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HACK: Cabled Flax

January 10, 2017

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When Emily did her hack of the Flax sweater I thought: ooh, me too! The Flax seemed like the perfect neutral base to really show off a lovely cable. I decided to skip the garter on the sleeves to keep it super simple and make that cable the star. I knit a little swatch to see how wide my cable would be and away I went. If you haven’t joined our Hackathon yet, you can get all the details here.

project details:

Pattern: Flax (hack in details below)

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in ‘Chris Grey’

Needles: US #6 / 4mm and US #8 / 5mm

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how I did it:

The key to hacking the Flax sweater is your replacement rate. The cable pattern I wanted to add was 24 sts and measured 4 inches across. The gauge for my cable is tighter, more dense, than my stockinette gauge. So I need to add stitches to make it all fit. The gauge for Flax is 18 sts per 4″ so I need to add 6 sts (24-18) to the front and back, where my cable will go.

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It just so happens that the Flax sweater already has an increase round right after the ribbing

Next round: knit, increasing 4 (4, 4, 4, 8, 18, 16, 12, 18, 22, 26, 24, 36, 46, 48, 54, 56) sts evenly spaced

I just added my 12 stitch increase here, I knit the 4-6 size so instead of increasing 8 sts evenly spaced, I increased 20.

In the marker set up, you need to add these stitches as well: the sleeves remain the same, but the front and back will each be 6 sts more. For the 4-6 size the front and back have 28 + 6 = 34 sts. I wanted to work my cable in the centre so I worked 5 stockinette sts on either side of the cable. With the raglan increases, these 5 sts will grow, but the cable panel will be the same, always 24 sts down the center of the front and back.

I worked the rest of the pattern the same, skipping the purl stitches on the sleeves and knitting them instead. You will need to account for your extra 12 sts at each stitch count (eg. the body will be 12 sts more). My sweater ended up a bit longer than the length called for because I wanted to end on a chart round 12, so that the start and end of the cable looked similar.

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Hunter is wearing the classic Flax and Maddie is wearing the hacked version

#TCKhackathon

The free Flax and Flax Light patterns are perfect to hack or use as a base for your own inspiration.  It’s so easy to add in a panel or a pattern, and we’ll share another adorable version with you next week!

There is one more week left to join in our #TCKhackathon – a knit-along with a fantastic prize, and even better chat and support on the Facebook group, or if you prefer, the Ravelry group! Remember to tag your projects #TCKhackathon when you share on your favourite social spot!

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 ‘hackable’ patterns from TCK:


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HACK : Lacy Flax

January 5, 2017

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Alexa and I are a little bit obsessed with the Flax sweater.  Why do we keep ‘selling’ you this FREE pattern?!  Well, probably because it’s one of our best basics, and we can’t help knit it over and over (and over) again.  This time I’ll show you how I’ve hacked the Flax pattern and made it all pink and girly for my adorable little niece, for her birthday! If you haven’t joined our Hackathon yet, you can get all the details here. We’ve got PINK (it’s intense), and we’ve got LACE… There’s no way this could fail to be fabulous!

Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in 'princess rockstar'

Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘princess rockstar’. It’s a heavy DK so I’ll knit it at about 20 sts / 4″ in stockinette. Check out the Rainbow Heirloom shop – pro tip: you can always custom order sweater quantities in ANY of their gorgeous shades.

flax sweater : a free pattern that’s dead easy to hack

The Flax pattern is a perfect blank canvas, it’s very easy to add a panel of lace, cable, or texture on body or sleeves. Flax is a  from the Simple Collection, our learn-to-knit series. If you’ve never knit a sweater before, it’s the perfect pattern to start with, and we’ve got a complete tutorial on how to work each step. If you are dying to use up some fingering weight yarn from your stash we also have the Flax Light.

I found a lovely lace pattern that I was itching to try, so I used flax as a base to hack. The lace pattern has a 12-stitch repeat, with one edge stitch. So I decided to put a 13-stitch panel on each sleeve, and a 25 stitch panel, with 2 purl stitches either side, on the front of the pullover.

The chart for the lace panel which I used in this hack. Don't know how to read a knitting chart? Check out our tutorial, and learn how!

The chart for the lace panel which I used in this hack. Don’t know how to read a knitting chart? Check out our tutorial, and learn how!

I looked at the Flax pattern to find the sleeve and body stitch counts for my chosen size (2-4 yrs). Following the pattern, after marker placement, there are 13 sts at sleeves, and 26 sts at front and back, for a total of 78 sts. (13 + 26 + 13 + 26 = 78)

To place a 13-stitch panel at the sleeves, I would need a couple extra stitches each side, in which to work the increases. So I’d start with 15 sts at the sleeves. At the front and back, I’d place the 25 stitch panel, 4 purl sts (2 each side), and then 1 extra stitch each side in which to work the increases, for a total of 31 sts at front. (15 + 31 + 15 + 31 = 92 sts). So after the neckline ribbing was worked per the 2-4 year size (74 sts) I increased 18 sts, evenly spaced, and then set up markers to divide the body and sleeve sections.

Not sure how to calculate ‘evenly spaced’ increases? You can do the math (74 /18 = 4.111, so just [k4, m1] 18 times, knit to end), or you can use a handy-dandy calculator, like this one by the Knitting Fiend.

I placed the lace panel in the centre of the front and back sections, and the smaller lace panel on the sleeves.  I worked the remainder of the sleeves in reverse stockinette, and the body in stockinette.

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I followed the raglan shaping pattern (increasing 2 sts at each raglan marker every 2nd round) simply working the number of increases stated in the pattern (8). Then I worked a few more rounds even, continuing the panels, to create a bit more yoke length.  After separating body and sleeves, I worked body to hem, and when I worked the sleeves, I created a stockinette stitch panel at the underarms, which I felt was a nice tidy detail.  To shape the sleeves, I worked p2tog either side of this stockinette panel.

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I loved the combination of yarn and details on this simple hack. It was such a pleasure to work with such an intense and beautiful colour!

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#TCKhackathon

The free Flax and Flax Light patterns are perfect to hack or use as a base for your own inspiration.  It’s so easy to add in a panel or a pattern, and we’ll share another adorable version with you next week!

There is one more week left to join in our #TCKhackathon – a knit-along with a fantastic prize, and even better chat and support on the Facebook group, or if you prefer, the Ravelry group! Remember to tag your projects #TCKhackathon when you share on your favourite social spot!

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 flax hacks:

Flax by Tin Can Knits

Alexa made a whole family of flax sweaters with rainbow stripes!

Flax Hack

I made a teeny tiny flax with stripes and a very simple fair isle pattern!

We’ve got another special flax hack to share with you next week!

Other Simple Sweaters from TCK:


9M-gramps-tmbRT-oldgrowth-tmb-cHarvest Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

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Grain: a new free shawl pattern!

December 22, 2016

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When we first put together The Simple Collection we had always envisioned it with a shawl. We debated what kind of shawl it would be, unable to decide on the details. I had a few skeins of a very specials yarn and one day, instead of overthinking it, I just started knitting! While it’s more of a basic recipe than a pattern design, Grain is the ultimate simple shawl, it starts at the centre back and works its way out, garter stitch all the way. The texture is fabulous and the shawl is an instant wardrobe classic! Without further ado we bring you Grain.

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Grain is written for multiple gauges (fingering, DK, and worsted or aran weight yarn) so it is the perfect shawl for a stash dive. If you have more or less yarn than the pattern suggests, just work until you run out of yarn – saving a bit for the bind off of course!

Pattern Details ::: Grain

Size:
Finished shawl measures 63“ across and 23“ deep (or more, or less, depending on your yardage)

Yarn:
600 yards worsted / aran weight yarn
700 yards DK weight yarn
800 yards sock / fingering weight yarn
(sample was knit using Sweet Fiber Cashmere Aran, 1 skein of ‘moonstone’, 1 skein of ‘chartreuse’, 2 skeins each of ‘smoke’ and ‘olive’)

Needles:
Worsted: US #9 / 5.5mm 32” circular needle
DK: US #7 / 4.5mm 32” circular needle
Fingering: US #4 / 3.5mm 32” circular needle
(or as required to meet gauge)

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A very special yarn

For my shawl I used a very special yarn, Sweet Fiber Cashmere Aran. It needed to become something amazing, but the yarn needed to be the star. Since this cashmere is buttery soft I wanted it around my neck of course! I used all of the colours I had, just striping them as I finished the ball (they have the illusion of even stripes, but they vary slightly).

The Garter Tab Cast-on

There is only one slightly tricky thing about this shawl, and that is the cast on. There are a few different ways to work the garter tab cast on, a most fussy way, a medium fussy way, and skipping it altogether and simply casting on as you would normally. Check out our Garter Tab Cast on tutorial for all the details. Each method has it’s pros and cons, you can see the differences in the image below and go your own way! We also have a full Grain shawl tutorial here.

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Ready for a hack

The grain shawl is naturally ready for hacking! Make it stockinette instead of garter, add a lace motif, work a texture pattern, you name it! Just take the basic shape and instructions and go wild! If you haven’t joined our TCK hackathon yet you can check out all the details (including a great prize) here.

other great shawls from TCK:


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Let’s knit a simple shawl

December 22, 2016

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I love a big shawl,  something I can really wrap up in to keep out the cold. In this tutorial we will be knitting Grain, a simple garter shawl.

First, you will need a pattern so download the free Grain shawl pattern and then away we go! The pattern is written for 3 weights of yarn, fingering, DK, and worsted, but because it starts in the centre and works outwards, all versions follow the same basic instructions. Tutorial shown in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in ‘wreath’.

The first step is the garter tab cast on. We have a detailed tutorial on how to work the garter tab cast on here, covering a couple of different methods.

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9 sts cast on using the Garter Tab Cast on

Set up row (WS): k3, PM, k1, PM, k1, PM, k1, PM, k3

As you work the set up row you place your 4 markers, separating your work into 5 sections: 3 edge sts, first main section (1 stitch), center stitch, second main section (1 stitch), and 3 edge sts. PM is the abbreviation for ‘place marker’. If you are confused about any of our pattern abbreviations, refer to our full abbreviations list here.

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When you place your markers your two main sections will only have 1 stitch in them, but those are the 2 sections that will grow as you work your shawl. The edge stitches are always 3 sts and the center stitch is always a single stitch.

Row 1 (RS): k3, SM, yo, knit to marker, yo, SM, k1, SM,
yo, knit to marker, yo, SM, k3 [4 sts increased]
Row 2 (WS): knit

Once you have worked rows 1 and 2 a few times the pattern starts to become clearer.

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You can see that the edge stitches and centre stitch remain the same, while the two main sections start to grow.

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Grain Shawl Process

The Grain shawl begins with a tiny cast-on, grows and grows, always keeping its triangular shape. It’s done when you run out of yarn, get bored, or decide it’s big enough!

That’s really all there is to it! Just keep going until you reach the desired size, or until you are almost out of yarn, leaving just enough to bind off all of your stitches. It really is the simplest of shawls! You can work a series of chunky stripes, as we have done, or just pick your favourite for a single-colour shawl.

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This is just a mini shawl, but creating a larger one just means more knitting. Grab a few of your favourite skeins and cast on!

Grain Shawl Construction

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What else is fabulous and free from Tin Can Knits?

Check out our many other the fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family!  Like our work?  Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.

We’ve got a bunch of other in-depth tutorials too…

button-tut-wheat-b button-tut-vivid button-tut-rye-b button-tut-pop-a button-tut-maize-b button-tut-gramps button-tut-gothiclace-b button-tut-dogwood-a button-tut-flax-c button-tut-barley-a button-tut-twsm button-tut-antler

More simple TCK patterns to try:


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Hack: Sweet Sweet Ombre

December 20, 2016

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Most knitters find choosing colours at least mildly difficult, and the more colours involved, the more challenging (or exciting!) things become. To take some of the stress out of multi-coloured projects, try using an ombre!  There’s something almost universally pleasing about a blend from one colour to another, so it’s almost impossible to go wrong.

Ombre is hot right now, in creative circles from to hairstyle and nails!  We’ve collected an entire board of ombre inspiration for your viewing pleasure.

How can ombre be used in your knits?

My lovely neighbour has 2 children and she is the most appreciative recipient of knits I have ever met. The type of recipient that gushes appropriately, puts the knits on her kids all the time, and introduces you as her ‘awesome knitting friend’. So, I’ve made a few hats for her kiddies over the years and Emmett requested a hat for his 3rd birthday. My lovely YOTH gradient had been calling to me for a LONG time so I busted it out for some sweet ombre. I hacked the Hipster hat, adding the ombre,  changing the decreases to knit decreases, and wearing the hat inside out. Adding the colour changes made this hat so much fun to knit!

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How I hacked it:

I used YOTH Little Brother in 4 subtly shifting contrast colours and ‘sea salt’ as the main colour. Hunter was good enough to model it quickly before I wrapped it up! I just changed colours when I felt it was about 1/4 of the hat, I didn’t use an exact science (you can though, you need to add the rounds of ribbing, your row gauge x inches in the hat, and the number of rounds in the decreases. Then divide by the number of ombre colours you intend to use).

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Ombre in Mad Colour

Our obvious obsession with ombre really came out in Mad Colour. We used ombre in a number of ways:


Undertone cowl, Awash stole, Chromatic sweater,  and the Bumble sweater all use an ombre of colours against a single main colour.

Marley uses a marled ombre of colours from purple through red, orange, and yellow, to cream

Marley uses a marled ombre of colours from purple through red, orange, and yellow, to cream

Use an ombre to pack some punch in a sweater yoke. It adds a little extra interest in fair isle like the Spotlight sweater or in a pattern stitch like the Wenlock sweater.

So many ways to use an ombre! So if you are having trouble figuring out that contrast colour range, try it out!

Hackalong with us this holiday

Join us in our holiday KAL, this year we’re doing something a little different; a Hackathon!  There’s a very special prize for the winner, but the true joy is participating, and challenging yourself to try something different by hacking one of our patterns!  Find our more in this blog post, knit along on our Ravelry Group, and share your knits on Instagram, Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #TCKhackathon2016

Tin Can Knits on FacebookTin Can Knits on Instagram Tin Can Knits on Twitter Tin Can Knits on Pinterest Tin Can Knits Email Updates button-ravelry-40

TCK patterns calling for an ombre:


 

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HACK : Playdate

December 15, 2016

Alexa is a genius of simplicity. When we created the list of projects to include in Max & Bodhi’s wardrobe, she was adamant that we needed to design the most practical and basic of baby sweaters – a drop-sleeve cardigan in sock weight which would be babies (or momma’s) everyday go-to garment.  So Playdate was made!

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

The Playdate Cardigan in Sweet Fiber Cashmerino 20 in ‘seaglass’ and ‘canary’.

Hot Hot Hacks!

Due to it’s ultimate simplicity, Playdate has been very popular, and many knitters have taken this simplicity as an invitation to play! I love the way folk have striped it up:

All the details:

a killer multi, when you love star trek, rainbow self striping, nautical stripes, fall self-striping yarn and contrast bands, slick contrast shoulders, peekaboo pockets!

Did I mention how much I love undone57’s knits?  Oh yeah, we already did an entire blog post about her knitting brilliance, but I first started Rav stalking her when I saw the adorable fair isle playdate she did! I’m clearly not the only knitter who has been inspired!

 

the best one!  fair isle, has obviously been inspiring more than just me:NEC, hypecity, and MiniGuinea all have adorable fair isle hacks too!

Last but not least, here is the Playdate I made for Max with single row stripes (I blogged all about it here).

Playdate by Tin Can Knits

This stripey number was knit in Rainbow Heirloom Merino Light in a lovely green and teal combo!  Awww he was so little back then!

Simple Sweaters to Hack

While I highly recommend Playdate, we have a number of other vanilla sweater designs that would be ideal to hack!  The free Flax pullover and Harvest cardigan from the Simple Collection are obvious choices.  The North Shore sweater from Pacific Knits, or Clayoquot Cardigan from Road Trip are simple fair-isle yoke sweaters which could be adjusted to feature different colourwork motifs. A pattern can be followed line-by-line, or simply used as a convenient starting point for your own unique creation!

Hackalong with us this holiday

Join us in our holiday KAL, this year we’re doing something a little different; a Hackathon!  There’s a very special prize for the winner, but the true joy is participating, and challenging yourself to try something different by hacking one of our patterns!  Find our more in this blog post, knit along on our Ravelry Group, and share your knits on Instagram, Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #TCKhackathon2016

Tin Can Knits on FacebookTin Can Knits on Instagram Tin Can Knits on Twitter Tin Can Knits on Pinterest Tin Can Knits Email Updates button-ravelry-40

Simple to hack:


Paddle by Tin Can KnitsNorth Shore by Tin Can KnitsBarley Hat by Tin Can Knits

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HACK : Uber Marled Polygon

December 13, 2016
Polygon Blanket by Tin Can Knits

Is Less More? Nope! More is way more fun!

Often, as soon as we complete a pattern, my very first thought is: I wanna make another version of this; one that’s marled, or at a different gauge, or with a different colour palette, or with longer sleeves… The design process is a like a never-ending journey down the rabbit hole, and my ideas for how to remake, adjust, or hack our own designs is a very long one!

Polygon Blanket by Tin Can Knits

The Polygon Blanket was designed in Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK, but you can easily work this modular design in any weight of yarn!

As Mad Colour was launched, I simply couldn’t resist casting on for a super-sized marled version of the Polygon Blanket. I used 6.5mm needles, and held 3 yarns together, a DK (or light worsted) plus a couple of skinnier ones; sock or lace.

Polygon Blanket by Tin Can Knits

I’ve only knit a few hexis so far, but I’m sure one day I’ll add this blanket to the pile of woolly goodness that is drowning my couch!

Super Sized Blanket obsession?

You can see in the Marley Blanket (also from Mad Colour) and the great big Tunisian Crochet Stashbuster Blanket, AND the super gigantic Bonfire Blanket I made this year, I have been more than a little bit obsessed with making gigantic blankets at super bulky gauges! Looking back, this all seems a little bit unreasonable…

Marley Blanket by Tin Can Knits

This bulky bad boy was knit on 15mm needles! To make this Marley blanket I combined a ton of random leftovers and odd balls to create a fabulous ombre.

Bonfire Blanket

Mega bulky satisfaction, this is the Bonfire Blanket, learn more here.

tunisian crochet blanket

A gigantic Tunisian Crochet Stashbuster Blanket, learn more here.

I don’t know what had gotten into me. OK, strictly that may not be true! I think a lot of these blankets were cast on during my pregnancy, and could be blamed upon the unfortunately termed but quite strong urge to ‘nest’ (yup, like I was a rotund hamster shredding old toilet paper tubes). Regardless of intent, seriously woolly blankets happened, and now everyone is very cozy around here!

Other ways to hack Polygon

Another hack I tried was knitting a striped hexagon, using a self-striping yarn (Noro Kureyon) and a solid white yarn (Cascade Eco). You could create a similar effect to the POP blanket if you started with a main colour, then switched the a CC for the final 8-10 rounds of the hexi. You could also do like @karenelisepage who shared her self-striping hexis on Instagram (she used Noro Kureyon too).

Polygon Blanket by Tin Can Knits

My striped version of Polygon

Polygon Blanket by Tin Can Knits

These hexis were made with Noro Kureyon, with beautiful gradual colour shifts

These ideas could be applied to many of our modular blankets; they’re all quite easy to hack. The squares of the Vivid blanket can be worked in different weights, or with a contrast colour garter border (like Alexa did). You could used marled scraps to make the centres of a POP blanket. The Fly Away blanket can be put together in so many different configurations (we love the ones by Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts, and Undone57).

What Should you MARL?

Well, really, what shouldn’t you marl? OK, I’d say that where projects have a more complex stitch pattern, this probably won’t read very well if you have a high-contrast marl. But if you’ve been following Tin Can Knits for awhile, you’ll know that we have a pretty extensive stable of basic patterns, which keep it simple for the most part!

Join our fabulous #TCKhackathon

Want to get started on something a little bit different this holiday season? Our holiday KAL is a hackathon! Choose a Tin Can Knits pattern, and then change it up, add stripes, an extra pattern, or work it at a different gauge.  There is a super fantastic prize… but the real joy is knitting along with others!  Share with the hashtag #TCKhackathon2016

Tin Can Knits on FacebookTin Can Knits on Instagram Tin Can Knits on Twitter Tin Can Knits on Pinterest Tin Can Knits Email Updates button-ravelry-40

Modular TCK blankets:


Vivid Blanket by Tin Can KnitsFly Away Blanket by Tin Can Knitsmc-polygon-tmb-b

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