Category Archives: Knit

Stop me before I steek again!

mug rugs before steeking

Oh, too late.

steeked snowflake

I had knit this snowflake mug rug, but decided that the other pattern was better for a beginning stranded colorwork knitter. Shorter floats and a short repeat. But I really liked it, so I decided to add it to the Bucket List Coffee Accessories pattern as a bonus.

snowflake coffee cozy set

Of course, it needed its own coffee cozy, too. These would make quick and easy holiday gifts. Pattern has been updated in Ravelry. Have fun! And if you’re local and need steeking support, come join me for steeking class, this Saturday and next, at Twisted.

Bucket list knitting: Steeks!

Is steeking on your knitting bucket list? Say yes!

steek promo

A steek is a column of extra stitches inserted into your knitting so you can cut them. Why? Because stranded colorwork is so much easier in the round than knit flat. But when you want that circular knitting to be flat, as in a cardigan or a scarf, you need to cut the steek.

mid steek

It’s not as scary as it sounds, especially if you do it to a small piece of knitting, instead of the cardigan you’ve been knitting for months. To that end, I’ve designed a couple pieces to practice on.

bucket list coffee accessories

Oh, coffee, I love you so much I knit a sweater for you. And a mug rug.

These are the Bucket List Coffee Accessories. You can use them for your tea, too. I won’t tell anyone. I designed these for a class I’m teaching at Twisted later this month (see end of post for details).

They make sweet gifts, and they’re an opportunity for you to try steeking, even if you can’t come to class. The pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s on sale for 20% off through October 15 with coupon code EEK. As in steek. Ha!

I wrote a longer tutorial here, in case you like more pictures. Who doesn’t like more pictures?

For this project, I knocked a couple things off *my* bucket list, too. It’s small circular knitting, which I usually do on dpns. I wanted to know how to knit with 2 circulars, and with magic loop. Done. I liked the magic loop. Working with two circulars is like having antennae waving all over the place, too flappy for me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m teaching a steek class with the Bucket List Accessories at Twisted on October 17 and 24 at Twisted. Come join me, and we’ll explore stranded colorwork on dpns, magic loop, and 2 circulars. During the second class we’ll cut these quick pieces with the support of our classmates. There may be bubbly at the end of the second class!

The very first time I saw a steek cut, it wasn’t even colorwork. My cousin and college roomie Kathy had been an AFS exchange student in Norway, and she was knitting a purple sweater in the round. Since it was stockinette, it was all knit, no purl. She steeked the armholes, because that’s how she was taught in Norway. Are you purl averse? Take that idea and run with it!

Snowy Hat Collection is live!

snowy woods hat

I’m pleased to be one of the six designers of the Snowy Hat Collection by Knitted Wit. My contribution is the Snowy Woods Hat.

snowy woods hat detail

The pattern is available individually, or in the Snowy Hat Collection e-book, or in the Snowy Hat Collection kit from Knitted Wit (limited time offer).

photo by Stefan Lombard, by Stefan Lombard,

The Snowy Hat Collection is a true Portland collaboration. Local hand-dyer Knitted Wit created 6 new snowy-inspired yarn colors, 6 Portland designers created unique and wearable hat patterns inspired by these new colors, and local ceramics company jamPDX created mugs to coordinate with the collection. Kits will be available for a limited time through Knitted Wit starting October 1st, and they include the following:
• one skein either Knitted Wit Worsted OR Targhee Shimmer Worsted in your choice of one of six Snowy colors:
o Cedar – green
o Lump of Coal – dark grey
o Winterberry – red
o Tinsel – light grey
o Snowy Woods – blue
o Frozen – turquoise
• one Ravelry code for download of Ebook, which includes 6 patterns:
o A Salty Salute – Star Athena
o Drifted – Debbi Stone
o Siskiyou – Lee Meredith
o Snowy Peaks – Shannon Squire
o Snowy Woods – Michele Lee Bernstein
o Winter Crocus – Katherine Leek
• one jamPDX Snowy Mug
• three hand-blended teas from Happy Rock Coffee
• 10% of proceeds from the sale of kits through 12/31/15 will go to Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency and emergency shelter.

I designed my hat as a companion piece to my Snowy Woods Cowl, which features additional intertwining cabled trees as well as the fir trees on this Snowy Woods Hat.

snowy woods cowl for hat

Here’s the whole hat collection:


I hope you knit a Snowy hat! I’m especially in love with the crisp texture of the Targhee Shimmer Worsted (80/20 Super Wash Targhee Wool/Silk). Enjoy!

A couple more OFFF finds

I taught my Fern Lace Shawlette class at OFFF, and showed my students my Altoids tin bead management system.

pdxknitterati bead tin

I’d noticed that my Bead-Aid wasn’t sticking to the top of my magnet as well as I would like. The enameling on this magnet from my kids’ magnet set was pretty, but interfering with function. When I saw needle minder magnets from A Needle Runs Through It in the Knitted Wit booth, I had to have one.

needle minder

I chose the sheep. Of course. These are actually meant for cross stitch, but they’re perfect for Bead-Aids, too. Maria also makes beautiful project bags. Go check out her Etsy shop!

pdxknitterati bead tin

Perfect fit, and the magnet is super strong so my needle is NOT going to get lost. If you want to make one of these to corral your beading equipment, all you need is an Altoids tin, magnet, Bead-Aid, and a short bead tube. If you want to get fancy, put a piece of fun foam or bead mat in the bottom so your beads don’t rattle so loudly. Keep most of your beads in the tube, and pour out about 20 at a time. If your tin gets dumped, you won’t lose ALL your beads!

What else did I get?

Alexandra's Crafts  Double Knit Sister

From local dyer Alexandra’s Crafts, this a gradient dyed sock blank made up of two strands of fingering weight knit double. Normal knitters would knit perfectly matching socks.

Alexandra's gradient

Me? I don’t love knitting socks, but I love fingering weight accessories. This will be some kind of scarf/stole, shading from one end to center and back out again. It’s Duffy’s Fault. I don’t know what the thing is yet, but Duffy made me buy it, and that will be the name. Eventually. Other deadline knitting has to happen first. Queue it up!

I have a new design coming out October 1. It’s a fun Portland designers group project, and I’m really looking forward to showing you one of the many things I knit this summer.

I also have a new shawl design coming out, probably next week. I’ve knit it in two sizes, both in gradient yarns, and also a non-gradient version. They’re like children; I can’t decide which one I like best!

My needles have been super busy, and now you get to see at least some of the fruits of my summer. Soon…



Kilter hat

Off Kilter?

Kilter hat back


Presenting Kilter, a hat with maximum stretch due to the alternating stockinette/reverse stockinette sections. It looks great any way you wear it: centered on your head, pulled down over your ears, or tilted down over one ear, beret style. Knit in sport weight yarn from the bottom up, the top of the hat features a twirly, swirly square, so your hat is always slightly off-kilter! Kilter makes a great chemo cap, or a fun hat at any time.

Kilter Galileo.

Kilter is a simple project, great for multi-task knitting. I designed it as a chemo cap, but it’s cute on everyone. It takes less than one 100g skein of sport weight yarn, so choose something delicious!

You can find the pattern for Kilter on Ravelry. To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering it at 20% off the normal $6 price through October 1.

Are you going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend? I’m sure you can find the perfect yarn for your Kilter there! I’m teaching tomorrow (Friday), Athena Entrelac and Fern Lace Shawlette. I’m shopping/playing on Saturday and Sunday! Hope to see you local knitters out and about.

The seamy underside of knitting…

Shannon Squire had a post recently on Instagram about (not) sewing in ends. We all like to put this off. Sometimes we just tuck the ends in and do the photo shoot without actually doing the finishing work! The dirty little secrets of knit designers…

tilt shift seaming

The other day I was seaming the Tilt Shift Wrap that I knit during my KAL this spring. I finished the knitting, blocked the piece, but set it aside in favor of deadline knitting. In the time between then and now, I lost the leftover ball of yarn! Two searches later, success, and I could do my seaming.

Let’s talk about seaming for a minute. My options on this long stockinette seam were either mattress stitch, or a crocheted slip stitch seam. While I love a good mattress stitch seam, it wasn’t the right choice for this piece for me. The yarn is lovely DK weight Malabrigo Rastita. The weight of the wrap is going to be on that seam on my shoulder, which makes it pull a little bit. When I pulled on the seam, you could see the zigzag of the mattress stitch, which wasn’t attractive.

I opted to use a crochet slip stitch seam for my Tilt Shift Wrap. Very tidy, even with a little pull on it. It disappears into the ditch of the seam on the right side. Perfect.

tilt shift seam sunshine

This is not to say that this is the perfect seam every time. When I seamed my Summertime Blues wrap, I used mattress stitch. That wrap is knit in Knitted Wit’s Shine, a fingering weight yarn, and there isn’t as much weight on the seam. Knitters are thinkers! You are the boss of your knitting; choose what works best for you in each case.

While I’m thinking of it: The pictures above were taken in direct sunlight. Pretty harsh lighting, but I wanted to use the first picture on Instagram, and title it, “We’ll Seam in the Sunshine.” Most of the time I prefer indirect light; it makes pictures prettier.

tilt shift seam 2

I’m teaching a class this fall on using your iPhone/iPad for photographing your knits and editing your pictures. It’s not just about knits; the information is good for other photography, too. I’m teaching it at Twisted in Portland and Stash in Corvallis. Click the workshop and classes tab at the top of this page for dates. Come play!

Looking forward to wearing this Tilt Shift soon. Fall is in the air. Bring out your knits!

bee wine glass not perigord

Hey wait; that’s mine!

We’ve got class(es)!

I love September. For me, it’s the start of a new year. My birthday, anniversary, school, knitting…I’ve been knitting like crazy all summer, but not everyone does. September is the beginning of knitting season for seasonal knitters, and classes pick up at this time, too.

I’m teaching in my usual spots, Twisted in Portland and For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton. I’m also adding some classes at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn. You can see the list of my local-ish classes here.

I also have some other gigs a little further afield this fall. I’ll be at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Friday, September 25 to teach the Fern Shawlette and Athena Entrelac Cowl.

fern shawletteFern: Sideways shawl shaping, knit in i-cord edging and fern lace with optional beads

athenaAthena: Beginning entrelac, and how to knit back backwards without turning your work

I’ll be at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters on October 5 & 6 (Monday/Tuesday) with a trunk show, and to teach three classes, Thrill of the Thrum, Blocking: It’s Magic! and Athena Entrelac Cowl.

thrumbelina thrummed slippersThrumbelina: Don’t even try to resist the squishy loveliness of thrumming!

Rosaria edge detailBlocking: You worked so hard on your project; why not help it look its best?

blockingAction shot from the student participation portion of blocking class…

I’ll be at Stash in Corvallis to teach Athena and iPhone/iPad Photography, a fun new class. It’s not just for knitting; this class will help you with your photography, all around.

You might wonder why you would want to take a project based class, if you can read the pattern and follow directions. Good question! Classes are for camaraderie, and also for learning tips for better ways to do things that aren’t part of the written pattern. In my last Fern class I showed how to fix mistakes in lace patterning when you discover them one or two rows later, without ripping out the rows. A big time saver, but not something that would be written in your pattern. You also learn when a mistake is dire, and when you can shrug it off. All good things.

kristy aloha backI love it when students send me pictures of their FOs!

kristy aloha frontThis is Kristy with her gorgeous Aloha Shawlette, started in class and finished at home.

I love teaching knitters how to be the boss of their knitting. I hope you can come take a class with me this fall!

Slip sliding away: Slip stitch cowl class!

Just found out that my Slip Stitch Cowl class is a go this Saturday at Twisted, and there is still room for YOU. It’s a long class, 10:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 3:30, for an all day fun immersion into the world of slip stitch/mosaic knitting.

pdxknitterati knitting

We start with learning how to make this fabulous colorwork, using only one color per row/round. Easy peasy!

pdxknitterati slip stitch cowl

Then you get to design your own cowl using techniques you’ve learned.

Sign up at Twisted and come see me Saturday!

Adventures in Yarn Chicken

A short story. Place your bets!

yarn chicken redux

I needed 2 more rows, and a bind off. What do you think?

yarn chicken no

Close, so close! If this piece were just for me, I’d use a piece of another yarn to finish. But this is a piece for a pattern, and “get some other yarn that matches and finish binding off” is not a good instruction line.

yarn chicken do over

So this happened. I do this, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

New math happening now. Should be a piece of cake!

Even more gradient yarn, and pretty food

knit circus come what mayKnitcircus Greatest of Ease, Come What May

The pink is shading ever so gently, getting paler and paler. Heading into cream (why does this look like dessert?); the gray will come later. Pink and white roses, gray rain clouds? Whatever, it’s gorgeous.

Black Trillium Fibres Periwinkle

This is waiting in the wings. Black Trillium Fibres Lilt, in Periwinkle.

In the meantime, there’s been a lot of pretty food! I hosted my annual Pinot & Piano fun-raiser a couple weeks ago. I provide piano and dessert. My co-hosts provide wine and music. It all comes together in a lovely evening for 16 guests. This year’s desserts:

flourless chocolate torteFlourless Chocolate Torte

puff pastry pear tartPuff Pastry Pear Tart, served with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

pomegranate panna cottaPomegranate Panna Cotta

These aren’t as big as they look; they’re served in mini wine glasses.

mini wine glass dessert

Love these glasses for presentation!

baking bagels

Last week Sue (Tango Mango) taught us how to make bagels.


We had them for lunch!

panna cotta

And panna cotta with raspberry sauce for dessert.

What pretty things are you making? Knitting? Food? Other?