collaborations, patterns

Me, just somewhere else

When the president of Quince and Co. emailed me with an invitation to share on their blog I was excited, and humbled, then super stoked and filled with all sorts of ideas!

I would be delighted to have you read what I thought was most important.

Once you give it a read, share your thoughts on the Quince and Co. blog! Your thoughts are valuable and make a difference to those who read them! (and if you share a comment before 10 pm EST on Wednesday 17 June you may want to check back here on Thursday the 18th…just saying’)

Much Aloha,


Now pop over to their blog via any of those highlighted links above!

audio, patterns

Hashtags & Warmer Weather Knitting

Aloha Friends!

∞ Today I share a few things to make summer knitting fun, and believe it or not, we start off today with hashtags! Seriously, I talk less than 5 minutes about these fun tools, so stick with it and maybe you will hear something new, or think of an awesome use YOU can share with US in the comments below!

Oahu close up

∞ Also mentioned is the Oahu Scarf, a free pattern with free tutorials, part of the Pattern With Class series. The second pattern is due out soon and builds off things learned from our first project. My hope is Oahu is a springboard for you to help someone start knitting! Remember, the world is made of 2 types of people: We who knit and those not yet knitting! It is up to us to help them along!

∞ Great mysteries to listen to whilst knitting this summer: 4:50 from Paddington and At Bertram’s Hotel. One I didn’t mention on the podcast but I am planning to listen to this weekend is A Caribbean Mystery. Miss Marple is such a savvy woman…equal parts industrious knitter and master sleuth!

side view Canyon

∞ I do share a bit about the 6 Bits: Wander collection. It released earlier this week and has had an unexpected reception. It humbles and excites me. So I thought I would take a few minutes to share with you. And by the way, the image at the top of the post is from Kokee. Kind amazing, right?


∞ Lastly, the shawl booklet mentioned is HERE!

So now that you know what to expect in today’s episode, give a listen! I’d like to also encourage you, make sure you subscribe to the blog, because on Wednesday I am sharing a project to rev up your inner fashionista (-o?) and I don’t want you to miss! I can’t tell any more about it…but be sure you don’t miss it!

And now, here is the podcast!

As always, sharing Aloha starts with YOU! So use the handy buttons below and also share a comment with me!

May the sun shine out of you today!



audio, patterns

Knitting Tips & Ideas

Aloha Friends! A new episode to listen to is ready for you! So do enjoy it! And then head back here to read up on the show notes!

Head Here:

Things I share:

The book I am starting is called: Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls written by Victoria Byerly. I plan to spend time this Spring/Summer learning more about history of mills that create our incredible yarns. I will share what I discover with you in weeks to come!

A mini book that wraps up all the ideas and tips I shared on the podcast can be found HERE.  If you are interested in receiving the PDF mentioned in the podcast, it will be provided free in the June newsletter. So join the mailing list! Simply Click Here

Please remember to thank our podcast sponsors for allowing me to do what I do as well as share with you! Infinite Twist has new Hawaiian inspired colours you really should see! If joining an out of this world yarn club is on your radar then you seriously want to get plugged in to Space Cadet Space Monster Club! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor I would love to hear from you.

And last but not least, I have so many things to share with you in days to come, but right now I want to hear about YOU! What are you working on today? What are ideas you are filling your head? What tips and tricks did you want to share about gift giving?

I look forward to hearing!

I hope the sun is shining on you wherever you are!


Ps. The featured image is one of the knits that make up a 6 piece collection that will be available to order 25 May. What do you think? There is a giveaway on Instagram until 5 pm 25 May 2015 if you’d like to try to win a collection for yourself and a friend!



fun, words

Smiles, Treasures & Springtime Fun!

Enjoying simple moments.

Sometimes they occur with needle and yarn, pencil and paper, sand and salt water.

Always with Ohana in tow.

There are moments where you have to look for moments to enjoy, really look! I am there with you Dear Reader as hard times try to elbow in and take over the day. That is when you have to dig in your heels and make your own fun, make your own smiling moments.

I have one to share today with you! It was one of the 5 Shares I posted last week. I received a few emails mentioning they started reading, clicked on a link and almost missed this fun activity! So in the hopes of giving you something small and simple to do that will yield little happy treasures I share this:

 Spring is finally sprouting here where I live! How about with you? I enjoy springtime for many reasons, and one is perhaps an odd tradition I have kept since just a little kindergartener that has evolved in to something so much more than as it started. I’d like to share that with you today and invite you to join in on a swap that stems from it…CLICK TO READ MORE IMG_0886


Aloha Friday: Lei Day!

On the mainland May 1st is May Day. Hurrah for Spring officially introducing herself!

All over Hawaii May 1st is Lei Day, a beautiful celebration of flowers and the lei.

The feeling you experience when given your first lei is akin to what royalty must feel on coronation day. At once you stand taller, smile brighter, and see more acutely the beauty around you. They make any celebration a better celebration with their colours and fragrance, their history and handmade traditions. Leis are given to kids graduating high school or kindergarten, moms and dads on anniversaries, anyone on their birthday or moment of honor. I never greeted anyone at the airport without a lei and a kiss.

Flowers are not just beautiful reminders of the souls and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. They are treasures when there are grey days or long winters. They are the reward for making it to Spring. Today as you celebrate May Day, or like my family, Lei Day, why not make something bright to save or share?

Leis are certainly one way of brightening your day*. Adding colour to your home or work space can be a boost as well! It can be done with little bits around you right now! I made use of old swatches (Cascade 220 in white and Shepherd’s wool in a peachy colour) by simply doodling on them with yarn**! I liked taking time to play with the yarns in a different way, learning about them apart from knitting them. I know so many of us are busy, but invest in a little bit of playtime for yourself! Experiment and try yarn in a new way, even if only for a few minutes and you may find a surprising result: You are far more creative than you thought—even if you thought you were pretty darn creative!

So re-appoint some things: old swatches, leftover bits of beautiful yarn, your stolen moments. Together this trio can be powerfully inspiring!

On the note of inspiration, I wanted to share the story behind the Hawaiian flora and fauna colours from Cate. I enjoyed reading this short memory of time she spent in Hawaii.

Hoping you make today extra special, no matter what you call it or where you are! But wherever today finds you, i hope the sun is shining on you!


*I found a tutorial on a beautiful lei to make either by hand or sewing machine here!

** The gorgeous colour you see here is Anthurium on Helix and Penumbra bases. Anthurium is just one of the Hawaiian flora and fauna colour pallet new this spring from Infinite Twist. I can’t wait to share the Bougainvillea story with you… (you can see teasers of a few of the new colours in this collection here!}


5 Shares to brighten your day!



A handy new App released by Amy Herzog and the MakeWearLove team called Knitter’s Toolbox is a collection of knitting calculators that you may enjoy! Included in the app: button hole spacer, gauge widget, shaping placer and pickup calculator. Clean look, easy navigation, content I want and need make this little app with the just under $5 investment.

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An InstaLove: I found elyxyak

I am now completely smitten! Nothing to do with knitting, but HELLO!  *P a r i s*  and fun! I need both in healthy doses.

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image 3big wool picThe first in the Dream•Investigate•Discover series is on substitution! This PDF shares about the wonderful wool we love and other fibers you may consider substituting in its place. The pros and cons, the gains and losses, as well as just basic personalities of various fibers are included. It was the free gift for With∞Mel newsletter subscribers for April. If you missed the first mailing and  want to get this handy reference, which is not just a little guide but a creative exploration in thinking through substitutions, there is one last opportunity! A final April mailing goes out for new subscribers on 1 May, so HEAD HERE and be included. Subscribers have received free patterns, exclusive treats and coupons for patterns in the past, as well as helpful content to their inbox each month. We would love to include you!

image 4

FullSizeRenderA useful treat! When I received theses little snips in my SpaceCadet Yarn Alliance Club shipment I thought “Awww, they are so cute!” Little did I realize in days and weeks to come I would be saying “AWWWW! They are so HANDY!” They really are! Well they really are both, handy and cute! There is something about the little SpaceCadet Guy that makes me feel good. Love him! The snips were one of those extra treats we receive in the club shipment ever so often that is always a well-appointed gift that looks like a treasure! These are created by Sarah Wilson, The Sexy Knitter and are available in her etsy shoppe.

image 5FullSizeRenderAnd last but not least a great little swap to share!  And I really do mean little!  THE AMNESTY ENVELOPE SWAP! Head here to read more about it and perhaps join! More details will post on the blog over the next week, but you can get an early start on it! Simply HEAD HERE and see what fun you can have with one little envelope!

I hope these little shares will brighten your day!

  Want to continue the sharing? Pass this post on to others! Lots of little handy social media share options are just below! Then take a moment and come back to comment!

May the sun shine on you wherever you are,


Other things that may interest you…

plumeria setimage 3








April 25th, 1975 was a good day for me. I got my start in life. Today I celebrate that start and 40 year journey. I don’t feel young or old. Just happy and loved.


T H A N K F U L !

I am thankful for many things, the list brings such joy to me! On that list I include YOU!  When you read the blog, share your thoughts, knit my patterns, watch the podcast,

i t • m a t t e r s •  t o •  m e! 

To create and share things with you is a present I have daily, so mahalo!

Quickly to share:

  • There was a fun giveaway activity on Instagram where you all showed off your desks or “flat surfaces” where you work and create. Winner of the decadent camel skein is: needlesbythemarsh  Be sure to email me dear one to claim your prize!{connectingwithmel at gmail dot com} It is fun to connect with you on Instagram and I look forward to more fun to come!
  • Speaking of fun connections…and open to readers of the blog =) head over to Instagram now for a bit of birthday celebratory fun. Find a photo of Ikaika (the yellow sweater featured above) in any of my photos on IG and tag one person you would love to knit this pattern with in the comments below it. I will choose a duo to give the pattern to on Monday, April 27th when the pattern gets  it updates and the new kits release! Already have the pattern? You can still give the pattern to the knitter of your choosing and pick a different pattern! Enter as many times as you want, but only tag 1 friend per comment please
  • Not on Instagram? Still some fun here! Choose your 2 faves from the yarn photo below and share in the comments! The top choice will be added to the kit selections on Monday! image


Mahalo or your part in making my life fuller and more vibrant!


KAL, video

Ides Of March

Ahhhhh, Beware The Ides of March Caesar!

For me March 15th was wonderful. It came on the heels of a Saturday migraine that was horrible. The Ides of March was a pleasant one…no betrayal by Brutus…

Why not pull up a seat, grab a project to knit or skein to wind and join me as I share some winners of handspun, an alterknit I am doing and a fun new KAL starting! Then be sure to read below for more details!

In this podcast you see me wearing my Another Piper’s Journey

I introduce you to Moeke-yarns which has a beautiful story behind it! I love this yarn—LOOOVVVEEE!

I share about revamping a shawl from Chickadee yarn to Sparrow which I blogged about here. Which leads us in to our new KAL…and which I am calling the brainstorming thread “Springboard for Brainstorming” and it is open on the Ravelry thread here. BE ADVISED: The Kal will actually have its name altered: ALTERKNITKAL Our Rav tag for projects will be alterknitswithmel and out hashtag is #AlterKnitsWithMelKAL

The moment I finished recording the podcast the renaming of it hit me, and I liked it immensely, so in keeping with the alterknit-ing vibe, I am issuing an alterknitive one! 😉

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Easy peasy guidelines:

• You are invited to participate now through 25 May 2015 to knit one of my patterns (any of them: in my Ravelry store, plus Laredo and Pomaika’i) any way you want! Change colours, add stripes, insert new stitch patterns, add long sleeves, shorten the sleeves, exchange fingering weight yarn for worsted! Plan your own alterknit way to create something! I will be around to help! {Important info: I will be around to help and suggest things, but not to rewrite and re-work patterns completely, so proceed at your skill set and comfort level for experimentation}

• We will have lots of great yarny prizes and other awesome gifts to be announced and awarded starting 1 April! Yup! You read that right! Start participating now and you could get lots of treats along the way, not just for our FO thread! Enter as many different patterns as you like, each specific pattern may have one alterknit entry in the FO thread for prize drawing eligibility, more on that in the thread when it starts!

I will be sharing in weeks ahead specific pattern you can tweak and ways to consider the revamping! I hope you will join me and invite others to join in as well!

Much aloha,


learn, Uncategorized, words

Substitution in Knitting

This topic is a far reaching as there are colours of yarn with which to knit! And the possibilities only begin with colour! But colour does make a HUGE difference in the vibe your knitting gives. Just look at the two different versions of the Pomaika’i shawl. Same yarns, different colors. Completely different moods.

Substitution in knitting matters. I have been preparing for some time for a class I am teaching at the Carolina Fiber Frolic on this very subject.

There are so many reasons to knit a pattern in the yarn recommended. The designer often has a host of thoughts and insight for pairing the pattern with the yarn. Obviously they make a great team.

When you dig in to the reasoning behind that and understand the yarn to pattern relationship it really frees your creativity to twirl and leap and dance…without falling off the stage in to the orchestra pit. Have you been there? Are you feeling me? Yeah buddy! That has been me so many times. (Ever substituted faux fur or eyelash  for wool? I know I can’t be the only one who thought that would be a great idea….)

Perhaps you haven’t made alterations to a pattern before, except the colour of your yarn. Or maybe you switched brands but kept the fiber content identical not feeling that taking that big leap was something you were prepared to do. Or it could just be you haven’t had the need or seen a reason to substitute.

I want to learn together, experiment alongside you, if you are interested. No pressure, just a bit of learning at our own pace.

And then maybe later you’ll join me for a bit of stretching and leaping…maybe? For now lets just enjoy learning a bit together.

Let’s start the conversation, here and on Ravelry.

For here, let’s try a poll! (I know! I know! POLLS! But they are fun to make and quick to get an overview from and so I made one up below!) It is just 2 quick questions, so let your voice be heard!

And once you are done with that, head over to the Ravelry group! There are some fun things to share on the forum thread marked Some New Fun: Substitution in Knitting.

As always, thanks for dropping by and Aloha Friday!


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{{Spoiler alert! At the end of this post are 3 incredible giveaways!}}

I recently had a chance to chat with designer and teacher Laura Nelkin. I thought I was just going to share an interesting person with you, but wound up making a friend connection for myself!

We had a blast chatting about what it takes to design knitting patterns, to create a book, to juggle our dreams and reality..we covered a lot of creative territory in the hopes of bringing an inspiration and insight to you!

If you have a KNOCKOUT KNITS book you may want to grab it to have on hand as we talk about interesting behind the scenes tidbits! So have a listen and then pop back over here to see what Laura has to share with you as a gift! {Remember you can subscribe to the podcast by way of iTunes!}

POdcast screenshot



Laura has graciously offered a free autographed copy of KNOCKOUT KNITS for one lucky listener!

Simply grab one of these Knockout Knits images below and share it on Instagram or Twitter! Be sure to tag me @MSkiKnits and Laura @LauraNelkin and use the #knockoutknits and #smallkineknitswithmel hashtags. You may enter once a day from Jan 26th to Feb 2nd, 2015.

Choose from this image!image




You can win a free kit to kit one of Laura’s designs! Her etsy shoppe has some incredible kits!  Simply pop over there and look around and tell me in the comments below which is your favourite!  Please comment only once!

Hibisco by Laura Nelkin  Photo used with permission by L.Nelkin

Hibisco by Laura Nelkin Photo used with permission by L.Nelkin


Oh my stars! You have heard me go on and on about SpaceCadet Mini Skeins…

Watch this video and be prepared for the mini treat I plan to share with you later this week! I will show you the cuffs mentioned in the podcast as well as the giveaway!

Well I hope I got your Monday off to a good start!

Aloha ∞ Peace ∞ Happy Knitting!