Pin Ups: My Favourite Things on Pinterest This Week

Pin Ups: Cake with cranberry filling | knittedbliss.com

I have yet to host a Christmas dinner, but if I did, this would be the dessert I would make- it’s a white cake with cranberry filling and orange buttercream. Seasonal, beautiful, delicious! It’s my ideal Christmas dinner dessert, I think.

Pin Ups: paper house votive | knittedbliss.com

I adore this pretty white paper house DIY, which comes with a template and great instructions in both Swedish and English. Don’t forget, you’ll need battery operated tea lights for this one- otherwise a paper house would be a really bad idea.

Pin Ups: Artichoke Flatbread | knittedbliss.com

I bet this time of year, you’re so busy with parties and shopping and all the social gatherings, you need a fast dinner that also has some veggies involved. May I present to you a super quick artichoke flatbread dinner? It comes together in less than 20 mins and has loads of veg. You can’t beat that.

Pin Ups: Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate | knittedbliss.com

Speaking of those holiday gatherings, this nutella hot chocolate recipe is fit for a crowd and is made in a slow cooker- it is the perfect festive beverage for all ages, all winter long.

Pin Ups: How to Make Small Talk | knittedbliss.com

Talking to strangers in a party setting makes me nervous, but I loved this article that suggests lots of fun, different actually interesting ways to start conversations with people you don’t know very well. I already tried some of these at my recent office Christmas party, and it worked! I didn’t once worry if I was boring the other person or not. It’s definitely a refreshing way to approach conversations.

The Best Knitting-Themed Books for Kids

Kids are always fascinated by knitting, and I love how many wonderful knitting-themed books for kids there are available. For those of you still looking to find a quick last minute gift for a little one, might I suggest we indoctrinate them early, and get them to like knitting when they are young? The ages ranges I’ve suggested her are only general guidelines, no doubt lots of kids of ages beyond those listed would be interested in the books. I’ve rounded up some books in each age category, with a brief description of each story (without giving anything away).  The links all point to Amazon.com, but if you can get them at a local bookstore, I always support buying local. And if they are not possible locally, Amazon-dot-whichever-your-country will no doubt have it! Here is my list of the top 12 best knitting-themed books for kids:

Knitting Books for Toddlers: Ages 2-4

Knitting Themed Books for Kids: Ages 2-4 | knittedbliss.com

Clockwise from top Left: 

Knitty Kitty: This is a great book to start off the youngest ones. The rhythm of the prose is lovely, the words are simple, and the illustrations are beautiful. Lila loves this one.

Noodle’s Knitting: Noodle the mouse finds a wonderful ball of yarn, and decides to knit a huge scarf… until she gets all tangled up!

Freddie’s Blanket: This sweet book is about a little platypus transferring to his own bed, and includes actual knitting patterns!

Mischief in the Forest: Grandma Johnson lives alone in the woods and loves to knit, but one day when she returns from the city, her yarn is gone!  With the help of her grandchildren, they explore the forest and visit with the animals to find out what has become of her yarn.

Knitting Books for Young Kids: Ages 4-6

Knitting Themed Books for Kids: ages 4-6| knittedbliss.com

Clockwise from top Left: 

Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf:  This is a great book about a little girl learning to knit, and facing the frustrations and imperfections of that first project. It also comes as a deluxe set, and I’m pretty partial to it(you can see my review here).

Knitting Nell: This is a story about a little girl who was made to feel badly about her voice, so she doesn’t talk much- but she sure does knit a lot! Also talks a bit about charity knitting, which isn’t something you see much of in children’s books.

Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza: Annie the owl loves to knit, but the other owls don’t want to wear her knitted creations. So she knits herself an air balloon and goes off in search of animals that will appreciate her knitting.

Phoebe’s Sweater: This is a sweet book by the same author as Freddie’s Blanket. Phoebe is about to become a big sister, and learns about her new role in the family. This book also includes the knitting patterns for the knits featured in the story.

Knitting books for older kids:  Ages 6-9

Knitting Themed Books for Kids: Ages 6-9 | knittedbliss.com

 

Clockwise from top Left: 

Shall I Knit You a Hat? When mother rabbit hears of a blizzard heading their way, she knits a special hat for rabbit. He loves the hat so much, they set about trying to knit for all their friends.

That Darn Yarn! : This is a pretty cool format- there are two stories in one! On one side of the book, is a sock monkey who gets snagged and begins to unravel. On the other side, a young girl find a ball of yarn and begins to knit a sock money. Watching these two stories come together is really clever and fun.

Extra Yarn: This utterly charming book is about a little girl who finds a magic box of yarn, and knit  a sweater for everyone and everything in her home town, until it’s famous. The illustrations are extraordinary.

The Magic Ball of Wool  : one morning, Hedgehog wakes up to find a ball of wool stuck to his prickles. A spider teaches him how to knit, and he knits things for all his forest friends. Then one day, something happens and he needs a lot more yarn- this is a sweet book about helping others out, even when it’s difficult.

Modification Monday: Make a Decision

Modification Monday: Make a Decision | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Dessine-Moi un Mouton 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sandra (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Turned the lovely pullover into a beautiful cardigan, changed the gauge slightly, and took some amazingly detailed notes on how to turn this sweater into a cardi. Project page with all the info can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’ve always loved the original pullover, but Sandra’s cardigan-ized version shows a whole new versatile approach to this knit! What I particularly like is that Sandra notes that for her job, she often has to move between really cold rooms and really hot rooms, so cardigans make much more sense for her lifestyle (and your knits should ALWAYS make sense for your lifestyle).   Changing a pattern from in the round to flat can sometimes have some challenges- like working the broken seed stitch flat instead of in the round.  the results turned out great- the button band works perfectly with the overall design, and the sweater has the versatility that she set out to get. A total win. And let’s not forget- colourful stripes means lots of mix-and-match options!

 

Modification Monday: Make a Decision | knittedbliss.com

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things on Pinterest This Week

And the winner of the Pattern Writing for Knit Designers Giveaway is……. Jane! Jane wrote:

“Before I actually wrote patterns, I never would have thought I would need a book to do it (after all, I’m a pretty competent knitter, a decent writer, and I’ve read enough patterns to know a good one from a bad one), but 3 patterns in, I know far less about pattern writing than I knew before I ever attempted one of my own ;) This book would be the perfect “cheat sheet” so I can spend less time making pattern writing mistakes, and more time dreaming up new patterns!”

Congratulations Jane!!

I’m clearly loving all the festive, holiday-themed items blowing up on Pinterest lately:

Pin Ups: 4 Hot Holiday Drinks | knittedbliss.com

No matter what sort of hot beverages you like, I bet something on this post will be just right for you- Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon and Orange Liqueur, Easy Gingerbread Latte, Dulce de Leche Ho Chocolate, and Easy Chai Latte. I’ll have one of each, please.

Pin Ups: Pinecone cookies | knittedbliss.com

These pinecone cookies are so awesome, and while the DIY does look like it takes a bit of time, they don’t look too unhealthy- they are at least high in fiber!  I totally want to make these.

Pin Ups: Felt Fox Ornament | knittedbliss.com

How cute is this DIY felt fox ornament?! It could also be used as a seasonal gift topper.  THe link contains templates for all the shapes you need to make your very own.

Pin Ups: Pesto Bread Wreath | knittedbliss.com

This pesto bread wreath is high impact and so tasty. pesto bread in any shape would be tasty, but like this it has a real wow factor. The page is in German, but if you right click, you can translate into English easy-peasy.

Pin Ups: DIY Star garland | knittedbliss.com

I’m sort of in love with this DIY star garland- I want to make it, put it up in my home, and probably never take it down because it’s so lovely.  Now I want a star-shaped punch like the one in the tutorial!

Pattern Writing for Knit Designers: Review and Giveaway!

Pattern Writing for Knit Designers

Thinking about pattern designing? Or have you already started designing, but don’t have it all figured out yet? Pattern Writing for Knit Designers  is an absolute must read if you want to take your patterns to the next level. This book is not going to explain how to grade patterns (grading patterns means figuring out all the math to create multiple sizes for the pattern), so let’s get that part out of the way right off the bat. But there is still a lot of detail that goes into creating a pattern beyond just the sizing, and this book covers ALL of that, including formatting and layout, copyright, selling online, a basic pattern template, and a really great resources section on where to find more detail and instructions (like links to all the submission guidelines for the major knitting magazines, 11 resources for lots of help with pattern grading), and great tips throughout for every single aspect of creating a pattern.

You should know right away that this book is truly an incredible resource. Unless you are a full time professional knitwear designer who has been in the game for years and years; if you design or want to design, you need this book. This is a game changer.  I particularly enjoyed the section on creating a style sheet, to help make pattern writing easier and more consistent for yourself, and the appendix is a rich resource for further detailed reading on all the subjects she addresses, although there is already so much in the book, other than the pattern grading I bet you’ll feel that you have plenty of valuable information to start with.

The format is well laid out and easy to read, with a fun repeating feature of little boxes with bonus tips that pop up throughout the book, entitled “Things you can do to make knitters LOVE you” which is like the extra credit round of pattern awesomeness to include.  There are even little pop quiz sections to talk about how to improve knitting  instructions: it gives you a section of a pattern, and then you have to think about how you would improve it. I didn’t always figure out the answer!

Here’s a sample page from inside, from the photography section:

Patterns 1

There is a very clear decision that this book is about making patterns as friendly as possible for beginner knitters, and if you follow Kate on Twitter, then you’ll notice that the book is very true to her sly tweeting style. The book can be a little intimidating- do you really have to do ALL these things to make a really great pattern? But even if you only took a handful of suggestions from this book, your patterns will be improved.  I’m not sure I’d do everything listed (I hate patterns that are so many pages I’m razing a small forest just to print it out) but there are takeaway gems for every level of designer in here.

So- you’re wondering where you can get this book, right? Of course you are! It’s available right now by digital download here, and print copies will be released in the new year. You could also win a copy, right here!

There is only one copy to win, and to enter, please leave a comment here or on the KB Facebook page  letting me know why you think you really, really need this book. Comments close midnight tomorrow (Thursday, December 11th (EST)), and the winner will be announced on Friday. Good luck!