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:
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.