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It’s Camp Tolt season!

August 10, 2017

In case you hadn’t already guessed, Emily and I love camping (last year we even got to camp together in Tofino!). I love sitting around the campfire, I love s’mores and spiked coffee, I love pancake breakfasts. I love waking up in the forest with that fresh forest smell. I love walking on the beach, swimming in lakes, day hikes, camping quesadilla night, all of it! My knits always come back with a hint of a campfire smell to them, but I really don’t mind. British Columbia is a beautiful place and every summer I like to hit the road, family in tow, and camp out in a little piece of it.

SO, when I first saw Tolt Yarn and Wool’s Camp Tolt, I was instantly in. Last year we created the Banff hat for the collection and it quickly became a fan favourite. Simple fair isle creating a charming tree line hat, in our classic size range of course, in case you and your kiddos need to match (and we definitely think they do).

Banff Mitt:

Pattern: Banff Mitts

Sizing: Toddler (Child, Adult S, Adult M, Adult L)
To fit approximate hand circumference: 5 (6, 7, 7.75, 8.5)”

Yarn: Worsted weight yarn in 2 colours
MC: 70 (80, 100, 110, 120) yards
CC: 20 (25, 30, 35, 40) yards

samples shown in the lovely, woolly, Peace Fleece Worsted

I always love the photos Anna and Claire send me of the knits. They remind my of camping as a kid, because some things really don’t change! There is always debate around the campfire among family and friends whether the best s’more is a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between 2 graham crackers with a square of chocolate hiding in there somewhere, OR a graham cracker/marshmallow/chocolate sandwich, wrapped in tinfoil and warmed on the coals all together. I’m not sure there is a wrong answer when it comes to s’mores though…. I’m also pretty excited for the invention of graham crackers that come pre-chocolated, that’s a game changer!

So, what project do you pack for your summer adventures? Are you a sweater knitter who packs a body and some sleeves? Maybe you like to knock out a hat on the way to the campground?


More forest inspired knits from TCK:

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Postcards from Alaska Part 2: The Knitters!

August 8, 2017

My current knitting (Bodhi’s September Sweater) hanging out at Eyak Lake

While Cordova is an awesome and beautiful place, and The Net Loft is an amazing shop, I think my favourite part of my visit was the knitters. There were so many warm and welcoming knitters, they immediately made me feel right at home! By then end of the weekend I was waving at cars as they passed when I walked down the street and stopping to chat in the grocery store parking lot. I felt like a local!

Michelle knit this lovely Flax for her husband to keep warm on the boat

It seemed like so many were knitting gansey sweaters (popular among the group was the Fisher Lassie), and there were so many awesome Bowline hats! During the show-and-tell portion of my Thursday evening talk, I was delighted to hear knitters share stories of their very first sweater: Flax. I wish I had pictures of all of them to show, there was an adorable wee green one in the colour ‘Pan’ from Skeins in the Stacks, and one in a Three Irish Girls colourway, ‘Salmon’ that had been worn and loved.

When Emily and I dreamed up the Simple Collection, and the Flax and Harvest sweaters in particular, we hoped that they would inspire knitters who might be a bit timid to try a garment. It seems like it’s working! Michelle was good enough to share a pic of her hubby out on the boat in the Flax she had knit him!

Amber in her beautiful gansey

Amber wore her beautiful and inspirational sweater when we went on our trip to see Child’s Glacier. It is a gansey she knit, and when she told the story of her sweater I was rapt. Each stitch pattern held a different meaning in her life (anchors and fish featured prominents), and she had even put her initials in a purl pattern at the hem. To me it was everything I love about knitting, it was a labour of love, personalized in every detail, and in a colour that knitters who know her well described as ‘so Amber’. Just lovely!

A special little tag for Jonesy’s Bowline sweater. The Cordova Gansey Project

Sometimes in my project zeal and *ahem* lack of ability to ‘reel it in’, I forget the simple pleasures of knitting something that is unique and one of a kind. Each sweater I knit ends up being original in one way or another (choosing a different yarn and colour, adding an inch to the arms for Hunter, that time I forgot to work sleeve increases for a few inches, etc.) but it isn’t usually my intention from the start.

This trip inspired me to think a little more about the meaning behind the projects and yarns I choose (rather than just thinking ‘ooh pretty, I want it!’). It has inspired me once again to create special and meaningful knits. I knit a lot for my kids, trying to keep them wrapped in Mama’s woollies as much as I can. In Cordova I was reminded that perhaps a little less quantity and a little more thoughtfulness might make my knitting and the finished woollies even more rewarding.


TCK knits that are popular with the Cordova crowd:

Little Tern

August 3, 2017

When Jen of Arnall-Culliford Knitwear invited me to submit a design for consideration for her Year Of Techniques book, I was thrilled! We love the idea of bringing new techniques to knitters so they can up their skills, that was the goal behind our whole Simple Collection!

This was also a great opportunity to work with some other amazing designers, on a really special collection. Bristol Ivy , Ella Austin , Ella Gordon , Jen Arnall-Culliford , Jim Arnall-Culliford , Martina Behm , Mary Jane Mucklestone , Rachel Coopey , Romi Hill , Sarah Hatton , and Woolly Wormhead, are all also represented in this great and inspiring collection; you should check it out!

The little tern blanket is really quite simple, but gives you the chance to learn or practice a couple cool techniques you might otherwise not use. Because this collection has been put together with such thought and care, there are tutorials to teach you each step of these techniques, if they are new or unfamiliar to you.

 

Some other Tin Can Knits patterns which use the provisional CO technique:

The second technique that is interesting in this blanket is the sideways bind off. I had tried this before, but never incorporated it into a design before this point. Interestingly enough, Romi Hill’s Brightheart yoke design for the Heart On My Sleeve collection used this technique at the neckline. And, in fact, so does Bristol Ivy’s Wholehearted design, which creates the entire YOKE of a sweater using a variation on this same technique (combined with short-row shaping).

Neve seems to like Little Tern!

Bristol’s Wholehearted sweater uses a sideways bind off and short rows to shape the yoke.

 

What are some of the techniques you are interested in trying?


TCK patterns to try something new:

Summer of Basics

July 27, 2017

I have been seeing more and more makers in my Instagram feed posting about the Summer of Basics – #summerofbasics. Intrigued, I decided to check it out. Fringe Association (a very cool blog) is running a make-along (MAL) this summer to create 3 wardrobe basics in June, July, and August. Since I have been considering my own wardrobe lately the idea was immediately intriguing!

Flax Light – a great basic and also a free pattern!

The idea of a summer of basics started bringing forth all kinds of questions, because what is a basic? Do accessories count as basics if you wear them practically every day? Will I sew something too (it’s been a few years…okay a lot of years….since I’ve sewn a garment) or just stick to knit? I still have more questions than answers, but I’ve decided a few things:

  1. I will take these items one at a time. I’m late to the game since June and July are already gone, and while 3 items is a great goal, it’s a busy time and one basic would be pretty nice!
  2. I’m going to knit a sweater. I’ve wanted to up my knit sweater game in my wardrobe so now is the chance! I have 2 great sweaters that I would consider basics (a mustard yellow Flax and a tweedy brown Antler), and I want to add to that collection.
  3. Maybe I’ll sew something too, I love a challenge!

Pockets make for a great feature in a basic for me! These pockets are the Playdate Cardigan

Now, the question I’ve been working on for the last week is which sweater to knit? Should I cast on a new design? Something really simple but lovely like the Harvest cardigan? I’ve been itching to cast on a North Shore sweater for myself for ages… I know I want something in a DK weight or lighter because I have 2 worsted weight sweaters already. Here are a few sweaters in the running:

North Shore, Hearthstone, Tenderheart, 1999, Harvest

Decisions decisions! While I was on my Alaskan Adventure I picked up a sweater quantity of Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in ‘humpback’, a lovely grey with just the slightest hint of green, so now that I have yarn it’s time to narrow down my sweater choice!

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in ‘humpback’

So, what are your favourite knit basics?


Basic Basics from Tin Can Knits:

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Postcards from Alaska: part one

July 21, 2017

It’s hard to know where to start. I have always wanted to travel north, so when Dotty from The Net Loft said I should come see her lovely shop and meet all the lovely knitters in her town, I said ‘yes please!’. Last week Gary and I dropped the kids off with the family and got on a plane for Cordova, Alaska. We knew it would be a fun adventure, but the trip was so amazing, it surpassed all expectations.

Sunset over Cordova on our first day

I suppose I should start with Dotty, the owner of the Net Loft. We met a couple of years ago when I designed the Bowline hat for her big Fisher Folk retreat. I was immediately intrigued by the shop and her passion for the Cordova Gansey Project, a promotion of hard wearing knits for hard working people. As I was working on the hat I knew I wasn’t finished with that rib pattern and really wanted to design a gansey style sweater, and this year we released the Bowline sweater.

Dotty is an absolute force of nature. She never stops working, thinking up new ideas for the shop, being a wife and mum, knitting, caring about all of the people around her… the list is really endless. She is a pillar of her community and so many people commented to me over the week how important she and her shop were to them. One lovely shop regular said ‘I don’t feel at home at Church or the bar, so I have the Net Loft’, and I know that Dotty is a big part of why that is so.

Dottie, checking out the view

Which brings me to her shop! The Net Loft is an amazing shop, full to the brim with not just supplies for all of your knitting needs, but for any artistic or crafty endeavor you might have! It was that moment on the trip when I thought, ‘Hunter would love this’! There were supplies for cross stitch and embroidery, felting and card making, painting and sketching, you name it. There were treasures everywhere and I haven’t even mentioned the yarn. Each craft had it’s own little section, which they called ‘coves’ and I could have spent the entire weekend finding endless inspirations and intriguing supplies.

The Net Loft has so many yarns with a story behind them. Colourways from local dyers, colourways based on local paintings and photographs, skeins the colours of seine and gill nets, mini skein sets of Cordovan berry inspiration. It seemed like each skein had a story. The lovely Anna of Skeins in the Stacks (who is also a librarian in Cordova) dyes yarns based on books she loves! The Net Loft also had hard working yarns for the popular Gansey sweaters (it seemed like everyone was knitting one). There was so much to choose from!

This pretty skein (and a couple more) from Skeins in the Stacks came home with me courtesy of Anna.

Beautiful berry shades of ‘Cordova Jam’ from Three Irish Girls

For the workshop I taught on designing your own fair isle yoked sweater there were boxes and boxes of beautiful yarn, dyed just for the occasion by Three Irish Girls. There were gradients dyed in the colours of local berries that were just so delicious!

It was such a treat to meet Dotty in person, and to visit the amazing shop, that means so much to so many knitters! More on my Alaskan adventures to come next week!


Knits fit for an Alaskan Adventure:

Buy One Get One … it’s our sweet summer treat!

July 7, 2017

once in a blue moon (or a hot summer) we have a sweet sale, and it’s happening now darlings!

Sweet Summer Sale

From now till next Sunday, all of our patterns and ebooks are on sale; buy one and get one free.

Yup, our ebooks are included too… So you could buy two ebooks (up to 30 patterns) for only $18 USD + tax.

SWEET SALE DETAILS:

  • This sweet sale is running from July 7th to July 16, so pick your faves today!
  • To get one pattern or ebook free, simply add 2 patterns or ebooks to your cart at once before checking out. The sale is not limited, so you can purchase more than one pair!
  • All designs and ebooks published by Tin Can Knits are included. The following items are NOT included: print books, Heart on my Sleeve Knits, Ironheart, Tenderheart, Light and Shadow, Crossed Cardigan, Pont Neuf, Sword Fern Hat, Elwha, Twisp, Hitchcock, Rave, and Tulips. Because these are published by other companies or for charity we don’t have the right to offer discounts.

But I’m preaching to the choir: you folks know that TCK patterns are already a great deal!

So go on… Treat yourself!

The real question is: what are you hankering to cast on for yourself?! It’s time to follow your desire, to relax and begin that perfect piece for your fall wardrobe. We invite you to pull out your sweetest skeins, and savour them with the clarity and simplicity of one of our classic patterns.

Will it be lusciously cozy everyday hat and mittens? That ‘wear with everything’ sweater for the start of school? A statement shawl that matches your eyes and meshes seamlessly with your personal style?

Jones, Lodestar, Wenlock, Lush, Sunflower, Apple Pie, Old Growth, 1999, Stovetop, Sitka Spruce, Chrysanthemum, Gather, North Shore, Undertone, Bumble, Grayling, Precipitation, Raindrops

Or maybe this is the moment to add to your library of pattern ebooks? Shop ebooks here.

We’ve also got a brand spanking new pattern launched yesterday that you can get in the sale! The Bowline sweater is sized baby-to-big and includes instructions for men’s sizing too! We’ll share more about this new design soon.

Whatever you choose, make it with pleasure! Remember, we’ve got tutorials to help you through, and we’re always here to answer your questions too; you can email us directly!

Share the Sweetness! be sure to click the sharing buttons below so family, friends and your fabulous knit groups can take advantage of our sweet summer sale!

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Knit Stars 2.0!

June 30, 2017

We are so happy to announce that we are part of Knit Stars 2.0! Last year’s summit was so exciting (Hannah Fettig, Westknits, Julie Asselin and more!), and this year we’re excited to join in!

What is Knit Stars?

Knit Stars is an online summit, with instruction taught through video lessons. Each instructor (Michelle Wang, Nancy Marchant, Beata Jezek of Hedgehog Fibers, and Andrea Mowry of ‘Find your Fade’ fame just to name a few!) has put together videos to guide you through different knitting techniques, tips, and tricks! You’ll learn from designers, dyers, and instructors all about their specialities and get a peek inside their work spaces too.

I had the chance to get in front of the camera for a change, recording some of my knitting secrets to help you tackle your next project and keep your needles flying!

Enrolling in Knit Stars

Early Bird Enrollment for Knit Stars 2.0 is open (but only for 8 days)! It’s all online, with instruction from 10 amazing pros from all around the world – and you don’t need to leave your home. The Knit Stars 2.0 online summit is happening in October, and this is your chance to get in at a special earlybird rate and get access to the exclusive Knit Stars yarns. Click here for all the information and to enroll!

If you decide to join us, we’ll guide you in designing your own Fair Isle yoke sweater – we’re including two exciting new TCK patterns with your Knit Stars enrollment. Alexa shares tips on getting started, two-handed knitting, choosing a colour palette, and skipping the swatch by making a hat or cowl instead!

Plus, you can join in on the chat, support and inspiration of the Knitstars private Facebook group, ask us all your questions during the live Q&A sessions, and learn a TON of new skills from the 9 other Knit Stars. I personally can’t wait to learn more about brioche from Nancy Marchant, get an eye into Michelle Wang’s design genius, learn about flattering fit from Amy Herzog, and expand my lace skills with Laura Nelkin. There is so much to learn in this one exciting event!


A little hint from of what’s to come from TCK:

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