Newsletter April 23rd 2020

    If we’ve learned anything over the past five weeks, it’s that yarn in its many colours and textures holds us together. It also helps us hold it together.

    Retailers have been thrown into dark territory over stay-at-home orders. We've had to adapt within days to selling our products while keeping our shop doors closed. Our customers can’t browse the shelves, they can’t look at store displays for inspiration, they can’t chit chat with us about what’s happening in our neighbourhoods and towns. 

    Most Canadians are in their homes, unable to go to work, to do the things that define them and bring meaning and shape to their days.  They're spending more time than they're used to with some family members and struggling with not being able to see  others. And they're worrying. There is no end to the worrying.

    Hand-crafters pick up balls of yarn and their tools and go to work. Skeins get wound into cakes, patterns are consulted, the measuring tape comes out. Some days the stitches come fast and furious, other days nothing seems to sit well. Projects that were put aside because they were too difficult, or too boring or not the 'right thing' get picked up again. New skills are learned and old ones get polished.

    It may take a few more weeks, but we could come to realize there are worse things. For yarn store owners and their customers, at least, the internet can help us find all the yarn we need and any pattern we could want. We can text a friend for advice. Yarn shops, ours included, have put together virtual knit groups - oh, the power of Zoom, Face Time and Skype!  Knitters can also just pick up the phone and call their local yarn shop.

    And so you have.  Here at Riverside Yarns we have settled into a busy routine of responding to email and Facebook enquiries, filling online orders and helping customers over the phone. In the chaos of mid-March we had no idea how this would evolve. But there were some things we wanted to stand by. We didn’t want to close the store completely. We didn't want to let down all you fibre artists who need your craft to help you through these uncertain times. We knew that crafting is therapy for many, and it can give meaning and shape to the long days that we're facing.
     We've come to learn another important thing in the past month or so. By helping us keep the store open, you have given meaning and shape to our days, too. You, our friends and customers, are helping us hold it together. We can't thank you enough.

Here's to knitting, crocheting and weaving together through these murky times.



We've restocked our Opal Sock Yarn!

If you're on the sock bandwagon, you must try Opal. The self-striping colours are always surprising and inventive. Each 100g ball packs 425m of yarn -- enough for a nice pair of adult socks, or multiple kids' socks.  We have them in 22 colour combinations, and they sell for $17.50 to $18.50 a ball.

And check out these Regia sock yarns arriving this week

Arne and Carlos Pairfect 4ply    $22.75

There is quite a following for Arne and Carlos, the dynamic Scandinavian textile artists. To get the most out of this sock yarn, follow their YouTube video at


Partner Look Pairfect       6ply     $29.25

Like all REGIA yarns, Pairfect won’t felt and offers long-lasting wear and great shape retention. We're also thrilled with the colour choices in these 150g skeins.

Introducing our spring Knit-Along,
the Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli
Odyssey is a crescent-shaped shawl knit in three colours of medium-weight yarn. Each colour section ends with a lace band that features striking big eyelets and a wavy texture. 
The designer, Joji Locatelli, is offering this pattern as a free Ravelry download in appreciation for the support she has received from the knitting community over the years. This makes it a great choice for a KAL. And while the pattern calls for DK-weight yarn, she has made it easy to knit it up in Worsted, or even Aran, yarn. So check your stash and see what inspires you! If you need more reasons to do this KAL, have a look at the over 2,000 Odyssey projects currently listed on Ravelry. 
Cast on any time after Monday, April 27, and share your progress with us on our Riverside Yarns KAL Facebook page and our Ravelry page. 
Cathy will be knitting up her Odyssey Shawl in Malabrigo Arroyo, in Pearl, Indiecita and Petrichor. Josette will cast on with Festivity by Sugar Bush Yarns, in the Banff Canoe, Salmon and Whale Watch colourways. We'll be posting photos and comments on our Riverside Yarns KAL Facebook page, as well as our Ravelry page. We look forward to seeing your progress (virtually, of course).

Check out our latest shop samples
We still have to keep our doors closed, but we have some stunning new samples that we want to show off.
On the left, The Love Note by Tin Can Knits is one of the trendiest knitting patterns out there. Peggy knit this one up with Sweet Paprika's fingering-weight Pizzicato in Cobblestone and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Steel.  
On the right, Ragnailt by Caroline Murphy is a dreamy crochet crop top. Zinah used Cascade Anchor Bay, a DK-weight cotton-merino blend, in Chrysanthemum for this project. Both patterns are available on Ravelry.
Are you looking at a project SNAFU? Need to cast off and don't know how? Too many stitches on your heel flap? 
We may be able to help you out.
We are looking at ways to offer project support through virtual platforms. If this interests you, please drop us a line at
We'll try to get your needles pointed in the right direction.


We're closing our bricks and mortar store for two weeks,
from Tuesday May 5 until Tuesday May 19.

Our webstore will still be open 24/7, and we'll be shipping orders as per usual.

Thank you for keeping connected with us through our virtual knit groups, by email, and on our website and Facebook page. The current restrictions will be lifted soon enough. When that time comes, we'll be able to show off our summer yarns and share our warm-weather knitting and crochet projects.
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