Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This was fascinating – “I got my news from paper newspapers for two months, and this is what I learned.”

Everyone’s very focused on self care these days, but is it self care, or self-sabotage? I totally agree with this – I’m a little suspicious of the self care bandwagon. But then again, I suck at self care so I think this falls into the confirmation bias category.

My all-female coworker space had a whole article on, and …. what’s that one page 2? Oh, you know, just a photo of me working, with “Julie Crawford, Founder, Knitted Bliss” underneath it. No big deal.

On the deep psychological joy of hearing Toto’s classic song “Africa” sound as though it’s playing in an empty shopping mall.

My Favourite Pins This Week

You guys know how I’m all about the one pan/pot/takeout menu sort of dinner, and this is pretty close- if you want to add in the mushrooms, you’ll need to pan fry them. But I’m lazy and would probably just put a tonne of spinach in with the rice and move on with my life. But I generally like to put spinach in everything, so that might not work for everyone. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I don’t eat cheese cake very often because I don’t like the thick-as-brick restaurant style ones that you typically get, so solid you feel like you could build a house out of it. Making cheesecake at home usually yields a waaaaaaay lighter, softer, and more delicious cheesecake. This no-bake nutella version is definitely on my radar- I love nutella anything, and no restaurant cheese cake can compare with a homemade one. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe can be found here.

What a gorgeous idea to spruce up a medicine cabinet! This is done with peel-and-stick wallpaper, but if you were feeling crafty you could modge podge beautiful wrapping paper in there, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Love the look of marled yarn, but your stash is already insane? Tin Can Knits has a great post about combining yarns to make your own marled yarn in any colour combination you want- not to mention a handy way to work through your stash a bit faster. Pinterest link is here, and the full  post can be found here.

Feeling the urge to get your spring craft on? What about these pretty felt daffodils? They use only small amounts of felt and all sorts of thoughtful details. Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY for making them is right here.

Finished Knit: Halus Hat

I want to like this hat. And I know it doesn’t look that bad in the photos, but it just doesn’t work for me. Every time I see it, I think – ‘tea cozy’.

And now that I pointed out that it looks like a tea cozy, that’s all you can see, right? I thought so.

Pattern: Halus Hat

Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Quarry

Mods: None

This hat had a fascinating construction to get the big vertical stitches – they are knitting in stockinette, and then when you get to the crown, you drop the sections down and ladder them back up with a big crochet hook. It’s such an interesting technique and a really cool effect- I would happily do that again in another project. It does create a thick, almost stiff sort of fabric which probably is a given considering the yarn is 100% wool in a super bulky weight. I’m very curious to see what the fabric would be like in a worsted weight with this techinque.

The hat looks fine from the front, I’ll give it that. But it just doesn’t suit my head – I think you need to be someone with really thick hair to pull off this style. Or just really love the shape for its own aesthetic qualities. Because of the aforementioned stiffness of the fabric, it doesn’t slouch at all.

I loved the yarn, though. This was my first time using Quarry and it was fantastic- it has great structure and produced excellent stitch definition. I would absolutely use the yarn again, but perhaps for a thick cardigan, or mittens. As for the hat- I’ve passed it along to a good friend who loves knitted hats and has thicker and more beautiful hair than I. At least the hat has found a good home!

Modification Monday: Hat to Match Marius Sweater

We have a winner for the copy of Alice Starmore’s Glamourie… Sarah! I’ll be emailing you very soon!

Original Patterns: Marius Sweater and Knit Frozen Snowflakes Beanie

Knitter Extraordinaire: Spotonknit (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Spotonknit created a hat that incorporated the same stranded elements as her Marius sweater yoke, using a worsted weight hat pattern as a starting point, and converting it to DK weight. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  A gorgeous stranded yoke, like the classic style of the Marius sweater, has all kinds of fantastic elements that would work great on a hat. The comparison photo below shows this really clearly, since it’s helpful to view them side-by-side.  For any mod that was using a sweater yoke and turning it into a hat, the best way is to start with the largest motif to use as the central band in the hat, and then flank it (top and bottom!) with smaller elements from the same yoke. This idea can be used over and over again, regardless of the design on the sweater yoke. What amazing sweater yoke would YOU turn into a hat?

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I’ll be starting a new feature on the blog soon- Knit Stories. This is going to be a guest post section, so if you think you might be interested, click on over and read all about how to submit! I’m excited to see how this new feature will unfold, and what sort of stories are out there.

Have you entered the giveaway for Alice Starmore’s Glamourie yet? Tomorrow is the last day, and you don’t want to miss out- the book is a work of knittable art.

“I thought my bully deserved an awful life, but then he had one.” A thought-provoking read on how we think about bullies, retribution, and the ripples of damage.

Monica Lewinsky in the age of #MeToo.

If literature’s ‘complicated men’ were on Tinder.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I don’t know about you, but I need to really get more salad into my life. This southwest style chicken quesadilla salad is family friendly and covers all the bases. Pinterest link is here, original recipe post can be found here.

Peanut butter cookie dough bars. I don’t think I need to say anything else, because you just know these taste like heaven, but they are actually really easy and don’t have loads of ingredients. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Doesn’t this collection of mirrors look so gorgeous? I was surprised at how easy the DIY is, because it’s just some wire placemats (easy to get from Amazon or Ikea), plain mirrors from a craft store, and embroidery hoops as frames. Such pretty results! Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY can be found here.

Easter is coming, so what about knitting a little something for it? This post has all sorts of links to patterns for bunnies, lambs, chicks, egg decorations, and flowers! And it just so happens to be my blog post ;). Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Trying to turn a tough day around? Here are ten simple ideas that can make your day go from meh to amazing. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is right here.

I’m hoping to get some serious knitting and work done this weekend, but I’m told weekends are for relaxing…. we’ll see! Anyone else like me, probably working whenever they can get away with it this weekend?

How to Wear a Colour You Think You Can’t Wear

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

Pattern: Casu Cowl

Yarn: Darn Good Yarn Worsted Weight Merino in ‘Samabyon’

Needles: 5mm (US 8)

It’s so easy to believe a limiting idea – “I’m not good with numbers”, or “I can’t wear that colour”. But when was the last time you actually checked to see if that was true? For example, after my last post about this cowl in progress, I heard a fair number of comments that this was a colour that some felt they couldn’t wear. Which got me thinking, what if I can’t wear peach either?!

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

I spent a fair bit of time thinking about that. I’ve long thought that I can’t wear yellow, but I knit this cowl years ago and I still wear it. What crazy rules are these, that we can’t wear colours that we find attractive?! I’m not buying it. I believe that there is a way to wear any colour, for anyone, but it depends on some different factors.

Keep Cools with Cool, Keep Warm with Warm

I’ve figured out the trick, and it was with this yarn and this cowl that I finally figured out what makes any colour work for your skin tone – if your skin tone is cool, choose a cool shade colour you like. And if your skin tone is warm, then choose a colour with warm undertones.

Go With a Tonal or Variegated

If it’s a colour that you think you can’t wear, don’t go for a flat version of it- go for a tonal, or some subtle variegation. The other shades and tones that are in the skein will help you feel more confident about the colour, and also makes for more fun knitting!

 Wear Lipstick

I know it sounds a little silly, but wearing a lipstick that is similar to the colour (and undertones!) you are wearing can make a big difference. Here I’m wearing a peachy pink lipstick, and I think it works with the cowl. If the colour you want to wear is not in the realm of typical lipstick colour, then stick with undertones only – if the colour you are wearing is green, purple, or blue, wearing a pink lipstick that has the same undertones as your skin, it will look good.

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

Everything Goes with Black

Really. Whatever you colour you think you can’t wear, just pair it with black. It works.

Knit Socks!

If you love a certain yarn colour, but really think that it won’t work no matter how much lipstick or black you are wearing, then knit socks. It never matters if your socks work with your skin tone. Socks are for your own personal enjoyment, you knit them in whatever colour strikes your fancy – cool or warm undertones be damned.

Casu Cowl | Darn Good Yarn |

This is the first time I’ve knit with a peachy yarn, and I love it- this is a fantastic single ply that doesn’t pill easily, and the colour has SO much depth. It isn’t a flat peach shade at all, but has gorgeous, subtle variegation with peaches, pinks, pale lavender, and even delicate buttercup (I love sneaking in a bit of yellow!). Remember what the yarn looks like? Let me jog your memory:

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, they have the most affordable yarn of the month club I’ve ever seen.

So the next time you are squishing a beautiful skein of yarn but thinking that it’s a colour you can’t wear, think again. I bet you CAN wear it. And if you love it, you should wear it!

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