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Knox Mountain Shawl Cuffs

March 30, 2019

Every year, or even multiple times, there is an event in our fibre community that helps us celebrate talent from within. As Fibres West wrapped up last weekend, it became clear that there was spark, something new and unique, that created excitement within the fibre community. This year Knox Mountain Knit Co from Kelowna was the belle of the ball, bringing a new piece of knit/crochet jewellery to fibre artists: the Shawl Cuff!

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Shawl cuff in action: complimenting the gorgeous Laurel Shawl, one of the newest patterns available from the talented ladies of Knox Mountain Knit Co.

Shawl cuff in action: complimenting the gorgeous Laurel Shawl, one of the newest patterns available from the talented ladies of Knox Mountain Knit Co. Photo courtesy of KMKC.

Simple in design, this affordable accessory was seen throughout the day being worn by the Fibres West attendees and tucked away into many, many project bags meant to mask the stash acquisitions and loot! But the beauty in this piece is how it ties together utilitarian wear-ability and style. It both stops shawls from sliding off the shoulders while adding to the beauty of the handiwork by adding a refined embellishment.

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Knox Mountain will be bringing more to this Fall’s KnitCity, but we are proud to be able to partner with these talented designers to make these beauties accessible immediately in store and online. We brought in a few from Fibres West that are already popping off our shelves, but will be receiving a larger selection in the next week or two.

We also have a full selection of hard copies of most of the Knox Mountain Knit Co patterns in store and online including the gorgeous Laurel Shawl featured above.

The beautiful Jade Bay; we offer hard copies of this and many other Knox Mountain Knit Co patterns in our online store. Photo courtesy of KMKC.

Congrats to the ladies of Knox Mountain Knit Co on bringing to life some more excitement to the knitters and crocheters in our lives; and also a huge thank you to Brenda of Penelope Fibres for putting together another great fibre arts event with Fibres West 2019!

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Project of the Month: Chanticleer Hat

March 25, 2019

Put some colour into your wardrobe with this stunning colourwork tam! The Chanticleer is the perfect slouchy hat for all reasons and all seasons.

Our March/April project comes to you from local Lower Mainland designer Caitlin Shepherd of Plucky Pigeon Knits. Caitlin brings together locally-inspired fair-isle elements with wonderfully East Van-symbolic such as pigeons and bicycles, to create beautiful garments made with love.

This stranded knit hat is worked bottom up with repeating colourwork and straightforward decreases at the crown. The original pattern is a seven-colours piece — a  PERFECT project for using up yarn stash leftovers and lonely skeins — and together with Plucky Pigeons we have reworked the piece to create an affordable 4-colour kit of non-superwash natural wools from Baa Ram Ewe and Briggs and Little for only $15.95! The kit is available in two colourways — Moody and Prime.

 

 

We are a great supporter of Caitlin and her designs, and we hope you love her work as much as we do!

 


 

BUY YOUR KIT ONLINE, or come by the store to check out the colour options and get yours in person.

Fibres West Here We Come!

March 21, 2019

Fibres West has been a staple of the local fibre arts world for 11 years now and this year it will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23 from 9:30am-5:00pm at the Cloverdale Exhibition Park Grounds, in the AGRIPLEX building.

We will be bringing various new yarns we have been collecting to feature in our new Spring collection including breed-specific woolens from Anna Hunter (and our name-sake)’s farm Longway Homestead, fine blends from down under from Skein Fibre Arts, and kits from Suburban Stitcher including a Joji Locatelli shawl kit from Interpretations 6 which is launching tomorrow in hard copy (also available at our booth)! And we will also feature a collection of our most coveted yarns such Wollmeise, LITLG Life in the Long Grass, and Yarn Enabler, as well as a few kits from one of our fav local designers, Plucky Pigeon!

Check out some of these teasers that can be found in our booth! We are tucked away in the back corner, but if you can find us we promise to make it worth the adventure!!

NEW YARN: SpiritSong Studio

March 20, 2019

This last year we have been adding many yarns to the shop with the same theme: local! After meeting so many amazing spinners, dyers, and designers on our past two years of Beautiful BC Baaadass Road Trip and at Salt Spring Fibre Fair we can’t help but want to feature all the talent that this province has to offer.

One of these talented dyers is Cara Barter, the Tsimshian fibre artist behind SpiritSong Studios. We met her at Salt Spring last summer and brought in two different bases of her hand-dyed yarn to our store. We want to share an amazing teaser of her yarns as she will be one of the many amazing local talent coming this weekend to the Fibres West fibre fair!

SpiritSong Studio Hand-dyed 3ply Mule Spinner Yarn sold at Baaad Anna's Yarn Store

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We have a stunning variety of colourways in her 2ply Worsted base and her 3ply Aran base, both of which are spun with 100% Western Canadian wool. We also have a small selection of her breed specific Cotwald/Merino blend which is spun the same as her 2ply Worsted base; this mix of breeds takes dye well as well as being strong and hardwearing.

SpiritSong Studios is located in Coombs, BC on Vancouver Island and Cara focuses on using fibres from local producers to invigorate the local fibre economy. She processes the yarns by hand in small batches and without the use of harsh chemicals to ensure the safety of future generations. You can really see the care she takes to produce each skein’s vivid colour when you handle the yarn. Because of this hand-dyeing process, tones in both the 2ply Worsted and 3ply Aran are rich and will vary from skein to skein even within colourways.

SpiritSong Studio Hand-dyed 2ply Mule Spinner Yarn sold at Baaad Anna's Yarn Store

BUY ONLINE HERE

Spiritsong 2ply Worsted yarn:

SpiritSong 3ply Aran yarn:

A Yarny Manifesto

March 20, 2019

There have been some great conversations happening throughout the fibre arts world about the responsibility to make our craft, space, and community open and welcoming to all. Accessibility is more than just an open door, and true inclusiveness takes an ongoing commitment.

BC local dyer, designer and fibre mill co-owner Caroline Dick @electrictree recently posted an amazing Instagram commentary with suggestions on many ways in which a fibre artist can stand in support of true inclusiveness in our community.

I asked Caroline if we could embed the post online so it could be readily accessed, and she gave permission to post her words in full, which I am happy to share. Some of these suggestions the staff of Baaad Anna’s can be proud to already stand behind; and I look forward to the challenge to double back to this post as we move forward on making more of these great suggestions possible in our shared space: in store and online.

***

From a Feb 10th 2019 post written by @electrictree:

I thought I’d write about tangible ways to make our industry more inclusive. Everyone keeps asking “What can I do?! I feel so helpless!” We can be as welcoming and friendly on social media as we want, but if our goods and services aren’t actively accessible than we aren’t really being particularly proactive.

Being proactive is my mantra. I’d rather try and prevent a problem than fix one.
The accessibility of products can be a huge challenge for BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Colour]. In Canada 80% of people living on reserves (reservations for my American friends) live below the poverty line.
In America the percentage of black peoples living under the poverty line is nearly double the national average. So it doesn’t matter how social inclusive you are if a huge number of BIPOC can’t afford your products.
That’s part of why the yarn world is so privileged and elitist. Especially considering the current trend of bigger projects, with more colours, in handdyed Yarns. A “shlanket” comprised of 6 skeins in hand dyed yarn, while very beautiful, is simply out of reach for a huge number of people. Someone living below the poverty line is not likely going to spend over $100 to make themselves a scarf, no matter how pretty it is. And of course those trends are driven by sales. Yarn companies love projects that require more yarn because they make more sales, the more sales they make the more advertising for large products they can afford, the more large advertising driven publications are inclined to have patterns including multiskein, handdyed projects. It’s all driven by money, and the yarn world has its own economics.
Of course you need it to be profitable for it to spread, for more people to be inspired to enter the industry and attempt to make a living.
Remember when the current Fibre renaissance was new, and one skein projects using hand dyed Yarns were the rage? That was an amazing way to make the industry profitable enough to grow.
We all need to make money, that’s for sure. But there’s no need to always have to make the most money all the time. A product that has a lower price point and therefore a lower profit margin might not seem like its worth the time when you can make SO much more money selling fancy expensive Yarns. Designing projects that are multiskein, multicolour monstrosities are what the current trend wants, and therefore have less risk and are more profitable.
Obviously you need to make a living. So do I. But here are some ideas that I’d love for you to percolate in your head and seriously consider.

 

Hand dyed companies

1) Consider going on a Holy Grail search for a Yarn that fits with your branding but is also a lower price point. That can be difficult because a lot of the less expensive Yarns don’t dye up as beautifully. They DO exist. Talk to your fellow dyers, talk to your Mills. Give them some parameters. Find ways to lessen the price point while keeping quality. This could take a while and require a lot of research. Also consider taking a risk and buy in enough volume to make it worthwhile.

Talk to your fellow dyers and see if some of them want to go in on a volume purchase with you. Let’s face it, we use the same bases as other hand dye yarn companies. It’s not a secret. It’s not a big deal if you share in a volume purchase and have the same base as other dyers. Your dye styles are different. It’s gonna be ok.

2) Once you have a product like that promote and post about it and it’s affordability. Make project recommendations that are economical. Knit samples in the yarn and include the cost to make the project showing how accessible it is.
3) If you’re a company that does your own designs or hires designers, consider adding more patterns that are single skein or use a less expensive yarn (or has the less expensive yarn as one of the options).
4) Give your less expensive Yarns time to “warm up”. Right now the trend is for expensive Yarns and multiskein projects. It will take time to make a trend.

5) For multi colour projects, if they use partial skeins, make kits so that people aren’t buying 6 skeins of fingering weight yarn for a project that uses only 600 yards total.

6) Do NOT view it or promote it as some kind of charity. You can make yarn accessible for EVERYONE. Teenagers and university student can spend their little bit of disposable cash and feel good about it. We can spread our passion and make it accessible for all people.
7) Sell your seconds at Fibre fairs and online.
8) If you run a Fibre Fair, make sure the entrance fee is affordable. Make sure you make a decent profit, but don’t pad it just because you can.
9) Retreats are largely inaccessible to most income levels. The retreat world is growing hugely and with demand the prices go UP. Consider doing some lower priced retreats. You still need to make money, but there a venues that are nice and less expensive, there are amazing designers/teachers with lower prices. Consider adding in classes in a “day retreat” style. That way accommodation costs are nil, but the pricing is accessible.
Designers
1) When self publishing, go out of your way to include a percentage of single skein, lower price point yarn designs. This will help drive the market, make those lower price point Yarns more profitable for hand dyed companies, and we can make a lovely circular motion of supporting each other.
2) Consider submitting more single skein projects to the industry call outs. If enough of us do that, more companies will have no choice but to accept some of them.

3) Support yarn companies owned by BIPOC. Ask for Yarn support or if they accept designs. If you’re a designer that garners a higher price for your designs, consider making a policy of dropping your price a percentage when working with a company owned by a BIPOC that’s just starting out. You need to make a living too, but I’m pretty sure we can all afford to drop our commission 20% for one design a year until the industry catches up. Seriously, one design a year.

You don’t need to be a charitable organization. You need to put food on your table too.

4) When self publishing, go out of your way to be inclusive in your designs. Have a huge range of sizes. Include people of different backgrounds and sizes in your photography and sample sizes. Consider doing more unisex designs.

 

Yarn Buyers

1) Obviously, purchase from BIPOC if the Yarns/designs/products speak to you.

2) When using BIPOC products, post on social media. But check what hashtags, etc the company/designer uses, and use them as well. Taking a few moments to do this, improves the visibility big time!

3) If you have a decent amount of disposable income, consider skipping the sale bin and purchasing products at full price. I sell yarn at shows, and believe me, I want to get RID of that sale stuff. But I also am saddened by the huge amount of obviously affluent women who have crazy free for all’s over sale bins because they want to save a buck and pad their stash. It’s awesome when a person sees something in a sale bin that’s exactly what they need, no matter what their background is. If the yarn is exactly what you need or you HAVE to have it, please please buy it! If you have loads of coin and you just want to walk out with giant bags of yarn in the style of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman shopping on Rodeo Drive, maybe do some soul searching on exactly what you’re trying to get out of your purchases. It’s saddening to see someone who clearly has very little income, purchasing from the last dregs of a sale bin in colours they don’t love or colours that aren’t quite right because that’s all that’s left.

People tend to forget what kind of power they have. WE run this industry. Every purchase we make, every company we support drives the industry and the trends. You can purposefully shift your buying habits to drive change. You are in charge. What you decide to do with that power is up to you. (Also, please feel free to share this post, so that more people have some idea of where to start making a difference).

***

Thank you Caroline for sharing those suggestions. I felt it also timely to make note that Caroline who is a self-identified BIPOC dyer and fibre artist will be hosting a booth at next weekend’s Fibres West exhibition, so stop by and say hi. We have stocked her beautiful yarns for about a year and are thrilled to continue to partner with her; and lastly be sure to check out her social media presence as she can be found @electrictree or @elderberryyarns and occasionally hosting the #saltspringfibrefest … she’s one talented lady that I’m proud to call my friend.

Interpretations 6 and NEW KIT!

March 14, 2019

Interpretations 6, the sixth edition of the yearly collection of patterns by knitwear designers Joji Locatelli and Veera Välimäki has just been published and should arrive any day at the store. But with it we have an awesome announcement: we are the exclusive Canadian store for the Evolve Shawl kit from Suburban Stitcher yarns to knit this amazing shawl with the same yarn chosen to be part of this year’s edition!

BUY KIT HERE!

Each collection uses 6 words for inspiration and each designer creates a rendition of this word. The result is a fascinating arrange of knitting projects, from small accessories to complex sweaters, suitable for all levels of expertise. The Shawl pattern is designed by Joji Locatelli using a gorgeous neutral palette from Suburban Stitcher yarns.

The single pattern is now live on Ravelry, and we will have the collection in book form within the next few days. Pre-orders from us are available here.

SHOP your little virtual yarn store HERE to PICK UP YOUR KIT… or we will see you at Fibres West next week!

NEW YARN: Skein!

March 14, 2019

Skein Artisan Hand Dyed Yarn and Fibre from Australia has been creating their unique hand-dyed colourways for over a decade now, but has never been available for sale directly in North America before! Baaad Anna’s is proud to bring a trunk show of Kristen’s gorgeous yarns in to our store as one of our premiere new Spring lines!

 

Hailing from Coff’s Harbour on the north of New South Wales, Skein is a small, independent hand-dyed yarn company with a love of playing with colour on high-quality yarns and fibres. I love Kristen‘s description of the dyeing process:

All of our yarns and fibres are kettle dyed using professional acid-based dyes.  These dyes are permanently set by the use of a vinegar mordant and heat.  Once the dyes have been fully absorbed and the kettle water is clear, the yarns and fibre are removed, rinsed and washed with a light, phosphate-free wool wash, and then gently spun and hung out to dry under the Australian sun.

You can almost feel the warmth of the Australian sun in that description!

And oh the colours!!! Here is how Kristen describes her technique:

Our dyes are applied in a way that produces variegated colourways with short, random colour repeats which helps to minimise ‘pooling’, producing a fabric which is dappled in colour.  We also offer dip-dyed and semi-solid colourways. Speckles and spots of colour may be present in some colourways; this is common with hand-dying and adds to its unique charm.  When knitted up, these little pops of colour will add a lovely depth to your knitted fabric.

 

We brought in two of her most luxurious bases: a merino cashmere nylon fingering weight, and a decadent mohair mulberry silk blend. On route we also have a merino cashmere DK-weight blend that we are seriously excited about as well!

CHECK OUT OUR ENTIRE COLLECTION HERE!

 

 

Lastly, we have picked up AN AMAZING sweater kit from Skein for a pattern of Kristen’s own design. A luxerious boxy colourful pullover with a stunning halo, the Salerno is simply a work of art! Her kits (for various sizes) come with 9, 11 and 13 skeins of yarn so are not for the faint of heart, but knitting it is truly a life’s knitted masterpiece. With slipped stitches allowing pops of contrast colours to peek out, and a silky-mohair knit alongside a cleanly twisted fingering weight yarn, it all leads to an visually impactful and pillowy soft knit! And we have three colourways to choose from: the originally misty purple, a turquiose blue, and a neatral with pop; all chosen by the master dyer and pattern designer herself! Thank you Kristen for sharing such talents!

PICK UP YOUR SALERNO KIT HERE!

 

Salerno is cosy, top-down sweater that features a relaxed fit around the body and flattering slim-lined sleeves. The fun, woven-stitch pattern used for the body creates little spots of embossed colour that stripe playfully across the fabric.

 

If you’re interested in seeing this gorgeous yarn in person, we will be bringing it to Fibres West next weekend; and otherwise it can be seen at our store or in our Little Virtual Yarn Store (online)!

Come Craft With Us Today

March 10, 2019

It’s a perfect day for some fibre crafts!

Stop by the shop today from 1:00-3:00pm for our monthly Give Back Sundays event where you can come, sit and knit for any giveaway fibre art of your choice! Just bring your own needles or hooks and we will have free yarn to cast on as well as some treats. Some ideas for your GIVE BACK SUNDAYS! projects can include purple baby hats for the Click for Babies campaign, cotton handknit breast prosthesis for the Knitted Knockers campaign, or just whip up something to yarn-bomb our neighbourhood with! We will host these on the second Sunday of each month, so mark your calendars for April 14th, May 12th and June 9th!

 

Also, we will be teaching a drop-in Felted Soap workshop at the Iron Dog Books pop up at SFU’s UniverCity from 4:00-5:00pm; space is still available so bring a friend and come on up to the best little bookstore on the hill to walk away with a handmade gift… and her whole stock of books is currently on sale as well, so it would be a doubly amazing trip!

Knit Night Shake Up

March 6, 2019

Since Baaad Anna’s opened its doors it offered a weekly evening get-together free of charge as an opportunity to welcome anyone from the community a cozy place to meet up, add a few stitches to their fibre arts project and perhaps to get to know a few like-minded people. Be it knitting, crochet, needlepoint or spinning, fibre artists of all walks of life have come through our doors on Wednesday nights for a non-instructional crafting opportunity. It had many names: stitch n bitch, knit night, craft-a-long but regardless of what you called it it was always intended to be a cozy destination with an open door policy each Wednesday from 6-8pm.

With many conversations happening in the fibre arts community on openness, inclusiveness, and accessibility, we have started discussing our Knit Nights with various members of the Baaad Anna’s community and decided to shake up how we host our Knit Nights going forward.

 

A particular well attended knit together event in 2015.

 

We will be moving the Wednesday evening Knit Nights from the front of the store to the seating area around the instructor table in the back. Such a simple move can create a wealth of tiny changes that hopefully will open the event to additional participants. For example:

  • There will be a equal place at the table for everyone
  • With the addition of nametags, as suggested by a few participants, there is more opportunity to get to know your neighbours
  • This set up allows the more timid a chance to get their bearings before deciding to participate
  • Allows more privacy for transactions at the register
  • There’s better lighting for the detail work of fibre arts
  • It is actually a warmer in winter/cooler in summer area of the store!

We hope to keep the casual and fun feel of our Knit Nights and encourage anyone who is looking to grow their connections within the fibre arts community to come join us on any Wednesday night from 6-8pm free-of-charge! This move does limit the participants to a maximum of ten, so be sure to come early to avoid disappointment as no reserved seats will be allowed; but we have been listening and this is also came from some of the feedback we received! We’re ever evolving, and welcome any feedback and ideas to keep our space inclusive and welcoming, so please be sure to reach out to us at any time with additional suggestions!

Ready to Up Your Fibre Arts Game?

March 5, 2019

We’ve got another set of beginner and skills building lessons starting this week to start you on your fibre arts journey.

 

BEGINNER KNITTING

This is a beginner knitting class for anyone who has never picked up needles, or for someone who is looking for a beginner refresher. Participants will learn the basics including casting on, knitting, purling and casting off. The class project will be a choice between simple  hat, scarf, or arm warmers. Start on Thursday for our March class or pre-register for our April workshop.

The class includes 6 hours of instruction over 4 weeks in a single month.

MATERIALS NEEDED:  One pair of 6mm needles and 100g of a chunky weight yarn. Materials can be purchased at Baaad Anna’s Yarn Store.

MARCH DATES: Thursdays March 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 6:00-7:30pm — or —

APRIL DATES: Thursdays April 4, 11, 18 & 25 from 6:00-7:30pm

To register visit us in store, call 604-255-2577, or register online here to reserve your spot!

 

BEYOND BASICS: BUILDING BLOCKS

So you’ve knit a scarf, or a dish cloth, or perhaps a whole cupboard full. Or maybe you picked up knitting but laid it away for too long to remember. What’s next?

As the holidays rolls in, perhaps it is time to try your hand at new skills: pattern reading, lace, cables, increases, decreases? They can lead to a refresh sense of excitement and a world of new garments for your knitting, and we are launching an easy step-by-step ‘drop-in’ series of skills building that you can do at your own pace. And over the course of the series you also work towards completing a lap blanket extraordinaire!

Work on each 14 inch square per class to learn a new technique and end up with a throw blanket to boot!

 

UPCOMING DATES:

  • Friday Mar 15, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 1: Knit and Purl Review with Cast-On (recommended first in series)
  • Friday Mar 22, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 2: Charts, Gauge and Bind-Off (recommended second in series)
  • Sunday Mar 24, 4-5:30pm — Workshop 6: Right Twist, Mock Cable
  • Monday Mar 25, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 11: Joining: Mattress Stitch and Crochet Seams
  • Sunday Mar 31, 4-5:30pm — Workshop 7: Slip Stitch. Left Twist
  • Monday April 1, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 12: Ask a Teacher/ Review Anything
  • Sunday Apr 7, 4-5:30pm — Workshop 4: Simple Decreases
  • Monday Apr 8, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 7: Slip Stitch. Left Twist
  • Friday Apr 12, 6-7:30pm — Workshop 12: Ask a Teacher/ Review Anything
  • Sunday Apr 14, 4-5:30pm — Workshop 5: Cables

Each workshop includes 1.5 hours of instruction with a minimum of three students.

To register visit us in store, call 604-255-2577, or register online here to reserve your spot!

 

BEGINNER CROCHET, Scrubby

This is a beginner class for someone who has never crocheted before or is looking for a refresher.  Participants will learn the basic stitches for crochet including; chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet & magic ring. The class project will be a reusable washcloth or face scrubby.

MARCH DATE: Saturday March 16, 1-3:30pm

To register visit us in store, call 604-255-2577, or register online here to reserve your spot!