Modification Monday: Kitchen Sink

Modification Monday: Kitchen Sink |

Original Pattern: Caramel

Knitter Extraordinaire: Greta (Ravelry ID, blog )

Mods:  Adjusted the gauge from DK to sportweight, and instead of the stripes, made up a beautiful fair isle stripe design instead. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: This is some pretty spectacular colourwork, I’m so blown away that Greta made it up as she went along- it looks so balanced and well structured. The original pattern is a great one to play around with, as the structure is almost universally flattering, and provides a great canvas for experimentation, so it’s great to see Greta really play around with some great fair isle inspired stripes.  I love the beautiful, playful colour choices , and how well she balanced the larger motifs with smaller ones. A complete home run!

Modification Monday: Kitchen Sink |


Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

12 questions to ask yourself when you are trying to simplify and prioritize your life.

While I love seeing the glamourous dresses and everyone all prettied up for the red carpet, I love this more:  #smartgirlsask for better red carpet questions than, ‘who are you wearing?

30 good karma things to do when you have small pockets of free time.

Feeling stuck in the same-old lately? Here’s a list of 21 things to try to bust that rut.

The #CraftBlissChallenge has been all kinds of awesome so far! Even if you aren’t on instagram, you can see the photos here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Homemade Apple Turnovers |

Apple turnovers! This recipe has you making them from scratch, including the pastry, but you could skip a step and buy some frozen puff pastry instead. These look SO good, and perfect for all those juicy fall apples. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mediterranean Stew |

I love the beautifully bright colours of this healthy, veggie-packed fall stew. The nice thing about stews is that they are so much more substantial than soup alone, and also you can swap veggies in or out, depending on your preferences and what you have in your kitchen.  Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Macrame Garland |

A fun new way to use up some bright leftover yarn (that isn’t a pom pom garland, although I love those, too!) is this macrame party garland, which looks so fun and festive- you could customize the colours for any sort of party or season. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte|

If you are into pumpkin spice lattes but hate how expensive they are at Starbucks, why not make it at home? This recipe is delicious and has actual pumpkin puree in it- top that, Starbucks! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Knit Toe Up Socks |

If you have always wanted to try knitting socks from the toe up but weren’t sure how to do it, this is a great guide (with a video!) that takes you through the mechanics of it all. Give it a try! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Meet the Sponsors, September Edition!

I know it seems super late for a Meet the Sponsors post, but it feels like a lot of us are sort of scrambling this September, and I just got all the artwork for the sponsors last week! So- considering that it’s for-real fall, let’s take a look at this month’s awesome sponsors, some of which might be new to you:

Meet the Sponsors: Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe |

Name: Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

What She is All About: Alicia makes luxurious all-natural lotion bars and lip balms using skin-loving ingredients like lanolin, cocoa butter, almond oil, and vitamin E and mango butter. If you haven’t tried a lotion bar before you are missing out! it’s non-greasy and great for air travel (none of this liquid limit problem on planes, where the air is super drying).

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Pumpkin Spice lotion bar is just right for fall- if you love pumpkin spice lattes, then this is the absolutely perfect lotion bar for you! I adore these sheep soaps, and this lemon cake fragrance is amazing- I have a lemon cake lotion bar and the scent is so fantastic. You all know how much I love Alicia’s lip balms (I have one everywhere- every purse, knitting bags, everywhere!) and this winter clementine is next on my must-try list.

Meet the Sponsors: Bijou Basin Ranch |

Name: Bijou Basin Ranch 

What They Are All About: Carl and Eileen have a family-run Yak ranch in Colorado. They sell amazing yak fiber and yarns that are both 100% yak and blended with other fibers (like bamboo or merino) to give the yarn strength and variety. And if you haven’t tried yak fiber before, you are missing out- it’s very soft, and very good for those that have wool allergies. And if you want free shipping (who doesn’t want free shipping?!) Use the coupon code “KNITBLISS” at checkout!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: I love the red and berry tones of the ‘Sigfried’ colourway in this Lhasa Wilderness Yak/Bamboo blend (fingering weight).  No doubt one of the best things about having a fiber farm is to have access to the completely natural colours of animal fiber produced, and I love the rich dark brown of this undyed yak and como blend. And they have so many great kits- I really like this Celtic Forest Pullover kit, with the tree motif around the yoke- looks perfect for fall!

Meet the Sponsors: Cold Springs Creations |

Name: Cold Springs Creations

What She is All About: Megan hand dyes gorgeous tonals and variegated yarns in a variety of fingering weight bases, as well as laceweight and DK. Lots of fresh, original colour combinations to be found in her shop, with some brights and some dark and mysterious.

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: This month I’m focusing on her sock yarns, because it’s totally getting into sock season! This beautiful hand dyed merino sock yarn in the ‘Mulberry’ colourway features lots of deep emeralds and plums, with some dark teals all against a dark grey. In the center we have the lovely ‘Acorn’ colourway, which is so perfect for fall. I can see this making an awesome scarf or cowl that would be a natural fit for this time of year. And if you are looking for some brighter blues and turquoises, then the ‘Nebula’ colourway is just right for you.

Meet the Sponsors: Knit Play Colour |

Name: Knit Play Colour, by Louise Zass-Bangham

What She is All About:  Louise has created a really inspiring collection (both as an e-book and printed book) of ten accessory patterns, all of which include a variety of techniques or ideas to alter them and make them entirely your own. If you have always wanted to try modifying knitting patterns but didn’t quite know where to start, this is the collection for you. The official launch is September 29th!

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: Yarn Tamer is the perfect cowl pattern for that crazy multicoloured skein of yarn you bought, but have no idea what to do with.  The pattern includes info for a whole range of yarn gauges and cowl lengths, too. Colour Trail is a stunning crescent shawl which can be knit in any weight from laceweight to worsted; and Umbra has all sorts of deep and cozy cables to keep you warm- knit it up in bulky or DK. The DK version is a perfect 1-skein project, too!

Meet the Sponsors: Lyudmyla Knit Designs |

Name: Lyudmyla Knit Designs

What She is All About: Lyudmyla designs lots of cozy knits with lots of texture for little ones, like hats and cowls and blankets; but her size range is very inclusive- almost all her accessories are sized for baby, toddler, children, and adults. Oh, and she has a coupon code for Buy 1 pattern, get one free- code: Buy1Get1Free . 

A Few of My Favourite Things, from Left to Right: The Laura Cowl has loads of lovely garter stitch, and a great asymmetrical design that is high on style, with sizes from baby through to adult. And how precious are these Baby Oak Mitts? I totally want to knit these for my soon to be winter baby. And I love the branches and grapes design of this Napa Valley Girl hat, with sizes from baby through to adult.

Those are my picks from this month’s amazing sponsors! Did you see anything new that now you totally need to get?

Blacker Yarns Review: DK Weight Fairy Mist

I love what Blacker Yarns is all about- they care about natural wool and diverse sheep breeds, as well as about continuing the tradition of wool mills in the United Kingdom. I personally love their sheep-to-sweater video that shows how they mill their wool, it’s so awesome. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they have created a limited edition series called Cornish Tin, with is available in a fingering weight and a DK weight.  Cornwall used to have tin mines, and – fun fact alert!- that’s where my grandmother was born. In Cornwall, not in a tin mine. Come on you guys, jeez.

Blacker Yarns |

I’ve never been very good at figuring out if I like a yarn through swatching alone, so I decided to knit a DK version of Fairy Mist, previously seen in this blog post.  My cowl took two skeins of the DK weight in Levant Grey, but it seems that the grey has been all snapped up! Still three beautiful colour options left, though. That’s what makes a limited edition yarn so special- a finite quantity helps support rare breeds and diversity of fiber (worth clicking through if you want to learn more about different sheep breeds, or if you just enjoy looking at pictures of awesome sheep!). They got in touch and asked if I would be willing to review the yarn. And since I was already thinking about knitting Fairy Mist in a DK weight, this seemed pretty serendipitous.

Grey Mist Cowl |

My thoughts on Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin yarn- this is a wonderfully woolly yarn, with a great halo that bloomed even more once wet blocked. It’s not a superwash, so if I describe it as sheepy, I think my fellow knitters will know what I mean- it has a natural feel to it, but isn’t scratchy. I thought it gave great stitch definition, and the yardage was good- two skeins for an easy, big cowl that is just right doubled up. I think this is going to be wonderfully cozy as the temperatures get colder!

Grey Mist Cowl |

How to know if Blacker Yarn Cornish Tin is for you? If you like wool, yarn that has great stitch definition and holds it’s shape well, small batch production, knowing where the fiber comes from and supporting old-school production mills, then this is an ideal yarn for you and you need to get your hands on some, pronto! (they have excellent shipping rates, I checked).  If you only like superwash, and think minimally processed wool is scratchy (this is as soft as Cascade Eco, for a comparison), then this might not be the right yarn for you.

Oh, and if any of you were curious on a bump update:

Grey Mist Cowl |

Almost 7 months in! I definitely feel a lot bigger than I did with Lila at the same stage. But at least now I look obviously pregnant, even to total strangers. Doesn’t always mean they’ll give up a seat on the train, though! Ah big city living, where courtesy is optional.

Modification Monday: Walk Along Test

Modification Monday: Walk Along Test |

Original Pattern: Walk Along

Knitter Extraordinaire: Frauke (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed out the solid colourblock at the hem for a lace design, and added it at the sleeves, as well. Overall longer sleeves and body, with added short rows at the back to have a subtle high-low hem. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: The original pattern is great, but I love how Frauke’s mods really emphasize the faux layering effect. The textured stitch at the cuffs and hem give even more visual interest, and is a great way to add a little more oomph into an otherwise simple and streamlined design. Looking at this beautiful mod, I’m beginning to think about pullovers that came out a bit too short, and thinking how great it would be to add this sort of contrasting details after the fact. Or even would be a great way to show off a special skein of yarn for the accent details, while keeping the overall body of the sweater simple. Frauke’s beautiful knit definitely has my wheels turning!

Modification Monday: Walk Along Test |