Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Let's have a pow-wow

Hello friends of TFA! I've got a few bits of official business to share with you today, come into my office and we'll have a business meeting ok?

Business issue #1: Signing up for the TFA Year In Colour Club!
  • Club memberships are available all year long, if you sign up in the middle of the year you'll receive all the previous months yarns in your first shipment (but you all know this already). Because people have been asking about this a lot I have come up with an official cut-off date that you'll need to sign up by in order to ensure that you get that months shipment. Be sure to join by the 10th of the month to ensure that you'll get your shipment asap! For example, sign up on March 9th and you'll receive your January and March Club yarns together in March, sign up on March 11th and you'll have missed the deadline for the March shipment and will be mailed your January and March Club skeins along with the next batch of shipments in May. I've added this info to the Clubs page on my website, but that page is getting pretty wordy so I wanted to make sure that I hit on it here too. 
Next on the agenda: Dipped Infinity Scarf kits are saying bye-bye!
  • The Dipped Infinity Scarf Kits will officially be retiring on March 8th, so you've got just over a week to decide if you can live without one!
Finally, the bit I'm most excited about: TFA Newsletter!
  • I'm always working on new things, colourways, patterns, kits... and want a fun and easy way to share all this good stuff with you. The answer: a TFA Newsletter! Sign up for the newsletter and receive updates about any new products, discontinued products, Etsy shop updates, you name it. I won't go crazy and spam your inbox with daily TFA news, but maybe about once a month or so if I've got something important to share you'll be sure to be among the first to know!

You can sign up right here in this blog post, on my website here, on the sidebar of my blog or simply by clicking this link

Business meeting adjourned!

psst: you've got until Friday to enter to win the Island Collection (and yarn!) giveaway.

Monday, 25 February 2013


It's my turn to host an Island Collection giveaway! Jane Richmond designed five perfect knits inspired by her home of Vancouver Island, then with the help of her BFF and her photographer brother they took those five patterns and turned them into a beautiful, inspirational book. 

Top row: Rathtrevor
Middle row: Arbutus, Renfrew
Bottom row: Grace, Strathcona

The book was released only a few short months ago, but there are already loads of gorgeous projects showing up on ravelry. For me, what sets this collection apart from many others I've seen is the fact that it's fairly paired down. True to Jane's modern, simple approach to design the book doesn't have any "filler" patterns. Each of the five patterns are truly unique, special and deserve a spot in the book. I would knit and love every one of these items, which is saying a lot! It's not easy to hit a home run with every pattern. 

My second favourite thing about the book is the fact that it comes in a beautifully printed hard copy format, a special item for you to flip through, enjoy and save. But, because Jane is clearly a common sense kinda gal, she's happy to provide digital copies of the patterns to knitters who can provide proof of purchase of the book. I think that is genius! I love holding the book in my hands, but it's also really nice to have a digital version that I can print out and write on, toss into my purse and not have to worry about. This thoughtful bonus means a lot to me.

Though it's hard for me to pick a favourite, it was easy enough to chose the item that I was going to cast on for first: Strathcona!


I just love the light and airy look, the casual drape, that point in the front! It's so clever. Because of the clever factor I came very close to casting on for an Arbutus Cowl as well, wouldn't it be amazing in Orange Label!? I'm sure there will be a few Arbutus Cowl's on my Christmas knitting list next year. Strathcona won out for me because I wanted a light, springy scarf and because I had this gorgeous skein of 75% merino, 25% silk that I had dyed in a colourway I'm calling "Almost Lucky Penny" (it's darker and greener than the final version). 


I'm making very good progress on my Strathcona Scarf, a marathon Oscar watching/scarf knitting night helped make a good dent in the knitting. 

So, here comes the fun part. I've got one signed copy of Jane's gorgeous book plus 1 special skein of "Almost Lucky Penny" to give away to one lucky reader! To enter your name into the draw simply leave a comment on this post (be sure to include an e-mail address or Ravelry name so I can get in touch if you're the winner!)


Good luck! A winner will be announced on Friday March 1st. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Random stuff on a Wednesday


Aren't these socks just gorgeous? I'm knitting them in my new Lucky Penny colourway for the Business Casual KAL that CelticCastOn is hosting. I'm knitting them for Chris, but he doesn't know it yet. I haven't knit him a new pair of socks since 2009!? Is that even possible? He wear's handknit socks all winter, so I guess I had knit him a few years supply back in the early days. Poor guy. I knit socks for  my dad and brother every Christmas and I always ask Chris if he needs a new pair. He always says no, but I think that he's just being polite. This pair is for him whether he wants them or not. I'm sure he'll love them. 

Snowfling Mitten Kits - I'm making them as fast as I can! I'm a little overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response to my new mitten kits. I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up with the demand but I think that another few days of kit madness should get me pretty well caught up. To anyone who is waiting for a kit, it's coming! While we're on the topic of kits, I'm just about ready to discontinue the Dipped Infinity Scarf kits, they've had a good run, but it's time to make room for something new! I don't know exactly what day I'll take them off the market, but consider this a heads up!

And because things aren't crazy enough when you're about 6 weeks away from the biggest life change ever (baby!) Chris and I have embarked on a major renovation project. Yipee! Remember how before we built the studio in our back yard we used to dye every single skein of yarn in our dingy basement laundry room? I never shared pictures because it was far from glamorous. Well, we made the move out to the new and vastly improved studio, which is awesome but which also left our basement laundry room in pretty terrible condition. Since "new baby" is pretty much synonymous with "lots of laundry" we decided that we needed to fix up the laundry room before the baby arrives. And by "fix up" I mean completely tear apart our entire basement and re-build the whole thing! 

So, when this super pregnant lady needs a break from all the sawing, hammering, drilling and god knows what else they're doing down there that's making so much noise, those perfect Business Casual socks are exactly what I need!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Cadence Socks


The perfect socks. :) 'nuff said. 


Just joking, I have a little bit more to say about these beauties, and it's all good! The pattern (Cadence Socks by VeryBusyMonkey) was fun to knit and very well written. It was initially released as a mystery sock KAL, so the pattern is formatted in clues, which makes it really easy to follow. I knit my pair in my bright and saturated Jewel colourway. This pattern/yarn combo comes very highly recommended by me, in fact, my sister saw me working on these socks and liked them so much that she cast on for her own pair in the exact same colourway. Having bright toes really can be just the pick me up you need some days! 

Ravelry project page here


I'm sure you've noticed that I have another FO to share with you (the awesome giant puff in the photo above!) I'll have more details to share about this bad boy soon. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Baby Blanket Progress

Last week I showed you this photo and said that I had plans to turn it into a baby blanket: 


This week I'm happy to report that my baby blanket it almost finished! Just the end of one last seem to sew up and then some sort of border to figure out and my baby will have one more blanket to add to  the ever growing collection of knits! The pattern will definitely be shared when it's ready. 


And because I'm going to make sure that my baby has a love of whippets like mom and dad do I've bought the sweetest little whippet onesie I've ever seen! I absolutely love this thing. It's been hanging on the wall in my dining room like art for over a week and I have no plans to take it down any time soon. 


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Snowfling Mitten Pattern

There was already a brief mention of my new Snowfling Mitten pattern in my last post, but I can't very well work for months on a new pattern that I developed into 4 colourways for kits and then just leave it at one tiny little blog mention. No way. These mitts and the accompanying kits deserve their own post! So, here it is! 


The Snowfling Mitten pattern came to me completely out of nowhere. I was minding my own business back in November when I suddenly had the urge to knit myself a pair of mitts. This kind of urge occurs frequently, the difference this time is that when the urge struck, I was conveniently hit with the perfect idea for the look of the mitts too. These two things don't always happen at once, I was lucky. I sat down at my computer and started charting out pretty snowflakes, then I made up a mitten template, scattered the snowflakes around and that was that! By that very evening I was knitting away happily on my first pair of Snowfling Mitts. It all came together like it was meant to be!

From there, of course, came the tweaking. The official pattern drafting and test knitting and then finally the release of the pattern! 

So, what makes these mitts so awesome? Well, I happen to think that they are really very pretty, which is always nice in an accessory. But the real star? That pop of colour lining. I just can't get enough of the bright, cheery, cashmere surprise inside these mitts. The cashmere lining is exceptionally soft, warm, beautiful and practical.

Picking colour combo's to develop into kits was extremely easy and very difficult at the same time. The truth is, the colour possibilities are endless! Any of my lighter colourways (Natural, Sand, Chris Grey) would look great paired with just about any of my other bolder shades. I opted to stick with a classic palette for these kits, a bold background colour with a light snowflake colour and then a bright lining, but you could definitely mix things up and do the reverse, or do a bright snowflake on a dark background (maybe Pink Grapefruit on a Charcoal background!) The sky's the limit!


I had to share this little collage of photos from our photo shoot last weekend. We had a ton of snow so I was trying to use it creatively in our photos. All was going well until about 2 minutes into the shoot when I decided to throw the snow into the air and all over myself. The action shot was neat, but the resulting photos of me with white dust all over my curly hair and big belly made me look like I was playing a witch in a high school play... Not the look I was going for. Photo shoot - over. 


There you have it, the story of my new favourtite mitts. :)

Snowfling Mitts ravelry pattern page here
More details on my website here
Snowfling kits available on my website here

Sunday, 10 February 2013

New colours and kits in the shop!

It's been a very busy week, but today I have these five beautiful new colourways to show for it! My new colours are now available in my shop. Enjoy!


Top row: Chris Grey and Sprout 
Middle row: Truffle and Iris 
Bottom row: Lucky Penny and Snowfling Mitten Kits!

My Snowfling Mitten pattern is also ready for you! The pattern is available on my site here, or on ravelry here. I've also made up a few kits for you to choose from! 


I'll be sharing more details about all of this exciting new stuff in the week ahead. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Nursery Palette


Because baby can never have too many blankets I've cast on for yet another new project. This time a baby blanket design I'm working on in this bright and cheery colour palette inspired by some of the fabrics used in my nursery scheme. There are 2 new colourways in the photo above... can you spot them? Because I love it so, this Palette will likely be added to the Palette collection soon. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 7 February 2013



Chris and I have been working on new colours recently. We hope to have them ready to launch next week. They are some of my new all time favourites and I am crazy excited about them! It is probably totally irrational for someone to get this excited about colour, but this is me, the type of person who gets light headed looking at the perfect skein of green/blue/grey, take it or leave it. 

It is completely unfair of me to post the above photo. It's of some experiments that we recently did on silk and is not really representative of the new colours I'm talking about. The photo was so pretty though, and the silk so shiny, that I just had to share! 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mission - sort of accomplished

Last week I vowed that I would cast on for a ton of things and never be without a knitting project. My project manogamy was leaving me wanting more on the needles. I sort of achieved my goal, but apparently old habits dye hard. I cast on for these awesome socks on Thursday and knit on them pretty loyally throughout the weekend. Not sure that counts towards increasing the variety. The pattern is Cadence by VeryBusyMonkey, the yarn is TFA Blue Label in Jewel and so far I love EVERYTHING about these babies. :)


I managed to tear myself away from the socks long enough to start on this simple scarf that I intend to keep close by for my "brainless" knitting. Now that the pattern is well established it makes for perfect waiting room knitting. The yarn and colourway are both OOAK's. The pattern is Strathcona by Jane Richmond. Love it all. 


And just because variety is the spice of life I've thrown some crochet into the mix. I haven't touched this baby blanket in months, but it's so close to being finished. I think that if I devote a few nights to working on it I'll have another blanket to add to my stack of baby knits


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Little old man babies


A dear friend is expecting her first baby, a boy, later on this month. As soon as I found out that she was expecting a boy I knew that I would be knitting her a Gramps cardigan. It's my go-to. It's perfect. It's a very quick knit done up on 4.5mm needles and aran weight yarn and is always adorable no matter what colour combo you chose. I've knit this pattern 4 times and will surely be knitting it again. I can pretty much guarantee that if my baby is a boy this is the first thing that I will cast on for my own little dude. 


Anyways, so yes, I've knit this pattern 4 times, but this was the first time that I added the pockets. Aren't they awesome? They are definitely a very cute touch. I did not add the elbow patches however. I knit them but couldn't get them to look right on this wee little sweater. Maybe if I knit a larger size the next time I could make the patches work. I do love elbow patches after all. 


Paired with some hip little jeans with suspenders this little boy is going to be the cutest little old man baby.

Ravelry project page here. Knit in TFA Aran Weight yarn in Spruce and Sprout (coming soon!)

Friday, 1 February 2013

This and That


A big box of TFA postcards was delivered the other day. I was unpacking the box and putting the cards away when I glanced at my desk and noticed that one of my piles had fallen over. Took my breath away. 

Did you know that Celtic Cast On is hosting a Business Casual KAL over on her blog? Cast on date is set for Monday. I think I'll be knitting mine in a rogue skein of Truffle that I have laying around. You should join! It's gonna be fun and there is a prize!

I've become the type of knitter who gets very focused on whatever project I'm working on. People often comment that I finish projects so quickly, and that's true, it's because when I start a project I usually work on it very faithfully until it's finished. Not always, but usually. I think that most knitter's have the opposite problem of always having a ton of WIP's on the needles and are always feeling like they're juggling so much. While I like my project monogamy, there is no worse feeling for me then the anxiety that hits when I cast off a WIP and then don't have another project lined up to get started on. This happened to me the other night. I finished a little something that I had been working on by around 9pm. I was definitely not ready to turn in for the night, but didn't have the mental capacity to make a critical decision about what to cast on for next. That would involve picking a pattern, picking a yarn, maybe swatching... all too much. I sat there, with valuable evening knitting time slipping away with nothing to do and I felt so lost. I've decided to never let that happen again. Yesterday I cast on for a pair of socks, I'll be starting another on Monday (for the Business Casual KAL), I have yarn and pattern lined up for a scarf I'll be starting on this weekend and I have a skein set aside for a baby sweater. Bring on the giant WIP basket!