Sunset Slouch


I've just finished the coolest hat and at the same time was able to try out a new yarn. Well, maybe not too new. The yarn was introduced last year but I had never heard of it. I would not know about this lovely yarn still if not for this hat kit announcement arriving in my inbox last month. I think little stripy kits are a great idea to offer to knitters; it's like getting a shade card and sample yarn pack in one. I wish more yarn makers would do this; offer a little project kit with a little taste of yarn and a good sampling of colors. The yarn is Weld by Hudson + West Co., a fingering weight that is 70% Merino and 30% Corriedale. It is USA produced from sheep to skein.  Weld is terrific--it is springy and lovely to knit and all the colors I received except the navy have a heathery nuance. The stitches cling together to make an even, soft, pliable, and stretchy fabric with great memory. If you don't mind hand washing a baby or child's sweater, Weld would be a great choice for children's garments as it is lightweight and soft. I could also see it for any shawl or sweater project for that matter, and imagine colorwork, lace and cables would all work beautifully in Weld. All the available colors were included in the kit except the white, gray and black. The kit also included a fold-over leather H + W label for the brim. Love that little touch. The hat is comfy and fits my noggin and my grandson's too. 

Jogless stripes: I don't think you'll be able to spot the beginning of the color changes very easily, see last photo above. There are many ways to knit jogless stripes in the round, but the method I use is the easiest and it works perfectly each time: 

1. Add the new color and knit the row.
2. When you come to the second round, slip the first stitch as if to purl with the yarn in back. Knit the remaining stitches.
3. On the third round, knit as usual, but on the first stitch, give both the new yarn and previous yarn a little tug or two to line them up. 

This method works best for stripes that are 3 or more rows wide. All jogless methods work best on wool and not as well on cotton and linen. 

You can purchase the kit for the Sunset Slouch here. You can find the pattern on Ravelry here. My own project page is here. Weld yarn by Hudson + West Co. can be purchased here. It's a good one.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my previous post. I received over a hundred comments and all were in agreement that social media has become too intrusive and divisive. I'm not suggesting that walking away from Facebook and Instragram is for everyone, but for me, and it's only been one week, I know it was the right decision. I'm surprised how much social media had negatively directed my mood. And the time I spent! Now I have more time for things I really enjoy and honestly, I don't know why I waited so long. I have not replied to each comment as yet, but I will in the week to come. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You can comment on this post by scrolling down if you are on my website, or by clicking here. xo Kristen

why I'm leaving social media

I know many of you (about a third of my readers) get their "new post" alerts from Facebook and I want those readers to know that I will be deleting my Knitionary Facebook page. If I can find a way to pause it, I will, and then probably delete it altogether in 2021. I have also disabled my Instagram and deleted my personal Facebook account. If you're not on social media, you're probably thinking, pfft, who cares? But some of you might be wondering why, and I'd like to share my decision process.

Three years ago my mother was gravely ill and spending time with her was my priority. In order to do that I had to eliminate all non-essentials from my life. One of the non-essentials I eliminated was reading my social media feeds. I continued to post daily on my Knitionary Facebook knitting page but would leave right after the post. That took only a few minutes a day and I enjoyed it. A year later, mother passed away, and slowly, and hopefully also thoughtfully, I brought back a few of those "non-essentials". Some things I missed very much and bringing them back was comforting, but others, like social media, was not missed at all. I continued to post on my knitting page, occasionally post on my personal page, posting a few times a month on IG, and always leaving immediately. Even with those quick appearances I couldn't help but see some of my feed and I saw derision and division. I felt too many things were distorted, amplified, inaccurate and cruel. I often did not feel good when I was on Facebook or Instagram and wondered, what am I doing here?

A few days ago, my daughter-in-law asked that I watch "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix. I did. I was stunned. I was shocked. And it was the tipping point for me. If I had been having second thoughts about my involvement in social media, here was the evidence I needed that it was not good for me. I highly recommend this documentary. It shares information that we've all heard before but presented it in a way that made it hard for me to ignore any longer. If you don't have Netflix, perhaps there is another way to view it? At the end of the documentary they interviewed several of the key contributors (all were either creators, enhancers, and/or visionaries of social media) and they ALL have already taken these 4 steps:

--They have removed themselves from all social media.

--They do not allow their children to be on any social media.

--They have removed all news apps from their phone.

--They have removed all notifications from their phone--no pushes, beeps or vibrations.

The reasons why these mavens of social media have taken these 4 steps are numerous and the documentary explains the reasons well. Two main points I took away were:

--The alarming amount of personal information that is harvested and subsequently used to manipulate the user. This can be avoided and built out of the model, but that is not done because of their personal financial gain and influential gain over users, and is in fact getting more personal and more manipulative.

--The purposefully built-in addictive nature of social media to keep us coming back, or stop us from even leaving. This can be avoided and built out of the model, but that is not done because of their financial gain, and is instead getting more and more creepily addictive. 

The above is loathsome obviously, but my main reason for leaving is a little different: social media does not enhance my life; too often it does not truthfully inform me and too often it does not entertain me well. Given that, plus the 2 points above, why would I stay? As for my personal connections, they can be successfully fostered in other ways.

Consequently, I'm on a digital clutter clean up. I have deleted a dozen apps on my phone and decided to delete/disable/archive my social media accounts. It's an ongoing battle to keep my email box lightened up and I'm quick with the unsubscribe option. If I like something and there is an option to receive an email once a month or once a week, I take that option. If that option is unavailable, I unsubscribe from anyone who emails daily. I'll continue to pop onto Ravelry to view patterns and yarn, but I've never been involved in a forum except if I'm testing a pattern, so I'm unfazed by any shenanigans going on over there. Pinterest is fairly innocuous to me. I'm on it a few times a year to search out an idea so I'll keep that. I know I have a Twitter account but I don't remember how to log in. Years ago a male enhancement site attacked my Twitter which was a mess to clean up, and consequently I put in so many log-in precautions that it's now too complicated for me to get on. I will continue to write my knitting blog because I love connecting with the knitting world. I will continue to follow my favorite knitting, cooking, political, decorating and gardening blogs, but unfollowed them if they were plastered with (too many) ads. I certainly sound picky, don't I? But why not--it's my time after all.

If you would like to follow Knitionary, there are a number of ways that I know of:

--Subscribe by email (see the box on the upper right side of the blog).

--Use a blog reader app such as Bloglovin' (that's what I use) or Feedly.

--Bookmark my page and check in weekly or monthly. I generally post 4x a month.

As for Knitionary gathering personal information on you, I wouldn't even know how to do it if I wanted to. I have never looked at my list of followers by email and/or apps, don't know how many I have or who they are. I do check my volume stats because I'm curious if a post has been popular or not, but it doesn't really change what I write about because this blog is simply a fun and creative outlet for me. I hope you like it too. 💗 

As I post this, I'm heading over to FB to delete and archive. If you still see me there and it's not archived, it's because I can't figure out how to do it.😕

Oh, and that picture above is something that just arrived in the mail this morning. Hudson and West designed a slouch with mini skeins using their new yarn, Weld. It's such a nice way to sample yarn. I'm also working on two test knits right now, one is for me, an adult cardigan designed by Anke of Ankestrick and the other is a child's jacket by Lisa of Froginette designs. Some knitting posts will follow!

To make a comment, scroll down if on the blog or click here. Take care friends. Be well. Be happy. Kristen

blush pink pumpkins DIY

I purchased a dozen white plastic pumpkins online and they arrived ghostly white, just as I'd ordered. I planned to warm them up with a little blush of color and I was so happy with the results. It was easy to do so I thought I'd share this project with you. Here's what I did:

I ordered these pumpkins from Amazon although any faux or real white pumpkins will do. If you have orange pumpkins, real or faux, you can still do this, just paint them white first. My goal was to create a hint of an aged pinkish/orangish stain of color that would let the white shine through.

For the blush of color, I pulled out what I had on hand: 

acrylic paints (watered down mixes of brown, pink and orange)
brown shoe polish
liquid furniture scratch fixer

I was a bit of a mad scientist and mixed the above products together, then with a soft rag I rubbed a light coat of color onto the pumpkin making sure I put color inside each ridge. It dried quickly so I immediately buffed away most of the color as I wanted my white pumpkins to have just a hint of color. I wish I could give you a better recipe, but it was all just hit and miss, each one was different, and I ended up loving all of them. If you do decide to give this a go I don't think you can make a mistake. In the third picture below I have three stained on the left so you can see the warm contrast compared with the white pumpkins on the right.

The little stems that came with the pumpkins were cute, but I have a collection of real dried pumpkin stems that I wanted to use. The faux stems popped off with no problem and I easily hot glued my dried stems in their place. My husband couldn't believe that I had a collection of dried pumpkin stems and I couldn't believe that he couldn't believe it. (How long have you know me, hon?) When I have a pumpkin with a gorgeous long and curly stem, I save it. Of course. They pop off easily and dry with no trouble at all. I was planning to use my stem collection for velvet pumpkins but every year I wonder if velvet pumpkins are really my style so I never get around to making them. But THIS is my style and I'm so happy with them. I cannot wait to use them to create my Thanksgiving table, but in the meantime they are resting on the living room mantel. 


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Lovey Blanket

We are blanket lovers around here. We've got throws in every room, on nearly every chair, certainly every car, and an especially cuddly one in the stroller. This blanket is my new favorite. What can be prettier than squishy garter stitch and lovely eyelets? It's just simply the best blankie ever. This perfectly easy pattern can be knit in any size, any gauge, and with any yarn, making it ideal as a scrappy project, just let your imagination and your stash be your guide. 

Read through the quickie pattern first to understand the simple construction. If you are using scraps, you may want to weight it and divide your stash in half before you begin. The blanket is square, begins at one corner and is worked diagonally. Please note you'll need more yardage than you think as garter stitch is dense and gobbles up yarn. Maybe that's a good thing if you're trying to reduce your stash!

The pattern calls for a specific yarn and gauge, but the pattern will work for any yarn. While gauge does not matter, you'll want to choose needles that will create a fairly firm fabric with a compact gauge that is not too loose. Thinner yarn will require more stitches and rows, thicker yarn will require less. My 55” square blanket used 820 yards of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky.

Diagonal Comfort Blanket is free from Lion Yarn.

Find it here on Ravelry, or here on the Lion Yarn site.

My Ravelry project page here.


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cobblestone cardigan


You might remember the original Cobblestone Pullover from a decade plus ago and may have even made one. That gorgeous pattern by Jared Flood has been reimagined as a cardigan to celebrate Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter 10 year anniversary. When the BT team was looking for preview knitters, I held my hand up high. I will add that the BT team was so pleasant to work with. Their expectations were completely and clearly spelled out, but they were totally easy-going in the way we could approach knitting the sweater.  That small inside glimpse led me to believe this is one well-run company. We've seen how BT supports the hand-knitting community, their suppliers, shops and consumers, so this level of consideration on a little preview knit should be no surprise, but I have to tell you how delighted I was.

I chose the color Snowbound, which is a pale gray tweed; the yarn and the color suit the texture of garter stitch beautifully. Like all BT patterns, the instructions are detailed and complete. I only used 7 skeins even though the pattern called for 8, made the smallest size and it wet blocked perfectly to the measurements. It's a unisex pattern and there are options for slight, more, or no waist shaping. I choose none. It's slightly oversized on me and I love the fit for this particular cardigan. Shelter is divine with a stretchy, wooly hand that makes the most gorgeous fabric, especially in garter. My Cobblestone is a timeless, everyday classic and I've already cast on for a second one, this time in Rowan Kidsilk Haze tripled. 

(it's $1 off this week)
(10% off this week)
Don't miss Jared Flood's most recent blog post.

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