Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Pattern: Pink Grapefruit Mitts

Yarn: Bijou Basin Himalayan Trail (Yak and Merino) in ‘Fergus’ 

Needles: 2.75 mm (US 2)

Ravelry Project Page is here. 

Mods: I went down a needle size, because the yarn originally called for in the pattern has a high twist, giving it more elasticity while knitting. in order to make sure I got the right size, it was worth going down a needle size for a yarn that has a less elastic ply.

I was pretty blown away from the Bijou Spun Himalayan Trail yak/merino yarn. This was my first time using yak fiber, and it was incredibly soft, and incredibly strong. There is some great natural texture from combining the yark and merino fibers, and the plying reminds me a lot of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, only stronger.  It’s still August, but I can already see that these are going to be an easy favourite for fall.  They are so soft, and I absolutely love the colour! ‘Fergus’ is a wonderfully rich, cool-toned burgundy that I love.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

The yarn has a slight halo effect that almost makes it look like they aren’t in focus in photos (we did three different photo shoots for these mitts, convinced we were having a problem with the focus!), but it’s actually just the wonderfully soft texture of the yarn that gives it that look, while still having great stitch definition. The best of both worlds, if you ask me.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

I decided to knit an older pattern of mine, Pink Grapefruit Mitts, from back in 2011. It’s such a neat experience to knit a pattern that you designed a while ago, because it feels completely new – I certainly didn’t remember how to do any of the details or even the featured stitch, so I followed along like it was a completely new pattern designed by someone else. And I loved it! I think sometimes when you design a pattern, you get so caught up in trying to get it right and sorting out the tricky spots and trying to make it clear and concise that it’s almost impossible to enjoy it as a knitting pattern anymore.  Giving it some time and then knitting it made me appreciate the pattern so much, and I feel like I got it right. Of course, there are no patterns out there that are perfect for every single knitter, but this one was just right for me, and I loved the thumb gusset. I am definitely going to use that thumb gusset again in a future design, it was so easy and looks so subtle.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Lila was very interested in participating in the photo shoots (all of them!) and we have some awesome outtakes for a follow-up post. And you know how much I love outtakes! 😉

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Modification Monday: Margot

Modification Monday: Margot |

Original Pattern: Margot 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Kelly (Ravelry ID,  blog)

Mods: Changed the gauge from sportweight to Worsted, adjusted overall fit for a more form fitting shape with added bust darts. Project page with more details can be found  here 

What Makes This Awesome: I love that Kelly found this beautiful yarn that she wanted to knit with, and went for a great way to modify a sweater- She swatched and figured out that if she followed the pattern for the small size (generally), it would come out in her size with her worsted gauge. To get the close fit she was looking for, adding shaping around the bust is a brilliant idea and this projects was the first time she tried the technique! What is so effective about Kelly’s modifications for a more fitted sweater is that it fits great without being too tight, shows off the yarn exactly as she aimed, and got a fantastic fitting sweater for her efforts. A total win.

Modification Monday: Margot |

p.s. Kelly’s sweater reminds me of when I knit this sweater, which I adore! Must be the colours.

Pin Ups and Link Love: MY Favorite Things This Week

I loved this essay by Mindy Kaling on getting killer confidence. She felt like she flubbed a response when a young girl asked her how to get more confident, so she wrote all about it.

This beautiful photo series show a wolf and bear are the best of friends. I love reading stories of interspecies friendships, it shows how our need for connection and companionship is present in all living things.

Had a rough day, and it’s 4 p.m. and you’re ready to just throw in the towel and watch Netflix until bedtime? Today is not over yet.

How the Do What You Love movement for work isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A very interesting article about how DWYL is overworking more people and paying them less. I had such conflicting thoughts when I read this!

And the winner of the amazing Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petites Babies kit is…… Bonnie, who chose Emilie the elephant! Congratulations, Bonnie! I’ll send you an email to get your address.

Pin Ups and Link Love: California Sandwich |

I’ve only recently heard about a California sandwich, and I’m totally on board- so fresh, so tasty, and so healthy! Can all my work lunches be this awesome? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Strawberry Cake Balls|

Chocolate covered strawberry cake ball truffles. Oh yes, this is a thing! This recipe is easy-peasy, and look how pretty the results are. Plus you could easily improvise with the recipe- any colour cake, any colour chocolate coating. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Faux Latvian Braid|

I’m a fan of all the great techniques on TECHknitting, and this is a great on for a faux Latvian braid effect, applied to stockinette with a crochet hook.  What I love about this technique is that you don’t have to decide to do it while you are knitting, you can easily add it on as a decorative detail afterwards. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Wall Stencil |

This is such a simple and pretty way to paint an accent wall. And I think it would be so great in a bathroom, too! Everything is prettier with gold stars on it, right? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Backyard Dinner Party|

In the last weeks of summer, wouldn’t it be great to host  a backyard dinner party? Oven baked pizzas, blooms from the garden,  some candles…. we’ve got to make the most of the good weather while it’s still here, right? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! We’re scheduled to have beautiful weather here, and I’m hoping to spend lots of time outside, soaking it all up. How about you? What have you got going on this weekend?

Finished Knit & a Giveaway: Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Babies

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Lion  |

I know, I know- I’m a toy knitting addict! I just can’t resist the cuteness! I swear I also have some accessories finished and ready to be photographed.  Side note- I’m not the only one who keeps beautiful cards that they’ve been given, right?  I adored this pretty thank-you card from a friend, and it turned out to be the perfect colour for Lisette’s little dining room photoshoot. I wanted to give her a setting befitting her royal status!

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Lion  |

This is the finished Lisette Lion from the Blue Sky Alpacas kit, first blogged here. I mentioned in that post how impressed I was by the kit- if you knew a knitter who liked to knit toys (or wanted to try knitting a toy) you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier kit than this.  It comes with absolutely everything you need to make the toy- yarn, stuffing, safety eyes, thread to embroider the face and the yarn for the crown, too. Even little plastic beans, for the body to have that beanie baby feel! the weight of them really helps give the toy stability.

The instructions come with options for both knitting it flat/seamed or in the round, so you can choose your own knitting adventure. I’m so used to knitting toys flat, I stuck with it. The toy knits up fast, but I advise you to keep the bits all corralled in a small bag to avoid any losses! I also ‘sculpted’ the face of the little lady lion using Barbara Prime‘s (the designer of this whole series of knitted toys) helpful tutorial on her blog. I feel like it helped shape the muzzle appropriately.

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Lion  |

It’s small in stature, as any toy that is described as a ‘baby’ might be-  but is fascinating for my daughter. She is really intrigued by the crown, and loves the limbs which are just right for small hands to grab and squish.

 The kits are now available in some local yarn stores, and available online herehere, here and here.   But hey, wouldn’t it be really amazing and would totally make your day if you actually won one of these kits?  Then check out the little royal babies below, and leave me a comment about which one you absolutely must knit- and would it be for you, or for someone special? Let me know!

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

Top row, from left to right: Marcel the monkey, Emilie the elephant, and Lisette the lion.

Bottom row, from left to right: Georgitte the giraffe, Rene the Rhino, and Hector the hippo.

**Giveaway will close midnight tomorrow (Thursday, August 20th) and the winner will be announced on Friday. Good luck, everyone! **

Modification Monday: We Love You, Guineas!

1 guinea 2

Original Pattern: Betsy’s Goose

Knitter Extraordinaire: Erin (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Erin adjusted the proportions of the head, neck, and body and customised the facial features to change the goose pattern to look like a guinea fowl instead. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This is a great example of a completely customised gift. Erin made this for her mom, because they live next to some guineafowl and completely adore watching them. Erin used all her own handspun, and even custom dyed some of the colours. I lovedc reading her details about how she tried out colours for the legs and facial details, until she got it right.On her project page, you can even see photos of the actual guineas, so you can tell that she really nailed it! What a sweet, customized, one-of-a-kind gift. Maybe there is an animal lover you know that could use a customized knitted version of their most loved animal? Even if you can’t find an exact pattern, you can always tweak it and add some modifications (or mash up two or more patterns!) to get the right effect.

Modification Monday: We Love You Guineas! |