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Paved Boot Toppers

December 18, 2014

Paved boot toppers

My daughter Hunter adores her preschool teachers.  When I dressed her up and sent her off on her first day of school, I could only hope that she would like it.  She absolutely loves it, and her teachers are a huge part of that.  Hunter listens to them in ways she would never listen to me, enjoys activities that keep her busy and learning every day, and above all these ladies really care about my kid.

Paved Boot Toppers

For these great teachers this Christmas I am knitting, because that’s the best way I know to show my appreciation for all that they do.  They are three lovely women who often wear tall boots (when they aren’t wearing practical footwear for running after 3-5 year olds!).  So I bring you Paved, a perfect little cabled boot topper.

TCK-paved-5a

What are boot toppers you ask?  They are short little leg warmers that peek out of the top of your sexy boots without the bulk of a thick sock.  I whipped up two pairs up in no time!  With braided cables and garter stitch they have a textured simplicity.  They knit up quickly and are a perfect fashionable accessory for the ladies on your list.

Project Details

Pattern: Paved by Tin Can Knits
Sizing: stretches to fit calf 15 (17, 19, 21) inches around
Yarn: 180 (200, 220, 240) yards worsted / aran weight yarn (shown in Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted in ‘marshland’ and ‘evergrey’)

TCK-paved-1a

#knityourlist#knityourlist

Are you knitting gifts this holiday season?  We are neck deep in holiday projects this year!  You can watch our progress and join in on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Post your knits and tag them with #knityourlist to join in!

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Other gifty knits from TCK


 

Knit Your List

December 12, 2014

RH-boyfriendjeansThis year Emily and I are in the same time zone and near the same ocean for December!  We are knitting up a storm together and we thought we would share our plans and progress with you.

You can watch us knit through our ‘Mega Lists’ on Instagram and Facebook ( #knityourlist ) but we will also have a re-cap on the blog.  Each day we will post our progress so you can see how speedy (or not) we are!  We have an unreasonable number of knitting projects planned for the next 12 days… we have shared the delicious yarn and fun projects below.

If you are in Victoria, drop by the Beehive tomorrow and say Hi.  We will be knitting and signing books from 11-3, this Saturday December 13th.

Emily’s Mega List :::

Emily has a LOT of knitting to do in a few short weeks.  Luckily she is on ‘I’m the boss’ vacation. This is the kind of vacation one gets when ones owns her own business.  When you’re self-employed you can take a vacation any time, but you usually take work with you. But it’s hard to complain when that work is an epic pile of knitting!

Project 1:  A Christmas sweater for 5-month-old Max.  I had great intentions of knitting not only 3 sweaters for my kiddies this year but a matching one for wee Max as well.  I failed.  So Emily is taking up the torch and making Max his first Christmas sweater.

Campfire Pullover

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in ‘charcoal’, ‘slate’, and ‘silver’
Pattern: Campfire by Tin Can Knits

Project 2:  Booties for Max.  For Max’s very first visit to Canada, Emily plans whip up a pair of adorable Cowichan-inspired booties to keep his little tootsies nice and toasty!

blog-knityourlist-mukluks

Yarn: Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘apparition’ and a contrast colour to be decided
Pattern: Mukluks by Tin Can Knits

Project 3: A classic toque for John. Emily’s man needs a toasty hat for his first Canadian holiday.

Stovetop Hat

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in ‘rainwater’
Pattern: Stovetop by Tin Can Knits

Project 4:  Cozy socks for Em’s Dad, Gary.  Our Lumberjack socks were inspired by Emily’s memories of her Dad returning home in his truck from a hard days work, taking off his boots and sporting some woolly workman socks.

Lumberjack Socks

Yarn: Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘apparition’ and ‘koala haircut’
Pattern: Lumberjack by Tin Can Knits

Project 5:  A baby sweater for Em’s sister in law.  Joy is expecting her first baby this spring so Em is making a bright and fun sweater to bring baby home in.

Flax Pullover

Yarn: Some conbination of Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘apparition’ and ‘koala haircut’ and Madelinetosh Tosh DK in ‘tomato’
Pattern: Flax by Tin Can Knits (*free*)

Project 7:  Antler Mittens for Emily’s sister, Heidi.  These cozy and quick-knitting mittens are an excellent gift for a fashionable gal.

Antler Mittens

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in ‘candlewick’
Pattern: Antler Mittens (child sizes coming soon…!)

Alexa’s Mega List :::

This year, having finished Christmas sweaters for my three little ones (more on those later) I plan to whip up 5 gift knits in 12 days. That is not too tall of an order for a professional knitter right? It’s gonna be a close one!

Project 1: Gift for one of Hunter’s preschool teachers.  Hunter LOVES her preschool teachers. She never stops talking about them and I have seen those ladies in action, they work hard!  So for them I knit.  First up are some boot toppers, stay tuned for the new pattern!

Evergrey

Yarn: Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘Evergrey’
Pattern: New! Coming soon!

Project 2: Hunter’s other preschool teacher is expecting her first baby in March so a wee sweater is in order.

Prairie Fire Pullover

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in ‘grapefruit’
Pattern: Prairie Fire by Tin Can Knits

Project 3: A slouchy toque for a teenage cousin.  It’s rare when a teenager requests a knit, not to mention 2!  So I am fulfilling a request for slouchy toques.

Greystone Hat by Melissa Thomson

Yarn: Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘Winter’
Pattern: Greystone by Melissa Thomson

Project 4: Another slouchy toque for my other teenage cousin, also by request.

Tall Dark & Handsome Hat

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in ‘Graphite’
Pattern: Tall Dark and Handsome by TCK

Project 5:  Baby Bodhi booties. I’ve noticed Bodhi has had cold toes these last few days so she needs some hand-knit socks to keep her warm!  I dug up some pretty lovely left overs from our Malt blanket sample for these.

Rye Socks

Yarn: Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted in ‘Tea Leaves’
Pattern: Rye by Tin Can Knits (*free!*)

Cheers to casting on way too many knits!

Is this a totally unreasonable amount of knits to finish in 12 days… Yes, yes it is.  But that’s how we roll.  Do you have a crazy list of holiday knits?  Is everything off the needles and under the tree… or are you cramming a lot into the next few days?  We’d love to hear about it – join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and see how far we get through this delicious list of projects!

Join in: you can post your list, and tag your posts with #knityourlist

Tin Can Knits on FacebookTin Can Knits on Instagram Tin Can Knits on Twitter Tin Can Knits on Pinterest Tin Can Knits Email Updates Tin Can Knits on Ravelry

More seasonal quickies from TCK :::


YOTH

December 4, 2014

YOTH Yarns in ‘cracked pepper’ (photo from YOTH)

A few months ago I had the chance to visit Tolt Yarn and Wool with some friends (more about our adventures here) and I picked up one precious skein of Yarn On The House (aka YOTH) yarn. It was a pale greenish shade (one of a kind) and it was Big Sister DK, which I thought was an excellent name for a yarn weight. Well, I’ve been a bit obsessed ever since.

Antler Hat in YOTH Big Sister DK (colour ooak)

Antler Hat in YOTH Big Sister DK (colour ooak)

This is the hat I made with my one precious skein. I hummed and hawed for a looooong time on this one. What to make, what to make! Finally I chose the Antler Hat. I knit the largest size on 4.5 mm / US #7 needles since it’s DK, not worsted like the pattern calls for, and I gifted the finished hat to my neighbour.

YOTH Gradient. 800 Yards of Little Brother

YOTH Gradient. 800 Yards of Little Brother

It was then that I spotted this beautiful gradient on Shannon Cook’s instagram feed (aka so very shannon). Well, after I admired it so much, the lovely Veronika (Big Sister herself) brought me this stunning yellow gradient at Knit City and I have been petting it ever since. Petting you ask? I haven’t quite figured out what it will be yet (a design for sure but lace, fair isle, color blocks…who knows!) so it sits beside my knitting chair, where I occasionally pet it while I ponder the future of these 800 yards of fingering weight yarn.

RAW Palette (photo from YOTH)

Soon after KC the team at YOTH launched their first line, the RAW palette! All of the colours have delicious, food inspired, names like Caviar and Portabella. There are 2 weights, Big Sister (DK) and Little Brother (fingering), both a luxurious mix of Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon.

YOTH Gradients on display at Knit Fit Seattle

YOTH Gradients on display at Knit Fit Seattle

The YOTH booth at Knit Fit Seattle (photo from YOTH) Check out the cool sign!

 

I had a chance to see it all in person at Knit Fit Seattle and picked up a couple of skeins for a Christmas sweater for Hunter (more on that epic project later). Her Snowflake sweater is in Big Sister DK in Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt. Does it get more perfect than salt and pepper?! The yarn is a little heavier DK than the original yarn we used for the Snowflake. It’s perfect to keep Hunter cozy but when I knit a sweater for me I think I’ll go up a needle size and make a swatch to make sure I get the drapey fabric I desire.

YOTH Snowflake for H

Hunter’s Christmas Sweater: Snowflake in YOTH Big Sister DK in ‘cracked pepper’ and ‘sea salt’

Not only does YOTH produce gorgeous yarns, the geniuses behind it are also super fun. I had a chance to hang out with Veronika and Danny (little brother) at Baaad Anna’s last weekend and it was a blast. They are clearly a tight family because when Veronika decided to start a yarn company she asked little brother to join in and he gave her a very enthusiastic yes. Their whole story is here and it is just lovely.

Em hanging with Veronika and Danny at Baaad Anna's

Em hanging with Veronika and Danny at Baaad Anna’s

I’m looking forward to more knits in YOTH yarns (I already have a bit of a stash)! Have you had a chance to try it yet? What colour name is your fave?

TCK Patterns perfect for YOTH yarns:

Sitka Spruce Hat – DK weight pattern hack

November 21, 2014

sitka spruce hatAlexa isn’t the only one who has caught the hat knitting bug recently… I’ve been knitting up hats at a rapid rate too!

The Sitka Spruce hat, with its architecturally crisp twisted stitch pattern, is a pleasure to knit and makes a great gift.

sitka spruce hat

Nina bundled up on a blustery autumn day in Edinburgh.

Sitka Spruce HatSometimes you have the perfect yarn, and the perfect pattern… but the two don’t quite match up in terms of gauge.  This was the case with this project – I had an exquisite skein of Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, and I wanted to knit the Sitka Spruce hat.

The pattern is written for a worsted / aran weight yarn (that knits to 18 sts / 4″), and this DK weight yarn knits to 20-22 sts per inch, so I knew I would have to adjust the pattern somewhat.

Sitka Spruce Hat

I cast on more stitches, and worked the pattern stitch for more rounds, and the beanie came out exactly the right size!

How to knit the Sitka Spruce hat in DK weight yarn:

  • Cast on 112 stitches (this is 7 repeats of the 16-stitch pattern… rather than 6 for an aran weight beanie).  Work 1×1 rib brim.  I used 3.5mm needles for the ribbed brim, and 4.0mm needles for the remainder of the hat.
  • Work rounds 15-28 of chart A, then work rounds 1-28 again (this is 42 rounds, rather than the aran weight beanie has only 28).
  • Decrease following the decrease chart B.

These instructions will result in a beanie style hat.  For a beret style, you could cast on 112, work ribbing, then increase 32 sts evenly spaced, to 144 sts total, which is 9 pattern repeats, then work the 42 rounds as described above before decreasing.

Sitka Spruce Hat

I love Old Maiden Aunt’s yarns, and enjoyed a visit to her studio in West Kilbride last summer.  This particular colourway is ‘lon-dubh’ (blackbird), which has an exceptionally deep, dark and moody quality. I had a difficult time capturing its complexity and beauty in photos.

Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Bluefaced Leicester

Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Bluefaced Leicester in ‘lon dubh’ (blackbird)

What are you working on as the days get cold, and the holidays approach? 

Are you making special gifts or cuddly cozy knits just for you?  We’d love to hear about it and have you share your projects and stories with us!

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Some lovely hat patterns perfect for holiday gifting:


RT-stovetop-tmb-aRT-clayoquottoque-tmb-bRT-applepie-tmb-c

Rivulet Shawl and Perfect Fringe

November 4, 2014

When I came up with the concept for the Rivulet shawl I wanted a knit that captured the bohemian nature of the far west coast and all I could think was: fringe! The textured pattern, reminiscent of water on a window pane, is topped off with a dose of fringe. While making many many many 10″ pieces of yarn I thought there must be an easier way to create perfect fringe…and there is!

Cardboard (twice the length of your desired fringe), an elastic band, scissors, and yarn

Cardboard (twice the length of your desired fringe), an elastic band, scissors, and yarn

Materials: Cardboard, cut twice as long as your desired fringe length (mine is about 10 inches), an elastic band, scissors, and your yarn. To attach the fringe I recommend a crochet hook, size not important.

IMG_5490

Cut a small notch in the bottom of your cardboard piece and use this to secure your yarn. Wrap your yarn around your piece of cardboard until you have the desired number of fringe pieces (or just a bunch of times, you can always make more right?). Put the elastic band around the middle of your cardboard.

IMG_5497

Cut along the top of the cardboard, first one side and then the other. Your elastic band will stop the fringe from coming off the cardboard in pieces that are too long.

First, cut along the bottom edge of the cardboard

First, cut along the bottom edge of the cardboard

Then cut along the top of the cardboard

Then cut along the top of the cardboard

Now that you have a bunch of fringe you can attach it to your shawl. Note the holes along each edge, perfect for placing fringe. You can put in fringe every other hole, or each one, depending on your desired level of ‘fringey-ness’.

 

Attaching your Fringe

1. Fold 2 pieces of yarn in half.

IMG_5799

fringegoeshere

2. With wrong side facing put your crochet hook through the hole and pull through just the folded part of the yarn

With wrong side of your shawl facing you insert your crochet hook from front to back.

With wrong side of your shawl facing you insert your crochet hook from front to back.

The fold goes over the hook

The fold goes over the hook

IMG_5810

throughtheloop

Using your hook, pull the 4 loose ends through the loop you have created. Pull tight to secure. Voila, fringe!

Fringe accomplished

Fringe accomplished

SHARE the knit knowledge :::

Do you have knitting friends who could use this tutorial?  Share this post, or let them know about the great free patterns they could try from The Simple Collection.  And join in the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry!

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More Road Trip inspired by the west coast:

 

Baby Crazy Knitting!

October 26, 2014

Bodhi ClayoquotWhile working on Road Trip, Emily and I were both pregnant…and the nearer to the release date the more pregnant we got!

Max and Bodhi are about 5 weeks apart with birthdays in June and July. Picture it now: 2 tired and sick pregnant ladies writing a book with an 8 hour time difference…it was epic.  The best part though? Baby knits!!!

Shortly after Bodhi was born I became completely obsessed with the idea of matching sweaters. I’ve always been a fan but it was suddenly a very pressing need. Jonesies’ Caribou sweater was hot off the needles, so while we were on a photoshoot in the Rockies I cast on for the Bodhi size. It was only a couple of skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, no time at all really… the same amount of knitting as a hat right? When that was blocking my fingers got itchy. I’d already knit 2, what was one more? Thus this picture was created!

Alexa does excessive amounts of baby knitting :::

Next I had the brilliant late night idea (you might know how that goes) to start a Road Trip wardrobe for Bodhi. She suddenly seemed (in the August heat) like she might need a hat..maybe Stovetop… and what about a Prairie Fire sweater? It’s only a few hundred yards, just a couple of evenings and I would be done!

Prairie Fire

Instead of getting it out of my system it only made things worse! Well, I had to make another Clayoquot Cardigan to create our Steeking tutorial (no, a swatch certainly wouldn’t suffice), and Apple Pie needed a tutorial too…

It seems there may be more matching knits in their future too, since I mainly choose earthy colours I really only need to knit the Hunter sized version, the other two will happily wear the hand-me-downs. I have visions of Antler and Gramps, maybe Campfire or Flax…the matching possibilities are endless!

Caribou Cardigan

Emily’s new knitwear model :::

With Alexa as an inspiration, it was only a matter of time before I started my own stack of baby knits!  When Max was only a twinkle in his father’s eye (what a quaint expression!), I began whipping up little hats, cardigans and blankets.  I felt it was important to prepare for the day when I would have a tiny knitwear model of my own to dress up!  Here are a few of the highlights of his first 3 months (in knits!):

3 Days old… I was surprised that none of Max’s baby-size hats fit him when he was a newborn… who knew they had such tiny heads?!  This is a tiny Stovetop.

Clayoquot hat

So with tiny newborn heads in mind, I knit a teeny tiny Clayoquot Toque (check out the free pattern!), but then I mislaid it for a few weeks… and now it’s too small! Lesson #2… babies heads grow very quickly!

Vivid Blanket

4 weeks old… I designed the Vivid blanket with babies on my mind… and dyed up this blanket kit to make the perfect rainbow blanket!   A contented Max is wearing a tiny version of our free pullover pattern Flax, knit in sock-weight yarn.

Baby Flax

3 Months … I think our Flax pullover is a perfect baby knit… it’s fast, unisex and you can jazz it up with stripes, as I have here (it’s knit in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘young temptress’ and ‘black cherry’)

Prairie Fire

This lime green prototype version of the Prairie Fire pullover is knit in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘almost spring’.  The short sleeves make it a perfect layering piece!

baby antler cardigan

Lastly, this isn’t a new knit – it is one of the original baby Antler cardigan samples (knit by Alexa)… but I couldn’t resist sharing Max’s super satisfied grin…

There are certainly more adorable baby knits on the horizon… stay tuned and keep your needles ready!

Some more adorable baby knits…


ClayoquotCable me softly bootiesGramps Cardigan

Let’s Make a Pom Pom

October 19, 2014

One of the great things about knitting is that there are so many different ways to do pretty much anything. There are many knitting styles, many ways to work an increase, a decrease, there is just a lot of variety. Same goes for pom poms! There are a few types of pom pom makers, or there is always the low tech cardboard method. I love a good pom pom maker, they make pompoming (I made that word up) easy. I think Emily avoids putting pom pom’s on her knits because she’s too thrifty to get a pom pom maker.

Step 1: get out your pom pom maker. There are lots of sizes, I tend to think bigger is better when it comes to pom poms!

This is my pom pom maker. There are many like it but this one is mine.

This is my pom pom maker. There are many like it but this one is mine.

Step 2: Open the pom pom maker and wrap your yarn around one side. This is not the time to skimp on yarn, go nuts or you will end up with a limp pom pom and no one wants that!

Open 'er up

Open ‘er up

Start wrapping and don't stop until you can't stand to do any more.

Start wrapping and don’t stop until you can’t stand to do any more.

Step 3: Close the side you just wrapped and start on side 2.

Close one side and start on side 2

Close one side and start on side 2

Your pom pom has been wrapped!

Your pom pom has been wrapped!

Step 4: Cut your pom pom.

pom pom cut here

Cutting

Cutting

Now you have cut all the way around

Now you have cut all the way around

 

Step 5: tie your pom pom. I tie it a few times and use a good sturdy knot. You don’t want bits of pom pom escaping!

Your tying yarn goes around the pom pom (in the same place you just cut)

Your tying yarn goes around the pom pom (in the same place you just cut)

Step 6: take your pom pom maker apart

Release the pom pom!

Release the pom pom!

Voila, pom pom! Sew it onto your favorite hat to add a bit of whimsy.

IMG_8525

Looking for more pom pom information? I recommend Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts and her full pom pom tutorial here, she uses a different style of maker and recommends sending your completed pom pom through the dryer in a mesh bag for a ‘fulled’ look. If you are looking for the low tech cardboard method check out the gals at Pom Pom Quarterly and their cool pom pom garland and tutorial here.

SHARE the knit knowledge :::

Do you have knitting friends who could use this tutorial?  Share this post, or let them know about the great free patterns they could try from The Simple Collection.  And join in the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry!

Tin Can Knits on FacebookTin Can Knits on Instagram Tin Can Knits on Twitter Tin Can Knits on Pinterest Tin Can Knits Email Updates button-ravelry-40

More pom pom worthy designs by Tin Can Knits

 

 

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