Category Archives: events

Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk shows

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is just around the corner! The 2015 crawl runs from Thursday March 5 through Sunday March 8. There are 15 participating shops in the metro area, check the RCYC website for full details.

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I have the pleasure and honor of having two trunk shows during the crawl. On Thursday March 5 I’ll be at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn from 1 to 5 p.m. They just moved downstairs in their building in December, and I’m looking forward to seeing their new larger space. On Sunday March 8, I’ll be at Twisted in Portland from 1 to 5 p.m. My home stomping grounds! Come by and say hello and see samples of my newest designs, as well as some older favorites, too.

Bonus time! Rose City Yarn Crawl is giving away free pdf downloads of last year’s RCYC pattern collection, through tomorrow, February 28. Hurry!

What else is going on? I’m slowly going through my older designs and updating and reformatting them for my current layout. Most of the time this also means making new charts (I used to chart in Excel; Intwined is so much nicer) as well. Each pattern takes two to three hours to make it flow and make it pretty. Why am I telling you this? If you already purchased these patterns, you can download the new versions. And if these patterns are new to you, you can get them at 20% off through March 7. Here are the designs that have reformatted patterns; use coupon code REFRESH for the discount on any or all of these. Go to the Ravelry page for the design; the Buy Now buttons don’t give the opportunity to enter a coupon code. Sorry about that!

pdxknitterati pointer mitts and hatPointer Mitts and Cap or Beret

zen rain shawletteZen Rain Shawlette

pacific shawlPacific Shawl

pdxknitterati log cabin blanketLog Cabin Baby Blanket

pdxknitterati pedi sockZigZag Lace Pedi Socks

oxo cable fingerless mittsHugs and Kisses OXO Fingerless Mitts

Are you participating in the yarn crawl? Come see me!

More Madrona

While classes are a central part of Madrona, they’re not the only reason to go. The market is full of yarn, fiber, books, and tools, and there are demonstrations going on in the rotunda. There is no admission charge for either of these things.

chicken boots knit project bag

I bought this very clever project bag from Saremy at Chicken Boots. The pocket shown here on the front is accessed from inside the bag, so your small items won’t fall out. Me? I’m using the pocket for my pattern, because the vinyl lets me see it, and it’s always accessible.

I met Henry and Roy Clemes through Brooke Sinnes of Sincere Sheep. Clemes and Clemes make all sorts of wooden tools: Drum carders, combs, spinning wheels, looms, blending boards, even this Turkish spindle that Henry is demo-ing here.

Henry Clemes turkish spindle

Clemes and Clemes Turkish spindle

The cool thing about this particular spindle is that it comes with several arms, and you can use as many as you want to vary the weight from 2 to 4 ounces. They stack on the square shaft. It spins very nicely.

Clemes and Clemes blending board

Roy was in the rotunda doing demonstrations. Depending on how you feed the fiber into the drum carder, you can get fiber prepped for worsted or woolen spinning. I had no idea. He made these rolags (for woolen spinning) on the blending board. Meg from NW Handspun Yarns stopped by and showed me how she was spindling long draw from a rolag. I’ve only spun worsted yarns, so now I’m very curious. Luckily, Roy sent me home with these rolags. Thanks, Roy!

I had fun talking to people who have knit or are knitting my designs, and saw some of my designs in the wild.

Jami's Rosaria

Jami from Knitting Bee was wearing her Rosaria Shawlette.

Anne's Aloha shawlette

Anne was wearing one of the three(!) Aloha Shawlettes that she knit. (Anne was in my lace class, too.)

Laurinda, me, Sara

And it was great to connect with other knitters/spinners I know. I had lunch with Laurinda Reddig, designer of last year’s Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Crochet Along, and Sarah of Bumblebirch Yarns. (photo by Laurinda)

I also spent time with Nadine Foster and Judy Becker (of Judy’s Magic Cast On) in the rotunda. They came up on the Traveling Ewe‘s luxury motor coach. What a great way to travel; all that knitting time while someone else does the driving! Although long solo drives are where I work on my harmony singing…

I had a great view out my hotel window. Mt. Rainier was just a tease on Thursday, but Friday’s sunrise featured a pink mountain

mt rainier sunrise

mt rainier

which made a grand appearance a little later, and then disappeared into the clouds again.

Did you miss my lace class review? It’s in the previous post, here.

Were you at Madrona? I hope you had as much fun as I did. I could only go overnight this year; too many things on the schedule. I’ll go again next year, and try to stay longer!

Madrona class review

I took a short trip to Tacoma to visit the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. I could only stay for one night, so I packed in all the fun!

I had two classes. My favorite was Designing with Lace Decreases with Evelyn Clark. The very first lace shawl I ever knit was her Shetland Triangle, so I was very pleased to be in this class. Where do the decreases belong, in relation to the yarn overs? Which decrease should you use? Well, it depends on what effect you want.

lace sampler

So much information packed into this little swatch. Notice that it does not mirror from left to right; we had lots of effects to sample! Do you want your decreases to outline your YO? Or a softer edge? Do you want your fabric to bias? (Separate your YO from your decrease.) If that biasing bothers you, consider a project in the round, which will balance out the biasing (as opposed to straight edges that won’t stay straight).

Evelyn had lots of samples to look at, and to explain. One thing she mentioned: Scallops are always stronger at the cast on edge than at the bind off edge. I’d noticed this when I designed my Rockaway Hat/Cowl, and it didn’t matter so much in that instance, but it was nice to know it wasn’t just me. (I could have swatched, but I just knit it up and said, “Oh, hey.”) But if you want to reinforce the scalloping at the bind off edge, you might try adding beads for weight there. Or forego scallops completely, and end with something else. Also, scallops are going to be offset by half a repeat (they won’t look the same at each end of your knitting) because the peak and trough of each wave is offset.

We were given the option of charting out a picture, just for fun. We talked about flipping lace motifs to knit them upside down (for top down knitting). I tried it with my leaf motif that I used in Garland. I showed it to her at the end of class, and she said that some motifs won’t work upside down, and she thought that my leaf might be one. I tried to knit it that night, but I fell asleep, so didn’t finish the flipped one.

leaf lace

But in my email the next morning, I found one from Evelyn, saying that she had thought about it, and knit it, and it really didn’t work. She sent me a picture, and it looks like an arrow! You can’t see the decrease lines at all (bottom of swatch, top chart).

inverted leaf evelyn clark

That, my friends, is a fabulous teacher. I had to figure out if there’s another way to make it work. It is completely different; I just wanted to know if I could. And that’s the mark of a great class, for it to be so thought provoking that you just have to figure it out.

inverted leaf lace knit

I had to use m1 increases and double decreases to get the lines to show up.

leaf lace flipped

It’s not pretty, but I just had to see if it could be done! Evelyn called this playing with lace “nerd knitting” and I am completely nerding out here. But it was fun.

This post is way longer than I anticipated…more in the next one.

Sophie’s Rose pattern re-release, happy new year!

Happy new year!

The pattern for Sophie’s Rose is now available through PDXKnitterati! (See bottom of post for launch sale info.) This is an asymmetric triangle, knit from the small point to the sweeping ruffle.

pdxknitterati sophies rose

pdxknitterati sophies rose

I designed this for Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake, using two very special yarns. The main color is Sophie’s Rose, the semisolid brown with raspberry pink accents. MadelineTosh dyed this custom color in honor of Anne’s new granddaughter, Sophie.

sophie

The coordinating color is Knitted Wit‘s Madge, on her Merino Single Fingering base. The theme is a garden trellis interspersed with rows of roses.

sophie's rose tosh

The big ruffle makes it really fun to wear. I wore it to Madrona last year, and lots more since then.

Sophie's Rose mlb

This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering 20% off through January 15, with coupon code ROSES.

If you want a kick start with this project, I’m teaching a Sophie’s Rose class on Saturday February 7 at 10 a.m. at Twisted in Portland. We’ll go through the trellis stitch and the rose rows, and also talk about the ruffle. I taught this class at For Yarn’s Sake last year, too. The instructions for these stitches are in the pattern, but sometimes it’s more fun (and easier to visualize) in person,

Happy new year! Are you casting on something new today, or trying to finish up last year’s project? Either way, I hope you have a chance to get some knitting in today. There are serveral cast on parties around town; I know Twisted is having one at noon, and Lorajean is having one at the Knitted Wit studio from 11 to 2. Being the contrarian that I am, rather than casting on I think I’ll try to finish my Honey Cardigan. Apparently I set it aside last year when the weather changed, but the body is done and it just needs sleeves and finishing. I could use a new sweater about now. It’s cold out!

Knit Picks Craft Night at West Elm

Knit Picks had a little holiday craft night last Thursday. It was a cozy time at West Elm in the Pearl District, a sweet store full of all the things that would make your home look gorgeous, any time of year.

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Lots of crafters came to play. I didn’t bring my current project, so I looked for inspiration in these books…

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which came home with me. There was yarn to sample.

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I think I’m going to have to put a holiday hat together with these colors. All planned out; I just have to do the knitting.

I met Kim, who was wearing my Fern Shawlette.

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And I got to see my friend Stacey! She’s the Independent Designer Partnership coordinator (and much more) at Knit Picks. I’ve known her since before she started at Knit Picks, when our blogs crossed paths.

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Lots of fun and inspiration. Thanks to Knit Picks for inviting me!

Are you knitting gifts? I don’t usually, but this year I have a plan for a couple. Let’s see if I can actually make it happen. So many fun things to knit, so little time! My friend Carole and I wore our Pippi Hats while selling Christmas trees last week. I knit hers for Christmas last year.

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Or it may be that she received a box full of yarn, and a promise. That sounds familiar. A quick check on Ravelry shows that I knit it February 6-9. Gotta love Ravelry for keeping me honest!

Hoping your needles are flying!

Happy birthday, Knitted Wit!

It’s Lorajean’s birthday, and she’s having an Open Studio day on Sunday, December 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. to celebrate. Here’s the scoop:

Join us to celebrate Lorajean’s birthday with a sale!!! We’ll have local designers with patterns to inspire, buttons from Buttonhole! Buttons to help you find the perfect button to tie it all together, and bags from A Needle Runs Through It! Birthday cake will be sliced and ready to greet you!

I’ll be there as one of the aforementioned designers, with samples in lovely Knitted Wit yarns, including two of my newest, the Big Leaf Scarf

Big Leaf Scarf

and the Super Cabled Christmas Stocking

pdxknitterati christmas stockings

both in Knitted Wit Cotton Candy super bulky 100% merino wool.

Come by and say hi, and happy birthday!

Fall favorites

mookie
Knitting with my assistant

raking
Raking leaves

catnap pdxknitterati
Catnaps

morse code cowl pdxknitterati
More knitting!

Fall is my favorite time of year.

Don’t forget, the Indie Design Gift-A-Long pattern sale ends tomorrow at midnight, Eastern Standard Time! Now’s the time to stock up on patterns for gift and selfish knitting. Use the code giftalong2014 for 25% off the specially featured patterns of nearly 300 independent designers on Ravelry. The details are at the Indie Design GAL group. There are already more than 200 posts in the FO picture thread! There are some great prizes being awarded, and a lot more to come.

giftalong 2014 pdxknitterati

My featured patterns for the GAL are here. From what I’m seeing, there should be a lot more Snowy Woods Cowls and Thrumbelina slippers making their way into the world. I’m looking forward to seeing them in the project pages.

Yay! For Yarn

One of the nice things about the Indie Design Gift-A-Long is the chance to get to know about other indie designers. I interviewed Kiri FitzGerald-Hillier, a designer from Brisbane, Australia. She’s the owner of Yay! for Yarn, an online yarn shop. We chatted via Ravelry message.

Kiri

What made you decide to start designing your own knitwear? How long have you been designing?
I have a small online yarn shop, through this I was given the opportunity to design for a small Australian knitting magazine, I came up with a few small, simple items and enjoyed the processes of coming up with my own ideas and seeing them in print! My Lorna Shawl was one of these designs and after a request from a few people on Rav and with permission from the publisher, I self-published this design on Rav. It was exciting to see completed projects and to have people purchase the pattern. Another Australian Craft magazine requested that I do some designs for them and from there I’ve just grown. It was probably the beginning of last year, after having some designs selected for Yarn magazine, that I started considering myself a ‘designer’, though I would still say I’m at the beginning with a LOT to learn!

Zaggin

I love your Zaggin’ Shawl. The short row construction is very eye-catching! How did you come to design it?
Thank you, this is one of my favorites as well, I can’t wait until next winter when I can actually wear it!
I love using short rows and the effects and different fabrics which can be created simply by changing knitting direction in different places. I had some left-over yarn from a cardigan I designed and I just started playing with a zig-zag pattern, after a few different trials (and a bit of frogging and re-starting), this design was created. I still haven’t finished the first prototype in the left over yarn, I got to a point where I couldn’t bear frogging it again, so restarted in a new yarn when I had the final pattern worked out.

Who taught you to knit? Do you come from a family of knitters, or are you a solo knitter?
My Mum found a second hand learn to knit pack of cards when I was little (it was a teaching resource from the UK from the 70’s I think), I think I was in my early teens when I taught myself from these. My Mum can knit she probably helped me a bit (she made me an amazing cabled jumper from handspun when I was 14 which I wore to death! and another cardi which I’m ashamed to say I refused to wear but these are the only two things I remember her knitting). I made a couple of things in my teens. I picked the needles up again when I was in my mid twenties and studying for a Visual Arts degree at uni, we had an assignment in sculpture class where we had to combine craft and art, I covered and knitted a dinner setting in brown acrylic yarn. About a year after that I discover a knitting magazine in a local newsagency, it was that that got me completely hooked. I think this magazine made me realise that there was a world of knitting – if there was a magazine then it meant others were doing it!

Do you do any other fiber-related crafting? Crochet? Spinning?

Just knitting. I’ve tried to learn crochet but so far have only mastered the granny square.

I see that your Etsy store is Kiri Moana Designs. Where does the name come from? (Is Moana your middle name?)
Moana (pronounce mow-an-uh) is my middle name, it’s a Maori name from New Zealand and means the sea, Kiri is also a Maori name. I was born in Australia but my Dad is from NZ. When I was born my parents still hadn’t come to an agreement on a name for me, Dad announced “her name is Kiri Moana”, Mum said, “Fine….SOMEONE bring me a cup of tea!” In NZ they’re pretty common names but in Australia they are quite unusual so I get lots of comments when introduced to people.

Bloom

What is your favorite item to design?
Cardigans and shawls/scarves. I love the completion of something like a cardigan pattern, so much work goes into them that it’s such a sense of achievement when the pattern is finally complete. I don’t have many yet available on Rav but I have a couple coming out in the next two issues of Yarn magazine and have a few more in the works. I’ve always like maths and love that I’ve found something where I can combine my creative side with my love on numbers!
I love playing with manipulating fabric in shawl designs, I find shawls are a great place to play with ‘what-if’. I have a chunky scarf design in testing at the moment, one of my regular testers made the comment “Great!! Another adventure coming up, I can tell!” which I love! I find with shawls I start out with a plan, get bored with the repetition of the plan and suddenly I’m going off in a different direction, pattern or colour. I have a few more designs still in the planning stages which I can’t wait to see where they end up. I’ve really only just started seriously designing so I feel my best work is still to come.

What is your favorite knitting technique? (Cables, lace, colorwork, other)
I’ve always loved cables but only have one pattern out the uses them – I think I’ve decided that my next design idea will have cables! Actually I love lace and colourwork as well ;) I really love the possibilities of short rows and they just keep showing up in my designs. Really anything that creates an interesting fabric, that said I’m happy knitting stocking and garter stitch as well…. Just give me some yarn and a pair of needles and I’m a happy little knitter! Hmm… I think the only thing I’ve come across that I’m not so keen on is picot edges – I love the look but get bored knitting them. And steeks are something I’ll probably never try, I don’t trust my sewing skills enough to believe that it will hold the fibres and stop them from fraying.

Do you have a favorite yarn/fiber?
I love love love anything from Dream in Color, the colours they create are beautiful! I do prefer natural fibres and prefer wool and wool blends and cottons.

Are you knitting anything in the Indie GAL?
Summer Girl – knitted headband by Monika Sirna accidentally fell into my cart earlier this week. We’re at the end of a very hot spring and the start of what promises to be a very very hot and humid summer in Brisbane, that said I still like to make something for my children’s birthdays. My son’s is next week and I’ve made him an orange hat – Paper Planes by Amy van de Larr (at his request), I saw this headband and decided it would be perfect for my daughter, her birthday is just before Christmas, she loves playing fairies and princesses so I thought this would be a great dress-up.

Thanks, Kiri!

You can check out Kiri’s designs on Ravelry here, and her blog, Yay For Yarn, here.

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long pattern sale goes through midnight Eastern Standard Time, November 21. And the fun and games and knit and crochet alongs continue through the end of December. Check the Ravelry group for more information!

Indie Design Gift-A-Long

It’s been quiet on the blog, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been knitting and planning. I have several prototype projects in progress, a couple design proposals out, and I’ve set up some fun in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long.

giftalong 2014 pdxknitterati

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion through Ravelry to help you kick-start your holiday gift-making! It begins with a pattern sale, and then the fun and games begin on Ravelry, with KAL/CAL activity and prizes. You don’t have to belong to Ravelry to buy patterns, but you do have to join if you want to participate in the KAL/CAL games and prizes.

The pattern sale runs from Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 pm US EST – Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm US EST. The KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through our New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST). Check out the Ravelry group for all the details.

Here’s a link to my featured patterns for this event. The discount is 25%; use the code giftalong2014 at checkout.

Ready, set, KNIT! (or crochet…)

Are you knitting gifts for the holidays?

Potpourri post, Autumn Scarf pattern sale

A little of this, and a little of that.

autumn scarf

My Autumn Scarf is now available from me through Ravelry downloads, as well as from Knit Picks. I’m pleased to have it available both ways, especially if you’re a knitter that likes to keep your pattern pdfs in your Ravelry library. And! From now through November 15, the Ravelry download is $1 off if you use the coupon code AUTUMN at checkout. That means it’s $3.99 instead of $4.99. I wore this pumpkin colored scarf yesterday with my basic black everything else, and felt perfectly ready for Halloween!

pdxknitterati thrumbelina

A few weeks ago, the owner of Knitters Dream in Pennsylvania featured my Thrumbelina slipper pattern at her grand re-opening of her shop. She used her angora roving, which is a 50% angora rabbit/ 50% merino roving. Doesn’t that sound like a heavenly combination? And they turned out so nicely, too!

pdxknitterati kerfuffle cowl

I taught intro to stranded colorwork at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday. We had a lot of fun, and all students are well on their way to a beautiful cowl.

The class and program list for the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in Tacoma was posted yesterday. I’m planning to go again this year; how about you? Mark your calendar for November 18, which is when registration goes live!

And here’s one more retreat that is calling my name. It’s new this year, the History Unwound Retreat in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. History plus textiles? Right up my alley. Could I possibly make it to both of these retreats?