Larimar





It's not easy to find a top-down, seamless, V-neck sweater pattern, so last year when I saw Larimer from Isabell Kraemer I promptly bought it. I knew Isabell would do a great job with such a pattern and I wasn't disappointed. The construction is ingenious and is exactly what I love to knit. Isabell describes the construction better than I can: "Pullover is worked seamlessly from the top down, beginning with back shoulders and back yoke. Stitches are picked up at shoulders and worked for each front, then joined to work body in the round with short row shaping at lower edge. Stitches for sleeves are picked up around armhole edge, and caps are shaped with short rows. Extra-long sleeves are worked in the round to the cuffs. Stitches are picked up around neck edge and worked in a simple trim." I really encourage you to try this pattern if you've been thinking about knitting a garment using non-traditional techniques. Isabell does a good job with pattern writing and an enthusiastic beginner should not have too much trouble. Isabell also has an avid fan group on Ravelry that loves to help and Isabell herself is very approachable. These newish techniques have become the norm now in pattern writing and garment knitting, and it's no surprise knitters are choosing these one-piece variations over the traditional seamed garments. Most knitters find these techniques easier and most important, easier to get the fit you want with no surprises in the end. I still knit some seamed garments as seams are important in some garment construction, but not all. Seams do aid in stability that some garments need, but if it's not needed, I look for another pattern.

I made my Larimar with a good amount of ease using Rowan's Super Fine Merino 4Ply. This yarn is simply perfect: 100% super fine merino (that feels like cashmere) in a fingering weight that is machine washable and is soft enough for the most sensitive skin. I have happily used this yarn several times for my grandson and care for it this way: Turn inside out and place in a mesh bag. Machine wash in cool water on the gentle cycle. I admit I even put his little sweaters in the dryer even though the ball band says to dry flat; here's what I do: Still in the mesh bag, tumble dry on low until almost dry. While still slightly damp, carefully turn garment right-side out and pat to shape. Dry flat out of direct sun. Rowan describes this as a fingering weight to be knitted at 28 stitches per 4 inches, but this works best for me as a sport weight with 24 stitches per 4 inches. I adore it.


Larimar has a shaped hem worked with short rows in case you are wondering why it's longer in the back!

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Etive Romper









I realized I never blogged about my finished Etive Rompers for my grandson. Aren't they just the cutest? These pictures were taken early June when he was 10 1/2 months old and before he was walking. They still fit him perfectly and he wore them all summer and will continue to wear them through fall. It's my #1 favorite thing to put him in. Every time I take him downtown in them people stop me on the street to compliment! Not that I'm very proud of him or anything like that. We put the rompers in the washer and dryer and they are holding up beautifully.  I keep saying I'll make another pair as I have plenty of the Softyak DK in other colors. I think he needs them in RED!! The pattern is knit in one piece, is well-written and very easy to follow, plus it's completely and utterly adorable. 


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the golden hour





Isn't this so pretty? Mosaic knitting is the easy way to get the look of stranded knitting without doing anything fiddly. Mosaic's color changes happen magically with slipped stitches, working with only one color on a row and changing colors every other row. It's easy and addictive!

I love knitting patterned shawls and sweaters but don't usually knit them as I don't often wear patterns. When getting dressed I seem to always grab the very plainest of sweaters and shawls in my collection of knits. But even with saying that, I do think I'll wear this often. The Golden Hour with all its eyelets and bobbles is from the darling Andrea Mowry and was so fun to make. Once I started it, I didn't touch another project until it was done--very unusual for fickle me! I used Kelbourne Woolens worsted in gray and charcoal and some Rowan Softyak DK in gold.

Kebourne Woolens Worsted

I hope you have a cozy, getting-close-to-the-end-of-summer weekend planned. If you are in the USA you are celebrating Labor Day with a long weekend! Yay! We have the baby today and he is spending the night tonight so the kids can have a date night. We have the family coming over on Monday to celebrate my husband's birthday. I'm making a pie, one of the four pies I make a year. You can mark the seasons with my pies. If it's blackberry or ollalieberry, it means it's Father's Day. If it's apple, it's September 3rd and my husband's birthday; a pumpkin and a pecan is for Thanksgiving. He loves them all!



Last week when I was photographing my works-in-progress, the fairy lights that frame the window above came loose and fell on top in the most pretty way.  I'm trying not to disturb it!


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dusty pinks


Where I live, the hydrangeas are starting to dry and change from bright to dusty pink. When that happens then it's time to pick and preserve them for fall and winter. It's easy: When they begin to change color, cut a blossom and strip it of its leaves. Place in a water vase half filled with water out of direct sunlight. As the water evaporates, the blossoms will dry out completely, freckle up, fade even more, and continue to be gorgeous for months and months. 





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I'm so happy to say hello!


Hello! I'm still here but have had to put myself on a social media exile for the time being. In late spring my mother became very ill and sorting out everything involved with that has taken much of my time. This dear blog of mine, sweet Ravelry and daily postings in Facebook have had to take a back seat to caring for mother, who at 89 is handling the new transitions in her life like a champ. It's all too much to talk about here, and honestly, I really don't have the words to quite describe what she is going through. Maybe it's enough to say it's overwhelming to us all--sad, complex, complicated; with a labyrinth of paperwork, research, questions and phone calls that rivals anything I've ever done. My two goals are to support my mother with love and dignity and keep myself healthy while doing it. If you've read this blog for only a short time, you'll know that knitting and gardening are two things that help to keep me sane, so I've been trying to keep those two in my life as much as possible. As I'm writing this, I'm smelling the tomatoes and garlic roasting in the oven, soon to become tomato sauce. And as for knitting, it's all about gorgeous yarns and patterns that showcase fabric and fit. I've been knitting up a storm as you'll see.

Ready for the oven.

This is a new yarn from Rowan. Alpaca Classic is a cotton alpaca blend and it's GORGEOUS! The yellow is a bit of a change for me and I'm really happy with it. I'm making Outlined by Suvi Sumola and will most likely use a charcoal for the "outline". 

This is Isabell Kraemer's lovely top-down Larimar knit with a favorite yarn of mine, Rowan's Super Fine Merino 4 Ply.

I have no idea what this will be, most likely some kind of fade. Isn't it gorgeous? Tusken Knits Fife in Cordelia and Love Struck Baby, and Spud and Chloe's Fine Sock.

Weekender, you wonderful pattern, you! I made a Weekender for summer in white cotton and wear it all the time. It may well be one of my favorite sweaters to wear ever! I'm remaking it here for winter in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Optic and Rowan Fine Silk in Cream combined and knit double. Sublime.

This is the knitting that I keep in my purse (a big straw bag for summer) for emergency on-the-go knitting as it's knit in pieces making the size manageable, plus the yarn is sturdy so I can leave it at the bottom of the bag and don't worry about it getting ratty. I love a simple and flattering v-neck, and I don't know if it could get any prettier than with a fine gray tweed, Valley Tweed by Rowan.  Pattern is Dearne by Lisa Richardson.

Right now, this is getting the most attention, Floozy by Libby Jonson. I've been looking for a beautiful mosaic stitch yoke pattern for quite a while and they are not easy to find! Floozy is new and gorgeous and so much fun. I'm using Rowan's Finest in Star.

Garter Yoke Cardi in Tusken Knits Cabin DK in Pigwidgeon.
I guess a works-in-progress post would not be complete without a poncho! This one is Sheltered by Andrea Mowry knit with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine and Isager Alpaca Wool 2.

A darling little Flax Light for my grandson knit with some Unicorn tails and odds and ends of fingering weight yarn. I've been fading it and just love it to bits.

This will be my next knitting project for the baby. The Honey Bee Jacket by OGE designs in Rowan Softyak DK.

And here is that precious darling. He loves to hug and kiss my yarn. He sticks his hand into my knitting basket and looks sternly at me and says, "knitting, no-no" and I agree with a half smile. It's true that my knitting is a no-no as he can make a mess of a project in no time. We make peace by my letting him hug the skeins whenever he wants for as long as he wants. We watch him two days a week, and today my husband said, "We don't have the baby until next week? I miss him!" I miss him too!


I have five projects that I've completed but haven't been able to model/photograph. I'll give myself some time to get that done. As for all the projects above, I love working on every one of them. Some get attention for a few days or a few hours, sometimes even only a few minutes, before they are put back in the basket and I reach for another lovely yarn filled basket. Eventually they all get done!

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the Saturday morning garden post











































We've been busy in the garden as usual this summer; it looks pretty and we've been able to show it off with a few parties. The baby turned one and the kids hosted 40 people in our back yard for a Very Hungry Caterpillar BBQ.  It was an adorable party and the kids did all the work!

For you veggie gardeners, I have some really great finds to share. New to us this year is the Fortex Pole Bean. Of all our years of growing green beans and loving them, my husband and I have voted Fortex #1 in flavor and growth habit, plus they are COMPLETELY stringless at ANY stage! They grow long, about 10", and straight, and can be picked very thin and young too. We will now only plant Fortex. Another new hit this year was an heirloom pickle called Homemade Pickle from Lake Valley. They grow to a perfect dill pickle size, about 5", are very prolific, crunchy and make perfect pickles. The pickle recipe I use year after year is Dan Koshansky's  Refrigerator Pickles. We love this recipe for green beans too. Before I put the green beans in the jar, I break off the ends then blanch in a pot of boiling water for one minute, drain, submerge in ice water and drain. The cucumbers require no prep. We serve pickled cucumber spears and pickled green beans during happy hour or use them as a side dish for lunch. Even the baby loves them! We've been making pesto like crazy too and have started putting some away in the freezer for fall and winter soups. My favorite recipe is this one.  

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