Sylvia Olsen workshop!

SO_workshopPosting date: 19 May 2015

We are very happy to announce a surprise guest workshop.  Sylvia Olsen, knitter, author, and Cowichan sweater expert is doing a trans-Canada tour, and will be stopping in Toronto on 28 May.  We have been very fortunate to be able to fill in at the lost moment to host her knitting workshop on Coast Salish colourwork techniques at Creative Yarns.

This is a very rare opportunity to learn a uniquely Canadian indigenous knitting technique, from a true expert and master story-teller.  Expect a wonderful evening of cultural insight and knitting magic!

The cost of the workshop includes yarn and pattern for a Cowichan-style toque.

Coast_Salish_toqueDate: Thursday, 28 May
Time: 6:309:30 pm
Location: Creative Yarns, 269 Ellesmere Rd
Cost: $65 (+ HST)
Skill level: Intermediate

Call the store now to reserve your spot!

Spring Class Schedule

Posting date: 10 Mar 2015

The Spring class schedule has been finalised, and all classes are open for registration, including a few remaining places in the last classes of the Winter term.  Please click on any of the links below for full details:


Class Updates

Posting date: 16 Feb 2015

We are nearing the end of our winter term, but there are still places available in some of our Feb/Mar classes, listed below.  The spring schedule is almost finalised, with early registration now available for Spindle Spinning, Starting Stranding, Crocheted Linen Stitch, and Favourite Things in April; Brioche Stitch, Colour Theory, Short Row Techniques, Finishing School, Knitted Linen Stitch, and Fairisle Vest in May; and Continental Knitting and more Finishing School in June.

Learn to Crochet (course)

Skill level: Complete Beginner
Saturdays, 21/Feb – 7/Mar, 11:00am-1:00pm (3 sessions, 6 hours total)
Instructor: Sherri Bondy
Cost: $65 + HST + materials
Details: click here

Knitting Set-in Sleeves from the Top Down (workshop)

Skill level: Intermediate
Saturday, 7/Mar, 2:00-4:00pm (1 session, 2 hours)
Instructor: Mary Pat McDonald
Cost: $25 + HST
Details: click here

Moebius Knitting (workshop)

Skill level: Intermediate
Date: Saturday, 21/Mar 10:30am-1:30pm (1 session, 3 hours)
Instructor: Mary Pat McDonald
Cost: $35 + HST + materials
Details: click here

Becoming a Yarn Sommelier (workshop)

Skill level: All welcome
Date: Saturday, 21/Mar, 2:00pm-4:00pm (1 sessions, 2 hours)
Instructor: Sherri Bondy
Cost: $25 + HST
Details: click here

Ravelry 101 (workshop)

Skill level: All welcome
Date: Thursday 26/Mar, 6:30-8:30pm (1 session, 2 hours)
Instructor: Trish Denhoed
Cost: $25 + HST
Details: click here

Holiday hours

It’s hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close!  We’d like to thank you all for your support and friendship over the year, and wish you all a wonderful & festive holiday season!

Please note the following changes to store hours over the holidays:

Wed Dec 24th: 10am – 2pm
Thu Dec 25th:   closed
Fri Dec 26th:     closed
Sat Dec 27th:    closed
Sun Dec 28th:    closed
Mon Dec 29th:    closed
Tue Dec 30th:    10am – 7pm
Wed Dec 31st:    10am – 2pm
Thu Jan 1st:        closed

Winter 2015 Classes

We have a very full schedule of classes coming up this winter!  January is full of mitten classes:  Michelle’s easy, Chunky Fingerless Mitts project class is a perfect next step for a beginner who has perhaps knit a scarf and a hat and might like some mitts to go with them.  Sherri’s Polar Vortex Mittens class will have you making toasty-warm, fleece-lined mittens that are also quite accessible for experienced beginners.  Mairi’s Twined Mittens course is a more advanced class (suitable for confident intermediate knitters) that will teach you pretty much everything about Swedish tvåändsstickning (twined knitting) and general mitten architecture.

We are also very excited to start offering spinning classes.  Sherri’s Learn to Spindle Spin class is a great way to start for beginners with no previous spinning experience.  In March, and not just for spinners, Sherri is teaching us all how to Become a Yarn Sommelier – an understanding of yarn structure and fibre characteristics will help you with yarn substitutions and design understanding even if you’re not planning to spin.

For those of you who have been wanting more project classes, Michelle’s Cabled Vest class will be very popular.  Michelle has a particular genius for designing dramatic, stylish garments that are really easy to knit.  Whether this is your first garment project, or just the nicest one you’ve seen recently, we think you’ll enjoy this class.  And just a little later, there’s Mary Pat’s Moebius Knitting class – dramatic, fun, and just a little bit different, like we always expect from Mary Pat.

And how about crochet?  Sherri will be teaching two crochet classes: Learn to Crochet, and (for working in the round) Great Grannies!

Some of our more popular classes are also returning for the winter session: Finishing, Ravelry 101, and Toe-Up Socks on Two Circulars, all with Trish, and Knitting Set-in Sleeves from the Top Down with Mary Pat.

So, pick your favourite class, and call the store now to reserve a spot!

December mini-socks

Thosemini-socks-012 of you who have been around for a while will remember that ornamental mini-socks are a December tradition around here.  Once again, we have a mini-sock Advent Calendar to share with our customers.  There’s one sock for each day of Advent, each sock stuffed with a delicious Lindor chocolate.  The ‘sock of the day’ goes to the first customer of each day, or at least the first customer who remembers to ask, because the store does get busy in December, and sometimes it’s hard for Nina to remember what day it is!

The mini-socks are made by knitting instructor and Creative Yarns habitué Mairi McKissock, who always has a few extra (OK, quite a lot extra) to give to friends & fellow patrons.  This year Mairi will be away for much of the month, so she has left her stash of mini-socks with Nina, to distribute as she likes.  So stop by the store and be nice to Nina.  Maybe she’ll give you a mini-sock!

Store hours change

Please note that store hours will be changing, and we will be closed on Sundays from now on.  Other opening times remain as before:

  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (social knit night)
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: closed

Berroco Fall Yarn Tasting

We are delighted to announce a Fall yarn tasting event, showcasing some of Berroco’s Fall yarn collections.

  • When: Saturday, 18 October 2014, 1 – 4pm
  • Where: Creative Yarns, 269 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough
  • Bring: your favourite needles (yarns vary from fingering to aran weight)

We will have samples of new Berroco yarns, including the complete colour palette for several lines.  There will be plenty of yarn for you to test and enjoy in the store, as well as a raffle for door prizes.

Creative Yarns will provide coffee and snacks.

This event is free, but registration is required to reserve a spot.  Call now (416-331-8085) to reserve your place.

Amanda is Here


The Amanda jacket is a lovely piece that can trace its roots back to a simple stockinette shrug in a similar yarn weight.  This time, the shrug was knitted in a Mosaic stitch pattern, documented by Barbara Walker, which gives a dramatic texture to the piece.  A wide Trinity stitch shawl collar was added, providing a lighter contrasting texture. The collar was “finished” with an i-cord bind off, a simple to knit that gives a polished look.  The transformation from shrug to jacket was completed with the addition of ribbed sleeves finished with a stockinette curl.  The construction of the jacket is deceptively simple since it is based on four rectangles with no shaping.

The store sample, knit in Bluefaced Leister yarn in Aran weight, is soft and lucious.  The yarn is 100% _MG_4214wool from West Yorkshire Spinners.  The company notes that the wool is  “reared, sheared and spun in Britain”.  More information about the yarn can be found here.

The jacket can be worn in the traditional fashion, with the shawl collar around the neck.  But, for the more adventuresome, it can be styled upside down, with the collar as a band across the bottom of the jacket.

For further versatility, there is no need to make all sections of the jacket.  If you stop at the first rectangle, you will have a gorgeous shrug with a textured stitch pattern.  If you knit the shrug with sleeves, you will have a collarless jacket.  The options are yours._MG_4210

The pattern is available at Creative Yarns at no charge with purchase of yarn for the project.

Americo Original Yarns Are Here

Creative Yarns is now featuring four amazing Peruvian yarns from Americo Original. These yarns feel so soft and buttery and the colourways are so beautiful that they are a sensory treat for knitters. Americo has extraordinary pattern support for its yarns. You can see the fabulous garments and accessories patterns here. Patterns are available at no charge when Americo yarn is purchased for the project.









ABRAZOS:  Abrazos is an interesting thick and thin lace weight yarn that is a mix of cotton and bamboo. It makes the most incredible wraps and garments. See a close up of Abrazos yarn here.

BABY LLAMA:  This 100% baby llama, sport weight yarn is soft and luscious. There are outstanding patterns for sweaters, scarves, wraps and shawls for this yarn. See a close up of Dehaired Baby Llama yarn here.









COTTON FLAMME:  Cotton Flamme is 100% pima cotton with a matte, textured finish. It is said to be a fingering weight yarn but works to a sport weight gauge, ideal fro wraps, sweaters and shrugs. See a close up of Cotton Flamme yarn here.

SEDOSO:   Sedoso is a seductive mix of royal alpaca, cashmere and silk in a lace weight yarn. There are amazing patterns for sweaters, scarves and shawls. See a close up of Sedoso yarn here.

Folio by Berroco – Fabulous Yarn for Spring


IMG_1873The new Berroco yarn, Folio, has been in the shop for a few weeks now. It is flying off the shelves.

Knitters love this trans-seasonal DK weight yarn with exceptional yardage. It is a luscious, superfine alpaca and rayon blend that feels as soft and luxurious as cashmere. It can be knit on many needle sizes to give the drape and flow your project requires. Folio comes in many wonderful colours that will remind you of Spring.  More colours are being added regularly.  You can see more information about Folio here.

Berroco has great pattern support for this yarn. Several of the projects shown here are photographs of their pattern book for sale in the shop. You can see the wonderful drapability in each piece.  You can see additional patterns here and a free capelet pattern here.



Yarn Tasting – What a Great Event

photo 2

There was lots of lively conversation and laughter as more than 24 enthusiast women gathered at Creative Yarns on Saturday (February 15) to join in the second “Yarn Tasting” event.  They were there to “needle” or “hook” test the new spring yarns from Estelle.  What a fabulous way for crafty people to spend a wintery afternoon – dreaming of their spring knits, over coffee and sweet treats.  Our youngest participant, in her early teens, crocheted the small Granny Squares seen above as her taste 1

 Estelle not only provided the 15 yarn samples from Manos, Lang, Cascade, Estelle and King Cole, they also generously donated amazing prizes.  Norma, Linda and Evelyn were lucky enough to win draws for three special prizes – the yarn and pattern for a large project.  Everyone else took home great prizes too.- a pattern and a skein of yarn for a smaller project.

Our thanks go to Estelle for sponsoring this event and to Cristina for hosting it.  You can see Estelle’s full line of yarns on their website.

photo 2



Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted Makes It’s Debut

rowan_worstedThis wonderful, worsted weight yarn has made its debut at the shop. It is a soft, 100% wool yarn that is machine washable. And oh my – the colours. Creative Yarns has 31 of the 50 available colours in stock with more to come. The shades range from soft neutrals to bright jewel tones to sultry darks. The wide range of colours provide a wonderful palette for colour work in many forms: stranded techniques, intarsia or gradient designs. For Rowan’s full range of currently available colours and details about Pure Wool Worsted view the Rowan website here.

This will be a “go to” staple yarn for many knitters. It will be fabulous for any patterns including accessories, cardigans, pullovers, kid’s clothes and blankets that call for worsted weight yarn.  For inspiration,check out these free patterns available from Rowan.


The Creative Process – The Step and Ladder Scarf

Event ImageThere is a new scarf on display in the shop.  It is an original design, something we have come to expect at Creative Yarns, but this one was created by Cristina, knitter extraordinaire, knitwear teacher and member of the shop’s knit group.IMG_1827

The creation of this scarf has been a journey for Cristina.  She was inspired by a interesting, drapeable, felted lattice scarf that was gifted to another member of the knit group.  Cristina wanted to create a scarf that was different from her inspiration piece, but that was felted, draped well and had open spaces.  She tried several yarns, various felting methods and different stitch patterns.  These trial runs had some interesting results, but none of the scarves met all her goals, But then she hit gold this fall.

The Step and Ladder Scarf meets all of her objectives: it is very different from the inspiration piece; it is lightly felted and drapes beautifully; and, it has a lattice like grid with open spaces.  Best of all, everyone that sees it  loves it and doesn’t want to take it off.  The scarf can be styled in numerous ways as you can see in the photos.  Cristina confided that she made several as Chistmas gifts but couldn’t bear to part with them.

The scarf is actually quite straightforward to make – the difficult part was developing the design and finding the right yarn and felting technique.  Cristina has done all that for us.  If you are interested in making one for yourself, or perhaps as a gift (if you can part with it), Cristina will be teaching a class on the techniques used on February 22, 1-4 pm.  The pattern will be provided in the class.  You can find all the details here.


More Madelinetosh Yarn

A wonderful end of year present arrived at Creative Yarns – a much anticipated, new shipment of Madelinetosh yarn.madtosh_dk  The new shipment of yarn came in two weights.

There is more Tosh Sock, that wonderful fingering weight yarn that you can use for socks of course, but the array of luscious glazed solid colourways will inspire many knitters to create a beautiful, soft shawl, wrap or other accessory.

New to Creative Yarns is Tosh DK which works up to a versatile light worsted weight perfect for sweaters and accessories.  The colourways are beautiful, as we all have come to expect from Madelinetosh, but an added bonus is that this 100% merino wool is machine washable in cold water.  Perfect!

You can see the extensive colourways for Madelinetosh here.

Estelle Spring Yarn Tasting


Estelle Yarn Tasting (Nov 2013)

Following the success of our November ‘yarn tasting’ event, we are very pleased to announce a second Estelle yarn tasting, this time showcasing some of Estelle’s spring yarn collections.

  • When: Saturday 15/February, 1 – 4pm
  • Where: Creative Yarns, 269 Ellesmere Rd, Scarborough
  • Bring: your favourite needles (yarns vary from fingering to aran weight)

We will have samples of ten new Estelle yarns for you to test and enjoy in the store, and there will be door prizes provided by Estelle.

Creative Yarns will provide coffee and snacks.

This event is free, but registration is required to reserve a spot.  Call now (416-331-8085) to reserve your place.

Winter 2014 classes

Here are the new classes we are offering for January through March.

Beginner Knit―Individual instruction

Skill level: Complete beginner
Call to schedule (1 hr session)
Instructor: Isla Ghent
Cost: $12 + HST
Details: click here

‘All the Shades of Truth’ wrap (project class)

Skill level: Beginner
Sunday, 2/Feb, 1:00pm – 3:00pm & 16/Feb, 1:00pm – 2:00 pm (2 sessions, 3 hours)
Trish Denhoed
$35 + HST + materials
Details: click here

Colour Play (workshop)

Skill level: Intermediate
Date: Saturday 8/Feb, 1-4pm (1 session, 3 hours)
Instructor: Cristina Simionovici
Cost: $35 + HST
Details: click here

‘Step and Ladder’ felted scarf (project workshop)

Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Saturday, 22/Feb, 1:00pm – 4:00pm (1 session, 3 hours)
Cristina Simionovici
$35 + HST + materials
Details: click here

Casting On (workshop)

Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Date: Saturday, 1/Mar, 1:00pm – 3:00pm (1 session, 2 hours)
Instructor: Trish Denhoed
Cost: $25 + HST
Details: click here

Finishing (workshop)

Skill level: Intermediate
Date: Saturday, 25/Jan, 1:00pm – 4:00pm (1 session, 3 hours)
Instructor: Trish Denhoed
Cost: $35 + HST
Details: click here

Colour Pooling (workshop)

Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
Date: Saturday, 15/Mar, 1-4 pm (1 session, 3 hours)
Instructor: Mairi McKissock
Cost: $35 + HST + materials
Details: click here

New Yarn – Rowan Kidsilk Haze


A few Rowan Kidsilk Haze colours

Creative Yarns is delighted to start carrying Rowan Kidsilk Haze, which is arguably the gold standard in lace weight mohair.  It is a wonderfully soft and strong mix of mohair and silk that has a fabulous sheen and co,mrs in a wide range of colours.  You can view the full range of colours on the Rowan website here.  The yarn has been such a hit with customers that the blue shades from our original order are sold out.  But not to fear, more are on order.


Nina’s gradient Kidsilk Haze cowl

Nina created this charming, simple cowl, in a gradient of three colours, that will keep you toasty in the winter chill.  It is knit on larger needles to create a delicate, loose but very warm fabric that is light as air.  The mohair fibre has a ‘halo’ that captures warmth around the fabric.  This is a very easy, quick knit that is still elegant and luxurious.  A perfect cowl for Toronto weather in 2014.

Look out for more Rowan yarns coming to the store in the near future.

Featured Pattern—All the Shades of Truth


“All the Shades of Truth” wrap

colour_block_scarf_2This gorgeous wrap was knitted by Gail, one of our regulars, from a pattern by Laura Ayler.  The pattern is called “All the Shades of Truth”, and it’s available for sale on Ravelry (link here).

It’s a lovely pattern, all in garter stitch and very simple to knit, being worked in blocks of colour with stitches picked up and knitted on for each new block.  This version is worked with a combination of fingering weight yarns, including the Mountain Ridge Kaleidoscope and Baah! La Jolla, but the possibilities are endless.  Nina has a great selection of suitable yarns in solid and semi-solid colours.  She is working on an alternate colourway in a mix of Madeline Tosh and Mountain Ridge yarns, with a beautiful, strong, semi-solid orange-yellow accent, and we have another knitter starting one in shades of brown.colour_block_scarf_in_progress

If you are as impressed by this wrap as we are, why don’t you stop by the store for help picking colours, and knit along with us.

New Yarn—Creative Yarns own hand-dyed yarns


Self-striping BFL sock yarn, colourway “Thursday”

We are very pleased to announce that we are beginning to dye our own unique yarns, albeit on a very small scale as yet.


Self-striping BFL sock yarn, colourway “REM”

Some of you have already had the opportunity to purchase custom-dyed yarns for the Colour Pooling workshops that were held this Fall/Winter, and we now have a few skeins of self-striping BFL Sock yarn available for sale in the store.

‘BFL’, of course, stands for ‘Blue-Faced Leicester’, a soft, strong, long-staple premium wool fibre with a great hand.  It’s one of our favourite fibres, and makes excellent socks with good wear characteristics.

Self-striping yarns are fun to work with, but as the colour repeat is extremely long, it’s impossible to tell from the skein what they will look like when knit up.  Some of you have said that you enjoy surprises, but we do have sample cards in the store for each new colourway.  These show what they look like when knit in a typical sock circumference.  Just two so far, as shown here, but there will be more.


“Thursday” knitted sample


“REM” knitted sample

At the moment, there are only a very few of these skeins, and we do not have the capacity to dye custom orders, but we will be producing more, and also trying out new colourways.  So, look out for the Creative Yarns colourway sample cards in the store, and be sure to tell Nina what colours you like best.  We’d like to know which are your favourites, so that we know which to dye more of.