Meet the Sponsors: June Edition!

Meet the SPonsors: Knitcircus Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Knit Circus

What She is All About: Jaala specializes in extra special  long gradient colours, which  can be customized for whatever pattern you are thinking of (perfect for sweaters, shawls, or cowls). She also has genius striping gradient sock kits, and  some gorgeous cowl and shawl kits in her Etsy shop. 

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:   I think this skein of ‘Summer Afternoon’ looks just like a marigold! This colourway can be dyed in any of Knitcircus’s bases, which means you can have it in a variety of fingering weight, DK, or Worsted.  These chromatic stripe socks in ‘Over the Rainbow’ are specially dyed to create two matching socks that both stripe chromatically- how cool is that! As usual, you can choose from three different fingering weight yarn bases.  This Lieutenant’s Heart Shawl kit is stunning, and you can choose fro a variety of colourways, but I’m partial to the colourway that the pattern is named for (shown here), ‘Lieutenant’s Heart.

Meet the Sponsors: Madbird Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Madbird Bags & Accessories 

What They are all about: Alecia and Rob make awesomely fabulous project bags, project clutches, totes, spindle bags, needle and hook rolls, and zip pouches which will surely make your crafting that much more enjoyable.  Project bags come with interior yarn guides that have a snap on them, so your yarn feeds through cleanly, but you can change out the yarn or project any time you like.  No more yarn tangles!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Alecia has very kindly offered 10% off orders when using the code KNITTEDBLISS at checkout. I might be biased, but you should totally do that.  If you have an interchangeable needle set, then this is truly the organizer you need- it’s worth clicking on the link to see the photos of it unrolled to get a handle on all the details of this. This is the Mr. Fox print, and it has special pockets for the cables, for the needle sizes, and a built-in pouch for the adapters and any notions. It’s pretty genius. The pretty mermaid print Mendocino tote is perfect for medium sized projects (approx 3 skeins), and will stand up on its own once a project is inside.  The cat lover in me is crazy about this cat print clutch (with cat toy print fabric inside!) and would be perfection for sock projects or a single skein shawl on the go.

Meet the Sponsors: Bijou Basin Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Bijou Basin Ranch 

What They Are All About: If you haven’t tried yak fiber before, you are missing out- it’s very soft, and very good for those that have wool allergies. Eileen and Carl run their Yak ranch in Colorado, selling amazing yak fiber and yarns that are both 100% yak and blended with other fibers (like bamboo or merino) to give the yarn strength and variety.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  Tibetan Dream is a crazy and strong sock yarn that is 85% yak and 15% nylon, and this skein is in Colorado River, a limited edition colourway dyed by Miss Babs. The Outlandish yarn line is all inspired by the Outlander series by Diane Galbadon, which gives all the colourway names extra resonance for fans-  this lovely gold colour of Himalayan Trail in a Yak/Merino blend is called Laoghaire.  As for kits, this Blood of my Blood Shawl kit (although Outlander reference!) would be perfect for summer knitting. Plus, if you click the link in the sidebar ad they are currently offering 10% off your order if you give them a follow on social media!

Meet the Sponsors: Sweet Sheep | knittedbliss.com

Name: Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

What She is All About: Alicia makes amazing all-natural lotion bars and lip balms is a great range of seasonal and classic scents. Fruity, floral, spicy, sweet or unscented- whatever your preference, it’s here. Plus, lots of skin-softening lanolin!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  Now that it’s sandal season, I’m finding lotion bars are genius for softening my feet, as well as making them smell amazing. I just rub the bar over my heels and around my feet, and rub it in a bit. The Spring Meadow lotion bar is perfect for this time of year- light and somehow both herbal and floral, not a heavy scent at all. For a tasty lip treat, how about the French Macaron lip balm?  I love the consistency of Alicia’s lip balms, they feel wonderfully moisturizing, and I’m a sucker for dessert flavoured lip balms every time.  And the Chamomile Bergamot lotion bar is totally my sort of thing- light and citrusy, great for warmer weather.

Those are the sponsors for June! I hope you will check out their shops online and see what you might find, my choices above are what I most feel like knitting or using now that we’re at the beginning of summer, so I’m craving the lighter-weight knits and fun summer colours.  And I definitely think it’s time for a new project bag! Summer knitting means a bit more knitting outdoors for me, so I need to keep my yarn and WIPs safe.

Modification Monday: Springline BSC

Modification Monday: Spring Lines BSC

Original Patterns: BlueSand Cardigan and Spring Lines

Knitter Extraordinaire: Ariane (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the Bluesand Cardigan as the basis for the sweater, Ariane incorporated the striping of Spring Lines into a brand new look, complete with gradient. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome:  I love it when people mix together patterns, picking their favourite elements of each and combining them into something new. This cardigan looks fantastic, the structure of Bluesands helps make the combination of gradient and high contrast stripes feel pulled together. When you are thinking of combining two patterns, it helps to use one as the main guideline for the fit and overall structure, providing a canvas for you to try new things, like clever stripe combinations or intarsia or colourwork.  The overall effect can be mesmerizing, just like this cardigan!

Modification Monday: Spring Lines BSC

Friday Pin Ups and Link Love

This Open Letter to My Friends Who Take Selfies  is so sweet. No judgement, just love. It makes me want to take a selfie, and I very seldom do!

How to Say No, When to Say Yes, and how to Know the Difference.

Why everyone needs a life coach.

Remember this interesting book? The author wrote an article recently about how our ideas about buying local only helps the one person you are buying from, and the larger company that own the selling platform (ahem, Etsy). An interesting read!

Now, for the pins!

Pin Ups: Apple Pie Bites | knittedbliss.com

I will confess, I totally adore Pillsbury crescent rolls, even though if you read the ingredients, they  don’t even remotely resemble food. But hey, I can say the same thing for all sorts of junk food, so there you have it. This amazing treat involves wrapping up apple slices, chopped, pecans, a bit of brown sugar and spice. And I’m pretty sure that by putting fruit in this, it’s not only freaking delicious, it’s got some nutrients. At least, that’s what I’ll be telling myself.  Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: Apricot and Basil Chicken | knittedbliss.com

These apricot glazed chicken thighs with basil are utterly amazing. sweet, tangy, Asian-inspired, I love them. But I’m a big fan of fruit and meat as a combo, which I know isn’t for everyone. but if you like glazed meats of any kind, give this a try! Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: DIY Marbled Ribbon | knittedbliss.com

I’m in love with this marbled ribbon (and gift tag) DIY, that turns white ribbon into this stunning, swirling loveliness with a bit of nail polish. Man, five years ago, who knew nail polish DIYs would get so huge? They seem to work on everything! Pinterest link is here, the original post (with swoon-worthy photos) is here.

Pin Ups: Ideal Bedroom | knittedbliss.com

This bedroom looks so ideal to me- I love the light fixture, the simple palette, and the big, dramatic-yet-simple word art on the wall. But then I imagine everything looks amazing in a huge loft with wooden floor and twenty feet high ceilings. Pinterest link is here, and loads of beautiful bedroom ideas are in the original post, here.

Pin Ups: bruchetta party | knittedbliss.com

I’m not one for cooking and hosting dinner parties (I get all panicky at the idea of having people over for dinner, I don’t know why- suddenly I feel like my place is too small and nothing I cook is delicious enough to serve to anyone I’m not related to), but I do love this easy bruschetta idea- it’s not even cooking! Guests can build their own perfect bruschetta with an array of toppings, and you jus thave to toast some fancy bread. Done, and done. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

This weekend I’m on a work trip in Regina, Saskatchewan- I’m leading a training. Wish me luck! I hope the rest of you have the weekend off, and aren’t going to work like I am!

Pattern Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015

Pom Pom Quarterly is one of the newer print (and digital) knitting magazines, based out of London, UK. Their aesthetic is all about modern, cool new knitting patterns.  The awesome team at Pom Pom Quarterly sent me a copy of their new Summer issue for review, so let’s get into it! Here are the details:

Patter Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015 | knittedbliss.com

 This issue has 8 patterns, 7 knitting and one crochet; and includes articles on how to plan for summer knitting while on vacation, the golden ratio and why it’s important for knitting. There is also a recipe for a delightfully summery sangria, and an interview and recipe/tutorial from Anna & Juan (a Swiss Dyeing Collective) on how to dye yarn naturally with onion skins- full of great photos! The digital version is available for £8 (British Pounds), which is approximately $14 US. One o f my favourite things about the issue is that the photo story feels like an exotic vacation.  No boring department store catalogue photos here!

Most of the tops in this issue are cropped, ending around most people’s natural waist. This is definitely a modern, on-trend silhouette; but if you are not feeling the vibe, I’d suggest getting an extra skein or two and knitting a little bit more through the body to add the length you are looking for.  Or maybe you like this silhouette, but are unsure of how to wear it? Cropped sweaters look amazing over untucked  button up shirts (short sleeve take on it here), and fantastic worn over dresses (like this great Ravelry FO, here).

So, want to see my favourites from this issue? Then let’s go!

Pattern Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015 | knittedbliss.com

Talavera 

A lace tee with a slight cowl neck, knit from the bottom up in one piece until underarms are split, then worked flat for front and back. Lace is an 8 row/round repeat with resting rows on ever even round, lace is written and charted.  Hardly any seaming, shoulders are closed with a 3 needle bind off.

You should totally knit this top if: you love lace, knitting in the round, and easy layering knits that look great over a tank top. I also think that given that most sizes require only 2 skeins of fingering weight, this would make great vacation knitting.

You should definitely not knit this top if:  you only like top down knits, you aren’t that into lace or haven’t knit lace before, you never wear sleeveless shirts.

Pattern Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015 | knittedbliss.com

Manzanilla

A light summer cowl that is more like a beautiful piece of knitted jewelry. perfect for making an instant outfit out of whatever you are wearing. Takes a bit less than 500 yards of fingering weight yarn, and great for yarns with drape, like the Shibui linen this one is knitted from. It’s knitted entirely in the round, lace is fully chartered and written out (a 63 round repeat with resting rows every even row- it’s such a long repeat because the stitch count changes as you work the lace and requires you to move the marker that denotes beginning of round or repeat).

You should totally knit this cowl if: you love knitting cowls, lace that will up your skills, and pretty, feminine accessories. Again, this would be great vacation knitting if you know you’ll be travelling for a while- this would be a great project for sitting in the car for a long drive to the cottage.

You should totally not knit this cowl if: You are new to lace, and shifting stitch counts that require you to move your markers between rounds drives you crazy.

Pattern Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015 | knittedbliss.com

Alcomar

This top-down knitted tee is stockinette on the front, and lace on the back. The construction features the contiguous method, which involves short rows. It is mostly knit in the round, except for a brief portion where the front and back are separated after the sleeve cap has been completed, and then rejoined to work the rest of the tee in the round after the underarms.  The lace is fully charted, but if you prefer written instructions for the lace, the issue comes with a download code that yu can enter on the website and get a pdf of the written lace instructions.

You should totally knit this tee if: you love the contiguous method or are excited to try it, you love knitting top down and in the round.

You should totally not knit this tee if:  you think short rows are the worst thing ever, or would never wear a lace back tee.

Pattern Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2015 | knittedbliss.com

Michelada

A cropped, richly textured sweater that is perfect for layering. If you prefer longer sweaters, you could add two more skeins to your yarn total and add an extra 4 inches to the body (approximately, we all have different torso lengths) to get a longer version.

You should totally knit this tee if: you adore texture, have two row-counters that you would love to use more often (or have been looking for an excuse to get some new row counters!), and don’t like aggressive blocking- this tee requires hardly any blocking at all!

You should totally not knit this tee if: the idea of knitting a front and back piece separately is really unappealing, or you have difficulty keeping track of two sets of simultaneous shaping (you know, the ‘at the same time…’ instructions).

Modification Monday: Exeter Modified

This modification Monday shows how great substituting the focal stitch design can really be!

Modification Monday: Exeter Cardigan | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Exeter

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sari (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Changed the cable lace to feature a more chevron design, mixed and matched sizes for the body and the sleeves, and knit the body in one piece instead of separate pieces.  Project page can be found here (but the blog has all the details).

What Makes This Awesome: Sari had an advantage of having knit this cardigan before, and so she was well versed with it’s construction and in a great position to make modifications. I love how different the chevron lace design is, it looks fantastic. And the overall fit is wonderful- Sari is expecting a little bundle of joy, so keeping the sleeves a bit smaller and having a bit more room in the body helps ensure she can wear this beautiful knit well through her pregnancy and beyond. She has great details on her blog post, including a complete chart for the chevron lace she used! Don’t you love it when knitters share awesome things like that? It’s an utterly beautiful sweater!

Modification Monday: Exeter Cardigan | knittedbliss.com