Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Thoughts


Alright. Someone needs to calm me down. There's a week and a half until Christmas day and I'm frantically feverishly still knitting...and get this: crocheting Christmas gifts! The Kiddo has been asking for a scarf since last winter and I sort of just laughed it off, as I didn't think he would actually wear it. So what's the point of making him something that he's not even going to use? Well fast forward to after the winter break and I see a lot of his friends and peers wearing themed hats and scarves (now I know what inspired this need), but he never mentioned wanting a scarf again. Until now. We've been having quite the record-breaking cold snap here on the West Coast and the Kiddo has been appreciating all the cold weather gear he can get his hands on (except for when he's at home...where I'm cocooned in a blanket fort trying to stay warm and he seems very content in shorts and a t-shirt), and has once again put in a request for a scarf. 

Ok. I'll give in. I'll make the Kiddo a scarf. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to make him a fun, themed scarf. I thought about something Pok√©mon related but decided that an Adventure Time theme would be better and most likely would last longer in terms of interest. It didn't take long to sort out which character I was going to go with: the Kiddo views and relates himself to Finn (the human); the Mister as Jake (the dog); and has been obsessing over the BMO / Football episodes as of late. A quick Google-fu showed me that this has been done before and how relatively easy it is to pull off (or so I say/think right now...ask me again Christmas Eve!). The original plan was to knit a simple garter stitch scarf but didn't think the fabric would be stable enough to sew on the felt pieces needed to get that BMO video game console look. Knitting a tube, even a skinny one, might take longer than expected. So I looked into a crocheted version. 

I can do this.

A few days ago I stopped by Michaels and found the right shade of turquoise that the Kiddo loves, even though the actual BMO is more of a teal-y blue-green. Friends, I am knitting with Red Heart. Now, I have nothing against acrylic or the Red Heart brand (even though I spent a good few years trying to get rid of it from my stash from my earlier crafting years), it's just that I find the yarn really rough and hard on my hands. The skeins I picked up were from the Soft line. Ok, so it's not the same Red Heart that I remember and it really is much more gentler on my hands. But it seems that I replaced the rough plastic feeling for a yarn that is so, so, SO splitty! Yikes!

That night I took the yarn, a crochet hook, and a few beers and settled in front of the computer to watch a few Youtube videos and vowed that I wouldn't go to bed until I got the scarf going. Let's just say I was feeling a little tipsy by the time I did go to bed...but hey, I got it figured out and the ball is rolling. As I mentioned earlier, I was really hoping that I could whip up this scarf in crochet in record time, even though crochet kills my wrists. My thought process was that unlike the crochet basket that I made at the beginning of the year, where the gauge was super tight and the fabric mega thick (re: it was a hand killer!!), this scarf is lighter, loose, and supposedly kinder on the wrist. Yeah...no. I have had to take several breaks and even though it has only been four days, I only have about twenty inches to show for it. Le sigh. Just forty more inches to go...


In the meantime, I finished the Waiting For Rain shawl that I plan on gifting to my Kiddo's teacher! I'm not out of the woods just yet though...as I type this shawl is on the floor beside me. Still soaking wet and blocking. It's starting to freak me out. I have a feeling I'll be spending a good chunk of tomorrow morning using my hair dryer trying to get it to dry faster so that I can gift it to said teacher before the school day is over and the winter break begins!! Ack! Talk about pressure!

At least I didn't have too many ends to weave in, not that it matters. I bought myself a handmade twisted darning needle by Kristan MacIntyre (pictured above) when I was at Knit City in October. I've been coveting her jewelry for knitters for so long and somehow managed to constantly miss her at knitting events. Well I finally have one and it seriously makes weaving in ends SO much more enjoyable! As in I want to weave in ends, I'm trying to find reasons to do Russian Joins, and best of all, I purchased a silver chain to go with it so that I can wear the needle as a pendant! I currently have my eye on one of her tiny darning needles, I could definitely use such a short length when it comes to weaving in the ends of my socks! If you haven't already, check out Kristan's Etsy shop and website (at the time of this post, she has/had a STUNNING necklace on her home page that's a mini version of one of Sylvia McFadden's (aka softsweater on social media, aka the person who designed this very shawl I'm knitting!) shawl designs. But in silver. And in jewelry form. So beautiful!


One more thing before I have to take off and get the Kiddo to his last performance of his Winter school production: advent calendars. Once again a few of my awesome sauce knitting friends (or what the ladies of the Okanagan Knit Co would say, my "knesties") and I have created advent calendars for each other. This year would be the third year in which we've embarked on this knitterly holiday fun. Like in previous years I've posted a photo on Instagram what I got for each day in one post at the end of the week, rather than daily. But if you would like to check out what everyone received, take a look at the hashtag friendmadeadvent. Without conversing with one another this hashtag just came to be the first year and we sort of stuck with it. If you're too busy to be scrolling on Instagram (I totally get that...Instagram can definitely be such a time suck!!), you can also take a look at the blog post I wrote about ideas of what to put in a knitterly advent calendar!

These same friends and I also discovered that Opal Yarn has put together a sock knitter's dream of an advent calendar. They debuted it last year but we only caught wind of its existence this year, and well, the three of us couldn't resist and had ordered ourselves one of those too! It arrived a little late but that's ok (note to self: don't order in mid-November if you want it to arrive for the beginning of December). I really don't mind playing catch up with this amazing box of fun though!! The box is much bigger than I thought it would be and it's just so much fun to open each little door and seeing those cute mini skeins - which, by the way, are 15g and about 63 m/69yd each. That's a total of a little over 1,500 m/1,600 yds when all twenty-four windows are opened! That's about four or five pairs of socks!!

Amaze balls. It's simply amaze balls, I tell you!! My original plan was to knit up each mini skein each day for who knows how many pairs of monster socks (or Frankensocks...or scrappy socks...they go by so many names), but aside from the late arrival of the box, I couldn't stop working on the gift knits. If I get my act together and get my gift knits done before December (HA! Wishful thinking??), then maybe I could do this next year? Cause I can tell you already that I am definitely planning on getting another Opal advent calendar for next Christmas!

How's your holiday crafting and making coming along?



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

KPC Yarns :: Review


A few months ago I was asked if I would like to review a sampling of yarns from a company that I had never heard about. Um...hmm...let me think about this...a bunch of new to me yarn...the chance to play with a bunch of new yarn...I love yarn...I love trying new things...I love trying new yarn. Ok, yeah. This is a no-brainer. Sure! Sign me up!!

I didn't do any research before the yarns arrived, as in I didn't look up where the yarn company is from, what their history is, what kinds of yarn and fibre they offered, or even what their company name means. I didn't want anything to affect my first impressions. Straight up, I'll admit that I knew the yarns would arrive looking super cute, all bonbons-like in a box but other than that I had no idea what to expect. Imagine my surprise when a package showed up on my doorstep and I opened it to find a sleek looking white box that opened up to display a gorgeous splash of rainbow-y colour!

Let me introduce to you to KPC Yarns:


» First Impressions «
I am such a sucker for packaging and I have to say, this is stunning. Yes, when you really look at it, it's actually a simple, plain white box with dividers. But it's this clean simplicity that allows the yarn and colours to take center stage. And the yarns...oh, the yarns!! In the past, whenever I've encountered yarn samplers the yarns would either be twisted into mini skeins or wound onto a bobbin of sorts. Usually, each yarn is labeled or the whole lot is accompanied with a single card with minimal information. Not this sampler box of yarn! 

Just look at it:

Not only was I overly delighted to see 13 (yes, you read that right, thirteen) balls of yarn for me to play with, but there was also a garter stitch swatch for each of the yarns included! That really blew me away. Also in the box: a postcard, a pamphlet containing more information about each yarn and how many colours are available in each base, and get this, a beautiful wooden 16GB USB flash drive with the company logo etched onto it that contained a quick presentation about the company, product range, contact info, and upcoming events. KPC Yarns went all out with this sample box!! They definitely want you to know and enjoy all the luxury yarns that they have to offer!

LOVE!!

I absolutely love the presentation of the yarn samples. Each yarn ball is tied up with a logoed ribbon with a card containing the base name, yarn weight, fibre content, colour name, sample weight, and length in both metres and yards. I really like the idea of using the ribbon to keep your yarn ball intact when you put a project on hold or for when you have leftovers. On the full-size balls of yarn, the label attached contains all the yarn info and washing/care instructions, so when you finish a project you can reuse the label as a gift tag! There's even space on the label to write a little message. The sample sized yarn balls didn't have these labels, but the swatches did! You can even reuse the ribbon to either attach the tag to your knit or to use the ribbon itself as a label on your knitted piece. How awesome is that? 

After viewing the sampler box I did a little research on KPC Yarns to read up on what the company and yarns were all about (and discovered that KPC stands for "knit purl crochet" in the process). I found out that although KPC was launched in 2014, the family owned company actually started over seventy years ago in Shanghai. Back then they were a tailoring business that grew into a successful textile company that has been supplying premium grade merino, cotton, and cashmere to luxury garment manufacturers. Now, based out of Hong Kong, KPC is offering the same high-quality luxury yarns to makers everywhere. They have a strong commitment to not only using sheep that they raise in New South Wales, Australia that gives top priority to animal welfare, but also farms that utilize sustainable farming practices.


» The Yarns «
The yarns truly are pure luxury. I couldn't stop handling and squeezing all the balls (there's a joke in there somewhere...)!! There are four bases in the line-up: 


➳ Novomerino (100% ultra fine merino wool)
 Glencoul (70% merino / 30% cotton),
➳ Gossyp (100% organic cotton)
 Cashmere (100% cashmere!!).  

There are five weights available - but not for all bases. Cashmere is the only base that is available in lace weight but not in chunky. Novomerino is the only base that comes in an Aran weight. Otherwise, bases come in 4-ply (fingering), DK, and chunky weights.

All the yarns are made up of several small plies, with the plies twisted only just enough to hold them all together without over stretching so that the fibres can breathe, behave naturally, and ensure a soft hand and drape of the finished fabric. I find all the bases are buttery soft and produce amazing stitch definition.  

Can we also talk colours for a second here? I was really blown away by the sheer number of colours that are available. And not just in general, but per line and the yarn weight within that line. So depending on the weight, the minimum is 20 colours (that's in the chunky weights), and from there can range from 32-40 colours, with most of the 4-ply and DK weights boasting a bountiful 60 colours!! 


» The Swatches «
I have to say that I'm pretty impressed that the sampler included swatches for all the yarns included. I've never come across a sampler or yarn tasting that included even one swatch! You would have to knit it yourself. For a time-pressed knitter like me (re: lazy knitter), who would rather jump into a project or immediately start playing with the yarn, seeing how yarn already looks in a simple stitch like garter is just a blessing. From these swatches alone you can feel how incredibly soft the yarn is - I surprised myself when I choose the Gossyp Chunky over the Glencoul Chunky, I never thought I would prefer a 100% cotton over a merino/cotton blend! You can also play with the swatches and see and guesstimate just how a yarn could possibly react to stretching and wear, check out the bounce factor one may have over the others, and really be able to factor in the squishiness of a potential fabric before you even start your own project.

I also love how each swatch is labeled individually so that you're not trying to guess which is which, and that the labels wrap around the swatch perfectly. All in all, the way the swatches are makes for an eye-pleasing presentation and a fantastic reference for future purchases. At first glance, I was immediately drawn to the chunky weights of Gossyp and Glencoul due to how utterly squishy they looked, the vibrant green colours (they were Toxic and Chartreuse, in case you're wondering), the roundness of the yarn, and the beautiful stitch definition. While all the Novomerino swatches felt like silky squares of heaven and the lace weight Cashmere was like petting kittens, I was astonished that I kept going back to the Gossyp. Who knew organic cotton could be so soft and luxurious feeling?!


» The Knitting «
Even though the sampler had all the swatches available that could have made this review super easy, I really wanted to see for myself how these yarns knitted up. I had hemmed and hawed over what to do. Due to my hands, I couldn't really commit to knitting a bunch of little things to try out each base separately. So I decided to try my hand at some form of colourwork. At first I thought some fair isle legwarmers but that seemed like too big of a project, then I thought fingerless mitts. They don't require too much yarn and could potentially be do-able. But the pattern I had in mind involved too many colours and I wasn't sure if I could make the differing weights work to fit properly. I don't know how I stumbled upon it but then I found Spilly Jane's Plant Cozies pattern. 

Bingo!! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!!

I was able to incorporate five of the yarns into a medium sized plant cozy. I feel quite new to fair isle knitting but felt confident that I could make it all work. I used a ball of 4-ply Novomerino, two balls each of Glencoul and Gossyp in a 4-ply and DK weight. I have to admit that I couldn't bring myself to use a ball of Cashmere for a plant cozy! But could you blame me? This is 100% cashmere we're talking about here!

It was quite lovely working with these yarns. I did find the 4-ply to be on the lighter side of fingering weight and that I preferred knitting with the DK weight. I also found that you do have to be careful about what kind of needles you use when knitting with these yarns. For me, it's always "the pointier the better" but in this case, I found that to be slightly problematic in that I would split my stitches. I switched needles to something a little less pointy and the splitting issue stopped. However, I noticed on one of the yarns, the 4-ply Glencoul (the gorgeous "Mango" yellow in the photo above), the plies would often untwist and separate while knitting. I learned on the KPC website that I should have been knitting from the inside out from the yarn ball because that way I could pull and wrap the yarn into the stitches by traveling with the twist of the yarn rather than against it. I tested this theory out by knitting the next chart that contained this yarn with the strand that came from the inside of the ball. It definitely helped. It was a lot less splitty. The things you learn...

Regardless, all the yarns felt like butter as they ran through my fingers. I stopped knitting several times to simply pet the ball of yarn or to rub my work against my face. I've said it a few times already but I'll say it again, I was really impressed with the stitch definition of each yarn. Every stitch was nice and crisp and really did stand out on their own. Even the stitches where I thought the plies had separated too much came out looking quite defined. A little light press and a zap of steam from my iron made all the stitches and the cozy in general look like perfection!


» Final Thoughts «
Overall, I enjoyed working with all the yarns involved in this yarn tasting box, and am keeping both the Gossyp Chunky and the Novomerino Chunky on my list of yarns I would like to knit a project out of in the near future. Because the yarns are so luxurious, I don't think I would want to knit anything like mittens or legwarmers, or anything that involves too much wear and tear. A hat maybe, since the knitted fabric would feel so soft on my forehead. But I think I would want to knit something as equally luscious and grand. Maybe a shawl or a special sweater, something that can be worn next to the skin.

I'm super happy with my final plant cozy (I'll post photos once I re-pot my poor, poor succulent...how is it that I can grow them, but can't keep them alive?!?) and totally plan on knitting a few more with the leftovers and with some of the other colours in the box. I'm also planning on knitting a few hexipuffs too!! Although, I think I'll keep the ball of Cashmere intact...maybe display it on my dresser in a covered glass cupcake stand? I'm a knit-nerd, I know! 

I'm also really happy that I had this opportunity to try a new-to-me brand and yarns and to be forced to practice my fair isle skills. I don't know if I would have ever been able to find this company or their yarns on my own, as only a little over a handful of shops outside of Hong Kong carry these yarns (and none of them are located in either Canada or the US). Now, you're probably thinking shipping MUST cost an arm and a leg if the yarn is coming from Hong Kong. Surprisingly, shipping isn't outrageous. It's actually decent! And if you're a fellow Canadian, shipping seems to be comparable with the rates we face when purchasing yarns from south of the border. How do I know this? Well, out of curiosity I added a bunch of stuff to my cart and tried checking out. A handy dandy tip: at the very top of the page select your currency (or the one you plan on paying with), as the default is Hong Kong dollars (HKD). 

If you would like to give any of the KPC Yarns a try or would like to know more information about KPC Yarns, please check out the following links:





:: Disclaimer ::
I am not affiliated with the company mentioned in this post. I received no monetary compensation for my review. I was sent a yarn sampler kit for review purposes in exchange for the possibility of posting a review. The wording and opinions I've written are my own and I will not be receiving any commissions from the links provided in this post.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIP Wednesday


Am I starting to freak out? 

Yes. Just a little. 

I have a little over two weeks to finish a shawl I'm planning on gifting to the Kiddo's teacher and I'm nowhere near where I thought I would be at this time. I had to take a few days off from knitting because I could feel my hands starting to act up a smidge, and rather than wait for them to be in complete pain I thought I would nip it in the bud and take it easy now. I think it worked. And so my plan for the rest of the week and most likely the weekend is to work solely on this shawl. I will get it done. It needs to be done. 

The shawl is actually lovely to knit. I am a little concerned about the depth of it but have to remind myself that I still have two more lace panels to knit up. Plus, I'm not the one that will be wearing it so I shouldn't be so picky, right? I'm also slightly concerned about the amount of yarn I have for the main colour, which is ridiculous considering that I have at least half a skein and only one more section to go before starting the border. But I do this to myself all.the.time. My brain likes to mind play games with me and makes me assume I'm going to run out of yarn, only to have more than plenty leftover by the time I bind off that last stitch. These mind games are at its worse when the colourway I'm using is either not available at my LYS, is limited, or is by a dyer that no longer dyes yarn. It's a messed up game and one that is played a lot

My goal is to use up as much of the main colour yarn as possible and have been adding in extra rows here and there - more for the distribution of the stripes than to add length, but now I'm considering adding a few extra rows in the last two lace panels to gain more depth. Depending on how it all looks, I'm also thinking of doing lace-y picot edge bind off to give the shawl a little more "oomph".


I just hope I can get the shawl finished before the week is over, cause I really want to finish the mittens I had cast on a few days ago. These are not for gifting. It's been crazy cold lately and I can't seem to find a single mitten from last year. I have, however, been able to locate all the fingerless mitts that I've knitted up in my lifetime. 

In case you're wondering, the pattern is Antler Mittens by Tin Can Knits and the yarn is Louet Gems Worsted. I've never used this yarn before and I have to say it's absolutely lovely. It's so soft, the shade of grey is perfection, and the stitch definition...oh my!! But I told myself that I can't finish this selfish knit until a gift knit is completed. 

So...back to shawl knitting I must go!


♥ 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Off The Needles: Fairy Flax Light


Surprise!! It's another baby knit!!

Ok, I'm pretty sure you're not surprised. And probably not surprised that it's another knit using a Tin Can Knits pattern. Or the fact that this is yet another Flax sweater since the last two baby knits that I did were also Flaxes. But did you know that this is the LIGHT version? Because it is!

The ladies of Tin Can Knits are awesome and came out with a lighter version of their mega popular (and free!) pattern, Flax, from The Simple Collection. It's absolutely perfect for those who don't wear or need a heavy-weight sweater, or for those warm Spring days when you need a light layering piece...or if you live on the West Coast! 

I won't lie, the main reason why I wanted to knit Flax Light is because I have a crap ton of solo skeins of fingering weight yarn in the stash. I've faced reality a long time ago that not all of those skeins are going to turn into shawls or even socks. So what was I going to do with all those project-less skeins? 

Baby knits.

Perfecto! 


So when my good friend Hayley showed up at a beer-music bingo-knitting night pregnant (don't worry, she was there for the music bingo and knitting!), I knew exactly what I wanted to knit her wee little one. Also, note to self: must get out to knit nights more often!! Anyhoo, a friend of ours, Em, formerly of Everything Old but is now Emma Knits and the voice behind the Knitting Pretty Podcast, had long ago dyed up a colourway that I knew that Hayley loved. I just happen to have a skein of this colourway and no idea what to do with it. I now think this particular skein was sitting in my stash waiting for this day. To become a baby sweater for a dear friend. 

I absolutely loved knitting this sweater. I really do think it's the perfect combo of pattern, yarn, and recipient. The yarn is just so fun and the pattern so simple that it just works. Aside from the slight flashing of colour at the bottom portion of the body, I think the flecks of colour knitted up quite evenly and not at all blotchy or weird. If that even makes sense? While I was blocking the sweater the flecks sort of reminded me of the video game, Galaga, which makes this colourway choice even more fitting as Hayley's partner is a huge gamer. I think everyone wins with this knit!


I didn't do a single mod for this pullover. The pattern is superb and just such a joy to knit. It took almost two weeks to knit this up over the summer but that's because I had a million other projects on the go at that time (what else is new?). I had knit the 6-12 month size as I wasn't sure if I would have been able to eek out the 1-2 year size. In the end I had 15g of yarn leftover, which I promptly gave to another friend who makes adorable stuffies and thought this yarn would make the cutest little stuffie ever. I'm sure if I had planned it out better by using a contrasting yarn for the ribbed parts (like I did with these Flaxes) I would have had enough to knit the next size up. Oh well. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll be knitting this pattern!

My friend sent me a few photos of her sweet little one wearing this sweater. He looked so incredibly adorable. I don't feel comfortable posting photos of babies that aren't mine on the blog, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that he looks so cute that my ovaries hurt. Sorry, TMI? 

Let's look at this cute sweater one last time:


:: Sweater Details ::
Pattern: Flax Light by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: Everything Old Signature Sock (now discontinued)
Colour: Fairy Lights
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Interchangeables in 2.75mm (US 2) and 3.75mm (US 5)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Fairy Flax Light




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This Wednesday's WIP


I've realized that my brain is a few weeks behind reality. I kind of knew this but chalked it up to the time change, routine interruptions, and busy days. Well, now is the time that I must face reality and understand that there are only three and a half weeks until the Kiddo goes on winter break from school and there are only four and a half weeks until Christmas. 

Dang. 

I hadn't even settled on what I was going to gift my Kiddo's teacher and EA!! Over the weekend I frantically searched Ravelry and my queue, as well as my stash for ideas. I knew my son's teacher adored the Follow Your Arrow shawl that I had knit and then gifted a few years ago to another teacher, and so I was trying to find a pattern that was lacey but not over the top. Something impressive but wearable. Something elegant but can be worn casually. I think Sylvia McFadden's Waiting For Rain shawl fit my criteria perfectly. I didn't have the right yarn quantities within my stash without breaking up a sweater quantity, so I decided to make a two-tone stripey version to kind of emulate Sylvia's other shawl pattern that I simply adore The Rain Outside while being able to knit with solo skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.

I scoured all the projects to get an approximate idea as to how fast this shawl could possibly be knit up. I also got a good idea as to what some people had issues with and from that decided to make a few mods. Nothing major, just changing the way I do the increases to avoid uneven holes along the top of the shawl and sort of making up the stripe sequence as I, but loosely based off of what a few other knitters did when it came to knitting the stripes closer to the lace panels.

I had cast on the shawl on Sunday and finished the first part (out of five) yesterday (Tuesday). I won't lie, I was hoping to finish the shawl by the end of the week but I have to remind myself to take breaks often and try to work on other time-sensitive projects. So I'm giving myself two weeks to knit this. That's do-able, right? Shhh! Lie to me, if you must! I have to get this done before the winter break starts! I can do this, I can do this!!

Just keep knitting...just keep knitting...



How's your holiday gift knitting going?


♥ 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fall 2016 #CraftyBlissChallenge :: Recap

A few favourites of my own photos for the challenge!

The Fall #CraftyBlissChallenge that Julie (of Knitted Bliss) and I hosted on Instagram ended two weekends ago. It always makes me sad when a challenge ends because I love scrolling through the feed and seeing how other people interpreted the prompts; I love watching a sub-community within Instagram form and seeing participants compliment and encourage one another. 
I also like how the challenge forces me to see the every day a little differently. True, I can remind myself to do such a thing on a daily basis but when you don't have that little extra pressure from say, a challenge, it's just as easy to let the notion slide. And slide. And slide. And before you know it the sentiment is over and long forgotten. I love how inspired I get and wish I could bottle that inspiration and motivation that I get during a challenge. I'm sure I'm not the only one, as several participants shared extra photos post-challenge!

Before I continue on, I would like to say a massive "thank you!!" to all of the people who participated in the challenge, whether you managed to complete all ten days or not. It was so awesome to see so many names that I recognized from past challenges and to see quite a few new ones who had joined after seeing a re-post of the prompts via a friend. Julie and I were pretty excited to discover that 117 people had finished the challenge from start to finish!! 

A refresher of what the daily prompts were:



I was actually quite surprised with myself with how easy I found this round of prompts were for me. I think the only prompt that made me think twice was the first one, Something That Makes You Happy. There are so many things that make me happy and since my Instagram showcases mainly knitting and yarn it felt only natural to photograph just that. But then I thought, isn't that the expected route that people would anticipate for me to make? So I dug a little deeper and turned it into a non-craft related post that was slightly cheesy but was downright to the heart (it was about my kiddo and how far he has come since his toddler years in regards to his ASD diagnosis, in case you were wondering). 

One of my absolute favourite prompts was Flash Your Stash, mainly because I love seeing other knitters' stashes and how they store or display their precious yarns. And yeah, I'll admit, sometimes I feel much better about the size of my own stash when I see just how big another knitter's stash is. It's not really cheating per se but I didn't photograph my stash for that prompt. All my yarns are housed in Ziplock bags in very unphotogenic and unattractive plastic Rubbermaid totes (I live in a very high-risk bug filled area and I'm quite over protective of my yarny investments!! Also, finding two moth casings in my living room in unprotected yarn recently has made me even more vigilant about yarn protection!). There was no way I was going to make that look good, no matter what. Instead, I decided to snap a photo of some of my self-striping sock yarn (the very top photo in the collage above). It was then that I realized that I have a "problem"...and that I need to knit more socks...

Out of all the photos I took and shared, my favourite has to be the one I took for Look Up. I'm fortunate that I live in a very beautiful city but on that particular day it was grey, rainy, and gross. I waited it out and hoped that the weather would get nicer as the day wore on and lo and behold while walking to the Kiddo's school the rain stopped! In that moment I was passing by the BC Legislature building, which is my most favourite building in the city that I always marvel at, and quickly pulled out my sunglasses and captured through them the view I see on a daily basis (it's the second photo from the right at the bottom of the above collage). I'm really proud of that photo! To this day I wonder whatever possessed and inspired me to take that image, and how do I get that kind of inspiration back! 

So many photos caught my eye and I realized the majority of the ones that jumped out at me had a "theme" to them: they were all bright, bold, and rainbow-hued. If you haven't already, check out the #CraftyBlissChallenge hashtag feed to see all the wonderful photos that were shared. In the meantime, here are a few that really stood out to me:




I have always admired that knitted rainbow log cabin blanket made by @autumngeisha. It's just SO stunning, as is the rest of her Instagram feed and her Ravelry project page! I'm definitely inspired to start collecting yarn to knit myself one...eventually. Or aspire to make, like @danarae19's crocheted scrappy Granny Square that my own Noro version wishes it could be when it grows up. All the rainbow-y photos just make me so happy and a few of them have such touching stories behind them, like the photo of the two Baby Surprise Jackets on handknit blankets made by @evenstarchick that she made to bring home her babies from the hospital in. I love the contrasts and the mix-and-match feel between the four pieces and the fact that they're knits I can see becoming well-loved family heirlooms that will be passed down from generation to generation. 

I also really appreciate the non-knitting posts and am always happy that participants don't feel pressured to produce something knitting or yarn related in a predominately knitting community. I have a major soft spot for latte art (actually, @minas_letters has a simply gorgeous feed of knitting, needlework, and foliage), catching glimpses of someone's artwork and progress (@loveluckbliss's paintings are all so beautiful), and for the second challenge in a row @exiled.muse snapped a fun, colourful work of graffiti.

And the colours...oh, the colours!! I simply cannot get enough!! For someone who wears a lot of black and grey but wishes they had an exquisite, colourful, handmade wardrobe full of dresses like @sarahycurtis's (seriously, check out those dresses!!), I truly do like big, bold colours! Whether that colour takes on the form of a skein of yarn that I can't bear to knit up like @teamperramaker's skein of In The Whirled, or the beauty that is given to us by Mother Nature (ok, mixed with yarn too) like @knitbugval's, or knitted into home goods and accessories like @seashoresharon's and @instaello's, or paired with my beloved grey like @canaryknits' scarf, or even as a pop of colour like @lindseyannscott's. All the colours are just screaming out at me. I love it!


Another favourite prompt was Rainbows (kind of obvious). That prompt was the perfect one to end the challenge and I hope it made all the participants leave the challenge with a smile on their faces. Again, I wish I could re-post all the photos from that prompt here on the blog, but the one that really stood out and even came with a fantastic tip was by @jesieost that I definitely want to try. Jesie recommended saving and storing those little scraps of yarn by wrapping them around a clothespin and pinching the free end in to keep the yarn from unraveling. Brilliant!! Am I right? Jesie likes to use these little remains for toy knitting, single stripes, pompoms, embroidering details, and wrapping presents. I think this would also be an excellent way to save a bit of leftover yarns used to knit socks for future darnings or to present within a gift in case the recipient needs to replace a button, do some mending, or whatever. I like to include not only a card that says the fibre content and care but also a wool wash sample with all my gifts, this would make for a lovely bonus too. Thanks Jesie for the awesome tip!

Like the last few challenges, Julie and I had agreed to pick a winner each via random number generator from the list of those who completed the full 10 days of the challenge to receive a little surprise. Well, guess what? How's this for a surprise: the absolutely lovely and oh so talented Chantel of Mudpunch has offered a skein of her beautiful yarn as a prize!! The winners have been picked and they are:


If you haven't heard from us already, we will be in touch with you via Instagram direct message!

 Thank you so much to all of the participants of this Fall challenge!! We hope you had as much fun as we did and that you'll join us again for the next one! And thank you to the participants who gave me their permission to use their photos for this post!!




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