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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It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
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Billiberry Sweater, a new pattern, and Sandnes Garn yarn discount







I love Carter's new sweater, Biliberry, a new pattern from OGE Knitwear Designs. I test knit the size 4 year and am so happy with it. A very simple technique of knitting stripes and slipping  stitches using only one color per row creates the plaid fabric. It's so easy and effective! The pattern is sized from newborn to age 8. I love knowing that I can use a pattern for several years. I showed this to my son, Carter's daddy, and he said he loved it. As it's knit with wool, I'll pack it away until fall and then I'll get some modeled shots. 

I was in Finland last fall (remember travel?) and purchased some Norwegian made Sandnes Garn. I started to knit it and decided I loved it! I looked around the internet for reviews and found out it's a very well-loved and hard-wearing yarn. Unfortunately it's not commonly found in the USA, but I DID find it! Loopy Ewe in Fort Collins, Colorado carries Sandnes Garn's two DK weight yarns, Peer Gynt, a non super-wash, and Smart, their superwash. Their colors are very sophisticated, with plenty of beautiful neutrals which I love, but also a good variety of pastels and brights. I used Smart, a superwash, for Billiberry above and loved it so much I decided to order more for some other projects. Both Smart and Peer Gynt are DK weight and 100% wool, but Peer Gynt, being non-superwash, feels more wooly, toothy, and hearty, while Smart, a superwash, is softer and more drapey. I cannot say about how it wears as yet, but the reviews are amazing and I'm looking forward to using this yarn for many future projects. Maybe the most appealing feature is the price! Both sell for about $5 per skein, amazing for such nice wool in such sophisticated colors. 

Loopy Ewe has kindly offered to give my readers a 15% discount on both Peer Gynt and Smart. Loopy Ewe's customer service is superb and their shipping costs are very reasonable. I was very pleased. Their brick and mortar is closed at this time, but they manage to ship out very quickly. To get the 15% discount, purchase the yarn online and in the notes section say you came from the Knitionary blog and ask for the 15% discount. It will be applied on their end and your charge will be adjusted. This offer is good for the entire month of May and applies 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 you order, as per their regular rewards program. 

purchase Billiberry Sweater by OGE Knitwear Designs
My Ravelry project page for Billiberry

I'm making Seaside from PetiteKnit for Carter with Peer Gynt.

Candy Cane scarf for me, free pattern. 
Something for Carter for fall, not quite sure yet.


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







When I first saw this shawl I knew that I would have to make it, and from the cast-on it became my obsession. Chevron stripes + Freia Minikins = knit nirvana. This is not your ordinary chevron striped wrap; unlike other chevron patterns, the open triangles made from the zig zag stripes are "filled in" on the cast-on and bind-off edges. To achieve this the pattern starts with the construction of curled connected triangles, see below. Don't worry if you think they look strange, just continue to follow the directions and after the first few rows of the actual stripes, the triangles will magically connect and the whys and hows of the triangle construction will start to make sense. After that it's just going about with the chevron stripes and watching the gorgeous color changes appear. At the end and after the last row of stripes, you'll go along the bind-off edge and fill in the triangles one by one. The pattern, the Passegiatta Wrap by Tina Whitmore, is fun to knit and well-written and you'll have no problem knitting it. Well, as long as you know how to K, P, K2tog, and YO. That's it!

For the shawl you'll need nine Freia Minikins or a Minikin Palette Pack.  A Minikin has long, sophisticated color changes and is 100% super soft USA sourced, milled and dyed, mulesing-free Merino wool. It's great. There are dozens of prettypretty colors available. My color choices are listed on my Ravelry page, see links below.




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It doesn't often work and it's a wee bit wonky when it does,
but I appreciate it when you try!



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