Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

I love this idea of spreading positivity and empowerment to creators whose work we enjoy.  I’m all for the Tell Her movement.

I’m so guilty of this- stop buying failure insurance.

There are really only 4 habits we need to work on that will guarantee us a better life.

I just ordered a kitchen timer (I know, too lazy to go to the store) because of this article.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cadbury Thumbprint Cookies |

Cadbury mini eggs are one of my top three favourite corner store treats (Oh Henry and Kit Kat are the other two), so when I saw these cookies, I knew they would be perfect! Cadbury chocolate thumbprints. These cookies seem to just shout spring. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easy Enchilada Cups|

What is it about shrunken down food that is so visually appealing? These mini enchilada cups would be great for parties, or as a side dish, or even as a main- Four of these and that probably makes one whole enchilada, right? Let’s just pretend that it does. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Raspberry Lime Smoothie|

As someone who adores both raspberries and limes, this smoothie checks a lot of boxes for me- a short list of ingredients, and none of them seeds (I just can’t get into seeds of any kind in my smoothies). And frozen raspberries makes it so much easier to pull this together when fresh raspberries are out of season. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crochet Bead Tutorial|

I love this elegant, minimalist necklace with the crochet covered wood bead- the full tutorial for crocheting around a wooden bead is here (scroll down for the English translation). Pinterest link is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: 8 Photo Tips|

Looking to up your photo game? Here are 8 great tips for improving your photos, beyond just ‘use natural light’.  Really specific, interesting ideas that I hadn’t thought of before (#6 is my favourite). Pinterest link is here.

I hope everyone has an amazing long weekend! Lila is super excited for the Easter Bunny to come, it’s all she’s been talking about.  I hope everyone gets to have a relaxing long weekend!

A New Pattern: Animal Pot Cozies

If you are like me and can never be bothered to re-pot those pretty little mini daffodils, crocuses, or other plants that you pick up, then I highly recommend these knitted animal pot cozies:

Animal Plant Cozies |

You could make one from cast on to finished the embroidery in a couple of hours, they are that quick. They are also perfect as coffee sleeves, too!  Can’t knock that. The bunny is very appropriate for this time of year, but I think I like the teddy bear the best – her white muzzle is so cute.

I know that lots of people get a little unnerved when it comes to the faces, so here are a some tips for embroidering faces onto your knitting:

  • If it doesn’t look good, you can take it off. Just snip the embroidered yarn off, and try again. It’s not permanent.
  •  Sew your ears on first, it will help guide the placement of the face details. The eyes look best about half an inch down from the edge, and spaced near the inside edge of the ears.
  • The eyes are three stitches each, and it helps to think of the symbol for a centered double decrease:  Both of those shapes make great eyes.
  • The nose is embroidered by stitching a triangle, and then just stitching horizontally over top of it.
  • Have fun with the mouth- all three of these critters have different mouths, to show variety. The kitten has a big smile, the bunny has a small smile, and the bear is serious. If you don’t like how your mouth is turning out, cut the embroidery off and try again. It might take a few tries. At least, it usually takes me a few tries before I get it the way I want!

Full directions for this free pattern  an be found on Stitch & Unwind. I’d love it if you could Pin it, tweet it, or just generally tell every knitter you know about it. Because hey, cheery knitted animals keeping plant pots cozy is bound to lighten up anyone’s day!

Kitten, bunny, bear pot cozy |

Find them on Ravelry here.

Modification Monday: Fair Isle Fiesta

Modification Monday: Fair Isle Fiesta |

Original Pattern: Corrie Fair Isle Vest

Knitter Extraordinaire: Holly (Ravelry ID, website)

Mods: Using the colourwork charts from the vest pattern, Holly knit this  fair isle fiesta cowl in the same gauge, spacing out the fair isle with bands of white. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: What a fantastic idea- to let fair isle breathe! Holly simplified the original charts by reducing the number of colours from 9 to 6, giving her cowl a more cohesive colour palette. Six colours still provides a lot of variety, but stays with the greys and blues. Adding the bands of white gives this knit such freshness and lightens up what originally was a visually heavy design.  Breaking up the original vest pattern is a great way to really appreciate the individual fair isle designs- when they aren’t all together, they become much easier to see. I absolutely love Holly’s interpretation, it feels fresh and light! Now I want to knit one, too.

Modification Monday: Fair Isle Fiesta |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Feeling overwhelmed? Here are 10 things you can do to help feel more in control.

Here’s another 10 things to read, watch or listen to when you are feeling frustrated with something in your life.

Looking to try some meditation but you’re kind of busy? Here’s a 6 minute walking meditation you can do walking from one place to the next.

By the way, Interweave is having  a $1.99 back issue blowout sale, which is pretty awesome- most issues have over 20 patterns, so that’s an exceptionally good deal. Shop the Magazine Blowout Sale at Interweave here, most of the knitting magazines start on page 2.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easter Cake |

One of my favourite things about Easter is the treats! This amazing Easter basket cake is more like a cake hack than a recipe- you can totally use a store bought chocolate cake, or just make it from a mix. The instructions walk you through the great decorating that is sure to impress. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cheesy Black Bean Loaded Sweet Potatoes|

When was the last time you had a loaded, baked sweet potato? A fun dinner idea, this is loaded with protein and fresh ingredients- poached egg, arugula, cheese and black beans. Healthy and deeply satisfying, sign me up! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Banana Cream Cheese Cake Smoothie |

I’ve been trying to eat more protein lately in an effort to shed the rest of the baby weight, and it feels like that’s the only time I ever eat cottage cheese, since I’m not a huge fan. But! I found this great smoothie recipe that uses it, and I’m a happy convert- high in protein, and delicious. I recommend! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Simple Sewn Notebook Case |

I love this simple sewing idea to whip up a notebook and pencil case- for those of you falling hard for the adult colouring books, this would be perfect! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Star Wars Eggs |

And one last Easter-themed idea- Star Wars eggs! This is a great tutorial for painting Star Wars character eggs, and naturally she chooses to do it on wooden eggs, for durability. Such a great idea, and think of all the other films/tv shows/ characters you could do! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Meet the Sponsors: March Edition!

Ah, March! It’s already feeling like spring around here, and for those of you who still have snow, you know it’s not too far away.

Ancient Arts Yarn|

Name: Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts

What They Are All About: Ancient Arts yarns has a huge selection of hand dyed tonal, variegated and speckled colourways. Each colourway is offered in a variety of bases (most from bulky to laceweight, plus a variety of fiber bases within each weight), so you can totally customize for whatever project you have in mind. There is also their very special Meow Collection and Woof Collection, which are colourways inspired by cat and dog breeds and a portion of the sales are donated to Best Friends Animal Society to help animals in need. Knitting AND helping animals? Check and check.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Waterlily is a beautiful colourway that would look amazing in a knit that’s just right for welcoming spring. All the Secret Places is a stunning mix of cool blues from light to dark and would be especially lovely in a textured or lacy knit. She Sells Sea Shells is a perfect blend of sandy beiges and watery blues that would be perfect for almost anything.

Madbird |

Name: Madbird 

What They are all about: Alecia and Rob make amazing project bags, project clutches, totes, spindle bags, needle and hook rolls (even for dpns and interchangeables), and zip pouches that are full of clever details. 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. And they are all sturdily built, with fleece interfacing and solid bottoms that ensure the bags stand up well on their own, once a project is inside. If you haven’t tried one of their bags, you are missing out- every detail is perfection. Only a few are made of each print displayed, so if you see something, move fast! And don’t forget- They are offering 10% off everything in the shop with the code KNITTEDBLISS.

psst- for those who participated in the project bag vote, the Harajuku Garden ended up being sold out, so I went with the Giant Octopi!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: One photo of the outside doesn’t do any of these justice- I recommend clicking through to see photos of the interiors of all of these.  First up is one of the brand new needle wallet/mini organizer. This is perfect for when you are taking just a couple needle sizes with you on the go (or to keep in a project bag), and is especially useful when you are knitting projects that require multiple needle sizes, and/or circulars and dpns. It just feels good to have everything you need for you project all in one place. Then there is the interchangeable needle roll, which is way nicer than the plastic case those needles came in. It even has a mini pocket sewn in for motions and those cable end things! The large project clutch in the black and white sheep print and contrasting red zipper is perfect for corralling your WIP in style.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe |

Name: Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

What She is All About: Alicia makes incredible all-natural lotion bars and lip balms using skin-loving ingredients like lanolin, cocoa butter, almond oil, and vitamin E and mango butter. If you haven’t tried a lotion bar before you are missing out! it’s non-greasy and great for travel (especially airplanes- none of this liquid limit problem on planes, where the air is super drying).

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: orange and rosemary  essential oils come together in this crisp, refreshing lotion bar that will leave your hands butter soft and your mind feeling a little more alert. I cannot say enough good things about the sheep shaped  goat’s milk soap that Alicia makes- and it even makes my daughter more excited to wash her hands. This  Sea Moss scent smells like a garden by the sea, after it rains. The French Macaron lip balm is currently in my purse. It is really moisturizing and tastes like a delicious treat from an special bakery- what more could you ask for from a lip balm!

The Blue Brick |

Name: The Blue Brick 

What She is All About:  Shireen is a professional photographer (you can tell from the photos!), and she takes her yarn inspiration straight from the images she captures. These yarns are all hand dyed in small batches (you can read more about the yarn here). Each skein of yarn is sent out with a copy of the photo that inspired it- a really beautiful detail that makes me marvel even more at how she can dye the yarn to so closely resemble the photos! And Shireen also designs beautiful patterns, as well.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Winter Wheat, currently available in Worsted weight and DK, with warm greys and biscuit tones that seem like the embodiment of coziness. Night Heron, right blue green teals that are more lagoon than yarn, currently available in worsted, DK, and a single ply merino.  And a brand new, stunning gradient colourway- Rose, which is an ombre dream of gold and pink tones; currently available in worsted, DK, sock yarn, and a single ply merino.

Fuzzy Mitten |

Name: Fuzzy Mitten 

What She is All About: Barbara designs some of the cutest stuffed toy patterns around, and has patterns for all sorts of clothing for them, too! I knit a lot of toys, and Barbara’s patterns are my favourite. They are great value, as every pattern comes with instructions for more than just the animal- there’s always something for them to wear, or an accessory or two. All are exceptionally priced, too- I doubt you’ll find anything cuter or as good a deal for knitted toy patterns.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: The Rainy Day Turtle is  perfect for spring, and also happens to be my daughter’s favourite knitted toy- although she prefers to strip him of his hat, shell, and boots. And is it just me, or do you also know some soon-to-be new parents? I’m thinking these flat foot floogies are a great knitted baby toy, especially since I’m rediscovering how much babies love chewing on fabric. And then how cute are these backyard bandits! The pattern comes with directions for all three animals, as well as the little chicken they are roasting.