Friday, 30 December 2011

Millwater inspired

Millwater Scarf

While perusing Ravelry before the holidays for a great (and portable) travel project to bring with me, I stumbled upon Beth Kling's Millwater pattern. This infinity scarf is beautiful, lush and cushy, everything that you need in a winter knit. I knit mine with two skeins of Madelinetosh 80/10/10 worsted mcn in The Alizarin colourway, I've had these skeins in my stash for ages and am really happy to have found the perfect 2 skein project for them. 

Millwater Scarf

Full disclosure - I didn’t purchase the pattern for this lovely infinity scarf because I was pretty sure that I could get the look without the pattern. The big luscious, off-center, reversible cable on a background of crisp garter stitch is brilliant. I can’t comment on the pattern, but I can say that the design is definitely inspiring! I spotted a few other great patterns in Beth's Ravelry store and have already cast on for a Henslowe in TFA Red Label. Don't you love discovering new designers?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Our holidays

Chris and I spent the holidays out East with my family. It was beautiful and perfect! We were never less than 18 people, we stayed at two cottages side by side. We spent our days playing with my cousins kids, going on long winter walks by the ocean, building snow men, having snow ball fights, playing board games, watching movies, knitting, baking, cooking, eating, drinking... Amazing. 

When we go to the cottage in the summer, the beach is full of the friends and family who all migrate East to the shore for their summer holidays, but in the winter there is barely a soul there. It felt like the whole landscape was just for us to enjoy. I couldn't think of a better way to spend Christmas. 

We have a tradition in my family where "the kids" (some of the kids now have kids of their own!) get to open one gift on Christmas eve, that gift is always pj's. This year my cousin found a store that sells adult onesies, so we all got matching fluorescent, plaid one-piece pj's and put them on immediately. It was absolutely hilarious! My cousin's might kill me for posting this picture on the internet, but it's just too funny to pass up!

Hope all of your holidays were as merry and bright as mine!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

TFA Tuesday: Cinder

Pattern: Cinder

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Geen Label Aran Weight in Chestnut

Top Tier Knitter: Lorraine (Ravelry Id)

Totally Awesome Because: This is such a great pattern and yarn combination- I love how the Chestnut colourway looks in the thick ribbing and cables, and is such a great scarf colour that really speaks of autumn days and brightly coloured leaves. Such a fantastic job, I love this scarf!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Cobalt Julissa


I cast on extremely enthusiastically for this sweater back in November! I had the body done in that first weekend, and then got distracted by other deadlines and had to wait a few more weeks before I could finish the sleeves. Now that it's done, it was totally worth the wait! This sweater is da bomb!

Ravelry project page here


Knit in TFA Green Label Aran Weight Yarn in the Cobalt colourway. I alternated skeins throughout the body, but didn't find I had to on the sleeves. I kept checking for pooling since Cobalt is one of my more variegated shades, but it was working up nicely and thankfully I could knit happily from one skein at a time. 

I'm crazy about the details in this pattern. The cables, the lace, the bracelet length sleeves and the slightly wide neckline... the teal tank peaking through that bright cobalt blue (ok, that was my styling decision, not the pattern, but I love that detail!) Oh, and maybe my favorite detail of all, the cable down the sleeves! Yup, this sweater is pretty much a home run in my books. :) Hats off to the designer Vanessa Smith.


I've been wanting to knit myself a sweater in this bright blue colourway forever, because after all, blue is totally my colour and the fact that I didn't have a Cobalt sweater was a tragedy. Now that I do, I know that I'll be wearing it a lot. 


Happy Christmas to me!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Business Casual Sock Pattern - Free!

Business Casual sock pattern

My dad is the best and he deserves custom designed socks for Christmas. I've done it once before, and I think that this may become a new Christmas tradition! This year I decided that dad needed a pair of cool, preppy socks. So I designed these faux-argyle cabled socks. You get the fun diamond shapes of argyle, but without all that tricky stranded knitting and with the added bonus of lots of cool texture!

Business Casual sock pattern

If you too have a cool dad (or mom, or sibling, or friend) who needs a smart pair of socks, why not knit them some Business Casual socks!? I think I may cast on for a pair for myself next. :) 

Knit in TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn one skein is plenty for a pair of socks (small or large). Kick it up a notch and make them extra luxurious by knitting them in TFA Purple Label Cashmere sock yarn! The socks pictured here (which are already wrapped up and under the Christmas tree for dad) were knit in the Atlantic colourway.  

As an early holiday gift from me to you I've made this pattern available for free!  

Ravelry pattern page here

Happy holidays!

TFA Tuesday: St. James

Pattern: St. James

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Green Label Aran Weight in 'Deep Sea'

Top Tier Knitter: Tasia (Ravelry Id, blog)

Totally Awesome Because: There is something so lovely about this gorgeous shade of blue knitted up in stockinette, don't you think? It reminds me of actual water flowing. I love this simple knitted tee- I bet it goes with absolutely everything, and looks so pretty with Tasia's dark hair.  Her project page can be found here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Gramps cardigan

I went to a very dear friend's baby shower last weekend. Of course, as a knitter, when I hear the words "baby" and "shower" in the same sentence I get all giddy and excited and start planning for some awesome baby knits. Knitting for babies is one of my very favorite things. You get all the satisfaction of having a great FO, but with the added bonus of it being super fast, and oh so wee and adorable!

Gramps Cardigan with Hunter Hat

The couple is having a baby boy. I wanted to knit the perfect little old man sweater and I am beyond thrilled with how great this little number turned out. This is the Gramps cardigan pattern from 9 months of knitting, a great little e-book with lots of really cute patterns. There are several patterns out there for similar baby-shawl-collar-sweaters, but the reason I like this one so much is because the proportions work out perfectly with my Green Label Aran Weight yarn. I've knit the Baby Sophisticate pattern in the past, but since it calls for a chunkier gauge I wasn't happy with the way it looked in my aran weight, I think that it would need a few mods to come out nicely, while this one seems like it was tailor made for TFA Green Label.

I added stripes, because I wanted to use up a few odd bits of yarn that I had laying around, stripes are always great for stash busting and, of course, all babies look great in stripes! The coordinating Hunter hat makes this outfit complete. 

Gramps Cardigan with Hunter Hat

I have a few other expecting moms in my life, I have a feeling I'll be knitting a couple more of these adorable sets!

Ravelry project page with more details here

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

TFA Tuesday: Anna's Scarf

Pattern: 28's Cousin 53!

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn in 'Dove'

Top Tier Knitter: Miriam (Ravelry Id, blog)

Totally Awesome Because:  This is a great match of yarn and pattern- yarns that have more tonal variances in them (like Dove, shown here) look extra awesome when knit up in highly textured patterns, so that the wonderful swirls of lavender and periwinkle meld beautifully with the shades of grey. This scarf reminds me so much of a Monet painting, don't you think? Project page is here.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Stella's Dino Wee Balaclava!

Dino Wee Balaclava

I was so inspired by the TFA Tuesday post featuring Pauline's awesome Dino Wee Balaclava that I went ahead and cast on for my own version and used her great notes to add the dino spikes. Though Stella makes an awesome model, this hat is actually a gift for my little cousin. 

Dino Wee Balaclava

I knit mine in Olive with Lemongrass spikes and it definitely looks very dinosaury to me, perfect for a 3 year old boy. 

Dino Wee Balaclava

Am I the only one who finds these photo's of Stella absolutely hilarious!? She's so used to wearing sweaters in the cooler months that she wasn't phased in the least when I put this balaclava on her. She totally cracks me up. She makes my day. 

Dino Wee Balaclava

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Cabled Canuck and Windward Hat patterns!

I have been dropping hints that I was working on a couple hat patterns lately, and here they are! Introducing Cabled Canuck knit in Green Label Aran Weight yarn. 

Cabled Canuck - Dove

And the Windward hat knit in Yellow Label DK Weight yarn.

Windward beanie - one of a kind colourway

Both hat patterns are now available for sale in my ravelry store and would make fantastic Christmas gifts (there may be one or two lucky people on my Christmas gift giving list who will be receiving one of these hats this year!) Both are 1 skein wonders and fit a variety of head sizes well. 

Cabled Canuck is a warm and lusciously cabled beanie, the neatest part about this pattern is how the cables all come together to form a flower on the top of the crown. Even with a flower, I think that this pattern would work really well for men too, Chris says he wants one knit in Chestnut

Cabled Canuck - Dove


SizeOne size fits most - 19"-23" head go up a needle size and extend ribbing for a larger hat.
Yarn: 1 skein TFA Green Label Aran Weight yarn 115g = 205 yds. Sample shown in the Dove colourway.
Needles: 4.5mm 16" circular (or dpns)
              5mm 16" circular
              5mm dpns
Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1 inch in reverse stockinette

Ravelry pattern page here.
$4.00 CAD

Windward is versatile, offering both a beanie and a slouchy option. The fabric created by my favorite zigzag lace motif is light yet still warm, it makes for a really stretchy and comfortable hat. It features a double brim, so your ears are always covered in a really cushy fabric, which I love. And of course, the decreases (aren't they the best part of any hat?) these ones come together to create a star. 

Windward slouch - sand


SizeOne size fits most :: brim is 19” in circumference for both hats, beanie is 8” tall, slouch is 10” tall unstretched. Since the entire hat features a ribbed pattern it is very stretchy and fits a variety of head sizes well.
Yarn: 1 skein TFA Yellow Label DK Weight yarn 115g = 260 yds. Samples shown in a One of a kind colourway and Sand.
Needles: 3.75mm 16" circular (or dpns)
              4mm 16" circular
              4mm dpns
Gauge24 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in windward lace pattern after blocking.

Ravelry pattern page here.

You've still got time to pick out 1 special skein from your stash and cast on for another gift!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

New Knitty Pattern: Velvet Morning

The newest edition of Knitty has just gone live, and I'm so excited to share Julie's newest design in TFA yarn: Velvet Morning!

Velvet Morning

The pattern features Green Label Aran weight,  and Julie's version has Midnight as the base colour, and three contrasting colours: SandMallard, and Atlantic. My light grey version features the base colour Sand, and the contrasting colours are LilacPlum and Dove. It's really neat to see the contrast of how it looks as a dark blue sweater and as a light grey sweater- and it looks great both ways.

Velvet Morning

It was so much fun to test knit the Sand version, the colours are amazing (Julie was inspired by eye shadow palettes when she came up with this colour combo, isn't that brilliant?) I've worn it so much already. It's just a great comfy, cozy cardigan, the kind that I love to grab on chilly mornings. Great job Julie!

Velvet Morning

We took these photo's on a warm but rainy day in August! I spent a lot of time trying to tame my ever frizzing hair and keep the wind from blowing it in my face, we ended up with a lot of shots like this:

Velvet Morning

I kind of like it!
Ravelry project page here.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

TFA Tuesday: Dino Wee Balaclava

 Pattern: Wee Balaclava

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Green Label Aran Weight in 'Orange Blossom'

Top Tier Knitter: Pauline (Ravelry Id)

Totally Awesome Because:  Pauline recently finished a gorgeous trio of of hats for her three beautiful little girls, and it was so hard to choose one to ask to feature for today! This little dinosaur theme balaclava is just too cute- I love the addition of the rainbow dinosaur spikes (and Pauline put great instructions for achieving the same dino spikes on her project page), and the bright colours make this such a fun hat. I bet this is amazing for keeping wee ones nice and warm in the winter, plus they'll be the cutest little dinosaur around!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

January 2012 KAL

We are putting together a January 2012 Knit/Crochet Along! Head on over to the Ravelry group to join in on the fun. Now that it’s December 1st and we have 31 days until the KAL officially begins, let’s set out the parameters! We are going to try organizing things by yarn label:
  • Green Label Group
  • Yellow Label Group
  • Blue Label Group
  • Pink Label Group
  • Silver Label & Red Label group
  • Purple Label
Each group will have it’s own Ravelry forum thread, and at the top will be a static post listing all the group participants and their chosen projects. If any group develops more than 100 members, we might need to separate out into types of projects, but we’ll see what happens. The rules:
  • 31 days to cast on and complete item: You can cast on anytime after midnight on December 31st, and cast off by midnight on January 31st.
  • Knit/crochet any pattern you like, as long as it’s in a TFA yarn you can participate! For those that are still undecided about their project(s), we can let it slip that there will be a boxing week sale on TFA patterns at the end of the December- something to think about!
To join: Go to the Ravelry group thread, and click on your chosen forum (Green label, blue label, etc) and leave a comment letting everyone in your group know what you plan on knitting/crocheting (or colourway, or anything you want). if you are still not sure what you’ll be knitting, don’t worry- leave a comment on the Ravelry thread letting me know you’re still thinking about it and well add you to the list anyways! It'll be a great time for a KAL- the craziness of the holidays will have died down, and a new year is a great time to start a new project.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Preppy socks

Preppy faux-argyle socks in progress.

I'm knitting these socks for my dad for Christmas this year. He loves hand knit socks, and I love knitting them for him. I couldn't decide on a pattern so instead I just made one up. These preppy faux-argyle socks will add just the right touch of class to any outfit. I plan on writing up the pattern because these socks are just so cute and smart looking!

I'm knitting these in TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn in Atlantic. I just can't get enough of this colourway, and though I hate to pick favorites, I love all my colourways the same, but I might love Atlantic the most. That's true for today at least, my favorite colour seems to change with every new project I knit!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

TFA Tuesday: Royale

Pattern: Royale

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Green Label Aran Weight in 'Olive'

Top Tier Knitter: Gretchen (Ravelry ID)

Totally Awesome Because: I love this sweater! It's a perfect mix- the shape and texture is classic and never out of style, and the Olive colourway always seems spot on for fall and winter (not to mention the perfect compliment to Gretchen's lovely red hair!). This is the kind of sweater that does warm AND stylish, which is hard to get in the cooler months. Great job, Gretchen!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Year In Colour Club - November

Asteroidea Hat

The November installment of the TFA Year In Colour Club featured this gorgeous hat pattern, the Asteroidea Hat, designed by Kirsten Kapur. I'm crazy about the combination of lace, cables and slouch! 


The November colourway was a real challenge for me. I happen to hate dyeing reds! They are so hard to get right. But this Cranberry colourway... well, I love it! It's deep, rich, red. Perfect for this festive time of year!

Memberships for the 2012 Year In Colour Club are now available, be sure to sign up before Dec. 15th in order to get the reduced rate (the Club price will increase by $15 on Dec. 15th).  

To see what we've been up to all year check out the Year in Colour Club blog page here.

Year in Colour Club 2011

And with that, the inaugural year of the TFA Year in Colour club has officially come to an end. It's been a fantastic experience and I'm really looking forward to next year! Above is a photo that I snapped of all the 2011 colourways together, don't they make a pretty collection? 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

TFA Tuesday: Little Paris Scarf

Pattern: Stockholm Scarf

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Yellow Label in 'Plum'

Top Tier Knitter: Jennifer (Ravelry Id)

Totally Awesome Because:  Okay, I'm a wee bit biased on this one, but I love how the Plum colourway looks in this high-texture infinity scarf. The rich colour looks so great with almost any coloured coat, and a big, beautiful infinity scarf is a great accessory for the colder weather. I love that she called it the 'Little Paris Scarf', it really does look like something chic enough for the City of Lights. Project page can be found here.

Monday, 21 November 2011


Cobalt Julissa

My Cobalt Julissa is coming along nicely. I honestly did think that there was a possibility that I would be able to finish this sweater in one weekend, but alas, no such luck. I cast on enthusiastically, and I worked on it exclusively all weekend. It's not finished yet, but I'm well on my way. I've tried it on and it fits exactly like it should. So far, so good!

The studio reno is moving along nicely. Most of last week was spent working on invisible parts of the project, things like burying pipes underground. Then they poured the foundation, the most beautiful, smooth, shiny slab of concrete I've ever seen. Chris filled in the trench and put the grass back, that was one of the reasons that we opted to dig the trench by hand, Chris carefully removed the top layer of soil and grass and put it aside, when the work was done and the trench was back filled he then replaced all the grass and now we have our yard back! Friday the magic happened, I looked out my window in the afternoon and there was a building in my yard!

studio, week 1 progress

This part is really exciting. See that big 9 foot wide window opening on the side? That's going to be so nice to work under. French doors, a vaulted ceiling, the studio is going to be the nicest room in our house!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Love at first sight

Cobalt - Green Label

I was just minding my own business, going about my day as usual, when I stumbled upon this blog post. Just another lovely blog post about another lovely FO, exactly what I've come to expect from the Celtic Cast On blog. Nothing unusual right? Wrong! As soon as I laid eyes on that sweater I fell head over heals. The pattern is Julissa by Vanessa Smith and I completely love it. I love the fit, I love the cable combined with the lace, I love that it would work up perfectly in my Green Label Aran Weight yarn. I've purchased the pattern, I've chosen the colourway (Cobalt) and I'm gearing up to spend my entire weekend knitting this sweater. Who wants to bet that I'll have a new sweater by the end of the weekend? I'll be back Monday with a full progress report!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

pattern excitement

timbali shawl

The Winter Issue of Twist Collective has launched and it features a beautiful shawl pattern knit in TFA yarns! The Timbali shawl designed by Wendy Neal, photographs by Jamie Dixon offers two options, a triangular shawl knit in Silver Label Mulberry Silk or rectangular stole knit in Purple Label Cashmere Sock. The pattern is gorgeous, I'll take one of each please!


Here is another sneak peek at the pullover design that I've been wearing all fall. My test knitter (mom) has just finished knitting her version and it looks terrific! Can't wait to share the finished product.  I hope to have ready to release in the next week or two. 

hat designs in progress

Also on the verge of being released, two new hat patterns! A zigzag lace hat in Yellow Label DK weight (I mentioned it here in an earlier post) and a richly cabled hat in Green Label Aran weight. I hope to have both hat patterns ready soon as they will make for great holiday gift knitting.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

TFA Tuesday: Velvet Peacock

 Pattern: Peacock Feathers Shawl

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Silver Label Mulberry Silk in 'Velvet'

Top Tier Knitter: Glenna (Ravelry ID, Blog)

Totally Awesome Because:  You can't beat the 100% silk for a special hit of luxury, and this shawl is perfect for that- the lace is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the colours look amazing. I love the top photo for the detail of the colour variations, since Velvet is a colourway that has a lot of big shifts between the tones. Glenna did an amazing job on this- it's such a stunning knit! Check out more gorgeous photos on her project page, here.