Thursday, 25 July 2013

Club - July 2013


When Julie and I divvied up the designing duties for this year's Club the July instalment was allotted to me. With Rowan due in April it seemed like a wise idea to plan for the July pattern ahead of time, so plan away I did. I had the whole thing designed and had even knit up a small template of the shawl I had in mind. We ran out of time and hadn't set on the colourway in advance however. So, when Chris and I finally found the time to develop the July Club colourway we settled on a bright, summery coral. We did a bit of experimenting and finally landed on the Papaya colourway. I love everything about it, it was all working out. There was one small problem however, I didn't think that my original pattern idea was what this colourway really called for. I wanted something modern and graphic, I would have to start fresh. 


I'm really glad that I followed my gut and worked out this new pattern, completely inspired by the Papaya colourway. The Papaya Shawlette combines a crisp cable with graphic lace. I can't say what it was exactly about this colourway that just screamed for crisp, neat design elements, but as soon as I held the final skein in my hand I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to become. Isn't it neat how things work out like that sometimes? Every colour has it's own personality and can almost tell you exactly what it wants to be. 

The July instalment featured TFA Red Label Cashmere/Silk Singly Ply yarn. I never tire of working with this base and think that a shawlette, worn wrapped around the neck, snuggled up to the face, is the perfect thing for this amazingly soft base. 


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

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

TFA Tuesday - Calliope's Odyssey

Top Tier Knitter: liftoh
Pattern: Calliope's Odyssey by Rosemary (Romi) Hill
Yarn: TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight in Deep Sea and Dove

Romi Hill is known for designing gorgeous shawls, and the Calliope's Odyssey pattern is clearly no exception. What I really love about this pattern is that it combines two colourways in a really interesting way. We all love striped shawls, but combining the lace with the geometric colourwork is so inventive. Liftoh has chosen to use two of my favourite colours for her version and the results are stunning. I love this shawl.  

Monday, 22 July 2013

Moodboard Monday - Pink Grapefruit


Sweet, but with a tart finish. Feminine, but not too girly. Cheery and bright, pink grapefruit is just right. What would you knit in Pink Grapefruit?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A week already!

I've officially decided that one week is not long enough for a vacation. You may have noticed that I've been MIA for the passed week, and that's because I've been completely wrapped up in doing as much relaxing as possible at my family cottage in Nova Scotia. We've been here for a full week already, and it's been amazing. We're staying a few more weeks and I am so thankful for that. Rowan loves it here! Surrounded by family there is always someone ready and willing to give him snuggles. The fresh ocean air is the best thing in the world for a good night's sleep. We've dipped his toes in the ocean a few times and yesterday afternoon we spent a few glorious minutes sitting in a warm gully just letting him get used to the water. He will be a water baby if Chris has anything to say about it. Chris' most important task of the day is to get in at least one good swim. No matter what the weather, Chris goes for an ocean dip. It seems really odd that we don't live near the ocean because we both love it so much, and so will Rowan.

It hasn't been all lounging and swimming though, I've finished knitting my Modified Gemini and will get some FO shots as soon as my sister arrives and I can pick through her wardrobe and try and piece together an outfit. I packed a very interesting mix of clothes this year, I'm not sure what I was thinking, nothing matches and nothing is dressier than my "fancy" pyjama pants...

The other awesome thing about the cottage? Sweater weather in July! Amazing. We went out for a stroll after supper the other night, the sun was going down and the wind had picked up and Chris, Rowan and I all had to wear sweaters. Love that. Rowan sported his brand new Midnight Sunnyside and he looked terrific in it. Yay!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Some thoughts on a Friday

Rowan rencontre Grandmaman
Like probably all new parents, Chris and I spend all of our time trying to juggle baby wrangling with household chores plus work at TFA. If I don't have a baby in my arms (and most of the time even if I do) I'm running around trying to get things done, or sneak in a few minutes of computer work. But the other day the most amazing thing happened - and I always forget that it's one of my favourite things until it happens - completely out of the blue, the power went out! The house went completely silent. The electricity didn't care that I had lists and lists of things that I absolutely had to get done that day. It didn't know that I had thrown a mini tantrum that morning because there just wasn't time to do everything that I had to do. It just up and went silent. And it was amazing. It was like a giant exhale. All the humming and vibrating noises that we're so used to a house always making disappeared and we were left to just hang out. I stepped out of the office and into the living room where Chris was playing with Rowan and joined them on the floor.

The power outage didn't last long, maybe an hour and a half or so. Not long enough for the heat to take over the house, for the food in the fridge to go bad or for anybody to be bothered by it. Just long enough to make us realize that sometimes you just need to be forced to shut down.

That photo up there is of my father's mom, my Grandmaman, meeting her most recent great-grandchild, my Rowan. My family recently lost a very special member of our clan. My aunt, my cousin's mother, my father's sister, my Grandmaman's daughter. She was so much to all of us and the loss weighs heavily on our hearts. My aunt Nicole was a stitcher, a very talented needlecraft artist. I have a piece of her work that she gave to Chris and I for our wedding. I cherish it now more than ever, it's incredible how much meaning each of those stitches holds. 

For just a moment, an old lady is able to lovingly smile at the baby in her arms, even after having just said goodbye to the daughter who was once her own first baby. This moment I was able to look at my Grandmother with my son and know how lucky I am and how amazing this is for all three of us. For just a second we were able to forget about everything going on and just be in that special moment. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Midnight Sunnyside

Pattern: Sunnyside by me!
Yarn: TFA Purple Label Cashmere Sock in Midnight
Ravelry project page here.

Apparently, the secret to knitting with a newborn is to go on road trips! Our trip to the farm provided me with 7 hours of in car knitting time. 7 hours of being strapped into the passenger seat with nothing to do but knit. I started and finished the entire body of this sweater on that road trip. I then brought the sweater with me every single time we were in the car. Even just a 10 minute drive could give me a few rows of a sleeve!
I am continually amazed at how beautiful the Midnight colourway is. It's so rich and saturated. I loved it when I used it for the main colour of my Coolbreeze Cardigan in DK weight, but I think that the deep, saturated colourways really are at their very best in the cashmere blends like my Purple Label yarn. The extra lushness of the cashmere and the intensity that we achieve in that base is beyond. This sweater is adorable and Rowan will look terrific in it this fall. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

TFA Tuesday - Nola Jane

Nola Jane1
Top Tier Knitter: KNITulescu
Pattern: Nola Jane by Annika Barranti
Yarn: TFA Blue Label Fingering Weight in Sunset

Finding adorable baby girl patterns is not hard. There are so many out there, each cuter than the next. Finding one that is special, original and one of a kind? That's a bit trickier. The Nola Jane pattern is just that. KNITelescu's version was the one that introduced me to this pattern, and I think that it's just so neat. A simple pullover but with all that extra detail at the yoke. Not lace, not cables, but awesome ruffly texture. I love it! The next time I need a gift for a baby girl, I think I'm going to give this pattern a try. 
Nola Jane2

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Frosty French Cancan

Pattern: French Cancan by Mademoiselle C
Yarn: TFA Orange Label Cashmere/Silk Worsted in Frost
Ravelry project page here.

This pattern has been all the rage on Ravelry as of late and I can totally understand why. It's beautiful and simple and interesting, a triple threat. It's also extra neat because it combines lace and cables at a thicker gauge. We're all so used to lighter, fingering weight lace shawls. This pattern was written for DK weight, and I upped the anti even more by working it in worsted weight. The results are lovely, squishy, cozy and warm. The perfect pretty thing to wrap around your shoulders. 
Honestly, I cast on for this project thinking that I was knitting it for myself. I loved the pattern and chose Frost as the colourway that I'd like to wear it in. But then my mom came over and when I showed her my WIP she commented that it would be perfect for Grammy, maybe she would knit one for her too and we started chatting colours. It became clear very quickly that Grammy would love this colourway and I decided that I was now making this for her, not me.
As I'm planning to part with this one I just might have to cast on for another soon. It really was a pleasure to knit and I think that the finished results are just stunning. In the Orange Label yarn it's incredibly soft. My sister liked it so much after modeling it for me that she's opted to knit one for herself in DK weight Lilac. I'm looking forward to seeing hers finished too, so much love for the Cancan!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Gemini in progress

As soon as I saw Jane working on her Gemini, modified to have 3/4 length sleeves and done up in TFA Yellow Label DK weight yarn, I knew that I would be making one too! I'm making mine exactly the same as hers, fitted 3/4 length sleeves and all. I took a vote to decide what colourway to knit mine in and the people chose Iris! I love this colourway, but I'll admit that it's difficult to photograph accurately. I snapped this shot the other day and though lovely, it's not quite right. Since it's one of my more variegated colourways it's a bit more challenging to work with. I'm alternating skeins every 2 rows and checking often to make sure that the colours are distributing themselves nicely. A few rows before I took this photo I noticed that I was starting to see some pooling,  a big puddle of all blue was starting to take shape, so I ripped out a few rows and starting knitting from the inside of my second skein rather than the outside. That simple shift seems to have taken care of things for me. Alternating skeins and working with variegated yarns can be a bit more challenging and requires more attention, but it's so worth it. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Summer Schedule

Summer schedule :: we will be taking 1 month off this summer to enjoy time with our family. Orders placed on or after July 10 will be processed and shipped the week of August 12th.
Hope you are all enjoying the laid back pace of summer stitching!
Tanis and Chris
I intend to spend my time away from the office focusing on these two guys. When I'm not snuggling with them I plan on doing lots of knitting, pattern writing and other fun creative pursuits that I'll be happy to share here.