Modification Monday: Camaro

Original Pattern: Camaro

Knitter Extraordinaire: Mary Claire (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Camaro is originally a DK weight pullover, but Mary Claire revamped the pattern to be a fingering weight cardigan with pockets. Great details and more photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  Mary Claire knit this in the round as originally called for in the pattern, and then she steeked the sweater and added button bands, and pockets. For the pockets, she measured the size that she liked on her store-bought sweaters and imitated them- a great idea! I love it when knitters decide that they like a pattern, but wear more cardigans (or vice versa, pullovers) and change it up to reflect that. After all, customizing the knit is the best part of knitting your own sweater!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Big thanks to Daniel Kwan of Curiosity in Focus for having me on his podcast, Creativity in Focus. We talk about archaeology, knitting, writing, and all kinds of other things, too! Have a listen.

Pull people up the ladder behind you. Because no matter where you are, you can absolutely help out someone else.

A photographer has spent years taking portrait photos of endangered species and they are stunning. Side note- fireflies are on the endangered species list and that makes me want to cry. I’ve only seen a field of fireflies once in my life and it remains one of the most beautiful, magical, unforgettable things I have ever seen.  Also, my favourite animal ever – the ring tailed lemur- is on this list.

50 doable ideas to make any day better. Not all of them are ‘today’ items, but so many great suggestions!

Games to improve your memory. Because who doesn’t want an excuse to play a game once in a while?

My Favourite Pins This Week

Because easy weeknight dinners are a lifesaver, especially when they taste like takeout and are full of fresh veggies (feel free to substitute veggies for whatever you have kicking around in your fridge!). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Cookies are healthy if there is fruit in them, right? That’s my angle. These lemon raspberry cookies are the perfect antidote to the heavy desserts that we tend to eat all winter long, and raspberries are usually still pretty good in the winter time – although maybe best to keep an eye out for them to go on sale. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is right here.

Apparently Easter is in about a month’s time, which seems completely crazy to me. But if you are thinking about crafting a little something for the occasion, Might I suggest these adorable crocheted bunny ears? The post includes a great tutorial on how to cover a normal headband with crochet,as well. I don’t crochet much beyond the basics, so I doubt I could make this in 30 minutes like the post claims, but an experienced crocheters will have no trouble whipping these up! Pinterest link is here, and the original post with pattern can be found here.

Is it too soon to be dreaming of summer dressing? Because oh man, a lace kimono sounds like the easiest way to take a tank top and some jeans to summer outfit perfection. This super simple DIY version is so easy, even someone with just the basic skills (like me!) can do it. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY can be found here.

I loved this list of 22 ways to continue learning without going back to school! So many amazing ideas, even if you think that you are too busy to pick up a new skill. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Modification Monday: White Ajah Shawl

Original Pattern: Morvarch 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Robyn (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Inspired by shawls worn in the fantasy series Wheel of Time, Robyn modified the rectangular laceweight Morvarch shawl into a DK weight triangular shawl with fringe, incorporating elements that are described in the book series. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: After reading Robyn’s description of the shawls that are worn in the book series, now I want to read the series! As the original Morvarch pattern is knit from the center out, Robyn used that general structure to modify the center portion to have a different design, and then framed it in cabling from Morvarch. She made additional alterations to make the shawl more triangular, and added sections to the sides, as well as fringe. Isn’t this so inspiring? Also, more books need to have detailed descriptions of knits in them, because us knitters just have so much fun bringing them to life!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to take better travel photographs. #4 has been plaguing me for ages, I had no idea I could fix it in the Instagram app.

How to get over the need to be liked by everyone you meet.

Stop shaming women for spending money on themselves.

People are not buying as much clothing as they used to, and it’s causing a lot of companies to go belly up or rethink what they stock.

What it means to make spaces more inclusive: “We don’t need to be given a space in anti-racism, we just need to take our individual spaces and make them anti-racist. We don’t need to be given a space in the Muslim/Christian/Jewish/Hindu communities, we just need to take our individual spaces and make them welcoming to Muslim/Christian/Jewish/Hindu folks. It works for everything.  We just need to take our spaces and make them more inclusive.”


My Favourite Pins This Week

Risotto is one of those dishes that I love but hardly ever make. This creamy lemon spinach version is easy-peasy has lots of bright flavours and colour, and would make an excellent side to some protein, or you could toss in some cooked shrimp, chickpeas, or diced cooked chicken and it would work all by itself. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Peanut butter and chocolate, is there any better combo?! These peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars are amazing, and perfect for anyone who loves cookies but wish they were as big as a brownie. A really straightforward recipe that perfect for weekend baking – and eating! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

I love this idea for recovering notebooks that are perhaps a little less than pretty. And it’s the perfect craft to do with the gorgeous wrapping paper you’ve been hoarding that is too precious to actually wrap gifts in! No, you don’t do that? Just me? Hmmm. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post can be found here.

It’s been a long time since I was last on the DMC Embroidery website, but I recently looked again and was blown away by all the gorgeous and modern free embroidery patterns they now have! Worth taking a look at the whole thing, but this one in particular is stunning. Pinterest link is here, and the original link is here.

I think we can all agree that the world needs more kindness. Here are 25 tiny ways to be kind to others, and I guarantee they will make you feel good about yourself, too. Complimenting a stranger is one of my favourites! I love telling another woman that I love her sweater or her dress or her taste in donuts. I always feel like when a stranger (who is not trying to follow it up or get anything from you) gives you a compliment, it feels really honest because they have no real reason to give you that compliment unless they mean it – otherwise they would be busy pretending you didn’t exist or looking at their phone. So the next time a stranger tells you your dress is fab, believe her. Pinterest link is here, and full post can be found here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Let’s all do things to help spread more kindness. It’s small, but small things add up to big things.

A Darn Good Yarn: Cowl In Progress

About this time every year, I generally get bored of all my existing cowls (I know, hard to believe!) and feel the urge to knit a new cowl. It is still deep winter here in Canada, so mixing up the winter accessories helps make it seem like spring is not so far away. Plus, a petal-coloured yarn makes it seem even closer.

This is the Casu Cowl in progress, and I’m enjoying every stitch. The pattern repeats are easy to memorize, and I love that half the cowl is moss stitch and the other half is mesh – what a great idea for a cowl pattern, having two different types of fabric and stitches on each half of the cowl (sounds like a great future modification idea, don’t you think?).

The Thanks card is a favourite from a while back, and I kept it because it reminds me that a) I actually do like pastels, and b) look at all the other great colours that easily go with it! Colour inspiration can be found anywhere.

I feel like this is a great pairing of yarn and pattern- the subtle variations enhance the stitches rather than compete with it, and single ply yarns (which can easily get pill-y quickly) resist pilling when knit up in a highly textured stitch.

The yarn is from  Darn Good Yarn, in the Samabyon colourway of their single ply worsted weight merino wool. I loved the watercolour elements of this yarn, with pale creamy shades of peach, pink, and buttercup melding into each other in a really dreamy way. I hardly ever choose pastel colours, but I wanted to try something a little different – what if I end up loving pastels?! I’ll never know if I don’t try. Breaking out of the colour rut we crafters tend to get into can be challenging – I can’t even begin to describe how much grey and green yarn I have in my stash. But this one just called to me.

Darn Good Yarn works with local women in Nepal and India to pay a living wage to help support their families while working from home.  The ability to work from home means that many of these women can work while caring for their children, and there are few opportunities for women to work from home in many of those areas. Darn Good Yarn’s products help families eat better, have proper medical care, and send their children to school.  There is something incredibly wonderful about supporting craft businesses that are working to make the world a better place.

And on top of all that, this worsted weight merino is so buttery soft, I wish you could reach through the screen and squish it. I mean, just look at it:

This is part one of a two part sponsored post series by Darn Good Yarn. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.