True North Olympics 2016


Every couple years we are graced with one of the best tv marathons to knit/crochet to – the Olympic games! For two weeks, we all cheer on Canada (and other individual allegiances) as the world celebrates good-natured competition, and us yarn lovers get some serious TV knitting in.

10 years ago the fabulous Canadian Yarn Harlot began her rendition of a knitting olympics. Any of you who are familiar with may have already experienced their Ravellenic Games, a Ravelry event that encourages knitters/crocheters to take part in actual crafting events while they watch the Olympics. We thought that this year True


North Yarn should get in on the action and create our own version for EVERYONE, including those crafters who might not be Ravelry-fluent.

You can sign up to join our Olympic Team by selecting an event from the list below and submitting it with your name to our Facebook page (as a comment or a message), email address (, at the shop in-person or by phone. Sign ups are open NOW.

Select from the events below  (the same selection as the Ravellenic Games 2016)- you can knit or crochet.

Afghan Marathon  – This covers blankets of all shapes and sizes.

Bag Backstroke – Totes, shoulder bags, itty ditty bags, anything like that.


Image from Shaun The Sheep Championsheeps

Cowl Jump – Self-explanatory.

Hat Dash – Any hats and/or headgear.

Household Heptathalon – Home and Décor projects. Things like pillows, wash/dishcloths, cozies, baskets. Holiday items, like stockings, and ornaments can also go here.

Mitten Medley – Any items for your hands: a pair of mittens or gloves, with and without fingers, will go here. A full pair!

Scarf Hockey Anything you’d define as a scarf or stole can go here. In general, if it is long, rectangular and is worn around the neck with unjoined ends.

Shawl Sailing – Any items considered a shawl or wrap.ShotPutt_2290388i

Sock-Put – Any pairs of socks, stockings, tights, knee-highs, legwarmers, slippers, etc

Sweater Triathalon – Any sweaters, any shape or size, vests, tops, cardigans, shrugs, boleros, etc.

Synchronized Spinning – Any fiber, of any preparation (roving, batt, top, raw fleece), that has been spun into yarn of any kind (singles, any number of plies, art yarn)

Toy Toss – Amigurumi, teddy bears, stuffies, monsters, etc.

WIPs Wrestling  – Any project that was started before the Games that is finished during these Games qualifies.

Cast on during the Opening Ceremonies, or as soon after the Opening Ceremonies as your schedule allows.

You have until the end of the Closing Ceremonies to finish your project/event. Once you’re finished, you can submit proof (namely, a pic of your finished piece) to our Facebook page. If you don’t have Facebook, we’ll accept submissions to our e-mail ( or in-person at the shop.

The Olympics are all about cheering each other on, so I encourage you to share your work on our Facebook page and be cheered on by your fellow Olympians.


Photo Credit: Lorna & Jill Watt

If you have joined our team, we will have added you to our Team List. Once you have successfully finished your event, your name will be checked off on our list. After the closing ceremonies, all successful Olympians will then be entered into a draw for Medals.

  • Gold: $30 True North Yarn Co. Gift Certificate
  • Silver: $20 Gift Certificate
  • Bronze: $10 Gift Certificate

We will announce the winners (First name, last initial) on Facebook and here on our blog. Finished pieces are not judged for medals, everyone who finishes on time is entered into the same draw, whether you’re a beginner or advanced yarn lover. If you are already part of a team on Ravelry, you can feel free to submit the same project to our contest, and submit the project page as your proof.

I am so INCREDIBLY excited about seeing what all of our yarn lovers come up with!


Goodbye July, Hello August!

In the yarn shop world, this time of year is all about the new Fall yarns starting to pour in.  Let’s take a look at the new yarns that have already begun arriving for Fall!

Universal Yarn’s Classic Shades Frenzy is a 70/30 Acrylic/Wool blend that gives you big artsy stripes – a perfect alternative for the pure-wool Noro Kureyon, available in 100g balls perfect for a fall hat or mitts.

Also in the worsted/aran weight category, we have Fashion Aran Combo – this is a tonal variation on store favourite Fashion Aran, using the same Acrylic/Wool blend that is perfect for making sweaters!

If chunky weight is more your speed, we have TWO new self-striping chunky lines. The first is Drifter Chunky, a chunky version of the DK weight Drifter Baby we brought in this spring. I find this Chunky version is very reminiscent of Sirdar’s long-discontinued Crofter Chunky. With the Drifter Chunky comes a whole whack of sweater patterns for men, women and children that are sure to whip up into gorgeous gifts. Its washable cotton/acrylic/wool blend makes it suitable for all kinds of projects.
DSCF0732Our second chunky self-striping is Big Value Baby Soft Chunky, a pure acrylic with plenty of baby garment patterns. This is perfect for anyone who loves the DK-weight Baby Marble yarn but always wished it was available heavier so it could work up faster!

We can’t talk new yarn without welcoming some new Lang Jawoll sock yarn colours! This is a great range – classic pink, or funky multi, all the way to a masculine neutral perfect for the picky dad/uncle/son in your life. Plus, it’s Lang so of course they include those handy matching reinforcement spools in every ball!

In DK weight we have  King Cole Sprite, a single-ply self-striping pure acrylic. This would be perfect for a colourful fall scarf project, or it came with an array of sweater patterns for both adults and children! I love how easy self-striping yarns are to knit, with a one-of-a-kind result.

DSCF0723Also a DK, we are welcoming Estelle’s new Andean DK Heathers, a pure wool with FANTASTIC yardage. This is the yarn for anyone who wants to make a classic heirloom cardigan this fall. It is soft, warm, and each one of the rich heathered shades are stunning. I am probably going to have to make a blog post just listing all of the cardigans dreams this yarn gives me!


Last, but certainly not least, we have five colours of King Cole’s Big Value Dish Cloth & Craft Cotton. It’s a 100g ball with enough yardage for multiple dish cloth/scrubbies, always great to have on hand for quick gifts. It has a unique scrubby-type texture while still being a washable/dryable pure cotton.

I wonder how many scrubbies  (such as freebies Codi Hudnall’s Knitted Tawashi or Judith Prindle’s crochet Spiral Scrubbie) you could whip up out of one ball?

Only one way to find out!

Rainbow Inspiration

Recently at the shop we received a beautiful deluge of colour – the arrival of two new yarns, Uptown DK and Estelle Chunky! What came in looking like this…

Popped onto our shelves to look this this!

Look at all of those shades! Nothing is more inspirational than having lots of colours asking to be reorganized into stunning multicolour projects~
Uptown DK is a pure anti-pilling acrylic, while Estelle Chunky is an acrylic/wool/nylon blend – both are machine washable and would make great blankets.

In honour of these new shop rainbows, let’s look at some free patterns that would really make them shine…

Both Spice of Life by Sandra Paul and Neat Ripple by Lucy of Attic 24 (this iteration by Ravelry user KnitKnatKnotUK) are crochet options that call for DK weight yarns such as Uptown DK. Crochet is perfect for lighter weight blankets, speeding up what might otherwise (for knitters) be an endless ordeal! As a beginner crocheter myself, I think Neat Ripple would make a perfect first big crochet project, while Spice of Life is a great sampler for the intermediate.

We can’t talk about blankets without looking at some feather and fan. Both Pastel Rainbow by Stitchlinda Designs and Feather and Fan Rainbow by Cathy Waldie put a rainbow spin on a classic knit. While both of these picture a pastel baby theme, what’s great about colourwork projects is how simple it is to substitute your own colour theme – maybe a gradient from black, to navy, all the way through to light blue? Black stripes with shots of neon? Red, white, and blue for your expat sibling in America?

If feather and fan isn’t your thing, we have an alternative rainbow ripple – Western Hills by Julia Stanfield – or a knitted Log Cabin by Staci Perry! Blankets are great projects for playing with yarn substitutions, as they are easily sized up or down by working more or less repeats. Unlike a garment, they don’t have to fit, so gauge isn’t as much of a concern either. It’s a blank canvas!


Of course I can’t bring up colourful blankets without mentioning our True North creations! The Polka Dot Baby Blanket is by our fab crochet instructor Cyndy.

Also a shop favourite is our True North Garter Stitch Baby Blanket, featuring the ever-beginner-friendly garter stitch and a simple worked-as-you-go i-cord edge.
Both the Polka Dot and Garter Stitch blankets are so SO easy to size up into an adult afghan, and workable in any weight!

Looking for a natural fiber? I’ve heard a few rave reviews lately about how Cascade’s Ultra Pima cotton DK washes up, and Cascade 220 is a well-established pure wool with lots of colours~

I hope you’re as inspired as  I am by this rainbow tour – stay cool yarn lovers~