Giveaway: Lucky Penny Baby Collection

 

Today I’m lucky enough to be giving away a copy of the Lucky Penny Baby Collection by Tanis Lavallee of Tanis Fiber Arts to one fabulous reader!

Not only do I get to show off these super cute patterns I also get to share a little Rowan love because clearly we love this wee smiler around these parts. In fact, it might have taken me a longer time than usual to write this post because I couldn’t decide what pictures of Rowan to use. hehehe

The collection includes:

The Schoolboy Vest

I love vests for the simple fact that you don’t have to squeeze chubby baby arms in and out of them. They keep the core of the body warm but still allow lots of movement and a built in air conditioner if you will for those that overheat easily. This vest offers a fun and easy fair isle motif that you be a great first project to try out fair isle.

The Frosted Alpine Hat

A nice complimentary hat for the School boy Vest. Ear flaps and a chin strap are definitely the best way to keep a hat on babies as well as give them an extra shield against the cold. These two would make a fabulous gift set.

The R&R Hoodie

Hoodie’s are just so versatile especially when they feature a zip. Great to use as a jacket on the cooler summer evenings and then carry it right on through the Fall and Winter as a sweater. I love clothing with multiple uses.

 and The Keyfit Blanket.

A perfectly fun and cheery blanket!

A great project to complete a nursery or give as a baby shower gift. I love bright fun colours and this blanket would have definitely fit the bill for T’s room when she was little. I love that it’s not gender oriented like everything seems to be these days. Tanis offers some fun palette’s that are perfect for this knit. It would also be a great way to use up stash and create your own colour scheme.

This collection was a labour of love for Tanis. Knit throughout Rowan’s first year she has truly tested and perfected every knit This is by no means a collection solely for boys. Every pattern is completely unisex and would be a great addition to any babies wardrobe.

It just so happens that I started a girly version of the Schoolboy Vest as soon as the patterns were released. *my battery charger died so you will have to suffer with an instagram shot until the new one arrives* I needed something mindless to knit on that I didn’t have to think about and this fit the bill exactly. These shades of purple have been staring at me from the two boxes of worsted scraps I have been contemplating using for a project. They definitely belong together.

There are so many possibilities with these little knits I can just imagine turning both boxes of scraps into scores of Schoolboy Vests using ALL the colours!

 Tanis also just released a free hat pattern the Trench Hat that features a great scallop chart that she used on other versions of the Schoolboy Vest and R&R hoodie.

There will be scallops in my future for sure!

*How cute is this kid???*

To be entered in the giveaway for the Lucky Penny Baby Collection please leave a comment below telling me which pattern you would knit and what colour combo’s you love. I will randomly draw a winner on April 22nd at 9am Atlantic.

Review: Idakoos T-Shirt

 

Millions of T-Shirts sorted by Themes

Recently I was lucky enough to get to choose any t shirt from Idakoos.com to try out. There is an option to create your own design and get it printed onto any of their products but because I’m just not that tech savvy I went for something they already had.  With thousands of designs it really was hard to choose, they have 414 hobby categories alone, but of course in the end I went with the…… you guessed it a KNITTING shirt!

Tell me this shirt isn’t awesome?

This is the women’s xs, a perfect fit but if they had an option for a longer torso I definitely would have chosen it. I think a lot of women are choosing longer bodied shirts these days even if they don’t have a long torso like myself. Maybe that’s an option they could look into?

Not only do you get to choose the design and style of shirt but there are 17 different colours of the women’s shirts! 17!!

Let’s have a look at my shirt so you can see the variety I’m talking about.

This is the shirt I chose… by clicking any of the other colours you get to see exactly what your shirt will look like and change the font colours as well. So many sites are limited to 3 or 4 colours of shirts but you don’t get to see exactly what you are getting until it arrives. I’m very visual so I loved being able to see the finished product and try all the options  before finally decided on it.

Idakoos

Idakoos would be a great site for gift ideas. Get something customized with an inside joke, a nickname, team shirts, bridal party shirts, you name it.

Their products range from tees, hoodies and baby onesies to totes, mugs and plastic signs. They have distribution centers in Florida, The Netherlands and Peru so they are able to ship worldwide with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

 Check them out!

I bet you could find that “painfully hard person to shop for” the perfect gift!

Create your own T-Shirts

*Thanks to Idakoos for providing a t shirt for me to review.

All opinions expressed are my own.*

In the Kitchen: Breakfast – Paleo Biscuits and Jam

My kitchen has been hopping!

There are only 4 of these left from the batch I made a few days ago so I thought I’d better tell you about them before the only thing I have left to show are crumbs.

Things are getting easier with my new lifestyle change and eating good food all the time is just another part of my day and it feels great! I have so much more energy and cooking food is now an enjoyable part of my day instead of a last minute dash of what can I make. I’m enjoying trying new recipes and baking delicious things to fuel my body knowing they are 100% good for me.

My newest recipe trial were these ridiculously simple Paleo biscuits.

Gluten and Grain free and totally delicious!

Yes I am still on the hunt for some breakfast foods and I think I might have found something this time. These take only a few mins to throw together and there is enough time to get a few rows of knitting in while you wait for them to come out of the oven. They stay fresh in an air tight container and are even a fabulous freezable snack as well. Freezable is always a bonus if you are running short on time, especially mornings.

*I flattened mine a little too much before putting them in the oven but they still taste delicious.*

I tried my hand at making some Paleo Jam a few weeks ago. With only 3 simple ingredients it was a pretty “no brainer” recipe for my first attempt. While I don’t know that this jam is THE one, it’s not exactly a sweet jam, it is definitely a start and you better believe we are going to be picking berries galore this year.

These biscuits were the perfect companion to my freshly made jam and definitely hit the spot for those morning foods I was kind of missing.

Miss Dashwood

At the end of last year my mum asked me if I could make her a shawl. Mum NEVER asks me to knit her anything so of course I immediately said yes.

She wanted a shawl to wear with a new dress for a special occasion *last week* one that she could pin around her shoulders but also one that she could use as a layering piece over her jacket too.

I knew just what I wanted to knit her but I showed her pictures of a few different options so she could decide. She ended up picking the shawl I wanted to knit her in the first place, SCORE!

Pattern: Miss Dashwood by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Vermillion

Mods: My only mod was to go up a needle size on the body because it was coming out too dense for my liking. I also used a dk weight instead of sport so this might explain why it was dense. I wanted this shawl to be big!

My Rav Project page

Paulina P is an epic shawl designer in my opinion! I have long admired her designs and vowed to one day knit one of them. She currently has 53 patterns on Ravelry, a must see really! I was really glad when mum chose Miss Dashwood, my favourite of all her designs so far.

I must admit when I first read through the pattern I was completely intimidated and started to question whether I had the skills to knit this shawl at all. The border was knit first and then the body of the shawl is added after the fact and worked up. An interesting technique and one that I actually enjoyed once I got through the miles of border.

When you broke down the sections and knit bit by bit it was really actually rather simple yet creates a stunning shawl that looks very intricate.

The yarn was a hard decision. My mum’s dress had lots of colours in it so when she chose the redish pink for the shawl the hunt was on. I asked a couple of indie dyers if they could dye something for me and scoured LYS’s. It wasn’t until I actually took the dress to the store that I realised I had something in my stash that would work perfectly I just needed any extra skein. I bought the yarn in my stash at  Knit East back in September not knowing what I wanted to make with it and thankfully finding one more skein at my LYS  completed  the shawl.The colour of the shawl has a bit more of a pinkish tinge than red. It is shown more accurately in the outdoor shots when I am wearing it.

Since working with so much of this yarn on one project I have come to terms with the fact that although I love Madtosh’s colours I do not enjoy working with the single ply. I find it splits easily and doesn’t necessarily suck up the dye through the entire skein. Lesson learned! I will use dk twist in the future like I did for this shawl.

One Popiolek shawl under my belt with many more to choose from.

I wonder what will be next!

FO: Groovy Socks

Pattern: Groovy Socks by Caroline Hegwer

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks

My Rav project page

My Groovy socks were actually finished in December I could just not get the right lighting to snap some pics of these. Turns out my bro has tons of natural light at his house so I took advantage the last time we visited and got pics of a couple of pairs of socks. My Smokestack pics were taken there too, looove that shaggy rug!

I knit these on 2.25mm’s but the pattern yields a pretty tight sock. I’m sure they will stretch with time but I would definitely knit another pair with 2.5mm’s so they aren’t so hard to get on.

This pattern was one of those addictive patterns. A two row repeat and one of those rows is plain knitting…. can’t get easier than that. Perfect socks for on the go and the self striping makes you never want to stop.

I learned this week that Knit Picks is discontinuing Knit Picks Felici.Here I was excitedly waiting for their new colours to arrive. Insert sad panda face here! This is such a hard wearing yarn and really held up perfectly with my hardwood and tile floors. I wears socks to bed, heck i’ve even walked around on my rock driveway with these. Basically if I can’t do what I would in a pair of store bought socks, they just won’t last in my house. There are still and handful of colourways available before they are gone for good so if you want some I’d suggest you get it now! I may have some on the way.

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get some of the older colourways before they were gone too. Maybe someone will decide to destash and I will be able to get them.

This was the last Felici colourway I had in stash and I’m going to have to make the ones coming last all the longer.

At least a have a handful of beautiful felici socks to keep me going for a while.

If you have older Felici colourways in your stash that you’d like to sell lets talk.

If you need me I’ll be groovin’ in my new socks!

In The Kitchen: Dinner and a Dessert

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen as of late.

Since changing my dietary needs I’ve had to be more aware of what’s on hand and what can be made for each meal that follow my guidelines.

I’m loosely following Paleo but not putting as much emphasis on meat as paleo seems to do. I’m learning as I go and creating some yummy things with a few tweaks as need.

A success from last week was Paleo Shepherd’s Pie.

I used the same ingredients in the meat portion that I normally do but instead of white potatoes on top I added Sweet Potato and a hint of cinnamon.

Talk about delicious and not much different that what we normally have. It was a hit and will definitely be a new go to.

The thing that I have the most problem not being able to have right now is being off gluten and wheat.

Bread, cereals I crave them!

So when I finally found a no grain bread recipe that was delicious I of course had to share.

This is actually a recipe for banana blackberry muffins but since I didn’t have an blackberries on hand I substituted walnuts and dairy and soy free mini chocolate chips and made it into a mini loaf.

Holy Smokes this one is GOOD!

Tasted better than the Banana Bread we usually buy at the store. Bonus!

We are hoping there will be some of this left for Moose when he gets home….. it is a mini loaf after all and mighty tasty!!

I’d love to hear about any delicious recipes you absolutely love.

Snowed In

We have been battling snow storms lately….

We were blathered with a huge dumping of snow last weekend which left T and I snowed in.

It was a tonne of heavy snow so we took advantage of our situation and…. went out to play.

A couple of days later we woke up to another snowed in situation!

After shovelling off the deck and clearing paths we again decided more playtime was in order. Our sliding didn’t go quite as planned before of the shear amount of snow. We made it down the hill once and then had to wade through hip deep snow to get back up to the top.

This weeks game has been all about using the ice rink of a driveway to our advantage.

We made a hill on the opposite side of the driveway to slide down. Once we hit the bottom we just keep on going until we have to pull out the emergency brakes or smack into the house.

We have tried many different paths, sliding aids and conditions but the slide like you have a turtle shell seems to be the best so far.

That was a heck of a lot of snow thrown at us in the span of 3-4 days but by george we are making the most of it!

Smokestack Socks

Pattern: Smokestack Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock in the Dove colourway

My Rav Project Page

I recently had the pleasure of testing another pattern for Tanis Fiber Arts.

The Smokestack Socks pattern is another timeless classic, a unisex pattern that will suit absolutely anyone!

Smokestack is the sock version of her Brixter hat, genius and works perfectly in sock form. I love the simple mix of purl stitches and cables.

I got to try out Tanis Purple Label Cashmere Sock for the first time with these socks.            Merino/Cashmere/Nylon…. need I say more??

It was like knitting with fluffy kittens, so soft and scrumptious!.

The Dove colourway is a popular pick when it comes to Tanis yarn and rightfully so. A beautiful mix of light and dark grey paired with the perfect purples. Not only a unisex pattern but a unisex colourway too!

More of the varigations in the colourway show up when a bit more natural light is used. I love seeing those little strips of colour.

My favourite part of these and Tanis’ Patina socks that I’m currently knitting is that she carries the pattern down the heel. While knitting my Smokestack heels I just kept thinking “that is such a pretty heel” while stopping to admire them. In my opinion this little design feature adds so much.

 I don’t know how Tanis always manages to create those “potato chip” sock patterns. Betcha can’t knit just one??

I’ll be knitting another pair of these for sure because I ended up gifting them to my mum yesterday. I just keep thinking “It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks, It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks”…. hehe

I have been promising her a pair of socks for over a year now so it was time and they will be all that more special in cashmere.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Since last summer I’ve been having some health issues and suffering from GERD.

It is not a fun disease and being in pain after eating anything is no fun at all.

As a result of this I have had to really change what I’m eating and probably the biggest thing is trying going Gluten, Dairy and Wheat Free.

I can see a big change with the dairy already although I might have to restrain myself when I see cheese in the fridge.

The wheat free is something I have looked into before and probably the one I will struggle with the most. I love a bowl of cereal in the morning, toast, sandwiches and wraps so getting rid of the bread factor is probably the hardest part.

I still crave those snack foods and things that are easy for on the go,especially mornings, and was delighted when I came across this recipe that was gluten, dairy and wheat free that filled that spot.

Seriously so many people complain that gluten free is drab and tasteless but it doesn’t have to be. I have the proof right here!!

You can find the recipe HERE and I definitely urge you to try this one.

I am no master chef but these were super simple to make. Dump it all in a bowl, stir, separate into muffin tins and pop in the oven. The only thing I added to the recipe was to sprinkle a few chopped pecan’s on top. I love no brainers!

You can expect a bit more recipe sharing around these parts if they work and taste as delicious as this one.

I’d love to hear an gluten, dairy, wheat free recipes you might have too!

Spates

Pattern: Spate by Jane Richmond

Yarn: Madelinetosh DK Twist in Saffron

My Rav Project Page

*Pics taken by T! My little photographer did well!*

I didn’t think I would have time to knit anything for the Olympics this year but since we had a snowy weekend I managed to start a pair of Spates. I’ve been wanting to knit this pattern since I reviewed Journey but just haven’t had the time. Jane and Shannon are also having a Journey KAL right now so I’m double dipping! The Journey KAL runs until the end of February if you were thinking about joining in.

They worked up quickly and were the perfect instant gratification project. I used leftovers from the His Golden Lair shawl I knit before christmas and I literally used every inch of yarn. I had half a inch of yarn to weave in on each mitt! Cutting it a bit too fine I know but I wanted to make the ribbing at the top as long as possible. If I had had more I would have added half a dozen more rows.

 Madelinetosh DK Twist was a yummy choice for these fingerless mitts.

I really enjoy knitting with this base. It is much superior to the Tosh single ply that they use as a lot of their bases in my opinion. I’ll be keeping this one in my if I use Tosh again.

So that’s my Olympic knitting but I haven’t watched a stitch of the Olympics…..

Hopefully the rest of you are faring better in that department than I am.

Are you almost done your Olympic knits?