Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lanesplitter pour trois!

My co-workers at Passionknit and I all get along very well – we share a similar sense of humour, like the same TV shows and all love to knit (of course!), but we certainly all have very different styles.

A few weeks ago,
Tamara came running in with a pattern from the brand new issue of Knitty, she’s obsessed with skirts and the pattern was for a skirt called the Lanesplitter by Tina from knitwhits. It’s made out of Kureyon by Noro. Within about 30 seconds we had all chosen our colours and were sitting down to cast on.

We began to joke about this skirt becoming our official uniform and a friendly race began to see who would be first to get it finished. Tamara and I decided
Jan the knitting whizz would have it whipped up by the next day. Then I sided with Jan thinking Tamara would have it done first because she’s such a skinny-mini.

It’s been a really fun exercise first seeing the colours of the Kureyon unfold then seeing that the colours we each chose really fit our own unique styles and actually made each skirt different. What colour can do!

We’ve decided to each finish the skirt in different ways. I’m going to go by the pattern to finish the waistband, Tamara is going to try to do a crocheted waistband and Jan is going to enclose the elastic by a waistband formed by a double-knitting technique.

There was also discussion on how much negative ease to put into the garment. Tamara gave 3” and, we’ll just say, that it’s going to be a very slinky skirt! So, I changed my mind about 3” of negative ease and am going to just leave 1” so my skirt will actually fit over my bum.

We are all always so amazed with the wealth of amazing designers out there in internet-land who offer their patterns for free or for such great prices. Sites like
Knitty and Ravelry have really changed the craft!

Here’s Tamara with her 3” of negative ease:

Jan has finished hers already!!!:

Here I am still knitting away:

Friday, July 16, 2010

August Classes at Passionknit

I would like to remind everyone that the Yarn Bombing project at the Textile Museum of Canada is ongoing - if you would like to add to it, please do! I haven't been there in a little while but I hear it still looks great, a little soggy, but great! All you Yarn Bombers get over there and add to it!

August Classes at Passionknit
3355 Yonge St. 416-322-0688

The Entrelac Technique
If you’re interested in Entrelac, this is the class for you! We will be going over the technique, and participants will complete a small sample from casting-on to casting-off. Please know how to knit, purl, pick up stitches and read a pattern. Entrelac Pillow kits will be available for purchase at the time of the class at a 10% discount. (Pinchy) $30 plus materials. Wed. August 4, 7 – 9pm

Absolute Beginner Knitting
If you are interested in learning the basics of knitting this is the class for you! This class is for those of you who have never knit before and want to get started. We will learn how to cast on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. We will talk about different ways of knitting as well as knitting terminology. (Peachy) $30 plus materials. Thurs. August 12, 7 – 9pm

Continental Knitting
Continental knitting (picking) along with English knitting (throwing) are the two predominant ways of knitting. The picking technique is gaining in popularity for those who are interested in augmenting their techniques repertoire. Knitting in this way is very efficient and facilitates colourwork. This class will go over the basics and get you practicing knitting the continental way! You must have a basic knowledge of knitting to take this class. (Peachy) $30 plus materials. Wed. August 18, 7 – 9pm

Passionknit Stitchers’ Night
Stitchers’ Night is on hiatus for the summer.

Registration Information:
We keep classes small in order to be able to spend one-on-one time with each student. Please register in advance either by coming into the shop or calling us at (416) 322-0688. Payment in full for the class is due upon registration, please check your schedule and class description carefully, registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. We also do not offer make up classes.

If you must cancel a class you have registered for, please notify us at least 48 hours in advance, we will issue you a credit toward another class.

Two-hour classes are $30, which is for the class only. Materials and applicable taxes will be in addition unless otherwise noted. If a class does not run due to low registration or extenuating circumstances, you will be refunded in full.

A 10% reduction on materials costs is offered once you are registered. You may select your materials anytime after registration.

Doors will open 15 minutes before class and class will start promptly. Please be on time.

We also welcome suggestions for class ideas – just send us an email or give us a call!

For up-dates on Passionknit events and classes please join our mailing list by calling or emailing us.

Class Rating:
Peachy = All Levels
Pinchy = Medium
Persnickety = Difficult

Alisa McRonald, Fibre Arts Teacher

Alisa McRonald has been teaching fibre arts techniques classes and curating textile related gallery shows since 1998. Her own work has been shown in shops and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Montreal.

She continually augments her experience through attending hands-on workshops and lectures on various techniques including dyeing, handspinning and other yarn arts. She recently worked with the Textile Museum of Canada on a “Yarn Bombing” project.

Since moving to Toronto from Los Angeles in 2008 to take a job at Wellington Fibres Yarn Mill, she has maintained memberships with the Downtown Knit Collective, the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Guild and the Textile Museum of Canada. Says McRonald, “Being a part of the fibre community energizes me! I like to challenge people’s preconceptions of the yarn arts and love talking about the various processes of these crafts. I even take my holidays specifically to attend fibre related events!”

Her personal artwork has been featured in various magazines and publications such as “Harper’s Bazaar Japan”, “Giant Robot”, “Nyoln” and “Time Out New York” as well as a featured artist in “By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art” and colour forecasting publication, “View on Colour”.

In 2001 she had the honour of being invited to be a guest lecturer and critic at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

In addition to teaching at Passionknit, she currently she maintains her own blog: and her new online venture, “Fibre Person” will be launching later this year.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I love attending yarn and wool festivals (of course)! I also love attending the Highland Games! This past weekend, I went to the Canada Day Highland Games in a small town called Embro, Ontario.

Watching the Traditional Bands compete, the Irish and Scottish dancers and the Tug of War is always fun but, it’s always the sheep demos that are my favorite. This time, they did some shearing demos – which I’ve seen plenty of. The exciting part of this Highland Games is that they had Sheepdog demos! The way the shepherds and dogs work together is very fun to watch.

The Shepherds that were at the games had Border Collies. Watching these pooches in action is quite a treat – they want to herd the sheep and be running. They had a young dog that was just wild – zipping around like a kook!

There are Sheepdog Trials every year in Kingston, Ontario and I am looking into going to see these teams on a larger scale and competing.

After looking at my silly pictures, check out the youtube link:

I like the way the dogs sneak...