Monday, Monday

This is my kind of Monday, loads of roses, a bright blue sky AND we're heading to the beach to meet our son and granddog.  Just a perfect Monday, Monday.  
I've finished a baby sweater and just about ready to publish another doll sweater pattern.  I'm having so much fun with doll clothes and have quite a few more in the works.  
The photos were taken over an hour this morning, the morning haze was slowly lifting to reveal an azure sky.

Knock Out

Climbing Blaze


My neighbor's redwood trees.

Volunteer nasturtium.

David Austin's Gertrude Jekyll below. 

Graham Thomas

Climbing First Prize

The perennial border is ready for the zinnias.

Pink Peace.

Simplicity Red.

Flowering sage.

Climbing Eden, aka, Pierre de Ronsard.

The Pilgrim



Clue 2 is up!  Meet Nordic Star, the newest pattern block.
To download the free Rowan Yarns pattern for the KAL afghan, click here

Giveaway alert!  For a chance to win a copy of Marie Wallin's new pattern book, Windswept, click here.

Annie's sweater

I like to knit my granddaughter a few sweaters each year, especially one for Easter.  This is that great top down pattern, Ravello from Isabel Kraemer.  The pattern is easily customizable as it's top down and knit in the round.  This time I made no waist shaping, shortened the sleeves and added an i-cord bind off for the neckline.  I LOVE this pattern and have a third one on my needles.  I like that you can fiddle with the yarn and gauge and still get a sweater that will fit.  Isabel is a genius.

The yarn is Rowan Wool Cotton DK in Geranium.  Annie just loves it and choose the yarn from my stash about a year ago.  I knew it would be her spring sweater so I set it aside and didn't pull it out until last month.  When I was almost finished, I thought, gulp, does Annie still like bright pink?  Things seem to change pretty quickly with 13 year olds.  I texted, "Do you still like to wear bright pink?"  Phew, her answer was YES!   She is itchy sensitive but Wool Cotton is so extremely soft I knew it would be no problem and she wore it the rest of the day.  It's also machine washable which I prefer to knit for her.  It's an easy going yarn and not needle fussy at all.  Super soft, easy to knit and get an even tension, machine washable, not pilly, doesn't stretch's a work horse of a yarn and over the years has continued to be one of my favorites.

That beautiful climber behind Annie is Climbing Eden, aka Pierre de Ronsard.  For us it's a prolific repeat bloomer and a stunning entry into our vegetable garden.  It's also lightly fragrant.

My long time readers remember Annie as a little girl.  It's hard to believe she is a teen now!  Isn't she beautiful? She texted me today to tell me she got a solo in the spring concert for her school choir!

All the details on my Ravelry link
Purchase Ravello pattern here
I can find Rowan Wool Cotton at my lys, but if you can't, here are some
 great online shops: Jimmy Beans, Deramores, Jannettes, Loveknitting, and Webs.

Thank you for dropping by and I'll see you next week with a baby sweater!


sweet sweaters for baby and child

The first word I ever remember reading was "Kix".  I was sitting in the shopping cart and pointed to a box of cereal and said, "k i x, Kix!"  My 25 year old mother screamed, "You can read!"  I was so startled by her reaction I looked down at my big brother to see what he would make of it.  With a big smile he said, "That's good Kristen, you can read!"  It was about that time I had a dress with the alphabet printed all over in a jumbled way.  I loved it so much and would point to the letters and silently say them to myself.  I was so proud to wear it because I thought, if anyone sees me wearing this dress they will surely know I am a little girl who knows her letters.  This began my love affair with reading.

When I saw this sweet little cardigan I immediately thought of that dress and that early memory.  This cardigan would have to make the little wearer just learning the alphabet so happy and proud.  It looks like a lot of work to go into a sweater that would only be worn for a year or two at most, but just think of the memories that would endure let alone that it would most certainly become a treasured heirloom.  If I am ever so lucky, God willing, to have another granddaughter, I swear I will knit this.

Today I'm sharing a new book, a Mini Collection for children by Martin Storey.  All 13 designs are from the Rowan archives knitted with Baby Merino Silk DK.  I am especially fond of knitting for baby and child.  Everything always looks sweeter when in miniature and it's pretty fast knitting too!  I have only one tip for you when knitting for baby:  make sure the yarn is super duper soft and make sure it is machine washable.  Mother and child will love you for that.  Enjoy looking at these adorable sweaters.  All are given in sizes 1 year to 5 years except when noted.

Here's our cover girl, the Apricot cardigan and beret.  Just try to find something sweeter!

Handsome color choices here for Chestnut.

Cinnamon is gorgeous in this color combo, but I'm thinking this could be scrappy too! Size 3-18 mos.

Drizzle.  Tiny raindrops of purl stitches land on a field dotted with chain stitched posies.

My heart just about skipped a beat when I saw Fairy.

Practical, cozy and soft; Fudge Hat and Scarf.

Charcoal and lavender, such a sophisticated and moody color combo for Lemon cardi and beret.

Crochet a tiny mouse purse!  I'll just have to dust off the crochet needles to make Maple.

Pecan, richly textured with cables and bobbles available in sizes 3 mos. to 18 mos.

Walnut is a practical little sweater with simple cable and pocket details.

I'll be knitting Walnut using Wool Cotton color Misty.

My dear friend Ellie is having her first grandchild, a boy, this summer and I want to celebrate with her and knit a little something.  I have used Baby Merino Silk DK and I can assure you it's super soft and easy to knit, and of course machine washable.  However, in my stash I have 3 skeins of Wool Cotton which is also super soft, easy to knit and machine washable.  Both have the same gauge and similar yardage and I really must plow through my stash when I can.  I have the shower deadline coming up in the middle of May so I'll be showing this to you soon.


Mini Collection at Jimmy Beans, Deramores
Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK at Jannettes, Jimmy Beans, Deramores
Rowan Wool Cotton at Jannette's , Jimmy Beans, Deramores

I hope you've joined the Rowan Mystery Afghan KAL!  The first clue was published early, but from now on every Monday head over to the site to download your free pattern.  Hint, the pattern is a dozen or so pages as it's in 4 languages.  Only print out the 2 pages you need.  If you need a Spanish translation go to Violeta's blog.

Don't miss out on some of the fun and the early giveaways that are being offered over on the Ravelry thread.  I already know of a giveaway from Cindi and one from Maria.

I've started mine already!  Each block takes an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on your speed.  If you are knitting with a 4 color combo or any other combo that is different from the pattern, just wing it as far as which colors to use for each square.  For my four color combo I will make sure that I have equal amounts of each color.  In a few weeks I'll publish a more thorough post, but remember you can't make a mistake if you have chosen colors you like.