Archive | October, 2014

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

9 Oct

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

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

Sue Schlabach

Artist, photographer and upcycler living in Vermont. Viewer of the world through eyes and lens.

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