Category Archives: kids

NEW Floss & Rock Knitting Dolls

Floss & Rock Knitting Doll Assortment

Floss & Rock Knitting Dolls

Floss & Rock knitting dolls are a great way to keep kids busy and help them develop their fine motor skills. They also make great little gifts! Each doll comes in a pretty box with a mini knitting needle, 6 colours of yarn and instructions. Made of painted wood, ages 6+. Great for use with WorstedDK and Sport weight yarns.

Great yarns for use with knitting dolls:

 

 

PROJECT Big Mike

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Photo: Brandi Simons

Big Mike

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!

Size

  • 14″ (35.5cm) wide and 10″ (25.5cm) tall

Materials

 

PROJECT Norwegian Fir

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Photo: OGE Knitwear Designs

Norwegian Fir

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.

Note

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).

Size

  • 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

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

 

 

 

PROJECT Ondawa (in denim)

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Ondawa (in denim)

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”.

One thing that’s at the top of my mind for Rowan Original Denim is Guernsey or Gansey (a style of fisherman’s sweater) – the denim yarn looks STUNNING knit up in a guernsey. The picture above is a project I found on Ravelry of Michelle Wang’s Ondawa made with Rowan Original Denim – I think it’s a thing of beauty!

Notes

Find our Denim Hacks & reference links (basically, wash it in vinegar to stabilize the colour and knit it a smidge longer).

Size

  • finished bust: 43¼ (47½, 51¾, 56¼, 60½, 65)”
  • Sized to fit approximately 30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52)” bust

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

guernsey.jpg

Photos: janetwynne, Brooklyn Tweed, Amirisu.

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).

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

PROJECT Sweet Pleat

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Sweet Pleat

This adorable little dress is the perfect gift for any little girl. It comes in sizes from 6mohts to 12 years, and is made with Quince & Co Kestrel (ON SALE NOW), which is nice and cool for warmer weather and is of course machine washable.

Size

To fit: 6(12, 18) months and  2(4, 6, 8, 10, 12) years

Materials

  • Quince & Co Kestrel: 3 to 7 skeins  (see pattern for details)
  • 5.5mm/US9 needles (see pattern for details)
  • Tapestry/darning needle
  • Pattern

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

Sweet Pleat COMBO

FINISHED Teacher Gift

Lucy hat portait

My niece finished her second project last week and I felt like sharing. I learned a few things about indoctrinating kids into knitting, so I’m sharing. It’s easy enough to teach a kid how to knit, but keeping them knitting is an endeavour. Honestly, I don’t blame them, there is a lot of fun playing to be done when you’re a kid. On the other hand, my niece REALLY wants to become a better knitter, and you can’t do that without practice.

So here’s my story …. at the beginning of the school year she wanted to make a hat for her teacher, so I found an easy, basic pattern for her (something knit flat on super bulky yarn and big needles) and brought home some super bulky yarn in a colour her teacher would like, plus a jaunty fur pompom. You know how it goes, best-laid plans ….. first off, all she wanted to do was play with the pompom, it was very distracting. I don’t think she was into the colour I chose (a beautiful eggplant), and the entire concept of consulting a pattern was beyond her. Also, the longer needles required for making a hat flat were awkward and hard for her to use.

lucy hat COMBO

After several months of her project languishing, I threw in the towel and cast on some stitches in a more kid-friendly colour, and on shorter needles. I figured I’d just get her making *something*, maybe a neck warmer. But she’s a stubborn kid and insisted she wanted to make a hat for her teacher. It was hat or bust! So I went along with it, told her we could make it into a hat, and in the end McGyvered into a garment. Below is how the process unfolded (I apologize for the sad illustrations, I didn’t have the right technology with me when I made them).

Lucy Hat schematic 1.png

1. Knit a Long Rectangle

I cast on as many stitches as can comfortably fit on a 10″ straight needles. Next, I got the  kid to knit a rectangle-ish shape that fits around the circumference of a head (all in garter stitch). I found that she really go into knitting while listening to children’s books we downloaded through our public library.

I fixed all the dropped stitches that would unravel, but I did not mend any yarn overs or extra stitches added. I wanted her to get a feel for her progress. She started with a section of light blue, then changed to apple green, and finally light pink – the design concept was hers. Extra stitches were added, especially in the final section, so our rectangle was a bit trapezoidal.

Lucy hat schematic 2

2. Seaming

I seamed the cast on edge to the cast off edge. I offered her this job, but in true knitterly fashion, she wasn’t into it. The edges weren’t the same length and didn’t match, so I lined up one side and let the extra fabric hang down the other side.

Lucy hat schematic 3

3. Pick-up The Crown

Our rectangle was not tall enough to pull in the top of the hat, and the kid was adamant that she wanted a single pompom on top, and wasn’t going in for a flat-topped hat. With double pointed needles, I picked up about 40 stitches around the circumference of the non-wonky edge. I  immediately decreased for the crown, decreasing 4 stitches on every round until I only had about 8 stitches left. I broke the yarn, pulled it through the remaining stitches, and secured it on the inside of the hat. I wove in all the ends (I could have gotten her to do this but bedtime was creeping up fast and she REALLY wanted to give it to her teacher the next day). What can I say, I’m a sucker.

 

Lucy hat schematic 4.png

4. Styling and Art Direction (aka. Smoke & Mirrors)

I sewed a button on the side (I tried to teach her how to do it, but getting buttons to the right height for knitwear is a tricky endeavour for the best of us, and making the hat look good was really important to the kid, so she tried and then passed it off to me. (BTW, If you have a good button sewing for knitwear hack please share it with me! I always have a hard time making a post for the flat button.) I flipped the extra fabric up and buttoned it down, turning it into a jaunty design feature. Lastly, I sewed down the pompom.

 

Lucy Hat COMBO 2

5. Document the Occasion

Finally, I took pictures. It was a very multifaceted design, so we did an impromptu photo shoot to mark the big event. She proudly wrapped up her gift, and we got ready for bed, both of us extremely proud.

Did her teacher like it? I don’t know, but I expect it’s the most interesting gift she will receive in her career as a teacher. Did I mention that the day she gave this super wasm hat to her teacher it was super, uncomfortably hot outside? Yeah, it was a very timely gift. Anyway, her BFF at school was totally into the hat and has commissioned one in pink, with a purple pompom. Only time will tell if the aesthetic will trickle down to the runways of Europe …..

What I Gleaned

Did I learn anything? You bet:

  1. Kids gonna be kids – just go with it. If you want to get a kid into knitting, do it in kid colours.
  2. Kids do things differently than adults – just go with it.
  3. Don’t rush to get stuff done before bedtime.
  4. Kids like to knit while listening to audiobooks too!

KNIT HACK Pattern Choices (Bon Bon Toques)

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People often ask me what I am working on …. most of the time the answer is something for the store, and the rest of the time I’m usually fulfilling my self-imposed materteral duties and making something for my niece & nephew. I suppose it would be cheaper & easier to go out & buy them hats & such, but once they ask I have a hard time saying no to such a sincere request. Usually, it’s doll clothes, which I don’t really have an issue making because they get used CONSTANTLY, but this year new snow suits require new hats and neck warmers. The neck warmers are still forthcoming ….

Knit Hack: Pattern Choices

Freebies are nice, but sometimes it’s worth it to pay for a pattern. I chose to pay for the Bon Bon Toque by Tin Can Knits for a few reasons:

Reliability

Tin Can Knits patterns are reliable, and I didn’t want to have to tinker with a pattern too much. If there’s too much ripping back and restarting I find I don’t finish the project, especially when it’s a project I don’t find particularly inspiring.

Size Range

Tin Can Knits patterns generally provide you with a broad range of sizes, from baby to adult large. This really helps me with sizing for two different sized kids, especially if my tension is tighter and I need to go up a size to make the finished garment fit properly (which it was, and I did). Plus, if their parents want matching hats I can make those up without the exertion of having to modify a children’s pattern.

Re-Useability

The pattern is a classic look, and I can and may use it again. When you make something for a kid you never know if they are going to get really attached to it and want you to make it again 1. when they grow out of it,  2. when they lose it,  3. want it in another color, or all of the preceding. I try to make my self-imposed materteral duties as easy as possible to fulfill. The style also isn’t gendered, I can use it for both men and women, boys and girls.

Skill Level

Tin Can Knits patterns don’t tend to be too challenging to knit. They manage to keep things interesting without making you jump through hoops. The cable repeat in this pattern was simple and predictable, I didn’t have to refer to the instructions for every row, there wasn’t a complicated chart to follow.

Bon Bon Toque

I used Cascade 220 Superwash for this round of hats; I wanted a yarn that was machine washable, not too expensive, had a bit of a depth of colour (heathered colours work well for this), came a wide variety of colours to match their jackets, and was soft and comfortable. My tension with the yarn was a bit tighter than called for in the pattern and I didn’t want the textile to be loose, so I went down a needle size and up a size in the pattern (you can see my pattern notes on Ravelry).  I also elongated the ribbing to make it long enough to fold over  – I figured this might make the hat warmer, and give the garment a bit more longevity in the fit department as the kids grow.

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w