So I guess we’re biased.
Sometimes people ask why we’ve gone so ‘all in’ with the baby knits. Or they think that Tin Can Knits only designs for babies and children.
To be honest, it surprises me that some people see our work in that way! But then I look at our Instagram feed (currently full of babies and baby knits) and I get it.
This (adorable) bias in our work really has a lot to do with timing, and our personal lives. I think that in general, creative people’s work is heavily influenced by their personal lives, and in this Alexa and I are no exception!
We started designing together as Tin Can Knits when we were 26 and 28 years old. We released our first collection, 9 Months of Knitting, in 2011, when Alexa’s first baby Hunter was 9 months old. As we developed the designs for our second book, Pacific Knits, Alexa was pregnant again, and suggested that we size all of the designs from baby all the way up through adult, because she was a new mom, obsessed with baby knits and in love with the idea of matching baby and mama sweaters. So began the baby-to-big sizing which became our way of design.
Truthfully, although I was on board with the baby-to-big concept, at that time I wasn’t much interested in knitting for babies, not having any of my own, and not being terribly interested in other peoples’ either for that matter! When I put together Handmade in the UK in 2013, my focus was really on adult garments and lace pieces, although Alexa couldn’t help but knit some tiny versions for Hunter!
But in that book, there were the seeds of change that would come soon in my life… The Vivid blanket was a design that hinted at my future hopes for babies.
Since my son Max was born in 2014, we’ve done another ‘baby book’; Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe, and two more ‘whole family’ collections; Road Trip and Mad Colour. While every garment we design is sized up to adult, the fact of the matter is that those little tiny knits just seem to pop off the needles so much more often than adult knits do!
Most recently released is our collaborative Heart On My Sleeve charity ebook, in which we convinced some of your other fav designers to size the patterns they donated from baby to big too!
So now, with our children aged 5, 4, 2, 2, and nearly 1, I suppose it is true, we’ve gone all-in with the baby (and kid) knits.
So it’s a hazard… the Tin Can Knits Instagram feed can get a little baby-saturated at times. But you’ll have to forgive us as our work tends to reflect our life, and life right now is pretty baby-saturated! While our designs are sized to fit us too, the knits that end up coming off the needles at a much more rapid pace are sized to fit little ones. They’re so quick to knit, and are an ideal way to prototype ideas for future designs. And in our defense, we get a LOT of pleasure watching our darlings romp around in woollies.
Make it for ME… planning for Me Made May
While our recent output has been seriously biased toward the little knits, this year I am highly motivated to enhance my own sweater wardrobe. As I begin to learn how to spin, I expect there will be some accessories for me, worked in my new handspun yarns too!
Recently off my needles is this new bulky beauty, a prototype which may or may not be developed into a pattern some day.
Also, my group of knit friends are currently enjoying a personal KAL, each of us making an Enchanted Mesa sweater by Stephen West. I’m working with scraps and bits and bobs of lovely yarns, held together for fabulous marled effects. I can’t wait to wear it!
Plus, as I’m not planning any new babies (2 is enough!) I can now wear a good number of my old sweaters and samples, and my aim is to develop my wardrobe in ways that really make these knits shine!
Do you knit for baby or big?
Everyone knits for their own reasons, and our motivations have changed as our lives changed and our families grew! How about you? When Me Made May comes around this year, and you share photos of your handmade items, will they be modeled by you, by lucky friends, or beloved little ones? Or do you knit for charity?
Last May, in the first month of my daughter Neve’s life, I dressed her in so many teeny tiny sweaters – you can check them out in our post about MiniMeMadeMay. This May, tiny knits for her will likely be my main focus, but this time she’ll be a year old, still my baby, but a bigger baby now.
Who are you knitting for? Share your knit story with us!
Cute on both little ones and the ladies: