Thursday, 22 October 2015

Everything coming up Poppies

November 11 Rememberance Day 




The idea of using poppies to commemorate the war dead began in France, where the red flowers grew on the graves of soldiers. The famous poem In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian doctor John McCrae during the First World War, helped make the poppy a symbol of remembrance, especially in Canada. “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow/between the crosses, row on row…” Canadians have worn them since the early 1920s to remind us of the horrors of war and to remember those who have died.

The poppies were made by the veterans themselves from 1922 to 1997 as part of a “Vetcraft” program to find work for unemployed, disabled vets. The Royal Canadian Legion is now in charge, and the poppies are made at a company in Ottawa

The legion owns the Canadian trademark on the poppy and collects millions of dollars every year from the poppy campaign.
In 2012 a knitting group in Fredericton started stitching together poppies, with the intention of selling them to raise funds for the Royal Canadian Legion. Even though they raised hundreds of dollars, once the legion got wind of the project they asked the knitting circle to stop The woman honoured the legion’s wishes. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t have come to an agreement out of this,” said knitter Trish Campbell. “I think there isn’t a Canadian knitter out there who wouldn’t knit a poppy and donate it to the legion.”

Bob Maxwell, of the legion’s Poppy and Remembrance Committee, in a telephone interview. said the legion had a suggestion for the women, to still use their stitching skills to help vets.
“The idea came up that possibly their talents could be used to even more benefit, in providing scarves and mitts and so on which are really needed for veterans this time of year,” he said
But the story has sent the organization into damage control, with many people on social media sites saying the legion should be thankful that people are trying to help.
I myself will buy a poppy to support the legions efforts but I am also going to knit a couple of poppies to put in the sun visor of my car and to put up in the shop. For those of you who would like to do the same here is a poppy pattern



During the month of October all the Sit and Knit monies collected will be given to the Alliston District Humane Society for the purchase of cat food. 
Image result for a cat with food bowl in mouth

Please come out and support a great cause. 
Our Sit and Knit times are as follows:

Tuesday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm                      
Friday: 7 pm until 9 pm
Saturday: 1 pm until 4 pm
*the information in this article was inpart supplied by : http://globalnews.ca/news/307184/legion-does-damage-control-after-stopping-knitting-circles-poppy-project/

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Canadian Knitwear Designers

You know when you stumble upon something and it is love at first sight?  Well this is how I felt when I discovered the knitting patterns from Lara at Knot Enuf Knitting.  She has numerous patterns for sale all super creative and pretty easy to follow.  If you sign up for the newsletter, along with receiving information on new pattern releases, any promotions they are running and interesting knitting tips, you will also get a free pattern.  Here is a link to the sign up form.

I chose the Song of Peace Slough Hat as my free pattern:



It knit up beautifully using Bernat Roving which is 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool blend.

I used the colour Bark.  I also stock it many more colours, below is a sampling of them.  Please visit the store to see the other colours.


You can see more patterns here.

During the month of October all the Sit and Knit monies collected will be given to the Alliston District Humane Society for the purchase of cat food.  Please come out and support a great cause.  Our Sit and Knit times are as follows:

Tuesday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
Friday: 7 pm until 9 pm
Saturday: 1 pm until 4 pm

We have new stock coming in every week, and with Christmas just around the corner; where did the summer go to?  It's time to start on those Christmas projects and what better than knitting up a fabulous pair of socks, or a hat and scarf to give your loved ones.  Knitted items are on trend now and hand made items are so well received, as they were knit with love.

Pop by the store and let me help you choose the perfect yarn to make a start on those projects.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

September Results

September Results

Thanks to you, we collected $105 in September at our Sit and Knit sessions.  All monies collected will be donated to the Alliston and District Humane Society to purchase dog food.




During the month of October all Sit and Knit fees will be donated to the Alliston District Humane Society to purchase cat food for the shelter.  We would love to raise more than the $105 in October, and we need you to do it.  We have four Sit and Knit sessions per week:

Tuesday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
Friday: 7 pm until 9 pm
Saturday: 1 pm until 4 pm

There is a $2 sitting fee; all which will be donated to ADHS in October.

Come join us for one of these sessions, that are fun, informative; a great way to be productive (knitting) and support a great cause.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Knitting for Charity

"In Charity there is no excess," - Sir Francis Bacon

Knitting is a great hobby which you can do by yourself or in a group.  As with most things in life not only it's a great benefit for your well being, but you can also help others with your projects, by donating them to worthy causes.

At The Knitting Basket, we have donated knitted hats to the babies in the local hospital.  We are looking for more local worthy causes to support and donate knitted items too.  If you have any suggestions please feel free to let us know.

Meanwhile, there are many patterns and ideas on the Internet for charity knitting.  Here is a link, another link here, and another link here for free patterns.  Some patterns are rather unusual like this Chux Tux for rescue chickens:


​Or you could knit this little Yellow Duck:

​Please click on this link, to find out more about The Little Yellow Duck Project.   "The Little Yellow Duck Project is a global initiative highlighting the life-saving random acts of kindness of blood, bone marrow, and organ and tissue donation."

A really neat idea, don't you think.  There are also some more charity ideas on Alan Dart's page here.

If we all do our little bit, the world will be a little bit happier due to knitting!!  Please feel free to share this post with everyone.

As always we have our regular Knit and Sit sessions and during the month of September, all sitting fees will be donated to the Alliston Humane Society for dog food.

Knit and Sit sessions are:
Tuesday knit and sit 10:30 am to  2:30 pm
Thursday knit and sit 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Friday knit and sit 7 pm to 9 pm
Saturday knit and sit 1 pm to 4 pm

Friday, 4 September 2015

Knitting - A Successful History



 Knitting  -  A Successful History

As with most things in life everything has a phase of popularity, then a decline.  Knitting has been through these phases and at the moment it is a very popular pastime.  Following is a very interesting article from Wikipedia, that points out the high's and low's of knitting through the decades; and the reasons why knitting was more popular during specific times during the 20th and 21st century.  Thank you Wikipedia for the following information:

1920s: Fashions


The 1920s saw a vast increase in the popularity of knitwear in much of the western world. Knitwear, especially sweaters/pullovers became essential part of the new fashions of the age for men, women and children, rather than mostly practical garments of associated with particular occupations (e.g., fishermen). The late teens and early 1920s saw a fashion for knitted neckties. Knitwear was often associated with sport and leisure. Garments often became associated with particular sports; for example, white sweaters/pullers, often with colored stripes (club colors) in the collar, became common for tennis and cricket.

Fair Isle knitting enjoyed a golden age during the 1920s, reputedly started by the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII) wearing a Fair Isle sweater/pullover to play golf. Both Fair Isle and Argyle(knitting) styles have since been associated with the sport.
High fashion also embraced knitwear with both Coco Chanel making prominent use of it and Vogue magazine featuring patterns.
Before the 1920s, the majority of commercial knitting in the Western world had centered around production of underwear, socks, and hosiery. This vastly expanded as the public taste for knitted fashion did also. Both hand and machine knitting were commercially active on a large scale prior to the Great Depression.
The 1920s saw a continuation in the growth of interest in home/hobby knitting which grew during the First World War. Conditions of trench warfare lead to a shortage of socks in particular, and the Allied home front was encouraged to support the troops by knitting.
Home knitting grew in popularity, especially as fashion fully embraced knitwear. Companies started, or expanded, to meet the demands of home knitters, producing patterns, yarn, and tools.

1930s: The Depression

The prominence of knitwear in fashion of the 1920s continued, but reflected the changes of fashion. The combining traditional methods in new ways became more common and new technologies such as zip fasteners began to be used in knitwear. New synthetic yarns started to become available.
The hardship experienced by many during the Great Depression meant many turned to knitting through necessity. It was much cheaper to knit your own garments than to buy hand (or even machine) knitted products. Skills were needed for repairs to existing garments,socks and underwear. Patterns, now often included in popular women's magazines frequently reflected this need. Socks with replaceable toes and heels were common. Some hobby knitters took to part-time work, hand knitting for extra income.
The 1930s also saw a rise in popularity of commercial machine knitting.
Much commercially sold knitwear of the 1920s was hand knitted, however the costs of this and other pressures of the time saw a large shift in consumers towards cheaper machine knitted products.

1939–1945: Knitting for Victory


Make do and mend was the title of a booklet produced by the British wartime government department, the Ministry of Information. Wool was in very short supply, and the booklet encouraged women to unpick old unwearable woollen items in order to re-use the wool.
Knitting patterns were issued so that people could make items for the Army and Navy to wear in winter, such as balaclavas and gloves. This not only produced the much-needed items, but also gave those on the "home front" a positive sense of contributing to the war effort.

1950s and 60s: Haute Couture

After the war years, knitting had a huge boost as greater colors and styles of yarn were introduced. Many thousands of patterns fed a market hungry for fashionable designs in bright colors. The twinset was an extremely popular combination for the home knitter. It consisted of a short-sleeved top with a long-sleeved cardigan in the same color, to be worn together.
Image result for girls being taught to knit in school in the 1950's
Girls were taught to knit in school, as it was thought to be a useful skill, not just a hobby. Magazines such as Pins and needles in the UK carried patterns of varying difficulty including not just clothes, but also blankets, toys, bags, lace curtains and items that could be sold for profit.

1980s decline

The popularity of knitting showed a sharp decline during this period in the Western world. Sales of patterns and yarns slumped, as the craft was increasingly seen as old-fashioned and children were rarely taught to knit in school.
The increased availability and low cost of machine-knitted items meant that consumers could have a sweater at the same cost of purchasing the wool and pattern themselves, or often for far less.
Alternatives to traditional woolen knitwear gained in popularity, such as tracksuits
 and
sweatshirts which began to be worn as everyday wear rather than only in a sporting context. Sewn from a micro-knit synthetic fabric and brushed on one side, these were more fashionable at the time, much cheaper and quicker to produce and for the consumer much more easily cared for. These fabrics could also easily be printed with fashionable designs. Although made from a kind of knit fabric they are not usually considered knitwear.
These new garments, along with trends away from formality in clothing meant traditional knitwear was no longer seen as sportswear such as it had been in the 1920s. Knitwear became associated more as "smart casual" wear.
Technological advances such as computerized knitting machines saw new designs and approaches to knitting. Some artists began to see knitting as a legitimate art form rather than a craft or cottage industry and more attention began to be placed on the design possibilities of knitting from an artistic perspective rather than wholly fashion (or practical) approaches.

1990s

By the late 1980s many of the supplier to the home knitting market had disappeared or been absorbed into other companies. Local wool shops supplying the same market had also suffered a marked reduction in numbers. Home knitting still had a strong and loyal following.
The growth of craft fairs, release of well researched books on many aspects of knitting and the continued support amongst those who had learnt the skill in the heyday of the 60s and 70s kept a considerable amount of interest in knitting alive.
One of the most influential changes was the internet in enabling knitters to share advice, patterns and experience, but also it meant that home knitters had direct access to supplies rather being reliant on local sources. These trends have continued.

Early 21st century revival

The 21st century has seen a resurgence of knitting. This resurgence can be noted in part to coincide with the growth of the internet and internet-based technologies, as well as the general "Handmade Revolution".
Natural fibers from animals, such as alpacaangora, and merino, and plant fibers, chieflycotton, have become easier and less costly to collect and process, and therefore more widely available. Exotic fibers, such as silkbambooyak
and qiviut, are growing in popularity as well. The yarn industry has started to make novelty yarns which produce stunning results without years of knitting experience. Designers have begun to create patterns which work up quickly on large needles, a phenomenon known as instant-gratification knitting.
Celebrities have been seen knitting and have helped to popularize the revival of the craft. The new millennium has also seen a return by men to the art of knitting.
As time and technology change, so does the art of knitting. The Internet allows knitters to connect, share interests and learn from each other, whether across the street or across the globe. Among the first Internet knitting phenomena was the popular KnitList with thousands of members. In 1998, the first online knitting magazine, KnitNet, began publishing. (It suspended publication with its 54th edition in 2009.) Blogging later added fuel to the development of an international knitting community.
Patterns from both print and online sources have inspired groups (known as knit-a-long's, or KAL's) centered on knitting a specific pattern. Knitting podcasts have also emerged, with much cross-pollination of ideas from blogs, 'zines, and knitting books. Traditional designs and techniques that had been preserved by a relatively small number of hand-knitters are now finding a wider audience as well.
In addition, a type of graffiti called yarn bombing, has spread worldwide.



On January 14, 2006, influential author and knit-blogger
 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, otherwise known as Yarn Harlot, challenged the knitting world to participate in the 2006 Knitting Olympics. To participate, a knitter committed to casting-on a challenging project during the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, and to have that project finished by the time the Olympic flame was extinguished sixteen days later. By the first day of the Olympics, almost 4,000 knitters had risen to the challenge.
As another sign of the popularity of knitting in the early 21st century, a large international online community and social networking site for knitters and crocheters, Ravelry, was founded by Casey and Jessica Forbes in May 2007. At first available by invitation only, the site connects knitting and crochet enthusiasts around the world and, as of May 2013, had over 3.15 million registered users.



Starting in September 2015, we are going to start charging a $2 sitting fee at all our Sit and Knit sessions.  All monies collected will be donated to various causes:


Image result for dog with a dog dish in it's mouth

September 2015: Alliston Humane Society for Dog Food
October 2015: Alliston Humane Society for Cat Food

November 2015: Alliston Food Bank

December 2015: My Sister's Place, Alliston


All are worthy causes you will agree, and all could do with that extra help?  Of course $2 is only a suggestion, if you want to give more, or less that is fine.  However the more money we raise the more animals and people we can help.



Image result for RavelympicsKnit and Sit sessions are:

Tuesday knit and sit 10:30 am to  2:30 pm
Thursday knit and sit 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Friday knit and sit 7 pm to 9 pm
Saturday knit and sit 1 pm to 4 pm

Friday, 28 August 2015

10 Interesting Facts about Knitting

1. The worlds fastest knitter is Hazel Tindall from Scotland, who knits 262 stitches in 3 minutes. 

2. The worlds largest knitting needle is 13ft .75in  and each needle weighs 25 lbs.  They belong to Jeanette Huisinga, and she had to knit a 10X10 square with the them be qualify for the title.


3. The term “Stitch-n-Bitch” has been used at least since World War Two to refer to social knitting groups. It is also the title of a 2003 knitter’s handbook. Scholars note that these social groups often act as a form of resistance to major political, social, and technological change in Western societies.

4. For the first four or five hundred years of knitting’s history, the most common knitting materials were cotton and silk, not wool.

5. Famous people who knit include Julia Roberts, Vanna White, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianna Margulies, and many others.

6. Between 2002 and 2004, the number of women knitters in the U.S. ages 25–35 increased nearly 150%.

7. Early knitting needles were typically made from bone, ivory, or tortoise shell.

8. Knitting was initially a male-only occupation.

9. A person burns 55 calories by knitting for half an hour.

10The U.S. Olympic Committee sent a cease-and-desist letter to the knitting websiteRavelry.com stating that their “Ravelympics” infringes on their copyright. The letter states that Ravelry’s afghan marathon, scarf hockey, and sweater triathlon “denigrate” the Games.
Image result for olympic rings

Starting in September 2015, we are going to start charging a $2 sitting fee at all our Sit and Knit sessions.  All monies collected will be donated to various causes:


September 2015: Alliston Humane Society for Dog Food
October 2015: Alliston Humane Society for Cat Food
November 2015: Alliston Food Bank
December 2015: My Sister's Place, Alliston

All are worthy causes you will agree, and all could do with that extra help?  Of course $2 is only a suggestion, if you want to give more, or less that is fine.  However the more money we raise the more animals and people we can help.


Image result for RavelympicsKnit and Sit sessions are:

Tuesday knit and sit 10:30 am to  2:30 pm
Thursday knit and sit 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Friday knit and sit 7 pm to 9 pm
Saturday knit and sit 1 pm to 4 pm



Thursday, 20 August 2015

Go On - Knit! It's Good For You

For anyone who knits, crochets or does any hobby, there are many health benefits.  I stumbled upon this article that gives us many reasons why knitting is good for us, (thank you Tree Hugger)

1. Knitting is used for therapy. It’s a powerful distractant, helping people manage long-term physical pain. For those who are depressed, knitting can motivate them to connect with the world. It is a conversation starter, allowing people to interact politely without making eye contact. It builds confidence and self-esteem.
Image result for knitting to build self esteem
2. Knitting is supremely relaxing, which is extremely important for reducing stress and anxiety. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, wrote The Relaxation Response, in which he recommends the repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity to elicit “the relaxation response” – decreased heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. Knitting is likened to meditation, sometimes described by knitters as “spiritual” and “Zen-like.”
Image result for knitting to relax

3. Knitting connects people. By joining a knitting group, a solitary activity turns into a social one. One study, called “The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood” and published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that “knitting in a group impacted significantly on perceived happiness, improved social contact, and communication with others.”

4. Knitting improves concentration and can provide an outlet for excessive energy. Toronto teacher Caleigh Murtaugh started a knitting club for 7- and 8-year-olds at a private boys’ school. It was a smashing success, with boys opting to stay in from recess to work on projects. Some were extremely hyper, but focusing on work with their hands helped them greatly and gave them a sense of accomplishment.

5. Knitting can reduce the risk of dementia. One study of over 2,000 seniors (65 years and older) found that “regular participation in social or leisure activities such as traveling, odd jobs, knitting, or gardening were associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia.”

6. Knitting offers a break from busy schedules and a refreshing detox from a technology-saturated world. It gives many of us a rare chance to be alone with our thoughts.

Image result for knitting a break from technology

7. Knitting makes people happy, from the people who knit to those who receive knitted items, and those who see knitting in their surroundings.Consider the popularity of “yarn-bombing,” the beautiful graffiti that uses yarn to decorate public spaces, filling them with happiness-inducing warmth and colour. No one can resist smiling at the sight of a knitted bus or tree!
So if anyone says to you, knitting is a waste of time, you can tell them why knitting is good for you.
Image result for knitting a break from tech

At The Knitting Basket we have lots of new things happening:
  • New Yarn arriving weekly
  • New classes
  • New Fall and Winter hours (more info at a later date)
  • Image result for knitting to connecting people
As always we have our regular sit and knit sessions, where you can meet new members and of course all the great regulars; you know who you are!!

Knit and Sit sessions are:
Tuesday knit and sit 10:30 am to  2:30 pm
Thursday knit and sit 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Friday knit and sit 7 pm to 9 pm
Saturday knit and sit 1 pm to 4 pm