Book Review: Margeau Blanc

This is a collection that I’m really surprised more people aren’t talking about, although it is a fairly new release.  Margeau Blanc: A New Perspective on Winter White Knits is the sort of collection that is perfect for knitters who want to knit classic wardrobe basics. And if you are a knitter who wants to knit your favourites over and over again, you would be hard pressed to find a better collection than this. It is also surprisingly beginner-friendly, with the level of difficulty increasing as the patterns go on.

The collection features 13 patterns (view on Ravelry for full details of each): 6 pullovers, 1 cardigan, 3 hats, 1 wrap (rectangular), 1 shawl (square), and 1 cowl.  The sweaters have simple silhouettes but great details, each with a different style of neckline, and far-from-boring hems:

As someone who loves a quick knit, I really appreciated that nine of the patterns are heavier weight yarns: two worsted weight, three Aran, two bulky and two super bulky. None of the sweaters are fingering weight, which I know makes many knitters sigh in relief (two of them are in DK weight, if you are looking for a light weight sweater). There are directions for 6 sizes in each of the pullovers, with every sweater designed to fit a bust range of 32 – 52 inches. Most of the garments are designed to have a fair bit of positive ease, as well.

I really went for the lovely white theme, but you should definitely knit these wardrobe staples in colours that suit your style. And the textured sweaters, like the Deep V Cardigan, Fisherman’s Rib Pullover, or the Waffle Thermal have a great amount of texture and would really make the most of a handpainted or variegated colourway.

The only drawback of this collection was that there are no charts (I love charts). There are only three designs where I was looking for a chart- the cabled hat, the shawl, and the wrap. The line instructions look easy enough, and I suspect that they could probably be memorized, but figured it was worth mentioning in case anyone loves charts. But if you hate charts, this is perfect for you!

I’m swatching broken double rib for the Deep V cardigan. I abslutely love the fabric that is knitting up- it feels like a cardigan in this stitch would be oh-so-cozy for chilly days, and a great layering piece for just about any season.

The good folks at Dover Publications have very kindly offered a coupon code for 25% off of ANY book on their site. So if you missed out the last time, now is your chance! There’s loads of knitting titles to choose from here, and you can click around and check out all their other craft books, if you happen to be multi-craftual.  Here’s the coupon code: WRBG 

And because they are extra awesome, Dover Publications is also giving away one copy of Margeau Blanc: A New Perspective on Winter White Knits. Perfect for building your hand-knit wardrobe, or branching out if you are a beginner knitter! (US and Canada addresses only. I’m sorry international friends!). And if you are already following on the social media channels for bonus entries, you are ahead of the game! Just click the buttons and enter the info for the bonus entries to count.

Click here to view this promotion.

Contest closes May 31st at 10 pm EST.

**This is a sponsored post from Dover Publications. All opinions are entirely my own.

Modification Monday: Bronze Age & Steel Rails Cardigan

Original Patterns: Gramps and Hay Cove

Knitter Extraordinaire: Coryna (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Combined the Gramps Cardigan and Hay Cove cardigans into one, and used her own hand-dyed yarn for some of it! Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Coryna planned to make Hay Cove, but decided to then incorporate elements of the Gramps sweater. This sort of combining of patterns is easier to achieve when they are as similar as Gramps and Hay Cove – both are top-down worsted weight cardigans with stockinette bodies and ribbing details (if you are trying to do something similar, the advanced searching in the Ravelry pattern database can be really helpful for this!). But there is a major difference in the sleeve constitutions, which means Coryna had to decide early on to use the raglan style from Gramps instead of the set-in style from Hay Cove.  She even went her own way with the stripes, making them more ‘Hay Cove-esque’ than the exact style of the original pattern. I think this is a wonderful combination of the two patterns, beautiful and original!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

If you read only one of these links, make it this one! It clearly explains why, no matter what our political affiliations or beliefs may be, it is extremely difficult to change our minds even when presented with well-researched and objective facts. Plus, it’s written like a comic and there are plenty of funny bits.

How to make friends and keep them (as an adult). Especially handy if you have moved somewhere new, but all these are true no matter where you are.

The dangers of normalizing your debt. If you regularly buy things for yourself while saying you ‘deserve it’, you are probably digging yourself deeper into debt.

The unexpected habits making you anxious, moody, and depressed.

My Favourite Pins This Week

As much as I love banana bread, it can get a little same-y.  But that is definitely not the case with this raspberry chocolate chip banana bread! The raspberries add a fantastic burst of freshness to the loaf, and you can use fresh or frozen raspberries for this recipe. Want this to be a little healthier? Leave out the chocolate chips. Want it to be a little more indulgent? Add MORE chocolate chips! If you love banana bread, it isn’t going to get any better than this. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

These zucchini garlic bites are surprisingly versatile – they make a lovely side dish or appetizer, and can be put out for parties, too.  You could even make them in advance and keep them in the freezer for a super speedy dish! I especially love that the recipe doesn’t call for loads of ingredients. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe is here.

If you love all things-kitty related AND are trying to protect your floors, these whimsical cat paw chair feet covers are pretty darn adorable. It’s a free pattern after you sign up for the newsletter, and would be great for leftover bits of yarn! Pinterest link is here, and the original pattern link is here.

I don’t know how it happens- I bring reusable bags everywhere and yet I still end up with a cupboard full of plastic bags. How about crocheting a sturdy tote bag to use out of all those plastic bags you have tucked away?  Brilliant! Pinterest link is here, and the original post and pattern is here.

You love Ted Talks, right? No matter your interests, it feels like there is  a TED Talk for that. This is a great, short list of TED Talks that are perfect for just about everyone – don’t let the website (which gears itself toward 20somethings) put you off if you are no longer in your twenties. Those talks are ageless! Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Have a great weekend everyone! I gave my AGO talk last night and led the interactive activity until it was quite late (It was incredible -better than I could have ever imagined),  so I’m super exhausted and looking forward to a relaxing weekend! I hope you all get to unwind and relax this weekend,too.

Modification Monday: My own Take on Sunshine

Original Pattern: Sunshine 

Knitter Extraordinaire: Melinda (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed out the lace placket at the neckline for a modified V-neck/shawl collar. Details can be found on Melinda’s project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Melinda’s beautiful sweater is as much about process as a lovely finished result. She had seen a couple of modified versions of the pattern and set about to do something similar. But as she knit, she changed her plan. Her original goal was to modify the packet into a solid fabric, but as she knit realized that she didn’t like how it was looking, so she changed the neckline. What a wonderful spirit to approach a mod! I love that she didn’t just solider on, even though it wasn’t working out – she changed her plan and made something totally new. If you are making a modification and you don’t love how it is turning out, don’t be afraid to take it in a new direction, especially when it is a garment- if you don’t love it, you won’t wear it. And don’t you want to knit a sweater that you love? Just like Melinda’s beautiful sunshine sweater!

 

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

How to keep your brain young while you age.

This is a breathtaking reason to encourage seed and crop diversity. That is the most beautiful corn I’ve ever seen!

Tips on ditching regret, and getting over the past.

Yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day, a collaborative effort between two major  poetry organizations in the US and Canada. I have a poem in it! There is a free, downloadable pdf and all the poems are suitable for school-aged children, as well. If you are less jazzed about a free collection of poetry but interested in my poem, you can skip to it right here.

As a parent of young kids, I was very interested in reading this post on teaching kids about consent, and the comments were also illuminating on how we all have those struggles (do we insist the kids to hug family members?).

My Favourite Pins This Week

This utterly charming doughnut cake reminds me a bit of The Simpsons, but in the best possible way! Even if you are a bit challenge din the cake decorating department, I’m confident that this could be easily pulled off. I wonder if I could convince Lila that it would be suitable for Guy when his birthday rolls around in June? Hmm. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe/guide is here.

These skillet meatballs in marinara sauce are a side-salad away from being a complete meal! While I admire that the recipe instructs you to make the meatballs yourself –and the recipe for that looks really easy– I’m more of a buy-a-bag-of-frozen-meatballs sort of person. Either way, you too could have this super delicious meal on the table pretty quickly, and trust me on that salad idea. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is here. P.S- have I told you guys I’m addicted to fresh marjoram? I think it’s the most underrated herb ever. It’s in the photo above as a garnish, but I put it in everything.

I am utterly swooning over this gorgeous sweater! I love the simple shaping but the dramatic single cable across the body. So amazing! Plus it’s a bulky weight design, so it will knit up quickly. It’s originally made in a cotton merino blend yarn (so very suitable for those in cool climates over the summer- I’m looking at you, west coast and UK!), and I am dying to knit this! Must. Finish. Other. Sweaters. First. (the struggle is real). Pinterest link is here, and the pattern can be found here.

I love this modern crochet deer afghan! The graphic qualities and bright palette make this a surprisingly modern looking crochet blanket. Pinterest link is here, and the original (free!) pattern and tutorial are here.

I love this tray makeover, which is so easy you can totally pull it off even if you can’t paint a straight line! And if you don’t have any trays at home that could use a makeover, I bet there are plenty in a local thrift or goodwill shop. Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY tutorial is here.