Category Archives: Knit

Happy new year hike

A perfect time to blow out the cobwebs! We went hiking in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday. Drove out from under the fog bank to see Mt. Hood in the distance:

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We took the same hike we did last July. There’s more water now, but the snowpack is way below normal, so still not overwhelming.

Upper McCord Creek Falls:

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On the way up, we looked down on Elowah Falls:

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Same falls, from ground level. I love the snow ledge. Lots of people out this weekend!

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I’ve decided that 2014 will be the year of the purge. There’s too much stuff in the house. DH found these items in the back of a closet.

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A Gryffindor sweater I knit for Kid2, maybe a dozen years ago. I’m sending it to a friend who will love it. And here’s a lone mitten from 1991.

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I knit 8 pairs of these, as birthday party favors. Knit flat (I didn’t know how to use dpns back then), seamed up the side. Bugs Bunny buttons, of course.

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Oddly enough, I knew exactly where the mate was. These won’t be purged, though. I may have to frame them. Or at least keep them in my sample box.

I have big plans for painting my knitting studio, and then organizing all my crafty stuff in it. Right now my organizer bins are in the room off our bedroom, but it’s coming in to my studio, along with my sewing machine. I love these IKEA bins. They’re not this tidy right now…

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What are your crafty plans for 2014? And don’t forget, I’m picking the winner of the Under 100 Knit Collection ebook tonight. More lovely things to knit!

January is selfish knitting month: cast on with me!

After the frenzy of gift knitting (which I don’t do…), January is traditionally selfish knitting month. (And I’m using the term selfish in the most positive way: for your SELF!) What are you going to knit? Are you casting on something new, or trying to finish something already on the needles? I need to finish something to clear my needles before this.

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I’m planning to knit the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL, so I can have this shawlette for myself. My original will be a sample somewhere for the next year, and I want one for me NOW. Will you be knitting along with me? You’re invited! Check out the RCYC group on Ravelry for ongoing details.

I’m also having a Thrumbelina KAL. If you were lucky enough to register for Lantern Moon’s April retreat, you’ll be knitting your own Thrumbelinas along with me before the retreat so you’ll have cozy toes when you go to Timberline Lodge. No kick off date yet; we’re working out details. But you don’t have to be going on this retreat to knit along. The more the merrier for the KAL, as far as I’m concerned. More thrums for everyone!

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And I need to get started on a new design, due in March.

All three of these upcoming knits are fun, but technically for me they’re work, so they’re not really selfish knitting. What about something that’s just for me? I guess finishing the current knit is all about me (my own knit of my new shawl design debuting in February), so that counts. But I’m also dreaming of casting on Lempster from Knitty. While I’ve been dreaming, my friend Sarah has knit two of them! I received some gift cards to Twisted for Christmas, so they may kick start my Lempster. Am I crazy? Can I get all these knits done in a timely manner? There’s only one way to find out!

What’s your selfish knitting for January? If you need some inspiration, go look through the Doomsday Knits and Under 100 Knit Collection sets. And don’t forget, I’m having a giveaway of the Under 100 ebook. Leave a comment on the previous post to enter to win. Happy new year!

Under 100 Knit Collection: book launch and giveaway

I’m so pleased to have one more pattern published this year. It’s my Fern Shawlette, and it’s part of the Under 100 Knit Collection from Knit Picks which goes live today. Each of the 30 projects in this book takes 100 grams of yarn or less. Hats, socks, scarves, shawlettes, mitts, accessories…all my favorite things, and all knit up very quickly.

Here’s my Fern Shawlette, as shown in the book.

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And here’s Fern, in a lighter color so you can see the detail. (Thanks, Bobbi, for modeling!)

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The Fern Shawlette is knit with 100g (or less) of fingering weight yarn. This is Knit Picks Palette, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. It’s a lot like Shetland, and knits up to be light and airy. Beads are optional on this piece.

You can order this book from Knit Picks as an ebook, or as a print book. The patterns are also available individually. I’ve had the pleasure of paging through the print copy for the past week, and I’m giving away a copy of the ebook here on my blog. More on that in a bit.

I’ve had a fun knitting year; here are the designs I’ve published or had published in 2013.

2013 design mosaic

Daffy Taffy Twists, Starwood Cowl & Cuffs, Filigree Shawl
Garland Shawl, Ooh La Lace Shawlette, Webfoot Shawl
Autumn Scarf, Fern Shawlette, Thrumviator

2014 is off to a great start. The cast on for the first ever Rose City Yarn Crawl KAL mystery shawlette I designed begins January 17 (are you going to participate in the KAL?) and I have another piece that will launch during the crawl, too. I have a club knit coming out at the end of January, and I’m also designing another club knit for March. I may be having a Thrumbelina KAL, too. My fingers will be flying; come knit with me!

To celebrate the debut of the Under 100 Collection, I’m giving away a copy of the ebook. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me about the best thing you knit in 2013. I’ll pick the ebook winner on January 6. Good luck!

Puff, the magic…pastry

My go-to dessert for holiday parties this season has been a simple pear tart. Fresh sliced pears on a bed of puff pastry, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar before a little turn in the oven. (Please excuse the kitchen lighting; it was dark out. As usual.)

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Paired (peared? hah!) with my favorite bourbon caramel sauce, this is a heavenly dish. My favorite aunt sends me pears at Christmas, and many of them have gone the way of the tart. I”m saving some for cranberry pear bourbon jam, though.

I was reading blogs today, and saw Tango Mango’s decadent chocolate swirl buns, yeasty buns full of chopped chocolate. I was tempted, but feeling much too lazy to make a yeast dough and wait for it to rise. Luckily, I had one last puff pastry sheet in the freezer, so I did a mashup of her chocolate swirl buns and her pain au chocolat. (If you like to play with food, you really need to follow her blog.)

Here’s the result.

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Chocolate pinwheel puffs
Yield: 9 pretty puffs, and two not so pretty ones

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 egg
sprinkle of sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a little non-stick spray in the bottom of a standard muffin tin to keep melted chocolate from sticking. (I didn’t, and only had a little sticking.)

Thaw puff pastry, and then use a rolling pin to roll out dough to about 12″ by 12″, not a lot thinner, mostly just to roll out the creases. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the surface. I’m guessing on the amount, you could go way heavier if you want. Let your conscience be your guide. Mine looked like this. (sorry, more kitchen lighting)

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Roll the dough up into a tube. Scramble the egg to make an egg wash, and brush some on the edge to seal the roll. Slice the roll into 1 inch pieces. Place the pieces into the muffin pan. They look like they’re too small for the pan, but they’ll puff up. The two end pieces won’t be pretty; you can add additional chocolate chips to make up for it. Brush the pinwheels lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle them with sugar if you’d like. I didn’t, but the sparkle and crunch would be a nice addition.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Eat the not quite so pretty end pieces first to hide the evidence.

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Enjoy your pinwheels while paging through Doomsday Knits. Oh, I think I forgot to tell you: Doomsday Knits is live!

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You can order your ebook for immediate delivery, or ebook and hard copy. Hard copies will ship in January. I’m looking forward to sniffing the ink in my printed version, but I’m enjoying my ebook NOW. My Thrumviator is in this book, and now that I’m back in Portland, I could really use one!

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Happy knitting, and happy munching!

Chasing the moonset, and Korknisse aloha!

Our vacation in Hawaii last week coincided with the full moon. I love watching the moon set over the water, and this time I was prepared! The moon set later each successive morning, so my pictures were different every day.

Monday, the 16th, 5:24 a.m. HST.
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By 5:51, things were looking distinctly reddish!
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Tuesday, 6:23 a.m. The moon was full last night at 11 p.m., so this is the full moon setting. The sky is a lot lighter, closer to dawn.
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Wednesday, 6:25 a.m. The moon is a lot higher than yesterday’s pic at this time.
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By 6:51, the sky was pretty light. No more lovely moonlight on the water, but I do like the puppy-shaped cloud.
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At that point, I wasn’t planning to wake early for any more moon pics, but on Thursday, I woke up early by accident, and saw Jupiter, below and to the right of the moon. 6:25 a.m.

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I learned a lot about my new camera, and have a lot more to learn. Looking forward to it!

On Friday and Saturday, the surf was unusually high, and the beaches on the west side of the Big Island were closed. This meant less beach time for us, but we enjoyed watching the waves from our lanai. All the comforts of home, and surfers to entertain us, too.

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I’ll tell you about our close encounter with a volcano in another post…

Have you finished your gift knitting? I don’t like scheduled gift knitting; it’s too much pressure for me. But I do like a little knitting for a personal touch. Do you remember the Korknisse I knit a couple years ago? (Pattern: Korknisse by Manne)

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I decided to knit a few on vacation. But my gauge was a lot looser this time around (a little too much aloha?), so I had to dress up champagne corks instead of regular corks.

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L’il chunkies wishing you a merry Christmas Eve!

Arm Knitting?

I guess it’s a thing. You use your arms as knitting needles. Really big gauge, suitable for a chunky accessory. Check out the video here, and then let me know if you think it’s worth trying. I’m not convinced yet…

I’m being pretty slow about getting ready for Christmas, but here’s the next little step. This is the poinsettia tree at my church; we’ve been using the frame for the past three years or so. I always help set it up. I think we may need to scoot it back a little bit; the light isn’t falling quite right on it. I’m probably the only person who is that particular about it, though.

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You can see the first two advent candle banners on the right side of the picture. When it’s all up, it will look like this.

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We made these last year, and I love them. If you want to know more about the technique (salt and dye on silk), you can read about it here. It’s really fun, but you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out until it does. Hard for a control freak like me, but a good lesson in letting go!

Are you knitting/making gifts this year? I have one thing I want to make for a friend, but it won’t get done before Christmas. I’m planning on the box of yarn with a card explaining what it’s going to be method. Have you ever done that? I’m thinking it counts!

MKAL colors, chat

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I’m so looking forward to the Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL. I’m going to knit the mystery shawlette in the same colors I used when I designed it, because I love it so much I want one for me! I’m not sure where the sample is going to live for the next year, but you can be sure I’ll be enjoying mine.

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This is Knitted Wit Single Fingering in Silver Lining and Madge. I love the contrasty pop between these colors. I originally had chosen a paler pink, which looked like it coordinated nicely, but I liked this combo a lot better. Here’s an early hint: There is some striping in this shawlette. (I can tell you that because it says so on the pattern’s Ravelry page.) Take some of your yarn, wrap it around a pencil 8 times or so, and then use your second color and do the same right next to it. Do this again to alternate the two colors a couple times. Do you like the way they look together? Yes? You’re good to go!

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Hey, look, I finished something! This is In Threes by Kelly Herdrich. I knit it with Malabrigo Worsted, and it’s sweet. It’s very oversized, though; it will be a while before Lorajean’s new baby can wear it!

I bought a new camera, and these are the first pictures I’ve downloaded from it. I like it so far. It’s a micro four thirds camera, a Panasonic Lumix GF6 (last year’s model) with a 14-42 kit lens (DSLR equivalent is 28-84). It’s smaller and lighter than a DSLR, which means I might even travel with it. I like to travel light as far as cameras go, and I didn’t want to buy a camera that would only be used at home for photographing knitting!

More pix, next post…

Have you chosen your colors for the mystery KAL yet? Are you stash diving or going shopping? (I love an excuse to shop.)

Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL

The 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl is coming up fast. It’s February 27 – March 2 next year, but the fun starts NOW.

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We’re having a mystery knit along (KAL) and crochet along (CAL) before the crawl starts. We? Yes, we! I’m thrilled to let you know that I’m the designer of the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL Shawlette. As a native Portlander, I hope you enjoy the very Portland elements that I designed into this piece.

Presales of the shawlette patterns (one knit and one crochet) have begun through Ravelry. You’ll have plenty of time to pick the perfect yarn for your shawlette. Join the chatter in the RCYC group on Ravelry. Knitting begins in January, which is traditionally selfish knitting month after holiday gift knitting!

The shawlette is knit with two colors in fingering weight yarn; I chose to work with two semi-solids. Please come knit along with me; I’m looking forward to knitting along with you!

Want to know more about the yarn crawl? Check out all the details on the Rose City Yarn Crawl page. You can order a tote with this year’s new logo, and sign up for the Yarn Ball, a pre-yarn crawl reception on Wednesday, February 26.

Don’t live in Portland? You can still knit along. I think you’ll love this shawlette. I know I do!

Kvinneakt, adorned

I hustled downtown last night to see the latest installation of Monumental Attire. It was an event!

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I arrived in time to see Kvinneakt being adorned with a sparkly crochet snowflake shawl. (And pasties.)

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She even has leg warmers!

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I hope she stays adorned for a while. No time to visit in daylight today. Sorry for the iPhone pix; I’m between cameras right now. I’ll add links later, but look at previous posts if you want to know more about Monumental Attire.

Seeya!

Bridge for Blankets: It’s a wrap!

Remember these August beauties gracing the Broadway Bridge?

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The PDX Bridge Festival is now just a hazy summer memory. But as promised, this Bridge for Blankets banner and three others just like it have been broken down into 42 blankets, washed, dried (thank goodness for superwash wool), repaired, and de-fuzzed.

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Yes, de-fuzzed. This is the fuzz I picked off three blankets. It looks like a crazy clown wig for kitty. (I didn’t dare try to get a picture on Mookie.)

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The blankets are now ready to go back into the world, headed for homeless shelters and hospitals. Their colors aren’t quite as perky as they were at the beginning of August (hanging out in the sunshine for a month will do that), but the blankets are wooly and warm, and have a very interesting history. A very quirky Portland tale.

Just a reminder: The yarn was purchased at a discount from Cascade Yarns through Abundant Yarns, but the cost of the yarn was not even close to covered by donations ($2000 short). If you would like to donate to help cover the cost of the yarn for these blankets, checks can be made out to Tyler Mackie, the artist behind this project (write Bridge for Blankets in the memo field) and mailed to:

Bridge for Blankets
c/o ArtCraft Silversmiths
3111 SE 13th Ave Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97202

or PayPal payment to tyler.mackie@gmail.com. Donations are tax deductible as a 501c3; Tyler will send you a receipt.

I enjoyed participating in this project, both as a knitter in a huge community art effort, and at the other end of the project, preparing blankets for sharing in the community. I’m glad that this knitting will live on in another form, bringing comfort to people who need it.

And after yesterday’s post about Portland’s statues getting some cheerful holiday knitwear, a little more sleuthing and connecting on twitter led me to discover that the deer statue used to have a hat. And the otters’ sweaters looked like this! Links are to pictures; they’re not mine so I can’t post them here on the blog. Go look; they’re cute. Also, the next wave of Monumental Attire isn’t due until Thursday this week, so I’ll try to see Kvinneakt then. She’s going to get a sparkly shawl and leg warmers.

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Wish me luck!