Modification Monday: Color Craving

Original Pattern: Hedgerow

Knitter Extraordinaire: Liz (Ravelry ID)

Mods: After steeking the cardigan and trying it on, the yoke didn’t fit properly. Liz cut off the yoke, and knitted a circular cabled yoke instead. Info can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Talk about making lemonade from lemons! Imagine you are Liz. You’ve just put in all this work on a steeked, bottom-up totally stranded design. You finally do the steek, try it on and….. it doesn’t fit right. The yoke doesn’t sit properly on your shoulders, and it just doesn’t work. It’s steeked, so you can’t unravel it. So you grab your scissors again and cut the yoke off and try again.

Holy smokes, right? Can you imagine just cutting the yoke off a sweater and trying something totally different? I am virtually high-fiving Liz right now because that is all sorts of fearless knitter awesomeness that I fully respect. Liz has a lto of knitting experience, so she chose a yoke that she figured would work with the design and fit her better, with a lovely cabled tree motif. She chose the tree motif because the shape of them helped make it easier to decrease as she worked her way to the neckline. So clever!

Has anything like this happened to you, fellow knitters/ Knit a bottom up seater and the top part just didn’t fit? Would you consider doing something like this?

 

 

 

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Biblioburro: The donkey library of Columbia. A really sweet 4-minute video, if you have a moment to watch it.

How to change careers, according to 3 women who did it.

You have 100 blocks of time in a day. How do you want to spend those blocks?

This woven wall art in a restaurant in Barcelona makes my heart skip a beat.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Tortellini with pesto and roasted veggies is a perfect weeknight supper, and not just because it looks like a rainbow (which is always awesome). It also comes together in under 30 minutes, which is right up my alley. Plus it still tastes amazing when heated up the next day – assuming you have leftovers, that is. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Adorable cookie alert – these bear paw cookies are a sugar cookie with chocolate added in the shape of paw prints, so not only are they super cute, but there’s chocolate. So, total baking win. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe and instructions can be found here.

What if I told you that there was an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie smoothie recipe that was totally healthy? I know, I probably wouldn’t believe me either, but it’s true. This smoothie tastes amazing and is nothing but healthy ingredients (unless you are like me and refuse to buy the fancy cacao nibs and just add a handful of chocolate chips like a normal person- apparently chocolate chips aren’t healthy, but whatever). If you prefer to drink your breakfasts like I do, and have a sweet tooth (also like I do), then this is for you, friend. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe for the smoothie is right here.

 

Have you ever tried to make soap before? I’ve always been really intrigued, and this gradient soap is SO pretty… but I always feel like the coat of making soap involved buying really expensive soap bits in a craft store, which seems weird to me. But I’ve been thinking that this might be a fun craft to try with Lila…. thoughts? Any soap makers have some words of wisdom? Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY is here.

Can you believe it’s actually going to be May next week?! I’m so ready for it, ready to put winter behind me and get a move on some lovely, flower-filled weather. spring always makes me think about starting seeds indoors, or buying little starter plants (far more the way I roll) and making this really pretty indoor herb garden. because nothing is better than using fresh herbs in your cooking. Or in my world, on cheese and crackers. Seriously, fresh herbs on cheese and crackers is pretty much a meal unto itself in my world. Anyway. The pretty gradient planter DIY is so bright and would look amazing on any kitchen counter. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is here.

Have a gorgeous weekend, everyone! I hope the sun shines just for you.

Knit Stories: Declan’s Sweater

I’ so excited to welcome you to the first installment of Knit Stories! Knit Stories will be a regular feature, with a different knitter each time talking about a project that was especially significant for them. If you would like to submit a knit story, you can read all the details here. Submissions are ongoing, feel free to send in a story any time.

“The little sweater in this photograph is worn. It needs a good washing, and maybe some love from a sweater stone, but otherwise, it still has plenty of life and wear left. I love how knitted objects can rekindle feelings and memories of when you knit them and whom you knit them for, and this little sweater is no exception. I knit this little sweater for my son. After a complicated labor with his older sister, I knew that the likelihood of a natural birth was nearly out of the question; my body didn’t cooperate the first time, and the combination of small stature and
large babies is not always a complementary one. I sat through a tedious explanation of why the doctors would not risk a labor and scheduled my surgery. Four weeks later, I dutifully returned to the hospital to have my scheduled c section and to finally meet this little boy who
was so eagerly anticipated.

I cast on stitches for this little sweater as I waited for the surgeon to come, knitted the little collar as they explained the procedure, and chatted with my mother as I switched to a larger needle and placed my stitch markers. I used an earthy green superwash wool, strong but soft, thinking it would be perfect for this late spring baby. My first child had been born in late August of an Indian summer, so hand knits were superfluous for the first few months of her life, indoors or outdoors. As they prepared to take me to surgery, I kissed my mother and husband, knowing that we were all excited but a bit anxious for this to be over. Despite the excitement and anticipation that surrounds a birth, so often we forget about how terrifying it can be, and I had not forgotten how difficult my previous delivery had been, and how thankful I was for a healthy baby with no complications at the end of it.

My beautiful boy came into this world, nine and a half pounds of sturdy little man, with ten perfect fingers and toes. He gazed at my husband as the surgeons began to put me back together, and I cried, wishing I could hold him right there and smell his perfect little head. Within fifteen minutes of that moment, he needed to be moved to the neonatal unit. The kind pediatrician assured me his issues were routine, and that his lungs needed a little help after his less than traditional entrance to the world. I didn’t believe it was as simple as that, because
despite her calm assurances, I could see the concern in her eyes. As I was wheeled back to recovery, my husband went to the neonatal care unit, hoping for more information. My mother shortly followed, and I stayed in recovery, crying onto the beginning of the little sweater I had
knit, seeing nurses and specialists who assured me things were progressing and that I would be moved closer to my son as soon as possible.

I waited, alternating between knitting a few stitches here and there between checking my phone for updates and allowing the medical staff
to tend to my incision and bring a pump in to try and get colostrum for my baby. In a few hours, I was taken to the postpartum floor, where I was only a corridor away from the neonatal unit. Upon finding out that I had yet to see my son, the sympathetic nurse immediately put me into a wheelchair and slowly wheeled me down the hall, with my husband helping wheel the IV poles and bags along behind. I was frightened of what I would see. As we entered the unit, there was my son, covered in tubes and sensors, connected to machines that beeped and helped him breathe. He was suffering from respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) due to a deficiency of surfactant in his lungs. It was almost comical to think my nearly ten pound child was suffering from an issue found in preterm babies; all of the masks and tubes in the unit were too small for him due to his size, and the tubes had to be taped to his face since he kept pulling them off.

Over the next week, I sat by his crib, watching machines breathe for him, jumping with anxiety every time an alarm went off, and holding his little hand when I thought it would calm him. Holding him was difficult due to all the tubes, and less than two days after his birth, his lung
collapsed, necessitating a tube to be placed in his side to help him breathe. As I sat, I added stitches to his little sweater. When I couldn’t knit, I held it on my lap, like a security blanket, or a lovey that a child insists on taking everywhere.

I knit as I watched my mother hold him for the first time, singing the same lullabies she had sung to me as a child, and years later, to my daughter, her first grandchild, smiling as she made up new verses to each song. I knit as I watched my husband snuggle his son, telling him dad jokes and explaining to him how the machines around him worked. I knit as I pumped milk, exhausted by the frequency with which it had to be done, but glad to know that this was something I could do to help, since it felt as though I had failed my child in so many ways at that point.

I held the little sweater in my hands as I cried on the day I was discharged from the hospital but my son had to stay. It came back
and forth with me as I went from home and back to the hospital each day, sometimes multiple times a day to bring milk or to just sit with my son. By the end of our weeklong stay at the hospital, most of the nurses knew I was a knitter, and they usually checked in on my progress
as they came to attend to my son.

My son came home, perfectly happy and healthy one week after his hectic entrance into the world. I finished the sweater much later, although I don’t remember when. By the time he was six months old, it fit perfectly, and I became emotional as I put it over his head and
remembered all the tears, hopes and wishes that had gone into knitting it, and how much I had been comforted by the simple rhythm of knit and purl.

Declan is now almost three years old, a happy and rambunctious little boy full of life, with no long term effects from the eventful first days of his life. His sweater is far too small now, and he has since received many other sweaters, which he wears constantly. I still have his little green sweater, and have set it aside, remembering how it came to be, and what it meant to have it there.”

Knit Stories is written by a different knitter each time, talking about a meaningful project and how it came to be. This one is written by Karina Sweeney, and you can find her on Ravelry, her website, and Instagram

Modification Monday: Carbeth

Original Pattern: Carbeth

Knitter Extraordinaire: Nell (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Adjusted the yoke and sleeves to be ribbed instead of stockinette, and adjusted yoke increases and sleeves for stitch counts and slightly different gauge. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This pattern already had a really interesting yoke construction, but swapping the stockinette for ribbing really amplifies the design detail and makes this sweater even more visually interesting. Ribbing is an unsung hero of knitting fabric- sure, we love ribbing on cuffs and hems and necklines, but all over ribbing is actually super simple but so visually impactful. Now I’m craving ribbed details on sweaters, because this is just SO gorgeous.

The next time you are considering a pattern but it has some elements you’d like to change, consider ribbing- would it look really great with ribbing all along the sleeves? At the side seams? ribbed sleeves to the elbows? So many options!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to be more present in your friendships.

The secret life of ‘um’: how filler words keep a conversation from going off the rails.

Newborn guinea pigs get the Anne Geddes baby photo treatment – awwwwwww.

Three truths about your life’s purpose.

7 signs you are spending too much time inside. I love the great indoors, but it’s true- there’s such a thing as too much.

 

My Favourite Pins This Week

I love pasta soooooo much, but I feel like the only pasta I eat lately is spaghetti bolognese, since I can make it quickly and the kids love it. But when I want something more grown up, I love the simplicity of this, which is a basic Cacio e Pepe (which literally means cheese and pepper), but with bright bits of lemon and big handfuls of arugula. I really love arugula. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is here.

Okay, they look really delicious right? So don’t get weird when I tell you that there are pureed black beans and avocado hiding in the recipe. They taste chocolaty and fudgey, you can’t taste the veggies, and the beans and avocado add loads of fiber, protein and vitamins, which mean you should totally have another brownie. And that peanut butter just adds even more protein and deliciousness. Healthy brownies, who knew? Pinterest link is here, and the original  recipe is here.

Spring is coming (it has to arrive eventually right?) and I’m craving colour… and thinking about dreamy new ways to decorate. I love how gorgeous bold colours look in interiors. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

How pretty are these crocheted Iceland poppies? I love that they are done in softer pastel hues, they look perfect for spring. It’s a free pattern, too! Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY is here.

I’ll leave that right there, just in case you needed a reminder. Pinterest link is here, and you can buy the print here.

 

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! I hope you get to do all sorts of fun things, and enjoy yourselves.