Modification Monday: Dreyma Inspired Hat

Original Pattern: Dreyma

Knitter Extraordinaire: Lisa (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using elements from the yoke design of the Dreyma sweater, Lisa reworked the original aran weight design into a sportweight hat. Details and lots more photos on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love this mod – it just goes to show that you can extract small elements from a pattern and give it a completely different look. The original design of the Dreyma sweater has a very dramatic yoke, but seeing just a small portion of it on a sleek hat makes it entirely new. When looking at a stranded yoke design and thinking that perhaps it might be too much – too much work, too difficult, just too busy, consider what a knit might look like with only a little bit of that design, just like Lisa. Also, playing with scale can yield really big changes, too- for the original aran weight sweater design, working elements of the same design in sportweight changes how a pattern looks quite a bit.

This idea is so fantastic, I’m going to be looking at stranded yokes very differently from now on- what element of them do I like best, and what would a knit look like if it just had that one element? I’m off to look at stranded yoke sweaters now….

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to turn your current job into your dream job. Because the dream job is the one you custom-build for yourself.

Sometimes, even if you thought you had it all planned out, a bunch of things in your life go sideways all at once – How to deal when your life is in shambles.

hahaha, hilarious and so true- what your favourite website says about you.

You probably all saw this exchange in the internet this week, but if you haven’t – she’s my new hero.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I know that most people are getting their long weekend, huge meal recipes going on, but I think there is room for this healthy, high protein salad on the table.  not only would it be brilliant for lunch or as a side (someones got to bring a salad, right?), the rainbow of colours is enough to entice anyone. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe can be found here.

Hey, remember ding dong snack cakes?! They’re back- but in way more delicious, homemade cake form. Oh man, just looking at this cake makes me want to make it Right. This. Second. I may have spent a fair bit of time looking at this picture, just imagining how good this cake will taste. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

 

Ever wish you could get great shots of yourself, but don’t really know anyone handy with a camera, or would just prefer to do the shots alone? This is great post on how one blogger takes travel shots of herself alone, and the techniques and tips work for all sorts of locations, not just exotic ones. Pinterest link is here, and the original post can be found here.

Would love to make your own wall art that is customized to your decor colours, but feel about as artistic as a tax receipt? Never fear! Someone has made a grown up paint by numbers that is super simple, even for those that  positive they can’t paint. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post with downloads can be found here.

I have such a crush on this super cute  free sweater pattern that just came out – You swiss darn Sunday onto it, but you could put any day of the week, or any saying, for that matter. Doesn’t t look so comfy and perfect for weekends? Pinterest link is here, and the link to the free pattern is here – you need to sign up for their site to get the pattern, but it’s free and they don’t ask for personal info beyond your name and email address.

Have a fantastic long weekend, everyone! I hope it’s relaxing, and that the Easter Bunny brings you your favourite treats. 😉

March: Book Reviews

I read a lot of books this month, but hardly anything seemed to be really recommendation worthy, so this month’s list is a bit leaner.  What was the best thing you read in March? Share your recommendations!

Best Fiction of the Month: Mr. Fox

I’ve been meaning to read Helen Oyeyemi’s work for a while, and was really happy to have started with this novel. It’s a literary cat-and-mouse retelling of the Bluebeard fairytale, with Mr. Fox a well known writer of slasher books where the women are always killed on his pages.  A woman named Mary Foxe begins writing him and the two create a long distance collaboration on writing stories together that don’t involve murdering women…. but is Mary real? What is ‘real’, anyway? The stories-within-the story are wonderful, and Oyeyemi’s clever handling of the language and the characters sucked me in right away. This isn’t a breezy beach read, but if you are looking to get sucked into a novel and be thinking about it even when you aren’t reading it, then I think you might like this one.

Best Nonfiction: The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris 

I confess that I didn’t love this book, but I completely understand why it’s a bestseller and cropping up everywhere- it’s sort of like Eat Pray Love and A Homemade Life: Stories from My Kitchen Table combined into one. The structure, of a woman’s memoir of divorce, depression, and finding herself through baking and Paris, is interspersed with recipes, excellent quotes, and beautiful photographs; making it feel very immersive and covering up the haphazard structure. But my biggest problem wit this book is I couldn’t identify at all with the author’s perspective, even though it should have been pretty easy for me- I kept getting tripped up by her relentlessly lousy self-esteem that bordered on self-obsession, and it coloured everything. But hey, that’s a gorgeous cover and it sure looks pretty on Instagram.

Currently Re-reading: The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje is one of my favourite writers, and my first introduction to his work was this novel – this gorgeous, lush, heartbreakingly beautiful novel.  The story focuses on the intersection of lives of four people after the end of WW II, and how they are grappling with loss and how to move forward — if moving forward is even possible. There is another Ondaatje novel that I love, In the Skin of a Lion, which also has the story of two of these characters from before this book, which is an excellent companion piece. But it’s The English Patient that I suspect will still be treasured and read a couple of hundred years from now, by people whose great grandparents have yet to be born.

The One I’m Recommending to Just About Everyone: M Train 

I loved M Train even more than her far-more-famous Just Kids. M Train is a wonderfully crafted collection of Smith’s thoughts and reflections on so many subjects –  cowboys, dreams, coffee, travel, secret societies, what makes a home, the nature of being alone – and yet deftly weaves them together into a stunning tapestry that never feels contrived or ridiculous, despite the fact that her life is pretty bloody extraordinary. A friend recommended the audiobook version, as Patti Smith reads it herself in her hallmark new Jersey accent, and I agree- it’s fantastic.

Looking for book reviews from the previous months? Check them out here.

Did you read anything amazing lately? what about a craft book you are currently loving? I’m always on the hunt for new books t take out of the library!

Modification Monday: Monochromatic Penguono

Original Pattern: Penguono

Knitter Extraordinaire: Clare (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Clare changed the brightly coloured sweater to a monochromatic version, and also eliminated the back welts, added pockets, lengthened the sleeves, and reduced the front panel to avoid the original crossing over effect. Great details and more photos can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Comparing the original pattern and Clare’s version is an exercise in creative thinking. I mean, looking at Stephen West’s pattern and then imagining the sleek, timeless version that Clare created takes more than a bit of creativity! Choosing to knit it in a solid colour emphasizes the beautiful stitch details and panel construction, and I love that she added pockets! The longer sleeves make the cardigan easier to wear, and more trans-seasonal- I love the proportions Clare achieved, the sleeves are beautifully balanced in relation to the rest of the cardigan. I bet she will be wearing this gorgeous sweater for many years to come!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

The stages of realizing you are late. Hilarious, and so true: “If I leave right now and also the Rapture has happened, there will be no cars on the road, and I will only be three minutes late, which no one will notice.”

A daily ritual that makes you smarter. And happier. And healthier. Anytime I feel awful, a big walk helps me shake it off.

Speaking of smarter, here are 24 other daily habits that will definitely make you smarter.

How to get over friendship insecurity. Because sometimes, we wonder if our friends really like us.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I personally can’t make a risotto to save my life (arborio rice, why are you so difficult to cook?), but this quinoa version is super easy, way faster, and very healthy- featuring one of my faves – arugula. Because I basically buy a small box of arugula and dump in the whole thing.  Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

I’m mainly in love with the tutorial on making those adorable little candy carrots to put on the top of cupcakes, and this post is totally worth making them- you don’t even really have to make cupcakes, you could buy store-bought ones, and put the carrots on top. I especially love that you don’t need any icing tips to make the carrots (and you don’t really need parchment bags, I’ve done the same thing snipping the corner off a ziploc bag), and they look adorable. Pinterest link is here, and the recipe with full candy carrot tutorial can be found here.

I’ve been spring cleaning up a storm – lots of aggressive de-cluttering and dreaming of setting up a new home office space. I love this round up of gorgeous ideas for small spaces- so hard to choose my favourite!Although really, I’d kill to have that kind of natural light. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

This crepe paper flower garland ideas is SO pretty- wouldn’t it be perfect for a birthday party, Easter gathering, or, you know, just something to generally have around? I have a friend who has a tassel garland up in her living room from a birthday party 3 months ago that she now is just basically incorporating into her decor, because she doesn’t want to take it down. It’s worth clicking through to the post just to check out the gorgeous close ups of all the flowers. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY is right here.

Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but the iconic colours of Hudson’s Bay really make me swoon. Non-Canadians, does it work for you too? I love this cowl idea, I think I’m going to have to make it – as soon as I get those yarn colours. Pinterest link is here, and the free pattern can be found here.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!