Category Archives: pattern design

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.

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!

Lobelia sneak peek, knit nite

Here’s a sneak peak at Lobelia. I think the lace pattern looks like little lobelia blossoms.

lobelia lace

This is 150g of Thrilling by KnitCircus, Starry Night colorway. The initial write-up is done, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the pattern. I’m knitting up a version for a 100g/400 yard skein. Because, options.

KnitCircus Come What May

This yarn is KnitCircus Greatest of Ease, a super wash merino/nylon blend. Colorway is Come What May; I received it as part of my Kickstarter package supporting Jaala’s new studio. Gorgeous!

In other news, we had knit nite on Wednesday, and we actually knit! There are two grandbabies on the way, so there was some blanket knitting going on. I guess zigzag/chevrons are in!

knit zigzag

I made my new favorite quinoa salad. You can pretty much throw all your favorite things into quinoa, dress it a bit, and it’s delicious.

quinoa salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

! cup quinoa
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 avocado, diced
1/2 lb grape tomatoes, various, cut into halves
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

4 T fresh squeezed orange juice
4 T olive oil
4 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 tsp salt
liberal grind of black pepper

Rinse quinoa. Put in pot with 2 C water. Bring to boil, cover & simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with fork and transfer to large bowl to cool.

Cook edamame according to package directions. Cool.

Assemble all dressing ingredients and shake in a jar.

When quinoa and edamame are cool, combine with all other salad ingredients. Add dressing to taste. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6-8, depending on how hungry you are…

Do you have a knitting group? We don’t meet as regularly as we used to, but it’s always a pleasure to get together to share food and knitting!

Portland outdoors, knitting, Tigard Knitting Guild

It’s been a warm dry summer here, which makes getting outdoors a pleasure. Yesterday we climbed a volcano. Within the city limits! Mt. Tabor is an extinct (or maybe just dormant?) volcanic cinder cone, with an elevation of 636 feet. We wanted a short, spur of the moment hike close to home, since we were getting a late (noon) start. This was perfect.

Mt Tabor reservoir

You know most of my hikes involve waterfalls. This will have to do. This is one of the three open air reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, where part of the city’s water supply is held.

Mt Tabor view of Tillikum Crossing

There’s a nice view to the west toward downtown, looking out at Portland’s newest bridge, Tillikum Crossing.

tillikum crossing reflection

DH and I saw that bridge the other day, when I took him on my favorite bridge walk. The reflection of the bridge, and him, on the Portland Opera building was pretty cool.

fire station boat ramp pdx

This was the fifth time I’ve done this walk this summer, and I just noticed the cool sculpture on the fire station. See the concentric circles? They come into focus as you walk eastward on the Hawthorne Bridge.

If you’re looking for more fun free things to do around Portland, the Oregonian just ran a feature today. I’m feeling pretty savvy, because I was already doing some of those things!

Other than that, I’m knitting, knitting, knitting. I took a little detour from my gradient project to work with this lovely yarn from Knitted Wit. There’s a deadline for this design project, so it has moved up to the front burner.

knitted wit sprinkle dye

I’m speaking at the Tigard Knitting Guild tonight, talking about blocking. You know I love blocking! Click the link for details. You can visit the guild twice before joining, so if you’re local, come on by.


20k stitches later…

Edit: it’s 40K, not 20K. I was thinking about the 16 row repeat, but it’s 32 rows. Math! But it’s bound off and done. Ends woven in; here are the orts:


It’s just the way I imagined it. I love it when that happens. I’ll show you next spring…

20k is a lot of stitches! It’s fairly regular knitting, so this was a good project to read a book by. Reading does slow my knitting down a bit, but it’s worth it to entertain both my fingers and my mind. I just read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It was a pretty good read, the stories of two women, one current day and one the personal history of an orphan in the 1920’s/1930’s. The current day portions feel like a YA novel, and the older portions were a fascinating look into a chapter of history that was new to me. But the ending of the book seemed like it was thrown together; after so much detail it seemed like there was a sudden push of the fast forward button. Still, a good read.

While not knitting, I’ve revisited what is now my favorite Portland walk. It’s 2.7 miles around the Willamette River waterfront, along the Vera Katz Eastside Esplanade and Waterfront Park on the west side. I walked it with a friend on Thursday morning and was captivated by shadows under the Hawthorne Bridge.

hawthorne bridge pdx shadows

I went back Friday with another friend because I wanted to capture the moving shadows. They’re a little cockroachy, aren’t they?

View from the other side of the Hawthorne Bridge: PacMan-esque shadows #pdx @sue.tangomango

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

Do you Instagram? I love it. I’m pdxknitterati over there, too. Come follow me for more fun pictures!

Here’s a little more Portland eye candy…

pdxknitterati burnside bridge

I’d never noticed the details on the Burnside Bridge turrets. Zoom in to see the detail under the windows. I love the leaf/flower? at the bottom, too.

pdx love locks

Apparently we’re copying Paris with love locks.

Eastbank EsplanadeAlong the esplanade.

Time to write up a pattern, and cast on for the next one! I already have it plotted out…

What’s on your needles?

Swatching and blocking, yarn and ice cream

Do you always swatch? Do you always wash and block your swatches? True confessions time here: I don’t always swatch, and when I do, I don’t always wash and block it. This has come back to bite me several times. Lesson learned! I’ve modified my approach: If the yarn is familiar to me, I might dive right in. A new yarn? It’s best to do my homework.

knitpicks galileo

This is Knit Picks Galileo in a deliciously plummy color called Urchin. It reminds me of these shield urchins I saw last December.

shingle urchins hawaii

But I digress.

This ia a new to me yarn. It’s sport weight, a 50/50 blend of Merino and Bamboo viscose. Two ply. It’s deliciously bouncy and round to knit with. Occasionally I’ll split the yarn with the Hiya Hiya Sharps that I’m knitting with, but I want that pointy tip for the lace stitches I’m working. It’s a reasonable trade-off.

The ballband recommends a size US 3-5 needle. I started with a 7, just for grins, because it’s going to be lace. Definitely too floppy. I swatched with a 6, and it felt pretty good, but I thought I’d push the envelope and swatch with a 5, too. It felt a little full on the needle, but surprise! It was my favorite of the three blocked swatches. It relaxed a lot from the bouncy knitted piece, but it also had more of the structure it needed to make this lace behave. So glad I swatched AND blocked in this instance. I’ve been knitting like crazy, and I’m halfway done with the project. No pictures; it’s a secret for now.

Speaking of plummy, my friends offered me plums from their super-productive tree again this year. I picked two colanders full, which was enough for two batches of jam.

yellow plums

I thought I’d come up with my perfect plum jam last summer. That was before I had some plum bourbon jam on a mini-doughnut at Pip’s Original Doughnuts. And over the year I’d also decided that I like a more traditional pectin set for plum jam. (Pomona’s is still my go-to for strawberry, and no pectin at all for raspberry.)

pdxknitterati bourbon plum jam

After the first batch, I went for the trifecta of favorite things: Plum, bourbon, crystallized ginger. Heaven. Not particularly boozy, but a extra depth of flavor that plain plum jam doesn’t have.

Notes for myself:

6 cups chopped plums
1/4 c water
Bring to boil, simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 box Sure-Jell pectin for less sugar (pink box) mixed with 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil.

4.5 cups sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Boil 1 minute per pectin package drections, water bath process for 10 minutes (sea level).


I must be an extravagant measurer, or maybe I should re-measure my plums after the first simmer, which I don’t, but I always end up with a bit more jam than I’m expecting. I can only process 8 jars with my stockpot/orange silicone trivet setup, and that’s my expected yield. Maybe it’s the added bourbon, ginger, water? Anyway, the extra jam goes into a jar and into the fridge. I had extras from 2 batches in the fridge, so I did this.

pdxknitterati plum bourbon jam ice cream

Plum bourbon jam ice cream. It was a good reason to use the ice cream maker the kids gave to me a couple years ago. And they were coming for dinner!

pdxknitterati plum bourbon jam ice cream

Tastes as good as it looks!

Inspired by Erica’s recipe, but I doubled it and adjusted it for sweetness:

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup plum bourbon jam
up to 1/4 cup sugar, to taste

Mix milk, cream, jam. Taste! Adjust sweetness as desired. Process in ice cream maker 25-30 minutes. This is a soft set; I put the ice cream in a storage container in the freezer for a couple hours before serving for a firmer set. Delicious. In a perfect world I might make a custard base for a smoother texture, but that would mean more work. I wonder if I’d like it with half and half instead of cream? This is like swatching, with food! But I’m guessing that laziness will win out, and this simple version is probably how it will always happen at my house.

I think this would be spectacular with strawberry balsamic jam, with some additional sugared strawberries thrown in. Just sayin’.

So, extravagant swatching, blocking, measuring, eating! What is your extravagance this summer?

New: Summertime Blues Wrap

I’ve just released my Summertime Blues pattern. This wrap/poncho is a perfect summer accessory. Knit in fingering weight yarn, it is light and sleek and swingy, especially in a wool/plant fiber blend. It features two sets of lacy leaves, twining up the side.

pdxknitterati summertime blues

I knit this with Knitted Wit’s Shine, a 50/50 merino tencel blend. It’s a gorgeous, shimmery, drapey wonder.

The length and width of this wrap are easy to customize to your perfect size. The wrap shown is 21″ wide by 31″ long, modified from the instructions which are for a 19″ wide wrap.

pdxknitterati summertime blues

This pattern is available on Ravelry, page link here: Summertime Blues Use coupon code BLUESFEST for 20% off through June 7, 2015.

I just finished knitting a second one, same color, but with beads. A little shorter, because I’m shorter than my model! I’ll be wearing it at TNNA this weekend. What are your plans? More knitting?