Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Parents of daughters… this is worth a read: Raising girls who are includers instead of mean girls.

I feel like everyone needs to read this, if you haven’t already: The F**k Off Fund. Because a woman with some savings has more options in life.

Remember- without gratitude, you never have enough.

Those of you who feel like a short poem, I wrote a poem inspired by J.M.W. Turner’s painting, Sunrise with Sea Monsters, and it was recently shared on a blog that features poems on this theme.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Rose Heart Cookies |

I was super inspired by these watercolour rose heart cookies, although I wasn’t feeling fancy enough to add the gold leaf or use the rose cookie recipe. So instead, I used this cookie recipe as the base,  as it was super simple and made great no-chill bakery style cookies. I then followed the original recipe for the fondant tops, and let Lila paint them with diluted food colouring (and if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw it here). She had a blast, and the cookies were delicious. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Ham and Chees Buffs|

These ham, spinach and cheese puffs are a great idea for lunch or a snack, and could easily be customized with other ingredients- spinach and feta, tomato and cheese, or whatever you like! Like fancy little personal pizzas. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: White Hot Chocolate|

The best thing about about winter is that it’s basically the season of hot chocolate. Any time, any day, hot chocolate is totally justifiable until basically April (for us northerners, anyway). This white chocolate recipe is simple, delicious, and it’s a scientific fact that rainbow sprinkles make you happy. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Geometric Bowls |

You would never know that these pretty geometric bowls are made out of paper unless you picked one up! This great DIY has the link for the template so you can craft your very on. The one with the gold foil paper inside of it is especially pretty. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Sheep Print |

I adore this beautiful artwork done for the Unravel Farnham Maltings festival (UK). I wish I could go just to buy this print- if anyone sees this for sale online, please let me know! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Any plans for the weekend? I’m hoping to get some knitting done, I feel so behind!!

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016 |

The Spring 2016 Issue of Pom Pom Quarterly focuses on undyed fibers, and all the items (3 crochet patterns, 6 knitting patterns) are made with natural fibers that have no dye on them at all. I find this approach particularly appealing for a spring issue, as the patterns look wonderful together, and natural colours are really easy to integrate into anyone’s wardrobe, no matter your style. As pretty as the photographs are, I found that the slightly washed-out vintage style of lighting  made it a bit hard to see the detail in the knits, particularly the white/cream coloured ones; and I suspect it may affect some knitters decisions when choosing their next patterns. But if you are willing to look closely (and check out the current projects from this issue on Ravelry), you’ll like what you see. As with all Pom Pom Quarterly issue, they are available in print with a digital download, or by digital download only.

Also in this issue is a great essay from Anna Maltz on undyed yarn and dying ethics, an interview with fabric sculptor Sally Hewett, a tasty looking herbed popover recipe, and a graphic story about how magical knitting feels.

Out of the nine patterns, I will review four below. but if you have any questions about the others, I’ll try to answer them in the comments. And if you would like to check out the pattern on Ravelry, you can find them here.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016 |

Delineate by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

This would be a great layering tank top! Knit in sport weight cotton, this is a flattering a-line shape has a stockinette front and a graphic lace back. It would look great over your standard cotton tank top and I’d recommend a bright colour underneath, to help make this crisp white pop even more. it is knit in the round from the bottom up. Lace is both fully charted (5 charts!) and fully written.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love figure-skimming airy knits, tank tops that are great for layering, modern silhouettes.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You don’t knit summer garments (why not?!) or if you were looking for a mindless knit. The back is gorgeous, but requires a lot of attention while knitting.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016 |

Rhombille by Gina Röckenwagner

An ideal trans-seasonal sweater! Wear a tank top under this in the summer, and a t-shirt or a long sleeved tee under it in the fall or winter for extra warmth.  Aran weight means it knits up quickly. The lace is both charted and fully written.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love loads of texture, sweaters that can be dressy or casual,and if you aspire to a minimalist wardrobe- this is one hard working sweater

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You will never knit a sweater flat. This is a seamed sweater for better shape, but I know lots of you don’t want to seam (even though it totally keeps sweaters from getting stretched out or too short!).

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016 |

Striated by Nicki Merrall

A fingering weight cowl that will look good on everyone. This cowl features a pretty but easily worked stitch that is a two row repeat, so very easy to memorize. If you are looking for a single skein, take-anywhere knitting project this would be a great one.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love easily memorized stitch repeats, zen knitting, And long cowls that can be worn looped two or even three times.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You get bored easily, or hate provisional cast ons or kitchener stitch. Because that seamless look requires both.

Review: Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2016 |

Equilibrium by Gina Röckenwagner

A comfy DK weight cardigan. Knit bottom up in one piece until dividing for the armholes. This is difficult to see in the photograph, so it’s worth clicking over and zooming in to try to see the back shaping, which is very cleverly done in the shape of an X, and echoed across each side of the front of the cardigan. This sweater is full of great details like that, such as the split hem.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love slouchy, wear-with-anything cardigans that are subtle but awesome.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You were looking for a mindless knit. The pattern is very clear, but the beautiful shaping on the back and the fronts mean you need to keep track of rows. Oh, and row gauge is important!

There you have it! Which one do you most like? It’s a tough call for me between Equilibrium and Rhombille. I’d wear both any day!

My Toolbox: The Gleener Review

Considering how much chatting about knitting goes on here, you’d think I’d spend a bit more time talking about how I maintain my knits!

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

I first bought a Gleener about 5 years ago, after Tanis  recommended it to me, and I still use it all the time- and not just on my hand knits. The wonderful Victoria from the company knew of my love of all things Gleener, and asked if I’d be interested in seeing the new Gleener On the Go as well as their new tote bags. I said yes, of course. As someone who travels quite regularly when I’m not on maternity leave, I’m pretty excited about their travel version.

 For those of you scratching your heads and wondering what the heck a Gleener is, it’s  a marvelous tool with a sweater de-fuzzer at one end, and a lint brush at the other end. The Gleener comes with 3 different de-fuzzing heads of varying levels of texture.  The finest one is gentle on delicate fabrics (like lace), the medium is perfect for most of my knits, and the biggest one is best for sturdy or bulky fabrics, like hand knit socks with nylon blended in, or Aran weight sweaters knit in a high twist yarn.

It comes in the full size in 8 different colours (I chose Twitchin’ Tang) and they now have a new version for travel, which is pretty genius:

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

I photographed it beside the normal Gleener for comparison. The Gleener-to-go opens up and stores all the different size heads inside, and is incredibly lightweight.

I find it pretty challenging to photograph pills, but this baby sweater was originally knit for Lila back in 2012 by Tanis. It was a wonderful gift, and Lila wore it so much than when I pulled it out of storage recently for James, it was showing some pills. Look how much fuzz came off!

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

And it’s worth finishing off your efforts with the lint brush side:

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

James looks pretty happy with the results, don’t you think?

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

Funnily enough, I refer to this as something from my knitter’s toolbox, but I’m actually planning on getting my mom one, and she doesn’t knit at all. After all, anyone who owns knits, be they store bought or hand made, needs to take care of them. Mom, if you are reading this… act surprised.

I need a second to gush about the tote bag. Before I saw it in person I thought, “Sure, I could use another tote bag, that’s cute.” And then I got it in person and it’s easily the most high-quality tote bag I own. Thick, high quality cotton; great thick straps that don’t dig in, and the images are both screen printed and embroidered). There are three choices:  the cat, small dog, or owl.

Knitter's Toolbox: Gleener |

Do you guys also use a Gleener? Or another tool that helps keep your sweaters looking new?


Modification Monday: Humanoid Knockoff

Modification Monday: Humanoid Knockoff |

Original Pattern: Sunshine

Knitter Extraordinaire: Lauren (Ravelry ID, Instagram)

Mods: Looking to replicate a commercially made sweater by a Dutch company called Humanoid, Lauren used the Sunshine sweater pattern as the basis and made alterations to mimics the Humanoid sweater design by knitting it in reverse stockinette, adding yarn overs at regular intervals along the faux raglan seams, and knitted the lace placket in stockinette. Her project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: How many times have you seen a commercially made sweater in a store and thought, ‘I could knit that’? Especially if it was an expensive, or sold out item? Us knitters are lucky, that we have the skills and the ingenuity to reverse engineer a sweater, although it isn’t always easy. Lauren had only knit a couple of sweaters before attempting to knit this, and she did a knock out job! Her project page does offer additional tips on the things she would have done differently, but this looks incredible-  simple with clever details. And I love the stockinette placket with the double buttons!

Modification Monday: Humanoid Knockoff |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Lately, I’ve been trying to actually look around and be a little more in the moment when I’m in between things, not just immediately grabbing my phone. Looks like I’m not the only one who feels like their phone is keeping them from seeing what’s really happening.

21 quotes to remember on days you are feeling down and need a little encouragement.

More commercials should have alpacas in them, I think.

Anyone else super jazzed about the Gilmore Girls Reunion episodes that are in the works?

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Lemon Garlic Orzo Soup |

Fighting a cold? Or just want a to have a healthy, happy-looking soup to cheer up the winter blahs? Then this lemon garlic orzo soup is just the ticket. And unlike a lot of soup recipes, this is actually fast to make. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Valentine Oreos |

I’m not big on valentine’s day, but I adore this idea- piping colourful icing hearts onto mini oreos!If you know someone who loves oreos (and I think the vast majority of the population does), then this would be a fun and super thoughtful treat. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Roasted Beet Hummus |

And one more that I think would be cute for valentine’s- how pretty is this hot pink roasted beet hummus dip? Super fast to make, and way more enjoyable than the blah beige of typical hummus. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Dress DIY |

I love the idea of adding  fancy, feathery hems on a plain dress (or skirt, or even shirt!). Such a fun upcycle idea(although guaranteed to take your item from machine wash to dry clean only). But hey, sometimes it’s fun to be fancy, right? Pinterest link is here, upcycle post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Knitted Headband |

I love these knitted headbands- it is basically i-cord knitted around a plastic headband. Where has this been all my life?! I sued to wear headbands all the time in my twenties. I suppose I still could, I just got out of the habit… I think these have me rethinking it! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

It’s along weekend here, but the temperatures is so cold I’m having a hard time working up the courage to get outside! I think it’s a good weekend for hanging out inside drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate. Who’s with me?