watermelon cardi

My, this was quick! Less than 24 hours from idea to blog post!  I saw this pattern on Ravelry yesterday morning, printed it out, gathered my yarn, cast on that evening at the start of the baseball game, and before the ninth inning I had woven in the ends and sewn on the buttons!  As my needles were clicking and the sweater was unfolding before me,  my thought bubble was, "Oh, where have you been all my life, darling little watermelon sweater?" I love it so much and decided that I'll make this for every little summer-born baby girl in my circle.  The pattern is sized for newborn only and is free from Stichylinda Designs, takes just a smidgen of yarn and knits up in a few short hours. And it's completely adorable. On Monday it's being mailed off to Washington, DC.

I used two popular summer yarns, Tahki's Cotton Classic in Bright Spearmint and Rowan's Summerlite DK in Fuchsia and compared them side by side.  I consider them both excellent yarns from luxury brands, but there were some differences.  My conclusion is Rowan's Summerlite DK has the edge due to it's softer fabric, zero splitting issues, and better value for the dollar.

The Links:

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PS: Something is wrong with my header. Checking into it. Ugh.


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!