Modification Mondays: Albert

 How cute is this little guy?? Everyone, meet Albert:

Original Pattern: Elijah

Knitter Extraordinaire:
Whitney (Rav Id, blog)

Turned Elijah to adorable Elephant into Alberta, the super adorable monkey!! Project page for Albert is here, and included full details on exactly how she turned an elephant into a monkey.  Alberta even has a little i-cord tail, although the tail is not visible in the shot.

What Makes This Awesome: Are you kidding?! Monkeys make everything awesome! The very fact she turned an elephant into a monkey is pretty awesome, but her clear notes on exactly how to do it are invaluable for anyone who wants a little monkey of their own. It was so great of Whitney to share!

This monkey mod was so successful, she even made a little pink monkey named Bella. Here’s a shot of Bella at a tea party with some other friends you may recognize:

Is that not the cutest tea party you’ve ever seen?! Swoon.

The Best Damn Smoothie Recipe

 I’ve been reading A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table. I highly recommend! This beautiful and charming book is a cross between a cookbook of delicious recipes and a moving recount of a woman’s life impacted by her family’s and her own love of food and food preparation. Everyone should read this and realize that it’s important to cook with your kids, and it’s important to eat meals as a family. I’m not surprised that the author’s blog is so popular- she write in a way that is honest, simple, and compelling, just like her recipes.

I love to cook and bake, but my apartment’s oven is a shameful disappointment- it heats really unevenly, and I pretty much have to rotate everything that goes in there several times, as well as play with the bake vs. broil settings to prevent the bottom from getting burned while the top is undercooked.  I know it sounds silly, but when I cook something and it turns out badly, I take it personally. I can handle bad knits, I can handle a bad day at work, but a bad turn in the kitchen? Makes me want to sob like a little child.

A recent baking success has been Snickerdoodles. Have you ever eaten a Snickerdoodle? I made a batch on the weekend and they were AMAZING. Like the perfect cross between a doughnut and a cookie. Simple, sugary, lovely. I wish I had snapped some pictures before they all got eaten! Recipe (and an accurate photo) are here. But here is a recent winning recipe from my kitchen (possibly because it doesn’t involve the oven). My husband is in LOVE with this. Heck, I’m in love with this! It is, without question, the beast smoothie I’ve ever had, anywhere.

The  Best Damn Chocolate/PB/Banana Smoothie You’ll Ever Have


  • 1 banana
  • 3 cups of skim milk
  • 7-10 ice cubes (if you want it really thick, add more ice cubes)
  • 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • Directions: through it all into a blender and let ‘er rip for about 4 minutes, or until all your ice has been fully incorporated into the smoothie. The long your blend, the frothier it gets.

    Servings: 4. Or two huge portions that pretty much make you full for hours, which is what happens in our home.

    G is a total chocoholic, so you might be happier with a bit less syrup, but in my house that would be sacrilege. If you try it, let me know what you think.

    Modification Mondays: Shrug for Daughter

    Original Pattern: Amber Beaded Cardigan

    Knitter Extraordinaire:
    Candace (Rav Id)

    Turned the lovely and long tie-front cardigan into a perfect little shrug for her daughter. eliminated the length, and used the lace trim around the hem, to match the neckline and sleeves.

    What Makes This Awesome: Candace’s shrug take on the cardi is such a great example of a well-chosen modification for a pattern. The original cardi has a different stitch section below the bust closure, so it was simple enough to only knit the shrug portion. I also think the beads are a gorgeous match for the yarn she chose. so many cardigans would make excellent shrugs or boleros, and take a significantly smaller quantity of yarn. I’m a little surprised that more people haven’t knitted this pattern-it’s free, and a really pretty cardi. Project page is here.

    FO: Felix Baby Cardi and Apple Cozy

    Pattern: Silly Apple Cozy

    Yarn: stash red acrylic and stash green merino

    Needles: 5 mm dpns, and 3.5 mm needles for the leaf

    Mods: made the cozy much smaller than the original pattern called for- I don’t buy gigantic apples that often. Also added a leaf from this pattern.

    Notes: I love this little apple cozy, it’s a pretty hygienic way to transport an apple that I would typically just toss into my purse for a snack at work. I added a little leaf by the button, because for some unknown reason, I felt utterly compelled to have an apple cozy look just like an apple. But yet I have no sound argument as to why I did that. Hmm. A little armchair psychology, anyone?

    Pattern: Felix’s Cardigan

    Yarn: stash, I believe an acrylic/cotton blend from Paton’s. 2 Skeins.

    Needles: 5 mm

    Mods: went up a needle size to make this a bit bigger.

    Notes: The cardigan patterns was a simple top down construction, which was great. I think it’s safe to say that the awesome robot buttons make this sweater. I got them on, from Buttered Parsnips. I love her buttons!! I’ll be buying more for future kid knits, for sure. I found it really hard to find great buttons for boy knits, abut she has lots of great designs.
    How cute are they?!

    Modification Mondays: OMA Blue Green

    Original Pattern: Cable Neck Raglan Top *

    Knitter Extraordinaire:
    Melanie (Rav id, Flickr id)

    Adjusted the pattern to be knit in the round, adjusted length and shaping to suit her body, and used a modified linen stitch for the neck, sleeves, and hem with an applied i-cord bind off. Oh, and did I mention she also included pleats on the cap sleeves? Because she did, and damn does it ever look like that’s how it was meant to be.

    What Makes This Awesome: Oh, so many things. Like the fact that she hand dyed the yarn that she used. And then there is the beautifully contrasting neck, sleeve trim, and hem. And the pleats looks so pretty, it’s like cap sleeve perfection. Let’s get a closer look at the modified linen stitch trim, shall we? Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Project page is here.

    *This pattern is available to Rowan members only. I’ve been considering a Rowan membership for a while (thinking of asking for one for Christmas, actually), and I’ve learned that there are quite a few perks to being a member- free yarn, free patterns, and access to their entire archive of previous members only patterns, which is pretty remarkable. Membership info is here.