Friday, 29 April 2011

New colourways!

You all got a sneak peak at two of the new colourways I'll be bringing with me to the Frolic in Wednesday's I Heart Aran pattern post, but today is finally the big official reveal!

Introducing: Charcoal, Dove, Atlantic and Natural!

spring colours

I love all of these colourways with all of my heart. I've used Natural often in combination with other colourways, it's such a perfect backdrop. I used Dove for the sample knit of my I Heart Aran sweater, mom knit most of it, but I did the collar and it was so much fun to knit with, every stitch a new shade of grey, mauve or lavender. Charcoal is Chris' wardrobe staple. With him playing such a big role in TFA it was inevitable that we would add a dark almost-black colourway. He dyed a similar custom colourway for himself last fall to knit his scarf. And Atlantic, well, it's not that the TFA spectrum was ever lacking in the blues department... but you know me, I can't say no to a good shade of blue! Atlantic is different from my other blues in that it is really soft and soothing, it has a lot of mellowing grey and denim notes. 

Here are a few more shots of the new colourways in different bases:

Dove in TFA mulberry silk
Dove, lovely in silk.

Atlantic in TFA DK
Atlantic in DK, perfect for a cozy sweater.

Charcoal in TFA cashmere sock
Charcoal in Cashmere sock, yum!

Natural in TFA lace
Natural in Lace weight, so light and fluffy.

These colourways are all going to be in my booth at this weekend's Knitter's Frolic, and are already all available on my website. Hope you like them! 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I Heart Aran

I Heart Aran

I am very excited to announce that the I Heart Aran patter is officially available for purchase on my website and on Ravelry! This is my first sweater pattern and I am very happy to finally be able to share my completed vision with you all. You may remember me blogging about it still being a WIP back in February. After a few months and several tweaks to the pattern to get it exactly how I wanted it, it's ready for prime time!

I Heart Aran

I owe a very big thank you to my mom for test knitting the pattern for me. She did a great job! She knit hers in a new colourway called 'Dove,' look for it to launch on the website this weekend. And another big thank you to Julie for tech editing and cheering me on through countless e-mails. 

I Heart Aran

Knit in TFA Green Label Aran Weight yarn, this pattern features set in sleeves, a pretty cable up the front and a generous shawl collar with a button detail. 

I Heart Aran

$6.00 CAD
Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48)”
(Sample shown is size 32“ with very little positive ease on model.)

Yarn: 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight yarn
or approx. 900 (975, 1025, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400) yds of aran weight yarn. (Samples shown in ‘Natural’ and ‘Dove’ colourways.)

Needles: 4.5mm and 5mm needles, straight or circular; pieces are knit flat and then seamed.
4.5mm and 5mm 24” (or longer) circular needle for collar.
Or size needed to obtain gauge.

Additional Tools and Materials: Stitch markers, waste yarn or stitch holders, tapestry needle, button
Gauge: 17 sts and 26 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch on larger needles.
All the pattern details can be found on my website here.
Ravelry pattern page here.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

TFA Tuesday: V-Neck Sunset Cardigan

Check out this beautiful cardigan made my Shireen. This is one of those deceptively simple looking knits that are destined to become a wardrobe staple, because it works with so many things.
It's a great design, with the stockinette and awesome seed stitch borders shows off the all the shades of this colourway, 'Sunset', Tanis Fiber Arts green label aran weight.

And look at the wonderful red beads for the tie closure- just perfect. Shireen has made an absolutely stunning knit. Now I want one, too!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Sunnyside Baby Sweater

Cashmere Baby Sweaters

Babies in cashmere sweaters are just about the cutest, most snuggly things I could think of! I set out to design a simple little baby sweater that would be the perfect use for one or two very special skeins of  Purple Label Cashmere sock yarn

The pattern includes two detailing options: a lacy zigzag motif and a picot edge can make a pretty cardigan for a little girl; or a handsome rope cable paired with a garter stitch hem make a masculine cardigan perfect for a baby boy. 

Cashmere Baby Sweaters

To download the Sunnyside Baby Sweater pattern simply click the link below:

Ravelry pattern page here.

Samples shows in TFA Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn in colourways Grape and Moss.

Cashmere Baby Sweaters

Sunday, 24 April 2011

It's gonna be a BIG week!

First off, Happy Easter! I hope that everyone finds at least a little bit of time to relax and enjoy the holiday. We're doing Easter dinner tomorrow night at mom's house, Chris and I are really looking forward to the lamb roast with mint jelly.

This week is going to be quite a doozy for us here at TFA. Lots going on. We're getting ready to pack up the van and drive to Toronto for the DKC Knitter's Frolic next weekend (read a bit about last year's adventure here.) Because I like to make shows as fun and special as possible, I've planned some new and exciting announcements to coincide with it this year. I've got two new patterns to be unveiled this week. Well, they're not actually "new" you've seen them before, they're just finally ready! I've also got 4 new colourways coming with me to Toronto. Two of them are fan favorites that I routinely get requests for. The  other two are Tanis favorites, colourways that I've been dreaming up for months. 

Want a sneak peak at both the upcoming pattern release and one of the new colourways? Check this out:

I Heart Aran in Dove

So, be sure to check back regularly this week as something new will be unveiled just about every day until we go. 

And because I won't have time to do a full blog post dedicated to these cute little flower buttons, I'll share this picture now.

Maile baby sweater with pretty flower buttons

This little cutie has been done, but buttonless, since the beginning of March! I finally picked up the perfect little flower buttons and now my Maile cardigan is complete. Which is a good thing since the baby shower is just around the corner!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Giveaway winner!

Without further ado......drumroll please...... the winner is: Jane

Jane's favorite colour is Midnight, she wrote: 

"I love Midnight. I'm definitely going through a "blue period" with my knitting right now - or at least I'd LIKE to be, if only I could afford skeins and skeins of lovely blue yarn...

Midnight. Deep, dark blue. Ahhh."

Jane, please send me an e-mail with your mailing address so I can pop your prize in the mail asap!

one of a kind silk giveaway

Thank you so much to everyone for participating. I read every single comment (426, wow!) and even made a spreadsheet for all of them so I could see what colours were favorited the most. The most popular colourway? Stormy of course, but y'know, every single colourway was voted for at least once. This has been great feedback. I'm glad to know that so many of you love shades of blue! I'm among good company!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Happy spring Giveaway!

Since I posted about my mulberry silk Wispy cardigan a few weeks ago I've had several opportunities to wear it, and every time I fall in love just a little bit more. It really is a little piece of silky heaven. I'll be bringing plenty of silk and even a few Wispy cardigan patterns with me to the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto at the end of the month. 

one of a kind silk giveaway

In the meantime, because spring is in the air, the sun is shining, I've got the windows open and I'm feeling happy, I'd like to offer a little Wispy themed giveaway!

The prize: 2 skeins of TFA Silver Label Mulberry Silk yarn in a lovely grey-blue One of a Kind colourway, PLUS one printed copy of Hannah Fettig's Wispy cardigan pattern

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite TFA colourway. Be sure to include your e-mail address so I can get a hold of you should you win. You can get additional entries if you post about the contest  on Twitter or your blog (so if you post on both Twitter AND your blog, AND comment here, you'll get three chances to win!) A winner will be announced on Saturday, April 23rd. Good luck! 

one of a kind silk giveaway

Comments are now closed, thanks to all who participated! 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

TFA Tuesday: Paper Dolls

I love the fresh colour palette of this Paper Dolls pullover! Emily knitted up this beautiful  pullover using Blue label fingering weight in colourways sand, blueberry, and amber. The Blueberry and Amber colourways look so great together, and the Sand is a great choice for the base colour of the pullover, to keep this top looking classic. I feel like this is the kind of thing you could pull on with anything and look great in. Plus, how can anyone resist a colourwork yoke? Such a great design! You can check out the details of her fabulous sweater on her project page, here.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

More blanket news

Seems like I spend every weekend working on a blanket and then blogging about a blanket these days... I think that's because I tend to spend the week working on more pressing projects, and then on the weekend I can sit, relax, and work on a never ending blanket project while I watch PBS. Last weekend was no exception, it was a blankety weekend. I started by washing and "Gleening" my mitered square afghan, and I am really excited about the results. 

This is the blanket after two years of heavy use, in desperate need of a hair cut:

Mitered square blanket, after close to 2 years of use, needed a hair cut badly!

And this is the same blanket after a trip through the gentle cycle of my washing machine and a good 20 minutes of what I lovingly refer to as "gleening".

Mitered square blanket, after a hair cut, perfect!

It really is as good as new! I was amazed at the results. The blanket is knit in Elann peruvian highland wool, 100% non-superwash wool. The colours are beautiful, the price was right, but it was bound to pill. I was resigned to it, but I'll admit, the blanket was looking very tired. While making a delivery to a LYS a while ago, my mom and I picked up a Gleener, and I think it's changed my life. The results are perfect, the blanket has been given a second life! "Gleening" has officially become an accepted verb in my house, like "googling", and I now run around my house looking for new things to "gleen". 

And, since it is the weekend and I'm feeling very blankety, I plan on spending some time with my current blanket in progress, my Flowers in the Snow crocheted afghan. 

Flowers in the snow - we're getting there!

It is currently 12 x 13 squares! I'm very close to reaching my 12 x 16 square goal, then it'll be border time. 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Well that was lovely!

That Julie is so sneaky! Posting about my birthday and enlisting a flood of awesome knitters to leave lovely birthday well wishes. What a great surprise to wake up to!

My current dining room look - I could get used to this!

My birthday was spent working away in my little yarn filled office. Chris cooked a delicious supper for my family and a few friends, it was a great day. My sister showed up with a beautiful bouquet of tulips, my favorite flower. 

Pretty tulips for my birthday, my fave.

As a little birthday gift to myself I ordered all four Barbara Walker, A Treasury of Knitting books. They arrived in the mail on Tuesday and today is the day I'm going to actually sit down with my stack of sticky notes and flip through every single page. These books are amazing and so inspirational! They were definitely worth the splurge. Happy birthday to me!

Post b-day celebration day with my new books!

So, what do you think of my current dining room look? I've redecorated slightly... I thought that my dining room didn't quite have enough yarny goodness in it, so I've added a wall of yarn! Just joking, this is just temporary, it's a new feature that will be up in my booth at the Knitter's Frolic at the end of the month and I wanted to give it a test run and make sure I had a plan for my yarn placement. This morning the light coming in through the windows into the dining room was beautiful, the wall of yarn was almost glowing. Chris said that he thinks we should consider keeping it as a permanent design feature. I'm a lucky girl, a found a guy agrees that a wall of yarn is indeed an appropriate look for a dining room. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Happy Birthday Tanis!

Psst- today is Tanis' birthday!!
Have a supercalafragalisticexpialadocious day!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

TFA Tuesday: Purple Crown

This gorgeous shawl was designed by Angela, who created the pattern using TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight in the 'Plum' colourway. I just love how pretty and regal this shawl looks as a scarf, and the rich plum looks so good on a snowy day like the one pictured.
The pattern can be be found here, and more of Angela's great shawls and scarves can be found here.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Crochet progress

Blanket in progress

Last weekend was spent working on my Flower's in the Snow crocheted afghan. I began with lots of multicoloured circles, and a little 3 x 3 square that already had the white border crocheted on. By the end of the weekend I had successfully crocheted 94 more circles together. My blanket was 10 x 10 squares. 

Blanket in progress

I'm crocheting the blanket exactly as the pattern suggests. First by making tons of little circles, then by connecting them as I crochet the white border on, absolutely no sewing! I think that a lot of people are turned off of crochet because of all the ends that need to be woven in, and there are a lot! But I've found that once I get going and am in the zone, it's just part of the routine. I sew in the ends as I'm working, every time I cut a strand and start a new one I sew the end in, that way I'm not faced with hundreds of ends to sew in at the same time, and it seems to go very smoothly, it hasn't bothered me at all. 

Blanket in progress

Since I took these 10 x 10 photo's my blanket has grown, it's now 11 x 11. I'm aiming for a finished size of 12 x 16, plus a generous border. I've almost run out of the circle 'flower' portion and am now making more whenever the mood strikes me. I started crocheting circles on on May 3rd of last year, I might be able to finish it in exactly 1 year! If not, at least it's a fun goal to strive for.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Year in Colour Club - March

TFA Year in Colour Club - March 2011

When it came time to come up with a colourway for the March installment of the TFA Year in Colour Club, the choice was clear... Green! What self respecting dyer, married to a man with Irish blood, could pass up the opportunity dye a shamrock green? I wanted a bright, cheerful, springy green. Not too blue, not too yellow, just pure green goodness. In this colourway that I've called 'Clover', dyed in Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn, I think that no-nonsense green is just what I got. 

TFA Year in Colour Club - March 2011

Glenna C designed a beautifully intricate 'Marching On' sock pattern for this springy colourway. It's a match made in heaven! I love Glenna's attention to detail in this pattern, the vine-inspired cables flow seamlessly down the heel and toe, the bobbles stop after the leg section and seg-way into flat, but still beautiful nots on the top of the foot so as to be practical and comfortable for everyday wear. I love that she's thought of everything! It's one thing to come up with a beautiful look, but then to have them actually be wearable on top of that is awesome. That's why we love Glenna!

TFA Year in Colour Club - March 2011

Speaking of love, doesn't Chris have the most beautiful arch!? He has really found his calling as a sock model. These sample socks were too big for my tiny feet, but fit Chris just right! Too bad he didn't get to keep them, I would love to see him walking around in those socks. 

It's never too late for sign up for the Club, see what we did for January's shipment here

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Spring socks

Plain toe-up socks

I've finished knitting my second pair of plain, toe up socks. I don't think that I've quite gotten the hang of doing a short row heel, and I'm not sure I ever will, I find them a bit fiddly. The good part is, once you're done the heel, there's no more fussing with increases or decreases, just plain knitting. In a fun and cheerful yarn sometimes that's all I feel like doing, knitting endless spirals of stockinette. 

To be perfectly honest, though these are cute socks, the real reason I bought this yarn is because I thought that the leftovers, paired with a bright colourway like Peacock or Lemongrass, would make a really fun striped baby surprise jacket, like this one

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Julie's Team TFA Post!

Hi Everyone! As Tanis mentioned on Monday, I'm new to the TFA Team, and I couldn't be more excited. It's funny how sometimes you can practically draw a straight line between something wonderful in the present and a seemingly small thing in the past, but it definitely all started with a dress:
the dress

A special, magical dress. Sharing it with Tanis definitely began a friendship. We kept up with each other via our blogs, and email from time to time. So when I mentioned to her that I was thinking about getting into the social media side of knitting more and doing a lot more designing, she was more than supportive- she had just the job for me!

This is such a perfect match. I have already been in love with TFA yarns for ages- the yarns are wonderfully squishy soft, feel like heaven to knit with, and hold up really well once they are in finished knit form. I've got more than few TFA projects that are totally standing up to wear and tear. Other than sharing a dress size, we also have the same aesthetic vision for TFA, and can talk about yarns and knits and designs until... well, we haven't stopped yet!

Let's take a look at some of the new stuff, shall we? Over there on the right hand side bar, you'll see the new Twitter, Facebook group, and rss feed buttons. If you want to know all the latest info, please follow TFA in your favourite internet weapon of choice!  The Tanis Fiber Arts Ravelry Group is also alive and kicking, so head on over if you'd like to join, or check out patterns that were made especially with TFA yarns in mind.And if you ever want to get in touch, don't be shy- send us a Facebook message, email, or tweet.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Return of TFA Tuesday!

I know it's been a bit of a hiatus, but we're back with TFA Tuesdays! This week we have a stunning Gail (aka Nightsongs) Shawl from Dee, who chose to knit hers in  TFA Purple Label Cashmere sock yarn, in Jewel.

The colour looks so pretty on her, and the details of such an intricate shawl really stand out with the yarn.

I think this colourway is also a really great choice for people who are maybe not so keen on light pinks- bolder shades of fuchsia are really wearable for most people, and the colour goes with quite a few other colours as well. Now that spring is finally getting around to showing up, I'm starting to crave brighter colours!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Welcome to the Team Julie!

When I started TFA about 3 ½ years ago, it was a solo effort. It was just me, at home with my yarn and my dyes. Chris was supportive, and he helped whenever he could, but for a long time it was just me. It was fun to be doing something that I loved so much, but isn’t doing something that you love always so much better when you’re doing it with people that you love?

Flash forward a couple of years and TFA has officially turned into a team effort. Chris and I work full time and it feels like mom is here helping out more often then she’s not. Stella has always provided emotional support, but other than her cuteness, she doesn’t really bring that much to the table.

I am so excited to officially add another member to the TFA family. Introducing, TFA’s Director of Awesomeness, Head of Social Networking, Media, News, Designer Extraordinaire, Super Friend, Super Gal: Julie Crawford!


You all know Julie from the wonderful Knitted Bliss blog. I’ve loved Julie’s blog and knitterly style for years. She’s upbeat, entertaining, insightful, and of course, very cute! I’ve always felt like Julie was a friend, and now that she’s come on board and joined the TFA team, she’s also a partner.

Julie has graciously agreed to help us out in several areas that I’ve been wanting to participate in more actively but just haven’t been able to do on my own; Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry… with Julie taking the wheel, hopefully it’ll be easier to keep everyone updated on what’s new and exciting at TFA! Julie’s got lot’s of great ideas, she’ll be helping out with the blog from time to time. Tomorrow you’ll see TFA Tuesdays making a comeback. It’s only appropriate that she take them over since her awesome Modification Monday posts were the inspiration for TFA Tuesday in the fist place. Together we’ll come up with all sorts of other fun projects to work on together, so things will no doubt get exciting!

For me, one of the best things about having Julie on the team is the fact that like me, she just loves to knit and loves to share her knitting. She gets excited about yarn, colour and design, and she is the perfect person to bounce ideas off of. TFA has grown slowly and organically. Having Julie join the team feels very natural, like it was meant to be. I knew that I had met a kindred spirit way back in ’09 when I sent her an e-mail about how pretty her wedding dress was, and how I was looking at the same one for my own wedding, to which she casually suggested that I just wear hers! Like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Julie will share her two cents on joining the team on Wednesday. TFA is growing, it’s still the same old colour loving little company that it’s always been, we’re just getting more organized. With one more enthusiastic team member things can only get better from here!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A hot date with my crochet hook

It's border time!

This beautiful pile of multicoloured crocheted circles has been admired for long enough. It's time to turn this hot mess into a blanket once and for all. I'm planning on spending all of my free time this weekend curled up on the sofa with my crochet hook and this stack of circles. 

For more mouth watering circle happiness, see this blog post.