Sweet Paul Knitting Love

First off, I’ll be reporting all about my wonderful Chicago trip tomorrow- I’m still organizing all the photos!

I’ve been a fan of the NYC food & prop stylist Sweet Paul for a while- his blog is so gorgeous, and I love his recipes and craft tutorials. He’s recently been a bit obsessed with knitted home decor, even though he can’t knit. So he chopped up some discount H&M sweaters and broke out the trusty hot glue gun. Results?

 He’s starting an online magazine this coming spring, in the new, soon-to-be tradition of Lonny Magazine, etc. I love his commitment to bringing crafts into decor!

Modification Monday: Fylingdales Modified

Original Pattern: Fylingdales

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jillian (Rav Id, Blog)

Mods: Scaled down the size of the pattern by 10 inches, changed the gauge, lengthened the body, added waist shaping, changed the collar from shawl to mandarin. Details on the modifications are here.

What Makes This Awesome: The smallest size in the original pattern is 42″ chest, so making it TEN INCHES smaller and changing gauge is a world of math right there.This is a wonderful example of how you can takes a boxy men’s sweater and transform it into something gorgeous and flattering for curves. the mandarin collar is a lovely touch, and the longer torso with the waist shaping makes this so, so flattering. This is the perfect mod- taking a pattern that a lot of people might not look twice at, and transforming it into a got-to-have-it knit. Amazing!!  I totally want to knit this!

Buttons of Miscellany

A friend of mine had a grandmother who collected buttons, which were squirrelled away over the years, snipped off shirts and sweaters that were outgrown or headed for the rag pile. One night when she was visiting Toronto, we had a couple of martinis and she told me about them. How old they were, how pretty, and how she couldn’t’ bear to give them to goodwill. “I’ll take them!” I said. “I always need buttons.”

So…. she sent them to me. Along with some yarn as wedding present (How awesome is getting yarn for a wedding present?! Hooray!!)

 This in an incredible amount of buttons, people. And these are just the ones in the ‘white buttons’ bag.  Now look closer- I’ve flipped them over so you can see their backs in the second shot. Do you see what I see?

They are shells. the vast majority of these white buttons are made from a white and pink shell. I want to say they look like conch, but I’m not sure. I’m not up on my shell nomenclature.They have this substantial weight to them, you can tell right away they aren’t plastic. And then there was another giant lot of coloured buttons, all shapes and sizes. I’ve taken a few shots of my favourites:

I can’t wait to use them!! I foresee a lot of button embellished projects in the future….

Erica and I went to Tango Palace Coffee Company recently. It’s my new favourite coffee joint!! Tonnes of bakery goodies, nice and cozy, unhurried atmosphere, and only a few doors down from The Purple Purl. If Erica hadn’t totally called me out on exploring somewhere new, I might never know how great Tango Palace was. They have a hot chocolate menu that rivals a starbucks coffee menu. That’s pretty fantastic in my world.

 Here’s Erica knitting away at the collar of her cabled seed stitch cardigan- it’s already gorgeous, and it isn’t even off the needles yet!

Tomorrow I fly out to Chicago, to visit Eliza and have a weekend getaway in the Windy City. Report to follow!!

Modification Monday: Swallowtail-Ish

Original Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl and Ishbel

Knitter Extraordinaire: Lauren (Rav Id, Blog)

Mods: Combined the simple stockinette of the Ishbel shawl with the lily of the valley lace edging from the Swallowtail shawl.

What Makes This Awesome: What would happen if you took two of the most popular and most knitted shawl patterns out there, and created a hybrid?  This is the perfect combination of the best aspects of each shawl that made them so popular- most people love the look of the lily of the valley lace edging (although actually knitting laceweight nupps is a totally different story), and most people love the beautiful simplicity of Ishbel, with it’s stockinette and lace lace edging. The beauty of the Ishbel pattern is that it lends itself so well to using other lace edgings, for those who feel like mixing it up. Just look at the gorgeous results!!

FO: Spiced Citron

Pattern: Citron

Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer in “spice” colourway

Needles: 4 mm

Mods: Cast off using my favourite shawl cast off, from the Twilight Shawl.

Ravelry project page is here.

Notes: Love, love, love. The pattern is wonderful, and great for on-the-go knitting, since it’s lightweight and isn’t any more complicated than stockinette and increases and decreases. Yet it produces a wonderfully unfussy, utterly perfect shawl. If you aren’t into lace, then people, this is your shawl.

 (I know I didn’t do the typical wingspan/full shawl shot, but I’ll distract you with a shot of Gatsby and me having a moment instead)

I hadn’t used Knitpicks Shimmer before, but I love the result. Especially in the spice colourway- I really wish they had more yarns available in this colour, it’s amazing!! That perfect burnt orange, with lovely shades of turmeric and deep red, made me love this shawl even more. I tend to fall back into the same kind of colour palette with my clothes, so I love having shawls in colours I don’t usually wear- it’s the perfect way to change up an outfit or a look, without a wardrobe overhaul.

(I love how well the little horse pin goes with the shawl- the horsey has the same russet tones. It’s really old- it was vintage to begin with, and I’ve had it since I was a child. I’m shocked I never lost it.)

I need to have an Etsy gush for a moment. Here’s a picture of the t-shirt I’m wearing in the photos above, which I love.

 My wonderful husband got me an awesome and different t-shirt from this etsy seller for Christmas. And I loved it, but the size wasn’t right. We conversed with the seller, who did up a new one in the size I needed, but because we had to wait a few weeks for the t-shirts she prints on to arrive at her workshop, she threw in the awesome t-shirt pictured above. Just because she felt bad about me having to wait. Now I have two awesome t-shirts! And a lot of love for the seller.

See, if I had ordered from a big on-line store, and they were out of stock, tough bananas for me. But what I love about buying on Etsy is that direct relationship between the craft-person and the buyer, so that if there is a hiccup, even a tiny one,  they go out of their way to make your shopping experience with them memorable and wonderful. You feel life they actually care about you, and that’s how you get customers for life. NY Hop, I love you!!