Meet the Sponsors: July Edition!

Ever have one of those weeks where you thought things were going to be super relaxing and low key, and then they totally weren’t? that’s this week for me. I brought the kids up north to visit my family (Lila and my mom are total BFFs), and Guy is back home working hard (and no doubt eating teak out every night for dinner). But while it’s been great that the kids are getting to spend time with their grandparents, I’m totally off my routine and everything feels just a little bit out of whack for me. I’m happy to be around my family, but back home I have habits built in so that little bits of work and knitting just seem to magically get done, but here I have no routine. But what’s that old saying, a change is as good as rest? It’s all good. Let’s check out the new goodies!

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, hook rolls and needle rolls (including ones 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 is almost a foot wide and about 9 inches tall, so it’s a nice size for corralling your yarn and WIP that need a bit more than a typical fingering weight project bag- and I love this lilac toned Hide and Seek Print. This bucket-style medium sized project bag is totally reversible (inside is a great pear print fabric), and includes a snap yarn guide. Plus the fruit fabric feels great for summer! And you know what goes great with a project bag? A mini organizer. this is perfect for stashing different sizes of needles for your project, a crochet hook for finishing or casting on techniques, even interchangeable cables or circulars. Perfect for when you are going away and you need to make sure you have everything for your project.

Meet the Sponsors: Artesano |

Name: Artesano

Where You Can Follow Them: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, RavelryPinterest

What They Are All About: Jennifer and Tom run Artesano, which specializes in alpaca, merino, and silk blends of varying weights, as well as a variety of needles, and links to free patterns. UK and European readers, I think you’ll be excited about this- Artesano is based in the UK! My fellow North Americans, don’t rule it out because it’s the UK- shipping is about $8.50 US for orders under $65. For my fellow Canadians, that’s often way better than shipping from the US! If you sign up for the emails, you get a coupon for 20% off, too.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This beautiful DK Nebula  tweed is a blend of alpaca, wool, and donegal tweed and comes in a great range of colours- this one is Rhinestone. Who says tweeds have to only be in browns and greys? Artesano also has a lot (really, a lot) of free patterns for a variety of weights- I think this Mimas sweater  is very chic and a fun summer knit. Artesano also has a very affordable yarn club (ships internationally), which you can purchase month by month- definitely full of surprises!

Meet the Sponsors: Spirit Trail Fiber Works |

Name: Spirit Trail Fiber Works

Where You Can Follow Them: Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

What She is All About: Jennifer has a variety of her hand dyed yarns in a variety of weights and fibers, as well as beautiful (and some very rare breed!) roving and spinning fibers. She produces her colours in small batches with artisanal dye techniques, and really shines at tonals which have incredible depth.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This is 100% Bluefaced Leicester fingering weight yarn in ‘Chalcedony‘, a beautiful mix of greys and blues. In the middle we have quite possibly the most perfect rendering of the colour ‘Daffodil’ I have ever seen- this is a laceweight blend of superwash merino, cashmere and silk. I’m pretty sure that yarn would be a perfect summer shawl! Then we have the semi-solid DK weight ‘Aquarius’. which is also a superwash merino, cashmere, and silk blend. I can personally say that her semi-solids are beautifully done.

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. The shop is closed online for July, but if you click over you can get an email when they reopen after vacation!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Winter Wheat, currently available in Worsted weight and DK, with warm greys and biscuit tones that seem like the embodiment of coziness. Night Heron, right blue green teals that are more lagoon than yarn, currently available in worsted, DK, and a single ply merino.  And a brand new, stunning gradient colourway- Rose, which is an ombre dream of gold and pink tones; currently available in worsted, DK, sock yarn, and a single ply merino.

Meet the Sponsors: Biscotte |

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:  You really truly have to click over to get a closer look at this beautiful owl sock kit. The kit comes with everything you need- including the pattern and the beads for the owl eyes; truly a very special set of socks.  Then we have alovely hand dyed sock yarn in ‘Vanile’, which is so much more interesting that you usually think of when you think of vanilla. This one has shifting shades of warm sandy tones and pales creams, to add real depth that is anythin gbut vanilla (oh, I’m so fuAnd if you love Finding Nemo, then this clownfish self striping yarn is going to make the most perfect socks ever. If you are more of a Dory fan, there’s also one for her!

So what do you think? Anything you absolutely love? And how is your summer productivity?

Modification Monday: Milk Run Shawl

Modification Monday: Milk Run Shawl |

Original Pattern: Milk Run Shawl 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Tatyana (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Using the shawl as a template, Tatyana added different botanical stitch motifs to the shawl to create something completely original. Details are on her project page,  which can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: For those of you who love going through stitch dictionaries, this is another great modification idea for you! Tatyana loved the shape of this shawl, but wanted to add some different stitches, and she chose the highly textured travelling vines alternating leaves and berries. Talk about an original, beautiful result! For the shawl lovers out there, are there any stitches (especially cables or travelling designs) tat you would love to try out? Think how beautiful a customized design like this would be on a simple shawl. Bonus tip: chose a shawl pattern that you have knitted before and are familiar with, it’s a bit easier to begin incorporating new designs. And let Tatyana’s stunning shawl inspire you to make bold choices!

Modification Monday: Milk Run Shawl |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Simple, funny, and true. How to write thank you notes in three easy steps.

This is an interesting essay on how important the big bricks and mortar bookstores are to book sales, publishing, and finding the new breakout authors.

How to defend ideas of equality/other rational thoughts when you are terrible at arguing and your family doesn’t share your views.

This poem by Maggie Smith (a different Maggie Smith, not the Downton Abby  actress) has been making the rounds lately because it is so, so timely.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Strawberry and Peach Pie Bits|

For Canada and the US, it’s a long weekend! So things should be easy right? Doesn’t get any easier than these strawberry and peach pie bites made with Pillsbury crescent roll dough. I’m convinced the cinnamon sprinkled on top is really the prefect little zip, too. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: General Tso Cauliflower |

I was at a restaurant a few days ago and had the General Tso’s cauliflower, a veggie take on the traditionally chicken Chinese buffet mainstay. It was SO GOOD!! easily the most delicious dinner I’ve had in a while. When I got home, I began looking for a recipe, was stunned to see how easy it really was. If you want to eat more veggies and love Chinese food, this is for you. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Indoor Garden Ideas |

I absolutely love this great list of ideas for how to make small indoor gardens- perfect for plant lovers in small spaces, or anyone who just wants a little more green inside. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love:Recycled Cat Planter |

Okay, this planer is seriously adorable. And it’s made out of recycling! Pinterest like is here, and the original DIY can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Women Helping Women |

This gif is a great reminder that helping each other helps us all get ahead. I wish I could find the original source, but the best I’ve got is tumblr. Pinterest link is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!!


On My Needles: R&R Hoodie and Delineate Tank

R&R Hoodie Progress

I’ve been working on my R&R Hoodie for James from the beautiful Griffon yarn from Biscotte (talked about in this post) and I’m sooooo in love with it. The three colourways have blended beautifully, with the self striping colourway doing the heavy lifting of blending them together.

R & R Hoodie in Progress|

Doesn’t it look amazing? I’m so happy with it! The yarn is a dream to work with, incredibly soft and gives amazing stitch definition.  I left off the pockets as I pretty much couldn’t be bothered to work the pockets while I was blending the colours together. I need simplified knitting, because my knitting time is preciously rare these days- and I’m finding it really frustrating. I’m someone who wants to do it all -accomplish ALL THE THINGS- but I just can’t unless I give up sleeping, which I have seriously considered.  Anyway- I think a lot of us struggle with this from time to time, and I try to remind myself that I’m on maternity leave taking care of my little one. And as of Friday, Lila will no longer be in day care and I’ll be taking care of two little ones all day, every day!

So considering that I really want to get this finished up as soon as possible, it’s almost not a big deal that I’ve run out of yarn for the hood.  I think I’m going to rip back to the neckline and add a little ribbed collar, install that zipper and get James into it. I know it seems crazy to knit a cozy hoodie in the summer, but we still get some chilly mornings and evenings; I always have a hoodie in the diaper bag at the ready if the weather changes while we are out on a walk.

Delineate Tank Progress

I haven’t mentioned this knit yet, despite the fact that i work on it every single day! This is the Delineate tank:

Delineate Tank |

I seem to be really knocking it out of the park with yarn choices these days, because this is Sunna from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, which is a fingering weight merino/cashmere/silk blend and the fabric is out-of-this-world awesome. I can already see that it is going to have amazing drape, and the back (shown above) has a relatively easy to memorize chart that gives a very cool effect. The front is thankfully stockinette, so I’m making progress; slower than I had hoped, but still progress. I’m just about to separate for the armholes at this point. I did make a modification- I added a split hem. I have been admiring split hems on a variety of sweaters over the last year; it looks like such a great detail that no doubt adds a lot of comfort to the fit.

Delineate Tank |

If you are wondering about the book, that is The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits and I have absolutely loved it. Julavits re-read her childhood diaries and was disappointed with what she found, so she decided to try again now as a forty-something wife and mother. I have been recommending this book to everyone, because it was laugh-out-loud funny in places, achingly honest in others and so damn good that I wish I had written it myself.  And hey, the cover is beautiful. I know it’s a bit shallow and judging books by covers and all that, but isn’t it especially satisfying when a book you really enjoyed looks as good as it reads?

Modification Monday: Blast from the Past

It doesn’t happen often (only one other time!) but I’m fresh out of Mod Mondays today! I got all confused about what day of the week it was, and suddenly woke up to discover it’s Monday. But don’t panic-  I thought about how many amazing, wonderful mods have been featured here in the past; mods that maybe you didn’t see the first time around. So I narrowed in on just the summery Modification Monday posts from 2009 (I know, right? Waaaay back!) .  There are some real gems in here:

Summer 2009 Modifications |

Top Row, from left to right: Apple Leaf Lace Scarf, Anais Dress, Hew.

Second Row, from left to right: Estonian Lace Dress, Featherwieght Meets Minimalist, Petal Halter.

3rd Row, from left to right: OMA Blue Green, Lace Ribbon Camisole, Summer Onesie.

4th row, from left to right: Shetland Not-So-Shorty, Laminaria,  Elaine Blouse.

Enjoy a second– or perhaps this is your first!– look at these beautiful projects. I think I’m still intending to one day make the Bulky weight laminaria and the featherweight meets minimalist!