Modification Monday: Sparkles and Rainbows

Original Pattern: Savannah Chaps

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sarah (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the original zebra pattern to a unicorn! More photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Who knew a zebra could look so magical? I’ve knit the original pattern before, and I love it (plus, it’s actually 3 patterns in one, which is pretty awesome) but I never thought about making a unicorn! Sarah cleverly used a sparkly yarn to add ‘hooves’ by knitting the first 4-5 rows of the pattern with her silvery yarn (each limb is made separately), and adding not only a great silver horn to match, but a wonderful shock of rainbow for the mane and tail.  For the body, she skipped the stripes and kept it all in white. The result is fantastic – I absolutely want to knit a unicorn now.  I have some sparkly gold yarn that might be a great fit!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

These gigantic crocheted urchins are so beautiful!! I wish I could see them in person.

Knitting as espionage during World War I and II.

13 easy things to reduce stress in your day-to-day life.

If you are interested in Pinterest for small businesses, I was on the Business of Craft podcast recently, and shared all sorts of Pinterest tips.

My Favourite Pins This Week

One of my favourite summer desserts? Creamsicles! Maybe the popsicle version isn’t entirely considered a dessert, but these creamsicle cupcake sure fit the bill. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I adore rice in just about anything, and this recipe is the sort of thing that has loads of variations and is perfect for using up leftover bits in the fridge. This is cheesy, full of veg (use whatever you have handy), and while the recipe calls for turkey sausage, you could use rotisserie chicken, ham, or skip it all together. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe post is here.

Friendship bracelets just seem like one of those summer activities and accessories that feels like they work, no matter what your age. Wouldn’t these be so pretty made in some leftover fingering or laceweight yarn from a beloved skein? Just so pretty! Pinterest link is here, and the original how-to post is here.

I’m not entirely unhandy with a hammer, and I think that this pretty, minimalist shelf is totally something I (so, anyone) could do. Especially if you get the wood pre-cut at a Home Depot or something. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I am in awe of this amazing afghan knitting pattern with the iconic Rosie the Riveter design! I feel like it would take a serious amount of commitment to knit it, and I hope some of that is duplicate stitch and not all intarsia, but …. wow. Such an incredible knit, and knitting pattern! Pinterest link is here, and the pattern source is here.

I’m at a poetry conference this weekend – The League of Canadian Poets (isn’t that a great name? I feel like we should fight crime or something) is hosting their conference in Toronto this year, and I’m participating in one of the panels today, taking a workshop tomorrow, and I’m nominated for an award … we’ll see what happens. I don’t think I’m going to win, I seem to have published my book at the same time as a lot of other brilliant poetry books, but it is a thrill to be nominated. And there’s actually supposed to be sunshine this weekend (We’ve had so much rain here in Toronto, it was practically time to start building an ark), so it’s looking good around here! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Modification Monday: Dandelion in a Breeze

And the winner of the Pom Pom Quarterly Giveaway is … Nicole! The draw was randomly selected based on comments, and her winning comment was:

“I love Fete! It might be the bright color, but I love the splash of grey against the pink. It also looks like a statement necklace knitted right onto the fabric.”

Congrats, Nicole!

Original Pattern: Dandelion in a Breeze

Knitter Extraordinaire: Annetta (Ravelry ID, her beautiful blog)

Mods: Changed the transition from the blue to white yarn, used a lighter laceweight for the bottom, and  added lace stitches to the hem. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Annetta hit a bit of a snag in knitting this sweater, and let those snags become a new feature of the sweater, and took the opportunity to try some new things. She chose to knit the sweater with less ease than the pattern calls for, and even though she didn’t transition from the blue to white yarn the pattern specified, she decided to keep going. Lots of knitters would have ripped back, but she liked how it looked. Then the white yarn was lighter than she expected, and was more transparent and ethereal than planned. Working with what she had, Annetta decided to knit a bit of lace into the lower part of the white section, amplifying the delicate quality of the white yarn. Such a beautiful result!! I love this sweater.

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

What a magical, wonderful, fantastic idea- because the world needs more love letters. Talk about contributing positivity in the world.

Being your true self in a relationship is less important than being your best self.

How to prioritize when everything is urgent.

5 tips for hosting your own craft night. Man, if I had a bigger place, I would totally host craft nights.

This. I want to print it out and hand it to ever adult male in the world.

My Favourite Pins This Week

With the warmer weather coming, I’m liking the idea of cooler dinner and lunch ideas, and this garden veggie chickpea sandwich is perfect. Basically, the premise is a wonderfully tasty chickpea salad smushed between two slices on your favourite bread. Talk about easy! And there’s no rule saying it has to be this exact salad (although it is easy, healthy, and I’m personally a fan), it could be any type of salad – Although I speak from experience when I say that couscous salads are better in flatbread wraps than between two slices of bread. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Healthy(ier) high protein lemon bars! I love lemony desserts, and these are super easy to make. The crust recipe is a good one, but if you want to cheat and use graham crumbs and butter like I did, you will get no judgement from me. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

This was a fascinating tutorial on how to knit a shawl with a cabled twist edge. If you are thinking of modifying a shawl, or looking to design your own, I highly recommend the tutorial! Such a great idea. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

11 ways to feel happier at home is a lovely list of ideas of making your home feel like the best place to be. Ideas #2, #7 and #10 are my faves. Pinterest link is here, and the original post can be found here.

There’s something a little magical in a fashion upcycle that actually manages to make small yellow pom poms sewn onto a top look really quite wonderful. I love this whimsical and surprisingly chic mimosa flower detail on a striped top! The original post is in French, but if you use Google Chrome, you can right click on the page and ‘translate this page’ will be one of your options. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

And don’t forget you have just a couple more days to enter to win the hard copy giveaway of the special 5th anniversary issue of Pom Pom Quarterly– no country restrictions!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. I hope that you have great weather, a few laughs, and get your craft on. My hand is healing up, I think I can stop wearing the splint soon- very excited!

Review & Giveaway: Pom Pom Quarterly 5th Anniversary Issue

Pom Pom Quarterly has just launched their 5th anniversary issue, their biggest one yet with 16 patterns and a whole lot of celebrating! This might be a summer issue, but it is full of knits you can wear year-round (I know, you toasty people in the Southern US do not agree with me on year-round knits you can wear), so if you like to knit in the summer to prepare for the cold weather that rolls round eventually, there is a lot here: 4  pullovers, 3 hats, 3 shawls/wraps, 2 pairs of socks, one cardigan, one tank top, one cowl, and one pair of fingerless mitts.

I’m impressed with the range of patterns, it feels like there is genuinely something for everyone here- love cables? Then direct your attention to Anniversaire or Rave. Love a bit of colourwork? How about Bash, Hoopla, or Zazie.  Need some lace in your life? Sevilla is going to rock your world, but also consider Jamboree or Shindig. Just want to relax with a bit of stockinette? Climb aboard Fete and Boum.

My favourites:

Soiree, by Emily Foden.

As soon as I saw Soiree, it went straight into my knitting queue. I love the relaxed fit, the surprise of the cables on the sides and underarm. It is knit in the round from the bottom up with two strands held together- a fingering weight alpaca and a laceweight mohair. I’ll be very interested to see knitters making some different yarn choices with this, but I do love the mohair on this. It just looks perfectly cozy. The bottom hem is meant to have that raw, unfinished look, but if that bothers you, you could easily add a few rounds of ribbing or garter, or even a turned hem.

Anniversaire, by Veera Valimaki.

Seeing this makes me instantly want a golden yellow cabled cardigan in my wardrobe, even though I know that it is probably not the colour for me. I love the asymmetrical cable on the back (go check it out!), and that it’s knit top down- so you can try it on as you go and decide on the perfect length. There are short rows, and with all these cables you are probably going to need a bit of experience to keep it all sorted, but I believe in you.

Hoopla, by Dianna Walla.

I’m definitely on team slouchy hat, so this is something that really speaks to me. I love that it’s worsted weight (you know it will be a quick knit!) and the colour combinations on this hat would be endless- and how great would the contrasting colours look in a gradient skein? Or you could stashbust and use several leftover worsted weight skeins? I foresee a lot of really great finished knits from this pattern.

It’s worth checking out all 16 patterns, although try not to get too distracted by the bright background in the photos. Prefer your patterns digital? No problem, it’s available for purchase right here, and you can buy it straight on Ravelry here. Since I don’t think there are any Canadian knitting publications that are actually printed, and postage in Canada is a fortune (those two points might not be entirely unrelated), I often purchase digital issues of things to avoid paying shipping.

If you happen to be in London (UK) or are going to be in the area around July 14-15th, you should check out Pomfest, a birthday party extraordinaire featuring favourite yarn vendors, guest lectures, and even a KAL. Sadly I won’t be arriving in the UK until the end of the month, but I hope that everyone who goes shares all the lovely fun on Instagram!

The wonderful team at Pom Pom Quarterly is offering a free print issue for one lucky winner! Check out the patterns in this brand new issue here, and let me know in the comments which one id your favourite. Giveaway closes Sunday night, June 4th, at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. One lucky winner will be randomly selected from the comments and announce don Monday!