What the Heart Wants – Lete’s Knit Giveaway

It’s the weekend and I’m ready to celebrate with another giveaway!

Are you in?

The lovely Justyna from Lete’s Knits recently released a beautiful collection called What the Heart Wants part of the Malabrigo Freelance Project.

I have watched Justyna grow so much as a designer in such a short period of time. I can still remember her first hat and cowl pattern that caught my eye and led me to her blog. I have test knit for her several times and every time I see her latest pattern I’m blown away once again at the beautiful things she comes up with.

It is both a pleasure and honour to be able to share her newest project with you today!

Let’s look at this stunning book shall we?

The ebook contains 4 patterns, 3 garments and a shawl.

Fickle Heart

A beautiful cabled seamless top down hoodie.

This definitely appeals to me. It calls out comfort! Add cables to that and you just had me at hello.

There are so many gorgeous versions of this one already on Ravelry.

They will have you wanting to cast on at once!

Behind My Back

Another top down construction (can you tell top down is Justyna’s thing?) with a beautiful lace back panel.

If you check out the many projects on Ravelry on this one you will see more fitted versions as well as the version with more ease. Each is a different look yet both so pretty. Makes we want to knit one of each!

Breaking The Waves

An airy wrap cardigan that you could dress up or down.

I find this to be true with so many of Justyna’s designs.

I can imagine this one over my favourite little black dress but also with trousers or jeans. We think you will all agree that versatile pieces are the best kinds to add to our wardrobe.

Old Loves, New Flames

A short row shaped shawl with a little bit of everything.

Texture, colour blocking, stripes and a fun edging.

What’s not to love?

You definitely get to play with colour combo’s on this one.

There are so many choices you know you’ll just have to knit this one more than once.

Justyna has kindly offered an ebook for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers.

To enter please leave a comment telling me which one of these designs you would love to knit. Contest closes Friday October 31st at 12pm EST.

If you don’t win this time you can still purchase the ebook as well as each pattern separately on Ravelry and the What the Heart Wants site.

Good Luck!

** All photography is  © Marcin Duda **

This week’s snacking

Since starting back to work in a nut free environment it has become extremely hard for me to take the foods I live on to work everyday.

I’ve had to get creative and am continually searching for things to snack on. I usually make either a few batches of something at a time or make several different things one right after the other so I have some kind of variety during the week.

So I thought I would share this week’s snacks with you because they are sooo frickin delicious!

First up we have Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas! Reading that sentence just makes my mouth water and these do not disappoint.

The recipe is from Oh She Glows. She has tons of yummy recipes, my only problem is she uses lots of oatmeal which I can’t eat……… I wish I could but it just doesn’t go down well. I miss oatmeal! Anyway back to the chickpeas… this recipe was super simple. I packaged them up for the perfect snack while I work.

Next we have Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins by Diane Sanfilippo the author of Practical Paleo. I made these as muffins and then as a loaf. It is good both ways and especially good when heated up before consuming.

Lastly I made energy balls, pumpkin pie and  super seed chocolate protein balls 2 batches of each. Both of these are yummy but the chocolate ones seem to hold their shape better because they have seeds in them. There are  many variations of these on the web so I’m sure I will be trying out many more in the future.

*while I was grabbing my camera to take a picture of my energy balls Boss, the super stealth sneaker, got up on the counter and ate them all………….*sigh*

So that’s what I’m snacking on this week. Do you have any favourites you’d like to share?

All Kinds of Random

The random number generator chose comment #53

Natalie who wrote: Pillar Box is my favourite! I would probably make scarf or a shawl, but it would be for me – I haven’t made anything for myself in over 2 years.

I’ll be contacting you shortly for your choice and address.

How can it be the middle of October already?

The days are slipping away and I feel like nothing is getting accomplished creatively lately.

Two days after we moved I started a new job and it has put a stand still on getting anything done around these parts.

Soooo I’m thinking that until I can get things under control more around here I’d like to do some posts Truly Myrtle style. Libby does Share All The Things Fridays and I do enjoy the randomness of it. My posts will probably won’t be weekly and who knows what they will entail so lets call it All Kinds Of Random.

My computer is wreaking havoc this week. The battery is worn out and won’t stay charged. On top of that the cord that plugs into the computer is wearing out and won’t keep the computer on……… talk about frustrating. Today, I came home to a new battery sitting on the table… hopefully this will keep me sane for a while longer.

 I have been all over the place with knitting projects lately. I can’t seem to find the RIGHT project but I do know that my mind is sorely missing that quiet monotonous time. I have a pair of plain socks on the go to keep me occupied during gymnastics. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in Foxglove and they seem to be the only thing I can concentrate on at the minute.

T and I made some delicious apple sauce this week using apples we picked during Thanksgiving. Warmed up this is the most delicious little pot of Fall flavours.

I finally broke down and bought the Clover Pom Pom makers in all the sizes. My days of cardboard pom pom making are offically over! These are definitely worth the money and pom pom’s now only take 2-3 mins to complete. BLISS!!  I can finally get back to that little project that required a few pom pom’s to finish it off. Expect a pom pom clad FO soon!

Miss Molly, the dog we always said would happily lay out in the yard all day has now been dubbed Houndini….. Twice she has escaped the fence we put up the day we moved in. I don’t think she thinks of this house as her home yet and is frantically searching for us when she gets out. Thankfully we have amazing neighbours and one managed to get Boss back in and tied up before letting me know Molly took off. The fence has been bolted together so she can’t pull it apart with her teeth anymore….. She is a crafty weasel I tell ya and will do whatever it takes to be with her daddy.

 Off to put my child to bed and find myself something to knit…. who am I kidding I’ll probably fall asleep on the couch….

Hierro

 First off I need to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather that seems to have crept in on us all of a sudden.

Time to pull out all the handknits!

Speaking of handknits… you may remember my pattern Hierro from Pom Pom Quarterly’s Autumn 2013 Issue 6. The rights have reverted back to me and I’m excited to be able to offer it to you now as a single pattern. 

These mittens are just what is needed this time of year.

Sizing & Measurements: s (m) – 18 (21.5) cm / 7(8.5)” hand circumference

19 (21.5) cm / 7.5 (8.25)” top of cuff to tip of mitten

Yarn: Colour Adventures Sweet Merino DK (100% merino; 115 g = 229 m / 250 yd), 1 (1) skein; Colour shown: Sherwood

Gauge: 28 sts & 36 rows = 10 cm / 4” in lattice pattern

Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5 – DPNs or circular
Always use a needle size that will result in the correct gauge after blocking.

Notions: stitch markers, scrap yarn, tapestry needle

Fyberspates Cumulus Giveaway

I am delighted to be able to guest post on the Fyberspates Blog this week.

I’m chatting about Colour choices and Fyberspates Cumulus yarn.

Cumulus is a lace weight yarn that is comprised of 74% Alpaca and 26% Silk. Think soft,warm and fluffy clouds.

Colourways bottom to top: Bottle green, Pillar box, Magenta, Plum, Ruby Red, Slate, Rust

Photograph: © Fyberspates, used with permission.

Cumulus is available in 12 gorgeous colours ranging from those grey and blue cloud like colours all the way to the deep red and cranberry. I think you will find a colour perfect for any occasion.

Colourways bottom top: water,silver,sea green ,teal, moonlight

Photograph: © Fyberspates, used with permission.

The lovely folks at Fyberspates have offered up a couple of skeins to giveaway to my lovely readers.

To enter tell me what your favourite Cumulus colour is and what you would do with these lovely skeins in the comments below. Comments will close Tuesday Oct 14th at midnight est and I will choose a winner at random on Wednesday the 15th.

Good luck and I can’t wait to hear what you would make with this cosy yarn.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Crushin’

I’ve talked about my designer crushes before, you know those designers that just design ALL the things that you want to knit.

Well I have developed a new crush this season.

© Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed

Dianna Walla is the designer behind the Sundottir sweater from Wool People 6 *probably my favourite edition so far* that I just HAVE to knit right now!

It seems to be a popular pattern at the moment and I can definitely see why. It is a beautifully timeless sweater and something I need to make for my wardrobe overhaul. I’m going to be frogging an old cardigan, Penny, and repurposing the yarn for what I’m hoping will be one gorgeous Sundottir.

Poor Penny had three runs through my knit and reknit mill but I was just never 100% happy with it. It was the first sweater quantity I ever purchased that wasn’t acrylic and I’m excited at the prospect of having something wearable with it after all this time.

I also recently came across a pair of colour work socks that I added to my queue right away. It was only after the fact that I realised it was another design by Dianna.

© Dianna Walla / Paper Tiger

Nikoline is a beautiful classic pair of socks that are inspired by Norwegian knitting. I’m going to be diving into sock yarn scraps for this one but I think I’m going to keep with the classic look.

I also found a wicked colour work cowl that you guessed it just so happens to be designed by Dianna. So much goodness I can’t stand it!!

© Crillia Rose / Skacel

This is the Pine Bough Cowl and is a free pattern on Skacel Fiber Studio and Dianna’s Ravelry Store. This one is going to take some more contemplation over colours and yarn choice but I hope to knit it up too.

So it looks like it’s going to be a Fair Isle Fall around these parts and I’m looking forward to playing with a bit of colour!

What strikes your fancy during this Autumn Season??

Wardrobe Overhaul

It’s that time of year again when knitters start to dream of cosy sweaters and what they will knit this season to keep them toasty this winter.

While packing up my closet I’ve been pondering what I want to knit and thinking long and hard about my current handknits. I have three favourites that I wear all the time,

 Cattails by Melissa Schaschwary – This is a great three season cardi for me. Worn in Summer, Spring and Early Fall this light weight number is a perfect throw on. The ease on this one is great and the silky wool makes it soo incredibly light it hardly feels like you are wearing a cardi.

Aidez by Cirilia Rose – I wear this constantly! A day doesn’t go by when I don’t throw this on, Summer,Spring, Autumn, and Winter. It could be when I’m heading out, over pajamas at the house, over a dress on a summer evening on the Ridge, this cardigan just works in every way possible for me. The addition of pockets was a must for me and they are getting lots of use as well. I have been contemplating what I will use for a second Aidez because clearly there MUST be another. I used Cascade Eco to knit my current one. It is holding up very well although it is showing some pilling. I haven’t de pilled or anything but I’m thinking that if I had sweater stone or something to that effect this sweater would look good as new.

French Braid by Tanis Lavallee - This cardigan is a perfect Deep Fall and Winter cardigan for me. Knit in Aran weight it is great layered with a t or a long sleeved shirt in the winter. This has been another throw on when I’m freezing or heading out into the cold. I love the openness and ease although I do wish I had used a more neutral or calmer colour. It’s definitely a different colour for me but wearable regardless.

Did you notice a theme??

The three garments that I wear all the time are:

  • Cardigans
  • Have positive ease (They are all a 34)
  • Are open at the front

So clearly I prefer cardigan’s and a certain style of cardigan. That’s not to say that I don’t love any other style of sweater or cardigan its just this type seems to be my go to.

With all this in mind I am on a mission!

To overhaul my wardrobe,figure out what styles I will really get wear out of and frog, reknit or add newly knit sweaters to the clan.

With my digestive issues it has become clear to me that I can no longer wear anything restrictive or tailor fitting in any way. There will definitely be lots of frogging and reusing happening and most of that will be because of the lack of ease in a lot of my past knits.

I’m excited to shake things up a bit, repurpose knits that are just taking up room and add things that really work for me right now. I hope to give you some reviews on yarns I have used and share why patterns may or may not have worked for me.

I must tell you that the new house has a walk in closet….. a huge walk in closet, *note: Moose and I have shared a small closet since we’ve been married so this takes sweater knitting to a new level*  I’m sure Moose is thrilled…. In all honesty though I’m a wear a handful of things until they are dead type of girl so I doubt my closet will be burst at the seams.

With that being said I’ve started my first sweater in Operation Wardrobe Overhaul!

 This is the Hitch Pullover by Vanessa Ewing from Interweave Knits Fall 2014

It will be my first sweater in my new wardrobe and hopefully I can get this one right. I love shawl collars and with a little extra length I think it could be perfect. I’m knitting a 36 which is a first for me but also the smallest size in the pattern. I’m hoping this will be an ok amount of ease and not drown me… time will tell.

The yarn I am using is a stash repurpose, Valley Yarns Northampton in Merlot Heather. I started to knit Outlaw with this yarn and just had the hood left to go but clearly this fitted sweater isn’t going to work for me anymore even though I love it.

This sweater is working up quickly on 5mm needles especially when you are a passenger in the Old Ford. *more on that soon*

I’m looking forward to a cosy Autumn in this one!

Are you planning your Autumn knits too? I’d love to hear what you are thinking of knitting!

Lady Sunnyside

What better to way to forget about the stresses of moving for a while?

A test knit of course!

*Note: Planning an outfit for said photoshoot kind of slipped my mind when I packed 99.9% of my clothes in boxes…… Also packing the iron that I NEVER use was not in my best interest because of course I ended up needing it…* Needless to say I think I did well with what I had ;)

It has been a while since I’ve test knit anything and I have been enjoying the free time to knit as I choose but once Tanis comes a calling it doesn’t take much to twist my arm. Her designs are always right up my alley and this design was no exception. In fact Lady Sunnyside is my favourite Tanis pattern that I have knit to date!

A button down cardigan is something I will wear forever and a day or at least until I wear holes in it. I feel like there may be another sunnyside in my future, its too perfect of a design NOT to have two!

Pattern: Lady Sunnyside by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran weight in Garnet.

 I alternated skeins every two rows.

Mods:   I added one extra buttonhole to accommodate my long torso.  I also added length to the sleeves cause I’m gangly like that.

My Ravelry Project Page

I knit a 34 this time around, I’ll talk more about this in a future post but I have been finding 32′s are too tight across my broad shoulders and I just need things to be less fitted and more relaxed.

 NOTE: I used every bit of 5 skeins to knit my modified version.

The great thing about this pattern, as is with the original Sunnyside, is that it comes with two chart options for the raglan and neck/button bands. A zigzag lace chart, which is what I chose, and a rope cable chart which gives it a different look altogether. Choose your poison or knit one of each!

Lady Sunnyside is the adult version of Sunnyside that has 1890 projects on Ravelry! It is a go to baby pattern for so many and I anticipate I’ll be knitting one very shortly with all the babies popping up around me lately.

Now here is the fun part! Tanis is offering this pattern for free for one week only and there’s talk of a  Lady Sunnyside knit along in the TFA group on Ravelry.

Sooo skip on over to Tanis blog, get yourself that free code and start planning a Sunnyside for your first cardigan of the season!

Organic Cones

So I’m tackling boxes like a champ and getting through things but as you work your mind wanders….that is if you aren’t being asked to read a book, watch a bike show or chase someone.

My thoughts are wandering to my most recent FO.

Pattern: Indigo Cones by Aileen Ryder

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Organic Cotton DK

Mods: I added one extra chart repeat on the body and I didn’t turn up the corners as per pattern.

My Ravelry Project page

Indigo cones is a pattern that caught my eye from the most recent issue, First Fall 2014, of Knitty. It fit the bill for everything I wanted in a summer cardigan, light weight, airy with a more relaxed fit.

I bought a perfect skirt with cute bicycles on it in Primark on one of my trips back home to Ireland but I haven’t had the chance to wear it because I didn’t have a top to go with it. Shopping hasn’t been high on the priority list these days…

Then Little Knits had a sale on some Sublime yarn that I thought might work well with it so I bought a bag and hoped for the best. The yarn arrived, sat for a while and then Jane Richmond released the pattern Gemini. I thought it would be the perfect match for my skirt so I took it with me on a vacation because I was going to cast on and knit the entire thing while travelling…. well you all know how well I travel…. that didn’t happen. It marinated some more in the stash until I saw Indigo Cones and new it was “The One!”

Let me tell you this Organic cotton is so soft and wonderful to work with. I’m still having trouble believing it IS cotton. It has just the right amount of drape and feels wonderful to wear. Of course this is the part where I tell you it has been discontinued…… WHY WHY WHY! Always the way. I did find some for sale on Ravelry though so I may have to snap up some more for a future knit.

So back to Indigo Cones… I started this in June thinking it was going to be a quick knit. Now if you have been around these parts long enough you’ll know that lace and I have a love hate relationship. Everything was going well until I got into the body and it just didn’t seem to be growing, the more I knit the more I had left to knit. Finally one weekend I just decided that this was it, I was just going to plow through and “git r done.” I need a swift kick every now and then.

 Things really took off and I was done in no time. Blocked it took photo’s and …. meehh! I was not happy. The edges were rolling like crazy and I wasn’t satisfied with the placement of the button. It seemed to put on the neckline and make it roll too.

You can see in the pictures below from my first photo shoot.

So much rolling!!!

So not the look I was going for!

Back to the blocking board it went. I thought if I blocked it more aggressively it would sit better. It did sit better for the most of the photo’s at the beginning of this post but you can still see how the button pulls on the neck making it roll and and now that I’ve had it on all day we are back to looking like crepes again.

I definitely love the cardigan but the rolling is pushing me over the “I’m gonna go crazy if I have to pull on this one more time” limit. I need to find a solution and I’m hoping some of you can help. What would you do to fix this?

My mind is telling me, a more stable edging is needed. That I should pick up and knit a neckline then knit two separate button bands and sew them on. Thoughts?

Now just for fun here is an outtake from my first Cones photoshoot. What you don’t see behind the scenes is the little person who wants to be in EVERY picture mama’s in, nutella covered face and all. I don’t know how she ate that piece of toast but it looks like she just slapped the piece of nutella covered toast over her mouth… actually I wouldn’t put that past her either, she is a card. What cracks me up though is that we are standing in the exact same way…. Like mother like daughter much??

The time has come…

The time has finally come to tell you all what has been going on the last few months.

In a few short weeks we will be leaving our home on The Ridge to start a new chapter of life in a new house which will hopefully become home once again.

At first I had mixed feelings about leaving our country home but this move seems to be the right thing to do for our family at this time in our life.

There are definitely things I will miss but also things I’ll be glad to leave behind.

It has been a long couple of months and at times we thought everything with the sale of our house was going to fall apart.

We had 3 failed water tests and no water for a month, that was definitely an interesting time. Just when things were all starting to pile on top of me and  I could take no more things all started to get better and work out THANK GOODNESS!

It has been an interesting summer to say the least but we are hopeful things will only look up from here on out.

I think the transition will be the most difficult for the dogs….. there will no longer be free roam on 44 acres and copious amounts of bushes to explore in. Then again they are getting older and have definitely slowed down in pace, maybe they won’t mind at all….

I did start these plain vanilla socks which is about all my brain can handle right now. I’m using Knit Picks Felici in the Lighthouse colourway. My super cute bag was a prize I won on aplayfulday’s blog. The bag is made by That Clever Clementine and won through Lisa of Indie Untangled. Her site features new Indie dyers and makers and when their store updates will be so you will always stay in the know. The bag I won is actually a notions bag but it fits a sock wip in it so that’s what it is currently being used for. It’s the perfect small bag to throw into something else as you are heading out the door.

I have a few things I would like to show you before we make the move but if I don’t get around to it you will know I’ve just got my head stuck in a box somewhere.

You can keep tabs with me on Instagram if you so wish until I get back.

I’m truly hoping the rest of this move goes smoothly!