Category Archives: KAL

Malabrigo Reversi Cowl

Mmmmmm, Malabrigo. This sumptuously squishy cowl is knit in the round with two coordinating colors of Malabrigo Worsted, a lovely single ply merino yarn. Cleverly slipped stitches look like Morse code, but it’s not saying anything except, “Wear me!” Only one color is worked per round. Reversing colors halfway through gives you two looks with one quick flip. You can easily adjust the length and height of this cowl to suit your fancy.

pdxknitterati reversi cowl

This pattern is available for $6 USD via download through Ravelry, Reversi Cowl link here. To celebrate the launch of this pattern, I’m offering 20% off with coupon code DOTDASH.

pdxknitterati reversi cowl

I took this picture last fall, just before I bound off. I love the contrast between the cowl and the Japanese maple leaves!

I’m planning a February KAL through my Ravelry PDXKnitterati group. You can knit along with me, any of my patterns released this month. So far the patterns are:
pdxknitterati sophies roseSophie’s Rose

fern shawletteFern Lace Shawlette

thrumviator hatThrumviator

Reversi, shown above,

and my newest design, which should be published next week, Criss Cross Beret, Hat, and/or Fingerless Mitts. I’m looking forward to showing you these, soon. There’s a very cool stitch pattern as a theme.

We’ll have weekly prize drawings during the KAL; show me your progress and you’ll be entered in the drawings! I’m looking for a clever name for this KAL. Leave me a suggestion either here or on the Ravelry PDXKnitterati discussion board, and if I pick yours, there’s a prize for you.

Let’s go!

New year, new knits?

On New Year’s Eve I picked up my previously abandoned Honey Cardigan project, and found that it really only needs sleeves. The body increases are finished, and it’s long enough, so I finished the bottom edge in garter stitch.

honey cardi wip

It’s supposed to have applied i-cord all the way around the body and neck edges, but I know I’ll never finish that. I’ll crochet around the fronts and neck instead. I’m working on the first sleeve, and I think it will go pretty quickly in simple stockinette. Perfect multi-tasking knitting. I’ll finish the sleeves with the same garter stitch border as the body.

honey cardi bottom edge

I certainly don’t want to set this aside for another year. Apparently I began this in Feburary 2013 (thanks Ravelry, for keeping me honest). And in the realm of “do as I say, not as I do,” I didn’t wash and block my gauge swatch, so this is an adventure all around.

malabrigo arroyo purpuras

I’m hoping to cast on Joji Locatelli’s Even Flow cardigan after this one is done. I bought the yarn last fall when Twisted had a big delivery of Malabrigo. You have to jump if you want a sweater quantity of Mal!

dream in color classy with cashmere

I may be getting ahead of myself, though. I gave my niece a ball of lovely yarn and a promise of mitts for Christmas, and I do need to finish that, both for the gift, and because I want to publish the pattern! This Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere turned out to be a little too heavy for what I wanted to make. Also, it was leaving blue dye all over my fingers, and my wooden needles, too. I had to go back to Twisted and buy more yarn, this time a skein of Malabrigo Rios.

Malabrigo Rios

They’re both listed as worsted, but the Classy knits up a lot heavier than the Rios. Back on track now…

japan new year stamp

This is sweet. The Japan new year stamp for the year of the sheep shows a sheep that has finished the scarf it was knitting 12 years ago, the previous year of the sheep. Or maybe the sheep has knit oodles of project since then. Hard to tell. But check out the detailing: The yarn ball label with the character for sheep on it on the old stamp, and the circular needle with the crochet hook behind it on the new stamp. Fun! This must be the year to Buy. All. The. Wool.

Don’t forget, I have three newly re-released patterns on sale with coupon code at check out:

fern shawlette

FERN for 20% off Fern Lace Shawlette

sophie's rose shawlette
ROSES for 20% off Sophie’s Rose

thrumviator hat

THRUM for $1 off Thrumviator

I’m thinking of doing a re-release KAL with these knits in February through Ravelry after I finish last year’s knitting this month. Check out the Ravelry thread here. Why join a KAL? Fun, camaraderie, and prizes! I’ll be knitting another Fern Shawlette, this time with the beads I didn’t have time for when I knit the prototype. I’ll be using Louet Gems, and these lovely Miyuki Delica beads that I originally swatched with.

What’s on your needles? Are you knitting out the old, or knitting in the new?

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?

Punchbowl Falls hike

At the beginning of the summer, I put Punchbowl Falls on my short list of must do hikes. I love waterfall hikes, but summer slipped away from me. No matter. September is perfect hiking weather here in Oregon.

This is about 4 miles, easy hiking. It begins at the Eagle Creek trailhead at exit 41 on I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge.

There’s a short spur trail about 1.5 miles in that goes to a view of 100 foot Metlako Falls. Pretty!

Metlako Falls

Punchbowl Falls falls (ha!) into a shallow area that is very popular in the summer. I waited for people to get out of my picture…

Punchbowl Falls

Lower Punchbowl Falls empties into a deeper pool. The water below is a gorgeous greeny blue color. (See all the tiny people up by the upper falls?)

Lower Punchbowl Falls

My friend V was my hike/photobomb pal.

Lower Punchbowl Falls photobomb

There is no westbound freeway access from exit 41 to return to Portland post-hike; you have to go east to Cascade Locks and turn around. While we were there, we went to Thunder Island Brewing and tried the pear cider from HR Ciderworks. Great cider, great view.

pear cider

We headed back west for a stop in Troutdale and dinner with V’s dad at the iconic Tad’s Chicken & Dumplings. I love that they never fixed their sign. Chic, indeed!


On to knitting! The winner of the first week’s prize drawing for the Snowy Woods KAL is getting this in the mail:

snowywoodskal prize

Tiny scissors, tiny tree stitch marker, and some fun HiyaHiya yarn needles. Congratulations to Kelli! Kelli has finished her cowl already, and so has one other knitter. These are quick, addictive knits, perfect for gift-giving. It’s not too late to join the KAL; we still have 2 more weeks of prizes, and a finishers’ drawing, too. Check out the Ravelry thread for more info.

snowy woods knitalong

What’s on your needles? The seasons are changing!

Never run out of yarn with 2 tailed long tail cast on

snowy woods knitalong

We’re starting the Snowy Woods knit-along today, and I ask that you start with a long tail cast on. I love the long tail cast on for knitting. It’s stretchy yet firm, and it has definite knit side and purl side. You can choose which side to use as your public side. The only thing I don’t like about this cast on is guessing how long a tail you need to have before you start. There are a couple rules of thumb out there, like multiplying the width of your knitted piece by 3 (somehow related to pi and the circumference around your needle), or wrapping your yarn around the needle the same number of times as the number of stitches you’re going to cast on. but it can still be iffy. Who hasn’t experienced the heartbreak of being a few stitches short? Ouch.

I came across this fabulous method while I was researching cast ons for my Cast On, Bind Off class. You can use two balls of yarn, or both ends of a center pull ball.

Long Tail Cast On knit

Take the two strands of yarn and use both to make a slip knot about 6 inches from the end.

long tail cast on knit

Put this on your needle. This is not a stitch; it’s just holding your yarn together. Choose one of the strands to be the tail, and the other to be the working yarn, and proceed as usual with the long tail cast on. (This is the same as the thumb cast on, if you prefer to work it that way.)

long tail cast on knit

When you’re finished working the cast on, cut the tail (not the working yarn), leaving 6 inches to weave in. (I didn’t actually cut this here, because I use this piece of yarn for lots of demonstrations.)

long tail cast on knit

Turn and work your first row as you normally do. (Notice that the purl bumps are facing you on this row, because you were essentially knitting stitches on when making the long tail cast on.)

long tail cast on knit

When you come to the double slip knot, undo it (because it’s not a stitch) and continue working.

long tail cast on knit

You’ll have two more ends to weave in, but you didn’t run out of tail when you were casting on! I find this especially helpful if I’m casting on hundreds of stitches. No one wants to run out of yarn while doing that!

On the Snowy Woods Cowl, I want the bumpy side of the cast on (the purl side) to be on the public side of my knitting, and it will be if I use long tail cast on. That’s why I’ve specified which cast on to use. If you prefer to use a different cast on that will leave the smooth (knit) side on the first row, you may wish to adjust your rows so that you still get the right number of garter ridges on your edging.

Are you knitting along with the Snowy Woods KAL? I hope this is helpful to you!

New Snowy Woods Cowl pattern and KAL

The Snowy Woods Cowl pattern is now available! Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” was the inspiration for this piece. It is knit with heavy worsted to Aran weight yarn, and can be made in several lengths.

snowy woods cowl

snowy woods short

The shortest version takes just one skein of yarn. The medium and long versions require two skeins.

Snowy Woods Cowl

Snowy Woods Cowl

My favorite is the long cowl, doubled. It feels especially luxurious around my neck.

Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit dyed her Aran weight Superwash Merino in a special colorway for me, Snowy Woods. We’re celebrating this pattern release with a knitalong and hope you’ll join us! The pattern is $2 off with the coupon code FROST. If you’d like to order yarn for the KAL from Knitted Wit, she’ll ship for free with code Shipnow. Both of these offers are good through September 1, 2014. Don’t wait too long, though; we’re casting on September 1!

snowy woods kal
KAL colors Tupelo Honey, Cedar, Snowy Woods, Oregon Sky.

You can purchase the pattern through Ravelry (click the link). Don’t forget to use your coupon code FROST for $2 off, whether or not you want to participate in the KAL.

New to cabling? I’m having a 2 session class at Twisted in Portland September 30 and October 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry group for the KAL. We’ll cast on September 1. I hope you’ll join us!

Oregon coast weekend, symmetry, and more

I went to the coast for a retreat this weekend. It rained torrentially, except for about an hour after dinner on Friday. I hadn’t been to the beach in Gearhart before, so I took a quick walk to see what there was to see…



a gorgeous sunset



Tillamook Head, to the south


Interestingly textured seaweed


And these very interesting things. They look like tubes of tapioca. I had never seen them before, so I put the picture up on Facebook and appealed to the power of the interwebs. The answer came back quickly, from the 9 year old daughter of a friend. (Concidentally, the very same kiddo who was the recipient of the Gryffindor sweater that needed a new home a few months ago.)


They’re squid egg sacs. More info here, if you’d like. I love science…

We did a little cardboard loom weaving on retreat.


My piece says a lot about me. I like symmetry. I like a plan. I’m currently designing a knit piece, and symmetry plays a lot into what I find appealing. Is this the sign of a tidy mind? It’s not a sign of a tidy house!


My friend’s piece was a lot more free-form than mine. That says a lot about her, too. The fact that there’s room for both in this group? That says a lot about the world!

There were 15 of us; the Lodge can house up to 26. If you’re looking for a group getaway spot on the Oregon Coast, I highly recommend The Lodge at Gearheart’s Little Beach. It overlooks an inlet, but beach access is a short walk down the road.


Another week of the Aloha KAL done, and it’s time to pick the next winner. This week’s prize?


These totally fun wine glass coasters. Very aloha! It’s not to late to join the KAL. I’m guessing it will run at least 2 more weeks. More info here.

How was your weekend? I frogged a design prototype, and figured out how to make it better. Symmetrically, of course…

Purling back backwards tutorial

Aloha edging

I’m working the knitted on border of my Aloha Shawlette for the Aloha knit-along. The border is 4 to 6 stitches wide, and it’s tedious to turn my work after every row. The solution? Purling back backwards. You can do it, too.

Edited to add: Some people call this knitting back backwards, or KBB. I’ve seen it referred to both ways. For me, what I think of as knitting back backwards would result in garter stitch. I’ve never done garter stitch with this non-turning technique, but it’s possible, too. I just haven’t needed it yet.

I’m almost done with the shawlette; this is a quick and easy knit! But it’s not to late to join the KAL. You can be part of the chat and prize drawings through my Ravelry group. I’ve just drawn the first prize winner; JBTCat will be getting these fishy stitch markers.

fish stitch markers

You can make stitch markers like these, too; check out my tutorial here.

There are a few more prizes in store, including yarn and a mystery fun thing. Come join the fun!

Doomsday Knits patterns available

The patterns from Doomsday Knits are now available individually! That means you can knit Thrumviator, solo.

Thrumviator 1

Thrumviator 2

Here’s the Ravelry link.

In other knit news, the Aloha KAL is progressing quite nicely. If you’re knitting along, be sure to post a picture in the progress pic thread by tomorrow (Sunday) night for a chance to win a prize in the first drawing. Progress can be as simple as the yarn you purchased, all the way through a finished object! I’ll pick a winner on Monday morning. The progress pic thread is here.

Aloha KAL 2

I’m through the second shellflower lei, which is the last one for the small version of this shawlette.

And this is incredibly late notice, but I’m teaching a class on the Sophie’s Rose Shawlette at For Yarn’s Sake this afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. There’s still room in the class, if you want to come by and walk through the construction of this piece.

sophie's rose detail

I’ll be knitting all weekend, and watching our Portland Trailblazers’ playoff game against the Houston Rockets. Yes, I’m a fair weather fan, and have no idea what’s going on. The last 5 minutes of last night’s game were pretty exciting, though. How about you? Big weekend plans?

Over the Cascades, again

Last Friday I headed over the Cascades again, but this time in Oregon. It was a music getaway weekend with friends, but before everyone arrived, I had a trunk show at The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters.

Stitchin Post (photo by Sarah Peery)

We had a great time! It’s always fun to meet knitters in person, and see hand knits up close. The Stitchin’ Post is starting a KAL of my Garland shawl today, so I left a couple samples for the week.

On to music! My new guitar made her debut with my fellow Pie Birds, Claudia and Becky. We played and sang and laughed, a perfect weekend.

The kids dyed eggs while we played more music.


And what does any good yarnie do with that leftover egg dye?


Of course. I bought a skein of white yarn at the Stitchin’ Post. It’s Juniper Moon Farm Sabine, 30% Royal Llama, 30% Merino wool, and 40% cotton. I was hoping for all animal fiber, but this was luscious. I wound off yarn in approximately 25 yard hanks (around my arm, one uses the tools at hand!). We dip dyed it, squeezing out excess dye after each dip, and then microwaved the yarn for 2 minutes to set the color. A quick rinse after it cooled, and then dried overnight. I was going to wind it into balls after they dried, but decided to leave them as mini-skeins to preserve the color runs. Aren’t they sweet?


On Sunday, Claudia and I walked along Whychus Creek. This creek has been restored, and was the subject of the Two Rivers, Three Sisters quilt exhibit that we saw in Portland last year. This panel was my favorite. (Just had to show you, because it took me a while to find this picture in my archives!)

Whychus quilt

Here it is in real life…


Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Oregon


On the way home, we stopped at Black Butte Ranch so I could get a proper picture of the mountains we saw while driving.

Mt. Washington Mt. Washington

image Three Sisters (Middle Sister is not visible from this viewpoint) and Belknap Crater in foreground

The sight of a snowcapped volcano always takes my breath away. Such beauty in this world, and we get to live in it. :sigh:

In knitting news, I’ve started my Aloha Shawlette for the KAL. It’s going pretty quickly!

aloha kal day 1

How was your weekend? And what are you knitting?