Modification Monday: Soldotna Stash Buster

Original Pattern: Soldotna Crop 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Dominique (Ravelry Profile)

Mods: Lengthened the sleeves, body, and added the charts to the hem and cuffs while stashbusting! Details and lot sof great photos can be found in her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I am always really excited about a knit that helps tame a bit of stash, aren’t you? And what a gorgeous sweater  from that stashbusting! Adding to the length (Tip: Measure the length of your favourite sweater- that’s the length you want), and the sleeves makes this a great cold-weather sweater. I love the extra detail on the sleeves- a bit of freestyling from chart ideas that were not in the original design! Dominique adjusted the different designs to make sure she had enough of each colour that she was stashbusting, an important consideration.

If you are looking to stashbust while doing colourwork, consider freestyling the design or adjusting colours in order to use the amounts you have of the colours that you’re combining- having the colours echo in multiple places of the sweater helps the design feel really cohesive, like at the neckline and again at the hem or cuff. And of course, Look how lovely it can be!

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

5 ways to bring more fun to your life.

Ideas for hosting a summer dinner party without breaking the bank. Because going broke just to have friends over is no fun for anyone.

France has made it a law that grocery stores have to donate edible food instead of throwing it away, which not only helps to feed needy citizens but also diverts waste from landfills. Brilliant!

How to make your house smell amazing without lighting a candle. Although I find the candle the easiest, you can’t beat that fresh-baked-cookie smell!

My friend Loulou has begun teaching me to crochet and she blogged about our afternoon session, which was so awesome. I highly recommend tapping friends with other creative skills to teach you something new!

My Favourite Pins This Week

These tzatziki fish tacos are a fantastic summer meal, and whip up fast on weeknights, too. The addition of the tzatziki sauce makes these even more delicious! Don’t feel like making your own sauce? I hear you. Store-bought is how I roll, too. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is here.

Summer desserts are best when they feel light and fruity, don’t you think? This pavlova is easy, light, delicious, low in sugar, high in protein and you can use all kinds fo summer fruit in place of cherries, if you want. Pretty perfect by my standards! I’ve made pavlova a bunch of times, and it works out great- but not if it’s got to sit in a humid environment for too long. So while I love these picnic photos, I’d recommend only having it outdoors for less than half an hour. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is right over here.

Looking for an easy breakfast smoothie idea? THis coffee and oats smoothie is PERFECT. Only 4 ingredients, and it’s delicious! And caffeinated, if you are an addict, like I am. Pro-tip: (from me, because I am a self-described smoothie pro) use a frozen banana for a more milkshake-y feel. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe is right here.

These gorgeous crochet baskets looks like not only a great stashbuster (you could definitely use more than one colour!) but the perfect catch-all containers for pretty much everything Pinterest link is here, and the free crochet pattern can be found here.

I love this pretty, minimalist circular shelf idea, and it’s actually made from a bamboo steamer basket! I especially like that it only takes 5 things to make this project, start to finish. Hooray for quick weekend projects, right? Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY is here.


Any weekend plans, my lovelies? We are going to drop off the kids at my parents’ house before flying to St. Lucia- I have to go for a conference (I know, I know – such a hardship!) and then I’m sticking around for a couple days afterwards, because it’s St. Lucia. Guy was very quick to say he was coming, too! Anyone been to St. Lucia and have tips on the must-see things? Looking forward to getting some travel knitting done!

Let’s Go to TWIST Fiber Festival!

I’m really excited to be taking part in the upcoming TWIST Fibre Festival, which is next month in a lovely, forest-filled area of Quebec August 14-18th. It’s the largest fibre festival in Canada, and while I’ve been in that part of the country before (it’s stunning) I’ve never been to the festival before… so I’m a bit nervous. And excited. And nervous. But it’s going to be great! I’ll be there August 16-18th, teaching one workshop a day Friday through Sunday.

The festival has a marketplace, workshops, food fairs, and all kinds of other stuff- you can find a list of the vendors at the marketplace here.

My classes are knitting-focused, but the festival is for all sorts of needlework and crafting- quilting, sewing, pottery, dyeing weaving and so much more- you can check them all out here, day by day.  My workshops? I’ve got three:

Cast on and Bind off Party! Because obviously cast ons and bind offs are the best part, right? The excitement of casting on for a new project, and sweet relief of casting off on a project you’ve been working on and can’t wait to wear. We will be working 5 different types of cast ons (tubular, provisional, knitted, garter tab and 2-colour) and 5 different cast offs (standard, modified standard, lace, tubular, and 3 needle).

This is basically the sort of workshop I’ve been dying to do for ages! Modifying Your Knits is the combination of the many amazing techniques and ideas I’ve seen beautifully executed from all the years of Modification Mondays. The idea is to have the workshop attendees bring a couple patterns they want to combine, and we can talk through the planning stages and figure out how to combine which elements, how to make it work, etc. I feel like this is going to be such an exciting one!

I have taught this workshop a couple of times here in Toronto at The Purple Purl, and it’s always So. Much. Fun. Even if you think you are a terrible model, or a terrible photographer, I’ve got about a million little tricks to work around all kinds of challenges, and ideas for you to create your best photos ever. This workshop involves actually doing the photos in the class, so by the end of the class, whatever you brought to be photographed will be all set for your pattern layout or social media photos or whatever you need those gorgeous photos for! Tips include how to find inspiration, composition, and the workshop is perfect for the smartphone photographer I know you can be.

If you are looking for something fun to do the weekend of August 16-18th, why not come out? It’s going to be gorgeous, fiber-filled and there are lots of incredible classes and workshops available, as well as a delightful yarn market. Plus we can hang out! I’ve been told I’m much funnier in real life than I seem online, but I think that’s because in photos I always have RBF…. you know, Resting Boss Face. 😉

I also have a very special new pattern that I designed for the festival that I’ll be showing you all very soon….. I hope you love it as much as I do!


Modification Monday: Speckled Chicken

Original Pattern: Good Morning Rooster

Knitter Extraordinaire: Ria (Ravelry profile)

Mods: Changed the rooster pattern to match her speckled chickens! Eliminated the rooster details like the picot edging on the neck feathers, and some of the shaping Great details on the mods to get that speckled chicken vibe can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Ria had knit the rooster before, and then wanted to knit a chicken that matched her actual real-life chickens- and it worked out so well! She spent a lot of time figuring it out and took great notes- if you would also like to knit a chicken, her project page is a great place to see what she did differently to get the round hen.

She used a marled grey yarn to achieve the speckled hen colourway, but another option could be to hold two strands of the ideal shades of grey together to get that marled, speckled look. I love how these turned out- aren’t they so adorable?

Link Love: My Favourite Things Things Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Oh my gosh- did you hear about Finland’s heavy metal knitting championship?! You have to see this.

I just heard about an amazing website that helps you figure out all the ways you can get from Point A to Point B– flights, trains, buses, cars. With estimated costs and travel times!

An adorable camping hedgehog might just be the cutest thing you’ve seen all week.

Mark Bittman’s fascinating look at how big farming business in the largest food producing state in the US- Iowa – is deeply flawed, focusing on yields for cash crops that are not actually feeding people. An important, but not exactly cheery, read.

My Favourite Pins This Week

This dessert is super simple, but so pretty and a wonderful twist on the typically heavy cheesecake. The sliced figs add gorgeous colour and freshness (and nutrients, so practically healthy!) to these cheesecake bars, which are thinner and less heavy than a thick wedge of a typical restaurant cheesecake. Perhaps a perfect weekend dessert? Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is right over here.

If you have lots of cherry tomato plants like I do – or are just loving the assorted gorgeous tiny tomatoes at your local supermarket- this is a perfect weeknight pasta dish. I like that it uses spaghettini, a lighter and thinner take on spaghetti, and it’s loaded with fresh basil and fresh tiny tomatoes, making it a perfect summery pasta dish. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, summer is great time to craft small toys! This super sweet crocheted unicorn is a free pattern, and would be a lovely gift for a little one in your life! The pattern includes lots of photos and step by step instructions, so it looks pretty good for beginners, too. Pinterest link is here, and the full pattern and tutorial is here.

Calling all emroidery fans- I haven’t sene this double hoop technique before, but it looks so lovely. And there’s a whole tutorial right here on exactly how to assemble the double hoop method, too! If this is up your alley, here you go. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial is here.

This was a really interesting read on one person’s reflections on having decluttered their very crowded home for over a year. Having read it a couple times now, I find that I’m being far more considerate about what I buy- not just ‘do I need this’, but where will it go in my home, and what will I get rid of to make room for it? How long will I have it? When do I think I’ll throw it away? Pinterest link is here, and the full blog post is here.

What are you up to this weekend? I’ve been deep in the knitting design world, and have had two deadlines creep up on me really quickly- my wrists are so tired but I can’t post about anything yet, which I hate. When you’re working on something new, don’t you just want to shout it from the rooftops?!

Hope you have a lovely, shout-it-from-the-rooftops sort of weekend, friends. 🙂