Thursday, 28 March 2013

In case we have a girl!

Since we don't know whether this little baby I'm carrying is a boy or a girl we have amassed an absolutely beautiful collection of white, grey, cream, yellow, mint and seafoam baby clothes. Which is all fine by me because I love babies is soft, soothing colours. I feel like it makes them at least appear to be calm and serene (my baby will be calm and serene right?)
While we're in the hospital we've been advised to keep outfits simple, they told us that the last thing we'll want is a bag full of adorable dirty baby laundry to wash when we get home. However, I need at least one super cute knitted outfit to bring baby home in. I like to be ready for any baby knitting situation. If we have a girl, I want her to have something really pretty to wear home.
So, the other night I took survey of my baby knits and picked my Watercolour Blank Canvas as my "Baby Girl Coming Home Sweater". Then to turn it into an outfit I knit a hat and booties to match. I LOVE the hat. I think that the bow is almost too cute for words (it's a tiny version of Julie's Strada Headband bow and it's perfection). The booties are so tiny and squishy and I really hope that they fit. They may only fit for a week, but that's fine by me. They're a really quick knit (I may have cranked out 3 more pairs after I finished these) and I think that they're going to stay on baby's feet really well. 
This outfit, along with a coordinating onesie and pants are packed up in my hospital bag ready to go just "in case we have a girl". If we have a boy? Don't worry, I'll be ready for that too!

Sweater: Blank Canvas Baby Sweater by me!
Hat: Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan
Booties: Oh! Baby Baby Booties by DoubleDiamondKnits

Yarn: TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn in lots of leftover bits. 

Ravelry Project pages: Sweater, Hat, Booties

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Sproutlette Dress


It's no secret that I love a little knitted dress on a baby. I've knit a few for friends and family and even though we don't know whether we're expecting a baby girl or a baby boy I couldn't help but have visions of knit dresses floating around my head. After all, my baby's wardrobe can't be all yellow and ducks, I had to make a few special knits for my "in case we have a girl" pile. 


Sproutlette is a sweet, spring inspired baby dress with a squishy garter stitch yoke, a pretty leafy lace detail and a really fun scalloped eyelet edging. The keyhole opening in the back makes it easy to get on over baby's giant head and is also the perfect spot to use a signature button! 


Available in 3 baby sizes: 0-6 month (6-12 month, 12-24 months) this dress can be knit using your favourite skein of fingering weight yarn. The two smaller sizes require just under 420 yds and for the larger size you'll need a second skein (just over 500 yds). I knit the largest size myself and in order to squeeze it out of one skein I opted to shorten the length and make it more of a tunic, to be worn with leggings, which is a fun option too. 

Sproutlette Dress pattern page on Ravelry here
More details and yarns available on my website here

Monday, 25 March 2013

Club - March 2013

The winner of the Botanical Knits giveaway is..... Kylie! (aka: purples) Congrats!


I cannot seem to get away from the colour green for March! This is the third year that I've done a green shade for the March installment of the TFA Year In Colour Club (see 2011's Clover and 2012's Sprout), I guess it's officially become a tradition! This year, however, I mixed things up by doing a more variegated colourway. With hits of blue and pink a skein of this Patina colourway has a little bit of everything. Gorgeous in the skein, and even prettier knit up! 


March's shipment featured a skein of Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn and a sock pattern designed by me! Designing with variegated yarns is always a challenge. I decided to focus on crisp textures to allow the motifs to shine through all that colour. I always look to add a few special details on the heals, the toes, to add a bit of knitterly intrigue to a simple sock pattern. I'm really happy with how my Patina socks worked out and hope that you'll love them too. 


The Patina Sock pattern is currently exclusive to 2013 Year In Colour members but will be available for all to knit in 2014. We're hosting a Patina Sock KAL in the TFA Ravelry group right now, wether you're part of the Club or not you should pop in and check it out!

It's never too late to join the Club! Join now and you'll receive the January and March Club colourways and patterns along with the next batch of Club shipments in May.  

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Etsy Update


Wow, what a difference a year makes! On the left we have me in March 2012 modeling the Sencha Scarf. On the right we have me in March 2013 modeling the Strathcona Scarf. Two lovely, slinky scarves knit in the same 75/25 merino/silk base but too completely different models! I can't believe that my glorious pregnant belly phase is almost over. I doubt that I'll be that girl on the left any time soon (she's one skinny b*tch!) but the thought of not having this big belly that I've become so used to makes me a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I'm dying to meet our baby, but I've loved every second of being pregnant.

So, want to knit yourselves a slinky scarf too? I've got lots of merino/silk yarn going up in my One Of A Kind Etsy Shop tomorrow night, Sunday, March 24 at 6pm EST. There will be plenty of other goodies too. One last Etsy hurray before the baby comes!


Thursday, 21 March 2013


Is there anything better than a gorgeous stack of perfectly wooly hand knits? These photos take me to my happy place! You probably recognize these knits as being part of Alana Dakos' latest book Botanical Knits. Alana has become quite the expert at designing and curating amazing collections. She's a real inspiration for anyone considering self publishing. She applies the same attention to detail that we're used to seeing in her knitwear designs to her book designs. Every single page is a thing of beauty. 

I don't have a favourite piece in this collection, they're all stunners, but I am particularly drawn to these four: Ivy Trellis socks, Spring Foliage mitts, Twigs and Willows cardigan and the Pressed Leaves beret.   
Maybe their appeal has something to do with the fact that it is officially spring, yet here in Montreal we've just been hit with over a foot of fresh snow! These shades of green and gold give me hope that spring will come!

And of course, I've got to mention that the Ivy Trellis Socks were originally published by me! Yes, they are the socks previously known as Arching Leaves which were featured in the September 2012 TFA Year In Colour Club.

To celebrate spring (which has clearly not yet arrived in Montreal) I'm giving away 1 digital copy of the Botanical knits book along with 1 skein of Yellow Label DK Weight yarn in my new green/gold Sprout colourway. 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 Monday, March 25th. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Shades of Grey

A stack of beautiful grey swatches. Some ideas that have already been explored in depth, others that I'm itching to really dig my teeth into.
A pile of beautiful greys (and a touch of pink!) These colours were sitting together in my bin and I had to play with them. I settled on a simple hat, no pattern, just stitched away until I had this.
Pattern: Improvised.
Yarn: TFA Green Label Aran Weight Yarn in "Almost Dove", Chris Grey, Perfect Pink (ooak) and Sand.
Ravelry project page here.

I'm loving the subtle tones, the subtle shifts in colour, the subtle scallops. 
It looks cute in pictures perched back on my head like in the photo's above, but in real life I wear my hats pulled over my ears like in the photo below. Might be a little less stylish, but it's a lot more warm and comfortable for me to wear them that way. Plus the brim frames my eyebrows nicely... so, there's that.
We are in week #5 of our basement reno. While we're counting weeks I'll also add that we are less than 3 weeks away from my due date. Lots of excitement! I keep waddling down to the basement where our amazing contractors are working hard, and I'll rub my belly, pretending like I have questions to ask them but really I'm just making sure that they get the hint that I'm super pregnant and super eager for them to wrap it up so I can get my house (and laundry room!) back. I think that my not-so-subtle hints are working because they brought in a few extra guys today and have promised to be outta here by the end of the week. The space looks fantastic, it will all be worth it, I just have a few more days of chaos to deal with before I can let my nesting/cleaning/organizing instincts run wild and get our entire house back in better shape then ever.

By now we've lived through a few pretty major reno's and I think that I handle them quite well. I actually kind of love them. I love designing a new space, I love seeing that space being torn apart and then magically be put back together. I LOVE designing tile schemes! Mixing high and low, maybe adding a pop of colour in an unexpected place to make the space seem really customized and cared about. 

What I don't love about reno's is all the physical and mental clutter that is involved. It seems to take over my whole brain leaving me with very little mental energy left over to devote to anything else. I can only handle simple knits at the moment. Anything more is just too much. I can feel the reno-chaos and accompanying mental fog slowly lifting and I am ready to tackle some new projects. Probably nothing too monumental since as soon as the reno-fog lifts the new-baby-fog will settle in big time I'm sure! We'll just take it day by day. As long as I have pretty skeins of yarn to calm my nerves when I need them I think that we'll all be just fine. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Chris' Casuals


Pattern: Business Casual Socks by me! 
Yarn: TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight Yarn in Lucky Penny.
Ravelry Project page here.  

I've finished knitting my Business Casual socks! They are terrific. I would go on and on about how much I love this pattern, but since it's my own, that would probably be a little bit tacky. So I'll just let you all admire how nicely these socks fit on Chris' elegant feet and decide how great they are for yourselves. 

The colourway I used is one of my new ones, Lucky Penny. If you click onto the Lucky Penny page on my website and read the colourway description you'll notice that I cannot hide how much I love this colour. It's very, very ME. I want to knit it in every base, for every project, I just can't get enough. I definitely have a Lucky Penny sweater in my future. 

These socks are for Chris. He saw me working on them and kept commenting on how much he liked the colour (aren't we perfect for each other?) but didn't know that they were for him until I asked him to model them for me and told him that he could keep them. He seemed pleased. He didn't exactly do cartwheels over his new socks, but he did say that they were beautiful and that he loved them. That's enough for me.    

I knit these as part of CelticCastOn's Business Casual KAL. Don't you just love a KAL to get you motivated to start and finish a project? Everyone knitting the same pattern at the same time, it's so much fun. I think another TFA KAL is in order. What would you guys like to knit with me next?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Puff Daddy


I found the perfect chair for the nursery. It is a shape and style that I love, has wood tones that coordinate with the dresser I have for the room, it rocks and it swivels, its exactly what I wanted! Oh, and it was $35 purchased at a second hand store. Score! Full disclosure, it was $35 but then I spilled a ton of dough into having it reupholstered, so technically this is no longer a cheap chair, but it is still perfect. 

With the right chair in the room I then began my search for just the right foot stool/ottoman. I had originally wanted something with storage, the room is tiny and I thought that a double duty piece was a good idea, but I couldn't find anything that I liked. Then one day I saw this blog post and was completely sold on the Puff Daddy Pouf for my room.

I had a few skeins of a "Not Quite Chris Grey" colourway hanging around my office, it's darker and more blue than Chris Grey, but not as dark or as blue as Atlantic. I used 3 strands held together, cast on 40 sts and just knit until I felt like this puppy was large enough. Simple as that. All in all I probably used about 5 full skeins worth of yarn (I broke into 6 skeins since I was holding 3 strands together, but I stopped with about a third of each of the last 3 skeins remaining). Though my pouf is gorgeous, I wouldn't really recommend my Green Label for this project simply because a much less expensive craft yarn would do the trick just as well. Being able to knit this in such a nice yarn is a real luxury.

Chris and I then spent a good evening trying to figure out the best way to stuff it. Not as easy as it seems. I'm still not thrilled with our stuffing job and will likely try again one day down the road. We used a pillow, a bunch of quilt batting, some upholstery foam and a bunch of duct tape to form our pouf shape. I'm happy with the shape, but I blame Chris for being over enthusiastic with the duct tape, it's not as soft and cushy as it should be. But without the tape it was a weird, mis-shaped ball... I wish I had a mini bean bag chair to stuff in there. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sproutlette Sneak Peek!

Doesn't my niece Annika have the most perfect little profile? So sweet. She was a real trouper for me and pulled out all the stops when I asked her to model my newest design. This baby has clearly been practicing her angles in the mirror. Details coming soon!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Guernsey Square

About a month ago I asked my mom if she needed any yarn from me, I try to keep her busy with a steady stream of TFA knitting projects. She said no, that she couldn't focus on a new knitting project until after the baby shower. When I got off the phone with her I called my sister and ranted away because my mom was getting too worked up and stressed out over the shower, it was a month away and she was so focused on it that she didn't have any time to knit! My sister pretended to agree with me that mom was crazy and we left it at that. Little did I know that she was working on two secret knitting projects for me the whole time! Sneaky, sneaky. She completely fooled me, which was tough for her I know because we usually spend a lot of time talking about all the fun, crafty projects we're working on. I'm sure that keeping these secrets was not easy for her. But the surprise was so worth it! I had no idea she had been working on these knits and they blow me away!
First up is the Guernsey Square Baby Blanket that she knit in TFA Red Label in the Natural colourway. This blanket was created by modifying Jared Flood's Guernsey Triangle pattern into a square! I'm going to bug her to put good notes on exactly how she did that on her Ravelry project page.  Stay tuned for that! The Guernsey Triangle pattern was first published as part of the 2012 Year In Colour Club and done up in Red Label it is stunning! 
I happen to have a stack of knit and crocheted baby blankets that I've made myself, actually, there is one other that my mom knit for me, I'll have to blog about that one soon too! That woman is too prolific, I can't keep up! But all of my other blankets are DK weight and are bright and colourful. This fingering weight, neutral, textural blanket is really something special. Something different for those occasions when baby needs an elegant blanket. 
The nursery is coming together beautifully. Since these photos were taken I've added a lamp, a few more books and a bit more organization. We are almost there!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Baby Shower


I mentioned on Monday that my mom held the best baby shower ever for me over the weekend. We were spoiled with gifts, hugs and good company. I did my best to snap a few photos of the beautiful set up before everyone arrived, look at all the attention to detail! The food was ample and delicious. The sweets kept me going all afternoon, the touches of blue and yellow, the flowers, the cakes (one edible and one made of diapers!) the family heirlooms that mom pulled out (the basinette with the baby blankets) the knits hanging like valances in the windows, the baby photos of Chris and I scattered around the house. The whole thing was beautiful and amazing. 

Thanks mom! and dad, poor dad got kicked out for the party, but I know that he worked very hard getting the house ready for so much company! 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Ruby - my favourite bunny


My most amazing mother in the world hosted a beautiful baby shower for me last weekend. The afternoon was perfect, so much thought and care was put into organizing a memorable event. Family came in from out of town, friends gathered, baby and I were extremely spoiled and I am still quite overwhelmed to be surrounded by so many loving, generous women who are all sincerely happy for me, Chris and baby. What a feeling to be able to look around a room and see the all those smiling faces sending me nothing but happy thoughts. Yup, we're the luckiest. 

My sister gave me Ruby the rabbit pictured in the photo above and I don't think that she could have picked a better stuffed animal to start off baby's collection. I'm going to have a very hard time parting with her when baby arrives because I just love her so much! It's super soft, and those garter stitch feet and ears!!! I don't think that there is another stuffy out there that is more quintessentially "Tanis". The rabbit face and proportions even remind me of my very own beloved pet Snoopy. Good work Lilia. ;)

And can you spot the other very special gift in the photo above? The baby blanket in the background was knit by my very sneaky mother who went behind my back and with the help of Chris stole inventory from me to knit me a gorgeous heirloom blanket. I'll forgive her for the theft because the blanket is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Lots more photos and details to come. 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Strathcona Scarf + Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of one custom skein of yarn and a signed copy of Jane Richmond's beautiful Island Collection is...... Maude (aka: thalia07 on Ravelry). Conrats! I'm going to send you a Ravelry msg stat! 

After posting about the Island Collection and my Strathcona Scarf in progress on Monday I got pretty jazzed about being able to wear my awesome new scarf and got right down to business finishing it. Just a few more nights of knitting was all it took. Voila! My new favourite spring scarf! Oh, and Voila! A giant belly!


I really can't say enough good things about this lightweight, versatile, transitional knit. I spend so much of my time knitting wooly winter gear, a light and springy piece is a refreshing change of pace. The 75/25 merino/silk blend is the perfect yarn for this project featuring just the right amount of sheen and drape. And of course I'm crazy about the colour. This "Almost Lucky Penny" is "almost" as good as the real Lucky Penny


I knit my scarf quite long, longer than the pattern specifies, and I'm not sure that was really necessary. If I wear it wrapped once like in the photo's above the ends hang way down below my waist. But it does offer me the ability to wear it wrapped twice like in the photo's below, which I really like. 


These photo's make me happy. I love my scarf and I love my baby. Happy weekend everyone! 


Ravelry project page here