testers needed for Gingersnap



Hello! I posted this in Facebook, but I know a lot of you don't go there so I'm adding it to my blog.

You know how I've been saying that one day I'll take that Gingersnap and add some larger sizes to it? Well, that day has finally arrived. After many stops and starts, I think I've finally got it right!

So, are you interested in a little test knit? Gingersnap is now available to test in 5 sizes: 1, 2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8. The finish deadline is July 30. Pattern requires worsted weight wool in three colors with a gauge of 20 sts & 25 rows = 4". DON'T sign up here on this blog, TAKE THIS LINK to sign up: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitionary It's the first topic. Read it thoroughly as it explains all the test details. The pattern will be published mid summer.

Thank you,
Kristen

one lovely sweater








My newest finished knit is a test knit for Leslie Friend of the A Friend To Knit With blog. Do you follow her? You should! I've always loved her style and when she was looking for test knitters I raised my arm up high! It's called One Lovely Sweater and I told Leslie that this pattern reminded me of a Kim Hargreaves pattern. It's very simple with feminine touches such as a wide V neck and subtle bells at the wrist. I love the sleeves and will use them again. They look especially pretty in this light weight fabric. Her pattern uses a mohair/silk lace held with a fingering weight. My version was knit with one strand of Rowan Fine Silk in cream and one strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe in Precious--two lace weights but I was able to get gauge. The fabric is as light as a marshmallow. The Kidsilk Stripe shade is a Kim Hargreaves color that has white, cream, and barely-there shades of gray and pink with a hint of blue/green. It's gorgeous.  The sweater is for me but I asked my adorable across-the-street neighbor to model it. Doesn't she look just too perfect in it? It looks great with jeans but will also be a nice dressy sweater come this fall. 

I used the same yarn combination on a cardigan, Kate by Sarah Hatton, pictured below. It had a gauge of 22 stitches per 4 inches and so the fabric is a little more dense than the above sweater. I wear it all the time. 

Until next time, I hope you are well and feeling inspired to make and create! xo Kristen




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shifting to summer







 
This is my summer variation of the Shifty sweater by Andrea Mowry. Summery, cottony, cropped and lightweight--I love it! It's a gift for my teenage granddaughter. Before I sent it off in the mail I asked my adorable neighbor to model it for me. She loved it and looked darling in it and since she has a similar body type to my grand, I think she'll love it too. It's long enough have a tiny tuck but short enough to wear baby-doll style. We tried it both ways and it looks cuter tucked.

I made the smallest size but cast on more stitches for a wider neck. I had to adjust the yoke increases and by the time I was on the second increase row I was caught up with the pattern stitch count. Because I knew I was not going to continue with the mosaic stitch past the yoke and since mosaic brings the fabric in and makes a tighter gauge, I eliminated the 4th increase and had 298 stitches at the sleeve separation. Eliminating this last increase made the body less blousey. If I had added that last increase the body would have been way too wide in the stockinette stitch.  I left the option of picking up stitches around the neck for a ribbing or i-cord, but decided I preferred it as a rolled stockinette edge. It turned out just as I had imagined and I'm very happy with my modifications.

The yarn is Rowan Summerlite DK. It's a wonderful machine wash (I even machine dry it!) cotton that is soft and easy on the hands. It wears like iron and is fabulous in every way. 

Andrea Mowry's Shifty

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spice market









Hello! I know you come here for the knitting, but I wanted to share my new living room look with you. Four months ago I hired a young, adorable designer from San Francisco to consult with me for five hours on a few decorating ideas for three rooms in our home--the family room, kitchen and living room. They just needed some sprucing up, nothing too major, just paint, pillows, pictures and the like, and I was up for anything that would fit my small budget. We painted the kitchen a brownish gray to match the family room, (it's prettier than it sounds!), and replaced ratty pillows and dated wall art in the family room. But it's the living room that had me stymied. I've always struggled decorating the too-long wall of bookcases in that room. My decorator arrived and within minutes suggested we paint the bookcase wall a crazy green. She pointed to a painting in our adjoining dining room, and said, "that green."  I'm sure my eyes popped because "that" green was shockingly neon bright. I wasn't even sure if I really liked green anyway except except on a plant. But somehow, and with little effort, she was able to talk me into it because one of the things I had originally asked of her was to convince me to add some color. Within days the painter was in my living room and before I knew it, I was staring at a shock of acid green. I panicked! (In contrast, my husband loved it right off the bat but I suspect he might have been influenced by the idea that I was ready to paint over it and he didn't want to spend the extra money.) My decorator was sympathetic to my worry but asked me to live with it for a few weeks and if I still wanted to change it, then no problem, paint was easy to change.  So live with it I did because the pandemic hit, we were sheltered-in-place, we started babysitting, and then finally just got too busy to think about decorating. None the less, every day I would naturally look at it and little by little I started to admire it's citrony loveliness until I was in completely besotted. I am so happy with it and glad I gave myself the time to change my mind. Love at first sight is perhaps over-rated. Spice Market is the green color and Temptation is the charcoal on the walls, both by Benjamin Moore. I loved working with Sheila! If you live in the SF Bay Area and need a decorator, call her. Sheila Kramer Interiors.

Below is Carter with his first real Humpty Dumpty. We blew an egg and painted on a face and added arms and legs. Carter loved it so much and was completely thrilled and proud to be in charge of something so terribly fragile. He dropped it constantly, always by accident, but then accidents are second nature to two year olds, until eventually Humpty literally could not be put back together again. Not by king's horses nor king's men, nor by Carter's grammy and her armload of tapes and glues. Since that first Humpty we've made a dozen more. We've been eating a lot of scrambled eggs lately!


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It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
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love note to summer





If you are going to make only one summer sweater, it should be Love Note! It works so well in cotton and looks so cute with 3/4 length sleeves. I think it would look darling with cap sleeves too. If you're not sure you want an oversized look as per pattern, Love Note looks just as good with zero to little ease. I was in between the 34" and 38" sizes. I knit the 38" and used a thinner yarn with a gauge of 20 sts. per 4 inches instead of 16 sts and got a 35.5" bust. I did not pick up stitches to finish the neck and instead left it as a wide, rolled stockinette edge. I gave the sleeves and hem the same edge. I love white summer sweaters and imagine I'll wear this more than any other sweater this summer.

About the yarn, I love Rowan Handknit Cotton so much. It's a worsted weight 100% super soft cotton that is easy on the hands.  I pop my Handknit Cotton sweaters in and out of the washer and dryer and love how they last year after year. This yarn is a great performer and is very well priced.


How are you? We are so fortunate that for us sheltering in place has only been inconvenient and annoying. I know everyone is searching for their silver linings in all this, and I hope you've found many. Our silver lining search has been easy--we are Carter's day care. We've become so close to him these last several months and are truly having so much fun. On our way home from our morning walk today my husband and I were laughing out loud at the things he says.

Carter's big love is street sweepers. Whenever we hear a big truck we dash outside. Twice we have lucked out to see a street sweeper in action! This prompted more questions than we could answer so we went on YouTube for street sweeper videos. I was flabbergasted to see hundreds of them! Who knew? He prefers the technical sales videos that are made by the manufacturer to show you in great detail why this is the street sweeper you should buy for your city. He also loves one that is a montage of different sweepers working to the tune of a catchy street sweeper rap song. He's a bit picky about his street sweepers and has a preference to where the brushes and water jets are placed and how the vacuum should work. Now when we take our walk, there's a little 2.5 year old boy sitting in a stroller, waving his arms around critiquing the street sweeper's work, frowning and finding fault at what he sees, and wondering aloud if the street sweeper really did his best job. He is too much.

We spend our days singing and play-acting The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Humpty Dumpty. I've become an expert at making wee spiders out of clay or beads and pipe cleaners and drawing Humpty Dumpty faces on Easter eggs that dutifully break when thrown on the ground. The other day he asked for the Easter box to be brought down and I moaned and asked if he was going to make a big mess. He answered with a forlorn look, "Yes Grammy. I'm afraid I will make a big mess." Oh well, at least I was warned!

We have a pink plastic hand-me-down toy kitchen that has been in our family room for the last two years. Carter played with it often but had recently started to ignore it. I almost passed it on to the next grandchild in our group of friends, but at the last minute decided to give it a new life and take it outside. Now he loves it again! I fill up a few buckets with water and he makes lovely mud pies, cups of coffee, and yesterday made a platter of taco meat of all things! He's really turned out to be an excellent short order cook and will whip up anything you ask for. I sit on the patio and knit and chat with him while he slaves at the stove. When he's finished with his culinary play I take off his clothes outside and dip him in the kitchen sink for a little swish. He told me now he won't need a bath before bedtime. I said, "No, this is just to get the chunks of dirt off; you'll still need a real bath when you get home." The next time we were at the sink he told me, "Grammy, don't use soap--just get the big chunks of dirt off. I have to do this again tonight with mommy and daddy." He slays me. I must laugh a hundred times a day. 

Most days we walk to the grammar school that is closed for students but still open for walkers and anyone really, although there's only the same few people when we go late morning. We regularly see the same guy shooting hoops and wave to the guy practicing fly fishing. We're the older couple who come each morning with their tiny grandson. We run up and down the tiny grassy hills that must look like great giant mountains to him. We run and run and I feel it's great exercise for the both of us. My favorite game is something he invented called Hug. Carter runs very far away and I bend down on my knees and hold my arms open wide. When he says GO, he runs super fast into my arms and we collapse into a hug. Oh my. Be still my heart. I love this little boy so much. So with every cloud comes a silver lining and our silver lining is a darling two-year old boy.

Be well friends. xx Kristen








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It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
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Seaside (and a discount offer)




Here is Seaside from the extremely adorable Mette from PetiteKnit. Seaside is a classic design that will never go out of style in my dream wardrobe. It's knit top-down in dk weight yarn and is sized 8 months to 8 years making it a pattern I'll be able to use a few more times for my grandson. I love it! I knit the size 3/4 year for my almost 3 year old (in July) grandson and right now it's a little big, but I'm certain this will fit him this fall. Until then I asked him to pose with the sweater held up to his chest. The photo shoot lasted for a few seconds--not even close to a half minute! 

The yarn is a new to me Peer Gynt. Many of you will be smiling at the "new" reference as Peer Gynt is much loved and has been produced in Norway since the 1930's. I know many knitters rely on this yarn as their standard DK weight wool; the reviews are exceptional. It's wooly and hearty and has an old fashioned aesthetic. It softens up after blocking and becomes surprisingly soft.  The colors are very modern and sophisticated and it is very well priced. I love it and can see why it's so popular. It's not easy to find in the USA but I did find it at The Loopy Ewe in Colorado. They have a great inventory and have kindly offered to give Knitionary readers a 15% discount on Sandnes Garn's two 100% wool, DK weight yarns--the classic Peer Gynt and the superwash Smart. I've used both yarns and love and recommend them.

Loopy Ewe's brick and mortar is closed at this time but they ship out very quickly and their shipping costs are very reasonable. To receive the 15% discount, purchase the yarn online and in the note section say you came from the Knitionary blog and ask for the 15% discount. It will be applied on thir end and your charge will be adjusted. This offer is good for the remainder of the month of May and applied to Sandnes Garn yarn only. I hope you try it and let me know what you think. You'll also get an additional 5% back as a Loopy credit on June 1st for any order in May--on Sandnes or any other yarn as per their regular rewards program.

Sandnes Garn Peer Gynt from Loopy Ewe
Sandnes Garn Smart superwash from Loopy Ewe
Don't forget to ask for your discount!
Seaside sweater from PetiteKnit







Below are the Peer Gynt Colors available at Loopy Ewe.





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You can make a comment by clicking here or scrolling down.

It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
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