Tag Archives: Knit

Sophie’s Rose shawl, as seen at Madrona

Introducing Sophie’s Rose, an asymmetric triangle shawl with an extravagant ruffle.

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I designed this for Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake, using two very special yarns. The main color is Sophie’s Rose, the semisolid brown with raspberry pink accents that MadelineTosh dyed as a custom color in honor of Anne’s new granddaughter, Sophie. The coordinating color is Knitted Wit‘s Madge, on her Merino Single Fingering base.

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The theme is a garden trellis interspersed with rows of roses.

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I wore this at Madrona last weekend, and the big ruffle makes it really fun to wear.

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This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. The MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light is available at For Yarn’s Sake, and they also have a good supply of Knitted Wit‘s Single Fingering in Madge. You can see it during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, and after, too. I’ll be wearing mine at For Yarn’s Sake on Saturday, March 1; I have a trunk show there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come by and say hello while you’re on the Crawl!

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.)

Where I’ll be…teaching!

I’m teaching a little further afield in September. On Saturday, September 21, I’ll be at Stash in Corvallis. We’ll do Tink Drop Frog: How to Fix Mistakes in the morning at 10:30 a.m., and Cast On, Bind Off in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Both of these classes are intended for advanced beginners and beyond.

On Sunday, September 29, I’ll be at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival (OFFF) with an expanded version of Cast On, Bind Off. I hope to see you there! Pre-registration needs to be postmarked by September 6 for all OFFF classes; classes may be cancelled if they don’t have enough students registered by then.

Here’s the scoop on Cast On, Bind Off:
How many cast ons do you know? Why do you use the one that you use? Tired of running out of yarn with your long tail cast on? Come to class and learn some new tricks! We’ll cover long tail, knitting on, cable cast on, crochet provisional cast on, and maybe more depending on time. We’ll also talk about when/why you might choose one over another, and some bind offs that go well with your new cast ons.

And I’m teaching at Twisted here in Portland throughout the fall; contact Twisted to register.
Intro to Circular Knitting (hats): Sept. 23 & 30
Tink, Drop, Frog: Oct. 12
Garland Sideways Lace Shawl: Oct. 26

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Intro to Entrelac (Athena Cowl): Nov. 16

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And I’m looking into adding a class about blocking. Stay tuned!

Hope to see you around!

Will it go round in circles?

Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

Oh, sorry, I got distracted.

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I was swatching some small diameter circular knitting yesterday for a design idea, and went through the gamut of circular knitting methods. I’ve always liked dpns for small circular knitting, but it’s never too late to learn something new. I decided to start with magic loop. I knew that the very flexible cord on my Signature circular needles would make for a better magic loop experience than my first foray with that method. Getting started was dicey, and I think I may have knit a twist into my work which I subsequently twisted back and ignored, but I did manage to do this swatch.

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This is Schulana Kid-Seta, laceweight mohair and silk. I love knitting with this airy fuzz haloed yarn, but not tinking with it! I think I could manage working magic loop with this needle. In fact, I think I could manage anything with this needle; I love its smoothness and sharp points. But alas, the gauge wasn’t what I wanted; this is a size 5 needle and I wanted the airiness of at least a 6 or 7 for the mohair. I’m not ready to purchase another Signature for just one swatch ($$$, but worth it if it’s your go-to size), so I went to the needle stash.

I poked around and found a size 6 Hiya Hiya bamboo 16 inch circular, which would make a good start for 100 or so stitches. The tips were a bit blunt, but manageable. I’ve always liked blunter needles, because I “scoop” through my stitches instead of poke, but with yarn this thin and needles this big, I’m beginning to see the value in a pointy tip! When I decreased down too far to use this circular, I moved to Brittany Birch dpns. Very comfortable, but they were so long compared to the knitting, their weight seemed to threaten to make them fall out of the work.

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I popped in to my LYS and picked up a size 6 Hiya Hiya Sharp in stainless, 9 inch circular. This thing is tiny! I love the points but the 9 inch circular is not comfortable in my hands. Oh, well.

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So then I thought, how about two circulars? The 16 inch bamboo and the 9 inch stainless? I tried that for a bit, but the tip on the 9 inch is still too short for comfort for me, because 2 circulars means working each one separately on half the stitches, and the making of a circle with the 9 inch is just too fiddly.

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In the end, I went back to dpns to finish my swatching. If I really make this project, I think I’ll get some shorter dpns to do so. I’ll start my project on a 16 inch circular, and then move to the short dpns. I’m just an old fashioned dpn kind of knitter, I guess. It’s great to have choices, and great to have a needle stash to play with!

How do you manage your small circumference circular knitting? Two circulars, magic loop, dpns? Or is there something else out there?

None of the circles pictured are what I settled on. I can’t show you what I was swatching yet…

And because I gave you the earworm for this Billy Preston song, here you go:

You’re welcome.

Showtime at TNNA!

I’m not at TNNA…at least not in person. But I’m there in spirit! My Filigree Shawls are at Knitted Wit’s booth for Sample It. Lorajean just snapped this pic for me.

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This is my scarf design that I reworked with a crescent shawl shaping to showcase Knitted Wit’s beautiful Shine yarn (50/50 merino/tencel). I liked the scarf, but I love the shawl. Shapings for scarf and shawl are both included in the pattern.

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The shawl comes in two sizes.

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I love its sister shawl and scarf, Webfoot, too.

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If you’re at TNNA, stop by and see Filigree in person at Sample It tonight, or in Knitted Wit’s booth during the show. Have a great show, all! And have some Jeni’s ice cream for me…

If you’re not at TNNA, you can still knit your own. I’m knitting one for me, right now.

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Filigree and Webfoot Shawls pattern release sale

They’re here! New shawl versions of Filigree and Webfoot are now live.

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The small version of the Filigree Shawl

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And the larger version.

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The larger version is two repeats wider than the smaller version, but about the same depth.

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These are knit with Knitted Wit’s Shine (merino/tencel blend). It’s great to work with, and has a beautiful sheen. It takes well to blocking, too. This pattern and yarn combination will be featured by Knitted Wit at TNNA’s Sample It later this month.

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This is the Webfoot Shawl in Hazel Knits Entice, an MCN blend. It is lovely to work with, and so squishy soft.

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I only knit the larger shawl for this design, but you can always go smaller if you want to. I wouldn’t, because this is so nice to wrap around yourself.

Both new patterns have instructions for the original crescent shaped scarf, as well as two shawl sizes. It was a lot of fun to play with the shaping and get a different accessory personality from it. I think the shawls are more useful to me, but your mileage may vary.

Remember, if you’ve purchased the previous Webfoot and Filigree Scarves pattern, you’ll receive both the Webfoot and Filigree shawl/scarf patterns as updates. You should be receiving an update email from Ravelry with instructions on how to get both patterns. That’s two patterns for your original $6 purchase. Please update by June 30, 2013.

If you didn’t purchase the previous pattern, I have a special offer for you, too. To celebrate the launch of these two patterns, they’re each $1.50 off through June 15. Use the coupon code TwoNew to receive your discount on the Filigree page or Webfoot page. You have to purchase them separately, though; the system can only give one discount at a time.

And now I have absolutely nothing on my needles. What an odd feeling. But I have a new design idea, two gifts to knit, and the Garland KAL starts on Monday. No idle hands for long!

Things I’ve learned about lace knitting

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(Swatches for 4 shawls I want to knit. Right now.)

  • Swatching lace patterns is fun and addicting, and I like fussing with them to get the effect I want. Combine, alter, chart, swatch, refine, repeat.
  • Swatching in practice yarn is way better than repeatedly frogging and reknitting your “real” yarn. I switched to some light worsted yarn I had on hand. (White swatches in the picture.)
  • Swatching lace with heavier yarn will tell you a lot, but not everything. Swatching with leftover sock yarn is better, if fingering weight yarn is your goal. I wised up and bought a 50g skein of Louet Gems for swatching, because I needed a light color for a design submission. It’s the green ball in the picture, and it’s lovely to work with. I may have to get some more, to knit for reals.
  • Beads add lovely weight, drape, and bling to lace. I’m hooked (hah!) on the crochet hook method of adding beads.
  • Blocking is magic. (We already knew that, but it’s been reaffirmed, and can’t be said enough.)
  • An old black velvet dress makes a great background for a pale lace swatch photo. (No pic, it’s for a design submission.)
  • This elastic bind off is way better than the usual chain bind off, for lace that is going to be blocked: K2, * slip left needle into fronts of the 2 worked stitches on right needle and knit them off together through the back loop (like an ssk), K1, repeat from *.
  • And last of all: I’m a little obsessive.

PS: I blame Sivia Harding for this trip down the lace rabbit hole. I took her workshop last Sunday, and can’t stop playing with ideas. You can take her class at Twisted next Saturday, March 30. It’s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about possible obsession!

Have some class(es)!

I spent all day Sunday learning about Sideways Lace Shawl Design in an inspiring workshop with designer Sivia Harding. She’s a perfect teacher, patient and full of great tips. This particular crescent shawl construction is new to me. It’s nice to have more options. I loved the class, and have fallen down the rabbit hole with many, many ideas. How to choose just one?

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(Some of my stitch dictionaries. Sivia has more than I do…)

Swatch! I know, the S word. But after frogging the same bit of yarn 3 times, I realized that I should really swatch on something other than the good stuff. Now I’m playing with swatch #5, in a dk weight yarn and size 7 needles. I’m saving my lovely Knitted Wit Cashy Lite for the real thing.

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I love taking classes. It’s so much fun to learn something new with a group of people who love the same thing you do. I’ve done this with piano (camp), and do this with knitting. Books and videos are great, but they will only take you so far. Sometimes you just need to see it live in front of you, and discuss it with your friends! Have you taken knitting workshops? What do you think?

I’d like to take this opportunity to put in another plug for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, April 19-21. There are some great classes available, but they can only happen if enough people sign up for them. Yvonne, the organizer, needs to know by April 1 whether there are enough students to make a lot of these classes happen. I’m scheduled to teach two classes, the Thrill of the Thrum (thrummed slippers), and Tink Drop Frog (finding and fixing mistakes), an expanded version of the class I teach at Twisted, with more tips and tricks. I’ve taken classes from instructors Mary Scott Huff (steeking) and Deb Accuardi (drop spindling) before, and enjoyed them both. You can see a full list of classes and instructors here.

Besides the classes, there is a wonderful marketplace loaded with fiber goodies, and a treasure hunt based on Chrissy Gardiner’s fabulous book, Indie Socks. Entry to the marketplace is free.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my stitch dictionaries are calling! As is the S word. And really, swatching is pretty fun when you’re playing with design ideas. It’s not like knitting a gauge swatch at all…

Life’s A(nother) Beach

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Not Hawaii; this time I’m at the Oregon Coast for our annual Crafty Moms Weekend. This is the 10th annual gathering. There are 12 of us this year; some of us are knitting, others are sewing, beading, making cocktails. It was glorious yesterday when we arrived, 60 and sunny.

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The sunset was gorgeous.

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And this morning’s view was equally lovely, through the window as I knit. I love the reflection of clouds on the wet sand.

I just got to the finishing on half a scarf, and figured out I should have cast on 2 more stitches than I did. I had 2 prototypes but I knit from the graph and didn’t check which one, because i thought they were the same width. Oops. 7452 stitches, to the frog pond…

But first! The winners of the Lantern Moon silk needle cases are…Sheila and Stephanie! I’ll email you to get your snail mail addys. I also want to give a shout out to Sheila for her beautiful Mergoum shawl design. So lovely!

Keeping it organized…

FO pic! Here’s my sister with her Webfoot Scarf, hot off the needles.

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Christmas was great, lots of family and friends. The kids gave me a Cuisinart ice cream maker, so tonight we had bourbon vanilla ice cream profiteroles with chocolate truffle sauce and bourbon caramel sauce. It was beyond delicious.

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Coming down to the end of 2012. It’s been a good year, lots of travel and knitting. Sometimes both at the same time! I’m looking forward to what happens next for PDXKnitterati. I have a few deadlines to meet, design-wise. How do you keep yourself organized? I like lots of lists. And for my knitting, there’s this:

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A different silk taffeta bag for each design project. All the bags go into my favorite around the house basket, Bindi by Lantern Moon. I think it’s been discontinued, but I love the size of this.

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What’s next on your knitting radar? Do you have a selfish project lined up for January after gift knitting through December? I’m having a pattern sale on Ravelry; all of my patterns there are 20% off through January 5. The coupon code to enter is MeMeMe as in, it’s all about ME (which really means you). Thank you for reading and knitting!