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Introducing : Mad Colour!

September 14, 2016


You all knew when Neve was born a new book couldn’t possibly be far behind right? We are proud to announce our newest collection: Mad Colour!

Mad Colour is a big one, 5 garments (sized baby to big of course!), 13 accessories, and with all the colourful possibilities it really seems endless!

This book is all about play. The patterns are simple, designed for experimentation. Dive head-first into your stash, fish out your hidden treasures and mix them up. Try a novel blend, or stick to a tried-and-true colour combo. If you are new to colourwork techniques, these designs are great for practicing fair-isle, slip stitch, stripes and intarsia too!

Mad Colour Details

The Ebook: You can order you Mad Colour ebook now for just $18

In Print: The print book is also available in print for $23 and all of our print books include the ebook. Books will ship September 23rd.

Single Patterns: Just want one? All of the patterns are available on their own as well, and the Swatchtastic Bunting pattern is available for free!

The garments in this book cover all of our favourite colour techniques, from fair isle to stripes, ombre, lace, and texture, what’s not to love? All patterns are sized from baby to big, perfect for those super cheesy family photoshoots!

We may have gone a little blanket crazy….we just love colourful blankets! Stripes of ombre, circles of self striping colour, chunky and marled, and the hexagons, oh the hexagons. A blanket for every season!

Our favorite thing about this book was our desire to keep trying out different versions of each pattern. When a black and white hat flew off the needles, a colourful striped cowl went on, when we finished some fair isle, it was time for some slipped stitches. Each new combination inspiring another idea or design.Slice

Colour sliced and diced! This is the Slice shawl, grab 3 skeins of sock/fingering yarn to get started!

While most of our collections have a fairly clear progression from concept to book, this one was a little different. Colour itself is a big idea and we really wanted to showcase the different ways that colours can interact in knitting. We came up with the idea for Mad Colour way back in 2012 and have let it percolate ever since.

The photoshoots for Mad Colour were epic!

The photoshoots for Mad Colour were epic! With lots of samples to show off we needed maximum models, so pretty much everyone I know got the call!

Colour can sometimes be daunting, so we have a hat pattern to get you started. Prism is 3 hats in one, slipped stitches, stripes, and fair isle. A little project to try out some new skills or a perfect place to test a new palette….did we mention it was great for using up those little scraps?!

So pick up your copy of Mad Colour, grab those perfect skeins from your stash, and cast on!

More fabulous colourful knits from TCK:












Tunisian Crochet Stashbuster Blanket

September 8, 2016

Like just about everybody else on the internet, I’ve recently gotten on board with the tidying craze (if you haven’t already heard about this phenomenon, read this book by Marie Kondo).  While my tone seems a little flippant, the fact of the matter is that tidying, getting my house in order, has brought about a significant and fundamental change in my relationship to my things, and my pleasure in life.

Of most interest to you knitters is the change in my relationship to my STASH.  Here is one of the results is this project, a super-chunky stashbuster blanket worked in tunisian crochet on a massive (19mm) hook.

tunisian crochet blanket

Tunisian crochet is a very simple satisfying technique, and offers interesting ways to mix colours and use scraps.

Working as a designer for the past 6+ years, I have naturally amassed a MOUNTAINOUS stash.  While naturally frugal, crafting supplies have always been a weakness of mine. With yarn classed as a business expense, the barriers to purchase have been further eroded! After I’d used Kondo’s method to clear out my wardrobe, bookshelf, kitchen, office supplies and cupboards, it was time to confront my stash head on, and determine which items genuinely brought me joy to have and to hold. My stash mountain has honestly become a weight upon me. At times I have felt guilty for all the beautiful and precious stash that I know in my heart will never become a knit project.

Stash Mountain

Max dives head first into the massive stash!  He feels no guilt, only woolly woolly pleasure!

There were hundreds of luxurious bits and odd skeins left over from projects I’d completed, and dozens of single balls that I’d purchased thinking that I’d swatch with them, or knit a gift. There were even several sweater quantities of gorgeous yarns that I’d bought when I was touring around. Nearly every skein had a story, an emotion, a memory attached; such a weight that I was reluctant to let go of.

But I told myself that there was no value in having these things packed away in plastic tubs, if they were not bringing joy to my life and beauty to my home, and if, in fact, they contributed a weight of anxiety and guilt instead of the pleasure they might bring to someone else. If a bird in hand is worth 3 in the bush, then a skein of yarn in use (worked into something beautiful and useful) is worth 100 in the stash!

But how could I part with this mountain of alpaca, silk, cashmere, merino and hand-dyed luxury? Enter the Stashbuster Blanket!

tunisian crochet blanket

I remembered working at Urban Yarns when I was in my designer infancy, and a project that the owner Anina had been working on, called the Stashbuster Blanket.  At the time I thought I’d NEVER waste that much yarn on a single project.  But lately, I’d been wanting to try the technique (tunisian crochet), and thought the finished object would be a lovely addition to my home, so last year I bought the pattern and hook, but never cast on.  Well the ‘Year to Try Something New’ and this tidying project were a final impetus to act.

tunisian crochet blanket

After a couple false starts, which blended colours a bit more radically for my taste, I settled on a concept; I planned an ombre of primary colours (blues, reds, yellows) against a lightening ombre of greys.  Each colour block has 3 sections, darkest, medium, and lightest.  The pattern calls for 3 colours to be worked at a time, but I began with a grey border in a single colour, then worked 2 slightly different colours of blue with this grey, then two slightly lighter colours with the grey, and so on and so forth.  By the time I’d completed 3 sections of blue, then 3 sections of red/orange, I could see that the blanket was long enough, and adding yellows would make it out of proportion for a couch throw.  So I worked a second grey edge and called my masterpiece complete!

tunisian crochet blanket

tunisian crochet blanket

stashbuster blanket project details:

Pattern: Stashbuster Blanket by StitchDiva Studios
Finished Size: I worked a blanket that is 60 sts wide, and 108 rows long. It measures 38″ wide x 61″ long.
Yarn: About a million different yarns… and I’ve no idea the finished yardage!

tunisian crochet blanket

How do you feel about your stash?
How do you display it?  Does it bring you pleasure just to own it, or do you suffer some anxiety or guilt? Share thoughts and photos of your stash mountain 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

Pretty projects for knitting from stash:

RT-applepie-tmb-bMB-littlesquirrel-tmb-aNorth Shore Pullover





A Knitter For Inspiration

August 30, 2016

There is always a knitter or 2 out there that get you. A quick perusal of their project page has you drooling and re-thinking your current w.i.p.s in a serious way. You adore their colour choices, their combinations of patterns and yarns, and a quick look at their project page leads you straight to the stash, filled with inspiration. For me Laura (aka Undone57 on Ravelry and Undone.57 on Instagram) is that knitter. Her most recent triumph is this stunning Fly Away blanket, but there is so much more!

Laura's layout, just in case you are as inspired as I am!

Laura’s layout, just in case you are as inspired as I am!

We have featured Laura’s knitting here once before, she completed the 12 sweaters in 2015 challenge with a family set of Christmas in July sweaters. When I saw her lovely combinations I knew I wanted to cast on for one (or 3) myself!

In case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve been particularly smitten with all kinds of colourwork lately and I would be remiss if I didn’t add in this adorable Playdate Cardigan. Laura has added a simple little fair isle pattern all over and the effect is awesome. Who knew scrappy could look so good?!

Playdate, made all her own

Playdate, made all her own

Even in her accessories and details, I love all of the cool colour combinations and cute photos!

Cavalcade Socks, 3 2 1, Rainbow socks, Ranger Cardigan, Bumble, Carson Throw

You can see why it is so much fun to see what Laura is knitting! As soon as I saw her Fly Away I wanted to cast on for one of my own (even though I still have one that just needs seaming….). Which knitter inspires you?

More cozy blankets from TCK

Bonfire… and a Crazy Sexy giveaway

August 19, 2016

After the birth of my new little one just over 3 months ago, I needed some bread and butter knitting; something simple and satisfying. So I cast on a gigantic Bonfire Blanket in Wool and the Gang’s Crazy Sexy Wool, a delicious super chunky wool. It took a little longer than anticipated, but I cast off this bulky bad boy just before heading home for a summer trip to Vancouver Island!

Bonfire Blanket

crazy sexy wool giveaway!

Wanna win yarn? Wool and the Gang are having a giveaway – it’s running until midnight, Sunday August 21st 2016 – so enter here for a chance to win some Crazy Sexy Wool!

UPDATE >>>>> The contest has been completed, and Anna is the lucky winner of 3 skeins of Crazy Sexy Wool!  Enjoy the luscious chunky knitting!  Thanks to all who entered.


The Bonfire Blanket was initially designed in Cascade Lana Grande. It’s a super bulky… but not quite as big and badass as Crazy Sexy Wool!

Bonfire Project Details:

Pattern: Bonfire Blanket
Sizing: The completed blanket measures 74” long and 54” wide, I worked a total of 7 pattern repeats. For this uber-bulky version, I achieved a garter stitch gauge of 6.5 sts & 10 rows in 4″, on 15mm needles.  The cable pattern repeat measured 9.5″ long and 18″ wide.
Yarn: Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool in ‘magic mint’
Needles: While the pattern calls for 10mm needles, I used 15mm to achieve an ideal drape with this yarn, which is even bulkier than the yarn the pattern was designed in.

Bonfire Blanket

The Bonfire Blanket in progress… and my new little knitting companion! Check out the size of those stitches compared to her little fist!

A cozy and stunning addition to my home

I love this knit! Making something super bulky like this for the first time, I found the speed at which the knit progressed very satisfying. I now have a really beautiful blanket to keep the whole family cozy on cold Scottish winter nights, which I am sure will come again (too soon!). For complete project details, check out my Ravelry project page.

Bonfire Blanket

Our cat Willow loves the new blanket too!

Bonfire Blanket

dog days of summer… and some easy little take-along knits

Putting super-chunky blankets aside for the moment… it’s HOT here on Vancouver Island where I’m enjoying a summer vacation with my family, hitting the beach every day.


Alexa and her crew are adventuring through the Rockies; she’s just knit a Banff hat on the way to Banff… of course!

If you’re heading out to the cottage, or settling in to your favourite camp spot for these last lazy dog days of summer, we’ve got some littler (lighter) project suggestions for you! If it’s too hot to knit during the day (what?), you still may enjoy a couple leisurely hours after the sun has set, needles clicking while you laugh and joke with family and friends.

Clayoquot Toque Paddle by Tin Can Knits RT-ammolite-tmb-b

PK-lionsgate-tmbTorrent Socks by Tin Can KnitsBumble by Tin Can Knits

RT-grayling-tmb-bHUK-loch-tmbaTall Dark & Handsome hat

What’s in a Yoke?

August 12, 2016

I love fair isle yoked sweaters. The simplicity in the body of the sweater is great relaxing knitting, and the yoke is that pop of colour and fun that make the finished garment a piece to treasure. I’ve knit a few colourwork yokes over the years and I’m definitely not finished yet!

above are the Clayoquot, North Shore, Spotlight, and Goldfish sweaters

Swatching for a Colourwork Yoke

For the Paintbox KAL I am working on the Christmas in July sweater by Tanis Lavallee and I am loving it so far! Part of the challenge for this KAL was to swatch in 3 different colourways, so I thought I would offer up my usual method of swatching colourwork: I knit a hat.

I find when I knit fair isle back and forth (right side, then wrong side) it looks too sloppy, so I prefer to swatch in the round. I also prefer to use a circular rather than double points, it gives me a more accurate idea of my gauge, which is important if I am knitting a sweater. So, I need to cast on at least enough stitches to get around a 16″ circular needle, why not just knit a hat? Turn a swatch into a great gift!

This method of swatching may seem like overkill but it really ensures that your sweater will come out just the way you want it. We have 3 free hat patterns, the Clayoquot toque, i heart rainbows hat, and Barley, that will give you an idea of the number of stitches to cast on for each size and you can just use your main colour to do the decreases.

For example, if I am swatching in a worsted weight I can look at the Barley pattern, see I need to cast on about 78 stitches for a child size hat, work the ribbing, then change to my fair isle pattern (you may need a little increase to make the stitch count divisible by your pattern repeat). I work the fair isle pattern until my piece measures about 6″ from the cast on, then I work the decreases as written (if you needed an increase round for your pattern repeat you will need to work that number of extra decreases in this round). That’s it! Now you have a lovely swatch hat. Give it a bath, a block, and you can measure for gauge, as well as having tried out your colour combo. For your sweater you can make any necessary adjustments.

My Christmas in July

While I would usually go for a swatch hat, for Christmas in July I just cast on a yoke for the smallest size (but in DK weight yarn rather than the fingering suggested). For the wee ones a yoke isn’t really that much more knitting than a hat so I decided to wing it. I can always rip back the yoke if I need to swap out a colour or two.

I started out and immediately decided the 'orange blossom' should not be next to the 'pink grapefruit', they are a smidge too similar

I started out and immediately decided the ‘orange blossom’ should not be next to the ‘pink grapefruit’, they are a smidge too similar

I usually find it hard to hit on the perfect colour palette on the first try (unless, perhaps, I am copycatting the original), so swatches are a necessity for colourwork! However, I’m finding the fair isle pattern for Christmas in July so forgiving, I already love my first two ‘swatches’ (with a few rows ripped back along the way).

My second 'swatch', I went with shades of greens and blues, moving between teal blues and cool greens

My second ‘swatch’, I went with shades of greens and blues, moving between teal blues and cool greens

High Contrast or Blend?

Sometimes a yoke calls for high contrast, like the North Shore I recently finished. You really want to be able to distinguish the trees and mountains. The waves don’t necessarily need to be as high contrast, but you can see the difference between my recent version and the original.

For the Christmas in July though, having higher or lower contrast really just gives a different effect. My warm colour yoke has a ‘blendy’ effect, while my blues and greens give different, more distinct, shapes.

A more 'blendy' effect works well in the Christmas in July yoke!

A more ‘blendy’ effect works well in the Christmas in July yoke!

I’m having so much fun with this pattern, I can’t wait to cast on my third swatch!

If you want to join in the KAL just check in with our Rav group here and hashtag your progress on your favourite media spot with #paintboxKAL

More colourful knits from TCK:




Stranded : Elwha and Twisp

August 4, 2016

Stranded Magazine

When Seattle knitwear designers Andi Satterlund and Erin Birnel approached us about their new digital magazine, Stranded, we knew we wanted to take part. Stranded not only has inspired designs but includes cross stitch, a recipe, and articles as well. So, in their second issue, The Mild Weather issue, there are 2 new Tin Can Knits patterns, Elwha and Twisp. The articles in this issue feature a few of my favorite people too, Caitlin Ffrench and the fine ladies at Spincycle Yarns!



This issue was inspired by one of our favourite places, the good old PNW (that’s Pacific Northwest folks). Rainy forests, drizzly beaches, and mountains always on the skyline. With images of ski lodges and winter days dancing in our heads Emily and I designed Twisp and Elwha.



Elwha is a cabled pullover, knit from the bottom up. I wanted to create something with a timeless feel, a sweater that would be at home in the ski lodge, the pub, or even on the slopes. Don’t picture modern skis though, think extra long wooden skis (I think my Dad still has a pair in the garage somewhere….), and whooshing down the hill in woollies instead of Gortex. This sweater says hot chocolate by the fire!


The yarn is one of my new faves, YOTH yarns Father, a 100% rambouillet yarn that is light and lofty but oh so warm, it is really the perfect sweater yarn. The stitch definition let those cables shine! Elwha is a unisex sweater, perfect for the men in your life too.



As you may have guessed, we are loving colourwork lately! Any chance to combine lovely yarn and multiple colours is a win in our book. Twisp is a lightweight hat (a must for fall in PNW) knit up in Quince and Co Chickadee. It has a generous brim, perfect for hat versatility, worn with either a flipped brim or nice and slouchy. It is a great hat to play with colour, using just 2 or a whole rainbow!

Each Stranded issue is available for purchase for just 1 year so get it while it’s hot!

Other lovely patterns from The Mild Weather Issue



Paintbox – A KAL

July 28, 2016


Paintbox: Playing with Colour

With a brief hiatus in the land of bread and butter knitting, it is time to return to the Year of Something New! I propose an exploration of colour. Emily and I have been madly working on a colourful new project and we are immersed in swatches and colourful knits so we want to encourage you to do the same! How about a KAL to keep us all motivated and inspired?

KAL Details:

What is the Painbox KAL?: For this exploration of colour you must choose a pattern involving an element of colour (it does not need to be a TCK pattern), eg. fair isle, slip stitches, stripes, etc. (not just a single colour), and you must swatch it a minimum of 3 ways (three different colour combos). Even seasoned knitters need to swatch when it comes to colourwork!

Dates: Starts today (July 28th) and ends Thursday September 8th (all entries for prizes must be in by Midnight PST on September 8th)

How to join: To join our KAL simply go to the Rav group here. There will be a spot to post your swatch pics and a spot to post  your finished objects, and, of course, a spot to chat with knitters about all the colourful things you want to accomplish.

Swatching and colour

Why the swatches? Because (gets up on soap box) swatching is essential to colourwork. I have ripped back numerous yokes, started over many hats, and discovered oodles of stripe combination that just didn’t work. Swatching is a great way to try out some new combinations, perhaps a little bolder or more subtle than your usual. It is the year of something new after all! Do don’t be a wuss and get ready to do some swatching!

photo by Tanis

For this KAL I will be knitting the gorgeous Christmas in July sweater by Tanis Lavallee, especially fitting since the KAL starts in July right? I think it will be for Bodhi, I’m kind of winging the sizing. The pattern is written for a fingering weight yarn but I’m going to be a rebel and use DK. If I knit the second size it should come out around a Bodhi size, maybe with some room to grow. The lengths are easily adjusted so there is no problem there!

Christmas in July (photo cred to Tanis)

Christmas in July (photo cred to Tanis)

Wondering where to start for some colour inspiration? I always like to check out the Ravelry projects for any pattern I am starting, sometimes there is a kindred knitter who has already worked up a colour combo I adore! Another route is to create a Pinterest board of your favorite colourful pairings to reference. This is the one I created for my Christmas in July sweater.

And so I dive into the stash, ready to make some bold colour decisions, and invite you to do the same! To follow along on your favorite social media spot, just use the hashtag #tckpaintbox

More colourful knits from TCK:






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