Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

You are not meant to do what you love. You are meant to do what you are good at. 

Why is it still considered controversial not to have children?  Some fascinating reads in here.

Can technology save indie bookstores? I certainly hope so.

Trying to make your creative mark in a big, major city? Maybe it’s time to find a new city.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mediterranean Breakfast Salad |

This salad looks so darn delicious I would eat this any time, not just for breakfast. Packed with good-for-you proteins, veggies and a bit of fat to help you feel full- If you need me, I”ll be at the grocery store getting the fixings for this salad. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easy Biscuit Smores |

I love S’mores everything, so these chocolate chip biscuit S’mores look heavenly! And get this- the whole recipe only has 4 ingredients. They look so much more decadent and complicated than that, but you could pull this off easy-peasy. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Make AMigurumi Poseable|

I have thought about putting pipe cleaners in my knitted toys to make them pose-able, but this is a great tutorial on exactly how to go about it- with something more sturdy than pipe cleaners! It would work for crocheted toys and knitted toys, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Vintage Cart Revamp |

I think I’m especially smitten with this vintage cart makeover because it contains a giant pile of yarn. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful, artfully displayed yarn collection in a lovely upcycled cart? It doesn’t have to be a revamp of a vintage piece, either- you could do this with an metal storage cart. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Michelle Morin Art |

I adore this stunning watercolour painting by Michelle Morin. It’s like the rich beauty of late summer, in all it’s golden green glory, captured in a frame. Pinterest link is here, and the original artist’s site is here.

Finished Knit: Delineate Tank

Delineate Tank |

These are lovely photos, aren’t they? When I edit them, I bump up the contrast and the warmth and suddenly they look so good I forget that I actually don’t like how this top looks on me.

Delineate Tank |

But that is a damn fine back of a top, isn’t it?  Ah well. It was a fun knit.

Pattern: Delineate Tank

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna in ‘Pink Sands’ 

Mods: Added a split hem approximately 2.5 inches, which I worked in k2 p2 ribbing.

Let’s start with what I love: The yarn. I would knit with this yarn any day of the week, it was really heavenly to knit with. The Sunna base is a merino/cashmere/silk blend, so you know it is crazy soft and makes me want to squeal a bit when I squish it. The pattern was easy to follow, with the charts cleverly designed to change the size of the design as you went on with the knitting. It did mean you had to look at the charts the whole time, but that was fine- the stitch was interesting and I loved watching the design develop. I wasn’t crazy about the way the straps were worked at the shoulder. It involved doing short rows to angle them and provide some shoulder shaping, but for straps I don’t feel it’s necessary and I don’t think did anything to really improve the fit or the way they laid on my shoulders.

I am also really happy with the split hem, it worked out exactly how I wanted it to and I will definitely do this again to a future pullover.

Delineate Tank |

So … I’m not crazy about how it looks on me. It’s fine, sure. It’s okay. But I’m not settling for fine and okay these days.  I want to love this tank top. But I don’t. It’s a fit problem, really. To be pretty blunt about my body type, I am ‘curvy’ in that I have a small waist in relation to my bust and hips. For a top to fall loosely around my midsection means the proportions have to be just right, or I look bigger than I really am. I noticed this is particularly true after I’ve had my kids, because my bust is bigger than it used to be, probably because I haven’t ever gone back down to the weight I was BK – ‘Before Kids’. It’s tough to figure out if I will or not. Wow, I’m really oversharing here, aren’t I? It’s hard to have a conversation about fit without getting into the nitty gritty of body type and style preferences.

Delineate Tank |

That back shot up at the top? I literally have a handful of this top in my hand in front of my stomach, so that we could take a photo of the back without any of it sagging back there. So now I know- A line tops, not for me. Which is a shame, because this was a lovely knit.  And if you have been looking for a great A-line summer knit that is perfect for wonderfully round tummies that don’t want anything showing where your waist begins or ends, I would highly recommend.

While it’s never fun to frog, I have to admit I’m looking forward to knitting with this yarn again! I had an extra skein I didn’t end up using for this, so I’m going back to Ravelry to shop through the patterns and see how this yarn might be a lovely tee or even a light sweater. Because I really, really want to knit this yarn into a garment I want to wear all the time.

Coming soon- outtakes!

Pattern Review: Stranded Magazine Mild Weather 2016

Review: Stranded Magazine Mild Weather 2016 |

The second issue of the new-this-year Stranded Magazine launched last week,  featuring mild weather knits that are ideal for early fall or for chilly summers that are typical of the pacific northwest.

If this is your first time hearing of Stranded Magazine, it’s a new digital knitting magazine that is very designer-friendly. Each issue is available for one year, after which the pattern rights revert back to the designer, who can individually sell and promote the patterns as they wish. Designers are paid for their pattern contributions as well as receive a portion of the magazine sales, so adding that to their ability to also be able to sell the pattern again after one year maximizes a designer’s ability to profit from their designs. The patterns aren’t for sale individually during that year- you need to buy the issue to get them.

There are 7 knitting patterns: two pullovers, one cardigan, a hat, a snood/cowl, a pair of socks and a pair of legwarmers. I’m reviewing my favourite 3 from the collection, below. If you have questions about any of other others, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply! You can review the whole collection at a glance on Ravelry, here.

In addition to the patterns, there is an interview with Spincycle Yarns, a techniques section with tutorials on a 3 needle bind off two different ways, as well as how to work a pleat. There is also a piece by Caitlin Ffrench on harvesting plants from the wild for natural dying, and a great tutorial and chart for cross stitch with a quote from Elizabeth Zimmermann: “Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.” How perfect is that? And there is a recipe for a very delicious-looking blackberry cake, too.

On to my favourites!

Review: Stranded Magazine Mild Weather 2016 |

 Skykomish, by Lee Meridith

Featuring bands of cables and reverse stockinette, this cleverly executed snood is knit flat and then  joined with a three needle bind off technique and pleats (which has a full photo tutorial in the issue, so you are covered if this is your first time doing either or both of those techniques!). Pattern is both charted and fully written, uses sportweight yarn.

You Should Totally Knit This If: Your ears get cold really easily, and you are always forgetting to bring a hat (gasp! A knitter without a hat!). And of course, if you love cables and cowls.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If:  You don’t enjoy knitting cables. It’s not a fast enough knit that you can squeak by if you really hate knitting cables.

Review: Stranded Magazine Mild Weather 2016 |

Elwha, by Alexa Ludeman

This is worsted weight raglan pullover knit in the round from the bottom up. The design of the sweater is very classic yet the cables and use of negative space look modern. Cables are both written and fully charted.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love cables, don’t mind bottom up knitting, and are looking for something with classic styling that is perfect for weekends.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If:  You need waist shaping on order for a sweater to look good on you. of course, you could add in your own waist shaping, if you wanted.  If crew necks are not for you, you could adjust your stitch count to make a wider neckline and have a boatneck, perhaps?

Review: Stranded Magazine Mild Weather 2016 |

Tupshin, by Erin Birnel

These fingering weight socks are prefect for using up a favourite sock yarn remnants for the toes, heel, and cuffs; and the delicate eyelet on the sock gives great visual interest without being lacy or impractical. Construction is cuff to toe, with a slipped stitch heel flap.  Both the stranded border at the cuff and the eyelet design are fully charted as well as written.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You adore knitting socks and are looking for something interesting, but still easy to memorize.  And if you like to wear your handmade socks with shoes (let’s face it, some sock designs are not meant to actually be worn with shoes).

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If:  Socks aren’t your thing, or if you don’t like heel-to-toe construction on your socks.

I recommend checking out the whole collection- lots of trans-seasonal choices that would be great for late summer, early fall, and regions where you just don’t get a lot of really cold wintery weather.

Modification Monday: Moggies Sweater

Modification Monday: Moggies Sweater |

Original Pattern: Moggies

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sachiko (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the child’s size mitten chart, Sachiko used it for the basis of this simple and chic sweater. More information can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome:  I love this sweater and wish it was already in my closet. What really makes it work are the proportions, keeping the wonderful chart at the hem of the sweater and the rest simple and solid. When using a whimsical and very detailed chart like this, it looks especially good in a simple colour palette. I love her choice of the eternally chic combination of black, white, and grey; but I think this could work in other colours as well, especially if you kept the white and grey.

Sachiko often does machine knitting, so this wasn’t entirely hand knit (and I so want to learn machine knitting! One day, when the kids are a little bit older), but you could duplicate the results entirely by hand.  The proportions are especially good for mitten charts- if there is a stranded mitten design you particularly love, think about whether or not it could work in this same sort of style. Stranded designs are significantly less daunting when you know you only have to work them for part of the sweater!

Modification Monday: Moggies Sweater |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Everything I need to know about planning my life I learned from The September Issue. A surprisingly accurate reflection on how the fashion documentary has a lot of good ideas on how to pull of something big and wonderful.

We all need to have a bit more fun, but everyone’s idea of fun is a bit different. You aren’t going to have fun if you aren’t doing the things that YOU find fun.

A truly funny look at how a couple goes about making a second baby. Hilariously accurate, and funny even if you aren’t a  parent (possibly excellent birth control, if you aren’t a parent).

Guys, there’s a movie coming out all about modern knitting and crocheting, showing international fiber artists and crafters. It looks so freaking awesome!!!

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Tex MEx Turkey Skillet |

This Tex-Mex ground turkey and rice skillet comes together quickly for an easy 1-pan weekday dinner. I love rice based meals, and ground turkey feels like a nice change sometimes from ground beef (although Guy definitely prefers to use ground beef anywhere that ground chicken or turkey is called for). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Eclairs and Ice Cream |

Having some people over for  barbecue or dinner sometime soon? May I recommend you serve this as dessert? It looks super fancy but it dead easy – get some nice eclairs, cut in half, fill with your favourite ice cream. And now you are a hero. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Zipper Tutorial|

So….. apparently on the exact same day I past on my blog my zipper woes for James’s adorable hoodie, Tanis posted on her blog a fantastic step-by-step tutorial on sewing zippers into knits. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Felt Hair Pins|

I love these pretty felt flower hair pins! I don’t actually think I’d wear them in my hair, but I think they would be amazing as gift toppers or as decorations on a doll or even as a summer  brooch. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Wildlife Planters|

I’m already thinking about some of my outdoor plants and how they will need to come inside to winter. These adorable animal pots look so cute! Way better than the plastic planters they are in outside. The giraffe is my fave! Pinterest link is here, and the original link is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you all get to have a little time for yourselves, doing the thing you love most.