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Year of the Sweater – update time!

July 9, 2015

This year is the year of the sweater here at Tin Can Knits! In case you hadn’t heard, we are knitting 12 sweaters in 2015. The rules are loose (this is knitting after all, who needs rules?!), they can be big or little, you can finish sweaters you started years ago, and sleeve length is up to you!

There is a Ravelry group here and all the details of our KAL are spelled out here.

Playdate from Max & Bodhi's Wardrobe

The yellow Playdate cardi in Sweet Fiber Cashmerino 20 in ‘Canary’ was the first sweater I finished in 2015!

Are you ready for this: I have FINISHED 12 sweaters. *Alexa takes a bow and thanks you all for your applause*. It’s July. The only trouble is, a few of them are designs that I can’t show you…yet! Here are a few of the ones I can show you:

Flax for Ellis

I started this little Flax on Christmas day, the day I found out my nephew Ellis was on his way! (thanks for modeling Bodhi!)


I made this little Flax sweater in SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in ‘Cypress’ and ‘Glacier’ as a gift

I know, I know, I’ve been a little obsessed with the Flax sweater. I have knit 5 already this year! It’s really just the most perfect baby present. Quick and simple but very effective. I’ve also finished one for me! It is blocking now so I will be doing some modelling in the near future. And in case you didn’t know, Flax is a free pattern!

Prairie Fire

You may remember this little number from my wardrobe for Ellis, it is Prairie Fire in Madelinetosh DK in ‘El Greco’

My mum in the Grace sweater (by Jane Richmond) I finished for Mothers Day

My mum in the Grace sweater (by Jane Richmond) I finished for Mothers Day

I didn’t just start sweaters, and they aren’t all kiddie ones! I finished this Grace sweater, by Jane Richmond, in Sweet Fiber Sweet Merino Lite. I started this sweater with the intentions of finishing it for Knit City…2013! Well I finally put on the button band and the sleeves in time for Mothers Day this year.

Emily’s Sweaters

Emily has also been clicking her knitting needles to get to her sweater goal in 2015. She is in the same boat as I am, not being able to show you ALL the sweaters she’s knit so far, but here are a few highlights.

Em finished this peanut vest early in January

Em finished this Peanut vest in The Uncommon Thread early in January

Max in his new Flax, he outgrew all his wee sweaters at once so Em had to get moving on this one!

Max in his new Flax, he outgrew all his wee sweaters at once so Em had to get moving on this one! Rainbow Heirloom Sweater  in the beautiful Jewel Sea colourway

Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

An Antler for herself. In an effort to create our own sweater wardrobes Em picked this sweater back up that was on hold.

This little number is an adaptation of our Flax pattern, details coming soon!

This little number is an adaptation of our Flax pattern, details coming soon! The yarn is Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘Princess Rockstar’


Em’s Snowflake Sweater in Rainbow Heirloom is underway!

Even though I have achieved my sweater goal I’m not nearly done! I still have 3 sweaters for me on the needles (Prairie Fire, Windswept, and Antler), yarn wound up for September sweaters for the kids (more Flax, I can’t get enough!), I was thinking some Christmas sweaters (knitters have to think ahead) and more designs of course. What can I say, I’ve caught the sweater bug!

More Flax sweaters on the horizon....

More Flax sweaters on the horizon….

So how are your 12 sweaters in 2015 coming?


More sweaters from TCK




Focus on FREE

July 2, 2015

Alexa and I love designing enjoyable knits.  What do we love even more?  Publishing free patterns that are accessible to everybody, making them perfect for sharing and teaching knitting. You’ve probably heard about The Simple Collection, 8 modern free patterns with in-depth tutorials, but you might not have seen some of our other free patterns.

Tin Can Knits Free Patterns

Deliciously simple and satisfying free patterns… and in-depth tutorials to guide you as you learn new techniques.

So if you’re looking to save a little cash, or try out a new technique without too much commitment, you know where to find fabulous free patterns!  Our free patterns go through the same rigorous process as our pay patterns, you can count on the same concise pattern writing, thorough testing and technical editing. Browse our website, and look for the patterns with the asterisk in the photo… that means FREE!

You can also find all of our free patterns in one place on our website on our free pattern page, and on Ravelry in our Fab and Free bundle.

Conquer colourwork with three free patterns:

These adorable little hats and ornaments are great learner projects.  Sized for the entire family, they make perfect gifts too! If you’re not quite sure where to start, look at our tutorials on how to knit fair-isle, choosing a colour palette, and how to read knitting charts.

Clayoquot Toque by Tin Can Knits

The modern geometric pattern of the Clayoquot Toque will make it an instant hit with the whole family.

Fancy Balls by Tin Can Knits

Fancy Balls! These cute little ornaments are a great place to learn new techniques.

I Heart Rainbows Hat by Tin Can Knits

I Heart Rainbows… This darling little hat is a perfect way to get started with fair-isle… you may love it so much that you have to knit the matching sweater!

Learn to love lace with two free patterns:

Here at Tin Can Knits we love lace.  Yup, we really love it.  And we want to share this love with you!  We’ve got a great beginner’s lace tutorial, and an in-depth look at how to read knitting charts.  So grab a free pattern and get started today!

Gothic Lace Cowl by Tin Can Knits

The Gothic Lace Cowl (or scarf) is a perfect first lace project; simple, symmetrical and rhythmic.

Estuary Shawl by Tin Can Knits

Once you’re ready to venture past the basics and into more complex lace knitting, try the exquisite Estuary shawl.

Overcome your fear of cables with these free patterns:

Cables aren’t as hard as you think.  As the game of thrones enthusiasts love to say: “Winter Is Coming” (of course it does every year), so cast on for a cushy cabled hat today!  If it’s your first time, check out our tutorial on how to cable.

Northward Hat by Tin Can Knits

The Northward Toque features very simple cables in a chunky yarn, perfect for your first cables!

Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits

Once you understand the basics, make Antler Hats for the entire family… they’re the perfect unisex gift!

New knits all the time…

If you love free patterns, you should get our email updates!  We’ll tell you about new designs, great sales, and excellent tutorials as they are launched.  This post has featured just a few of our free patterns, browse through the others on Ravelry, or on our website.  Please help us continue to provide these great resources by sharing this post with your friends, and joining the chat on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Ravelry!

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Is there a specific technique you’d like to learn next?  Let us know in the comments, and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.

Free Patterns from TCK:

HUK-estuary-tmbcSC-harvest-tmb-bMalt Blanket by Tin Can KnitsOats Cowl by Tin Can KnitsRye Socks by Tin Can KnitsTCK-gothiclace-tmb-aSimple Yet Effective CowlWheat Scarf by Tin Can Knits


Northward – a free cable hat pattern!

June 30, 2015
Northward Hat by Tin Can Knits

Northward, another fabulous free pattern by Tin Can Knits.

You may be feeling the heat of summer (in places that have hot summers, sighs Emily in the cool of Edinburgh), but we’re always thinking ahead to quick knits for fall and winter.  Formerly Emily’s Chunky Cable hat, Northward is a super quick chunky cable hat, now sized from baby to big, and fabulously free!

Northward: simple cushy cables

Northward Hat by Tin Can Knits

Northward Project Details :::

Northward Hat by Tin Can KnitsPattern: Free Pattern – download now!
Sizing: baby (child, adult S/M, L); fits head 14 (17, 20, 23) inches around
Yarn: 70 (80, 100, 120) yds worsted / aran wt yarn.  Shown in Madelinetosh Home in ‘charcoal’ and ‘tart’
Needles: US #9 / 5.5mm 16” circular and US #10.5 / 6.5mm 16” circular and DPNs, baby size worked entirely on DPNs
Gauge: 14 sts & 20 rounds / 4” in stockinette on larger needles
Notions: stitch marker, cable needle, darning needle

Northward Hat by Tin Can Knits

It’s cute on little babes too!

Is it time to tackle cables?

I always say that cables are the best kept secret in knitting! They look impressive, but to be honest, basic cables aren’t that much more difficult than your standard knit and purl.  We’ve got a step-by-step tutorial here, so just download Northward and cast on now!

How To Cable

Do you teach knitting?

If you’re teaching a beginners cable class, the Northward pattern or the Antler Hat pattern are ideal free patterns to base your class upon.  You are always welcome use Tin Can Knits free (or paid) patterns for teaching, that’s what they’re designed for!  Would you like to learn more about our free patterns and tutorials?  Get our email updates so you don’t miss out on the new designs and subscriber-only specials.


The Antler hat, another great free cable pattern from Tin Can Knits.

 Other cozy cable projects by TCK:

Antler CardiganDrift blanket by Tin Can KnitsStovetop Hat by Tin Can Knits


Who knit it best? A Max & Bodhi’s Roundup

June 25, 2015

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can KnitsIt 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.

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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.

Bumble Beanie by Tin Can Knits

Super cute Bumble Beanies by desiloopbyssk, ViolettaI (best pompom ever!), and laserlemon (do I love the hat or the hair more…?).

Peanut Vest by Tin Can Knits

Irresistible Peanuts by beckyswaff, ninaA24 (love the matching Bumble Beanie), and willsoma in a super cool grellow combination!

Rocky Joggers by Tin Can Knits

Sweet Rocky joggers by bensgirl102397 and tanisfiberarts (love that little duplicate stitch heart!).

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Gorgeous Playdate cardigans by atomicathena, undone57 (what a darling!), and ashley1214 (love the long, relaxed, comfy look!).

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

More mini Playdate cardis by 88stitches, actionhadley (love the red buttons on purple…), and helenmalone (check out the amazing dinosaur buttons this dude picked out himself).

Fly Away Blanket by Tin Can Knits

Epic Fly Away blankets by knit24seven (check out the rainbow edging!), outofthisworld, and chelseathenoble.

Fly Away Blanket knit by Tanis Fiber Arts

Our very favourite of all Fly Away is this exquisite knit by Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts… Read more about it on her blog!

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).

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can KnitsRocky Joggers by Tin Can KnitsBumble Beanie by Tin Can KnitsPeanut Vest by Tin Can KnitsLittle Squirrel Socks by Tin Can KnitsFly Away Blanket by Tin Can Knits


Photoshoots and Outtakes

June 18, 2015

Max & Bodhi donned ALL the knits for a chilly beach morning in January

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?!

Bumble Beanie by Tin Can Knits

Here are Max, Bodhi, and Emily in  all the knits from our latest collection

Copycat Bodhi giving us her silly face

Copycat Bodhi giving us her silly face..look ma, I have a tongue too! We forgot to give her her comb-over for this shot

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!

Max was in fine form all morning giving us his famous 'blue steel' and whatever this adorableness is!

Max was in fine form all morning giving us his famous ‘blue steel’ and whatever this adorableness is!

Being mischievous helped Bodhi relax a little

Being mischievous helped Bodhi relax a little

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!

Bodhi tried to motor out of the frame for the zillionth time

Bodhi trying to motor out of the frame for the zillionth time

When they were finally on the same page it was not a good one....

When they were finally on the same page it was not a good one….

Max was particularly perturbed by this shot. Maybe we weren't getting his 'good side'?

Max was particularly perturbed by this shot. Maybe we weren’t getting his ‘good side’?

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.


She may look inquisitive to the untrained eye, but mama knows that is one mad baby!


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

stitch by stitch – a wardrobe for a nephew

June 16, 2015

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).


Prairie Fire in Madelinetosh Tosh DK in ‘El Greco’

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!?

IMG_6525 IMG_6545 IMG_6538

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!

IMG_6564 copy


Baltic Baby Sweater in Sweet Fiber Merinos Twist Worsted in ‘smoke’ and ‘purple night’


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… a stylish beanie for the whole family

June 11, 2015
Bumble Beanie by Tin Can Knits

Max, Bodhi, and Emily in ‘all the knits’ from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe, including the Bumble Beanie!

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!

Bumble Beanie by Tin Can Knits

Bodhi and Max are rockin’ the Bumble beanie with glorious big pompoms!  These two are knit in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘boyfriend jeans’ with ‘cloudy sky’ pompom and The Uncommon Thread Merino DK in ‘beeswax’ with ‘golden praline’ as a contrast colour.

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!

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

Emily is wearing the adult S, knit in Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘cloudy sky’ with a bright pompom in The Uncommon Thread Merino DK in ‘beeswax’

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 Beanie and Playdate Cardigan

Bodhi’s a beauty in her Bumble beanie and Playdate cardigan, both from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

Beanies in a million colours! The additional samples shown here are in The Uncommon Thread Merino DK in ‘toast’ and ‘squirrel nutkin’, Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘canary’ and Hazel Knits Cadence in ‘frost’ and ‘white winged dove’.

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!

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

In a single colour, the slipped-stitch pattern creates a subtle waffle texture pattern.  This is Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘cloudy sky’.

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

The ‘wrong side’ of a single-colour hat. The slip-stitch pattern makes an interesting texture with little banded columns.  This is Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted in ‘canary’.

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

A two-colour Bumble Beanie with one-round stripes.  This is Hazel Knits Cadence in ‘frost’ and ‘white winged dove’.

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

The ‘wrong side’ of a two-colour Bumble Beanie with one-round stripes.

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

A two-colour Bumble Beanie with two-round stripes.  This is The Uncommon Thread Merino DK in ‘toast’ and ‘squirrel nutkin’.

Bumble beanie by Tin Can Knits

The ‘wrong side’ of a two-colour Bumble Beanie with two-round stripes.

Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe: Modern Baby Knits

Max & Bodhi's WardrobeMax & 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:

Tall Dark & Handsome hatStovetop HatClayoquot Hat


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