Modification Monday: Graduation Dress

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Next Year in Lerwick 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Momo (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Momo created a dress by continuing the repeats of the original colourwork sweater  to add length until suitable for a dress, and making brilliant choices about the colours and contrasting colours  to emphasize shaping and cohesion. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Fifteen main colours, 18 contrasting colours, one spectacular knitted dress.  Just let the sheer ambition and awesomeness of that wash over you for a second. Okay, let’s get into it, shall we? Momo is an absolutely expert when it comes to stunning colour combinations for colourwork, but this is exceptionally well thought out and beautifully chosen. Not just because of the lovely dusty cream at the neckline, hem, and cuffs- a detail which helps keep the many colours neatly corralled and well balanced- but because of where she uses high contrast and where she uses low contrast. Not that Momo’s used the larger motif centred at the waist, and then it appears  again near the bottom of the skirt. Anywhere else, it would draw the eye to a spot that perhaps you don’t want the eye to linger. the contrast for several of the other bands has been kept at a lower profile, the colours chosen to be harmonious, which is critical to keeping this dress from becoming too busy or visually overwhelming. This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides.

This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern with the amount of ease you are looking for,  and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides. From a colourwork point of view, this modification also offers some great lessons about the use of high and low contrast sections and where it draws the eye, and how to use a seemingly endless colour palette to great effect that is visually unifying, rather than jarring or discordant.  This is truly an aspirational Mod Monday!

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress | knittedbliss.com

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourites This Week

I was blown away by this very short, but very powerful video about how wolves have a hugely positive impact on rivers.  Who knew wolves did so much to benefit the ecosystem where they live?

I’ve been having quite the chuckle over these #distractinglysexy tweets in response to the ridiculously sexist comments by Nobel Prizing winning biologist (and self-identified male chauvinist) Tim Hunt.

You’ve all heard about the bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Well, here’s an article on  the life-changing magic of losing sh*t. it’s all about how your perspective on your possessions changes, when they’ve left without you willingly letting them go.

As someone who recently spent quite a bit of time on airplanes and in airports for work travel, this really resonated with me.

Did you dream of being a mermaid when you were a kid? I totally did. Turns out,  you can actually grow up and be a mermaid. If I only I had kept at it!

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cotton Candy Cocktail | knittedbliss.com

The second I saw this easy cotton candy champagne cocktail, I started trying to make up excuses for when to have this utterly fancy, totally girly drink. Next time a friend has a birthday, this is on! Pinterest link is here, the original link is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mexican Green Rice and Corn | knittedbliss.com

This Mexican style green rice with corn is an easy dish that is full of flavour, and the recipe includes lots of ideas for serving it, too.  If you are looking for a healthy side dish, this is perfect for summer. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Donut Coasters| knittedbliss.com

It was recently International Doughnut Day, which sparked a flurry of doughnut related crafts and recipes on Pinterest. I definitely like doughnuts, and I think these DIY coasters are super cute. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Snickerdoodle Iced Latte| knittedbliss.com

This recipe for making an iced snickerdoodle latte is unbelievably tasty. Once you’ve got that snickerdoodle syrup made, it’s pretty epic. If you like cinnamon and coffee, this is going to rock your world. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Marbled Fabric| knittedbliss.com

A great guide on how to marble fabric, with some from-the-trenches advice from someone who found several ways to not marble fabric first. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home! Totally planning on doing some baking, and getting some knitting done! Anyone else got the same game plan?

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater: Beginnings

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

I’m pretty excited about this kit from We Are Knitters, an international craft house that is big in Europe, and based out of Spain.  It’s always fun to see new designs and new yarns from companies I haven’t heard of before, and I had a long cruise through the website looking at the kits, trying to decide which one I most wanted to knit that very second. The Pacific Sweater won out, because I love the classic shape and it looks  perfect for me to wear this summer over a tank top without getting too warm.

 The Decision Process

The kits start with the pattern, and you have your choice of receiving the pattern in English, French, German or Spanish.  Then you choose your colours- I had 16 different colour choices for the Pacific Sweater, and it took me ages to decide, but in the end I landed on the can’t-fail classic, Natural.  You can also choose to receive their custom (and so freaking awesome!) beechwood needles (straights, no circulars). They come in the size recommended for the pattern gauge. As for shipping, that’s always one of my first questions when considering ordering from another country, and We Are Knitters offer some extremely reasonable shipping on kits into Canada and the US- under $10 shipping for most kits, and on orders more than $140, free shipping.

I can’t emphasize how tough it was to pick a pattern- it’s worth a cruise through their designs to see all they have to offer, but I’d say they specialize in very modern silhouettes and textured knits, with many of the kits being very suitable to a beginner. This Pacific Sweater kit is marked as intermediate, but I’d say it’s very beginner friendly.

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

Unboxing

The kit is extremely well thought out, and contains the yarn, needles, instructions, a tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and a little clothes tag to sew in that labels it We Are Knitters, which is a really cute idea.  The yarn is skeined well, so they don’t fall apart the second you take the ball band off, as I’ve had happen to me with some cotton yarns before.  I’m also impressed with the minimal packaging, which the environmentalist in me really appreciates.

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

Knitting in Progress

I’m really impressed with the yarn- the Pima cotton is extremely strong, and very resistant to splitting. The yarn is held double throughout, which means this summer sweater is knitting up super fast! I like how the yarn feels in my hands, and it moves over the needles so well I feel like I can knit this really quickly.  I will point out that this is a pattern that is written flat, and you seam it, and I personally would always seam a garment knit in a drapey yarn, just for structure and to keep it from getting stretched out.  I’ve got the back done, and here’s where I am with the front:

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

You will likely notice right away I’m not using the super cute straight needles that were in the package- I wasn’t getting gauge! I ended up having to go down a needle size, so I’m using my trusty circs. This worked out well for me in the long run, since I was knitting the back while flying to Saskatchewan for work recently, and not hitting the stranger in the seat beside me with my needles was a real advantage that allowed me to knit the entire back while on my trip.

I’m so excited for my summer sweater!

* This is part one of a short series of sponsored posts for We Are Knitters. I chose the pattern kit and the colour, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Meet the Sponsors: June Edition!

Meet the SPonsors: Knitcircus Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Knit Circus

What She is All About: Jaala specializes in extra special  long gradient colours, which  can be customized for whatever pattern you are thinking of (perfect for sweaters, shawls, or cowls). She also has genius striping gradient sock kits, and  some gorgeous cowl and shawl kits in her Etsy shop. 

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:   I think this skein of ‘Summer Afternoon’ looks just like a marigold! This colourway can be dyed in any of Knitcircus’s bases, which means you can have it in a variety of fingering weight, DK, or Worsted.  These chromatic stripe socks in ‘Over the Rainbow’ are specially dyed to create two matching socks that both stripe chromatically- how cool is that! As usual, you can choose from three different fingering weight yarn bases.  This Lieutenant’s Heart Shawl kit is stunning, and you can choose fro a variety of colourways, but I’m partial to the colourway that the pattern is named for (shown here), ‘Lieutenant’s Heart.

Meet the Sponsors: Madbird Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Madbird Bags & Accessories 

What They are all about: Alecia and Rob make awesomely fabulous project bags, project clutches, totes, spindle bags, needle and hook rolls, and zip pouches which will surely make your crafting that much more enjoyable.  Project bags come with interior yarn guides that have a snap on them, so your yarn feeds through cleanly, but you can change out the yarn or project any time you like.  No more yarn tangles!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Alecia has very kindly offered 10% off orders when using the code KNITTEDBLISS at checkout. I might be biased, but you should totally do that.  If you have an interchangeable needle set, then this is truly the organizer you need- it’s worth clicking on the link to see the photos of it unrolled to get a handle on all the details of this. This is the Mr. Fox print, and it has special pockets for the cables, for the needle sizes, and a built-in pouch for the adapters and any notions. It’s pretty genius. The pretty mermaid print Mendocino tote is perfect for medium sized projects (approx 3 skeins), and will stand up on its own once a project is inside.  The cat lover in me is crazy about this cat print clutch (with cat toy print fabric inside!) and would be perfection for sock projects or a single skein shawl on the go.

Meet the Sponsors: Bijou Basin Collage | knittedbliss.com

Name: Bijou Basin Ranch 

What They Are All About: If you haven’t tried yak fiber before, you are missing out- it’s very soft, and very good for those that have wool allergies. Eileen and Carl run their Yak ranch in Colorado, selling amazing yak fiber and yarns that are both 100% yak and blended with other fibers (like bamboo or merino) to give the yarn strength and variety.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  Tibetan Dream is a crazy and strong sock yarn that is 85% yak and 15% nylon, and this skein is in Colorado River, a limited edition colourway dyed by Miss Babs. The Outlandish yarn line is all inspired by the Outlander series by Diane Galbadon, which gives all the colourway names extra resonance for fans-  this lovely gold colour of Himalayan Trail in a Yak/Merino blend is called Laoghaire.  As for kits, this Blood of my Blood Shawl kit (although Outlander reference!) would be perfect for summer knitting. Plus, if you click the link in the sidebar ad they are currently offering 10% off your order if you give them a follow on social media!

Meet the Sponsors: Sweet Sheep | knittedbliss.com

Name: Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

What She is All About: Alicia makes amazing all-natural lotion bars and lip balms is a great range of seasonal and classic scents. Fruity, floral, spicy, sweet or unscented- whatever your preference, it’s here. Plus, lots of skin-softening lanolin!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  Now that it’s sandal season, I’m finding lotion bars are genius for softening my feet, as well as making them smell amazing. I just rub the bar over my heels and around my feet, and rub it in a bit. The Spring Meadow lotion bar is perfect for this time of year- light and somehow both herbal and floral, not a heavy scent at all. For a tasty lip treat, how about the French Macaron lip balm?  I love the consistency of Alicia’s lip balms, they feel wonderfully moisturizing, and I’m a sucker for dessert flavoured lip balms every time.  And the Chamomile Bergamot lotion bar is totally my sort of thing- light and citrusy, great for warmer weather.

Those are the sponsors for June! I hope you will check out their shops online and see what you might find, my choices above are what I most feel like knitting or using now that we’re at the beginning of summer, so I’m craving the lighter-weight knits and fun summer colours.  And I definitely think it’s time for a new project bag! Summer knitting means a bit more knitting outdoors for me, so I need to keep my yarn and WIPs safe.

Modification Monday: Springline BSC

Modification Monday: Spring Lines BSC

Original Patterns: BlueSand Cardigan and Spring Lines

Knitter Extraordinaire: Ariane (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the Bluesand Cardigan as the basis for the sweater, Ariane incorporated the striping of Spring Lines into a brand new look, complete with gradient. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome:  I love it when people mix together patterns, picking their favourite elements of each and combining them into something new. This cardigan looks fantastic, the structure of Bluesands helps make the combination of gradient and high contrast stripes feel pulled together. When you are thinking of combining two patterns, it helps to use one as the main guideline for the fit and overall structure, providing a canvas for you to try new things, like clever stripe combinations or intarsia or colourwork.  The overall effect can be mesmerizing, just like this cardigan!

Modification Monday: Spring Lines BSC