Retro

Retro Flax

I’ve unofficially started a spring project where I plan to knit child sized sweaters for all of my friends kids that haven’t received hand knits from me yet. I used to be so good at knitting for others and then became totally preoccupied with knitting for myself and my own kids. I’ve received quite a few hand knit gifts since having Willow and each and every one means so much to me. It’s time to share the joy! To make it fun I’m trying to use mainly stash yarns, partial skeins that I have leftover from other projects or skeins that I can’t sell for whatever reason and have set aside (short yardage, a flaw somewhere in the skein, an off colour). Should be fun!

My first completed sweater is the Flax shown above knit for my friend's now 4 year old daughter. I picked that gorgeous speckle (seen previously in Chris' Crazyheart sweater) and went from there. I am so happy with the palette! I seriously think that I'm going to knit myself a sweater in this very palette at some point. I used Retro, Chartreuse and Smoke (coming soon to our permanent collection!) Since I'm so crazy about the Retro colourway I've added it to the Limited Edition section of our colours page today. Retro has the same kind of vibe as a colourway like Mona Lisa, it's kind of neutral, kind of a warm grey, really hard to describe... the speckles are predominately chartreuse and orange, which actually sounds like my worst nightmare but somehow comes together to be my favourite thing ever. Go figure!

rose fade

I've also re-stocked a bunch of 5 Skein Fades (Lavender & Aqua included!) and added a new one this week, the Rose Fade shown above. 

Happy Tuesday friends! xo

A Striped Playdate Cardigan For Rowan

Playdate Cardigan

Pattern: Playdate by tincanknits

Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering, Blue Label Fingering Weight, Malabrigo Sock and a random mystery skein - all leftovers from other projects - details on my Ravelry project page linked below.

Ravelry Project page here.

Completely inspired by Laura's scrappy Playdate cardigan I dove deep into my bin(s) of leftover fingering weight yarn and pulled this non-rainbow multicoloured palette to knit a sweater for Rowan. This was a super fun project. I am crazy about how the colour palette worked out! I'm always trying to push myself when it comes to creating colour palettes for my projects. I lean heavily on traditional rainbow formation and obviously love the look, but when I can successfully go "off-rainbow" and knit with a gradient that jumps from brown to pink to gold to neutral to blue(s) and back to neutral again, well, that just makes my day. Don't get me wrong, I will forever and always love a good rainbow palette, but when a palette is a little more unexpected I find it so much more interesting. 

All of the yarns used in this sweater were leftover from previous projects, which is always so much fun! It's great to feel like you're getting a bonus project out of your yarn. If a skein was used for a pair of socks or a shawl first then I already feel like I've gotten my money's worth, using the leftovers in additional projects is like knitting for free! I know that might sound a bit strange coming from me since most of the yarns I used are TFA, but they still hold a great deal of value for me. And I like to think of myself as thrifty. Anytime I can knit from the leftovers bin rather than pull fresh skeins off the shelves feels like a mini victory. 

It's also fun to reminisce about all the projects that these skeins were originally used for. The dark brown speckle was first used in a pair of socks for Chris, the Charcoal used in the ribbing was leftover from my Christmas In July Sweater and the Midnight was from a wee Sunnyside cardigan knit for Rowan nearly 5 years ago!

Rowan remains the best knitwear recipient ever. I had the sweater blocked and finished on Sunday morning and he has worn it everyday since. Granted, it's only Tuesday so that's not a spectacular amount of time but it's 3 days in a row and that counts for something! He requested, nay, insisted that this sweater not have buttons so it is currently button-less. I did make button holes in case he, or a future wearer of this sweater, changes his stance on that. I love that he wears it open like a cool old-man cardigan. I'm a big fan of the look! In my completely unbiased opinion Rowan has great style for a 5 year old boy. Y'know he often rolls up the cuffs of his jeans even though they're not too long just because he likes the look. When questioned about it he rolled his eyes at me and said that he was doing it "for style". I am so proud. 

I took all of the photos for todays post with my cell phone and I'm thrilled with them! I prefer candid shots of the kids and its easier to follow them around as they play restaurant under the canopy of our neighbour's pine trees with my phone rather than trying to adjust the settings on my big camera to accommodate the ever changing lighting conditions. I have a Google Pixel 2XL and I got it specifically for the camera quality and ever since I figured out how to set it to portrait mode I have taken some of my favourite photos ever! 

I'm almost finished another scrappy little sweater... this time in worsted weight. More on that soon. Scrappy knits are my fave!

For The Love Of Highlighter!

This is a wee blog post dedicated to how much I love a good pop of neon yellow in a project. It just speaks to me. This post is also dedicated to how far a single skein of Fingering Weight yarn can go. All of these projects were knit featuring the same single skein of PureWash Fingering in Highlighter. It's the gift that keeps on giving! I've still got a small ball left so there is plenty of room for another few projects to sneak into this collage dedicated to this special skein of Highlighter that I've been peppering into my projects for the past year or so. In 3 of the projects I've held the yarn double to achieve a worsted weight gauge. Gotta love that.  

A Hat Just for Micah

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Pattern: Antler Hat by tincanknits.

Yarn: TFA PureWash Worsted in Mona Lisa + a grey pompom

Ravelry Project page here.

A few weeks ago my knitting mojo just up and left me. I'm usually a person who can't sit without knitting, but for over a week I didn't knit a stitch - it may have been closer to 2 weeks actually. I just didn't feel like it. Crazy right? This happens from time to time and the need to knit always finds it's way back. In this case, it was a simple hat that did the trick. This is not a new pattern, this is not a new colourway, but suddenly I was overcome with the desire to knit this hat with this skein of yarn. I had been hoarding this partial skein of Mona Lisa for ages and completely out of nowhere it decided to pull me out of my funk and give me my groove back. 

Since I only had a partial skein I decided that it would be a kid sized hat and Micah was showing enthusiasm for the project so I told him that I was knitting it for him and he completely lit up! I think that this is the first time that he's really shown interest and awareness in what I'm knitting - other than grabbing my yarn and wrapping it around his hands and proclaiming that he's "all tangled up!" he's never really expressed much interest in the process. I started it on Sunday, on Monday morning I popped my WIP on his head to see if it fit and told him that I'd have it done by the end of the day. When he walked in the door after daycare I showed him the finished hat and he was actually excited and, get this, he asked if we could put a pompom on it! I don't know why that made me as happy as it did, but it really made my day. I guess it's the fact that he's old enough to realize that hats and pompoms go together and wether or not to pompom or not to pompom is the type of decisions that we as knitters make... Am I reading too much into it? It's just cool when your kids realize that you made this for them, that hats and mitts don't just appear, but that mommy makes stuff. 

He loves his new hat. :)

Knitting with Mona Lisa was a delight. I love this colourway and I've added a bunch to the Limited Edition Section of the colourways page! This is exactly why I wanted to add the Limited Edition section - when I knit a lovely project in a not-usually-available colourway I can dye up a few batches and make them available to you all so I'm not just dangling products and colourways in front of you and then telling you that you can't get your hands on them. I've also restocked Crystal in the PureWash bases that sold out very quickly last week. This is fun right? 

I've also added a new (possibly limited edition, but maybe not) Lavender Fade to the 5 Skein Fades collection. This fade is soft and lovely and I really like that darkest shade on the left, but also the bluest one in the middle and I especially like them all together, which is convenient since this is a fade set... I think we'll work on a green set next. 

lavender fade

ps: I'm already knitting another little hat in a fun speckled yarn because Mama got her groove back!

Limited Edition Colours Section In The Shop!

Willow and me

I suspect this might be the longest I've gone without blogging since I started blogging in earnest about 10 years ago. Willow and I are having a grand old time and are thoroughly enjoying each other's company 24 hours a day. We are a dynamic duo and sometimes she doesn't feel like blogging and I have to respect that. She'll come around to it soon. ;)

In the meantime I'm finding quick posts on Instagram easier to manage during this season of life - sidebar, I love the expression 'season of life', it so accurately expresses the temporary nature of early motherhood. It can feel all consuming in the moment but, like everything, seasons change. They aren't babies for long! When I have something really important to post I'll pop in to the blog, but for everyday stuff be sure to check in with me over on Instagram for updates!

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So, today is one of those days when I have something kind of important to share, and that is that I've re-jigged our Colours Page to include a new section right at the bottom of the page where I intend to feature LIMITED EDITION COLOURWAYS - Available while quantities last in select bases. It's sort of like a less frantic approach to a small Etsy Update. These days I have been posting a lot about Rocket and Smitten, and I'm always obsessed with Crystal. I've been grappling with the hypocrisy/frustration of how it must be for you all when I'm constantly posting projects featuring yarns and colourways that aren't available, so hopefully this new approach will help to solve that dilemma. I don't want to add the speckled colourways to our permanent collection for a multitude of reasons, and for a whole other set of reasons I don't want to lean too heavily on Etsy Updates, so hopefully this is a good middle ground. I'll switch up the limited edition colourways as the mood strikes me, and we may not always have limited editions available but we intend to do our best. We will still do big Dyed-To-Order Updates and Etsy Updates with lots of colours available, but my hope is that this new approach fills the gap in between updates. 

I'm also prioritizing our Kits Page more than ever. Joji Locatelli has a new pattern coming out soon that uses a 5 skein fingering weight fade, so we're working on stocking up our Fade Sets for you and will be adding a few new colourways too! Speaking of which, the Fingering Weight White Light Skein Sets would be awesome for Joji's new pattern as well! Just saying'.

 Crystal, Smitten, Orchid, Dove, Charcoal.

Crystal, Smitten, Orchid, Dove, Charcoal.

So that's the news, lots more Fades coming and a fun new dynamic section at the bottom of our Colours page. Happy Tuesday!

Plattsburgh Pullover - a happy ending

mom and willow

Pattern: Plattsburg Pullover by Whitney Hayward.

Yarn: Elsa Wool Company Worsted-Spun Worsted Weight Cormo.

Ravelry Project page here.

Mom came over for a visit this afternoon, and thank goodness she did otherwise this blog post would have gone very differently. I'm excited to have an FO to share with you today, my Plattsburgh Pullover! I have been smitten with this design every since I first laid eyes on it some time last year. It's simple, it's graphic, it's modern yet classic. Something about it just really grabbed me. I talked about my thought process back in January in this blog post. Basically I couldn't decide what yarn/colour to knit it in and in the end chose this super classic natural Cormo. The yarn is unique and special and I swatched and got gauge and jumped in confident that I was knitting the perfect sweater for me. Turns out I did knit the perfect sweater, it's just not for me after all...

The sweater ended up too big for me. And not in a "cozy boyfriend sweater" kinda way, more in a "this girl doesn't know how to knit a sweater" kinda way. It was mainly just way too big in the shoulders and the nature of the fabric created by the cormo yarn meant that there is really very little drape. It's not stiff exactly, it's a beautiful, light weight, breathable fabric, it's just not fluid and drapey. So I looked like a total dummy in it. I was bummed. I wracked my brain trying to come up with someone who the sweater would be appropriate for and then who walks in the door but dear ol' mum. "Here, try this on" I say. Assuming that it wouldn't fit because that would be too much good luck. Lo and behold... it's perfect! She looks fantastic in it. It's as if I were making it for her all along. I am beyond thrilled that it all worked out that way. I wasn't planning on ripping and re-knitting but certainly wanted to make sure that whoever ended up with this sweater would love it and I could not have landed upon a more deserving recipient. 

I'm not exactly certain where I went wrong in the size department. How exactly did I swatch, measure, calculate and still end up knitting a sweater that is a few sizes too big for me? The truth? I blame pregnancy brain followed by newborn fog. I seriously have no idea what happened and I haven't had the energy to remeasure or figure out where things went awry. I thoroughly enjoyed the pattern and the knit. It was my first time knitting set in sleeves in this method, where stitches are picked up and then the caps are worked in short rows, and it was kinda magical. 

2 sweaters

Before mom arrived this morning I took this photo of the 2 tops I've been working on. The blog post that would have accompanied this photo basically would have said that the sweater on the left is too big and the sweater on the right is probably going to end up being too small (I'm still unsure...) but thank goodness mom showed up before I wrote that post! This sweater was meant for her. Sometimes things work out the way they're supposed to!

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And here is a picture of my mom wearing a sweater that I knit for her (ok, not really for her, but from now on that's my story going forward) and Willow wearing a sweater that mom knit for Rowan. It's a baby Sunnyside in Garnet - love it. 

Fully stocked shop!

IMG_8549.jpgpompoms

We've got lots and lots of pompoms in the shop currently, including these 3 new ones! You've seen the Watermelon and Mint pompoms before but in a slightly smaller size - I've restocked them in the 10cm diameter pompoms (I used a watermelon pompom on my Ricochet Hat and LOVE the bright pop of pink!) and the Deep Purple Pompom (shown above next to Fig) is really rich and beautiful. It's always pompom season in my world!

white light skein set

I've also restocked our White Light Skein Sets - but with a bonus addition of having them available not only in Worsted Weight but in Fingering Weight as well! Imagine all the gorgeous faded shawls and sweaters you can make now? Can't wait to see what you do with your kit.

mitten kit

And last but not least, before Willow was born I went on a mitten kit making rampage and stocked up on lots of kits in a variety of colourways. As these colourways sell out I'll restock with new ones. Coming up with new combos is all part of the fun for me. 

Next up I'll be making more Mini Sock Yarn Skein Sets, hopefully I'll manage to make some progress on those over the next couple of days (with a newborn progress always happens in bits and pieces!) 

Hello Baby Willow and The Sweetest Wee-est Little Sweater!

Baby Willow

Our sweet baby girl Willow Blue was born in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, February 19th. I am overwhelmed at how quickly she has become a part of our hearts and our family. It's hard to believe we were ever here without her. We've enjoyed the past few days doing absolutely nothing - well, Willow and I are doing nothing, Chris is doing lots to take care of all of us, he's the best.

Baby Vertebrae

Pattern: Baby Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk.

Yarn: TFA PureWash Worsted in Rocket.

Ravelry Project page here.

I had this blog post all ready to go and had planned to post it last Monday - until I went into labour and then suddenly a post about a baby sweater with no photos of the baby didn't make much sense, so I've added in a few shots of Willow wearing this adorable sweater. I had been hoarding a single skein of PureWash Worsted in Rocket for months knowing that I wanted to knit something for the baby with it. The Baby Vertebrae pattern is very popular yet I hadn't knit one for either of my boys because they were born later in the spring and I didn't think I'd get much use out of it. But with a winter baby comes the opportunity to knit loads of teeny tiny winter knits! So my precious skein of Rocket became a very small newborn sized sweater and even though I know it will only fit her for a few weeks I have absolutely no regrets! I have so many knits for her to grow into, having a few special things that she can wear right now is totally worth it to me. 

I am SUPER into skin to skin. You wouldn't know it by these photos of Chris holding Willow against his t-shirt, but I thought I'd spare you all from a photo of Chris' hairy chest or me in my nursing bra and let you use your imagination. There is nothing better than holding a newborn baby against your chest and this sweater is a really nice way to keep her back and arms warm while we snuggle. Sure, you could just drape a blanket over her and achieve the same affect, but give me an excuse to knit a tiny sweater and I will take it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of hand knits Willow Blue! May you be wrapped in love and wool from this day forward. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

LOVE

Happy Valentine's Day from us to you! Chris and I won't be doing anything especially romantic, and I sure as heck WILL be wearing my pj's all day, but we have a house that is overflowing with love and if that's not worth celebrating I don't know what is!

xo Tanis 

What does this skein want to become?

Hello friends! I have had a rough weekend (I know it's Tuesday but I'm still recovering!) I haven't talked about my pregnancy a tonne here and part of the reason why is because I'm still trying to figure out how much personal stuff I should share, how much I'm comfortable with and how much you really want to know. Years ago, when my audience was smaller, I shared more. I think I'd like to go back to that because I love having this online journal of mine to come back to. I've recently been looking back over blog posts from when I was expecting Rowan and Micah and I love being able to revisit those precious times. 

The second reason why I haven't been talking about the pregnancy much is because I don't want to complain, and I feel like if I'm being honest about how I'm feeling then I'm going to have to complain a bit, because I feel lousy! It's been so different this time around. My pregnancy with Micah was very different from my pregnancy with Rowan, and this one has been different again! These kiddos really like to keep me on my toes right from the get go. I've been suffering from SPD for the past few months and it's made everything (sitting, standing, lying down, rolling over, walking... literally everything!) difficult and painful. The fact that it is winter and the ground is icy and uneven has made things even worse since it's very hard for me to go out on my own - I will fall, and even if it's not a major fall, just a little slip, it's excruciating and I pay for it for days after. I'm told that it will all go away after the baby is born but for the past few months I've just had to deal with it. I think that I've been managing ok. The baby is healthy and happy and I will soon forget all about this discomfort.

This past weekend I got what I can only assume was the flu. I'm still crossing my fingers that rather than a conventional flu it was actually signs of early labour (I read one article online that said it's common for women to experience flu-like symptoms a few days before going into labour and I am clinging to it!!!) however I am mostly on the mend now and still no signs of actual labour so... maybe it was just the flu. I am ready for our little lady to arrive! I am full term, bags are packed, grandparents are on call for the boys, let's do this! The baby could arrive anytime from 0-21 days from now, but I'm really hoping that it's sooner rather than later! Rowan was right on time, Micah was late, she's got to be the one who comes early right!? Send good vibes!

 Kama Sutra colourway by  Must Stash Yarn

Kama Sutra colourway by Must Stash Yarn

So, back to business, I have this gorgeous skein of self striping sock yarn in the Kama Sutra colourway by Must Stash Yarn. The photo above makes it look like 2 skeins, and that's because it actually is... the yarn comes in two identical 50g skeins so if you were to knit a pair of socks with it you'd have perfectly matching socks. Clever right? I fell hard for this pastel rainbow after watching Jenn's progress on Instagram. I purchased a skein as soon as it was in stock and totally intended to knit a pair of socks with speckled heels, toes and cuffs just like Jenn's. But then... it arrived yesterday and it's just so freeking gorgeous and I can't help but think that it would make a really great baby sweater, right!?!? I immediately thought of doing up a little Tin Can Knits Playdate cardigan but wanted to see if anyone had any other suggestions for self striping fingering weight yarn sweaters. The struggle with taking self striping yarn intended for socks and using it for a sweater is that when the stitch counts change in the sweater the stripe width will change in the yarn... socks are essentially tubes, so the stripes stay the same width throughout, but a sweater is a bit trickier. 

I'm also hoping that as soon as I get invested in knitting just one more baby knit that Murphy's Law will strike and the baby will arrive before the sweater is done, foiling all my plans! That's always the way isn't it?

What do you think? Any favourite sweater patterns for self striping sock yarn?

All You Need Scarf

I've added a All You Need Scarf Kits to the shop! I highly recommend this knit. ;)

I've also restocked a bunch of other kits, so go have a look in the Kits & Gifts section, k?

All You Need

Pattern: All You Need by Heidi Kirrmaier. 

Yarn: TFA All You Need yarn bundle

Ravelry Project page here.

Now this was a fun knit. I knew it would be - the clever modular construction (you can see a snippet of the construction in this pic) made it interesting and the bright colours kept it fun! You could obviously knit this scarf in any number of colour combos. I was seriously considered doing mine in black and white with just a single red letter but then my brilliant mother suggested the Hudson Bay palette and I was sold. I've wanted to knit a Hudson Bay inspired project for ages but couldn't decide what exactly I wanted. This scarf is unique and special enough to carry the weight of this iconic colour palette. I'm thrilled at how it all came together and the good news is Chris likes it too! 

Though the kit was inspired by this scarf pattern it would be useful for so many other projects too - baby blankets, a Hudson Bay striped Gramps cardigan! Hats and mitts. I love the scarf, but I also just love this classic colour combo on just about anything so don’t let the “scarf kit” title deter you if you have other ideas for this yarn bundle!

Designer Crush :: Heidi Kirrmaier + A New Kit Coming!

I'm sure that you are all already familiar with the beautiful design portfolio of Heidi Kirrmaier. Her esthethic is clean and fresh, with perfectly executed simple details that make each and every piece an instant wardrobe staple. She designs the type of garments that you will reach for time and time again. I have so many favourites. 

Her latest release, All You Need, is no exception. In theory it's a simple garter stitch scarf, but in reality it's so much more than that. The construction is very cool, the colour possibilities are endless and the finished scarf is just... well, for me it was love at first sight. I'll be casting on for my own All You Need scarf asap and hope to have kits up for you all within the next week. I have a few colourway ideas featuring a combination of solids and speckles (I'll be making 5 colour kits - 1 MC and 1 contrasting colours for each letter).

The kits will be yarn packs only as I always prefer to direct you to purchase your patterns directly from the designer. Bonus: Right now Heidi has a promo code for this pattern!

Use coupon code LOVE to receive a 20% discount until end of day Feb 14 (PST).

50% of the proceeds from this pattern until the end of February 2108 will be donated to Days for Girls.

So, have you knit any Heidi Kirrmaier patterns yet? One of my favourite sweaters ever and the one that I've probably worn the most over the past 6 years is my Nanook. I am currently working on a Buttercup and won't be able to resist casting on for a Sunset Coast soon... 

Any requests/suggestions for All You Need kit colourways? They'll be ready just in time for Valentine's Day. Have a great weekend!