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A Flax Round Up

March 14, 2019

When we created The Simple Collection back in 2013, we hoped it would be useful. Emily and I got our design starts working in yarn shops and teaching classes there. We knew some high-quality, free, beginner knitting patterns with tutorials would be a useful resource that yarn shops and instructors. But we had no idea knitters would take up these patterns with such force! The Barley hat has almost 20,000 projects as of the date of this blog post, and Flax has been a first sweater for so many knitters!

Matching rainbow Flax’s? Yes! I love these matching sweaters from Beja

More stripes! I think stripes might be the favourite Flax hack…. From AnnahJ, FogandString, Scitchr, isaida, undone57, tanisfiberarts, ArieltheApple luludora

This Flax by Ashleigh2002 is so great, love the colour!

The story of The Simple Collection is a classic example in the story of Emily’s and my partnership. First, Emily suggested we create a great free pattern for knitters to learn with, including tutorials to walk them through each step. But I said no, not just one, we should do 8! A whole series! With tutorials for ALL of them! Swept up in a wave of enthusiasm The Simple Collection began.

Over the years, the Simple Collection has grow to 12 patterns and we have added a few ‘light’ versions too (Flax Light, Barley Light, and Rye Light) for those knitters who prefer working sock weight yarn. If there is something knitterly and new you want to learn, the Simple Collection is here for you!

Got to meet FrogQueen33 at Stitches West and she was wearing her very first sweater, Flax Light, knit up in a fabulous gradient.

We think that our Flax and Flax light sweater patterns (and the Simple Collection patterns in general) appeal both to the newbies and the experienced knit mavens who could teach us a thing or two! They have been taken up by both dedicated sweater knitters, and those who just enjoy whipping up a tiny baby sweater or two every year for very special babies. We are so very pleased that the Flax pattern has been an introduction for thousands of knitters to our work!

Cute wee Flax’s from ferguss, kurisan , jennyishi, mcshellyraebelly , dwj1978, and kellymarie2, yuanpao

It was so much fun searching through the thousands of Flax projects on Ravelry to create this post! There were so many smiling faces, proud in their new sweaters, so many Flax hacks from people taking it as a blank canvas and going wild, and so many gifts for loved ones too.

More awesome Flax inspiration from Anidori, lifeandknits, DammitMax, ichbineinetomate, MissFoliage, strickland66, Kepanie, lavagirlcourtney, Hannaliini, and purltwo, eathmuffine, HRLaurie, and kgburke

Tell us, what was your first sweater? Was it a Flax? Share your first sweater story with us in the comments! Also, if you share knit photos on Instagram, we’ll get to see if you include #flaxsweater or #flaxlightsweater – or tag us @tincanknits. We love love love to see what you are all knitting!

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Fiona Lake permalink
    June 29, 2019 12:36 am

    My first triangular shawl, my first hat and my first scarf in about 25 yrs came from this collection!

  2. April 3, 2019 6:48 am

    I was thrilled to see this since I am embarking on my first sweater (that I’ll admit to), and it just happens to be a Flax! Thank you so much for all you both do for the knitting community!
    (Taleweaver on Ravelry)

  3. March 30, 2019 4:29 pm

    Working on my first sweater and it’s the Flax. I can’t believe I’m almost done with a life long goal! It’s so much fun to see everyone’s personal take on this pattern using different colors and all those wonderful stripes. Thank you so much for creating this resource.

  4. Helen Schendel permalink
    March 28, 2019 4:08 pm

    It is great to see so many people wearing your flax sweater. However, don’t forget we love to see your children wearing your designs as well. It has been fun to watch them grow. And your patterns fit all sizes and shapes!

  5. Margaret permalink
    March 28, 2019 3:03 pm

    My first sweater was a cable design when I was 11, there was a very special school outing to the capital city and I had nothing nice to wear. My Mum bought the yarn and I finished in 2 weeks……60 years ago !
    I have knit 2 Flax for myself and 5 Flax light toddler size, I recommend these patterns to everyone as wonderful easy knits that are fun to play with.
    Thank you for the free patterns and tutorials.

  6. Cheryl permalink
    March 22, 2019 7:14 am

    My first finished sweater was a flax. I tried several before and frogged or gave up because they weren’t turning out well (mostly I was getting the size wrong but a couple of times I just used the wrong yarn). Being able to try on as you go got made all the difference and now I have knit a couple more. I have also bought a couple of your books…in gratitude for all the free patterns.

  7. Máiread permalink
    March 18, 2019 3:28 pm

    What does the name FLAX mean? Where can I get the pattern?

    Thank you,

  8. Karen St.Clair permalink
    March 15, 2019 1:18 pm

    What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing the love! I need to get started on a Flax! I feel left out ;) Love you Tin Can Knits and your generous outreach to all :)

  9. Alexis permalink
    March 15, 2019 11:39 am

    I taught myself to knit using your Simple Collection. And since I have purchased so many of your pattern books as well. You could say I feel in love with your easy to follow instructions and modern patterns. Love Love Love! Thank you for changing my life and those who know me by teaching me to knit.

  10. lindafoulis permalink
    March 15, 2019 10:14 am

    What a wonderful post, love all of them, especially the matching Rainbow Flax’s. I haven’t tried Flax yet but I sure do need to now. Thank you for putting out this Simple Collection.

  11. slightstar permalink
    March 15, 2019 9:03 am

    My first sweater wasn’t a Flax, but I did make a Flax Light for my daughter; she asked for a rainbow sweater and she got one! (It’s under silverlightstar on Rav.)

  12. tara howe permalink
    March 15, 2019 8:41 am

    My first sweater I ever knitted was a flax & it was for me!!! In going to post a pic on IG! Thank you so much for making such a wonderful, free pattern!! I have since made 4 harvest cardigans and started a flax light 😊💚

  13. Marilyn permalink
    March 15, 2019 8:17 am

    I was new to knitting in general and had married and moved to England from Bermuda with my new husband. The first adult sweater I made was an Aran style for him! I didn’t know that cables were supposed to be difficult etc so I just jumped right on in!! Fortunately it turned out fine and I have knit many more since then.

    • Babs permalink
      March 16, 2019 4:49 am

      I started with Aran, too :)

  14. March 14, 2019 2:30 pm

    I have yet to knit a Flax myself, but my amazing friend Karina (rinabina on ravelry) has knit *20* including the one recently finished for my birthday. And 2 more Flax Lights. She’s kind of a rock star.

  15. March 14, 2019 12:21 pm

    I love my flax light sweater, though I call it my Easter sweater because of the colouring:)

  16. Margo permalink
    March 14, 2019 9:17 am

    So many beautiful flaxes! I am quite taken with the rainbow striped ones. It’s nice to see the sweater look great on so many people.

  17. Liz permalink
    March 14, 2019 8:32 am

    Yes, it was! I tried two other patterns that were knit flat but got bogged down in the shaping. My first finished sweater was a baby sized Flax. I learned so much from that! After that I knit a Carbeth (another great pattern btw) and am now doing a Ranunculus. Those flat knit sweaters are still UFOs. I am sure I am only one of literally thousands of knitters who are eternally grateful for your wonderful pattern and tutorials. 🤗

  18. March 14, 2019 7:53 am

    Thank you for including my Flax! I actually knitted up my Flax a few weeks. I had started it after Christmas 2017 as the Barrett Wool Co. yarn was a gift from my husband and kids. I slowly started it, probably finishing the raglan increases; then I got distracted by other things. However, Barrett Wool Co announced they were going to be at STITCHES West 2018! I had to see Susan B. Anderson and give her a hug in person. So I knitted like the fast and the furious and finished my last sleeve the evening before the Friday of STITCHES week. I blocked it after the conference and it blossomed into what’s in the photo.

  19. March 14, 2019 7:37 am

    Such a great post!!!!!

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