Knit Maine this September

I’m looking forward to spending a beautiful long weekend in Maine, teaching at Knit Maine September 8-11 with PeaceTree Fiber Adventures. It’s at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. I’ll be teaching with five other teachers: Kristin Drysdale, Casey Ryder, Cal Patch, Shaina Bilow, and Louis Boria. Gaye Glasspie of GGMadeIt will be there to party with us, too! You get to choose your classes from these any/all of these teachers. It looks like there are only 3 spots left, so hurry!

I’m teaching Petite Brioche, Brioche Increases & Decreases (with my new Whale Watch hat and cowl pattern, I think), Thrumbelina thrummed slippers, YO? YO! Fancy stitches, and Planned Pooling. Currently plotting and planning the yarn with Keith Leonard (Knits All Done/YarnSnob) for the planned pooling class; it’s so gorgeous.

I’ve been to Maine once before, to Sebasco Harbor for one of DH’s work retreats. Such a beautiful place.

How far in advance are you planning your life? It’s weird to be planning things again, after Covid lockdowns. I know the virus is still out there, and I’m trying to strike a balance between caution and life. Knit on!

Linen knitting, encore encore

After all those hat crowns, my needles were finally empty! I’m not ready for a design project yet; I just want a simple project to keep my hands busy.

It’s a giant gauge swatch, really

Back in 2019, I was swatching/playing with Quince & Co Sparrow, which is fingering weight linen. I ultimately decided to design Kittiwake in Quince’s Kestrel, which is Aran weight, for a quicker project. I used the same stitch pattern for both weights.

The blocked fingering weight piece was relegated to the stash bin for later evaluation. I pulled it out yesterday and hmmmmm. It’s a beautiful drapey fabric. I think I want an oversized top, basically two rectangles, no shaping. The oversized shoulders would come down as faux sleeves. I’d knit it in the round from the bottom up until I get to the armholes, then work back and forth up to the shoulders.

The original piece is an excellent gauge swatch, and it even has the needles in it so I know what size to use. Instead of 16 repeats/37 inches, I’m going to do 20 repeats/46 inches, which gives me 9 inches (a lot) of ease. Perfect for a drapey swingy top for summer. I’ll use the same stitch patterns from Kittiwake, so I don’t have to think too hard. After the bottom edging, It’s just an easily memorized 6 round repeat, with only 3 patterning rounds.

Kittiwake

Bisquee (Biscuit) says it’s coming along well. What’s on your needles for summer (or winter, down under)?

Crowning glory

I have crowns on my mind. More hat crowns.

For Better or Worsted MCN from Anzula Luxury Yarns, yum

I love a pretty crown on a hat. This one hits all the right notes. It’s for the hat and cowl pattern that I’m designing for the class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in August. The class covers beginning 2 color brioche rib in the round, and brioche increases and decreases. Does this sound like Brioche Pastiche? Yes and no! This set includes a cowl, for non-hat wearers. An a nautical theme!

Malabrigo Rios, a favorite yarn for brioche

This crown is slightly simpler, but the overall effect is the same. I just sent the pattern off to my tech editor, and I’m looking forward to moving on with these designs.

There are a few spots left on this cruise. Do you have to cruise with us to knit this hat and/or cowl? Of course not. But it would be really fun! Here’s a list of the places we’re going.

I’ll show you the whole set soon, after tech editing. I love them!

Brioche Pastiche, even pastichier

I had a fabulous time in Minnesota last month, teaching for the Minnesota Knitters Guild Yarn Over event. This was supposed to happen in 2020, and it finally happened in 2022. It was a whirlwind event; I flew in on Friday, taught on Saturday, and flew home on Sunday.

Brioche Pastiche

One of the classes I taught was Brioche Pastiche, a three hour introduction to two color brioche rib, increases and decreases. I originally designed this hat with a spiffy four section crown. I thought it would be fun to update the pattern with an alternate crown, but first I had to design it. I was still knitting it at the retreat; I finished it when I got home.

I made it one leaf taller before beginning the crown shaping

and gave it a swirlier, flowery top. It’s just a tiny bit taller than the original hat (more leaf rounds, fewer decrease rounds).

I’ve updated the pattern and run it past my new tech editor. I’ve also updated the language in the pattern to be a little closer to standard. If you previously purchased Brioche Pastiche, you should be receiving a message through email and/or Ravelry that there’s an update available. This will give you both the original crown and the new crown. If you’re interested in purchasing this pattern, use coupon code GLORY for 15% off through May 22 on Ravelry and Payhip.

And! It’s also part of the Brioche Hat Trick ebook on Ravelry, in case you want a LOT more brioche. (The ebook is only available through Ravelry for now. If you’ve already purchased the ebook, you’ll get the Pastiche update without needing to repurchase.)

Thanks to the Minnesota Knitters for inspiring me to get this done! (If you were in my class, you’ll get this update, too.)

Goldilocks hat, Take 3: Success!

Knowing all that I learned from the two previous hats made this an easy knit for me. The yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted, 80/10/10 superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon.

A quick selfie for proof of concept. It fits the way I want it to. Now to work on a cowl version for non-hat wearers.

It’s coming along nicely. I’ll also need to work up a smaller version of the hat. And two options for crown shaping, too. So many options for this class project!

I’m writing the pattern in modular units (chart and written instructions) for each motif. And I’m trying to decide for the charts: a separate chart/page each for small hat, large hat, and cowl? Or just chart the motifs with instructions on how to set it up? That would take fewer pages, and that’s how I want to do the written instructions to avoid a 15 page pattern. It’s pretty obvious which motif you’re working, based on stitch count between markers. What do you think?

Onward!

Goldilocks, Take 2

To make the hat shorter? I made the whale tail taller, so I could use fewer repeats. From 3 tails to two. They have more visual pop, too. I put the whale tails on both front and back; that’s visually pleasing.

I added waves to each side of the whale tails. From one side the waves are breaking towards the tail, and from the other side they’re breaking away. Symmetry!

But I don’t like the waves being vertical instead of horizontal; they’re perpendicular to the whale tails. Nope. That’s not how whales swim. (You’d think I would have thought of this while knitting an entire hat, but nooooo.)

On to Take Three!

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

I had a great time. It’s so much fun to teach in-person! I don’t have a lot of pictures; I was too busy doing…stuff!

Sheepy Steeky Coasters
Happy first time steekers!
Teachers hanging out
Margaret and her blankets
An excellent example of shadow/illusion knitting, kits at Makers Mercantile
Snow to welcome me home. Happy April!
Front yard bleeding hearts

Goldilocks hat syndrome

I’m designing a hat for a class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise at the end of August. It’s a quickstart brioche class, with brioche rib, increases, and decreases.

Brioche Pastiche

I usually use Brioche Pastiche to teach a class like this. It’s a lovely hat, and it does teach all the thngs you need to know, but we don’t get to the right leaning decreases until late in the class, and I’d like to have more practice time before sending students off.

When I teach increases and decreases separately from brioche rib, I use my Deep End hat or cowl, or Madrona Cowl.

Deep End and Madrona

But those don’t start with brioche rib, so they’re not quite right for the 3 hour class, either.

New hat above, Deep End below

Piece of cake, right? I’ll design a hat with a whale tail motif (how nautical), beginning with brioche rib, and then working into increases and decreases. And! I’d make the back with a choice of all gulls like Deep End, or a mix of gulls and plain rib, so there’s not as much to overwhelm a new brioche knitter on the first patterning round. The stitch count is the same as for Deep End. Why, this hat would practically design itself. Sounds great!

Massive fail. the hat is enormous, because the plain rib is much wider than the gulls, over the same number of stitches. And it’s a little too tall, too, because of the added brioche rib at the beginning.

Back to the drawing board. I’ll be back…

Introducing Cosette

Cosette

Cosette is a cross between a cowl and a shawlette. A cowlette? It starts out as a round cowl, knit from the top down. After the cowl is finished, knitting continues with triangular shawl shaping in the round. This cowl/shawette combo provides great coverage, and it won’t slip off your shoulders! It’s fuss-free wear.

Here’s Cosette in its unscrunched glory. I really love how this turned out, and I enjoyed all the mathy bits that made it work!

Cosette is knit with 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I used Knitted Wit Sock in Kiss and Teal and The Future is Bright (variegated). I love how the quilted lattice stitch shines in a variegated yarn. Other stitches in this pattern include my favorite lacy flower, and a shell lace stitch that uses elongated stitches with extra yarnovers that are dropped on the next round. There’s a video tutorial for the shell lace stitch.

Cosette ends with either brioche rib or k1p1 ribbing; it’s your choice. I love the way the contrast color peeks through the brioche rib. There are brioche video tutorials linked in the pattern, too.

The Cosette pattern is available through my Ravelry shop here, and my Payhip shop here. Use coupon code QUILT for 15% off through April 14 in either shop.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, model Sharon Hsu, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, Karen Cunningham, Jesse Hodgden, Jacqueline Lydston, Marilee Reinhart-Davieau, and Andrea Roosth.

Happy knitting!

On the needles

Cosette is finished except for the publishing. I’ve also knitted three versions of another design for a June release (no pictures yet). My needles were empty, so it’s time for another project! I’m designing a new hat/cowl project for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise in August. (Come cruise with me!)

Look at the color of that water. It inspired me to choose this yarn.

Mmmmm, Malabrigo

This is Malabrigo Rios in Azul Profundo and Cian. So pretty! My class is a brioche class, and I’m trying to make it as user friendly as possible. It’s just a 3 hour class, so I have to think about pacing and how to cover everything I want. (You may be thinking about my Deep End hat and cowl, but that’s too much of a quick start for brioche newbies.)

I have this design all planned out, and now I just have to knit and see if it really does what I want, at the pace I want. Wish me luck!