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Tuesday to Saturday
Sunday & Monday 


144 James St North

Hamilton, Ontario

144 James St North

Hamilton, Ontario

Tuesday to Saturday
Sunday & Monday 

Knits About Winter: Launch Party & Workshops

Buy tickets for the Book Launch Party, and/or sign up for special workshops instructed by Emily Foden of Viola Yarns. Space is limited. 

Emily’s Favourite Sock Experiments (4-hour class)

Emily’s Favourite Socks always look fresh in her signature colours. Learn to pair unexpected combinations with easy modifications and they will become your favourites, too.

During this class, students will knit a mini-sock to cover all necessary elements of sock construction within the time available. We will use a modified version of Emily’s Favourite Socks (a basic, top-down ribbed sock pattern) to achieve our miniature socks, exploring variations for cuff, leg, heel, foot and toe pattern and colour as we work. The class will address simple ways to adjust the fit of your socks, avoiding the need for complicated shaping. A selection of Favourite Sock samples will be available to illustrate the endless possibilities!

Ideal for novice sock knitters or those who would like a refresher, as well as more advanced knitters who want to experiment with Emily’s colourplay techniques. Students should be comfortable working small circumferences in the round, either using double-pointed needles or magic loop. These skills will not be covered during the class.

Class includes:

  • A printed copy of Emily’s Favourite Socks Pattern for each student.
  • An illustrated handout with notes and tips for every sock knitter, from novice to advanced.
  • A Viola Sock Mini-skein (students will be able to choose from selection provided)
  • A wide selection of Viola sock yarns to experiment with for toes, heels, cuffs and stripes

Students should bring: 2.25 or 2.5mm DPNs or circular needles (depending on preference for working small circumferences in the round).

Discovering a Knitted Palette (6-hour class in two parts)

Discuss and explore the various ways we can discover colour inspiration in our surroundings and how to translate that inspiration into knitted fabric. This is the process Emily uses to develop her colour distinctive colour stories. It will be an engaging, hands on and interactive day of exploring ways in which we can create mood and feeling using surprising combinations of colours.

Part One: Colour Discoveries (2 hours)

  • Introduction and discussion of any colour ideas or goals students may want to explore or delve into throughout the day. Examples provided as an aid.
  • Walk throughout the surrounding area to observe, record and interpret the colours that we see and why they do or do not appeal to us.
  • Outdoor time may vary depending on the group, location and weather. Students who would prefer only a short walk will have the option to remain at or around the shop while developing colour ideas. The walk will be about an hour, with frequent stops for making notes and taking photos.

Part Two: Translating Colour Discoveries into Knitting (4 hours)

  • Back in the classroom, students will use the rest of the class to bring their colour discoveries to life in swatches.
  • Photographic and knitted examples will be provided to drive experimentation and exploration during swatching.
  • If time permits, a discussion of how these knitted swatches could be best used in a knitted piece will conclude the class.

Class includes:

  • Selection of Viola yarns in varying weights, fibres and colours for swatching during Part Two. All swatches knit during the class will be the student’s to keep.
  • Illustrated handout providing examples, ideas and inspiration for colour research.
  • Worksheet for sketching / colouring /  note-taking / recording ideas

Students should bring: a notebook and pencil/pen, mobile phone camera, colouring pencils or crayons, knitting needles (as many as possible of the following sizes: 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 6, 7 mm), lunch and a snack.

Sky Map Embroidery Techniques (4-hour class)

Explore the techniques used to embroider the Sky Map wrap in Issue 26 of Pom Pom Quarterly. Sky Map features embroidery that is visible on the right and wrong sides of the wrap, requiring some careful stitching and finishing. We will explore techniques to keep stitches tidy on both sides of the wrap, as well as how to achieve a variety of shapes and sizes of stitch. After covering the basics, we will move onto experimenting with motifs, colour, size and placement to create an infinite variety of patterns and effects. Each student should leave the class with the skills and knowledge to embroider their own constellations. Example swatches showing a variety of colours, yarns and stitches will be available to illustrate many possibilities each knitter has when it comes time for stitching their own wrap.

Students are expected to bring: A selection of scrap yarns (ideally a variety of textures and colours that contrast with their swatch); a small darning needle that can be threaded comfortably with scrap yarns; and a tube of knitted fabric (worked in the round) measuring at least 6 x 6” when pressed flat. The Sky Map wrap is knit in a laceweight mohair and silk blend, but students should feel free to experiment with a tube of any yarn they like, preferably not heavier than DK-weight.

Class Includes:

  • One printed copy of the Sky Map pattern per student.
  • Handout with detailed directions for making stitches into two layers of knitted fabric
  • Mini-skein of Viola mohair for embroidery during class.


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Knits About Winter by Emily Foden