Category Archives: pattern design

Shawlette inspiration

I have an idea for a shawlette, and I think it’s working out. I’m inspired by the color of this yarn. It’s HazelKnits fingering, can’t remember which version, or the color name. Geez, I’m a lot of help, aren’t I?

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It’s zipping along since this picture. And this fingering weight yarn feels really phat after knitting the laceweight shawl. Just sayin’. More later…

Oh! Don’t forget, my birthday pattern sale runs through tomorrow, Sunday September 9. Celebrate!

Ruffle Kerfuffle is live!

It’s my birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to add new designs to my pattern collection?

This is the Ruffle Kerfuffle scarflet. It was my original idea for this design, knit in the round with a steek to cut, and the ruffled ends and criss-cross buttons. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I also knit a longer version, the Ruffle Kerfuffle Scarf.

So cute! But what about those knitters that don’t ever want to cut a steek?

No steek, no ruffle. Something for everyone

You can find more information on these patterns on the Ruffle Kerfuffle page.

To celebrate my birthday, I’m having a sale! $1 off any pattern in my Ravelry store, no limit. This includes Ruffle Kerfuffle! The sale is through Sunday, September 9.

And if you’re interested in a Kerfuffle KAL, and virtual hand-holding for the steeking, let me know. I’m also teaching a steeking class with this pattern at Twisted in Portland on the Monday after Thanksgiving. C’mon, you know you want to!

Looking for a few test knitters

I’m looking for a few test knitters to knit my newest design in the works, the Ruffle Kerfuffle scarf and/or the related Kerfuffle Cowl. These are knit in the round in a heavy worsted weight (Malabrigo Worsted Merino). Both are knit from color charts; there are only two colors per round. The cowl is pretty straightforward. The scarf? Knit in the round and steeked! Are you feeling…adventurous?

I have a limited amount of yarn in appropriate colors, or if you have stash yarn in colors you like better, that would work, too. The project requires one variegated and one coordinating solid or semi-solid color. Malabrigo Worsted Merino is perfect; I think KnitPicks Chroma would be gorgeous, too. I’d like the project done in 1-2 weeks.

If you’re interested in test knitting for me, either this project or another, let me know in the comments and I’ll contact you. (Scarf? Cowl?) I can’t offer you diamonds, gold, or even yarn, but you’d have access to a new design that will be fun to knit, and you get to keep the final project.

Knit on!

Love is the worst(ed)

I’m currently having a little love affair with worsted wool. In this particular case, Malabrigo Merino Worsted. It’s wonderfully wooly single ply worsted that comes in a huge assortment of colors, from semi-solids to interesting variegateds (some of which are too exciting for me). It’s also a little prone to felting, which can be a good thing, sometimes. I hope to make the most of that property, soon.

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(Whales Road, Polar Morn, Oceanos)

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(Violetas, Colorinche)

I went on a little color spree, because I need some colors to play with for my current project. (This doesn’t count as stash; it’s a design project, right?) I’m not a big fan of variegated yarns, but combined with a semi-solid, they tone down nicely and make it so I don’t have to choose a lot of colors for a mulit-color project. One variegated plus an appropriate semi-solid makes me look like a color genius! Which I’m not.

mal swatch

Spring is definitely here in the Pacific Northwet, and we had a remarkable spell of warm sunny days. But we’re back to rain and chill, so I’m still happy to be knitting with worsted weight wool. It doesn’t even matter that much when it’s warm out, because I mostly knit accessories, and they’re not too hot for knitting here on most days.

Which brings me to a little worsted project you may like. This is my Rockaway 2-Way Beach Beanie/Cowl (ravelry link). I designed it for Created In Oregon: A Knitter’s Datebook 2012, published by Pico Accuardi Dyeworks. Sadly, PAD is out of business. (I loved their wonderful worsted that I used for this design.) Luckily for me and you, though, this means I can offer you this pattern now instead of waiting until 2013.

hat 1

cowl 1

One piece, worn two ways. It’s a hat! It’s a cowl! And it’s cute. It’s named for Rockaway, the beach town where we have Crafty Mom Weekend every year.

2 way rockaway
(PAD Worsted on the left, Dream in Color Classy on the right)

A perfect little thing to knit right now, even though it’s worsted. Go to the pattern page or follow the Ravelry link if you want to play along.

One more item: The exclusive on Pointer is up, so that pattern is available through Ravelry download now, too. Another fairly quick knit before summer really sets in.

pointer set

Any hot plans for the weekend? I’ll still be knitting with worsted, even though it’s supposed to warm up!

Road trips, and swatching

The week has flown by! The weekend is here and I’m still on last weekend, which I began at Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, in the Columbia Gorge. This is spring on my side of the mountains…damp and cool.

gorge

step

I always walk the labyrinth at Menucha. It helps me quiet my busy mind, and focus. A meditation and a revelation, perfect.

center

I don’t remember ever seeing this much color in the mosaic stones before. I guess all that moisture can have its advantages.

color

And Diane became a new spinner! I’ll pass along a spindle to her; I have more than I need.

newspin

I went home Saturday night, and on Sunday morning I headed to the other side of the Cascade Mountains with my friend Vickie. We went to Kahneeta to hang out with her mom in her mom’s new RV. Nice digs.

lemondrop

The landscape is completely different over there, sunny and dry.

rocks

trees

cattails

The cattails reminded me of spindles, with their loads of fluff.

cattails2

The cottonwoods were shedding their loads of fluff, too, and it made me think I should try to spin that…

cottonwood

With all that fluff going on, you may ask if there was any knitting. Yes, a bit.

swatch

I’m going to call this swatching, mostly because I’ve completely frogged it. I’ve started and ripped three times now, as I hone in on what I want from this piece. There have been a lot of “aha!” moments. I’m about to start my last (I hope) rip, because now I think I know exactly what this needs. This time. Real swatching would be smart, but I get so excited about getting started, I just jump right in. Oops. We’ll just call them “very large swatches.” At least this yarn can put up with repeated froggings. I may be impetuous and lazy, but I’m stubborn, too, and I will prevail…

stubborn

The original colors, below. It turned out that the pale green in the variegated didn’t pop against the gray, so I had to choose a new background. It’s Violetas, also in Malabrigo worsted.

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On our way back over the mountains, we stopped up at Timberline Lodge for the view. Here’s Mt. Jefferson from the parking lot:

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(Love that sky!)

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And Mt. Hood out the back window of the lodge, near the bar.

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The bar window is pretty cool looking, too.

bar glass

And now mama bird is home, for a while.

mamabird

What’s up for you this weekend? I think the boys (young men) are going to help me whip the back yard into shape. It’s Mother’s Day, and that means they’ll do it, even if it’s not their favorite thing to do! Don’t worry; I’m making a fabulous dinner as their reward…

Pointer!

The first {Among Friends} club shipment has gone out, and now I can show you what I’ve been working on. If you’re waiting for your shipment and don’t want to see, come back later.

This is Pointer, a fingerless mitts and hat set worked in DK weight yarn.

The design began with the mitts. I knew I wanted to use this sweet loop stitch that I learned in Gayle Roehm’s “Designing with Japanese Stitch Dictionaries” class at Sock Summit. But straightforward columns of loop stitch would be boring, so I graduated the columns to echo the fingers on a pointing hand. I tried a couple different thumb treatments, and this is the one I liked best.

I still had a lot of yarn left after the mitts were done, so I decided to add a hat. I’ve been eyeing berets for a while; it seems like they’re more wearable than other hat styles for me. I don’t like to hide all my hair; it makes me look like an egg! Berets solve this problem by sitting back a bit.

beret

Isn’t it amazing what a good blocking will do? Here are two berets, one before and one after blocking.

blocking

For those of you who like a more traditional hat, that option is here, too. I love the loop stitch, so I featured it on the hat band as well as the body of the hat.

cap

I’m really pleased with this pattern, and pleased to be the designer for the launching of the {Among Friends} Yarn and Fiber Club. This club is the collaboration project of Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit) and Brooke Sinnes (Sincere Sheep). You can find more information on the pattern on the Pointer Mitts and Hats pattern page. Thank you to my friend Bobbi for modeling!

In the excitement of the launch, I forgot that I had signed up for the club, too. My package came yesterday. Brooke is the dyer for the first club shipment. Her DK weight yarn, Luminous, is 85% Polwarth Wool, 15% Tussah Silk. The color this month is Damson Plum, and it is luscious.

swag

Because I signed up early for the club, there was a special treat included. These stitch markers are lovely!

And clearly, I already have the pattern for this month. I’m currently finishing a pair of mitts in Orchid to match the beanie hat. I have my Azulite and Beaujolais beret and mitts sets in Lorajean’s DK already (same yarn base). What should I knit with Brooke’s yarn? I’m not sure I need another set, but I do love knitting with this yarn base!

The Thrill of the Thrum…for you!

I’m still thrilled with thrumming. I hope you’ll want to thrum, too! My pattern for Thrumbelina thrummed slippers is now available.

These cozy slippers are really posh! They remind me of slippers that I knit as a teen, with one very important difference.

They’re extra cushy inside due to thrums, bits of fiber knit into the fabric. The thrums eventually felt down for a custom fit for your foot. Until then, they make you feel like you’re stepping into a sheep. And I mean that in the nicest way.

The slippers are knit with less than 100g of worsted weight wool, and one ounce of merino roving. If you’re lucky enough to be attending Stitches West next weekend, you can buy a Thrumbelina kit from Knitted Wit at her booth #1041. Or you can just purchase the pattern here. As a special treat, I’m having a Thrumbelina Kickoff sale. The pattern is $1 off from now through the end of February.

I’m also thrilled to tell you that I’ll be teaching the Thrill of the Thrum at three different shops in March. Contact the shop to register. Class includes either Thrumbelina or Thrumster pattern, and there’s a little homework before class begins because you’ll want to spend time thrumming, not casting on!

March 15 at Twisted in Portland, from 6 to 8 p.m.
March 24 at Stash in Corvallis, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
March 31 at Wool N’ Wares in West Linn, from 1 to 3 p.m.

I hope that you, too, will be thrilled with thrumming!

PS: Thanks to Shannon & Emily at Twisted, for giving me the opportunity to design for their Single Skein Club!

Outside my window

I finished knitting my design project this morning, and I love it. I can’t show it to you yet, though. It’s a secret! The next step is to write the pattern, so I’m chained to my desk, doing so. (Or maybe I’m really just blogging and thinking about pattern writing. Bad dog, no biscuit.) But I looked out my window, and this is what I saw.

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Maybe we need a closer look.

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Between this and the two coyotes I saw in the street outside my house last night, it’s an urban wild kingdom.

Back to work…

Oh, just a reminder: My Hugs and Kisses Fingerless Mitts pattern is on sale for $4 (20% off) through the end of the month. They’re a sweet Valentine gift! Click here to buy through Ravelry; you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to do so.

mitts

Trunk Show time!

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 21) is trunk show day for PDXKnitterati and Knitted Wit at Kathy’s Knit Korner in Forest Grove. Stop by and see us! We’ll be there from 1-3 with lots of pretty samples, Knitted Wit yarns and PDXKnitterati patterns.

Kathy’s Knit Korner
1703 Pacific Ave.
Forest Grove, OR 97116
503-648-8525

If you can’t make it out to Forest Grove, but you’re itching for some yarny fun in town, several Portland shops are waiting for you with bells on. The Seattle to Portland Yarn Train, due in on Saturday, has been cancelled due to storm damage (downed trees and more) on the tracks. I know that Cindy at Urban Fiber Arts is carrying on with her sale. If you’re local, you benefit! (edited for late breaking news: Amtrak says that they’ll have service on that line on Saturday, so we may have Seattleites, after all.)

What else is going on? You know all those ancient Greek tragedies, where the hero is brought down by his own hubris? I’m living a knitterly version of it. I’m working on a little design project. I liked my prototype that I knit out of stash yarn (purple), and felt ready to jump into the real thing with one little change planned. I was feeling pretty confident, as you know from my last post. Right now I’ve got a basket o’ chaos.

After knitting the first piece with the real yarn (green), I slowly realized that it wasn’t the real yarn after all. Slightly different weight, slightly different row gauge, and it turns out that it’s not the yarn it was supposed to be! A quick call to Lorajean confirmed it. Oops! It will fit me, though, so I’ll save it for later.

Do over. Started with the real, real yarn (blue!), and finished the first piece. (Again.) Thought of a change for the second piece, tried it, hated it, ripped it out and am finishing again. I should have just gone with my first (well, second) instinct. But it’s almost done, again. I do all the trial and error so you don’t have to!

And in other news, we’ve fallen under the spell of the chocolate mug cake, thanks to Pinterest, twitter, and Facebook. Social media is dangerous! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but we make them at night, the lighting is awful, and the cake doesn’t last long! We’ve tried two recipes in the last two days.

2 Minute Chocolate and Salted Caramel Mug Cake, sans caramels but with added ice cream and bourbon chocolate sauce, plenty for two people

One Minute Chocolate Cake (a single serving, but we shared with no problem)

There may well be a nutella mug cake tonight. The best part of it is that there are no leftovers to tempt you the next day. You just have to be able to stop making them…yeah, sure!

What’s new with you?

MLK Day service opportunity

Monday, January 16th, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. How will you be spending it? Do you get the day off? I’ll be at a service workday for the Backpack Lunch Program. The program provides weekend lunches for children who are at risk of hunger on the weekends, when no school lunch is available. If you’re in PDX and looking for something to do, come and help us pack lunch sacks for the kids we serve at Woodlawn and King Schools. After packing lunches, there’s a short program with folk singing and honoring Dr. King. The Day Old Pastries, my music group, will be leading the singing, so I’ll be there with guitar in hand. Last year we packed about 580 weekend lunch sacks for kids at risk of hunger — just about equal to a month’s sacks that we need for the two schools. The event is at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, NE 15th and Dekum Street, from 1-3 p.m. Hope to see you there!


(backpack logo copyright Jill Penney)

So what’s up, knit-wise? I’m working on a little project. Yesterday Lorajean dropped off these colors, and I’ll be picking one for this project. I’ve already knitted a sample with some yarn I had here, so I know where this is going. I love it when the knitting cooperates with the vision the first time around…

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