this website.  With relay teams, 1/2 marathon and full marathon options there are lots of ways you can participate if you want!

Beautiful entrelac gloves that are in Knitscene Accessories.

AND speaking of accessories (well kinda...I mentioned leg warmers!) we just got in the Knitscene Accessories special issue.  This is a very popular one so be sure to come in and get it while you can!  Lots of fun little projects that you can take anywhere!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hitting the road!

Gourmet Crafter Yarn in our new hand crafted wooden yarn bowls from White Rock!

This Sunday marks the first of 5 festivals that Knits by the Sea will be attending in 2012.  I'm very excited to return to the 100 Mile Fleece and Fibre fair in Coombs as last year it was so much fun!  There were tons of great vendors from within 100 miles plus with all their great fleece, yarn and finished products.  This year I have an assortment of BC yarns that I will be bringing with me including my newly arrived Gourmet Crafter yarn hand dyed in Vancouver.  I will also have Sweatermaker, Sweet Georgia, Indigo Moon and Sylvia Macpherson yarns.  I will also be bringing my special kits that are only available at Knits by the Sea including the Whale Watching Wellie warmer kit, Tuff Love Sock Kit, and I Heart Whale kits!  So be sure to stop by and say hello!  We will be at the Bradley Centre in Coombs!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I can knit so I can garden right?

That's the theory I'm going on this year.  I've never had a green thumb.  Ever.  I tend to start strong with planting something and lose interest when I forget to water it and then I have to try and revive it.  Forget to water it, try to revive it.  You get the picture.  Since I don't really have a green space of my own I have decided my back deck is the spot.  So this year I am determined to grow something.  Anything!  Fortunately I have the lovely OCN Garden Centre here with knowledgable staff to help me.  I have picked out some plants that are apparently very hearty and will grow in a variety of conditions.  Bamboo for decoration, lavender because I love the smell, daisies, lettuce and kale.  I also have a variety of herbs I am attempting to grow as well.  I figure if there is the benefit of eating it at the end I might be a little more motivated to care for it.

Parka is supervising me mixing dirt.

Even Romeo gets to come out and enjoy the deck gardening!

Knitting has taught me patience, perseverance and that swearing can sometimes help.  So I'm hoping this will translate to helping me try this gardening thing.  The only difference is if my knitting angers me I can leave it for days, weeks, months even years.  Probably not a good idea for the garden.

Juliet prefers the shady spot.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fantastic Night!

Well a huge thank you to all the amazing ladies who came out for our 4th Sex and the City Stitch Night!  This was our best turn out so far with 14 awesome ladies all dressed up and ready to knit and eat yummy sushi.  Thank you to Tough City Sushi for being such great hosts and accommodating our large group.  There was lots of checking out everyone's shoes and outfits, yummy sushi and lots of laughs.  And as always we ended the night at karaoke singing our standard "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey which seems to have become a bit of a tradition!

And a big thank you to all the amazing ladies who participated in our first ever Stiletto Day!  Tofino isn't the easiest town to wear heels in (see our video "Stiletto Off-Roading") but you showed of your heels anyways!  Love the Dental Office ladies' photo they sent in.  Great photo ladies!  This will be an annual day so stay tuned for details on next years Stiletto Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to bring for Sex and the City Stitch Night

With our 4th Sex and the City Stitch Night coming up tomorrow I thought it might be a good idea to create a list of what to bring for the fun night out of cosmos and knitting.  So here is a fun list to consider when preparing for Sex and the City Stitch Night...or any night where drinking, good friends and knitting are involved:

1. Stilettos - not a must but it sure is a fun excuse to wear them out.
2. Flat shoes - because after a couple of cosmos this may be necessary
3. Big Purse - to fit shoes and knitting project
4. Your Favourite "Girls Night Out Outfit" - yet again a great excuse to get dressed up!
5. If you forget all the above the most important thing to remember - EASY KNITTING! A no brainer project that after a few cosmos if you are still attempting it not too much damage can be done.

Looking forward to another fun Sex and the City Stitch Night.  Hope you can join us where ever you are!  #sexandthecitystitchnight

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sex and the City and Stiletto Day!

So what shoes will you be wearing on Wednesday May 9th??  There is lots to celebrate on that day and we hope that you will join us in the fun wherever you are!  May 9th is Stiletto Day here in Tofino but we are hoping to share the shoe love everywhere.  So send us photos and updates via Facebook and Twitter with #stilettoday to keep us up to date on how you are celebrating!

We will be heading out on the town here in Tofino for our Sex and the City Stitch night on May 9th to celebrate the stiletto and have some cosmos and do some knitting over sushi!  And I'm very excited to hear that there will be some other ladies elsewhere also participating!  So I hope you can join us where ever you are for an evening of cosmos and knitting. #sexandthecitystitchnight

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Zen Cables

For the first time I will be hosting a fall retreat this November 2-4 with designer Fiona Ellis!  For those who aren't familiar with her work you can view some of her amazing cable and colour work designs on Ravelry or her own website here.  

A unique class that is part of the retreat is "Knitting as Meditation".  So often we are learning the techniques and language of knitting and I personally am not often enough stopping to just enjoy the process (ok not consciously anyways!)!  I am really looking forward to this fun class that will offer a different perspective on knitting!  And to help kick start that class that morning there will be a Yoga for Knitters class in the lodge!  Our yoga instructor Flickerine is an avid knitter so she knows some great ways to help us stretch out.  Don't miss this fun weekend of cables, meditating, yoga, great food and fun!  I really hope you can join us!  For full details go here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Retreat Fun!

Well it was a fun filled weekend of knitting at Middle Beach Lodge this past weekend.  Designer Amy Swenson came all the way from Toronto to join us for a cozy weekend of knitting.  It was so great meeting new people and reconnecting with past retreaters and visitors!  I now have the new challenge of designing my own shawl!  With all the tools that Amy provided I'm feeling a lot more confident about taking that next step.  Photographing your knitting was a fun class that provided some new insight into how to make your work look great.  I brought in my dreaded Sparkly Jacket (a.k.a. the jacket from hell) to photograph as I really didn't do much with it after it was done.  The picture turned out MUCH better than my original which is posted below.

We are hosting our first ever Fall Retreat here November 2-4 with designer Fiona Ellis!  Details will be posted soon so stay tuned!  It will be at Middle Beach Lodge again and I'm really looking forward to it!  Hope you can join us!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We've got sole and cosmos!

No that wasn't a misspell!  We now have slipper soles for all your slipper needs!  These great suede slipper soles come with a free knit and crochet pattern and are lined with comfy faux shearling.  A fun project and a great way to keep your toes nice and cozy!

We keep adding to our KnitsbytheSea YouTube channel.  I just completed a video on how to do yarn over (both knit and purl yarn overs!) and the importance of a life line.  So if you are thinking to take the plunge into some lace knitting this video is for you!  And I am adding more all the time.

Our next Sex and the City Stitch Night is now set for Wednesday May 9th!  And I am inviting everyone to join us either in Tofino or to have your very own in your town!  Lets all get our heels and knitting and join in some cosmos and fun together!  Want to start a group in your area and are looking for others to join you?  Let me know!  We can try and help you get together with other awesome people in your area to stitch with.  Already have a group of awesome ladies and gents you stitch with?  Well we are hoping you will join us for a Sex and the City Stitch Night in your area on May 9th and share your photos and projects with us!  Hope you can join us in the fun!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Winner and Public Service Message

If you haven't read our April Newsletter yet (which can be seen here) we have announced the winner of our Name the Pattern Contest!  A huge thank you to everyone who entered.  It was a really tough choice. But there had to only be one!  So the winner is Mary with the name "Whale Watching Wellie Warmers".  Congratulations Mary you have won a $35.00 gift certificate to Knits by the Sea!

And the videos just keep coming!  We've added how to do a basic cast off to our library.  And for those who have visited Tofino or attended our Sex and the City Stitch Night here you may have noticed how difficult it is to get around in Tofino in stilettos.  So we made a fun video called "Save the Heels".  Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Skype and Terrible Dance Moves!

The view you would get of me at my desk via Skype.

I am continuing to add to our Knits by the Sea YouTube channel and busting a move while doing it!  The Long Tail Cast On video is the first in a series of intro videos I will be posting over the next little while.  A perfect resource for when you need a little help with the basics...or just a laugh!  So stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for updates on the videos.

We have also added another way to learn or expand your knitting skills - Skype tutorials!  It's a great way to get one on one help with your knitting whether it's learning the basics or expanding your skills.  We can email you handouts and set up a time that will work for you.  You can learn to knit without having to leave your house!  Fun!!  For more details please contact us at and arrange a 10 minute Skype consultation so we can discuss your needs and make a program to fit you!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Camera Fun and Out Takes!

Gum Boot Topper Kit

I just recently purchased a video camera.  So naturally I had to start filming!  Being out on the far west coast it seemed like a good idea to do a little store tour for those who can't make it in to the shop.  A big thank you to Sarah for being my camera lady for the afternoon.  It took quite a few tries but we made it work.  You can see the video here.

And when filming all afternoon with your friend, naturally there are some out takes that just can't be put into the final cut.  Take a look at our out takes to see what didn't make it into the final video...for very obvious reasons! 

And there are still a few days left to get your entries in for the boot toppers!  The contest closes on March 31 so get your names in and help us name these adorable boot toppers.  The winner will receive a $35.00 gift certificate to Knits by the Sea.  And in case you aren't sure what to spend that money on we now have gum boot topper kits for $26.95!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The owls are here!

The Tiny Owl Knits patterns that is!  I was very excited to open up the box with all these lovely patterns.  My every growing queue just got a little longer after seeing all these beautiful patterns.  We have brought in quite a few of her patterns.  These are just a few that we now have in store!

Orchids & Fairylights Hat

Woodland Hoodlet

Fawn Poncho

Sweet Robin Wristees
And don't forget Whale Festival is starting next week!  Check out our upcoming classes for whale themed classes!  We have a great Whale Hat class and a needle felting whale class as well.  A great way to celebrate the return of the grey whales to Tofino!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Like Vegas!

I have found myself saying "It's like a Vegas Casino in here." several times to customers who are shocked about how much time they end up spending in the store.  We get chatting away, or they can't resist spending lots of time petting all the yarn.  But all in all I think I've narrowed it down to the top five reasons why Knits by the Sea is like Vegas!

5.  Lots of bright colours.
4.  We have entertainment in the form of Juliet.  She may not be as flexible as the acrobats in Cirque du  Soleil or be able to hit the high notes like Celine (although her whining does come close) but she has quite a costume repertoire
3. We serve wine!  Another sure way to keep you around...and bottomless mugs of tea!
2. We have no clock you don't realize how much time you are spending here (haha!)
1. You can win big here!

How can you win big you ask?  With our latest contest!  Local designer Faye Kennington has just completed another great pattern but it needs a name.

So here is the contest:

Submit your name choice for the pattern by March 31, 2012 to and include your name, email and phone number.  On Wednesday April 4th at Stitch Night we will put the names to a vote!  The winner will receive a $35.00 gift certificate to Knits by the Sea.  Which is enough to purchase the gumboot topper kit or anything else you would like in the store!

So start brainstorming!  We are looking forward to reading your entries.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lamb Love!

On my trip over to Vancouver I had the opportunity to stop by Sylvia Macpherson's farm to pick up more yarn and visit the wooly animals that provide it!  Sylvia's lovely farm is located just outside Courtenay.  Sylvia creates beautiful hand spun, hand dyed yarns that we love to carry. She took me into her workshop which is basically a second house on the property (a fibre lover's dream come true!) and it was filled with fleece and yarn.  It was hard to not leave with an entire car full of her yarn.

A section of the workshop.

She also took me visit the sheep and since it is spring there were little lambs too!  Of course they were absolutely adorable and I just wanted to take them all home.  It was really great to see the source for all the yarn that she creates.  It is not very often that you get to see exactly where the wool is coming from, where it is spun and dyed!  Thank you Syliva for letting me stop by!

The one on the right is called Ellie! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

What a Night!

If you follow us on Facebook then you've already had a chance to see the fun we had at Spotted Bear on Wednesday for Sex and the City Stitch Night!  Eleven of us descended on the Spotted Bear Bistro with heels and needles in hand for a fun evening.  The cosmos and honeybear martinis (the honeybear are a Spotted Bear specialty and very delicious!) were plentiful and the food was delicious!

I had a great tuna dish with couscous, kale and creme fraiche, yummy beet salad and a great chocolate pudding with rock salt to top it off.  Made me wish I had worn a less fitted dress!  And since our shoes were made for knitting and eating yummy food, we also made them for dancing/singing too!  We headed over to the Weigh West Pub where there is karaoke on Wednesdays.  Singing is always better in stilettos and the "Knitting Girls" (Kim came up with that great name!) gave a great performance of "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey.

Thank you to everyone who came out and made this such a fun evening of knitting and great friends.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Classes and Fun!

Just updated our website with upcoming classes for March and April with some new project classes!  I am a big fan of Alana Dakos patterns and really love the Cloudy Day Beret!  This is a really fun project that includes some great techniques that will make this a fun and interesting class.  It is also the perfect spring beret that is a bit lighter for the warmer weather.  And if you have been on Ravelry in the last month you might have come across the Beekeeper's Quilt.  This very popular pattern is a great stash buster and just fun to knit.  So come and join us for a three hour class on how to make these great little honeycombs!

Don't forget our Sex and the City Stitch Night is coming up this Wednesday February 22nd at the Spotted Bear Bistro!  RSVP at the shop as we have made reservations.  It will be a fun night of great food, yummy drinks and knitting.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sex and the City Stitch Night

We are doing it again!  Our first Sex and the City Stitch Night of 2012 has been scheduled!  So be sure to get your heels ready for an evening at the Spotted Bear Bistro on Wednesday February 22.  We are very excited to be spending an evening of knitting and eating at this lovely bistro well known for it's delicious food.  Everyone is welcome.  Please RSVP at the shop as we are making reservations.  We are really looking forward to it!

And stay tuned to our Twitter account!  We will be announcing any sales on the retreat or in store on there first!  So if you aren't following us yet then you should!  Even if it's just to hear what Juliet is up to.  I can't help it!  I tweet about what little Juliet is up too as well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New York Part 3 - Learning to Love the Swatch

Learning about sleeve placement.
So I realize it has been a bit of a gap between blog posts with my visit to Toronto but I really wanted to blog about my last day in New York!  It was such an amazing class with Lily Chin that I just have to share!  It was a full day on learning how to adapt any sweater pattern to make it fit and adapt the sleeves and neck.  But basically I left having learned how to design a sweater.

The biggest thing I took away from this class is the importance of swatching.  I will be the first to admit that I dislike swatching immensely and when I have a new project I just want to dive right in!  But I have been converted.  I used to knit just enough so I could see if I got the right gauge.  But there is so much more it can tell you!  I'm sure this isn't news to many of you but I was impressed with how much swatching helped with getting a better idea of how the garment would fall.  Part of my homework was to do a variety of different swatches with cables, colorwork, ribbing etc. and it was very effective in illustrating how every pattern with different yarn is going to hold differently.  So doing a large swatch can help you really get a good idea of the drape, elasticity and in the end also fit.  This helps a great deal if you are substituting a different fibre than what is recommended in the pattern.  If you are substituting alpaca for wool then how the garment is going to drape will be very different!  So I am convinced now.  Bigger swatches with parts of the pattern (i.e. cables etc.) are in my future.  I think it will lead to greater knitting satisfaction in the long run.

Another great suggestion from Lily Chin - take your favourite sweater and take the measurements.  This way you have a base for what you like wearing including how much ease you actually like!  I really like my sweater to hit just below my belt.  So when she suggested doing the measurements a light bulb went on in my head!  So simple and yet I had never thought of doing that to adjust a sweater I was knitting.

A very fun and informative class.  Lily Chin was an incredibly fun and dynamic teacher.  She had us all take off our shirts to get our proper measurements.  I certainly did not expect to spend some time in just my bra while learning about knitting.  What we do to make sure our knitting fits perfectly!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New York Part 2 - Colour!!!

Kaffe Fassett showing off some of his stripe work

The best way to describe day two of the conference is colour!!  It started with an inspiring lecture with Kaffe Fassett showing us some of his amazing work.  We got to see varieties of quilts, knitting and needlwork that were just incredible.  He truely has a gift for colourwork.  He showed us pictures of his workshop as well.  I think it's safe to say everyone in the lecture hall was envious!  What I took away from his lecture was to be BOLD with colour.  To not be afraid to put lots of colour in and to have fun with it. 

Welcome to the market!
  I then had a large break between lectures so I headed to the 2 level market place.  I will post more pictures on Facebook as there is just not enough room here.  It was amazing to see such a variety of fibres, products and colours.  They had yarn sampling stations so you could try differnent yarns which I thought was really fun.  Lots of vendors with yarn directly from their farms and some beautiful fibres like mink, qiviut and yak!
Yarn sample station.

The Vogue Knitting fashion show was also on and it was great to see the Spring/Summer line up including some beautiful crocheted items!  I really liked some of the tops that had a simple front and some great design detail on the back.  The full fashion show photos will be posted on Facebook.

One of my favourites from the show.

Beautiful detail on the back!
I ended the day with a lecture from Erika Knight on trends!  She is a great designer based in England who is immersed in the fashion industry.  As I mentioned on Twitter tangerine is the colour for spring/summer.  But also the very modern black and white prints will be popular, intarsia with bold colour blocks and red for the upcoming winter!  It never ceases to amaze me how far in advance these trends are set.  But once they were pointed out I must say I really noticed it on my stop at Sak's Fifth Avenue. 

Spring display at Saks
Lots of black and white!
Sunday was a fun filled day learning about colours and trends.  I ended the day by going to see a play called Wit starring Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from Sex and the City!).  She was amazing to see live and the play was very powerful.  More on NYC tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New York Part 1

Time Square
What a trip!  With so much to write about it I thought it would be best to split it up into parts instead of one HUGE blog entry!  For those following me on Twitter or Facebook you know what a crazy journey it was just to get there!  Partially my fault with forgetting my passport and realizing it just as the bus was heading past Chesterman Beach.  Fortunately my mom was able to hop in the car and meet the bus in Port Alberni with passport, US money and some gravol in hand (it was a really windy trip and my stomach did not enjoy it!)

So a bus ride, ferry, plane and 13 hour car trip through a blizzard we made it to NYC!  First thing we did was eat at the Carnegie Deli where all the famous people go!  I think they have the best pickles!

Me on the right with designer Fiona Ellis.

Saturday morning it was straight into classes at 8:00 am with designer Fiona Ellis.  She taught us how to think out of the box with cables and let us practice creating our own cable designs.  I had fun trying to morph cables in whichever way my hands decided.  But my favourite part was getting to touch her swatches and designs.  They are truely amazing!  I must say that seeing the photos of the designs don't do them justice.  The sweaters and cables were stunning when I got to see them but if I had to choose one by looking at pictures I may not have been so keen to knit them.  But maybe that's just me!  I defintely see a Fiona Ellis cabled sweater in my future!

This is Dusseldorf Aran.  The cable actually becomes the i-cord.  A great design feature.

This is Celtic Icon.  You can't tell from the photo but the pattern continues up on the hood!

This is Bonnie.  I love how she matched the cable on the right with the cable on the sleeve.  So each sleeve is different!
Saturday afternoon was a class with Clara Parkes who is the autor of "The Knitters Book of Wool" and "Book of Yarn" both incredible resources for knitter and crocheters!  If you don't own them you should! It goes into great detail about the various fibres, their origins and the how they knit up.  She is also the owner of the Knitters Review a great knitting website.  The afternoon was what she called a "Scratch and sniff version of her Book of Wool." And it really was!  Lots of touching of different wools, knitting up swatches and learning all about the different types of wool out there.  There will be more blog posts about this as I go through my class materials as it was such a great class! 

The one handy tip I want to pass along today - if you have a ball of yarn and you don't know what the recommended needle size is fold the yarn in half and then see which hole it fits through on a needle gauger.  The hole it fits through best is the needle you should use!

Thats all I can fit in this blog entry!  NYC to be continued!