Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Have you seen this stunning modern doll house? I’m not even all that interested in doll houses, but now I want to be shrunk down and live in this space.

Sleepy baby hedgehogs napping in a muffin tin. You’re welcome.

It’s not totally a fact yet, but apparently drinking champagne prevents dementia and alzheimer’s! I’ll start planning to stock up on the bubbly so I can have my daily quota when retired.

Here is some life advice from 10 smart humans, and I think it is 10 quotes of awesome.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chocolate Cherry Cake |

This super easy black forest cake recipe is show stopping, but so much easier than you can possibly imagine- the cake is made from box mix, and there are great directions for decorating the layers. If you love chocolate and cherries, this cake is perfect for you. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Perfect Chicken|

I would never have thought that cooking chicken in milk would work out, but I trust Jamie Oliver. And this is bloody amazing. The recipe is simple, it’s a one pot dish, and it just might be the best chicken you’ll ever have. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Paint By Number Pillow|

This DIY paint by numbers cushion looks amazing- and the tutorial comes with a download for the template for you to follow along. You can paint the whole thing and fill it in entirely, or only paint half of the numbers, for a true paint-by-numbers look (which is shown in the project photo above). Pinterest link is here, and original tutorial is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Take a Better Photo |

Ever wish you felt more comfortable when the camera is on you? Here are some great tips on how to feel more yourself when the camera is pointed at you. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Messy Half Braid |

I love this casual weekend braided hairstyle, perfect for medium length or long hair. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

The weekend is almost here! What are your plans? I’m looking forward to some relaxing, and getting in some serious knitting, hopefully!

Review: Wool & Wire Stitch Marker Jewelry

I love the idea of knitting-themed jewelry, but have a hard time finding items that I’d actually wear- jewelry is such a personal style choice, you know what I mean? I choose my jewelry based on how it looks first.  While I often have looked at knitting related jewelry, I never found anything that I liked enough that I would wear outside of a knitting event. So when Alana from Never Not Knitting sent me images from the Wool & Wire collection, I felt like I finally saw something that I could wear anywhere. The day we were chatting about it, I was actually wearing a necklace very similar to the one that they have in stock! I jumped at the chance to try it out.

Review: Wool & Wire |

I opted for the necklace, which comes with one beautiful crystal stitch marker,  and I added on the set of 3 additional stitch markers, which feature faceted crystals and freshwater pearls (in these photos, I put the 3 stitch markers on, and removed the original- 4 stitch markers was getting a bit crowded). The design for keeping the stitch markers as the pendant is simple but really effective (see that silver coil like a snail’s shell?), I never once felt like a stitch marker was going to come off on it’s own or get lost anywhere. I also tried it with a few other stitch markers that I had, and they all stayed on (although not all of them looked as good as these).

Review: Wool & Wire |

This line is totally for you if you often thought that stitch markers are as pretty as jewelry, or ever wished that your stitch markers were jewelry. And if you like silver jewelry, of course! For someone who loves jewelry as much as I do (and really, you never see me without some jewelry on), it’s strange that pretty much every day of my life is accessorized by a black hair elastic on my wrist, isn’t it. 😉 I always forget to take it off for photos!

Review: Wool & Wire |

The Wool & Wire line has the  silver necklace (like I’m wearing), as well as a linen cord version. There is also a shawl pin, scissor fob, and bracelet option (I really love the bracelet) – all with the space to feature beautiful stitch markers.  You can shop the collection  here or here.

Review: Wool & Wire |

Modification Monday: Color Block Affection

Modification Monday:  Color Block Affection |

Original Pattern:  Color Affection 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Bea (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Instead of working the shawl in stripes as the original pattern states, Bea worked each section in a solid colour. Exact details can be found on her project page here, and if you don’t read French, you can cut and past the details into Google translate for a clearer picture, as she wrote great directions to her mod.

What Makes This Awesome: I am utterly in love with this wonderful colour blocked version, it is such a simple concept but yields such stunning results! Bea chose three colours that work beautifully together, and by working each section as a solid colour rather than striped, gives this shawl a totally new look. The solid section emphasize the shaping of each panel, and using the same colour for the top crescent and the edge mean the total effect is one of well-planned design.  That simple detail of having the same colour at the beginning and edge makes the shawl look more complete than if she had used 4 different yarns.  I love the final result!

Modification Monday:  Color Block Affection |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles This Week:

A fantastic person essay on respect for those brave enough to put themselves out there.

How knitters are bringing back the independent wool industry in the United Kingdom. 

Living simply can do more than just help tame your spending- it help you be more creative.

Although I used to roll my eyes at gratitude stuff, this is really true- gratitude is a force.

My favourite pins this week:

Pin Ups and Link Love: Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna |

This butternut squash and spinach lasagna is full of veggie goodness, and yet still checks all the boxes for cheesy, warm comfort food. This recipe calls for precooked lasagna noodles, but I prefer using the ones that don’t need to be pre-cooked, and they absorb the liquid while baking in the oven- I’ve never had them fail yet and it’s way easier.  Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Dulche du Leche Cheesecake Bars |

If you are looking for an indulgent (but smaller portioned!) dessert, look no further than these dulce de leche cheesecake bars. All the awesome deliciousness of cheesecake and dulce de leche, but not in a gigantic, restaurant-sized wedge of cake that will leave you feeling bloated. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Woodland coffee sleeves |

I’m crazy in love with these adorable woodland themed coffee cup cozies! Why use a cardboard sleeve when you could use an awesome cozy with a fox, raccoon, or owl on it? and the little cabled ribbing is such a great detail. Pinterest link is here, and the free pattern can be found on the original post, here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Gold Twig Hair Clips |

I love these pretty gold twig hairpins, I think they would be pretty for winter parties. You basically find some interesting small twigs, glue them to hairpins, and spray paint them gold. I bet you could even give them a coat of nail polish and really customize the colour to match whatever outfit you’d like. Pinterest link is here, and original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Chai Liqueur |

This creamy chai liqueur would be perfect to have on hand for upcoming cocktail season, or even make a great hostess gift! I look forward to the post-baby time in the future when I can give it a try, it looks amazing- apparently it is perfect for cocktails, or in hot chocolate, or in coffee!  Gotta love versatility. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

We’ve got prenatal workshop this weekend, and I need to get some photos of some recent finished knits- what about you guys? what are you up to this weekend?


Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2015 (Issue 15)

The new winter 2015 issue of Pom  Pom Quarterly is available, currently in print with a code for a digital download, and will be available very soon for just digital download (keep checking back- this is the perfect option for people who can’t easily get their hands on a print copy, and don’t wnat to pay for shipping). Pom Pom Quarterly (the coolest new UK knitting magazine) focuses on fresh, fashion forward designs;  and this issue has a glamorous Great Gatsby vibe that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season.  This issue features 10 beautiful patterns, and some interesting reads: an article on knitting the winter blues,  a great graphic story about the experience of going into a beautiful yarn store and feeling the boundless creative potential of the space and materials; and an essay on the long history of artists rejecting synthetic dyes for natural ones.

All 10 patterns can be easily reviewed at a glance on Ravelry, and I’ll go into more detail on my favourite 4 from this collection.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2015 |

Cicely, by Jemima Bicknell

This retro fit fingering-weight sweater is cropped, with a very flattering boatneck decorated with beads. The sweater is knit from the bottom-up in pieces and seamed, to provide great structure. Cropped sweaters tend to look best with skirts (unless you are naturally short waisted), so this is a sweater that is meant to be paired with something a bit dressier than jeans. But you could add an extra skein of yarn to lengthen, for a sweater with more versatility.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You adore cropped sweaters, love fine knits and love to knit with breads- or are looking for a good excuse to try beading!  You could even add more (or fewer beads), and come up with a decorative detail that is all your own.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You refuse to seam anything, and if you hate tiny needles- this sweater is definitely a fine knit knit, with the largest needles used clocking in at 3.25 mm (US 3).

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2015 |

Hulanicki, by Rachel Coopey

Lovely socks with an art deco vibe, this design is both written and charted and comes in three different circumference sizes.  You can customize the length of the foot easily, even with the charted design.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You always need to customize the fit of your socks, and love twisted stitch designs.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: If you don’t like knitting twisted stitches, or if you don’t like socks. Because otherwise,  these are pretty awesome.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2015 |

Wilding, by Cirilia Rose

This edgy sweater has a bit of a rock n’ roll vibe, but is all grown up when knit in a luxe, shimmery yarn. Knit in the round from the bottom up, This sweater is a stunner, but requires that you check your row gauge (so real swatches that are actually blocked, guys!).  Knit in a sportweight yarn with slightly larger needles, the fabric is light and airy.  The dramatic thumbholes and long sleeves are great for a bit of drama, or could be shortened if you prefer a more classic sleeve and cuff.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love a quick knit and showing off your shoulders- or a fun shoulder tattoo!

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You hate stockinette, and feel a little bit chilly just looking at a sweater that shows off your shoulders.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2015 |

Avalon Ballroom, by Clare Lakewood

I’m willing to bet that this scarf is going to be the most popular in the issue- the shape and design is stunning, and less than 600 yards of worsted weight is going to feel like a quick knit, for sure. Lace design is both written and charted, and is completely reversible!

You Should Totally Knit This If: You love lace, and a design that is both easy to memorize but also keeps you on your toes- the charts are easy enough, but the repeats vary as you switch between them, ensuring that knitting this scarf is anything but dull.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: you hate knitting scarves because it feels like miles of the same thing over and over- there are two different charts/ written instructions, and you’ll need to alternate them at varying intervals to form the design. I’d recommend locking stitch markers to help keep track of  where you are in the chart repeats.

And those are my top picks for the new Winter 2015 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly! If you have any questions about the other patterns int he issue, let me know- I’m happy to answer as best I can in the comments.