Trinity & Smoke - New in the Shop! + who is on the chopping block...

 Trinity & Smoke

Trinity & Smoke

Hello friends! I've added two new colourways to our permanent collection today. Voila Trinity and Smoke! You've seen these before, I've knit sweaters featuring both and can definitely see myself needing these in my life going forward. So here they are! Also added to the shop today is a new batch of Lavender Fades and our White Light Skein Set in DK Weight. What took me so long to get that up?! It would be the perfect jumping off point for our Summer Blanket KAL which starts tomorrow, just saying'.  

I've also added a whole bunch of colourways to the limited edition section of our colours page (scroll to the bottom) including a batch of Worsted Weight Bisou that I am seriously coveting. 

 Bisou xo

Bisou xo

I've been doing a lot of reflection on my business and my colours and everything else that we do here lately. I'm reconsidering how we package our yarn to mail, how we present ourselves online, pattern support, what types of colours I like best... My thoughts are all over the place! I've been running TFA for 10 years now and it's good to take it off auto-pilot every once in a while and see where we're actually headed. We're happy, we're all good, I'm proud of our business and don't plan on making any dramatic changes but I do plan on discontinuing a few colourways in the next week or two. It's not that I don't like these, it's just that I think that we could do them better, or maybe Chris just hates dyeing them, or maybe I just haven't reached for them in ages, or maybe they are pretty darn close to something else that we make, or maybe they are standing in the way of making room for something better. Whatever the reasons, the following colours are on the chopping block: Royal Flush, Lightning, Olive, Sprout, Papaya, Truffle and Plum Pudding. If any of these strike your fancy, now's the time to get them!

discontinued colours

That's all the updates for today folks. Happy Wednesday!

8 Years Of Family Photos!

Yay! Chris and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary last week and then this morning, as is tradition, we wrangled the whole crew for a family photo. Care to take a walk down memory lane with me?

These are so fun for me to see all lined up together like this! This year's is a favourite because we are all still in our pj's (except for Chris because he doesn't have cute pj's) with bed head and absolutely no effort was made to look presentable whatsoever. When I set out to take an annual family photo this is the sort of thing I had in mind. It's staged in the sense that we have clearly all piled onto Micah's bed and posed for the camera, but it's natural and real and truly us on a Sunday morning. And Chris is snuggling with a stuffed bear... which is always fun to see. 

A Geranium Top For Willow

Geranium Top

I sewed a top for Willow! And I love it! It's the Geranium Dress pattern by Made By Rae and it's the cutest thing ever! Start to finish it took one afternoon. Sewing is so incredibly quick compared to knitting! It is so lovely to get that instant gratification sometimes. 

I picked up these cotton fabrics at a quilt show recently with the intention of turning this combo into this exact top and I am pleased to say that it all worked out exactly according to plan! Don't you love it when that happens? 

Geranium Dress

Above is Willow decked out in head to toe custom Jenna Rose. Jenna is one of my best friends and when Willow was born she gifted us these gorgeous items that she made using her own screen printed fabrics. She used the Geranium Dress pattern with the gathered skirt and sleeveless top. For the sake of variety I made my top with the pleated skirt and cap sleeve options. I love them both equally! 

As I was making it I kept thinking that I had done something wrong because it was so tiny! I would check and double check and confirm that I was on the right track, though it really felt like I was making dolls clothes.  

The truth is I am not the best sewer (sewist?) My projects rely quite heavily on aggressive ironing. But I'm getting better! I made button holes and everything for this top and I am incredibly proud! I love the style, with skinny jeans? SO CUTE! and I can see myself making many more of these as the years go by, with a coordinating cardigan for the winter months of course. ;). 

Camaro Inspo

While scrolling through Instagram the other day I stumbled upon this photo of the beautiful Hannah rocking her newly finished Camaro sweater (knit in our Hummingbird Palette!) and I was struck! I love it. I love everything about it from the colours to the jacket and the glasses and the bag. I love seeing knitwear styled as actual outfits. Hannah nailed it. One thing lead to another and I spent the afternoon perusing all the gorgeous Camaro projects on Ravelry and since they are all so good I decided it would be fun to share a few with you here. Are you ready for some serious Camaro inspo?

The gorgeous colour palette Thao chose for her Camaro really does it for me. The shifts in colour are smooth and subtle, it's sheer perfection.  

I love how Jane and Stacey both knit gorgeous purple sweaters that couldn't be more different from each other. Jane's is longer with 3/4 length sleeves, Stacey's features full length sleeves. Stacey's has an even width gradient stripe while Jane's embraces a random yoke scheme. One of my favourite things about the pattern is how customizable it is. Stacey knit her sweater as part of a Rhinebeck Camaro KAL last fall. you've got to check out Stacey's project page for group shots of everyone at Rhinebeck in their Camaro's! It's amazing. 

Gosh I wish I lived in an area with more colourful building's! These stripes (the ones on the building and the ones on the sweater) are awesome! Such a great shot.

Here is another pair of Camaro's with similar colour palettes but very different finished sweaters. Long sleeves vs. short sleeves. Cropped vs. full length. Though they both feature even width stripes the placement of the colours makes the sweaters take on a personality all their own. I love the added stripes on the sleeves of sostorm's version

I love the pops of pink and that seafoam colourway in Megan's Camaro. A beautiful interpretation.

Would you just look at how sassy and happy these two are in their Camaro's? Gorgeous.

So you see? You can really make it your own. Positive ease, negative sense, long or short, maximum stripes or subtle shifts. The sky is the limit!  

Deschain - Probably An FO Post

Deschain

Pattern: Deschain by Leila Raabe

Yarn: we are knitters The Pima Cotton in Light Salmon.

Mods: Added 1 repeat of the front lace panel and the corresponding number of rows to the back. 

Ravelry Project page here.

You know what? This top is lovely. It looks a lot like the sample in the pattern photos, which is what I was aiming for so two thumbs up for that. The colour looks exactly like it does on the website where I bought the yarn. The finished knit is exactly what it's supposed to be, just what I set out to knit... so then why do I feel so ambivalent towards it? My FO posts are typically just a smattering of exclamation points, full of excitement over how much I love my newest knit. This time... I'm just kinda feeling like "yup, there it is, not sure how much I'll wear it." Maybe it's just that new mom brain where it's impossible to make a decision so I'm just not capable of deciding wether or not I like it. Or maybe it's the long, harrowing journey this yarn and I went on together before this sweater materialized... maybe I'm just not over it yet and can't fully accept and love this sweater until a little time has been placed between me and this nearly 9 month long project.

So, I bought the yarn as part of the Silver Monk Sweater Kit from We Are Knitters. I was drawn in by the appeal of "the kit", everything I needed to make this sweater came in one very hip brown paper bag. I really liked the idea of a slouchy, casual, cotton pullover with a sexy back detail. I was stoked for my Silver Monk Sweater and quite proud of myself for choosing such an out of my comfort zone colour. I cast on in September and knit away at it over the fall. It involved what felt like miles of garter stitch. As I neared the end I knew in my heart that it wasn't working out. This was a giant light salmon coloured blob of garter stitch. I didn't particularly love how the pattern was written but I could get past that if the finished knit was worth it. I used the wooden needles that came in the kit to knit the sweater and didn't enjoy them either, but that is in no way the kit's fault, I could have switched to my preferred needle at any point, but I was committed to seeing the whole kit experience through to the end. So I finished the sweater and then made the mistake of trying it on sometime in January when I was about 8 months pregnant. My reasoning for doing so was that the sweater was supposed to have quite a bit of positive ease, so even pregnant I should be able to get it on and get an idea of how the back would fall and then if all had gone according to plan I could start to look forward to wearing the sweater after the baby was born... but it was awful. It was so obviously bad. It hung down to my knees, the back opening was massive, there was no way this sweater was going to work, pregnant or not. Normally at 8 months pregnant I can have a sense of humour about how comically huge my belly is and how hilarious some clothes look stretched over me, but this was not one of those times. 

Ok, so I put it in a time out and decided that I'd revisit it when the mood struck. The baby was born (yay!) the weather finally started to warm up and the idea of having a lovely hand knit cotton layer to wear started to sound appealing again. So I armed myself with a sweaters worth of frogged yarn, a new pattern, my favourite needles, and went for it. The knitting was pure joy this time around. I am in no way an expert when it comes to cotton yarn, but this yarn is soft, comfortable and lovely to work with. It stood up to frogging really well too. 

As I was knitting Deschain I had no idea wether or not it would turn out. I think that I'm just not familiar enough with cotton yarns to be able to predict how they are going to behave. Everything seemed fine as I was knitting, but I decided not to get too excited about it until it was blocked and dry and I was able to try it on. Blocking it looked hilarious! This giant wide rectangle with two tiny little t-rex arms popping out either side. But on the body it drapes rather beautifully! I was, and still am, pleasantly surprised. But the elephant in the room is still the colour. Looking at it in these photos I don't hate it. In fact, I think that I even like it - especially because I don't own anything else in this colourway. I'm just having a hard time not feeling like I'm wearing a skin suit. I mean, this colour is pretty darn close to my own complexion. From a distance I can imagine people asking themselves wether or not I'm going topless. This fear lingered the entire time I was knitting it but I thought that when I put it on I'd know one way or the other wether I liked it or not, but I'm still torn!

The reason this post is titled "Probably An FO Post" is because I think that I'm coming around to it. I think that I'm going to leave it as is and see wether or not I reach for it throughout the summer. If I don't... in the dye bath it goes! If I dye it I will either go burgundy or denim - maybe the denim would layer over the salmon in a pretty way that would result in some purple bits? That sounds like fun right? 

Deschain

When I posted the photo below on Instagram over the weekend I got about 100 comments from people telling me to leave it just as is! That the colour was lovely, so that's what I'm going to do for now. Maybe that's why I'm a bit ambivalent about it... because in my mind I'm not sure that it's completely an FO yet and therefor don't have that fresh FO excitement! 

I like these pictures though, it looks easy-breezy. Ok, it's growing on me. Maybe I can rock a boho peach top after all. ;)

Deschain

5 Things - Life Lately

 This photo makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it. Chris' luscious locks, his sweater, the golden hour lighting and of course that precious baby face. Chris is such a great dad. This ones a framer. 

This photo makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it. Chris' luscious locks, his sweater, the golden hour lighting and of course that precious baby face. Chris is such a great dad. This ones a framer. 

 Greens from our own garden! I am NOT a green thumb, but I'm working on it because a salad made from the lettuce we grow is incredibly rewarding. 

Greens from our own garden! I am NOT a green thumb, but I'm working on it because a salad made from the lettuce we grow is incredibly rewarding. 

 Is there anything cuter than a bouquet of dead dandelions lovely picked by a 3 year old?

Is there anything cuter than a bouquet of dead dandelions lovely picked by a 3 year old?

 I repeat, NOT much of a gardener, but boy do I try these first few weeks of summer!

I repeat, NOT much of a gardener, but boy do I try these first few weeks of summer!

 Possibly most importantly of all - I'm ready for a change in my hair colour and need your help. Darker or lighter? I was told by my stylist that I can't pull off dark brown... wait, I thought my hair was dark brown! I guess it's medium brown? I've just never thought of myself as a blonde... Highlights feels like a cop-out. I'm game for something dramatic!

Possibly most importantly of all - I'm ready for a change in my hair colour and need your help. Darker or lighter? I was told by my stylist that I can't pull off dark brown... wait, I thought my hair was dark brown! I guess it's medium brown? I've just never thought of myself as a blonde... Highlights feels like a cop-out. I'm game for something dramatic!

She Makes It So Easy...

While we're on the subject of stash enhancement I thought I'd share part 2 of my haul from this week. In Monday's post I shared a few accidental fabric and yarn purchases (I swear I had no intention of buying craft supplies at the quilt show, but I am weak) and then later that day a glorious package arrived in the mail from my friends at Gauge Dyeworks. Catherine recently had an update featuring a bunch of limited edition colourways and I managed to snag a few skeins, including 2 skeins of the coveted and brilliant Sweater yarn! My skeins are so beautiful and they begged to be photographed. Even though it was a wet and dreary day I dug through my stash and collected all the Gauge Dyeworks skeins I have and lined them up for a little photo play. 

Over the past few years I've gotten quite good at managing my yarn purchases. As a lover of yarn I like collecting special skeins even though you could make a strong argument about the fact that TFA produces more than enough yarn for me to knit with and I really have no business going out and buying yarn. I theoretically never need to buy a skein of yarn again, but where's the fun in that? When I shop for yarn I buy things that are very different from what we do here - self striping yarns, tweedy/rustic yarns, cotton or linen yarn. It's nice to dapple in something new every once in a while to keep things fresh. I don't have any immediate plans for my new skeins, but for now I'm enjoying simply admiring them and scheming. 

One of the skeins is destined to become a Santa Clara sweater. I may experiment with striping one the of Sweater yarns with a solid to get a bigger sweater out of a single skein - maybe - and who knows what I'll knit with the rest of them... One things for sure, you can never have too many striped knits!

Some Stash Enhancement

stash!

On Saturday I went with my mom to the exhibition of quilts and textile arts put on by Courtepointe Quebec. My mother happened to have 2 quilts exhibited in the show and 1 of them won an award! We spent a lovely morning wandering up and down the isles of quilts admiring colours and patterns, and I managed to fit it a wee bit shopping as well. 

Above are the 2 gorgeous quilts that my mom had featured, including her award winning quilt! See that lovely ribbon!? It will be hanging on the wall in her craft room for years to come. Go mom! Pictured with her is Colleen, who did the long arm quilting on both of mom's quilts. I'm proud of you mom! 

My kind of colours.

Above is a selection of Kona cotton solids that I picked up. I've been getting a lot of requests all of a sudden the bring back our Signature Palette and I am happy to oblige. I am clearly so drawn to this particular colour scheme and since I'm planning on switching up the Palettes we offer soon I think it just makes sense. I may tweak the original palette slightly if a new combo jumps out at me while I'm pulling skeins, but something along these lines will be coming to the shop soon!

future dresses/tops for Willow

Next up I picked up a few cute prints from Tamara Kate, a local fabric designer who had her own booth at the show. Her work is gorgeous and right up my alley! Bright and cheerful and just gorgeous. My hope is that I can use these fabrics in some sort of top for Willow. I'll keep you posted. 

for a dreamy sweater

And of course I found the one booth selling a wee bit of yarn and picked up a sweaters worth of this sparkly mohair yarn at 40% off! It was $6 a ball so I bought them all. I plan on holding it together with a single strand of fingering weight yarn, probably in Charcoal, and knitting a dreamy sweater. A fall project I think. 

Dyed-To-Order Update Now Live!

DTO Update

Alright folks! Here they are. The 5 most popular/requested colourways from today's Etsy Update. Much to my delight they are predominantly blue with a hint of grey and a fun neutral speckle. You guys have good taste!They will be available to order in a variety of bases, at your leisure for the next 24 hours or so. Scroll to the bottom of the colourways page to shop. Have a great weekend!

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this week's giveaway and for all of the really terrific name ideas! I'll be referencing that blog post for all of my colourway naming needs for years to come. Without further ado, the random number generator has chosen a winner and that winner is..... Kara! Kara's suggestion: 

Wondrous Land - a painting by Canadian artist Ted Harrison. This echoes his palette with the sky, sea, and land. Love it!

Great name! Kara, check your inbox for an email from me so you can claim your prize. :)

 Twisted Red Label selections for today's Etsy Update

Twisted Red Label selections for today's Etsy Update

All we all pumped for today's Updates? I am. We've got lots of good stuff for you and I am particularly excited to see what colours are favourites for the Dyed-To-Order Update that follows. 

TGIF am I right?! I've had a great week, this is my 4th blog post of the week and that feels good. Chris and I snuck away for the morning yesterday and left Willow with my parents for the first time with great success (the boys were at daycare). Our anniversary is coming up and I surprised him with an early gift, we went to Bota Bota and it was the best thing ever! Look it up, check it out, it's amazing. We did the water circuit and I have never been more relaxed in all my life. We left feeling refreshed and pampered. What a treat. 

Have a great weekend!

Etsy Update + Dyed-To-Order Tomorrow!

Etsy Update!

There will be an Etsy Update on Friday, June 1st at 12pm ET. 

LINK TO ETSY SHOP
TIME ZONE CONVERTER

This is the first Etsy Update since having baby Willow and I have to say that it feels good to be back in the saddle again! I get real pumped up for these updates. The new colours get me so excited. Photographing, naming, labeling, organizing all the yarns is my idea of a good time! 

This update has a little bit of everything. We've got sweater quantities of loads of colours in Worsted Weight and DK Weight. We've got lots of fingering weight options: PureWash Fingering, Twisted Red Label and Cosmic Blue Label. We've also snuck in some Lace Weight and the star of the show... Silver Label Mulberry Silk!

TFA Silk!

I'm thinking silky summer tops and shawls... this stuff really is drool worthy. 

There will also be lots of one of a kind TFA Palettes to stock your stash in preparation for our TFA Summer Blanket KAL. So much good stuff!

 Chestnut, Aurora, Nightwatch, Lucky Penny, Spearmint, Saffron, Caramel, Blaze.

Chestnut, Aurora, Nightwatch, Lucky Penny, Spearmint, Saffron, Caramel, Blaze.

Because I expect this to be a bit of a chaotic update we're actually planning for it to be a 2 part thing. We will do the Etsy Update at noon ET in the Etsy shop and immediately following that - probably around 1pm ET - there will be a dyed-to-order update right here on this website. I will add the 5-6 most popular colourways from the Etsy update to the Limited Edition section of our Colours page here (scroll down all the way to the bottom) and they will be available to order at your leisure in a variety of bases for about 24 hours. 

I hope this does't sound too complicated! Hectic Etsy Updates aren't everyones cup of tea - though I know for a fact that some people absolutely love them! And we love dyeing for them because we get to experiment and include one of a kind batches of non-repeatable, really special colourways. If you don't like the fast pace of the Etsy Updates then sit it out and see what colourways were the big hits of the day by shopping the Dye-To-Order portion of the update on Friday afternoon. Hopefully it's a win-win for everyone! 

And YES, I will absolutely combine orders and issue refunds for overages in S&H charged if you place multiple orders on Etsy or the regular shop (for dyed-to-order or permanent collection colourways). I ALWAYS double check when I'm shipping. 

 Angelfish - a new favourite!

Angelfish - a new favourite!

So that's all folks! Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway here and I'll see you tomorrow at the update. Woohoo!

A Giveaway!

TFA Palette

Crystal, Graphite, Ravine, Peacock, Seabreeze, Orchid, Pink Grapefruit, Highlighter.

Are you guys ready to have some fun? Things have been quiet here at TFA for the past few months, but I can feel that starting to change as I get excited about our upcoming Etsy Update (Friday at noon ET! sign up for the newsletter to make sure you get the announcement!) and as I start planning my knitting for our upcoming TFA Blanket KAL. Friday's update will feature lots of OOAK Palettes, perfect for the Blanket KAL, and 1 lucky commenter will get their hands on THIS palette before anyone else! I'm gearing up to switch out the Palettes we keep in stock and I think that this beauty is a contender for the new batch. 

Here's how you enter to win this one: Leave a comment on this blog post between now and Friday, June 1st at 8AM ET telling me what you would name this palette. It's that easy!

Good luck!