Pin ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

I could have sworn it was only Tuesday… this is what happens when you trying to get a million things sorted before flying out to another country on the weekend! The four of us are going the England to introduce James to his British family, and give Lila some much needed face time with her cousins, who are all of a similar age. We are also going to be in Spain for a bit- we’ll see how all that travelling with the little ones goes!

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Back to school- how to form good habits (or help your partner or kids form good habits!).

Our daydreams and illusions feed our souls- And a lot of literary greats have always known it. Here’s Virginia Woolf’s take on it. 

This is clever- takes what books you loved as child, and makes a grown-up reading recommendation.  Or of course, you could re-read your childhood favourite!

Overcoming the obsession to shop. I struggle with this, even though I’m the first to say I’m not a ‘stuff’ person. I go to the mall to get one thing, go in 15 different stores, come home will all sorts of stuff.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Peaches and Cream trifle |

I love trifle, it’s probably one of my favourite  desserts, and the varieties are endless. This on makes the most of the end of season peaches and taste light and fresh. It’s one of those desserts that is immensely satisfying yet doesn’t sit heavy. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here. 

Pin Ups and Link Love: Ricotta Zucchini Meatballs |

For those of us doing Meatless Mondays or are vegetarian (or just genuinely like to get a bit more veg in our lives) this one’s for you- ricotta and zucchini ‘meatballs’. The recipe is easy-peasy, and they are crazy delicious. I think i actually prefer them to normal meatballs! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY MAcrame Necklace|

I didn’t think this would really be that easy, since it looks fairly detailed in the photo, but I read the whole tutorial and now I think it’s an easy one! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Keep Your Sweater Hem from Flipping Up |

Knitters! Ever have the problem with a sweater you’ve knit and the hem keeps flipping up? The Craft sessions maps out why it happens and offers a couple different solutions to knitting a hem that doesn’t flip up. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Packing Tips|

I don’t know if anyone else is travelling soon, but I have started packing and am using a bunch of these tips if you are- like how every bottom you pack should match every top you pack.  Pinterest link is here, and the original packing 20 outfits into a carry on post is here.


Delineate Tank: Outtakes

The long awaited outtakes post, where I embarrass myself with unflattering photos!

There was lots of great discussion on the fit and some amazing tips in the comments for ways to modify it to get improve the fit, so if anyone is thinking of knitting this, I recommend a read through.  Let’s get an establishing shot, shall we?

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

Like I said in my last post on this, it’s okay. I think the shape is sort of boxy on me in a boring sort of way. Boxy can work, but I feel like it’s got to be oversized to pull it off. And when I stand up straight and don’t move, you can’t tell that there is excess fabric….. oh, wait, now you can tell:

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

Super unflattering pose, am I right? Then I decided I should pose for real. This was an actual attempt at a pose:

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

I think there is literally a shaft of sunlight pointing out the wobbly underside of my pasty white thigh. It’s highlighting it, really. As if to say, “Look here! At this bit! This is where the late night snacks are stored!” So since all shame was thoroughly gone, I leaned into the silliness.

Here is my “Onward, fearless explorer!” pose:

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

and then there’s my strongwoman pose, still with that shaft of sunlight in the underside of my thigh:

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

I hardly ever wear shorts, you can probably tell. I know self tanner exists, but I feel like next summer I’ll manage better to do that sort of thing. I’ve never been that fond of my legs (other then the fact that they work great, and I’m super grateful for that), so I’m a fan of long pants and skirts.  but it was far too hot for pants that day.

I kept saying to Guy, “Don’t show my ugly knees in the photos!” So naturally:

Delineate Tank Outtakes |

Ta-da! Good thing we are all friends here. Otherwise I’d be really embarrassed to share all that with you!

Modification Monday: 58Sixty

Modification Monday: 58Sixty |

Original Pattern: 28thirty

Knitter Extraordinaire: Marilyn (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Lengthened the sweater, adjusted gauge, and longer cuffs. Project page with more details can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m always amazed at how completely different a sweater looks when it cropped or if it lengthened, even if the other changes are minimal. Marilyn lengthened the sweater considerably, changing it from a cropped bolero to a full cardigan. After adjusting the size to match her gauge, she also deepened the length of the cuffs to show off more of the great stitch detail. Are there any cropped sweaters you looked at, but didn’t would work for you? Lengthening could really change the whole look. Or conversely, you could shorten a sweater pattern you admire into a cropped cardi or bolero!

Modification Monday: 58Sixty |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Why your 30s are the decade that friend start to disappear…. apparently after the age of 25 we lose more friends each year than we make.  Although this was written by someone who is just turning 30, I think that there is a great turnaround in the quality of friendships as we age. Fewer friends, yes, but richer friendships.

Things we have to stop telling ourselves about other people. Oh man, everyone needs this list. Let’s check judgment at the door.
Here’s how to figure out where to have lunch when you are with a group and no one has any ideas…. suggest McDonalds, and watch the alternatives pop up like gophers. 

Wait, you can rent alpacas for your wedding?! Oh Japan, you rock. But I want to know if you can just rent them because you are having a bad day….

Oh, and if you are feeling like joinging a knitalong, there is a wondering KAL going on in Wool Gathering Collective for an awesome Canadian themed knitalong! It goes until the end of September, so there’s still lots of time to join. Also more prizes than you can shake a stick at. I’m one of the many (really, MANY) people donating prizes to a draw from those that complete their projects (big or small)… I’m offering up winner’s choice of any 5 of my patterns! A sampling below:

#CanadaKAL |

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Marbled Oreos |

I’m a sucker for high impact treats like these that are really minimal on time. Checkout these marbled Oreos! You could customize the colour swirls for whatever colour scheme you want, making these pretty much perfect for every season or occasion you can think of. Pinterest link is here, and the original ‘recipe’ can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Hawaiian Barbecue Wraps|

Hawaiian barbecue chicken wraps are perfect for these last days of summer. Although I wonder- is it really just the addition of pineapple that makes something ‘Hawaiian’? Regardless, these are fresh, fast, and don’t have loads of ingredients. I’ll be having these for supper this weekend! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Baby Work Socks |

These teeny tiny baby socks are so freaking adorable, I can’t even. I would love to be organized enough to make several pairs, and then every time I know someone having a baby, even if just in blogland, I’d send them a pair. Sigh. Maybe when I finish my mini stocking advent calendar? Pinterest link is here, and the original pattern is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Bleach Stamp Shirt|

I love the idea of doing a bleach stamp on a simple top! You don’t have to worry about colours running, since bleach is permanent. If you have a stamp that you love, this would be a super simple DIY. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Truth |

This is so true, and I think we can all use a reminder now and then. Pinterest link is here, sadly I can’t find the original link.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Only a couple weekends of August left, I hope you have a relaxing one. High fives and hugs to all of you!

Meet the Sponsors, August Edition!

How is it the middle of August already? Can it really be September in only a couple of weeks?! I’m excited, not only because it’s been sweltering here and who isn’t excited for sweater weather to return, but also because we are taking a trip soon! At the very end of August, the four of us are going to be packing our suitcases and heading off for time with the UK family in Bristol, England; and then popping over to Spain (Barcelona, Girona, and a countryside villa somewhere for a wedding). Travelling with two small kids is totally doable, right? My fingers are crossed.

Are any of you seasonal knitters, and only knit when the weather turns cool? If so, I hope you are beginning to think of cozy knitting, now that so many fall issues of knitting magazines and pattern collections have popped up! let’s see hat sort of goodies the sponsors have this month, shall we? Eye candy abounds!

Meet the Sponsors: Spirit Trail Fiberworks |

Name: Spirit Trail Fiber Works

Where You Can Follow Them: Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

What She is All About: Jennifer has a variety of her hand dyed yarns in a variety of weights and fibers, as well as beautiful (and some very rare breed!) roving and spinning fibers. She produces her colours in small batches with artisanal dye techniques, and really shines at tonals which have incredible depth. I recently finished knitting a tank top with one of her yarns and I loved every minute of knitting with her yarn.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This is the 100% merino bulky weight yarn is in the Vortex colourway, a gorgeous semisolid light grey that will go with absolutely everything you own.  Then we have the ‘Maine Sumac’ colourway for in a DK weight on the Birte base, which is a blend of 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere and 10% bombyx silk. Finally we have ‘Kestrel’, a beautiful variegated colourway of rich browns and reddish tones, on the Verdande base which is a worsted weight blend of 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere and 10% bombyx silk.

Meet the Sponsors: The Blue Brick Collage|

Name: The Blue Brick 

Where You Can Follow Them:  BlogFacebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, Flickr, and Crawftgawker

What They Are All About: Shireen is a professional photographer; and she takes her yarn inspiration straight from the images she captures. These yarns are all hand-dyed in small batches by Shireen and her husband Tito on a variety of bases and weights (really, quite a a solid variety of bases), based on her photographic inspiration (you can read more about the yarn here). Each skein is sent out with a copy of the photo that inspired it- a really beautiful detail that makes me marvel even more at how she can dye the yarn to so closely resemble the photos! Shireen also designs beautiful patterns, as well. I recently went to a launch party for their new Berry Vanilla colourway which also features a yarn wash, spray and hand cream that smells like heaven!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Shireen designed this beautiful single skein Berry Vanilla shawl that has lovely cables and looks amazing in ombre. One of the more dramatic gradient colourways, Heron moves from a duck egg blue to a rich charcoal, for those that like their ombre yarns with a bit of a edge to them. Longbeach is a wonderful colourway with surprising colour shifts that create an effect that is nothing short of stunning.

Meet the Sponsors: Biscotte Yarns|

Name: Biscotte Yarns

Where You Can Follow Them: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPinterestTumblr, Google +

What They Are All About: Biscotte Yarns specializes in self-striping yarns with lots of fun inspiration, but they have all sorts of goodies on offer- fabrics, project bags and kits, patterns, and tonal single ply yarns, as well as a mystery club! They also recently came out with an app that allows you create custom hat and sock patterns based on yarn weight, gauge, stitch preferences and size choices- web based, Android, or iphone. I also recently finished a hoodie for James with their Griffon yarn, and it was fantastic!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: You don’t often find self striping yarns in a worsted weight, but the Griffon line of worsted weight (which I adore!) has both tonals and self striping varieties, this one is ‘Tropicana’. I knit the hoodie for James using two tonals and a self striping between them.  This Hagrid base is an Aran weight Donegal tweed, and I love this particular colourway, ‘Nature’– doesn’t it remind you of cookies ‘n cream ice cream?! I think this beautiful paintbox kit of sock yarn in ‘Twinkle Twinkle’  is dying to become a luscious shawl or a big, double loop cowl.

Meet the Sponsors: Madbird|

Name: Madbird 

Where You Can Follow Them: Facebook, Instagram

What They are all about: Alecia and Rob Miller make wonderful project bags, project clutches, totes, spindle bags, hook rolls and needle rolls (including ones for dpns and interchangeables), and zip pouches- with a wide variety of fabrics, you’re sure to find the right size you need in a print you love. They are all sturdily built, with fleece interfacing and solid bottoms that ensure the bags stand up well on their own, once a project is inside. If you haven’t tried one of their bags, you are missing out- every detail is perfection and you will have this bag forever. I recommend following them on Facebook to get the updates on new items as well as the flash sales they sometimes have! Also, they are offering 10% off everything with the code KNITTEDBLISS.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  The photos above don’t do the them justice-  you need to click the links to go look at the photo of the inside to really see where the magic is. But if I posted photos of just the insides, you wouldn’t see the fun prints on the outsides! Dilemma. First, we have a great interchangeable needle organizer in the High Tide fabric, which has great pockets for storing all the needle sizes and cables, and you could easily tuck a few notions in there if you wanted.  Then we have the needle wallet mini organizer in ‘Wildflower’. I have one of these, and I adore it! I should really blog about it very soon, because it’s been great for keeping project related tools together when doing weekend getaways. For the project bag, I was really excited to see that the Mr. Fox project bags were back in stock! This print is so gorgeous, I doubt it will last long in the shop. It features a yarn guide snap inside, and is fully reversible, too!

Meet the Sponsors: Erica Knits |

Name: Erica Knits 

Where You Can Follow: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

What They are all about: Erica designs thoughtful, beautiful knits that are somehow completely classic and yet different from the usual offerings. She’s particuarly gifted with colourwork designs, but also does great textured knits, as well- I’ve knit three of her patterns in the past, with more in my queue! If Erica’s designs are new to you, you may recall seeing her massively popular Karusellen Hat from Pom Pom Quarterly.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Coronal is a unisex sportweight hat that features a double brim (perfect for keeping the wind out) that would look great with or without a pom pom. It looks cute with the small pom here, but imagine a contrasting big pom pom! The Broadcast sweater is reminiscent of sweaters from the 60s, with a slim fit and a lovely boat neck. And the Anstruther mittens (which match the hat from the sidebar ad) are beautifully designed and even have a garter lace cuff, which still keeps your wrists warm.

I’m so excited for fall knitting just looking at all that knitting goodness! Now, to figure out what to bring on my big trip….