If you have a lovely end of season crop of tomatoes and basil, this is a perfect quick dinner for you! Heck, even if you get your ingredients at the grocery store, this is still a really great end of summer pasta dish full of great flavour. Easy to put together and starring fresh tomatoes, basil, and generous dollops of ricotta cheese- you’ll love this dish! Find the recipe here.
Chocolatey, peanut buttery, and with lots of rice krispies and marshmallows, these five-ingredient bars are soooo satisfying! Perfect for ab it of weekend baking, and a tasty little treat for yourself. Find the recipe over here.
I love this super soft-looking crocheted kitty! Although in this colour and texture, it looks like a very cute peanut cat, don’t you think? Something about the pose of it makes me wonder if you could make a really big one and use it as a pillow or something! Definitely a high snuggle factor. Find the full crochet pattern for it right here.
If September feels like the start of a new year for you, you might really like this great post about setting personal goals in different areas of your life to feel happier and more satisfied, which pretty much everyone could use, right? There are a lot of great examples in a variety of different categories, and also tips and strategies for setting goals that are actually achievable. Check out the inspiring post here.
The kids are back to school, and it’s been really busy here- lots of routines to get the kids organized while I try to get as much work done as humanely possible while they are in school. I’m not the only one that feels completely burnt out and a bit surprised to suddenly discover its’ the middle of September, am I?!
I am part of the brand new Sweater Weather festival in the UK (run by the same fantastic crew that have made the Unravel Festival in the UK such a big hit!). The festival is both in person and virtual- meaning, they have workshops and vendors available online, and they have some in person, too. I’ll be doing the online thing, of course- I’m still in Toronto!
Until now, I wasn’t any workshops online, because I’ve really loved the in-person experience so much (back when I would sometimes teach workshops in yarn stores or festivals in person, that is!), an also because I don’t have a lot of space to set up an in-house web studio. But a good friend convinced me to give it a try, and I bought some equipment, and I am giving it a go. If it is a big success, I’ll being offering more online workshops, too! All the workshops are offered in London time, so they are ahead of Canadian and US time. Please google to check your time zone for the correct time!
How to Embroider on Your Knits
So, the first workshop is How to Embroider on Your Knits, which is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to embroider on their knits. Suitable for beginners, or anyone feeling unsure about how to start! I’ll be going through all the steps for getting started, and in real time we’ll all embroider on a hat, sweater, whatever you decide to embroider on – it doesn’t have to be a handknit, you could easily use a store-bought knit as well. And if you know someone who would be interested, send them the link. The registration comes with a full list of materials needed, along with a printable template that you can trace onto your fabric stabilizer (which you can buy easily from any craft store, or online – find it in Canada here, the UShere, or in the UK here.)
This is a custom design I made specifically for this workshop- and I think it would look brilliant on a hat brim, a sweater hem, or even done one on each shoulder of a sweater! Of course, you could put this design pretty much anywhere.
Once you start embroidering on your knitting, you’ll see how super easy it is to just keep going! If you admire embroidery on knitwear, this will really start you on a wonderful craft journey. Come join me on Friday, September 10th.
How to Photograph Your Knits for Social Media
The other workshop I’m offering is one that I have always loved teaching in person, and am busy retooling to work in a virtual setting is the How to Photograph Your Knits workshop. Normally I love teaching this in person because I pair people up in the workshop and have them take photos of their knits in the class – so they leave the workshop with photos of their knits. That kind of solid immediate payoff feels like workshop gold to me. But in the virtual setting, I can’t quite do that! At first, I hesitated to offer this because I was so fixated on the in-person result of people leaving with knit photos, but some people who have attended past workshops said that it was so full of great information for photographing their knits that even without the paired up photos it was still really worthwhile. I thought about that a long time, and I realized that I actually have a LOT to say about photographing your knits, both on how to be a better photographer and how to be a more comfortable model, flatlays, wip photos, and I have a lot of tricks for taking my own photos! No Instagram husband required. If you would like to elevate your knit photography, for social media, patterns, or just to have lovely photos of yourself and your knitting, sign up for the Saturday, September 11th workshop here.
I think that if you get a ticket of any kind to the festival, you are also able to watch all the talks that are happening! I’m giving one too- a beginner’s guide to modifying your knits. There are a lot of great talks that are happening, they all look SO good!
Will I see you there? If so, let me know what you DEFINITELY want me to cover in whichever class you are in! And I can’t wait to see you.
If you have taken advantage of the last little bit of peach season and find yourself with a basket of peaches lingering around, this peach bread would be a delicious treat to keep the taste of the season around a little longer. Recipe can be found over here.
This shredded barbecue chicken casserole is a great dinner idea that can be used in a lot of different ways- over rice, in wrap to make a taco or a burrito, on nachos- all sorts of things! And it’s super easy to make, too. I skipped the fried onion bits, and it was delicious. Find the recipe right here.
I love this idea – painting a cheap cotton rug to suit your decor! Great steps to follow, and painter’s tape helps give the crisp lines. And if it fades, you can touch it up! Find the full DIY over here.
If you would love to have a fun pair of canvas shoes- says, decked out in florals or possibly in Pokémon characters (that’s what my kids would love!)- then this would be a really fun project. It’s all done with iron-on transfer paper, so you could print anything you would like on the iron on transfer paper, iron it on your shoes, spray a sealant, and voila! Custom sneakers! Find the full DIY right here.
Perhaps you are thinking you could use some storage baskets? This is a great pattern for crocheting your own big, rectangular storage baskets that would be great on shelves to hide clutter (or more accurately, my craft supplies and yarn!). Find the great tutorial on Ami’s blog, here.
I’ll be doing a longer post on it very soon, but I’ll be teaching a couple classes virtually in September, and I’d love it if you would join me! The two classes are How to Embroider on Your Knits, a full workshop with a custom design that we will be working with in the live workshop. And the other is How to Photograph Your Knits for Social Media– a workshop I used to love running in person that I’ll be trying out online for the first time ever! I’ll be blogging in more detail about both of these very soon, but in the meantime, you might want to snag a ticket!
Have a wonderfully relaxing and restorative weekend, friends.
A little embroidery design that I loved so much, I decide to do it on a cardigan, too:
I know, I should have embroidered the stars on a higher-contrast napkin. I wanted something subtle! Something elegant! And after I did something subtle and elegant, then I wanted something more obvious. This was a really easy project, and took a lot less time than you’d think. Working in just one colour helps speed things up, but also it’s the super simple straight stitch- if you can stick a needle generally in the spot where you want it to go, you can do this project.
The cardigan is an old store-bought one from Old Navy, which I thought I’d wear and then never did because it didn’t seem to really add anything to an outfit. It sort of just blah-ed down whatever I was wearing, which wasn’t really my style. So, an otherwise well-fitting and cozy cardigan that I never wore because it was too blah was the PERFECT candidate for an embroidery upcycle!
Tips for Embroidering on the Cardigan
To make- I start with the template on Taddle Creek. You could print it out on dissolving stabilizer and repeat the design, but I just looked at it, lined it up at the front corner of my cardigan, and carried on the motif. I used an embroidery hoop to help keep my fabric in place while I stitched:
The hoop also helped provide a random shape to the stars as I moved around the sweater- I did this deliberately. Partly to make it easier and faster, but really because I love the effect- like star disappearing in a vast night sky. Or like a mountain range built of stars.
Don’t worry too much about making every stitch perfect, or you’ll probably drive yourselves crazy. The trick for something on this scale is that the effect comes from the amount of stars, not from the absolute perfection of each stitch. Very beginner friendly, but also great for when you want to relax with a project that is also going to make a ho-hum item of clothing something really special.
Looking for an easy summer appetizer or even a main? These zucchini and corn fritters are a great idea. They really do work for a small dinner, as well- they are surprisingly filling, and really addictive! I like to add a little cayenne to them as well, but I like things spicy. Find the recipe here.
If you’d like to make a summery cocktail that makes the most of all-too-fleeting peach season, you have to try the Georgia peach smash. Made with a few ingredients – whiskey or bourbon, seltzer water, simple syrup, a bit of lemon juice and some peach slices- and you have yourself a lovely beverage to sip while taking in the summer sunset. Find the recipe at the original source, here.
If you have some small pieces of favourite fabric, covering a notebook might be just the easy craft that helps use up the ends in a pretty way that you can keep. And it’s so easy, could even be a good craft to do with kids, too! Find the whole DIY right here.
I am completely besotted with these gorgeous embroidered pieces that are set on paper to look like Polaroids. Isn’t it beautiful? Check out more of them here.
How is it already August? I’ve seen a few memes go around the internet about how it felt like the last couple of months have flown right by, and I am feeling the same. I have lots of new things coming up, so I feel like I need to step up the pace to keep up! Hopefully you are all having a more relaxing August than I am! Have a lovely weekend, friends.