Archive for May, 2011

All Aboard With Debbie Bliss

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Get ready to mark your calendar and text your knitting friends, DEBBIE BLISS is coming this September!! To the delight of her devoted fans, the highly adored British designer and bestselling author will be making two Canadian appearances on a North American tour to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of her mega popular yarn brand.  A luminary presence in the knitting world, Debbie Bliss’s star began to soar when she transformed bland, boring baby knits into more contemporary styles with her no-fuss approach to design, inspiring an entirely new generation of knitters.

Read along this week and next for all the details on each exciting venue-

Debbie Bliss

It will be a warm and fuzzy gathering like never before as enthusiastic knitters meet and greet the superstar at these two exclusive events:

September 9th-10th in Muskoka

September 12th in Halifax

RMS Segwun at Muskoka Wharf
Its certain to be a fun-filled two day event, as Debbie Bliss arrives dockside on September 9th at the Muskoka Wharf, a shoreline enclave of shops and restaurants, drawing on its heritage as a lumber and boat-building site, where the shrill whistle of the train was once heard three times a day as passengers arrived at this main entry point to the lakes.  Reserve your ticket for Debbie’s book signing and Wear Your Bliss gala, a chance to show off your latest blissful creation to win a prize.  Its all part of the festivities as guests embark on a special sunset dinner cruise aboard the RMS Segwun, one of North America’s original steamships, built in 1887, formerly the chief source of transportation between the three major Muskoka lakes.  Relax, unwind, and soak up the picturesque beauty of cottage country, as the captain glides the vessel effortlessly through the calm waters.  Listen as the haunting steam whistle echoes across the lake, the official heartbeat of Muskoka. 

Grace & Speed

The second part of the Muskoka event takes place on Saturday, September 10th, at the opposite end of the bay, inside Grace & Speed, a heritage centre that pays homage to a century of boating, with the largest in-water display of antique wooden boats.  Reserve your seat for Debbie’s feature presentation and fashion show, browse through the Bliss marketplace highlighting the Fall/Winter Collection 2011 amidst the rich ambiance and history of a bygone era.

Marriott Residence Inn at Muskoka Wharf

Make it a weekend getaway in Muskoka, bring some friends, pack a few essentials (knitting projects), and get comfortable with the full package deal including Friday and Saturday events, and two nights at the Marriott Residence Inn, situated right at the shore of Lake Muskoka and just steps away from both venues.  Watch the sunset from a private balcony, enjoy a complimentary breakfast, wifi, indoor pool and fitness facilities.  Pets are welcome too!  Fine dining, golfing, shopping, galleries, are all within a short distance.  Come and enjoy the Real Muskoka Experience!

For further information and reservations please contact:

debbieblissatthewharf@vianet.ca

or toll-free:

1-800-894-1430

FALL/WINTER 2011 Preview

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Just as barbecue season starts to sizzle, and the annual migration to the cottage gets underway, it was a fast forward sneak peek last weekend as the Fall/Winter Collections were revealed.  Inside the Diamond and Nova Showroom, yarn retailers from across Canada eagerly gathered to scout out the next wave of fashionable fibres in irresistible colours and tangible textures.

The mood for Fall/Winter 2011 is a return to glamour, with whispery soft yarns tinged with glitter and shine.  Not overpowering, just subtle enough to create a spark and a hint of allure.  Novelty yarns branch out in bold new directions, highly textured, whimsical, and inventive.  Its a smorgasbord for the imagination, with luxury fibres encased in nylon netting, wools and silks embellished with beads and decorative ornaments, fascinating tubular style merinos and blends that seem to emerge from a child’s corking set, eclectic ribbons that cascade magically into frilly layers.  Retro yarns are making an unexpected comeback, refreshed and inviting in chenille, brushed wool, and velour.

Get ready to be amazed by the newest variety of knitting yarns!  Here is an insider’s look at some of the highlights-

Manos Florcitas

A wildly exotic new line emerges from Argentina with lots of impact.

Manos Artesanas will enchant knitters of all ages with quirky handspun novelty yarns.  To make a knitted cowl, scarf, or hat really pop, be on the lookout for these four ‘gotta have’ qualities-

Dancing- a mohair and wool combination in a fiesta of colour.

Dancing Queen- going one step further, sprinkled with a parade of floaty little flowers.

Florcitas- thick and thin textured wool with squiggly tufts for added pizazz.

Versatile- pure wool in a polar weight, intermingled with distinct nodules for a pom pom effect.

Sirdar Softspun Luxury Soft DK

Sirdar perseveres year after year as the leader in sensible and affordable fashion yarns with a tried and true recipe for success.  Keep an eye on your LYS shelves for Softspun Luxury Soft DK, a gentle haze of wool and acrylic wrapped in a thin netting for enhanced sheen.

Sirdar Big Bamboo

Big Bamboo, another fresh quality arriving soon from Sirdar is a polar weight blend of bamboo, wool, and acrylic in a supersized lofty spin.  The secret to this feathery light texture is a hollow core, one of the ground-breaking corked style yarns grabbing the spotlight.  Babouska (another lightweight and retro style winner is a brushed wool blend in a chunky weight), and Shaggy (one skein of this thick and spikey textured yarn knits a funky scarf) are also slated to make an appearance very soon on store shelves.

Sirdar Firefly

Firefly takes flight, capturing the glittery side of Fall fashion in simple to knit evening styles.  Remember Eros, the original railroad track yarn?  Well, fans will approve of this newer version, boasting a jewel box array of colours and two versions to choose from in standard or metallic.

Louisa Harding Collection

Louisa Harding is a brand that exemplifies exquisiteness in design and product line.  Simonetta shines demurely with a sliver of metallic thread running through a cloudlike blur of kid mohair.  Nerissa aims for plushness and velveteen allure in a cotton based chenille.  Grace Hand Dyed with Beads adds a splurge of opulence to a current favorite by adding glass beads.

Noro Collection

From the other side of the globe, Noro keeps our senses fully stirred with a fiery blaze of colour, introducing three additions to their ultra popular line-up.  Hitsuji (extra bulky pure wool in cheery colourways), Wodaiko (an Autumn inspired rustic boucle), and Odori (a bulky blend of silk, angora, wool, and kid mohair).

Katia Mood Board

Dynamic and innovative, Katia continually explores new frontiers to push the boundaries of the industry.  Novelty scarves are floating swiftly into next season- Park Avenue, a sumptuous kid mohair blend cosies up to the current ruffle yarns with extra softness and drape.  Aloha tempts knitters in a whole different direction with a built in loop system that instantly creates a plush scarf or accent trim.  Kimbo, a tubular yarn with hollow core construction is one of the futuristic cork styled yarns that we are just beginning to see more of.  A blast from the past brings Velvet out of hiding, one of the touchy-feely yarns resembling furry little caterpillars.

Katia Triana Lux

Continuing with the phenomenal ruffle craze, Katia introduces Triana Lux, in fourteen shades deliciously sprinkled with a hint of glitter.

Sublime Pattern Book Collection

From Sublime, the focus is on rich colour, and quality fibres, with merino standing out from the crowd in pleasing styles for all ages.  Extra Fine Merino DK, Cashmere Merino Silk DK, and Chunky Merino Tweed are all featured prominently in the Fall/Winter design selection, plus a new kid on the block, Lustrous Extra Fine Merino, an all-natural fibre in a sheer nylon netting casting an aura of shine.

Diamond Luxury Collection

Diamond Luxury Collection hits a high note with fibre connoisseurs as the brand continues to expand in exciting new ways.  The spotlight shines on Stellabella (buttery smooth baby alpaca in a shoelace type yarn threaded with stellina), Baby Alpaca Glimmer (chunky weight baby alpaca infused with stellina), Starry Nights (a self-ruffling glitter yarn), Bambu Boa (an airy bamboo based self-layering yarn), and Tapiz (a marled and textured mix of fine alpaca). 

Starry Nights and StellaBella

Knitted accessories continue to be key players in this design collection, shawls, wraps, funky hats, and cowls reigning supreme.  Is it just our Canadian climate or does everyone love these continual loops that cosily drape around our neck?  Keep an eye out for a soon-to-be released Autumn inspired collection of designer hat patterns, handknit in the best of the Diamond Luxury Collection.

Baby Alpaca Glimmer and Starry Nights

Top Ten Dresses For Summer 2011

Friday, May 13th, 2011

All good things come to those who wait, and at long last this is the summer that we see knitted dresses drift back into the spotlight.  There are flirty styles swinging and fluttering in the breeze, tunic length shapes flowing over leggings or capris, and strappy little sundresses that embody the feeling of blue skies, warm weather, and the lightness of summer. 

The Top Ten Dresses For Summer 2011-

Katia Book No. 65

As refreshing as a lake breeze, this cap sleeve design by Katia, functions double duty as a swimsuit cover up and sporty dress.  Knit in six easy to assemble panels, balancing the self-striping look of Tucan with an alluring shade of royal blue in Bamboo.

Louisa Harding Ondine

Louisa Harding’s newest cotton, Ondine, in a spray of denim crafts this slipover style into a relaxed boatneck tunic.  One of the thirteen patterns in LHB Book 111.

Mirasol Book No. 21

Mirasol teams up Nuna (merino, silk, and bamboo) and Hap’i (Peruvian tanguis cotton) for a playful interchange of texture and contrast in this stylish three quarter length dress with lace edgings.  

Noro Book No. 29

Combining softly gathered knit panels into an empire waist and topping off the bodice with the airy look of crochet, Noro Sekku sets a summery mood in the garden with eight splashy colourways to create your own one of a kind look.    

Louisa Harding Violet Sky

From the Violet SkyCollection, the Rostrata Lace Dress in Kashmir Aran (purple) shows off Louisa Harding’s love of contemporary fashion and detailed lacework.  A tunic length pattern option is also available.

Louisa Harding Blue Monday

Another slipover style from Louisa Harding- the Tuesday dress, knit in Willow Tweed, a luxury blend of merino, and alpaca, with a slub of silk for added effect.  Knit it a little shorter and it becomes a tunic to layer over summer tops.   

Katia Degrade Sun

Beachy boho, a sleeveless dress that captures the relaxed feeling of a summer’s day in a rainbow hued yarn, Degrade Sun, new from Katia.  

Katia Blue Bamboo

Dazzling in royal blue Bamboo by Katia, this sleeveless dress features a cowl neck and a fascinating pattern stitch to keep your knitting skills one notch above the rest. 

Sirdar #9305

Delicate swirls of lace motifs are crocheted and seamed together to create an exquisite sheath of a dress.  Go long or opt for the shorter tunic to layer over T shirts, Sirdar is known for offering choice and quality in knitting patterns. 

Katia Book No. 66

The return of a classic- the A-Line dress by Katia, boasts the most flattering style for all shapes and sizes.  The emphasis of this design is on centre and side lace panels to keep the look vertical.

White Hot

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Its the absence of colour this Spring that echoed with thunderous applause in the fashion universe, as designers revealed their collections, startling us with an all-white palette, and dressing models in hues of buttermilk, pearl, chalk, milk, and mallow.  White is at the extreme end of the visual spectrum, a bright contrast to everything that it surrounds, it represents  absolute purity, and freshness.

It may be difficult to imagine more than one shade of white, yet in the Benjamin Moore Paint Collection alone, there are a whopping one hundred and forty, ranging from the purest of tints, to buttery warm hues, and cool blue undertones.  

Katia has taken the hint this season and brought white to the forefront with these innovative knitwear designs- 

Isis Tunic by Katia

Tunics are showing up again, long and drapey to wear over leggings.  This summery design is knit in a sheer lightweight yarn, Isis, a mixture of cotton and viscose in a slubby spin.

Summer Shawl by Katia

Shawls are ‘forever’ knits, and we wear them all year round.  A leaf panelled cover-up from Katia’s Sport Collection converts gracefully from day into night, and shows a bit of bohemian flair with tasseled borders.

Dress by Katia

Its a return to knitted dresses, and Katia mixes the vibe of the 70’s with today’s more sophisticated style to achieve a harmonious presence.  This A-Line design from Katia Book 65 features a ribbed bodice and chevron lace panels that create a slimming silhouette.

Crocheted Shawl and Handbag by Katia

The refined elegance of crochet makes a noticeable splash in this one of a kind shawl and handbag overlay, creatively designed with starfish motifs.  Pure cotton in crisp white makes this design stunning.

Openwork Jacket by Katia

The more open the stitches the more current the look.  Tailored and timeless styling with a perfectly notched collar, this is a jacket made for layering and staying cool all season long.  Part of the Elegance Collection from Katia.