Modification Monday: Svalbard Cardigan Modified

Original Pattern: Svalbard

Knitter Extraordinaire: Emily (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Change the swingy, cropped open front cardigan into a sleek button up cardigan with a collar, and added more overall length. Details and additional photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love Emily’s elegant take on the Svalbard cardigan. It stays true to the original design in so many ways, but forges new territory with the upright collar (how fantastic is the contrasting light blue on the inside?) and the button band. Emily didn’t add any waist shaping, but chose a size that was close to her measurements, she didn’t need to add waist shaping and otherwise stayed with the pattern. Such incredible results!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Films condensed into a single image- so hypnotizing. Dumbo is my favourite.

Loved this Marie TV video on the two words that help make changing a habit so much easier. I started trying it, and it does work!

I needed this so bad: How to make an unpleasant situation suck less.

If you are thinking of changing careers, you might find this interesting.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I made these cookies last weekend, and they were SO good! I know they don’t look like much, but they taste amazing. I personally find butterscotch to be a very underrated. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

I don’t know how Mexican this  chicken and rice salad is, but it’s delicious. The trick here is the ratio- don’t make too much rice! It’s so much better when there’s less rice, and leaves room for all the other tasty ingredients to shine. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Lately I’ve been really loving little leather touches with knits. These lovely rustic potholders are so pretty,  with the hemp twine,  and the brass finishings. Pinterest link is here,  and the original post and pattern is here.

I have seen those little brown cardstock boxes in craft stores, but didn’t really know exactly what to do with them. This is a great craft project that is perfect even for those who feel like you can’t really paint anything. The finishing touch are those little knobs,  So pretty. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I loved this little list of quotes for book lovers. All so true. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Another busy weekend here- Lila has her dance recital, my parents are coming into town, I’m doing a poetry walking tour as part of Doors Open Toronto, and then I think that is the last of the crazy schedule for a bit! My left hand still as the fingers taped up, I tried to knit but not quite there yet. Sigh. A couple more weeks of the splint. Have a great weekend, everyone! Knit a few stitches for me, if you can.

Modification Monday: Prairie Herb Vest

Original Pattern: #07 Fair Isle Hat

Knitter Extraordinaire: Nataly (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the fair isle hat as a starting point, Nataly created a colourwork vest with the same details as the hat. Additional photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: How incredible is it to take a far isle design and transform it into a vest like this?  I love that Nataly kept the striped corrugated ribbing from the hat and used it again for the hem and trim on this vest, especially in the proportions- smaller around the armholes and neckline, longer and more dramatic at the hem.  The colours she chose are fun and bright, and show off the wonderful combinations of fair isle stripes through the body.  It can be daunting to try a colourwork modification like this, but if you wanted to try it on a smaller scale, you could do just the hem and the first four inches of the bottom in a fair isle design and knit the rest solid. Or possibly just add the design over the bust? Or pick only three of the fair isle stripes, and intersperse each with sections of a solid colour? When you find a colourwork chart you love, think of the wonderful possibilities it could hold. Just like Nataly’s beautiful vest.


Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Why you need ‘white space’ in your daily routine.

Sad portraits of your recycled electronics.

This was a pretty amazing talk by Glennon Doyle Melton. I’ve watched it a few times now, and it’s so good.

Have you guys heard about this whole eating cold oranges in the shower thing? I’m so intrigued, and I really want to try it out.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Do you love coconut the way I love coconut? I hope so! If you do, then you have to make these cookies, they are incredible. And if you aren’t a coconut lover, but wish to make a coconut lover adore you, then make them these cookies. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

You know how much I love a quick and easy weeknight dinner, and this simple pasta dish is  easily pulled together with pantry staples, fresh or frozen spinach, and some cream cheese (which is a total fridge staple for me). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

I absolutely love the idea of a tabletop s’mores pot, and this great DIY shows you exactly how to make your very own! The only thing I’m wondering is if you could use a natural candle instead of the pot of fuel? Has anyone tried? I’m not too excited about a little pot of flammable whatever on my table, but a candle or two feels more manageable. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is here.

This adorable kangaroo mama and baby is made from a pair of socks and some accent fabric. Isn’t it the cutest thing? What a wonderful gift to sew for a baby shower, or as a gift for a little one. Or heck, even a fully grown adult who loves kangaroos! Pinterest link is here, and the DIY post is here.

I know this is an almost ridiculous title for a post, but the ideas here are very realistic and doable. I remember when I first took the advice that we need to tell people what our goals are, they very often want to help us achieve those goals, so they do what they can to help (if they are in a position to do so). But no one can help you reach your goals if they have no idea what it is that you want. Great advice in here, no matter what your goal might be. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

 It is the start of a long weekend here in Canada, the Monday is a holiday. I’m hoping to pick out some plants for the planters, and try to do some gardening with Lila, who will be a big help since my left hand is a little out of commission.  Some friends are having a barbecue, and hopefully the weekend will be low key and relaxing. Wishing you all a wonderful, sunny weekend.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Vale

The lovely folks at Brooklyn Tweed very kindly sent me two skeins of their new yarn, Vale. Vale is the newest member of their permanent collection of yarns (you might remember they have a limited edition laceweight called Plains), and an excellent edition, considering how many wonderful lace patterns there are. Brooklyn Tweed even put together a mini pattern collection by Jared Flood, featuring some classic patterns re-imagined in this new yarn, as well as one new pattern, for a small cowl. To amp up the excitement, if you purchase one or more skeins of Vale directly from their site, the yarn will ship with a coupon code for a free digital copy of that very cowl, which you can see in more detail here.

I wish I had a swatch to show you, but as I mentioned in this post, I’ve been knitting-sidelined due to injury (side note- so many great ideas on the comments, Facebook, and Instagram about other crafts I can do while the fracture heals!), so we will just have to admire the skeins as they are. But I did put them up in an apple tree, and the apple blossoms smelled like heaven.

These two colourways are Cobbler and Barberry, and the yarn is spun 2-ply Rambouillet that has a real loft and airiness to it (lighter than merino), and the tight, worsted-spun ply means it could definitely pass for a light fingering. There is a bounce to this yarn, which is rare for a laceweight. The skeins are 450 yards in length, so keep that in mind if you are looking to cast on for a larger laceweight knit!

While many of you may already be familiar with some of these patterns, I thought it would be fun to look at the two most popular patterns from the collection (they have been around for a while, but look very fresh in the new Brooklyn Tweed Vale laceweight) and see if you are tempted to knit them again, or for the first time!

Rock Island, by Jared Flood

One of the most popular Brooklyn Tweed shawls, this  triangular shaped shawl is knit from the bottom up wit the lace edging first, then stitches picked up and increased to form to rest of the body. It’s a two-skein project, and the the design is fully charted, with 8-stitch edging repeats, and the body has 6-stitch repeats.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love shawls (of course!), easy-to-memorize repeats, and garter stitch. Loving garter stitch is pretty crucial, as there is a lot of it at the widest part of the shawl.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If:  Garter stitch bores you to tears, you were hoping for a bigger challenge when it comes to lace knitting.

Girasole, by Jared Flood

This is a circular shawl that is easier than it looks, as long as you like knitting lace and working with charts! You will need 3 skeins of Vale to knit this shawl.  It is knit from the center outwards, which means that at the beginning it is quite small and manageable, and you work each ring with its own chart. The charts are very straightforward and the stitches are surprisingly easy (mostly k2tog and ssk, with some yarn overs), with the most complex one being the edging. But at least it is a small chart and you are bound to get the hang of it quickly.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You adore wearing shawls, and the circular shape of this makes you even more excited. And if you love knitting in the round!

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You don’t wear shawls. If you don’t wear standard triangular or half-moon shawls, wearing a circular one will feel like wearing a tablecloth. Although I suppose if you decided you weren’t going to wear it, it would be the most beautiful table cloth ever.

What do you think of this new laceweight from Brooklyn Tweed, are you excited to try it? And would you knit one of the revamped patterns, or the new cowl? If you have questions about any of the other patterns in this mini collection, let me know!