Monday, 31 October 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Happy Halloween everyone! I've mentioned it before, but the truth is, I don't really like Halloween. Well, that's not completely true, I like little kids in cute costumes trick or treating, I just don't like skulls and cobwebs and other scary Halloween stuff. It's just not my thing.

But a Halloween Giveaway, that's totally my thing! I've randomly chosen a winner and the prize is going to..... Fiona! Rav id: pipnmilly. Congrats! 
Blocking Fairview Scarf - thread blocking wires

I had a lovely and very busy weekend. We had good friends staying with us and that's always nice. I blocked my mom's Fairview Scarf for her and I managed to snap a few photo's of my blocking process so I'll be able to share with you exactly how I do it. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Red Label - Gold

It's giveaway time! This giveaway is for one skein of Red Label Cash Silk Singles in the Gold colourway and a pdf of my new Fairview Scarf pattern.

Fairview Scarf

There are lots of ways to enter this giveaway:

1) leave a comment here telling me what you currently have on your needles. Please include your e-mail address or Ravelry username so I can get a hold of you, should you win.

Do any of the following and receive an additional chance to win:

2) mention this giveaway on your blog and include a link to this giveaway post - be sure to come back and leave another comment here telling me that you blogged about it so I know!

3) Post a link to this blog post on your facebook page (be sure to tag TFA in the post so we can see it!)

4) Tweet about the giveaway on twitter!

So, do all of the above and get 4 chances to win! Gotta love social media.

A winner will be announced on Monday, Oct. 31.  Halloween!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Jewel tones

Yummy jewel tones

I love these colours together. I'm currently working on a design for a publication using these colours. I can't say what, when, who, where or how just yet, but as soon as I'm able to talk about it (which may not be for a long while still!) I'll be sure to share all the details, because quite frankly, I'm pretty excited about it, and I'm a terrible secret keeper. For now, all I can say is that I'm super pumped about having a design published (in a real book!) and that I'm really digging these colours. 

Oh, and I've cast on for a new hat... more on that another day.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

TFA Tuesday: Nouveau Teal

Pattern: Nouveau

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Yellow Label DK in 'Teal'

Top Tier Knitter: Harriett Anne (Ravelry ID, Blog)

Totally Awesome Because:  Who doesn't love hand knit warmth for the hands during the cold winter months? These beautiful gloves are great to knit up in a wonderfully warm and sturdy yarn like the Yellow Label, since it's superwash and easy to care for- perfect for a hardworking knit that's going to be on your hands all winter long.  See more photos on the project page, which can be found here.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Fairview Scarf Pattern

On Saturday I posted about my new Red Label yarn, it's now available in my shop in all of my colourways! Looking for the perfect project for one special skein? Introducing the Fairview Scarf:

Fairview Scarf

I designed this lacy scarf to use up every last yard of one precious skein of my Red Label Cashmere/Silk Single ply yarn. The graphic, geometric lace pattern packs a lot of punch! Knit in the luxurious single ply merino/cashmere/silk blend of TFA Red Label, this soft and airy scarf is just the thing to keep the chill away.

Fairview Scarf


Size: finished scarf measures 14” x 62” after wet blocking.
Yarn: 1 skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Red Label Cash Silk Single 115g = 420 yds. sample shown in the Gold colourway.
Needles: 4mm straight or circular. Or size needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rows in lace pattern after wet blocking.

All the pattern details can be found here on my website .
Ravelry pattern page here. 
$4.00 CAD
Fairview Scarf Pattern - Sneak peek

Thanks very much to Pauline for test knitting this pattern for me. I've been wearing mine for a couple of weeks now and I love how soft and light it is. The finished scarf is 14" x 62", which is to say, pretty big! One skein really goes a long way. I'm not joking when I say that I designed this to use up every last yard, both Pauline and I only had a few yards left after casting off. If you're not sure about your gauge, I'd recommend weighing your yarn periodically to make sure that you'll have enough for the bind off. 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Red Label now in shop!

Brick - Red Label Cash Silk SIngle

TFA's new Red Label Cashmere Silk Single ply yarn has been dyed up in all of the TFA colourways and added to our online shop! For the moment this yarn will be available exclusively online

Come back on Monday for full details on the pattern that I've designed to compliment this new heavenly yarn.

Thanks to everyone who joined in on the conversation about secret knitting. The verdict seems to be unanimous, getting sneak peek's of patterns in progress is definitely what a lot of readers are looking for. I totally agree! This blog is about being a part of the awesome knitting community. I want to be able to share what I'm working on and how it's going, not just pop in once a month with an FO, or only post when I've got something to sell. I'm glad that you all like seeing snippets of secret knitting, I'll keep on sharing!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Secret knitting?

A few bits of interesting TFA news to share today:
  • Julie is spearheading a January 2012 TFA Knitalong over on the TFA Ravelry group. It will be tons of fun, I will be participating for sure in some way. Maybe I'll give myself a design challenge! There will be prizes I'm sure... head on over and join in the excitement!
  • The 2011 TFA Year In Colour Club is wrapping up. Whew! What an exciting inaugural year this has been! 2011 memberships will remain open until the end of October, at which point the 2011 memberships will close and 2012 will open. 2012 will be formatted exactly the same way as 2011, 6 custom colourways of fingering weight yarn, 6 exclusive designs. There will be a few upgrades, but I'll fill you in on all the juicy details towards the end of the month.  

Terracotta Sneak Peek!

Now that we've got the official business portion of this blog post done, I have a question for all my lovely readers. First, let me explain, this year I've started doing something new, I've started doing "secret knitting." I never thought that I would be working on anything so important that I'd have to keep it a secret... but it's happened! Sometimes it's because I'm test knitting a pattern for a friend, so I can't share it until the pattern is ready. Sometimes my secret knitting is my own pattern, and though I don't always keep my patterns-in-progress a complete secret its nice to let the details of the pattern be revealed only when the pattern is officially ready. What do you think? Do you like to see designs in progress or be surprised by a big, exciting pattern reveal? I think I like to see the pattern come together, get snippets of what to look forward to as the designer progresses, I'd love to hear your feedback on this "secret knitting" issue.

One of my secret projects this summer was a sweater design that I was working on. I knit it in my new Brick colourway, I've had it finished for months and have actually gotten quite a bit of use of of it (I am wearing it today and had Chris snap a photo of me in my new fall uniform). I procrastinated forever and the pattern is finally in the test knitting phase, I'm hoping to have it ready in a matter of weeks. Ooh! I almost forgot! I have another pattern that has already complete the test knitting phase and will be ready even sooner, so stay tuned for that too! 

Isn't autumn just the best for perking up your knitting mojo? 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

TFA Tuesday: I Heart Aran

Pattern: I Heart Aran

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

Top Tier Knitter: Kara (Ravelry ID, Blog)

Totally Awesome Because: The first time I saw this FO, I was so blown away- Kara shows off perfectly that this is the de facto awesome fall sweater. The crunchy leaves,  the great photos, the effortless styling... I want one just like hers now! And in the Sand colourway, you know it'll go with absolutely everything you own. Way to go, Kara! Project page can be found here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

I'm a weaver!

first woven scarf - I'm in love

I bought myself a pre-Christmas gift and it arrived in the mail the other day. Yay! I got the Schacht Cricket Loom. I was going to ask for it for Christmas, but then I rationalized that if I bought it myself I could use it to make Christmas gifts! Somehow that made perfect sense to me so I went ahead and clicked the "buy now" button. I'm happy that I did! 

I know absolutely nothing about weaving, but with the help of the instruction manual and a few helpful youtube video's I had my loom set up and was weaving in no time. I made this scarf out of Kureyon Sock Yarn in colourway S92 in just one night. I even set it up on my lap in front of the tv, I call it "sofa-looming". (even though I'm pretty sure it's called weaving, not looming. But looming sounds funnier!)

The scarf is definitely not perfect, but look at those colours... It's stunning! The rough edges give it a bit of a rustic quality that I really like. I see loads more woven scarves in my future. 

first woven scarf - I'm in love

I've started on some Christmas knitting too (it can't be all Christmas weaving after all.) The multicoloured pair in the photo below are intentionally blurry, they just might be the ugliest socks I've ever knit... I hope my new sister in law doesn't mind! The navy pair are for my brother, he loves hand knit socks! This pair is in TFA blue label in a one of a kind colourway. I'm knitting a simple 2x1 rib with one cable that will flow down the side. I'll mirror it on the second sock.  

Christmas socks in progress

I don't plan on doing a ton of knitting this year, I've gifted so many knits in the past and I worry that my family is tired of getting a new pair of socks every year. I've decided to take all of the time and energy that I would normally put into knitting a gift into coming up with a thoughtful and useful purchased gift instead. 

Or maybe I'll just weave a bunch of scarves... 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Thanksgiving wedding!

Yay! Chris is in a kilt!

My older brother got married last weekend. It was amazing. I haven't seen the photo's from the photographer yet, but I'm positive they are going to be stunning. I'll share them when I get them! I have seen a couple shots taken by guest, including this one of Chris and I. Chris and I were both honoured to be included in the wedding party. Isn't my bridesmaids dress beautiful? Amanda has great taste. And doesn't Chris look handsom in his kilt? I love it! 

Lavallee family kids

The groom, my brother Luke, is standing next to me (second from the right) in this shot of my family. Is there anything better than a perfect wedding? It was such a great weekend, I'm in wedding withdrawal!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

TFA Tuesday: Peerie Flooers

Pattern: Peerie Flooers

TFA Yarn and Colourway: Blue Label Fingering Weight, in various shades (I counted at least 7!)

Top Tier Knitter: Leigh (Ravelry ID, blog)

Totally Awesome Because: Now this is some spectacular stash busting- I always find that I end up with small leftovers of wonderful yarns, and it can be tough to know what to do with them. Leigh has very cleverly turned leftovers into this truly beautiful hat, and the colours go together beautifully. Such an incredible, inspiring knit! Project page can be found here.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

My dog is my BFF


In the town near my cottage there is a really cool second hand clothing store that can be a lot of fun to visit on rainy days. My cousin is a pro at finding rare gems in the bins of clothing. She seems to have passed on her gift for thrift to her daughter, because this summer 5 year old Abby found not one, but TWO t-shirts that proudly have written across the front: My dog is my BFF! I love it! I wish I had a shirt that said that. 

But since I don't, I'll settle for a matching handspun dog sweater/hat combo. ;)

stella is my bff

Stella hasn't gotten a new sweater since I knit her a beautiful cabled aran for our engagement photo-shoot almost two years ago. Amazingly, that sweater still looks terrific. Even though its been covered in mud and thrown into the washer and dryer many, many times the Green Label Aran weight yarn really holds up! She was even sprayed by a skunk in that sweater... Thank goodness the smell washed out.

Her fall 2011 sweater was knit using one skein of Green Label in Midnight, and one giant skein of hanspun. I used the leftover of both yarns to make myself the matching hat (using Grammy's pattern of course).  Now we're totally ready for the cool fall weather.


Ravelry project page here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

TFA Tuesday: Vogue Knitting Caplet

****Pssst- there is some amazing Red Label TFA Yarn for sale in the Etsy shop today- click on over and get some before it's all sold out!!****

Pattern: #4 Tied Capelet

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

Top Tier Knitter: Shireen (Ravelry ID, blog)

Totally Awesome Because: Charcoal is destined to become a wardrobe classic colourway, because it really does go with everything. This gorgeous little cabled knit is such a perfect accessory to throw on now the weather is getting a bit cooler, and the defined cables look so rich and thick. What a great knit! Project page can be found here.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Vincent's visit

My younger brother Vincent lives in Vancouver. Vancouver is very far away. We miss him a lot. Luckily he's home for a visit just in time for my older brother's wedding next weekend. He spent a good part of the day with me at work at my home yesterday.  

Vincent's rainbow

While we were eating lunch he took the opportunity to arrange my coloured pencils in rainbow formation, which I find hilarious because I do that all that time. The funny thing is his rainbow formation is very different from mine... interesting. 

Then he sat with me in my office while I worked. He found my little container of pins that I use to block lace and decided to surround himself in pins. He pinned every single pin into my carpet. Weird, I know, but that's Vince. 

vincent obsessively pinning my carpet

He looked at all my yarn, picked up a skein and asked if he could have it. Which I find hilarious. Of course I said that he could have it, even though he doesn't knit, he just wanted to keep it in his room because he thinks it looks pretty. 

Ah Vince, I love ya.