Handspun Crazyheart

Crazyheart by Tanis Fiber Arts

Pattern: Crazyheart by Tanis Lavallee (me!)

Yarn: TFA handspun for the yoke and TFA PureWash DK in Rose Grey and Chris Grey for the body. 

Ravelry Project page here.

I started this little sweater as part of the CrazyCamaroKAL we hosted earlier this year. For such a sweet and quick little knit I sure let it drag on. For ages it was missing just 1 sleeve and when I sat down and finally finished it I think it took all of about 1.5 hours, tops. I know exactly what was making me procrastinate on picking this up and giving it the final push... I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to get the entire sweater out of 1 skein of Rose Grey and that I'd have to crack into a second skein for just a few yards. It's a ridiculous thing to make me get derailed, after all, I had set aside 2 skeins of Rose Grey precisely for this purpose, but something inside me just did not want to find out that I was going to be so close yet just short. In the end, I did run out of my first skein half way through the ribbing on the second sleeve, so literally 3 tiny rounds from the end. I refused to break into a second skein for such a minimal amount of yardage and was all set to turn it into a feature and use the Chris Grey for the second cuff when I realized that I had some leftover Rose Grey in Yellow Label just sitting there on my leftover yarn wall. It's not an absolutely perfect match, but it's definitely good enough! 

When I pointed it out to Chris has said (like he always does) that that's exactly the type of thing that he loves about hand made garments. And he's so right. Nothing too perfect, always a little signature, a reminder that this was made by a human. I love that. 

This sweater is so super cute and I love how pretty the handspun is in the yoke. I also love the combination of Rose Grey and Chris Grey! I've made 3 striped Crazyhearts and for all 3 I've opted for a very low contrast stripe and I'm a big fan. If you converted this image to black and white I bet you'd barely see the stripes, but that's what I like, colourwork doesn't always have to be loud to be impactful.  

Crazyheart by Tanis Fiber Arts

I have loads of this handspun left which is a thrill because I love it. I think I'm going to set some time aside very soon to do some spinning. I haven't spun in 2 years!!! I know that for certain because Micah will be 2 next week and I haven't gotten any spinning done since the week before he was born when I went on a massive (for me) spinning kick. Micah is a sweetheart but he is not the kind of kid that can be trusted around roving...  

Joji's Mystery Wrap - My Palette(s)

Before I dive too deeply into all my planned chat about the drama involved in choosing my palette for Joji's Mystery Wrap KAL, I wanted to take a moment to send out 1 million virtual hugs to all of our amazing customers, old and new, who stopped by on Sunday and participated in our Mother's-Day-Dyed-To-Order-Speckled-Extravaganza-Update. We're going to have a very busy month and we're so excited about it. Thank you! 

Jodi's Mystery Wrap Palette

So, Joji's Mystery Wrap. Where to begin! First of all, are you knitting it? I was on the fence only because it's a big commitment to dive into a 5 week long, 5 skein, mystery project without any guarantee that you're going to like to results. But then I cheated and snuck a peek at the spoiler thread in her Ravelry group and saw some very speedy knitter's progress and I was hooked! It's so cool. Why I ever doubted Joji I don't know. I swear I'll never doubt her again. So then it came time to pick a palette. I talked my mom into knitting it as well so she came over and we started going through all our options. I brought out my bin of coveted/hoarded purchased fingering weight yarn (not to be confused with my bin of coveted/hoarded dyed-by-TFA fingering weight yarn) because this seemed like the perfect project to finally put a few of those stashed skeins to good use. After much deliberation mom and I each picked a palette:

Mom chose the top palette: Crystal, Atlas, Blueberry Burst, Rose Grey and a long stashed skein of The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in The Very Quiet Cricket. 

I chose the bottom palette: Iris-esque, Brick, Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Glazed, Caramel and Sand.

We had each chosen a star and built the palette around it, which is a really good way to build a palette in my opinion. Mom's star is Blueberry Burst and my star was Glazed (both pictured in the bottom left of our respective stacks.) I know, you're all totally blown away by my palette. It's so outside my comfort zone! I acknowledge that yet I was fully committed to branching out and trying something new. I wholeheartedly love this palette. It's so rich and beautiful and would make an amazing wrap... but... not for me. It's just not me and I wasn't comfortable or confident knitting with it. I knit an 1/2 of Clue 1 and wasn't sold on my colour placement but thought that maybe I just needed to rearrange the colours. So I started over with a different colour placement and still felt very lukewarm about it. Check out this instagram post to see this palette knit up (you'll have to scroll through a few images to get to it).

So I admitted defeat and went back to the drawing board with a clearer understanding of what would make me happy. When I looked deep into my heart the answer was clear: turquoise

Highlighter, the Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Blue Lobster, Crystal, Seabreeze and Peacock.

Highlighter, the Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Blue Lobster, Crystal, Seabreeze and Peacock.

So I picked my all time favourite palette and started fresh and I'm so happy that I did because now I know that I am going to love this wrap. Ravelry project page with a spoiler pick of my progress so far knit up in this palette here

I've started a thread in our TFA Ravelry group for us to have our own little KAL within the KAL. 

Are you in? Have you chosen your colours? Was it as hard for you as it was for me?

A Mother's Day Dyed To Order Update

Top Row: Silent movie, Luna, Hummingbird, Cloudy. 2nd Row: Atlas, Aquarelle, Blueberry Burst, Poolside. 3rd Row: Grassroots, Mimosa, Bisou, Paisley. Bottom Row: Smitten, Juliette, Laurel, Georgia.

Top Row: Silent movie, Luna, Hummingbird, Cloudy.

2nd Row: Atlas, Aquarelle, Blueberry Burst, Poolside.

3rd Row: Grassroots, Mimosa, Bisou, Paisley.

Bottom Row: Smitten, Juliette, Laurel, Georgia.

Guys, we're doing it!  

There will be a dyed to order speckled update on Sunday, May 14th at 3pm EDT!

(TIME ZONE CONVERTER)

The update will remain live while supplies last. I'm hoping the better part of Sunday evening and hopefully even into Monday but I would definitely recommend aiming to get your order in early in the update to be safe. This will be a blog update, so on Sunday at 3pm a blog post will appear right here where you will see all the items available for purchase and you'll be able to add them to your cart directly from the post. 

This update will include the 3 So Faded Palettes shown below as well as the 16 speckled colourways listed above on the following bases: PureWash Fingering, PureWash DK, PureWash Worsted and Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single - see our yarns page for details on these bases. 

Since this is a Dyed To order Update please allow 4-6 weeks for processing. We're aiming to have everything in the mail by the end of June, but will likely start shipping much sooner. 

Purple Palette, Warm 2 & Cool.

Purple Palette, Warm 2 & Cool.

It's going to be an exciting update. Happy Mother's Day!

Etsy Update Tonight!

Purple Palette: Aquarelle, Blueberry Burst, Georgia, Juliette, Smitten. Warm 2 Palette: Mimosa, Bisou, Paisley, Juliette, Laurel. Cool Palette: Poolside, Stratus, Hummingbird, Luna, Silent Movie.

Purple Palette: Aquarelle, Blueberry Burst, Georgia, Juliette, Smitten.

Warm 2 Palette: Mimosa, Bisou, Paisley, Juliette, Laurel.

Cool Palette: Poolside, Stratus, Hummingbird, Luna, Silent Movie.

There will be an Etsy Update on Tuesday, May 9th at 9pm EDT. 
TIME ZONE CONVERTER

We will have more So Faded and  Joji's MKAL Bundles available than ever including a new Purple So Faded Palette (top photo). We will also have a whole bunch of new Joji MKAL bundles in some really fun colour combos (below). 

We are making as many of these bundles as we can and though the demand is currently still greater than what we are able to supply please know that we are doing our best! There has been some very helpful discussion going on over in the Ravelry group on how best to navigate the Etsy updates, if you've had trouble getting what you were after in the past that is a good place to pick up a few tips from the pros. 

Wishing you all a great week!

xo, Tanis

Top Row: 1) Tartan, Brick, Caramel, Mimosa, Sand. 2) Teal, Iris, Blueberry Burst, Peacock, Pink Grapefruit. 3) Charcoal, Graphite, Silent Movie, Chris Grey, Natural. 2nd Row: 1) Cobalt, Stratus, Garnet, Sweetheart, Trinity. 2) Truffle, Mallard, Grassroots, Chartreuse, Sand. 3) Plum, Teal, Aquarelle, Seabreeze, Chris Grey. 3rd Row: 1) Spruce, Prism, Atlas, Spearmint, Lemongrass. 2) Velvet, Stone, Georgia, Seabreeze, Saffron. 3) Grape, Graphite, Luna, Royal Flush, Sweetheart.

Top Row: 1) Tartan, Brick, Caramel, Mimosa, Sand. 2) Teal, Iris, Blueberry Burst, Peacock, Pink Grapefruit. 3) Charcoal, Graphite, Silent Movie, Chris Grey, Natural.

2nd Row: 1) Cobalt, Stratus, Garnet, Sweetheart, Trinity. 2) Truffle, Mallard, Grassroots, Chartreuse, Sand. 3) Plum, Teal, Aquarelle, Seabreeze, Chris Grey.

3rd Row: 1) Spruce, Prism, Atlas, Spearmint, Lemongrass. 2) Velvet, Stone, Georgia, Seabreeze, Saffron. 3) Grape, Graphite, Luna, Royal Flush, Sweetheart.

Find Your Fade

Tanis Fiber Arts Find Your Fade

Pattern: Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry

Yarn: a mishmash of lots of leftover bits and bobs of yarn including TFA permanent collection and OOAK colourways and the 2 pink's are Hedgehog Fibres. All the details on my Ravelry project page.

Ravelry Project page here.

Find Your Fade is such a showstopper of a knit! I felt a lot of pressure to do it justice with the FO shots. I was a little concerned. Because the shawl is so big compared to my petite frame I was afraid that I wouldn't have the wingspan to show it off in it's entirety. Luckily, the day we chose to take the photos and the location we happened upon by the waterfront featured the perfect conditions. It was windy! That was key. Just look at that gorgeous beast of a shawl billowing in the breeze! I absolutely love it!

So, there is no denying it... this shawl is huge! I've read of others opting not to wet block it for fear of having it grow on them to even more enormous proportions, but I felt like wet blocking was absolutely necessary for me to lighten up all that garter stitch. It was a bit dense and stiff right off the needles, but a gentle blocking helped it to loosen up and drape beautifully. I didn't use blocking wires, I just laid it out and straightened the edges as best as I could without pulling or stretching. 

The leftovers from my Fade. Lots of future knitting fun still to be had with this palette!

The leftovers from my Fade. Lots of future knitting fun still to be had with this palette!

I'm insanely happy with the colour palette I chose. Choosing the right fade can be a daunting  task. I certainly went through a couple options before settling on this one. I had it in my mind that for a dynamic and successful fade I needed 3 things: a bright (hot pink) a very light (light grey speckle) and a very dark (charcoal). I wanted there to be a ton of contrast and for the shawl to be dramatic and dynamic - no subtle fade for me! Once I had nailed down the vibe I was after it was just a matter of rooting through my stash and picking the few main colours (the 3 key colours mentioned above) and then finding the in between shades that would link them together. In my case that meant using 8 colours. The pattern specifies 7, but this is definitely the sort of pattern that allows for lots of customizing. It gives instruction for when and how to melt from one colour to the next, but working more or less of any of the colours is a piece of cake. I used a combinations of speckles, variegated and solid colourways and I'm really happy with how well they work together. I was able to crack into a few preciously hoarded skeins as well as use up some leftover partial skeins, which is always so satisfying! 

If I'm being perfectly honest I did struggle trying to figure out how to wear this beauty. I don't think that it's an issue of scale as much as it's an issue of wanting to show off the gradual colour shifts that unfortunately get lost when you wrap it around your shoulders a few times. I've come around to accepting that unless I walk around with my arms outstretched holding my shawl from tip to tip I'm not going to be able to show off the entire gradient in all it's glory while wearing it. Which is why I should just knit So Faded, because then the fade will never be hidden! 

This project has made me want to knit everything in a gradient. I've always been a fan of the ombré look. If you watched our latest podcast episode you'll have seen my steady stream of ombré knits throughout the years. I am so not over ombré! 

Find Your Fade is a big commitment. It's a lot of knitting and it results in a shawl that is potentially a little too big to be practical all the time... But! You will get stopped and complimented on it every time you wear it. Your kids will love it. Your friends will love it. You will be thrilled and excited at every colour switch and it will all be worth it. Also, you could easily make it smaller, but where's the fun in that? 

 *At this point I do not intend to make kits for my Fade. I used so many OOAK colourways as well as 2 non-TFA colourways and I don't think I could reproduce it exactly. If you need help putting together your own TFA fade I'm always happy to help! 

*Also, we'll have more So Faded Bundles very soon, which would make a great jumping off point for this shawl!

So, have you found your fade yet? Do you plan on trying?  

Mood Board Monday - Relaxing Sunset & Another Etsy Update Tomorrow!

TFA PureWash Fingering in Paisley, Miso & Mimosa, patchwork rug, flowers, cake, sunset, popsicle, 

TFA PureWash Fingering in Paisley, Miso & Mimosa, patchwork rugflowerscake, sunsetpopsicle

We are having another Etsy Update very similar to last week's tomorrow: Tuesday, May 2nd, at 12pm (noon) EST. It will feature lots of the same kits as last week's. We'll have the 2 So Faded Palettes available as well as lots of bundles for Joji's MKAL (see last week's post for lots of photo's of the kits, the coloursways will all be the same).

For today's Mood Board I took inspiration from a close up of our Warm So Faded kit. The colours are bright and warm yet incredibly calming at the same time. A lovely relaxing sunset to start your week off on the right foot. 

Plans for more speckles

I love this shot. I was thinking of saving it for next year's calendar I just love it so much, and I might still use it there, but I couldn't help but want to share it today as well since I wanted to talk about speckles today. First of all, speaking of speckles, Chris and I uploaded a new podcast episode to YouTube yesterday all about speckles, so check that out right here if you're interested!

Last night's Etsy Update featuring all the speckles and bundles for So Faded and Joji's MKAL sold out in a matter of minutes. It's always extremely exciting yet also kind of terrifying when things sell out like that because I know that it means that many people will be disappointed because they won't have gotten what they wanted. So, we have a plan! Next week (probably Tuesday at 12pm EST) I'll be doing another Etsy Update featuring just the bundles. I'll have even more So Faded Bundles and Joji's MKAL bundles than this week, so hopefully many more of you will be able to nab one. Then, within the next 2 weeks or so, when we're sure we're ready, we'll do a big dyed to order update featuring the speckles! I will likely limit the bases to exclusively PureWash Fingering, DK and Worsted and I'll pick several of our best selling speckles and I'll make them available to order at your leisure for a 24 hour period. Turnaround time will be much longer, probably somewhere between 4-6 weeks since the resulting dyeing from an update of that type is insane, but we'll do our best! 

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be busy packing up and shipping orders, but I'll be taking some time off to attend a 3 year old's birthday party so don't worry about me, it won't be all work and no play!

 

Etsy Update! Thursday April 27th

We’ve got an Etsy Update coming at ya this Thursday evening at 8pm EST! You can find the Etsy shop right here. At precisely 8pm tomorrow night it will be loaded with gorgeous speckled yarns and kits!

We are going to try very hard to keep doing manageable sized bi-weekly updates. If I try and make sure that I have unlimited inventory the update ends up taking way too much time and we fall behind. If I make them too small they are frustrating for everyone, so we’re aiming for a happy medium! More frequent updates of a manageable size. Win-win, right?

This week's update will focus on our favourite speckled colourways dyed on our PureWash Fingering and PureWash DK bases.

A selection of what we'll have available!

A selection of what we'll have available!

We have also made a bunch of PureWash Fingering Yarn bundles! Each bundle will contain 5 carefully matched skeins perfect for a few very hot patterns that were recently released.

First up are the SO FADED bundles. I’ve put together 2 colour options that I’m crazy about. 

Then we’ve got lots of bundles made up for Joji’s Starting Point Mystery KAL. I've got my eye on 3 of these bundles myself... I can't pick a favourite!

We will also have some of our rainbow speckled DK weight Palettes, this time on PureWash DK (previous batches have been on Yellow Label). These go quickl! 

We will also have lots of single skeins and SQ available in all the speckled colourways pictured here. See you tomorrow!

Good Luck Sam!

If you watched the latest TFA podcast episode you'll have heard the news that Sam is moving to Toronto. We will miss her dearly. I'll miss her help around the office obviously, but I'll also miss her company! Knitters of Toronto, welcome her with arms wide open, she's a gem! She has been such a valuable addition to the TFA family this past year. Tomorrow is her last day and there will be tears!

We love you Sam!!!

Mimosa Flower Cardigan

IMG_0935.JPG

Pattern: Flower Cardigan by Evelina Murach. 

Yarn: TFA PureWash DK in Mimosa (ooak speckle - repeatable!)

Ravelry Project page here.

This is a classic Tanis story: On Wednesday I was supposed to go to the mall in the afternoon to do some gift shopping. My niece Eloise had just turned 1 and I was going to be seeing her over the weekend and wanted to pick up a gift for her. But because I'd rather stay home and knit than go to the mall and buy something that she definitely didn't need (she has 2 older sisters, she doesn't need anything!) I decided that I'd knit her a sweater instead! I had a few skeins of fun speckled yarn set aside and chose the beautiful and cheerful Mimosa colourway for Eloise. She has the loveliest peaches and cream colouring and could wear anything, but as I said, she has 2 older sisters, so there's already loads of pink in her household (these days I love knitting with pink for little girls if only because I don't knit with it often for myself). Also, yellow is her mom's favourite colour and is not a colour that I would typically choose for myself, it was meant to be. I love knitting for others because it gives me the opportunity to knit with colours and patterns that I might not normally choose. 

This cardigan is just the sweetest little thing. I originally intended to knit it with long sleeves but since I was on a deadline I opted for the short sleeve option. I'm thrilled that I made that call since A) it allowed me to finish the cardigan in time to gift to Eloise on Sunday B) I was able to get the whole sweater out of a single skein of DK weight yarn and C) I think that the short sleeves really suit the design! This sweater is so springy with the flower motif and the curved hem. The short sleeves just make sense. Imagine it worn over a sun dress? Adorable! 

I found these iridescent cream/pink butterfly buttons in my stash and love them on this sweater. When they catch the light they really bring out the pink speckles in the yarn.

I used a new-to-me bind off for all the ribbing, the Extra Stretchy, No Flare Bind Off and it is a game changer for me! I always struggle to do a loose bind off on ribbing and this method is fool proof and also kinda fun. My new go-to bind off for ribbing I think. 

The pattern is 12 pages long! It's no joke. The construction is quite complicated and is shaped almost entirely using short rows. You have to just trust the pattern, it will look crazy and you'll have to do a ton of provisional cast ons but in the end it will all come together before your very eyes like magic! I love knitting a complex little gem like this from time to time. It makes me feel clever even though I didn't have to figure anything out on my own!

As a mother of 2 boys I always relish the opportunity to knit for girls. For me, there's no question that it's just more fun. I hate to admit it. I'm the first person to argue that boys can wear pink too and that there are no rules when it comes to fashion, but the reality is I wouldn't knit this sweater for Rowan, I'd like to be able to say that I would, but that would be a lie. I'd knit a sweater in this colour for either of my boys, but not this pattern. It's so much fun for me to get to knit super feminine details on wee little sweaters once in a while. Big thanks to my brother for facilitating that by having 3 daughters!