Monday, 1 July 2013

Knit in Canada

Today is Canada's 146th birthday, and as I'm a Canadian I have decided to do a special post of Canada Day knitting patterns. I know from the analytic data I have on this blog's readership that most of you aren't Canadian (the internet being, as you know, like that), so I've tried to pick items that would be as universally appealing as possible. Not that it was so hard to steer myself away from the patterns that looked like something you'd buy in the CN Tower gift shop. I've got a 30" x 42" Canadian flag that I happily put out on my porch for signal occasions such as Victoria Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day and other signal occasions like the Olympics or the upcoming crushing defeat of the Harper Conservatives in the next federal election (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease), but I don't care to actually wear the flag or other tacky souvenir stuff myself. I like flags best when they're of a size to be noticed, on a flagpole, and flapping gaily in the wind.

The pattern for the little toy Mountie above is from Kath Dalmeny's World of Knitted Toys. My father actually wanted to join the RCMP as a boy, and did casual labour jobs for several years while he waited to turn 19, the youngest age at which he would be eligible to apply. Then he did everything he needed to do to qualify, including getting his small plane pilot's license. He left getting his doctor's certificate until last, because as a young, fit, 6', 190-pound man in excellent health he had no worries on the score. But as it turned out he wasn't able to get his doctor's certificate, because he had too many allergies. He became a farmer instead, as that was so much better for his allergies.

This Maple bag is a Knitty pattern, and therefore free. I love the colours of this little messenger bag — so soft and warm and well-blended.

These O Canada Mittens are a free pattern, and were, obviously, designed for the 2010 Olympics. I'd rejig the pattern the get rid of the date and the Olympic circles. That's always the way of it with Olympic wear — it's very of the moment and has a definite shelf life. Does anyone remember those Roots poor boy caps from the 1998 Olympics in Nagano? They were such a hot item Roots couldn't keep up with the demand, and then six months after closing ceremonies I saw one in a thrift shop priced at $1.99.

These Canada socks are from Knitting on the Road, by Nancy Bush. They're a subtle way to pay tribute to Canada. Or to maple syrup.

The I'm Canadian, Eh beaver pattern is a $6(USD) download. I don't think I'd make the hockey stick accessory for this pattern. This cute little guy is a nice toy on his own, and adding the hockey stick makes him look like the kind of kitsch we Canadians foist off on tourists.

This Maple Blanket is available as a $1.99(USD) download on Ravelry. It's knitted in one piece and in one colour, and I should think it'd be the perfect autumnal throw for a country house or cottage.

These Curling Socks are available as a $6(USD) download on Ravelry. Canada can't actually claim to "own" curling as curling is actually a medieval Scottish game that was brought to Canada by emigrés from Scotland, but curling now has more of a following in Canada than in any other country. My own theory is that this is because curling, like bowling, darts, and pool, is something to do in between beers. I'm joking, or at least partly joking. Canadian curling clubs are licensed to serve alcohol, but drink too much while you're playing and you'll fall on your butt.

The Betsy's Goose pattern is available as a free download. And how cute are these Canadian geese? The answer is, "much cuter than the real thing", because when I think of Canadian geese I think of the gang of them that hangs out in the park near my parents' house during the warmer months and that gets larger and more aggressive and domineering every year. What used to be a "peaceful, scenic walk by the river" is now a "walk through reams of poo and hurry off the path because you're getting pursued by dozens of geese doing that hissy, flappy thing".

This Maple Leaves Hat is a $5(USD) download. I really like that the designer used a handpainted yarn for the leaf pattern. Red and white can look more than a little obvious, but a different colourway turns a souvenir-like maple leaf pattern anything into something that's simply autumnal themed.

The Foehn Mitts pattern is available as a $6(CAD) download. Yay! A pattern that's priced in Canadian currency! And yes I was aware of the irony thus far in the post.

Happy Canada Day all!

Coming up: The third post in my twentieth century knitting patterns series, "Fair Isle and Sportswear: 1920-1929"!


  1. This is an awesome collection that makes me proud to be a Canadian knitter! The main iconic Canadian knit (to me!) you are missing is the Mary Maxim motif sweaters!

  2. You're right, the Mary Maxim motif sweater is probably the most iconic Canadian knit there is. But I'm planning on doing a post on the Mary Maxim sweater at some point, so keep an eye out for that.