Modification Monday: A Very Special Rye Hack

Original Pattern: Rye

Knitter Extraordinaire: Heather (Ravelry ID, website)

Mods: Adjusted gauges from worsted weight to fingering weight, and chose to work a stranded fair isle design on the heel flap. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Heather participated in a Tin Can Knit’s pattern hack KAL at the end of 2016, where people were encouraged to make modification on existing Tin Can Knits patterns and have the group support and encouragement of a KAL. One amazing result are these wonderful socks,  which were knitted at a smaller gauge for a fingering weight yarn. And of course, talk about taking a heel flap to the next level! I love Heather’s clever idea to work a pretty fair isle snowflake on the heel flap. These socks were made for her mom, who taught Heather to knit. What a truly wonderful gift.

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Anyone else feel like the weeks are cruising by at warp speed? Between work, writing, 3 rounds of family visits and two birthday parties for Lila (the family one last weekend and the ‘friends’ one this weekend), plus the long weekend I feel like I’m gulping for air most days. But hopefully after this weekend the big rush and crazy scheduling will be over, and I can breathe a little more easily.  I know I seem a ltitle distant lately, but I’ll be back very soon!

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I loved this nostalgic ode to bad coffee.

It’s hard to feel like you can make a difference, but here’s steps you can take to make a real impact on climate change.

How to have a vacation that is actually relaxing.

10 ways to spend night in without Netflix.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed like I am, here is a great article in The Guardian about how to feel less busy. I’m planning on committing this entire list to memory.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Garlic basil chicken in tomato butter sauce might be your new weeknight favourite. It is super easy and doesn’t take a lot of ingredients. As the warm weather goes on, those of you who grow your own basil and tomatoes might find this even better- who can beat the taste of fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes? Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

if you love cookies and oranges, then these are going to be your new fave. These clementine cookies are basically orange-scented sandwich cookies with a bit of marmalade. You can also go for the full finale gorgeousness of brushing them with grand marnier or triple sec and dusting them with sugar, but I think they are delicious without this final Pinterest-worthy step, they just aren’t as photogenic. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe and instructions are here.

Keep with the accidental orange theme of this week’s round up, how adorable are these knitted fox slippers?! You can find the full free pattern here, and the Pinterest link is here.

This DIY felt letter board looks so amazing in rainbow felt, and is very easy to put together. And if rainbow aren’t your thing (what?!), you could customize the felt colours to match whatever decor or colour scheme you’ve got going on. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial is here.

Sometimes we all need a reminder of how to be a little less judgmental and a little more empathetic, especially these days. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple mid shift to see that others are probably trying their best. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have an amazing weekend, everyone!

Modification Monday: Wanderling

Original Pattern: Wanderling

Knitter Extraordinaire: Lino (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the pullover to a full cardigan, added striping at the cuffs and hem, and eliminated the pocket. Details can be found on Lino’s project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: The original pattern is beautiful,  but Lino really improved on it with her gorgeous cardigan modification. There is a lot going on in this sweater -lots of traveling cables around the side seams, raglan shoulders, and down the back- so any changes would need to be harmonious. I especially like the contrasting cuffs! Here is the perfect example of how to pull of contrasting cuffs while making it seem like a harmonious element of a knit- use the main colour in the stripes. Take a close look, and you’ll see that the decision to have the main colour interspersed with the two contrasting colours really makes it work as a detail of the whole sweater, rather than a tacked-on detail at the end.

With the contrasting cuffs and hem, as well as the additional visual detail of the button band, it was a smart move to eliminate the pocket. When you have a lot of other visual details on a sweater, it helps to balance it out by removing other details that might compete for attention when looking at the sweater. And this cardigan looks so beautiful and wearable – perfect for spring.

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Loved this hilarious take on the email responses we wish we could write.

This is a long read, but I was riveted- we expect gratitude from refugees, but do we deserve it?

If you are interested in the Pantone 2017 colours (full roster), here is a great post on all sorts of yarns that can help you achieve your colour perfect goals.

I loved this list of books that can give you a better life, and wish they could be downloaded Matrix-style straight into my brain, too!

My Favourite Pins This Week

If you are craving a salty snack, might I recommend these parmesan zucchini chips? These are super easy, and bake up in 10 minutes (you might need to add a little extra time if you don’t get your zucchini slices nice and thin). At only 5 ingredients, these are a cinch to pull together! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Mini Eggs are my favourite, especially now that you can get them all year round. How beautiful is this easter cake decorated with mini eggs?! Bear in mind, that’s a lot of chocolate around the edges, so you will want to make small slices and go easy on the rest of the frosting.  Or go crazy, it’s a special occasion cake and you aren’t going to eat it all the time! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post (although really, it’s more of a cake decorating post) is here.

If you are excited about doing a little long weekend knitting, might I suggest the Light and Up shawl? It’s a free pattern, and calls for fingering weight yarn on 5mm (US 8), so I’m willing to bet it would work just fine with sportweight or even DK weight yarn, too. The pattern has been out for ages, but I’ve only just come across it! Pinterest link is here, and the Ravelry link for the free pattern download is here.

I love this idea for upcycling a ho-hum (or possibly getting a bit old and tired looking) clutch, with paint splatters and a pom pom. This would easily work for larger purses as well, as long as they can lay flat on the table. Pinterest link is here, and the full tutorial can be found here.

It happens to all of us- sometimes, you feel stuck in a rut and aren’t sure how to get out of it. Here is a great list for busting out of that rut – 1, 2, 17, and 18 are my personal faves. Pinterest link is here, and the original list is here.

Also- Today is the LAST DAY to enter to win a copy of Knitting in the Nordic Tradition!! If you haven’t entered, hustle on over and get clicking!!

Have a wonderful long weekend, everyone! Guy’s parents have just arrived from England to spend the holidays with us, AND it is Lila’s 5th birthday on Sunday. A busy, treat-filled weekend is ahead! I hope you all get some relaxing down time to do some crafting, and enjoy a bit of spring.

Modification Monday: Garri Sweater

Original Pattern: Garri Sweater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jimi (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: The pattern was originally a bottom-up pullover, but Jimi re-engineered it to be a top-down cardigan. She knit it in the round and steeked, adjusting gauge and shortening the waist to suit her frame. Project page with more details can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Even if there were no modifications, this sweater is spectacular. I love the colour choice of the grey, gold, and white; and this looks like the coziest sweater ever. I’m particularly impressed by her decision to reverse the direction of the sweater, as knitting it top-down and in the round allowed her to try it on as she went, which was extra important as she adjust the fit and length to suit her. If you are looking at a stranded sweater design and it is bottom-up try knitting it top-down, especially if the yoke is the round – that much easier! Turning the charts upside down can help with figuring out the new direction, and Jimi mentions in her notes that it was easier than she thought it would be.  Steeking and installing a zipper aside (both not for the faint of heart!), I love the proportions of the ribbing on the zipper band in particular. it seems like a small thing to note, but it is very easy for button bands and zipper bands to be either a bit narrow or a bit wide for the overall sweater, and Jimi absolutely nailed it.