Modification Monday: Emiliana

Modification Monday: Emiliana |

Original Pattern: Emiliana

Knitter Extraordinaire: Verna (Ravelry ID)

Mods: The original shawl has two different mosaic pattern stripes, this is modified to only have one, and make it wider. Detail are on her project page here.

What Makes This Awesome:  There are a lot of great  shawl patterns that have stranded designs or stripes, and this modification shows that those patterns have lots of room to play. I love how Verna magnified one of the mosaic stripes to take up more space on the scarf, which gives it a great visual appeal without being too much. Think of what a great idea like this could do for all sorts of patterns! Imagine taking one small element you like on a pattern, and repeating it on a larger scale like this- it would work on any type of garment or accessory. Look at the stunning results!

Modification Monday: Emiliana |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Have you heard that Cape Breton, a stunning island on the east coast of Canada, is offering refuge to Americans if Trump gets elected. It’s not a joke- despite being an unbelievably beautiful island, the population has been leaving for the mainland for more jobs for a while , so they are looking to get more people living there. So ideal if you work from home, I guess! Their campaign almost seems like a joke, but they are completely serious.

I loved this essay about how no matter decisions we make in life and how that alters the course, we tend to think wistfully about what others have. And then we judge their decisions against our own.

A rocket scientist’s advice on how to do impossible things. 

Here are 8 creative skills you can learn in a weekend. Links to free guides for each are included! I totally want to learn to draw. Not super artistically, just to to be able to draw cartoon cats for Lila, that sort of thing.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: 4 ingredient brownies|

Bananas, cocoa powder, peanut butter and protein powder are all you need to whip up these high protein (and flour free!) brownies.  I’m willing my bananas to ripen faster so I can make these! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken |

You guys know I’m all about the easy one-pan (or pot) meals, so this honey garlic roast chicken and veggies is checking all the right boxes- it all goes into one over safe pan, you bake for about half an hour. My kind of dinner! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Watercolour Rose Tutorial|

Ever wanted to learn how to paint with watercolours? How about a wonderful video tutorial that shows you just how easy a watercolour rose can be? Pinterest link is here, and the original video post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Toe Up Sock tutorial|

This is one for the sock knitters- a fabulous tutorial on how to cast on toe up for socks that need a wider toe pocket than usual. So, basically this is my perfect toe pocket. I’m dying to try this, it will also be my first time knitting toe-up socks! Pinterest link is here, and the original tutorial can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easter Knitting Patterns |

And if you are thinking of doing some Easter-themed knitting, I’m busting out my 2015 round up of amazing Easter patterns, most are free! Lambs, chickens, bunnies, eggs and flowers galore. Pinterest link is here, and the Original post is here.

 This weekend is actually our 7th wedding anniversary, can you believe it? It sort of caught us be surprise, so we aren’t sure what our plans are yet. Might try to go a movie, since I don’t think I’ve stepped foot inside a movie theater in over a year… there was a time in my life when I went to the movies every week, and was up to date on everything! Now I find myself watching the Oscars and thinking, “Who’s that?” Oh well.

In Progress: Mini Stockings

One of my knitting goals for this year is to knit a little mini stocking advent calendar in time for December 1st. I figured the best way to do that was to commit to knitting at least two mini stockings each month, so that I won’t get to November and be trying to knit 24 stockings like a madwoman. I’m the sort of person who thrives on mini deadlines to keep a project going, so here are my stockings so far:

Mini Stockings |

Colourways from left to right: Seabreeze, Peacock, Midnight, Grape

I’m knitting these from the mini sock yarn skeins from Tanis Fiber Arts in the rainbow colour pack (the mini skeins packs change all the time, so if you see one you like it’s worth snapping it up quickly before they sell out!), with a skein of Knitpicks Stroll in white for the contrast. I held off winding them into balls as long as I could, because it was really such a joy to have all these pretty little skeins together:

Rainbow Minis Skeins |

Is there anything more fun than a yarn rainbow?  I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to knit two of each colour (minus the grey), or have some mixed with a few different colours. There’s so many options!

The pattern is a little different, in that that stockings are knit flat and seamed, but I’ve seen some mods where people re-engineered the pattern to be knit in the round instead. I’m fine with knitting flat and seaming, so I’ve been sticking with the original pattern and happy to see how quickly they knit up.  One of the things I really like about the pattern is that it comes with 8 different chart options to chose for the socks, and of course you could substitute your own.

Mini Stockings |

I’m loving how they look so far. I haven’t blocked them yet, but they are currently about 2.5 inches tall from the bottom of the heel to the top of the stocking. I’ll re-measure when they are all done and blocked, but I’m not anticipating much growth. I’ve worked with Tanis Fiber Arts sock yarn before, and one of the benefits of using yarn you’ve worked with in the past is that you know how it will behave both before and after blocking.

I have a fantasy about this advent calendar. I imagine hanging up the mini stockings every year, and Lila and James being giddy with excitement at each day discovering what’s in the stocking (candy? a little toy?). Even when Lila and James are teenagers and act like they are so over Christmas, I picture them still loving the advent calendar (favourite chocolates, maybe?). I imagine it being something cherished, a tradition so embedded in our family that even as adults, when they come back home to us for Christmas, they will see it and smile at the flood of childhood Christmas memories it brings.

Except knowing my kids, it will play out like that time we took Lila apple picking.

Let’s have another look at that yarn rainbow, shall we? This is my new laptop wallpaper, I just love it so much. I could look at this all day.

Rainbow Minis Skeins |

Modification Monday: Sea Flowers

And the winner of the digital copy of the London City Craft Guide is….Jenn!! Congrats, Jenn! I’ll be in touch really soon to get you your copy.

Modification Monday: Sea Flowers |

Original Pattern: Sockhead Slouch Hat 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Eliza (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Inspired by the cow parsley motif seen here, Eliza created a similar effect in this super wearable slouchy hat. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I remember seeing those beautiful cowls that inspired Eliza, but I clearly wasn’t thinking of how I could use a similar idea! For starters, you can’t go wrong with a classic fingering weight slouchy hat pattern- flattering on many people, and completely unisex. Adding a motif like the cow parsley design, coupled with the delicate colour choices she made, results in a truly beautiful hat.  Plus you know that having the stranded design adds that extra bit of warmth, as well! A perfect hat just right for February.

Modification Monday: Sea Flowers |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

25 things I wish I had known ten years ago. So true!

I’m trying to get a bit more stretching into my life, to stop feeling so stiff. These seven bedtime stretches for back and hips are awesome.

6 stress-reducing rituals successful people live by. They are the kind of things that everyone should do.

The etymology of several knitting terms, including raglan, fair isle, frogging, and purl. An interesting read!

And if you know any knitters travelling to London (or living in the UK) and would be interested in a London City Craft Guide, send them the link to enter the giveaway!

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Apricot glazed Chicken and Cous Cous|

Here’s a wonderful and easy dinner idea- apricot glazed chicken with couscous. It’s as simple as some pantry staples mixed with a bit of apricot jam, and the couscous is fresh and full of flavour. Plus hooray for colourful dinners! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Carrot Cake Cookies |

How about some delicious carrot cake cookies with cream cheese frosting? I bet you don’t even need the frosting, although it would be an extra special treat! And since there are carrots in them, you might as well have more than one. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chignon Tutorial |

Is there any updo more casually elegant than a chignon? Here is an easy tutorial on how to do one with shoulder length hair or longer (sorry, my beautiful short haired friends!). I do this sometimes, but I didn’t know the trick about the vertical line of bobby pins- maybe that’s why mine always falls out! That vertical line gives it more stability. Pinterest link is here, and original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Embroidered Socks |

How pretty are these socks with the embroidered folk flowers? This isn’t a how to, more of an inspiration photo from a dutch blogger who does a lot of embroidering. You could even do this on store bought socks, if you were so inclined. Pinterest link is here, and original photo was found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Cloud Bookshelf |

I adore this cloud shelf! Obviously it’s super cute for a kid’s room, but I think it would be fun in a bathroom, or anyone’s home that had sort of whimsical decor. The only thing is, you will totally need real tools to do this (like a jigsaw and a drill). You could make one this weekend, if you wanted! Pinterest link is here, and full DIY post is here.

I hope everyone is going to be staying warm and cozy this weekend! Anyone have any plans? Guy and I are planning on getting a babysitter for the first time since James was born. Exciting!