Category Archives: Knit

The Opinionated Knitter

Elizabeth Zimmermann wrote a book with that title, but aren’t we all just a bit opinionated? Here’s your chance to know a bit more of what I think about knitting, designing, and teaching. I was featured on Robin Hunter’s blog, How to Become a Professional Knitter last Friday, but am only catching up to myself today! Click the link and get to know me…

Aloha detail

And here’s a sneak peek of an upcoming design.

Ah, mystery! What’s new on your needles? Mine are strangely empty, but not for long.

Stopping by Woods

…on a snowy evening. That was the theme for the most recent Poet’s Club shipment from Woolgirl. I was one of two designers for this month’s kit (originally scheduled for December, hence the snow theme). Carrie Sullivan (Irishgirlieknits) designed the hat.

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I designed this bonus piece, the Snowy Woods Cowl featuring trees and more trees.

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(Modeled photos by Vivian Aubrey)

The yarn is DK 100% Superwash Merino Wool from Oink Pigments in the Robert Frost Colorway. With hints of blue and brown, it suggests the woods in snow.

snowy woods detail

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest. The first cherry trees are blooming, as are the daffodils and crocuses, but winter is hanging on in many parts of the country. This cowl is a quick knit; I hope that some club members are able to knit and wear this soon.

The Snowy Woods Cowl is a six month exclusive for the Woolgirl Poet’s Club; it will be available here in late August. Just in time for knitting for next fall and winter!

What’s happening in your neck of the woods? Winter? Spring? Are you still wearing your woolies?

Tauriel by Chic Knits

Edit 3/19/14: We have a winner! See this post for details.

A few weeks ago, Bonne Marie Burns of Chic Knits sent me an email asking if I could suggest someone to help her with a photo shoot the next day, because her usual helper was not available. I told her I could do it, and so I did.

The photo shoot was at Laurelhurst Park, although it could have been anywhere.

Tauriel

This is Tauriel (Ravelry link), a very lovely cardigan. (Photos by Bonne Marie Burns)

Tauriel back

I especially love the cable along the back neckline. And the fact that this is knit seamlessly, so when you’re done knitting, you’re done!

It was a cool, cloudy morning, which made the lighting magical, and it didn’t even rain on us…much. I learned some new tricks about staging and lighting, and got to know Bonne Marie better. A very good morning!

And here’s the fun part: Bonne Marie is giving away a pdf copy of this beautiful pattern through my blog. If you’d like a chance to win this pattern, leave a comment on this post, and let me know your favorite thing about this design. The cables? Neckline? Seamless construction? The chance to feature the perfect button that’s been rolling in your stash? Something else?

I’ll take comments through Monday, March 17, and draw a winner at random on Tuesday. Good luck!

Free pattern: Bamboo Rib Coffee Cozy

For the past several years, Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and I have been teaming up to donate yarn and patterns to the prize baskets for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. This year, I designed a coffee cup cozy to knit up with her Gobstoppers, mini-skeins of worsted weight yarn.

bamboo rib coffee cozy

You don’t have to win a prize basket to get this pattern. I’m offering it for free. You can download it here: Bamboo Rib Coffee Cozy

You can also download it from Ravelry, if you’d prefer.

bamboo rib cozies 2

One mini skein will make one cozy. These are also a great way to use up leftover worsted weight yarn.

In case you missed last year’s pattern, it’s the Daffy Taffy Twists. These are high fiber, calorie free treats; you can stuff them with fiberfill or catnip or lavender for sachets. This pattern is also free.

daffy

The year before we donated hat kits. This Ziggy hat pattern isn’t free, but it’s super cute, and not expensive!

ziggyhat 1

I wonder what we’ll do next year…

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!

Seeing double, triple, quadruple…

No, it’s not figure skating. It’s Rosaria!

I am getting such a thrill seeing so many people wearing their Rosaria knitalong shawlettes this weekend on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My design, interpreted hundreds of ways.

yarn ball

The first sightings were at the Yarn Ball on Wednesday night.

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kelli, feliciacakes

feliciacakes

Here’s Samantha, who won yarn from me and knit Rosaria for her mom.

samantha

Some of the Rosaria were still on the needles at the Yarn Ball. See the knitter on the right in the front row of the group picture? I ran into her the next day at Pearl Fiber Arts. She had finished her knitting, blocked it on the hotel rug (no pins, even!) and was wearing it when I saw her. That’s dedication!

stephanie

I made it to five shops on Thursday, and three on Friday. I saw more Rosaria along the way.

twisted rosaria

naked sheep rosaria

happy knits rosaria

clara twin

What else have I seen?

arm knit cowl

Emily’s mom rocking the arm knit cowl at Twisted. (I’ve spaced out on her name; I’m sorry.)

jeanne carver

Jeanne Carver from Imperial Stock Ranch brought a lamb to Twisted.

team usa sweater

And the iconic USA team sweater from the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi! These were designed by Ralph Lauren, and knit with Imperial Yarn.

bumblebirch

I met Sarah, the dyer of Bumblebirch Yarns, at Pearl Fiber Arts.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m having trunk shows at For Yarn’s Sake from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Knitting Bee from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Come by and say hello!

How to wear a shawlette

I love designing shawlettes; they are a perfect canvas for showcasing the beauty of one or two skeins of gorgeous yarn. But how do you wear a shawlette?

You can wear it just draped on your shoulders.

Sophie's Rose drape
(Sophie’s Rose)

Rosaria 2
(Rosaria, the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL)

filigree drape
(Filigree Shawlette)

Or you can wear it with a big side swoop, which is my current favorite. Center the shawlette on one shoulder, let the end at your back come around the opposite shoulder, and swoop the end that’s in front of you up to cross over the hanging end. Give it a little scrunch at the neck; don’t try to keep it flat across the front.

Sophie's Rose mlb

I generally like to wear a shawl pin to help keep things in place if I’m doing the side swoop. I’ve been wearing this leaf stick by local woodworker Rod Wallace (husband of Bobbie Wallace, whom I met at OFFF many years ago) with Sophie’s Rose; it’s the perfect color for this shawlette, and it stays put really well.

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The side swoop works with several shapes, such as the asymmetric triangle above, the crescent shaped shawl here

Photo May 13, 3 27 36 PM
(Garland Shawl)

and this half circle pi shawl (please excuse the hotel room selfie pic of Midnight in Rosaria)

Rosaria

The shawl pin for this one was custom made by Jill Lawrence of Twisted Sister Arts, specifically for my Rose City Yarn Crawl Midnight in Rosaria Shawlette. Isn’t it gorgeous?

shawl pin 2

Longer, narrower shawlettes can be worn scarf style, like this Fern Shawlette. Scarf style is pretty close to the swoop, just scrunch it up more around your neck rather than your shoulders.

fern

The Autumn Scarf pictured below actually *is* a scarf, but I use this method with longer shawlettes: Fold in half, wrap around your neck, and put the two ends of the shawlette into the loop at the fold in front of you.

autumn scarf

And then there’s the bandana or kerchief style. It works well with triangles and crescents, and especially really long (wide) crescents. Put the center of the shawlette at the front of your neck, wrap the ends around your neck and bring them to the front. A pin is helpful if the ends are really long, but shorter shawlettes can just end on your shoulders.

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(Webfoot Scarf)

As an aside, I was out at Black Sheep at Orenco on Saturday to knit with their Rose City Yarn Crawl KAL group.

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We had a great time, and I saw this very lovely shawl stick pin by Rod Wallace. I love my leaf stick pin, but he has really upped his game. I may need one of these, too.

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There you have it! I hope this gives you some new ideas for wearing your gorgeous creations. How do you wear your shawls and shawlettes?

Sophie’s Rose shawl, as seen at Madrona

Introducing Sophie’s Rose, an asymmetric triangle shawl with an extravagant ruffle.

sophie's rose

I designed this for Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake, using two very special yarns. The main color is Sophie’s Rose, the semisolid brown with raspberry pink accents that MadelineTosh dyed as a custom color in honor of Anne’s new granddaughter, Sophie. The coordinating color is Knitted Wit‘s Madge, on her Merino Single Fingering base.

sophie's rose tosh

The theme is a garden trellis interspersed with rows of roses.

sophie's rose detail

I wore this at Madrona last weekend, and the big ruffle makes it really fun to wear.

Sophie's Rose mlb

This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. The MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light is available at For Yarn’s Sake, and they also have a good supply of Knitted Wit‘s Single Fingering in Madge. You can see it during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, and after, too. I’ll be wearing mine at For Yarn’s Sake on Saturday, March 1; I have a trunk show there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come by and say hello while you’re on the Crawl!

Sophie’s Rose is live!

Just a quick placeholder, details later. Sophie’s Rose is live; pattern available soon on Ravelry. (Anne’s having a little technical difficulty getting it to publish, but hopefully today, Saturday.)

Ravelry link

I’m at Madrona, wearing this, so if you’re looking for the pattern, click the link!

sophie's rose

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.