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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.

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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.

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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 pom pom worthy designs by Tin Can Knits

 

 

Knitting Apple Pie

October 2, 2014

applepie(2)If you are casting on for an Apple Pie hat (and I really think you should) here are a few tips and tricks to help. Get you Apple Pie pattern, worsted weight yarn, and let’s get started!

 

Construction

The Apple Pie hat is worked starting from the doubled brim to the crown. A provisional cast on allows you to join in the doubled over brim as you go, no seaming later!

Doubled Brim

First up work a provisional cast on. This cast on will be un-picked after the ribbing is complete to join the doubled over brim.

Provisional cast on and ribbing have been worked

Provisional cast on and ribbing have been worked

Once you have completed your ribbing, you will un-pick the provisional cast on, placing your stitches on a spare needle (size isn’t too important, anything the same size or smaller than your larger needle).

Un-picked provisional cast on stitches are now on a spare needle

Un-picked provisional cast on stitches are now on a spare needle

Once your stitches are on a spare needle you will fold the spare needle inside the hat. Your spare needle will be lined up with your live stitches (pictured below).

This is what your folded brim will look like

This is what your folded brim will look like

Next, take your larger needle and knit the first stitch from the front/outside needle, and the first stitch from the back/inside needle together.

You are working these stitches together to close up the doubled brim.

You are working these stitches together to close up the doubled brim.

 

Knitting the two stitches together

Knitting the two stitches together: the larger needle is going through the first stitch on the front/outside and back/inside needle, joining the doubled brim.

After a few stitches this is what your knitting will look like. Stitches from the front and back are joined together on the larger needle.

After a few stitches this is what your knitting will look like. Stitches from the front and back are joined together on the larger needle.

What your work will look like from the inside

What your work will look like from the inside

Now that your doubled brim has been joined you can carry on!

Cabling Over Marker

If you haven’t cabled before check out our in-depth tutorial on cabling here. Here is how you cable over marker:

1. Place the last 2 sts of the round on your cable needle and hold in back of work

2. Remove marker

3. Knit 2 sts from left needle

4. Replace marker on right needle

5. Knit 2 sts from cable needle

Ready to work last cable of round. You will be working the 2 sts before the marker and the 2 sts after the marker.

Ready to work last cable of round. You will be working the 2 sts before the marker and the 2 sts after the marker.

replacemarker

2 sts are on the cable needle held in back, 2 sts from left needle have been worked, the marker has been replaced on the right needle. Next you will work the 2 sts from the cable needle.

Marker is now back in the right spot and the first 2 sts of the next round have been worked.

Marker is now back in the right spot and the first 2 sts of the next round have been worked.

Now you have cabled over marker. Tricky part is over! Carry on with the pattern, proceeding to decreases when your hat has reached the specified (or desired) length. Block your hat and wear it out on a blustery day!

applepie

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 cabled knits from TCK:

Road Trip is Ready!

September 26, 2014

emailupdatesept18

It’s here, it’s here! Road Trip is ready. If you have pre-ordered a copy the full ebook with be in your Ravelry Library or your inbox, and if you haven’t ordered yet, do it soon because the price goes up October 1st!

Road Trip: 14 Knits Inspired by the Open Road is available for purchase. The ebook is available for $16 (the price goes up to $18 on October 1st) and the print book plus ebook is available for $23.

 

Photographing Road Trip

Bonfire: keeping cozy on the beach

There was only one way to shoot a book like Road Trip, so inspired by beautiful scenic drives and nostalgic memories of trips past: we had to hit the road! My husband Gary and I packed first 2, then 3 kids, a ton of camping stuff, and all the knits in the beast (our Jeep), and Emily and Jordan followed behind. We first went to Tofino, then a month later we packed up our gear again (and a 3 week old baby this time) and headed to the Rockies.

Emily and Jordan fulfilled many roles on these trips and I would be remiss if I didn’t offer up a great big thanks. They were models, friends, aunty and uncle, stylists, navigators, child wranglers, and most of all they were a lot of fun! We couldn’t have done it without you two!

Matching Stovetop hats in a romantic momemt

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Tofino

Tofino is a little town on the Pacific side of Vancouver Island. I have been taking road trips there with my family for the past 20 years and while it has changed a bit, it’s still the hippie town I remember at it’s roots. I have surfed, seen Orca whales in the wild, lounged on the beach, hiked through the woods, and had many many coffees at the Common Loaf in Tofino. I have fond memories there and it will always have a place in my heart.

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On the way to Tofino we passed Cathedral Forest. Old Growth was photographed there with the giant Redwoods as a back drop. The trees seam to reach the sky and the beautiful mossy forest floor is a sight to behold. Old Growth was inspired by these beautiful trees so it was great to be able to photograph a little girl in front of a very large and very old tree.

We shot Paddle, Stovetop, and Bonfire on the beach near Incinerator Rock.

Paddle: A Hudson Bay Company inspired palette

 

The horizon is broken only by beautiful black rocks on the beach and a common Tofino sight: surfers! Hunter and Jones enjoyed running up and down the beach, climbing on the driftwood, and drawing in the sand (okay, maybe they didn’t make the sign below…Emily also enjoys a good sand sign)!

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Rivulet was photographed near one of the beautiful forest pools on the way home from Tofino. Emily was dressed in her road trip finest and donned a wistful look while channeling her inner woodland nymph.

When I was kid my brothers and I would have jumped into that pool, not caring how warm or cold it was, yelling and splashing all the way!

 

The Rockies

 

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It has been said a million times but there is no other way to describe the Rocky Mountains but majestic.  Rising out of the earth in all their craggy glory they are an incredibly beautiful sight.  In the heart of the Rockies is Banff National Park, and this is where we headed for our second photo shoot. This time we had 3 kiddies in the back seat, and what seemed like a lot more stuff for such a small person!

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Caribou and Viewfinder were photographed at one of my favorite places, Lake Louise. The grey-blue waters are framed on either side by green forested mountains and in the distance there is a stony mountain face covered by a glacier.

Apple Pie was photographed at the CPR Railway Heritage site near Lake Louise, but it was inspired by the most famous of roadside eats: the Apple Pie. Everyone has a story of their favorite apple pie and many are from the road. Emily, after reading Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, ate nothing but apple pie on a bus trip all the way from Toronto to San Francisco. My husband likes to stop at the Hope Diner (in Hope, BC) for a slice a la mode when he passes through.

Where do you get your favourite apple pie on the road?

More from Road Trip:

 

Steek!

September 18, 2014

IMG_1220I know I know, steeking is super scary. Every knitters greatest fear realized: cut knitting! What if it unravels? What if all of that beautiful work comes apart? Well, I tell you, it won’t. Armed with some steeking knowledge you will be just fine. Let’s get started!

Need to Know:

There are many ways to steek, this tutorial outlines the method I used for the Clayoquot cardigan. If you would like more information on some different methods of steeking (or more info on steeking in general) check out Knitty, Eunny Jang, and the queen herself, Kate Davies.

Starting:

What you will need to steek: a sweater, some yarn (you can use the same colour yarn as the sweater MC or a contrasting one, I found it didn’t matter so I used a contrasting colour to make this tutorial clear), a crochet hook a few sizes smaller than the needle size for the sweater, a darning needle, and scissors.

Knit and blocked

Knit and blocked

First up, knit yourself a sweater and block it. I knit the Clayoquot cardigan (with the alteration of contrasting pockets). Sew down your pockets, and weave in your ends. Ends should be woven AWAY FROM THE STEEK. Now you are ready to roll.

weaveinends

Where the steek is:

The Clayoquot pattern has 5 steek stitches (numbered below). The right crochet reinforcement will use half of stitch 3 and half of stitch 4, and the left crochet reinforcement will use the other half of stitch 3 and half of stitch 2. The cut comes right down the middle of stitch 3.

whichstitch

 

Crochet Reinforcement

First you will need to secure your yarn to start your reinforcement.

1. Make a slip knot onto your crochet hook

2. Put your hook through the top of stitch 4

3. Pull through a loop (you will now have 2 loops on your hook)

4. Pull your working yarn through these two loop (you will now have 1 loop on your hook)

First make a slip knot over your crochet hook.

1. make a slip knot over your crochet hook.

2. Put your hook through the top of stitch 4

2. Put your hook through the top of stitch 4

IMG_8293

3. Pull through a loop (you will now have 2 loops on your hook)

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4. Pull your working yarn through these two loop (you will now have 1 loop on your hook)

Next you are going to make a single crochet chain down the steek, through half of stitch 4 and half of stitch 3

1. Put your crochet hook through the right half (or leg) of stitch 4 and the left half (or leg) of stitch 3

2. Pull through a loop (you will now have 2 loops on your crochet hook)

3. Pull your working yarn through these 2 loops (you will now have 1 stitch on your hook)

IMG_8302

1. Put your crochet hook through the right half (or leg) of stitch 4 and the left half (or leg) of stitch 3

2. Pull through a loop

2. Pull through a loop (you will now have 2 loops on your crochet hook)

You will continue working steps 1-3 in each stitch until you have worked all of the stitches. At the end, put your hook through the center of stitch 4. Pull up a loop, pull your working yarn through both loops on the hook. Cut your yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail, and pull the tail through the last live stitch, fastening off your work.

At the end, put your hook through the center of stitch 4

At the end, put your hook through the center of stitch 4

Fasten off your last stitch by cutting your yarn and putting the tail through the last live stitch

Fasten off your last stitch by cutting your yarn and putting the tail through the last live stitch

Your first reinforcement is complete

Your first reinforcement is complete

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This is what it looks like from the other side.

Your first crochet reinforcement is complete! The second reinforcement is worked in the opposite direction, starting at the bottom of the sweater and working your way to the top. You will be working your single crochet chain through stitches 2 and 3.

Both reinforcements are complete. See how the crochet chains naturally lean away from where you are going to cut?

Both reinforcements are complete. See how the crochet chains naturally lean away from where you are going to cut?

 

Cut!

Take a deep breath, some sharp scissors, and here goes nothin’!

Start cutting!

Start cutting!

Keep going, don't chicken out now

Keep going, don’t chicken out now

You now have one steeked sweater, congratulations!

You now have one steeked sweater, congratulations!

 

Picking up the button band

Picking up the button band is the same as any sweater, just a little further in than usual. Insert your needle from the right side to the wrong side and draw up a loop. Continue picking up at the rate specified in your pattern. You may also want to check out the ‘steek sandwich’ that Kate Davies uses.

Picking up stitches

Picking up stitches: The yarn is coming from the wrong side to the right side.

Button bands complete

Button bands complete

Sewing down the flap

When I finished steeking my sweater and putting on a button band I found there was a little extra flap. In order to keep the ends from rubbing I sewed down the flap for a little extra security.

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All sewed down and secured

All sewed down and secured

All that’s left are a few ends, blocking, and some buttons to sew on! Your pullover is now a cardigan.

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Wanna hear about these tutorials as they are released?  Get our excellent emails!

 

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 fun colourwork from Tin Can Knits

 

Out Takes

September 11, 2014
You can't win 'em all

You can’t win ‘em all

While creating Road Trip I carefully considered the photographic vision. Even while designing I was envisioning where each piece would be photographed. I wanted to make sure that the knits looked delicious but also that the photos captured the beauty of the places so near to my heart….But things do not always go quite as planned!

With a combination of weather, small children, bugs, camping (and the inevitable dirtiness that goes along with that) and everything else that can get in the way of a photoshoot, there are a few out takes to share:

2 fingers in the mouth, a sure sign that Jonesie has had enough for the day!

2 fingers in the mouth, a sure sign that Jonesie has had enough for the day!

Em helping Jordan after a fall in the woods

I love the shot of Hunter and Emily sitting in the beautiful Cathedral Forest, but it wasn’t without some sacrifice. Jordan fell off the log and Em almost went over trying to help!

Divided attention

If anyone knows a sure way to get 3 kiddies under 4 to look in the same direction, sit still, and look good in their sweaters AT THE SAME TIME I am all ears. Bribery did not work. Not even with chocolate.

Enough already with the hot sweaters mum! It's August!

Enough already with the warm sweaters mum! It’s August!

Em was on hand to model, wrangle kiddies, and put sweaters in place!

Em was on hand to model, wrangle kiddies, and put sweaters in place!

Sometimes kids just need to donkey kick their sillies out!

Sometimes kids just need to donkey kick their sillies out!

While we did get the final shot we wanted, Jones wanted nothing to do with this shoot. Hunter wore 2 different hoodies and 2 different sized mittens to make this work!

While we did get the final shot we wanted, Jones wanted nothing to do with this shoot. Hunter wore 2 different hoodies and 2 different sized mittens to make this work!

Uncle Juju keeping Jonesie out of trouble between takes

Uncle Juju keeping Jonesie out of trouble between takes

This is how many more shots Hunter said she would take. Then she was done.

This is how many more shots Hunter said she would take. Then she was done.

Have any tricks for a problem free photoshoot? Or do you prefer the uncomplicated selfie?

More pretty knits from Road Trip

Choosing a Palette for Colourwork

September 1, 2014

 

Clayoquot

Choosing a palette for colourwork is a challenge. It seems as though you can just choose a few colours you like and go nuts right? Well let me tell you from experience, this is not the case. Choosing the palettes for the Clayoquot cardigan and toque took what felt like a million swatches and a few failed hats before I finally settled on the colours I did! Here are a few tips to choose your colours (and avoid the million swatches like me!)

 

 

Light and Dark

The key to a good palette is a mix of light and dark. If you choose 3 dark colours (or 3 light) there will be a low level of contrast and the difference between the pattern and the background won’t be as crisp as you might like. I prefer to choose my main colour first, usually something distinctively light or dark (I find medium a little harder to go from), then the accents.

Palette

Once you know your main colour it’s time to have some fun. Do you want your hat or cardigan to have a fun and bright feel? Perhaps something more neutral subdued? A cool palette or something warmer? There are many ways to go once you have your main and here are a few examples to get you going:

photo

These are a couple of prototype hats Emily created in Rainbow Heirloom Yarn. On the left: MC Fluffy Bunny, CC1 Favourite Auntie, CC2 Killer Flamingo – Emily went with a lighter background colour and 2 darker contrasts. Notice that the contrast colours are similar, there isn’t much contrast between them but there is high contrast between the MC and the CC’s.

On the right: MC New Asphalt, CC1 Fluffy Bunny, CC2 Aussie Sunshine – for this hat the background colour is dark while the contrast colours are lighter. There is less contrast between the contrast colours but Aussie Sunshine is a very vivid colour, making it pop.

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MC Something Blue, CC1 Winter, CC2 Marshland – (Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK) for this hat I went with something wild for the main color but I wasn’t happy with the contrast between the first contrast colour and the main colour, not quite zippy enough! (zippy being a technical term)

These are the final colour palettes I used for the hats and the sweaters (all in Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK). A few things to note:

For Hunter’s sweater I used a dark MC (Marhsland), a light CC1 (Paper Birch), and a medium CC2 (Something Blue). Enough contrast to go around!

For Emily’s sweater I went with a light MC (Winter), and 2 dark contrasts (Marshland and Moss). I wanted the deep blue and green to mimic the sea. While both the contrast colours are darker, the green is saturated and vivid, letting it shine next to the blue. The pattern really pops!

For Eric’s toque I went with the same palette as Hunter’s sweater but in a different way, lighter background color, dark CC1, and a medium CC2

For Bodhi’s toque I chose a darker background (Sea Glass), a light CC1 (Canary), and a medium/dark CC2 (Spanish Coin), a good mix of light and dark, neutral and colourful, making for a fun hat!

The free Clayoquot toque pattern is a great place to play with colours and make sure you have a stunning palette before embarking on your Clayoquot sweater. So go forth and choose your colours!

 

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 colourful knits from TCK

 

Pre-orders are open!

August 29, 2014
RT-caribou-12a

Caribou

RT-grayling-07a

Grayling

Now that we have whet your appetite for the open road, how about a knit to get you started? Road Trip is now available for pre-order, Clayoquot is ready for your instant gratification, and the Clayoquot hat pattern is FREE!

 

 

About the Book

Road trip has 14 knits inspired by the open road, including 4 seamless sweaters and 10 delicious accessories all sized from baby to big. This collection of nostalgic back country knits came from our love of a good road trip. Pack your yarn and needles and hit the road with us!

 

Old Growth

Old Growth

The Deal

Road Trip is available for pre-order!

The Ebook:Pre-order the ebook now for just $16 (it will change to $18 upon release of the book, so get it while it’s hot!). You will receive the Clayoquot cardigan pattern right away and the full ebook will be sent to you in early October.

In Print: The print book is also available for pre-order now for $23 and you will also get the ecopy of the Clayoquot cardigan pattern right away, the full ebook in early October, and the print book will ship in mid October.

Clayoquot: Just want the Clayoquot cardigan? It is available now!

 

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Apple Pie

 

Caribou

Caribou

Stovetop

Stovetop

Rivulet

Rivulet

Clayoquot

Clayoquot

Mile One

The Clayoquot cardigan was inspired by Mile 1 of the Trans Canada Highway, the pier in Tofino, BC. The beautiful blues and greens of the Pacific ocean waters and forest beyond are mimicked in the rich, deep colours of hand dyed Sweet Fiber yarns. We used Merino Twist DK, Emily’s cardigan is in ‘Winter’, ‘Marshland’ and ‘Moss’, while Hunter’s is ‘Marshland’, ‘Paper Birch’, and ‘Something Blue’.

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Hunter at Mile 1

To photograph the Clayoquot cardigan I took Hunter and Emily to the pier. They looked out into the vast Clayoquot Sound dressed in their matching sweaters. I’ve been to the west coast of Vancouver Island many times and there is always an inspiring sight to behold, I’ve seen protesters protecting the majestic forests, kayakers and paddle boarders heading out onto the water, Orca whales and black bears, and so much more. It is such a busy and vibrant place!

Clayoquot is *gasp* steeked! If steeking is new to you, fear not, we will be releasing a step by step tutorial to take the scary out of cutting your knitting coming up next week!

*Free* Clayoquot Hat Pattern!

Clayoquot Toque

Clayoquot Toque

You can also pick up your free Clayoquot hat pattern today. Need a little colourwork practice before embarking on a steeked sweater? This is the perfect ‘swatch’ to get your colour combination just right!

Cast on for a little colourwork today!

More knits inspired by a road trip to Tofino

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