Boxing Day Etsy Orders continue to ship out every day. Little by little we are getting closer to having everything in the mail. If you are still waiting for your notification of shipment, thank you so much for your patience! I will have it all wrapped up by the end of the month.
Pattern: Fairview - originally published in October of 2011.
Yarn: TFA Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single.
This is probably one of my most worn scarves ever! For my petite frame it’s the perfect size and weight to scrunch up around my neck from fall all the way through to spring. It’s totally my kinda knit. It’s pretty and complicated looking but has no finicky bits. Every wrong side row is a plain purl row. I loath patterning on the wrong side and would really have to love a pattern in order to commit to doing any wrong side lace work - just a weird preference of mine. I have to enjoy the knitting just as much as I enjoy the finished object. Looking back, the only thing that I would have done differently is to offer a second, larger size, however at the time I was focused on showing how far a single skein of our Red Label base could go. And though encouraging the knitter to modify the pattern to include an extra repeat or two is simple enough, it would not have been that much extra work to have included an additional size - something to add to the list!
I have to admit that I’m a little bit shocked at how frequently I wore this golden coloured scarf. Is it because I wear so much blue and grey and a subtle pop of gold is always a nice compliment? I think so. I wonder if I would wear it as much if it were blue… Interesting to think about.
Pattern: Adelia Mitts and Cowl- originally published in September of 2011.
Yarn: TFA Purple Label Cashmere Sock.
When I think back to when I was designing my Adelia Mitts and Cowl set one thing jumps out at me and that is how pleased I was with that perfect little thumb gusset! Out of the two items the fingerless mitts are definitely my favourite. I love that cowls are the perfect item for neat and tidy colourwork and they are so satisfying to knit, but the details added in the mitts really make me happy. It was my first time designing a mitten with a thumb gusset and fitting the heart into that lovely little triangle was incredibly satisfying.
Looking at these photos reminds me that I’m due for a new 2-colour (or more!) fingering weight mitt design. The stranded nature of a fair isle knit makes them surprisingly warm, even in fingering weight, and the fineness of the gauge means that you can fit a lot of cool detail into one fairly small project.
This last shot remains one of my all time favourite knitting shots we’ve done. My favourite mug, those sweet little hearts, a latte so delicious and frothy that it’s almost overflowing… Doesn’t get much better than that!
Pattern: Tensile by Emily Greene
Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering in Harmony (OOAK).
Ravelry Project page here.
Photography credits go to Rowan! Give your 5 year old a camera and a bit of direction and they will shock and amaze you. I edited these photos (taken with my phone) with my phone’s software. Just brightened them up a bit. I didn’t do any cropping - he framed each of the shots. For some reason that I can’t explain his angles remind me so much of how Chris takes photos! They are the same person I swear. Every day Rowan is growing more and more into himself and honestly that self is so much like Chris it’s crazy. In case you didn’t know… Rowan is my 5 year old son. :)
I cast on for this sweater almost immediately after seeing it in Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 12 late last spring (or was it early summer?) Ravelry says I cast on June 23rd. It took me months to finish but only because I purposefully let it linger for a bit while I worked on other projects. Sometimes I become slightly obsessive about a particular project and race through it to be able to enjoy the FO as quickly as possible. Other times I just don’t! I can’t really explain the logic behind it. Some projects are just better if you slow down and let them last as long as they like.
On Christmas Eve I wore my Wolf River sweater and my sister commented on how much she liked it and how it fits that perfect spot in a wardrobe for when you want to look nice and put together but still be comfortable. Tensile fits that same niche for me. It’s a cozy and comfy knit, but it’s not a casual sweatshirt style pullover or a slouchy cardigan. It’s drapey and detailed and chic! With a pair of tailored pants or a skirt it’s an outfit. Throw on some earrings and you’re ready to go out. Having sweaters that make me feel warm, comfortable, cozy and still super chic is always a home run for me. Though of course you could style it with cut off shorts and a ponytail for warmer weather and it would still make sense.
I’m still a little nervous when casting on for a sweater with positive ease but I’m getting more and more comfortable with it every time I attempt a new draped garment. This sweater had the added excitement of being super lacy (meaning you really couldn’t get a feel for the finished size until after blocking) and seamed (meaning you couldn’t try it on until it was all done and sewn together). It makes for a nail biting knit! Luckily for me it came out just how I hoped - which isn’t really luck actually, it’s good design by Emily. :) The pattern is perfect and I didn’t make a single modification.
I really love this colourway. It’s called Harmony and unfortunately it’s the type of colourway that really needs to be seen up close and personal to truly be appreciated (aren’t they all!?!) I loved this colour so much and we dyed up a tonne for the shop last spring and it was a hard sell! Maybe it was the photos, maybe people just don’t like grey/purple shades as much as I do, but for whatever reason it lingered in the shop for ages which gave me the chance to pick a few skeins for my own selfish knitting. Interesting side story: all the not-quite-right batches of Harmony that we dyed ended up morphing into our Cloak colourway! Which I also really love - possibly even more than I do Harmony? It’s so hard to say, I love them all… but it’s possible that if Cloak had existed when I was casting on for this project I may have chosen Cloak instead. Though I do really like the softer colour for this airy garment. Honestly, there are no wrong choices when it comes to colour!
So there you have it, my last official FO post of 2018! I have a few other knits from the year to share, but they will have to wait until the new year. I’m also planning a 2018 re-cap post but I’ll be honest, it is really hard to re-cap a year when that year includes the birth of a baby! How do you sum that up!? It’s too much. So I may just stare at my Instagram best nine and remember what an amazing year it was for my family personally and leave it at that.
Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of a new year!? Let’s make it a colourful one OK?
xo - Tanis
Here we go guys! We have been super busy behind the scenes dyeing up as many one of a kind colourways in as many bases as we possibly can squeeze in to one giant Etsy Update! Here are the details:
Boxing Day Etsy Update on December 26th at 12pm (noon) ET! Link to Etsy shop here. The shop will appear empty until exactly noon on the 26th at which point it will be overflowing with yarn!
This update will feature $1 a skein shipping ($2 for overseas orders). I always do my best to catch any multiple orders and bundle them together to save on packaging and trips to the post office. With $1 a skein shipping there are no overcharges to refund so it saves me a lot of time in administrative tasks. Win-win! I am marking each item as being ready to ship in 4-6 weeks. I expect to have things out the door and on their way to their loving homes much sooner than that but I won't be starting to ship immediately as I'll be taking some time off to chill with family after the 26th and I think it's wise to build in a little wiggle room.
This year's update will feature every single one of our bases (see the full run down on our yarns page). Lots of sweater quantities and lots of colourways! Solids, speckles, the works! There are so many colours that I want to keep for myself. It’s a good one!
Unfortunately I haven’t managed to put together a preview of all the bases/colourways this year. What I can say is that we’ve got lots of variety and we have focussed on making sure that we have a decent quantity of just about everything so though it may still be busy, the chances of nabbing something you love are pretty good. ;)
Also back by popular demand we've made up a whole bunch of Mystery Skein Sets! These are 3-colour skein sets of fingering weight yarns in gorgeous groupings. Each set will include a skein of Cosmic Blue Label, Purple Label and Red Label - one of each base and each base a different colour (each set features one knock-out speckle!). Each set will be a surprise, but each will be made up of colourways that I would personally use in a shawl together. 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.
I’m really looking forward to ending the year on a high note with this Etsy Update! I look forward to it every year. It’s a tonne of extra work right before the holidays, but then we get to wrap up our year feeling like we did as much as we could and it sets the tone for a busy and colourful new year.
Since I started having babies almost 6 years ago, every year has been different. Just when I think that I’ve got a grasp on what I’m doing things change. The babies obviously play a large role in that but it’s also just the nature of building and growing a business in an ever changing landscape. It’s never dull and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you so much to our amazing community of knitters who lets us do what we love! Especially on the year’s that I have babies I am overwhelmed by how understanding, supportive and caring a community we have here. It’s the best thing in the world.
From our family to yours, happy holidays!!! See you on the 26th!
xo Tanis & Chris
Pattern: Flax by tincanknits.
Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering in Reflection, Chris Grey, Lemongrass, Seabreeze, Tidal, Atlantic, Peacock & Cosmic Night..
Ravelry Project page here.
I’ve knit yet another tiny Flax! I think that this is my 12th Flax to date and it’s certainly not my last. Don’t you just love a pattern that you can knit over and over again? I rarely even deviate from the pattern, sometimes I omit the garter stitch panels, but usually I don’t because I really like it as is.
For this sweet little number I decided to hold 2 strands of fingering weight yarn together for a marled effect. I kept the MC consistent (I used our 2018 Gift Bundle colourway Reflection) and used odds and ends of grey/blue/green fingering weight yarns as the second strand for a pretty faded marl. I’m crazy about it! Some sections fade better than others and for a split second I thought that maybe I hadn’t nailed it and that I should have given more deliberate thought to how well things blended but looking at it now I love it just the way it is! I don’t mind that the bottom hem is a bit dark and that the stripe of Atlantic kinda sticks out. It’s perfectly imperfect and I know that it will look amazing on the blue eyed babe that it is intended for.
Looking at that swatch of the Reflection colourway all on it’s own makes me want to use it in another project. Expect to see lots more of it in the new year - it’s a new fave!
Guys, what a month it’s been! As we all know I have pneumonia. It’s a bummer but I’m being treated well and I’m actually feeling pretty close to normal again. It’s been a very eye opening experience, not only as a reminder of how important our health is but it has also made me re-evaluate how I’ve set up TFA and how sustainable it is the way we currently work. Don’t worry! I’m not planning anything crazy, but I am planning a few tweaks to make our systems run more smoothly and to also make it more manageable when unpredictable situations like this one occur. At this moment we’re actually on top of things! Which feels like a mini Christmas miracle. We’ve got lots and lots of gorgeous yarn for the Boxing Day Etsy Update, lots of good stuff in the pipelines.
Well, I thought that I just had a persistent cough and that I was going to wake up feeling better any day, but I didn’t. In fact, I woke up feeling worse. Yesterday I was diagnosed with pneumonia and I am officially being forced to take it easy. I’ve got so many orders to ship and so much work to do leading up to the holidays, so the timing is less than ideal, but my only hope of getting better quickly is to rest. So that’s what I’m going to do. I hear that pneumonia can be hard to shake if you don’t allow yourself adequate rest and downtime and shake this thing I must!
The thing about being a husband and wife business is that when the wife is out of commission the husband has to pick up all the slack both at work and on the home front and something’s gotta give, so not much of anything will be happening work wise for the rest of the week. I’m really hopeful that I make a speedy recovery and will be able to make up for the lost time in the next week or two.
The Canada Post strikes have come to an end, however the backlog of packages in the system are likely to continue to cause delays for some time, both domestically and internationally. If you’re waiting on a parcel from me please sit tight! The postal service is overwhelmed so please expect delays. Canada Post has reassured us that though there is a backlog, our parcels are safe and will be delivered.
That’s my update, I hope to be back soon with better news!
Ugh, so I’ve been sick for weeks! I have very little to show for this week, but I am optimistic that I’m on the mend! Any day now I’m going to wake up feeling normal again.
In other news that requires a giant UGH… Canada Post! This is the 3rd or 4th time that we’ve had to deal with a postal strike since I started TFA and I am so tired of it. It’s brutal for small business’ but more than that it just feels cruel this time of year when so many families are relying on the ability to feel close and connected by sending something special through the mail.
As far as TFA is concerned it is business as usual and we just hope and pray that delays aren’t too significant. International packages shouldn’t be affected and so far I haven’t experienced anything too dramatic domestically. There really is no other option, couriers and other other shipping services like Fedex and UPS are prohibitively expensive for the small packages that I mail.
I’m trying to stay positive! It’s snowy and freezing (actually, very much below freezing) and it’s the perfect type of weekend to stay in, knit and start making some serious holiday plans with my family. Stay warm!
Good morning! This weekend’s Update is live y’all! You can read all the details in Monday’s blog post. In a nutshell, the Gift Bundles have been added to the shop and are selling faster than I expected. I’m so glad you like them! I suspect that will sell out quicker than they have in past years so if you’re considering getting one you might not want to wait too long. Once they are gone, they are gone! While some of the items are available separately, like the calendars and stitch markers, the colourway and the boxy bags are exclusive to the bundles.
Our ALL THE BASES dyed-to-order update is also well underway. If you’ve been contemplating a sweater in one of our super luxe cashmere/silk blends now is your chance to order! These bases will be discontinued in the new year.
Big week here at TFA Headquarters! Here’s what you need to know: On Friday, November 16th the 2018 Gift Bundles will be available! I have already made the listings and you can check out all the details here. They say ‘sold out’ but that’s only because I don’t have the option of listing them as ‘not yet available’. On Friday at about 8am ET they will be available.
Next on the list of exciting things that are happening this week is a BIG Dyed-To-Order Update that will conveniently also be happing on Friday, November 16th. I have purposefully scheduled the update for the same day as the Gift Bundles drop so you can combine shipping and I’m purposefully telling you all about it a few days in advance so you can do all your planning!
After literally years of consideration I have decided to retire all of our non-PureWash bases after our annual Boxing Day Etsy Update. We are so passionate about our PureWash line of yarns, it’s where our hearts are and it’s what we want to focus on. We’re going in whole hog! It was an incredibly difficult decision, purely for selfish reasons since I love so many of our first generation bases and I’ll miss them! Retiring them completely feels a little sad, but I keep reminding myself that this free’s up space for me to continue developing more PureWash yarns! The truth is our current model of only having some yarns available full time and the rest available in the occasional update has made things overly complicated. I received an email just this morning from a customer inquiring about how to purchase Orange Label and even I was confused by my response.
All that to say that Friday morning I will list all of our colourways in all of our bases for the very last time. You can order whatever you want and we will dye it up for you. The bases will remain available for about 48 hours or while quantities last! After this update we will take stock of what we have left in inventory and dye it all up for our Boxing Day Etsy Update. After that, they’re gone!
The Gift Bundles are ready-to-ship, the rest will be dyed-to-order, if you order a Gift Bundle alongside a batch of Orange Label I’ll hold off and ship them all together. Everything will be ready to ship early December to arrive in time for the holidays.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the Gift Bundles shall we? I LOVE this year’s bundle! I am constantly surprised and delighted by how well the Gift Bundles come together. It’s as though they were actually planned to be perfectly coordinated! Of course that’s always my hope but things go off on tangents and develop a life of their own but then somehow like magic when all these separate elements come back together they make perfect sense as a whole.
The 2018 Gift Bundle includes:
• 2019 TFA calendar.
• A beautiful note card designed by illustrator Katrinn Pelletier of Katrinn Pelletier Illustration. You will receive 1 of the 6 notecards pictured, if you have a preference for 1 design please leave a note in the comments and I’ll do my best to accommodate requests while supplies last.
• A set of 21 Gold Geometric Stitch Markers.
• 1 skein of the custom Gift Bundle colourway Reflection on PureWash Fingering Weight yarn (if you need more than 1 skein in your life you can select more from the drop down menu!)
• TFA Boxy Bag - Hand made BY MY MOM!!! Bag is 9.5" long x 4" wide x 4" tall. Perfect for socks, accessories or even smaller sweater projects. Features a light grey exterior (show off your enamel pin collection!) with a pop of colour and metallic accents on the inside. It has a bright TFA turquoise zipper and our signature TFA star zipper pull! I have bags lined in seafoam green and bags lined in magenta. If you have a preference for 1 over the other please leave a note with your order and I will do my best to accommodate while supplies last. TFA Star zipper pull is removable and can be used as a key chain or you can clip it to your purse, or your belt or anywhere else you may want to clip a star. Get creative! ;)
I love everything in this year’s bundle, but I obviously have a soft spot for those projects bags made by my mom Noreen with help from her friend Andrea. They are awesome! (‘They’ refers both to the bags and the dynamic duo who made them!) I love the understated but impactful use of colourful accents we chose. It feels quintessentially TFA to me. Mom has mastered the art of production boxy bag making, and I’m hoping to continue to put her skills to good use going forward. 3 cheers for my mom!
The Gift Bundle exclusive Reflections colourway is a dream. It reminds me of Lotus, one of my favourite permanent collection colorulways, but it stands on it’s own as a dynamic speckle. With bits of gold, amber, turquoise and jade green over a veil aqua and grey, it’s my dream colourway. I will be casting on for a tiny Flax in this colourway pronto.
It’s an exciting week indeed! I love this time of year. See you Friday!