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Frequently Asked Questions    
Q: What charities does Canadian Guild of Knitters support?

A: We don't have an 'official charity.' Cynthia personally contributes knitting for various charitable efforts including Warm Hands Network (and other charities that accept knitted items for Canada's far north), and local charities such as church bazaars, men's and women's shelters, and hospital knits for cancer patients and infants.

Q: WHY are your US prices so much more?

A: Unfortunately, postal rates to United States addresses are very high, particularly for parcels. Canadian postal rates are considerably higher than US rates for similar-sized packages. In addition, Canadian banks charge a hefty fee for processing funds submitted in US currency. We can mitigate some of that, however when our US members use PayPal.

Q: Where can I find a pattern in a 5XL?

A: Our research tells us that 5XL needs a pattern with a 58-60 inch chest. Paton's has three books called Back to the Basics that give patterns in sizes from children's 2 to an adult's finished size 59 chest. There is a book each for double knitting, knitting worsted and chunky yarn sizes, and each book includes a variety of styles. Inquire at your Patons' retailer

Q: What can I do with a bundle of old knitting needles I found at a garage sale?

A: If these needles are surplus to your needs, there are several ways you can help others with them. Bonnie has put together several baskets of knitting worsted weight yarn, a simple square pattern, and 4.5mm 7 US 7 UK needles. She has been placing these in the waiting areas of our local cancer centres. Larger and smaller needles can be donated to organizations that can use them: groups who knit bulky items for the far north, and who teach people to knit in areas such as India.

Q: I have some Patons' Cotton Top patterns that has a tension of 20 sts and 29 rows to 4 inches. There is no yardage given for this yarn, and I would like to substitute a yarn for this discontinued pattern. Can you help?

A: Yes I can. Patons' Cotton Top had 120 m/131 yards per 50 gram ball, With the tension for this yarn, it equates to about a worsted weight yarn. If you buy the same total yardage as the number of balls in your pattern times the number of yards or metres, you should have enough yarn to complete your project.

Q: My cat has put a big snag in my favourite sweater? Can I fix it?

A: Yes you can. If the yarn is not broken, take a tapestry (blunt point) needle, and gently work the loop out as follows: Pull half of the loop out into the two stitches on each side, then work across the row, leaving each stitch a little looser than it was – were -- remember, when the cat pulled the loop, it tightened those stitches up from the original tension. Continue working the loops along, until the stitches resemble the original tension. After a few washings, kitty will be out of the dog house!

Q: Do you know of any Canadian companies that make personalized labels that can be sewn onto items made. I'm making a number of afghans to give as wedding gifts and would like a label with my name on it. I have seen what I want from a company in the States, but would rather buy Canadian if possible.

A: We found a website that lists 25 label manufacturers in Canada. The link to the list is

Q: I've heard CGK members can buy a CGK knitting bags and toolkits. Where could I see a photo of them?

A: We have a photo of the toolkits on the home page, but, we're in the process of finding a new bag, as our classic navy and gold bags have been discontinued.

Q: I am looking for a pattern for kilt hose. Do you know where I can find one?

A: There are a plethora of kilt hose patterns available today. For traditional kilt hose patterns, there is a book called Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings. Another book is Knitting Scottish Kilt Hose and Hiking Socks by Joanne Hinmon.

Q: Hi - I have a pair of wool fingerless gloves that are falling apart that I would like to replace. Do you know anyone who can knit me several pair of fingerless gloves if I provide the original ones?

A: This is never an easy question to answer. Often times store-bought knits are too fine to be reproduced by hand at a cost that reflects the quantity and quality of the work involved. You might take the gloves to a local yarn shop and see if they have anyone who is willing to do the work locally. Another suggestion is to attend local craft shows, and speak with the knitting vendors there. You might even find a replacement pair of gloves on the spot.

Q: I would like to get the Snow Falling on Cedars Bookmark pattern. Where can I get it?

A: Snow Falling on Cedars appeared in the Premier issue of Knit Together. We still have copies of that issue available at $5.00 each. This pattern was also featured in the 2005 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar by Accord Publishing.

Q: Do you have a Guild Listing?

A: We included a preliminary Guild Listing in the November 2004 issue of Knit Together. To get your guild listed in a future issue of Knit Together, e-mail Canadian Guild of Knitters at

Q: Is there an organization like AA for knitters? Something with a 12-step program to keep us from buying yarn?

A: Sorry, we don’t believe there is. If you learn of one, however, let us know.

Q: A special baby is on the way. Where can I find christening gown patterns?

A: Sharon Miller, author of Heirloom Knitting has a christening gown pattern at her website (see link on links page). Louet Sales also has a beautiful heirloom christening gown knitting kit available, and a designer named Valerie Lewis has several christening gown designs that are quite beautiful.

Q: I want to make a pattern in a size 4 from a pattern that only goes up to a size 3. It is 4-ply worsted weight yarn size 6 and 8 needles is there a way to make the pattern and make it bigger?

A: Sometimes for children’s wear you can simply add 2-4 sts onto each side of the front, back and sleeves and add a little length to each of the pieces to allow for growth. Check to see the differences made between size 2 and size 3. These numbers may help you determine how many stitches to add to the pieces of the size 3 pattern to come up to a size 4. Keep in mind that the smaller sizes allow for "baby fat", so there might be enough ease already in the sizing, and it may be only necessary to add to the length for your little "sprout".

Q: I have some ends of yarn from old projects. Is there someplace that I can donate them to?

  • The Salvation Army has a mittens program, and receives yarn donations for it.
  • Lewiscraft has a program called Knit for Kids.
  • Some local women’s shelters have programs that provide craft supplies to knitters who could use the diversion, but can’t afford the yarn.
  • Some of the retirement homes also receive your donation for their residents or auxiliary.
  • Brownie and Girl Guide packs can use donated yarns to help the girls earn badges.
  • Extra baby yarn can be donated to a local hospital auxiliary or the Guardian Angels program.
  • There is a in Mississauga called Angel Hugs whose sole mandate is to knit for various charities in the Peel Region/Mississauga area.

Q: I have a pattern that has the direction "M1". What does this mean?

A: "M1" stands for "make 1". To do a make one, lift up the "bar" between two stitches, and place it onto the left needle so that the right side of the bar falls to the front of the needle. Then knit through the back of that loop (this twists the stitch and makes the increase less visible).

Q: I can't open the attachment on the e-mail you sent me. What is causing this?

A: There could be several causes. Some of the popular e-mail services either don't allow, or limit the size of attachments. Canadian Guild of Knitters tries to send e-mail attachments in rich text format (.rtf) which can be read by more word-processing software programs than other formats.

Q: I can't remember how to yarn over when I have purled 2 stitches together and then have to yarn over to create a stitch. Can you help?

A: If the next stitch you have to work is a purl stitch, purl your two sts together (the yarn is at the front) and take the wool over and behind the needle and under and back to the front. The yarn will take a full trip around the needle.

Q: Can non-Canadians join Canadian Guild of Knitters?

A: Of course! Knitting knows no boundaries, and is as universal a language as music. Outside-Canada memberships to Canadian Guild of Knitters should be remitted in U.S. dollars.

Q: How do I size a hat for my grandson? His head is 19.5" around.

A: Before you can size the hat, we need a few more bits of information. You say your grandson's head is 19.5". In addition to this number, we need to know what type of yarn and what type of needles you plan to use. You need to work a swatch (about 6" square) in the yarn and needles you want to use, and then find out what your gauge is. Once you know how many sts to the inch there is in your knitting, you can figure out how many sts you will need to go around his head.

For example, if you have 5 sts to the inch in your knitting, you will need 19.5 X 5 = 97.5 or 97 sts. If you are working in ribbing, which is stretchy, you could get by with a few less sts, as you want the band to stretch a bit to stay snug on his head.


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