Featured Finished Object Knitting Pattern

Ascension Hat: A Yarnsley Lane Original Pattern (Free)

March 23, 2017

You ever get a thought in your head that you just can’t shake? Maybe a memory or an image that keep popping up over and over. That happens to me a lot. This past February, the image that I couldn’t get out of my mind was garter stitch. Big, fat, bulky garter stitch. I was also drawn to strong, kindergarten, bright reds. It took me a little fussing and finagling  to get there, but the result of my obsession was the Ascension Hat.

Ascension Hat : A Yarnsley Lane Original Pattern

The Ascension Hat

The Ascension Hat is a quick hat knit in a bulky yarn (bonus points for bold colors!) that features a charming garter stitch feature that rises to the crown of the hat like a mountain. Images of ascension have been all around recently too. Our church is going through a series called “Elevate,” and every time I worked on my little garter stitch mountain I heard Phil Wickham’s The Ascension in my head.  So of course, I had to name this hat after it. The Ascension Hat also features a huge pompom, because 1. I’ve always wanted one and 2. pompoms are totally hot right now. I initially wanted to use a fur pompom, but that made it look like a weird Santa hat, so here we are.

Ascension Hat: A Yarnsley Lane Original Pattern

The Yarn

This was my first time working with Quince and Co.’s Puffin. I had drafted this hat earlier in a different yarn and it looked totally different. Just proof that sometimes the yarn makes the project. Puffin is a single ply bulky yarn with a slightly felted texture. I was worried that it would be splitty, since it was such a big single ply, but the felting kept it together nicely. Just the same, it’s  not a yarn that can stand up to a lot of frogging. The colors on Puffin are amazing. I would like one of each, please. I remember telling The Hubs that if the red wasn’t as bright as my lipstick, then I didn’t want to use it. Peak’s Ferry totally delivered.

I was a little nervous that one skein would not be enough for this pattern, and had a bit of yarn chicken but it turned out okay. The yarn also grew a lot during blocking, so that’s something to be aware of as well. Overall, I enjoyed the way Puffin performed in this project and I can’t wait to use it again. Also, Puffin makes a kick ass pompom!

Ascension Hat: A Yarnsley Lane Original Pattern

Shown: A Kick Ass Pompom

Want to knit your own?

Download the Free Pattern Here: Ascension Hat

Be sure to let me know if you do, because you know I want to see you rocking it!

Love, Tori

P.S. I totally had my eyes dilated just before we took these pictures. Hence, the shades. Also, because I’m cool like that.

Knitting Mini Monday Tutorial

Mini Monday: How to Use a Pom Pom Maker

March 21, 2017

Hello All! Happy Sunny First Day of Spring Monday to you! Today I am fighting a raging headache thanks to the smoke alarm in our apartment that decided to start screaming at 2:00 AM. I never thought about who takes care of the smoke alarm (tenant vs. building) until 2:00 AM last night. Let’s just say, I’m glad I keep earplugs in my nightstand.

This week’s Mini Monday post is brought to you by my new pompom maker! I had recently been in the market for a pompom maker, due to an exciting upcoming project. Also, I was tired of my crummy DIY attempts to make a pompom maker. The cardboard pompom makers are good in a pinch, but there is an easier way. I used this Clover Large Pom Pom Maker, but there are lots out there to choose from.

If you haven’t used a pompom maker before, they can look a little confusing at first. They aren’t exactly intuitive. At least, they weren’t for me…So today, I am going to share with you how to use a pompom maker.

Mini Monday: How to use a pompom maker

Step 1:

Grab your pompom maker and whatever yarn your are wanting to use. Make sure that the front and back halves are connected firmly and open the arms on one side. Beginning close to the hing, start wrapping you yarn firmly around the arms. Continue to wrap until the arms are full. You can do several layers, but try to stay neat and consistent so you have less trimming to do later.

Step 2:

Repeat step 1 on side 2. The pompom maker should look full and feel snug when the arms are closed. If you can close the arms, you’ve wrapped too much.

Step 3:

Beginning at the side of the pompom maker (where you first started wrapping the yarn), cut the yarn between the front and the back halves. Use a sharp pair of scissors or you’ll go bonkers. There’s a lot of layers to cut through here. In the end, the pompom maker will have a little lion’s mane.

Mini Monday: How to use a pompom maker

Step 4:

Take a length of yarn (or twine, or dental floss if you really need a tight pompom) about and tie it between the two halves where you just cut. Pull tightly and tie once, then flip the pompom maker over and tie again. Be sure to pull really tight here (It helps to have a friend.) or you may end up with a bundle of sad loose strings.

Step 5:

At this point, open up those arms that had been wrapped in yarn. Start working the front and back halves of the pompom maker apart until it comes apart in two pieces. Pull the pompom out

Step 6:

Fluff and trim your pompom until it looks the way you want! Affix it to whatever you want!

Mini Monday: How to Use a Pompom Maker

I used this pompom on a gift bag, but don’t worry, you’ll see one on a hat soon! What do you like to do with your pompoms?

Food Lifestyle Whole 30

Whole 30 Week 4 – Sharing My Results

March 16, 2017
Whole 30 Week4: Sharing My Results

I’m going to wrap up my series about my first Whole 30 by talking about Whole 30 Week 4 and my results. Week 4 both the easiest and the hardest week of Whole 30. By week 4, you have a good idea of which recipes work and which are flops. You have a better rhythm and are used to the whole practice. It’s also the closest to the end, so there’s a sense of “almost there, almost there” throughout all of Whole 30 Week 4. Technically, you’re not really done after week 4, though. You still have to go through the reintroduction phase (which we sucked at).

Let’s go back and look at my goals for Whole 30 Week 1

The Goals:

-Better Sleep

-Better Skin

-Lose inches

Things did not always go as planned on Whole 30, but I think that we did quite well, given the circumstances. We did not overtly cheat at any time. There were a few times while eating out that The Hubs and I had to adopt a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy about whether the food had been cooked in the wrong oil or had any other mystery additives. I remember reading something by Melissa Hartwig saying that a completely perfect Whole 30 is pretty much impossible. I think we did the best that we could, which was pretty darn good.

Whole 30 Week 4: Sharing My Results

The Results:

-Better Sleep: Achieved. Both The Hubs and I were really able to dial in on our caffeine sensitivity during Whole 30. We learned that The Hubs performs best on decaf coffee. For me, it’s tea. We try to cut off the caffeine around 6:00 or 7:00 every night. I also think that removing sugar helped our sleep. I didn’t ever get the vivid food dreams that they talk about in the Whole 30 book, but I did sleep soundly.

-Better skin: check. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really notice this one until I came OFF Whole 30. Since then, I have since suffered from a string of breakouts. I tend to have pretty standard breakouts right before That Time of the Month, but my skin was definitely better on Whole 30. There was was one patch of dry scaly skin on my leg that I was hoping would disappear with Whole 30, but it still there, unfortunately. I’d still give this a pass.

-Lose Inches: Holy wow, yes! I didn’t think I had that much to lose, honestly. I knew I’d put on a little weight, but I stopped weighing myself in high school and never looked back so I didn’t have a gauge for how much. Before Whole 30, some belts were tighter and some of my high-waisted skirts weren’t so comfortable anymore. After Whole 30, they’re comfortable again. Are you guys ready for the hard numbers?

Whole 30 Week 4: Sharing My Results

Before Whole 30:

Waist: 28 inches

Chest: 34 inches

Butt: 38 inches

Thighs: 21.5 inches

Arms: 10 inches

After Whole 30:

Waist: 25 1/2 inches!

Chest: 33 inches

Butt: 36 1/2 inches

Thighs: 20 inches

Arms: 10 inches

Let me tell you, my waist had not been that small in a while. I’m pretty sure it’s back up to something around 26 inches now, which is fine by me. I didn’t think that my weight loss had been super evident, but The In Laws kept telling me to eat a cheeseburger by Whole 30 Week 4, so maybe it was more noticeable that I thought. That could just be The In Laws though… The Hubs also said that upon revisiting some earlier pictures of me that he could see the weight loss. I do feel better, but I honestly just didn’t want to have to buy new clothes.

Now that I’ve been off Whole 30 for a bit, I can see why people stay on it. Rules are easy. Navigating my own choices, sans Whole 30 guidelines is hard. There is a comfort to the black and white system of Whole 30 that makes it easy to make decisions. Off Whole 30, I have a greater tendency to go off track. For now, we are eating mostly Whole 30/Paleo,  having found that bread and milk generally don’t react well with us(Thank goodness Starbucks has started stocking Almond Milk!). We allow ourselves cheat meals on the weekends and when there’s a social function like an office party or a family birth day. We are planning to do another Whole 30 in May. I’m tempted to go back on it earlier just to clear my skin up, but it’s Easter season and the pink bunny peeps are out and I just can’t quit them yet.

Have you just finished a Whole 30? Tell me how you did! Thinking about trying it for yourself? Tell me what’s motivating you!

Whole 30 Week 4 Best Recipe:

Mel Joulwan’s Chocolate Chili. Serve over roasted sweet potatoes! Mmmm…

Whole 30 Week 4 Worst Recipe:

-Skirt Steak from the The Whole30 Cookbook. We are not adept at cooking beef!

Whole 30 Week 4 Tips:

-Trying to find your new favorite decaf coffee? Central Market lets you buy by weight, so you only have to get a tiny amount to taste. Don’t waste your money on a full half pound you won’t finish!

-Shop at Costco on a weeknight. You won’t face the temptation of all those samples, and it’s way less stressful. Our Costco staples on Whole 30 were: eggs, organic chicken, blueberries, chicken stock, Aidell’s chicken sausage, and Costco brand almond butter.

-Our favorite Whole 30 Breakfast is a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and nuts on top. We bake them the night before and just reheat in the morning.