knitting it up in a big way

Category Archives: inspiration

It’s been a looong time since I did one of these, yeah?

I thought I might do this one with a theme. I got to thinking about it when I posted our starry night photos.

Moon shirt by blackbird tees on etsy.

I love this t-shirt.

Stuff You Missed in History Class‘s podcast on Caroline Herschel: Astronomy’s Cinderella, the first professional female scientist in Great Britain. In case you like bad-ass women of history. Which I do! Plus astronomy, which I also like!

Some absolutely, completely, ridiculously amazing pictures of outer space. These were taken by actual pro’s and telescopes and all that official biz-nis. In case you just want to wallow in the amazing-ness that these lenses can capture color spectrum’s like this. I mean.

Or how about this flippin’ delightful poesy ring from the British Museum? In case the charming six pointed stars and slightly wobbly design don’t just have you at hello, it is also engraved on the inside: ‘Many are the stars I see but in my eye no star like thee’. Calm down with your awesomeness, already, ring. Save some for the rest of us.

How about this simple and sweet manicure?

As it turns out, I could go on and on and on and on… I have at least five more up my sleeve right now. Here’s an amazing night sky timelapse. I use the Night Sky app to stalk stars, day and night! This maker of beautiful rings also snapped a very inspiring nighttime selfie that I love. Starry night wall in the bedroom, anyone? How about this Milky Way One Piece swimsuit? One time Charlie McDonnell did a great vlog about the moon which I loved! Okay, that’s probably enough for you guys! Apparently I have a thing for the night sky.


lifeline mittens by belletrism

lifeline pattern ($4.00USD) another fabulous example of how the knit doesn’t need to be intricate to have wow factor. handspun or special yarn really elevate a knit, or a gift! i can’t tell you how frequently i stop back to stare at this picture. so beautiful! i think i’ll tear out my handspun cowl that i was never really sold on and use that yarn for a pair of these mittens…

hellskitsch‘s chocolate bark mittens

from the splitbark pattern ($6.00USD). i love the unexpected juxtaposition of the garter stitch with the offset honeycomb cabling, all amplified by this perfect yarn choice. neutral and unexpected!

cozy mittens pattern free from

these quick and rustic mittens are a free pattern from i’d be willing to bet you could crank out a pair of these in one evening. set the tree to twinkle, pop in ‘it’s a wonderful life’, and i bet you could have a pair of mittens to show for it!

timothy hay & fluffy bunnies by urbanizer (blog post)

early grey mitts ($2.00USD) are sweet and simple. little mitts to warm your hands and give a chance to use up partial skeins and play with colors! i have a pair of these (made by the self same urbanizer!), and these get loads and loads of wear! last year, when it was bitterly cold, i found out the ease with which they slip under other mittens/gloves, and how much that extra layer of insulation helps!

thoroughbred mitts designed and knitted by aliciaplum

thoroughbred mitt pattern ($4.00USD) a lovely parallelogram textured mitt pattern. a totally neutral knit, i can’t imagine anyone they wouldn’t work for!

need more ideas? check out last years quick knits: mitts & mittens, or the year before!

if you wanted some cabled mitts, i’ve been loving the vancouver fog mitts forever (free!), and still intend to make them. if you want a little more of a challenge, there’s the cam cable mitts ($6.50USD), with an unusual cable, and patterning on the front and back. other textured mitts include raw honey ($4.00USD). if you’re jonesing for a bit of bobble in your life (but not too much!), there’s the emerald mitts. the most unusual techniques i’ve seen are on these cool zimtstern mitts (free!), which are started at the thumb, and use surface crochet to give the effect of radiating stars. if you’re looking for something a little more feminine, there’s the lovely katinka mitts ($6.00USD), or astri mi astri.

i’m a little later getting this party started than i would have liked, but let’s see just how much of this party we can fit in before christmas!!! (for you chanukah celebrators, i apologize, the deck was stacked against me this year.) hopefully you will see something to inspire and delight!

lane's mojave
mojave by lane

$6.00USD. the cowl shown above is a modified version of the original mojave pattern, so make sure you take a peek at the original. but lane’s is a great shorter (therefore faster!) substitute. this is a good project to use up skeins leftover from projects that didn’t take as much yarn as you originally anticipated. i love love love the muted palette shown, and i have a hard time picturing it in anything other than muted dusty tones, or warm jewel tones.

neil by dandiliongrl

$4.00USD for the neil pattern. this is probably going to be the fastest pattern of the bunch, clocking in at a low 240 yards. break out the chunky yarn and the bigger needles, and buckle in for an easy ride to a handmade holiday present! did i take that too far? i like the diamond pattern, and this looks both quick and fun to knit!

shandon by beatka

free! shandon pattern, featuring a fun chevron stitch. textural, gender neutral, what more can you ask for? this could also be easily modified by knitting it flat instead of in the round, if that’s a thing you’re interested in! the chevron ribbing is great for showing off a more complex yarn. it obviously works well with a gorgeous semi-solid, but i think a multicolored yarn would really shine in this pattern, too!

mesa view by rainydaygoods

$5.00USD for the mesa view pattern. a nice textural cowl, with a scarf option and the bonus of buttons! the buttons are great, because depending on your choice, you can really change the aesthetic of this cowl. the boldly teal yarn with cherry red buttons shown is very quirky and contemporary! but in wispy cream yarn with crystal buttons? quite feminine! imagine it knit up in a muted dark green with some natural wood buttons. sounds pretty masculine friendly to me!

gentille by hupsis

€4.50 ($6.35USD) for the gentille pattern, which is part of the feathery delights, all of which i find quite lovely. even this cowl, which features lace, could work for a guy. when scrunched layered around the neck, the lace in this pattern reads more as a textural elements than a lacy element. lately, that’s been something i’ve really been drawn to. i can picture it in a dark dark grey, almost black, so that it really amps up the element of shadow and texture.

not enough cowl inspiration for you? visit my first cowl round-up! or my second cowl round-up! i still like every single one of those patterns!

colorwork cowls seem to be my favorite. more that i’m currently in love with: the flambeau cowl ($4.00USD), has a short and a long version. the pine bough cowl is maybe a little intense to take on as a christmas gift right now, but it’s free and so so gorgeous. i also love triangle loop (free).

stripes can be super addictive and make knitting easy! tilted shadows cowl (free! and i especially love this one) is fun. or if you’re feeling the striped cowl, there’s also the… striped cowl (free!), and ships & seaside ($5.50USD, and so so so addictive, y’all).

if you need something quick, this lovely lace ptarmigan cowl is less than 200 yards ($6.00USD). if you’re feeling lacey & ambitious, solaria ($6.00CAD) and rivendell smoke ring ($6.00USD) are both beautiful. if you’re feeling another option for a textured cowl, cocoon me cowl ($6.00USD) or avery ($5.00USD).

i feel like i overused the word textural in this post. and exclamation points. but that’s besides the point! which of the above is your favorite? have you found any new patterns that look perfect for some quick gift knitting? or any tried & true cowl patterns that you always turn to in a pinch? share in the comments!

i hope you all had a treat filled halloween, with only a few (fun) tricks. i got more than my usual amount of scares this halloween, but they were spaced far enough apart that i have not turned into the ‘creeping-in-fear’ version of eliza.

as i was walking back from the bookstore the other day, (ugh, they did not have what i wanted to buy, though i did finally find a moleskine 2014 calendar planner: mineallmine!) i passed a loft store advertising 40% off of everything! i rarely shop at loft… it’s less of a choice and more that there isn’t one in the mall where i do the majority of my first hand shopping (which is still pretty rare, y’allll). but here i was, and there was the bright sign, doing it’s job, luring me in! spoiler alert: i didn’t actually buy anything. but, i got a lot of ideas and added a few things to my wish list.

what i was going to show you was the soft drapey cardigan i fell in love with at the store. alack, it doesn’t seem to be online! but while i was searching for it, i kinda fell for this beauty:

striped pointelle yoke sweater

i’m a total sucker for sweaters with multiple techniques. it can be easy, as a knitter, to think: this will be a striped knit. and then not look beyond stripes for possibilities. so combining variations of stitches really gets me excited.


stripes on cables is definitely something i wouldn’t think of! but with the soft overall pattern of cabling on this sweater, i love the extra graphic punch of the stripes!

i can’t find what appears to be an original source for this image… this tumblr post is the furthest back i can trace it.

when i first saw this, i fell madly in love. dense lace with a neckline edging of delicate cable? ohmygosh! so pretty! someday i will try this!

similar story here, unfortunately, but different tumblr

i think this sweater is practically perfect in every way, and i want to recreate it, maybe with a slightly less pink oriented color scheme.

this beauty is rililie‘s 2012 cardigan

this whole cardigan strikes me as kind of a play on expectations! rililie really excels at thinking outside the box when it comes to knitting. this is my very favorite detail on this cardigan, but really, the whole thing is lovely! this one doesn’t follow a pattern, but she has several other patterns that definitely would fall into this category!

g-knits beautiful morrison cardigan

everytime i look at this FO, i have to run to my stash page to see if i have any appropriate yarn. i feel like i say that a lot, but i do only share my very favorites with you guys ^__^.

so! which of the above is your favorite? or are there any beautiful inspiration sweaters that you want to share with me? what’s your favorite combo? are you a stripes and lace? colorwork and cables (ooh, i didn’t find any of those!)? what’s your huckleberry?




i like this idea. there are other blogger-ly things i like, such as end of the month check ins with instagram and stuff, but i can barely manage to get my years worth of knitting in within the first month, so quarterly kind of things feel slightly more attainable. once more inspired by a girl named leney, here’s a list of some of the things i’d like to do before it gets proper wintery:

make chili from scratch
-also sunday night stew
-cups of tea
carve pumpkins
-dinner with family
-finish aidez cardigan
-see the book thief & catching fire in theatres
-start christmas knitting & shopping
-try making candles
-walk in the rain
-i’ve been coveting deep red mums this autumn, but we’ve been so dang busy, and now it’s freezing at night so that won’t happen, but i still thought i’d mention it here, because what is a wishlist for if not a smidgen of wishful thinking?

First autumnal rainy walk!

what’s on your to-do list? or your wishful thinking list?

maybe it’s the dip in temperatures, or maybe it’s just the season to release sweater patterns, it could also be that i am more aware of sweaters at the moment because i’m working on one, but yeesh! there are some SERIOUSLY GORGEOUS sweater patterns being released right now (or that i’m finding for the first time right now). so i thought i’d round a few up for you.

oshima by jared flood, from brooklyn tweed’s fall 2013 collection.

i first saw the back of this sweater, and i became obsessed! i dove into my stash (well, my online stash) and found that i have enough yarn in a weight that should suit it. i kind of want to turn it into a cardigan, though…. with a deep, gentle v-neck, and a shepherds collar that gets reallllly deep in the back, with the help of short rows? i’ve never tried brioche stitch, so that’s long overdue!

the shepherd hoodie by kate davies from the shepherd and the shearer.

OMG THOSE CABLES! tiny cables inside bigger cables! amazing! delicious!

and not to dwell too much on cables, buuuut:

norah gaughan’s aeneas.

but they’re just so dreamy, aren’t they? that collar is perfection! cozy, cabled perfection… i’m probably also responding in part to the perfect deep cardinal red of this sweater.

beacon hill by jane richmond.

i love this stitch! it’s so textural and sweet! and i’m always a sucker for a foldover collar. jane richmond’s designs are always body-concious, contemporary and very wearable. beacon hill is no exception!

and this last one was just love at first sight:

arrowhead cardigan by anna cohen.

the pattern! the colors! the big swingy coziness of it! the sophisticated and rustic qualities! i was immediately inspired to go (once more) to my online stash and see if i had any ability to make this. i think it might look amazing in seafoam green and oatmeal. kind of a sand and the sea combination?

i don’t know if i’ll actually make any of these, but i do love thinking about it! first i gotta finish the sweater i’m working on!

have you seen any patterns, new or just new to you, that have inspired you? do you try to match them up with yarns you already own, or do you start shopping for the dream yarn?

kate miss took a flower arranging class recently, and while she is on the deprecating side about her skills, i have exactly zero understanding of the do’s and dont’s of floral arrangement, only what my eyeballs enjoy, and i’ve been loving them! especially her super dreamy and understated flower headbands/kinda wreaths. i loooove them. now if only i could think of somewhere i could wear that without feeling ridiculously self-conscious about it. the last two headbands in her blogpost about it especially rock my world.

candid thoughts on modesty from elizabeth of delightfully tacky

this blog is fairly new to my blogroll, and i have been loving it. this post has more gravitas than her usual fare. i spend plenty of time thinking about modesty and perceptions, and my idea of self in my surrounding culture, though i don’t spend much time talking about it, because it’s kind of a big knotted mess in my head. but elizabeth really nails a lot of my opinions in her thoughtful post about the way we talk about modesty, and the things we are communicating when we do so, especially to growing girls and boys. i’ve been ruminating on this post for a bit now, so i thought i’d share it with you, because it can never hurt to examine your perceptions, right?

and…. on a lighter note, this cartoon is amazing, totally rocks my world, and it makes me to laugh! bee and puppycat for the win! jake and i have been quoting ‘i have stuff for you stuff!’ a lot recently. it’s useful in many contexts!

i stumbled upon this list of the oldest restaurants in the united states and now i wanna only eat at places that have been open for hundreds of years! not that any of them are anywhere near us… oh, well! something else to add to the travel/bucket list! not like it’s miles long already!

i got a morse code necklace from coatt at renegade last week, and it’s only left my neck for like bathing purposes and such. i love it! so pretty and quiet! i first saw them two years ago, and i liked them from the get go, so i splurged when i saw them on sale at renegade!

what are you loving recently? any thoughts on modesty? did you love bee and puppycat? or is it too out there for you?

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