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As hand crafters we have the gift of beginnings at our fingertips.

As hand crafters we have the gift of beginnings at our fingertips.

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There’s a shiver to starting a new project. The yarn feels fresh, we’ve gathered our tools and notions. We can see what we want to create in our mind’s eye. We cast on with hope and confidence, and perhaps some trepidation. The pattern may be a treasured favourite, but we might also be knitting, crocheting, or weaving something we’ve never tried before.  Every time we take up our tools, we start anew.

As hand crafters we have the gift of beginnings at our fingertips.  At Riverside Yarns we are thrilled to be part of your new beginnings. The passion, energy, and determination that each and every one of you has brought to your projects is inspiring.  Let’s keep that energy shining through and together we will work our way out of these difficult times.

This month’s newsletter celebrates the beautiful projects we have all been working on over the past weeks and even months.  Our Finished Objects Gallery is FULL of your love and resilience.  Knit, crochet, felt, and weave on!

We love how soft Cascade Ultra Pima DK Cotton  is, and how it knits up into cosy projects for babies and children. Did you know it's also the preferred yarn for making Knitted Knockers? We didn't realize how special Knitted Knockers were until Betty Traynor brought in her collection all ready to be sent to the Knitted Knockers of Canada distribution centre.
Knitted Knockers are just that: a hand-knit prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. Traditional breast prosthetics are usually expensive, heavy, sweaty, and uncomfortable. They typically require special bras or camisoles with pockets and can’t be worn for weeks after surgery. Knitted Knockers, on the other hand, are soft, comfortable, beautiful and when placed in a regular bra they take the shape and feel of a real breast. And women can use them fairly soon after surgery. (

Our 'knocker' is stuffed with wool roving, making it  light-weight  and breathable. So you have a 100% natural fibre product, made by volunteer crafters, available for free to anyone who requests them through the Knitted Knockers of Canada. 

Patterns for the knitted version have been printed by Estelle Yarns and are available at the store, and on their website. There is also a crochet pattern on the Knitted Kockers website. We're so happy to be a drop-off centre for this heartwarming project. For a free pattern, visit:



This collection of cowls was designed exclusively for Riverside Yarns to mark Ontario’s Family Day on February 15, 2021. The pattern comes in five sizes, so you’re sure to find one to fit every member of your family. It's also very flexible: knit fewer repeats for a snug neckwarmer, or knit it longer so you can pull the cowl up over your head like a hood.

To celebrate this collaboration with our local designer, Nancy Lekx, we're hosting a four-week Knit-A-Long via Zoom. We'll kick off the KAL on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 PM, and Nancy will be on hand to talk about the design elements and offer support. 

The pattern calls for DK-weight yarn, and we have plenty of options in the store. Our samples on the top were knit in Sirocco from The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze in Strawberry Finches (adolescent/adult small size) and Bo Peep Luxury Baby from West Yorkshire Spinners in Buttercup (toddler size).  Bottom: Superwash Merino DK from Estelle Yarns in Steel (adult large size).
The pattern is currently available on Ravelry at 
20% off until January 28 and no coupon code is required.

If you would like to take part in our Zoom KAL, please email:
1: Colette Le Page used six balls of Estelle Superwash Merino DK in a colour gradient for her Correct Shawl. The pattern is available for free on the Estelle website.

2: This is a colourful set knit up by Pat Wagter for her husband. She used Cascade 220 Superwash, a great choice for outer wear.

3:  Cody Hawes was inspired by the "Eyelet Shawl Pattern Collection" from UK yarn shop Woolly Brew when she designed this classic shawl. The eyelet pattern really shows off the texture of the BC Garn Soft Silk that she used. The colourway, Curry, makes this an all-season accessory.

4: Rosemary Mulligan finished her Elton sweater in the fall, using Urth Sock 2017 and Marsh Mohair in Sage.  The different weights of yarn are used separately to create a highly textured striping. She then double-stranded the leftover yarn to make a pair of welted fingerless mitts by Churchmouse Designs and a Tanis Fibre Arts hat. The  Zigzagular socks, following a pattern from Prairie Girl Designs, are knit in Urth Sock without the mohair.
Karli Whitmore is always thinking of unique ways to use our local yarns. Top photos: She knit up some simple slippers and crocheted a soap holder with the last of the Ainsley Woods fingering that she had in her stash. 
Bottom photos: Karli made a cosy one-skein hat with some Woolies In the Country Lopi, and doubled Briggs and Little Sport with Meaford Lace for these delightful fingerless gloves.

Her projects can be seen on Ravelry:


1: Cathy needed a quick and satisfying knit over the holidays. She chose to do the Copper River Beanie and Cowl with Malabrigo Caracol in Rich Chocolate, and topped it with a Pom Pom from Grey Owl Knits.
2: Josette created this one-of-a-kind colour work sweater using the Strange Brew method from Tin Can Knits. She kit it up in Sweet Paprika Winfield.
3,4: An original design by Shawna Katz. She's calling this the Alpine Ridges Hat. While she crocheted it in Illimani Amelie, she's created a pattern that can be adapted for any size, in almost any yarn. 

Top: You can never have enough ribbed cowls. Joan Spence knit this one up in Katia Eden. This is her own design, and we have the pattern at the store.
Bottom: Judy Elkins completed her Oxbow Sweater by Andrea Mowry in Hayfield Chunky with wool. 

Mark your calendars!
It's our first First Friday Sale of 2021!
We're offering all our Sugar Bush Yarns at 25% off. There's a Sugar Bush Yarn in every weight, from Itty-Bitty for sweet socks, to super-chunky Chill for plush and cosy hats. 

Check it out online only on Friday, Feb 5. While quantities last!
We offer curb-side pickup for local customers, and a flat-rate shipping fee of $10.00 on orders under $200.
We're excited to launch a series of Zoom classes, starting with Beginner's Crochet with Shawna.
Join us for a three-week online class that will tackle the basics of crochet one step at a time. This class will be held remotely via Zoom, and is limited to three participants.
Your instructor will be Shawna Katz, our store manager and the designer behind Uniquely Handcrafted.

When: Friday 10:30 am to 11:30 am Feb. 5, 12, 19
Cost: $30 non-refundable, non-transferable
Email to register
This January and February we're re-stocking our favourite hand-dyed yarns. Any day now we'll be receiving a shipment from Malabrigo of Sock, Arroyo, Washted, Caracol, and Silkpaca. Our order for Lichen and Lace went in last week, and includes plenty of 80/20 Sock, Marsh Mohair, and Rustic Sport. And our orders from The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze are always full of surprises. We'll keep you posted on Facebook and Instagram
New Yarn for a New Year
Introducing ADVENTURE by Sirdar

This super cozy, super chunky, roving yarn has something for everyone. It's great for beginners because it knits up warm accessories in a flash. Experienced crafters will like it for big projects, like blankets and house wares. Use large needles for maximum impact.
80% Acrylic/ 20% Wool
 7.5 sts x 10 rows = 10 cm on 12 mm needles
 $22.60  per 105m/ 200g ball
Available in 8 colours inspired by Polar expeditions.
In-store and online early February. 

We're still connecting through Zoom

Under the current public health guidelines we cannot offer in-house project support. We have, however, reached out to a number of our customers virtually and will continue to do so for the time being. If you need some guidance with a project, email Josette and she will set up a Zoom meeting with you. We can only offer knitting support at this time.

Our Tuesday Knit/Crochet is going strong on Zoom. We 'meet' at 7 PM for an hour and a half of chit chat about crafting, yarn, and whatever else catches our fancy.

To take part in either program, simply send an email to
Winter Hours 
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 12 - 5 PM
Thursdays: closed, local delivery only
Saturdays: 12 - 4 PM

Ontario is under "stay at home orders", so we cannot be open to the public. We will be in the store during these hours, filling online orders, and handling phone-in orders. We can arrange for curbside pick-up and local delivery.
Our webstore is open 24/7.

Our cover photo features the Rippling Waves Shawl, a pattern designed by Nancy Lekx that was published in the Summer 2020 issue of knitscene magazine.

This pattern is available at 
Copyright © 2021 Riverside Yarns, All rights reserved.

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Josette deBrouwer
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Sweaters to dishcloths and everything in between.


As we dusted off the patio furniture just to turn around and stoke the fireplace, we felt the onset of summer this year reflected the unpredictable times we are living in. Shall we knit a lace-weight tee-shirt or go full-on worsted cardigan? Hmm, forecast is flurries followed by scorching sun. Casting on 6-ply socks when the humidity is 97%? Why yes, because the mercury is falling fast.  Each day seemed to bring more turmoil and uncertainty.
     We are very thankful that we never had to close our store completely during the unsettling early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic. Our doors were locked during the first weeks,  but we continued to connect with knitters and crocheters. We continued to be a supportive community of makers.
    We are beyond happy to be open to the public again. There have been hiccups and awkward moments, but our customers have accepted the new way of retail with grace and positivity. This in itself has made it easier for us, and we are so grateful.

 Our business will look a little different this summer. We’re going to maintain reduced hours, and we won’t have additional staff to help us out. We may need to close the store for a few days here and there to manage family tasks, but we’ll be sure to give as much notice as possible. Again, we thank you all for your understanding and patience.
    As hand-crafters, we make and we fix. Let’s keep strengthening the fabric of our society by reaching out to our neighbours and listening to their stories. Let’s start talking about Black, Indigenous and People of Colour dyers, designers and makers. Let’s carry on being kind and patient, listening and learning.

 Next month we’re going to celebrate our first year at Riverside Yarns. We’ve had to put the street party on hold (dang-it-all!). Since we can’t dazzle you with fireworks, we’re going to celebrate three local dyers with yarn inspired by our friendships, our family connections, and our love of the water and hills that surround Owen Sound. 



We've all been crafting more than our usual share this spring, and you'll be heartened to know that knitters across Canada have been turning to the same projects. We've been going big with sweaters and cardigans, and small with socks and dishcloths. Our friends at Estelle Yarns in Scarborough, which supplies yarn stores across the country, say they've been shipping more Cotton Sudz than ever before. They're also coming out with a new chunky yarn that we're so excited to carry: Outback Chunky. We've been turning to Estelle for good value, quality yarns and accessories and will continue to do so into the fall. Our focus is going to be on yarns that are easier on the budget, while still keeping a good supply of yarns from our favourite indie dyers.

Check out the latest from Estelle Yarns: 
Outback Chunky!
This non-superwash Australian wool is perfect for felting projects and rustic knits. We're bringing in all 21 colours to inspire you to create cozy sweaters, hats and slippers, or accents for your home, like pillows and punch needle rugs. 

100% Australian Wool
Hand wash cool, lay flat to dry,
or machine wash vigorously for durable felted projects.
125m/100g ball @ $10.99

Knitters have been snapping up sock yarn this spring like it's going out of style! We've brought in more Opal Adventure, as well as four fun colours of Schoeller + Stahl's  Fortissima Best Of Mexiko.This 6-ply self-striping sock yarn knits up quickly on 3-4mm needles, and 150g balls ensure you have enough yarn to complete a pair of socks from one ball. 

75% superwash wool/ 25% polyamide
420m/150 g ball @ $17.50


Our Project Packs are proven winners! We're pairing quality yarn, at up to a 50% discount, with patterns that are available through Ravelry. They can be found in-store or online under the 'Shop/Yarns' tabs.

A Hap for Harriett is an intermediate shawl pattern By Kate Davies Designs.
These Project Packs include 1 skein of Lang Yarns Ayumi 100g/704m (770yds)
in either Fig or Aqua.

The Tokonatsu Pullover is an intermediate project designed by Yamagara. These Project Packs include three skeins of Borgo de Pazzi Pelagia (50g/440m) in either Tropical Breeze or Dahlia. 


Not everyone can get to the store these days, so here's a peek at some of our latest store samples.

This baby cardigan by PetiteKnits looks adorable done up in Illimani Sabri. We chose Sabri for Ellen's Playset because, at 85% organic cotton, 15% baby alpaca, it's light and warm. The cardigan takes 60g of yarn, so you have enough left over for a matching baby cap. 
Illimani Sabri  100g/ 400m  $18.00

Our thanks to Nancy Luckhardt for letting us show off her lovely Butterfly/Papillon Shawl in the store. This stunning shawl, designed by Marin Melchior, features Urth Uneek Fingering and Urth Harvest Fingering in a dazzling mix of short rows and garter stitch. 
Urth Harvest Fingering, 100% extrafine merino, 345yds/100g  $25.99
Urth Uneek Fingering, 100% extrafine merino, 345yds/100g  $31.99


We asked Johanna Brown to knit up 'Jane' by French designer Mlle Petronille. She did it in Soft Silk, a Sport/ DK-weight line from the Danish yarn company BC Garn. This incredibly soft and rustic bourette silk is so versatile and easy to work with. And we all know that silk is both warm in winter and cooling on a hot summer day.
BC Garn Soft Silk, 100% silk, 350m  $25.00

This is Jeffi Farquharson's go-to baby sweater, Baby Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre. She knit it in Sugar Bush Yarn's Cabot. This cotton/ linen blend works up into garments that are soft and durable.
Sugar Bush Cabot, 70% pima cotton, 30% linen, 100g/266m   $18.00


We love it when knitters show us their finished objects. It's a real treat, though, when the store owners have their own FO's to share! We fell in love with the Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli because it's such a good stash-buster. Cathy did her Odyssey shawl in Malabrigo Arroyo, in the Pearl, Indiecita and Petrichor colourways. Josette used Festivity by Sugar Bush Yarns in Banff Canoe, Salmon and Whale Watch. 

 Bonnie Cathrae used King Cole Drifter Baby for both the Mitred Square Blanket and the matching Baby Surprise Sweater. 

Bottom left: Waltraud Uebelhoer found just the right buttons for this sweet little sweater. 

Bottom right: Marilyn Mutch went for over-the-top colour with this Opal Adventure sock yarn.

Anne Thompson with her colourful Mitred Square Blanket, knit with King Cole Drifter Baby.



Josette deBrouwer
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