Modification Monday: Strathen Raglan

Original Pattern: Strethendrick

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jennifer (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the boxy, oversized long sleeved sweater with drop shoulders into a closer-fitting raglan with short sleeves. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: The original sweater is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but it’s a serious colourwork commitment and that can be daunting. Jennifer’s take on this is so beautiful! Changing this to a closer-fitting knit not only saves some serious time when actually knitting, but it also can go a long way to having you feel more comfortable when wearing it if oversized garments feel… overwhelming.  I love the extra credit details of the button placket and the contrasting edging.

There is only one photo, but I think it’s so amazing and I wanted to share- Who says you can’t do short sleeves AND colourwork?!

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My mom and I are in New York City together, and today is her birthday- so Happy Birthday to my mom! If you want to keep up on our adventures, head on over to Instagram- my stories in particular will have lots of snaps.

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This opinion piece in the New York Times about exercising in just a sports bra when you are not a professional trainer was spot on.  As someone who cherry picks her way through a variety of gyms and special exercise classes, I thought that I had to always wear a shirt because my stomach wasn’t ‘perfect’. And then I went to spin class, and honestly it was so hot and so dark and no one else was wearing a shirt I too became a gym bra girl. It was so freeing! Then when summer came, I totally wore a teensy bikini and I felt incredible. Because feeling great about your body has nothing to do with some external criteria of perfect and everything with how utterly fantastic you feel just as you are. Which makes me think of this:

Conserve the Sound is an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. Soooooo soothing and satisfying to listen to these – I wonder if it’s just nostalgia, or if there is science behind what makes a sound so satisfying? I’ll be googling that later….

Organizing your closet will make you spend less money. So true!

I had a story published in The Puritan literary magazine recently, and perhaps you’d like to give it a read? It’s a dark story about a fresh-out-of-high school girl getting a job as Ariel at Disney World. It sounds like it’s going to be lighthearted, but it definitely takes a turn. If you are someone who heeds trigger warnings- consider yourself warned (or intrigued? I hope it’s the second one).

My Favourite Pins This Week

This spinach and artichoke quinoa salad is a great work lunch and a fast weeknight meal- although if you have some cooked chicken or some chickpeas lying around, add them in for a hit of bonus protein! If you like spinach and artichoke dip, then this is the healthy version that you can turn into a whole meal. Not that dip can’t be a meal unto itself, but this is definitely way healthier. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

You guys know how much I love cookie bars- because thicker cookies equals more delicousness. These oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars are so comforting and delicious that I really don’t recommend you be alone in a room with the whole pan of them. They are that good! Pinterest link is here, and the recipe is right over here.

If you love the popular fade trend in knitting but prefer to crochet- and heck, even hold yarn double for a marled effect- then you are going to love this totally free, very pretty, perfect-for-stashbusting Crochet throw blanket pattern. Wow, that was a really long sentence. But really, this blanket is so pretty and great for stashbusting. Pinterest link is here, and the free pattern is right here.

Feel like giving speckled yarn dyeing a try? This beginner-friendly tutorial is perfect for those wanting to give it a try, and works for both kool-aid dyeing and jacquard acid dyes. Have fun! the kool-aid version is fun for kids, too- although make sure to wear an apron or some clothes that you don’t mind getting stained. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial can be found here.

If you are having a special party or gathering at home, think about this idea- a flower garland for your light fixture! This works best with a chandelier style that uses LED bulbs (meaning, they won’t get too hot), and you could do it with fresh or fake flowers. Not a flower person? No law saying you can’t do it with all sorts of great greenery instead! Pinterest link is here,  and the tutorial can be found here.

Have a gorgeous weekend! xo

Modification Monday: One Tree Mitts

Original Pattern: One Tree Heel Socks

Knitter Extraordinaire: Joan(Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the original fingering weight sock design to a worsted weight fingerless mitt, and flipped the design upside down. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  Fingerless mitt season is coming, and these mitts are a perfect example of playing around with a pattern to try out modifications. I especially love that she used worsted weight instead of the original fingering weight- it helps the knit go a lot faster, and if you have to rip back a bit when modifying, you aren’t ripping back nearly as much so it’s not quite as painful (because really, when experimenting you might need to rip back a bit). I love that Joan inverted the design, the cables give a nice arrow effect in their new direction. And the extra credit bonus? The double ribbing of the cuff lines up perfectly with that abled design. Got to love details like that!

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Austin Kleon’s perspective on when strangers on the internet criticize him.

This was hilarious- especially the burrito one.

Another funny find- ridiculous book title anagrams.

Goats like it when you smile at them. Omg I want a pet goat!

Ae you a night owl? Maybe your sleeping habits aren’t the problem.

My Favourite Pins This Week

An easy weeknight dinner that is full of protein and veggies? Sign me up. This lemon chicken orzo dish is delicious! The recipe is obviously a tie-in for a particular brand of spring mix, but they don’t even have that kind of salad mix here in Canada so I just use a normal mixed green salad and it was probably exactly the same. Which is to say, tasty! Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

Peaches are in season, and I couldn’t be happier- even though I secretly prefer their non-fuzzy counterparts, nectarines. Peach fuzz is weird to me. I feel same about kiwis – I like the fuzzy fruit, but just not the fuzz. I digress! This recipe for amazing peach crumble bars is the perfect end of summer dessert, and works with nectarines, to. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is right here.

Looking to try out a new stretchy bind off? This tutorial for an icelandic bind off gives a nice stretchy edge and is easy to work, once you get the rhythm. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial can be found here.

If you are gifting a gift card any time soon, I highly recommend this gift wrapping tutorial to make the presentation a little more special – and prevent that card from going missing! A perfect way to reuse those tiny tea cannisters, too. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial is here.

I hate blog post lists that are too long – “75 things to do on the weekend to have your best Monday!” – Like I’m going to spend my entire weekend prepping for Monday. I already never manage to cross off everything from my epic to do list. But 7 things on a Sunday, one of which is catching up with friends in real life, or try a new recipe, and do some reading? Yup, that’s the sort of list I can behind. Pinterest link is here, and the full list of ideas is here.

 

Have a gorgeous weekend! I hope you get to do your favourite things. 🙂

August: Book Reviews

I just noticed that I accidentally skipped July’s book reviews! Blame it on summer vacation mode, but I hope you did a lot of reading over the summer, things that made you feel like you saw something of the world, be it the external world or the interior, psychological one. My reading list sort of dabbled in both, and I’ve already got some great recommendations for September too… which of course will blink by in an instant. 😉

Best Fiction of the Month: The After Party

I never read books about the cloistered lives of glamorous women, but somehow I couldn’t put this down. A story of friendship set in wealthy American south in the 1950s, Joan and Cece are best friends since childhood, until Joan runs away to Hollywood for a year and then resurfaces, keeping her distance from Cece and spiraling into self-destruction. I felt completely transported to this era and this lifestyle, where just leaving the house was cause to get dressed up. The narrator isn’t entirely likeable but it doesn’t matter- her love for her friend goes deep into long-held secrets. If you loved Mad Men, I think you’ll love this.

Best Nonfiction: Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved

Kate Bowler was in her mid 30s -with a job she loved, a husband a toddler –  when she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. This book is a brief but staggering narrative of how she found out and how she came to grips with a life that is going to be cut short, the way she moves from shock to anger and grief to acceptance and back through the emotions again. The book is loving and brave, and if you need to be remind that life isn’t fair and that you need to make the most of the time you have, this is it.

The One I’m Recommending to Just About Everyone: Tell Me More

I think I devoured most of Tell Me More in a single sitting, because the essay are that good, and Kelly Corrigan has a knack for telling a story that embodies the moments of being human where someone says the right thing at the right moment and we feel seen, understood, and heard. The titular essay, Tell Me More, is the best of the bunch but they all have their resonance. If you loved Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar, then I think you’ll like this one.

The Coffee Table Book that I’m Devouring but It’s Too Big and Heavy to Take Anywhere: Letter of Note

How is it that this just came across my radar?! This book is incredible, with letters by those you have heard of and those you have not, that illuminate the scope of historical events and remind you that good, intelligent people are present in every era. The Queen sent Eisenhower her recipe for scones and included tips on substituting ingredients, someone claiming to be Jack the Ripper taunting a police detective, a freed slave responding to his former ‘master’ when he asked him to come back, Annie Oakley offering a team of women sharp shooters for the war… I could go on and on. The book is spectacular, and letters are a really underrated form of literature. This would be an amazing gift, too.

Crafty/Home Decor/Recipe Book I’m Loving: Get It Together!

This is the funniest home decor book I’ve ever read, and it is full of gorgeous ideas and stunning rooms that actually feel within your reach – except for the cover image, which isn’t that great in my opinion. The rest of the book has far more lovely photos and ideas. I’m all for aspirational home decor, but give me practical tips any day of the week. Orlando’s book is laugh-out-loud funny and utterly beautiful. If you are looking for ideas on how to pick out furniture, maybe do a few DIYs, and figure out how to make a room function for how you really live, give this a whirl.

What have you been reading this summer? Any top recommendations? Share them in the comments!