Mrs. Crosby yarn: Place your orders!

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I know there are many Purlin’ J’s customers out there who simply adore the yarns of our esteemed Mrs. Crosby. You’ve cradled them all (well, except for Train Case) lovingly in your hands whilst aboard the yarn truck. Now is your opportunity to order exactly what you want for that special project in your queue! (For example, I recently used four skeins of Carpet Bag in African Grey to knit this Churchmouse poncho. It just needs to be blocked!) I will be dispatching an order shortly to Mrs Crosby, so here are your instructions:

1. Go to and review your yarn base choices:
Satchel; $20/skein
Steamer Trunk; $20/skein
Carpet Bag; $27/skein
Train Case; $32.50/skein
Hat Box; $32.50/skein
Plus HST.

2. Choose your colour(s), from either the multis or the nearly-solids.

3. There is no minimum order, BUT if you order full bags of 5 skeins/one colour, get 10% off the whole bag!

4. Email Purlin’ J with your requirements and payment preference to: by the deadline: Monday November 24 at noon.

5. Purlin’ J will deliver your yarn once it is received if you’re in Kingston. Want to give a gift of yarn to someone? Give me the specifics and I will deliver your order as a pretty cellophane gift basket to its recipient within Kingston! Or you can pick up your order from downtown Kingston. All other orders will be mailed via Canada Post.

See you Sunday at the Fat Goose Craft Fair, now at Grant Hall!


Saturday at 734 Montreal St.; Sunday at Go Green Baby!

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1609615_572480836187170_7070006207070436045_n This weekend the yarn truck will be out and about at two separate events: Saturday, the truck will be open 10 – 4 at The Great Holiday Market at the Legion Hall at 734 Montreal Street. Brought to you by The Great Baby Market!

And on Sunday, the truck returns to Go Green Baby from 12 – 4 at 293 Division Street. Did you get a discount postcard from Go Green Baby? Sunday is your last day to use it!IMG_0648

Almonte this Sunday! At Handmade Harvest

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I hope you will come aboard Lil Dorothy, the yarn truck, this Sunday in Almonte! Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Company will be appearing at Handmade Harvest, a juried craft show at the Old Town Hall from 10 am – 3 pm on Sunday ONLY, Nov. 9.

Check the impressive list of vendors at

Admission to the show: $2
Under 16 free
FREE swag bags to the first 50 in line to the show!


NEW Locally-made Needle Cases!

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Store your circular, straight and double-pointed knitting needles in one case!

Just in time for gift-giving! These cotton knitting needle cases are designed by Purlin’ J and made right here in Kingston, featuring fabric from well-known designers Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler! Only a handful are available on-board the Purlin’ J’s yarn truck, Lil Dorothy. Get yours this weekend at Grass Creek Cottage (2993 Highway 2 East, Saturday, 10 – 2) or in Almonte, at the Handmade Harvest Show (Old Town Hall, Sunday, 10 – 3).

Now you can store all kinds of knitting needles in one case! The centre pockets hold your circular needles, while the right-side has pockets for your double-pointed needles as well as your straight needles. The left-hand side is a zippered pocket to hold your stitch holders, cable needles, stitch markers, or perhaps even your Purlin’ J’s needle gauge!

Saturday shopping at Grass Creek Cottage

4 Nov

Lil Dorothy will be making a brief appearance this weekend at the Grass Creek Cottage sale at 2993 Highway 2 East, directly across from the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum. The yarn truck will be open for business between 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday November 8 only! She is looking very festive and stocked with lots of wonderful gift ideas! Hope to see you on-board!


Visit Lil Dorothy at Go Green Baby this Sunday!

23 Oct

Be sure to stop by Kingston’s favourite baby store, Go Green Baby, to pick up a Purlin’ J’s postcard valid for 10% off* the yarn truck! They are in limited supply, so grab one, because on Sunday Oct 26 from 12-4 pm the yarn truck will be in the GGB parking lot, open for business (12 – 4pm)! Those of you who are already loyal Go Green Baby customers will know that the store is well-loved for its selection of natural products. Meanwhile, I will be awaiting the arrival of Project Fleece, who is due to hand-deliver Purlin’ J’s order! She has created the perfect item for the imaginative spinner (perhaps even yourself?) that loves history as much as fibre: Rolags that evoke Kingston’s colourful history!
*not valid on final sale items or books. Expires Nov 17, 2014.

Fall Craft Fiesta! Oct 18/19 Frontenac Mall

16 Oct



From Sock Blocker to Succaplokki: Meet industrial designer, Aleksi Viirilä

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Industrial designer Aleksi Viirilä

You know those great needle gauges you’ve seen on-board the yarn truck (and can buy online here)? The ones featuring Lil Dorothy? They are made in Finland by industrial designer, Aleksi Viirilä, the award-winning talent behind Succaplokki tools. In 2013 Aleksi Viirilä was chosen as the Young Finnish Crafter of the Year and nominated for the Noste Craft Award.

I recently asked Aleksi some questions about himself and his process. Here are his responses written, as he modestly claims, in “Finglish”.

Purlin’ J: Each needle gauge is unique. Can you describe the process and materials used?
Aleksi: I use industrial waste/left overs to make my items. Old signs, production leftovers, material with scratches and colour flaws. I use a laser to produce accurate cuts and all the items are finished by hand.

Click to buy

Why knitting tools? Are you a knitter?
This is kind of funny story. My wife (who’s a fanatic knitter) asked me to make her a pair of sock blockers in 2008. We did several cardboard models to make the blockers in the right size. I wanted to add some extra feature so I cut a needle gauge in the blocker. I made the final blockers from a piece of plastic I found in a trash can. She used the blockers on her knitting blog and from there the story of “Succaplokki” began. Finnish bloggers started to ask me if I could make more pairs for them. I was so excited that I started to design more items.

The name “Succaplokki” comes from combining the English words Sock Blockers and “Sukanpingotin”, which means Sock Blocker in Finnish. At the same time my wife discovered Etsy and from there the items started to sell out of Finland. Now this has been my main job for three years and I love it!

I’m not a knitter and this makes it even more interesting because I don’t have any presumptions about the knitting tools and how they should look or feel.

What is your training/background?
I’m a Industrial Designer. I specialize in tooling and prototyping. I’ve been working in this field for about 10 years.

What is your favourite thing about living where you live in Finland?
We live in a small countryside town in Southern Finland. Our house is an old house from the 50’s and my workshop is located in our basement. My favourite thing in all this is the slow way of life. I really love what I do. I don’t know if I can explain this in English but I truly feel a great joy for being able to make my items, which for me started by accident.


In 2013 Aleksi Viirilä was chosen as the Young Finnish Crafter of the year and was nominated for the Noste craft award.

Shop the Yarn Truck at KingstonFest Oct 4

3 Oct

KingstonFest is a free indoor and outdoor family festival that showcases Kingston’s remarkable organizations, and encourages community involvement. Speaking of remarkable, Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. was recently named by The Globe and Mail Report on Small Business as one of “the Top Ten Most Remarkable Small Businesses” in Canada! Thanks to everyone who voted. I think it is rather remarkable indeed that a yarn store is part of the top ten!

The Purlin’ J’s truck will open 10am – 3pm Saturday October 4 at St. Lawrence College, 100 Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston. FREE admission!


Purlin’ J’s Stops at Anwyn Studio This Weekend!

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Visit Lil Dorothy, Purlin’ J’s yarn truck, this weekend at Anwyn Studio (105 Mowat, Kingston). Needlefelting kits from Fancy Tiger are back on-board, plus the new Flatter spray from SOAK! The yarn truck is open 10 – 3 on Saturday 27 Sept, and 11 – 3 Sunday 28 Sept.

Autumn is now upon us, and if you are anything like me, the distinctive scent of the crisp autumn air sets off my desire to settle in with my knitting. Have you planned your holiday gift knitting yet? A quick review of the calendar shows me that there are only thirteen weekends until Christmas! This year I want to make a knitted tie for a friend, at least two pairs of socks for the men in my life, a pair of leg warmers with some special yarn I bought for myself, and a poncho! I had better get started!


Purlin' J's

"One of the coolest 'yarn stores' I've ever seen" --Vogue Knitting magazine, Holiday 2013

Knitting to Stay Sane

Challenging myself, one stitch at a time.


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