Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

A happiness lesson from the movie Ground Hog Day.

Iceland figured out to solve the problem of teenagers drinking and doing drugs, and it’s amazing.

Deep winter can often feel pretty blah- how about getting some awesome low-maintenance house plants to beautify and add serenity to your home?

Practicing mindfulness in a loud world.

My Favourite Pins This Week

How pretty are these marbled sugar cookies?! I love the effect, its achieved by tinting half the dough with some food colouring (or beet juice, if you want to be totally all natural) and rolling them in to balls before mashing them all together. Such a clever idea, and the recipe is super easy! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I’m not normally a big fan of pasta bakes, because it usually involves making an entire pasta meal and THEN baking it in the oven with more ingredients….. that’s cooking the same dish twice, in my opinion. But sometimes, you want a comforting cheesy dinner that hits all the right spots. And that, my friends, is worth the extra effort. A delicious weekend dinner! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I used to eat breakfast every morning. Those were wonderful, child-free days. Now if I get a smoothie organized it’s the closest I get! This coffee protein smoothie is fast and delicious, and the trick of freezing the coffee in ice cubes means you don’t even have to actually make the coffee in the morning. I do have a confession, though- try as I might, I dislike chia seeds and hemp seeds. I know its’ the food trend to sprinkle tiny, stick-in-your-teeth seeds on everything, but I just can’t do it. I can report this smoothie is very delicious without seeds. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

If you have wanted to try dying yarn but every time you read a tutorial it seems like a load of work, then this is the tutorial for you! A simplified approach that minimizes mess and is totally achievable in a tiny kitchen. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

If you want to up your productivity, this is one of the best lists I’ve read recently with tips on how to improve. I’d skip ahead to start reading from point 10 onward, since the beginning seems like the usual well-worn terrain of productivity advice, but the stuff after that I pure gold. My favourites are… I can’t even pick a handful of favourites, there are that many great tips to work through.  Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Modification Monday: Ocean

Original Pattern: #10 Round Yoke Tunic

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alina (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Loads! Lengthened the body from A-line tunic to a dress, changed gauge to fingering weight, machine knit the stockinette, hand knit the lace, adjusted the neckline to be a boat neck, eliminated the sleeves. Details can be found on her project page and on her blog post.

What Makes This Awesome: There have been many times when I’ve looked at a pattern and thought that I liked some of the details, but the overall knit wasn’t my style. Alina took an aspect of the pattern she liked best- the lovely lace yoke – and decided to use it in a totally different style. The dress is a style she had knit before, so she had a good idea about where she could experiment with the addition of the lace panel, and was careful to center the lace ‘butterfly’ motif for balance.

The lace looks completely different not just because of the gauge and fiber difference, but because it is shown with positive ease in the original pattern, but negative ease in this modification. Such a huge difference!  Maybe you have seen a great lace pattern, or cables, that would really stand out in a new way on a different type of knit- perhaps a center panel on a pullover,  down the sleeves, on a scarf or a cowl? The only limit is your imagination!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Move over Hygge and make some room for Lagom: The Scandi concept of balance and moderation.

44 quick tips to become the most productive person you know.

Indie yarn businesses and yarn store owners, take note- A look at the hot trends and the future of knitting for 2017.

Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Then do it again tomorrow.

Obituaries for teenage girls if they actually died when they said they were dying.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Chicken, rice and veggies- it all comes together in one pot for a perfect weeknight meal. This recipe uses a pressure cooker, but has a link to the normal way to cook, if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Hooray for easy dinners! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I was pretty late to the puff pastry party, but I am a convert! I keep some puff pastry in my freezer at all times, it’s great for making little sweet or savory empanadas/hand pies with leftovers. This is puff pastry dessert pizza has  nutella and berries and could easily be any shape or size that you wanted it to be. Plus, it goes from a bunch of ingredients to a finished dessert in 30 mins. Not too shabby! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I love this idea for finishing a blanket (or curtains!) with a bit of colourful yarn embroidery. Super easy, and you can customize the colours to fit your decor. Imagine how lovely this would look with a gradient or a variegated yarn! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I’m loving this sweater from the newest issue of knitty.com, in particular because it does a great job of taming variegated yarn, and the details of this lends itself to lots of potential modifications- a gorgeous cowl or mittens, a gradient used instead of variegated, and that’s just the tip of the knitting iceberg! Of course, the original pattern is also lovely. Pinterest link is here, and the original pattern is here.

Maybe it’s the new year, but I feel like I want to shake up the art on my walls, particularly the living room. I love the idea of creating a gallery wall, and this post had some of the best, and most realistic ideas I’ve seen. Maybe you are also thinking of changing up your wall art? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I’m a little embarrassed that it hasn’t really occurred to me before, but if you are interested in seeing what else I pin, you can check it out here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I hope you have fun, and are staying healthy!

 

Finished Knit: Bunny Hat

Pattern: Bunny Hat and Cowl Gigi

Needles: 2.5 mm (US 1.5)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Dove Heather, and Elann Super Kydd Mohair (discontinued)

You first met this bunny hat last month in this post, when I was having a tough time deciding which pom pom to go with it! I opted for the natural cream one, which had a lot of votes, although really any of them would have worked.  And the important part? Lila absolutely LOVES it!!

Ravelry Project page is here. 

She loves to play with the ears. If you knit this (and it comes in sizes from baby to adult), make sure you sew those ears on well! Lila hops around and pretends she’s a bunny when she’s wearing it. And for those of you who saw Guy’s many instagram photos from the Women’s March on Saturday, you’ll see this is the hat she is wearing- I couldn’t talk her into the pink kitty hat, but I can hardly blame her- this bunny hat is way cuter!

I enjoyed knitting this- it was a fine gauge, but the hat was a simple knit, and the ears were easy to make. The pattern comes with instructions for both knitting it flat and in the round, I opted to knit the hat in the round. The ears initially had me stuck, until I realized that the increases and decreases are worked on both the right side and wrong sides, and once I got that sorted it was easy-breezy.

I knit the pink inner ears with some leftover laceweight mohair I had in my stash from this sweater (whoa, 8 years ago!), and it was a perfect finishing touch. The pattern comes with instructions to knit a matching cowl, but Lila is oddly anti-cowl these days, so I skipped it. I’m thinking about knitting her little mitts to match.

I didn’t tell Lila I was knitting this for her, so I measured the circumference by comparing it to another hat that she wore and fit, so that I could ensure it would be a good fit. I think we even have a little room for growth, so I’m confident it will fit her next winter as well. When I was finished and let Lila see it, her reaction was amazing! As a knitter, you hope that a recipient loves their hand knit, but she was so excited and wanted to wear it all the time. I wouldn’t let her wear it to school until I got photos – I was worried it would get lost. Once I got some photos, I put a label with her name on it inside, and crossed my fingers. So far, it comes home every day!

It’s a beautiful hat. I know the fine gauge might scare off some knitters, but it was worth it. The finished result is just so cute!

Modification Monday: Mitts for Dad

Original Patterns: Inglis Mitts and Knotty Gloves

Knitter Extraordinaire: Kat (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Starting with the general pattern from the Inglis Mitts, Kat changed out the elaborate cable and switched it for the Celtic-inspired cabled knot work from the Knotty Gloves. She also added a purl row to ensure an easy and consistent fold to the fold-down style of the mitts. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:When it comes to knitting for men, fingerless gloves are a surprisingly great choice. Most men seem to really love them, and it’s not hard to see why when they look as good as this great pair that Kat made for her dad. I loved that she took the overall pattern of Inglis and totally revamped it to incorporate a more unisex cabled design, taken from the Knotty Gloves. I often wonder about the folding detail of some fingerless mitts. I feel like I’d be forever fussing with where the fold was and keeping it in place, but Kat made the small-but-brilliant mod to add a purl round so that the fold-over had a natural line to easily keep the fold in place. Genius!