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baby bias

April 13, 2017

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.

Tin Can Knits Instagram

I guess we’re biased.

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!

The Dogwood Blanket, featuring a teeny tiny Hunter, the first of our babies!

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.

Campfire Pullover from Pacific Knits

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!

My favourite design from Handmade in the UK, this is the Lush Cardigan.

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.

Vivid Blanket and Flax Pullover

Newborn Max sleeping on the Vivid Blanket, wearing a tiny Flax Light sweater too!

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.

No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed!

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!

handspun

My latest handspun yarn, hot off the wheel! Can you tell I’m VERY VERY excited about this?! I’m hoping that it might work for an Antler hat for me.

Recently off my needles is this new bulky beauty, a prototype which may or may not be developed into a pattern some day.

Noro pullover

This crazy colourful pullover is the most recent addition to my sweater wardrobe!

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!

Enchanted Mesa Yoke

The marled yoke of my Enchanted Mesa combines some old handspun with a bunch of other beautiful bits.

Enchanted Mesa KAL

Tom, myself, Rosie and Nina from Rainbow Heirloom are all making versions of this fabulous design!

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!

Sweater Drawer

My drawer of hand knit sweaters includes an Antler, two Lush cardigans, and a Harvest cardigan.

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.

Baby Surprise Jacket

One of my recent knits for Neve is the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Who are you knitting for? Share your knit story with us!

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Cute on both little ones and the ladies:


Spotlight by Tin Can KnitsFlax Light by Tin Can KnitsRaindrops by Tin Can Knits

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Velda Ferguson permalink
    April 23, 2017 12:41 pm

    In the picture NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED what is the pattern of the sweater the little girl is wearing? The white one with the multi color yoke. I would love to make this for my granddaughter. Thanks

    • April 24, 2017 9:08 am

      Hi Velda – it’s a prototype of a design we are working on , not quite ready yet

  2. alberttrotter permalink
    April 17, 2017 10:11 am

    your knitting is so perfect…you really produced masterpieces…dont you sell them online or by any other means????

    • April 18, 2017 9:43 am

      No knits for sale. It just takes us so many hours to knit even a baby sweater it would never make sense for us. Thanks for the lovely compliment though!

      • alberttrotter permalink
        April 19, 2017 6:48 am

        oh okay..but your work is actually really amazing

  3. elicia-holden permalink
    April 15, 2017 3:02 pm

    Well past my baby days but enjoy seeing all your lovlies as well as the wonderful patterns !
    Throughly like all the beautiful knitting and patterns as well.
    Have a Happy Holiday ! 💖

  4. Anya permalink
    April 14, 2017 9:31 pm

    Our four kids range from 16 (and 6’2″+!) to our little caboose baby who just turned 4, so I really appreciate the “baby to big” sizing. :). But I love the knits in Handmade in the UK, as well– I do get to make stuff for myself now and again. :)

  5. April 14, 2017 9:43 am

    I’ve fallen into the Zen zone of knitting, Emily. I don’t have a baby, but if I spot a baby project I like, then a baby seems to appear just as I start blocking. Hats? Same thing! Someone happens along who needs their neck warmed. Oh…the wackiness of the universe. So happy that TinCan Knits has something for everyone.

  6. April 13, 2017 8:25 pm

    I sometimes wish I had kiddos just so that I could knit for them. However, I’ve just been in a season of knitting ME sweaters to be followed by my Project of the Year, a Jones Cardigan for my father, which is basically 3 normal sized sweaters in one. (He’s six foot four and still built like a football player even though he hasn’t been in thirty years!)

  7. Jani permalink
    April 13, 2017 8:34 am

    2016 was a year of nearly all “me” knitting that followed several years of focus on new grandbabies, family and friends … it’s a balance, right? Because my grandchildren keep growing, relentlessly, I truly appreciate your baby-to-big sizing. No need to give up on a design I love just because they’re now toddlers instead of babies! This photo round-up is fabulous, and I love learning some of the backstory behind your collaborative brand. Looking forward to seeing what’s next!

  8. LoriAngela permalink
    April 13, 2017 7:41 am

    I have been accused of knitting for all the babies. It started with my first nephew who is 40 next year, and includes all co-workers and school friends. I have the joy of knitting for new parents whom I used to teach when they were as young as seven and now have 6 great nephews and 1 great niece. My own babies are almost done university but I’ll knit for their friends’ babies too. More interesting than a sock, and more varied with the entire Tin Can Knits library on my shelf. Truly a blessing.

  9. Mercy permalink
    April 13, 2017 7:22 am

    Finally becoming a grandmother had awakened in me a knitting-interest that had been lying dormant for 30 years. Love the baby knits!

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