I’m sorry I haven’t written a proper post in a bit, I’ve been tied up with helping you guys in the store, humidity and life. Luckily, life works for us, and gives us little breaks where we can breathe, and contemplate, and write inspiring things!
I wanted to thank those of you who write, call, and stop by to tell me how appreciative you are – it means the world to me, and I’m very grateful for your feedback, it keeps me going! It’s the most rewarding thing in the word to know that I’m helping and inspiring you. It also helps me know that I’m on the right track, and when it’s time to make a change – both of which are incredibly valuable.
Thank you for connecting with me, it helps me connect with you. ~ Haley
First Winter Blanket
This pattern popped up on Ravelry last week and I think it’s absolutely brilliant in its simplicity. It’s a baby blanket that turns into a bunting – genius! It uses 3 skeins of one of my favourite yarns, Malabrigo Rios, an incredibly soft, hand dyed machine washable merino wool from Uruguay. The knitting is pretty basic, just garter stitch and seed stitch, so it’s accessible to knitters of all skill levels. The pattern is FREE, so Yay!
Plus, the manufacturer, Malabrigo Yarns, is committed to employing women who lack job opportunities, ecological sustainability and ethical animal husbandry. These things are important, and while it may sound kooky, I increasingly think that all the parts of the manufacturing process end up *in* the product. Trendy isn’t enough for me – I want more, I want JOY.
Does anything say Canada to Canadians more than the iconic Hudson Bay Blanket? It’s simple design is timeless and a hand-knit version would make for a super-special baby gift. The pattern is beginner friendly (it’s just straight knitting), and makes a great low-brain activity, summer project. And it’s FREE, so that’s a bonus too!
The Hudson Bay Inspired Baby Blanket is made with worsted weight yarn, so you’ve got several great options to choose from! I’ve colour combined and art-directed the colours, so you don’t have to worry about which shades match and balance together – I’ve got you covered! Working with the palates available from each yarn line, I tired to create as many combinations that looked good as possible. I also tried to go for different aesthetics, the classics are closest to the iconic blankets sold by the Hudson Bay Company, and feature clearer, brighter colours. The subdued combos are a more modern, grown-up take on the hues, and are darker.
Cascade 220 Superwash is an affordably priced, machine washable Peruvian wool yarn. It’s soft enough for baby garments and blankets, knits easily, and has been a staple around here for a LONG time. If you aren’t into synthetics this is a great choice!
classic colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 251 Evergreen, 809 Really Red, 877 Golden, 1924 Midnight Heather
slightly darker colours: six skeins of 817 Aran, and one skein each of 1950 Hunter Green, 893 Ruby, 877 Golden, 854 Navy.
Berroco Vintage is a super soft, machine washable blend of wool, acrylic and nylon. It’s easy on the hands and the pocketbook, and is another very popular choice for babies and kids. This yarn is also a longstanding resident around here.
classic colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5152 Mistletoe, 5151 Cardinal, 5121 Sunny, 51182 Indigo Heather.
somewhat subdued colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5193 Yukon Green, 51181 Ruby Heather, 5127 Butternut, 51182 Indigo Heather.
grown-up heathered colours: six skeins of 5101 Mochi, and one skein each of 5177 Douglas Fir Heather, 5181 Black Currant Heather, 5192 Chana Dal Heather, 51182 Indigo Heather.
Mallory finished our Chevron Baby Blanket made with Urth Uneek Worsted and it’s just a beautiful as I thought it would be. Our turned out a bit smaller than expected, but we only used 2 skeins of yarn. I’ve done the math and adjusted the number for larger sizes for you, including suggestions for the yarn required. Urth Uneek Worsted is a really special yarn – it’s a gorgeous, hand-painted, self-striping, machine washable super-soft merino wool, and their colourways absolutely GLOW with life.
The pattern is straightforward (and free), and the yarn is soft and stunning, so I don’t think you can go wrong with this project.
If you are looking for a similar look but can’t handle the price-tag, try using Berroco Comfort Print. It’s soft, machine washable, self-striping, costs a third of the price, and the yardage is the same as the Urth Uneek Worsted. If you go with this option be sure to choose the colours that are labelled ‘stripes’ – it also comes in variegated colours.
I highly suggest you use stitch markers to demark the pattern repeats, it will make so much easier and hep you keep track of where you are in the row.
I also suggest putting in a life-line every now and again, just in case you make a mistake and have to rip a few rows back.
As noted above, our project came out small, so I’ve laid-out the numbers for larger sizes. I also thought it would make a gorgeous and easy wrap, so I included the numbers for that, as well as for a larger throw blanket.
Our blanket came out 24”(61cm) wide by 28.5″(72cm) long after blocking. The pattern is written for one size, but based on our tension I’ve drafted some suggestions for larger sizes, a wrap and a throw blanket.
Baby Blanket – 24”(61cm) wide by 28.5″(72cm) long: cast on 121 sts
Baby Blanket – 28.5”(72cm) wide x 34”(86cm) long: cast on 145 sts
Baby Blanket – 33”(84cm) wide x 39”(99cm) long: cast on 169 sts
Baby Blanket – 37.5”(95cm) wide x 45”(114cm) long: cast on 193 sts
Wrap/Shawl – 19.5”(49.5cm) wide x 60”(152cm) long (or longer): cast on 97 sts
Throw Blanket – 51″(129cm) wide x 60″(152cm) long: cast on 265 sts
Some yarns have so much potential, but people have a hard time visualizing what they can be … that’s ok, I’ve got the vision, it’s my job to show you which caterpillars will become the prettiest butterflies! When I first came across Urth’s line of self-striping yarns my brain said SO MUCH YES, and a year down the line and my virtue is still easy when it comes to them. The only problem is that you can’t see the stripes in the skeins, so the magic is kind of hidden until they’re knitted. Enter store samples ….. the Urth Uneek Worsted is especially suitable for babies and kids – it’s machine washable, crazy soft, colourful, and just the right thickness. That said, we’ve been experimenting with baby blankets ….
Chevron Baby Blanket
I knew the marvellous striping in the Urth Uneek Worsted would be perfect for a chevron pattern – it’s so evocative of Missoni chevron stripe patterns, but without all the work of constantly changing colours or weaving in yucky ends. This pattern is worked in stocking stitch, so the yarn is actually going pretty far and I think it will only need 3 skeins (less knitting, less money, it’s all good).
The pattern is free (rarely a bad thing), and I think the chevrons are suitable for an intermediate-beginner to advanced-beginner skill level. Definitely, use stitch markers to mark out to your pattern repeats, it will make your life SO MUCH EASIER!
This isn’t actually our project, it belongs to my good friend Jo, but I wanted to show you how pretty it is (plus I played cupid pairing up the pattern and yarn, so I figure I get some credit). The stitch pattern is dead easy, but it creates a super impressive prismatic effect. I know Jo’s niece will love anything Jo makes for her, but I doubt she has any idea of the gorgeous baby shower-gift that’s coming her way! In fact, I liked it so much that we’re making one for the store in colour 4010 (that’s the same colourway Rosie was using the make her Adrift Cardigan and we used for our Stripe It Cowl).
The free pattern is worked in garter stitch, which uses up more yarn than stocking stitch, and Jo’s tension tends to run tight, so I think her blanket will require 4 skeins. Liane is making our sample, and her tension tends to be loose so we might be able to get away with 3 skeins. It’s a very simple knit, and definitely beginner friendly (you only need to know how to knit and purl in the same row). If you have a hard time ‘reading’ your stitches you’ll want to use Stitch Markers to separate your knits from your purls.
I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! to the many people who send me compliments and thank me. Sometimes I don’t get a chance to reply because the note comes in when I’m babysitting my niece & nephew or re-ordering needles or helping someone with dropped stitches, and then a week has gone by and the nice feeling is still there but my sieve of a mind has lost the memory. Anyway, It’s nice to sell things and pay my bills ‘n stuff, but it means a lot to know that I help people. The validation that my unique view is valued doesn’t hurt, but my own ego and insecurities aside, it’s helping you that makes what I do really, really satisfying and keeps me in this industry. When I grow, you grow … and when you grow, I grow. All relationships run both ways – we’re in it together.
I came across this gorgeous project by Prunus and I thought I’d share and show you how beautiful a couple of skeins of variegated yarn can look when they’re artfully blended together. This version is made with 2 colours of Manos Alergria (the colours they chose blend well together because they both contain grey and cream). This pattern is for children, but if you want an adult size go HERE.
12m (2, 4, 6) (8, 10, 12) years
Manos Alergria: 1(1, 2, 2) (2, 2, 2) skeins (1 in each of 2 or more colours) ON SALE TO SEPT 6!
We’re clearing out some summer yarns that we aren’t bringing back, so grab it on sale before it’s gone!
CLEARANCE 30% OFF DMC Natura XL
DMC Natura XL is a bulky weight, machine washable 100% cotton yarn, and is especially great for baby & kid projects, fast sweaters, blankets pillows and afghans, as well as crocheted baskets and other home decor projects.
We just finished a VERY quick & satisfying summer quickie, our Instant Gratification Cardi! We used a thick & quick cotton, DMC Natura XL, and 8mm/US11 needles – can’t go wrong with big needles! Also, because the yarn is thicker than the one the pattern was originally conceived with, we went down about 4″ in size (we made the 34″ size and got a 38″ size). If you want the sleeves longer, definitely buy an extra skein of yarn.
I think my client Adrienne just introduced me to my soul mate, Big Mike. Big Mike hails from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, and we’re going to have to continue to get to know each other better before we commit (I have to acquire the book), but I really feel like he’s the ‘one’. It;s no surprise that I’d fall hard for him, I’ve always felt pretty sentimental about Claes Oldenberg’s ‘Floor Burger’, it’s one of my must-sees on every visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’ll probably use Berroco Vintage Chunky, it’s the right tension and it wears well, and that’s important because this dude is gonna received a LOT of hugs!
I love the combination of simplicity and detail in this little cardie. It makes a great little baby gift made with Cascade Ultra Pima (ON SALE NOW), a silky, soft and machine washable cotton yarn. (Seriously, Ultra Pima is so soft and comfortable that it’s the recommended yarn for Knitted Knockers.) It also won’t break the bank so your gift will impress without stress. The pattern is a seamless, top-down knit, a simple construction with a little bit of interest in the lace detail to keep things interesting.
Just one small caveat: I’ve listed the yarn amounts below based on the pattern specs, but I have a *feeling* that the baby sizes are a bit too generous. Trolling through the completed projects on Ravelry, it seems like 3 to 6 mos & 6 to 12 mos should require 2 skeins, and 12 to 18mos should be 3 skeins. The pattern is heavy on garter stitch, which sucks up yarn, so if you are a tight knitter (which also consumes extra yarn) I would lean towards the conservative side and go with the buffer yarn. If you’re on the average or looser side of the spectrum you might not need all the yarn the pattern is suggesting. I think the yardage amounts for the larger sizes might be ok. If you don’t enjoy playing yarn chicken, go with the recommended amount below -the worst thing that can happen is you might have extra yarn for a matching hat (and moms always tell me that they LOVE receiving baby hats and use them constantly).
0 to 3 (3 to 6, 6 to 12, 12 to 18) months, 2 to 3 (4 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to 9) years
My friend Reney is into Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW), and the other day she asked me a common question; What would look good in it? This is a question I both dread and adore. The dread comes on first because I usually need time to think about things and give a thoughtful answer. Then, once I’ve had some time to process, comes the love; I get to trot out all the different ideas and examples, it’s a big creative game of research and “compare and contrast”.
Other patterns that I think would look amazing made with denim are Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood and Void by Melanie Berg (the denim Guernsey Wrap on the left is made by janetwynne).
Guernesy looks especially good on men (maybe because they were created for them): above are Bowline by Tin Can Knits (you should knit with 4mm/US6 needles and make one size larger) and Beagle by Norah Gaughan.
Photos: Tin Can Knits, jennyinmaine.
Flax is a simple top-down, seam-free FREEBIE from Tin Can Knits that would look awesome made with Rowan Original Denim for anybody at any age to be worn in any season!