Tuesday, 2 September 2014

drool-worthy #12 - "road trip" by tin can knits

old growth
tin can knits has been one of my favourite knitwear designers since i really got back into knitting during my undergrad. consisting of alexa and emily, who are based in vancouver and scotland respectively, they always come up with beautiful, practical, well-fitting designs for the entire family. and since we all know how much i adore knits for the wee ones, and how i'm a weirdo who has dreamed about creating matching spawn-and-me outfits, it's no surprise that my latest drool-worthy (after a ridiculously long absence) is their latest collection, road trip, which includes 14 designs inspired by the open road.

apple pie.
i think maybe part of why i love this collection as well is because all the designs make me think of camping in the autumn. which is my favourite time to camp, or do anything really. it's the most beautiful time to wander canadian woods. and then come home to comforting things like the scent of fresh apple pie loaded with cinnamon. i perfected an apple pie recipe before going gluten-free, using fresh valley apples from the apple lady at the old market in halifax. since leaving nova scotia, i haven't had much chance to try out a gluten-free version, but i'm thinking that maybe that needs to change this fall. i just need to hunt down a good source of baking apples…maybe our crabapple tree will be nice to me?

hello, family! seriously, all sizes of hands need cozy handshoes. it's just a bonus when everyone has matching ones. too freaking adorable.

there are four lovely sweaters in this collection (including a steeked one! eek!), but one of the pieces that caught my eye right away was this lovely shawl. maybe (probably) because i knit all of the shawls, or at least try to. it's just so pretty and perfect and wonderful. and gives lovely inspiration to me for fashion show looks. something about that fringe...

grayling. and all the best things about this gorgeous country. my travelling feet are itchy again…

the collection is available for pre-order now, with a couple of the patterns already available. you save a couple bucks with the pre-order, so i'd certainly be an advocate of jumping on that particular train...

Monday, 1 September 2014

playing catch-up

i've been playing catch-up on a number of projects since returning from red clay. it's been a couple of weeks now, and in some ways, i feel like my time in the woods was a lifetime ago. while i was there, it felt like a lifetime passed too. time is a funny, slippery construct. it's a bit arbitrary at times. anyway, one side effect of being in the woods has been a sense of restlessness and constant bursts of creativity. it's wonderful, although sometimes a bit overwhelming just in terms of being able to focus with so many projects running around in my head.

i finally finished off this tiny gramps sweater for my cousin's new baby. this is the second gramps i've made, and i just love the pattern. it's the perfect gender-neutral design with the most adorable little details. pockets and elbow patches and buttons and shawl collars! in miniature! i can barely stand it. i love knitting tiny things for babies and toddlers. everything always turns out adorably just because of the size and scale. (you can see a pic of me cradling the li'l bean on instagram.) my dear friend also sent me a pic a couple of days ago of her wee yogini wearing the hat that i knit! babies in handknits, folks. they're my kryptonite. 

i started working on more designs for the fashion show last week, with help from my kids at camp, and realized pretty quickly that i need to start organizing all those plans a bit better. so i've pulled out an old sketchbook to make separate pages for each design, to be added to as things get sorted out. they're all at very different stages of progress, so i think that this method will be helpful for me to keep an eye on what pieces i'm feeling stronger about or, alternately, that i need to buckle down and work on.

the focus on this is awful. i think it's a combo of my lack of photography skills, the late day light, and the yarn's sparkle.

speaking of the fashion show, i have a whole bunch of wips on the go, and an absolutely ridiculous number in the queue ready to get popped onto needles. first to be finished will be the larger charcoal and green piece, which is my test knit for holli yeoh and sweetgeorgia yarns' tempest knit collection. thank goodness it's a worsted weight piece. the fiery bundle is my third shawl from the pattern i'm set to release next. i absolutely love this design, and while i was home in halifax, i found the most perfect yarn at the loop for one of the fashion show looks - yvieknits' sparkly sock (i can't find the label, so i'm going to call the colourway "fireball" until yvonne corrects me ha). the hand-wound ball is for the surprise knit that i'll be casting on as soon as the prior two are finished. expect a pattern from that within the next two months. and i still totally haven't cast on for my #sskal yet. oops. i did very little knitting at red clay, which was kind of wonderful since it was a lovely experience to not feel like my fingers needed to constantly be doing something, but it does mean that i am now back to working full-time and with a full sweater in this month's queue on top of three shawls, a hat, and two or three pairs of handshoes, with three of those items also requiring design work. oh well, it'll happen somehow. or it won't, and that will be okay too. 

the pattern i'm basing the wedding quilt off of. except i've decided to do it sans pattern. because i'm ridiculous.
the wedding is coming up! not mine, obviously. my friends'. which means i need to get a move on with their gift quilt. i pre-washed all the fabric so that any shrinkage is sorted out before i start sewing. i also picked up a new iron (not expensive, but the irons at home are at least thirty years old and a pain in the ass to clean, plus i figured it'd be smart to get one for the new house since that's where i'll be doing my sewing). so there ya go! now i just need to cut out the pieces, sew the top together, get the batting, and actually quilt the whole thing. by machine, not by hand. obviously. although i do love a good hand-stitch session.

finally, i made wee care packages for the folks who contributed to my fundraising campaign to get to white rabbit. more on those in another post, but i'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out. those postcards all feature photos from my time at red clay. the magic of cardstock and a decent printer! although they'd also be pretty awesome with linocut or stamping or screenprinting too…all of the ideas.

update: since i first wrote this post (days ago, but starting my new job and finishing off my summer contract has proven to be way more time-consuming/exhausting than you'd ever expect, in the loveliest of ways), i finished off the test knit. holli will be launching the book in vancouver at the beginning of october, so i'll have a proper post about the garment at that point. rest assured, tempest knits will be one of your favourite new collections!