Modification Monday: White Ajah Shawl

Original Pattern: Morvarch 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Robyn (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Inspired by shawls worn in the fantasy series Wheel of Time, Robyn modified the rectangular laceweight Morvarch shawl into a DK weight triangular shawl with fringe, incorporating elements that are described in the book series. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: After reading Robyn’s description of the shawls that are worn in the book series, now I want to read the series! As the original Morvarch pattern is knit from the center out, Robyn used that general structure to modify the center portion to have a different design, and then framed it in cabling from Morvarch. She made additional alterations to make the shawl more triangular, and added sections to the sides, as well as fringe. Isn’t this so inspiring? Also, more books need to have detailed descriptions of knits in them, because us knitters just have so much fun bringing them to life!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to take better travel photographs. #4 has been plaguing me for ages, I had no idea I could fix it in the Instagram app.

How to get over the need to be liked by everyone you meet.

Stop shaming women for spending money on themselves.

People are not buying as much clothing as they used to, and it’s causing a lot of companies to go belly up or rethink what they stock.

What it means to make spaces more inclusive: “We don’t need to be given a space in anti-racism, we just need to take our individual spaces and make them anti-racist. We don’t need to be given a space in the Muslim/Christian/Jewish/Hindu communities, we just need to take our individual spaces and make them welcoming to Muslim/Christian/Jewish/Hindu folks. It works for everything.  We just need to take our spaces and make them more inclusive.”


My Favourite Pins This Week

Risotto is one of those dishes that I love but hardly ever make. This creamy lemon spinach version is easy-peasy has lots of bright flavours and colour, and would make an excellent side to some protein, or you could toss in some cooked shrimp, chickpeas, or diced cooked chicken and it would work all by itself. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Peanut butter and chocolate, is there any better combo?! These peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars are amazing, and perfect for anyone who loves cookies but wish they were as big as a brownie. A really straightforward recipe that perfect for weekend baking – and eating! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

I love this idea for recovering notebooks that are perhaps a little less than pretty. And it’s the perfect craft to do with the gorgeous wrapping paper you’ve been hoarding that is too precious to actually wrap gifts in! No, you don’t do that? Just me? Hmmm. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post can be found here.

It’s been a long time since I was last on the DMC Embroidery website, but I recently looked again and was blown away by all the gorgeous and modern free embroidery patterns they now have! Worth taking a look at the whole thing, but this one in particular is stunning. Pinterest link is here, and the original link is here.

I think we can all agree that the world needs more kindness. Here are 25 tiny ways to be kind to others, and I guarantee they will make you feel good about yourself, too. Complimenting a stranger is one of my favourites! I love telling another woman that I love her sweater or her dress or her taste in donuts. I always feel like when a stranger (who is not trying to follow it up or get anything from you) gives you a compliment, it feels really honest because they have no real reason to give you that compliment unless they mean it – otherwise they would be busy pretending you didn’t exist or looking at their phone. So the next time a stranger tells you your dress is fab, believe her. Pinterest link is here, and full post can be found here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Let’s all do things to help spread more kindness. It’s small, but small things add up to big things.

A Darn Good Yarn: Cowl In Progress

About this time every year, I generally get bored of all my existing cowls (I know, hard to believe!) and feel the urge to knit a new cowl. It is still deep winter here in Canada, so mixing up the winter accessories helps make it seem like spring is not so far away. Plus, a petal-coloured yarn makes it seem even closer.

This is the Casu Cowl in progress, and I’m enjoying every stitch. The pattern repeats are easy to memorize, and I love that half the cowl is moss stitch and the other half is mesh – what a great idea for a cowl pattern, having two different types of fabric and stitches on each half of the cowl (sounds like a great future modification idea, don’t you think?).

The Thanks card is a favourite from a while back, and I kept it because it reminds me that a) I actually do like pastels, and b) look at all the other great colours that easily go with it! Colour inspiration can be found anywhere.

I feel like this is a great pairing of yarn and pattern- the subtle variations enhance the stitches rather than compete with it, and single ply yarns (which can easily get pill-y quickly) resist pilling when knit up in a highly textured stitch.

The yarn is from  Darn Good Yarn, in the Samabyon colourway of their single ply worsted weight merino wool. I loved the watercolour elements of this yarn, with pale creamy shades of peach, pink, and buttercup melding into each other in a really dreamy way. I hardly ever choose pastel colours, but I wanted to try something a little different – what if I end up loving pastels?! I’ll never know if I don’t try. Breaking out of the colour rut we crafters tend to get into can be challenging – I can’t even begin to describe how much grey and green yarn I have in my stash. But this one just called to me.

Darn Good Yarn works with local women in Nepal and India to pay a living wage to help support their families while working from home.  The ability to work from home means that many of these women can work while caring for their children, and there are few opportunities for women to work from home in many of those areas. Darn Good Yarn’s products help families eat better, have proper medical care, and send their children to school.  There is something incredibly wonderful about supporting craft businesses that are working to make the world a better place.

And on top of all that, this worsted weight merino is so buttery soft, I wish you could reach through the screen and squish it. I mean, just look at it:

This is part one of a two part sponsored post series by Darn Good Yarn. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


Nephele Sweater: Why Row Gauge Matters

Why yes, I did knit a sweater the same colour as my hair. Thank you for noticing.

Ravelry project page can be found here. 

Pattern: Nephele

Yarn: Delicious Yarns Frosting in Chocolate

Mods:  No modifications on purpose, but……

I loved the Nephele sweater pattern when I first saw it, so much so I featured it on one of my Friday posts. A simple knit with a dramatic cable worked diagonally across the front, it seemed a perfect fit for the kind of wardrobe staple sweaters I want to be knitting. I decided to knit it in this gorgeous chocolate brown shade from Delicious Yarns – A seriously amazing bulky weight yarn that I am dying to use again. Super soft and seems to hold up well with wear. The sweater is super cozy, with 3/4 length sleeves providing a nice counter balance to the heavier gauge of the sweater.

So, onto the lesson I keep having to re-learn….

Why Row Gauge Matters

So, if you click  on over to the original pattern, you’ll see that the length of Nele’s sweater and my sweater are VERY different. Her Nephele sweater is hip length, and mine is clearly a tunic. Which brings me to the Achilles’s heel of my knitting life…. row gauge.

You know how in the pattern information, the gauge swatch has the number of stitches per inch AND the number of rows? I usually ignore the row gauge, because most instructions are “knit in pattern until X inches in length from (cast on/under arm/whathaveyou)”. Usually, I get away with that just fine. I swatch, but I focus on my stitches per inch, not on my row gauge.

But if you are knitting a sweater that has instructions for large scale design features that are going to travel vertically, like, say, this big dramatic cable, the instructions don’t focus on ‘knit until X inches’ and instead will focus on a certain number of pattern repeats. And if you decided to be all loosey-goosey about your row gauge like me, then there will be a difference in length.

What I Should Have Done

Now, if I had swatched properly by measuring my row gauge, I would have known that I was off. You can adjust your needle size to change the row gauge, but that will affect the fabric you get, and knitting a bulky weight sweater in a needle size much smaller than called for will result in a sweater so stiff it will look like you are wearing it even when you aren’t.

In this case, I probably would have kept my needle size and instead reduced 4 rounds from the cable pattern in each of the larger cable sections, and carried on as written. Fortunately the pattern has the sleeves worked from the top down, so I was able to get away with my lack of row gauge just fine on the sleeves!

Of course, tunic length sweaters are awesome! It’s a happy accident, I’m lucky that it didn’t affect something that would would have a negative impact on the wearability, like turning out too short (although cropped sweaters are sometimes a wardrobe choice for people, right? Not really my thing, but never say never….).

Regardless of the length, that cable has totally stolen my heart, and I love how the boat neck helps balance the movement of the cable and anchors it perfectly at the shoulder.

You can read my previous post about this sweater in progress here.


Modification Monday: Antlers Fingerless Mitts

Original Patterns: Maine Morning Mitts and Antler Hat

Knitter Extraordinaire: Patti (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the Antler hat pattern and the Maine Morning mitts as her guide, Pattie created these Antler Fingerless mitts. details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Ah, the antler cable. It looks good on everything, don’t you think?  And you know how much  I love fingerless mitts, too. What I find particularly interesting about these mitts is that a full mitten pattern exists with the same cable, but Patti wanted something more customized with a slightly different sized antler cable, and the hat has just the ticket- the antler cable size changes as you knit from the brim up to the top. Starting with a stitch count she was familiar with, and the Maine Morning Mitts as a backdrop for the thumb gusset, she used the classic cable to make the customized mitts match her hat.

The antler cable is brilliant on so many things – and just about perfect on these fingerless mitts.

From the Mod Monday Archives: You can see another great cabled mod to create a matching set here, And another fantastic cabled fingerless mitt mod here!