Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

A positive attitude: the world’s most underrated secret to success.

This was fascinating: Women spoke only 27% of all the dialogue in 2016’s 10 biggest movies.

If you ever feel like your day-to-day is less than extraordinary, remember this.

This slow motion video of a hedgehog running is the cutest thing I’ve seen all week!

This little snippet reminds me of that 90’s movie Sliding Doors, and how connected everything can be – your inconvenience might be someone else’s miracle.

My Favourite Pins This Week

What wonderful breakfast idea- baked ham and egg cups! I find you don’t need to grease the muffin tin if you use silicone muffin liners, and adding some chopped spinach or kale to the egg mixture helps up the veg content. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Do you like citrus desserts? Then you are going to love this greek yogurt grapefruit cake. Even if you don’t like grapefruit, you can substitute any of your favourite citrus- lemon, lime, orange, blood orange, whatever you want! The greek yogurt ups the protein content, and the overall recipe is much healthier than atypical cake. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

What a great idea, a cross stitch canvas! The step-by-step guide is really well laid out and shows you exactly how to line up the design and punch the holes. In this one they use embroidery thread, but I think this would be amazing in a fingering weight yarn instead! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Feeling like it’s a new year, but you are in the same old rut? Here are 17 tiny things you can try to break out of your routine and shake things up. I don’t even feel like I’m in a rut but I love this list and have been trying things out. Hooray for adventures outside of the comfort zone! Pinterest link is here, and the original list is here.

Yeah, this is me. Every. Single. Time. Pinterest link is here!

This weekend I’m participating in the Toronto Women’s March, one of the many that are happening all over the world! Guy and I are bringing the kids, even though Lila might be a bit young to understand (and James will definitely not know what’s up). I have never participated in anything like this before and I have a difficult time articulating exactly why I feel I should go.  Except – this feels like it’s so very important, the kind of important that is difficult to see until it is written about historically. Considering that there are hundreds of women’s marches planned in different countries and cities around the world tells me that something very big is happening right now.  When was the last time women from that many different places got together to reject fear and hate? Because I can’t think of any in my lifetime. Freedom, human rights, and civil rights aren’t limited resources. Working to extend those fully to others does not limit the supply to anyone else.

I get to vote because others fought for my rights. I got to choose if and when and how many children I wanted because others fought for my rights. I got to go to university because others fought for my rights. The foundation of my wonderful, privileged life is built on freedoms that other women fought for. Think back to your history lessons of when Irish immigrants were persecuted, when Protestants couldn’t marry Catholics, when women weren’t allowed to vote, when African Americans couldn’t use the same hotels/bathrooms/seats on the bus as white people. All those things were considered to be totally acceptable at the time.

The right thing is often is uncomfortable, maybe even a little scary. But I need to know that one day, when the context of the 2017 global Women’s Marches are placed in history, I didn’t just stand by and let others fight for rights that I enjoy. I need to know that in a small way I lent my voice to help make a better, more inclusive future; that my kids saw it happen. And maybe one day they too will lend their voices to fight for what is right, and make this world better for everyone, not just a privileged few.

Have a lovely weekend, my friends. Whatever your feelings on the subject, however you choose to spend your time, I hope that you have a good weekend filled with kindness and happy moments.

Brooklyn Tweed Review: Michele Wang Capsule Collection

Brooklyn Tweed has a brand new capsule collection, designed by Michele Wang. Longtime BT fans will be very familiar with Michelle’s aesthetic, which is full of texture and sumptuous cables, this collection does not disappoint. If you don’t cable, then this might be more on the eye candy spectrum of knitting goals. But if you love knitting cables, then you definitely want to consider the collection. The collection focuses on garments – five cardigans, two pullovers, and one hat. You can check out the look book full of great photos here, or view them on Ravelry here.

A note about construction- all of the garments in this collection are seamed. These are substantial garments, and the seams provide structure, ensure a better fit, and help keep the garment looking good while you are wearing it. It’s worth seaming a big cabled sweater, even if it means an extra day or two of finishing. I promise, it’s worth it!

Let’s get into those cables! Here are my favourite four from the collection:

Radmere

Radmere  is a worsted weight shawl collar cardigan with cables for days. It’s knit in pieces from the bottom up and seamed, which you need for a garment in this size in worsted weight. This is the only cardigan designed for men in the collection, although I think it’s completely unisex. If you also liked Aspen but found it a bit long, the cables are the same on Aspen as they are on Radmere. Cables are fully charted, and this is the most chart-heavy of the garments- 10 charts (although some are small!)

You Should Totally Knit This If: You are ready to devote some substantial time to knitting a big beautiful sweater (seriously- clear your schedule) that you will wear forever, and don’t mind cabling every right side row.

You Should Probably Not Knit This If: If you have startitis and have trouble finishing any knitted garments, and if you are not sure if you are truly committed to deep cable love.

Ilia

This is a fingering weight cardigan knit from the bottom up, in pieces and is seamed. The collar is picked up and knitted on. While the cables look wonderfully complicated, the charts are surprisingly easy to handle- most of the time you are only cabling every 6th row, which is pretty awesome. There are 5 charts- one for each piece of the sweater (left front, right front, back, left sleeve, right sleeve).

You Should Totally Knit This If: It was love at first sight, you love picking up stitches (or at least don’t hate it), and you got kind of excited when I told you that the cables were easier than they looked.

You Should Probably Not Knit This If: The idea of knitting anything that requires 3,000 yards (!!!) of fingering weight fills you with dread.

Hague

This bulky weight sweater is probably one of the fast garments in the collection to knit, and the yardage seems really reasonable. Like the others, this is also knit flat and seamed. The body of the sweater is interspersed with textured garter stripes, but I’m really hoping someone is going to do a modification to make everything outside of the center panel stockinette. Not only would it reduce bulk, but I bet it would look SO good! Fully charted cable design, and there is only one chart.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You need a cozy warm sweater in your life, love that center cable panel, and think that this sweater could quite possibly become your new best friend for winter.

You Should Probably Not Knit This If: You don’t love garter stripes (although you could do it all stockinette!) and think that since there is only one cable chart, it’s not a big enough challenge.

Palmer

I know, it’s crazy that I included the only stockinette piece in my top four, but I think this is a wardrobe staple cardigan that you will wear all the time.  This fingering weight cardigan is knit from the bottom up and seamed, and has pockets that you can actually use. If you love stockinette (I really love it, I find it so zen and I can do it in dark car or a movie theater) but want to add a little zip, how about adding a contrasting cast on/bind off, and knit the pocket linings in the same contrasting colour?

You Should Totally Knit This If: One of your knitting resolutions for the year was to knit more wardrobe staples, and you also love some good stockinette.

You Should Probably Not Knit This If: You hate knitting stockinette, no matter how zen I keep telling you it is. And if your second most hated knitting is ribbing, then mosey along, partner. This knit isn’t for you.

If you have any questions about any of the other patterns in the collection, feel free to ask! I respond to all comments.

Here’s my review of the previous Brooklyn Tweed capsule collection by Olga Buraya Kefelian if you’d like a refresher! 

Modification Monday: Elemental Rainbows

Original Pattern: Element

Knitter Extraordinaire: Cassy (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Added rainbow stripes at the sleeves, added length, and a three needle bind off at the shoulders. Details can be found on her blog post here, and her Ravelry project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Cassy often make modifications on knits to suit her style and she does it so well!* She added a fair bit of length to this sweater, so she made a wise decision to do a three needle bind off for the shoulders, to help give the sweater a bit more stability and prevent it from sagging. As a fellow devotee of the 3-needle bind off for shoulder seams, I think she made a very wise choice. I love that she used a mini skein set for the sleeves (SweetGeorgia Party of Five Mini Skein Set) – what a wonderful idea for mini skeins!

*Check out the previous 3 times Cassy was featured on Mod Monday – Her lace Talavera top, her charade kiddo socks, and tiny baby pants

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Now here is an inspiring New Years Resolution List!

How two words can change your life- say thank you.

Money is a tricky subject, and lots of us don’t feel comfortable talking about it or managing it. But that doesn’t make it go away, so if you need to get your finances in order, here are ten tips for everyone.

45 business leaders share the best advice they ever got. Most of this applies to all areas of life, not just business!

My Favourite Pins This Week

These Greek quinoa bowls are the perfect make-ahead meal that can easily turn into a quick dinner with the addition of some additions protein, like hummus or chicken. Made my grocery list, and this is going to be my lunch next week! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Here’s a really easy dessert that only has 6 ingredients and relies on frozen strawberries, so you don’t need to pay a fortune for the lousy out of season ones that that sit in the produce aisle, looking weirdly shiny and anemic. If you like whip cream or meringue, then you will probably love this dessert. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

If one of your goals this January is to drink more smoothies, this is a really easy way to make that happen! The posts focuses on food prep and putting all the ingredients for the smoothie into a ziploc bag, so that you can grab it and blend at a moment’s notice, without having to prep produce or chop veggies or fruit every day. I’ve been trying it and it makes it so much easier to get a healthy daily smoothie. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I used to think that ‘room spray’ was basically just hosing your house down in petrochemicals pretending to smell like a hotel elevator’s version of flowers, but it turns out that there is actually really good room spray in the world made with natural ingredients! And of course, you can totally make it yourself. This recipe is a nice basic one that is perfect for creating a custom blend of any essential oils you would like and naturally neutralizes odors, so that your home never, ever has to smell like weird chemicals masquerading as a tropical beach. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I’m a huge fan of embroidering on garments (And I’d like to do more of it!), so this simple flower approach is so appealing. Pinterest link is here, and the original source is here (thanks to Natalie for finding it!).

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Ours will be fairly low key – the usual roster of dance class (Lila) and swimming class (James). Oh, James just started walking!! Here is a link to Guy’s Instagram video. I was so happy he took a video, but less than thrilled that our house looks so messy. Oh well, real life!

Finished Knit: Bright Heart Hat

First finished knit of the year!


Ravelry project page can be found here. 

Pattern: Take Heart, by Fiona Alice 

Yarn: Briggs & Little Heritage in ‘Magenta’

After all the great feedback on pom pom colour from this previous blog post, I went with what seemed like the popular choice- the light brown pom pom, which seems like a sophisticated pairing with the Magenta, the way it doesn’t quite go but yet totally does.

The Briggs & Little Magenta is such a fun colour (And I hear it comes in about 8 of their yarns), it feels like I’m thumbing my nose at winter.  This colourway can be tricky to photograph, the same way red sometimes is. The bright is so wonderful to the eye, but it’s hard for a camera to sort out depth in a bright colour. Fortunately, there are lovely cables to give it a hand:

I rarely wear lipstick, but when it is freezing cold and the wind is whipping around and you are wear a bright magenta hat, why not go full throttle and wear a magenta lip that matches your hat exactly? At least, that’s what I did. Wearing a bright lipstick reminds me that I actually do like lipstick, but I spend so much time kissing my children’s chubby cheeks that I just don’t wear it anymore. Maybe when they start saying, “Ewwww!!! Gross, mom!!” I’ll start wearing it again. If for no other reason just to leave marks when I do eventually get my target! 😉 It looks a bit darker and more true to life above than it does in the photo below, I assume a trick of the light because the photo below is much cooler but perhaps I just didn’t take the brightness down to counteract when the sun decide to pop out briefly.

I really enjoyed the pattern, but I officially declare that if I knit this again (and I would knit this again) I would do the deep folded brim as a knit 1, purl 2 ribbing instead of the twisted ribbing, which is in the pattern and shown here.  While I like the texture and the depth of the twisted ribbing, the brim isn’t as warm as it would have been if I had just done a normal ribbing. So if this is in your queue and you want warms ears, take heed.

I have another skein, so I’m planning on making some mittens to match. I’m on the hunt for the perfect pattern- my top criteria is that they need to be warm, my second criteria would be something with a bit of cable. It doesn’t have to be the same type of cable, but a similar texture would echo the hat design nicely. I’ll have a look on Ravelry (and if you know of a perfect pattern, please share!), but if I can’t find it, I might just make up my own. We’ll see.

Oh, and I’ve run out of potential Modification Monday projects, so if you know of any wonderful mods, I’d be grateful if you could send me a link!