Back in the Yarn Shop

… and feelin’ fine! I had a great week of summer vacationing and now it’s suddenly September and it’s time to get cracking on some hardcore pre-winter knitting! While it’s sunny and warm outside today here in Peterborough, I know that high season of wearing all of my favourite handknits is just around the corner…

Without further ado…


The shop hours have changed again for the the fall, some elements have carried over from the summer (opening at 11), but we’re open ’til 6 on Fridays again and open 12-4 on Sundays (by far the best day for finding parking downtown!). And of course, still open late on Tuesdays for our weekly knitting social, “Purlez-Vous?”.

And while we eagerly await the arrival of our fall stock, there’s a couple new things that have arrived in the couple days since we re-opened…


Beautiful hand-crafted glass buttons by Carson Merriefield, a Peterborough ex-pat currently based in Batchawana Bay, Ontario. These would make a lovely addition to the brim of a hat or cuff of a mitten or glove, or maybe a closure for a classy little neckwarmer, don’t you think?


We’ve also been positively invaded by GOBSTOPPERS!


“Glad Rags” Parts 1 & 2, BFL DK-weight in 100g cakes, $30 each.


“Bee’s Knees” Parts 1 & 2, BFL DK-weight in 100g cakes, $30 each.


“Kibosh”, “Ant’s Pants”, and “Kippy” – Merino DK-weight in 100g cakes, $30 each.


“Eel’s Ankle”, “Dark & Stormy Night” (whoops! just sold!), and “Caper” – Merino fingering-weight in 100g cakes, $30 each.

I hope you are all surviving the back-to-school adjustment and the shocking realization that summer is somehow over(ish?). When in doubt, just keep knitting. ;)

And suddenly we find ourselves here…

… at the end of summer?! Where did the time go?! As is our custom here at Needles in the Hay, we will be CLOSED next week (from Sunday, August 24th, to Monday, September 1st) for our annual summer vacation, but there’s still a couple days left before I leave for a week just in case you need a knitting fix!


New magazines in stock! Early Fall issue of Piecework, plus the special Knitting Traditions issue (always a popular one!), and a new special issue from Interweave – Enchanted Knits!


And the first of our fall restock orders have started to trickle in! Here are some great new colourways in Galway Worsted and Highland Heathers, a great all-purpose worsted weight wool yarn.


Knitter’s Pride Karbonz sock needle set, Dreamz wooden interchangeable needle set and chunky needle expansion set, and Lace Blocking Wire sets are all back in stock!

And the first preliminary version of our FALL CLASS SCHEDULE is now up on our website. I’m still trying to hammer out some of the details with our guest teachers, so I’ll be adding to this in the coming weeks!


So, if I don’t see you in the next couple of days, I’ll see you in September! :)



Shop Updates Thursday!

Hello yarn fans, just a few shop updates for you on this lovely Thursday afternoon…


New Gobstoppers arrived yesterday – some Merino, Merino-Silk, and one Merino-Cashmere-Nylon! Come check them out!


Beautiful hand-dyed Malabrigo merino roving in new colourways now in stock, just in case you need something to get you through the end of the Tour De Fleece this week!


The super-popular leather double-pointed needle holders are back, now in new colours!


And if these recent chilly mornings have you thinking about the upcoming cool season (and all of its knitwear potential), pop in and grab the first of the fall magazines, Knitscene Fall 2014!

A couple community notes: the shop will be closing a half hour early tonight (Thursday) because I’m volunteering for this year’s Dusk Dances Peterborough:


There are nightly performances tonight through Sunday, starting at 7 in Rotary Park, and they are entirely PWYC. This was one of my favourite annual events when I lived in Toronto back in the day, and I’m so pleased that it’s back in Peterborough this year. If you’re around this weekend, you should check it out!

Also, this coming Monday is the next installment of the local Repair Cafe, taking place at the Silver Bean Cafe. There’s a couple local knitters and crafters involved in organizing this event, which provides a space for knowledgeable folk to gather in one place and help community members fix whatever broken things they have lying around! More info can be found here:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday shop update!


A quick little burst of Malabrigo arrived yesterday! Malabrigo Sock in “Ochre” (the yarn I knit my Buckwheat pullover in last year) and “Lettuce”, Malabrigo Rios worsted-weight yarn in the colourful “Arco Iris” in the foreground, and Malabrigo Silk-Paca lace-weight in “Simply Taupe” (what I’m knitting my Ishbel shawl in right now!), “Paris Night”, and “Polar Morn” in the background. We also received a colourway of Noro’s Taiyo Sock that I’ve been waiting on for what seems like ever – it’s all blue-teal-grey-sandy tones, like a walk on the beach. Now I have to decide what to knit with it!


Also, the new Knitscene Accessories 2014 special issue is in, and the Summer Issue of Interweave Crochet!


And we now have ChiaoGoo Yarn Butlers in stock! This little gizmo holds your cake or ball and rotates as you pull your working yarn from it – basically a lazy susan for knitters!

Please note, because of Canada Day, our hours are a little different next week: we will be CLOSED from Sunday, June 29th, to Wednesday, July 2nd (that’s right, I’m taking an extra day!). This means that our regular Purlez-Vous Knitting Social on Tuesday night will be canceled for July 1st. We’ll be back with our regular hours on Thursday, July 3rd. I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable long weekend, with lots of porch/patio/park/dock knitting time! :)


Summer Yarns from Berroco

The warm weather is finally here and so are more warm-season yarns!


New colourways in Berroco Karma, a bulky-weight cotton that stays light thanks to its tape-like construction. We also have free tear-away patterns for “Pulina“, a cute sleeveless summer pullover!


Brand new Berroco Folio! This is a DK-weight alpaca/rayon blend, with a soft halo, gorgeous sheen, and amazing depth of colour. We have a free tear-away pattern for a lovely capelet, “Hantsuki“…


We also have the Folio book, which features this beautiful colourblocked wrap, “Iwo“.


And Berroco Modern Cotton! A light-worsted weight cotton/rayon blend, light for summer with just a little extra spring thanks to the rayon. Plus, it’s put up in 100g skeins, which means more yardage and fewer ends to weave in!


We have a free tear-away pattern for “Saurey“, a lacey baby blanket, and the Modern Cotton book…


… which features some really adorable patterns for babies and kids!


Time to grab a project and head for the nearest patio, porch, or park! Happy Knitting! :)

It’s KAL season again!

The warm weather seems to finally be here to stay (for a season’s worth at least), which means we switch from running classes to running Knit-Alongs (KAL!). This summer we have two KALs scheduled so far:

Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

ishbel large

Large-size lace-weight Ishbel (photo copyright to Ysolda Teague)

A sweet triangular shawl in two sizes/weights: a small scarf-size knit in sock-weight yarn, or a large shawl size in lace-weight yarn.


My sock-weight scarf-size version of Ishbel is on display in the shop. I think I’m going to do the lace version this time around!

This scarf is very suitable for knitters who are new to lace – the pattern is both written out and fully charted, so you have your choice of which instructions to work from (it’s also a great opportunity to learn how to read charts, using the written instructions to check your interpretation of the charted symbols!).



300 metres of sock yarn or 600 metres of lace yarn, depending on which version you choose

4mm circular needle, 24- or 32-inch length

pattern – Ishbel – available from


Saturday May 24th

Saturday June 7th

Saturday June 21

from 2 to 4 p.m.


Watershed by Amy Swenson


(photo copyright to Amy Swenson)

A darling little summer cardigan, Watershed features a lace panel at the hem as well as lace along the front bands and a panel on the back.


(photo copyright to Amy Swenson)

It knits up quickly in worsted-weight in either a wool- or cotton-blend, a perfect layering piece for late summer evenings.


My friend Samantha has lent me her Watershed, knit up in a grey worsted-weight cotton. Drop by the shop to see it in person! (Thanks Sam!)


330 to 550 metres (depending on chosen size) of worsted-weight yarn

4.5mm circular needles in 24-inch length, and 4.5mm double-pointed needles

pattern – Watershed – available from


Saturday July 5th

Saturday July 19th

Saturday August 9th

from 2 to 4 p.m.


I hope you can join us for one of our KALs this summer! :)

Shop Hours


Just a quick pre-long weekend note about our hours – they’re changing for the summer! This weekend we are closed tomorrow (Friday) for Good Friday and Sunday for Easter, and thereafter our hours will be as follows:

Tuesday 11-6

Wednesday 11-6

Thursday 11-6

Friday 11-4:30

Saturday 11-4:30

Closed Sundays *and* Mondays

We will still hold our knitting social (Purlez-Vous!) every Tuesday evening from 7-9, and the store is “open” as a store during that time, so hopefully you can still find a convenient time to pop in for your summer project needs!

I hope you have a great Easter weekend!


Introducing… madelinetosh


This morning I received my first-ever order from madelinetosh, a Texas-based yarn company which has been on my yarn-to-stock wishlist since I opened up shop four years ago.


close-up of the “Cove” colourway in tosh DK

madelinetosh (deliberately in lower-case) specializes in tonal and multi-tonal hand-dyed yarns, and offers an impressive palette of colourways in several weights and yarn bases. I chose to get my feet wet with two weights (sock/fingering and double-knitting) in three bases (“tosh sock”, “tosh merino light”, and “tosh dk”), and chose eight colourways for each:


tosh DK, clockwise from top-left: “Filigree”, “Tern”, “Cove”, “Byzantine”, “Candlewick”, “Calligraphy”, “Stovepipe”, and “Grasshopper”.

"honey cowl" photo © madelinetosh

photo © madelinetosh

tosh DK is a popular choice for cowls like the “Honey Cowl” shown above in “Grasshopper” (a free pattern from madelinetosh), as well as small accessories like hats and mittens. (While we don’t have sweater-quantities of it in this order, we’ll be taking sweater-quantity requests for our next madtosh order!)


tosh merino light, clockwise from top-left: “Baltic”, “Antler”, “Mare”, “Winter Wheat”, “Antique Lace”, “Well Water”, “Thunderstorm”, and “Oxblood”.

"Vasa" photo © Paper Tiger

photo © Paper Tiger

Due to its generous yardage (420 yards per skein!), tosh merino light is a popular choice for light-weight pullovers and cardigans (like Dianna Walla’s “Vasa” shown above – Dianna is running a KAL for “Vasa” right now through her blog, Paper Tiger, found here), as well as shawls and scarves worked with sock or fingering-weight yarn.


tosh sock, clockwise from top-left: “Ink”, “Silver Fox”, “Cousteau”, “Flashdance”, “Chamomile”, “Robin’s Egg”, “Citrus”, and “Edison Bulb”.

"hay cardigan" photo © madelinetosh

photo © madelinetosh

tosh sock, a 100% superwash merino sock-weight yarn, is also a popular choice for sweaters (such as Veera Valimaki’s “Hay Cardigan” shown above) as well as for hats, scarves, gloves, and of course, socks. As you might already know, Veera Valimaki is one of my favourite designers, and many of her designs, including the “Little Things” hat, the “Stripe Study” shawl, and the infamous “Color Affection”, could be made with either the tosh sock or the tosh merino light.

Drop in soon to see these colours in person before they’re all gone! :)


Stocking up for Spring!

After a fantastic turnout at the Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival last Saturday (thanks for coming out!), we’ve been taking stock of what’s left and restocking some summer-weight favourites along the way!


Indigodragonfly MCN Worsted!


Indigodragonfly Merino Sock!


Fleece Artist Trail Sock! (Merino-Nylon blend)


Handmaiden Casbah Sock! (Merino-Cashmere-Nylon blend!)


Fleece Artist Saldanha Lace in the foreground, Indigodragonfly Merino Single lace in the background!


Malabrigo Sock!


Malabrigo Silk-Paca Lace!


And Mirasol Nuna (merino-silk-bamboo blend) to round out the bunch! So many lovely colours for such a sunny day! Enjoy!


4th Annual Fibre Arts Festival – Preview!

Tomorrow is the 4th Annual Peterborough Fibre Arts Festival, where textile enthusiasts of all stripes show off their skills, set up demonstrations, and sell their finest – and we’re going to be there!

Peterborough Fibre Festival poster

I have a fresh just-arrived box of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarns that I’ll be bringing with me:


As well as a few extra-special cake-dyed skeins of sock yarn, Gobstoppers! Dyed locally!


Gradient colour!


We also just got a whole table-full (literally) of Indigodragonfly:


But we won’t be bringing any of this tomorrow because Indigodragonfly will be there!! You can squeeze all the yarn direct from the source! And to soothe your yarn hangover, come visit these beauties on Sunday (Please note: unlike previous years, we will be closed tomorrow for the duration of the festival).

Hope to see you tomorrow at the Peterborough Public Library from 10 until 3!



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