Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

I hope everyone has been enjoying the 2015 Knitter’s Gift Guide from Tuesday!  There was lots of interest in the giveaways, so without further adieu….. the winner of the Gleener-on-the-Go gift pack is Orli! I’ll send you an email following up soon.

And the winner of the super cozy Bromefields Cowl kit is Jenny! I’ll be in touch to follow up about colour choice!

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to enjoy work, even when you are super busy and overwhelmed.

Gratitude is always the precursor to success.

I’m sure that the 121 people who provided reviews on Amazon.com for this Lion Mane cat wig weren’t intentionally being funny, but I killed myself laughing over this. It’s the reviews that get me.  People take their cat wigs very seriously.

I loved this animated short video on how different types of clouds got their names.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Wild Rice Skillet | knittedbliss.com

I can never get enough of brightly coloured veggie dishes, especially ones like this that could do double duty as a side dish or as a main. This Harvest Wild Rice Skillet dish is full of  great fall veggies, and cheese. I mean, there’s rice in there too (which I love), but let’s face it-fall, veggies, and cheese. It’s perfection. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Apple Rose Pastries| knittedbliss.com

It would be impossible to resist a pretty dessert tray with these pastry apple roses, which are far easier than you’d think- it’s all about making sure the apple slices are really thin, so they are pliable. Other than that, this little dessert comes together with only 5 ingredients. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Mug Shelf | knittedbliss.com

 I was immediately smitten with this mug shelf DIY and showed it to Guy- now we are talking about where we put it in our home since we both want to make it!  Plus you could paint it any colour you want, so it’ll work for a variety of decor. Such a great way to show off some special mugs! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: 2 minute Hair| knittedbliss.com

This hairstyle is so easy, it’s perfect for busy mornings. Best for shoulder length and longer hair (side note- very few hair styling posts are on short hair!). Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Dinner Party Tips | knittedbliss.com

As party season is now upon us, here are lots of great tips on hosting a dinner party or a gathering from a variety of people who throw a lot of parties. There’s advice here for just about every kind of gathering you might be hosting! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Finished Knit: Leave-Me-Not Mitts

Ah, fingleress mitts. I can never have enough pairs. When you are often chilly, fingerless mitts are like the mittens you can wear indoors. while you are doing other things and no one thinks it’s weird. But if I was wearing full mittens while having a decaf latte? Side eyes from all around, I tell you.

Finished Knit: Leave Me Not Mitts | knittedbliss.com

You can see more on my Ravelry project page, here.

Pattern: Leave-Me-Not Mitts

Needle: 3.5 mm dpns (US 4)

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino DK in ‘Oyster’

Mods: No mods other than using left leaning and right leaning increases instead of the speciality stitch suggested. I’m lazy that way.

The mitts are super comfortable, and just right for taking a little chill away.

Finished Knit: Leave Me Not Mitts | knittedbliss.com

Hilariously, I finally remembered to take off my perpetual black hair elastic bracelet, only to see that it clearly has left a mark on my arm! 

I was impressed with how quickly these  mitts knit up- I’d say each mitt took about 6 hours of total knitting each, which means you could easily crank these out in a weekend or about 4 evenings. And that feels so satisfying, when you can get a lovely finished knit that quickly, and out of so little yarn. I only used about half a skein of the Debbie Bliss Merino DK. I’d especially recommend knitting these if you are looking for something that is genuinely practical,  but only have about 60 yards of a special yarn. And that lovely leafy vine! I especially like that it’s not centered on the mitts, but closest to the thumb gusset. It’s pretty without being too fussy.

Finished Knit: Leave Me Not Mitts | knittedbliss.com

I know I don’t normally do indoor photos, but I’ve definitely been trying out new-to-me cafes recently, making the most of this final stages of my pregnancy. One of the fun new cafes I tried was Tots Cat Cafe. Oh yes, you read that right- a cat cafe.  If you haven’t heard of this before (and really, it’s not super common so don’t feel like you’re out of the loop), it’s a cafe that also has a glassed-in room with cats. You can go in, play with and pet the cats, and abide by the rules (generally, no picking up the cats, a limited number of people in at any given time, etc.). Cat cafes are partnered with local animal shelters, so all the cats there are available for adoption.

Cat Cafe| knittedbliss.com

Guy thinks it’s ridiculous that we went to cat cafe when we have cats at home- I think he called me a ‘cat philanderer’. 

 There were three cats when I went there (with Erica), two of which had arrived that day- the other had all been adopted! I love hearing that they are doing so well with their adoption rate, normally adult pets linger at shelters for such a long time.  There were two sweet little black cats, and a white and tabby one with the pinkest nose ever. Normally black cats have a harder time getting adopted (which is crazy considering that their cat hair doesn’t’ show up quite as obviously on everything as lighter coloured cats), but three previous black cats had all been adopted recently, so these two sweeties will surely get their day. All three were so good and very playful.  Cat Cafe| knittedbliss.com

Cat Cafe| knittedbliss.com

 Have any of you tried out a cat cafe? Would you?

2015 Knitter’s Gift Guide- With Giveaways!

Looking for some gift ideas for a fellow knitter? Or maybe you want to just email a link to this page to your family and friends, and let them know what you want this year.
Here are my top 20+ picks for knitterly gifts this year, at every price point!
(a note on the items: I chose all the items on this page, some of which are from the shops of KB sponsors over there on the right, and others who have no idea they are even on this page or that I even like their stuff. Surprises abound! All items are available to purchase online,  therefore all items will have additional charge for shipping. Prices are shown in US funds.)
 

A special gift- you’re probably besties or related: $75-$48

A a project kit complete with everything you need to kick-start a knitter’s creativity, gift bundle for a fledgling indie dyer, a big and cozy cowl kit,  gift bundle for a fledgling indie dyer and the perfect project bag for every knitter. Who wouldn’t love to unwrap gifts like these?!
2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com
Top left: Gift Bundle, from $80
Top right: Magnanimity Cowl Kit (available in many colour choices), $60
Bottom left: Greener Shades Dye Kit, $57.63

Hooray for gifts! $47-$25

Here are some ideas for a knitter who loves their craft- a beautiful silver and freshwater pearl stitch marker necklace, a lace knitter’s toolkit with everything needed for polished lace knits, a wonderful shawl kit, and a sweatshirt that tells it like it is:
2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com
Top right: Lace Love Kit, $41.48
Bottom left: Blood of my Blood Shawl Kit, $47

Something for Every Knitter you know and Love: $24-$12

Every knitter needs more tote bags and project bags, and this one helps declare exactly what they are all about.  Or what about a kit that is very beginner-friendly to create a hand knit bracelet studded with beads? Every knitter needs a gleener to help protect and care for their knits, and the gleener 2 go takes up no room at all and the edges are perfect for refreshing every type of knit. Or what about a new pattern book?
2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com
Top left: The Knitter Tote, $20
Top right: Stereo Cuff kit (8 colours to choose from), $17
Bottom left: Gleener on the Go, $12.99

Stocking Stuffers- $15 and under

Stitch Markers 

If the knitter you are shopping for is anything like me, they always need new stitch markers. Whatever the knitter’s style, there are stitch markers to suit:
2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com
  Top left: mini cupcake stitch markers,  set of 6 for $8.50
Bottom left: silver plated acorn stitch markers, set of 5 for $9.99
Bottom right: simple gold plated snag free rings, set of 10 for $3.11

Other Stocking Stuffer Ideas: 

A mug purr-fect for a cat loving knitter,  a row counter that you probably can’t live without,  heavenly scented sheep soaps and perfect, timeless scissors. You’ve got this stocking thing sorted!
2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com
 Top left: The Great Catsby Mug, $8.00 each
Top right: Digital row counter, available in 15 different colours, $4.00 each
Bottom left: Sweet Sheep All Natural Soaps, $6.00 each
Bottom right:  Stork Scissors in gold finish, $5.00 each

  To give your gifting a jump start, I have two awesome gifts from above for a giveaway!

 A Gleener gift pack- enter to win a Gleener on the go travel kit, as well as one tote bag of the winner’s choosing (and they are seriously awesome tote bags- thick, high quality cotton and the images are both screen printed and embroidered), either the cat, small dog, or owl.  And the awesome folks at Gleener have offered a 10% discount code – BLISS10 – valid until December 25th on everything at gleener.com.

 

2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com

The other is a beautiful Magnanimity Cowl kit from Bromfields. The kit comes complete with the yarn, pattern, circular knitting needle, tapestry needle, and stitch marker.  The kit is available in the following colours: Fisherman, Oatmeal, Gray Marble, Charcoal, Wheat (shown below) and Barley.

2015 Knitter's Gift Guide | knittedbliss.com

So, how to enter! Considering how soon I’m due to have the baby, I’m going to keep this really simple. Please leave a comment letting me know what you most need- a gleener to take care of your knits,  or a warm and cozy cowl kit!  Bonus entries for tweeting about the gift guide and giveaway, too (please tag me in your tweet so I know about the entry: knittedblissJC).  Winners will be announced on Friday, November 27th!

P.S.:

Looking for knitting book gift ideas for kids? Here is a round up of wonderful knitting-themed books for kids in a wide variety of age groups.

And if you wanted to check out the Knitter’s Gift Guide from 2014, you can see all the items here– there was lots of great stuff!

Modification Monday: Still Panda

Modification Monday: Still Panda | knittedbliss.com

Original Patterns: Still Light and Panda 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Heidi (Ravelry ID, blog )

Mods:  For this modified knit, Heidi combined the intarsia panda pullover pattern with the tunic dress pattern for a whole new result, as well as lengthened sleeves. Great details can be found on her  project page, which can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m so in love with this mod- the intarsia panda face is done so well, understated and perfectly balanced within the over overall design. To effectively pull this off, Heidi began with the panda sweater design (as both patterns are top down), and once past the panda design began working the pattern as in Still light. I love the final effect – it looks really modern, and opens up all sorts of great potential with the tunic pattern- think of all the great combos that could be worked, like fair isle across the bust or other intarsia designs.

Modification Monday: Still Panda | knittedbliss.com

 

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

The winner of the Laura Nelkin ornament kit is…… Sandi! Congrats Sandi! I’ll send you an email soon to get your address.

My Favourite Articles & Links This Week

This made me laugh so hard I actually cried. An accurate, very hilarious, recounting of what all maternity clothing stores are like.

I know how often we are all plagued by a nagging, doubting voice, but what if it all worked out? 

The cold weather is coming! Or maybe it has already arrived where you are…. regardless, here is a great roundup of 29 ways to enjoy the colder months. I loved this list- rather than dreading winter, I feel like there are lots of things to look forward to!

My Favourite Pins This Week

 

Pin Ups and Link Love: Apple Cream Cheese Appetizer | knittedbliss.com

This caramel apple cream cheese spread is the perfect fall party appetizer- sweet, different, and involving fruit (so it’s practically healthy, right?!)  And maybe you don’t need a party, just a weekend family treat. Because you know everyone is going to love snacking on this! Pinterest link is here, and original recipe link is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Pumpkin Swirled Mashed Potatoes | knittedbliss.com

Mashed potatoes can get a little blah, but not this beautiful pumpkin swirled version. The pumpkin can be prepped a couple days in advance, so the extra step doesn’t’ add hardly any time to putting this dish together. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Paper plants DIY | knittedbliss.com

Are you one of those people that can’t keep plants alive for more than a couple of weeks? Then maybe this DIY is just right for you. I am seriously in love with these brightly coloured paper plants, potted in tiny containers using rice as ‘soil’.  Wouldn’t these be fun at your desk, or in a corner where the light is never quite right but you want to have a pop of something bright? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here. 

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cardamom Hot Chocolate | knittedbliss.com

Longtime readers will know that I love cardamom, so this cardamom hot chocolate recipe is right up my alley. I’m pretty much always game for hot chocolate , and I especially love it from scratch- there’s something magical about the subtle alchemy of combining milk, chopped chocolate, and a handful of ingredients that make the hot chocolate that little something special. In this case, the cardamom is a lovely, spicy touch. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crocheted Ice Cream Cones | knittedbliss.com

I’m smitten with these little crocheted ice cream cones- if you know any little kids that like lay food, I think these would be a perfect gift for them! The post has full instructions for making them. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I don’t generally like to wade into politics or current news events here on Knitted Bliss (I like keeping it positive!), but  since last Friday, it has felt hard not to talk about the tragic events happening all around the world, and the different ways we feel affected. this is pretty much what I think. And it’s okay if you don’t agree, there is room enough in the world for varying opinions.

Fear is the enemy. And we fear what we do not know, what we do not understand. I believe that the horrible tragedy that happened in Paris was perpetrated by individuals acting out of anger because they have lived sad lives filled with fear and violence and do not know how to rise above it. They have used religion as a tool for creating even more violence and fear, and that is never okay. Nothing justifies their actions, nothing at all.

But the result is a challenge, a challenge for all of us- we must rise above it. We must not let the fear they have given us twist our minds into thinking that there is any country or religion out there where everyone is the same.  There are damaged, violent individuals belonging to all races, all religions, all countries. To then link this fear to the horrible humanitarian crisis that is affecting many countries now with the millions of refugees fleeing this very same sort of terror in their home country… seeing on the news what happened in Paris in one night and then realizing that’s what happens almost every night to the men, women, and children in Syria gave me a fresh perspective. What if that was where I lived? It’s disappointing to hear so many places want to close their borders to a group of people desperate to avoid the same violence we have all found so horrible.