Mood Board Monday - Chocolate & Navy

madeleine, milkshake, hair, leather sofa, TFA Green Label in Midnight Oil, chocolate, model, doorknob, macarons.

madeleinemilkshake, hair, leather sofa, TFA Green Label in Midnight Oil, chocolatemodeldoorknobmacarons.

I can't get enough of this chocolate and navy colour palette. It reminds me of our dark, rich Midnight Oil colourway that we've featured in a few Etsy Updates. Dark blue isn't a colour that I immediately associate with food, but damn if it doesn't look right at home with all that chocolate! And the navy hair!? I feel like it'd somehow super wearable, I always want to do something dramatic with my hair colour, maybe this is it!

Pretty Corners - Vol. 7 + Our New Podcast!

Before I launch into today's pretty yarnspiration images I have big news to share... We've published our first video!!! It's crazy and weird and scary, but Chris and I are YouTubers now. I'm excited to see where this goes. We have no idea what we're doing, but hopefully we'll get the hang of it and a direction for the channel will just kind of emerge. Watch our intro and let me know what you think!

I finished knitting my Find Your Fade! Now to find a spot to block this beast... The leftovers make for some pretty lovely mantel decorations. 

Etsy Update featuring A Rainbow Full Of Speckles!

Top to bottom, left: Poolside, Atlas, Grassroots, Mimosa Top to bottom, right: Paisley, Juliette, Smitten, Luna

Top to bottom, left: Poolside, Atlas, Grassroots, Mimosa

Top to bottom, right: Paisley, Juliette, Smitten, Luna

There will be an Etsy Update on Today, March 23rd at 7pm EST. 

We have been busy in the studio experimenting with loads of new speckled colourways in every single colour of the rainbow! You're a pink person? We've got it. You were hoping for something yellow? You've come to the right place. You can't resist a good blue? Baby, you know we've got your covered!

Tonight's update will feature loads of sweater quantities of speckles in Green Label Aran Weight, Yellow Label DK Weight and Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single. And because we can't resist a perfect rainbow palette we've also made up some of our DK weight Palettes in this perfect rainbow colour scheme. 

See you tonight!

Take It All - My New Favourite Shawl


Pattern: Take It All by Lisa Hannes.

Yarn: TFA PureWash Fingering in *Crystal, Graphite, Highlighter, Seabreeze, Peacock, Ravine, Pink Grapefruit and Orchid. *Crystal is currently an exclusive Club colourway - Chris Grey would be a great substitute.

Ravelry Project page here.

I knit this shawl in exactly 1 week in February. Towards the end I kept thinking "man these short rows are taking a really long time!" thinking that it was something specific about the short rows that was making it feel more time consuming, but then I cast off and held the thing up and realized that the reason each row was taking so long is because it's huge! It's huge and colourful and glorious and I absolutely love it! Like, couldn't possibly love it more, wouldn't change a thing and would absolutely knit it again, LOVE IT!  

This pattern was released as a Mystery Knit Along and I wish that I had participated in it because MKAL's are super fun and I don't do nearly enough of them. The pattern is very well written and would be perfect for a beginner because it's written in bite sized pieces (each section being a different clue for the MKAL) and you'd get to practise lots of different stitches and techniques. It's flawless. 

Did you guys know that in a past life I seriously considered going to school to become a makeup artist? Then I chatted with someone who had done just that and she informed me that her career involved a lot of powdering politicians before television interviews and not a lot of super fun editorial makeup on models and that didn't seem quite as fun, so I moved on. But I still love makeup. When I turned 30 a few years ago I suddenly became more comfortable embracing a bold lip and one thing led to another and suddenly I'm the type of person who wears a purple-to-fucsia ombré lip on a Wednesday. And I couldn't be happier about that. Chris said it makes me look "a little bit dead" but I told him that if he can't appreciate the value of a perfectly executed purple-to-fucsia ombré lip look then he's not the man I thought he was. I mean, does he know me at all?  

This is a very photo heavy post because A) We love photos of pretty shawls right? B) I spent a lot of time on my lipstick. C) I froze my butt off (well, really just my back) for these FO shots and D) I'm very pleased with how these photos came out! The colours really pop against the several feet of beautiful fresh snow we got last week! 

A bit about the yarn and the colours: This is the first shawl I've knit completely in our PureWash Fingering base and I could not be happier with the results! I've knit quite a few shawls in merino/nylon fingering weight yarns (sock yarn bases really) and the PureWash Fingering being 100% merino feels completely different. It's light and airy and drapey and blocks out beautifully  and is just stunning for shawls. I see many more in my future!

It wasn't until I was well into the knitting of this shawl that I realized I had put together a beautiful 8 colourway palette and the pattern calls for 1 MC and 8 CC's, so I was technically 1 CC short. But since this is the type of design that begs you not to get too hung up on those types of details I decided that I'd just repeat one of my colourways. I ended up using the light grey (Crystal) colourway 3 times because I just loved knitting with it so much! I played around with the colours in a few other places - I used Seabreeze for the last eyelet row instead of my CC 8 (Pink Grapefruit) and cast off using Ravine instead of my MC. I also substituted Ravine for the MC in the centre garter stitch stripe section just 'cause I liked the way it looked and I felt like it. I don't consider those to be real mods, this shawl is all about playing with colour and I did just that!

I am definitely FULLY on board the huge shawl train. Until recently I basically only knit single skein shawlettes but now I am living my best life and am basking in the glory that is being able to completely envelope yourself in your awesomely massive shawl! 

Believe it or not this shawl was designed specifically to use all those gorgeous mini skein sets that us hand dyers just love to make. One of our Mini Sock Yarn Skein Sets includes more than enough yardage to knit all the CC sections and since one set includes 12 colours, there's loads of colour-pairing possibilities, especially if you, like me, don't get too hung up on using exactly 9 colourways and are open to playing it fast and loose! I've pulled a skein of Graphite and a Mini Sock Yarn Skein set and put together a few colour pairing ideas for you.   

See all the different shawls that could be knit? So much fun right? Of course you don't have to pair it with Graphite, switch up the MC for a completely different effect. Fig for the bottom right combo, Charcoal for the top left? I love them all. 

Happy Tuesday friends! 

Mood Board Monday - Mimosa

tequila sunrise mimosa, sunflowers, paint, watercolour, Green Label in Mimosa (available in this week's Etsy update)  holographic hat mushrooms, woman, sofa.

tequila sunrise mimosa, sunflowers, paintwatercolour, Green Label in Mimosa (available in this week's Etsy update)  holographic hat mushrooms, womansofa.

We're working towards our next big Etsy update and I'm excited to say that it's going to be a good one! I'll be announcing the date and time later on this week when I've got everything ready. We're doing lots of experimental speckled colourways, including Mimosa, the most cheerful yellow in the world! You all know that I'm not typically a yellow person, but for Mimosa I think I'd make an exception. It's that good. ;)

Pretty Corners - Vol. 6

Pretty snippets from around the house and office today. Speckled skeins on the drying racks, rainbow skeins in line for re-winding into mini's and my current kitchen counter situation... is life even worth living without gummy bears? 

Milkyway French Cancan

Pattern: French Cancan by Mademoiselle C. 

Yarn: TFA PureWash DK in Milkyway - our 2016 Gift Bundle colourway!

Ravelry Project pages here.

I started this shawl with much enthusiasm back in early November and then completely stalled on it. I was going to write that I have no idea what drew me away from working on it but looking at the calendar there's a very obvious answer... the holidays! I got distracted by more "important" knits with looming deadlines and despite my very real love for this yarn, colourway and pattern I didn't pick it up again until February. Full disclosure… I kinda stalled about 1/5 of the way through the border and my sweet mother volunteered to finish it for me. I LOVE this pattern and colourway but had too much going on at the time and it deserved to be finished! Mom’s a saint. I’m so happy with the finished results. It’s pastel perfection!

Would you just look at that gorgeous french braid border! There is very little I enjoy more than a good braid. It's just so lovely. I'm very happy with how the Milkyway colourway knit up and I think that I'll be featuring it in an Etsy Update soon. I can think of a lot of things that I'd like to knit in this colourway, particularly heading in to spring! So pretty. 

I'm starting a podcast and I need your help!

Guys! I am so nervous about this! For months (years?) I've wanted to do a podcast but I've been too wimpy to just dive in and do it. I'm talking chatty, informative video's that I upload here and to youtube. Is that even called a podcast? Or is a podcast purely audio? 

To get the ball rolling I thought I'd start off with a fun Q&A video featuring myself and Chris. To do a Q&A I'll need some Q's to A... so ask away! What would you like to know about TFA? About me or Chris? About knitting? Dyeing? Running a small indie business? Working from home with kids? 

Are you guys excited? Leave a comment below with a question, get creative, they don't have to be serious business, fun/funny questions are welcome!

Pretty Corners

An order of yarn waiting to be shipped stacked on top of a shawl waiting to be blocked. WIP stacked on top of my mantel and safe from tiny hands. Lots of stacking going on around here these days, luckily I happen to find it all very pretty. ;)

Super Fun Crazy Socks For Chris And Me!

Pattern: My toe up sock recipe with an afterthought heel. 

Yarn: His - Quaere Fibre Self Striping Super Sock in 'Let's Dress Crazy' 

Hers - Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in 'Shalom'.

Ravelry Project pages here and here

I'm not certain where I first saw this sock yarn, somewhere on Instagram for sure, but I do know that the second I saw it I was in love! Just look at those colours. Look at how many stripes there are!!! 20 stripes in each colourway. I immediately picked the bluer skein for myself but after knitting them both I think that I might actually prefer the more red 'Let's Dress Crazy' colourway. It's perfection! 

I ordered this yarn as little treat for myself in December. I cast on for my own pair on Christmas day and then cast on for Chris' on January 4th, his birthday! These socks were a pleasure to knit and I've been stalking the Quaere Etsy shop ever since I finished these because I definitely need more awesome striped socks like this.

Taking these photos was quite comical because though it looks like we're just lounging in front of the fire it actually took quite a bit of acrobatics on my part to get this to look at all natural. Chris' legs are literally twice as long as mine, when we lounge my feet are usually somewhere around his knees, not toe to toe. I wish there had been a third person to take a photo of us taking photos of our feet! One of the details that these cute photos doesn't capture is the fact that each pair of socks is exactly identical. Because I have small feet, there is always ample yardage in a skein of sock yarn to play with. I'm never worried about running out of yarn or having to fudge something in order to match up the stripes. But for a larger pair like Chris' the planning is a bit more important because his pair took up the entire skein of yarn. I have a trick and it's really easy. 

Totally identical socks in progress!

Totally identical socks in progress!

A toe-up sock with an afterthought heel is the best way to maximize yardage in my opinion. The heel will take exactly the same amount of yarn as the toe, so once you've knit your toe you can count the number of rows (or stripes) that it took and plan on having that much yarn left for your heel. I would probably budget an extra stripe just to be safe. Here it is all broken down for you:

Chris sock features 20 coloured stripes, the toe used 6 stripes, so I budgeted 7 stripes for the heel. I wanted 8 stripes for the ribbing. The 20 stripe sequence is repeated 8 times per skein, so I had 4 repeats per sock to work with. I knit the sock toe-up and after having knit 3 full repeats and then 5 more stripes (leaving 15 stripes left - 8 for the cuff and 7 for the heel) I started the ribbing and worked it for 8 stripes. Then I used the 7 remaining stripes for the heel. I had just a few yards to cut out before being right back at the beginning of my 20 stripe sequence and ready to cast on for the second identical sock. 

Full disclosure, what super funny about the fact that I'm making a big deal about these socks being completely identical is that I accidentally knit 2x2 ribbing on the first sock and 1x1 ribbing on the second! Chris didn't notice and I actually think it's kind of endearing so I have no plans on ripping and re-knitting either of the cuffs. 

Hashtag TFA Pretty Corners

I'm starting a new weekly blog series where I'll post a beautiful, inspirational, mostly-fiber-licious image or two (or three!) every Friday. The thing is, my house is a mess most of the time. The kids are young, we work from home, there is Cheerio dust and crayons everywhere... My WIP's end up stacked in weird places because nowhere is safe from Micah's climbing abilities! Despite the chaos there are beautiful moments to be found and appreciated if I just take a minute to look beyond the noise and focus on a pretty corner. 

I won't tidy up first, I won't reorganize or compose the perfect picture, I'll just narrow in on what my eye is drawn to and ignore the rest. 

I'm going to post my pretty corners to social media with the hashtag #TFAPrettyCorners and I invite you to do the same! I hope that it makes us all realize that our lives are full of beauty, even on days when things get a little messy. ;)