Stripes and More: Two Skein Knitting Projects

If your stash is anything like mine, you have a lot of fingering weight skeins. They are easy to buy and easy to stash, so it comes as little surprise when you eventually realize you have a whole bunch of lonely, single skeins of fingering weight and sock yarn. I recently found two skeins in my stash that seem to have been secretly going out in the storage drawer, because they look like they are so in love:

On the left, Madeline Tosh Sock in Grenadine, and on the right, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Tayet Fingering in Fog.

Two-skein knitting projects are brilliant for reducing your stash and finally using beautiful skeins that demanded to go home with you but then fell silent when you tried to figure out what to make with them. Once I saw how in love my skeins were, I started looking at two skein knitting patterns and found so many amazing ones that it’s proving impossible to choose!

Shawls

Top Row, Left to Right: Aisling, Metropolitan

Middle Row, Left to Right: Mormorio, Loop

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Sizzle PopEmiliana

I’m utterly smitten with Metropolitan, but I so love the original colour combo that I don’t think I would be happy with my colour choices here. But Aisling, Mormorio, and Loop feel like the strong contenders for me. Or maybe Emiliana?

Cowls

When it comes to two-colour fingering weight cowls, there are lots of good options, but I’ve focused on these 6 that I really love:

 

Top Row, Left to Right: Yarn Tamer, Jujika

Middle Row, Left to Right: Seashore CowlUp North

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Chromatic Cowl, Foolproof

I’m considering Jujika, but I need to swatch to see what the crosses will look like- my yarns might not have enough contrast. I have loved the Seashore Cowl for so long I’m really surprised I haven’t knit it yet, and you guys know how much I love a cowl that keeps my shoulder cozy! All of these are cowls that I think are beautiful, but don’t feel hemmed in by just these examples if they don’t strike your fancy. Add up your total yardage for the two skeins you want to use, and do a Ravelry search based on the yardage. Just because a pattern doesn’t have stripes doesn’t mean you can’t add them in!

Socks

Socks and I have a dodgy history, because I have weird toes and have not spent enough time investigating the wonders of toe up constructions, or found my perfect toe pocket for my wide, snow-shovel type toes. But one day when I find the perfect toe pocket, these socks are all on my radar. Especially Alfrick!

Top Row, Left to Right: Luna Socks, Alfrick

Middle Row, Left to Right: Socks of a Different Stripe, Pixel Stitch Socks

Bottom Row, Left to Right: Carpita, There & Back Again Socks

Do you guys have any fingering weight skeins that could have a lovely relationship together in one of these two skein sock yarn patterns? I’m having a tough time deciding. Some swatching is definitely in order!

Modification Monday: The Choice Cardigan

Original Pattern: The Choice

Knitter Extraordinaire: Timea (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Significantly shortened the length of the cardigan. Details and more photos are on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Never underestimate the power of a simple modification for big impact. Timea shortened the length of this pretty top-down cabled cardigan, and it makes a huge impact. When looking at knitting patterns, think about what it might look like if you lengthened or shortened it by 6 inches or more. If you love cropped cardigans, look at other patterns and imagine what it would look like at your ideal length. And if you love long tunics, look at typical cardigan patterns and imagine what they would look like at your preferred longer length. Shortening or lengthening a knit can have a big impact not only on how it looks, but how comfortable you feel in it. Knit garments in lengths you love!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

A happiness lesson from the movie Ground Hog Day.

Iceland figured out to solve the problem of teenagers drinking and doing drugs, and it’s amazing.

Deep winter can often feel pretty blah- how about getting some awesome low-maintenance house plants to beautify and add serenity to your home?

Practicing mindfulness in a loud world.

My Favourite Pins This Week

How pretty are these marbled sugar cookies?! I love the effect, its achieved by tinting half the dough with some food colouring (or beet juice, if you want to be totally all natural) and rolling them in to balls before mashing them all together. Such a clever idea, and the recipe is super easy! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I’m not normally a big fan of pasta bakes, because it usually involves making an entire pasta meal and THEN baking it in the oven with more ingredients….. that’s cooking the same dish twice, in my opinion. But sometimes, you want a comforting cheesy dinner that hits all the right spots. And that, my friends, is worth the extra effort. A delicious weekend dinner! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I used to eat breakfast every morning. Those were wonderful, child-free days. Now if I get a smoothie organized it’s the closest I get! This coffee protein smoothie is fast and delicious, and the trick of freezing the coffee in ice cubes means you don’t even have to actually make the coffee in the morning. I do have a confession, though- try as I might, I dislike chia seeds and hemp seeds. I know its’ the food trend to sprinkle tiny, stick-in-your-teeth seeds on everything, but I just can’t do it. I can report this smoothie is very delicious without seeds. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

If you have wanted to try dying yarn but every time you read a tutorial it seems like a load of work, then this is the tutorial for you! A simplified approach that minimizes mess and is totally achievable in a tiny kitchen. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

If you want to up your productivity, this is one of the best lists I’ve read recently with tips on how to improve. I’d skip ahead to start reading from point 10 onward, since the beginning seems like the usual well-worn terrain of productivity advice, but the stuff after that I pure gold. My favourites are… I can’t even pick a handful of favourites, there are that many great tips to work through.  Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Modification Monday: Ocean

Original Pattern: #10 Round Yoke Tunic

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alina (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Loads! Lengthened the body from A-line tunic to a dress, changed gauge to fingering weight, machine knit the stockinette, hand knit the lace, adjusted the neckline to be a boat neck, eliminated the sleeves. Details can be found on her project page and on her blog post.

What Makes This Awesome: There have been many times when I’ve looked at a pattern and thought that I liked some of the details, but the overall knit wasn’t my style. Alina took an aspect of the pattern she liked best- the lovely lace yoke – and decided to use it in a totally different style. The dress is a style she had knit before, so she had a good idea about where she could experiment with the addition of the lace panel, and was careful to center the lace ‘butterfly’ motif for balance.

The lace looks completely different not just because of the gauge and fiber difference, but because it is shown with positive ease in the original pattern, but negative ease in this modification. Such a huge difference!  Maybe you have seen a great lace pattern, or cables, that would really stand out in a new way on a different type of knit- perhaps a center panel on a pullover,  down the sleeves, on a scarf or a cowl? The only limit is your imagination!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Move over Hygge and make some room for Lagom: The Scandi concept of balance and moderation.

44 quick tips to become the most productive person you know.

Indie yarn businesses and yarn store owners, take note- A look at the hot trends and the future of knitting for 2017.

Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Then do it again tomorrow.

Obituaries for teenage girls if they actually died when they said they were dying.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Chicken, rice and veggies- it all comes together in one pot for a perfect weeknight meal. This recipe uses a pressure cooker, but has a link to the normal way to cook, if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Hooray for easy dinners! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I was pretty late to the puff pastry party, but I am a convert! I keep some puff pastry in my freezer at all times, it’s great for making little sweet or savory empanadas/hand pies with leftovers. This is puff pastry dessert pizza has  nutella and berries and could easily be any shape or size that you wanted it to be. Plus, it goes from a bunch of ingredients to a finished dessert in 30 mins. Not too shabby! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I love this idea for finishing a blanket (or curtains!) with a bit of colourful yarn embroidery. Super easy, and you can customize the colours to fit your decor. Imagine how lovely this would look with a gradient or a variegated yarn! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I’m loving this sweater from the newest issue of knitty.com, in particular because it does a great job of taming variegated yarn, and the details of this lends itself to lots of potential modifications- a gorgeous cowl or mittens, a gradient used instead of variegated, and that’s just the tip of the knitting iceberg! Of course, the original pattern is also lovely. Pinterest link is here, and the original pattern is here.

Maybe it’s the new year, but I feel like I want to shake up the art on my walls, particularly the living room. I love the idea of creating a gallery wall, and this post had some of the best, and most realistic ideas I’ve seen. Maybe you are also thinking of changing up your wall art? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I’m a little embarrassed that it hasn’t really occurred to me before, but if you are interested in seeing what else I pin, you can check it out here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I hope you have fun, and are staying healthy!