Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Simple, funny, and true. How to write thank you notes in three easy steps.

This is an interesting essay on how important the big bricks and mortar bookstores are to book sales, publishing, and finding the new breakout authors.

How to defend ideas of equality/other rational thoughts when you are terrible at arguing and your family doesn’t share your views.

This poem by Maggie Smith (a different Maggie Smith, not the Downton Abby  actress) has been making the rounds lately because it is so, so timely.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Strawberry and Peach Pie Bits|

For Canada and the US, it’s a long weekend! So things should be easy right? Doesn’t get any easier than these strawberry and peach pie bites made with Pillsbury crescent roll dough. I’m convinced the cinnamon sprinkled on top is really the prefect little zip, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: General Tso Cauliflower |

I was at a restaurant a few days ago and had the General Tso’s cauliflower, a veggie take on the traditionally chicken Chinese buffet mainstay. It was SO GOOD!! easily the most delicious dinner I’ve had in a while. When I got home, I began looking for a recipe, was stunned to see how easy it really was. If you want to eat more veggies and love Chinese food, this is for you. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Indoor Garden Ideas |

I absolutely love this great list of ideas for how to make small indoor gardens- perfect for plant lovers in small spaces, or anyone who just wants a little more green inside. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love:Recycled Cat Planter |

Okay, this planer is seriously adorable. And it’s made out of recycling! Pinterest like is here, and the original DIY can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Women Helping Women |

This gif is a great reminder that helping each other helps us all get ahead. I wish I could find the original source, but the best I’ve got is tumblr. Pinterest link is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!!


On My Needles: R&R Hoodie and Delineate Tank

R&R Hoodie Progress

I’ve been working on my R&R Hoodie for James from the beautiful Griffon yarn from Biscotte (talked about in this post) and I’m sooooo in love with it. The three colourways have blended beautifully, with the self striping colourway doing the heavy lifting of blending them together.

R & R Hoodie in Progress|

Doesn’t it look amazing? I’m so happy with it! The yarn is a dream to work with, incredibly soft and gives amazing stitch definition.  I left off the pockets as I pretty much couldn’t be bothered to work the pockets while I was blending the colours together. I need simplified knitting, because my knitting time is preciously rare these days- and I’m finding it really frustrating. I’m someone who wants to do it all -accomplish ALL THE THINGS- but I just can’t unless I give up sleeping, which I have seriously considered.  Anyway- I think a lot of us struggle with this from time to time, and I try to remind myself that I’m on maternity leave taking care of my little one. And as of Friday, Lila will no longer be in day care and I’ll be taking care of two little ones all day, every day!

So considering that I really want to get this finished up as soon as possible, it’s almost not a big deal that I’ve run out of yarn for the hood.  I think I’m going to rip back to the neckline and add a little ribbed collar, install that zipper and get James into it. I know it seems crazy to knit a cozy hoodie in the summer, but we still get some chilly mornings and evenings; I always have a hoodie in the diaper bag at the ready if the weather changes while we are out on a walk.

Delineate Tank Progress

I haven’t mentioned this knit yet, despite the fact that i work on it every single day! This is the Delineate tank:

Delineate Tank |

I seem to be really knocking it out of the park with yarn choices these days, because this is Sunna from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, which is a fingering weight merino/cashmere/silk blend and the fabric is out-of-this-world awesome. I can already see that it is going to have amazing drape, and the back (shown above) has a relatively easy to memorize chart that gives a very cool effect. The front is thankfully stockinette, so I’m making progress; slower than I had hoped, but still progress. I’m just about to separate for the armholes at this point. I did make a modification- I added a split hem. I have been admiring split hems on a variety of sweaters over the last year; it looks like such a great detail that no doubt adds a lot of comfort to the fit.

Delineate Tank |

If you are wondering about the book, that is The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits and I have absolutely loved it. Julavits re-read her childhood diaries and was disappointed with what she found, so she decided to try again now as a forty-something wife and mother. I have been recommending this book to everyone, because it was laugh-out-loud funny in places, achingly honest in others and so damn good that I wish I had written it myself.  And hey, the cover is beautiful. I know it’s a bit shallow and judging books by covers and all that, but isn’t it especially satisfying when a book you really enjoyed looks as good as it reads?

Modification Monday: Blast from the Past

It doesn’t happen often (only one other time!) but I’m fresh out of Mod Mondays today! I got all confused about what day of the week it was, and suddenly woke up to discover it’s Monday. But don’t panic-  I thought about how many amazing, wonderful mods have been featured here in the past; mods that maybe you didn’t see the first time around. So I narrowed in on just the summery Modification Monday posts from 2009 (I know, right? Waaaay back!) .  There are some real gems in here:

Summer 2009 Modifications |

Top Row, from left to right: Apple Leaf Lace Scarf, Anais Dress, Hew.

Second Row, from left to right: Estonian Lace Dress, Featherwieght Meets Minimalist, Petal Halter.

3rd Row, from left to right: OMA Blue Green, Lace Ribbon Camisole, Summer Onesie.

4th row, from left to right: Shetland Not-So-Shorty, Laminaria,  Elaine Blouse.

Enjoy a second– or perhaps this is your first!– look at these beautiful projects. I think I’m still intending to one day make the Bulky weight laminaria and the featherweight meets minimalist!

Pin Ups and Link love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Wish you could read more, but feel like you’re just too busy? How busy people make time to read, and how you can too. 

The dangers of being too hard on yourself. And it’s so hard to stop, isn’t it? We are gentle with our friends and family, but when it comes to ourselves, it’s a different story.

Part of that is, of course, trying to make things perfect. Let’s not wait for perfect.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you are going to love this round up of allllll the Game of Thrones-themed knitting patterns.

Have cats? Love wine? Think your cats should love wine, too? Well, someone has finally created catnip-based ‘wine’, that is specifically for cats. Because you don’t want to drink alone, even if you are the only human in the house.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Strawberry oatmeal Bars |

Healthy treats like these strawberry oatmeal bars are totally worth turning your oven on for! Strawberries are in season and these would be a great little treat to make. They are downright healthy if you leave off the sweetened topping, but I personally vote for the sweetened topping. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Quesadilla Pie |

Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla Pie is another treat worth turning the oven on for this week- It’s all the tastiness of a quesadilla but baked in the oven with a tortilla crust. So cheesy and delicious! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love:Cinnmon Roll Smoothie|

This protein filled cinnamon roll smoothie is great breakfast that tastes amazing but you can drink while you are getting ready. Or while getting the kids ready. And while feeding the cats. And checking your email. So…. can you tell I’m a big fan of smoothies for breakfast? Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crocheted Flowers|

Mollie Makes has a series of beautiful crochet flower tutorials, and they are stunning! Pinterest link is here, and the original tutorial post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Canvas Wall Art |

I love the simplicity of this white on white dimensional art- made with glue! So many fun things could be done this way- a family surname, an inspiring phrase, or even an image if you can draw reasonably well! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

I think we are going to go strawberry picking this weekend, our first time taking Lila! Hopefully it won’t end up like that time we tried apple picking.

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers

Because knitted baby pants are so much more awesome than you ever thought possible.

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers |

 Rocky Joggers 

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight in Sand and a OOAK (you can see the OOAK when I knit it into a cowl here)

Mods: I wasn’t getting gauge- my fabric was coming out a bit big. But going down needle sizes made the fabric too dense, so I knit the newborn size, which worked out perfectly for the 6 month size I was aiming for. Ravelry Project page can be found here.

Notes: Who knew that knitted baby pants would be so freaking amazing?!

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers |

I’m crazy about these rocky joggers. I started knitting these last September when I was pregnant with James,  and I deliberately didn’t finish them before he was born. I know that seems like an odd choice, but I was worried about the fit (these worries were completely unfounded, they are so forgiving), and it worked out really well for me. James has really long arms and legs (85th percentile for length!), something I hadn’t expected. Long sleeves and long pants are always short on him unless wearing a much bigger size. But since I hadn’t finished knitted the pants, I added a lot more length to them to accommodate his long legs and I’m so glad I did! We still have about 1.5 inches room to grow, and of course the knitted fabric is nice and stretchy.

The waist band has lots of room, and I knitted the i cord waist tie at a larger gauge  so that it would be soft and not hard and lumpy when he was lying down.

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers |

The pattern is fantastic. I loved that they also included notes about adding extra short rows for the little baby bum section to accommodate cloth diapers! I cloth diapered both my babies, and while I love the diaper choice I made it does indeed add a lot more diaper bulk than disposables. I’ve never had a problem with pants fitting, but I love that this pattern gives the option to add more room.

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers |

I’m really happy with the contrasting waistband and cuffs, it was a great way to use up some leftover yarn that I adored, and looks so good with the light grey/beige of the Sand colourway. James loves wearing them, especially because the drawstring provides something fun to tug on and play with!

In these photos you can see  James playing with his favourite knitted toys, which is the little Fudge puppy that I knit him, and a knitted hedgehog that was a gift from Erica. She tells me that it’s one of her favourite toy patterns to knit, and she frequently gifts them to the new babies in her life. At this stage, those two are his favourites for being fun and squishy!

If you end up making these, here are a few tips that will help you get a good fit and make for some awesome knitted baby pants:

  • Err on the side of too long. You can always turn the cuffs up or roll them if they need to be shorter, but if they are already too short, the shelf life for these pants is going to be really ‘short’. Ah, puns.
  • If knitting an i cord drawstring, knit a a much larger gauge than you think you need, to make it a soft, squishy tube rather than a thick rope. This will ensure comfort when babies are lying down, on their back s or their tummies.
  • Attaching a safety pin to one end of the i cord and feeding it through the waistband made getting the i cord in there a breeze.
  • These could easily be a great stash busting knit- I opted for contrasting waistband and cuffs, but you could also knit stripes! These would be so amazing in stripes.
  • Choose an easy care yarn that is really soft against baby’s sensitive skin. Superwash merino, light cotton, or even acrylic blends would be ideal. Anything that lets the parents toss them into the washing machine.

Finished Knit: Rocky Joggers |