a new coat and a new giveaway

I loved knitting this so much, and love wearing it too.  I've been wanting a knitted coat for ever and when I saw this pattern I knew it would have to be mine!  The pattern is by Kim Hargreaves from her new book, Still and knit in the smallest size, so this runs a little large.  But that's good for a coat because I can wear a bulky sweater under it and it fits well.  The yarn is Rowan Brushed Fleece and is new for this fall/winter season.  It is the best bulky I've ever knit and also ranks as one of the nicest yarns I've ever knit.  It's very elastic and lofty, lightweight, billowy, almost like it has been jet-puffed.  I'm searching for descriptive words here because I can't compare it to any other yarn I've ever used or seen before. The lightness of this yarn allow you to make an entire coat and it won't be dense and heavy.  It's very lightweight. The best thing might be that it is so extrememely soft, next-to-the-skin-soft; jammies would be heaven it this, but I might never get out of bed. This yarn has turned me into a bulky fan!  I am in love with this coat and have been wearing it every day.

Brushed Fleece comes in a 50 gr. ball, has excellent yardage for a bulky at 115 yds. and is a blend of extra fine merino wool and baby alpaca.  It's divine, so divine that I'd like you to try it so I'm giving away a skein in the navy Cavern, and a copy of the companion book, Brushed Fleece by Martin Storey.  There are some gorgeous designs with cables, some cardigans, pullovers and capes, sixteen stunning designs in all for women and men.  I know you will have fun playing with the yarn and love the beautiful designs in the book.  To enter be a follower of Knitionary by either FB, Bloglovin, Feedly, by email, etc.--I know there's lots of ways--and leave your comment here.  But most important, make sure I know your contact info!  If you want to leave me with your email address, that's good, but your Rav ID is good too.  For a second chance you can leave a comment on my Facebook page under the post that shows the above picture.  Next week I'll announce the winner.  This giveaway is open internationally.  If you are reading this post in an email you can leave a comment here.  Good luck!  Edited 1/7/15 to add:  this giveaway is closed and a winner has been selected.

I'll leave you with some gorgeous images from the book, but you can view all of them here and learn more about Brushed Fleece here.  My Ravelry page for Darkness is here.

Love the neckline and the gorgeous cables.

So classic.

I love this one and may have to make it.  I'd love having it next to my skin!

A gift for dolly: tam, skirt and sweater pattern, yours for free!

If you know any little girls, I'm sure you've noticed that American Girl Dolls are all the rage! A few of my friend's grandchildren were getting American Girl Dolls for Christmas, and you all know how I love to knit little sweaters! I set to work right away on creating a cute ensemble, and this is what I came up with. I offer the sewing patterns and knitting pattern for free. Your Christmas knitting is probably over, but save this for next year or the next time you need a quick little gift for a special little girl. While I intended this to be an adult project, an older child with some experience using the sewing machine will be able to make the skirt easily on her own. However, be aware that she may need some help with the hat. The purple sweater is my own design and is easy even for a beginner knitter. The pattern has been tested many times; use a row counter and follow my instructions to a T and your sweater will be perfect!  The light blue sweater is also a free pattern called Boxy Cardigan by Emily Ivey. Snickerdoodle, the purple sweater, is knit in one piece and is top down. Emily's long-sleeved cardigan is knit in pieces and seamed. My mods for that are on my Ravelry project page. All links are at the end of the post. 

I've put the patterns for the sweater, tam and skirt on a PDF file that you can download here.  I don't have the pictures below on the PDF file as I hate long patterns that I have to print out and imagine you feel the same way.  If you are a beginner at sewing you may need to come back to this tutorial post to see all the pictures.   Beginner or not, your doll should be wearing her skirt and hat within the hour!  You can make the tam and skirt with 3/8 yard fabric.

 Let's begin with the hat!

For the tam, cut out two circles 6 1/2" diameter. 
On one circle cut out a center circle to leave a 1 1/2" wide circle for the underside of the hat.
Discard center circle.  For brim, cut out a 14" by 2" strip.

With right sides together, seam outer circle with a 1/4" seam.  Turn right side out and press.

With right sides together, machine sew brim to inner circle opening, overlapping brim ends.

This is what it looks like now.  For ease, clip seam every inch up to but not into stitches.

To finish brim: fold a 1/4" hem then fold brim in half and pin to seam.

Top stitch brim close to the seam.  Press. Sew optional pom pom or button to center of tam.

Now let's make the skirt!

Cut out a piece of fabric 10 1/2 " by 30".  Fold in half lengthwise with right sides facing  and stitch 1/4" along raw edge.  Turn right side out and press.  This stitched side will be your bottom hem.

To make the gathered waistband: at opposite end of hem, stitch 1/2" down from fold along length.  Cut a 12" piece of elastic, draw through waistband and firmly secure at both ends.

To finish:  with right sides together sew 1/2"seam, finish with a zig zag stitch if desired and trim.  Finished!

Awww, she looks awfully cute doesn't she?  Party perfect!

The sweater is my own design, Snickerdoodle, link below.

I was lucky and had these decorative buttons in my button box.

I found this fabric with buttons to match at JoAnn's.

Download the free PDF pattern here.
My Ravelry project posts for Snickerdoodle here and here.
The daisy cardi Ravelry project page is here.
Boxy Cardigan by Emily Ivey.

My patterns are intended for home use.
You may certainly use them for charity and bazaar sales,
but do give the Knitionary blog credit!  Thank you.

Good bye for now!  xo Kristen

Linked to The Dedicated House


good cheer

Here are pictures of my house decked out for a Christmas party.
First is the front hall and next is the entry.

Next is the living room and dining room where we have the tree, candles and tiny white lights, the knitted tiny tree garland, mercury glass filled with our very early blooming camellias and paperwhites, my family nativity I played with as a child,  and the Wendt and Kuhn angel orchestra.

Our family's Italian chalkware nativity from the 50s. 

On to the little tree in my son's former bedroom, now my "sewing lounge", lol, hung with ornaments I've made over the years.  My husband really fought with me over this tree as he just absolutely did not want two trees.  I'm so glad I persevered as I have enjoyed this little tree so much!

 The guest bath below.

 More Wendt and Kuhn figures with tiny vintage glitter houses in our bedroom.

I put a little bit of Christmas in almost every room as I like to go a little over the top when I know we will be hosting parties.  Two weeks ago I had a Christmas tea for all the women, young and old, from our church.  It turned out to be the day we had the rain storm of the decade--a huge drought busting gully-washer if there ever was one but that didn't stop anyone from coming!

This weekend we had such a fun party.  We invited my husband's golf buddies and their wives over for a chili party.  We had 26 people and set up an open help-yourself bar with a few appetizers passed around to start.  I hire a woman who has helped me dozens of times and knows my house and my style.  She'll assemble and pass appetizers, refill wine glasses, scoop up dirty dishes and generally keep things tidy.  She is a treasure.  If you've never used a party helper before, I highly recommend that little treat to yourself. 

We set out two home-made chilies in the kitchen, one chicken and the other the more traditional beef (plus all the fixins like chopped onion, grated cheese, etc.), plus a spicyish cornbread then asked our guests to serve themselves.  With a mug of chili in one hand and a drink in the other, guests were able to find a place to perch and eat.  This means every seat in the house is taken and the house is crowded, but I think a crowded party is fun!  The only picture I managed was this platter of cookies!

I wish you a Merry Christmas with all my heart.
xoxo, Kristen