Wednesday, 31 October 2012

November KAL starts at midnight!

The November TFA KAL starts tonight at midnight! I certainly won't be up to cast on that late, but I do plan on getting started on one of my 4 KAL projects tomorrow. I dug through the stash and picked out a few options. 


When I say my "TFA stash" people often wonder what I mean by that. I have an endless supply of TFA yarn at my fingertips, which is awesome, but I also have a few bins full of partially used skeins, not-quite-fit-to-sell skeins and One Of A Kind skeins that were too special to part with. I keep them in bins grouped by weight, and those bins are what I consider my "TFA stash". Above is my bin of Aran/Worsted weight yarn. 

Below is my bin of DK weight yarn:


And these are the yarns that I have earmarked for my KAL projects:


The pile of purples on the left will become a hat for my almost-seven year old God-daughter Abby. It will have hearts and earflaps and be adorable and girly! The grey/purple skein in the center is for my Smooth Sailing Hat. I'll be adapting my Smooth Sailing Baby Blanket pattern into a hat. And the pile of blues on the right is for my aran weight version of my Adhara shawl. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the shawl plays out at the larger gauge. 

I'm also knitting a hat for Abby's little brother, it will be out of DK in a mish-mash of bits that I haven't decided on yet. Sort of like a hat version of my awesome mismatched socks.

Happy knitting everyone! Can't wait to see all the WIP's popping up in the Ravelry threads!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Good morning pretty birds!


I've decided on the colour scheme for our nursery... multicoloured! I love too many colours to narrow it down to any decisive scheme. Plus, I prefer an eclectic mix to anything too matchy-matchy and "decorated". Add to that the fact that we're not finding out the baby's gender until he or she is born and I think that a neutral room with lots of multicoloured accents is just the ticket! The nursery walls are currently painted a nice, soft cream. The ceiling and closet will soon get a coat of sky blue paint. The trim is white and the rest will be a fun layering in of colour.

With the scheme decided (or rather, a lack of scheme decided) I spent Saturday night with my mom working on a colourful mobile for the baby's room. The mobile I chose is the "Bird Mobile" by Spool Sewing. I pinned an image of this mobile ages ago and when I spotted it again this weekend I was dying to make some colourful birds of my own!


The bird sewing pattern is a free download and is actually very simple. Believe it or not, this is not my first time sewing tiny stuffed birds, this pattern is my favorite for sure. The template provided was for a rather large bird, I opted to downsize it to 80% on my printer and made all my birds this smaller size. They are about 5.5" from beak to tail. I used all leftover stash fabrics from previous projects (most are from my colourwheel quilt). I am beyond thrilled with the results. These colourful little birds with their glorious bright bellies make me so happy. 


I have several favourites. As we cut, sewed and stuffed birds it became apparent that the best fabric combinations were the bolder prints paired with smaller accent belly prints. I just love those striped and polka-dot bellies!  


I took a walk in the woods on Saturday and collected a few stray branches to give these birds something to perch on, but I haven't completed the project yet. For now these pretty birds are just lined up on the edge of my mantle for me to enjoy throughout the day. I forgot that they were there and when I got up this morning and walked down the stairs to find this beautiful row of rainbow birds greeting me I couldn't help but smile.  


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner to Wednesday's Stella Collection plus yarn giveaway is... Tankini Surf!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered, reading all the comments about your enthusiasm for my yarns is a real pick me up. Happy Saturday!

Friday, 26 October 2012


I've picked my projects for the November KAL. All the KAL details can be found in this blog post and in the TFA Ravelry group. I'll be knitting 3 hats and 1 shawl. All are modified TFA patterns and all are gifts. Yes! All are also to be worked up in aran or dk weight yarn and even better, mostly stash yarn. This is such a win-win. I can't wait to use up some stash and cross 4 gifts off of my Christmas shopping list. The project I'm most excited about it the shawl, I'll be knitting my Adhara Shawl pattern using worsted weight yarn, I haven't decided wether I will make it with one colour or two. I love seeing lace done up in different gauges, should be a really neat experiment.

In the meantime I've got a few projects that I'd love to wrap up before then. Not helping my cause is the fact that I've been hit with a giant wave of creative inspiration lately. I want to start lots of knew projects and not all are knitting... 


Weaving and spinning have taken a back seat to knitting and designing recently (ok, not just recently, always!) I'm ok with that. Knitting is my number one favourite thing so of course I'll spend more time on it. But I've taken out a few lovely braids of roving and have been glancing over at them sitting on my desk for the past week or two and only this morning did I notice that the one on the right has got some sparkle in it, which is so neat. I'll have to see what that sparkle looks up all spun up sooner than later. I had sort of forgotten about weaving until I saw this stunning woven baby blanket this morning. I've loved this artists beautifully subtle weaving for a while now am inspired to dig out my loom. Maybe some woven scarves for Christmas!

woven scarf inspiration via TanisLavallee on Pinterest

Have you entered to win Wednesday's giveaway yet? See you tomorrow when I announce the winner!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

TFA news items and a Giveaway!

Yes, I'll be giving something away at the end of this post, but first... a little bit of TFA Club news to share.

The 2012  TFA Year In Colour Club is wrapping up. Memberships for this year will remain open until the end of October, at which point the 2012 memberships will close and the 2013 Club memberships will become available. 

For 2013 I will be doing something a little bit different, rather than focussing exclusively on fingering weight yarns I'll be diversifying the Club to include 6 different TFA bases ranging from my Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn to my Orange Label Cashmere/Silk Worsted weight yarn. The other major difference next year is that all patterns will be designed by TFA! Julie and I are sharing the workload and together are designing 6 unique single skein accessory patterns. The price of the Club will be adjusted to reflect the variety of yarn bases, however same as last year, there will be a price incentive for people to sign up early! Full details will be released next week when the 2013 Club goes live. 

And now... it's giveaway time! All summer long we had a Stella Collection blog tour running with each stop doing a giveaway, well, it's finally my turn! Leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win the Stella Collection plus 2 skeins of Blue Label Fingering weight yarn in your choice of any of these colour pairings to knit your very own Adhara Shawl. Any of the shawls featured in this collection would make for the perfect November KAL project!

adhara combo's
Left column, top to bottom: Deep Sea and Peacock; Frost and Seabreeze; Lilac and Dove.
Center column, top to bottom: Sand and Gold; Shadow and Atlantic (the original pairing); Pink Grapefruit and Sunset; Stormy and Shadow.
Right column, top to bottom; Spearmint and Lemongrass; Garnet and Velvet; Brick and Chestnut.

A winner will be announced on Saturday, stay tuned!

This giveaway is now closed, thanks for entering!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Finished socks!


These socks for my dad are officially off the needles and even though they gave me a hard time while I was knitting them, they're pretty perfect now. A good soak in wool wash until the water ran clear was all it took to set the colour (I hope... I will advise that they wash these only with dark loads the first few times) and now that the 3x1 ribbing is behind me, I can look at these beauties and admire them for what they are: a great colour, a beautiful fabric, and a cozy sock. Dad will love them. 

Now to finish this second pair of socks that I've had on the go forever. I've got one purple sock down, and am about 1/4 of my way through the second. I'd like to have these finished by the end of the month so I can start the November TFA KAL fresh!

9 to 5 socks in Viola yarn

Friday, 19 October 2012

Lila comes to town!

This week Chris and I had the pleasure of hosting two of our favourite people, Julie and Lila! We had a wonderful visit full of walking, talking, shopping, eating and of course knitting. Julie was a blast but I have to admit, her lovely little Lila kinda stole the show. Look at those big eyes! And those cheeks!


Lila was a great sport when we wrangled her into my newest tiny knit for some baby-modeled FO shots. I think this kid has a future in baby modeling, she clearly takes after her mom. 


Having these two ladies stay with us for a couple of days was a treat. Not only do I love hanging out with Julie, but it was also a real first hand lesson on what life is like with a 6 month old. Never a dull moment! But no matter how busy they keep you, one glance at those big eyes and that happy little baby face is so worth it. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

It's knitalong time!

We are gearing up to run another TFA KAL during the month of November. Actually, make that 2 TFA KAL's! Over in the TFA Ravelry group we have set up 2 threads with all the details. The first group is for gift knitter's. To participate in the Holiday Knitting KAL all you have to do is knit a project in TFA yarn that you intend to gift this holiday season. I think we can all use a little incentive to get our holiday knitting in order.

The second group is for the accessory knitters among us. For the TFA Accessories KAL any of our TFA accessory patterns count (Julie has curated a list of all the patterns in the KAL thread). 

For double the fun, knit a TFA accessory as a gift and be entered in both KAL's! There will be prizes and lots of fun had by all in the Ravelry group. To participate, just comment in the thread that you plan on participating in stating what pattern and yarn base you intend to use and towards the end of November we'll set up another thread for you to post your FO's in. The KAL will run from November 1st to midnight on November 30th. Plenty of time to get lots of knitting done!

And just because no post is complete without a nice picture, here is proof that my Palette Cardigan is finished and has had it's FO shoot! It's currently being test knit and I'm very excited about it. 


Monday, 15 October 2012



It was my mother in law's birthday yesterday so Chris and I hosted the family for a lovely birthday dinner. I made this awesome cake. I'll share the recipe another day, but for today I wanted to show off this awesome marshmallowy white frosting with confetti sprinkles while it's still available for photographs... I have a feeling that by lunch time this leftover cake will be significantly less "photo-ready"... or at least significantly less "on my counter" and significantly more "in my belly"!

Thanks to everyone who commiserated with me over bad socks.  After I published that blog post I re-read it and found myself to be very complainy, and nobody likes a cranky blogger... but I guess that everyone can relate to a good second sock rant! I didn't manage to finish the socks this weekend but I am very close. I am definitely going to love these socks when I'm finally finished with them!

Friday, 12 October 2012

so over these socks...


It's a shame really, these socks are going to be perfect when they're done. I plan on giving them to my dad for Christmas and I know that they are going to be comfy and cozy and loved by him. But still, I kind of hate them right now. According to Ravelry I started these socks on July 3rd, so the fact that they are still lingering means that clearly I'm not that smitten. These socks have a few things working against them; first off, the yarn, though it has a beautiful soft texture (it's 10% cashmere) and a gorgeous, rich, dark colour, it bleeds... like crazy. Normally I keep socks as a purse project to work on in waiting rooms and away from home, but after a few rows of working on this pair my finger tips are completely blue. I could have easily remedied this problem by setting the dye a bit better myself before I started, but I didn't. Lesson learnt, deep colours like this (especially with the hint of turquoise) are notoriously hard to set. I'll give these socks a really good soak before I give them to my dad, and if that doesn't work to get out the excess dye I'll let them simmer in a pot of hot water with vinegar for a bit to see if that helps. For the record - this yarn wasn't dyed by me, it's by another fantastic dyer who's work I'm a big fan of, but this skein unfortunately is just a tough colour to set... I don't blame the dyer, I should have tested it first. 

The other big negative working against these socks... I apparently hate 3x1 ribbing. I don't know why, it just doesn't flow for me. 2x2 ribbing, 1x1 ribbing, we're cool. 3x1 ribbing makes me want to just quit. This is another issue that could have so easily been avoided if I had just remembered that I hate working 3x1 ribbing and had instead made these socks in a ribbing that I enjoy. I don't know what I was thinking. 

Oh well, despite all that, I know that these socks will be beautiful when they're finished, and my goal is to work away on them this weekend so I can finally wash the blue dye off my hands and move on! Dad had better love these socks.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Thank You!

I hadn't intended to announce that I'm pregnant and then go silent for almost a week, I just got so overwhelmed by all the beautiful and supportive comments that were rolling in that I couldn't help but want to keep that post at the top of my blog for as long as possible! Thank you one million times to everyone who left a comment, sent an e-mail, messaged me on facebook, ravelry, twitter... Chris and I feel so loved! 

So, things are definitely changing around here, and I couldn't be happier about it. Yesterday we went for a nice long walk, it was a beautiful fall day, and as I was admiring our gorgeous colourful foliage I thought about change. I used to think that I hated change. When I was 10 my family moved and I did not cope well. But now, I think I've come around to embracing change, and even looking forward to it. I look forward to the seasons changing every year, I can't wait to watch my belly change into a giant, baby-filled balloon! Now our family is changing, growing, and with that our family business will naturally change as well, but I'm excited about it. Chris and I have always known that we wanted a family, and as we made decisions about TFA, things like: do we try and go big, or do we stay small? do we rent a studio space, or do we build a small studio in our backyard? we always kept our future family plans in mind. 

So now I think TFA is ready for this awesome new change. I am sure that there will be some growing pains along the way, this summer was a bit of a preview of that. My first trimester was pretty good, but I was exhausted and queasy pretty much all the time, which made work much more of an effort than it usually is. But, we made it through, and now I'm in my second trimester and am feeling much less queasy and a bit more energetic. Chris and I are totally committed to TFA, it's our life! Some things may change (has anyone noticed that we haven't had an Etsy update in months? Yeah, our free experimental dyeing time is nowhere to be found!) but the beauty of TFA is that it's flexible, we can make this work. 

Now here's the big ticket question, the thing that everyone wants to know: So much baby knitting to do! Do we know if we're having a girl or a boy? Are we planning on finding out? 

The answer.... no! After much back and forth Chris and I have decided that we're going to keep the gender of the baby a surprise. I always thought that I would definitely want to know, but then when I found out that we were expecting, I suddenly no longer cared. We hope for a healthy baby and we have no gender preference at all. Lets be honest, this baby will be wearing a lot of blue regardless of wether it's a boy or a girl!  

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

one tiny FO for one very special WIP!


I've finished knitting both the mama version and the baby version of this lovely sweater and I am very, VERY excited. I love my new sweater, but even more than that I love my mini-me version because it's for my own baby!!!


That's right, team TFA is growing by one member who will be joining us in April. Chris and I are over the moon about our expanding family and I am so thrilled to finally be sharing the news with you all! Honestly, ever since we found out we were expecting I've been looking forward to the day when I could share it with the blog. You guys are always so supportive, and telling you is like telling my big, happy, knitting family!  


I think that this is the first week that you can really see a little baby bump if look you hard enough. I can't wait to watch this baby grow!


This wee little sweater is hands down, without a doubt, the number one thing I've ever knit. I've knit lots of adorable baby sweaters, but this is the first one that I've knit especially for my own little angel. I will cherish it forever. 

Both patterns now available!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

TFA Tuesday - North Shore


TFA Tuesday is back! For today at least. I saw this awesome sweater on ravelry, wanted to blog it, realized it was Tuesday, so bang! TFA Tuesday it is. 

You all know I love this adorable little sweater (I've knit it twice), part of the "9 Months of Knitting" pattern collection by Tincanknits. Well, they've recently released another pattern collection called "Pacific Knits" and this time there is a pattern knit in TFA yarn! 


The North Shore pullover features Yellow Label DK Weight yarn in the most interesting combination of west coast colours. I love the waves, trees and mountain range fair isle motif. I fancy myself an east coast girl at heart, but I could definitely be swayed by this west coast look.  

Monday, 1 October 2012

Club - Sept 2012

Sept 2012 - Spice!

The September installment of the Year in Colour Club featured this gorgeous design by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting. These socks, called Arching Leaves, feature an impressive combination of leafy texture and scrumptious cables. Works of art!


This month has seen me pull out my wool socks more than once, so it's the perfect time to get excited about sock knitting again! I cannot wait to wear my hand knit socks all winter, and with socks as pretty as this, I think that my feet would be extra warm and happy. Pretty socks make for happy feat right?


The September colourway is called Spice and is dyed on my Blue Label Fingering Weight yarn. Everywhere I look these days I'm seeing this colour in the nature around me. A beautiful warm orange shade that is just perfect for this time of year. 

Sept 2012 - Spice!