Sheltered








Many of my long-time readers remember when I was making matching sweaters for my granddaughter, Annie, and her dolls--now she is 18! Let me tell you a little about her. She is very pretty as you can see, also very outgoing and friendly. She is also very smart and is at the top of her class, which is nothing short of a miracle considering how much schooling she has had to miss. Several years ago, after a frightening, stressful, and painful year for both Annie and her parents, Annie was diagnosed with Spastic Paraplegia. This disorder is characterized by progressive weakness and spasticity in the legs. It is painful and tiring to live with. The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation is the only organization doing research for Annie's disorder. There is progress in a cure and there are projects earmarked for research, but it takes money. Donations to The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor through January 15. Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) is progressive; Annie will continue to worsen over time. The more research they can do now, the better chance we have of finding something that can stop her progression. I don't often share personal matters on Knitionary, but this is important to me and to my family and I know at this time of year many of you are considering end-of-year charitable donations. Please consider donating to the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation today. This foundation is a fully qualified 501C3 not-for-profit organization. Thank you for your consideration.



Today Annie is wearing my most recent knitted gift. It was a big HIT! She loves it and that makes me so very happy. Plus she looks darling in it. It was a fun knit and now I feel like I want to make one for me too!



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Phoenix







Yay! I love my new sweater! It's Phoenix by the talented Libby Jonson of Truly Mrytle. I was on the test knit team, but did make a few designer approved changes and they are on my Ravelry page. The yoke uses the slipped stitch mosaic technique which is the easiest type of colorwork there is--just as easy as making stripes! And if you are a total fumble fingers like me and cannot carry two yarns at the same time, try this unbelievably easy technique as it uses only one color per row. I like that the design is higher up on the yoke than many of the designs I see these days. I like the design to stop before it goes past the apex of the bust. Does that make sense? Anyway, it's just my preference. The yarn is that wonderful Rowan Cotton Cashmere that I've used a few times now and love for all seasons. It's divine to knit and wear and goes in the washer (and dryer too, even though the ball band does not recommend that). Links below:

Phoenix, pattern by Libby Jonson

I hope your Christmas was jolly and all! We had a perfectly wonderful Christmas eve and day. The baby was so darn cute and good and loved all the activity. However, we are not quite finished with celebrating yet; the rest of the family is coming for the New Years holiday. I'll be making a pot of ham and bean soup, clam chowder, and that Bo Ssam again.  I'm certain my kids will love it and it's all pretty easy, but first I have to put my feet up for a solid day of knitting. I'm finally smart enough to schedule in some resting time during the holidays. I hope you do too--it's so important not to overdo!

I received some pretty nifty Christmas gifts this year and two of them are something I know you'll be interested in: a sweaters worth of both Shibui and Malibrigo. Thank you Santa!



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merry citrusmas








This crazy thing is called a Buddha's Hand. I think they're gorgeous (my husband thinks they're creepy) but the fragrance is the best thing about it. One fruit will fill a room with heavenly citrus scent. I put one on my nightstand last night and I went to sleep with the prettiest perfume. I even have one on my desk now while I'm writing this. They have no pulp or juice and are grown as a curiosity, a room freshener, and for its sweet zest. It's great candied too.  In my neighborhood it's fairly common to put excess garden produce in a basket near the street so walkers-by can help themselves. These neighbors artistically lined these characters up on their fences and structures! I'm sure they got a good giggle when they put them out knowing that many people were just going to stare in disbelief! Growing up in California, Christmas always ushered in the beginning of the citrus season. The center of our Christmas table always had a bowl of mandarins and a few early lemons. Our own pink lemons and Valencia oranges will not be ready for another month or so, but our neighbor said her grapefruit would be ready any day now. I do so love these Buddha's Hand fruits and so grateful our neighbor is a sharing kind of guy!

I gave myself a gift this year and decided not to make elaborate gifts or ornaments. My knitted gifts are lovely hats and one beautiful garter stitch blanket. I'm really happy with them all and happy not to have the added stress of unfinished gifts and projects! With those wrapped up, I do have a few projects that are getting attention right now. I'm one of six women making a group quilt for a new baby girl in our circle of friends. I've also started Nightshift by Andrea Mowry using leftovers of black, gray, brown, pink and white. I'm not quite certain if I like the way it's turning out, but I love knitting it. I'd love to finish my Rowan Valley Tweed v-neck pullover and only have the sleeves to go. The last picture shows an almost-up-to-date photo of Alicia Paulson's ( from the Posie Gets Cozy blog) advent calendar that I purchased last month. It's so fun opening little packets every day! I've only got two left to open; the two biggies :)

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! I hope you enjoy a Christmas filled with all that you hold dear, plus a safe and happy New Year. There are so many things that you can spend your leisure time on, and I'm very flattered when you decide to pop over to Knitionary for a visit. This place brings me much joy and I'm so happy that I can share with you. Happy Holidays.





After washing they're drying on the drainer. You can get an idea of their size.
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cuteness






Here's my little cutie-pie in PetiteKnits darling Anker's Sweater. I used worsted weight wool, or you could use fingering weight yarn doubled like the designer did. The pattern is sized from baby to 8 years making it a useful pattern to me for years to come. I'm pretty sure I'll be making it once every year or two until my little guy outgrows the pattern. Mette from PetiteKnit has used this type of top-down yoke ribbing in many of her charming patterns. There are hats and bonnets, dresses and blouses, and sweaters for the entire family using the same technique. I love them because the yoke is so flattering and is easy to adapt to an in-between size if you wish. This is a combination of sizes 1-2 and 2-3. I have a little leftover yarn to lengthen the sleeves next year and so will hopefully get two years wear out of it. 

The yarn is a Malabrigo Worsted in an unknown colorway due to the fact that I was traveling while I knit this and didn't come home with any of the ball bands. It has greens, blue-greens, yellow-greens and a splash of orange and is pretty gorgeous. I bought it because I thought it would look great with these beautiful fox leggings from Village North Baby. This charming Etsy shop is closed until January 1st so I hope you'll bookmark it as these are the softest and nicest and coolest leggings I have ever purchased. I don't hesitate for a minute to recommend them. This is my third pair from this shop.

People ask me how I get my 17 month old grandson to make these great poses. I don't do much, really.  I ask him to stand still so I can take a picture of his new sweater (he is aware that I knit) and he will wiggle in one spot for about 15 seconds while I snap away, then he is done. The last picture is always of him running towards me! I literally have ten seconds to get my shot and most of the time I get quite a few that I love! He put his hands of his cheeks and his arms behind his head and we just cracked up!

Below are pictures from the designers. You can see the details of the sweater pattern and also see a better shot of the foxy pants.

The pattern, Anker's Sweater by Petite Knit.
Leggings from Village North Baby. The shop will reopen January 1.

Anker's Sweater by PetiteKnit.

Fox pants from VillageNorthBaby on Etsy. The shop will reopen on Jan. 1.
The pants pictured are baby sized. My grandson's pants are toddler size and have more foxes on them!


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walla walla

I just got back from a one week trip to visit my girlfriend in Walla Walla, Washington. It's a relatively small town famous for being the heart and soul of Washington's beautiful wine country, situated in the very southeast corner of the state, close to both the Oregon and Idaho borders. It's a lovely area and the town of Walla Walla itself is totally charming. And to make it even more perfect, they had one of the nicest knitting stores I have ever seen. Next store to that was a gorgeous quilting store. I was in heaven! I spent a relaxing week with my friends and they did not let me lift a pinkie; I never poured myself a cup of coffee, let alone bring a dish to the sink. I slept in Italian sheets on a McRoskey mattress. I awoke to the smell of bacon and pancakes and at night was fed homemade Irish stew, steak, and corn chowder. Her home is completely gluten free so I didn't have to wonder a bit about the ingredients. We didn't see all that much of her husband (it being football season and all), but he did come around at pertinent times to pop a cork or two of champagne for us.  They live in a big, old, beautifully restored and beautifully decorated home a few blocks from downtown (and that knitting store) and a few blocks from Whitman College. We walked 4 miles every morning and then sat by the fire and knitted and chatted. Does this sound like the perfect trip in every way? It was (insert lazy, smiling emoji), but it got even better. We spent the last night in Portland to visit her daughter and her family of all boys (even the dog), and then had a day to yarn hop. When I travel I like to take home something that is locally made, or something that I cannot find in my own local yarn shop. I know it won't surprise you one bit to hear that I bought something at each store.

In Walla Walla

In Portland
Starlight Knitting Society, my favorite in Portland.
Pearl Fiber Arts, in the cool Pearl shopping district.
Northwest Wools, in the fun Multnomah district.


The next dozen pictures are of Purl 2 in Walla Walla. It is a beautifully curated yarn shop with so many of the greats: Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk, Yoth, Hedgehog, Spincycle, plus some local alpaca. Lovely, super friendly owners.













I really got carried away in this shop. Yoth for me, Universal for a baby sweater, and the Mal for a hat for a friend.

Below are pictures of the quilting shop that was right next door. Friendly and enthusiastic owners.




The next four pictures are of Portland's Starlight Knitting Society. This was by far my favorite of the three we visited in Portland. Friendly and helpful, beautiful, with a great selection of yarn.





I didn't get into too much trouble here! A sweater's worth of BC Garn organic worsted weight wool.
It was rainy on our Portland shopping day so we didn't get to explore the Pearl district too much. Pearl Fiber Arts is a smaller shop, but lots of charm and very helpful staff. I guess I didn't take any pictures there but did manage to snag 21 Color Slouch kit, below, by Virginia Sattler Reimer. This Blue Sky kit has eluded me for years! I have seen it at knitting conventions and when I went back to get it they were sold out both times! Lucky for me, Pearl had one left. This will most likely be a gift for my granddaughter.


Our last shop was Northwest Wools in the tiny Multnomah district of Portland. It's charming in every way with some cute shops and good eateries. The staff was super friendly and they had some great knitted samples and a good selection of yarn including my favorite, Rowan. I purchased a USA sourced sock wool dyed by a local Portland dyer, Knitted Wit, in a crazy color to make a baby something or maybe socks.






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