Category Archives: Knit

The stockings were hung…

Does this look like the home of a knitter?

PDXKnitterati Christmas stocki

I knit Christmas stockings for our family about 15 years ago. The snowflake stockings came first.

pdxknitterat christmas

pdxknitterati christmas stocking

After that? Variations on the theme. I knit the piano stocking next. (I was playing a lot as an adult student back then.)

pdxknitterati piano christmas stocking

My younger son wanted dancing people.

pdxknitterati christmas stocking

Of course, we needed a stocking for the cat.

cat christmas stocking

This year, I designed the super bulky Super Cabled Christmas Stocking.

pdxknitterati christmas stockings

We’re not a family of six, even though our fireplace gives that impression!

Our tradition is to open stocking gifts before Christmas breakfast. It was a way of holding off the wrapping paper frenzy until I was ready to face the day. It still works, even with grown kids! Now we add mimosas to that breakfast.

Do you have a Christmas stocking tradition at your house?

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!

Super Cabled Christmas Stocking

Expialidocious? (Sorry for the earworm)

I’ve been knitting up a storm. First, a new pattern!

The Super Cabled Christmas Stocking knits up in a wink with super bulky yarn at 2 stitches per inch on size 17 needles. It is knit top down from the cuff to the toe. The narrow four stitch cables are very manageable with this hefty yarn. A star toe completes the look. This jumbo stocking will hold a lot of goodies!

pdxknitterati christmas stockings

Charts and line by line instructions for the cable pattern are given. Gauge is 8 st/4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 17 needles, but gauge is not critical.

pdxknitterati christmas stocking
This version is knit with one skein of Knitted Wit’s Cotton Candy, 100% merino wool, 250g/140 yards (I used about 200g/120 yards), colorway Natural. Lucky for you, Lorajean’s 34th birthday is December 7, and she’s having a yarn sale, one skein 34% off, one day only. Hold that thought!

pdx christmas stocking knit picks
This version is knit with 3 skeins of Knit Picks The Big Comfy, 55% Superfine Alapaca, 45% Peruvian Highland Wool, 44 yards/100g per skein, colorway Garnet Heather.

I knit these stockings in about 2 days each. Super bulky, super quick!

To celebrate this launch, this pattern is on sale for $2 off with coupon code SUPERCABLE through December 14. Plenty of time to get this done! Go to the Ravelry pattern page for more information.

I was down to the toe when I realized that I didn’t have dpns in this size.

Photo Nov 11, 4 12 56 PM

But I did have size 17 straights, along with my circular. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A little juggling for a few rows, and voila.

Lots more goodies in the pipeline…

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?

Color work, two ways

I’m teaching two classes at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday. One is an introduction to stranded color knitting, and the other is slip stitch cowl design. Both techniques let you play with color, but in very different ways.

swish

Stranded color knitting involves carrying two (or more) colors across the row/round with you. We’ll talk about how to manage your yarns without a tangled mess, among other things. How do *you* manage your yarns? One in each hand? Drop and pick up the working yarn as you go? Two on the left? Two on the right? It’s a little different for everyone, so I’m curious what works for you.

I’m a thrower; I carry my yarn in my right hand. I took a colorwork class with Anna Zilboorg at Stitches way back in the 90’s. In preparation, I taught myself to knit continental style (hold yarn in left hand, pick with right needle) so I could carry one color in each hand. I was pretty pleased with myself, although it was a bit awkward. When I got to class, Anna showed me how to carry both colors in my right hand, which was a lot easier for me. That’s what I do now. Here’s a video tutorial, if you’re interested.

pdxknitterati knitting

Slip stitch knitting means you get to play with color, but you only work with one color per row/round. This can be a little more relaxing for the novice color knitter, and it’s very pretty. We’ll be swatching some of these patterns, and then designing our own slip stitch cowls. Here’s the one I’m knitting now:

pdxknitterati slip stitch cowl

Have you tried both kinds of color work? Do you have a preference? And please do tell me how you like to manage your yarns for stranded colorwork.

I think there’s still some room in class on Saturday, if you want to come play hands on!

Astoria StitchFest: Check!

Last weekend’s first ever Astoria StitchFest was a delight. It was a small event, but very nice. The weekend began with a delightful Stitch Feast at the Baked Alaska, right on the river. We had a little show-and-tell fashion show after dinner.

The classes were held in the light and bright rooms above the Liberty Theater, across from the historic Hotel Elliott. Mary Scott Huff and I taught knitting, and Laurinda Reddig taught crochet. I taught Cast On Bind Off, Slip Stitch Cowl Design, and Blocking: It’s Magic. I think everyone went home with new skills.

blocking with pdxknitterati

I had a free afternoon, so I sat in on Mary Scott Huff’s Sassy Selbuvotter class. She is a fabulous teacher, and also fun to hang out with! Here’s the beginning of my mitten.

selbuvotter

Classic Selbuvotter (mittens in the traditional style of the town of Selbu, Norway) have a gusset thumb, but these sassy mitts will only have a slot thumb. I was curious about Norwegian mittens, because I had knit these many years ago.

selbu mitten

These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. The have a fake gusset (no increases, just patterning to look like a gusset) and a slot thumb. They’re kind of a mix of thumb techniques. My next Selbuvotter will have a traditional, real thumb gusset, because I like the way they fit!

Astoria sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a fun mix of the old and the new. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore, but I popped on down to Coffee Girl for lunch on Saturday because my singing buddy Claudia loves it, and used to sing there.

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I didn’t realize that Coffee Girl is right on a pier that houses the West’s oldest cannery building.

bumble bee logo

I worked at a salmon cannery on Kodiak Island for five summers to pay for college. We even canned for Bumble Bee. This brought back all sorts of memories.

cannery workers

We didn’t look quite like this, but aprons, hair nets, and steel toed rubber boots were the uniform!

pier 39 astoria

Canneries were a big part of Astoria’s history. Even the waste baskets on the streets downtown acknowledge this.

astoria

Mary and I had rooms at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, a very interesting Victorian house. My room was breathtakingly gorgeous, with lace draperies around the bed, and at the entrance to my sitting room

grandview b & b

which was a great place to relax.

Grandview b&b

The sitting room had a view of the Columbia River, and the bridge that crosses to Washington.

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Many thanks to Bonnie Lively and LeAnn Meyer, the organizers of Astoria StitchFest. I had a fabulous time, and hope that all the participants did, too. I’d love to do this again next year, and you should come, too!