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Love Note For Littles

February 27, 2020

It has brought me so much joy to see ALL the Love Note sweaters, on Ravelry, on Instagram, and in person at Knit City. So many beautiful combinations of yarns and colours, on all different bodies too!

Many people in the same lace yoke sweater.
This was only Day 1! It was a heart warming experience to see all the beautiful Love Notes wander by the booth!

Love Note is not just for grown ups!

While our initial concept was definitely a grown up party sweater (you can read all about Emily’s sweater inspiration here), there’s no need to keep all the fun for ourselves! Love Note is ultra cute on kids too. I knit these two for Bodhi and her buddy Liv and they couldn’t have been more adorable picking flowers in the field!

Love Note Pattern

Bodhi was so smitten with her Love Note she has requested mittens that are “as soft as my pretty hairy sweater” (kid descriptions are the best). Check out the mittens that resulted from this request!

2 balls of yarn, one purple mohair, the other white with speckles next to a sweater laid flat.
La Bien Aimee Mohair in ‘PB&J’ and Singles in ‘neon static’

While knitters have made Love Notes in all manner of yarns, we knit up the originals and these wee ones with a strand of mohair held together with a strand of single ply fingering weight yarn.

These magical little sweaters took 1 ball of each, the single and the mohair. I made them both using skeins of beautiful La Bien Aimee yarns I couldn’t resist when we visited Aimee in Paris last year. Liv’s is made using ‘neon static’ for the single and ‘PB&J’ for the mohair. It’s amazing how the layering has made a completely new colour!

Love Note pattern

Bodhi’s Love Note is ‘rust’ on ‘rust’. Same or similar-colour tonal combinations are a ‘sure thing’ if you are worried how a more adventurous combination would come out. Learn more about blending with mohair in this post, Emily made about a million swatches to demonstrate the painterly beauty of layering colours!

Love Note Pattern

I recently cast on a Love Note sweater for Hunter too (she couldn’t miss out on all the fun!). This one is made using Hedgehog Fibers in the colourway ‘beach bunny’ for both the mohair and the single. It has a lovely wild quality layering a speckle on a speckle.

2 balls of blue speckled yarns next to a coffee cup and knitting that is only a few rows in.
Love Note Pattern

Do you knit for any little ones in your life? What are your favorite type of kid patterns to knit?

Scrappy World's Simplest Mittens (marled edition)

February 5, 2020

Who wants to make anything twice, really?

a mismatched pair of marled mittens on a mossy wall

And is there any (really good) reason why your mittens need to match? I’ve decided that no, they don’t really need to match. And making them ‘fraternal’ rather than ‘identical’ means that I can explore colour twice, instead of just once! This makes for double fun, and helps me avoid ‘second mitten syndrome’.

Triptych Mitten Pattern
Alexa is also generally opposed to matching mittens, she couldn’t bear to knit another Triptych mitten in the exact same colours.

My cozy Waves mittens got a small hole near the fingertips. They’ve been sitting on my windowsill for the last 3 weeks, awaiting repair. I don’t want to wear them, because the hole will get worse, but it’s been COLD here in Edinburgh and I need mittens. The solution?! I couldn’t possibly do the 15 minutes of repair work. Much more sensible to cast on an exciting new pair, right? Mending can wait.

pink and red yarns and the beginning of a mitten

I have a new website to build and a MOUNTAIN of new design work due months ago, but all of a sudden it became critical that I cast on!

The World's Simplest Mittens Pattern

The World’s Simplest Mittens is a free pattern! Download it now, it’s sized from toddler on up to large adult! The best thing about this pattern, in my opinion, is that you can make them again and again, in various and sundry yarns, because we included instructions for sock weight, DK weight, Aran Weight, and even Chunky weight yarns!

little striped mittens
I made this tiny striped pair for Max years ago, and this winter Neve is wearing them.

I followed the chunky weight instructions this time. To make up this weight I held 3 strands of sock yarn together with a single strand of mohair-silk lace. I had recently seen somebody (brilliant) on Instagram do something like this, and obviously the idea had lodged in the back of my brain! Check out our tutorial on how to make marls by holding yarns together if you haven’t tried this technique (it’s FUN FUN FUN!).

I cast the first mitten in the dark, while watching a movie with the kids. I didn’t think much about the colours, and couldn’t see them properly. After a few rounds with the dark blue mohair, I thought I didn’t really like it. So I switched to the hot pink, which blended more with the other reds. The next morning, I saw the work in the light of day and thought perhaps I did really like that dark blue marled in, and decided to work the mitten tip with blues added back in.

a pink mitten, yarns, and the beginning of a green one

Once the first one was done the key was to cast on IMMEDIATLEY for mitten two. I thought I’d go a little ‘nautical’ or ‘christmas’ themed, and do one red and one green mitten. I thought they’d be kinda ugly cool. Success there!

a mismatched pair of marled mittens

Alexa and I live a continent + an ocean apart, so at times we find out what the other is working on via the other partner’s Instagram posts! Sometimes I worry when I am doing an ‘off topic’ knit, and I post about it, that Alexa will be annoyed because I’m so far behind in the design work that was due yesterday. Because of this, I was a bit anxious when I shared photos of these mittens.

But, as I revealed my mitten #procrastiknitting on Instagram, it turned out that the same weekend, she was knitting a set of marled mittens for Bodhi! So we were not only both #procrastiknitting, we were doing it at the same time, AND following the same free pattern… What a wild coincidence!

kid sized speckled mittens
Alexa made these mittens following the worsted weight instructions in @houseofalamode worsted in ‘glitter beach bum’ with a strand of @labienaimee mohair in ‘PB&J’. Delicious, eh?!

Sweaters in Review

January 9, 2020

This year I wrote a bit about starting a sweater wardrobe for myself (all the details are here). I know some of you are following my journey, so here is a review of my sweaters completed in 2019!

Spoilers: Apparently I only know how to model for photos with my hands in my pockets!

Love Note Sweater
I finished not one but TWO Love Note sweaters this year!

Full disclosure, I started some of these sweaters before 2019… but they all were finished in 2019!

In a fit of finishing I managed to bang out that last sleeve, block and weave in ends, and I even started AND finished a couple, all in the same year. Since my personal knitting is often pushed aside in favour of design work, knits for my kids, and the occasional gift knit, that is a real feat!

Cartography

Cartography sweater pattern

So, I have a feeling I’m going to write this a lot, but I think my favourite sweater I knit this year is my Cartography sweater. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but I REALLY wanted to use Spincycle Dream State and Stone Wool Cormo, so I knit a size L, but at a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch. At the new gauge it ended up around a 51″ finished chest, which is 3-4″ of positive ease for me. Check out our tutorial on knitting a pattern at a different gauge!

Cartography sweater pattern

I really loved working with the Spincycle yarn, I always do! There is something so fun about the subtle slow changes from dark brown to lighter brown and back again. I’m not a terribly fussy knitter (as you may know by now!), so my sleeves are not a perfect match and no, it doesn’t bother me at all. If you ARE a fussy knitter, it is possible to make your sleeves match (approximately) by starting the ball at a specific point.

This sweater is oh so cozy too! The soft Cormo feels great against the skin, and the colourwork makes this sweater doubly thick. I wore it in the evenings on a chilly spring camping trip and it was delightful to be so warm and toasty. I was mocked for wearing a mostly white sweater on a camping trip, but I managed to keep it ketchup, syrup, and marshmallow free!

Two women standing together in matching sweaters.

At Knit City this year my friend Daphne showed up in EXACTLY THE SAME SWEATER! It is the greatest of compliments when a knitter wants to use the same pattern AND yarn, plus when I wasn’t around she told everyone I was the one who copied her…

Love Note (1 and 2)

Love Note sweater pattern

Without a doubt the most popular TCK pattern of 2019 was Love Note. When Emily first explained this design concept I wasn’t really convinced. I was skeptical I would like the mohair or the crop, it seemed like maybe it just wasn’t the sweater for me. But then I knit one. It knit up in a flash (big needles and a crop make for some FAST knitting) and soon I slipped on my soft, fuzzy, floaty sweater. It was a dream! I paired with a casual dress and wore it all over Paris. It is light but warm, the lace is so beautiful, I was hooked.

Love Note sweater pattern

While we were in Paris we visited Aimee of La Bien Aimee, whose yarn I used for my Love Note and who modelled the Love Note sweater for us. While we were at the shop I picked up yarn to make myself a Love Note Christmas sweater. With Emily’s help I chose ‘The Shire’ in both a single ply and a mohair – LBA merino singles and mohair silk. The mohair was a fair bit darker, which makes for a lovely dark halo and the single underneath shines through. I finished this one in December and was so pleased to wear it to holiday parties! If you’re curious about how to choose colours for your Love Note, check out our tutorial on blending mohair with other yarns.

Love Note sweater pattern

As if 2 Love Note sweaters wasn’t enough, I impulsively cast on my third in December. I wanted to try out a slightly wilder mohair with a neutral underneath. This ULTRA fun mohair (the colourway is ‘vintage ornaments’, a perfect name) is from House of a la Mode, as is the very subtly speckled yarn underneath (colourway is ‘into the woods’). I can’t wait to wear this one too!

A hand holding up some knitting in progress in front of a Christmas tree.

Penny

Penny sweater pattern

Penny is the sweater I designed for our mini spring collection. It has ALL the lace, and a v-neck which I’m really enjoying right now. I loved knitting with this La Bien Aimee Merino DK in ‘blush’. While the overall effect is a subtle warm neutral colour, a closer look reveals a rainbow of speckles! This makes not one, but TWO cropped sweaters this year.

Penny sweater pattern
Almanac sweater pattern

Almanac

When we wrapped on Strange Brew I had an undying urge to cast on ALL of the sweaters. I stole Gary’s Marshland (okay, I suppose we really share it) and I finished a Mountain Mist sweater last year, but that still left a lot of sweaters to be knit!

I worked up a whole family of Northward hats this year and really enjoyed working with Brooklyn Tweed Quarry. I didn’t want those leftovers to go to waste so I whipped up this Almanac yoke with the leftovers and a couple of skeins I had in my stash. Then I chose the lovely deep and dark Lazulite for the body, from far away it looks almost black, it’s such a dark blue, but up close it has lighter flecks of teal that steal my heart.

Almanac sweater pattern

This yarn is solidly a chunky weight yarn, so I worked this one up on 6mm needles. At my new gauge of 3.5 sts per inch, I knit the size ML to get the desired 51.5″ chest. At my new gauge the yoke came out a little extra long which I love for this sweater. It is really an oven, meant for me to wear as an outer layer. In Vancouver it rarely gets properly cold, so my bulky Almanac and a puffy vest are all I need most of the time!

What’s next?

I have my third Love Note on the needles so I’ll finish that one up first in 2020. As for wardrobe additions, I want to finish one sock weight sweater for myself this year. Sock weight is something that is sorely missing in my sweater collection, and I think it would get a lot of wear. Em and I are cooking up something new so I’ll be knitting myself a few of our top secret new designs too!

Too Much

December 19, 2019

Sometimes (*ahem* often) I am too much. I am a person filled with big ideas, and rarely the sense to assess the time reality of them. My determination, and my ability to stay up late into the night, usually sees me through, so I learn nothing and continue onwards. I know you all love me for this quality though, right?! It is this ‘too much’ that brought Tin Can Knits into being!

Antler Pullover Pattern
Hunter is developing her own fashion sense and this black sweater fits!

I set out this year to NOT make the kids a new sweaters in the fall. They are lucky enough to have suitable wardrobes to keep them warm, and their sweaters from last year either still fit, or enough have moved down the line, keeping everyone well sweatered. BUT… when Hunter requested a black sweater and I happened to have a sweater amount of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in my office, it seemed reasonable to knit one sweater.

Antler Pullover Pattern

Hunter’s sweater

Since I had this black Quarry on hand, I had to make some modifications to the Antler pullover. My gauge was 3.5 sts per inch, so I knit the 2-4 year size in order to get a 29.75″ chest measurement (that leaves Hunter with a little room to grow). I then customized the lengths to suit Hunter. For more details, we have a tutorial that describes how to knit a garment at a different gauge. On this Antler pullover, I got carried away while cabling, so there is an extra Antler cable that makes the yoke a smidge deeper, but no one is complaining.

a picture begins to form…

Once Hunter’s sweater was done a picture started to form in my mind. Coordinated black sweaters (the other two were knit long ago) and perhaps… perhaps they needed hats to top it all off? You see how this happened right?

Bodhi is wearing the Gramps sweater I made for Jones a few years ago and Jones just barely fit into the Tenderheart sweater I made for him 2 years ago. Tenderheart will pass on to Bodhi next year, and Bodhi’s Gramps will pass on to cousin Ellis. The knits get a lot of love around here!!

Gather Hat Pattern

I had JUST enough of the beautiful Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘auld lang syne’ to make Jones a Gather hat. I couldn’t just let that magical colourway go to waste now could I? I whipped up a Beloved for Bodhi in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in ‘firebrush’, an excellent bright red, I fear she will soon think herself too big for a bonnet!

Beloved Bonnet pattern
Cartography Hat Pattern

For Hunter’s hat I went over the top. From my colourful stash of Arbor I pulled out the most festive colour scheme and away I went! I could knit the Cartography hat (and sweater for that matter) over and over and never get tired. I love the tiny patterns and the changing yarns. It brings me joy to knit it every time.

And so, this picture was created. They are dressed in warm woollies, made with all their mother’s love. Every gift will have this photo on top this year, but seeing these three, with big smiles, in knits I made them is a big gift to me.

Quick Hats!

December 13, 2019

Here in Vancouver it takes a little longer to get properly cold. November is usually coat weather, umbrellas are definitely in use, but it’s not REALLY properly cold. December is when it when winter shows itself here on the west coast. I find the holidays and ‘quick, it’s cold and I need a hat!’ seasons are one and the same! Suddenly everyone is begging for a warm woolly to get them through, and you know me, happy to oblige any knitterly request! Here are a few of my favourite fast hats, in case this happens to you too.

Snap Hat Pattern
Snap hats are definitely potato chip knitting, you can’t knit just one!

Snap

First up is Snap, this is my favourite at this time of year for 2 reasons:
1. It is FAST, knit up on US 10.5 / 6.5mm needles.
2. It is an excellent use for those tiny little balls left over from other projects.

Snap is a perfect playground for experimentation with marling and fades. If you haven’t tried holding yarns together before we have a tutorial for that here, check it out! I’ve been so smitten with mohair this year (Em really convinced me with the Love Note sweater), I’ll definitely be using up those tiny leftover balls from my various sweaters in a Snap!

Snap Hat Pattern
Lily just loved the hot pink at the top!

Northward

Next is the Northward. I have been working on a number of these this year. This hat is also worked on big needles (US 10.5 / 6.5mm), I used Brooklyn Tweed Quarry for these woolly delights! Northward is a free pattern and a great introduction to cables if you haven’t tried them yet (and there is a cable tutorial here to help you along!).

Honeypie

For the bulkiest of hats I always enjoy Honeypie. With bulky yarn (these ones were knit up in Julie Asselin Yotta), AND cables, AND a super ginormous pompom, it’s the perfect ‘too much’ hat. I love a little over-the-top’ when I can get it, as you probably know!

Honeypie Hat Pattern
You gotta love a sister-in-law who dyes her hair to match her hat!
Honeypie Hat pattern
Bodhi is so little here!

So, what are you knitting up for the winter ahead? Are you whipping up quick hats? Or do you slow down and start on a sweater? Perhaps some woolly mittens?

Are you knitting up some hats? Share your progress with us on Instagram with #TinCanKnits #HoneypieHat #NorthwardHat or #SnapHat

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

November 28, 2019

I thought today I would share a little about myself, and my journey to where I’m at now, a 37-year-old knitting pattern designer, partner, learner, and mum of two. You have all long had a glimpse of Alexa’s and my life through this blog, our books, and our social media (we aren’t very private people). Here are a few things you may not know.

After studying architecture, and working the field for a few years, I decided to step sideways into a design niche oh-so-much less serious. As many frustrated emails as a pattern error may generate, as much angst as knitters feel about an ill-fitting jumper, it is still knitting. In my mind it doesn’t compare with the levity of tonnes of building materials, the coordination of a wide array of stakeholder all balanced against uncertain construction costs in a volatile economy.

Lush Cardigan
The Lush Cardigan was one of my early designs.

stepping into knitting pattern design

So I took the plunge, taking as much as I could glean from my design and technical training along with me for the ride. Alexa and I developed designs, planned our first book, worked part-time jobs to pay the bills, and as our business formed, Alexa began having babies.

I should take an aside here to tell you all that I feel strongly that parenting is NOT the be-all-and-end-all of a person’s life. Until I turned 30, my plan was to skip the massive time-energy-creativity-attention sinkhole of children and instead pursue other intriguing adventures in life. To this day I am inspired and intrigued by people who do not become parents and spend their energies on projects other than their own children. I also understand that although I felt I had the power to choose (a gigantic privilege), for many, parenthood is not really a choice, and I see immense amount of unjust stigma around that as well.

While not having kids was the plan in my 20’s, sometimes things change! After making a major career shift and a transatlantic move, along came my 30th birthday, a lovely man who wanted to have kids, and FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out) and that plan flew right out the window. I went from all-round “meh” with respect to children to “oh my goodness how long is it going to TAKE to get pregnant”. Then “oh my goodness it sure takes a long time for a baby to cook”. Post-birth my optimistic / unrealistic inner script went: “I’m sure I can still do all the things I used to do…” (and yes, sigh, reality eventually hit!).

stepping into motherhood

Well, you may be familiar with our Instagram feed.

Vivid Blanket Pattern
I photographed a teeny tiny Max on this rainbow Vivid Blanket, wearing a miniature Flax Light pullover, just a week or two after he was born.
A laughing woman struggles to hold onto her kids, who are struggling to escape.
My 36th birthday… the kids didn’t want to have their photo taken with me, clearly!

John and I became parents, and then took a good long time to be molded into the role. Five years and a second kid later, I think I’ve accepted the label they give me, ‘Mum’. In my better moments I embrace parenthood as an awesome additional role, an extra skill-set. And looking back, I smile over these last years filled with love and frustration and joy that I’m pleased to add to my story.

Britannia Sweater Pattern
One of my all-time favourite photos of Neve. She was just learning to walk, and we spent a relaxing golden evening in the Meadows park, barbecuing with friends; here in Edinburgh it stays light till 11pm in mid-summer.

my knit photos record my story

Photography is a big part of my work. One side effect of always having the camera out, creating these images of knit designs, is that the story of my family is captured, crystallized.

Looking through photos takes me to those specific moments in time, how it felt to be in that place, the air on my skin, the smell, the emotions I was feeling. I am reminded of what my little ones were LIKE at that moment, and of who I myself was then. To you, these photos may just be ‘a kid in a cute sweater’. For me, they are pages in the story of my life.

So here, with no further ado, are a few of my very favourite things…

Stovetop Hat Pattern
Four days old, in his very first Tin Can Knits hat. Max was born a little jaundiced, so needed to be laid out mostly naked in the sun while he slept on those early days. This is when I learned how truly TINY newborn heads are, and then how quickly they grow! Out of frame was total chaos, floods of tears, worries that he was too sleepy and not feeding, the utter insanity of the first week with a first baby.
Gather Hat Pattern
My mum, all the love, and her first grand-baby! We visited Vancouver Island Max’s first Christmas, and spent a few days on the west coast at Long Beach. I remember the euphoria of early parenthood, feeling optimistic, but also uncertain, and often overwhelmed by emotions.
Bumble Beanie Pattern
While visiting Canada we stayed in a chic little flat in downtown Vancouver, where we took the photos for our 5th book, Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe. Alexa’s youngest, Bodhi, was 7 months old. Max didn’t crawl yet, so he was easy to capture, but Bodhi was roaming ALL over the show, so it was nearly impossible to get them both in the frame!
Playdate Cardigan Pattern
We returned to Vancouver Island the summer that Max was one, such a relaxing and joyous summer visit. Taking him to Miracle Beach Park, where I had spent days and days of my childhood roaming wild and free, was really nostalgic. It made me FEEL why some people move back to the place they grew up when they become parents.
Peanut Vest Pattern
This is quite possibly Max at Peak Cuteness! I was 7 or 8 months pregnant when we attended a family wedding in Aberdeenshire. It was early early spring and the snowdrops were just up, the landscape there was SO pastoral and picturesque. I’d made Max a teeny tiny kilt in a tartan that (almost!) matched John’s, and a Peanut Vest too. I just remember that time as so intensely full of pleasure, happiness, and joy (pregnancy hormones?!).
Pregnant woman at the beach, carrying a toddler on her shoulders.
Max wasn’t quite two years old, and although I was lucky to be strong and healthy, I found late pregnancy plus toddler care HEAVY on the one day a week he with me rather than in nursery. It was spring, the days were finally getting longer, and we spent a glorious evening down at Portobello beach, just waiting for baby. It was that moment of in-drawn breath, of delicious calm, when you know the storm of newborn-ness will begin at any moment. Neve was born a day or two later.
I Heart Rainbow colourwork yoke sweater pattern
When Neve was a newborn, I took more joy and pleasure had less anxiety than I had with my first baby! She spent much of her first month in tiny knits, as you can see in our blog post about Mini Me Made May! On her second or third day of life, she wore this premie size of the I Heart Rainbows sweater, which was my very first sweater design!
A toddler and a baby wearing matching Bumble sweaters.
While we worked to finish our 7th book, Mad Colour, Neve was just a couple months old. As you might guess, it was a wild time. She wasn’t a terrific sweater model, typically babies are a bit too floppy at that age! But I couldn’t resist making her a teeny tiny Bumble sweater, and this sibling photo was worth it!
Light and Shadow Hat Pattern
Immigrating to the UK is a process, and there was a period when John and I had to live apart, while I took the kids to Canada to await the results of our application. I was lucky to be able to live with my parents for a few months. Neve was just 3 months old, and Max was 2, and this felt like a sad and scary time for our family to be separated. But there were upsides; every day Max and I toddled along to the beach I grew up playing at. Neve came along for the ride in the sling. This evening it was autumn and the air had turned cold, and Max threw stone after stone in the water, as I took some photos for the Light and Shadow hat pattern.
Ironheart Sweater Pattern
Shortly after the three of us arrived back home to Edinburgh, I shot these photos of Max in the Ironheart sweater for the Heart On My Sleeve fundraiser for the Against Malaria Foundation. I remember my attitude of IMMENSE gratitude to have my family back together and safe. This bright autumn day we went to Hollyrood park, and Max hunted for dragon’s eggs in the fallen leaves.
One year old baby in a teal onesie, lying on a rainbow quilt.
Knitting isn’t the only craft I enjoy! I sewed this onesie from a thifted Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt, and made Neve this triangle quilt for her first birthday. She still really loves it, and is just so PLEASED with anything that I make just for her.
Two toddlers playing in a park, wearing colourful yoke sweaters.
I made these colourful sweaters to test out our Strange Brew recipe pattern as we were developing it. The kids wore ALL the knits to the park round the corner this crisp and bright winter day. This was the age when they first began really PLAYING together, which was so cute to watch.
A smiling man holds two toddlers, one in each arm.
On a weekend outing to Stirling Castle, I took a load of photos for our Week of Colour colourwork tutorial series. This outtake of John and the kids illustrates how what a glorious day it was!
A toddler with pigtails and a frowny face wearing a colourwork yoke sweater with lake and mountains in the background.
It was exquisite but COLD in the Canadian Rockies when we took a very special trip with both sets of grandparents. This meant that there were PLENTY of opportunities for candid kid shots, because they were wearing woolies every day!
Children in colourwork yoke jumpers holding hands on a frosty driveway.
For holidays we often travel north from Edinburgh to John’s dad’s house in Dundee. The kids love playing in his big garden. This Christmas day was a crisp, bright, and frosty, and it was relaxing and joyful to be surrounded by family.
Fleet Hat Pattern
I think many couples find that post-kids, time spent alone together becomes extremely precious. I feel like there’s never quite enough! I shot this photos of John in the Fleet hat I made him during one long lovely day that we spent kid-free, walking and talking for hours, swimming in the sea, and eating delicious food.
Smiling man holding two kids, all wearing colourwork hats.
Our two-family trip to Iceland was one of the greatest adventures we’ve taken, as a family, so far. I love that John is along for the ride whatever crazy ideas that Alexa and I dream up!
Strange Brew Book
The cover shot for our book Strange Brew, which we took on our joint family holiday to Iceland, is perhaps the peak of ‘my favourite things’. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to match this image for joyfulness, because it contains all that both Alexa and I love. The goofy personalities of our kids showing through, our supportive partners looking sexy in our knit designs, and ALL the colours, all at once!

Well I could go on, and on, sharing the stories behind the pictures. But you get the idea, right?

It makes me very happy that my job, making patterns which bring joy to knitters, has the side-effect of capturing many of my joyful moments, and telling at least a part of the story of my life.

Love Note Friends

November 21, 2019

When I got back from Paris, Alexa was working on a new Love Note sweater for herself, and so I thought… hmmm perhaps during the KAL I’ll make one too! Well, as per my standard practice, I did NOT finish my second Love Note before the deadline (because deadlines are made to be broken, apparently?!), but I did bind off eventually!

I’d bought some LOVELY Rainbow Heirloom kidsilk cloud in ‘favourite aunty’ at EYF 2019, and had decided it would be the mohair part of my sweater. But it took some swatching to decide what sock weight to hold alongside this mohair. To learn more about mohair blending, check out this post which has MANY more examples!

After ALL the swatching I decided on Rainbow Heirloom’s Solo Light in ‘killer flamingo’ to go with my ‘favourite aunty’ mohar. I got started, and was surprised once more at just how fast the knitting on this project goes. I think it was perhaps 2 evenings of knitting and I was through the yoke? For me, straight-up stockinette is more painful, so the body and sleeves took a little longer!

I modified the pattern slightly, since I already had one Love Note in my wardrobe. To make this one a bit different, I knit the body bit longer (adding 1.5-2″), and worked long sleeves with longer, more relaxed cuffs (I decreased to 36 sts, rather than 28, and ribbed for 2”).

Since we launched Love Note, Alexa and I decided that our sizing range for future patterns will go to at least 5XL or 64” chest + ease. So many knitters have been enjoying Love Note, so we went back and extended our size range. Love Note now goes to 72.5″ chest.

My friend Nina, who’s the owner and dyer at Rainbow Heirloom, also made herself a Love Note, since modelling for us in Paris! She used a beautiful combination, holding a strand of undyed Kidsilk Cloud alongside a strand of ‘aussie sunshine’ – a bright intense yellow. The pale mohair tones the intensity of the yellow down, and adds an ethereal halo; so cool! I never tire of seeing all of the painterly combinations of mohair and sock yarn. I’ve been down the rabbit hole on Instagram (#lovenotesweater) many times.

So of course we had to get together and take some cheesy Love Note friend pics! 

Nina and I work together once a week or so, meeting at a coffee shop and either working alongside each other, or just doing a social catch up while knitting. We also take the opportunity to take some photos of yarn, new designs, and the latest off of our needles. As a self-employed creative, work can sometimes feel lonely, daunting, and focus can be difficult to find. Meeting up with a friend like Nina, and working in the same time at the same place can help me to focus. If you’re interested, I share more about my experiences with self-employment in this post.

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