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We have moved our blog to our website.  It is easy to find. Just visit us at Art of Yarn and click on the blog link at the top of the page.
You can keep in touch with what is going on and what we are up to in the world of yarn and knitting.
Happy knitting and visit us soon.

Click here to visit us now!   Art of Yarn Blog

Fresh Spring Yarns

I love to see the lighter, brighter colours of spring!  Fresh yarns, fresh colours provide such  good feelings.  I love spring; it is invigorating.
Just in -  a new selection of yarn from Be Sweet.  This is one of my favorite suppliers of yarn....Below is a little about this company.
Bambino Taffy is organically grown Cotton blended with Bamboo.  It is so soft and a treat to knit.  Each ball is hand tied in mixed colourways to knit in stripes.  Here are some fresh fun designs for someone special.

I just knit this little baby jacket...used a Churchmouse Wee Ones pattern "Easy Peasy Baby Jacket" (available at the shop) and used colour Salt Water Taffy.  It knit up very quickly and was very easy.  Our family is expecting a new baby so I will knit one in a another colour way to be prepared for the event.

Here are some of the other colourways available in the shop:

About Be Sweet

Be Sweet was founded on the principle of being kind to others. Nadine Curtis created Be Sweet in 2003 while living in Cape Town, South Africa.

Be Sweet’s mission; to bring socially and environmentally friendly products to fashionable consumers that evoke an individual style and help support community development around the world.

Be Sweet works with job creation programs to give artisans the confidence and the means to support themselves and their families in otherwise economically depressed regions. “I started Be Sweet to support innovative craft that can be made by those less fortunate. Our products embody the ideals of beauty, creativity and resourcefulness.”

As well, Be Sweet gives back by donating a portion of its profits to educational development programs in South Africa.

Together, we can make a difference!

Nadine Storyk Curtis

Be Sweet is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade the White House.

Mar. 7th, 2011

 Here is the latest update from Canada Comforts.  Knitted items for the needy of the world are always welcome.  Our charity knitters are always in need of yarn suitable for knitting children's clothing, hats, scarfs, blankets and other items; if you have any to donate please bring them into the store and we will get it into the hands of knitters.  Thank you for your many contributions.  When we get a van load we drive it down to Victoria and the great volunteers at Canada Comforts sort through the items and make up the shipments to go out in response to direct requests; the goods are transported by Compassionate Resource Warehouse.

Canada Comforts Society
February, 2011

Dear All who are involved with Canada Comforts,
I think this unknown author says it all:

No one can do everything
Everyone can do something
If we all do one thing
We can change the world
….and that is exactly what we are doing, by giving people hope, encouragement and love.

The following is a quote from the Compassionate Resource Warehouse newsletter:
January 2010 started a very busy year with the earthquake in Haiti leaving 300,000 dead, millions homeless, infrastructure destroyed; Tent cities arose out of ashes, a country enmeshed in turmoil
…and then Hurricane Thomas struck; cholera invaded their country and an election occurred that has paralysed the country.

The warehouse (and us) responded by sending 9 containers to this country. In fact during 2010 twenty-nine containers (8’X40’ and 9.5’ high )were loaded – that is almost one every 1.5 weeks (with a few holidays thrown in).

And so the pace has continued, since Jan 2011 up to now we have sent to S.Africa, Moldova, Uganda,
and Thailand. Tanzania, another to Uganda, Philippines, and Zimbabwe are due to go out in the rest of Feb and March. So as you can see we have been very busy indeed, and we can’t keep up with all the requests for children’s items. So please know how valued your contributions are.

The Director of the CRWarehouse, Dell Wergelund, flew over to Haiti to supervise the arrival and distribution of the last (9th) Haitian container that was sent. This was when the cholera had appeared on the scene. She visited hospitals and medical teams and saw our bandages, washcloths, and blankets being used, but was not allowed to take any pictures. Thankfully, however, she was allowed to take the enclosed picture of this orphanage (one of the few places that is much better after the earthquake. The children were wearing clothing we had sent. Note the flag on the pocket of the middle child. Someone in Canada Comforts sewed that garment.

TELEPHONE Please leave a message if you are telephoning me. We are absolutely swamped with telemarketers (most wanting to run our charity, or the finances). They can’t fathom the concept that our Society is run by volunteers! There are times when the phone doesn’t stop ringing, but I will gladly pick-up if I know it is not another telemarketer.

Chris Richter is no longer at Coast Distributors in Surrey, BC. So on your bill of lading when you are sending to the Manitoulin Transport Depot in Delta, please put For Canada Comforts, c/o Coast Distributors, Reese at 604-345-0423. When your parcels arrive, Rose at Manitoulin Transport will phone Reese and he will come and get your parcels and truck them over to the Island. We are indebted to Rose and Reese, two people whom I have never met, but have been such a tremendous help with this project for chilldren.

Here are the instructions for how and where to donate:

ATTACH YOUR NAME. At some of the drop-offs on the BC mainland, your articles are combined with others so that as much as possible can be brought over to the Island in one trip. These drop-off people are transporting at their own expense, and travel to the Island is expensive. So please attach your name and phone # or email address to two or three of your garments, so I know who to thank, and know who is an active participant, and who should be on our mailing list.

OUR MANDATE with the Government of Canada. It has been brought to our attention that we are
only allowed to send items that have official customs clearance, and that goods have been officially requested by organizations working in the field. Although this regulation may seem a little harsh, it makes for a more secure handling of goods through customs, and your items get to the designated poor and handed out with dignity. Even though we are all volunteers, a registered Charity is a non-profit business and must be run by the business rules laid down by our Government.

QUESTIONS I have been asked: 

Dresses - The pattern was designed from requests and feed back received from the field. The larger arm holes are for ventilation from the heat in the day, and able to wear a t- shirt etc underneath the dress when it gets cold at night. So please from now on do not alter our pattern since it was designed for this specific purpose. However, it’s OK to use a totally different pattern, since it could work in different circumstances.

Blankets - Here is a guide that we use. Baby=40in.X40in. Crib=45inX60in. Single Bed= 60inX72in.

What do we need the most? With the containers going out so quickly, we can’t keep up with any of the requests. So, whatever you like making will be very welcome indeed. You can use any pattern you wish, making anything from newborns up to teens. The only one of our patterns we would like you to follow is the bag patterns designed for landmine victims who have their hands blown off. If you haven’t a pattern, and wish to sew bags, please ask for one. Also if you are sewing bags PLEASE follow the pattern. The bag must flop open, and there must be enough room in the casing for the ties to move very easily. We will thread the bags at our workshop here in Victoria. We use nylotex which is easy for the children to pull, and we use two different colours so a child knows which colour to put in his/hers mouth to close the bag. Nylotex is no longer manufactured, so we glean the second-hand stores for any. (Remember, we used to cover our coat hangers with it many years ago.)

Dell Wergelund sends me the reports that she receives back after each shipment has reached its destination and the goods have been distributed. Please know that you are appreciated and loved. The thought that someone in Canada has actually made something for their child, brings such hope to the parent or caregiver.

We are able to go far because we walk together …………African proverb.

Sylvia Hatfield coordinator Marguerite Swallow Sec/Treas
1 250 474-4614 1 250 642 4354
canadacomforts@shaw.ca cancoms@shaw.ca
1185 Wychbury Ave 5024 Glinz Lake Rd note change in address
Victoria BC V9A 5L1 Sooke, BC V9Z 0E3


COMOX: United Church attention Doug Hoon 250-339-0816
Margaret Johnson 2043 William Place 250-339-7106

LANTZVILLE: Coast Distributors 6855 Mart Road 250-390-3187

DUNCAN: Val & Bob Major 250-746-6236

COLWOOD: Church of the Advent attention Kathy Middleton 250-474-3031
Corner of Sooke and Mount View Roads 9:30-12:00 M-F
Driveway behind the Shell gas station

VICTORIA: Sawyers Sewing 3400 Douglas St 250-388-6228

Warehouse #2 831 Devonshire Rd 250-381-4483
(Wed and Fri only 10:00 – 3:30)

Lumber World truck outside store last Sat. in month

Hatfields Home 1185 Wychbury Ave 250-474-4614

PLEASE NOTE all these drop-offs are for Canada Comforts items only. (CHILDREN’S ITEMS, BLANKETS, WASH CLOTHS, FABRIC, AND KNITTING YARN. ONLY) All other items for the Compassionate Warehouse should only be dropped off at the Lantzville Warehouse, the Victoria Warehouse, or last Saturday of the month at Lumber World . If this rule is not kept, all other drop-offs will cease, because they cannot cope with all the Warehouse items.

Also, please put your name (include your last name) and phone number and email, if you have one, inside your parcel, and put Canada Comforts on the outside.

Marguerite Swallow 250-642-4354 Sylvia Hatfield 250-474-4614
cancoms@telus.net canadacomforts@shaw.ca


VANCOUVER: Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House 604-879-8208
800 E. Broadway (1 block E. of Fraser St) contact, Nancy

N. VANCOUVER: North Shore Neighbourhood House 604-987-8138
225 E. 2nd Street.
Leave items in the laundry bag in the Exec. Director’s office

SURREY: Charlotte Phillips 604-531-8712
3838 156B St. (close to White Rock)

Elinore Redicopp 604-584-5421
11205 Lansdowne (just off Port Mann Bridge)
(Make sure you have your name attached to some of the items you have made. Elinore has so much to bring over, she doubles up parcels to make more room.)

**** note name change Coast Distributors contact Reese 604-345-0423
# 301- 9775 188St. (Port Kells area)
One operator Warehouse, you must phone Reese ahead of time.
(Reese will deliver to Vancouver Island)

DELTA: Manitoulin Transport contact Rose 604-415-9357
620 Aldford Ave
Items must be packed in boxes.
Outside of your box you MUST have Canada Comforts and Coast
Distributors, phone Reese 604-345-0423. Reese will pick up from
Manitoulin Transport and deliver to Vancouver Island.


- Boxes should only contain children’s items, blankets, wash cloth, fabric and knitting yarn
- Inside your box, please include your both names, phone #, and email if you have one.
- outside your box, please make sure you have Canada Comforts
- if dropping off at Delta, you MUST print “ phone Reese at 604 345 0423” on the outside of your box as well as printing “Canada Comforts”.

Canada Comforts Contacts
Marguerite Swallow Sec/Treas. 250-642-4354 cancoms@telus.net
Sylvia Hatfield President 250-474-4614 canadacomforts@shaw.ca

Introducing Sublime Tussah Silk DK

 Introducing Sublime Tussah Silk DK

Despite that fact that winter still really has a grip on us March and spring will soon win the battle; please sooner rather than later!

A new yarn we love is Tussah Silk DK which has subtle texture, understated lustre and luxurious drape. 
This beautiful yarn from Sublime uses the softest silks and is machine washable on a gentle cycle…
beauty and practicality…Great! 
Available in a soft palette of feminine colours this yarn epitomizes simple understated chic.

Sublime booklet 650 features many wonderful simple designs using this yarn. 
Tussah Silk DK and Book 650 are available online at ARTOFYARN.

Here are a few more great designs from Book 650:

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Share your joys (and trials) of knitting with us.

 Join us on Facebook.


The Spring Spin from Art of Yarn - 2011

The Spring Spin from Art of Yarn

We love Koigu!

One of North America’s most sought after yarns is Koigu KPPPM (Painter’s Palette Premium Merino) and we have lots of it.  A new shipment just arrived.  This yarn is the standard to live up to in hand painted yarns.  The colour are painted by hand, not kettle dyed which is a much simpler process and although they do make solids most are a mix of many colours which never bleed or turn muddy.  This is a talent as mixed colours often turn an unpleasant muddy brown.

If you haven’t tried KPPPM a good place to start is with one of Churchmouse Yarns cute patterns, each using only 1 or 2 skeins of Koigu.  Patterns are available at the store; they are very well written and presented in durable card stock.  The patterns are very popular and the designs are perfect for gifting.  The Turkish Bed Socks would be perfect to keep for travel and I definitely plan to make a pair of these.  They are small to pack, washable and will protect my feet from foreign floors!


One of the most popular items in the store and on our web store right now is Barb’s Koigu Ruffled Scarf.  This is a fun project to knit using just 2 skeins of KPPPM.  It is knit lengthwise using circular 3.25 and 4.00 mm needles.  I have knit several and one of them I knit using yarn ends from previous Koigu projects and this was effective as well.  It is a little addictive so beware!
If you are out of town be sure to check these patterns and Koigu online at artofyarn.com. 
We would be happy to mail them out to you.


New products Arriving Daily!

Linsey - New Yarn from Berroco available in solid and shaded colours. 
Blended from Cotton and Linen it has a great handle and will make wonderful comfortable garments perfect for anytime, anywhere, any season.


Knit One Crochet Too

We have brought in a TY-Dye  Wool and TY-Dye Socks.

 We chose bright cheery colours that will make fun knits.  Of course it is washable so it will make fun clothes for adults and kids alike.

We look foward to seeing you soon!


Sarah's FO

We were so delighted that Sarah's sweater turned out to be a big success.  It fit her perfectly, the colour and the yarn are perfection and it was the culmination of much teeth knashing and hair pulling! Yeah Sarah!
The sweater is made using one of our favorite and most popular yarns; Rainshadow by Earth Collections.  Nothing showy about this yarn but when anyone touches it they love it.  It is also all natural, from the brown bags in arrives in to the labels; a very ethically correct 100% alpaca yarn.
Here is the link to the yarn, it is also available in other natural shades: Rainshadow Cream

Sarah will need her sweater as we had a light dusting of snow last night.....perfect knitting weather.  Yippee!

Keep clicking....Sally

We are excited with the shipment of yarns we just received from Sweetgeorgia Yarns.  Felicia Lo is the artisan who creates these wonderful yarns; she is passionate about bringing richly saturated colours and luxurious natural fibres to the knitting and fibre community.  Some of the glorious yarns that we have in stock.....(some of them sold before we got them out of the box....there were a few ladies who drove right in and we had to pull them out feet first!) are Tough Love Socks, BFL Socks, Cashsilk Lace, Merino Silk DK, Merino Silk Lace, and some amazing dyed luxurious fibres for either spinning or felting projects.
Felicia has a great loft studio in Vancouver where she dyes, dries and ships her yarn to waiting yarn enthusiasts.

To see what is in store click on the link to view Sweetgeorgia Yarns

Make something beautiful today!

Ponderosa Spinners and Weaver's Guild

A few weeks ago Judith and I attended the annual Ponderosa Spinners and Weaver's Guild "Spin In".  It was held in Kelowna and spinners from all around (some came from as far away as Vancouver Island) assembled to spin, socialize and of course eat great food.  The food was provided by the spinners and it was delicious;  all homemade and much of it clearly fresh from the garden.

Judith and I set up a booth with some of our favorite yarns like Fleece Artist, Hand Maiden and Sweet Georgia Yarns as well as some fibres.  The most popular thing by far at our booth was the BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) undyed white fibre.  It was like a mountain of cloud and pretty irresistible.  I would love to see some of the finished yarns that the spinners make with it.
Here are some photos the spinners at work and play.

One very talented spinner was demonstrating on a hand spindle, one from her fabulous collection of hand made objects of art.

Judith and I are both deprived spinners...we love to card, spin and dye fibres but unable to do as much as we would like as we are both time challenged!  Sad but true.  I have a couple of spinning wheels but my favorite is the Louet Victoria as it spins so nicely while being extremely small and light with the added bonus of folding up into it's own carrying case.  Here's a pic.

If you are interested in spinning then contact us - with enough interest we will host a intro to spinning class; or contact the Ponderosa Spinners and Weaver's Guild, they are located in the Kelowna Rotary Centre for the Arts. 

Adams River Sockeye

Now this has nothing to do with knitting or even Art of Yarn but I have such an long term interest in Salmon that I thought I would share these beautiful photos with you.  They were taken by my daughter Melissa on their family outing to the Adams River to view the amazing return of Sockeye Salmon to the Fraser River.  These hardy specimens returned up the Fraser River to their birthplace in the Adams River. 
I have a nostalgic personal interest in Salmon as it brings back fond memories of pleasant days past.  We lived on Vancouver Island and on summer evenings my Dad would take us out fishing for a few hours and we would always catch a few fish each.....this was back in the days when fish were clearly more plentiful.  It was a thrill to fish with my dad and to catch a salmon.
In my early adulthood my family owned and operated fishing vessels and every summer I would pack up my kids (3) and we would operate as a packing vessel; running up and down the coast of B.C., often going as far as Alaska collecting fish from boats and fishing plants that had too much fish to process themselves.  When we were full, usually after two or three days, with several hundred thousand pounds of fish we would bring the fish to a plant in Vancouver to process.  As my kids grew up their first jobs while at school were running boats themselves. 

Hope you enjoy these pictures and that you enjoy eating some of this great fish which is one of the most healthful and delicious foods we can eat.  Long live the Salmon!! 

I have included a little info on the Adams River run.

Sockeye are in the foreground


History of the Adams River Sockeye

Two recent historical events have nearly destroyed the Adams River run. The first was the building of the Adams Lake Lumber Co. mill at the outlet of the Lower Adams in 1909. A dam was constructed across the river to create flash floods to carry cut timber through the river's canyon. This destroyed the gravel beds the fish use to spawn.  The second was a massive rock slide caused during the construction of the Canadian Northern Railway that partially blocked the Fraser River at Hell's Gate in 1913.  These events did end the sockeye runs on the Upper Adams and the nearby Salmon River but the Lower Adams was able to slowly recover.


Adams River sockeye travel from their spawning grounds to the South Thompson River then into the Fraser River and enter the Pacific.  From the Strait of Georgia they spend three years in the open ocean following Arctic currents to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. They then retrace their route to the Adams, completing a round trip of over 4,000 km. They complete the arduous trip upstream, including navigating the swift waters and and rapids of the Fraser Canyon in just seventeen days. They do not eat during this period; instead they rely on fat reserves stored up from heavy feeding in the Strait of Georgia in the late summer. It is at this point that the salmon take on their distinctive red hue, with the male fish also developing large humped backs and aggressive hooked mouths. How they are able navigate back to their natal river is not fully understood, but a highly developed olfactory system is believed to play a part.

The alluvial gravel deposits that form the Adams river bottom are ideal for the development of salmon roe and alevins. The temperature and neutral Ph of the water is also well-suited to the sockeye. Shuswap Lake, below the river, is called a "nursery lake" by biologists due to its high concentration of picoplankton a food source for young salmon.

2010 -  A Dominant Run

The Adams River run occurs every year, but every fourth year (called a "dominant" year), the numbers are much higher. 2010 is the latest dominant run. According to Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans,  the Fraser River sockeye run of 2010 is the largest since 1913, numbering an estimated 25 million fish.  At least 9 million of these fish will return to the Adams River area to spawn.  There is no clear consensus as to why the Adams stock has rebounded so remarkably (1991 saw an estimated return of 718 fish). 

Fall Classes

The weather is sunny and brisk; it is glorious fall weather in the Okanagan - long may it last!  The Art of Yarn knitters are having a great time, socializing, knitting, eating Carol's husband's absolutely delicious carrot cake.....Happy Birthday Carol, thank you for sharing this treat with us!  It truly may be the best carrot cake I have ever eaten.
The Knitting Groups and other classes are in full action - this picture is of the Tuesday afternoon group which is very lively.  In the back with her head popping up is  our popular teacher Sue Riphagen.  The ladies are so much fun to have in the store; they seem to be enjoying themselves as much as we enjoy them.

Sarah won this year prize for signing up early for the fall classes.  We held the draw the first week of our fall classes.   It is really helpful for our planning when we know how many participants we need to accommodate. Thanks for helping us we really appreciate it.

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