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ROAD TRIP ::: the inspiration for a new collection

August 26, 2014

Emily and I have been busy ladies this year. We brought two new babies into the world, Max and Bodhi (destined to be some sort of crime fighting duo with names like those), and we have been working on another baby, our fifth book, Road Trip: 14 knits inspired by the open road.

Read about our inspirations for this book, our traditions and our adventures, and check out a sneak preview of the delicious knits.  We are launching the book very soon… hop on our email list and we’ll let you know when it’s ready!

::: roadtrips – a family tradition :::

I have always loved a good road trip. I think this love of the road dates back to family road trips we took when I was small.  That’s me, peeking out of the back of our VW Van on my first camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. Hopping in the car with my parents, and not much later my brothers, there was a sense of adventure and endless possibilities. I would band together with my siblings, friends for the trip, and get to know my parents in a different light. Memorable conversations, sights, and experiences were guaranteed.


That’s me, on my first road trip!

Lake Louise circa 1986

Alexa at Lake Louise circa 1986 (and I think mum is even wearing a knit sweater!)

::: roadtripping in search of adventure :::

Emily is a woman of great adventure. She has taken many journeys across and around North America, by bus, car, and bicycle. She loves to head out into the hills with nothing but the pack on her back and always returns feeling refreshed and re-energized. Road trips are an excellent opportunity to go off the beaten path, venture out into the unknown, and to challenge yourself in new ways. They offer a chance to re-connect with yourself and think outside the box. You return home with a different perspective on life and renewed enthusiasm for projects… knitting or otherwise!


Giving a cactus some love in Texas

Emily took her most adventurous road trip when she was 19.  She had finished her second year of university and had a job lined up in San Francisco.  After an all-night party, friends dropped her at the Greyhound bus station, and with flowers in her hair she embarked on a non-stop journey from Toronto to California.  Reading Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, and inspired by his example, Em ate nothing for the next three days but apple pie and ice cream in the truckstops where the bus paused. She washed her hair in bus station washrooms and attempted to sleep scrunched into a little ball as the bus rocked its way across the country.  When they hit the desert, she unkinked her spine and shared a smoke with the punk rockers who sat in the back of the bus while watching a red sunrise over the foreign landscape.  Lack of sleep made the trip a surreal collage of new and beautiful experiences.  After 75 hours she arrived in San Francisco, dumped her bag at a hostel, and went to the beach to dip her feet in the Pacific. She was a hopeless romantic then, and not much has changed since!
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Em nearing the end of the John Muir trail, a 2-week backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas


Em smiling in Death Valley


Our old jeep, loaded with surf boards in Tofino


a whimsical line in the sand

::: the romance of the open road :::

Road trips also offer a sense of romance. There is something very exciting about getting away with a new love. Long car chats, shared adventures, and romantic locales give you time to get to know one another without distractions. Sipping lattes at a quaint cafe, enjoying a pint in a rustic mountains pub, or taking a stroll down a wooded path are fond memories I hold. When I was a bit younger, I went on a road trip with my boyfriend. We enjoyed endless conversation about everything under the sun and it was then I knew I would marry that man. Seven years later I did, and Gary still loves a road trip as much as I do!

my favorite part of the world to see from the window

one of my favourite parts of the world to see from the window

Now Gary and I take our three kids on the road and it is as great as I remember. We visit all of our favourite spots but they are somehow different. Seen through little eyes with boundless enthusiasm, everything old is new again. Their young sense of adventure makes me feel renewed.

Gary and Hunter having fun in the setting sun

Gary and Hunter having fun in the setting sun

Snuggles on the beach

Jones enjoying snuggles on the beach

::: Road Trip : 14 Knits Inspired by the Open Road :::

Road Trip is a book of designs inspired by all of these things, by nostalgia, romance and adventure, looking forward and back. Beautiful views from winding mountain passes to leisurely afternoons in quaint coffee shops. So grab your needles and yarn, pack up the car, and take your knitting on the road!


A little preview of some of the delicious knits… Get our emails to learn when the book is live!

::: Road Trip is COMING SOON :::

For more details on the patterns and ordering stay tuned, announcements are coming soon!

In the mean time, tell us about your most memorable road trip! What are your favourite memories and experiences on the open road?

Keep up with Tin Can Knits :::   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



Knitting Along

August 5, 2014

Sometimes knitting seems like a solitary hobby/habit/lifestyle, especially if you are missing the love of the LYS. Well, this summer there are 2 ways to keep in touch with knitters working on the same project as you! The Summer Sweater KAL is on at Very Shannon and Anna of Baaad Anna’s is hosting a Gramps Grown up KAL too!

First up, the Summer Sweater KAL. This will be my second time with the SSKAL, last year I whipped up an Antler sweater for Hunter that I love and an Urban Hiker for Jones. The Urban Hiker met with a rather unfortunate incident while blocking on the patio (a bird flew over…and unloaded on my sweater). It is waiting patiently by my dye pot to become a different (and darker) colour to this day.


Hunter’s Antler Sweater from the 2013 SSKAL

This year, I’m upping my game. I’m knitting a Gramps in a grown up size for Bobby. I agreed to knit Bobby a sweater about 3 years ago when I knit a sweater for a baby shower for his little girl. I usually don’t knit sweaters for other grown people (except my mum) but he was just so smitten with the idea of matching hand knit sweaters I couldn’t resist! My intentions were good, but my free time is low so the sweater remained an idea until now. This SSKAL is the perfect kick in the bum to get me going!

Coffee and yarn, ready to cast on!

Coffee and yarn, ready to cast on!

My Gramps will be in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in ‘Rainwater’ and I’m still undecided on the contrast (maybe ‘Twig’?).

Emily’s Lush WIP

Emily will be working on a Lush sweater again this year (who can get enough of that pattern?!). She is knitting it up her Rainbow Heirloom yarn in ‘Favourite Aunty’ and you can check out all the gritty details here.

You can find all the SSKAL details as well as the sign up info here. It started on July 30th and ends September 24th, follow along on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #sskal14 There will be prizes so make sure you sign up!

Baaad Anna’s is a very community oriented shop. There always seem to be knitters hanging out on her comfy couch, there are toys for the wee ones, and customers often appear on the blog, modeling their recent FO’s. Anna has been begging for the grown up Gramps for ages and when it finally arrived she was ready to start a KAL! To join along you can check out her Rav group here or Instagram and Twitter along with the hashtag #grampskal

More TCK sweater that would be perfect for a KAL:




Gramps: All Grown Up

July 26, 2014

9M-gramps-27aEver since we first released the Gramps pattern in 2011 (I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already!) we have had requests for this sweater in grown up sizes. Well the grown up Gramps is here at last! Now you can knit your adorable little grump and your more mature grump the very same sweater.


The original Gramps was inspired by the idea that wee babies look a lot like grandpas. They just have that grandpa face! It’s adorable to think about small children with little pockets for their pipes and elbow patches to cover years of wear and a generous shawl collar too! They look old and young, vintage and new, all at the same time. But what of the adults who love this look? Now we have something for them too!

I have always loved a shawl collar. It makes a sweater look casual and vintage. It conjures images of fireplaces, farmhouses, and newspapers for me. I can picture both my father and my grandfather in worn sweaters, sitting by the fire with their newspaper (I realize this comment is kind of dated in the digital age, an iPad would be more up-to-date but you get the picture!). This classic knit is oh so cozy, with details to keep you warm while looking cool.

Gramps is knit from the top down, shawl collar and button bands are picked up and  pockets and elbow patches are sewn on last. To knit a Gramps of your own here are the materials:

Pattern: Gramps by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: We used Madelinetosh Vintage. Hunter is wearing size 2-4 in ‘robin red breast’ and ‘whiskey barrel’, Jones is wearing 6-12 mo in ‘whiskey barrel’ and ‘well water’, and Emily is wearing size S in ‘charcoal’ and ‘smoke’)

Needles: US #7 / 4.5mm and US #6 / 4.0 mm (or as req’d to meet gauge); baby – 6-8 yrs: 32”+ circ and DPNs in ea size
8-10 yrs – Ladies L: 40”+ circ and DPNs in ea size Ladies XL – 4XL: 47”+ circ and DPNs in ea size, plus 16” circ in larger size for upper sleeve

If you are daunted by raglan sweaters, short rows, or pockets you can check out our fabulous Gramps tutorial here. We will take you step by step through the sweater knitting process.

The only question is: Who will you be knitting up a Gramps sweater for?

More sweaters for wee ones and grown ones from TCK:


A Yarny Excursion

July 23, 2014

IMG_6074Vancouver has an abundance of wonderful yarn shops and in my job I get to frequent them all (it’s tough work but someone has to do it). Last weekend I had a great opportunity to hit the road with some knitterly friends and check out a few shops across the border: Churchmouse Yarn and Teas and Tolt Yarn and Wool in Washington. I arose at an awful hour, packed up Bodhi and away we went!



Yummy Shelter from Brooklyn Tweed

Yummy Shelter from Brooklyn Tweed

Another cute little touch in this charming shop

Another cute little touch in this charming shop

Blue Moon Fiber Arts looking good!

Blue Moon Fiber Arts looking good!

Our first stop was Churchmouse Yarns, a great little shop in a super cute neighborhood on Bainbridge Island. The ladies gushed over Bodhi while helping us with our yarny needs. I’ve been knitting with Brooklyn Tweed lately so I was drawn to their full collection of Shelter, all in a pretty cabinet display. There was recycled cashmere, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and Spin Cycle yarns to oggle too. I nabbed some great toggle buttons and some Shelter in Plum (might be a cabled cowl or scarf, not too sure yet… wheels are turning!).

Spotted some Spin Cycle

Spotted some Spin Cycle

Emily eyed Journey in the wild

Emily eyed Journey in the wild

The take home

The take home

Next stop was Tolt Yarn and Wool and I am just in love! The whole shop has a wonderful antique vibe with beautiful wood pieces to hold the pretty yarns. Not to mention the friendly and helpful staff, they treated us like knitting queens. Tolt carries some fantastic yarns that I haven’t seen too often including YOTH Yarns, Quince and Co, and Hazel Knits. I picked up a skein of the YOTH Yarns Big Sister DK (80/10/10 merino, cashmere, nylon) and Em picked up a whole sweater’s worth. I can’t wait to get it on the needles!

The details were all so cute at Told, from the sign on the door....

The details were all so cute at Told, from the sign on the door…. the chalk board behind the counter.....

…to the chalk board behind the counter….. the adorable mugs!

…to the cool mugs!

I first met Hazel Knits yarn at Vogue Knitting and have been petting the lovely skeins I bought there ever since. I knit Hunter a little sweater in their sock yarn and the colour depth is amazing. I wanted to take home the whole display but settled on enough ‘Emerald City’ for a Hunter sweater and the last skein of ‘Sedge’ because I had to have it!

Bodhi hanging out amongst the yarn

Bodhi hanging out amongst the yarn





I wanted to take this whole cubby home...

I wanted to take this whole cubby home…

This is what I DID take home!

This is what I DID take home!

Ashley checking out the YOTH yarns

Ashley checking out the YOTH yarns

The crew and I skipped down the road with our full bags to a little cafe for the best egg salad sandwich I have ever eaten then it was back on the road. A long but wonderful day. Thanks again to Ashley for organizing and to Em and Tabitha for being fun car-mates!

Where do you go on your yarny adventures out of town?

TCK patterns perfect for YOTH Yarns

Welcome Bodhi

July 18, 2014

IMG_5795Well, it’s been a little over a month and I’m finally writing about Bodhi! Those of you who follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter have seen her around, she has already had her first flight and her first camping trip. She has modeled her first sweater and smiled her first smile. She rolled over (it was a couch assist so I’m not sure it was for real) and she likes to look at her dangling toys. She’s a pretty easy kid and is adapting well to the chaos that is our home.


The best part about having 3 kids is their relationship as siblings. They love, they fight, and they play together. Hunter was instantly in love with Bodhi and we called her mama Hunter for a while. I think Hunter held her more than anyone else for the first 3 days of her life. Jones was a little more apprehensive about this new little creature in his home. He missed having the full attention of his big sister. Now that everyone is used to having a wee sister here, Jones has come around. Each morning he greet her with a surfer dude ‘hey Bodes!’. Hilarious.


And what of Bodhi’s knit wardrobe you ask?! I will start with the 2 littlest sweaters. I knit her this lovely Flax when I first found out I was pregnant. It is the wonderful Cashmerino Worsted from Sweet Fiber in ‘Ecru’ and I eked it out of 1 skein (it was dicey but I managed). I was especially happy to have this wee sweater when we took the family on a camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. Bodhi was snug as a bug!


This little number is an Antler sweater I knit in SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted ‘riptide’ and it is a hand-me-down from Jonesie. It fit Jones for about 5 minutes after I finished knitting it (I started it after he was born) and it was pristine for Bodes. I put it on her yesterday in the heat of summer for a few quick pics and she took it like a champ. Welcome Bodhi and may there be many delicious knits in your future!


Is there a new baby in your life? What are you knitting for the shower?

More yummy baby knits from TCK


Announcing Rainbow Heirloom … brilliant yarn pairings for Tin Can Knits designs

July 10, 2014

Classic RainbowAs our friends and family (and some of our fans) already know, Alexa and I are currently hard at work on our newest book… it’s still a surprise, but we will be sharing some juicy details soon.

But for the past year, here in Edinburgh, I have been working away behind the scenes to develop a line of hand-dyed yarns and knitting kits designed to work perfectly with our patterns!

As you know, here at Tin Can Knits we love to work with subtle kettle dyed yarns, and have a bias toward superwash wools… probably because we design so many baby things!  And you will probably also know that we love a rainbow…

So without further ado I would like to announce my yarn + knitting kit line: Rainbow Heirloom!

Rainbow Heirloom

To begin, I have created rainbow blanket kits which include a whopping 21 colours each!  There are also luscious single skeins in bright and bold colours.  And in the coming months I will be creating sweater kits for some of our popular patterns, including Lush, Snowflake, and, Low Tide and Windswept (get Rainbow Mail to hear when those launch…!).

Classic Rainbow

Vivid Blanket Kit – ‘classic rainbow’ … from vivid purples through lemony yellows to deep submarine blues.


Vivid Blanket Kit – ‘princess rockstar’ rainbow… from palest peach to blood orange and deep dangerous purple.


Vivid Blanket Kit ‘sunshine and storm’ rainbow… moody blues and stormy greys punctuated by bright rays of yellow.

Lush in Rainbow Heirloom SweaterRainbow Heirloom yarns will be available primarily online, but my friend Jess at Ginger Twist Studio is featuring Rainbow Heirloom Sweater and Rainbow Heirloom Cash Light as her ‘yarns of the month’ for July… you can read more about them on her blog, and stop by to pet the yarns in person if you are in Edinburgh!  Jess has knit up a gorgeous cropped version of Lush in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘aussie sunshine’.  I love that she never shies away from bright and bold colourways!

What have I knit so far…?  Well of course I made a little Antler cardigan as one of my first projects!

Antler Cardigan

Antler Cardigan, knit in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘spearmint’

And to test out the full rainbow, I made myself a big beautiful vivid blanket of course… (I’ll tell you more about that later!).

Vivid Blanket in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater

Vivid Blanket in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater ‘classic rainbow’ kit.


Vivid Blanket in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater ‘classic rainbow’ kit

And right now, I’m working on a Lush cardigan just for me!  Check out some more photos of that work-in-progress on the Rainbow Heirloom blog.

Rainbow Heirloom Sweater

The yarn for my new Lush cardi – Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘favourite aunty’

Lush CardiganLush in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater

Check out a few of my favourite colourways, and find the full palette here!

Rainbow MailWant to follow Rainbow Heirloom to hear about new colours, kits, exclusive yarn clubs and knit-a-longs? 

There will be some excellent subscriber-only discounts and exciting contests in the near future…  The best way is to get Rainbow Mail – our monthly email updates!

Rainbow Heirloom on FacebookRainbow Heirloom on Instagram Rainbow Heirloom on RavelryRainbow Heirloom on TwitterYou can also connect with us online: on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Ravelry, the Rainbow Heirloom blog, and shop.

Brilliant patterns for Rainbow Heirloom Sweater:

Dogwood Blanket by Tin Can KnitsVivid Blanket by Tin Can KnitsLush cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Chrysanthemum Shawl – a big bountiful lace bloom!

July 5, 2014

Chrysanthemum Shawl by Tin Can KnitsAlexa is constantly knitting, and this is one of the more recent creations off her needles… a big spring green version of the Chrysanthemum Shawl.  It looks like she has caught the lace bug this season too…

When I originally created this design, I knit it in vivid pink, so Alexa’s version is quite a departure… but still very much in keeping with the botanical nature of the design!


Alexa knit hers in DK weight yarn, so it came out a little bigger than the original sample which was made in sock weight.


Chrysanthemum Shawl by Tin Can Knits::: Chrysanthemum Project Details :::

Pattern: Chrysanthemum Shawl or Blanket (published by SweetGeorgia Yarns) – the pattern includes instructions for a semi-circular shawl or a circular lace blanket.
Sizing: Shawl measures 54” across by 27” long. Blanket measures 60” across.  Sample shown in SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in ‘basil
Needles: US #6 / 4mm needles
Gauge: 22 sts / 4 inches in stockinette stitch… but sizing is not crucial for this project, so achieving precise gauge isn’t too important.
Notions: stitch markers, darning needle, blocking wires (if desired for blocking)


Chrysanthemum Shawl by Tin Can Knits

The original Chrysanthemum Shawl – knit in SweetGeorgia Merino Silk Fine in ‘orchid’

Chrysanthemum Shawl by Tin Can Knits

Bold Bright pink, or verdant leafy green… which would you knit?

Chrysanthemum Shawl by Tin Can Knits


Gothic Lace PatternWant to get started knitting lace?  We have an excellent free beginners lace pattern, Gothic Lace, which comes with an in-depth tutorial to guide you on your way!  Lace looks tricky, but really isn’t so difficult – just cast on and get started today.

Uncomfortable with lace knitting techniques?  We have tutorials that cover the garter-tab cast on (how many top-down shawls are started), how to read charts, and how to block a lace shawl or blanket.

Share the knowledge, join the conversation :::  If you know a knitter who would benefit from these tutorials, share this post.  We’d also love for you to join in the chat and share your projects 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 Tin Can Knits on Ravelry

More Lovely Lace Shawls:

Rosebud Shawl by Tin Can KnitsEstuary Shawl by Tin Can KnitsSunflower Shawl by Tin Can Knits


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