Knit Crush: Allison Janocha

With a cute baby, interesting sock construction and a beautiful shawl, you are sure to find a design you like among Allison Janocha's patterns.

As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   

Florisa
I'm not one for variegated yarn, but this baby is too cute and won me over and I'm sure the dress would be perfect (in my eyes) in a solid or semi-solid yarn. 


Samovar
This samovar is a beauty. Knitted from the centre out it is bound to be a fun knit too.

Mariee
The cables on these socks spoke to me and I may have to get Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters to find out more about the construction.

Knit Crush: Kelene Kinnersly

Texture, lace and cables. Kelene Kinnersly knows how to place a design detail for maximal effect. 


As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them. 


Sidetracked Cable
This fingerless mitt is a beauty, but am I the only one wondering what sweater she is wearing??

Stardust Hat

There's something about a simple textured hat that you just can't go wrong with.

Kyra Boatneck Pullover
This lace is ready for a slightly chilly summer's day.
I could see myself wearing that to a market with a wooden basket in hand. 

Have you heard the news?

If you are on my email list, or as I like to call it, my list of wonderful internet friends, then you already know. The secret is out and now the entire world will know, or at least the portion of it, I come in contact with...

I'm pregnant

That explains a lot, doesn't it?! Between an engagement, planning a wedding, a move and thesis writing the 20 hours per day nausea set me out of commission entirely. But I'm all better now and we are so excited to welcome this tiny human into our family. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and the baby is due on November 29th.


I still have one more exam left before the wedding and my impending summer vacation. So you may not see a lot of action here for the next week or so, but then I plan on coming back, full force. I have a few 'duties' I've neglected in the form of knit crushes that I wanted to make, trust me, but the nausea won, what can I say? I didn't even want to knit, much less look at patterns. 

Speaking of knitting, I have some secret knitting I'll be revealing soon, and yes it is baby related. I'm also looking for a few test knitters for a vest and a sock pattern for the up-coming e-book, so please join in if you are up for it. 

Finally, if you would like to be in the know sooner about things like this in the future or say, get the very special discounts that are reserved for my list of wonderful internet friends, then go ahead and sign up now, this way you won't miss it in the future (and you get my e-book Faithful Knitting for free as well).

Become one of my wonderful internet friends

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A day in the life of a thesis writing university student.

*Eat, write, knit, repeat from *. My days are easy to sum up at the moment and since the only knitting I'm doing is secret knitting, I though I'd do something different and share a day in my life as a thesis writing university student. 

As I still have the remainders of a horrible flu in my body, I'm sleeping in without an alarm, resulting in some late mornings. Today I woke up at 9am to the sound of the church bell. The first thing I do every morning is to grab my phone and read my Bible portions for the day.   


Once I got that done I got out of bed and fixed breakfast and had a chat with my parents, whom I'm visiting at the moment. 
Not long after finishing a non-picturesque breakfast, I grabbed my laptop and started writing on the last analysis needed for my thesis. By now the church was sounding 10am and I was off to a good start. 

No hero is complete without his trusty sidekick and when it comes to thesis writing I seem to have two: food and knitting. By 11am I was feeling peckish and grabbed a midmorning snack. My mum had fixed a batch of bread for our up-coming wedding, and had 1 bun left over from the circle. It was delicious and just what I needed to get a little more writing done.   


When I inevitably fell into a writing rut, I decided it was time for a shower and as I returned from it, all refreshed and relaxed, my mum was fixing lunch. There really is something to be said for having all your meals prepared by someone else when your trying to write an important paper.


After lunch I managed to include an important point in my paper that I had no clue where to place up to that point. A look on the thermometer revealed that it was really all to warm outside to be working inside, so I grabbed my laptop and the needed papers and headed outside.
It wasn't long, however, before it felt like it was time for a knitting break. 


Ahh, look at all that sunshine... Unfortunately secret knitting does not get a paper written and I was determined to finish the analysis today, so I returned to the screen (thank you technology for screens you can actually see outside in the sun nowadays). 


Some more eating of snacks and some more knitting was involved. I even finished one secret knit and cast on another and by 4pm I had a finished analysis and just under half of my conclusion written. Not bad for a days work. What does a typical day in your life look like at the moment?



9 Random Thoughts on Moving from a Tiny Apartment.



#1
We will have a KITCHEN! Oh the joys of no longer having an oven in our livingroom, or worse our bedroom, as they are the same room... We will have a proper stove and cabinets and counter space, not a lot, but significantly more than now. Our Kenwood Major can even get its own corner, no more having to hold onto the shelving unit when using it.

#2
We will have a BEDROOM. Imagine being sick and only having one room to be in all day long. Imagine one person wanting to sleep and the other wanting to watch a movie. Imagine trying to write an important paper and your partner being desperate to fill the air, not his ears, with music singing in his beautiful voice, but annoying you beyond believe. A bedroom means a place to really rest. My man can sleep in while I can get up and move around without the fear of waking up a cranky man. I can go to bed early and my man enjoy his evening without the fear of waking up a cranky lady.

#3
I will have an OFFICE. Okay, not entirely true, but I will have a corner of the bedroom filled with all my books and my desk. A place to work separate from everything else that is going on in our home. A door to close and not open until I'm ready to go out into the world again. I may need a Do Not Disturb sign.

#4
We will have WINDOWS. Fear not, we have windows now. They take up almost one entire wall in our tiny studio. But we live at the ground level, so we have the curtains drawn all day long. Who wants strangers to be able to see just what TV, computers, oven etc. you have when they stroll by. Don't tempt the weak souls. What I'm most excited about concerning the windows is that we won't need any blinds except in the bedroom...

#5
We will get BLACK-OUT CURTAINS in the bedroom. The bliss of actually going to bed in a cold and dark room. Enough said.

#6
We will have PLANTS. Along the lines of #4 we haven't been able to keep plants alive very well during the past 5-6 years. They simple don't get enough light. That will change when we move and I'm already dreaming of herbs in the kitchen and succulents everywhere else.

#7
We will have a proper LIVINGROOM. The space should be big enough to have a dinning table and a couch and tv fit comfortably into the same room. We can finally entertain people more and we can finally have a place for people to sleep when they come to visit from far away.

#8
There will be SPACE between things. Everything is slightly crammed now as we have a lot of things, but in the new place we will actually want a few more pieces of furniture and there should still be space between our belongings.

#9
We will get to DECORATE. Even thought it is a rented apartment, we will get to decorate it. We will be able to create a calming bedroom, a beautiful livingroom and a kitchen that invites to you to cook delicious and nourishing meals. Most importantly, those rooms will all be separated by walls and doors.

These are a few of the random thoughts that keep popping up in my head and make me smile.
Which part of your home do you love the most and why?


Engagement rings and other excuses

Life is changing rapidly at the moment and with all that change blogging has proofed difficult. The one yarn related thing that has been happening is a secret, ironic isn't it, in the year of full disclosure. I had so many plans for this year, but God had different plans - much better plans.

I haven't blogged since March. One excuse is that on April Fool's day in the middle of the LYS my mum works for, my man got down on one knee and proposed to me. We are now trying to plan a wedding in just a few short months and will tie the knot on July 4th 2015.


I'm so excited to be engaged, after being with this man for 7 years, there is nothing I'd rather do than marry him. 

But I'm getting way ahead of myself here. You see, 4 days ago we were offered a one bedroom rented flat. Since then we've seen it, signed the contract and paid the deposit. I've lived in the studio we call home since May 2009. Now, in May of 2015, I'll leave. My man has lived here for 4 or 5 years too. For some reason people seem to think we are rockstars for pulling that off. That many years together on 28m2 and the only place you can 'escape' to is the bathroom? Truth be told, we've hardly ever had to 'escape'. 

Now, in just over a month, we'll be moving to a place twice the size of our current flat. With an actual bedroom and kitchen! In just over 2,5 months we'll be married as well. But again, with the getting ahead of myself. 

In between the move and the wedding I have two big exams. For my oral exam on June 24th, I have to first write a synopsis, the topic will be given on May 26th and we only have a few days to write that. Then on June 1st my BA thesis is due. 

Oh and there's more. Much more, that I can't or won't tell you at this point. Not everything is meant to go on the internet. 

All this has lead to a lot of debate in my head concerning blogging. Should I stop? Should I just post when I actually have something yarn related to share with you? How about a year from now - where do I see this blog then? The answer to all those questions is I don't know

I love the community of blogging. I love reading your comments and getting to know you just a tiny bit better every now and then. I love the creative outlet writing is and I wouldn't want to be without that. But if this blog is going to survive and I really want it too, then it may have to go through as many changes as I am. These past two months have seen more life changes for me, than the past 4 years put together. 

In a quiet moment I'll have a talk with my fiancé (that is so odd to type) about this blog. He almost always knows what questions to ask and when to just listen and frankly, that may be all I need to figure out what the future, at least the near future, of this blog entails. 

For now, thanks for stopping by and thank you for being part of my community. 


Knit Crush: Rena Varsakis

Rena Varsakis is the woman behind The Red Fox and Gown. I Love the quirkiness of her patterns.
Would you wear a fox hat?


As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   















Planning a shoot and fighting an urge...



Easter brings with it the opportunity to go home and that means a chance to do a photoshoot. I'm still terribly undecided on the issue of single patterns or a cohesive e-book for the collection I'm currently working on. At the moment I'm leaning towards e-book, so I'm planning the photoshoot accordingly. If the weather allows it we will be able to shoot 4 patterns during easter, hopefully in one day. That is, if I finish knitting the sample of the 4th pattern.

I'm surprised by how much I enjoy designing sock patterns and I'm currently knitting on sock #2 on my second sock design. It's coming along well, but there's still half a sock left and easter is sneaking up on us.

It's also with regards to this sock that I continue to fight the urge to just start the testing fase already! It's so easy to get impatient and just want it all done, NOW! I dream of the day where I'll be able to manage having several patterns in testing, but alas now is just not that day yet.

What plans do you have for easter?

Glimpses of a sock


Today I want to share with you a glimpse of a sock design I'm working on. It's ready for testing, but I've learned the hard way not to have more than one test knit on the go during the semester, because something is bound to be up with both patterns at the same time and also I have a group of wonderful testers and they can only knit so much for me at a time. (Btw, if you want to join in, you can!)



100% Rye by Shannon Stronger - a Review



Sourdoug is a passion of mine and rye is a grain, I eat almost daily, so when I found out that a woman I admire was coming out with a new cookbook called 100% Rye, I had to get a copy and tell you all about it. Shannon Stonger and her husband Steward graciously provided a free copy for me to review, but although I will send them a grateful though every time I bake from this book, it did not influence my review.

About the author
Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, cookbook author, and fermented-food enthusiast. She is the author of three books: Simple Food for Winter, Simple Food for Spring, and 100% Rye. She also chronicles her family's off-grid journey at nourishingdays.com.  

About the book
First off, let me tell you about my overall impression of this book. It rocks. There, that's it. You want more..?

What do you think about when you hear about 100% rye baked goods? If you have no familiarity with rye you may just think " how exciting", but if you've ever had a rye bread go Wrong (yes, with a capital letter), then you may be slightly on edge, at the same time chances are that you've also had rye breads done right and know what glorious baked goods they are.

Shannon uses traditional ingredients in her baking, much in tune with Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, which happens to be one of my favourite cookbooks, so I'm slightly bias from the get-go.
For me, sourdough is something I preach. If you ever get me talking about baking, it will not be long before I offer you some sourdough. If you have no idea what a sourdough is, here is (some of) Shannon's explanation:

"At its most basic, a sourdough starter is simply a slurry of water and flour that contains a living colony of bacteria, yeast, acids, and other microorganisms we probably don’t even know about." p 16 

Shannon also shares a good deal of her personal story with her reader which leaves me with a feeling that anyone can make these recipes work for them. Just listen to one of her musings on rye:

"I found that rye flour has a window of hydration in which it works best. Too dry and it becomes a lead brick. Too moist and overworked and it becomes gummy and shapeless. Working with this fact, and not against it, was a sort of breakthrough I had when I began developing recipes for my family." p 8

This book gently takes you by the hand and guides you through the motions, even if you have never used rye or sourdough before. Shannon deals with the many questions that surround rye and sourdough, problems that may occur and ways to adapt the recipes to your comfort level. All this is spruced up with rustic, handdrawn illustrations that makes the book both authentic and charming as well as mouthwatering colour photos of the baked goods.

Finally, any cookbook that lists carrots this way is bound to win my heart:

"2 cups (tightly packed) freshly grated carrots (none of that pre-shredded, dried out nonsense) " p 78

Sadly, I've yet to try any of the recipes due to time constrains, but I'm positive they are delicious and will recommend this book to anyone and everyone interested in baking with rye and sourdough.
First on my list of recipes I want to try ASAP is this delicious goodness that I'll leave you with as a teaser:


A productivity tool - #CTBrainDump

A New Week, Already?!

After I read my bible yesterday morning, I looked at instagram for a few minutes and stumbled upon Create & Thrive's blogpost on Morning Brain Dumps. This was a God-sent message for me, since I had no idea how to go about what seemed like a frustrating Monday.

You see, I'm writing a thesis and I have a  big, huge problem: I'm not actually writing anything. Ouch, that is not a nice place to be. I'm spending my days frantically looking for a primary source to analyse for my thesis. I've read a bunch of secondary material already and am hooked on my topic of choice, I just haven't had much luck locating a primary source.

The Morning Brain Dump

Well, enough with the woe-is-me already and on to the tool, right?!

You basically make four lists before your day begin. The first and most important is your MUST list. The second is your SHOULD list, then there is your COULD list and finally the WANT TO list.

Since September 2014 a bullet journal has been my faithful friend, so naturally I made the list in my journal.  It started out looking like this (and yes, I did it in English because most of you don't read Danish and I know you are curious to know what I actually had to do, you don't have to thank me, really it's okay):


During the day more items got added as I thought of them, because I was waiting to hear from the royal library whether or not they could find a book in their archives. For hours it didn't look like I would make any progress on my most important MUST, so I decided to get a lot of other things taken care of, while I basically had to sit around and wait.

By 1 pm, the end of my lunch break, my list had grown quite a bit, but a lot had also been checked off:

At 2 pm, while I was busy working on both COULD items and a WANT TO item, I received notice from the Royal Library that the book I needed was now available. So I waited not so patiently until my bread was done baking and my laundry could be put in the dryer and then I headed off to the capital. By then my list looked had no item on it, that I hadn't at least started to work on:


When I came home, I had two possible primary sources for my thesis and had gotten a whole lot of things done, so I decided to relax, finish this post, drink some tea and knit on the sock as the only item left anywhere on the list was the PT (Practical Theology) for next week.

Evaluation Time

Not only did I get a lot done, I also felt like I had a really enjoyable day. Being able to see that you are getting the things you MUST get done is great, seeing the SHOULD, COULD and WANT TO is fantastic.
I'm going to try this out for a while and would encourage you to do the same. Have you tried something similar before or do you have another favourite productivity tool?

Let's review: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


This book, Eating Animals, so many words come to mind in a big giant mess.. Have you read it? If you have an interest in food, if you eat - you should read this. There, that was pretty clear, wasn't it. 
I finished reading this book, the day before I'm writing this and frankly, I'm tempted to turn to page one and read it again. 

So where do I begin with this review. Let's begin with the fact, that I was already fairly smitten with Mr. Safran Foer's writing style before reading this book. Everything is Illuminated is a fantastic read in my opinion. While Eating Animals is not fiction, storytelling is still at the centre of it. 

It's a mixture of his own debacles with eating animals, his (final) decision on a vegetarian lifestyle, kafka, statistics, interviews and even someone bashing Joel Salatin, a man I really admire. This book seems to have it all... Here are some of the questions that came to mind while and after reading it.

Is this just a vegetarian trying to convince me to become one?

Yes and no. mr. Safran Foer puts it pretty bluntly that he thinks anyone but vegetarians are fooling themselves, even the so called ethical omnivores. His personal view seems to be, that the only way you can truly avoid and change the meat industry is by being a vegetarian. 
However, his main goal seems to be educational. He provides a swarm of information and then asks: Knowing this, can you still justify eating meat? 

This book, naturally focussing on the American meat industry, distances itself from me somewhat. I live far away from those practices, don't I? I live in a place where we do not water cool chickens, Mr. Safran Foer told me so himself. Add to that the age of the book (first published in 2009) and I have reasons enough to discard everything he tells me, or do I?

The fact of the matter is that I don't. I'm not naïve enough to believe, that I live in a country where animals are treated as they should be by the farmers and given a quick, painless, humane death after a life of frolicking on pasture. 

Did he convince me then?

The short answer is no. The long answer is complex and according to Mr. Safran Foer, not an answer at all.
You see, my man and I don't eat a lot of meat. In any given week our meals are somewhere between 50-85% vegetarian. So why aren't we just biting the bullet and doing it 100%? Because I believe in eating animals. I believe in nurturing my body by the consummation of carcasses, however gross that may sound to you. 

I would love to tell you now, how I'm one of those ethical carnivores, who really makes it work. That I only buy our meat from small farmers and butchers, that we know they lived like true chickens, pigs, and cow. 
Right now, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the meat we do buy isn't even organic, because we simply can't afford it. 

The demand of cheap food

Now, that makes us pretty average consumers, doesn't it? The very ones Mr. Safran Foer rightly points out to be the driving force behind the continuation of the industrial meat industry. I would like to think this isn't entirely the case. We spent 25% of our monthly net income on food, which, at least at a glance, is a lot more than most U.S. citizens do.  As our income grows our food choices improves.
We all have a limited amount to spend on food each week. We all make choices every time we buy something. We used to buy mostly organic, but as we discovered my lactose intolerance, that changed. We choose to prioritize my immediate gut health over the long term effects of eating organically. We still have our non-negotiables that are always organic and always buy everything else organic when we can afford it, but living a life without lactose is our top priority and it is costly.
The same goes for meat. We choose the best kinds when we can, and we have certain kinds of meat that are NEVER allowed into our home, basta.
As our income grows, we'll be able to make even better choices. This is our answers, the non-answer according to Mr. Safran Foer and maybe he is right.

It's the thought that counts

None of us are changing the world by thinking. Only acting on our thoughts makes an actual difference. But I'm still tempted to claim that it is the though that counts in this case. It is my firm conviction that we should all know what we are eating, how it was produced, slaughtered, butchered, transported, stored, the whole shebang. But even the slightest grain of awareness brings us closer to a better world. You may not be able to revolutionise your eating habits today, but you should be able to think about them. Admit where you stand right now, don't be ashamed. Then dream up where you want to end up, make small goals and get moving in the right direction.


Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic and the book, Eating Animals, in the comments. I would love to hear what your two cents are.


The 5 keys to long-lasting hand knit socks



After keeping my dad in hand knit socks exclusively for 3 years I've learned a thing or two on how to make long lastings socks. In fact my dad hasn't thrown out a single pair yet and only one pair has been in need of darning. I've boiled my experiences into 5 essential keys to knitting long-lasting socks.

1) Choose your yarn wisely

It's difficult to say what the most important aspect of  long-lasting socks is, but your result will have a lot to do with the material you choose to work with. 

While your soft and beautiful silk- and cashmere blends turn into both beautiful and soft socks, they don't often make long-lasting socks. If you want socks that can handle a heavy rotation, then choose a simple 80% super wash merino and 20% nylon blend. 

You may have to try out a few brands, but once you find one that suits you, I would recommend sticking to it.  


2) It's all about gauge

Once you have a great workhorse yarn, the next essential key is your gauge. The tighter your gauge, the longer the sock will last in my experience. I tend to knit on 2,5mm needles at a gauge of 32 sts per 10cm. It's still a soft a comfortable sock, but it has a strong hold to it and the stitches do not have room to move a lot, which leads us to the next point. 


3) The perfect fit

When you wear the socks in all kinds of footwear it is essential that they have a good fit. If your socks are slightly too big they will move around more between your foot and your shoe. With friction comes additional wear and tear, such as felting, as well as discomfort and what's the point of hand knit socks if they aren't comfortable? 
Heels and toes are the most important. Don't be afraid to create your own toes. I had to tweak my dad's for a while until we finally found the perfect fit. It looks odd when not on the feet, but once on it's obvious that they fit him perfectly. 
Once you've find your perfect heel and toe, it's fairly easy to use them in almost any pattern of your choice. 


4) Wear them well

When you have found the perfect fit, it's time to wear your hand knit socks. Many Westerners are accustomed to wear a pair of socks for one day and then tossing them into the wash. If you have sweaty feet, then by all means do so. However, if your feet don't get really sweaty then consider wearing them for 2-3 days before tossing them to wash. 


5) Wash them well

The final essential key to long-lasting hand knitted socks is how you wash them. You can hand wash them with special soap, but frankly, I would never convince my mum to do so. Mum simply tosses the socks into her regular wash with similar coloured clothes on 40C.  I wash our socks on 30C, but as long as you keep the cycle fairly cool you should be fine. 
Let the socks air dry. Your worst enemy on the quest to long-lasting socks may just be the dryer. 


There you have them, my 5 essential keys to long-lasting socks. Do share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments. 


 

Knit Crush: Cow Town Knits


It's not often that we see a really good knitted skirt. Kate Bostwick has designed a beautiful pattern for a pencil skirt that looks very flattering. But she is not a one trick horse, she does sweaters, baby rompers and mittens brilliantly as well, just to mention a few of her lovely designs. Below are my top four favourites from her hand. Which of her designs is your favourite?

As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   

The Helen Pencil Skirt 


Siffleur


Eleanor Romper


Kicking Horse Mittens

11 (okay 3) FOs and a winner.

11 FOs...

My oh my have I been stitching. I'm, quite frankly, unable to keep myself in knitting/crochet these days. I cast on something new and whoosh it's done already, it's so odd, considering it was only last month, I was talking about how I needed to regain my joy and knitting mojo. I need to cast on a me-sized sweater to stop this insanity.

As a result of the just mentioned insanity I bring you 11 FOs:


The first 9 FOs are cotton rounds. What?! You don't think counting them as individual FOs count? Well then, I guess 3 FOs total is a decent amount too. 11 just sounds so impressing, doesn't it, and I needed impressing. 

These are made of lush organic cotton, that is certified fair trade as well. I may have some plans in the work for them, but it is too early to tell you about them.



My second FO is the tiny waves baby hat I wanted to cast on. I started out knitting it as per the directions, but I wasn't a fan on the slouchiness, so I ribbed it back a good deal and then redid the decreasing. It's a lovely little hat, now if only I knew a lovely little baby that could wear it. For now it'll go into the baby gift basket. You can never have too many baby items on hand. 


These you are most likely familiar with if you've been hanging around for a while. Another pair of socks are ready for my dad. I've been told that if you only wear hand knit socks, as he does, you'll wear out 4 pairs per year. Thus I've been knitting him 4 pairs per year for years, but it seems his sock drawer is slightly overflowing and I don't think he has had to discard more than one pair yet, if that. As a result I may just take the rest of the year of from daddy-sock making and focus a bit more on Pia-sock making. 

Speaking of socks, I have a new pattern almost ready for you, all it needs is a photoshoot, but the weather has been uncooperative lately on the weekends. 


... and a winner

To end this post, I'm happy to announce that my dear friend Nadia of Abso-knitting-lutely! is the winner of Evin O'Keeffe's book Bake Knit Sew: A Recipe and Craft Project Annual


Free e-guides from Craftsy

Did you know that Craftsy offers a wide range of free e-guides in everything from photography to woodworking?
It's a pretty neat way to learn more about your crafts of choice or maybe dive into a completely new craft to see if it's something you enjoy.

Even if you don't find any of them interesting, which I find hard to believe since I want to read a dusin of them, then go ahead and download one if you have your eye on a class you want to take, since most of them contain a coupon code for classes in that category.

This post contains affiliate links, so if you do decide to get any of the FREE guides, I get a small compensation, which I will greatly appreciate :)





I know most of you are stitchers, so let's start with a few stitching e-guides:


Embroidery
"From picking the best thread for the job to innovative ways of working with beads to enhance your projects, learn everything you need to know for stunning, dimensional stitching success!"
eGuide: Adding Dimension to Your Hand Embroidery

Crochet
"Learn how to crochet a chain, single crochet, double crochet and decode crochet abbreviations."
eGuide: The Beginner's Guide to Crochet 

Knitting
"From necklines to shoulder styles, this eGuide will help you unlock your knitting potential, creating sweater designs perfectly tailored to your needs!"
eGuide: 20+ Sweater Designs You'll Love to Knit 


And in case you have some non-stitching interests or would like to explore some, take a look at these cool e-guides:


Photography
"Learn to manipulate variables like depth of field and shutter speed for breathtaking photos with dramatic effect!"
eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials

Cake Decorating
"From unique buttercream flavors to pretty piped flowers, this eGuide will help you unlock your sweet creativity to create eye-popping designs that are bowl-licking good!"
eGuide: Not-So-Basic Buttercream Decorating Ideas

Food & Cooking
"From decadent classic glazed to deliciously healthy baked, to chocolate, iced and sprinkled, you'll learn everything you need to master the ultimate breakfast pastry."
eGuide: Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home

Paper Crafts
"From envelop embellishments to color blocked cards, you'll learn over six unique ways to transform leftover paper scraps into Pinterest-worthy projects."
eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects

Drawing
"Drawing the Human Face covers facial proportions, proper placement of features, accurately portraying eyes and lips, and incorporating shape and value into hair."
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer

Painting
"This guide starts your journey into the wonderful world that is watercolor painting. Beginning with the basics, you'll learn how to choose paper and build a color palette. Then, it's time to move on to color study, where you'll discover how to manipulate color transparency, value, intensity and temperature for the radiant, luminous watercolor works you always dreamed of creating!"
eGuide: Beginner's Guide to the World of Watercolor

Gardening
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Let's review: Bake, Knit, Sew by Evin Bail O'Keeffe and a Giveaway


Review

Baking and knitting are two of my passions, you know that right?! I've dabbled in sewing, but frankly it isn't my forte, but I'd love to get better at it, so what could be better than a book incorporating all those things.

That is exactly what Evin's book Bake Knit Sew: A Recipe and Craft Project Annual does in 12 chapters, one for each month of the year she brings you a total of 13 recipes, 7 knitting patterns, 5 sewing projects. 

What I love the most about the book is the stories. The little insights into her family are lovely and warming. All the baked goods make my mouth water from the pictures, but I have to admit I haven't made any of them, so I can't vouch for the taste, although I'm sure they are wonderful. 



What didn't really speak to me as much is the patterns. I'm not aware of the targeted group for this book, but some of the patterns seemed a little too simple to me. Pattern in case: the Smudge's handspan headband. I completely agree with Evin's philosophy behind the design, but the design itself just doesn't speak to me. 

In terms of the sewing projects, they were all simple enough that I'm confident I could make them without any troubles. One project in particular stood out to me: the Upcycled Felt Mittens. Those are so beautiful, I almost wish I had a washing accident. 



Giveaway

All in all, this would be the perfect book for someone just beginning their journey into domesticity and since I probably won't be using it I figure I would pass the copy that Evin generously provided for the review along to someone who might be gushing over it. 

If that person is you, with or without the actual gushing, just leave a comment below telling me which of the three activities is your favourite and why. 

The lucky winner will be drawn next Tuesday (24/02-15)