Book Review & Giveaway: Coastal Knits

 This is easily one of the most beautiful pattern collections I can ever remember seeing. Every aspect- the patterns, the photographs, the sketches, the information on the design process, the layout- everything contributes to the overall look and feel of this book. Some of my favourite patterns are:

Water’s Edge Cardigan 

 Rustling Leaves Beret:

Rocky Coast Cardigan:

 Gnarled Oak Cardigan:

What strikes me the most about this pattern collection is that every single knit looks easy to wear. Not over styled, but realistically pretty- like any of us could knit this, put it on, and get the exact same look.

Alana and Hannah seem very well paired in this East Coast/West Coast collaboration- the knits work together as a collection really well, and it seems only fitting that they share the glory of the two most popular patterns- Alana designed the Rustling Leaves beret and Hannah designed the Rocky Coast cardigan, both are the strong runners for most popular pattern in the collection.

Looking at the patterns on Ravelry does not do this book justice- it really is a gem.  I really liked the patterns when I saw them on Ravelry, but it wasn’t until a had a copy of the book in my hands that I was utterly blown away by the whole collection. You need to get this! And when you do, head on over to the Ravelry Coastal Knits Group for a community of others who are also knitting the patterns. You know what else would be fun? How about we give away a copy of Coastal Knits? Leave me a comment below telling me your favourite pattern from the collection by November 20th, 12:00 p.m. (that’s noon!) EST.

Wee Wednesdays: Baby Blanket Progress

I tip my cap to Jolene, who suggested a fabulous new feature for the blog when commenting on the baby news- Wee Wednesdays! So, sometimes on a Wednesday (not every Wednesday, but I’ll confine baby knits and baby talk to Wednesdays) I’ll post about something baby/knitting related. Like this baby blanket:

 The night I was knitting the baby blanket, and then was struck by the
thought that I only needed 5 colours for the blanket, not six, and what
was I going to do with the extra colour?! I stared at it for twenty
minutes trying to figure out how to modify the pattern to incorporate
that 6th colour when it slowly dawned on me… I did indeed only have 5
colours. And then I realized all the work clothes that fit me right now
are grey, which is boring. And then I started to cry. Because I
apparently can’t count to 5 and all my clothes are grey.

I may have missed out on morning sickness, but hormone craziness has hit me like a tonne of bricks.

But I let some days pass and looked at it again. And I started to think that  maybe it was looking a bit off, so I tried it without the green… which:

 Makes me think of  the 70’s. Or clowns from the 70’s. There are laws about red and orange being used together that requires more spacing than what I’ve done here in this second take. I don’t know what I was thinking, taking the green out of the mix. Hormones, give me back my knitting mojo!

UPDATE: The pattern I’m using is a free baby blanket pattern which you can find here.

Modification Monday: Spring is Here! Cowl


Original Pattern: Susie’s Reading Mitts

Knitter Extraordinaire: Elin (Ravelry Id)

Mods: Transformed the fingerless mitt pattern into a a cowl.  Project page with full details on how to make the cowl can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love the original pattern, because it is the perfect balance of the simple (lots of stockinette) and feminine detail (the eyelet and picot trim is so perfect). I’m not surprised at all that someone wanted to make a beautiful matching set out of this- that kind of prettiness begs to be near the face. And doesn’t it look so perfect with the original Susie’s Reading Mitts? I bet this set would be a perfect holiday gift.

Best Canadian Poetry 2011

I know I don’t normally talk about writing here, but I’m super excited to announce that one of my poems has been published in the 2011 collection of The Best Canadian poetry in English:

Every year, a special guest editor for the anthology goes through the literary journals that published poetry that year and choose 50 poems to be collected into the work. I’m very honoured! I know I don’t talk about writing poetry much, but it’s something I’ve always done. It’s gratifying to be included in this year’s anthology.

Modification Monday: Modified SummerTurban

Original Pattern: Knit Yourself a Turban

Knitter Extraordinaire: Allyson (Ravelry Id, Blog)

Mods: Changed the pattern to be more lightweight and summer appropriate, and wrapped the front differently. Details on all her mods can be found on her project page, as well as some super cute photos showing how she styles her turban.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m normally not big on turbans (despite thinking Elizabeth Taylor always looked mighty fine in her many turbans), but this is one I could totally see myself wearing- it’s cute, fun, stylish and looks so much easier to wear than I ever would have imagined. I love the way Allyson did the extra wrapping at the front, and the whole effect is tidy and polished. I can’t imagine a cuter summer hat than this!