Category Archives: Knit

FO: Edin cardigan

I love a good finished object! This is my Edin Cardigan, pre-blocking.

Edin, pre-blocking

I gave it a light steam block so I could take a photograph for the ChicKnits KAL. Here you can see that the band on the left is unblocked, and the one on the right is steamed a bit.

Edin bands

I love how the whole thing begins at the back of the neck.

Edin back neck

I wet blocked it 2 days ago, and it’s still drying in the sunroom.

Edin blocking

Almost dry! It relaxed a bit, gaining an inch in width and an inch in length, both of which are good things. (Did I wash and block my swatch? No. But I did swatch, and I use this particular yarn a lot, so it behaved according to plan.)

Here are the details:

Edin, design by Bonne Marie Burns of ChicKnits
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Continental Blue, 4.8 skeins
Needles: Hiya Hiya US 7
Began Oct. 13, finished Nov. 14. Quickest sweater ever for me.

I really enjoyed knitting this; Bonne Marie’s pattern is well written and easy to follow. Edin as a top down cardigan, mostly stockinette except for the lace bands that look like cables. So pretty! Stockinette is great for multi-tasking knitting; I did a lot of reading while knitting this.

Edin magic loop sleeve

I also perfected my magic loop technique while knitting the sleeves. I knit the first one last month in Sisters, Oregon, where my yarn was the same color as the sky.

image

At least on the first day. The next day was quite frosty in the morning.

Sisters morning

While I was in Sisters, I had the opportunity to meet up with Sarah and Paula at the Stitchin’ Post. Good times.

Sarah me Paula

I have 1.2 skeins left of this glorious blue yarn, and I’m planning to make a cowl in the Indie Designer Gift-Along on Ravelry, which starts Thursday. I’ll post about that in a few days.

Taking classes, teaching classes

It was a whirlwind weekend, but all good things. On Friday I took a class with Ann Budd at Twisted. The topic? Shadow knitting.

shadow knitting

The motif is visible only at a certain angle. I’m looking forward to using this technique in a design! And I met Cindy, Ann’s event coordinator. She asked Twisted owner Emily to introduce us, because she’s knit my Thrumbelina slippers several times.

thrumbelina cindy

She fell in love with my Sophie’s Rose Shawlette that I was wearing, and bought yarn and pattern at Twisted. It’s going to be beautiful.

On Saturday at Twisted I taught my new class on photographing and editing on the iPad or iPhone (more description in previous blog post). We had a blast. Last night I taught Athena (entrelac in the round, easier than flat entrelac IMHO). I’m scheduled to teach both of these at Stash in Corvallis this coming Saturday.

athena entrelac cowl

And just now I registered for classes next February at Madrona Fiber Arts. I’m registered for Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Latvian Fingerless Mitts class, and Franklin Habit’s A Sense of Proportion: A Glorious Compendium of Methods for Knitting without Tapes and Rulers.

I love learning new techniques, and it’s fun to learn them in an interactive setting. Knitterly camaraderie is great, and lots of tips and tricks come up that aren’t even part of the class. Best of all is observing excellent teaching and incorporating even more of that into my classes.

turkish spindle spinning

Books and videos are a great way to pick up techniques, too, but there is definitely something to be said for being able to ask a question in real time. I have several books on spindling, but it wasn’t until I was in a session with Sari Peterson of Twists and Turnings that I really understood when I should overspin (evidently for plying), and that the yarn I was spinning to knit a shawl (with single ply) was probably going to be too twisty since I wasn’t planning to ply it. Guess that will be for a plied yarn now…

Do you take knitting classes? Why or why not?

Knitters’ tea party, prize winners

Tea and knitting, a winning combination. When a table is set with yarn as part of each place setting, you know it’s going to be good. (Yarn is from my stash, which needed thinning. Everybody wins!)

tea and yarn

My buddy Carole and I put on a knitters’ tea for a friend’s fund raiser in Salem on Sunday. I brought a small trunk show with me so knitters could touch and feel and try things on. I forgot to take a picture, sorry.

plum deluxe tea

Our teas were from Plum Deluxe: Andy Hayes is an online tea blender and purveyor based here in Portland. Our two teas were Afternoon “High Tea” Tea, a lightly caffeinated tea with notes of peach and pear, and Everything is OK Herbal Tea. They were both delicious. The teas arrived in this signature purple packaging, which smelled wonderful! I kept sniffing it. Andy also provided us with a goody bag of 2 teas as a door prize. And his postcards made our table that much prettier; you can see them in front of the yarns in the table picture above. Thank you Andy!

As always, we began with scones, butter, clotted cream, and jam. The jams are from my kitchen; we had yellow plum bourbon, red plum with Krupnik (a spiced honey liqueur), and strawberry balsamic. Again, I forgot to take a picture, but I was busy!

savories

Next come the savories: Clockwise from left: Cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad in lettuce cups, pear and gorgonzola crostini, caramelized onion and feta tarts.

Conversations about knitting, and then come the sweets. First,

pdxknitterati trifle mini wine glass

English trifle in mini wine glasses. I love these little glasses, we use them for lots of desserts. Carole and I each have a set, so we have 24 readily available. And she gave some to her other friends, too, so we have at least 48 if we need them! That’s smart gifting…

high tea sweets

The rest of the sweets: Clockwise from upper left: chocolate chip shortbread, pumpkin tarts, lemon bars, and chocolate truffle drops in the center.

pdxknitterati knitters tea

It was a lovely afternoon with knitters. Note that Donna on the right is wearing her Zen Rain Shawlette. I love it when knitters wear my designs! Thanks to all for a fabulous time.

And now, drum roll please: The winners of the Lobelia Shawl-inspired giveaway are: Emme for the Mint Mojito yarn and a copy of my Fern Lace Shawlette pattern, and Noreen for the Huckleberry yarn and Pacific or Lobelia. I’ll be in contact with you to arrange your prizes! Thanks to everyone for their very kind comments. Thanks for playing!

Class spotlight: iPad/iPhone photography and editing, Athena entrelac

I just got home from teaching a new class at Twisted. It’s Photographing and Editing Your Knits (and more!) with iPad and iPhone. I use my iPad to edit photos from my camera, iPhone, and iPad for all my pattern pictures. People have asked me how I do this, and that’s how this class was born. The class is not just for knitters; it’s perfect for anyone taking or editing pictures with an iDevice.

We talked about how to use your phone (and there are always new tricks that you didn’t know), and basic rules of photography. Then we practiced editing with Snapseed and Instagram. It was really fun and I’m looking forward to teaching this class again soon!

Speaking of which: I’m scheduled to teach at Stash in Corvallis next Saturday. One of the classes is this photography class, and the other is Athena, my entrelac-in-the-round cowl.

athena

Sign up for one or both! I’m also bringing a trunk show so you can see my newest designs. We need a few more people to sign up for classes, especially for Athena, to make this road trip happen. I’m really hoping it works!

If you’re local to Portland, I’m also teaching Athena this coming Monday evening at Twisted. Contact them to register there.

And now for your amusement, Athena! This statue of Athena is at the Parthenon in Nashville, TN. Who knew there was a Parthenon in Nashville? Who knew it was right by our hotel?! We saw it when we were there over Labor Day weekend. It’s a full size replica of the Parthenon in Athens. I had to take a picture knowing that it would be used with an Athena class post.

Athena Parthenon Nashville

The statue is 42 feet tall.

Athena Parthenon Nashville

The statue of Nike (Victory) in her hand is 6 feet tall.

Parthenon Nashville

But I digress. I’m teaching a lot this fall, and hope to see you in one of my classes. Come say howdy!

Introducing: Lobelia Shawl and Shawlette

Remember the lovely gradient yarns I showed you this summer? Two of them turned into the Lobelia Shawl and Shawlette.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

This is the Lobelia shawl in KnitCircus Thrilling, Starry Night. I used a 150g/575 yard skein and loved every inch of it. The continuous gradient shades gently through the lacy lobelia flowers. 150 grams makes a shawl you can really get cozy in.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

But what if you only have a standard 100g/400 yard skein? This is the Lobelia shawlette in KnitCircus Greatest of Ease, Come What May, 400 yards. Not quite as big, but very lovely. Perfect when you need a little something.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

Not into gradients? Lobelia also looks great in a semi-solid color.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

This is the Lobelia shawl knit in Knitted Wit’s Shine in Tugboat, 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

These shawls begin at the lacy edging. The crescent is shaped with simple short rows. No wrapping at the turns is required. I’ve used this this shaping before, in my Ooh La Lace, Filigree, and Webfoot Shawls. This one is slightly modified from that classic shaping, in order to not run out of yarn before finishing the crescent shaping. I learned a new trick!

This pattern is available for $6 USD. Link to the Ravelry page is here. Pattern is 20% off with coupon code GRADIENT through November 7, 2015.

So, over the summer I knit three versions of this shawl, using 1385 yards. That’s more than 3/4 of a mile! And I have another gradient project in the works…mmmm, gradients!

Tilt Shift FO, fashionably ahead of the game

pdxknitterati tilt shift

Fall is in the air, and I’ve been wearing the heck out of my Tilt Shift Wrap. I knit this last spring during the Tilt Shift KAL. It’s just the right weight for a moderately cool/warm fall day. (Great for spring down under, too!) I finally had a chance to have DH take an FO pic, and I love it.

I was shopping at Macy’s recently, when I saw this display.

ponchos at macy's

Ponchos. Lots and lots of ponchos. I’ve never pretended to be remotely fashionable, but apparently I’m spot on and ahead of the curve. Remember last spring I was trying not to use the word “poncho” so I called my Tilt Shift a wrap instead? I’m pretty over that. And now I have two Tilt Shifts at my disposal.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

Plus two Summertime Blues

pdxknitterati summertime blues

Summetime Blues pdxknitteratithis one with beads, and a little bird poop stain. A valuable blocking lesson!

There’s one more poncho in my collection, but I can’t show it to you until next spring. I think you’ll like it. I *love* it, but I can’t even wear it in public yet. :sigh:

So for now I’ll wear the ones I have. I love my shawls, but these ponchos stay on my shoulders really well, which is great when I’m teaching. How about you? Are you into the poncho?

WIP Wednesday: Edin progress report

Edin is flying by. The combination of easily memorized knitting and scrumptiously soft yarn means I may have a sweater soon!

Edin in progress

I’ve finished the body increases, and have about 2 more inches until it’s as long as I want it. I think. I keep tryiing it on because it feels good.

raglan cast on

Eleanor asked me about the cast on that I used at the underarm, if I prefer it to a knitted or cable cast on. Here’s the video again.

The knitted cast on and the cable cast on would both work here, too. The one advantage to this one is that it is definitely knit side out. If I used cable cast on or knitted cast on here, I would have to turn and work from the back of the fabric, and that would put my purl bumps on the RS of the fabric. The bumps would probably be hidden in the underarm pickup, though, so not a big deal? I could also purl cast on, or do the cable cast on purlwise, if I were really that fussy. But the real reason I used this method is that I wanted to try this newish-to-me cast on in real life, and get it off my phone (I need the space) by uploading it to YouTube. Isn’t it cool that there are so many ways in knitting to get something done? As long as you get the result you want, you’re doing it right!

I’m really enjoying this fairly mindless sweater knitting; I’m getting a lot of reading while knitting done, too. I just finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. I didn’t love it. The writing was beautiful, but the actual story was not compelling. I loved Gilead and Lila, so I was a bit disappointed by this one.

Question for you: I have a shawl pattern ready to publish. Do you shawl knit all year round, or do shawls say “spring” to you? I think it’s great gift knitting, but I’d be curious to know your thoughts…

Cruise control knitting

I worked on six designs this past summer, and now it’s time for a little (almost) mindless knitting. I had a sweater quantity of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in my stash.

Malabrigo Merino Worsted Contintental Blue

It wasn’t meant to be stashed; I was going to make Lempster when I saw it in Knitty last year. But it never happened. This is why I try not buy yarn until I’m absolutely ready to cast on. The road, the good intentions…you know.

But at knit nite earlier this week I was talking about my Honey Cardigan that I just can’t get the enthusiasm to finish.

honey cardi wip

I don’t know; is it the bell shaped sleeve that I already know I don’t like? I’m almost done with the first one, and it’s meh. I need to rip the sleeve out and start that part over as something more fitted. But you know how exciting an old project is.

I didn’t want to have to keep my eyes glued to a chart for Lempster, so I went hunting on Ravelry for a sweater at 18 sts/4inches. I’ve cast on for Bonne Marie Burns’ (ChicKnits) Edin. This is a raglan that starts with a provisional cast on at the center neckband. After the neckband is set, stitches are picked up and the raglan shaping begins. I got that far on Tuesday night so I could take this to jury duty on Wednesday morning. This is perfect knitting for me; a little bit of (easily memorized) lace to hold my interest, and lots of stockinette between markers so I can read while I knit.

Edin raglan shaping

There’s a lot of hanging out and waiting in the jury pool room, a perfect place to knit. Last night I made it to the point where the sleeves are separated out. What’s your go to cast on for the underarm portion on a raglan? I’ve used the simple backwards loop cast on before, but I hate how it stretches out when you go to work it on the next round. I remembered that I learned a different cast on in a sweater shaping class with Faina Goberstein last winter at Madrona. I was so captivated by it that I did a little video on my iPhone, and it was still there. I’ve uploaded it to YouTube so you can use it, too. You can hear class going on in the background. Sorry, no pretty manicure in this video!

It makes a firmer edge, which I like. It still stretches a bit as you work the first row, but it’s much better.

raglan cast on

Edin wip

After separating out the sleeves, it feels like this is going much quicker, and it was already quick! Wish me luck in keeping up this pace. I really want to wear this. I know that this soft single spun yarn will get pilly with wear, but I’ll put up with that because I love it, and I can always use one of those sweater shavers to tidy things up. Do you have a recommendation on those? I have an ancient Sweater Stone, but I’ve never liked it…

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!