One of the greatest things about my life, owning a yarn store, is that I get so many wonderful people from the community showing up at my door. One of these is Alison who upon arriving in Kingston a couple of years ago, immediately got to work contributing to our local community. Her latest venture is in organizing and placing baskets of yarn at Quinte Lodge. The Lodge is a hostel-type accommodation operated by the Cancer Centre. Patients and any medically required escorts can stay in small private bedrooms free of charge. Her idea is that the baskets of yarn (and needles and crochet hooks) may provide a much needed distraction for guests/patients and will give them the opportunity to work on 8" squares that can then be assembled into blankets that will be of comfort to someone else.

I'm so glad that Alison thought to get in touch with us to ask for our help. It's another way that we get to be a hub that unites so many of our generous customers with those in need. Of course, as always, anyone who is doing some stash busting and would like to donate yarn to those who can put it to good use are welcome to drop it off at the WOOL-TYME Kingston store.

SUPER BIG NEWS: I usually like to wait for the monthly newsletter (which should be coming to your email next weekend) to introduce you to new products in the store but this is just too fun and exciting to wait. The Kingston area is very lucky to welcome Stephanie Earp, musician and fibre artist, who is making her home here now and is also making her wares available at WOOL-TYME Kingston. Stephanie specializes in hand painted - short repeat - dying of fingering weight merino wool in glorious colours inspired by a recent trip to France. She has also provided us with small swatches so you can see the luscious texture that her colourways create. These yarns would be perfect for gloves, scarves, shawls. Locally hand crafted products of exquisite quality; what more can a knitter ask for?


It's always nice to know that there are people out there who read the blogs and newsletters. It's fun to create them but even better to know that they are shared by people who enjoy them.

Just wanted to let you all know that we are now carrying packs of Christmas cards from the Andy Fund of Kingston, which raises funds for local cancer-related projects. They are $10/pack and feature the art work of local child artists. They're delightful.

Yesterday, we had a demonstration of knitting with "thrums" and one lady came to see if she could learn something new about the technique, as she believed that it couldn't possibly be as fiddly and tedious as it appeared to her. Well, what she learned is that it is tedious and fiddly, and the thrums are never perfectly even, and it is a pain to have the fluff flying around, but when it comes right down to it, thrum accessories are worth it for their warmth and beauty.

Yesterday, I also got a chance to go shopping for children's snowsuits, which is an activity that I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing for a good few years. When we go to the Kingston Knitting Circle meetings at Chapter's on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, we each throw a toonie into a can and about this time of the year, someone usually thinks of something nice to do with the accumulated money. This year we decided to knit hats, mitts and scarves and purchase some outer clothing for the Clothes for Kids fund. For $150, I got a snowsuit for a little boy, and one for a little girl and a beautiful ski jacket for an older girl (complete with cool zip out sleeves, turning it into a vest). It was fun.

Speaking of the Kingston Knitting Circle, don't forget the notice in the "coming events" section above, about our 2nd annual Holiday Nibblefest, which will take place at the WOOL-TYME Kingston store on Tues. Dec 11th from 7-9pm. I used to be a member of a women's group about 7 or 8 years ago and due to commitments, I had to bow out after just one year. However, they call me every year to go to their Christmas party and I'm thrilled to take part, despite the fact that I'm not a regular. So to should any of you feel welcome to join us for treats, a few laughs and an evening of knitting, whether you're a regular or not.

A quick little piece of knitting trivia: "In Victorian times, it was fashionable for ladies to hold their needles between thumb, forefinger and second finger, rather like a pencil. It was much slower than the traditional method of holding the needles under the hands, but then, when one was a lady, speed was not as important as one's appearance." from - Not Tonight Darling, I'm Knitting." by Betsy Hosegood.

I frequently have people who tell me shyly that they hold their needles "wrong" because they don't hold them like their mother or grandmother did. Well now we know that the way that we typically hold our needles today, from above, is a much more practical and ergonomically friendly way of doing it. As for the advisability of standing through the knitting of an entire scarf, well that's still open for debate. (Besides, wouldn't he get a little bored and cold waiting for her to finish?)


Before I forget...(which has become a hazard of my age) I want to remind everyone of the FREE demo at the store next Saturday, Nov. 24th, where we will have all the materials available for you to try your hand and knitting with "Thrums" and get copies of Free patterns for 2 and 4 needle mitts, slippers, socks and a toque using this great technique of adding bits of unspun yarn to create a cozy layer of warmth inside your knitting.

It's interesting to think that when the store opened 11 years ago, we had only small bags of natural wool -- uncarded, barely more than washed -- with which to make these cozy insertions into mitts.

Now your thrums can come pre-stranded in an array of natural and dyed colours from Briggs & Little, or you can use some of our beautiful hand dyed fleece from Cornerstore Fibres. Worsted weight knitting wools have come a long way too, as the knitted part can be made of self striping Noro KUREYON, hand dyed Manos del Uruguay, our new tone on tone CASCADE 220, classic tweeds in Tussock 10 ply and NATURA Tweed, as well as all the fabulous citrus colours of Ella Rae's and Paton's Classic wools.

At this time of the year, we get a lot of people in looking to make gifts for friends and family that won't take an eternity yet will have a certain pizazz about them. Thrummed accessories make awe-inspiring gifts that will wow them on Christmas morning! And here are a few of my other favourties.

This hat is from our Free Felted Brimmed Hat pattern that is incredibly easy to knit and looks wonderful on most heads. This version has been made using the new CASCADE 220 tone on tone yarn that adds such depth to the colour. It can also be made with any of our worsted weight pure wools mentioned above or with Lopi for a nice "halo of wool" effect.

It seems a bit funny to suggest afghans with just 36 knitting days left before Christmas, but both of these that we have displayed in the store are so easy and quick to whip up that they may be just the thing you need to get your loved ones their coziness quotient over the Holidays. At right is the EweCanKnit "Team Afghan" that whips up in no time, due to it's simplicity, yet lets you encourage your own sports fans. (Thanks, by the way to Sharon at EweCanKnit, for the many sample projects such as this one that she has allowed us to borrow and display over the years.)
This next afghan pictured below is a bit hard to visualize from the picture but many of you will have seen it in the store in different colour combinations, as it is my standard afghan to make whenever I only have a few weeks before it has to be ready. It's a free pattern and uses size 15mm circular needles and 3 strands of chunky yarn and I've been known to have one done in just a couple of weeks (and don't kid yourselves, I don't have any more knitting time than any of you do.)

Other quick gift ideas are any felting project (purses, mitts, slippers, etc) and they too have a great wow factor, as do many hats and bulky sweaters.
And guess what? 38 days from now, when you're eating left over turkey, you can plan your own project -- just for you.


I've been having such a fun time preparing for the demo that we have for this weekend "SOCKS ON CIRCS" showing our customers the basics of knitting socks on circular needles.
What I enjoy about this type of work is that
a. I get to knit and work at the same time.
b. I get to knit and plan/think at the same time.
c. I get to write about knitting (while preparing the instruction sheet.)
Now for a person who enjoys knitting, planning and writing, I'd say that this is the perfect occupation for me.

The other reason that I enjoy these prep times is that I get a chance to learn new things. Well actually, I learn new things every day that I'm in the store. People think that we're so smart because we can answer their knitting questions, but it's only because we are the recipients of all of the discoveries and great ideas that our customers share with us that we are so "smart".

If you are a sock knitter, or just curious, please join us on Saturday, the 10th of November anytime between 1 and 4pm to have a chance to play with the "SOCKS ON CIRCS" and to bring home a copy of the step by step instructions for adapting your favourite sock pattern to working on circular needles.

Also a reminder that based on the results of our recent Customer Survey, and based on the level of anxiety that customers have shown at the prospect of being out of touch with our knitting 911 service, we will be open on Sundays from noon until 4pm at least until the end of January. We'll see if the demand is there to continue the practice in the spring.
(I thought that the picture at the right was kind of appropriate, being a former teacher and all...but unlike what it says on the blackboard, we aren't looking for help.)

You may want to make a point of dropping in to visit Jane on Sundays as I suspect that it won't be too busy for the first couple of weeks and therefore I'm leaving her lots of "tidy up" work to do, so she'll probably be thrilled if someone comes in to disturb her work to buy a ball of yarn or ask her for some knitting advice.


Scedule of Winter Classes

Don't be disappointed - sign up now!
Contact the store at 613-384-3951 or email us at wooltymekingston@gmail.com

Saturday, Jan. 19th:
with Rhonda Kellett

Learn the basics of this traditional craft
using wool strips, yarn and burlap as taught by one of the areas finest registered teachers of rug hooking. Kit provided to create a beautiful wall hanging/ trivet .
When: Sat. Jan. 19th 1-5pm.
Cost: Workshop $45. kit $45.
Also required: 14” hoop or scroll frame available at Kingston.

Saturday, Feb. 16th:
Learn to make a SOCK-IN-A-DAY

Go through all of the steps in knitting a sock in just one day. Also great for sock knitters who want to learn to adapt to any yarn/ foot size.
When: Sat. Feb. 16th 10am-???
Cost: Workshop $45. Includes all materials & handouts.

Saturday, Feb. 23rd:
with Rhonda Kellett

A must for anyone who enjoys this creative craft. Learn the basics of giving your rug hooking projects that professional finish.
When: Sat. Feb. 23rd 1-5pm
Cost: Workshop $45.

Saturday, March 15th
with Roberta Mckinney
This is it, the greatest "stash-busting" tool in the world. Come and receive introductory instructions on using the beautiful Ashford Knitters' Loom. A beautiful table top loom that's easy to use and introduces you to the world of weaving, while making use of your beautiful knitting yarns.
Demonstration and hands on work will be available throughout the afternoon.
When: Sat. March 15th 1-4pm.
Cost: $15, refundale with purchase of the Ashford Knitter's Loom.

Saturday, March 29th:
For beginners

The simplest way to discover the wonder of spinning fibres is with a drop spindle.
Try your hand at it this age old craft .
When: Sat. March 29th 1-4pm
Cost: workshop $45. Includes a spindle to take home and a selection of fibres to work with.

Saturday, Jan 12th 1-4pm:
Free Demo!
Needlepoint Basics

For those who have always wondered what people do with those lovely canvas pictures available at Kingston:
— See a display of needlepoint projects in progress, using different basic stitches and some fancy ones too. It’s an easy, relaxing and creative way to play with colours. A great craft for pre-teens, to introduce them to the world of wool and needlework.

Free demos don’t require registration. Just drop in.
Registration for classes can be done in person or over the phone using a credit card.
Payment in full must be made upon registration.
Refunds will be given if cancellation is at least 3 days before the workshop and we are able to fill your spot in the class. (A credit for a future class will be considered if refund isn’t possible.)