TCJ Inspiration Place

SALE: Black Friday - Small Biz Saturday - Cyber Monday ~ click here to comment November 26, 2021 17:32

The Biggest SALE of the Year!
‘Tis the season to give thanks, and by golly, am I ever thankful for all you makers that bling so much joy into my life.  This community, we are building, is so wonderful; you inspire me, and I hope in return, I can inspire you!
Joji & Co.

Save 20% off EVERYTHING
Use coupon code: HAPPY20

 

For orders over $250CAD save 25%
Use coupon code: HAPPY25

 

For orders over $500CAD save 30%
Use coupon code: HAPPY30

And, all TCJ patterns, eBooks, and BOOKLETS are 50% off on Ravelry.  Use coupon code HAPPY50 at checkout.

SHOP PATTERNS


Joji & Co. ~ Click here to comment June 16, 2021 09:26

I am so excited and over the moon to announce TCJ is now an official Joji & Co. retailer!  The third shop to offer these gorgeous bags in Canada, and the first on the West Coast.  What an honor!
Joji & Co. Bags
I have been a long-time fan and customer of all Joji & Co. bags.  The quality, functionality, and style of these unique designs, simply spoke to me day-one and continues to deliver.  I can not express how much it thrills me to be able to offer these amazing treasure, to you makers.
Currently I have selected the bags that are "ready-now" for retailers.  I had the first update earlier this week, premiering the Box bag, Dumpling Bag, and the Pampa Bucket.  Almost everything sold out within the first hour and I am happy to say, more is enroute for the next update!  I have listed the new Dusty Pink Pampas and Metallic pink Hobo Bag which are on their way.
WAYS TO BE IN THE KNOW:
  1. If you want first dibs on any of these products, I suggest you sign up for the 'unavailable, notify me when it's back in stock" email.  This way, as soon as I list the quantities, you will get the email!  
  2. Sign up for the newsletter.  I will always announce an hour beforehand when I am about to make the products available...then set your alarm!
  3. Email me and request a specific bag/item.  If I can get it, I will!

It is super important to know, I can only get limited stock of everything.  If you love something, you should get it.  As much as I will try to restock coveted items, there is no guarantee that it will be back in stock soon, or in the same colors.

You Can Never Have Too Many Bags.....

joji & Co.

catch the latest YouTube Live ~ click here to comment May 29, 2021 16:06

Catch the Knotty Knitty Neighbors YouTube Live shoot the sh*&?t and knit!

Daydreamer Cowl ~ click here to comment May 20, 2021 09:36

Hello Makers! 
The Daydreamer Cowl is finally here, and it is a gift to you all!  After a year-and-a-half of Covid, I thought we could use a little treat!  This pattern is FREE!  You can download it on Ravelry, and a PDF download + a Hardcopy is included with the purchase of the 6-Mini Skein bundles!  
Daydream Cowl
You can knit this pattern with just the mini skeins, but we love it with a splash of sequins. NEW sequin colors are in and there's one or two that match perfectly with the minis!
sequins
bundles & sequins
Here's a little inspiration for color matching, enjoy!
(From left to right, top to bottom)
Sunkissed Fade + Ballet Sequins
Lush Fade + Ballet Sequins
Hanami Fade + Hot Pink Sequins
Graphite Fade + Ecru and/or Black Sequins
Enchanted Fade + Iris and/or Navy Sequins 
Cobbelstone Fade + Tan and/or Ballet Sequins
Botanica Fade + Green Sequins
Voyage Fade + Navy and/or Ecru Sequins

Fibre Love Affair Kicks Off TODAY ~ click here to comment April 24, 2021 09:06

Fibre Love Affair kicks off today with all an extensive vendor lineup!  Over the next two weekends you can enjoy live FREE content from amazing makers!

Join Carmen, mum, and I as we come to you, today, Saturday April 24th, from 4pm PST | 7pm EST for an hour of fun, inspiration, and giveaways!
Meeting ID: 843 9794 0633
Passcode (case sensitive): spring
For complete  vendor lineup and more info, visit fibreloveaffair.ca

Generous giveaways from:

Grocery Girls Makers Spotlight ~ Click here to comment April 15, 2021 12:36 9 Comments

It was such an honor to be the Grocery Girls guest on today Makers Spotlight!  I had so much fun chatting with the gals, we could talk for days!  If you missed the live, the video is now up!
Thank you Grocery Girls for all you do.  Life is hard, you keep it real and make it better xo

Knit City Virtual kicks off today ~ click here to comment April 9, 2021 11:03

Hello Makers, Knit City Virtual kicks off today with a fun knit night hosted by Espace Tricote!  If you haven't purchased your ticket, there's still time.  Click here to register!

Knit City Virtual

Carmen and I will be live showing you new things and giving away a lot of GIVEAWAYS!  Join us on Saturday April 10th, from 11am - noon PST.  
Quick links to the show:
 Meeting ID: 895 9350 7839
Passcode (case sensitive): KnitCity

 

Giveaways from:

Yarnboler

Joji & Co.

Gingersnap

Katia

SweetGeorgia

TCJ

 

For the line up, and to check out past shows, click here.

Hop[e to see you tomorrow! xo

 

 


Vogue Knitting Live: Zoom Marketplace ~ click here to comment March 14, 2021 12:50

Hello Everyone, I have a bunch of online Zoom shows coming up!

The first being, Vogue Knitting Live.  This is a paid event.  You need to register, here.  It costs $3.99US for the entire weekend which gives you access to ALL the amazing vendors!  

VKL vendor badge

Join Carmen and I for an up-beat hour of fun!  We have new and exciting things to show you and we hope to inspire you and make you smile!  And, we have a ton of amazing giveaways!! This show is NOT to be missed!

WHEN: Saturday March 20th & Sunday March 21st.

TIME: Noon - 1 (PST) or 3 - 4pm (PDT).

COST: $3.99US for all vendors: YOU MUST REGISTER 

GIVEAWAYS FROM:

For the full list of all the vendors and times, click here.  Please keep in mind the time zone and make sure you either choose your time zone or convert the EDT standard time zone listed.

-------------------

The second show we will be vending at is KNIT CITY VIRTUAL

Knit City Virtual vendor Badge

WHEN: April 09 - 11 (specific vendor date TBA)

TIME: TBA

COST: Free!

GIVEAWAYS FROM: TBA

More info about this show will be announced over the next few weeks.  To keep up with announcements, sign up for the Knit Social newsletter and visit their website, here.

-----------------------------

The third show I am scheduled to vend is FIBRE LOVE AFFAIR

Fibre Love affair vendor badge

WHEN: April 24 - 25 & May 01 - 02 (specific vendor date TBA)

TIME: TBA

COST: Free!

GIVEAWAYS FROM: TBA

More info about this show will be announced over the next few weeks.  To keep up with announcements, sign up for the Fibre Love Affair newsletter and visit their website, here.

---------

To see our past shows, quick links to what I showed + the giveaways, please check it out here

Happy knitting everyone, I hope to see you on ZOOM SOON!


Knit City Virtual ~ Click here to comment February 6, 2021 09:03

Hello Makers!  Knit City Virtual is happening right now, all weekend long!  

Knit City Virtual

Join me tomorrow, Sunday February 07 from 3 - 4pm PST for my online ZOOM presentation!  It will be a super fun hour full of new designs & knit kits to show and tons of giveaways!!  This is a FREE event! 

WHEN: Sunday, February 07 from 3 - 4pm PST
WHERE (zoom link):https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88160686744?pwd=WnA2UUduaG43ZUtSdzBPZzJIdW5SQT09
PASSWORD (case sensitive): sparkle

GIVEAWAYS FROM

For more information and a line up to all the amazing vendors this weekend, go to knitsocial.ca 

For the the full schedule, click HERE.


Fibre Love Affair 2021 ~ click here to comment January 26, 2021 17:38

Thank you everyone who watched the Fibre Love Affair show on January 16th! For those of you who missed it, here is the video!  Also, here is the link to all the fun things I talked about.  The next show is at Virtual Knit City and my hour is February 07, 2021from 3pm - 4pm PST.  I hope to see you there!!


Fibre Love Affair ~ click here to comment January 15, 2021 11:11

Fibre Love Affair is BACK!  Join me Saturday, January 16th at 5:15pm PST for an hour of show-and-tell, coupon codes, and so many GIVEAWAYS!  Giveaways from Estelle Yarns, SweetGeorgia, Knox Mountain Knits, YarnBoler, Talking Clay, TCJ!  It is an event not to be missed!  I hope to see you there!

Time Zone Converter

Fibre Love Affair

For previous shows, check out the Fibre Love Affair YouTube Channel

For more info check out the Fibre Love Affair website.  There are so many great vendors!

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85658611206?pwd=Q0JZM05ud0xNOE1vSkpJaGNvTVdpdz09

Meeting ID: 856 5861 1206
Passcode: hope

 


Grocery Girls Favorite Things ~ Click Here to Comment December 3, 2020 17:39 7 Comments

The Magpie Darling Hats made it to this years epic Grocery Girls Favorite Things!  Wow, what an honor. Here's the episode, grab your knitting, it's 3 hours of fabulous joyful things!  Enter to win, details in the video.
I have had the privilege to get to know these fine ladies and when they asked me if I wanted to donate to their Favorite Things giveaway, I said YES!  Tracie & Jodi give so much to this community, they do almost weekly YouTube live videos and bring so much joy to our maker life.  This year has been hard, but listening and watching these gals, has made the weeks so much better, don't you think?
Here are the TCJ favorites that you will see
Magpie Darling Hat
WA Magpie Darling Hat
Magpie Darling Hat Galaxy DK
TCJ Needle Gauge
Good Luck on the giveaway! Details in the YouTube post or in the Grocery Girls Ravelry Group. xo

Boho Beats Shawl Pattern ~ click here to comment September 23, 2020 14:53

Today I am excited to share with you my newest design, Boho Beats Shawl! 
Boho Beasts Shawl
This shawl was originally designed for a company that went out of business, but as the saying goes, "when one door closes, another one opens," is no exception to this story; when that company shut its doors, my dream company opened theirs, full embrace with such enthusiasm! And, can you believe, this dream company was Madelinetosh Yarns, one of my favorite yarn dyers, a company I have wanted to work with for years.  Boho Beats Shawl was picked up as part of their MT Design Studio program, highlighting indie designers. What an honor and a dream come true!
You can find Boho Beats Shawl on Ravelry. Enjoy 20% off the pattern on Ravelry from now until September 28th, 2020, 11:59pm PST, no coupon code necessary.
Boho Beats Shawl Boho Beats Shawl

DESCRIPTION: Boho Beats Shawl is a traditional triangle shaped shawl with the perfect balance between new techniques and rhythmical stitches, creating interesting textures and movement with tassel and fringe details. I think you will love wearing it as much as you love making it!

YARN: Mad Tosh Farm Twist
(225 yards/202 meters heavy DK/light worsted) x 3 skeins.
Sample shown in color Mars Rover

NEEDLES: 5 mm (8 US) 24 - 32" Circular Needles. 
LYKKE Needles are in stock. 

For those who prefer to shop here, you can also purchase the pattern from the website:

SHOP BOHO BEATS SHAWL HERE


Simply Soft Hat: best knit kit of the season ~ Click here to comment September 21, 2020 16:13

The newest knit kit to land in the collection, Simply Soft Hat!
Simply Soft Hat knit kits
I am so excited about these kits, not only are they simply soft, they're such a quick and satisfying knit, plus they come in an array of fabulous colors from brights to neutrals! Each kit comes with 1 ball of Katia Concept Cotton-Merino + 1 roll of Katia 50 Shades Mohair + 1 deluxe faux fur pom pom + the pattern. 
Simply Soft Hat knit kit
These make great Holiday gifts. Why not get an early start on your Holiday knitting projects?!
Simply soft hatsimply soft hat
If you want just the pattern, pop on over to Ravelry.

Fibre Love Affair - Virtual Marketplace September 18, 2020 09:13

Hello Everyone,

It's been awhile since my last post.  If you already follow me on IG or FB you know it's been a crazy couple of week, a lot is going on: new kits, new designs and new events!  Before I dive into all the new designs and kits recently out (more blog posts to come), I want to let you know about an exciting virtual marketplace happening the first week in October!  

Fibre Love AffairYoriko from Fibre Art Studio, a dear friend of mine, has taken on this amazing project, bringing the community together and creating Fibre Love Affair.  It's an online marketplace with 23 vendors over two days. Check out the FB page for more info and follow on IG for up-to-date info.  

Fibre Love Affair

I will be hosting a shopping experience where I can connect with you and will show my samples, knit kits, yarns and treasures, I hope you will join me:
WHEN: Saturday, October 03, 2020.
TIME: 3:00 - 4:00PM, PST.
ZOOM LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83755273492
sign up on thefireloveaffair.ca for links & passwords
CHECK TCJ EVENTS PAGE (for updates).

Baby Gradient Blanket Hack ~ Click here to comment July 15, 2020 15:35

Hello Everyone,

Baby Gradient Blanket Colors 

The first pre-orders for the Baby Gradient Blanket knit kits came in this week and they are adorable!  They come with 4 pre-wound skeins of DK weight 50% Cotton/50% Viscose yarn in a little package with the pattern.  It's a great project for a newborn baby, and the perfect kit to have in your stash when you need a baby shower gift.  The original pattern is super cute, fine knit on a 3 mm (US 3) creating a really special blanket; but, I wanted to design a Hack that followed the same look as the original but a faster knit.  Currently I am just over 1/2 way my Hack, and I wanted to start sharing this pattern with you, even though it's not quite done.

These knit kits are pre-orders. Order before August 09th, 2020 and kits will be shipped by August 18th, 2020 SHOP

 Baby Gradient Blanket HACK

BABY GRADIENT BLANKET HACK
By Amanda Kaffka

DESCRIPTION
Each Urth Baby Gradient Blanket kit comes with a beautifully designed blanket.  This is a free hack to the pattern, if you’re looing for a quicker knit and something less fine.  Both patterns will turnout about the same size; the only difference is, this hack is worked on bigger needles with the yarn held double and knit with less stitches than the original pattern.

Also, did you know, for every Urth Baby Gradient Blanket kit, a tree is planted!?

YARN
Urth Baby Gradient Blanket Kit (4 pre-wound skeins of DK weight yarn in a gradient) x 1 set.

  • Color A: White.
  • Color B: Light Marled.
  • Color C: Medium Marled.
  • Color D: Solid Color.

NEEDLES
5.5 mm (US 9) 24”/60cm Circular Needles.

NOTIONS
Tapestry Needle to weave in ends.
Mini scale for weighing yarn as you go for Color Blend instructions.

NOTES

  • Sample shown in color #513 Mulberry.
  • Blanket is worked flat, back-and-forth.
  • Yarn is held double throughout.
  • Follow instructions for Color Blend or Color Block.
  • Blanket has a Garter St border with Stockinette St in the middle.

ABBREVIATIONS
BO: bind off.
CO: cast on.
Garter St: knit on RS & WS.
K: knit.
P: purl.
RS: right side.
St(s): stitch(es).
St-st (Stockinette St): Knit on RS, Purl on WS.
WS: wrong side.

GAUGE
St-st – unblocked
15.5 sts x 22 rows = 4”/10 cm.

St-st – blocked
TBA

BLOCKED MEASUREMENTS
24”/61 cm x 31”/78.75 cm.

INSTRUCTIONS
Using Color A with yarn held double, 5.5 mm (US 9) 24”/60 cm Circular Needles, and using Long Tail Cast On, CO 108 sts.

GARTER BORDER
Knit 5 rows, ending on a WS complete.
Now, follow Color Block or Color Blend instructions.

COLOR BLOCK
Continuing with Color A held double:

Row 1 (RS): K to end.
Row 2 (WS): K5, p to last 5 sts, k5.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until Color A runs out ending on a WS complete.
Break color A and join Color B.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 until Color B runs out ending on a WS complete.
Break color B and join Color C.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 until Color C runs out ending on a WS complete.
Break color C and join Color D.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 until Color D is about 6”/15.25 cm from end of Color C ending on a RS complete.

GARTER BORDER
Continue with color D.
Knit 5 rows.
BO k-wise.

COLOR BLEND
Continuing with Color A held double:

Row 1 (RS): K to end.
Row 2 (WS): K5, p to last 5 sts, k5.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until Color A has 25g left on the ball, ending on a WS complete.
Break 1 strand of Color A and join 1 strand of Color B.
You are now working with 2 strands, 1 of Color A & 1 of Color B.

Continue repeating rows 1 & 2, until Color A runs out, ending on a WS complete.

Join the other strand of Color B.
You are now working with 2 strands of Color B.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until 25g of B is left on the ball, ending with a WS complete.
Break 1 strand of Color B and join 1 strand of Color C.
You are now working with 2 strands, 1 of Color B & 1 of Color C.
Continue repeating rows 1 & 2, until Color B runs out, ending on a WS complete.

Join the other strand of Color C.
You are now working with 2 strands of Color C.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until 25g of C is left on the ball, ending with a WS complete.
Break 1 strand of Color C and join 1 strand of Color D.
You are now working with 2 strands, 1 of Color C & 1 of Color D.
Continue repeating rows 1 & 2, until Color C runs out, ending on a WS complete.

Join the other strand of Color D.
You are now working with 2 strands of Color D.
Repeat rows 1 & 2, until Color D is about 4”/10 cm from end of Color D/C ending on a RS complete.

GARTER BORDER
Continue with color D.
Knit 5 rows.
BO k-wise.

FINISHING
Weave in all ends.
Block to measurements.

Wrap a little baby in your blanket & enjoy!

Baby Gradient Blanket Hack


Stand in the Gap Hat ~ click here to comment June 11, 2020 12:39

Hello Everyone,

This week I released a new FOREVER FREE pattern that is very close to my heart. The Stand in the Gap Hat.  In response to Gaye Glassipe's poignant speech about Standing in the Gap inspired me to examine my own behaviors and to make the conscientious decision to Stand in the Gap, always.  It is something that might put me in uncomfortable positions, but to me, it is worth it.  Last blog I wrote about my promise to always Stand in the Gap and what it means.  Naturally, when I believe in something that needs to be elevated and heard, I design something that represents the movement; and like Enough Hat & Climate Strike Hat I designed the Stand in the Gap Hat.  This hat represents action, not intension.

 Stand in the Gap Hat

I know, for some, knitting right now is a challenge.  I also know that maybe you want to make something that holds meaning, show solidarity and maybe there is someone in your life that needs this message as a reminder.  I hope you are inspired to make one or a few of these hats for yourself, friends, or family members.  You can download Stand in the Gap on Ravelry, here.

 Stand in the Gap Hat DK

The pattern calls for Worsted weight, but I just knit a version in DK (shown above) and it worked out great.  I did go up a size (L, for my head size), and it fits like a dream. Please tag me on IG or FB @amandakaffka or @craftyjackalope #ShareYourTCJ or #StandintheGapHat and I will share your progress and/or FO's

STAND IN THE GAP, ALWAYS.


Stand in the Gap ~ click here to comment June 8, 2020 14:37

BLACK LIVES MATTER. 
I am a white woman of privilege and I am listening and learning.  I support and stand by all Black Lives and here are some ways I am helping: To start, for all the month of June, all Ravelry sales from TCJ PDF, Booklets, and eBooks will be donated to Black Lives Matter. I invite you to build your library of patterns and/or gift a few.  Thank you to all those who help me give back.
Black Lives Matter
I made a promise to ALWAYS “stand in the gap” for all black people, people of color and those who are marginalized. This means speaking up, say something, and do something when I see or hear racism when it’s obvious and even when it is not.
I made a promise to ALWAYS “stand in the gap.” This is not something I will try to do; this is something I will ALWAYS do.
I challenge all my friends, followers, family members, and peers to STAND IN THE GAP, always.
I do not have children, but I have many beautiful and beloved children in my life, these little beings are going to see me and watch me “stand in the gap.” We will have many conversations about what it means to say something, do something, and speak up; what it means to stick up for what is right and to have a friend or strangers back even if you don’t know them, even if it feels uncomfortable.
Black Lives Matter. Stand in the Gap. Vote. I hear you.  I see you.  I stand with you. I promise to always stand in the gap.
ggmadeit explains Stand in the Gap so eloquently in her IG stories, posts, and blog.  The concept is simple and there is no excuse to not be doing this.  She also writes about "how she can't "just knit right now."  It is an important article to read.
#blacklivesmatter #standinthegap #vote

Just checking in ~ click here to comment April 3, 2020 12:11

Hi Everyone, I am just checking in with you all to see how you are doing?  How's the anxiety level?  You know mine is high, but I am thankful every day for my knitting, this community, and for all of your support. 
Magpie Darling Hat sales are up and it thrills me to bits, sequin joy is getting delivered!  Most of these hats are on pre-order.  The first delivery will go out on April 08th, 2020; second delivery April 15th, 2020.  
Magpie Darling Hat WA
If you are wanting the Berger De France Cashmere Magpie Darling Hats, they are currently out of stock; however, I found a local supplier which means they will be replenished SOON.  I will reopen these hats for pre-orders in the next day or so, as soon as I get a definitive delivery date.
Magpie Darling Hat - CASHMERE
And, good news, the Sherpa Magpie Darling Hats will also be restocked by the end of the month. 
Pre-orders are now open in base colors: White, Lt Grey, Black & lt pink!
Magpie Darling Hat - Sherpa
Also thank you to the Grocery Girls for all the mentions as of late.  I am so happy you are sharing your love of the Magpie Hat with all your fans!  And, thank you for also doing weekly live podcasts! Wow, I can't tell you how watching you gals helps me escape a little. 

We're in this together ~ click here to comment March 19, 2020 15:28 2 Comments

Hello Everyone,
Gosh, what a surreal time right now.  I don't know about you but my anxiety level is pretty high right now.  But, I am so thankful for this community and thankful for every stitch I knit, it's what's keeping me grounded. And, WOW, I am so overwhelmed by the comradery in the fiber community, it feels positive and supportive.  
 
My wish is for everyone to keep making.  As we hunker down, taking 'physical' distancing seriously, the yarn, the fibers, the colors and the act of creating, knitting, spinning, weaving, sewing, felting...anything,  all become great tools for the wellbeing of our mental health. Some people horde TP, I horde YARN! hahaha...no joke.
 Magpie Darling Hat
And, if I can suggest a project or two that will guarantee to bring light, joy, and sparkle into your life, it is knitting with SEQUINS!  Consider casting on a Magpie Darling Hat, Scarf, Bulky Beanie, or a Grandes Manches Pullover or Cardi. Consider getting a kit for yourself and for a friend.  
SALE
There is now a SALE section in the shop.  Use coupon code EXTRA10 at checkout for an additional 10% off sale items.  Coupon expires on March 31, 2020, 11:59 PST.
 Staying connected
Also, if you can keep connected, it will help get you through: like a lap cat, Face Timing with a friend, or watching silly things on YouTube (my favorite: The Grocery Girls).
 
And, one more thing.  Your health is important to me.  I am a small business of one-two people, for now, the online shop remains open! Please note, I am constantly sanitizing my workspace (tabletops, keyboards, writing tools, to name a few) and all orders are packaged wearing gloves.  
 Keeping it clean
Take care Everyone and please, feel free to drop me a line anytime.  I am here for you, we are all in this together! xo

ChiaoGoo Interchangeables ~ click here to comment February 5, 2020 08:53

ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles

ChiaoGoo knitting needles, have you heard about them?  Have you tried them? Yes and yes! A year or two ago I heard about ChiaoGoo's as the go-to needles for sock knitting, known for their super flexible cable and wicked point.  Not being a sock knitter and being a dedicated LYKKE user, it took me some time to actually try out these new needles everyone seemed to be talking about.  And, let me say, when I tried them, I loved them!

Bamboo Interchangeable ChiaoGoo

I am a huge fan of Interchangeable knitting needle sets.  To have my needles all compact in one kit is everything; I know where they are, they have a place and because I take my knitting everywhere, having my needles organized, tidy and all in one place is a no brainer. Although I love the look of the LYKKE case, ChiaGoo's case is a bit smaller and I like the soft exterior.  But case aside, I love these needles!!!  The needle points are spectacular, the nylon cables are fabulous and flexible, and my favorite go-set right now is the Complete Bamboo 4" set. Unlike the short LYKKE tips, I feel like the ChiaoGoo 4" are long enough to use for all projects, not just for hats or cowls.  I use them for literally, everything: top-down sweaters, flat projects, sleeves, and hats. etc...

Twist

OK, let me step back a bit, as a consumer, it might be frustrating to get on board with a new interchangeable set; you just fell in love with LYKKE, Knit Picks, Dreamz or Addi and not only did you invest in one of those, now you have another choice?  I get it.  Please know, I would never make false claims about a product and I would never sell a product that I have not tired, let alone not like.  Over the last year, I have used both the ChiaoGoo metal AND bamboo 4" AND 5" sets. I am confident to say, I recommend all of them.  If you always knit with metal, you will love the Twist Red Lace set; if you typically work on wood, you will love the Bamboo set.  Also, it is interesting to note, in general, I do not love bamboo needles.  I typically find them almost hollow-feeling and they make this weird crunchy noise with each stitch;  the ChiaoGoo Bamboo's don't do any of those weird bamboo-things!

Mini & Small Shorties

The sets I have not tried are the Mini & Small Shorties.  These come with 2" & 3" tips either ranging from 2 - 3.25mm (Mini) or 3.5 - 5mm (Small).  Depending on the cable size you can make 9" - 12" lengths which are fabulous for sleeves, socks and small hats.  Also, if you get the 2" cables, you can make your tips into flexible DPNs, which I am super intrigued about.  This is on my list to try!

In conclusion, I highly recommend the ChiaoGoo needle sets.  They are a bit more expensive than the LYKKE, but the quality is there.  I know it is not always feasible to have multiple sets but if you're like me, with a ton of projects on the go, having multiple interchangeable sets is a must; trust me, I use all my sets.  And something I didn't talk about, the feel of the sets.  I love the warmth and sturdiness of my LYKKE needles and the point is great for yarns that split easily or big sweater projects.  The ChiaoGoo's point is fabulous for lace or making bobbles or when I want to be precise. So, keep that in mind, different needles are good for different projects and it's nice to have a variety to match your mood.

I am now taking ChiaoGoo PRE-ORDERS which will go out on February 25th, 2020.  If you want to get your paws on a set or two, order now!

If you order extra cables, please take extra care and note the size of your needles and the cables that work with those needles.  There are three cable sizes, MINI, SMALL and LARGE which fit either size up to 5mm (SMALL) or 5.5mm and up (LARGE).

And, of course, contact me anytime if you have questions. xo


modifying patterns ~ click here to comment January 18, 2020 14:15

WEEKEND INSPO

I can't help myself, modifying knitting patterns seems to be something I do all the time whether I am knitting my own pattern or someone else's.  It's something I like to do to give the project a signature, to make it my own. There's a wide range of what a modification is, it can be simply substituting the yarn or changing a stitch or ribbing, modifying the increases/decreases/BOs/COs, changing fit or adding stripes, to name a few. Here are two recent modifications I did: the first, substituting yarn and striping the Magpie Darling Hat; and the second, adding bling to the Canadian Slouchy.  

 Magpie Darling Hat light-weight

This is the new Magpie Darling Hat that I recently modified to accommodate WoolAddicts LOVE yarn for a client; it turned out so lovely I decided to offer as knit kits.  This light-weight version was inspired by a new customer who called me up excited about ordering some MDHs but the original cashmere versions were not in their price range.  They asked me if I had any other yarn choices I could kit up (they wanted to make a lot for gifts).  I knew I had some WoolAddicts yarn and the LOVE came to mind. Because the WoolAddics LOVE yarn was a different weight (fingering) than the original Bergere Cachmire yarn (sport), I knew I had to re-write the pattern to accommodate this modification; although the needle size didn't change, my gauge and sizing and overall feel of the hat were not the same. I quickly knit up a sample, revamped the pattern and got the new kits up in the shop!  Needless to say, they have been a hit.  I just love how the sparkle pops on the merino blend yarn and the light-weight of the fingering yarn makes this hat a year-around accessory.

SHOP THE NEW MDH

 Magpie Darling Hat light weight

A few weeks later, I decided to make another light-weight MDH sample.  Some people always have socks on the go, I always have MDH on the go!  This time, I wanted to change things up, so I decided to stripe this version, and I love how it turned out.

magpie darling hat light weight

Striping is a simple way to make something different and unique. Because the stripes are formed by the sequins, it's dainty, subtle and still keeps the integrity of the sparkle.  I hope this inspires you to stripe your MDH too, here are the instructions:

  • Hold yarns A & B together for the CO and the broken rib brim.  
  • After the brim is complete, alternate holding yarn A single and yarns A & B together, switch every 2 rounds.
  • Repeat these 4 rounds until the hat is complete, and voila!

Canadian Slouchy Hat

The second modification I recently did was add a little bling to a classic, the Canadian Slouchy.  When I originally cast on this blinged-out version I held the MC & Sequins together, but after knitting the sparkly brim I decided I wanted just maples leaves to shine; so, I ripped it back and started over, following the instructions as they are.  When I got to the maple leaf motifs, I added my bling!  In retrospect, I think sequins in all the red would have been pretty fabulous too. 

Canadian Slouchy with bling

SHOP THE CANADIAN SLOUCHY KNIT KIT

Here are the instructions for the modifications:

  •  Hold one strand each of MC & sequins when you follow the maple leaf motifs (or for all the MC parts).
  • For this sample, for the maple leaves, I used mainly the intarsia colorwork technique.  I regret this, by the end of my final 2 maple leaves I had so many small balls of yarn going it was a crazy tangled mess, and then add sequins to the mix...I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
  • My advice: use stranded colorwork for all the CC (white), meaning, you will use one ball of CC throughout that runs through the red.  Use the intarsia method for the MC (red) only, meaning you will have multiple balls of MC going at once and it will not run through the CC.
  • When you are ready to add another ball of yarn, midway through a motif,  break the MC & Sequin yar combo about 150"/381 cm - 200"/508 cm in length,  this will be enough to finish the motif.

Let me know if you like to modify patterns and how you like to do it.  And, I love seeing your TCJ modifications, be sure to tag me on FB or IG: @amandakaffka @craftyjackalope #ShareyourTCJ 


new pattern // chaser pullover ~ click here to comment January 13, 2020 11:43

Happy #TCJMonday Everyone!

Chaser Pullover

It is so snowy here in Vancouver, we woke up to a blanket of white and freezing weather; perfect timing for the release of Chaser Pullover!  This is a new pattern I designed at the end of last year and it just was released through BluPrint featuring their Cloudborn Sprightly yarn. 

GET THE BLUPRINT KNIT KIT HERE

Chaser Pullover is an oversized cozy sweater with some fun details, such as a seed stitch yoke, mock neck and elbow patches.  There are a few short rows, some three-needle bind-offs and basically, it's a seamless construction; knit in the round and flat.  It's a fun chunky knit with quick results.

Chaser Pullover Front  Chaser Pullover Back

The PDF pattern is also available in the shop, here.

And, on Ravelry, here.


i4earth, an initiative to give back ~ click here to comment January 10, 2020 11:55

Today I launched i4earth, an initiative to give back.  We need to do more than send thoughts and prayers to those who face devastating challenges; this year I will be focusing my efforts on environmental issues.  Although the charities I donate to will change from time-to-time, depending on the climate of the earth and the events that happen, currently, all donations will focus on the Australian bushfire crisis.  Contingent on how much is raised, the donations will go to one or all of these charities: wires.org.au    redcross.org.au    rfs.nsw.gov.au

i4earth

For every product sold in the i4earth collection, a proportion of each sale will be donated to the featured charity listed above.  The more swag you purchase, the more money is donated.  There are 42 listings from t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, tanks to tea towels; something for everyone!  Each item is decorated with a hand-illustrated image I created: TCJ logo, Yarn Source or Australian Flora.  All pieces are printed in Australia by an Australian company.  It was important to me, not only raise funds for Australia but, to support an Australian company.  

To shop the collection and to read more about these efforts, click here.

Have more questions? Visit the i4earth FAQ page for more info

I hope you love the designs and the products offered, together we can make a small difference.  And, if you don't want the swag but still want to help, I encourage you to donate directly to the links above.  All three charitable companies are very reputable.

Thank you, everyone, in advance to helps make a difference. xo