Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I love this idea so much. Check out The Compliment Project.

YarnCanada.ca is having a huge contest to win $1,000 worth of sock yarn! It’s open to both Canadian and US residents, so if you live in either of those and fancy a lifetime supply of sock yarn, you should enter!!

Cats wearing hats made from their own fur. Yup.

Do you take photos of people, or are relying on a significant other to take your blog photos? Here are some great tips on how to get the most flattering photos.

We all know that practicing gratitude is a surefire way to improve our happiness and satisfaction with life, but easier said than done, right? Here’s 11 ways to practice gratitude without a gratitude journal.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love | Cookie Brittle | knittedbliss.com

Cookie brittle is a thing! Flaky, crumbly and buttery, this is a delicious take on the humble chocolate chip cookie. Plus, I think cutting things into triangles looks like such a pretty idea, and so much more inviting than squares. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love | Leftover Patties | knittedbliss.com

Got leftovers? Check out these mashed potato and stuffing leftover pancakes, perfect for combining leftovers into new flavours. Bonus points if you sneak a little flaked turkey into them. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love | Brandy Apple Cocktail | knittedbliss.com

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a cocktail in my round ups, but this Brandy Apple cocktail is super easy and delicious, and you could leave out the brandy for an alcohol-free version. A perfect festive beverage for the the season! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love | Yarn Embroidery | knittedbliss.com

How pretty is this embroidery? This single ply laceweight yarn with slight tonal variations looks absolutely magnificent as  a detail on these jacket cuffs. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is from Instagram, here.

Pin Ups and Link Love | How to Hygge | knittedbliss.com

Have you heard about Hygge, the Danish art of making the most of winter and being super cozy? I highly, highly recommend this post which gives a great overview of the key elements of Hygge, and 20 ideas on how to get your Hygge on this winter. If you find winter dull and dreary, then this approach just might change your mind. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here. Are you Hygge-ing? If so, tell me what you are doing!

How is it the weekend already?! I feel like I blinked and this whole week just disappeared. This weekend, we are going to put our Christmas tree up, and I’m super excited! We actually haven’t bothered getting a tree for the last 7 years (we’re always out of town for Christmas),  but now that Lila is older I think it’s time. Coming soon- my mini stocking advent calendar update! Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

#CraftyBlissChallenge Wrap Up!

Did you participate in the #craftyblisschallenge? It was so much fun! 117 people completed all 10 days of prompts (woo hoo!) And participants contributed over 1200 photos in this round. So amazing! It took me a while to count through everything, and figure out exactly how many people had completed it. I used a very unscientific method of going through loads of photos and entering names on a spreadsheet.

Here were the prompts:

#craftblisschallenge Fall 2016 | knittedbliss.com

 

Even though the prompts were created by Melissa and I, some were still harder than others! How to pick a favourite project? And look up has so many options. Here were my photos:

CraftyBlissChallenge Wrap Up | knittedbliss.com

You can see these photos and read the descriptions in my Instagram feed here. 

Thank you everyone who participated, even if you didn’t finish all ten days. It’s such a wonderful feeling of camaraderie and friendship to be doing the challenge all together, and even though we might not ‘know’ each other. There’s intimacy in talking about our favourite projects, why they mean so much to us. Glimpses into each other’s lives that we don’t normally share. It’s not just pretty pictures, it’s meaningful. It’s beautiful on a different level.

If you haven’t checked out the hashtag already, read Melissa’s wrap up which featured some great photos from a small selection of participants.

We even had two winners for yarn prize packs! Chantel of Mudpunch (if you love gorgeous striped sock yarn, you need to check out her shop) has offered a skein of her beautiful yarn as a prize!! The winners have been picked and they are:
@akwenstrup

 Melissa and I will be doing it again in the spring, and we will try to be organized enough to have sponsors so we can share pictures of the prizes in advance (planning, I hear it’s a good thing). If anyone would like to sponsor a prize for a winner for the spring Instagram challenge, send me an email!

Modification Monday: Miss Winter Sailor Dress

Modification Monday: Miss Winter Sailor Dress | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Miss Winter Sailor Sweater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Randi (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Randi adjusted the neckline to make it more of a crew neck, and the underarms for a better fit, as well as lengthening the sweater to turn it into a dress. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m utterly smitten with this dress – the tweed, the stripes, and great length – it’s so wearable. Even though I am not  dress person, I obsess over sweater dresses. they just look like the epitome of comfy, cozy, pretty winter dressing.  Randi’s decision to take a sweater pattern  and lengthen it to her ideal dress was smart- she had the yarn for it, and it was a top down pattern so she could try it on as she went.

The neckline looks fantastic, too- not only does the crew neck suit her, I really like the deeper ribbing. If you have been craving a sweater dress, why not take a top down sweater pattern that you love, and lengthen it? Worst case scenario, you try it on and it doesn’t look right, you can rip it back to a sweater length. Best case scenario, you too could have a picture perfect dress like this one!

Modification Monday: Miss Winter Sailor Dress | knittedbliss.com

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Whoa!! There are science- backed ways of reducing racial bias? How come we don’t all know about this?! The article is a bit long, but very, very VERY worth reading if you are looking to combat racism  in a meaningful way.

I had some weird flu for 48 hours earlier this week, and it was rough. Last week James had it, and now it seems Guy is getting it. So if colds and flu season is banging on your door, here are some ways to feel a bit better. Who knew about the mashed turnips?!

If you are looking to get involved with any cause that is near and dear to your heart, here is a great list of ways to get involved. #4 “get out of your bubble” is my fave.

I know it almost seems too soon but… here’s a great list of things you should do before 2017. Some of them will take a bit of time, so it’s worth getting started on this list.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars| knittedbliss.com

Chocolaty, peanut buttery, and with some oatmeal so you can sort of pretend they might have had a brush with something healthy – these squares have got it all. Don’t make these unless you are having people over or bringing them to someone’s house- you don’t want to be alone with them (you will eat the whole pan). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: TSmashed Sweet Potatoes | knittedbliss.com

May I present a truly delicious side dish- garlic and parmesan smashed sweet potatoes. So good, and using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes makes these a lot healthier (400% of your daily RDA of vitamin A!). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Slipped Stittch Handwarmers | knittedbliss.com

If you are looking for a super easy and super fast gift to knit this season, let me tell you about these fingerless mitts! I wrote up a (very) beginner friendly pattern that is great for stashbusting small worsted weight quantities. These knit up in about an evening! It was for a client, so you can check it out on their site, but you can also find it on Ravelry.   Pinterest link is here, and the original full pattern is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: 20 ways to say NO | knittedbliss.com

This time of year is going to get crazy. Everyone is going to be in a rush to get together before the holidays, and no doubt someone is going to ask you to do something you just don’t want to do. And if it isn’t something that is really important to you, why not practice saying ‘no’?  Here’s some great ideas, although perhaps the more cheeky responses are for your close friend and family only. 😉 Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: The Perfect Bedroom | knittedbliss.com

And then after you said no to the party/holiday cookie exchange/extra work, how about just staying in your comfy bed and reading a good book? If my bedroom looked like this, I think I’d say no to everything, because I’d never want to leave. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Melissa and I are just wrapping up the #craftyblisschallenge results, and going through all the photos, tabulating the number of people who completed it and the number of photos. Full post coming next week!

Lady Crawford: Read All About It!

Lady Crawford | knittedbliss.com

There it is, friends. My second book of poetry!

I know that poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that is okay. There is no book on the planet that is going to be everyone’s cup of tea – no matter what your favourite book is, there’s going to be someone out there who doesn’t care for it. Vive la difference! I like that we all like different things. Having said that, let me tell you why I adore poetry.

For me, poetry is just like knitting. It can be as simple or complex as you want. It can be slow and zen or it can be like a web of cables and lace, keeping you on your toes and so absorbed you’ve blocked out everything else around you. It fits into the small corners of the day more easily than a novel. If you have 30 seconds, you probably have time to read a short poem.  If it is the right poem on the right day at the right moment, you will feel as though you are looking at your life with clarity for the first time. And if you are alone, reading a poem out loud can feel as powerful as conjuring a spell.

That feeling is addictive. I love finding a minute to read a poem, especially just as I’m about to walk somewhere or get into my car, and then I think about it, turn it over in my mind. The lines that stuck with me, an image that was so true it was like being shown a photograph of someone I love that I’ve never seen before. That’s why I read poetry.

If you haven’t read poetry since high school, you should give it another chance. Maybe this book isn’t the one for you, but I bet there is some poetry out there that you will love, that will make you feel more alive than you were 5 minutes before you read it.

If you would like to hear me read a couple of poems, you can read a great review of the book here, with videos of me reading two poems.  The central section is titled Lady Crawford, which is an inside joke that you are sure to get because you guys are all in on my secret. My married name is Julie Crawford, but before I met Guy, I was Julie Cameron Gray. So for those that only know my writing and don’t know my married name, they might miss the wink. I like writing under my old name. It’s like she’s an old friend of mine, that Julie.

The idea of Lady Crawford came out of a conversation with a friend, who jokingly called me Duchess Crawford (I have a fondness for fancy jams, let’s just roll with it for now), and I jokingly corrected, ‘No no, it’s Lady Crawford.’ We laughed, but the idea stuck with me. what would it be like to be (albeit a distant branch) of royalty, or have ties to that kind of life? What would it look like? So I played around with it, explored it. And it slowly became the central section of the book.

So, in the spirit of my pattern reviews…. hang on, the title is in gold foil, which the top photo doesn’t do any justice. But this picture of my book in tree shows it much better.

Lady Crawford | knittedbliss.com

You Should Totally Read This Book If: You loved watching The Crown on Netflix (yay!), enjoy poetry (or are at least willing to give it a go) , love reading female-driven novels and are looking for something a little different. And if you love to read but feel like you never have enough time (you can read a poem here or there and the book is lightweight enough to go in your purse).

You Should Probably Give it a Pass If: You are not into female protagonists, don’t like poetry no matter what is going on, or prefer your literature on the sparse, unadorned side.

And hey- the holidays are coming! Maybe a gift for a book lover in your life? Or you could suggest it to a loved one as a gift for yourself?

Where to Buy:

Canada? Amazon.ca (Toronto peeps – it’s at the library! Reserve it just for fun!)

United States? Amazon.com

Europe, Australia or somewhere else that is utterly wonderful? I recommend Amazon.com or bookdepository.com (check the shipping on Amazon, and if it’s crazy go to Book Depository, which has free international shipping).

Thank you. Thank you for supporting what I do, and helping me feel comfortable enough to talk about my writing here a little bit more. It helps me feel more at ease with this increasingly ‘less-secret’ part of myself.