TFA Mohair Pattern Ideas

Yesterday I blogged a preview of tonight’s Pop Up Shop Update and mentioned that included in the offerings is a brand new TFA base: Mohair! I haven’t named it anything more clever than that because clever names just aren’t my style apparently, but I swear you will look very clever if you knit a lovely item with our new lace weight mohair yarn. :)

Before we go any further, here are a few yarn details you might be interested in.

TFA MOHAIR, The Details:
•72% Kid Mohair, 28% Silk

• 50g (1.76oz) = 420m (459yds)

• gauge: lace weight

• needle: varies per project

• hand wash, lay flat to dry.

• $34 a skein

Since deciding to carry a mohair base I’ve been scouring Ravelry for pattern inspiration and I have some thoughts: The first is that, though lovely on it’s own, it’s far more approachable when held together with a strand of something else. Knitting with lace weight mohair can be daunting. But held with a strand of fingering weight merino and suddenly you’re knitting a dk weight sweater with the world’s most heavenly halo ever and that’s totally doable. I’ve done this in the past and am currently working on a sweater holding PureWash Fingering together with a strand of lace weight mohair and it is pure heaven. You can use this approach for just about any pattern really. I have found that adding a strand of mohair tends to increase my gauge by 1 level, so fingering weight becomes dk, dk becomes worsted, worsted becomes aran… you get the idea.

Elton  by Joji Locatelli,  Cumulus Blouse  by PetiteKnit,  Soirée  by Emily Foden   Cedar Point  by Espace Tricot,  Rainbow Solo  by Lene Holme Samsøe,  Iskald  by Caitlin Hunter   No Frills Sweater  by PetiteKnit,  Amali Sweater  by Marion Em Knits,  Tutu Top  by Lisa Chemery

Elton by Joji Locatelli, Cumulus Blouse by PetiteKnit, Soirée by Emily Foden

Cedar Point by Espace Tricot, Rainbow Solo by Lene Holme Samsøe, Iskald by Caitlin Hunter

No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnit, Amali Sweater by Marion Em Knits, Tutu Top by Lisa Chemery

There are a few designers who have loads of patterns that specifically call for this double strand technique, Petite Knits is well known for it. I’m currently knitting her No Frills sweater and it is life changing! I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Espace Tricot who have been adding a strand of mohair to so many different projects over the years I’ve lost count! A simple hat knit with a strand of mohair and merino feels so elevated. When picking colours to pair together in this style you can’t go wrong with tonal shades. I would probably advise against anything too high contrast as you’ll get a marled affect on top of the added halo and it could end up looking quite busy. It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but I find the look really successful when the colours paired give the halo without too much marling. Make sense?

The other approach to mohair garments that I love to see is when it’s worked in stripes with a heavier weight yarn like in Joji Locatelli’s Elton cardigan. It’s a beautifully striking look. But then again, used all on it’s own in the world’s lightest, airiest garment and is incredibly dreamy, as long as you’ve got the stamina for a lace weight garment! Lastly, this version of the Rainbow Solo sweater (above centre) isn’t on Ravelry but I am crazy about it and it may very well inspire my next mohair sweater project!

How about some mohair neck-wear?

Truffula Tuft  by Webster Street Knittery,  Birds of a Feather  by Andrea Mowry,  Cheri Chevron Shawl  by Ambah O'Brien   Chevron Cloud  by Espace Tricot,  Welted Cowl  by Jane Richmond,  Seascape Stole  by Kieran Foley   Belu  by Camille Descoteaux,  Willow  by Nancy Marchant,  Baseline  by Beata Jezek

Truffula Tuft by Webster Street Knittery, Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry, Cheri Chevron Shawl by Ambah O'Brien

Chevron Cloud by Espace Tricot, Welted Cowl by Jane Richmond, Seascape Stole by Kieran Foley

Belu by Camille Descoteaux, Willow by Nancy Marchant, Baseline by Beata Jezek

Shawls, scarves and cowls are obvious choices for some mohair glam because who wouldn’t want to cozy up with super soft fabric around their neck? Chevrons seem to be big and so is the striping a fingering weight with a lace weight mohair trend. The juxtaposition of light and airy lace with the denser merino fingering is so appealing.

So, basically, you can’t go wrong! I am no expert on mohair, I’ve only just started experimenting with it more seriously, but I’m happy to see it’s made a comeback. My mom is a lifelong mohair fan and I’m excited to see what she knits with it. What would you knit with TFA mohair?

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!