Monday, 3 February 2014

Modification Monday: Herrington Mittens

Original Pattern: Herrington

Knitter Extraordinaire: Cherie (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Created mittens to match the original cowl, using the stitch on a smaller scale and integrating it into a mitten, as well as over the first half of the thumb, and a speckled design on the back of the thumb. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: It's always a compliment to the designer when people create a matching accessory for an existing pattern, because it shows that the original pattern was so compelling, you just have to knit something else using this great design. I love Cherie's mittens- they are so striking and modern, and I love her solution for using the chevron design on half the thumb, with the speckles on  the other side. Cherie's matching mittens are a stunning compliment to her winter wardrobe, for sure.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

Indoor s'mores dip in a skillet? This looks amazing. 

I love this pretty (but understated) macrame plant hanger DIY. I think my place needs a hanging plant.

Here's a pretty new way do to a bun, simple but classic and polished.. 

Have you ever had gnocchi? It's pretty much the best winter comfort food. This delicious kale and garlic version is perfection. 

Using a stamp on a small wall makes such a great impact, don't you think? Such an easy way to bring a fresh new look to your space without a high price tag.  

Thursday, 30 January 2014

New Pattern: Irisa Cowl

I'm doing a guest post over on Tanis Fiber Arts,  and I've got a new free cowl pattern:

A super simple single skein of gorgeousness. 

Head  on over to Tanis Fiber Arts to get the details on this awesome one-skein worsted weight beauty! 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Modification Monday: Baltic Burrard

Original Pattern: Burrard 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Blair (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Turned the original cardigan pattern into a pullover. Project page with more information can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love Blair's cardigan-to-pullover mod for selfish reasons- I prefer knitting pullovers to cardigans.  Her simple take on this is great- she knit the front same as the back until she got to where she wanted the neckline to begin, and bound off the center. Adding a lovely ribbed neck edging, and voila- lovely cardigan to perfectly gorgeous pullover.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

This savory feta cheese french toast looks amazing. I'm loving the creative interpretations on french toast recently - check out last week's Pin Ups post for a french toast roll up

I love this driftwood hanger idea, and you could paint it any colour(s) you wanted. 

This delicious homemade molasses syrup is your new beverage buddy- its' great in coffee, tea, and cocktails. Trust me, you need this in your life. Not only is it super easy to put together, but it would make a great DIY hostess gift, too. 

How to dye yarn for a long gradient effect - with kool-aid!. I have yet to try dying yarn, but the dip dye ombre trend for knits is just heating up, and this looks right on trend. 

Is it dessert? Is it breakfast? It's a chocolate amaretto crepe cake, and I won't judge you if you eat it for breakfast. Hey, it's high in protein! 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Easy DIY: Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels/ Black and White to Technicolour

I first read about Pentel Fabric Fun Pastels on A Beautiful Mess, and was really intrigued- so I decided to buy a set. I picked up the 100% cotton striped shirt at Old Navy (in the post-Christmas sales!), and thought that the existing black stripes would help give a bit of structure to my very simple, very easy triangles. It was a great way to ease into using these pastels, and I love the final effect:

Having little hits of colour on this shirt take it from very basic to something fun and different, and you really can do anything with them- these super simple triangles were just the small detail I wanted, but I'm already imagining other things I could do with them- the problem now is to resist drawing on all my cotton shirts!

Some Tips on using the Pastels:
  • The pastels are set with heat from a clothes iron, so whatever you are drawing on, it needs to be able to withstand the hottest setting on an iron. This means that fabric most suited for the pastels will be natural fibers like cotton, linen, etc (stuff that won't melt!)
  • You need to use a sheet of blank paper (any kind, really) between the iron and the fabric- I suspect this is mostly about protecting your iron, because you will get some transfer of colour from the pastels to your paper. And better it end up on the paper than on your iron. 
  • These set really easily, and really fast- technically you can wash out the design before ironing, but I tested this out and can tell you that the dark colours in the set do not wash out easily. It's worth planning your design carefully before you begin.
  • They are just like the artist pastels you would use on paper, in terms of consistency and effect- they are blendable, and have a 'crayon' sort of appearance on fabric. 
I already have another project in the works for these, they are very addictive! You'll be seeing these pastels on the blog again very soon....

Monday, 20 January 2014

Modification Monday: Red & Blue

Original Pattern: b16-10 Jacket with raglan sleeves in pattern

Knitter Extraordinaire: Hanna (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Changed the design of the fair isle details, added them to the cuffs and hem, as well as knitted it in the round and steeked. More details on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  I love Hanna's bright, happier re-visioning of this beautiful baby sweater. I love that she chose to do her own fair isle design, which can be tricky to balance, but all 4 colours she chose work wonderfully together.  She also chose to carry the designs down to the hem and cuffs fo the sweater, and you've got to respect someone who knits it in the round and steeks even when the pattern doesn't call for it- that must be why those button bands look so perfect! Utterly flawless.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

This is the new perfect breakfast. Full of good stuff, plus you're getting your veggies right out of the gate!

Lemon bars with the consistency of brownies. Sign me up!!

This is meant to be a packing guide, but I'm viewing it more as an easy work wardrobe in 14 items (including accessories!). Let's face it, when you have the right pieces, they all play nicely together. 

I am in love with this adorable upcycle, adding felt fox patches to the elbows of sweaters. I totally want to do this! 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

FO: Classic Red Sweater and How to Add a Faux Seam


Pattern: Oatmeal

Yarn: Cascade Eco + in 'Scarlet'

Needles: 5mm and 6 mm circulars (US 8  and 10)

Mods: Adjusted guage, added longer ribbing on the sleeves, and added faux seams on the body. My Ravlelry Project page can be found here.


As part of my 5 Small Goals for Winter, I wanted to knit a cozy sweater for myself. I had also been craving a super-simple bright red sweater, so this checked all the right boxes for me! This is a wonderful top-down sweater pattern for a bulky weight pullover, and knits up really quickly- I probably would have finished this much faster if Christmas hadn't happened. I don't know if your holidays are anything like my holidays, but mine are pretty far from relaxing- usually really busy with lots of people to see, things to do, and food to eat (maybe I'd eat fewer dessert squares if I held my knitting more?). Anyway, it felt so good to knit a bulky weight sweater- it's cozy, super comfy, and I love Cascade Eco, so it was hitting all the right spots.

This is the second sweater in a row that I've put faux seams into, and I have to say, I'm really liking how it looks and works- it makes your knit look more finished, and helps give the sweater some of the stability that real seams would. You can see the faux seam in some of the photos below:

How to Add a Faux Seam
To put a faux seam into a sweater, I purl a stitch in the same spot on each side of the sweater. So if you are knitting from the bottom up, and you have (for example) 180 stitches around, then I'd knit 89 stitches, purl, knit another 89 stitches, and purl again. It's even easier if your sweater is top down (like this one!). When you get to join the body again after the underarms, purl the stitch in the middle of the stitches you cast on for the underarm. Usually, you will need to cast on a few stitches after you have separated the sleeves and are rejoining under the arm to work the body in the round. The middle stitch of those cast on stitches is where you put the purl stitch. And now you have a faux seam!

As a side note, I was trying out Commentluv to see if that would allow me to better respond to comments, but it was a bit of a gong show and I had to take it off. Blogger really doesn't allow you to interact with commenters as much as I'd like, so I'm considering migrating to Wordpress. Any advice?

Monday, 13 January 2014

Modification Monday: Sheepy Cardigan 2.0

Original Pattern: Strokkur

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jane (Ravelry ID,  blog)

Mods: transformed the original pullover into a zipper-front cardigan, and added a hood. And customized the fit to be just right! Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I don't often see a mod where a knitter decided to steek when no steeking was originally required, but Jane did just that- steeked the pullover to make not just a cardigan, but a zippered cardigan. How many knitters feel comfortable steeking AND sewing in a zipper into a knit?! These are some crazy good knitting skills. But let's talk about that hood for a second- It's perfectly proportioned to the sweater, and I love that she included a bit of the colourwork from the yoke into the top of the hood.  I bet she gets a lot of wear out of this fantastic cardigan because if it were mine, I'd wear it all the time.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

Since it seems to be utterly freezing all over the place, how about making the most of it and trying out these frozen bubbles

As soon as I saw this, I was utterly obsessed. I can't wait to go shopping for some felt, I MUST do this! But, I'm biased- I adore foxes. 

I love these simple DIY embroidered cards- a great reason to get excited to write thank you notes, valentines, whatever you want. 

I'm trying to eat more veggies, so this amazing beet and cream cheese dip with pita wedges looks like the ultimate healthy snack. Beets are super good for you!

And these french toast roll-ups look so fun and delicious, a great weekend brunch treat. Plus there's strawberries in them- that makes them healthy, right?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Patterns: Fairy Mist and Pemba

The remaining two patterns from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club 2013 are now available for purchase!! Both of these patterns are perfect one skein projects. 

Fairy Mist Collage

Fairy Mist is a heavenly laceweight cowl with alternating sections of stockinette and arrowhead lace. The cowl pictured above uses about 500 yards of laceweight, but could easily be even bigger and fluffier if you wanted to knit more- I know some of you might have skeins of 1000 yard laceweight squirreled away in your stash!

The Pemba pattern includes both the headband and the mittens, and they make make a great set- not too matchy-matchy, but enough for a chic, pulled-together look. They are fully charted, with lots of great leafy motifs and twisted stitches, and takes one skein of DK weight yarn. The set makes a great gift, too! 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

FO: Brixter

Brixter 3

This was actually my last FO of 2013, but I didn't have a chance to blog about it before the end of the year! It was a Christmas gift for Guy. I don't often knit him things, mainly because he is one of those people that runs hot, and is always hot. Too hot for wool sweaters, too hot for mittens, etc. But you know, it's been a really cold winter, and this pattern is, in my opinion, the perfect hat pattern for a dude:


It was cold, Guy was blowing on his hands to keep warm. 

Pattern: Brixter

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK in 'Charcoal'

Brixter is a lovely cabled hat with loads of texture and takes about half a skein of DK.  It's not only a really quick knit, it's also very satisfying in that it keeps you interested without being too tricky that you can't watch a movie while you knit it.

Brixter 2


This photo was taken on December 31st, when Lila was in daycare for a half day and we took the opportunity to go for coffee by ourselves. I had almost forgotten what it's like to sit in your seat the whole time and eat a croissant in peace, and not chase a little toddler around!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

WIP: Classic Red Sweater

I don't often take photos of my WIPs, but I've decided to try something new, to make WIP posts more interesting (not just for you wonderful people, but for me, too!). From now on, when I have a WIP on the go, I'm going to do a photo collage of other things that reflect the colour of my WIP, all with my own photos:

Clockwise from top left: my little miss, wearing red and riding on a red quad bike, a stack of red books from our home library,  lovely poinsettias, and red bell peppers. 

As you can tell, My new WIP is red. Classic, lovely, amazing red. How do I not yet own a red sweater? This seems like a massive wardrobe oversight.

And here is my WIP, the lovely, classic Oatmeal Pullover in progress:

WIP bag

I love that it's bulky (knitting in Cascade Eco Wool, which is a lovely bulky weight yarn and knits up rather quickly on 6mm (US 10) needles.  This is what I cast on when I decided one of my 5 goals for winter would be to knit a cozy sweater, and this will be wonderfully cozy- I've been trying it on as I go, and I get more excited about it each time I do! But let's not overlook that super awesome project bag, a wonderful birthday gift from my thoughtful in-laws all the way from England. It's a durable canvas, and a nice size for a big bulky sweater! I love it- it's simple, it's durable, and I completely agree with the quote.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Modification Monday: Holloway

Original Pattern: Holloway Pullover

Knitter Extraordinaire: Emma (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Customized the shaping entirely- adjusted at the waist, and bust darts, and the sleeves. To have more minimal finishing, she picked up stitches to knit some of the pieces. Project page with great details on her mods can be found, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Amy Herzog designs knits that encourage all knitters to really customize their knits based on being very aware of what really works for their body type.  It's one thing to add waist shaping, but Ill wager that for most knitters, bust darts are not something they typically knit, much less then make modifications on! The final result is gorgeous, fits Emma perfectly, and looks amazing. This knit definitely has me thinking about knitted bust darts, as I have yet to knit a sweater that has them. Maybe I need to give it a try!