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Camp Tolt: Banff

June 16, 2016

Banff: A fair isle toque for Camp Tolt

I have long been a fan of Tolt Yarn and Wool, a lovely shop in Carnation, Washington. It may be that I am a sucker for beautiful photos (and Anna and Kathy take amazing photographs!), and lovely yarns, but I think above all I am drawn to the passion Anna has for all things knitting as well as all things community. Emily R (model Emily) and I have made a day of our trips across the border to take in the beautiful shop many times since it’s opening, and it never disappoints! The staff is always super friendly and helpful, the yarn selection divine (this is where I first discovered YOTH), and they are always passionate about locally produced yarns like their Snoqualmie Valley yarn.


Last year Tolt came out with their lovely collection: Camp Tolt. As a lover of all things camping, road tripping, and knitting I immediately send a message to see if I could design something for the next collection! This years Camp Tolt collection includes my hat design: Banff.


Banff Details:

Pattern is available here or via Ravelry here

Sizes: Baby (Toddler, Child, Adult S/M, Adult L)
To fit approximate head circumference: 16 (17, 19, 21, 23) in

Yarn: Peace Fleece Worsted

80 (90, 100, 120, 140) yards MC

30 (30, 40, 40, 50, 50) yards CC

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

Love this mother-son shot! Too cute

Love this mother-son shot! Too cute

I have been accused in the past of being a bit of a literal thinker/designer, and this is really a prime example! When I think camping, I always think of the woods and so it seemed a natural fit to have simple fair isle trees as part of Camp Tolt. Knit up in Peace Fleece, a rustic, worsted weight yarn, the hat is a quick knit you can be wearing by the time you arrive at the campground.


When I completed the design Anna asked me what campgrounds/hiking spots were important to me, and Banff national park in the Rocky Mountains came to mind immediately. I have been camping there with my parents since I was small and when Bodhi was only a few weeks old we took the whole family on our road trip there to photograph Road Trip.

This year’s Camp Tolt collection also includes the lovely Bandera Pattern!


More fair isle goodness from TCK:



Antler, my Bread and Butter

June 9, 2016


While I am thoroughly enjoying the year of something new, I am taking a break and indulging in some bread and butter knitting. What’s that you ask? It is some simple, satisfying knitting, usually a ‘go to’ pattern with just enough interest to keep me going as a knitter. My first bread and butter project is an Antler cardigan, for me! It is a project I’ve been contemplating for some time now…


Last year Emily completed a BEAUTIFUL Antler cardi in the Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted in ‘honey wilkes’ and it definitely made me jealous! Once she was finished she popped Max in the original Antler sample from Pacific Knits to grab this lovely mother-son shot. This photo is everything we envisioned when we set out to create patterns sized from baby to big!

Mmmmm, Honey Wilkes

Mmmmm, Honey Wilkes

The Antler is also one of our go-to baby projects. Emily made this little pink one for her niece, I knit this deep blue version with mis-matchy buttons for Jones (although Bodhi is modelling it like a star here), a neutral but lovely brown one (complete with Antler buttons) for baby Trevor, and Emily whipped up a wee one for her nephew Sawyer (modeled here by the incomparable Max).

So the seed was planted, I might need another Antler cardi. I had made one a while ago in a bright and fun orange (Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘tomato’), but I felt my wardrobe was missing something a little more subdued in the sweater department. Then I saw my lovely friend Natalie (make of the delicious East Van Jam) in her stunning Antler, knit up in the rustic and fabulous Cestari Traditional Collection 2 Ply.

Antler detail

Antler detail

Well, when I was at the Beehive last summer I picked up some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in ‘pumpernickel‘ for just such an occasion and i have cast on! I will be working on this sweater over the summer, including a few road trips (that’s right, I’m going to keep knitting with woolly wool all through the hot summer months)! The stockinette body is perfect for patio conversation and the cables keep life interesting (like how to NOT lose your cable needle forever when you drop it in the Jeep on the Trans Can).


What are your ‘bread and butter’ knitting patterns? Those patterns you turn to over and over?

To join in for some Bread and Butter knitting by using the hashtag #breadandbutterknitting  on your favorite 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 button-ravelry-40

More Bread and Butter sweaters from TCK:

Mini Me Made May Roundup

June 2, 2016
Mini Me Made May

At times a camera was not what Neve wanted in her face!

The first month with a newborn is not the easiest… but the newest Tin Can Knits baby, Neve, has been a little dear (most of the time).

Dogwood Blanket by Tin Can Knits

At just 3 days old, Neve was all wrapped up in the Dogwood Blanket, one of Emily’s first baby designs… conceived years before she was!

Between crying and cuddles, Emily has thoroughly enjoyed #minimemademay and snapped plenty of pics of the baby wardrobe!

Flax Light Pullover

In the Flax Light Pullover (a free Simple Collection pattern), Neve looks just like her big brother did when he was a newborn!

Yawn – Everybody is a little tired when a new baby joins the family! Neve is cuddled close in the I Heart Rainbows pullover.

Despite yawns and afternoon naps, Emily had a fabulous time dressing up her little darling in the tiny newborn outfits that she’d spent so much time preparing.

Want to learn more about the pattern, yarns, size and modifications we’ve used to create these knits?  Lately we’ve been keeping better track of our personal knits, and posting all the project details on Ravelry – check it out!

Lace is, of course, one of Emily’s favourite things… So a little Prairie Fire pullover was a necessary knit!

Prairie Fire Pullover by Tin Can Knits

This Prairie Fire pullover (from Road Trip) is knit in Noro Silk Garden Sock, in a gorgeous neutral colourway.

Neve was more than a pound bigger than Emily’s first baby, Max… so some of the tiny knits didn’t last for very long!

Clayoquot Toque by Tin Can Knits

This newborn size Clayoquot Toque (a free pattern!) only fit Neve for a week or so… she’s just over a month old now and it’s already too small!

Bodhi joined in the fun, showing off her surfer hair and her new Neon Clayoquot Toque!

Clayoquot Beanie by Tin Can Knits

These fantastic neons are made by Rain City Knits


Max showed off his handmade wardrobe too (luckily Edinburgh is cold enough for toques and sweaters in May!).

North Shore Pullover by Tin Can Knits

Max can often be seen exploring the streets of Edinburgh in his North Shore Pullover!

Syncopation Adoration hat

We had some sunshine this month… but it was still cool enough for Max to rock his Syncopation Adoration

Not to be outdone by the little ones, the eldest of the Tin Can Knits ‘mini’ clan, Hunter, is getting ready to start Kindergarten in her new Little Coastal Pullover (design by Hannah Fettig, yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘cousteau’, all the details in this blog post).

Coastal Pullover

Little Coastal Pullover by Hannah Fettig

And lastly… Emily also rocked the handmade wardrobe this month, celebrating her post-partem ‘Mammalicious’ figure (the principle being if you can’t avoid it, own it!).

Lush Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Emily’s cropped Lush cardigan is knit in Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK in ‘something blue’

Do you have plans to add to your ‘memade’ or ‘minimemade’ wardrobe this year?

Neve says 'bye for now' but it won't be long before you'll see her again!

Neve says ‘bye for now’ but it won’t be long before you’ll see her again!


Some sweet little knit wardrobe additions

Loch by Tin Can KnitsRocky Joggers by Tin Can KnitsOld Growth Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Aran Weight Bumble Beanie – a pattern hack

May 26, 2016

I recently went suffered an obsession with the Bumble Beanie, a pattern from our second baby book, Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe.  The original design was worked in DK weight yarn, but I was experimenting with colour and yarn combinations from my stash, and wanted to knit the pattern even more quickly, in worsted & aran weight yarns. I mean, Neve was on her way, I had to knit fast right?!

Neve is wearing a teeny tiny Bumble hat knit up in

Neve is wearing a teeny tiny Bumble hat (this one is knit to pattern) in Noro Kibou and The Border Mill Alpaca Tweed, atop her Vivid blanket knit up in Rainbow Heirloom, and in her Flax hack. Looking good Neve!

ARAN weight Bumble Beanie – pattern adjustment details

Cast on 56 (64, 72, 80, 88, 96) sts for newborn (baby, toddler, child, adult SM, adult L) sizes.  I worked on 4.0mm needles for the brim, and 6.5mm at the slip-stitch pattern, for a finished gauge of 17.5 sts & 24 rounds / 4”.  With this chunkier gauge and fabric, I’d suggest knitting 1/2” to 1” longer than called for in the pattern before decreasing.  With the adjusted cast-on numbers, you’ll setup to decrease by working [[k1, p1] 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) times, PM] around in order to divide the work into 4 sections.

Bumble beanies from above

Bumble beanies from above

While knitting many and various aran-weight bumble hats, I also tried a few other modifications, in each case these work for single-round stripes (and would work in a single colour too but it may be less striking).  To create a slipped-stitch cross detail at the crown (as shown on the left above) is quite simple – just slip the CC decrease stitches from the previous round.


To insert a panel of garter stitch, which is quite beautiful in single-round stripes, adjust the pattern as follows:

Round 1, in CC: k1, p11 (13, 15, 17, 19, 21), k1, sl1, PM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie Round 1) to end
Round 2, in MC: sl1, k11 (13, 15, 17, 19, 21), sl1, p1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie Round 1) to end

And then, when you decrease, in this first quarter section of the hat, you’ll work:

on CC rounds: ssk, purl to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, sl1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie decrease Rounds 1 or 3) to end
on MC rounds: sl1, knit to 2 sts before marker, sl1, p1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie decrease Rounds 2 or 4) to end

experimenting with yarn combinations

Bumble a great pattern for self-striping yarns, like Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden.  When you use the self-striping yarn as the MC, the colour changes are broken up and made more subtle by the single-colour CC dots.  When you use the self-striping yarn as the CC, the rainbow of dots stands out against a solid-colour background.


I also love the effect of using tweeds and heathers together, for a softer and more rustic effect.  I bet it would also work nicely to use a variegated hand-paint for the MC and a solid for the CC ‘dots’, to break up any colour pooling and make the hand-paint more subtle.

To make things even more interesting, in some of my hats I held a strand of a lace-weight silk/mohair alongside either the MC or the CC.  This created a fabulous halo and sparkle in the finished fabric, and could be used to unify the colour across a high-contrast self-striping colourway.

do you find it hard to match your stash yarn with patterns?

We also have a tutorial on how to adjust patterns to work at a different gauge than called for – this can help when you have yarn that you love, and a pattern you love, but they don’t match up perfectly in terms of gauge.  Here at Tin Can Knits we’re making 2016 The Year to Learn Something New, and bringing you excellent new tutorials that we hope will inspire you to learn new skills!  Get our excellent email updates, and share in the chat 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 button-ravelry-40

Other simple patterns just begging to be ‘hacked’

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can KnitsI Heart Rainbows Pullover by Tin Can KnitsHarvest Cardigan by Tin Can Knits


Mini Me Made Coastal Pullover

May 13, 2016

It is shorts and sweater weather here in Vancouver!


It is pretty rare that I find the time to knit up a pattern by another designer, but I have wanted to knit up this beautiful Little Coastal Pullover by Hannah Fettig the INSTANT I saw it on instagram a few months ago. I absolutely love the texture and the simple shape. It has all the trappings of a wardrobe staple! With so much talk about Mini Me Made May I thought it would be an ideal time to cast on a sweater for little Ms Hunter (who has out-grown almost all of her current sweaters). I put the two desires together and away I went.

I made the cuffs a little longer than usual, for the fold up.

I made the cuffs a little longer than usual, for the fold up.

The Yarn

I just happened to have 4 beautiful skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage in my favorite color, ‘Cousteau’, on hand, the perfect weight and yardage for my Little Coastal Pullover. I had picked up the yarn a little while ago on an ‘I must knit Hunter a sweater in this amazing color’ whim, it was just meant to be!


Project Details:

Pattern: Little Coastal Pullover by Hannah Fettig

Yarn: Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘cousteau’, eked out of 3 skeins (like 2 yards left, seriously)

Size: 8. The pattern sizing is perfect but Hunter is a pretty giant 5 year old. She wears at least a size 7 in commercial clothing, I maybe could have even made the size 10 to give it even more room to grow!

I so enjoyed this knit and it looks just perfect on Hunter. Nothing too tricky, but interesting enough to keep me going. It is a lovely treat to just follow a pattern and knit sometimes, without considering every element of the design as I go. The lovely Coastal Pullover also come in grown up sizes so I am dreaming of a matching sweater for me!

Tip of the Day:

File 2016-05-10, 2 22 35 PM

Confession: I can be bit of a forgetful knitter. I never mark my place in patterns and often forget to leave myself important notes on sleeve increases or decreases, waist shaping information, and pretty much any other note of that nature. And so, to keep myself on track, I mark my knitting.

For this pattern it wasn’t immediately obvious to me if I had cabled 2 rounds earlier or 3 rounds earlier and a mis-timed cabled is precisely the type of error that is only noticeable an inch or 2 later, or worse, once the sweater is finished. Disaster! So, I placed this helpful safety-pin-type marker in the cable row and then it was easy counting from there! You can see in the picture above that I cabled, then worked 3 rounds, so I knew it was time to cable again.

This works well for a multitude of situations. I often mark my sleeve increases or decreases so I can make the second sleeve the same and I mark cable rounds or particular lace rounds that occur every so often to keep myself on track.



I can now send Hunter off to Kindergarten in September in hand knit sweater, wrapped in love from her Mama. Okay, it will be more like mid-October before she needs to wear a sweater to school but it will still be nice!

How is your #minimemademay coming along?

Fun Cables from TCK

Introducing Neve!

May 6, 2016

After 9 long months (plus a couple of days) there is a new Tin Can Knits baby in town: Introducing Neve Muriel!

This gorgeous little one is happy at home with Mama, Papa, and big brother Max, sleeping and eating (as newborns do). Max is rather interested in the new little person in the house.

So peaceful, wrapped up in the Dogwood blanket, her mama's first baby design, long before even Max was a twinkle in her eye.

So peaceful, wrapped up in the Dogwood blanket, her mama’s first baby design, long before even Max was a twinkle in her eye.

All the details of this Flax Hack can be found on the Ravelry project page here.

All the details of this Flax Hack can be found on the Ravelry project page here

the wardrobe

Neve is already decked out in the fabulous knit wardrobe her mama has been working on, including this amazing Flax hack! Emily took our basic Flax pattern and threw in a few design details and a little fair isle. You can find all the details of how she did it here.

Twinsies! When put side by side there is no mistaking these two for siblings! This Neve on the left and Max on the right at about the same age in exactly the same sweater (Flax Light). Adorable!

Emily is enjoying #minimemademay to the fullest, keeping her new wee bairn wrapped in woolies, handmade blankets, and adorable harem pants. You can follow us on Instagram for our daily mini wardrobe shots!

More mini items from TCK

Mini Me Made May

April 28, 2016

Every year, as the month of May approaches, I have a grand ambition to participate in #memademay, a challenge that inspires you to make, wear, and share your handmade wardrobe.  And every year I’ve found some excuse to put it off…

But this year, I’m going for it… at least in a small way!

a mini handmade wardrobe


I’ve been obsessively knitting and sewing little baby things… to add to the excessive number that I seem to already have!  I was overwhelmed by cuteness once I pulled them all out!

This year I have a new ‘memade’… and I’ve had 9 months to prepare her tiny baby wardrobe, taking so much pleasure from the creation and collection of adorable little items!


My first baby design was the Dogwood blanket, and I still think it’s so pretty! And my favourite baby sewing pattern is the free Tiny Harem pants pattern by The Alison Show, as you can see I’ve become a wee bit obsessed…I’ve made a few more than those pictured above…!

Since I will be in my first month post-partem, complete with under-eye bags, new grey hairs, extreme milk jugs and an undefined midsection (so glamorous), I’m not likely to feature heavily in front of the camera, so I’m diverting the attention to the little ones and coining the term #minimemademay for a month of baby knits and sewing projects!


The tiniest sweaters!  A tiny flax light (a great free pattern), the i heart rainbows pullover and two pattern hacks / prototypes!

Want to join in the fun?  I think #memademay is an excellent opportunity to assess your own handmade wardrobe, or if you want to focus on the little ones,  join us in #minimemademay!

Baby knits in your future?

Are you planning for a new baby?  Organizing a baby shower?  Hoping for a grandbaby? We’ve got a load of tiny hat patterns that make for very quick gifts!

Clayoquot Beanie

The free Clayoquot beanie pattern, from our book Road Trip, is a quick knit for DK weight leftovers, and an opportunity to practice (or swatch) colourwork!

Stovetop Hat by Tin Can Knits

The Stovetop hat is one of my fav hat patterns for babies and big people too.  It’s so stylish, unisex, and such a pleasure to knit!  I’ve made more than a few over the past couple years!

Stovetop Hat by Tin Can Knits

Max’s first photo in knitwear, 4 days old

Loch Beanie by Tin Can Knits

I think I need to knit a tiny Loch for the new little one! I don’t have enough tiny hats for her yet… clearly!

Or with a bit more advance planning, you could organize a group of knitting friends to all work a square or two of a vivid, pop, fly away, or dogwood blanket, then have a seaming party to create a collaborative heirloom for a very special baby!

Over the years we’ve designed a LOT of popular patterns for the baby knitters out there, and talked about hoping for a baby (and knitting in hope), the joys of a coordinated set of baby knits, and our top 10 tips for baby knitting!

Max & Bodhi's Wardrobe9 Months of Knitting

We also have 2 baby-centric books of knits.  Alexa’s first baby, Hunter, inspired our very first book, 9 Months of Knitting, and when Emily’s son Max arrived a month after Alexa’s daughter Bodhi, we couldn’t resist another: Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe.  While the knits are mainly sized from baby to big, the inspiration for these collections was our desire to knit fabulous modern wardrobes for our little ones!

Colourful knits from Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe

Bumble Beanie by Tin Can KnitsLittle Squirrel Socks by Tin Can KnitsRocky Joggers by Tin Can Knits




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