Coming Soon To The Pop Up Shop!

I’ll be updating the Pop Up Shop with a bunch of new inventory on Thursday night! The goal is to keep the Pop Up Shop regularly stocked with previously hard to find TFA bases and colours. Rather than updating it randomly I’m going to try and keep things organized by updating the inventory on Thursday nights. Not necessarily every Thursday night but if there is an update it will be done on a Thursday. The exact time will likely be between 7:30pm and 8:30pm ET since my kids should be in bed by then and I can sit down and get to work. This week I’m adding 2 new bases and lots of pretty colours!

Hummingbird Socks

Ok, so let me tell you a little story about how I realized how much I love our 8-Ply Twist Sock yarn base. A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to sit down and write out my go-to sock patterns - my Ol’ Reliable Top Down Socks and my Trusty Toe Up Socks. Since these are the sock recipes I’ve used for just about all of my basic socks for years I had a ton of already photographed sock FO’s to feature as the imagery in the patterns. The funny thing is that though I had loads of lovely toe up sock pictures I didn’t have nearly as many top down sock pictures to choose from. I wanted the pattern pictures to show off the heel architecture since socks are basically just tubes with heels, the heel is pretty key. So I grabbed my most basic pair of socks and set out to take new photos for the pattern. Such a boring story so far, but bear with me. Here’s where it gets exciting: The best looking pair of socks that I had on hand to photograph are the pair shown above knit in our 8-Ply Twist sock yarn base in the Hummingbird colourway and they are THREE (3) YEARS OLD!!! I have been regularly wearing and washing them for 3 whole years and they still look good enough to appear on the front page of a sock pattern. If that’s not a testament to how good of a sock yarn 8-Ply Twist is, then I don’t know what is.

Obviously once I realized that I made it a priority to dye up a bunch of 8-Ply Twist for the Pop Up Shop STAT! And here it is!

Crystal, Not-So-Epiphany, Stopping Traffic  Purple Punch, Magic Wand, Bouquet  Big Chill, Beach House, Driftwood  Waterlily, Mermaid, Abyss

Crystal, Not-So-Epiphany, Stopping Traffic

Purple Punch, Magic Wand, Bouquet

Big Chill, Beach House, Driftwood

Waterlily, Mermaid, Abyss

The selection of colours is pretty fun too. Chris has been working on cleaning up his recipe book and mentioned wanting to re-visit a bunch of old faves so he had carte blanche to dye whatever colours he wanted and I’m quite partial to his choices. I think I’m going to save a skein of Not-So-Epiphany or Big Chill for my next pair of Ol’ Reliable Socks. This base also happens to be one of my favourites for making speckles pop! And don’t let my sock love mislead you into thinking that this yarn is only good for socks - it would also be perfect for sweaters and accessories since it’s really plump, soft and squishy. yeah, I’m kinda crazy for this base, should I replace my Blue Label base with it in my Core Collection?

The next exciting thing we’ll be adding to the Pop Up Shop on Thursday is our very first foray into dyeing mohair! You may have noticed that mohair is having a real moment in the sun right now and I for one am here for it. I know there will be those who are not into it and others who have always been into it and may dislike the fact that it seems rather trendy right now (I hate being “trendy”!) but wherever you fall in the spectrum there is no denying that there is something pretty magical and, dare I say, whimsical about mohair. The halo it lends to a project makes everything look like it’s glowing from within! It’s pure deliciousness.

Chris Grey, Crystal  Chartreuse, Rocket, Moody Mona Lisa  Saffron, Pink Grapefruit, Soft Bloom  Roulette, Garnet, Tartan

Chris Grey, Crystal

Chartreuse, Rocket, Moody Mona Lisa

Saffron, Pink Grapefruit, Soft Bloom

Roulette, Garnet, Tartan

I’ll be back in tomorrow with another blog post about mohair featuring a few pattern suggestions. Fun times at the TFA headquarters gang! There is nothing like being surrounded by fluffy textures and pretty colours to put an added pep in your step!

Hello Old Friend - Adhara Shawl

Adhara Shawl

PatternAdhara Shawl - originally published in June of 2012

Yarn: Worsted Weight yarn.

Ravelry pattern page here and original blog post here.

The Adhara Shawl pattern was my first fancy lace design and one that I’m really proud of because of it’s complexity. It’s actually not particularly complicated or difficult to knit, but it was stretch for me design was and that’s always a big deal. It features 2 colourways of fingering weight yarn, the body is worked in stripes in an interesting openwork motif and it’s finished off with a light and airy leafy border.

This design was part of a small collection of four fingering weight neck accessories that Julie Crawford and I collaborated on - the Stella Collection - and that is my favourite thing about this pattern! I don’t collaborate with other designers - or see other knitters - nearly enough. Any time I do I feel a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm for my craft and it’s something that I’d like to do much more of in the future!

If I’m being perfectly honest, this is not my most worn or even my favourite shawl ever… BUT! I LOVE these photos of my sister modelling it! I had a limited window of time to get the photos, my sister was available and even though it was the middle of the day and so sunny (a hard time for photos!) we pulled it off. It was windy and her hair and the shawl were blowing in the breeze and love the effect. I even love the shadows created by the airy lace and bright sun. These photos make me wonder why I don’t wear this shawl more!

Five Things

I got a hand-me-down bike this year for my birthday and have been biking everywhere with my buddy! Bonus points for coordinating knits.

I got a hand-me-down bike this year for my birthday and have been biking everywhere with my buddy! Bonus points for coordinating knits.

WIP shot of my Trusty Toe Up sock for our  Simple Sock KAL  curtesy of Rowan!

WIP shot of my Trusty Toe Up sock for our Simple Sock KAL curtesy of Rowan!

Red Label ready to ship! Find it in the  Pop Up Shop !

Red Label ready to ship! Find it in the Pop Up Shop!

Giving my Deschain a spin for the first time since  taking these FO shots . I like it more this year than last, which is a lovely surprise.

Giving my Deschain a spin for the first time since taking these FO shots. I like it more this year than last, which is a lovely surprise.

Experiments with dyeing mohair. I like where this is going!

Experiments with dyeing mohair. I like where this is going!

New Free Sock Patterns!

Have you ever wanted to knit a simple sock but don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered. I’ve been knitting socks for ages and at this point I’ve figured out what I like and have a pretty straight forward sock “recipe” for both my top down and toe up sock knitting needs. I’ve compiled all of that info into 2 straight forward pdf’s that are available as free Ravelry downloads.

My Ol’ Reliable Top Down Sock Pattern, knit top down from the cuff with a heel gusset.

Ol' Reliable Top Down Sock Pattern

And my Trusty Toe Up Sock Pattern with options for either a short row heel or an afterthought heel.

I hope you find these patterns useful! I’m running a super simple sock KAL over in my Ravelry group for the month of May. I hope you’ll join us for some stress-free sock knitting! There will be prizes…

Hello Old Friend - French Braid Cardigan

French Braid Cardigan

PatternFrench Braid Cardigan - originally published in April of 2012

Yarn: Worsted Weight yarn.

Ravelry pattern page here and original blog post here.

My French Braid Cardigan pattern is very special to me for several reasons. The first is that I remember designing it so clearly. I am typically incredibly slow at publishing designs - from conception to execution to actually hitting publish could take years! But for this bad boy I broke with my usual ways and followed through on the idea from start to finish. It’s motivating proof that it is possible for me to stay on task! I’m also proud of this design because it’s the first garment that I designed with what I think of as a pretty clever construction. I do not consider myself to be a particularly clever or innovative designer. I am no engineer and solving construction and math problems is not my idea of fun. So the fact that I was able to make a new to me construction work is a big deal for me!

I also remember trying really hard to get creative when styling this sweater for photos. Maybe this design is important to me because it’s when I first starting thinking of myself as an actual designer. I started taking myself more seriously. We actually drove to a location to do the photos and I put together an outfit that was not just jeans and a sweater.

And lastly - my French Braid Cardigan has consistently been one of my most worn garments during all three of my pregnancies. I even wore it for a mini maternity photo shoot just days before Rowan was born, and that is priceless.

maternity

I look so young! So pregnant! And so cozy in my French Braid Cardigan.

xo

Pop Up Shop + DK Weight Half Skeins!

yarn bouquet

Here’s some fun news for a Saturday: I’ve launched the Pop Up Shop! Now when you click the SHOP tab in the header you’ll notice the Pop Up Shop has been added. My goal is for the Pop Up Shop to be regularly updated with ready to ship skeins of yarn. I’ve started with a selection of 3 bases and will be adding to it over time. It’s the type of thing that you can check in on from time to time to see what’s new. It also allows me more flexibility for custom orders because now I’ll have a dedicated place to sell any leftovers from dyeing custom batches of yarn (which seems unnecessary since my custom orders are only for full batches of yarn - but trust me there are always complications or mix-ups that result in leftover skeins that until now I didn’t have a place to make available). So that’s exciting! Go explore, let me know what you think and check back soon to see what new bases and colourways we’ve added.

ravine, graphite, orchid, pink grapefruit, saffron, chartreuse, seabreeze, sand.

ravine, graphite, orchid, pink grapefruit, saffron, chartreuse, seabreeze, sand.

Second bit of fun news: I’ve added Half Skeins of PureWash DK to our Core Collection! As you are probably aware, I love knitting with colour, ALL the colours ALL at the same time! This means that I often knit and design with small amounts of many different colours. I’ve always done my best to offer a selection of mini skein sets in order to make your colourful dreams come true without having to purchase full skeins - TFA Palettes, Mitten Kits and Mini Sock Yarn Skein Sets - and I have a selection of patterns and recommendations that are perfect for each of those things, but if you’re looking to design your own colourwork project, or to add a few colourful stripes to a knit but don’t need 8 colourways from a palette, or maybe you do need 8 colourways but you have a colour combo in mind that isn’t currently available, these half skeins are for you!

Happy Saturday and have fun playing with colour!

Five Things

I have been quiet lately and I’m really looking forward to the day when I can be more present here on the blog. I’m just, well, not quite there yet. The only reason I’m able to get this post up today is because my sweet busy baby is under the weather and had us up all night - the trade off being she’s sleeping in this morning allowing me a few extra moments to blog! I know that when the baby starts daycare in the fall my days will be dramatically different and for now I am allowing myself to enjoy my time with her. Life is good and busy and I’m taking each day as it comes!

One of my favourite outfits currently. Yellow rain boots are always a good idea. Sweater is a  little Flax .

One of my favourite outfits currently. Yellow rain boots are always a good idea. Sweater is a little Flax.

My  current WIP  looking lovely.

My current WIP looking lovely.

My  brother and his wife  have taken up pottery and I am in love with what they are making!

My brother and his wife have taken up pottery and I am in love with what they are making!

Two of my favourite dudes in two of my favourite hoodies!  Colourwork one here ,  striped one here .

Two of my favourite dudes in two of my favourite hoodies! Colourwork one here, striped one here.

Add your name to the  Test Knitters Thread  in my Ravelry group if you’re interested in testing this shawl! I’ll be looking for testers within the week!

Add your name to the Test Knitters Thread in my Ravelry group if you’re interested in testing this shawl! I’ll be looking for testers within the week!

Five Things

psst :: Just a reminder that all of my self published patterns are on sale for 35% off with coupon code BDAY35. Sale ends Sunday night!

Inside out Duo Chrome.

Inside out Duo Chrome.

Guess which coffee is mine and which is Chris’? One of us gets a handmade mug made by my brother and the other gets a coffee in a plastic toddler cup.

Guess which coffee is mine and which is Chris’? One of us gets a handmade mug made by my brother and the other gets a coffee in a plastic toddler cup.

Rowan and I made a SNAKE CAKE!

Rowan and I made a SNAKE CAKE!

My latest FO taking a bath.

My latest FO taking a bath.

Jeans Jeans Jeans!

Jeans Jeans Jeans!

Hello Old Friend - Honeytree Vest

honeytree vest

PatternHoneytree Vest - originally published in April of 2012

Yarn: Worsted Weight yarn.

Ravelry pattern page here and original blog post here.

My Honeytree Vest pattern is a simple, classic shape featuring straight forward construction and minimal finishing. That shawl collar makes it so cozy and the fact that there are no sleeves to knit makes it a quick knit as far as garments go! It’s a great jumping off point for lots of customization - add a pretty cabled or lace panel up the back perhaps? Use a mishmash of leftovers to knit a super striped vest? The sky is the limit! Whatever version of this shawl collared vest you choose to knit, you’ll find yourself reaching for it for an extra layer of cozy.

Five Things

Rowan turned 6 this week!

Rowan turned 6 this week!

This weekend’s speckled update is happening right now!

This weekend’s speckled update is happening right now!

Willow continuing to delight while getting into absolutely everything!

Willow continuing to delight while getting into absolutely everything!

I stumbled upon this image of an African Flower Hexagon I made deep within my Flickr archives and I love it! I may need to make more. Just because.

I stumbled upon this image of an African Flower Hexagon I made deep within my Flickr archives and I love it! I may need to make more. Just because.

The very early stages of a new shawl design I’m working on.

The very early stages of a new shawl design I’m working on.

Little Luminosity + Birthday Pattern Sale!

I’ll be turning 35 on April 13th so now seems like as good a time as any to start a 10 day birthday sale! Enter coupon code ‘BDAY35’ to receive 35% off this and all of my self published patterns on Ravelry!

Introducing Little Luminosity! Willow has been wearing her Little Luminosity sweater dress all winter and I’m thrilled to finally have the pattern ready to share today.

little luminosity

Now that I have a daughter I have a newfound love of the sweater dress! They are so easy to layer over onesies and leggings and always look incredibly chic. But the real beauty lies in it’s versatility, from dress to tunic to t-shirt this is a design that will grow with your babe. This style is the perfect canvas to show off a stunning yoke. I couldn’t help but sprinkle in a bit of fun colourwork around the hem as well. Of course this design works just as well as a sweater if your little one is less into dresses, so instructions for both options are included.

I will never tire of knitting fun colourful yokes. They just make me happy! For my original Luminosity Hat pattern I chose a super bright palette of colours with a hit of neon but for Willow’s dress I was feeling softer shades. In my humble opinion you literally can’t go wrong with a multicoloured yoke like this. Just look at the variety of colourways and combinations my fabulous testers used in their versions! They are all unique and all stunning. Have fun with colour! YOLO!

You can find all the details about this sweater on the Little Luminosity Ravelry pattern page here.

I’m currently working on writing up the pattern for the adult version of the Luminosity Sweater. Stay tuned!

Dyed-To-Order Update On Friday!

There will be a Dyed-To-Order Update this weekend! Colourways will be added on Friday morning and removed on Monday morning at 8am.

With the new website design I think that it should be fairly easy for me to work this update into the shop by simply adding a new category to the SHOP drop down menu that I’ll call “Dyed-To-Order Speckles!”. I’ll have the listings up by Friday morning and you’ll be able to shop at your leisure all weekend long.

I have been planning on doing a dyed-to-order update featuring some fun springtime speckles for a while now and the thing that’s been holding me back is the fact that we haven’t had a chance to develop new colourways. But then I realized that I’ve got a full palette of beautiful, super springy speckled colourways that I am feeling very inspired by right now that would be perfect for an update. So here they are:

This palette is super fresh, arguably more summery than springy now that I’m seeing them all together like that but I’m ok with it. It’s so hard to whittle down the options to a manageable amount of colourways and still try and have something for everyone! This update has no green, sigh, but I’ll be sure to feature a green next time! My main focus these days when choosing colours for an update is to pick things that work well together so shopping is as easy as possible and you don’t have to worry about how your skeins will work together in a project. And if you ever have any questions at all about colour pairings - maybe you want to pair a solid with Ziggy and can’t decide what colourway to choose (the answer is Plum btw ;) send me an email and I’d be more than happy to help!

These colourways will be available to order in the following bases:

• PureWash Fingering

• PureWash DK

• PureWash Worsted

• PureWash Chunky

• Blue Label Merino/Nylon Fingering Weight

• Amber Label Cashmere/Silk DK Weight

• Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single Ply Fingering

• Purple Label Cashmere Sock

• Pink Label Merino Lace Weight

See on you Friday!