Life Lately: Instagram Photos

I’m leaving for England today, we’ll be gone two weeks (normal Monday and Friday blog posts will still happen!) and I couldn’t be more ready to get away- I’m feeling a bit down, discouraged, and off-center; I’m ready for a change of scenery and what that does to change up one’s perspective. A trip away will help shake the cobwebs off, and I’ll work on trying to figure out how to get from here to where I want to be.

I love Instagram, but I do find that it sort of creates a bit of life envy- people have these amazing photos, and some of them have clearly spent a lot of time on crafting their shots, and it’s hard to remember that when you are scrolling through what looks like someone else’s amazing life while you sit on your couch in your pajamas. The flip side of that is Instagram helps celebrate and document the everyday wonders, the little things, and makes you realize that your life is filled with all sorts of beauty and goodness.  So it helped to be pulling together this post and looking through these photos when I was feeling down, because it reminded me of all the lovely things that have happened recently, too.

Top row, left to right: you might remember that mug of eggnog from this post, that sweater is almost done and I found the cutest buttons ever (little black kitten buttons! they are wearing striped dresses!), Gatsby got a lion cut (some people think this is cruel, but we did not do it lightly- he got severe, painful matts in his fur and we had to get him shaved, so we figured we might as well make him look stylish) and he LOVES it- we might have to keep him trimmed because he’s so much happier;  and lattes from our old neighbourhood.

Second row: My favourite people, some beautiful white crocuses I found on a spring walk, a family photo of us in High Park, Gatsby napping in Lila’s crib.

Instagram Collage|

Third Row:  one of my favourite tops- a cotton bicycle print pullover, a perfect little birthday cupcake that a coworker brought in, a photo of an about-to-be-frogged toddler Sized Windswept cardigan which was coming out too big (I’ve since cast on again, for a smaller size), and a glass of wine after work.

Fourth Row: I meet a good friend of mine from university once a month for lunch at this restaurant, and I adore the light fixtures; blackberry squares (inspired form the recipe in this post), Lila looking ever so coy in front of the donut display at Tim Horton’s, Lila having a nap in our bed while I’m wide awake (she likes to suck on my fingers).

Fifth Row: Mr Tiger Goes Wild is a wonderful children’s book that I highly recommend- it’s one of Lila’s faves; Lila so excited that her dad can juggle!, little Yarn having a sun nap on our bed, and a wonderful mother’s day gift- a framed feet and handprints bouquet from Lila. I totally cried when I received it.

How about you- do love Instagram, don’t bother, or loathe it?

Modification Monday: Inspira Skirt


Modification Monday: Inspira Skirt |

Original Pattern: Inspira Cowl 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Elena (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the cowl as a starting point Elena made a knee length length pencil skirt in the cowl pattern. More photos can be found on her project page, here

What Makes This Awesome: I love that  Elena didn’t just pull the cowl down over her hips and make a slightly longer skirt, but actually did the shaping for a pencil skirt! The pattern looks amazing in the skirt version, the bright blue is bold and the shifting greens and golds look wonderful. Be sure to check out her project page for the different ways she’s styled it- very versatile! There are not a lot of notes on her project page (which is in Russian), but she did it waist down to try it on as she went, and reduced the section repeats near the hem so that it narrowed into the great pencil skirt shape. A stunning knit! 

Modification Monday: inspira Skirt |

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things This Week

DIY Wool Necklace:
I love this stunning bright wool necklace DIY- this would be so easy to customize base don whatever colours you choose, as well.

Chicken Pasta:

Speaking of bright colours, I love this creamy chicken pasta, with it’s bright hits of green asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Se fresh, seasonal, and delicious!

Lemon Meringue Cake:

Do you like lemon meringue pie? Then you need to check out this amazing lemon meringue cake- a fabulously clever reinvention by Nigella Lawson, one of my faves. Sadly, only a really small photo!

kitten paw socks:

I’m crazy in love with these sweet kitten paw baby socks from the Knitpicks new kids collection.

bathroom constellations:

This bathroom of constellations is so pretty. The lighter gray for the stars and constellations keeps the busy design from overwhelming a small space, too.

FO: Honey Cowl

Honey Cowl:

Pattern: Honey Cowl

Yarn: Malabrigo Rio in ‘Lotus’, 2 skeins 

Needles: 5 mm (US 8)

Mods: None, made the larger sized cowl option.

Notes: This is one of those mindless patterns that is easy to chip away at over time, which is pretty much what I did- I was surprised to see on my Ravelry project page that I first cast on for this over a year ago! There were long lulls, where I didn’t work on it at all. but whenever I needed a mindless project to chip away at, this was an easy knit to pick up.  I used up all of my 2 skeins of yarn; just kept knitting until I only had enough to finish up the edging.

I was inspired to make this cowl after featuring this amazingly simple but really striking modified Honey Cowl on Modification Mondays a while back. I loved how it looked in the two colours together, but I didn’t really have those sorts of colours kicking around in my stash. So I used it as an excuse to do a bit of yarn shopping.  You can see that the Lotus colourway I went with still has lots of the deep pink and greyish-blue tones that I liked from the modified project.

Honey Cowl:

I’m not surprised at all by how successful this pattern is- it works, in any weight of yarn, in any kind of colourway. Solids, tonals, or busy variegations, the texture just works with it all.  It’s very easy to learn, so it’s even suitable for new knitters.  I especially love how this works up with the Malabrigo Rios, the yarn is so cuddly soft and perfect to wear against the neck.  We took FO photos fro this cowl at the same time as this hat, so you might recognize the sweater and the backdrop! It was still cold then, so it was nice to cuddle up in a great cowl like this.

Honey Cowl:


Modification Monday: Zephyr Morning

Modification Monday: Velvet Zephyr

Original Patterns: Zephyr and Velvet Morning 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Julie (Ravelry ID

Mods: Preferring to knit top-down, Julie used Zephyr as the cardigan design, and added the Velvet Morning colourwork charts to the body only. Project page can be found here

What Makes This Awesome: This is a great lesson for anyone who has fallen for a colourwork chart- you don’t have to knit that exact pattern just to use the chart! Julie used a cardigan design that she knew and loved, and added length and the colourwork charts to the body. The result is similar to the original design, but totally customized for the kind of knitting that Julie wanted to do- top down! A great solution, and the sweater looks beautiful.

Modification Monday: Velvet Zephyr