New Yarn: Biscotte Yarns Griffon

Whoa, how is it almost the end of the week? That long weekend really messed with my ability to keep track of time and suddenly, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night I realized that I needed to get posting! I did get some FO photos on the long weekend of the cowl that I’m working on in this video and previously blogged about here, but I need to go through them all. A quick glance at some of the photos made me realize I desperately need a haircut, I’m not looking my best these days. But Lila was very happy and  involved– there will be an outtakes post, for sure!

At about 8:15 p.m., after both the kids were put to bed, I popped out my front door to photograph this beautiful yarn from Biscotte Yarns:

Biscotte Yarns Griffon |

That is Biscotte Yarns Griffon, an Aran weight yarn in Gris Gris (grey) and Farfadet (green), with an awesome combination from both resulting in the self striping skein in the middle. Guys, this yarn is so freaking soft and squishy, I just want to rub it against my cheek all day. Not pictured: my pajama pants and t-shirt, which is seriously how I stepped outside my front door. But I looked both ways first to make sure none of my neighbours were out. Then I plucked some little flowers off my flower planters, put them onto the yarn because flowers and yarn are a wonderful combo, and stealthily took some photos before scampering back inside.

Let’s get a closer look at the squishy softness, shall we?

Biscotte Yarns Griffon |

This beautiful yarn is destined to become an R&R Hoodie for baby James. I’m thinking I might do stripes, or possibly a speckled fade effect between colours, like this one. I need to do some swatching!

Also- isn’t it awesome to be able to take a photo outside after 8 p.m. and it’s still daylight?

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Links I Love This Week:

I’m a little obsessed  Noisli, with this new-to-me sound mixer that allows you to custom blend different sounds for either relaxing or productivity, with 16 different sound options (and volume controls for each one) to custom blend your perfect mix of noise hath will help you amp up your productivity, or get you super relaxed.

10 ways to boost your brain power– some quick and easy, some take a bit more time. But I think there’s something for everyone on this list.

Part of living more simply means building patience and practicing contentment no matter where you are at on the journey.

A moving account of what it is really like being a single parent.

Are newsletters the internet’s new safe space for women? A great article about how women are finding new ways to carve out female spaces to share thoughts and discoveries.

Pins I Love This Week:

Pin Ups and Link Love: Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies |

Zucchini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! I get to eat way more of them because there are vegetables in them, right??? The recipe declares them gluten-free, but that is because the recipe calls for gluten-free flour- I’m confident regular flour works just fine, if you are good with gluten. Other than that, the recipe is is full of good ingredients, for a healthier take on a chocolate chip cookie.  Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Gnocchi and Pomodoro Sauce |

Gnocchi with Pomodoro sauce is one of those great comfort foods that is just perfect for this time of year, and the recipe comes together easily. If you are in a rush for a weekday meal, skip the step with broiling the cheese for a crusty top- the recipe is still delicious without it, but it does add any extra tasty element. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crochet Pumpkin Cover DIY |

I’m totally not into scary stuff (even those Halloween Simpsons episodes sometimes creep me out), so I was pretty smitten with this DIY crochet cover for a pumpkin. Who says halloween decorations can’t be pretty? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Stitch Markers|

If you are anything like me, you lose stitch markers all over the place. I loved this tutorial on how to make your own- I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m making my supply list so that I can get everything I need for them! I’d love to try this. Pinterest link is here, and the original tutorial post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Beauty Quote |

I love this quote- so often we’re wishing that this was different about our face or body, or wish we could change X… but really, confidence in who you are is one heck of a badass beauty treatment. Pinterest link is here, and original post is here– side note, that’s a cool site where you can make your own text/image overlays!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting some silly photos from the outtakes from this post– I know I don’t normally post on weekends, but I hope you’ll enjoy! Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Product Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag

Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag |

This is the Jordana Paige Cora Handbag. Yes, that Jordana Paige. I first heard about her products when I got my Jordana Paige Tool Butler, which I use to corral all my circulate needles and dpns, and is still in great shape without a single problem- all the zippers work, nothing got loose or shabby, structurally as sound as the day I got it. When you have a product from a company that has already been serving you well, and then they tell you about their awesome new handbag… well, it didn’t take me long to jump at the chance to review the Cora Bag.

First, let me tell you a bit about what sort of purse person I am. I like a bigger purse, the kind that I can throw a lot of things into. I’ve tried tiny purses, but they just aren’t me.  I end up carrying an additional tote bag, which makes no sense. I also strive for an effortless sort of chic look (I don’t always nail it, but hey- I try), and I live in a big city and want to look like I’ve got it together, even if really I’m just carrying around toddler snacks, a wallet, more lip balm than anyone could possibly need, and some yarn. This is what I look like most of the time:

Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag |

Except not always walking through pretty gardens, that’s just for the sake of the photos. Oh, and if you are wondering about the cowl, it’s this one!

I. Love. This. Purse. I didn’t even know how much I was going to love it until I started using it, and now it’s my every day purse. Every friend I’ve seen since I started using it has commented on it, and then I immediately show them how the front unzips into a clutch, and how all the cool pockets are fantastic, and look at how much yarn I can carry around with me, etc.

Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag |

Look at how awesome the zip off clutch is! I carry crayons and a colouring book and assorted toddler things in the clutch part, but hey- that’s just what my life is about these days. Except in these photos- Guy’s parents were visiting and they looked after Lila while we popped out to get some photos.

Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag |

This bag is ideal for someone who likes a chic purse that can totally hold it’s own in a crowd of Kate Spade or Coach bags, but has all the pockets and compartments for your knitting, wallet, and the hundreds of little things you would normally keep in your bag. It’s ideal for someone who likes classic lines and some style.  If you prefer small bags, are super casual, or are just a grab-your-wallet-and-go sort of person, this probably isn’t for you.

I had mixed feelings on the price at first- I’m frugal, so this is definitely at the high end of what I’d pay for a purse, but now that I have it, I think it’s worth even more. When I’m going to be spending a bit more (usually coats, boots, and purses- things I use and wear in heavy rotation) I think about it in terms of cost per wear- how much use I’ll get out of the item. The more I wear it, the more it’s worth spending a bit more for something well made that will actually last. I’ve had the bag for a few weeks, so I’ll report back on how it’s lasting at the end of the season. The bag is made of a vegan leather- it has a great crosshatching to it that holds up well to a close inspection. The internal fabric is sturdy, and not a single knitting needle has punctured it.

And  it’s excellent at hiding a baby bump:

Review: Jordana Paige Cora Bag |

I have a bunch of hilarious outtakes, and even though I normally just do those for knits, I’m thinking of sharing them. Feel like seeing some hilarious photos of me hamming it up with a purse?

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Pattern: Pink Grapefruit Mitts

Yarn: Bijou Basin Himalayan Trail (Yak and Merino) in ‘Fergus’ 

Needles: 2.75 mm (US 2)

Ravelry Project Page is here. 

Mods: I went down a needle size, because the yarn originally called for in the pattern has a high twist, giving it more elasticity while knitting. in order to make sure I got the right size, it was worth going down a needle size for a yarn that has a less elastic ply.

I was pretty blown away from the Bijou Spun Himalayan Trail yak/merino yarn. This was my first time using yak fiber, and it was incredibly soft, and incredibly strong. There is some great natural texture from combining the yark and merino fibers, and the plying reminds me a lot of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, only stronger.  It’s still August, but I can already see that these are going to be an easy favourite for fall.  They are so soft, and I absolutely love the colour! ‘Fergus’ is a wonderfully rich, cool-toned burgundy that I love.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

The yarn has a slight halo effect that almost makes it look like they aren’t in focus in photos (we did three different photo shoots for these mitts, convinced we were having a problem with the focus!), but it’s actually just the wonderfully soft texture of the yarn that gives it that look, while still having great stitch definition. The best of both worlds, if you ask me.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

I decided to knit an older pattern of mine, Pink Grapefruit Mitts, from back in 2011. It’s such a neat experience to knit a pattern that you designed a while ago, because it feels completely new – I certainly didn’t remember how to do any of the details or even the featured stitch, so I followed along like it was a completely new pattern designed by someone else. And I loved it! I think sometimes when you design a pattern, you get so caught up in trying to get it right and sorting out the tricky spots and trying to make it clear and concise that it’s almost impossible to enjoy it as a knitting pattern anymore.  Giving it some time and then knitting it made me appreciate the pattern so much, and I feel like I got it right. Of course, there are no patterns out there that are perfect for every single knitter, but this one was just right for me, and I loved the thumb gusset. I am definitely going to use that thumb gusset again in a future design, it was so easy and looks so subtle.

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Lila was very interested in participating in the photo shoots (all of them!) and we have some awesome outtakes for a follow-up post. And you know how much I love outtakes! 😉

Finished Knit: Fergus Mitts |

Finished Knit: We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater |

I’ve finished my We Are Knitters  Top, and I love it!

Pattern: Pacific Sweater Kit

Yarn: We Are Knitters The Cotton Yarn

Needles: 6 mm (US 10)

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater |

I’ve been really loving the idea of summer sweaters lately, no doubt partially due to our lackluster summer thus far.  This top is perfect for hot days, and the cut is super forgiving for a wide variety of body shapes.  Which is great, since I’m only getting bigger! I’m still at that stage where I just look like I’m gaining weight,  I haven’t had the official ‘pop’ yet, but I can tell the Pacific Sweater will fit well beyond that. Got to love a knit that still looks good if your shape is fluctuating!

As I mentioned in my previous Knit-in-Progress post, the kits start with the pattern, and you have your choice of receiving the pattern in English, French, German or Spanish.  Then you choose your colours- I had 16 different colour choices for the Pacific Sweater, and they have added 4 more new colour choices (I’m loving the  Light Salmon), and it took me ages to decide, but in the end I landed on the can’t-fail classic, Natural.  Not only because it basically goes with everything, but I already knew I was pregnant when I picked it out, and figured that if I played my cards right, this top would be perfect for the summer during pregnancy, and next summer when I’m nursing (this is totally going to hide spit up), as well as beyond! This sort of style is going to be great for all stages.

You can also choose to receive their custom (and so freaking awesome!) beechwood needles (straights, no circulars). They come in the size recommended for the pattern gauge. As for shipping, that’s always one of my first questions when considering ordering from another country, and We Are Knitters offer some extremely reasonable shipping on kits into Canada and the US- under $10 shipping for most kits, and on orders more than $140, free shipping (sadly no Australian shipping, though!).

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater |

I made one modification- I added i-cord ties at the back, because my life is way too busy for perfect posture that will keep it on my shoulders, and I didn’t want to be constantly adjusting it. They worked out perfectly- I love how they look, and the top stays perfectly in place.

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater |

The pattern is very simple and easy to follow, but it counts rows, so that means row gauge must be checked! Also, the pattern only comes in one size- I think that this would work for anyone who would knit a sweater size 34″- 45″, but if you were bigger, I’d recommend going up a needle size or two and ordering a couple extra skeins; and if you are smaller, go down a needle size or two. The yarn is fantastic to work (so many cotton yarns are splitty, but this one didn’t split once) with and really forgiving and when wet blocked, you can block in a bit of length or a bit of width, depending on your needs.

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater |
Getting photos for the Pacific Sweater was challenging, as there was a sulky toddler trying to escape just out of the shots- An Outtakes Post is coming soon!
* This is part two of a short series of sponsored posts for We Are Knitters. I chose the pattern kit and the colour, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.