Modification Monday: Cloudy with a Chance of Sunrise

Original Pattern: Rachel

Knitter Extraordinaire: Laura (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Created a gradient effect with the sweater using three different shades of grey and three different shades of pink. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: This is one of the best gradient effects I’ve seen that wasn’t achieved with a gradient yarn! If you have ever wanted to create a gradient effect on your knits, Laura has very kindly written out exactly how she achieved this effect on her project page to blend the colours together, which you will find extremely helpful if you are looking to make your own gradient effect on just about any type of knit , big (cardigan, maybe?) or small (mitts!). While it does take 6 different yarns to achieve it, with a result that looks as good as Laura’s beautiful sweater who wouldn’t want to give this a try?  It really is a beautiful sunrise of a sweater.

Modification Monday: Cloudy with a Chance of Sunrise |

Laura has a real knack for modifications- she has been featured on modification before! Check out her amazing baby sweater mods here and here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This essay is a very interesting take on Marie Kondo’s famous book about tidying up our homes, and opened my eyes as to why maybe telling women that we can only really be fulfilled and happy if our homes are in order and every item in them sparks joy is kind of a crap idea.  “Life truly begins only after you have put your house in order,” writes Marie Kondo. But isn’t this exactly the mindset that women have been battling for generations, a modern take on the suffocating maxim that “a woman’s work is never done”? We have long been oppressed by the deep-seated cultural expectation that our leisure can only begin once our domestic obligations have been met. ”  

The most fun way to improve every aspect of your life? celebrate small things.

This short video of how rainbow sprinkles are made is awesome, watching the big batches of all the colours coming together is strangely hypnotic.

And because the internet is basically the biggest distraction on the planet, how to use distraction to your advantage.

My Favourite Pins This Week

I’m really feeling the super easy recipes this week- they barely even qualify as recipes!

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easiest Casserole Ever |

I read this ‘recipe’ for a casserole this past weekend and it completely blew my mind with it’s total simplicity and it’s proof of one of the biggest culinary truths- that if you slow roast anything with bread and cheese, it will be utterly delicious, no matter what. Pinterest link is here, and the original ‘recipe’ can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love | Frozen Blueberries |

It doesn’t easier thank this- covering blueberries with your favourite kind of yogurt, then popping them in the freezer. If you haven’t tried it before, here’s the step by step- it’s so much more delicious than you would believe. Try it with peach yogurt, or lemon flavoured yogurt! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Peach Lemonade Ice |

All-natural peach lemonade ice- one peach, juice from a lemon a bit of sugar or stevia, and blend it with ice- amazing summer frozen beverage is now yours! I bet this works just as well with apricots and nectarines, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Paper Hyacinths |

feel like crafting something pretty? How about these paper hyacinths, perfect for spring? Super easy, and possibly even good for older kids to make, too. Plus you use a knitting needle to curl the paper, and I bet you have one of those on hand! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Denim Bag |

For those of you looking to upcycle some denim and do a little bit of sewing, this cool denim bag could be yours. And with a pair of jeans, you could make a bunch of them! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Have a wonderful long weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to relaxing around the city, maybe taking a day trip to the island, and hopefully getting some photos of some new finished knits!

Meet the Sponsors: May Edition!

Meet the Sponsors: The Blue Brick |

Name: The Blue Brick 

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

What She is 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, 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. If you live in Toronto, on May 26th there is a knit night in the Distillery District, with all sort of specialty dyed colourways to match with Fluevog shoes. I’ll be there!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: ‘Sundown’ is one of the beautiful fingering weight palette sets they offer. It’s perfect for striping projects, or all kinds of mini skein knits.  You could also pair it with one of their beautiful neutrals, designed specifically to coordinate with a wide variety of the ombre gradients  and minis that The Blue Brick offers. Speaking of neutrals, this Charcoal tonal (DK and fingering weights) is a rich, deep and dark grey that looks beautiful on it’s own or worked with other colours. Like this stunning gradient Daisy (DK and fingering weights) , which is inspired by brilliant fuchsia coloured Shasta daisies.

Meet the Sponsors: Fuzzy Mitten |

Name: Fuzzy Mitten 

Where You Can Follow Them: Instagram, Twitter, Ravelry, Flickr, Blog

What She is All About: Barbara designs the most adorable knitted animal toys, and has patterns for all sorts of clothing for them, too! They are great value, as every pattern comes with instructions for more than just the animal– there’s always something for them to wear, or an accessory or two. She recently finished up a mystery knit along, and it turned out to be an adorable woodland elf! I’m almost finished mine, I’m a bit behind- but so happy with how it’s turning out.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right:  I love this bunny puppet pattern, it would be a perfect to welcome a new little one and they can’t grow out of it as fast as they can sweaters and booties. Wooly the Lamb is a sweet little fuzzy knit that includes the pattern for her pretty dress, as well. And if you love alpacas, then you absolutely need to knit Siena the Alpaca– also comes with a pattern for a dress! You could knit yourself a whole herd of alpacas in different colours.

Meet the Sponsors: Ancient Arts Yarns|

Name: Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts

Where You Can Follow Them: Blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, Facebook, Google +

What They Are All About: Ancient Arts yarns has a huge selection (and just added lots of beautiful new colourways!) of hand dyed tonal, variegated and speckled skeins. Each colourway is offered in a variety of bases (most from bulky to laceweight, plus a variety of fiber bases within each weight), so you can totally customize for whatever project you have in mind. And if you are looking for a new yarn club, next week on May 27th they are opening up for their brand new yarn club for sign ups- will include a skein of fingering weight yarn in a surprise colourway, a pattern, a yummy treat, and something pretty! There is also their very special Meow Collection and Woof Collection, which are inspired by cat and dog breeds and a portion of the sales are donated to Best Friends Animal Society to help animals in need.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Orange Tiger Tabby is a pretty colourway that reminds me not only of a lively orange kitty, but also of creme caramel and creme brule- it really has that creamy dessert colour to it that feels like it would knit up beautifully in all sorts of projects. Lookin’ Fine in my New Blue Jeans comes in 5 different shades that are perfect for larger gradient projects like sweaters or even baby blankets. Prairie Flower is a beautiful mix of desert hues that are perfect for summer- I can see this colour being just right for a stunning summer shawl or wrap!

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’m excited to try it!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This Oliver the fish sock kit (great price for the kit, too) includes everything but the needles to make these amazing socks- including the beads that make the little fish ‘bubbles’! It’s worth clicking through to see a close up of the design. The semisolid sock yarn in ‘Betterave’ is a beautiful colour that would look great on just about everyone, and then this self striping yarn in the Baby Whale colourway is perfect for socks, or even a cute baby sweater!

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, needle and hook rolls (even 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: This large project bag with the cheery pastel sheep print seems so perfect for spring, I can’t get over it. It’s lined with a light green fabric and is totally reversible as well as has 3 interior pockets and yarn guides for colourwork. For smaller projects, this project clutch with vintage flair has a charming cat & kitten print outside, and some beautiful vintage roses inside. And if you are dreaming about doing some beach knitting this summer, then you can’t go wrong with this beachy palm trees and swim hut print, which is lined with a super cute lobster print inside, and of course is totally reversible like so many of Madbird’s great bags. Your summer knitting needs a summer project bag! Which one of you is going to beat me to the check out for it?

Anything spark your interest? And did you notice that I added in social media channels for the sponsors? So many of them are doing cool things on their social media, I thought you might want to have an easy, direct channel to checking out their feeds and if you like what you see, give them a follow!

Modification Monday: Grayson

Modification Monday: Grayson |

Original Pattern: Grayson

Knitter Extraordinaire: Fee (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Added a duplicate stitch Darth Vader theme using a chart found here, to the sweater. To ensure that the chart could be centered, she adjusted the stitch count on the body so that it could be properly balanced. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: The amazing things you can do with duplicate stitch, right? Fee made this sweater for her Star Wars-loving son as a birthday present, and he adored it. That’s what we really want, isn’t it? to give knits that are enthusiastically received and adored, precisely because they are just what they wanted. This is a wonderful gift idea- using a classic sweater as a blank canvas and finding a chart that you could duplicate stitch on to it. If you haven’t tried duplicate stitch before, here’s a quick YouTube video on how it’s done.  You are basically using an embroidery needle to ‘trace’ the stitches with yarn and work a design on your knit. It must have taken Fee some time to duplicate stitch this incredible design on the sweater, but well worth it. You could do all sorts of beloved characters like this- or even something more simple, like a Minecraft design or a heart. So many options!

Modification Monday: Grayson |

Modification Monday: Grayson |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This is bizarrely simple, but can really influence how much you wear your final knitted result (and applies to all sorts of store-bought wardrobe items, too!) Two questions to refine your personal style.

Are you a worrier? Here are three tips to worry less.

Andrea over at This Knitted Life has a round up of the pros and cons of all the online stitch dictionaries– a great resource!

Apparently Zappos has a customer service mandate that pretty much restores your faith in customer service. This was a sweet, funny experiment in misusing Zappos!

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse |

Have you guys had the amazing combination that is avocado and chocolate? If you haven’t tried it before, I know it sounds strange but it is utterly incredible.  This dark chocolate and avocado mouse is 8 ingredients chucked into a food processor, and then chilled in bowls. How easy is that? The avocado is undetectable in the recipe, but leads a really buttery, creamy texture to the mouse. And of course, then you are getting all the goodness of avocado, so you might as well have another helping, right? Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chicken Fajita Bowls |

These chicken fajita lunch bowls are perfect for work day lunches or busy weekday dinners. Just look at the gorgeous colours, and it’s full of flavour. This is definitely one to try, and when you make a big batch, you’ve got lunches (or more dinners) for the week ahead! It keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Rainbow Popsiclesm

How beautiful are these popsicles? They are made by layering smoothies, so they are as good for you as they are gorgeous.  And each layer is a new flavour! Pinterest link is here, and the original how to post is here. You were going to dust off your popsicle molds this weekend anyway, weren’t you?

Pin Ups and Link Love: Alphabet Pom Poms |

It’s been a while since I’ve seen an adorable pom pom craft, but I love these alphabet pom poms. Wouldn’t they be so fun to spell out words for banners, or someone’s name, or even just for kids to play with. They don’t look easy, but for the right person this would be totally worth it. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Draw a Rose |

This is a wonderful 2- minute video on how to draw a rose. This is part of a 30 day challenge for the month of May of drawing a different flower each day. A fun idea if you are looking to improve your skills! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

My cold from last weekend had me down for 4 days, which was no fun! I’m at that gross-but-functional stage now. The weather is getting warmer, and I’m looking forward to a weekend i the sunshine! What about you guys, what are you up to?