Wee Wednesday: Garter Ear Flap Hat

Finished Knit: Garter Ear Flap Hat | knittedbliss.com

Pattern: Garter Ear Flap Hat 

Yarn: Berroco Tuscan Tweed in Cherries

Needles: 5mm (US 8)

Notes: I am so happy with the Berroco Tuscan Tweed, it’s really won me over. I used about half the skein of Tuscan Tweed in ‘Cherries’, a plummy wine red. The light blue and white tweed flecks provide the tweed, even though describing a deep red yarn with light blue and white flecks sounds pretty dreadful. The blue bits seem to actually work a little magic trick – you can barely see them, but they create a cool undertone to the whole colourway. It’s so subtle and consistent you aren’t even really aware of the flecks themselves, just the depth that they offer in this tweedy loveliness.

Finished Knit: Garter Ear Flap Hat | knittedbliss.com

We had gorgeous weather this past weekend. Hardly any need for coats, and he didn’t even really need the hat. But he wouldn’t be the first baby forced to wear hand knits for a photo op! He was happy though:

Finished Knit: Garter Ear Flap Hat | knittedbliss.com

And drooling! He has six teeth so far, and more are coming in. I so wanted him to stay my little baby for a bit longer, but he is absolutely huge (wearing 18-24 months clothing sizes) and almost walking. In 3 weeks, he will be one year old. I am very familiar with the old adage “it goes so fast!” but oh, how bittersweet the truth of it.

Here’s a shot I snapped one chilly morning last week on the way to kindergarten and daycare, and I just love the look on his happy little face:

Finished Knit: Garter Ear Flap Hat | knittedbliss.com

This is part of the Tuscan Tweed KAL. Normally I’m sane enough to remember I have no time for KALs, but I felt like a little one-skein project was surely so small I could squeeze it in. I have half a skein left, I’m thinking some little mittens to match!

Modification Monday: Frosting

Modification Monday: Frosting | knittedbliss.comr

Original Pattern: #08 Cabled Yoke Pullover

Knitter Extraordinaire: Heidi (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Heidi changed this from bottom up to top down, and also adjusted the neck for a looser, more casual turtleneck. Great details (really, you should read them) can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: You probably know Heidi from her beautiful, easy-to-wear garment designs, so it’s no surprise that she made this utterly stunning sweater modification. Making this top down was very true to Heidi’s knitting style, and allowed her to try it on as she went, especially as she was making a neckline modification. It was very smart to begin with the yoke on a top down modification, so that she could make any other modifications to sleeves and the bod y as she went. The result is a beautiful cozy sweater that looks perfect for winter, with a neckline that looks elegant and comfortable. Perfection!

Modification Monday: Frosting | knittedbliss.com

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This essay about a mother and daughter sharing stories of flashing, groping and other forcible male behaviour in front of their husbands for the first time made me laugh and cry. If there’s anything you can say about the US election this year, it’s that the regular harassment that girls and women receive seems to finally be more obvious to men.

How to hose a dinner party in a tiny space. I never host people because while I love my little townhouse, I know it’s small and I feel like the addition of guest makes it suddenly feel like a hamster cage. But no more! I was really inspired by this article, only because it helps ease my dinner party hosting anxiety.

There might only be 9 weeks left of this year (Crazy, right? I had to triple check my numbers, because I was so sure that I was wrong), but there is still time for you to achieve the goals you set for yourself for 2016.

This tip blew my mind (courtesy of the Modern Mrs. Darcy):

“You can add any web page to your phone as an app icon. Listen up, because this is so useful—and so easy! Here’s what to do: open the website you want in your Safari browser, tap the share button (the middle button at the bottom that’s a box with an arrow coming out) and select “add to home screen.” That’s it! You can do the same thing on android. In Chrome: tap the 3 vertical dots next to the address bar to open options for the website. Scroll down to “add to home screen” and it adds a direct link to your screen.”

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Nutella Banana Bread Bites | knittedbliss.com

Nutella AND banana bread in a mini muffin bite? Sign me up. I’m one of those people that finds mini anything makes me that much me likely to eat it. if it’s small it must be harmless and calorie-free, right? Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Lemon Herb Potatoes | knittedbliss.com

If you also have a bag of potatoes sitting in your kitchen (I can’t be the only one), might I suggest these delicious and very pretty lemon herb roasted potatoes? I’m a big fan of roasted veggies, because if it’s in the oven, it means you don’t have to keep stirring or check on it. You can go do other things until the timer dings, which is my kind of side dish. I will say that to call them ‘lemon and herb’ is a bit misleading, because the only herb in this recipe is parsley. But I just shook on some generic Italian seasoning and they were very tasty. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Photo Pilloe| knittedbliss.com

This is such a great gift idea- a photo pillow! The tutorial is really clear and step by step, although if you don’t have the printer I bet you could get it printed at a print shop onto the sort of iron on paper you need. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Embroidery bouquet | knittedbliss.com

This is such a pretty embroidery design, and it’s completely free- click through for the transfer template and instructions. I wish I did more embroidery, I absolutely love it. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crochet Blanket | knittedbliss.com

Okay, I know I’m not a crocheter, but did you know you can crochet cables?! Because I did not. Check out this beautiful crocheted blanket tutorial- totally free, and looks perfect for snuggling up on the coach. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I think we are going to try to take the kids to the Royal Ontario Museum this weekend, and otherwise just do our usual things. I hope you are all staying healthy (the stomach flu just finished a tour of our house), and hopefully get a bit of sunshine this weekend!

Life Lately: Chasing the Dream

knittedbliss.com

Tuesday was supposed to be my first day back at work. Last year, sitting in my boss’s office while he and I looked at a calendar, I was so sure I was definitely going to come back. I even went so far as to confirm a date for my return. We settled on November 1st, 2016.

I loved that job. Not every day was great, of course. Like all jobs, some days you want to storm out and forget it all, some days you fall short and feel disappointed in yourself, some days you are in meeting after meeting after meeting and the work just piles up and you feel frazzled. But most of the time, it was good, and I could do the things that I thought I always wanted from my day job. I wanted a job where I would get to travel, and I did. I wanted a job where I could put my nonprofit skills and passions to work, and I did. I wanted to get a promotion by working hard and proving there was a need for a new role, and I did. I worked hard, I kept trying to do more,  and I loved it.

Except.

Did you catch the part up there where I called it my day job? Because I’ve had a side hustle since before anyone called it a side hustle. What I have always wanted to do is write.

I’ve written poetry and stories since I was a kid. I would stop now and then, sometimes as much as a year went by and I didn’t write a thing – particularly in my twenties when I was still figuring out a lot of things for myself. I’d publish in literary journals here and there, my track record was spotty. My first book of poetry was published in 2013, with much of the editing process and revising done while I was on maternity leave with Lila. I remember having my laptop on a folding tv tray table that I set up beside her crib, so I could write while she would pacify until she fell asleep, or while nursing.

Lila and me | knittedbliss.com

Tangle | knittedbliss.com

I went back to my day job, and tried to write on the side – managing to write some poems here and there, evenings, weekends. Sometimes they worked out and sometimes they didn’t; sometimes the revising would go on forever and they would take hours and hours only to eventually be scrapped. I got a contract for my second poetry collection, and worked towards it. I love a good deadline – my day job trained me well for working to deadlines. Stories and writing ideas would come to me all the time, and I’d write them down (or not, and sometimes forget), and tell myself I was going to work on that someday. And somehow over the last ten years that someday has resulted in my brain being stuffed up with stories and ideas for about 4 novels, and another poetry collection concept.

The final poems and editing work on my second book of poetry took place while I was maternity leave with James. It was easy to see a theme- I could finish a book, but only if I wasn’t at work.

baby James | knittedbliss.com

Lady Crawford | knittedbliss.com

Guy and I have talked about it as long as we’ve been together. One day, I was going to quite my job and write. In this future dream, the plan was for me to have some freelance part time work that I also loved to do, so that I could still have my own income, but have more time to write. Ideally, half the day, every day. Factoring in weekends off due to small children.  I wanted it to be something knitting related -because you a know how crazy I am about this craft.

One night, I was out for coffee with a friend, moaning about how I felt like it was time to make the change but how could I, when I should really keep my job so I could afford a bigger house? Currently we live in a 2-bedroom townhouse. We love it, but with two kids, two cats, and ourselves…. it’s cozy, to say the least. But my friend looked at me in that slightly exasperated way friends do when they’ve heard you go round this little chestnut too many times before and asked, “Well, which do you want? Do you want to write, or do you want a bigger house?”

Ideally, both. But if I had to choose, there was no hesitation. “I want to write,” I said.

“So figure out a way to make it work.”

I hardly slept the first few nights after I decided. This was a crazy idea, right? Totally nuts to give up a good job, a stable job with benefits. Especially when statistically speaking, the odds are not in my favour – there are over 200,000 books published every year and most of them never make even a second printing, much less the bestseller list. It’s nuts to do this. On an intellectual, rational level, I know this. But in my heart…. it’s what I’ve always wanted. Just to try. To really put it all out there and try.

No one has told me I’m crazy to do this. I kept waiting as I slowly, one by one, began to tell the people close to me that I was going to quit my job and write, and no one suggested that this was a bad idea. Even my mom, who has always stressed the importance of a stable income and having your financial ducks in a row, was completely behind the decision. To be fair, my mom has always believed in me, but this is a big leap of faith. Most moms would wisely advise their daughters to work on their passion projects on the weekends and think about getting a bigger house.

An unexpected benefit of this transition is that I found the absolute perfect part time job! I freelance for Stitchcraft Marketing, a company that specializes in marketing and PR specifically for craft businesses, big and small. It’s amazing- it’s a buffet of all the things I’ve loved best about the knitting world, and I get to help clients with their social media, blogging, strategy planning … all the things that people who create product don’t have time to do.

And when I’m not blogging and social media-ing for Stitchcraft and my awesome clients, I write. I know that it’s going to take a while. That there is loads of hard work ahead, and that there are going to be times (probably years) where I’ll be toiling away and people will shake their heads and think that I’m not doing anything at all.

But I’ll know. And now, you’ll know, too.

you-are-here | knittedbliss.com

 

 

Modification Monday: North Shore R&R

Modification Monday: North Shore R&R | knittedbliss.com

Original Patterns: R&R Hoodie and North Shore

Knitter Extraordinaire: Laura (Ravelry ID) Who is such a wizard with modifying knits for colourwork that she has been featured here 4 previous times- all incredible! Check out Freakin’ Foxtastic, Cloudy with a Chance of Sunrise, Merry Stella, and Ends Baby Cardi.

Mods: Starting with the hoodie pattern, Laura switched to the colourwork yoke pattern when she got tot he yoke, and then back to the hoodie pattern after the yoke. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’ve seen some amazing finished knits from this pattern, but this is a beautiful marriage between two patterns. The R&R Hoodie is a raglan, but North Shore is a round yoke (which makes sense for colourwork). Changing up the yoke like this required Laura to do some fudging with the stitch numbers, but she was able to make it work- and to such stunning effect! Laura has a real knack for combining colours, don’t you think?

Modification Monday: North Shore R&R | knittedbliss.com