Modification Monday: The Sweatercowl

Modification Monday: The Sweatercowl |

Original Pattern: Folded 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Joji (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Joji cast on for this bottom-up sweater with every intention of making it, but decided to turn it into a cowl. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: If you have a knit in progress that has been languishing in a pile for years now (!!), then I hope that this fantastic mod will give you a bit of hope. Joji was all set to knit the beautiful Folded sweater,  but stalled while still on the body- she wasn’t loving the yarn and pattern combo. After 4 years of staying a knit in progress, she decided to add more stockinette, and finish up with a ‘hem’ that matched the bottom, and voila- a fabulous squishy cowl was born! This is the kind of ‘why didn’t I think of that?’  sort of awesome that no doubt comes from her years as a clever and talented designer- thinking about what else this knit could be, other than a sweater.  I love her solution!

Modification Monday: The Sweatercowl |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Would you like to see a little video of baby sloths loving bath time? Of course you would!

I loved this article on being a proud overweight bride: “My Wedding was Perfect- And I was Fat As Hell The Whole Time“. A beautiful essay by a beautiful bride on what really matters.

An interesting essay on how to help support independent stores, with some very thoughtful comments in the thread, as well.

Oh, and Interweave is having a special two-day sale: Take $25 Off Your Purchase of $50 or More at Interweave. It’s from today until the end of the day Sunday, so this weekend is the weekend to snap up any books, magazines, or downloads you’ve been eyeing!

And Madbird has some project bags and needle rolls on sale, too!

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cherry Pie Bars |

 Cherry Pie Crumble bars- All the deliciousness of cherry pie, a fraction of the time it takes to make a pie from scratch. Plus, cherries are in season! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chickpea Salad |

I’m a big fan of recipes that can basically be summed up as ‘chuck everything into a food processor and have at it’. This chickpea salad is just that- easy and super quick to pull together, perfect for sandwiches and high in protein and veggies. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Peanut Butter & Banana Pops |

Keeping with the ‘chuck everything in a food processor and have at it’ theme,  I’m dying to try these peanut butter, banana and yogurt pops! We already know how frozen bananas already taste like ice cream, so I assume the peanut butter and yogurt really put these over the top. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Animal PIns |

This sweet little trio of felt woodland creatures would be perfect for brooches, hair clips, ponytail hair elastics, or rings. I’m amazed at the detail of each one! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Coconut Oil Handsoap |

This all-natural foaming coconut oil hand soap is antibacterial and smells amazing and is awesome for someone like me that is a very frequent hand washer but doesn’t like using harsh chemicals (especially since they dry out my skin so much!). Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Babies Kit

If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed  when I pinned an adorable Blue Sky Alpacas kit featuring adorable baby animals of Africa! I loved the Lisette Lion (normally all the lions you see are male and have manes- she is a proper little lady lion!), and first saw it on the Blue Sky Alpacas website. At the time, they weren’t yet launched but they have since been rolled out to several knitting stores and are also now available online here, here, here, and here.   I was fortunate enough to receive a kit. And holy smokes, it’s got to be the most impressively designed kit I’ve seen so far:

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

There’s a lot to be said for having  toy pattern packaged up as a kit, since whenever I knit toys, they are the things that most require additional materials that you might not have on hand- stuffing, safety eyes, etc. I love knitting toys so at this stage I have a range of safety eyes and stuffing kicking around, but if you don’t normally knit toys, this is a very thorough kit. And the instructions are pretty impressive, too- there directions for both knitting it flat and in the round.

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

I’m crazy in love with the royal alpaca yarn, though. I’m actually a little disappointed I’m knitting a toy with such glorious softness, when really I want to knit myself a full bodysuit from this yarn and then finally be warm all throughout winter. But then I wouldn’t get to play with it in the summer, like I am now. So I suppose knitting an adorable little lion with it is also pretty damn wonderful.

I bet you are wondering what these little critters will look like, all knitted up. The full Royal Petites Menagerie is here:

Blue Sky Alpacas Lisette Kit |

Top row, from left to right: Marcel the monkey, Emilie the elephant, and Lisette the lion.

Bottom row, from left to right: Georgitte the giraffe, Rene the Rhino, and Hector the hippo.

I’m almost done making my little lion, soon she’ll be all stuffed and ready for her photo shoot! I’m super excited, and so is Lila- she’s taken a real interest in my yarn and knitting lately, and I think she only needs to be a little bit older before I can teach her to knit and then enslave her into my knitting world have a little knitting buddy! I think next year when she turns 4 she might be ready. Has anyone had any success teaching a 4-year-old to knit?

Review- Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design

Quince & Co Review- Top Down: Reimagining Set In Sleeve Design |

Quince & Co‘s latest offering in Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design by Elizabeth Doherty is both a mini collection and resource for thoroughly understanding and knitting top down set in sleeves, a construction technique that is featured in all 6 of the patterns. In the information section, there are several diagrams and illustrations to help provide additional clarification for those of us who are visual learners, along with clear information on sleeve cap mechanics, fitting the cap to the body, cap depth and sleeve fit, and step-by-step instructions for how to work a top down set in sleeve. These resources will come in handy if this is your first time knitting a top down set in sleeve, or if you are thinking of designing knits with top down set in sleeves.  Considering how fantastic a good set in sleeve looks, I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone that wouldn’t find this appealing- unless you aren’t a big fan of knitting sweaters!

This is also quite a beginner-friendly collection.  There are lots of great little extras that help explain techniques and include links to videos, if you prefer seeing the technique executed in motion (which I always need!). If a knitter has some experience with other patterns but hasn’t knit a sweater yet, this collection would be a great way to ease into sweater knitting.

All 6 designs have very simple silhouettes  and small, thoughtful details. But there is clearly a lot of encouragement for knitters to customize these for themselves. And you know how much  I support knitters customizing their patterns! Here are my top 3 faves from the collection:

Quince & Co Review- Top Down: Reimagining Set In Sleeve Design |

Sans Serif

Sans serif is a simple worsted weight stockinette cardigan with hidden pockets that are knit in fingering weight (to reduce bulk). It’s companion cardigan is  Serif, and they share many of the same elements, you could easily switch in and out a few details from either to customize it.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love a classic goes-with-everything cardigan, knits with pockets (hooray!) and you actually button up your cardigans when you wear them.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: the idea of a knit that is pretty much entirely ribbing and stockinette fills you with dread, no matter how nicely the sleeves fit.

Quince & Co Review- Top Down: Reimagining Set In Sleeve Design |


Meris is one of the more curve-forgiving knits in this collection, with a great A-line shape and lovely geometric lace details (lace has both written and charted directions). Hems and neckline are i-cord.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love A-line knits and lace. This would pretty much be exactly what you are looking for.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: The idea of a cardigan that only buttons across the bust would drive you crazy, or if you prefer to wear your cardi’s open- the wrong side of lace just doesn’t look as good as the right side. Also, if you are allergic to i-cord edgings or bind offs.

Quince & Co Review- Top Down: Reimagining Set In Sleeve Design |


The most modern of the collection, featuring gentle waist shaping and a traveling rib front band that is  knitted separately. Provisional cast ons are used, and the neckband is seamed on. The traveling rib fronts are both charted and have written instructions. More adventurous knitters could swap out the traveling rib design for cables, lace, or anything you want!

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love a wear-with-everything cardigan that you can throw on at a moment’s notice, and you don’t mind some seaming.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: drapey, worn-open cardigans aren’t your thing or if you hate seaming and i-cord edgings.

Those are my 3 picks from the mini collection, but it’s worth checking them all out! If you have questions about the others, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments.

Modification Monday: Hufflepuff 4 Life

Modification Monday: Hufflepuff for Life |

Original Pattern: Honey Badger Don’t Care

Knitter Extraordinaire: Maiya (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed out the corrugated ribbing for k1 p1 ribbing, and changed the full mitts into fingerless.  Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: This knit was done for a book-themed swap project, and the swap partner chose Harry Potter and declared her love for Hufflepuff, one of the school houses in Harry Potter which happens to be represented by a badger.  Maiya found this great original honey badger pattern and modified to fit into for her swap partner’s love of all things Hufflepuff. This is such a clever interpretation of the original pattern, and Maiya’s choice to do the knit 1, purl 1 ribbing helps the stranded design pop even more in Hufflepuff’s ‘house colours’.  This has got to be right up there with one of the most thoughtful swap knits ever! Usually when I knit a gift for someone, it’s often an off-the-rack pattern, but this level of thoughtfulness has me thinking of new ways to make something personalized to a receiver’s passions…

Modification Monday: Hufflepuff for Life |