Tag Archives: Knit

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.

selbuvotter

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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

Montreal, and knitting progress

Knitting away over here; I finished one project for a pattern I’ll be re-releasing soon, but I want to tweak it to add an additional size, so one more knit coming up. The smaller size was perfect airplane knitting.

snowy woods cowl 2

This is an update of the Snowy Woods cowl, which was released last winter as an exclusive for one of WoolGirl’s club kits.

snowy woods detail

So far I’ve changed this up with a fatter, smooshier yarn which means it can be knit with fewer repeats and be closer to the neck, and I also want to make a version that will double loop around the neck. The current yarn is Knitted Wit’s Superwash Merino Aran, a heavy worsted/light Aran bouncy round fun to knit delight. More on this soon.

Other yarn was delivered while I was on vacation, and I was knitting away madly on it, until I looked closely and said to myself, “clown barf.” It’s a fabulous variegated paired with a semi-solid, but the stitch pattern I chose isn’t bringing out the best in the variegated, so it’s back to the drawing board on that one. No worries; I have time and determination.

Vacation: We went to Montreal for six days, and had a blast! It’s almost like going to Europe, very charming, bilingual, and much closer. We stayed in the old part of Montreal, and it was lovely. Our hotel had this bronze outside, which is a smaller version of the one we know and love in DH’s home town of Clayton, Missouri. We felt right at home.

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Our hotel was near the Basilica of Notre Dame. The square in front of it always has something fun going on. There’s music at noon.

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We saw a gorgeous bridal party…

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And at night, Notre Dame’s windows glow blue.

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We happened to be there during Just for Laughs, a comedy festival. We also enjoyed the Festival des Nuits Afrique. Montreal has a short summer, and they seem to make the most of it! So many people walking around, enjoying the sunshine and the warm evenings.

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I don’t know if this police officer lost a bet, or if this is just part of his summer wardrobe.

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This troupe was offering mariages gratuits, free weddings. No one took them up on it.

I saw a rendition of a very Canadian song, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, in a way I’d never heard it before. Sorry the sound isn’t very good; half the speakers weren’t working ’til later in the song. But I like the beat of this, in four instead of three.

There was a lot of good food, and wine.

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(Breakfast of champions. Or champignons.)

My food mission was to check out poutines. This one was from Au Pied du Cochon’s food truck at the festival. Poutine avec foie gras.

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And we had to try the poutine at McDonald’s, because, photo op. It was underwhelming, as far as poutine goes.

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But I learned that chicken McNuggets are Poulet McCroquettes, which made me laugh out loud. Really, doesn’t everything sound better in French?

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Whew! That was a big catch up. Back to my knitting. No more clown barf!

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.

Sophie’s Rose shawl, as seen at Madrona

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

sophie's rose

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.

sophie's rose tosh

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

sophie's rose detail

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

Sophie's Rose mlb

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.

mkal yarn

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

Athena

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.

webfootshawl

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

webfootshawl2

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!