Tag Archives: classes

Taking classes, teaching classes

It was a whirlwind weekend, but all good things. On Friday I took a class with Ann Budd at Twisted. The topic? Shadow knitting.

shadow knitting

The motif is visible only at a certain angle. I’m looking forward to using this technique in a design! And I met Cindy, Ann’s event coordinator. She asked Twisted owner Emily to introduce us, because she’s knit my Thrumbelina slippers several times.

thrumbelina cindy

She fell in love with my Sophie’s Rose Shawlette that I was wearing, and bought yarn and pattern at Twisted. It’s going to be beautiful.

On Saturday at Twisted I taught my new class on photographing and editing on the iPad or iPhone (more description in previous blog post). We had a blast. Last night I taught Athena (entrelac in the round, easier than flat entrelac IMHO). I’m scheduled to teach both of these at Stash in Corvallis this coming Saturday.

athena entrelac cowl

And just now I registered for classes next February at Madrona Fiber Arts. I’m registered for Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Latvian Fingerless Mitts class, and Franklin Habit’s A Sense of Proportion: A Glorious Compendium of Methods for Knitting without Tapes and Rulers.

I love learning new techniques, and it’s fun to learn them in an interactive setting. Knitterly camaraderie is great, and lots of tips and tricks come up that aren’t even part of the class. Best of all is observing excellent teaching and incorporating even more of that into my classes.

turkish spindle spinning

Books and videos are a great way to pick up techniques, too, but there is definitely something to be said for being able to ask a question in real time. I have several books on spindling, but it wasn’t until I was in a session with Sari Peterson of Twists and Turnings that I really understood when I should overspin (evidently for plying), and that the yarn I was spinning to knit a shawl (with single ply) was probably going to be too twisty since I wasn’t planning to ply it. Guess that will be for a plied yarn now…

Do you take knitting classes? Why or why not?

Bucket list knitting: Steeks!

Is steeking on your knitting bucket list? Say yes!

steek promo

A steek is a column of extra stitches inserted into your knitting so you can cut them. Why? Because stranded colorwork is so much easier in the round than knit flat. But when you want that circular knitting to be flat, as in a cardigan or a scarf, you need to cut the steek.

mid steek

It’s not as scary as it sounds, especially if you do it to a small piece of knitting, instead of the cardigan you’ve been knitting for months. To that end, I’ve designed a couple pieces to practice on.

bucket list coffee accessories

Oh, coffee, I love you so much I knit a sweater for you. And a mug rug.

These are the Bucket List Coffee Accessories. You can use them for your tea, too. I won’t tell anyone. I designed these for a class I’m teaching at Twisted later this month (see end of post for details).

They make sweet gifts, and they’re an opportunity for you to try steeking, even if you can’t come to class. The pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s on sale for 20% off through October 15 with coupon code EEK. As in steek. Ha!

I wrote a longer tutorial here, in case you like more pictures. Who doesn’t like more pictures?

For this project, I knocked a couple things off *my* bucket list, too. It’s small circular knitting, which I usually do on dpns. I wanted to know how to knit with 2 circulars, and with magic loop. Done. I liked the magic loop. Working with two circulars is like having antennae waving all over the place, too flappy for me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m teaching a steek class with the Bucket List Accessories at Twisted on October 17 and 24 at Twisted. Come join me, and we’ll explore stranded colorwork on dpns, magic loop, and 2 circulars. During the second class we’ll cut these quick pieces with the support of our classmates. There may be bubbly at the end of the second class!

The very first time I saw a steek cut, it wasn’t even colorwork. My cousin and college roomie Kathy had been an AFS exchange student in Norway, and she was knitting a purple sweater in the round. Since it was stockinette, it was all knit, no purl. She steeked the armholes, because that’s how she was taught in Norway. Are you purl averse? Take that idea and run with it!

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!

Aloha shawlette class: modified triangle shawls

I’m teaching a class at Twisted in Portland on the next two Tuesday evenings, August 18 and 25. You’re invited!

Aloha Shawl

My Aloha shawl and shawlette are the centerpiece of this class, so we’ll talk about basic lace stitches, the very fun shellflower lei stitch, and knit on edgings.

Aloha details

But the class isn’t just a how-to for this particular shawl. We’ll also talk about triangle shawl shaping, with both traditional and extended wingspans, and how to add a center panel to a regular triangle shawl.

aloha kal day 1

Interested? Contact Twisted to sign up. I’d love to see you there in our new expanded classroom space across the street!

A little game of Yarn Chicken (contest), classes

Edited to add: Contest closed! See next post for the results and winner.

I’m playing a little game of yarn chicken. Do you think there’s enough yarn left for me to get 1050 stitches? Yes or no. Leave a comment, and I’ll do a random drawing from the correct answers when I find out. Winner gets something fun from my stash!

yarn chicken pdxknitterati

Yarn chicken is always more fun with wine, yes?

In other news, I’m teaching three classes at Twisted next week: Monday Cast On, Bind Off, Saturday Tink Drop Frog and Blocking. I know it’s summer and you’re not sure you want to be playing with wool, but we have air conditioning! Sign up now and make it happen!

Like Savoire Faire

I’m everywhere! (Who knows/remembers this cartoon?) I’m feeling a little scattered, and focused at the same time. A lot of knit-related stuff going on this month!

Last Saturday, I did an all day workshop for the Tigard Knitting Guild. What a fun bunch of knitters! We did slip stitch mosaic knitting: The basic how to, first flat and then in the round, with several patterns to try. In the afternoon, students designed and started either hats or cowls with this technique.

pdxknitterati knitting

Ha! Those pattern samples were secret gauge swatches! They’d be more accurate over a larger number of stitches, but it was a good starting point. Everyone started on their designs, which I hope to someday see finished and out in the wild.

Tomorrow I’m teaching in Salem at Tangled Purls. Blocking in the morning, stranded colorwork in the afternoon, a trunk show all day, and a meet and greet between classes.

cowl (375x500)Kerfuffle Cowl, stranded colorwork

Non-stranded (slip stitch) and stranded colorwork, bookends to my week. Fun!

I have a new design, Summertime Blues, that I just finished knitting; it’s off to the test knitter and tech editor. I used Knitted Wit’s Shine, a 50/50 merino tencel blend that I’ve knit and loved before. It has great drape and luster. Photos next week; my model is as busy as I am!

I’m getting ready for the TNNA trade show in Columbus at the end of the month; I’ll have some designs featuring Knitted Wit’s yarns in the Knitted Wit booth (including Summertime Blues, when I’m not wearing it). Cindy (@blackmoondog) knit this version of Sophie’s Rose for us, and I blocked it yesterday.

sophie's rose enchanted forest

Knitted Wit’s Single Fingering in Enchanted Forest and Salted Caramel.

sophie's rose blocking


I’m closing in on the last set of criss crosses on my KAL Tilt Shift. This was on the back burner while I finished Summertime Blues, but I’m back on it now. I’d love to get this finished and blocked today so I can wear it this weekend, but it’s all weather dependent. Yesterday was a glorious blocking day, sunny and warm. Fingers crossed!

What have you finished lately?

Upcoming classes, and catching up the blog

It’s been super busy here since I came home from Port Ludlow, Edmonds, Ellensburg. I feel like there’s a mega-post about that road trip that needs to happen, but I haven’t had a chance to process it yet. So I’m going to jump ahead and let you know what’s going on now, and then work backwards. We’ll pretend it’s ballroom dancing or something…

May is shaping up to be a busy month. I’m doing a workshop for the Tigard Knitting Guild on May 9. We’re going to play with mosaic slipped stitch knitting. In the morning we’ll learn how it works, and in the afternoon we’ll design something with it! This is such a great way to play with color, but we only use one color per row. No carrying, no floats.

pdxknitterati knitting

On May 16, I’ll be down in Salem teaching at Tangled Purls. I’m teaching two classes. The first is Blocking: It’s Magic from 10 to noon.

Rosaria edge detail

In the afternoon I’m teaching beginning stranded colorwork with the Kerfuffle Cowl from 1:30 TO 4 p.m. Contact the shop to register for either of these.

pdxknitterati kerfuffle cowl

I’ll also have my trunk show there all day! We’ll have a meet and greet between classes, so come take a class or just say hello.

I’ve been knitting like mad this month. I’m working with Knitted Wit’s new Targhee Shimmer yarn, 80/20 Targhee/silk in DK and worsted weights. The wool is sourced 100% sheep to skein in the USA. I designed a Criss Cross Cowl in Kiss and Teal (to go with the Criss Cross mitts and hat and beret) with the worsted, pattern coming soon. This color is amazing, but it doesn’t photograph well. In real life, it’s a very rich aquamarine, like a deep blue-green emerald.

pdxknitterati criss cross cowl

I knit a pair of Pointer Mitts with the DK, in Liberally Bleeding Heart.

pdxknitterati pointer mitts

These are going to TNNA, the The National Needlearts Association trade show at the end of May. There will also be a Pointer cap to go with the mitts, but a sample knitter is doing that one for me. And a Sophie’s Rose Shawlette in Knitted Wit’s Single Fingering, in Enchanted Forest and Salted Caramel which I’m not knitting, but I’ll block it. Thank goodness for sample knitters!

I’ve also been diligently knitting on my Tilt Shift KAL project. Two skeins down, one left to go. This is very relaxing knitting for me, because it’s 80% stockinette. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and watching TV with it. The KAL has been going on all month, and should be wrapping up this week.

Tilt Shift KAL

I don’t know that I’ll have mine done by then, because I have a design project to finish before TNNA which is higher priority because it has a deadline. Click, click, click…

I also blocked my Fern Shawlette that I knit for my previous KAL. Finally! You’ll note that I’m artfully hiding the ends I have yet to sew in.

pdxknitterati fern shawlette

In my spare time (ha!) my friends Carole, Suzanne, and I put on a tea for 60 on Saturday. Planning, shopping, cooking, plating, serving. And no pictures of the event; I was too busy kitchen wenching. But Sue from Tango Mango came and did a presentation with her collection of vintage purses, which was very cool. Here are just a few.

princess mary purseNote the floral detail at the bottom.

vintage beaded bags

And then there was an Earth Day event on Sunday that required folding some origami cranes, among other things…

origami cranes for earth day

I’ll do a report on the Strung Along Retreat soon. It was great. But I have to wash and block my little swatches from Clara Parkes’ class before I can blog it!

What have you been up to while I’ve been away?

Astoria StitchFest: Check!

Last weekend’s first ever Astoria StitchFest was a delight. It was a small event, but very nice. The weekend began with a delightful Stitch Feast at the Baked Alaska, right on the river. We had a little show-and-tell fashion show after dinner.

The classes were held in the light and bright rooms above the Liberty Theater, across from the historic Hotel Elliott. Mary Scott Huff and I taught knitting, and Laurinda Reddig taught crochet. I taught Cast On Bind Off, Slip Stitch Cowl Design, and Blocking: It’s Magic. I think everyone went home with new skills.

blocking with pdxknitterati

I had a free afternoon, so I sat in on Mary Scott Huff’s Sassy Selbuvotter class. She is a fabulous teacher, and also fun to hang out with! Here’s the beginning of my mitten.


Classic Selbuvotter (mittens in the traditional style of the town of Selbu, Norway) have a gusset thumb, but these sassy mitts will only have a slot thumb. I was curious about Norwegian mittens, because I had knit these many years ago.

selbu mitten

These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. The have a fake gusset (no increases, just patterning to look like a gusset) and a slot thumb. They’re kind of a mix of thumb techniques. My next Selbuvotter will have a traditional, real thumb gusset, because I like the way they fit!

Astoria sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a fun mix of the old and the new. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore, but I popped on down to Coffee Girl for lunch on Saturday because my singing buddy Claudia loves it, and used to sing there.


I didn’t realize that Coffee Girl is right on a pier that houses the West’s oldest cannery building.

bumble bee logo

I worked at a salmon cannery on Kodiak Island for five summers to pay for college. We even canned for Bumble Bee. This brought back all sorts of memories.

cannery workers

We didn’t look quite like this, but aprons, hair nets, and steel toed rubber boots were the uniform!

pier 39 astoria

Canneries were a big part of Astoria’s history. Even the waste baskets on the streets downtown acknowledge this.


Mary and I had rooms at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, a very interesting Victorian house. My room was breathtakingly gorgeous, with lace draperies around the bed, and at the entrance to my sitting room

grandview b & b

which was a great place to relax.

Grandview b&b

The sitting room had a view of the Columbia River, and the bridge that crosses to Washington.


Many thanks to Bonnie Lively and LeAnn Meyer, the organizers of Astoria StitchFest. I had a fabulous time, and hope that all the participants did, too. I’d love to do this again next year, and you should come, too!

New classes for fall

I’m teaching several new classes this fall. I’m most excited about this one, because it has the most possibilities: Slip Stitch Cowl Design. It’s an intro to slip stitch knitting, and we explore this fabulous colorwork technique that uses only one color per row/round.

pdxknitterati knitting

Using only one color per row/round makes it really easy to manage your yarn. We also explore how light and dark colors interact with each other, and why. After the introduction to slip stich techniques, we figure out how to apply this to a simple cowl. A tiny bit of math, and you’re the designer of your own cowl! My ZigZag Lightning Cowls are based on this slip stitch technique. Remember, it’s only one color per row/round!

ZigZag Lightning Cowls

This class is being offered at the first ever Astoria StitchFest on Sunday, October 12, and at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday October 25.

beanstalk scarf and mitts

I’m also teaching an introduction to lace class using my Beanstalk Scarf. It covers basic lace stitches, and working with written instructions and charts. It also includes a fabulous knit-in i-cord edging. This class is offered at Twisted in Portland on Tuesday October 14 and at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton on Sunday November 2.

snowy woods cowl

My third new class is an intro to cables class, using my Snowy Woods Cowl pattern. This class covers cabling with and without a cable needle, twisted stitches, and using charts and/or written instructions. It also features the two-ended long tail cast on, which prevents you from running out of tail before you run out of cast on. This 2 session class is offered at Twisted on Sundays November 16 and 23.

I love teaching knitters new techniques, and how to be the boss of their knitting. Come join me and rule the world!

Astoria StitchFest 2014

Do you love knitting and/or crocheting? Do you love the Oregon Coast? Here’s a winning combo for you: Astoria StitchFest. This is a brand new event October 10-12 in Astoria, Oregon. I’ll be teaching there, along with Sivia Harding, Mary Scott Huff, and Laurinda Reddig.

I’m teaching Cast On/Bind Off, Blocking, Entrelac, and a new class, Slip Stitch Designing. I’m especially stoked about sharing the magic of slip stitch knitting, which results in colorful patterning, but only one color is worked per row. Here’s an example of a slip stitch cowl I designed.

starwood detail

I hope you’ll come join us in Astoria this fall. More details about the classes, the StitchFeast dinner on Friday, and places to stay in Astoria are on the website.