Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Why your 30s are the decade that friend start to disappear…. apparently after the age of 25 we lose more friends each year than we make.  Although this was written by someone who is just turning 30, I think that there is a great turnaround in the quality of friendships as we age. Fewer friends, yes, but richer friendships.

Things we have to stop telling ourselves about other people. Oh man, everyone needs this list. Let’s check judgment at the door.
Here’s how to figure out where to have lunch when you are with a group and no one has any ideas…. suggest McDonalds, and watch the alternatives pop up like gophers. 

Wait, you can rent alpacas for your wedding?! Oh Japan, you rock. But I want to know if you can just rent them because you are having a bad day….

Oh, and if you are feeling like joinging a knitalong, there is a wondering KAL going on in Wool Gathering Collective for an awesome Canadian themed knitalong! It goes until the end of September, so there’s still lots of time to join. Also more prizes than you can shake a stick at. I’m one of the many (really, MANY) people donating prizes to a draw from those that complete their projects (big or small)… I’m offering up winner’s choice of any 5 of my patterns! A sampling below:

#CanadaKAL |

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Marbled Oreos |

I’m a sucker for high impact treats like these that are really minimal on time. Checkout these marbled Oreos! You could customize the colour swirls for whatever colour scheme you want, making these pretty much perfect for every season or occasion you can think of. Pinterest link is here, and the original ‘recipe’ can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Hawaiian Barbecue Wraps|

Hawaiian barbecue chicken wraps are perfect for these last days of summer. Although I wonder- is it really just the addition of pineapple that makes something ‘Hawaiian’? Regardless, these are fresh, fast, and don’t have loads of ingredients. I’ll be having these for supper this weekend! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Baby Work Socks |

These teeny tiny baby socks are so freaking adorable, I can’t even. I would love to be organized enough to make several pairs, and then every time I know someone having a baby, even if just in blogland, I’d send them a pair. Sigh. Maybe when I finish my mini stocking advent calendar? Pinterest link is here, and the original pattern is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Bleach Stamp Shirt|

I love the idea of doing a bleach stamp on a simple top! You don’t have to worry about colours running, since bleach is permanent. If you have a stamp that you love, this would be a super simple DIY. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Truth |

This is so true, and I think we can all use a reminder now and then. Pinterest link is here, sadly I can’t find the original link.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Only a couple weekends of August left, I hope you have a relaxing one. High fives and hugs to all of you!

Meet the Sponsors, August Edition!

How is it the middle of August already? Can it really be September in only a couple of weeks?! I’m excited, not only because it’s been sweltering here and who isn’t excited for sweater weather to return, but also because we are taking a trip soon! At the very end of August, the four of us are going to be packing our suitcases and heading off for time with the UK family in Bristol, England; and then popping over to Spain (Barcelona, Girona, and a countryside villa somewhere for a wedding). Travelling with two small kids is totally doable, right? My fingers are crossed.

Are any of you seasonal knitters, and only knit when the weather turns cool? If so, I hope you are beginning to think of cozy knitting, now that so many fall issues of knitting magazines and pattern collections have popped up! let’s see hat sort of goodies the sponsors have this month, shall we? Eye candy abounds!

Meet the Sponsors: Spirit Trail Fiberworks |

Name: Spirit Trail Fiber Works

Where You Can Follow Them: Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

What She is All About: Jennifer has a variety of her hand dyed yarns in a variety of weights and fibers, as well as beautiful (and some very rare breed!) roving and spinning fibers. She produces her colours in small batches with artisanal dye techniques, and really shines at tonals which have incredible depth. I recently finished knitting a tank top with one of her yarns and I loved every minute of knitting with her yarn.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This is the 100% merino bulky weight yarn is in the Vortex colourway, a gorgeous semisolid light grey that will go with absolutely everything you own.  Then we have the ‘Maine Sumac’ colourway for in a DK weight on the Birte base, which is a blend of 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere and 10% bombyx silk. Finally we have ‘Kestrel’, a beautiful variegated colourway of rich browns and reddish tones, on the Verdande base which is a worsted weight blend of 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere and 10% bombyx silk.

Meet the Sponsors: The Blue Brick Collage|

Name: The Blue Brick 

Where You Can Follow Them:  BlogFacebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, Flickr, and Crawftgawker

What They Are All About: Shireen is a professional photographer; and she takes her yarn inspiration straight from the images she captures. These yarns are all hand-dyed in small batches by Shireen and her husband Tito on a variety of bases and weights (really, quite a a solid variety of bases), based on her photographic inspiration (you can read more about the yarn here). Each skein is sent out with a copy of the photo that inspired it- a really beautiful detail that makes me marvel even more at how she can dye the yarn to so closely resemble the photos! Shireen also designs beautiful patterns, as well. I recently went to a launch party for their new Berry Vanilla colourway which also features a yarn wash, spray and hand cream that smells like heaven!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Shireen designed this beautiful single skein Berry Vanilla shawl that has lovely cables and looks amazing in ombre. One of the more dramatic gradient colourways, Heron moves from a duck egg blue to a rich charcoal, for those that like their ombre yarns with a bit of a edge to them. Longbeach is a wonderful colourway with surprising colour shifts that create an effect that is nothing short of stunning.

Meet the Sponsors: Biscotte Yarns|

Name: Biscotte Yarns

Where You Can Follow Them: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPinterestTumblr, Google +

What They Are All About: Biscotte Yarns specializes in self-striping yarns with lots of fun inspiration, but they have all sorts of goodies on offer- fabrics, project bags and kits, patterns, and tonal single ply yarns, as well as a mystery club! They also recently came out with an app that allows you create custom hat and sock patterns based on yarn weight, gauge, stitch preferences and size choices- web based, Android, or iphone. I also recently finished a hoodie for James with their Griffon yarn, and it was fantastic!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: You don’t often find self striping yarns in a worsted weight, but the Griffon line of worsted weight (which I adore!) has both tonals and self striping varieties, this one is ‘Tropicana’. I knit the hoodie for James using two tonals and a self striping between them.  This Hagrid base is an Aran weight Donegal tweed, and I love this particular colourway, ‘Nature’– doesn’t it remind you of cookies ‘n cream ice cream?! I think this beautiful paintbox kit of sock yarn in ‘Twinkle Twinkle’  is dying to become a luscious shawl or a big, double loop cowl.

Meet the Sponsors: Madbird|

Name: Madbird 

Where You Can Follow Them: Facebook, Instagram

What They are all about: Alecia and Rob Miller make wonderful project bags, project clutches, totes, spindle bags, hook rolls and needle rolls (including ones for dpns and interchangeables), and zip pouches- with a wide variety of fabrics, you’re sure to find the right size you need in a print you love. They are all sturdily built, with fleece interfacing and solid bottoms that ensure the bags stand up well on their own, once a project is inside. If you haven’t tried one of their bags, you are missing out- every detail is perfection and you will have this bag forever. I recommend following them on Facebook to get the updates on new items as well as the flash sales they sometimes have! Also, they are offering 10% off everything with the code KNITTEDBLISS.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  The photos above don’t do the them justice-  you need to click the links to go look at the photo of the inside to really see where the magic is. But if I posted photos of just the insides, you wouldn’t see the fun prints on the outsides! Dilemma. First, we have a great interchangeable needle organizer in the High Tide fabric, which has great pockets for storing all the needle sizes and cables, and you could easily tuck a few notions in there if you wanted.  Then we have the needle wallet mini organizer in ‘Wildflower’. I have one of these, and I adore it! I should really blog about it very soon, because it’s been great for keeping project related tools together when doing weekend getaways. For the project bag, I was really excited to see that the Mr. Fox project bags were back in stock! This print is so gorgeous, I doubt it will last long in the shop. It features a yarn guide snap inside, and is fully reversible, too!

Meet the Sponsors: Erica Knits |

Name: Erica Knits 

Where You Can Follow: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

What They are all about: Erica designs thoughtful, beautiful knits that are somehow completely classic and yet different from the usual offerings. She’s particuarly gifted with colourwork designs, but also does great textured knits, as well- I’ve knit three of her patterns in the past, with more in my queue! If Erica’s designs are new to you, you may recall seeing her massively popular Karusellen Hat from Pom Pom Quarterly.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Coronal is a unisex sportweight hat that features a double brim (perfect for keeping the wind out) that would look great with or without a pom pom. It looks cute with the small pom here, but imagine a contrasting big pom pom! The Broadcast sweater is reminiscent of sweaters from the 60s, with a slim fit and a lovely boat neck. And the Anstruther mittens (which match the hat from the sidebar ad) are beautifully designed and even have a garter lace cuff, which still keeps your wrists warm.

I’m so excited for fall knitting just looking at all that knitting goodness! Now, to figure out what to bring on my big trip….

Modification Monday: New Beginnings

Modification Monday: New Beginnings |

Original Pattern: Bridger Cowl 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jane (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Knitted cowl in a lighter gauge yarn, and then lined with a super bulky weight yarn to give extra warmth and structure. Details can be found on here project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Jane opted to use a lighter weight silk yarn, which has great sheen but would naturally have a lot of drape and not provide much warmth.  In order to give the cowl more warmth and structure, Jane knit in a lining (very well done, too- worth clicking over to her project page to look at more photos) with super bulky yarn which not only helped make a delicate cowl perfect for winter, bot also helped stiffen the fabric of the silky cowl so that it would stand up properly around the neck and keep the wind away. Knitting an inner lining for a cowl is a great idea – have you ever wanted a really warm cowl for winter but also used a delicate, lightweight yarn? It doesn’t have to be a choice between them!

Modification Monday: New Beginnings |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

You are not meant to do what you love. You are meant to do what you are good at. 

Why is it still considered controversial not to have children?  Some fascinating reads in here.

Can technology save indie bookstores? I certainly hope so.

Trying to make your creative mark in a big, major city? Maybe it’s time to find a new city.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mediterranean Breakfast Salad |

This salad looks so darn delicious I would eat this any time, not just for breakfast. Packed with good-for-you proteins, veggies and a bit of fat to help you feel full- If you need me, I”ll be at the grocery store getting the fixings for this salad. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easy Biscuit Smores |

I love S’mores everything, so these chocolate chip biscuit S’mores look heavenly! And get this- the whole recipe only has 4 ingredients. They look so much more decadent and complicated than that, but you could pull this off easy-peasy. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Make AMigurumi Poseable|

I have thought about putting pipe cleaners in my knitted toys to make them pose-able, but this is a great tutorial on exactly how to go about it- with something more sturdy than pipe cleaners! It would work for crocheted toys and knitted toys, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Vintage Cart Revamp |

I think I’m especially smitten with this vintage cart makeover because it contains a giant pile of yarn. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful, artfully displayed yarn collection in a lovely upcycled cart? It doesn’t have to be a revamp of a vintage piece, either- you could do this with an metal storage cart. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Michelle Morin Art |

I adore this stunning watercolour painting by Michelle Morin. It’s like the rich beauty of late summer, in all it’s golden green glory, captured in a frame. Pinterest link is here, and the original artist’s site is here.

Finished Knit: Delineate Tank

Delineate Tank |

These are lovely photos, aren’t they? When I edit them, I bump up the contrast and the warmth and suddenly they look so good I forget that I actually don’t like how this top looks on me.

Delineate Tank |

But that is a damn fine back of a top, isn’t it?  Ah well. It was a fun knit.

Pattern: Delineate Tank

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna in ‘Pink Sands’ 

Mods: Added a split hem approximately 2.5 inches, which I worked in k2 p2 ribbing.

Let’s start with what I love: The yarn. I would knit with this yarn any day of the week, it was really heavenly to knit with. The Sunna base is a merino/cashmere/silk blend, so you know it is crazy soft and makes me want to squeal a bit when I squish it. The pattern was easy to follow, with the charts cleverly designed to change the size of the design as you went on with the knitting. It did mean you had to look at the charts the whole time, but that was fine- the stitch was interesting and I loved watching the design develop. I wasn’t crazy about the way the straps were worked at the shoulder. It involved doing short rows to angle them and provide some shoulder shaping, but for straps I don’t feel it’s necessary and I don’t think did anything to really improve the fit or the way they laid on my shoulders.

I am also really happy with the split hem, it worked out exactly how I wanted it to and I will definitely do this again to a future pullover.

Delineate Tank |

So … I’m not crazy about how it looks on me. It’s fine, sure. It’s okay. But I’m not settling for fine and okay these days.  I want to love this tank top. But I don’t. It’s a fit problem, really. To be pretty blunt about my body type, I am ‘curvy’ in that I have a small waist in relation to my bust and hips. For a top to fall loosely around my midsection means the proportions have to be just right, or I look bigger than I really am. I noticed this is particularly true after I’ve had my kids, because my bust is bigger than it used to be, probably because I haven’t ever gone back down to the weight I was BK – ‘Before Kids’. It’s tough to figure out if I will or not. Wow, I’m really oversharing here, aren’t I? It’s hard to have a conversation about fit without getting into the nitty gritty of body type and style preferences.

Delineate Tank |

That back shot up at the top? I literally have a handful of this top in my hand in front of my stomach, so that we could take a photo of the back without any of it sagging back there. So now I know- A line tops, not for me. Which is a shame, because this was a lovely knit.  And if you have been looking for a great A-line summer knit that is perfect for wonderfully round tummies that don’t want anything showing where your waist begins or ends, I would highly recommend.

While it’s never fun to frog, I have to admit I’m looking forward to knitting with this yarn again! I had an extra skein I didn’t end up using for this, so I’m going back to Ravelry to shop through the patterns and see how this yarn might be a lovely tee or even a light sweater. Because I really, really want to knit this yarn into a garment I want to wear all the time.

Coming soon- outtakes!