Inspiration Knits ‘Palette’ Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Spring is coming, so you know it’s going to be time to show off kitted shawls soon! I have a lovely little giveaway for a very lucky shawl knitter. If you are into texture and shawls, then these two patterns are just right for you.  Here are Painted and Fresco, by Louise Zass-Bangham:

INpiration Knits: Painted and fresco Shawls |

These patterns both feature the same vintage Grecian plait texture stitch, but have different shaping and different gauge. Painted is a shallow triangle shape that is perfect for wrapping around your neck, and takes about 400-440 yards of fingering weight, so would be perfect for that gorgeously fun skein of fingering you picked up but have no idea what to do with.  Below you can see how it knits up with a variety of tonal, semi solid and brightly variegated yarns:

Painted Collage |

You can also check out the other finished knits here on Ravelry to get some ideas of all the lovely colour options you can do with this,  depending on on your yarn choice.

Inspiration Knits: Fresco Shawl |

Fresco is a triangular shawl that takes approximately 560 yards of DK weight yarn, and while some of you may have 2 or 3 skeins of a lovely DK languishing in your stash, not sure what they should be, this is the shawl for you. The patter would even work well for a worsted weight yarn in the same yardage, for a cozier shawl.  And with texture as lovely as this, the pattern can definitely handle a busy handpainted yarn that has lots of colour changes, or something more subtle with tonal variations. And I wonder what it would look like with stripes, in this texture!

So, would you like to win a copy of both patterns? You would? Awesome! To enter, please leave me a comment letting me know what yarn in your stash you think would be so perfect for either painted or Fresco. The winning comment (chosen at random), will win a copy of both patterns, and will be announced on Monday, March 30th.

Tomorrow, you should totally check out the next stop on the Inspiration Knits Palette blog tour- Knit with Attitude!

Easy Easter Hot Chocolate Recipe

If my Instagram feed is to be believed, many of you are already experiencing actual, full-fledged spring where green things are growing and flowers are blooming. I can’t quite get my head around that yet– it was -9 Celsius here today (more than a bit below freezing, for those on Fahrenheit). I’m told it’s only going to last another couple of days, but I’m still hunkered down with hot beverages, trying to stay warm. Which brings me to this very easy Easter hot chocolate recipe.

Easy Easter Hot Chocolate |

Side note- Look, I made a real grown-up blog image with a text overlay! it’s pinnable and everything! I’m a little excited. I feel like I just leveled up or something.

Easy Easter Hot Chocolate |

So- hot chocolate is pretty awesome, I think we can agree on that. This is a really easy recipe that doesn’t have any powdery stuff- it’s entirely possible to make this delicious hot chocolate with just milk and chocolate chips alone, but a dash of vanilla and a bit of instant coffee add depth and richness to the flavour, unless you happen to be using fancypants gourmet chocolate. In which case, you do what you’ve got to do and savour it in a simpler form. You can substitute bar chocolate for the chips, you’ll just need to chop it up first.

Easy Easter Hot Chocolate |

What makes this Easter-y is the peeps. We are all totally comfortable with putting marshmallows on top of our hot chocolate, so how fun would it be to put a charming marshmallow peep or two on top of yours? pretty damn fun, let me tell you. And did I mention how easy it is? So very easy that it fits on a little recipe card.

I basically spent my weekend testing the recipe until perfect and making the recipe card (also had a bit of a sugar coma after eating a lot of peeps, for research purposes). I feel so professional now! if you would like to make your very own Easy Easter Hot Chocolate and impress yourself, loved ones, or kidlets; then you need to click on the image below to enlarge, and print.

Easy Easter Hot Chocolate |


Modification Monday: Hawser with Split Side Seams

Modification Monday: Hawser with Split Side Seams|

Original Pattern: Hawser

Knitter Extraordinaire: Erica (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Modified the pattern to be knitted flat, and did split hem. For details on her modifications, check out her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I think a lot of us have seen the beautiful Hawser pattern (because when Jared Flood designs a new pattern, the knitting section of the internet blows up big time!), but I love this modification to have the split seams (I think it is also referred to as ‘vented’), which gives the sweater a little extra detail.  Split seam mean this sweater will never be riding up in strange ways, leaving you pulling at the hem every time you stand up. Not to mention that knitting it flat and seaming it gives an otherwise heavyweight sweater a bit more structure. The overall result is stunning- ultra modern and yet totally classic all at once. If you like the look, the next time you are knitting a pattern in the round, consider knitting it flat instead in order to modify for split sides and provide the sweater better overall structure.  I know many people are adverse to seaming, but if you are feeling brave, this could be right up your alley.

Modification Monday: Hawser with Split Side Seams|

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things on Pinterest This Week

I’m a little tardy on Friday Pin ups today! I seem to have forgotten what day of the week it is… how did Friday sneak up on me like that?!

Pin Ups: cardamom latte |

If you like cardamom, then this easy cardamom latte is perfect for you. I tried making it last weekend, and it was not only super easy, it tasted amazing. Also- no fancy equipment needed to get that wonderfully foamy top!

Pin Ups: East Egg Cookie Dough Truffles |

These Easter egg cookie dough truffles are sure to be a massive hit with just about anyone. I like the fun spring colours for the outer shell, but you could easily make them any colour you wanted.

Pin Ups: DIY Clay Coasters |

I’m in love with these beautiful clay coasters, and the instructions to make them look very straightforward. I bet these would be a lovely housewarming gift to make, and they could easily be customized to any colours that you like- although I do love the almost delft blue and white design that these have.

Pin Ups: Maple Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes |

This easy and super delicious dish of maple roasted chicken and sweet potatoes is a perfect weekend sort of meal- although the hands-on prep is very minimal (about 15 mins), it will need an hour in the oven to roast. But when you have a delicious fragrant meal like this at the end, it will have been totally worth that hour you spent lounging on the couch waiting for your dinner to be finished. ;)

Pin Ups: Quick & Easy Hair style |

And finally, a super cute way to wear your hair, that works for a variety of lengths.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you get to do some relaxing, some crafting, and maybe try a recipe or two.

Outtakes: WATG Josie Gloves

Here are some of the outtake photos from when Guy and I tried to get shots of my new-favourite Josie Gloves. We originally thought it would be fun to do photos in a cafe, because I adore cafes- my great love of caffeinated hot beverages and sweet pastries make this pretty much my ideal environment.  And okay, I confess that I wanted to recreate the magic of my new-ish profile photo (over there on the right) that was taken in a quick snap by Guy at a cafe.

But the day we chose was apparently the day everyone in Toronto also wanted to go out for a stroll and grab a coffee, because they were all packed and it was hard to get any seats anywhere that had some natural light. We eventually found one, but it just wasn’t quite right- the colours were weird (hello yellow walls!), they only had seating left at the tall counters with the tall stools (not very toddler friendly), and it just wasn’t working out. but not for lack of trying:

Josie Glove Outtakes |

The thing with a busy toddler somewhere in the shot is that the camera is distracted by her movements and sometimes wants to focus on her instead. Which I totally understand, because I think she’s hilarious.  Oh, and here’s one where my manicure is super in focus, but the mitts are not:

Josie Glove Outtakes |

I’m pretty proud of doing my nails myself like that- a pinky nude with metallic tips.

So we went back home and did photos there:

Josie Glove Outtakes |

But in this shot I’m waaaay too into my cup of tea. “Go away, world- and leave me with my precious cup of tea!”

And here’s one with my cat Yarn licking her sweet little nose. I like the shot, but the mitts are a bit too difficult to see in it.

Josie Glove Outtakes |

Having said that, I think I need more cat photos on the blog, don’t you think?

I hope you enjoyed the outtakes!