Quick Questions with Tin Can Knits

Are you joining in with our latest make along? Over on our Facebook make along group lots of you have cast on the Love Note sweater by Tin Can Knits. To celebrate our latest make along we interviewed the designers behind this fabulous lace top-down sweater - Tin Can Knits.

Love Note jumper by Tin Can Knits
When did you learn to knit? What was the first thing you made?
I learned to knit when I was in high school, and the first thing I made was a garter stitch scarf. It had blocks of colour, different blues, and it started out VERY wobbly, but by the end of my 6 foot scarf it started to straighten out.

When did you start designing? Did you both live on the same continent at that point?
Emily and I met working at our local yarn shop. We were only there together for a brief time. I was designing some simple things, and Emliy (of course) started out by designing lace shawls. Emily said 'maybe we should do a pattern together' and, indicative of our partnership, I said 'No, let's do a book!'. And that was our first book, 9 Months of Knitting.

Where did the idea of Tin Can Knits come from?
You offer such a fantastic resource for knitters worldwide. It’s fab! It's definitely evolved over time! Designing in our baby-to-big size range seemed like a small decision at the time, but it's become one of our signatures. We also always remember the importance of resources from our yarn shop days. Folks need a place to go to find trusted information, and yarn shop employees need somewhere to send people when the shop isn't open!

Many of us will be taking on the challenge of our first ever top down sweater are there any tips you can offer to a novice top down knitter?
There is something so very delightful about wearing a sweater you've made! Try it on as you go, and if there's anything you're not sure about you can even block it midway to get a real feel for it. Just know that even if things aren't PERFECTLY as you intended them, it's really just a question of styling, and you can proudly answer 'I made it!' when someone asks where you got your fabulous sweater.

Which is your favourite Tin Can Knits pattern?
My very favourite is the Cartography pattern. I LOVE tiny repeat colourwork patterns. They are simple, but not too simple, and the sweater definitely has a high 'wow' factor, even though it's not very difficult.

Cartography jumper by Tin Can Knits

Cartography jumper by Tin Can Knits
Browsing your extensive pattern range I can see that you include texture, lace and colourwork in your designs. If you had to choose, which would you say is your favourite to knit - cable, lace or colourwork?
This is a tough one. We've been loving colourwork for the last few years, since the release of Strange Brew. I thought we'd move on a bit, but we keep coming back to it!

Strange Brew by Tin Can Knits
Strange Brew by Tin Can Knits

As designers, do you still get the time to simply knit for fun?
I've always been a 'knit for fun' gal. I like to keep my hands busy, and I love knitting for my kiddos. Emily has not always felt this way, but I've seen some soothing knitting come into her life in the past few years. She's particularly enamored of spinning, and has knit herself and her kids some amazing handspun sweaters too.

What was the last thing you knitted that wasn’t one of your own patterns?
It's so rare to knit something that isn't one of our patterns, even though I really admire so many great designers. I think the most recent is the Mermaid Top from Rebecca McKenzie for Emily and the Everygrey sweater from The Petite Knitter for me.

What is your favourite yarn to work with?
This is a TOUGH question. I know Emily's currently loving Gilliat and Ulysses from De Rerum Natura, and I think I'd have to go with Pishkun from The Farmer's Daughter Fibers.

Are you drawn to a similar colour palette when you start a new project? What is your favourite colour?
We always joke that teal is our 'crossover' colour. Emily tends towards orangey reds, golden yellows, and teals. I like yellowy greens, yellows, and teals. So now whenever we are coming up with a palette Emily says 'no teals, we've done too many teals!'

What do you have coming up in 2024? Anything you can share with us?
The main thing we are working on right now is the app. We are so excited about all of the possibilities it offers to make knitting patterns BETTER. But we're also working on a little colourwork, some cables, and some texture patterns too!