More Progress: Mini Stockings

Mini Stockings | knittedbliss.com

This is my progress on my mini stocking advent calendar. I’m a bit behind, but this is exactly why I wanted to start early with the goal of knitting two a month- so it wouldn’t ever get too overwhelming.  The top four stockings are the newest ones, they represent March and April’s contributions. I haven’t knit the ones that are supposed to be knit in May and June, but I will get to them soon! I have 12 different colours (plus the contrasting white), which would mean there will be two of each colour when I’m all finished. I so love the idea of having an advent calendar for the kids, it’s a tradition I always adored but we didn’t really do when I was a child- except for those fun little chocolate advent calendars! There’s the secret, of course- I say I’m knitting an advent calendar for the kids, but clearly I’m doing it for myself. I mean, just look at them:

Mini Stockings | knittedbliss.com

I haven’t wet blocked them yet, they are all going to get a bath together when they are done and be pinned out properly, so I anticipate a bit of growth and evening out of the stranded designs.

The stockings are all knit in Tanis Fiber Arts blue label, as part of a mini skein set. The new colours are Pink Grapefruit, Royal Flush, Garnet, and Grape; Knit Picks Stroll the contrasting white.  I’ve also been knitting little loops to attach to the stockings, but I need to source some tiny white buttons for them.

Although it’s strange to knit these flat and seam them up the back, it’s very fast going. I’m so please with how many little charts the pattern has, too- it adds to the joy of making these tiny stockings, which are so fun that I am actually looking forward to Christmas this year already! Wait, can I even say that when it’s June? Maybe I’ll enjoy summer first.

Modification Monday: Toor Toor Baa Baa

Modification Monday: Toor Toor Baa Baa | knittedbliss.com

Original Patterns: Toor Toor and Baa-ble Hat 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Tanya (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the Toor Toor sweater as the base, Tanya incorporated the sheep from the baa-ble hat pattern, and lengthened the striped sections on the sleeves. Plus, she got creative with the colours! Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I can’t think of any other chart that has sparked so many creative mods as the Baa-ble hat! Tanya loved the sheep pattern, but wanted to incorporate it into a garment. The placement of the sheep is excellent, providing a great band of contrast before moving into the deep charcoal of the sweater body. I love how she used the bright turquoise for the sheep, then echoed the colour at the sleeve cuffs. She deliberately did not want to place the sheep on the sleeves, so worked a subtle round design to echo the style and add balance- I almost want to call them sheep ghosts. The extra stripes on the sleeves help balance out the design. She did an incredible job!

Modification Monday: Toor Toor Baa Baa | knittedbliss.com

Tanya has been featured before for her amazing Laika- check it out!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This was a fascinating essay on how the internet has given fans the idea that they deserve to shape the art they love.

Productivity isn’t just about what you do- it’s what you don’t do. After reading this, I felt like I just found a missing puzzle piece on a jigsaw I’ve been trying to solve for ages.

Sometimes pausing for 3 seconds before reacting can transform the conversation you are having, and possibly turn your whole day around.

1,300 sheep terrorized (okay, they just sort of wandered about) a small Spanish city after their shepherd fell asleep. Let the counting sheep jokes begin!

I have been forgetting to link to these- I was asked by the amazing Taddle Creek magazine to read a couple poems for their podcast, and it’s always interesting to hear a poem instead of just reading it on the page. Here is a podcast of my poem that imagines a young, pre-Wizard of Oz Dorothy, seeing a tornado for the very first time.  And then here is the podcast of my reading about a tourist’s experience of going to an Irish whiskey distillery.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Spaghetti with basil and tomatoes | knittedbliss.com

A fresh summer pasta? Heck yes- full of roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. The toasted breadcrumbs are worth the effort, too! If you are watching your carbs, you could substitute half the pasts for spiralized zucchini noodles. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Blueberry and Lemon Loaf Cake| knittedbliss.com

Blueberry and Lemon Loaf- I love lemon loaf all year round, but now that blueberry season is almost upon us, and I had a nice batch from the grocery store recently. Blueberries and lemon go together so well, don’t you think? Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Summer Satchel | knittedbliss.com

This cute summer bag is made from two woven placemats, can you believe it? I love how it looks, so great for summer. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Flower Photography| knittedbliss.com

This is a very clever tutorial on how to take more dramatic photos of flowers using a flashlight… and it has me wondering what else the techniques could be applied to. I wonder how knitting of skeins of yarn would look lit like this? Pinterest link is here, tutorial is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Ugly Bridesmaid Dress Paintball| knittedbliss.com

I think this is the most fun idea for a bridal shower, birthday party, or just some random weekend- you and a bunch of friends get some of the ugliest old bridesmaid dresses you can find (hello, thrift store finds!) and then go play paintball in them. I’m totally going to do this one day, this sounds freaking awesome!! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

What sort of plans have you got this weekend? My parents are coming to visit (Lila is so excited), and we are going to be visiting the Toronto islands again this weekend! I’m going to ask for a high chair for James this time, so he can’t get my hamburger. 😉

Outtakes: Golden Rose

This is pretty much what getting blog photos looks like, when we are doing it with the kids:

Golden Rose Outtakes | knittedbliss.com

We were on the Toronto islands for the day, one of my favourite places to visit (I prefer Ward Island, but Center Island is where all the kiddie attractions are). In the photo above, I was lying on the ground trying to recreate some of the magical composition that we had for this photo from my Pemba mitts and headband. Except Lila assumed that I needed help, lying on the ground. Such a thoughtful child, and very concerned that I be comfortable. So she wanted to assist by holding my head.

Golden Rose Outtakes | knittedbliss.com

Unfortunately, even with all the ‘help’, we couldn’t quite manage to get the sort of photo for the cowl that we were aiming for. Another time! Lila also assisted with sourcing props (which you can see in action on the ‘official’ finishing knit photos, here):

Golden Rose Outtakes | knittedbliss.com

Golden Rose Outtakes | knittedbliss.com

Lila loves that flower headband, even though it’s a bit big for her. James is 6 months old now, and thankfully can’t walk or crawl. I don’t know what I’m going to do when there’s two of them running about. But right now he is really, really into my food. If he sees me eating anything, he wants some of the action. For example:

Golden Rose Outtakes | knittedbliss.com

Do you see how his pudgy little baby hands are hanging onto the bun for dear life? Mere seconds after this shot, he had successfully ripped off most of the bottom bun, stuffed handfuls of it into his sweet little face, gummed a bit, and then spat it all out in a slimy, disgusting bread pellet.  He still has no teeth, but we have begun working on solids, and we are doing baby led weaning, which I did with Lila and worked really well for us.  I’m glad I had the foresight to take off the cowl before eating, because otherwise James would have put his burger-covered hands all over it!

Those were the outtakes! It was a lovely day, but I think next time we will try to do photos when we have childcare. Much faster, and much easier!

Finished Knit: Golden Rose

This cowl is so perfect for summer in so many ways. The colour, the lace…. I bet you don’t think about cowls for the summer, but summers still have some chilly nights (and days, who am I kidding?) here in Toronto.

Golden Rose Cowl | knittedbliss.com

Pattern: Starshower by Hilary Smith Callis 

Yarn: The Blue Brick Rose Ombre 

Mods: None.

Project page on Ravelry can be found here.

I love my Golden Rose cowl. This pattern had been in my queue for a while, not only because I love how it looked but because the construction looked far more interesting than a typical cowl. The design didn’t disappoint- it begins with a shawl-like construction, and then is joined to work in the round. the result give that great slouchy front, and shaping that sits perfectly around the neck or on your shoulders without having to keep pulling on it or moving the fabric around. It’s like you get to put it on and forget about it.

Golden Rose Cowl | knittedbliss.com

Haha, as if you could forget you were wearing something as wonderful as this. The lace can be repetitive, but using a gorgeous ombre like this was so much fun- the colour shifts are so beuatiful. The ‘Rose’ colourway from The Blue Brick is a wonderfully sunny gradient, you can see the roses that inspired it in the photo with the yarn. What I especially love about this colourway is that even if you think you can’t wear yellow, it still works- an ombre that has yellow in it but isn’t right near your face is flattering for a lot of people. If you like yellow but think it doesn’t look good on you, this is a good colourway to wear.

Golden Rose Cowl | knittedbliss.com

I especially like choosing something a bit brighter to wear in the summer, something with a little more colour to it. This fit my goals perfectly! As for the photos, a couple of things were very clear to me after seeing them- 1. I need a haircut so badly, I can’t even remember exactly when I last cut my hair- September? October? Yikes. 2. I wish I had put on some lipstick for this. I know not everyone likes make up, and to be honest I rarely wear lipstick, but I feel that I could have used a little pop of colour. But hey, the cowl adds lots of colour, too!

Oh man, have I got loads of outtakes for this! We took waaay more photos for this than we normally do, mainly due to trying to do the photo with the kids while on Toronto Island, which is a place that I adore but was so sunny and bright it was very difficult to find shady spots for photos. And Lila was very involved! An outtakes post will follow later this week.

Golden Rose Outtake | knittedbliss.com