Review and Giveaway- Within

Review and Giveaway: Within |

Within: Knitting Patterns to Warm the Soul (that’s the full title!) Is a 6-pattern collection from Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook, a talented duo who make teaming up to do pattern collections look like a genius idea.  The collection includes a cardigan, a pullover, a hat, a scarf, a shawl, and a pair of mittens.

Review and Giveaway: Within |

It’s clear from the photography story that these knits shine in casual environments – the rustic scenes, the camping, the model’s wholesome beauty (I wish my hair was that colour!) that is magnified by the drop dead photography and dazzling firelight. I don’t even like camping, and this makes me want to go camping.

Just kidding. Nothing makes me want to go camping. I really enjoy sleeping in a bed.

Review and Giveaway: Within |

 You can buy the digital download ($16.95 as well as the print +digital download combination ($21.95), but the book is so beautiful, I say go for the print version. It’s worth it.

Review and Giveaway: Within |

It’s hard to pick a favourite- now that I don’t need office clothes any more, I want to knit everything in this book and wear it all – but Hudson has got my number. I love bulky weight shawls, and this has the sort of unfussy, casual look of the sort of shawl I love.

Review and Giveaway: Within |

This Collection is Totally for You If: You are a fan of Making, love heavy weights like worsted and bulky, and casual knits that are built for weekends.

This Collection is Not for You If: You prefer cables, fine gauge knits, or dressier designs you can wear to the office.

There is a trick to making classic, seemingly simple knits your absolute favourite is to knit them with yarn you absolutely adore. If you need a great sheepy wool, use a great sheepy wool. If tweed is your obsession, go tweed all the way. Using a yarn you love is important not only to actually finishing your knits in progress, but to loving them to death and wearing them all the time. Settling for a yarn that is okay, or that you don’t love but is cheaper is a recipe for not loving the finished knit. And if you don’t love the knit, then why the heck are you bothering? Don’t cheap out on the yarn – unless you love a certain cheap yarn, in which case grab your favourite and have at it!


Wouldn’t you love to win a copy, and knit yourself all the cozy things contained within it’s pages? Maybe make the Hudson Shawl with me? Of course you would! Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know which pattern from the collection you desperate need to knit this winter. Comments close Saturday night at midnight, and the winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 12th.

Happy knitting, friends!

Modification Monday: Rebus Socks

Modification Monday: Rebus Socks |

Original Pattern:  Rebus Socks

Knitter Extraordinaire: Virpi (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Virpi changed the way the gusset fit on the sock, and added an instarsia moose! Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: It is always worth customizing the fit, especially if you know that the arches of your feet might require a little extra something in your sock pattern. It also gave her a few more rows to work the adorable moose chart into the socks, because just when you think these socks couldn’t be any cooler, there is a moose! I especially love that there is a moose only on one sock, not on both. It’s in the small details that a really extraordinary knit can happen, And I think Virpi achieved that with these socks. A great high contrast pattern, a custom gusset, and a tiny moose, just for fun. What could be better!

Modification Monday: Rebus Socks |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I jumped up and down after I found out that Lena Dunham has read my book and included it in her Thanksgiving edition of Lit Thursday. She said very flattering things!

Because reading makes you smarter and more successful at life. Fact.

Knitters who want to help the Women’s March on Washington (in the US) on January 21st should contribute a hat! Full details here.

In case you have trouble remembering (as I often do), this moment is enough.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cheese Stars |

Cheese stars! puff pastry is my new baking best friend, and these cheese stars are super simple  and easy to customize. try you favourite types of cheese, some spices or herbs, and make them yours! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: 3 Ingredient Shortbread |

What I love most about this simple shortbread recipe (other than the fact that it only has 3 ingredients) is that it uses brown sugar instead of white sugar, which gives them a much richer taste. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Best Knitted Decorations |

Got some scrap yarn and a yearning to knit up some holiday ornaments or decor? Then you should relive this post which has my favourite picks for all kinds of holiday decor- ornaments, garlands, stockings, and decorations. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love:DIY Needlefelted Pillow |

I love needle felting, and this is such a clever way to apply it to a pillow case! Would make a great gift idea, don’t you think? Pinterest link is here, and the tutorial is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Burn|

I love this quote, it has so much passion. Pinterest link is here, sadly I can’t find the original source for this image.

What have you all got planned this weekend, my lovelies? We are going o be celebrating James’s first birthday, and I’ll be doing a poetry reading. Not at the same time, but due to scheduling, it will actually be the same day!

2016 Knitter’s Gift Guide!

The 2016 Knitter’s Gift Guide is here!! Looking for some gift ideas for a fellow knitter? Or maybe you need to send some gift ideas to your loved ones, who have no idea what to get you. Just email a link to this page to your family and friends, and let them know what you want this year (you should totally do that). Here is the place to find ideas for every budget, and every knitter!

Here are my top picks for knitterly gifts this year!

(a note on the items: I chose all the items on this page, and none of them are sponsored or prearranged.  All items are available to purchase online,  therefore all items will have additional charge for shipping. Prices are shown in US funds.)

Someone Special- You’re Probably Besties or Related: $77-$45

An elegant and minimal bit of knitting themed jewelry, A (beginner friendly) big granny square crochet gift pack with 20 colours of yarn,  A gorgeous trundle bag that is perfect for keeping the couchside knitting under control, and a big cozy cowl kit. Hellllloooooo, holidays!!

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Sterling Silver Knitting Needle Ring, $45.87

top right: Crochet Beginners Kit, Granny square DIY pattern with 20 cotton colours and  tote, $76

bottom left: Wool Trundle Bag with Sheep Design, $58

bottom right: Hanki Snood Knitting Kit (choice of 20 colours), $70

Hooray for Gifts! $47-$25

A knitting kit, some amazing wall art, a yarn bowl that is a work of art itself, and the best interchangeable needle roll around (because who wants to keep their interchangeable needle set in a plastic case? ).

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Wool and the Gang Josie Gloves Kit, $28 (I knit these and love them!)

top right: Interchangeable Needle Organizer in Midnight, $36

bottom left: Cube Yarn Bowl, $32.63

bottom right: Knitted Lemon Watercolor 13 x 13″ size (comes in other sizes), $36

Something for Every Knitter you Know and Love: $24-$15

A perfect tool tin, a brilliant pattern collection for unapologetic colour lovers (patterns for adults, kids, accessories and the home!), a cheeky tote bag and a stunning calendar. Your knitting friends are so freaking lucky that you have such great taste!

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Knitter’s Standard Tool Tin, $20

top right: Mad Colour Print Book + Digital Download, $23 (see all 16 patterns here!)

bottom left: Llama Rama Tot Bag, $16

bottom right: 2017 Tanis Fiber Arts Yarn Calendar, $18

Stocking Stuffers- $15 and under

Stitch Markers 

You can never have enough stitch markers!  Whatever the knitter’s style- minimalist or loves colour –  there are stitch markers to suit:

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Square Simply Solid Stitch Markers, set of 2 for $3.06

top right: Medium Agate Snag Free Stitch Markers, set of 12 for $12.16

bottom left: Flying into the Storm Stitch Markers, set of 8 for $12

bottom right: Fruit Cupcake Stitch Markers, set of 5 for $12.50

Other Stocking Stuffer Ideas: 

All natural sheep soaps, gauge ruler, stunning stitch holder and a lovely mug- there’s the stocking perfectly stuffed!

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Goat’s Milk Sheep Soap, $6 each

top right: Large Gauge Swatch Measure, $14

bottom left: Copper Stitch Holder/Shawl Pin/ Stitch Marker Keeper, $5

bottom right: Entwined Short Mug, $7 (I have this mug and I love it!)

Bonus: Gift Ideas for Budding Knitwear Designers

The Fashionary is perfect for sketching out ideas and designs, critical to submitting knitting pattern designs to publications and a must have for many designers! A good stitch dictionary that has directions for working certain stitches flat, in the round, top down or bottom up; and a great resource for those who love to design colourwork. The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns is so thorough, their patterns will be a hit!

2016 Gifts for Knitters |

top left: Fashionary Limited Red Edition, $26

top right: AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Knitting Motifs, $25.48

bottom left:  Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: 150 new stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth & in the round, $20.36

bottom right: The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns, $21.80

And there we have it, friends! 2016 Knitter’s Gift Guide, full of goodies that I secretly hope I get, too! What did you like the most? Anything you hope you’ll be getting this year?

Modification Monday: Aran Xanadu

Modification Monday: Aran Xanadu |

Original Pattern: Xanadu Snowflake Cowl 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Stefanie (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the gauge to make it much bigger and reduced the pattern repeats. Details can be found on her Ravelry project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I think I need to make the disclaimer, the original pattern is my design. But even if this wasn’t my pattern I would still love this mod, because it shows how amazing things can be when you blow up fine knits into heavy weights! Stefanie cleverly worked up this fingering weight pattern in Aran weight, which changes delicate designs into something bolder, more graphic. If you are looking at a stranded design and think that it might be too much of a time investment, consider making it in a heavier weight yarn- aran weight, or even bulky.  stranded designs (and lace!) are totally transformed. If you don’t typically look at stranded designs because of the fine gauge, consider supersizing!

Modification Monday: Aran Xanadu |