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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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HACK: A little fair isle

December 9, 2016

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When I think about hacks my mind immediately goes to fair isle, I don’t know why! Just a little hint of patterning seems like the perfect addition, especially to an otherwise simple pattern. It’s a great way to use up bits and bobs of yarn and can really add a little bit of wow to a project.

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Hunter likes fingerless mitts so a pair of Paddle mitts seemed just the thing for her. I had a wee ball of YOTH Big Sister left over from another project and some little bits of red and white in my knitting basket, all begging to become a project together!

The original Paddle mitts feature simple stripes, but we hacked them to include a band of fair isle.

The original Paddle mitts feature simple stripes, but we hacked them to include a band of fair isle.

Want to make a pair of your own? You can bust out the graph paper and pencils, or we have put together a little PDF of fair isle possibilities you can add to the Paddle mitts. Just work 1 round in the MC after the thumb gusset is on hold and away you go!

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Project Details

Pattern: Paddle mitts (the hack PDF is available here)

Yarn: YOTH Big Sister in ‘cracked pepper’, bits and bobs of red and white yarn

Size: Child

Needles: US 3 for the ribbing and US 5 for the rest

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How is the TCK hackathon going for you? Have you hacked a pair of mittens yet?


More lovely mittens from TCK

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HACK : stripe it up!

December 6, 2016

The World's Simplest Mitten

Stripes are one of our favourite ways to hack a pattern.

When Alexa designed The World’s Simplest Mitten, my first thought was to stripe it up!  I found these beautiful multi-coloured yarns at the JOMA booth at Knit City, and almost immediately I cast on and these little toddler size mittens flew right off the needles.

The World's Simplest Mitten

At first, I tried single-round stripes, because I love the way they blend colours.  However, as I was combining these two variegated colourways, the result was too muddy, not as distinct as I was hoping for.  So I ripped back and knit using 2-round stripes instead, and I was pretty pleased with the result!

The World's Simplest Mitten

Little man demanded to have his mittens on as soon as I was finished!

Project details:

Pattern: The World’s Simplest Mittens (a free pattern) is available in sizes to fit toddler to adult L, in 4 gauges.

For this pair, I knit the toddler size using the DK weight pattern.

Yarn: I used JOMA Marshmallow Rino in ‘ray gun’ and ‘cake for breakfast’. If you are striping two semi-solid or variegated colourways, it’s best to choose a pair that contrast quite strongly, or the stripes can get lost.

Needles: I used US #3 / 3.25 and US #5 / 3.75mm

The World's Simplest Mitten

The World's Simplest Mitten   The World's Simplest Mitten

JOMA yarn : lovely semi solids and hand paints

I was so taken by the lovely speckles when I spotted them at the JOMA booth. We are big fans of a hand dye here at TCK and our current obsession is definitely speckles. They are just so fun to knit! The colours change with almost every stitch, keeping the knitting interesting and fun. It was a fun booth to visit and I spent quite a bit of time oohing and aahing over the possibilities!

The World's Simplest Mitten

Almost immediately after buying this yarn it was wound and on the needles! I just couldn’t wait to see how it would knit up!

using variegated & speckle yarns

The tricky thing about speckles is how to pair them, with patterns or other yarns, to both let the speckle shine and avoid a wardrobe of infinite wildness. Sometimes the most delicious yarns, so fascinating in the skein, can be very difficult to use. We suggest using a simple pattern and/or striping it with a semi solid or solid to tone it down about one notch.

The World's Simplest Mitten

hackathon

A round of applause to all who are participating in our #TCKhackathon this holiday season! We’re loving watching your projects come up on Instagram, Facebook, and Ravelry.  There is still lots of time to participate, whip out a last minute gift, and enter to win our superfantastic prize!

Other Simple TCK patterns to hack:


Flax Light by Tin Can KnitsPaddle by Tin Can KnitsHarvest Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

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A Hackathon and Some Simple Mittens

December 1, 2016

It is that time you have all been waiting for, holidays with TCK! It has become our tradition to do something special this time of year and 2016 is no exception. Since this has been our year of trying something new we are hosting a knit-along from now until January 17th, a Christmas Hackathon! To kick off this awesome KAL we have a new free pattern, The World’s Simplest Mittens.

Hackathon details:

What is a hackathon you might ask? Well, you take a TCK pattern and you change it in some way to make it your own. Stripe it, change the fair isle, knit it at a wildly different gauge, add a lace panel, adjust a neckline, the possibilities are endless! To enter into our Hackathon, head over to our Ravelry Group. There you can post photos of your finished objects (to enter to win the prize) and chat about hacks. To join in on Intagram tag your pics with #tckhackathon2016. For our Hackathon we have an awesome prize!

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My favourite Shepherdess Bag from Anna of Long Way Homestead (@longwayhomestead), yummy candles from Wax and Wool (@waxandwool), a pretty zippered notions bag from Blue Button Sewing (@bluebuttonsewing), Mad Colour from TCK, and 5 skeins of Plucky Sweater in ‘ kissin’ Valentino’ (@pluckyknitter)

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On to the Mittens!

I suppose it goes without saying that I am pretty dedicated knitter. A lot of my life revolves around knitting and I knit every day. I love knitting cables and texture and lace, you name it! Sometimes though, you really just need something simple and quick, and so we bring you the latest addition to our collection of free patterns: The Worlds Simplest Mittens.

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When my kiddos need a pair of mittens they need them NOW! I never seem to get mittens ready in advance of winter and when Emily told me the same story about Max and his mitten needs I figured we might be on to something! Who doesn’t need a quick simple mitten sometimes? If you need something quick a dive into the stash seems like a good first step, so The World’s Simplest Mittens are written for 4 weights of yarn.

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Pattern Details ::: The Worlds Simplest Mittens

Sizes:
toddler (child, adult S, M, L)

Yarn:
fingering weight: 140 (160, 210, 260, 300) yards
DK weight 100 (120, 160, 190, 220) yards
worsted weight: 80 (90, 130, 160, 200) yards
chunky weight: 70 (80, 120, 150, 190) yards

(samples shown in Madelinetosh Tosh DK Twist in ‘tomato’, Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘princess rockstar’, SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in ‘juicebox’ and Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted in ‘spanish coin’)

Needles:

fingering: US #0 / 2mm and US #2 / 2.75mm
DK: US #3 / 3.25mm and US #5 / 3.75mm
worsted: US #5 / 3.75mm and US #7 / 4.5mm
chunky: US #6 / 4mm and US #8 / 5mm
DPNs in both sizes or long circulars for magic loop (or as required to meet gauge)

These mittens are ready for hacking! If you haven’t already joined our hackathon, now is the time! Take this simple pattern and make those mittens your own.

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More delicious mittens from TCK:


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Let’s Knit some super simple mittens

December 1, 2016

purple-mitten

There is nothing like a nice pair of warm winter mittens . This quick and cozy knit is just the thing to stretch your skills and keep your hands toasty.

First, you will need a pattern so download The World’s Simplest Mittens and then away we go! You can knit your mittens using double pointed needles [casting on tutorial here], or using a single long circular and the magic loop technique [tutorial here]. For this tutorial I am using the lovely Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘princess rockstar’.

Following the directions for your size and weight of yarn:

With smaller needles cast on:
Fingering: 32 (36, 42, 46, 52) sts.
DK: 28 (34, 38, 44, 48) sts.
Worsted: 24 (28, 32, 36, 40) sts.
Chunky: 22 (26, 28, 32, 36) sts.

Place BOR (beginning of round) marker and join for working in the round.

sts-cast-on-and-distributed

Tip: when I use double points I don’t like to use a BOR marker. Instead, I distribute my stitches with 1/2 on the first needle, 1/4 on the second needle, and 1/4 on the third needle. This way I know the BOR is at the start of the ‘full’ needle

Work in 1×1 rib (k1, p1) until piece measures 2.5 (2.5, 3, 4, 4)” from cast on. Switch to larger needles.
Fingering and DK: knit 3 (3, 4, 4, 4) rounds.
Worsted and chunky: knit 2 (2, 3, 3, 3) rounds.

So far so good? Work in 1×1 rib means you are going to work: k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1 etc.
This pattern has generous cuffs so if you prefer a shorter cuff you can work fewer rounds here.

ready-for-thumb-gusset

Ready for a thumb gusset!

::: thumb gusset :::

thumbgussethandTake a quick look at your hand. Your thumb sort of sticks out a bit right? Even the part of your thumb that is still a part of your hand. Well, we have to make an extra little triangle of fabric to accommodate that part of your thumb.

To create this triangle of fabric we are going to work some increases. Some patterns specify which type of increase to use and some don’t, it is knitters choice. You can use any increase you like, for this pattern I am going to work some M1 (make 1) increases and to be a little extra fancy we are going to do paired increases, first an M1L and then a M1R (make 1 left and make 1 right). [check out the full tutorial on M1s here]

Set up round: m1, k1, m1, PM, knit to end [2 sts inc]
Rounds 1 and 2: knit
Round 3: m1, knit to marker, m1, SM, knit to end of round [2 sts inc]
Fingering: work rounds 1-3 a total of 6 (6, 7, 7, 8) times, 15 (15, 17, 17, 19) sts between BOR and marker.
DK: work rounds 1-3 a total of 5 (5, 6, 6, 7) times, 13 (13, 15, 15, 17) sts between BOR and marker.
Worsted: work rounds 1-3 a total of 4 (4, 5, 5, 6) times, 11 (11, 13, 13, 15) sts between BOR and marker.
Chunky: work rounds 1-3 a total of 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) times, 9 (9, 11, 11, 13) sts between BOR and marker.

See a pattern forming? We are increasing 2 stitches every third row and you should start to see a triangle forming. Notice how the increases make the thumb gusset distinct by ‘leaning away’ from the mitten? That is because of the paired increase we are using.

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::: putting thumb stitches on hold :::

thumb-sts-placed-on-hold

Next we are going to put the thumb stitches on hold. For this you will need a darning needle (preferable a dull one) and a small piece of waste yarn. While it is sometimes preferable to put sts on a stitch holder (like a giant safety pin), for a mitten waste yarn has the necessary flexibility.

Thread your needle with the waste yarn and thread it through the thumb gusset sts (the ones between the BOR and the marker). You can now remove your marker.

ready-to-put-sts-on-waste-yarn

sts-on-waste-yarn

Waste yarn has been threaded through the live sts, the marker has been removed, and they are now on hold.

Next we are going to cast on 1 stitch in the middle of the row. Why, you ask? Because the thumb stitches ‘grew’ out of 1 knit stitch, but then we put all the thumb stitches on hold. So we are going to need 1 new stitch to take it’s place.  The cast on method we use is the backward loop cast-on.

cast-on-stitch

::: hand and decreases:::

The hand is pretty simple, just keep knitting every round.

Continue knitting every round until piece measures 1.75 (3, 3.75, 4, 4.5)” from end of thumb gusset.

measure-mitten-from-thumb-gusset

On to the decreases!

Fingering set up: k16 (18, 21, 23, 26), PM, knit to end
DK set up: k14 (17, 19, 22, 24), PM, knit to end
Worsted set up: k12 (14, 16, 18, 20), PM, knit to end
Chunky set up: k11 (13, 14, 16, 18), PM, knit to end

Round 1: (k1, ssk, knit to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1) twice [4 sts dec]

Fingering: work round 1 a total of 6 (7, 8, 9, 11) times, 8 (8, 10, 10, 8) sts remain.
DK: work round 1 a total of 5 (6, 7, 9, 10) times, 8 (10, 10, 8, 8) sts remain.
Worsted: work round 1 a total of 4 (5, 6, 7, 8) times, 8 (8, 8, 8, 8) sts remain.
Chunky: work round 1 a total of 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) times, 10 (10, 8, 8, 8) sts remain.

If you haven’t worked an ssk or a k2tog check out those tutorials as well. Got your last few sts? Great, almost done!

where-to-cose-the-top

Break yarn, leaving a 6” tail and weave through remaining live sts. Pull tight to close top of mitten.

finishing-mitten-top

::: thumb :::

Place held sts back on larger needles. Knit across these sts, pick up 1 stitch from body of mitten, PM and join for working in the round.

Fingering: 16 (16, 18, 18, 20) sts.
DK: 14 (14, 16, 16, 18) sts.
Worsted: 12 (12, 14, 14, 16) sts.
Chunky: 10 (10, 12, 12, 14) sts.

Once the stitches are back on the needles, you are ready to take out the waste yarn

Once the stitches are back on the needles, you are ready to take out the waste yarn

pick-up-at-thumb

You now have all your thumb stitches on your needles.

Knit every round until thumb measures 1 (1.25, 1.75, 2, 2.25)” from pick up.

Next round: k2tog around

Break yarn, leaving a 6” tail and weave through remaining live sts. Pull tight to close top of thumb.

You are closing the top of the thumb exactly the same way as the top of the mitten. You may have a small hole where you picked up. Just use your yarn tail and stitch up the hole before weaving in your ends on the inside of the work.

Weave in your ends and block your mittens. You are ready to wear them out!

finished-mittens


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.

Adorable mitten patterns to try:


antler mittenLoch Mittenssitka spruce mittens

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