TFA is a home-based, independent yarn company created by Tanis Lavallee. Where you'll find up-to-the-minute updates on all the TFA goings on! We specialize in gorgeous tonals & fantastic yardage. We are always working on developing new patterns and are experimenting with new yarn bases all the time!
Today’s Pop Up Shop Update will be a little earlier than usual. I’ll be adding items at 2pm.
The update will include a whole bunch of PureWash DK weight yarn and 12 limited edition TFA Palettes!
These Palettes are in honour of the release of my Wave Rider Shawl pattern. Any of these would make a gorgeous shawl but obviously they are also great for baby blankets, sweaters or whatever other colourful knit you can dream up! Putting these together is very high on the list of my favourite things about my job. Seeing how all of our colours play together, solids and speckles alike, makes my heart sing. Though I like to think that each of our colourways can stand alone, they really shine in perfect little groups of 8 like this. Love love love.
Below is most of the colourways of dk weight yarn we’ll have available (there are a few that didn’t fit into my lovely collage).
That very bottom shot is of our newest colourway Magique and it’s a stunner! It’s almost more than this rainbow loving heart of mine can handle! It’s rainbows layered on top of rainbows and I am HERE for it!
Question: Are you signed up for the TFA newsletter? If so, I’d love to know what you’d like to see there. TFA currently has a Ravelry group, Facebook page, Instagram account, blog and newsletter (sign up at the bottom of our home page). Every time I have news to share (like about a new pattern or Pop Up Shop update) I more or less share the exact same thing over all 5 networks. I’ve stopped Twitter because I never used it and also stopped podcasting for a number of reasons but still - even having cut out 2 platforms, posting the same thing across those 5 feels repetitive. I’d love any thoughts or feedback on what you’d like to see where. Thank you!
Introducing my newest pattern Wave Rider! The pattern is currently on sale on Ravelry for 25% off. No coupon code needed! Sale goes until 11:59pm on Thursday, May 23rd.
For me, creativity is a fluid thing. It ebbs and flows and though it can be hard to stay positive during the low points, I’ve learnt over the years that it’s important to be patient. I lean into the quiet times and prepare myself to ride the waves of creativity as they come. This shawl design came out of one such wave. After a long winter I finally felt my creative juices start to flow and quickly grabbed my favourite palette of colours - colours that always inspire me - and just started knitting. I cast on for this shawl with no plan other than to use a different stitch pattern for each colour. I rode the wave of inspiration from start to finish and am delighted with the results!
Are you a lover of dk weight shawls? Because I definitely am. Of course there will always be room in my wardrobe for fingering weight shawls but after years of knitting I think that I might be at a place where I can admit to myself that dk is my preferred shawl/scarf weight - though I reserve the right to take that back the next time I knit a fingering weight shawl and fall madly in love again!
I used our Turquoise Pop Palette for this little number. It’s the same Palette that I used for my sisters Christmas Camaro and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m not sure that I’ve completely gotten it out of my system (I still want my own Turquoise Pop Camaro!) but Im happy to have used it for another project. Any of our Palettes would make a gorgeous Wave Rider Shawl, I seriously don’t think you can go wrong. I’m in the middle of making up a ton of limited edition Palettes that I will be adding to the shop as soon as I’ve got them ready. Stay tuned!
Wave Rider will always be near and dear to me because it really helped to pull me out of a funk. Knitting is powerful!
Willow has a new sun hat and it’s amazing! Last week I asked Instagram for toddler sun hat patterns to sew and there were two patterns that were recommended on repeat: The Purl Soho Baby Sunbonnet and the Reversible Bucket Hat by Oliver & S. Willow lived in a Sunbonnet last summer and I think it’s a gorgeous pattern for young babies. This summer Willow is running around and playing on her own and she needs coverage on the back of her neck (her hair isn’t long enough to cover the back of her neck). So the bucket hat it is! Here’s the thing, you can totally buy great versions of this style of hat. We were given a really nice one from the brand Puffin Gear that I thought I had lost. I was going to re-purchase it until I saw that they are $50! Could I find a cheaper hat that would do the trick? Probably yes. But that got the wheels turning. So many baby hats are not really my style. Since they are accessories the motto seems to be the crazier the print the better. If I’m going to pony up $50 for a bucket hat I’d better LOVE it! As it turns out I found our Puffin Hat (thank goodness!) but, I still wanted to make a hat now that I had gotten the urge. I rummaged through my fabric stash and picked a few faves and then spent one glorious Sunday afternoon over at my mom’s house making this hat with her.
I made the size small which is perfect for my 15 month old. We added ties because without them there is a 0% chance that it would stay on her head for more than 30 seconds. We added grommets to make the ties work on either side and I happen to love how professional the grommets make it look! You just pull the ties through the grommets so when she’s wearing it with the solid coloured side out you’ve got this little tie detail on either side that I think looks really neat.
Honestly, I don’t think that I could like this hat any more. It’s so good! Mom is already rooting through the stash to pick fabrics to make hats for the other grandkids.
The lovely and talented Julie Asselin and her husband JF organize a very unique and fun event every year (this is the 4th year running) where they invite their friends and fellow fiber enthusiasts to join them to:
Meet new friends, eat cheese and shop for yarn and knitting goodies at our thoughtfully curated marketplace.
Doesn’t that sound just heavenly? I’ve wanted to go every year but babies and schedules have kept me away until now. This year Chris and I are happy to be included as one of the vendors setting up a table in the marketplace and I look forward to seeing many of you in person. I’ll be the one knitting and eating copious amounts of cheese. I mean really, does it get any better?
It has been years since we have done a show and I am really excited to get back out there.
Chris and I circa 2010
I was digging through the archives looking for a photo of Chris and I at a show and I found this beauty. I wish it was higher resolution! It’s such a gem from almost a decade ago. We’re so young! Everything has changed and nothing has changed. Ain’t life grand?
Yesterday I blogged a preview of tonight’s Pop Up Shop Update and mentioned that included in the offerings is a brand new TFA base: Mohair! I haven’t named it anything more clever than that because clever names just aren’t my style apparently, but I swear you will look very clever if you knit a lovely item with our new lace weight mohair yarn. :)
Before we go any further, here are a few yarn details you might be interested in.
TFA MOHAIR, The Details: •72% Kid Mohair, 28% Silk
• 50g (1.76oz) = 420m (459yds)
• gauge: lace weight
• needle: varies per project
• hand wash, lay flat to dry.
• $34 a skein
Since deciding to carry a mohair base I’ve been scouring Ravelry for pattern inspiration and I have some thoughts: The first is that, though lovely on it’s own, it’s far more approachable when held together with a strand of something else. Knitting with lace weight mohair can be daunting. But held with a strand of fingering weight merino and suddenly you’re knitting a dk weight sweater with the world’s most heavenly halo ever and that’s totally doable. I’ve done this in the past and am currently working on a sweater holding PureWash Fingering together with a strand of lace weight mohair and it is pure heaven. You can use this approach for just about any pattern really. I have found that adding a strand of mohair tends to increase my gauge by 1 level, so fingering weight becomes dk, dk becomes worsted, worsted becomes aran… you get the idea.
There are a few designers who have loads of patterns that specifically call for this double strand technique, Petite Knits is well known for it. I’m currently knitting her No Frills sweater and it is life changing! I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Espace Tricot who have been adding a strand of mohair to so many different projects over the years I’ve lost count! A simple hat knit with a strand of mohair and merino feels so elevated. When picking colours to pair together in this style you can’t go wrong with tonal shades. I would probably advise against anything too high contrast as you’ll get a marled affect on top of the added halo and it could end up looking quite busy. It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but I find the look really successful when the colours paired give the halo without too much marling. Make sense?
The other approach to mohair garments that I love to see is when it’s worked in stripes with a heavier weight yarn like in Joji Locatelli’s Elton cardigan. It’s a beautifully striking look. But then again, used all on it’s own in the world’s lightest, airiest garment and is incredibly dreamy, as long as you’ve got the stamina for a lace weight garment! Lastly, this version of the Rainbow Solo sweater (above centre) isn’t on Ravelry but I am crazy about it and it may very well inspire my next mohair sweater project!
Shawls, scarves and cowls are obvious choices for some mohair glam because who wouldn’t want to cozy up with super soft fabric around their neck? Chevrons seem to be big and so is the striping a fingering weight with a lace weight mohair trend. The juxtaposition of light and airy lace with the denser merino fingering is so appealing.
So, basically, you can’t go wrong! I am no expert on mohair, I’ve only just started experimenting with it more seriously, but I’m happy to see it’s made a comeback. My mom is a lifelong mohair fan and I’m excited to see what she knits with it. What would you knit with TFA mohair?
I’ll be updating the Pop Up Shop with a bunch of new inventory on Thursday night! The goal is to keep the Pop Up Shop regularly stocked with previously hard to find TFA bases and colours. Rather than updating it randomly I’m going to try and keep things organized by updating the inventory on Thursday nights. Not necessarily every Thursday night but if there is an update it will be done on a Thursday. The exact time will likely be between 7:30pm and 8:30pm ET since my kids should be in bed by then and I can sit down and get to work. This week I’m adding 2 new bases and lots of pretty colours!
Ok, so let me tell you a little story about how I realized how much I love our 8-Ply Twist Sock yarn base. A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to sit down and write out my go-to sock patterns - my Ol’ Reliable Top Down Socks and my Trusty Toe Up Socks. Since these are the sock recipes I’ve used for just about all of my basic socks for years I had a ton of already photographed sock FO’s to feature as the imagery in the patterns. The funny thing is that though I had loads of lovely toe up sock pictures I didn’t have nearly as many top down sock pictures to choose from. I wanted the pattern pictures to show off the heel architecture since socks are basically just tubes with heels, the heel is pretty key. So I grabbed my most basic pair of socks and set out to take new photos for the pattern. Such a boring story so far, but bear with me. Here’s where it gets exciting: The best looking pair of socks that I had on hand to photograph are the pair shown above knit in our 8-Ply Twist sock yarn base in the Hummingbird colourway and they are THREE (3) YEARS OLD!!! I have been regularly wearing and washing them for 3 whole years and they still look good enough to appear on the front page of a sock pattern. If that’s not a testament to how good of a sock yarn 8-Ply Twist is, then I don’t know what is.
Obviously once I realized that I made it a priority to dye up a bunch of 8-Ply Twist for the Pop Up Shop STAT! And here it is!
Crystal, Not-So-Epiphany, Stopping Traffic
Purple Punch, Magic Wand, Bouquet
Big Chill, Beach House, Driftwood
Waterlily, Mermaid, Abyss
The selection of colours is pretty fun too. Chris has been working on cleaning up his recipe book and mentioned wanting to re-visit a bunch of old faves so he had carte blanche to dye whatever colours he wanted and I’m quite partial to his choices. I think I’m going to save a skein of Not-So-Epiphany or Big Chill for my next pair of Ol’ Reliable Socks. This base also happens to be one of my favourites for making speckles pop! And don’t let my sock love mislead you into thinking that this yarn is only good for socks - it would also be perfect for sweaters and accessories since it’s really plump, soft and squishy. yeah, I’m kinda crazy for this base, should I replace my Blue Label base with it in my Core Collection?
The next exciting thing we’ll be adding to the Pop Up Shop on Thursday is our very first foray into dyeing mohair! You may have noticed that mohair is having a real moment in the sun right now and I for one am here for it. I know there will be those who are not into it and others who have always been into it and may dislike the fact that it seems rather trendy right now (I hate being “trendy”!) but wherever you fall in the spectrum there is no denying that there is something pretty magical and, dare I say, whimsical about mohair. The halo it lends to a project makes everything look like it’s glowing from within! It’s pure deliciousness.
Chris Grey, Crystal
Chartreuse, Rocket, Moody Mona Lisa
Saffron, Pink Grapefruit, Soft Bloom
Roulette, Garnet, Tartan
I’ll be back in tomorrow with another blog post about mohair featuring a few pattern suggestions. Fun times at the TFA headquarters gang! There is nothing like being surrounded by fluffy textures and pretty colours to put an added pep in your step!
Ravelry pattern page here and original blog post here.
The Adhara Shawl pattern was my first fancy lace design and one that I’m really proud of because of it’s complexity. It’s actually not particularly complicated or difficult to knit, but it was stretch for me design was and that’s always a big deal. It features 2 colourways of fingering weight yarn, the body is worked in stripes in an interesting openwork motif and it’s finished off with a light and airy leafy border.
This design was part of a small collection of four fingering weight neck accessories that Julie Crawford and I collaborated on - the Stella Collection - and that is my favourite thing about this pattern! I don’t collaborate with other designers - or see other knitters - nearly enough. Any time I do I feel a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm for my craft and it’s something that I’d like to do much more of in the future!
If I’m being perfectly honest, this is not my most worn or even my favourite shawl ever… BUT! I LOVE these photos of my sister modelling it! I had a limited window of time to get the photos, my sister was available and even though it was the middle of the day and so sunny (a hard time for photos!) we pulled it off. It was windy and her hair and the shawl were blowing in the breeze and love the effect. I even love the shadows created by the airy lace and bright sun. These photos make me wonder why I don’t wear this shawl more!