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Time for Another Rainbow!

February 5, 2015

The start of the year is a time of grand beginnings and big energy for me. I set ambitious goals and cast on bold new projects!

Thus I have begun a new blanket design.  While we generally don’t share our designs until they are off the drawing board and into the books, this time I wanted to make an exception and illustrate what my design process is like.

Last fall I launched my hand-dyed yarn line, Rainbow Heirloom.  All the glorious rainbows I have been creating in the dye studio have definitely been impacting my design work. I am inspired to create them and they, in turn, inspire new designs!


Rainbow Heirloom ‘Sunshine and Storm’ Vivid blanket kit


Rainbow Heirloom ‘Classic’ Vivid blanket kit

Wenlock Pullover from Pom Pom Quarterly.

Wenlock Pullover from Pom Pom Quarterly

Design Intent: a simple, satisfying, striped rainbow

While I love my patchwork blanket designs, Vivid and Pop, my goal with this new design is to create a simple, striped blanket that knits up in one piece and makes great use of my 21-colour rainbows.


So with this in mind I began to make swatches, just playing with different ways to stripe.  I tried the classic chevron, simple crochet, and alternating colours in a simple lace pattern.  The final swatch, a clear winner in my mind, creates a clear, bubbly and bouncy shape.  The white main colour makes a nice crisp line between the coloured waves, and the form of the lace is unique, modern, and playful.


Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘princess rockstar’, ‘new nailpolish’, and ‘guilty pleasure’, and ‘natural’

Another design question that had to be answered up-front for this blanket was the order in which to knit the stripes, and which colours to be included.  Since I was working with my Rainbow Heirloom blanket kits in mind, I decided to use the ‘Sunshine and Storm’ rainbow, and work all 21 colours into the blanket.  So I pulled out my mini-skeins, and began to play.


Having knit 1/3 of my blanket (6 colours… you can see the results!), I realized that the minor adjustments I had made to the pattern after knitting the swatch weren’t as brilliant as I had hoped.  When designing I strive for perfection, because the hundreds of knitters who knit our designs deserve our best work.


The unblocked blanket in progress.  I’m really enjoying this knit.

So I’ve just now cast on again, with a small adjustment to the striping.  But this is an addictive knit, every stripe is a new colour so you always want to knit just one more!

Would you like to hear when this design will be ready for purchase?  Sign up for our email updates and we’ll tell you about our new designs, in-depth tutorials, and events!

More about the knit design process

We have some other posts about the design process, and about other designers:

You can also hear us talking design in the Pom Pom Quarterly Podcast, and the A Playful Day Podcast.

Are you ambitious at the start of the year?

We have laid down another big goal this year – #TCK12sweaters2015 – Alexa and I each plan to knit a total of 12 sweaters this year… and we’d love to have you join in!  For more info check out this blog post (there’s prizes!) and tag your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Ravelry with #TCK12sweaters2015!

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

Other blanket knits from TCK:


10 Comments leave one →
  1. delia permalink
    December 27, 2015 3:08 pm gracias por ayudara los q nosabemos los tejidos q presentan son preciosos me gustan todossu ad miradora DELIA SEDA FRO NEW YORK CITY.

  2. February 9, 2015 4:56 am

    The colour gradients are lush. I like the dark-light-dark best.

  3. Nancy HILL permalink
    February 7, 2015 11:15 am

    Can’t wait for pattern to be published!

  4. knittedblissjc permalink
    February 5, 2015 4:28 pm

    It’s so beautiful already! I loved reading/seeing the process, It’s always interesting to see someone’s design process. This blanket is going to be gorgeous.

  5. February 5, 2015 8:35 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! I would love to hand tie yarn but in the meantime I’m loving the colours of yours. {swoon} :)

  6. February 5, 2015 7:56 am

    I cannot wait to see the finished project! Your lace motif is modern and the rainbow effect really makes it pop. I am already calculating how long I can wait before I start this in order to have it done before my cousin’s baby arrives… (I’m such a nerd.)

  7. February 5, 2015 6:25 am

    Ooh ooh, so pretty! Can’t wait to see the finished product, and the pattern!

  8. Heather L permalink
    February 5, 2015 5:57 am

    Love it!

  9. February 5, 2015 5:37 am

    Beautiful! And perfect for the series of afghans I’m knitting for my nieces and nephews.

  10. February 5, 2015 5:03 am

    Looks great so far!

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