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.

Snow days = knit days

We’ve had quite the snowy weekend in Portland. It started on Thursday, and it’s melting today, Monday. Portland is not known for its ability to deal with snow. It doesn’t snow that often here. It’s not cost effective to have a lot of plows that we’d rarely use, so it’s best to just stop and enjoy the snow.

sledding

If you really have to get somewhere, you can always use your skis. These are my 30 year old skis and old school three pin trap bindings. And my Pippi hat.

skis

I did a lot of knitting. I finished a shawl (post coming soon), blocked two shawls, and knit an entire hat. This time I used 3 colors instead of four, and I like it.

Pippi for Carole

I made sure there was food and water for the birds.

bird feeder

song sparrows

Everyone I met this weekend had a big smile!

happy hour snowman

Fun to have a winter wonderland.

icicles

And now the big melt is on.

How was *your* weekend?

Snowing…warm head, warm hands

It’s snowing in Portland, which doesn’t happen often.

snow day

I actually wore a hat today, which doesn’t happen often, either. It’s all about the hair, you know.

Pippi 2

This is my Pippi hat, and I love it. I designed this hat during a snowy week in Portland in 2008. DH said I looked like Pippi Longstocking in it, and so it was named.

pippi

My current Pippi isn’t either of these colorways, but it’s too dark to take a picture. Suffice to say it coordinates with my jacket. Do you like it? I think you should knit one, too, so I”m putting the Pippi hat pattern on sale for 20% off through February 14. Consider it a Valentine’s Day offering! My Hugs and Kisses Fingerless Mitts pattern is also on sale. Both of these patterns are $4 instead of $5 through Valentine’s Day. If you want both, please make two separate transactions; I can’t get the Ravelry cart to discount both in the same transaction.

oxo 2

Now go be cozy and knit!

Rescue me! Knit edition

Today I finished clue 3 of my Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette. While I was working the last row, I found a split stitch several rows back. Horrors!

dropped stitch

I knew that the tiny bit of yarn holding things together would break when I wet block this shawlette. You can see that most of the yarn loop that belongs to that stitch is hanging out in front of the fabric instead of being part of the fabric. It’s the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe. Only a tiny filament of this loop is holding the fabric together. (I had already started laddering down before I thought to take a picture.)

dropped stitch w/ hook

I laddered down to the split stitch: Drop the top stitch of the column off the needles, and then pull the yarn out of each loop on the way down, like a run in a nylon stocking. I then inserted my crochet hook (from front of the fabric towards the back), and carefully pulled each ladder through, in order, with each ladder becoming the new stitch on the hook. Pull up a little more than you think you should, to snug the stitch up with its neighbors on either side. (This is for stockinette; garter stitch is a little trickier.)

dropped stitch fixed

All better! See how the bottom stitch of the dark blue stripe looks the way it’s supposed to now? You can use this laddering technique to fix split stitches, wrong stitches, dropped stitches. If you’re picking up a dropped stitch, it may be a little tight when you hook things up, but you can borrow a bit of slack from the neighbors.

I’ve been teaching this and many other ways to fix knitting mistakes in a class called Tink, Drop, Frog for a while now. It’s always fun seeing knitters learn to take charge of their knitting. Interested? The next one is scheduled at Twisted on April 13 from 12:30 to 2:30. You, too, can fix mistakes like a boss!

Here’s the finished clue 3.

rcyc clue 3

I think it looks like ripples on moonlit water.

rcyc clue 3 b

I added an extra band of roses halfway through the second stripe sequence. They’ll stand out better when properly blocked; I only pinned it out a bit.

rcyc clue 3, close

One more clue, coming this Friday!

Never too late…

to learn a new thing! This is my first ever granny square. Crocheted!

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I used to crochet a long time ago, but my only project was a ripple afghan I made for DH when we were dating, back in the Dark Ages. All acrylic, shades of cream and brown.

I’ve been reading the Rose City Yarn Crawl threads on Ravelry, and Laurinda Reddig, designer of the Crochet-ALong shawlette, says that if you can crochet a granny square, you can crochet her shawlette.

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I’m still not convinced. The granny square was easy to figure out. I clearly don’t know which way I’m going with the shawlette. Lucky for me, I’ll see her Friday at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton at their KAL/CAL group, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Knitted Wit (Lorajean, dyer of my project yarn and so much more) will be there, too. Come see us!

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I had a great time at the Knitting Bee last Sunday. It’s really fun to knit with other knitters (and crocheters), and the most inspiring and intimidating thing? Seeing all these people knitting MY PATTERN. So far, they seem to like it! I really love seeing all the different color combinations, too. Check them out on Ravelry!

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Other knitting? The office peeps from Lantern Moon came over last night to cast on for the Thrumbelina KAL. We have new thrummers! I finished my first slipper, and have just started the second. It’s not too late to join us. And the pattern is still on sale for 25% off through the end of January. That’s tomorrow!

What’s on your needles? You know what’s on mine!

Thrumbelina pattern sale…

because…I forgot to do this before the KAL began! I’ve been a little distracted by the Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL. Sorry.

thrumbelina2

Anyway, the Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. I hope you’ll join the KAL, too! Click here to purchase through Ravelry.

KAL discussion is through my Ravelry group. Come join in!

If you purchased Thrumbelina through Ravelry during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you with a special offer to make up for the missed sale price.

Ready…set…thrum!

Thrumbelina KAL begins today!

We’re casting on for a Thrumbelina KnitALong today! This KAL is not a mystery KAL. All the information you need is in the pattern. We’re sharing questions, tips, progress…

thrumbelina2

Before you cast on, you should read through your pattern for information on how to thrum. You can also watch my thrumming video on youtube.

I just made an extra tutorial on a tip for continental style knitters.

Just remember, it’s important to make sure your working yarn wraps around the thrum, rather than coming up underneath it.

continental thrumming

Edited to add: The Thrumbelina pattern is on sale for 25% off ($4.50 instead of $6) through the end of January. Click here to purchase through Ravelry. I meant to do this earlier, but I forgot! If you purchased this pattern during the month of January, I’ll be contacting you.

Who’s casting on with me? Come join the discussion in my Ravelry group!

Don’t worry; I’m still knitting the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. But I’m caught up until the next clue comes out on Friday.

Knit on!

Beading your knits

We’ve cast on for the RCYC MKAL, but it’s not too late to join the fun! You can find the pattern on Ravelry, here.

We had a cast on party at Twisted last night.

MKAL cast on party

Such fun to meet MKALers in real life!

And here’s my garter tab cast on tutorial, in case you need a little help.

I actually cast on at home so I could be available to chat and help at the party, and I got a little inspired. There’s an option to add beads in clue 4 of the pattern, but I had extra beads, and so I decided to add some here. I’ll post a picture at the end of this post, in case you don’t want to see a spoiler. For now, I want to share several different ways of adding beads to your knitting. These methods are all for beading as you go, rather than pre-stringing.

My favorite method involves a simple tool called the Bead Aid. It’s a bit of jewelry wire, bent in the middle and polished at the ends, so it won’t snag your yarn. You can see mine in my beading tin.

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Simple and elegant! You can find it in a few local yarn shops (I know Pearl Fiber Arts has them), and online here (video on how to use it is here, too).

It’s the same principle as this tutorial from Romi Hill. (She used it in her Ice Queen pattern in Knitty Winter 2007, and I remembered!) You can DIY, but I’m happy with getting mine pre-made and polished. Whatever works for you, works.

You can also use the crochet hook method. This involves a very tiny crochet hook; mine is size 13/14, 0.90 mm. That’s a hook head less than a millimeter in diameter! I tend to split the yarn when I use this method, so it’s not my preferred method.

Laura Nelkin demonstrates the hook method, and also a clever way to use pre-threaded dental floss, in this video.

I tried the dental floss method, too, but I didn’t love it. It’s a great way to corral your beads, but I didn’t like having them hanging on the end of the floss; I had a hard time manipulating the wire and at the same time getting the beads where I wanted them to go. Your mileage may vary!

OK, here’s the info on where I put my beads. The first clue is rain, and I wanted raindrops on the k2tog decreases, but didn’t want to fiddle with two stitches *and* a bead, so I put them on the next row on the purl stitch that was the back side of the k2tog, just before working the stitch. I’d never placed beads on the wrong side row before, but guess what? The bead shows up where it belongs on the right side anyway. Win!

And now that I think about it, you can get the same result by placing the bead on the k2tog on the right side row *after* working the k2tog, so that it gets purled on the next row. Whatever is easier for you to work. Knitter’s choice! I’m used to taking the stitch from the left needle to add the bead before working the stitch. If you add the bead after working the stitch, you’ll have to take it (and replace it) to the right needle, which might be easier if you’re a lefty, but not for me, a righty.

I’m using size 8/0 Miyuki Delica beads. They’re tube shaped rather than round. My local bead store only had size 11/0 (too tiny), so I found these at Twisted. I should have looked there first, but I thought beads came from a bead store. Go figure. These are exactly what I wanted.

Spoiler pic below…

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beads!

Knit on!

KAL color musings

The Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL kicks off tomorrow morning. Here’s my new yarn…

RCYC MKAL colors

I’m using Knitted Wit Single Fingering, Tugboat and Clematis. I was going to use the paler color for the sky (MC), and the darker color for the roses, but…

What if the darker color is the sky at night, and the roses are white roses that look blue in the moonlight?

If I turn it around that way, the dark color would be the MC, and the MC is slightly predominant, and I LOVE this deep purplish blue/bluish purple…

Guess I’ll have to decide by tomorrow!

Just in case you need help with your garter tab cast on, I made a video just for you. (youtube link)

Hope to see locals at Twisted for the cast on party, Friday January 17, 5-8 p.m.!

Also, the winners of the Thrumbelina patterns are…

Lucinda and jrbecca! I’ll be sending patterns along through Ravelry shortly. The Thrumbelina KAL begins on Tuesday, January 21. Pop over to the Ravelry discussion and tell me what yarn/fiber combo you’re planning! Here’s mine. This is Knitted Wit Merino single ply in Winter’s Night, and her merino fiber in Turks and Caicos.

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(Gee, I wonder what my favorite color is?) Are you ready to cast on? I am, and I am!