One of the most fun jobs I have with Ancient Arts is to plan new yarn bases. I’m always on the look out for a great yarn mill with something super yummy to offer. It can be a challenge at times as there is so much wonderful yarn out there (and so much not quite … More Bunny Hug Review – Or how I got hugged by a Bunny!
If you follow us on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen the release of the Wayward Wind Poncho by Julie Turjoman. The Wayward Wind Poncho is the perfect layering piece for a crisp fall day, this poncho features subtle dimensional stitches that enhance the yarn’s richly variegated tones. The pattern sample is knit in 3 … More The Other Caroline: Wayward Wind Colour Choices
I’ve been knitting my whole life,and I have knit every place I’ve been. It’s just a part of me. I knit at lunch break in school, lunch and coffee break at work, waiting in doctors’ offices. I always have a pair of socks on the go, because they are a small project that’s easy to … More THE Barb Brown: Public Display
One of the best parts of working with yarn is that there is always something new to look forward to. New types of yarn, new colours, new patterns… yarn is ever changing and evolving and that means it stays fresh and exciting! With that in mind it seems only reasonable to make our first blog … More CYO Caroline: Happy New Yarn!
As a designer, I like my own work. That is, I finish something, and if I’m not happy with it, it won’t ever get published. But every now and then, there is a design that so closely resembles my vision, and means so much, that I can barely stand it! In Flight is one of … More THE Barb Brown: Sometimes, It’s All in the Vision
I’ve been working on Idunn by Ragga Eiriksdottir for myself since Boxing Day. It’s one of those beautiful sweaters that gets in your queue and becomes a bucket list item. I’ve liked it and wanted to knit it since it came out, then I had the opportunity to hear a talk by Ragga at Knit … More The Other Caroline: Cutting Up My Knitting
CYO Caroline A few days before Christmas the ladies of Ancient Arts were discussing the Christmas break and what we should be doing, both in our personal lives and for the business during that time. Being as we are a yarn company, blog posts and knitting are never far from the discussion, and it occurred … More Knitting for Thyself
One of the questions I see posted quite often on knitting forums… “The pattern is talking about “Ease” What does this mean?” The writers go on to question negative vs positive ease, the amount of ease, why there is so much ease, etc etc. Ease in a pattern refers to the fit of a garment, ie. … More The Barb Brown : Ease – Y Does It!
Christmas is sneaking up on me right now. I’ve never been huge on knitting for Christmas gifts. I have to be honest and admit that I’m a selfish knitter. One too many times I’ve knit something and had that gift unappreciated. I occasionally knit for gifts, but I usually wait for inspiration to strike, for … More The Other Caroline: The Holiday Knitting Crunch
Recently I was offered the incredible opportunity of attending the Investiture for the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. For our American friends that may not know what that is, the Order of Canada is the Canadian Honours system that recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. I … More The Other Caroline: Kicking it at Rideau Hall
One of the times of the year that is most fun is colour development time. I am lucky enough to be able to do some of this throughout the year for a variety of reasons including clubs, custom requests by a LYS, special events etc., but once a year I choose an overarching theme that … More The Quest for Colour!
When I was a child, I was surrounded by old ladies who knit up a storm for everyone around them. There were no kids without mittens, no one without socks, and everyone owned a scarf that could be worn the Canadian way, proof against the wildest Prairie wind. The thing that amazed me was that no … More The Barb Brown: It’s All Relative!
This year for the Holidays, Ancient Arts is doing a Knit-A-Long that’s a little bit different. Most knitters/crocheters/fibre artists have at some time (or all the time) decided that making home made gifts is the way to go. I think we’ve all been there, starting with a great idea and then losing the joy in … More The Other Caroline: Ancient Arts Holiday KAL Support Group
Fall is in the air (and on the ground where I live) and that means this dyer’s heart turns to new colours! Every change of seasons leads to me wanting to capture something about them in yarn. Autumn is my favorite season and always makes me very nostalgic. This year is no exception and several … More Cavorting With Colour: a Trip Down Memory Lane.
I will tell anyone who asks me about Holiday Knitting that I never go down that road. I don’t knit gifts for the Holidays. Not this knitter! Nope. Never. And that, my friends, is what we, members of the knitting world, call a big fat lie. I don’t knit gifts…except for a couple of pair … More THE Barb Brown: Holiday Knitting!
When I was 21 years old, I headed off to Scotland in April. I was well-equipped for the weather, since I lived on the very northern tip of Vancouver Island. My regular wardrobe for April at home had all the perfect garments! First day, taking the train from Glasgow to Edinburgh, I left my toque … More The Barb Brown – Toque: A Canadian Thing, Eh?
I’m a natural fibre snob. I’ll be the first to admit it. I work REALLY hard at not being too disparaging of synthetics, mostly because I don’t want to discourage anyone that does crafting. I don’t want to make a handcrafter feel that their hard work is not valuable because they used acrylic. But it’s … More The Other Caroline: For the Love of Wool
From the time I was a wee child I swore that as I grew older I would never, ever say “You young whippersnappers! It was so much better in my day!” Yet here I am, saying it. Well, I could leave out the “whippersnappers” I guess! I have lost count of the number of times I … More THE Barb Brown: NOT NOW, I’M COUNTING…1, 2, 3,…
A question I am often asked is “What is it like to be a hand dyer?” I think there can be a lot of mystery and mythos around hand dyeing as a career. Some see it as being very artsy, ethereal, and connected to a higher creative plane. Certainly one of my friends who finally … More A Day in the Life of a Hand Dyer: or How I Kicked the Bucket!
Where does inspiration come from? For me, inspiration comes flying from just about anywhere, and shows up in various states of completion. Often it’s a medley of memories, colours, and history that all come together into one overall idea. Sometimes, I have no idea where it comes from! A great example of such a medley … More The Barb Brown: Inspiration – The Long and Short of It
Knitting is a long time love of mine. I love the process, the yarn, the colour. I love touching and ogling yarns. I love the process of making things. I’m a maker. I obsessively hobby. I’m one of THOSE people. I like to learn how to do everything myself, I wish to be beholden to … More The Other Caroline: Learning All The Things
I am often asked where I get the yarn that I dye for Ancient Arts. One would think it should be a simple process. Go to the yarn store, choose something nifty and nice, buy it, take it back to the studio, dye it, and start hugging it! Alas. It isn’t anywhere near this easy. … More CYO Caroline: Interviews With New Yarn
For this week’s blog post we decided to check in with each one of the Ancient Arts knitting team to get some thoughts from each of us on the Stacked Stitch Wrap KAL. For me, Caroline S, the KAL is proving to be a really unique and fun experience. I have a confession to make. … More KAL Fever!
We are celebrating Ancient Arts Yarn being featured in the Stacked Stitch Wrap by Xandy Peters on the cover of Vogue Knitting! The lovely and talented Xandy Peters has been kind enough to guest blog a really fantastic article on colour theory. We’ve also created Yarn Kits available in colour combinations selected by Xandy Peters, and Caroline … More Stacked Stitch Wrap KAL & Colour Theory with Xandy Peters
There’s a lot of Yarn Guilt out there. I’m a knitter, I have been an indie dyer, I have owned a yarn store. A common theme I see with a lot of knitters and crocheters is Yarn Guilt. I’ve noticed a couple different types of Yarn Guilt. The guilt that comes with the actual purchase … More The Other Caroline: Yarn Guilt
The Early Fall issue of Vogue Knitting crossed my desk recently, and once I got past the utter thrill of seeing Ancient Arts yarn on the cover of the magazine, I had a great deal of fun digging into the issue. One of the things that really struck me is the section on olive greens. … More CYO Caroline: It’s Easy Being Green! Olive with a Twist.
You’ve let your kid help you knit, and now they want to knit by themselves. They want their own project! Here are some tips and things to keep in mind. Their first project, no matter what their plan is (a sweater for their tiny cousin, a blanket for Daddy, a cover for the pickup truck) … More The Barb Brown: Catch ‘Em Young & Train ‘Em Right – Part 2
A trip to TNNA is always a fantastic experience, both for the show and for the chance to get to know a part of the United States that we, as Canadians, might never have visited before! This show was no exception as most of us had not yet had the chance to visit the beautiful … More CYO Caroline: Ancient Arts On the Road – TNNA in Washington, DC
Hunter Hammersen’s newest design, Tacit, features beautiful zig zag cables which are mirrored on each fingerless mitt. In today’s post, Caroline talks about how hand-dyed colours evolve over time in the Ancient Arts palette. We also have an interview with the designer herself to share an inside peek into how a pattern goes from concept … More Design & Colour: Tacit by Hunter Hammersen
I read a number of knit lists and knit groups. A question that comes up often is “How old does a child have to be before you can teach them to knit?” People write in with varying answers: “Not till they are 6,” “they have to be at least 8,” etc. etc. Here’s my opinion on … More The Barb Brown: Catch ‘Em Young, Train ‘Em Right – Part 1
One of the things that makes me a prolific knitter is the fact that I take my knitting EVERYWHERE. I must have heard “I wish I had time to knit” over a hundred times in my life, and it’s a statement I’ve never understood. I’m sure there are people out there that actually have no … More The Other Caroline: Knitting On-The-Go
There you are, in your favorite LYS. It’s 10 minutes before you have to leave for that important meeting, and suddenly…there it is!!! That perfect yarn you have been lusting after, but it’s a tad over budget. And now it’s on a One Day Only Special, 50% Off!!! But you have no clue how many … More The Barb Brown: Someone Else is Buying My Yarn!!!
Spring has officially sprung, but there’s no need to put those needles and hooks away for the warmer months ahead because there are tons of great reasons to keep stitching! At the top of our own list is the Ancient Arts Yarn SUPER AMAZING Fingering Yarn Club, which will be coming soon! This is our first in-house yarn … More 3 New Patterns For Spring & Introducing the AAY Super Amazing Yarn Club!
“Write something about socks for the blog!” said my fearless leader, Caroline Sommerfeld, Chief Yarn Officer of AAY. “It should be easy!” she said. I started typing away. Halfway through one topic, I changed my mind. Began a post on another aspect of sock knitting, then changed my mind. Wash, rinse, repeat. I now … More The Barb Brown: Random thoughts on Socks
People often ask me where I get my inspirations for colourways, and it can be hard to answer that question as they come from all over! Some of them just pop into my head, some of them are more deliberately planned, and of course sometimes people challenge me to take on a particular concept. The … More CYO Caroline: Retreats, new colours, and how to get your knitting groove back!
One of the most fun things I get to do as a dyer is to design new colours. I often like to help guide development by choosing a theme, and so this winter I looked around at the coming trends and chose one that is near and dear to my heart: denim! Denim brings up fond … More CYO Caroline: Introducing The Denim Collection
Last month, we invited our fans to share photos of their furry friends here in the Ancient Arts Ravelry group and on our other social media channels for a chance to win some yarny prizes; winners could also get the chance to have their funny feline or pretty pooch featured on a label of our Meow or … More Ancient Arts Model Call Winner’s Circle
When I first started knitting, like so many other newbs, fat, squishy yarns that would knit up fairly quickly were my cup o’ tea. I bet that if I look back at my first ten projects, I never went below a worsted weight, and even then would have knit with a larger needle size than typically recommended. … More The Other Caroline: You Can’t Stop The Stitches
‘Silky’ may not always be a term you reserve for a superwash Merino/Nylon yarn, but our fingering weight yarn spun from 80% Merino and 20% Nylon recently received a little upgrade in the form of an even better grade of Merino! Today, Caroline shares an inside peek to the development process from her unique point … More CYO Caroline: For the Love of Merino Nylon Yarn
When I began teaching knitting classes (about 1000 years ago), I was shocked when the students almost got into a knock down drag out hair-pulling fight over the Correct Way to Knit. The left handers, the right handers, the continental, the pickers, the throwers….it was an ugly scene. Things died down a bit when the … More The Barb Brown: The Absolute Best and Correct Way to Knit
I have steadily and firmly resisted the siren song of many hobbies over the years as I simply don’t have time for them all. However, anything to do with fibre fascinates me, and that means that I have dabbled throughout my life with embroidery, hardanger, bobbin lace, crewel work, rug hooking (ok I may have … More CYO Caroline: Adventures in Weaving
I was going to write this technical post about how to become a designer, and then I realized that there was very little that was actually technical for me! To tell the truth, I just kind of fell into it, and I’m still a complete newbie. When I learned to knit, I had an old … More The Other Caroline: On Becoming a Designer
George Shaheen of 10 Hours or Less™ has been self-publishing knit and crochet designs for over 30 years. George’s main goal is to create designs that are inspiring and innovative while providing instructions that are clear, concise and easily executed. We’re quite pleased to have supplied yarn for his most recent mini-collection, which includes the Rope Edged Rafters knit … More 10 Hour or Less: Meet the Designer
Twice a year, colour development gives the staff at Ancient Arts the perfect excuse to have the best time EVER because we have to look at pictures (and lots of live models) of cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies. Our job is SO HARD isn’t it? But we do this for the good of the people … More CYO Caroline: 2016 Meow/Woof Colour Story
I come from a long line of adventurous women: My Great Granny Jeremina got on a ship at the end of the 19th century with nothing for company but a spinning wheel, and set out from Shetland to Vancouver Island. My Grandmother Birthe got on a ship after World War I and travelled – alone, mind you! – … More The Barb Brown: How the heck did I get here?
One of the best treats as the master dyer for Ancient Arts happens twice a year…and what is that, you might ask? Why, I get to build a collection of new colourways! All of us at Ancient Arts feel that it’s important to keep our colour collections fresh and current – so twice each year, we … More CYO Caroline: 2016 Spring/Summer Colour Story
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’d like to share some of our favourite yarn, colours and patterns inspired by the day of love, all of which are certainly Cupid-approved! First, let’s talk colour. Reds and pinks are what most of us think about for Valentine’s day: for a traditional approach, Fire in the Belly, … More Valentine’s Day Inspiration
It was only a matter of time before we gave the “other” Caroline her very own column on this blog! You may recall getting to know our Sales Manager Caroline Dick last fall on this blog post. We fully expect to see more posts penned by Caroline as she shares her love of knitting and yarny … More The Other Caroline: For the Love of Knitting
One of the most enjoyable times of our year is when we have the opportunity do shows and fibre festivals, where we come face to face with the people for whom we dye our yarn and seeing the fantastic things they do with it. However, some of these events are very different because, instead of a … More CYO Caroline: TNNA Winter 2016 Show in San Diego, CA
Ah, the new year has arrived. January is a great time to make some yarn-related resolutions such as learning a new skill or attempting your first sweater. One of our fabulous retailers, Stash Lounge, has declared January to be ME-month, and we can’t think of a better way to start off 2016. To make your resolution easy, … More Big Squeeze: Pattern Inspiration for ME-month
I belong to a number of knitting groups, and many of the members of these groups are new or fairly new knitters. They have taken advantage of on-line videos and classes, and learned an amazing amount this way. The members of the groups are very generous with support, and advice, and willingly answer questions. I … More The Barb Brown: Gauge and Swatch, A Knitter’s Hell (Or, Of Smitches and Stitches)
At this point in the holiday season, we’re guessing most of our blog readers just want to see some cute cats – and if that’s the case, you’re in luck! Today’s blog post is filled with some adorable cat photos from our archives (oh yes, we have cat photo archives!). Many of these fabulous felines have … More CYO Caroline: Cute Cats! Cute Cats! Cute Cats!
Today I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the lighter side of a dyers’ life. When I first started dyeing professionally, people told me many things about what the business would be like. They warned me about the long, long hours, the back breaking physical work (who needs a gym … More CYO Caroline: A Funny Thing Happened While Dyeing…
Earlier this fall, our BFL fingering yarn base made its triumphant return after a hiatus. We couldn’t be more pleased! On today’s post, we’d like to offer both Caroline’s and Barb’s thoughts on what makes this yarn base so special, and why we are celebrating its return with cartwheels and backflips (well, in our minds, … More CYO Caroline and The Barb Brown: BFL is Back!
Today, Caroline shares more of the Ancient Arts Yarn story in a new feature, Diary of a Fibre Artist. Enjoy! I always enjoy reading about the journeys of other people through the world of the fibre arts, learning how they first came to the fibre arts, what interests them, and the path that they follow, … More CYO Caroline: My Life with the Fibre Arts
It’s the first day of December, but no need to hit the panic button just yet – we’ve got plenty of fun, giftable pattern ideas to whip up for those knitworthy AND crochetworthy folks on your holiday gift list! We’ve conveniently sorted each pattern suggestion by yarn base so that you can grab your favourite … More Quick Gifts for the Holidays
With the holiday season upon us, our thoughts turn to gifts – and knitters swing into action! Selecting the perfect yarn and pattern for a gift project can be every bit as enjoyable as the knitting itself. One thing we’ve noticed is that sales for our charity inspired yarns increase, and as part of this … More CYO Caroline: Meow & Woof
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Carol Sulcoski, who has designed many gorgeous patterns using Ancient Arts Yarn. Carol J. Sulcoski is a knitwear designer, writer, hand dyer, and teacher. Her books include Sock Yarn Studio (Lark), Knit So Fine (Interweave), and Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns(Interweave), and Carol’s work has also appeared in such … More Designer Spotlight: Carol Sulcoski
I have a passion for colour. As I am a dyer by trade, this likely comes as no surprise, but it’s been a central part of my life as long as I can remember. Colour in any form attracts me and pleases my heart. According to science, the human eye can see somewhere in the … More CYO Caroline: 5 Different Dye Styles
Our newest yarn is sure to be your main squeeze for fall! Knit and crochet warm and cozy projects in no time flat with our new bulky weight yarn, Big Squeeze. This squishable new yarn is processed and spun in Italy from premium 21.5 micron New Zealand Merino wool. Needless to say, it is not only … More Big Squeeze is Here!
On our first blog post, we gave a brief introduction to the Ancient Arts Yarns team; today, we are pleased to welcome a post written by our Sales Manager Caroline Dick, a key member of our group. Enjoy! Hello! My name is Caroline Dick. I am the “Other” Caroline on the Ancient Arts team, not … More Meet Our Team: Caroline D.
Throughout the course of my long and varied knitting career I have many times wondered how yarn companies choose the yarns they choose. Why this colour? Why that fiber? Why this fiber blend and not that one? What are all these types of wool? It wasn’t until I started to spin my own yarns back … More Curated by Caroline: On Choosing Yarns
Today we have a special treat for our blog readers: a behind-the-scenes peek inside the dye studio! Here at Ancient Arts ,we use many dye techniques to create our colours, and we dye over 130 colours! Even though there are so many they all have one thing in common: they are all created using some form of … More In the Dye Studio at Ancient Arts
Barb Brown is our resident design coordinator and all-around knitting expert. She will be sharing her knowledge with our blog readers in a series we’re calling Behind the Brain of Barb – we hope you enjoy this inaugural post to kick things off! Fringe. It is back and is being seen more and more on the runways, … More Behind the Brain of Barb: On The Fringe
Autumn is just around the corner, and with it, the eagerly-anticipated fall issues of some of our favorite knitting and crochet magazines! This month, we’d like to share four of the latest designs to use Ancient Arts Yarn. The Lightweight Pullover by Zahra Jade Knott kicks off our fall pattern extravaganza, appearing in the Early Fall 2015 issue of Vogue … More Fall Pattern Round-Up
Fall is just around the corner, and we’re pleased to share our newest colours to keep your needles and hooks busy! As we mentioned in our previous blog post, each of our colourways has a story behind it, and today we’d like to introduce you to each of our 2015 Fall Colours and share the stories and … More Fall 2015 Colour Story
Welcome to the brand-new Ancient Arts blog! For our inaugural post, we’d like to share a brief history of Ancient Arts Hand Dyed Yarns with you. Knitting has always been a part of Caroline’s life – in fact, she learned to knit when she was only 4! In addition to her explorations of the fibre … More Meet Our Team!