the winners announced and a new favorite summer dessert

Lately, the weather has been so warm in the evenings that we've been invited to several pop-up barbeques where I've been asked to bring dessert. If I've ever made ice cream sandwiches before I don't remember, and I don't know why I decided to make them this time, but man, were they ever good. Really good. Big-smiles-all-around good.

I keep Cowboy Cookie dough frozen in logs in the freezer.  For 24 sandwiches I baked 48 cookies and filled them with a half gallon plus another quart of chocolate chip ice cream--my favorite flavor from Baskin Robbins.  I wrapped them quickly in freezer paper and popped them in a plastic freezer bag. They were best when frozen for a few hours before eating.

As for last week's giveaway, thank you to all who entered.  It certainly got a lot of attention and I was so happy to offer it because I love both the Gleener and Eucalan so much.  It's really an honor for me to share things I love with you on this blog and I want to thank you again for reading and for taking the time to comment.  

One winner was chosen from the Facebook comments: Teresa Wright from the UK--and one reader from the blog comments: gabyj from Canada.  I've contacted you both and as soon as you send me your mailing addresses I'll ship them out.  Congratulations!


Designer Spotlight: Kari-Helene Rane

Hello!  Today kicks off a new series where I'll highlight some terrific (and perhaps unknown to you) independent freelance knitwear designers.  I came across Kari-Helene by accident, and when I looked through her beautiful design portfolio I was astonished that I hadn't knit any of her designs nor did I really know anything about her.  That had to be remedied as she has so many gorgeous designs that I want to knit--now.  I know you'll agree with me!

Kari-Helene Rane is originally from Norway, now living in Brighton, UK.  She and her sisters learned to knit at their Norwegian mum's and grandmother's knees, who both produced traditional jumpers at a scary speed throughout their childhoods. They were never cold!  Kari-Helene went on to study fashion design at Kingston University where lucky for us, she decided to focus on designing for hand knitters.  Inspiration comes from relaxing with Frank, her Spanish Water Dog, and the creativity of her favorite designers, Dries Van Noten, noting the ethnic influence on his designs, and Sandra Backlund for her 3D knitwear.  

Please enjoy a sampling of a few of my favorite designs below.  Kari-Helene has generously offered to give my readers a 30% discount off her entire portfolio of instant download patterns available through Ravelry using the code: knitionary17. This offer is good for one week and will expire on June 23, 2017.  Look through her entire portfolio of artfully produced designs and stock up!  I did!

I adore the Masika Skirt!

  The Niobe Jumper uses interesting stitches to create texture.

Gorgeous fitted jacket: Isis Tailcoat.

I'm completely mad for this dress and think I must knit it: The Lily Dress.

The Bolly Waistcoat for him and her.

The Honesty Cardigan is a classic garment with a contemporary twist. With a traditional V neck, Honesty gets an instant update by using the wrong sides of the stripes on the main body and the right side on the sleeves. Clever!

Zig-zag details and stockinette and reverse stockinette add beautiful texture to the Lorelle Jumper.

Kari-Helene designs accessories and children's garments too.
Love this little model and her pretty Beauty Cardigan.

You can find Kari-Helen's entire design portfolio here.
Enjoy 30% off her instant download patterns available through Ravelry using the code: knitionary17. This offer is good for one week and will expire on June 23, 2017

What are your favorites?

Leave a comment here.

Follow Kari-Helene Rane on Facebook and Instagram


Giveaway--two must-haves for knitwear: the Gleener and Eucalan

I have a great giveaway this week that includes my two much-loved must-have products for knitwear care: the Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover and Eucalan Delicate Wash.  I couldn't live without these two products and highly recommend both.

I first discovered the Gleener ultimate fuzz remover a few years ago when I was searching for the BEST pill remover for my hand knits.  I had purchased so many useless pill remover gizmos over the years and found that they either simply left the pills behind, and/or left my fabric ratty and ruined. This is the only pill remover that actually works--and it works quickly and easily--and it leaves your fabric in beautiful shape! Now, a word on pills: Pills are common and even the finest fibers will pill. Pilling occurs when the everyday friction of wearing a garment causes the shorter fibers to loosen and join together to form a tiny ball. Expect the first few wearings of a new sweater to get pills, especially under the arms and at the cuffs.  As soon as these shorter fibers are gone, your sweater will pill less and less. Pills are easily removed with a few swipes of the Gleener.

I discovered Eucalan when my local yarn store owner assured me that I'd love it. She was right!  I was absolutely intrigued by the "no rinse" promise and it's absolutely true.  With only gentle hand agitation and no rinsing, my sweaters come out spotlessly clean with a fresh scent, and a little goes a long way.

I wash and groom my knits as necessary, but I always wash, de-pill and repair each sweater before I pack them away for the season.  I just finished that Herculean task of putting away my winter knits and replaced them with my summer sweaters.  To be honest, this takes me a few weeks as I have so many sweaters, but I feel great when it's behind me because I know that only clean sweaters await me next fall.  If I spend my time on knitting and my money on fine yarn I feel like I owe it to myself. But the biggest reason I take such good care of my garments is this: even a little grime or body oil attracts //shudder// moths.  It's true.

How I hand wash my hand-knits:  Add Eucalan to a tub filled with room temperature water.  Soak garment for 15 minutes, then squeeze and agitate garment gently with your hands for a few minutes. Cup garment in both hands and lift from tub, (no need to rinse!) then gently squeeze out excess water. Lay flat on a heavy absorbent cotton towel and roll them together to remove even more water.  Do not twist or ring.  On a new towel, pat your garment to shape and dry out of the sun.  When dry, use the Gleener to remove any pills and to revive bloom to fabric if necessary.

If your local yarn store doesn't carry Eucalan or the Gleener, ask for them!  Also, in the US, you can find both products at Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and many other popular stores. Search for Eucalan retailers here and Gleener retailers here.

Now for the giveaway! Two will win! I'll pick two commenters, one from my blog and one from Facebook. Each will receive a Gleener On The Go and a gift bag of full-wash size pods of Eucalan in each of their lovely fragrances. You can comment in both forums.  When leaving a comment here on the blog, please add your Ravelry name (preferred) or email address. This is open to my international readers too. I'll come back next week to announce the winners.  Good luck!

To enter the giveaway, follow the Knitionary blog, then leave a comment here.
Important: Leave your RAV name or email address!

For a second chance to win, head over to the Knitionary Facebook page
and leave a comment under the post with this image.


When the weather is fine my shady patio is the perfect spot to dry my sweaters.  This time of year I practically have an assembly line going, doing 4 at a time on most days!

Lila Top Down

I finished Lila Top Down and I couldn't be more happy with it--so much so that I've cast on for another the minute this one was finished.  It's a very well written pattern from Carrie Bostwick Hoge's beautiful book, Madder Anthology 2.  I highly recommend this book--I've made a few patterns from it and plan to make a few more. I did knit Lila once before in pink but ended up gifting it to my 16 year old granddaughter because she loved it and it looked darling on her.  This time I made the smallest size as I wanted no positive ease and I love the way it turned out.  As it's a summer sweater, I shortened the sleeves a bit.  It's a very flattering sweater to wear and the shaped hem is so cute.  I should warn you this is a super quick knit.  I took this as my travel knit and finished it in 3 days! That did include an airplane ride and an at-sea day, but still, I was surprised how quickly it was finished. Luckily I had two more projects with me!

The yarn is the great Rowan Creative Linen, a 50/50 blend of linen/cotton.  If you are willing to experiment just a little, you'll be delighted to add linen fiber into your knitting experience.  Knitted linen fabric will have drape and more of an open weave (wool stitches tend to hug each other while linen stitches tend to keep a respectable distance) with the texture of an oatmeal cookie. For these reasons, linen is best used for a relaxed summer top.  Unlike many linen yarns, Creative Linen is very easy on the hands when knitting and a very easy care yarn.  It's goes in and out of the washing machine with ease. I rarely put this yarn in the dryer and prefer to pat into shape and dry flat in the shade. However, I have put my Creative Linen sweaters in the dryer and they handled it well with no noticeable shrinkage. It's important to give your Creative Linen garment a good soak before wearing. Once you wash or soak it, the fibers will soften significantly.

My summer sweaters look a little shabby this year and I'm determined to make three summer sweaters in the next two months.  One down.  Next will be another Lila, this time in Rowan Handknit Cotton in pale blue.  I also have a sweaters worth of Handknit Cotton in white I'm planning on making a Brooklyn Tweed pattern.  I love white for summer!

The pants are the Martie Pants from J. Crew.  I positively love these pants and started collecting them last year.  They are super comfy with a great fit and are easy care. I have them in white, black, orange, pale gray and these navy check, which are my favorites.  I bought these checkered pants last year and they don't have them on their website this summer, but they have a beautiful emerald green and a red that sure look tempting.

What are you knitting for summer?

My Ravelry project page

To make a comment, click here.


giveaway winner and the garden

The winner of the Memories of Juneau giveaway is
Send me your address and I'll send out the yarn and pattern this week.
Congratulations and thank you to all who entered.
Thank you also to Melissa Highfill of Seaside Yarns and Northern Bee Studios
for her scrumptious giveaway.

As for other news, the garden looks great and we ate our first tomato, a cherry Gold Rush, on May 30. I've finished a few sweaters and begun a few others so I hope to have some sweater posts soon. And, I've teamed up with Eucalan and Gleener for another fantastic giveaway. Stay tuned!  xo Kristen

To make a comment, click here.