Category Archives: KAL

Aloha Shawlette KAL

Aloha! Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) and I are planning a KAL for Aloha; would you like to knit along with us? Easy breezy knitting, and I think we’ll have some prizes, too. I’ll set the KAL up in my Ravelry group; conversation is easier there than on the blog. Those of you who participated in my Rose City Yarn Crawl KAL know that I love a good KAL! If you’re not a member of Ravelry, you should join. It’s a free membership, and there are lots of wonderful resources there.

You can choose to knit the smaller shawlette

Aloha Shawlette

or the larger shawl.

Aloha Shawl

Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) is taking orders for yarn for this KAL; orders are due by next Thursday, April 10 so you can have yarn in hand for the cast on Monday, April 21. You are also welcome to use your own yarn. But hey, it’s Rainbow Shave Ice!

Aloha Shawl back2

I’m extending the $2 off sale on the pattern through April 10, to coordinate with the yarn order deadline for Stitchjones. Use the coupon code ALOHA at checkout for the discount.

Most of the knitting for this is very relaxed, and relaxing! Stockinette and garter stitch and the spirit of aloha. You could even knit it at a knit night. The pattern progresses at a nice pace, and the lacy parts come at just the right time to pique your interest.

Aloha details

Is a knit-on border new to you? It was new to me, and it was fun! I like learning a new skill through a project, and this one was easier than I thought. Why did I wait so long?

Are you in? Please say yes! Get your supplies ready, and we’ll cast on April 21!

2014 RCYC: It’s a wrap

And it was so much fun. I had a trunk show with Lorajean of Knitted Wit at For Yarn’s Sake on Saturday.

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Frances is definitely a yarn baby! She’s wearing the sweater I knit for her.

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I also met baby Sophie, for whom the yarn and my Sophie’s Rose shawl are named. (I’m wearing the shawl here.)

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Grace’s favorite color is coral, from head to toe. Check out her coordinating hat, cardigan, and shoes. She is lucky to have a mom who loves to knit for her. They were picking up more coral yarn!

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After For Yarn’s Sake, I had a trunk show at the Knitting Bee. Laurinda Reddig, the designer of the mystery crochet along shawlette, was there, too.

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Jeanette did both the knit and crochet alongs, one for her and one for her mom.

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And Melanie from Black Trillium (center) was also having a trunk show of her lovely yarns. Jami is the owner of the Knitting Bee, and she’s rocking her very pretty Rosaria Shawlette.

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Here’s an object lesson for you. Did you swatch for the MKAL? I didn’t; I usually use my size 5 needles for fingering weight shawls, and am happy with the result. I know you’re supposed to wash and block your swatch, but do you? Laurie didn’t, either, and her red and white Rosaria turned red and pink when she soaked it to block. (We’re here with her friend Theresa, who turns out to be the sister of a friend of mine from college.)

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Laurie’s Rosaria is really pretty, but it’s not what she intended. At least it happened serendipitously! Will I wash and block my swatch before my next project? Probably not, but just be advised that this can happen.

How do you know if something is your color? Apparently Carissa and I were choosing based on our nail polish on Thursday at Close Knit. She recognized me at the Knitting Bee. Or she recognized my manicure…

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On Sunday I went out to Black Sheep at Orenco to pick up a shawl pin from Rod Wallace, aka Toolman. While I was there, I ran into Rachel, who is test knitting for me. Or she will be, once I write the pattern up. Almost done, but I’ve been a little busy!

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We decided to get a glass of wine at a nearby wine bar. Bubbly seemed to be in order.

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A birthday party arrived right after us, so we sang happy birthday and they shared cake and wine with us. Happy 50th birthday, Robert! (I think that’s what we sang…)

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A perfect end to the yarn crawl! I made it to 11 shops and bought a little something at each one. Here’s my stash. Some magazines (somehow I don’t feel as guilty about magazines as I do about yarn hanging around), a bit of work related yarn (white Cascade 220 for easy to see teaching demos and and Gina for entrelac class), some non-work yarn (the ombre/gradient Freia in the colorway that matches my mani, the blue MadelineTosh Dandelion which is wool and linen, and the pastel Mochi for a baby gift), some square needles to try, and some miscellaneous tools.

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And here’s my stash via the Waterlogue app. I wish I could paint, but this is the next best thing.

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Did you participate in the yarn crawl this year? What was your favorite find?

Along the crawl I saw more Rosaria shawls, always a thrill. I’m chuffed that so many people knit my design, and that it was the first ever MKAL for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I’m putting the rest of my Rosaria pictures from Saturday and Sunday at the end of this post, so keep scrolling. And if you haven’t knit one, you still can! The pattern is now available with pictures through Ravelry.

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Debbie

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Camille

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I don’t know your name, but your shawl looks familiar!

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Paula

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Four more!

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Lovely earth tones at the Knitting Bee

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Steffanie

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Beth

Thanks for knitting along!

Rosaria, RCYCMKAL revealed

The first completed shawlettes from the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Knit Along are rolling in. You can see them in the Ravelry project pages here.

Here’s my original design knit of this shawlette.

Rosaria

Rosaria 2

I designed this last fall for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I’ve had to keep it under wraps until now, since it was a mystery. Now that we’re finishing up the KAL, it’s time for the reveal.

Rainy gray skies, a band of roses, a scattering of leaves, the hint of a spider’s web, or are those sun rays amid the rain? How very Portland.

The shawlette’s name is Rosaria, as in the Mythical Realm of Rosaria, Portland’s beloved land of make-believe. The word Rosaria is the plural of rosarium, or rose garden. I like the way the plural sounds, and it’s very fitting because we’ve made so many of these rose gardens in the KAL.

When I finished knitting the original last fall, I had a lot of yarn left from my 4 ounce/115g/475 yard skeins. I knew that I would want to give options for extending the shawlette. At the same time, the pattern had to work with less yardage too, since many fingering weight yarns are put up in 100g skeins.

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Our recent snowy Portland weekend was perfect for getting my knit on. This is Midnight in Rosaria. I’ve added extra roses to the second set of stripes. Another option would be to just extend the stripes. Or you could add more leaves near the end. As long as you don’t add more than about 20 more rows after the last set of increases, the pi construction works. Technically, you could add a few more, but that puts a lot of stretch on the outer band of leaves.

Midnight Rosaria Mookie

Mookie helped me block it.

Rosaria edge detail

I added beads. A lot of beads. I still have 36g of the darker MC left, and 48g of the CC, so I could have made it a little larger. But I didn’t want to stretch out the leaves too much near the end.

Leading this KAL has been one of the most fun knitterly things I’ve done! The camaraderie of the Ravelry forum has been great, and I still have the Yarn Ball and the actual Yarn Crawl itself February 27 – March 2 coming up. It will be so cool to see all these shawlettes in person.

Did you participate in the KAL? Are you going on the crawl? Hope to see you! But first, I’ll be at Madrona this weekend, with Rosaria and other favorite knits.

Never too late…

to learn a new thing! This is my first ever granny square. Crocheted!

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I used to crochet a long time ago, but my only project was a ripple afghan I made for DH when we were dating, back in the Dark Ages. All acrylic, shades of cream and brown.

I’ve been reading the Rose City Yarn Crawl threads on Ravelry, and Laurinda Reddig, designer of the Crochet-ALong shawlette, says that if you can crochet a granny square, you can crochet her shawlette.

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I’m still not convinced. The granny square was easy to figure out. I clearly don’t know which way I’m going with the shawlette. Lucky for me, I’ll see her Friday at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton at their KAL/CAL group, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Knitted Wit (Lorajean, dyer of my project yarn and so much more) will be there, too. Come see us!

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I had a great time at the Knitting Bee last Sunday. It’s really fun to knit with other knitters (and crocheters), and the most inspiring and intimidating thing? Seeing all these people knitting MY PATTERN. So far, they seem to like it! I really love seeing all the different color combinations, too. Check them out on Ravelry!

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Other knitting? The office peeps from Lantern Moon came over last night to cast on for the Thrumbelina KAL. We have new thrummers! I finished my first slipper, and have just started the second. It’s not too late to join us. And the pattern is still on sale for 25% off through the end of January. That’s tomorrow!

What’s on your needles? You know what’s on mine!

Thrumbelina pattern sale…

because…I forgot to do this before the KAL began! I’ve been a little distracted by the Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL. Sorry.

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Anyway, the Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. I hope you’ll join the KAL, too! Click here to purchase through Ravelry.

KAL discussion is through my Ravelry group. Come join in!

If you purchased Thrumbelina through Ravelry during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you with a special offer to make up for the missed sale price.

Ready…set…thrum!

Thrumbelina KAL begins today!

We’re casting on for a Thrumbelina KnitALong today! This KAL is not a mystery KAL. All the information you need is in the pattern. We’re sharing questions, tips, progress…

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Before you cast on, you should read through your pattern for information on how to thrum. You can also watch my thrumming video on youtube.

I just made an extra tutorial on a tip for continental style knitters.

Just remember, it’s important to make sure your working yarn wraps around the thrum, rather than coming up underneath it.

continental thrumming

Edited to add: The Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. Click here to purchase through Ravelry. I meant to do this earlier, but I forgot! If you purchased this pattern during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you.

Who’s casting on with me? Come join the discussion in my Ravelry group!

Don’t worry; I’m still knitting the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. But I’m caught up until the next clue comes out on Friday.

Knit on!

Beading your knits

We’ve cast on for the RCYC MKAL, but it’s not too late to join the fun! You can find the pattern on Ravelry, here.

We had a cast on party at Twisted last night.

MKAL cast on party

Such fun to meet MKALers in real life!

And here’s my garter tab cast on tutorial, in case you need a little help.

I actually cast on at home so I could be available to chat and help at the party, and I got a little inspired. There’s an option to add beads in clue 4 of the pattern, but I had extra beads, and so I decided to add some here. I’ll post a picture at the end of this post, in case you don’t want to see a spoiler. For now, I want to share several different ways of adding beads to your knitting. These methods are all for beading as you go, rather than pre-stringing.

My favorite method involves a simple tool called the Bead Aid. It’s a bit of jewelry wire, bent in the middle and polished at the ends, so it won’t snag your yarn. You can see mine in my beading tin.

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Simple and elegant! You can find it in a few local yarn shops (I know Pearl Fiber Arts has them), and online here (video on how to use it is here, too).

It’s the same principle as this tutorial from Romi Hill. (She used it in her Ice Queen pattern in Knitty Winter 2007, and I remembered!) You can DIY, but I’m happy with getting mine pre-made and polished. Whatever works for you, works.

You can also use the crochet hook method. This involves a very tiny crochet hook; mine is size 13/14, 0.90 mm. That’s a hook head less than a millimeter in diameter! I tend to split the yarn when I use this method, so it’s not my preferred method.

Laura Nelkin demonstrates the hook method, and also a clever way to use pre-threaded dental floss, in this video.

I tried the dental floss method, too, but I didn’t love it. It’s a great way to corral your beads, but I didn’t like having them hanging on the end of the floss; I had a hard time manipulating the wire and at the same time getting the beads where I wanted them to go. Your mileage may vary!

OK, here’s the info on where I put my beads. The first clue is rain, and I wanted raindrops on the k2tog decreases, but didn’t want to fiddle with two stitches *and* a bead, so I put them on the next row on the purl stitch that was the back side of the k2tog, just before working the stitch. I’d never placed beads on the wrong side row before, but guess what? The bead shows up where it belongs on the right side anyway. Win!

And now that I think about it, you can get the same result by placing the bead on the k2tog on the right side row *after* working the k2tog, so that it gets purled on the next row. Whatever is easier for you to work. Knitter’s choice! I’m used to taking the stitch from the left needle to add the bead before working the stitch. If you add the bead after working the stitch, you’ll have to take it (and replace it) to the right needle, which might be easier if you’re a lefty, but not for me, a righty.

I’m using size 8/0 Miyuki Delica beads. They’re tube shaped rather than round. My local bead store only had size 11/0 (too tiny), so I found these at Twisted. I should have looked there first, but I thought beads came from a bead store. Go figure. These are exactly what I wanted.

Spoiler pic below…

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beads!

Knit on!

KAL color musings

The Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL kicks off tomorrow morning. Here’s my new yarn…

RCYC MKAL colors

I’m using Knitted Wit Single Fingering, Tugboat and Clematis. I was going to use the paler color for the sky (MC), and the darker color for the roses, but…

What if the darker color is the sky at night, and the roses are white roses that look blue in the moonlight?

If I turn it around that way, the dark color would be the MC, and the MC is slightly predominant, and I LOVE this deep purplish blue/bluish purple…

Guess I’ll have to decide by tomorrow!

Just in case you need help with your garter tab cast on, I made a video just for you. (youtube link)

Hope to see locals at Twisted for the cast on party, Friday January 17, 5-8 p.m.!

Also, the winners of the Thrumbelina patterns are…

Lucinda and jrbecca! I’ll be sending patterns along through Ravelry shortly. The Thrumbelina KAL begins on Tuesday, January 21. Pop over to the Ravelry discussion and tell me what yarn/fiber combo you’re planning! Here’s mine. This is Knitted Wit Merino single ply in Winter’s Night, and her merino fiber in Turks and Caicos.

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(Gee, I wonder what my favorite color is?) Are you ready to cast on? I am, and I am!

Recess 24/7 this weekend

I was going over my upcoming weekend with DH, and he turned to me and said, “Your life is like 24/7 recess!” Well, it is a pretty sweet extended weekend I’ve got lined up. Knitting, music, celebration…

Friday is the RCYC MKAL cast on party at Twisted, 5 to 8 p.m. Refreshments and prizes! Come knit with me!

MKAL banner

Saturday I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog, how to fix mistakes at Twisted, from 1-3. I love teaching this class; it’s very empowering to new-ish knitters. There’s still space in class, if you want to register.

My baby turns 21 on Saturday, too. Where did the time go?

Sunday I’m singing with my music besties (The Pie Birds, aka the Divas) in church. Monday, even more of us (The Day Old Pastries) are singing at this MLK Day Remembrance and lunch packing event. The NE Portland Backpack Program provides weekend lunch sacks for children at risk for hunger who don’t have the school lunch program on the weekend. During the 2012-2013 school year we are providing about 5,000 weekend lunch sacks (11,000 lunches) to 164 children at four locations. Come sing with us, and pack lunches with us! The event is free, but bring a can of chili to donate. We’ll be at Maranatha Church, NE 12th Ave between Skidmore and Mason in Portland, from 1-3 p.m. Details here.

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Tuesday, the Thrumbelina KAL begins! Two more days to enter to win a copy of the Thrumbelina pattern. Check out the blog post for details.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for: The winner of this lovely Knitted Wit single fingering yarn (silver lining and madge)

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is…Samantha from Eugene! Go check out her blog here. Congratulations, Samantha!

I hope you’re with me for part or all of this weekend fun, in person or via the interwebs! Looking forward to it all.

RCYC KAL begins in one week! Parties and more…

Can you believe it? One week until the cast on for the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. The official cast on date is Friday January 17; the first clue will be released that day. If you’re local to Portland, I’d love to knit with you! I’m having a cast on party at Twisted from 5 to 8 p.m. We’ll have refreshments and prizes; drop by any time and knit a bit with us. I’m thrilled to be the designer of this mystery shawlette!

MKAL banner

I’m also knitting with the KAL/CAL group at the Knitting Bee on Sunday January 26, from 1-3 p.m., and bringing a little trunk show there, too.

And Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and I are planning a trip to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday, January 31 during their KAL time, 4:30 to 6 p.m. I love having these opportunities to knit with you; knitters are the nicest people.

I’m ready to cast on! Well, I will be, once I get my yarn from Knitted Wit next week. This is what happens when you hang out with a dyer.

color samples

I changed my colors, because I finally realized that I’ll get the sample back next year. My new yarn colors: clematis and tugboat.

Photo Jan 06, 4 42 45 PM

This is not the actual yarn, just the color. The yarn will be Knitted Wit Single Fingering, rather than this plied sample. Lorajean gave me yarn for the KAL, but now she’s talked me into the blues. I asked her if she wanted the silver lining and madge back, and she said that I should give it away on the blog! This is your chance to win these two skeins of gorgeous yarn. Leave a comment by midnight January 13 to enter to win. (Fine print: Winner must be a USA resident, so I can mail it out quickly in case s/he needs it for the KAL.) Thank you, LJ!

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I hope you’ll be knitting along with me. And when we’re finished with the KAL, I hope to see you on the crawl with your beautiful shawlette! I’m also hoping that we can get a group picture at the Yarn Ball on February 26. That will be a rainbow of awesome! Rose City Yarn Crawl is also giving away prizes in conjunction with the KAL and CAL; more info on that later. The actual yarn crawl dates are February 27 through March 1, and includes 18 Portland-area yarn shops.

Here’s the scoop on the KAL: The pattern is available through Ravelry here for $6. You’ll receive a pre-MKAL information sheet telling you about yarn and dates. Every week beginning January 17 the pattern will be updated with the next clue so you can download it.

The RCYC group on Ravelry is here: Pop on over and see what colors people are choosing in the pre-MKAL thread!

Are you ready to cast on? Do you want to win yarn? Leave a comment, in either case!