It has been so much fun this spring and summer, releasing the little knits from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe one by one, and watching the knits appear in our KAL thread!
We loved seeing your happy (and frowny) faced babes, and were inspired by the beautiful colour combinations that you chose. Thanks so much for sharing!
Want to join the conversation and share your knits? If you don’t already, stay in touch by getting our excellent email updates, and chatting online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Ravelry! We love to hear your stories, and are happy to help.
Who Knit it Best? Our Favourites So Far:
There are so many beautiful knits from Max & Bodhi’s already (browse them all on ravelry here), but I wanted to feature a few of my favourites! For more info, click the Ravelry project links / photo credits below the images.
Max & Bodhi’s KAL winners!
Along with all the fab projects we have also enjoyed the Max & Bodhi’s KAL. Knitters worked their way through as many projects from the book as it was released. Here are the lucky winners!
- meimei073, ElizabethsMommy, and ranaetire have each won a skein of Sweet Fiber Cashmerino 20 in the gorgeous ‘sea glass’.
- womaninashoe has won a skein of SweetGeorgia Cashluxe Fine in ‘bison’.
- knittyk has won a $36 gift certificate for Hazel Knits.
- viki has won 2 skeins of Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in a surprise color combo.
- designers’ choice goes to to Knit24seven who knit one of everything! From Playdate to Bumble she knit her way through the whole book. Knit24seven has won her choice of ebook from Tin Can Knits.
Thanks again to all the fabulous yarn dyers we worked with on this book. We know the winners will enjoy working with these yarns as much as we did!
Searching for the perfect unisex baby knit?
All of the patterns from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe are now available to purchase individually, if you’d like to knit just one. Or you can get the complete ebook for $16! This collection would make an excellent gift for an expectant mom or grandma (just click the ‘send as a gift‘ link).
We knew the photoshoots for Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe were going to be epic. I’ve done a fair number of photoshoots with children, like these ones, and they really never go as planned. It’s not a bad thing…just a fact of life! So when we decided to photograph 2 babies in woolies in 2 shoots…well you can imagine right?!
Day One: Baby Scheduling Conflict
On the first day we couldn’t seem to get 2 babies to be happy at the same time. First Bodhi was a mama’s girl who couldn’t be put down, and by the time she warmed up to the situation it was just about time for Max to have a nap. With artful angles, a lot of coaxing, breast feeding and bottles, and a few toys we managed to get the gems we were looking for amongst the thousands of photographs we took!
Bodhi was just starting to crawl and pull herself up on things which made things a tad tricky. We have a lot of shots of Max looking adorable and only half of Bodhi as she rocketed away!
Day 2: Babies Brave the Elements
The second shoot was an outdoor one, my favorite! The only trouble was that is was a freezing (but sunny) January morning and all those babies wanted to do was snuggle in their slings and strollers all bundled and warm. Instead we had them pose covered in woolies from head to toe. No babies were harmed during this shoot….much.
At the end of the day we had thousands of photos and everything we needed to finish our book! I can’t decide if the outtakes are cuter or the polished shots!
More from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe
The shower went off without a hitch and I finally got to give Emily and Jordan their box of woolies. I wasn’t alone though! Both my mum and Emily’s mum had their needles clicking too, so, without further ado, I give you my nephew’s woolie wardrobe:
I love the Vivid blanket, I have made this one and this one and I will probably make more! I love that I can use whatever fun color strikes me on a given evening. I have been working from my wild stash of Tanis Fiber Arts and I had to get all of her new colourways for this one…that’s right. Had to. I can work on a square here or there, and I love the finished blanket. Emily was so smitten with Bodhi’s blanket that I cast on one for her future baby…months before she was pregnant and even more months before I knew!
Lately I have felt the need to welcome every new baby with a Flax sweater. It’s quick and simple, works for boys or girls, and it was my favorite thing to throw on Jones or Bodhi whenever they needed something warm. It is a gift that just can’t miss. I cast this one on Christmas day, the day I found out I was going to be an Aunty. I knit it in some Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘smoke’. I love babies in grey and it seemed like the perfect thing for a boy or a girl, a great wardrobe staple (they are having a boy, but I didn’t know yet when I cast on).
While I probably would have considered the Prairie Fire to be more of a girlie knit, Max’s bright green, short sleeved, version taught me differently! It was the perfect piece, keeping his core warm while allowing his arms to move freely. I cast this one on ages ago but finished it the night before the shower…anyone else have this problem from time to time?
This little Playdate wasn’t knit with my nephew in mind, but Bodhi grew a little faster than I thought she would and this teeny Playdate was very quickly too small for her…as in it was too small before I was finished. No matter, it is the perfect ‘home from the hospital’ sweater now! I knit this one up in Sweet Fiber Cashmerino 20 in ‘bruin’.
Knits from Grammas
Em’s mum is an old school knitter. She knit up all of these adorable little baby gifts from vintage patterns that she took more inspiration from than pattern info. She worked in the round where she wanted, changed stitch patterns at will, and in the end this set is the perfect amount of classic and vintage. I love the palette she chose in the Spud and Chloe Fine too. I mean, how cute is that sleeper!?
She also knit this super cute sweater. It is a backwards cardigan, the buttons go on the back! I’m so smitten with this detail you may see it again in a TCK pattern!
My mum, after many years away from the needles decided, while visiting a yarn shop in Washington, that she had to knit this adorable little sweater she saw. The pattern is the Baltic Baby Sweater and mum used Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘smoke’ and ‘purple night’ (the original is in a bulky yarn, but we wanted something a little lighter so we used worsted yarn and knit a smaller size). I love the little tab details!
There you have it, my nephew’s knit wardrobe…so far. Any minute now I will have a nephew to wear it!
More baby knits from TCK:
Bumble is the final (and my very favourite!) pattern from our latest collection, Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe. Although Max & Bodhi’s is ‘all about the babes’, we would like to include grown-up babes in that definition!
Love it to Bits
Why do I love this hat so much? Well firstly, it’s a really addictive knit. You won’t be able to resist casting on a second, then a third… The second reason I love it is it’s a chameleon. Bumble has the potential to be an entirely clean and simple design which just lets a beautiful skein of semi-solid yarn shine, AND the potential to showcase bold and unexpected colour combinations!
This beanie is also a perfect project for using up leftover sweater yarn, because it’s knit in a heavy DK / light worsted weight yarn (think Cascade 220). Knit a bit slouchy with or without pompom, it would be SUPER COOL for a young dude, and it’s quite obviously adorable on ladies and bairns!
Bumble is knit using a simple technique called slipped-stitch knitting which creates a tweedy colourwork effect in two colours, or a subtle waffle effect in one colour. It is very simple to work. You only ever use one colour at a time, like when you’re knitting stripes, and you simply work some stitches, and slip others. Don’t know how to slip a stitch? We’ve got a tutorial for you!
One important thing to note is that when working slipped-stitch patterns, there is a tendency for your gauge to be quite compressed. So you will use much larger needles than you would for stockinette stitch. You could knit a swatch, or simply knit a hat (it’ll fit somebody), then measure gauge against that before you knit your next one!
Four Ways to knit the Bumble Beanie
Let’s take a closer look at how the design looks knit in a single colour, one-round stripes, and two-round stripes. The slip-stitch pattern is also quite pretty on the ‘wrong side’, so try it inside-out before you sew that pompom on!
Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe: Modern Baby Knits
Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe is finally complete, you can get the complete ebook here! Inspired by our two newest darlings, this collection is filled with modern and unisex wardrobe staples. Nothing says love like a baby covered in woolies, so grab your needles, and cast on for a little cutie today!
This little collection would make a great gift for an expectant knitter or grand-knitter. You can use the ‘gift’ function on Ravelry to send a copy instantaneously. It’s got a load of ridiculous cute baby photos too, I’m keeping a copy for me just as a coffee-table book!
More unisex beanies by TCK:
On Christmas Day 2014 I found out that I was going to be an Aunty, and, once I stopped blubbering with joy, I cast on for a baby sweater and started planning the baby shower. I couldn’t have been more excited if I tried! Emily and Jordan (you may know them from their prolific work as TCK models) kept their pregnancy a secret for 3 long months so I had to get busy. The shower was last weekend and it was a great success, we had games, activities, and delicious food. There is nothing like a gathering of family and friends to welcome a new person!
The shower had sort of rainbow and photos theme. The photos were black and whites of Emily and Jordan as babies, as well as some obligatory cheesy shots of the happy pregnant couple. We strung the photos with ribbon and clothes pegs all over the house…I may have gone a bit overboard!
For food we went with a sort of 50’s theme (I know, we had too many ‘themes’). Crudites, tea sandwiches, and deviled eggs amongst tons of other goodies. We had an italian soda bar and Emily requested ‘bumps on a log’ – that’s celery with either peanut butter or cheeze whiz and raisins, for those who don’t know.
For activities and games we decorated onesies with numbers 1-12 so Emily and Jordan could take a pic of their little one each month until his first birthday. We played ‘guess what mum and dad would say’ (a word association game) and ‘guess that children’s book’. We also had each person write some words of advice for the baby to be on his 16th birthday. My favorite entry was ‘your parents might not seem very smart now, but don’t worry, they will be by the time you are 21′. Hilarious.
The happy couple were thrilled with the event and it really went off without a hitch. I big thank you to my parents and Emily’s parents who contributed so much to the day as well! Congratulations to Emily and Jordan, I am so looking forward to raising our babies together.
Obviously when it comes to style, you want to give your baby the best possible start in life! This little hipster chic fair-isle vest is a must for going out to spoken word at coffeehouses, and gurgling… ironically.
When we shot these photos, Max was still in the cute, mellow, gurgling stage. Now he’s in the less cute screeching-at-the-top-of-his-lungs stage… but luckily you can’t hear high-pitched shrieks through the medium of photography. No chill coffeehouse afternoons with him though, I’ll tell you that!
The Peanut vest knits up really quickly in a DK or worsted weight yarn, and is easy to throw on over anything. Pick a neutral colour pair for an everyday staple that will match with everything, or go crazy with bold colours. We recommend higher-contrast pairs, so that the pattern really ‘pops’.
The Yarn: The Uncommon Thread Merino DK
The Uncommon Thread Merino DK is a lusciously soft and durable yarn that is a pleasure to work with and washes and wears well. This makes it absolutely perfect for baby garments!
We love the edgy and modern colours that Ce creates, and have enjoyed pairing them up! We used the deep marine ‘seascape’ with rich warm ‘golden praline’, and ‘squirrel nutkin’ with ‘beeswax’, a strong yellow. It took some swatching for me to decide on pairings that were just right. For more about The Uncommon Thread yarns, check out our blog post here.
Fair Isle Knitting
Stranded colourwork, also known as Fair Isle knitting, looks complex, but is in fact quite a simple technique. You work with two strands of yarn at once, knitting a few stitches in one colour, then knitting the next few in the other colour. Want to try it? We’ve got an in-depth blog post with tips and techniques to help you begin. Either cast on for the peanut vest, or try the free Clayoquot Toque pattern to get started!
Who are you knitting for?
Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe is our newest baby collection, launched one pattern at a time to maximize the surprise! The Peanut vest is pattern number five of six, so there’s just one more surprise before the complete ebook is launched! This means you have only two more weeks to get the ebook at excellent pre-order price of $14… after all the patterns are launched the price will go up. If you haven’t decided whether this collection is for you, you can check out all but one of the patterns now!
Do you have a friend who is expecting? This collection would make a lovely gift for an expectant knitter, or for a grandma eagerly awaiting little ones! If you use Ravelry, there’s a lovely function where you can send an ebook as a gift.
Other Fair Isle favourites by TCK:
Many knitters tell us that they’d love to try Fair Isle colourwork knitting, but they think it’s going to be REALLY HARD. Well I would like to dispel this myth, and show you how simple and fun it really is! Get started by downloading our adorable free pattern, the Clayoquot Hat.
Start by choosing some lovely DK weight yarn. We recommend high-contrast colours so that this pattern really ‘pops’. We have a more in-depth discussion of choosing a palette for colourwork here.
Download the Clayoquot Hat pattern, choose your size, and get started. This design has a conventional construction: you cast on, work ribbing in the round, then knit a few rounds before starting the pattern.
To work the Fair Isle colourwork pattern, all you do is knit a few stitches in one colour, then switch to another colour, and knit a few stitches in that. The charts show just how many stitches to do in each colour.
If you are confused about how to read a knitting chart, we have a full tutorial here. For this pattern it is very simple – start with chart A, and work round one, reading the squares from right to left (because this is the direction you knit in when the RS of the work is facing you).
So for round 1, you will knit 2 sts with MC (main colour), then knit one stitch with CC1 (contrast colour 1), then knit one stitch with MC. That’s the 4-stitch repeat worked once, then you continue to repeat this pattern, again and again, to the end of the round. When you change colours, you draw the new yarn loosely across the back of the work, creating loose strands called ‘floats’.
Once you’ve finished round 1 of chart A, you simply proceed to work rounds 2, then 3. On round 2, you will be working with 3 colours, not just 2, but that round is only worked twice in the entire knit, so it’s not too much bother.
In terms of technique, you can use one hand to hold the yarn, then drop that yarn when you pick up the other yarn, OR you can hold one yarn in your right hand, and the other in your left to ‘throw’ with the right hand and ‘pick’ with the left. It doesn’t really matter – try both and see with what feels comfortable to you.
Like most techniques in knitting (and everything else I suppose), practice is what you really need to gain competence, but we have put together a few helpful tips below.
LOOSEN UP… this is supposed to be relaxing, right?!
One of the rookie mistakes when knitting fair isle for the first few times is to pull the yarn floats (the strands between the stitches knit in a given colour) tightly across the back of the work, which can compress the gauge of the fair-isle section relative to your stockinette stitch gauge.
There are a few ways to avoid this. If you know that when you knit fair-isle, you always have a tighter gauge than in stockinette, you can adjust for this by using larger needles (1-2 sizes up) for the stranded portion of the work. This will help to avoid a ‘squeezed’ section of fair isle that doesn’t match the rest of the gauge.
Another method, which I personally use, is to knit with the work inside out. This forces the yarn to be drawn along the outside of the cylinder of knitting, rather than along the inside of the cylinder. This means the floats will be longer by default.
DOMINANCE… it’s important in knitting too
In Fair Isle knitting, there is a term called ‘yarn dominance’. Essentially, the yarn that is drawn up from underneath the other yarn creates slightly larger stitches. This yarn, called the dominant one, ‘pops’ more in the colourwork pattern. So it is a beneficial habit to always carry the colour that you want to ‘pop’ underneath the other colour. This also results in the benefit that the backside of the work is very tidy looking and has a beautiful pattern in its own right! Very satisfying, if you’re a little bit OCD like me. Ysolda has a more in-depth discussion of why yarn dominance occurs, and how important it is.
When in doubt, BLOCK IT OUT
Ladies and Gentlemen, knitters all if you’ve gotten this far down the page, let me tell you how much I love blocking! When you are soaking a multi-colour project like the Clayoquot toque, add a little white vinegar to the soaking water, and don’t soak it for too long. This will help to prevent vivid colours from bleeding one into the other.
With this smooth, even yarn, and my relaxed even gauge, you can’t see so much of a difference between the pre-blocking and post-blocking fabrics. But with a ‘woolier’ wool and wonkier tension, you’ll find there is even more benefit to blocking.
I LOVE FAIR ISLE… what shall I knit next?
So once you’ve knit a Clayoquot toque for you (and maybe one for everybody else you know too), what will you knit next? We’ve got a number of cool colourwork projects for you:
Share the Knit Knowledge
Do you have friends who might like to try this free pattern, or benefit from these tips? Share this post, or let them know about all the great free patterns from The Simple Collection. And join in the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry!