Modification Monday: Totoro Sweater

Original Pattern: Professor Meow Sweater

Knitter Extraordinaire: Erin (Ravelry profile, Instagram)

Mods: Changed out the adorable original cat design, and used a Totoro chart instead! Great photos and details are on her project page, including the link to the chart she used.

What Makes This Awesome: My kids recently fell in love with the animated movie My Neighbour Totoro, and I went looking for interesting Totoro-themed knits, and holy smokes, I am definitely not alone! There were so many cute patterns, but a real standout for me was this wonderful modification by Erin. I love how the sweater itself is nice and simple, and the chart she used is fantastic! Even if you didn’t know what or who Totoro was, it’s still a cute sweater that isn’t too cutesy, you know what I mean?

As a bulky knit, this would be a pretty quick knit as well, and the chart is a great fit for the overall design and aesthetic. I love Erin’s sweater SO much!  This is a really great idea for you or someone you love. Are you a big fan of something? Maybe it could be worked into an otherwise simple stockinette sweater!

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Tiny cheese plates are THE no-cook summer dinner idea. Hooray!!

Taylor Swift’s new single Cardigan is everywhere, but the wardrobe staple of staying at home has always been cool. (Thanks to my Father-in-law for the link!)

Brooklyn Tweed has put out part 1 of an excellent essay on the history of slavery, exploition, and the beginnings of climate change in relation to the textile industry; and it is not just a valuable and important read, it’s gorgeously written.

Impolite conversations are exactly the sort of conversation we need to have right now. Because 2020 is a year of crazy growth for us all, and growth is uncomfortable but we are going to be even more amazing for it!

What do you need to feel supported? Worth pondering, because it can help you get clear about asking for what you need.

My Favourite Pins This Week

If I could eat salsa every day, I would – so this salsa chicken ticks all the right boxes for me! Salsa-based dinner, hooray! It’s delicious, and a great way to use up a lot of tomatoes if you are having a bumper crop this season in your garden- or are enjoying all the fresh, flavourful ones at the grocery store! Fresh salsa IS the best salsa, after all. 😉 Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

Theses strawberry lemonade bars are a wonderful summer dessert and the flavours are spot-on fresh. Lemons, strawberries, sugar, butter, eggs and flour (plus the usual things like a bit of salt and baking powder) are all you need to make these deliciously summery bars that are going to disappear in a flash. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is here.

If you have a mulberry tree -or happen to live near one- this time of year is perfect for mulberries! While they are delicious on their own, if you are looking for a recipe to help use them up, this mulberry mojito is a perfectly refreshing summer cocktail that will make the most of those delicious berries! You could even make it alcohol-free, and still be sipping away at your perfect summer beverage. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is just over here.

These pressed flower papier-mache lanterns are so pretty and a great craft to try if you would like to press some flowers or leaves and preserve some summer memories. The only thing: you’ll want to use the flameless, battery LED tea lights for these. Otherwise they will absolutely burn. They are made of paper and dried plants, after all! But oh, so pretty. Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY can be found over here.

Summer citrus shoes! What a fun DIY for plain canvas shoes, right? The step-by-step instructions make these really easy, even for a shoe-painting beginner (which we probably all are!). Pinterest link is here, and the full instructions with loads of photos are right here. 

 

It’s a long weekend here in Canada, so I’ll be doing our best to avoid allll the long weekend traffic! I hope you are enjoying the change from July into August, the last full month of summer. Let’s make the most of it. xo

 

Modification Monday: City Limits Sweater

My own knit is the Mod Monday today!

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Orange Label in a one of a kind colourway, Green Bliss.

Mods:  Knitted it in a solid colour, and added embroidered details at the cuffs. the pattern has options for an icord neckline, cuff, and hem or ribbing – I chose the icord. See my project on Ravelry here. 

I had a sweater’s worth of this very special colourway in my stash for a while, and when I saw Tanis’s City Limits Sweater, I suddenly remembered this beautiful yarn, and knew it was just right. I had to rip back at the beginning- I knit the yoke, divided for the sleeves, and then when I tried it on it was coming out way too big. So I ripped it back, and went down a needle size. I ripped back to just where the german shorts finished up, because I find they take ALL my focus and I wasn’t excited to knit them again. They look great, though – invisible!

I went with the icord for the hem, cuffs, and neckline and I love how it looks. It creates a slight blouson effect, which I really like- it’s a casual look that I think works really well. To make sure I could still be comfortable around the hips, I added about an extra inch of icord at the cast off, to give myself a teensy bit of extra stretch. And I think it worked out great.

(notitle)

 I also did super simple embroidery stripes into the garter stitch at the cuffs, and it is just how I wanted it to look! It did quite a bit of time, I used leftover fingering weight yarn from these mini stockings, and did each strand individually, wove in the ends…. it was a LOT of ends! But totally worth it, right? Look at those happy rainbow cuffs! It was SO easy to do this, and I think would look amazing on a lot of different sweaters- I think this would look amazing with stripes from the neckline to the sleeves as well, I just didn’t have enough of the rainbow colours to do that!

When that cold weather hits in the fall, I’ll be ready to have this little number in heavy rotation.

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Why time feels so weird in 2020.

The sober lush- living decadently without alcohol seems really interesting to me.

Would you go to therapy to save your friendship? I wish this had occured to me before, actually.

How to keep being active in being anti-racist. Lots of great ideas here.

“Revenge bedtime procrastination” is the Chinese term that explains so many of our irrational nighttime behaviours.

My Favourite Pins This Week

In my quest to eat meatless meals at least a few times a week, I’ve recently rediscovered tofu. I was a vegetarian for a long time through my teens and early 20s, and ate tofu ALL THE TIME. Then something about going back to meat, it just seemed like I never ate tofu anymore. But I love it! This is a great recipe really easy, not a lot of ingredients, and tastes better than takeout. This crispy tofu and broccoli dish is amazing! Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is right over here.

It’s strawberry season! Anyone gone picking their own? Even if you are getting them from the grocery store or a local market, they are fresh and so delicious this time of year, so I’m all about the strawberry desserts these days. This strawberry tiramisu recipe is no-bake (perfect for those days when you can’t even imagine turning your oven on), and doesn’t have loads of ingredients. The only thing in here I don’t really eat is Cool Whip, I prefer using whipping cream so that works out just as great (better, if you ask me!). Pinterest link is here, and the recipe is here.

If your walls are in need a refresh, what about making this super easy, no-drawing-skills-necessary rainbow wall art? It’s all done with paint (hello craft store!) and painters tape to get those crisp lines. Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY is over here. 

This is a really sweat gift idea for a favourite family recipe to give to a grown up kiddo moving away from home, or even for a family member who will never stop reminicsing fondly about those squares her grandma used to make. Honestly, I think this would be a brilliant holiday gift, so for the early shoppers, this is a winner! Pinterest link is here, aand the process for ordering and customizing these is right here. Although, I suppose you could also get fabric markers and plain cotton dish towels and DIY this!!

I’ve been purging so much from my home, and I swear I feel much happier with life in general – I have found stuff I had no idea I even owned, and then bought again. It’s been really freeing, mentally and emotionally, to do a little bit of purging every day- I have been going through old magazines and recycling them (if I still haven’t made that chicken recipe from a 12 year old magazine, it’s never going to happen). I also always have a bag in a corner near the laundry for donations, and another for textile recycling – if you live anywhere near an H&M, all H&M store locations accept fabric donations for recycling in their bin near their cash register. It’s been so great to just get rid of 2 or 3 things a day, and rediscover so many things in my house! Anyway, I’m a declutter convert, as you can tell. This is a great post on why your previous decluttering attempts probably failed, and what to do to succeed next time! Pinterest link is here, and the full read is right here. 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you are enjoying the summer weather. We’ve had a lot of rain this past week- some big storms!- but the plants are flourishing. Here’s to growing good things.

xo

Julie

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

I’ve been contemplating this for days. Our experiences are not universal.

“If you think falling in love is only reserved for romantic relationships, then you’re missing out on so much.”

I have 100000% felt this. “In the COVID-19 economy, you can have a job or a kid, but not both.”

A man helps a dog get a drink of water. I’m not crying, I swear! Sniff, sniff.

Want to take a trip via the movies? This is a great list of movies that show of the scenery in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. 

My Favourite Pins This Week

A summer dish- this chicken with fresh peaches, fresh herbs, and some bacon (although you can leave the bacon out and it’s still delicious) is the perfect dinner to celebrate the flavours of summer. Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe can be found here.

This Basque blueberry cheesecake is definitely something wonderful. It has a puff pastry base, is smothered in fluffy cream cheese, and whipped cream and fresh blueberries. Lighter and more summery than your typical cheesecake! Pinterest link is here, and the full recipe is here.

If you hate making i-cord, then you might want to try this clever method – I think it would be a wodnerful alternative! Pinterest link is here, and the full instructions can be found on her blog post here.

This is such an interesting idea- growing your own moss! This post is all about how you can do it at home with nothing more than buttermilk and some moss- dead or alive! You blend it and…. well, bring on the moss. Pinterest link is here, and the full DIY post can be found here.

There are lots of ideas here on how to help protect our oceans, and make small changes in our consumption and the products we buy and how better choices can make a collective impact. Pinterest link is here, and the great read is right over here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled for some interesting moss, I am so intrigued. And of course, some knitting and getting outside for the sunshine. I hope you have a great weekend, with all your favourite simple pleasures!