silver birch hoodie and a discount

The newest knit off my needles is Silver Birch from Sarah Cooke knit in Rowan's superb Softyak DK. I love this pattern! It makes the cutest baby hoodie and is so much fun to make. This is my second Silver Birch as my grandson outgrew his first one, and I know I'll make another one next year when he outgrows this one. If you are new to cables or sweater construction in general, this would be a great first project. It looks complicated but it's not! I recommend this pattern to seasoned knitters and confident beginners. If you are ready to venture into the world of sweater construction and cables, this fantastic pattern will help you learn some very important basics, all on a tiny, beautiful sweater. You can do it!

The designer has kindly offered my readers a 25% discount on Silver Birch from now until Saturday, July 21. Upon check out, use the code, knitionary, click apply now, and the discounted price will appear. The price will be only $3 for this darling pattern! Thank you Sarah! 

Here's a little bit about the construction and why I love this pattern so much: Silver Birch is knit from the bottom up in one piece; this means NO seaming. The pattern begins with the ribbing at the bottom, knitting both fronts and back at the same time. You will follow the cable pattern and knit the body up to the sleeve separation. Here you will divide it into three parts, right side, left side, and back, now working one piece at a time. When those three pieces are finished you will use a three-needle bind off to make the shoulder seams to attach fronts to back. Next you'll pick up stitches around the armhole and knit in the round down to the cuff. The hood is worked next, picking up stitches around the neck and working stockinette until it's time to do a three-needle bind off for hood top. Lastly, for the ribbed button band, you'll pick up stitches around the right sweater front, up and around the hood, then down the left sweater front. If any of these techniques are new to you, head over to YouTube; there are dozens of helpful tutorials on each technique--techniques that are really quite easy and techniques you'll need to know to make a garment, so why not try them out on a tiny sweater? The cable pattern is an easy 16 row repeat and a seasoned knitter will have it memorized after the first repeat. If this is your first cable project, you'll be amazed at how easy cables are as this is a very intuitive cable pattern.

(use the code knitionary for a 25% discount, through Saturday, July 21.)

Softyak DK
I positively love this yarn. It's baby soft, easy to knit, and machine washable.
You'll love it too. Everyone gives it rave reviews. It is available at your
local Rowan stockist or online.

 I do not like to use double pointed needles for knitting in the round
--i.e. the sleeves in this sweater--
so I have invested in 12" circulars. I love the ChiaoGoos so much!

I love the baseball buttons! We are a baseball loving family (Go Giants!) and I know my son will love this for his baby.

the back


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The Very Hungry Caterpillar sweater

Good morning! I haven't been to my blog in over a month and I've missed it and you! I have a few quiet hours this morning before we head over to our son's house for a July 4th BBQ of hamburgers, garlic fries and corn on the cob, yum! My husband is playing golf, and my brother, who is here for the week, has taken his coffee and his book to the patio. So the first thing this bright blue morning was to raise the flag then take a walk to take some photos of the garden and my most recently finished baby sweater. Carter will be one this month and I've got a few sweaters on the needles. The first one finished is a loving homage to Eric Carle's beautiful Very Hungry Caterpillar. I did my best to find colors in my stash that matched his gorgeous grass, blue, and lime greens. The pattern is Baby's Sailing Sweater from Donnybrook Designs. I made the 24 month size, because our little guy is a big little guy for his age and it fits him already. The wools are all machine washable and it was a snap to knit. 

Six-row stripes make up the body, and for a little visual interest, after the sleeve separation I made two-row stripes on the sleeves.

I make a lot of striped baby sweaters with my scraps. Take this link to my post that includes links to free patterns and many tips to get you started on knitting your own "free" baby sweaters!

If you live in the USA, have a safe and happy Independence Day!


My Ravelry Project Page

Totally Free Totally Adorable Baby Sweaters

I've recently added quite a lot of stash that I'm selling on Ravelry. The yarns are beautiful and the prices are great, but I'm not going to knit them because either they are not my color, or I've changed my mind on the project. Take a look and see if there's anything you can't live without!

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I purchased the buttons at JoAnns.


Old Glory

purple sage


green beans growing up teepee poles cut annually from our fruitless mulberry tree

yellow and orange nasturtiums, pink roses and hydrangea

shasta daisies


shasta daisies and gladiola

First Prize rose




I am nothing if not loyal to a pattern and a yarn. This is my third Seacoast and at my tenth-plus time using Rowan Handknit Cotton. I love both, and together they make the perfect summer sweater. The pattern by Joji Locatelli is perfect in every way and I could see myself making a dozen! I made my first Seacoast with white Handknit Cotton, my second with Rowan Hemp Tweed in black (I haven't Raveled that one yet and I knit it over a year ago; must get on to that) and this one in a quiet Ballet Pink. I love the yoke; besides having hidden increases in the ribbing there are short rows at the back neck so it rests a little higher up than the front.

And that pretty table with the checkered cloth--well, that was the dinner party that never was. On Friday night we planned to have six for dinner to meet a friend's new girlfriend. The night before we went to the Farmer's Market and bought the season's first locally grown globe artichokes. They are so beautiful and so massive, when stuffed I imagine it would only be possible for a very hearty eater to finish one. At 1PM, after I had set the table and just as I was getting ready to stuff those big guys, I was called away for a little bit of an emergency and was gone the entire afternoon. I didn't get home until 1 hour before the guests were to arrive and only had time to shower, prepare one appetizer and set out a simple bar. When our friends arrived we had a drink and an appie and then went out to dinner. That was Friday and today is Sunday and I just now dismantled the table and am cooking the artichokes (unstuffed); two for lunch, two for mom and two more that we will eat cold for tomorrow's lunch.

Castroville in Monterey County is about an hour south from us and grows about 90% of the artichokes consumed in the US. We go there often for day trips, especially this time of year when the artichokes and berries are in season. I grew up eating artichokes every spring and taught my son how to eat them when he was two. We will have our grandson this week and as he is only 10 months old  so managing a leaf will be too tricky for him. Artichokes are eaten one leaf at a time by scraping the lower part of the leaf between your upper and lower teeth to remove the fleshy part at the base. Instead I will mash up the heart for him and I'm certain he will love it. He is a very adventurous eater and loves avocados, mangos, eggs, spaghetti with meatballs, and even zucchini with pesto. Last week I made a casserole with leftover kale and Swiss chard and just threw in what I had in the refrigerator--sour cream, grated mixed cheeses, pine nuts and a few eggs to bind it, then baked it. The baby ate it, and not only ate it, he loved it! We really haven't found anything he doesn't like, bless his heart. I mash up whatever we are eating and while he may be surprised by a new flavor, he is always game! He is a little chatterbox, have I mentioned that here? He says egg, appo for apple, nana for banana, on, off, up, car, go-go, calls me Gammy for Grammy and says Paw for Papa. He says dozens of words and is a very early talker, but his big word is umbrella. He loves outdoor umbrellas and when he sees one he points in awe and says, "umbrelllllaaa" with great reverence! What a little character; having this baby in our lives is just so beautiful in every way.

We just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary! We could not believe it and we both kept on saying, "Forty-five years? Has it really been that long?" I am married to the sweetest and most kind-hearted man I know. Plus he's funny. I think I got very lucky or was very smart 45 years ago. Maybe both! Sometimes he reads my blog, so if you are: Happy anniversary honey! I love you!

And in the TCB department: because of new GDPR policies, I have added a privacy policy page to my blog. Basically it says that I don't/won't share your email or any personal information with anyone. But even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have a clue as to how to do it! So never fear, the Knitionary blog is a safe place to be--a cozy spot filled with yummy yarns, pretty flowers, and happy babies!

The artichoke in the vase is from our garden. The plant only seems to get smallish artichokes like this one so I usually cut them and use them as cut flowers. They last a good long time in water.  In late summer the artichoke will bloom into a purple thistle and they look so pretty in a vase too.
Under the magical umbrelllllaaa!


How to cook and eat an artichoke.
Rowan Handknit Cotton is my favorite cotton yarn ever.
Joji Locatelli's Seacoast pattern is simply beautiful.
My Ravelry project page with my modest and simple modifications for fit.
The inexpensive gingham tablecloth comes in a half dozen colors and sizes.

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As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I would probably end up making it several times. I bought the pattern on its release date last November and cast on immediately only to hate my yarn choice after knitting close to half way up. It was too heavy feeling for an oversized style so it was frogged and the pattern was set aside. Spring came and I thought I would like to make it in cotton, thinking Rowan's Handknit Cotton would be perfect. Unfortunately my stash of Handknit Cotton wasn't generous enough to make an oversized sweater and I just did not want to buy any. (Sometimes I am oddly frugal and other times I'm strangely extravagant.) After a thorough look through my stash I unearthed some vintage Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in white that would work if doubled. This sweater is so lovely in cotton, was such an easy knit, and is so easy to wear. I love it, my husband loves it, and it looks good with everything, so I've swatched some wooly yarn for a wintery Weekender. 

Sweater details: It's knit in one piece from the bottom up. The body is knit in reverse stockinette in the round, which you knit inside-out, so no purling. There is a slipped-stitch decorative detail on both center front and back. The neck line is a simple boatneck style, maybe more like a slash neck; wide and flattering. The sleeves are knit by picking up stitches at the drop shoulder and knitting stockinette in the round to the cuff with a few tapering decreases. I picked up less sleeve stitches for a more fitted sleeve--my preference. As you might have guessed, The Weekender is very easy to knit and well-written, and everyone is giving it rave reviews.

The Weekender pattern by Andrea Mowry

My Weekender project page on Ravelry

The Weekender pattern by Andrea Mowry
My Weekender project page on Ravelry

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