Oh-my-gurumi Pierogi!

tcakes4u's little pierogi

And by “oh my gurumi”, I mean amigurumi. I came across this cute little amigurumi pierogi on the front page of Ravelry and had to stop what I was doing to share it with you all.

Tiffany (tcakes4u) used Deena White’s Little Empanada pattern to make a cute little pierogi!

My mom is from Pittsburgh, where they eat an excessive amount of pierogies and I’ve been eating an excessive amount of them since I was a kid. They’re definitely a comfort food for me and I have a bit of an obsession. Actually, I have an obsession with any dumplings (like these squee polymer clay dumplings). I should probably crochet a few pierogies instead of eating the actual thing!


Cross Stitch Cuteness!


I started cross stitching solely because of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They have THE CUTEST cross-stitch patterns I’ve ever seen, so I wanted to share them with you.

Cute Halloween cross stitch

Get ready for Halloween!

Now, I’ve yet to finish even one teeny project, but I’m really tempted to get one of their Halloween patterns or Autumn patterns.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Autumn Harvest Festival Cross stitch

Fall is (not) here!

I love the way Amanda and Ashleigh (owners of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery) style their cross stitch works over hand-dyed fabric. It really adds depth to the cross stitch.

Fibery Friends Cross stitch

Oh yeah, and how could you resist swapping your knitting needles for a tapestry needle to stitch this Fibery Friends sampler? I need to make a pillow covered in cross stitched alpacas right now! Bye!

Finished Shirtie! (FO)

Completed Kelso sweater

Wow – I thought I’d never finish knitting this hooded, short-sleeved sweater!

I started knitting the Kelso sweater in May, so it took almost 6 months to complete. Now that I say that out loud, I’m surprised I knit my first sweater in less than a year.

Knitted Kelso sweater

Yeah, I’m using a remote control. What of it?

Knitting this was pretty fun. The lace panel in the middle uses the SAME pattern repeat every row (knit or purl), so it’s very easy to remember.

There is some seaming to do, which I was dreading because everyone talks about how awful seaming is, but I actually found it to be a bit fun to watch the mattress stitch zip up the sides of the sweater. I also learned how to do the kitchener stitch for the top of the hood!

I do wish that I’d knit a smaller size. I chose the 46″ size based on my bust size, adding 4″ for ease and it’s a bit swimmy in here. After reading Knit to Flatter and Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog (the sweater queen, IMO), I now know that I should knit sweaters based on my upper torso size, adding darts where needed to increase sizing where things are a bit bigger. That would have meant making a 38″ instead of 46″ sweater.

The hoodie helps a lot to make this sweater look cute at a bigger size. Without it, it might just look like a big, frumpy shirt.


Does this sweater make my bookshelves look big?

My only gripe with this pattern is that it called for 8 balls of yarn and I only needed 5.25 of them to finish the sweater at the size I chose. Maybe I knit weird but I swear I met gauge!

On to the yarn. I knit this using Knit Pick’s Palette. I absolutely LOVE the colors available in this yarn base. It’s 100% wool and 100% stinky when wet. Luckily the smell goes away after a bit, otherwise this sweater would be in the trash. I didn’t particularly love or hate knitting with the yarn, but it is a very nice match to this pattern.

Woohoo! Now I can cast on something else! Or perhaps I should finish that shawl… or sock.

Hooded shirt/sweater

Girl, look at that hoodie. I work out!

Making your own change


Nothing is going to change unless each individual person chooses to change and I’m an individual person so I have to choose to change.

After realizing that she, as an individual, could do something about global warming and the overuse of resources on earth, Jen of Make Do and Mend challenged herself and her family to a year of acquiring nothing new with lots of re-using, mending, and ‘making do’.

This quote resonated with me because I recently had a similar epiphany to Jen’s. Until earlier this year, I felt helpless about issues like factory farming and animal rights. Each time that I guiltily ate a hamburger, I would tell myself that not spending $5-20 per week on meat would go unnoticed by a factory farm business, and plus, I donate to the ASPCA, Audubon Society, Humane Society, and the World Wildlife Federation (isn’t that enough??). But for some reason, this year, I realized that I didn’t need to feel guilty, I could just do something about it. I stopped eating meat and started educating myself and my family on what meat and animal products are humanely farmed, how to tell and where to buy them. I feel better about my decisions and although I realize that changing my own habits isn’t going to change the world, I know it’s a start. As Ghandi supposedly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I would highly recommend a listen to Kate’s interview with Jen on A Playful Day podcast. It’s inspiring to hear the journey of a self-professed not-so-crafty person making do with what they’ve got to make a change in their lives.

Listen to the interview on A Playful Day podcast.

Cozy Knits & Crochet

Cozy Knits and Crochet Patterns

Here I sit, in my home in central Florida with the A/C blasting. It’s 88°F outside but I’m pretending there is a slight chill to the air. Drinking a pumpkin spice latte and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see photo after photo celebrating the beginning of a new season—my favorite season—Autumn.

Autumn doesn’t seem to show up here until mid-November most years, so it is with much jealousy I have put together this set of cozy knitting and (one, sorry hookers) crochet patterns. They remind me of fireplaces, warm cups of hot cocoa, and colorful fallen leaves.

To those of you living a bit farther away from the equator than me, enjoy your chunky, cowled, and cabled sweaters! Put on those bulky, scrunchy socks and a matching pair of wrist  warmers, curl up in your coziest chair and get knitting (or hooking)!

A Blanket for Seriously Cold People

A Blanket for Seriously Cold People by Sylvia Bo Bilvia

Not sure you could get any cozier, wrapped in this chunky, ribbed blanket designed by Sylvia Bo Bilvia.

Perfect Autumn Sweaters

Top Left: Lanvad by Justyna Lorkowska Top Middle: Eddy by Amy Herzog Top Right: Cardiff Coat by Jennifer Wood Bottom Left: Coffee tunic by Mira Saarentaus Bottom Middle: Lila by Carrie Bostick Hoge Bottom Right: Frontiersman by Martin Storey

Cozy Accessories

Top Left: Hooded Cowl with Buttons by Melissa Grice (Crochet) Top Left Middle: Woodland Hoodlet by Tiny Owl Knits Top Left Bottom: Cosy gloves by Anna NikipirowiczTop Right: Cup of Cocoa Slouch Socks by Heather Walpole Bottom Left: Cosy Scarf by Marie Wallin Bottom Right: Slouchy Socks by Gwen Bortner

If you want to get even cozier, I have created the Get Cozy! bundle on Ravelry and will continue to add cozy, comfy knits and crochet projects to it.

Favorite the Get Cozy! bundle on Ravelry and maybe new patterns will pop up in your Pattern Highlights (is that how Ravelry works?).

Brooklyn Tweed’s Fall 2015 Lookbook

Willamette Scarf from the Brooklyn Tweed Lookbook

Brooklyn Tweed released their gorgeous Fall 2015 Lookbook today and it’s focused around one of my favorite things: The Pacific Northwest! Since they’ve moved their offices to Portland, I guess they’re feeling a bit inspired. I know the feeling.

The lookbook is beautiful and makes me want to pack up my needles and knit in Oregon somewhere.

Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry in Lazulite colorway

Brooklyn Tweed’s Quarry in Lazulite colorway

They have also released a new line of yarn: Quarry – a beautiful, bulky yarn that comes in the loveliest, earthy colorways! I’m a sucker for roving-style yarn and this one is sourced from Targhee-Columbia sheep in Wyoming, dyed in Philadelphia and spun in New Hampshire, keeping the process all in the US. It will definitely have a spot on my holiday wishlist!

30MinKnits Challenge

#30MinKnits Challenge

I’m challenging you all to knit for 30 minutes-a-day for 30 days!

Wait, why…?

I think many of us knitters, fast or slow, have gone through patches of knit-neglect. Our UFOs (unfinished objects) start piling up in a corner. We look back at the past few weeks and realize we haven’t knit at all or have only knit a couple of times and, with regret, we exclaim,

“If only I’d just knit for a few minutes every day, I’d be done with that project already!”

I want to gift myself with 30 minutes a day of knitting so I can…

  • Start and finish that second sock
  • Finish that beautiful red shawl I’ll never wear
  • Finish the shirtie I really want to wear
  • Finish the annual temperature scarf I started… in 2013

And I want you to gift 30 minutes to yourself as well! If you have unfinished knits or haven’t picked up your needles for a while, join me!

How the heck am I going to find 30 minutes?

  • If you’re a morning person, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual for 30 days, grab your cup of coffee (or tea!), settle in somewhere comfy and knit.
  • Knit between bites during lunch!
  • Knit at stoplights on your way to work. (Okay, that might be dangerous…)
  • Watching TV? Multitask and knit!
  • When you find yourself mindlessly surfing Facebook, Reddit, Ravelry, or anything else on the internet, put down your phone and pick up your needles.
  • Be mindful of your time – are you doing something you’ll regret not having done tomorrow? If not, knit!
  • Knit on the toilet…? (We’re heading into creepy territory.)
  • Knit in bed, right before you go to sleep because you almost forgot you were doing the 30MinKnits challenge!

Alright, I’m in. What are the rules?

Just a few… and I’m not going to be that picky. This challenge is a gift to you — you, the knitter, who wants to finish that UFO over there (and there, and there). Do what you can, when you can, but be nice to yourself and give yourself the time to do what you really want to do!

  • Work on whatever project you’d like for at least 30 minutes per day for 30 days in a row. That’s 30 minutes of actual knitting time, not Ravelry browsing or stash fondling to figure out what you want to knit.
  • When you want to, share your progress with everyone using the #30MinKnits hashtag on Instagram (or wherever you’d like).
  • Knit happy!

I’ll be starting this challenge on September 1st and I hope you’ll join me.