Mood Board Monday - Driftwood

The July Year In Colour Club colourway, Driftwood, is a really big deal to me. I have had most of the images used in today's mood board saved on my desktop for ages, years probably! I've been wanting to nail down the perfect barely blue/grey/beige beachy colourway forever and I finally feel like we've done it! Our July Driftwood colourway is smooth and calming and blue/grey/beige in all the right ways. This mood board is everything to me! Driftwood inspired the July Fluidity wrap design, which I'm equally proud of.

Fluidity Wrap and Scarf

Fluidity Wrap by Tanis Fiber Arts

Pattern: Fluidity wrap and scarf by Tanis Lavallée (me!)

Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering in  Club exclusive Driftwood (wrap) and Fig (scarf). 

The Fluidity wrap and scarf pattern is the July offering from the Year In Colour Club. The pattern includes instructions for both a  single skein scarf version and a larger 2 skein wrap option. I can honestly say that I love both equally! I thought that I was favouring the wrap as I was knitting it, but then this lovely scarf swooped in and stole my heart. No need to pick a favourite.  

I find the rectangular shape of scarfs and wraps to be so incredibly easy to wear. I feel like recently ye old rectangle has gone by the wayside in favour of trendier shapes like triangles, crescents and cowls, but I've always had a soft spot for rectangles (though I do love triangles too... again, why bother trying to pick a favourite when it comes to knitting!?) This shape is just so easy to wrap around your neck and shoulders and I love how the curved hemline of Fluidity hugs my shape. It's full of texture and light as a feather - the perfect summer knit!

The Driftwood colourway featured in the wrap version shown above is exclusive to Club members, but the Fluidity pattern itself is available to all on Ravelry. TFA Year In Colour Club memberships are available all year long. It's not to late to sign up! Join now and you'll receive your JanuaryMarchMay and July skeins along with the next batch of shipments in September. 

Mood Board Monday - Spearmint

Just look at that little Spearmint Sproutlette Dress up there! If you can't tell I'm kind of squealing as I type this. It's just so stinking' cute! Spearmint is a colourway that I found challenging to make a mood board for because it's got hints of both yellow and blue. Sourcing images that reflected all the nuances of the shade was hard, but I'm so happy with the soothing palette this mood board represents. 

Etsy Update Tomorrow + Summer Holidays!

We’ve got an Etsy Update coming at ya this Wednesday, June 28th at 2pm EST! You can find the Etsy shop right here. At precisely 2pm tomorrow afternoon it will be loaded with gorgeous speckled yarns and kits!

This week's update will feature a little bit of a lot of things. After last month's huge Dyed To Order Update we were left with a lots of odds and ends (we dye in consistent batch sizes regardless of how many skeins are sold in an attempt to maintain consistency within the colourways, which often/always leads to leftover skeins). Tomorrows update will include all of those leftover skeins as well as 2 brand new So Faded palettes that I'm quite excited about: Soft & Sunny and Watery Blues. Each bundle includes 5 full skeins of PureWash Fingering for $140. 

I’ve also put together 3-colour skein sets of Red Label Cashmere/Silk fingering weight yarn in gorgeous groupings. Each set will include 2 semi-solids from our permanent collection colourways and 1 superstar speckled colourway! I’m envisioning these sets being awesome for shawls since there are so many beautiful 3 colour shawl patterns out there, or, you could of course knit 3 separate projects with them. You've got to be open minded about colourways if you choose to purchase a Mystery Skein Trio. Returns will not be accepted based on colour preferences. Each set will be a surprise, and each will be made up of colourways that I would personally use together. Each trio includes 3 full skeins of Red Label for $114. 

On top of the kits we will also have lots of small batches and a few sweater quantities available in most of your favourite speckled colourways (and maybe a few new ones too!) It will feature mostly PureWash Fingering with a little bit of Purple Label, PureWash DK and PureWash Worsted thrown in for good measure. Due to the small batches it will probably be a pretty fast paced update, so if that's not your style, sit this one out and wait for the next one which will be when we get back from our summer holidays in August. 

Speaking of holidays... we're gearing up to take our summer break! We work all year for our summer re-fueling sessions at my family's cottage in Nova Scotia. The webshop will be closed and not accepting orders between July 5th and August 5th. 1 full month off! All orders placed before we close up shop will be processed and shipped asap.

TFA Summer Vacation

I love having a few very busy weeks before we head out east! I'm already getting a little antsy about what knitting I'm going to bring with me... Yikes!

Mood Board Monday - Forest Floor

Floe Mitts, rust, bird, dodge truck, fiddleheads, TFA PureWash DK in Forest Floor.

Floe Mittsrust, birddodge truck, fiddleheads, TFA PureWash DK in Forest Floor.

So I'm a little late with this mood board. Forest Floor was the March Club colourway and I apologize for not posting this board at a time that would have made sense with the release of the colour and Club pattern (like, say, in March!) but better late than never right!? Forest Floor is very difficult for me to photograph. The skein looks decidedly brown, knit up it looks green. It's really a mix of both and just can't seem to decide which colour to be, which is always fun. A shape shifter! 

Starting Point Wrap

IMG_6227.jpg

Pattern: Starting Point by Joji Locatelli

Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering in Crystal, (a Club colourway) Highlighter and Peacock. Purple Label Cashmere Sock in Seabreeze. The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Blue Lobster.

Ravelry Project page here.

What an adventure!!! This was only my second time ever doing a mystery knit along (MKAL) and I have to admit, it took a lot out of me. I was fully committed to it. I knit each clue within a few days of it's release every week. I looked forward to the next clue coming out and seeing what we would be doing next. We all know that I struggled with my colour selection for this project but once I had my scheme nailed down I knew that there was no direction this wrap could go in that I wouldn't love. This palette is just SO TANIS and makes me very happy. 

Starting Point Wrap knit by Tanis Fiber Arts

Going in to this project, I knew that we were knitting a rectangular wrap and I had assumed that we'ed be starting at one end and working our way to the other, knitting bands and stripes of colour. I was expecting something kinda like Joji's 3 Color Cashmere Cowl design. When we instead started off by knitting 2 triangles I was immediately intrigued! I love a MKAL that throws a few curve balls your way. That's where all the fun comes from! You think you know what direction you're going in and then bam, full 180! If I'm being completely honest, out of the 5 clues I'd say that clues 1 and 5 were really the only curve balls, clues 2, 3 & 4 were quite similar, which made clue 5 all the more exciting! Would I have liked a few more curve balls or unexpected twists and turns thrown my way during the process? Yes. However, there is a fine line between designing a pattern that keeps the knitter constantly on her toes and designing a pattern that is so full of "excitement" that the results are disorganized and chaotic. In this case, those less exciting clues resulted in a beautifully balanced design. 

The thing that I am most pleasantly surprised about is just how wearable this warp is! As I was knitting this I was thinking that it may end up too big and bulky to be practical for me, but I was completely wrong. The proportions are lovely, even on my small frame. I wore it to the park with the kids to take these FO shots and half expected to have to take it off in order to do any actual playing but it didn't get in the way at all! I pushed the kids on the swings, spun Micah around in this weird spinny chair thing they have at our park, climbed under this rope contraption to rescue Micah a few times, all the while wearing this elegant wrap. Come the colder months I could definitely see myself wrapping this bad boy around my neck a few times for the ultimate cozy winter scarf. 

This was truly an enjoyable knitting experience that resulted in a truly beautiful piece of knitting. I'll admit, the mystery aspect - though really the main focus of this whole experiment - is hard for me. I don't think that it's my preferred way of knitting colourwork projects. Though I am completely in love with my new wrap, there are a few colour placement tweaks that I would have made had I known what I was doing ahead of time. Actually, maybe, maybe not. Maybe I'm overthinking it. I love knitting with colour and generally devote a lot of energy to arranging colours in exactly the order that I want them in, veering a way from that and losing a bit of control is arguably a really good thing for me to do once in a while. I wasn't able to successfully push myself out of my comfort zone when it came to colour selection, but maybe going outside my comfort zone in terms of colour placement is enough for one project! Baby steps. ;)

Did you KAL? I think that my favourite part about the whole thing was knitting the same pattern with so many thousands of knitters all over the world at the same time. It's incredible isn't it? KAL's really are more about the community, a gorgeous FO is the cherry on top!

What should we KAL next? 

My current favourite picture!

My current favourite picture!

Mood Board Monday - My Starting Point Palette

The knitting project that his been dominating the past 5 weeks of my life is officially complete! I'm working on a full blog post with all my thoughts and lots more photos but for today I wanted to celebrate this fabulous palette! It took a bit of trial and error to settle on it, but once I did I knew I had made the right call. Turquoise with a pop of neon is a scheme that will always work for me. Happy Monday!

Life Lately

Life has been busier than ever lately. Some of it was expected and some of it took us by surprise. Last month's Dyed To Order Update has kept our minds and hands occupied, which is just what we needed. I'm very confident that I should be able to have all remaining orders in the mail by next week, we're so close to wrapping it all up! I'm going to miss having an office overflowing with gorgeous speckled skeins! All the more reason to wrap this up and move on with the next update/excuse for me to play around with beautiful yarn. Thanks for making this my job guys, really, I love it so much!

I shared a few very personal things over on my Instagram account last week. I often battle with just how much of myself I want to share online, knowing where to draw the line can be tough. For years I've struggled personally with infertility. When I first found out that I would never be able to have children naturally I was devastated (obviously). A very close friend of mine suggested that I open up about it on the blog, that it might help to share, and at the time I thought that I would never, EVER, be able to do that. Nothing that anyone could say would help. Everything stung. Even the well meaning comments (and they're all well meaning, nobody sets out to hurt to infertile lady) were a reminder of my pain. I don't know what changed last week, but all of a sudden I felt like I was ready to share a little bit about my story. Infertility is so heavy. I think that I was probably ready to talk about it a few years ago but I couldn't figure out how to bring it up gracefully. A blog post titled "I'm infertile"? I couldn't think of a way to say everything I felt I had to say about what it's like to not be able to conceive in one blog post. So I didn't, and instead I did a short but precise Instagram post about it. And it feels amazing! The comments, the feedback, I get so overwhelmed with positivity every time I think about that one little post. Sharing is amazing. 

One of the main reasons I wanted to share my fertility issues is because I know that from the outside it looks like I've got it real easy. I had my first baby at 28 years old, 2 years later, right on schedule I had my second baby. It certainly didn't look like I was having a hard time. In my case I was lucky that I found out that I would never be able to conceive naturally very young (I was 27). In my case I was also VERY lucky that there was just one very specific issue (a fallopian tube issue and I ended up having surgery to have them removed. Without fallopian tubes there is zero chance of getting pregnant naturally) and once the fallopian tubes were removed I was a very good candidate for IVF. In the grand scheme of infertility, I consider myself very lucky. 

I could go on and on about the ups and downs (we've experienced a lot of both) and how we've dealt with it all but right now I just felt like I wanted to put it out there and that's enough. We're still trying to grow our family and this year things haven't been working out quite as easily, but we're still trying. It involves lots of doctors appointments, ultrasounds, needles, procedures... but it's all worth it. I'm not ready to give up just because it's hard. Mentally it takes up a lot of space, and it deserves to. Knitting helps. ;)

On Monday June 12th Chris and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We weren't able to do anything special, we didn't even get to snap our annual photo, but hopefully things will settle down and we'll be able to make it up this weekend. Chris summed it up pretty perfectly in his instagram post

7 years ago today... we had a clean house and ate in restaurants. We really messed that up, but I've never been happier in my life.

Yup, that's us! 

Mood Board Monday - Orange Blossom

Bright, cheerful, undeniably summery. Orange Blossom is our favourite sweet and peppy orange shade. Orange can be a polarizing colour. Searching through my own collection of projects using Orange Blossom was interesting. Unsurprisingly to me I tend to favour it when used in combination with lots of other colours. It plays so well in a rainbow! I'm Are you an orange person?

Truss Shawl Pattern

Truss Shawl by Tanis Fiber Arts

The May Club colourway, Flox, was fully mood-boarded yesterday and so today, VOILA! the May Club pattern! This year the patterns are not exclusive to Club members, Truss is available on Ravelry already, but as a Club member the pattern is included as part of your membership. Hooray!

I love designing for the Club because it motivates me to flesh out ideas I'm playing around with in bite size, single skein projects. I've been wanting to design a shawl with fringe for some time and since it's a perfect Club project (single skein - check!) the Club deadline was just the incentive I needed to get the ball rolling and see this idea through. And guys, I love it! This is my favourite shawl. I know that I've been going on about the joys of massive shawls recently, and though they are special, there is just nothing like a single skein project to create the perfect, totally wearable, spring and fall shawl. 

Truss Shawl by Tanis Fiber Arts

How fun is that fringe!? I love it. I want to put fringe on everything. 

Truss Shawl by Tanis Fiber Arts

TFA Year In Colour Club memberships are available all year long. It's not to late to sign up! Join now and you'll receive your January, March and May skeins along with the next batch of shipments in July.