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HOLIDAY HOURS!

December 18, 2020

(small change… sorry!)

Project of the Month: Two Slipstravaganza Shawls

December 8, 2020

For our December Project of the Month we are featuring the Slipstravaganza shawl! We’re closing out the year featuring two of these giant cozy shawls that were knit by Sarah and Gabby, two of our Baaad Anna’s staff members. Slipstravaganza is a shawl pattern by Stephen West (Westknits) that was released this fall as a mystery knit-a-long. For four weeks Sarah and Gabby followed weekly clues and saw their shawls grow without knowing what the final shawl would look like. Read on to find out how it went, what their favourite section was and how they feel about their completed Slipstravaganza shawls.

The Slipstravaganza shawl is a five-section fingering weight shawl that uses two skeins of main colour yarn and three contrast colours. The shawl starts with the triangle honeycomb section and works its way outwards from there. You can choose from a longer border section (Sarah’s is the full shawl size) or you can opt for a smaller border section (like Gabby did) and the shawl will use at least three quarters of each contrast colour skein. Slip stitches are featured throughout (we know, the shawl name gives it away) and help tie each individual section together with the next.

 

How did you find the KAL experience?

Sarah: I really enjoyed it! The knit-a-long was broken into segments that were possible to complete in between releases and they were all different enough to be interesting. I also enjoyed watching Ravelry to see how other people’s projects were coming along. I was less of a fan of 960 stitches per row for the last section but it was definitely worth the final product.

Gabby: It was so much fun! I loved seeing the shawl unfold each week without really knowing where it was heading. The weekly videos (all available on YouTube) that Stephen did showing techniques for the upcoming section were really helpful too.

Side-by-side early in the knit-a-long process. You can really see the difference between choosing a dark or light main colour.

What was your favourite section to complete?

Sarah: I liked the diamond section, it really started to bring the shawl together and I think it looks like stained glass.

Gabby: I think the chevron border was my favourite. Each of those 900 stitch rows were worth it to see the last piece of the puzzle fall into place. Long, and so worth it!

Did you run into any snags along the way?

Sarah: Yes! I completed section 1 (the triangle honeycomb) and decided to wash and block it before section 2 started. One of my colours bled A LOT completely changing the colour of the other yarns. I washed it but the colour kept bleeding so I found another yarn in my stash and restarted. I actually like my new combination more but at the time I was pretty salty about it! I did learn a very important lesson about colourwork – use all your colours in your swatch and block it! It will save a lot of time and swear words.

Gabby: I learned from Sarah and immediately blocked a swatch to make sure I wasn’t going to experience the same issue and luckily I didn’t experience any colour issues. The process was pretty smooth but it took me a while to warm up to how my colours were looking.

Did you swatch using the lazy swatch* method? 

*A lazy swatch is a quick way of visualizing colour choices before you start knitting. Take a piece of cardboard and wrap your yarn around it in the order you want to use your colours.

Sarah: Yes, I was trying out a few colour combinations and wanted to get an idea of how they might look together. I also did stripes in my knit swatch to try to get an idea of how it would look because I was using some variegated yarns. Figuring out the best way to use the colours for a project like this can be hard when you have no idea what it is going to look like as a final product. I would probably use this method again if I knew that the project had either stripes or colour blocks.

Gabby: I did too but I didn’t knit mine up a swatch before I started and I think it would have been a good idea to. Now that the full pattern is released I think knitters will have an easier time visualizing what to expect with their swatches. I’m also going to use this technique for future projects. It’s so fast.

How do you feel about your final shawl?

Sarah: I love it! I love the way it looks like stained glass and how the colours work together. It’s huge so I’m going to have to learn how to wear it. I love how his patterns allow you to use some really wild colour combinations and still get an incredible shawl. I think this is a project that I really needed this year. It gave me something to look forward to and work towards each week.

Gabby: I love mine too! One regret I have is not being bolder with my colour choices. Stephen West put out a dare to knitters to add an extra pop of colour or add mohair in for a section (‘the mohair dare’ as he called it) and if I do another knit-a-long of his I’ll definitely be more adventurous in my colour choices. I’m excited to wear this shawl all winter long.

Here are the details on what yarns Sarah and Gabby used for their shawls. Note that not all yarns they used are available in the store but we’ve linked the ones that are.

Sarah used:

To see more photos of Sarah’s shawl visit her Ravelry page.

Gabby used:

The store is stocked with so many wonderful fingering weight yarns to choose from for your Slipstravaganza shawl. You can browse them all in the online store or come see them in person. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @baaadannas when you’re done!

If you’re intrigued by Stephen West’s patterns look no further than December 26th, when he will be launching his Hiberknitalong 2020 shawl pattern, we know we will be casting on!

Spirit of the Season

December 6, 2020

This year we could all use a story to lift our spirits, so I just want to share this great example of community action and commitment. We are truly stronger together.

 

Surrey couple posts an ad on Craigslist to spread some holiday cheer.

(Click above for link to CTV news article). I came across this news article earlier this week and reached out to Joanna to offer our Warm Things Drive donated hand knits for each of the recipients for their holiday hampers. She shared that the number of requests for help outnumbered her expectations, but they are doing what they can to help as many people as possible that have reached out to identify themselves in need. It is truly heartwarming to see that we are one of a number of groups and individuals that have offered to partner on this great grassroots initiative. Happy December!

 

We will continue to collect any donations for our Warm Things Drive for these and other projects that work to bring people in need together with the love of handknits!

2020 Gift Giving Guide

December 4, 2020

For now until the 24th, we will be presenting our staff favorites for the yarn lovers’ wish list, and gift giving ideas. Keep an eye on our daily Instagram @baaadannas and I’ll also post a compilation on our blog every few days for holiday inspiration. Happy December yarnie friends!

 

DAY 5: We are so honoured to partner with local fibre artist Rebecca Glazier of Wild West Dye works who also is one of our much-loved knitting, dyeing and crochet teachers! She works solely with natural dyes and offers her pretty yarn caked in 25g, 50g, or 100g pre-wound balls so the knitter or crocheter only need purchase the amount needed for a project! Her colours are deep and consistent, and her bases are wonderful; there is nothing we don’t love about this New Westminster-based artist. And did I mention she also designs? We have a number of her amazing self-designed kits with the precise amount of yarn you need to make them; from rainbow stroller blankets, cowls, pillows and shawls. These are perfect kits for an adventurous beginner that is ready for a new technique and project! CHECK OUT Rebecca’s kits and classes HERE.

 

DAY 4: Give the gift of a work of art! These amazing earrings by Victoria artist Deborah of White Raven Craft are hand-macraweaved with yarns you can find in our store such as Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Arts Eco Dyed and Malabrigo yarns! A perfect gift for, or from, the fibre artist in your life as anyone can appreciate the intricate beauty in this handiwork. We love supporting local artists and this is a way to do so while spreading the beauty of fibre arts all around! Be sure to check out Deborah’s account as these are just a small inkling of her talent. BUY HERE.

 

DAY 3:

Need a kit for the holidays? We have complete beginner embroidery kits, as well kits for your second- or third- projects! Stitchers of any level can enjoy these Canadian-made embroidery sets from Hook, Line & Tinker. And at brilliant gifts for self or anyone crafty in your life! CHECK OUT OUR KNITTY-related SELECTION HERE, and more options are also available just down the street from us at The Learnary!

 

DAY 2: There’s no better way to finish off a hand knit hat then finding the perfect pom pom for its crown! Local maker, Janet of Yarnboler from just over the bridge from our shop makes the most beautiful faux fur pompoms that would allow you to follow your heart and pompom EVERYTHING! But get yours quick as they are popping out the door at an alarming pace! SEE FULL SELECTION HERE.

 

DAY 1: An amazing kit for any beginner-intermediate knitter. Andrea Mowry’s Nightshift is a fantastic colourwork shawl, great for even someone new to colourwork as it uses simple slip stitches to dance with colours. Originally designed for the barber pole, handspun-style yarns such as Spincycle, Cascade yarns offers a much more affordable alternative with their Cascade 220 Wave colourways and even put together kits to make this entire shawl! At $108 for seven 220-yard skeins of gorgeous superwash wool, this is a perfect kit gift to start on while zoom-ing our way through the holidays!

With 7 different kit combos to choose from any knitter could find inspiration with this kit for this shawl, or any other project! And to keep the price as low as possible, the pattern is not included in this kit as many people have also used it as a starting point for their own project inspiration! BUY HERE.

 

Stay tuned for more days of yarn self-care or gift giving ideas; or keep an eye on our daily update on IG or here on our website!

Teacher Spotlight: Mel Broome

December 3, 2020

Have you been wondering what felting is all about and thinking you should give it a try? We have the perfect teacher to help you! This week we virtually sat down with our wonderful felting teacher, local fibre artist Mel Broome, to learn all about her felting journey, what draws her to felting and what you can expect when you take a class with her.

Meet Mel Broome, local felting artist and felting teacher at Baaad Anna’s.

 

 

In a nutshell, needle felting involves taking loose wool fibre and using a small needle with barbs on the end to help bond the wool fibres together into any shape you can imagine. If you’ve spent time in the store you might have seen some of Mel’s intricate felted art pieces, like the giant felt octopus.

Felted gnomes, just like the ones you can learn to make in Mel’s upcoming Learn to Felt class on December 6th!

 

Mel started teaching at Baaad Anna’s after meeting Paula (Baaad Anna’s owner) when their children were at the same school and they realized that they were both in the fibre arts world. Mel teaches all the felting classes at Baaad Anna’s as well as doing felting classes for local schools and fibre events, like the annual sheep shearing at Maplewood Farm. In fact, even during the pandemic, Mel has taken to Zoom to teach kids in schools how to felt and will soon be doing a session with a class on how to felt a snowman. You can learn more about our school programs here.

Journey to Felting

When Mel was young she was both a knitter and crocheter and after wanting to make a very specific hair clip about 10 years ago she started felting. In fact, she couldn’t put down her felting once she started and became obsessed with perfecting that hair clip. After that first experience she didn’t stop and has been felting ever since. She says that her younger self would have loved felting and it’s really where she found her niche in making art. Mel is a self-described mega wool enthusiast known at her local thrift stores as ‘the wool lady’ (a point of pride for her). She adores everything about it – finding it, repurposing it, playing with it and seeing what it can become.

 

Mel is a natural ambassador for felting, touting portability as one of its greatest assets, as well as the fact that it’s suitable for broad ranges of age and ability. She takes her felting with her wherever she goes and finds it an easy conversation starter and way to connect with people. She’s taken her felting on planes (and given out ladybugs to the flight crew!) and pretty much anywhere you can think of. Mel said she also finds it meditative and relaxing. During our chat she made a great point about how forgiving felting is a fibre art noting that while the process of knitting, weaving or spinning are often linear, felting has the unique quality of being revisited. You can go back to projects weeks and years later and change or improve them as your skills grow and change. Pieces are only done when they feel done rather than being done at that last cast off stitch. How freeing!

Teaching Approach and a Pro Tip!

Imagination and creativity are really at the crux of what draws Mel to felting and it’s also the approach she brings to her teaching and students. She says that “felting allows you to make whatever your mind wants, it’s a means of expressing yourself” and she enjoys seeing people tap into their creative instincts when they start to felt. Mel has a knack for making felting sound easy, explaining that felting can be boiled down to making basic shapes and pushing them together with your needles.

 

When students take a class with Mel they can expect to not only learn the basic skills of felting but to also learn about some practical ways to using felting, like mending clothing. She is excited to share knowledge with her students, to assist them in realizing their ideas and to pass along lots of useful tips. For example, did you know that you can use a dog or cat brush to brush out wool in your stash and felt with it?! As long as it’s 80% wool and non-superwash it will work.

We carry all the felting materials you need to get started, check them out here.

 

Take a Class with Mel!

Ready to start your felting journey? Sign up for Mel’s upcoming Learn to Needle Felt class where you will make a small felted gnome and learn the basics of needle felting, including tricks to create a fine finish and how to mix and shape wool like a pro. The 3hr class takes place on December 6th via Zoom and includes all materials. Suitable for ages 7 and up.

What’s on Mel’s felting block right now? She’s been working away on some holiday pieces, felted puzzles, wreaths and other projects. You can follow along with Mel’s felting work on Instagram @lovesfelt. We love seeing what she creates!

Cyber Wollmeisemonday LAST CALL

November 30, 2020

One last day to pick up some amazing Wollmeise yarns at a steal!

 

 

For Cyber Monday all Wollmeise Nobody Is Perfect skeins at 40% off online only at www.baaadannas.store!

CHECK OUT THESE and our full selection HERE.

 

Please note, that due to COVID-restrictions, this year’s Cyber Monday sale is only available through online purchase to keep our in-store numbers manageable; however if you are local, please feel free to choose ‘FREE curbside pickup’ in your delivery options and your order will be available by mid-week at the latest.

 

CHECK OUT THESE and our full selection HERE.

And happy knitting!

Warm Knits Strike Again

November 29, 2020

Over the past two weeks 52 pairs of hand-knit socks and 98 hand-made hats have made their way onto the streets of Vancouver. Our goal of getting a warm handmade item to each new housing space opened by the City over the past two years has come two steps closer, while the City continues to open new temporary modular housing spaces around Vancouver. These come from generous donations of yarn, knit & crochet time and expertise, and pure kindness. Thank you.

 

 

Here’s our current tally:

And its that time of year again, for Baaad Anna’s annual open call in December for donations of warm things to be distributed to those in need in Vancouver’s downtown east side. We ask for any good condition pre-loved or purpose-made warm winter items that are not in use in your household such as hats, mitts, scarves or sweaters/hoodies. Or if you choose to knit something for this year’s Warm Things Drive, we ask that you add to our current modular house collection of either handmade hats or socks. We even have circular-sock machine sock tubes that just need heels and toes added on if you are limited for time but want to participate!

This year we are again joining forces with the amazing students of David Thompson Secondary School’s Hunger Bites project who have taken up knitting needles to work on a warm things donation drive of their own to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. We will team up with the Hunger Bites team to make our collective donation this year; and these amazing youth have been gifted yarn donations from many of you who have upcycled your unloved yarns with us over the past few months!

30 pairs already collected and counting… be sure to add yours!

We have also been quietly aiming towards another goal of 52 pairs of socks to donate to the Margaret Mitchell Place Modular Housing units whose namesake was a pioneer in community development, a tireless advocate for housing, and a fearless activist in support of women and people living in poverty. Mitchell was instrumental in bringing violence against women and domestic abuse into the political spotlight, and these housing support units mirror her spirit by providing a bed, room, and a community for up to 52 residents. We have already collected about 15 pairs of socks of the 52 needed and would love to invite anyone who want to knit a full pair, or even just a partial sock tube from our Circular Sock Machine hands-on demo to join in our challenge!

Awesome signage from last year’s holiday Modular House sock drive.

Donations of warm things will be collected from now until January 1st and can be dropped at the store anytime during our regular business hours! For more information contact Baaad Anna’s 604-255-2577 or baaadannas@gmail.com or come chat with us in store!

Black Friday To Cyber Monday SURPRISE!

November 26, 2020

We have a special announcement for this weekend! We are excited to share that Baaad Anna’s was one of only three stores selected by one of my fav indie dyers, Rohrspatz & Wollmeise to receive their exclusive colourways meant for their European live shows and exhibitions. As 2020 went so wayward, instead these will launch for Black Friday with us in Canada, one shop in the US, and from Claudia at the Wollmeise store in Germany… and not only that, for THIS WEEKEND ONLY we are offering these at 40% off online only at www.baaadannas.store!

 

 

Starting midnight tonight right through until the end of the 30th, you can get our entire selection of Wollmeise Nobody Is Perfect (Claudia’s unique colours that don’t match her ‘named’ colourways, or ones with more than a single knot in them — often with only one knot in a 150g-300g skein!) for 40% off INCLUDING her exclusive show colourways that JUST ARRIVED in-store yesterday!

CHECK OUT THESE and our full selection HERE.

 

And for inspiration, here are a few ideas of what you can do with a 300g/1722yards yarn baby skein of Wollmeise Lace:

I knit this entire Like a Cloud from about 3/4 of my skein of WM Lace, held double with 8 small 50g balls of mohair/silk from Sugar Bush…

 

This Comodo sweater pattern was designed for one skein:

 

Or an entire sweater as seen in this project, or this project, or this project!

We also have a larger selection of colours in both Lace and the 150g/575yards Nobody is Perfect skeins that are also available for 40% off online this weekend only. Please note, that due to COVID-restrictions, this year’s 3-in-1 Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday sale is only available through online purchase to keep our in-store numbers managable; however if you are local, please feel free to choose ‘FREE curbside pickup’ in your delivery options and your order will be available by mid-week at the latest.

CHECK OUT THESE and our full selection HERE.

 

 

Happy (American) Thanksgiving weekend. Take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have show up and make a difference in your lives. And happy knitting!

Secret Santa Secrets

November 24, 2020
It’s Baaad Anna’s SECRET SANTA time of year again!
We’re hosting our 5th annual secret santa gift exchange at our bricks and mortar so if you’re in the Vancouver area and want to join in let us know! This year will be same, same, but different…
Instead of doing a weekly drop-off we will have single drop off by December 20th. Please wrap your gift(s) and put in a bag that is clearly labelled with the name of your recipient. Please include a note with your name so you can be thanked!
Sign ups are only open from now until until end of day Friday (Nov 27th) and can be done by emailing us your interest to join to baaadannas@gmail.com. Please note: we will then send you a survey by Elfster, and will be ONLY partnering up people who have completed their Elfster survey by noon PST on Sunday (29th).
Da rules:
1. Email us to baaadannas@gmail.com before Nov 27 to ask us for the Elfster link
2. Fill out the online Elfster google form by Sunday NOON Nov 29
2. Names drawn on the evening of Nov 29
4. $50 limit for gift(s); please use your partner’s survey answers to give them a gift of their dreams
5. Drop off your gift(s) on or before December 20th in a bag clearly labelled with the recipient’s name
6. Show off your cool gifts and thank your Secret Santa on the Ravelry thread
There is a $50 limit for your package. This could be a one single pie-in-the-sky gift for your partner, or a collection of smaller valued gift, so long as you adhere to the $50 limit. If you chose to make a gift you can decide if the materials cost should be included.

 

Hope you can join us… this is one of our very favorite holiday traditions!

NEW! Boostani Bags and Baskets

November 21, 2020

New in store are beautiful handwoven baskets, bags and small beaded basket sets from Boostani! We brought in a selection of earth-friendly sisal (leaves from an agave plant) and wool handwoven baskets in natural and hand-dyed colour combination. These bags are so much more than beautiful. Each bag and basket from Boostani is handcrafted by women in rural Kenya who are paid fair wages for their work, and are made from environmentally friendly biodegradable materials.

Handwoven tote bags from Boostani. Great for every day use with room to bring your WIPs with you wherever you go.

BROWSE HERE

 

Our selection of Boostani bags and baskets come to us from Lois Okello, a Surrey-based entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Kenya. Boostani (‘bustani’) is a Swahili word which translates to ‘garden’ in English and Lois was inspired to name the business Boostani because gardens are places where life is nurtured and she believes “that beauty is represented in diverse forms and handmade items capture this beauty at its peak”.

Meet Lois Okello, owner of Boostani. Photo courtesy of Lois Okello. 

 

Lois’s grandmother, widowed at a young age, struggled to raise her six children as a single parent. Her source of income was found through the local women’s talent and skill, weaving basketry, that then was sold at local markets. Inspired by watching her grandmother weave baskets to create a source of income, Boostani was born.

A large Boostani bag displayed with some of our Wollmeise yarn. A great pairing!

BROWSE HERE

 

Lois aims to have Boostani reach beyond the typical business transaction between the seller and the customer. It is a way of supporting a community and a way of life for rural Kenyan women and their families. Fair-trade prices and practices are a large part of that, giving women financial empowerment and freedom. Each bag is also crafted from environmentally friendly biodegradable materials like banana fibres, jute, and sisal which reduce waste.

Large Boostani baskets which will fit larger works in progress as well as other household items.

 

Our love of Boostani bags and baskets also comes from the experience of using them. We first met Lois at Fibres West this year, right after the show was cancelled due to the pandemic. One of our staff can be seen slinging her black and white shoulder bag that she purchased there every day since. It is comfy to carry and fits everything a fibre artist would regularly carry plus a good sized fibre arts project. The bag construction is strong and well made and it looks the same as the first day it was purchased.

Small beaded nesting baskets from Boostani. Perfect to hold all your notions while crafting and to use around the house!

BUY NOW

 

Now that we are carrying them in store we know that a few more Boostani baskets and bags are going to make their way into our homes and we are thrilled about that! We hope you consider making them part of your home or gifting them to a deserving person in your life. They are truly special.

Large Boostani baskets with a selection of bulky yarn from the store.

 

You can follow Lois and Boostani on Instagram @boostanicrafts and read more about the bags and the process of making them on the Boostani website. Don’t forget to tag @boostanicrafts and @baaadannas to show us how you’re using your new Boostani bag or basket!

 

BUY NOW

Please note that some content in this post comes directly from Lois and the Boostani website. We are grateful that Lois gave us permission to use it.