Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Do you need a button to press that will make everything okay? Then here you go.

I love this post about how you don’t get to do just the good stuff. Sometimes we all need that wake-up call.

You guys know about Marie Forleo, right? I love her little videos, they are so awesome. This one is about how to find your special gift, even if you think you don’t have one.

Guy and I just booked a mini break to San Francisco, we’ll be there at the beginning of July for 4 days- our first vacation just as a couple since we had Lila! It’s a short trip, but if anyone has any recommendations of things that are a must-see or do, please share!

Pin Ups: Sprinkle Bowls | knittedbliss.com

I love this idea for making sprinkle bowls for ice cream. Kids of course would go nuts, but adults would love this too! At least, I would.   Barbecues, birthday parties… these would be a hit anytime this summer. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies | knittedbliss.com

I’m all about slow-cooker recipes for summer- anything that has me spending less time cooking is tops in my books. Chuck everything in, put it on low, go to work, and come home to this amazing honey garlic chicken and veggies. Heck yes! Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: DIY Cactus Pincushion | knittedbliss.com

I don’t sew, but I’m so enamoured with this little cactus pin cushion that I think I might sew it up anyway. a bit of green felt, stuffing and a mini terracotta pot! I love it. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here– the page is in German, but if you are using Google Chrome and right click, you can translate it into English.

Pin Ups: How to Pack Carry On Like a Pro | knittedbliss.com

 With my recent travelling for work and my upcoming trip to San Fransisco, I’m flying more than I usually do. I like this guide on how to pack the perfect carry on- I think she nailed it! Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups: Homaroo 2015 | knittedbliss.com

I laughed so hard when I saw this- I know we are all trying to pack in all the things into summer, but I’m a homebody at heart. And this is pretty much why music festivals have never really appealed to me. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope the sun is shining, wherever you are!

Finished Knit: Lavender Firefly Sweater

Lavender Firefly | knittedbliss.com

Pattern: Firefly July

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in ‘Iris Heather’

Needles: 3.25mm (US 3)

Notes: Hooray for easy-to-wear mesh sweaters! Also, I’m super proud that I got the absolute right arm length. I always struggle with that.

Lavender Firefly | knittedbliss.com

I’m the sort of the knitter that looks at a pattern a little bit, gets it going, and then just sort of wings it, with only occasional looking back att he pattern. So I had a bit of trouble decreasing in the mesh pattern for the raglan shaping, but I made it work. Lace (or mesh!) raglans are so forgiving that way, as long as the solid stitches are in order, you can fudge the rest.
Lavender Firefly | knittedbliss.com

The sweater is exactly the way I wanted it to be, with positive ease and a casual vibe.  I planned on about 2-3 inches of  positive ease, but right now the bust has a bit of negative ease, and there’s only about 1 inch of positive ease through the body. But there’s a good reason for that:

Lavender Firefly | knittedbliss.com

I’m expecting our second baby at the beginning of December!

I’m very glad to be out of the first trimester, I was nauseous pretty much the entire time, unless snacking on toast. I’m at that that awkward stage where I just look like I’m gaining weight, since you can’t really tell there’s a bump until I’m standing in that classic ‘look, there’s totally a baby in here’ pose, which also looks an awful lot like, ‘hey, I just ate a burrito as big as my head’ sort of pose.

But as awkward as this stage is, I’m thrilled to have a lightweight sweater that works for this part of pregnancy, and will be awesome afterward, too.

Lavender Firefly | knittedbliss.com

  Considering how cool and rainy it’s been lately – it was actually lightly drizzling during these photos –  I foresee a lot of use out of this sweater over the next little while.

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Next Year in Lerwick 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Momo (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Momo created a dress by continuing the repeats of the original colourwork sweater  to add length until suitable for a dress, and making brilliant choices about the colours and contrasting colours  to emphasize shaping and cohesion. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Fifteen main colours, 18 contrasting colours, one spectacular knitted dress.  Just let the sheer ambition and awesomeness of that wash over you for a second. Okay, let’s get into it, shall we? Momo is an absolutely expert when it comes to stunning colour combinations for colourwork, but this is exceptionally well thought out and beautifully chosen. Not just because of the lovely dusty cream at the neckline, hem, and cuffs- a detail which helps keep the many colours neatly corralled and well balanced- but because of where she uses high contrast and where she uses low contrast. Not that Momo’s used the larger motif centred at the waist, and then it appears  again near the bottom of the skirt. Anywhere else, it would draw the eye to a spot that perhaps you don’t want the eye to linger. the contrast for several of the other bands has been kept at a lower profile, the colours chosen to be harmonious, which is critical to keeping this dress from becoming too busy or visually overwhelming. This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides.

This is a pretty advanced modification because of the colourwork, but the structure of turning a sweater into a dress is pretty straightforward, assuming that your hip circumference is the same as your bust- if it is, then you follow a top-down sweater pattern with the amount of ease you are looking for,  and just keep going until you get to the right length.  You’ll notice that this dress was also knit in the round- there is a single knit stitch running the length down the sides. From a colourwork point of view, this modification also offers some great lessons about the use of high and low contrast sections and where it draws the eye, and how to use a seemingly endless colour palette to great effect that is visually unifying, rather than jarring or discordant.  This is truly an aspirational Mod Monday!

Modification Monday: Graduation Dress | knittedbliss.com

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourites This Week

I was blown away by this very short, but very powerful video about how wolves have a hugely positive impact on rivers.  Who knew wolves did so much to benefit the ecosystem where they live?

I’ve been having quite the chuckle over these #distractinglysexy tweets in response to the ridiculously sexist comments by Nobel Prizing winning biologist (and self-identified male chauvinist) Tim Hunt.

You’ve all heard about the bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Well, here’s an article on  the life-changing magic of losing sh*t. it’s all about how your perspective on your possessions changes, when they’ve left without you willingly letting them go.

As someone who recently spent quite a bit of time on airplanes and in airports for work travel, this really resonated with me.

Did you dream of being a mermaid when you were a kid? I totally did. Turns out,  you can actually grow up and be a mermaid. If I only I had kept at it!

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cotton Candy Cocktail | knittedbliss.com

The second I saw this easy cotton candy champagne cocktail, I started trying to make up excuses for when to have this utterly fancy, totally girly drink. Next time a friend has a birthday, this is on! Pinterest link is here, the original link is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mexican Green Rice and Corn | knittedbliss.com

This Mexican style green rice with corn is an easy dish that is full of flavour, and the recipe includes lots of ideas for serving it, too.  If you are looking for a healthy side dish, this is perfect for summer. Pinterest link is here, the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Donut Coasters| knittedbliss.com

It was recently International Doughnut Day, which sparked a flurry of doughnut related crafts and recipes on Pinterest. I definitely like doughnuts, and I think these DIY coasters are super cute. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Snickerdoodle Iced Latte| knittedbliss.com

This recipe for making an iced snickerdoodle latte is unbelievably tasty. Once you’ve got that snickerdoodle syrup made, it’s pretty epic. If you like cinnamon and coffee, this is going to rock your world. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Marbled Fabric| knittedbliss.com

A great guide on how to marble fabric, with some from-the-trenches advice from someone who found several ways to not marble fabric first. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home! Totally planning on doing some baking, and getting some knitting done! Anyone else got the same game plan?

We Are Knitters Pacific Sweater: Beginnings

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

I’m pretty excited about this kit from We Are Knitters, an international craft house that is big in Europe, and based out of Spain.  It’s always fun to see new designs and new yarns from companies I haven’t heard of before, and I had a long cruise through the website looking at the kits, trying to decide which one I most wanted to knit that very second. The Pacific Sweater won out, because I love the classic shape and it looks  perfect for me to wear this summer over a tank top without getting too warm.

 The Decision Process

The kits start with the pattern, and you have your choice of receiving the pattern in English, French, German or Spanish.  Then you choose your colours- I had 16 different colour choices for the Pacific Sweater, and it took me ages to decide, but in the end I landed on the can’t-fail classic, Natural.  You can also choose to receive their custom (and so freaking awesome!) beechwood needles (straights, no circulars). They come in the size recommended for the pattern gauge. As for shipping, that’s always one of my first questions when considering ordering from another country, and We Are Knitters offer some extremely reasonable shipping on kits into Canada and the US- under $10 shipping for most kits, and on orders more than $140, free shipping.

I can’t emphasize how tough it was to pick a pattern- it’s worth a cruise through their designs to see all they have to offer, but I’d say they specialize in very modern silhouettes and textured knits, with many of the kits being very suitable to a beginner. This Pacific Sweater kit is marked as intermediate, but I’d say it’s very beginner friendly.

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

Unboxing

The kit is extremely well thought out, and contains the yarn, needles, instructions, a tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and a little clothes tag to sew in that labels it We Are Knitters, which is a really cute idea.  The yarn is skeined well, so they don’t fall apart the second you take the ball band off, as I’ve had happen to me with some cotton yarns before.  I’m also impressed with the minimal packaging, which the environmentalist in me really appreciates.

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

Knitting in Progress

I’m really impressed with the yarn- the Pima cotton is extremely strong, and very resistant to splitting. The yarn is held double throughout, which means this summer sweater is knitting up super fast! I like how the yarn feels in my hands, and it moves over the needles so well I feel like I can knit this really quickly.  I will point out that this is a pattern that is written flat, and you seam it, and I personally would always seam a garment knit in a drapey yarn, just for structure and to keep it from getting stretched out.  I’ve got the back done, and here’s where I am with the front:

We Are Knitters: PAcific Sweater Kit | knittedbliss.com

You will likely notice right away I’m not using the super cute straight needles that were in the package- I wasn’t getting gauge! I ended up having to go down a needle size, so I’m using my trusty circs. This worked out well for me in the long run, since I was knitting the back while flying to Saskatchewan for work recently, and not hitting the stranger in the seat beside me with my needles was a real advantage that allowed me to knit the entire back while on my trip.

I’m so excited for my summer sweater!

* This is part one of a short series of sponsored posts for We Are Knitters. I chose the pattern kit and the colour, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.