Done and undone

I finished my assigned pooling hat with the sunbursts/flowers. It’s cute! I tried it on, and it’s a little snug on me. It measures 17” around; those sunbursts do pull in the fabric a bit. The hat in the above picture isn’t blocked; blocking will make the sunbursts prettier.

Calvin’s already good-looking enough!

I haven’t blocked the hat yet because I also want to knit a hat using this criss cross stitch I used in my Criss Cross accessories and Tilt Shift Wrap. I needed to know if I have enough yarn to do that.

Now that I’ve started, I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough yarn to knit both, and I think I’m more likely to wear the criss cross stitch, so I’m frogging the sunburst hat while I knit the criss cross version.

I don’t mind re-knitting; the yarn is ridiculously entertaining. I’ll knit a sunburst headband with the yarn that’s left from the skein. It’s been fun figuring out how big (how many wraps, how many stitches) I need to make the sunbursts and criss crosses look their best. This will vary depending on your yarn! I’m teaching this very fun class at Knit Maine in September. We’ll be using this exact same yarn in class; it’s Wonderful Worsted from Yarn Snob yarns in Cabana Boy.

The winner of 3 months of Knit Camp from Olive Knits is…Quite a Yarn Blog! I’ll contact you for info to connect you with Knit Camp. Congratulations!

And finally…

(Project bag from NerdBirdMakery).

Who ever thought we’d be set back by 50 years? Outrageous. Women’s rights are human rights. Dissent. Protest. Effect change. Let your voice be heard.

Norwegian purl, in brioche

I learned a new thing! I learned a new thing!

I’m not a continental knitter, but I can make a decent continental knit stitch. My purls, however, have been abysmal. I needed to make a little video about the end of the round in 2 color brioche rib on dpns. I always make a video for English/throwing, and one for continental/picking. And I finally decided it was time to figure out how to purl less awkwardly.

Some continental knitters hold their left index finger up in the air, and wave it back and forth to move their yarn. I can’t get my index finger to stay up in the air; I hold both hands close to the needles. With Norwegian knitting and purling, the index finger stays down, and the yarn is scooped off the left index finger by the right needle. Works for me! Here’s a little video of my new Norwegian purl in my brioche.

I keep the yarn to the back the whole time, even on the brioche knit rounds where I need to make the sl1yo. Instead of bringing the yarn to the front, I duck the right needle behind it. Whatever works! I always tell my students, as long as you get the results you want, you’re doing it right.

Do you throw, or pick? If you’re a picker/continental/hold yarn in your left hand knitter, how do you purl? Have you tried the Norwegian purl? Inquirin’ minds wanna know!

Embellishments!

I’m thrilled to be June’s guest designer for Knit Camp, which is an app community by Olive Knits (Marie Greene). Marie is a dynamo! She’s also the founder of Library House Press, which published my book, Brioche Knit Love.

This is the Embellishment Cowl. It uses one of my favorite flowery fancy stitches, plus quilted lattice slip stitch. It’s knit with two contrasting colors of fingering weight yarn. I used Schmutzerella Yarns Spectacular, which has a blingy sparkle in it.

You can knit the quilted lattice in one color or two. Beads are optional, but highly recommended, especially on the single color quilted lattice. Embellishment! I knit all three of these cowls using the 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn.

The Embellishment Cowl pattern is exclusive to Knit Camp for the first 45 days, and then I’ll be able to offer it here, too.

Curious about Knit Camp? One lucky winner will receive a free THREE-MONTH membership to Olive Knits’ Knit Camp app! This is your chance to discover the amazing Knit Cam community AND gain early access to exclusive Knit Camp patterns, discounts and more. Knit Camp membership includes free monthly patterns, video tutorials, livestreams, expert pattern support, virtual field trips and SO much more! A $75 value.

Open to followers worldwide, this giveaway ends June 30, 2022. Winner will be posted here, then contacted directly. Prize is non-transferrable and is subject to Olive Knits terms of service.

To enter, check out the Knit Camp app here, then leave a comment and tell me which part of Knit Camp interests you most.

I’ll keep you posted when I can offer the Embellishment Cowl pattern myself!

Assigned pooling progress

I started knitting another Shall We Dance cowl with the Cabana Boy from Yarn Snob, but my heart wasn’t in it.

I already have two of these cowls, and I wanted to play more with the yarn. Also, this kind of pooling requires me to actually look at my knitting to make sure the colors are stacking the way I want them to, and I like to read my kindle and not pay attention!

So I’m playing with assigned pooling. If the yarn is orange, it’s time for a sunburst! They’re slightly pink at the edges, because I want them to be 5 stitches wide. I like them! But, as is usual for my design process, I’m probably going to frog this (again!). I thought I’d like the rolled brim, but it wants to keep rolling, and that makes it hard for me to know when to start the crown shaping. I think I’ll like a sleeker k2p2 rib.

I’ll probably do a taller version of this criss-cross stitch, too. But for a baby size hat, with a rolled bottom. I think there’s enough yarn to do two hats (one adult, one baby), but I’m not sure yet. The play continues!

What are you knitting?

Introducing: Whale Watch Cap and Cowl

samples knit in Anzula for Better or Worsted

Whale Watch is two patterns in one! It features a 2-color brioche cap and cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. I designed this set as a quick start teaching piece for my 3 hour classes, beginning with 2 color brioche rib, and then introducing simple increases and decreases. Whether you prefer cowls or hats, I’ve got you covered.

Frolicking whales and soaring gulls will keep you entertained at sea, at the beach, or anywhere!

samples knit in Malabrigo Rios

Pattern uses worsted weight yarn in 2 contrasting colors. The yardage is close, but you can get a large hat and tall cowl with 200 yards of each color, if you match my gauge. The pattern includes instructions for both the cap and the cowl. The cap can be knit in 2 sizes, and there are two different ways to finish the crown.

taller cowl above, shorter cowl below

The pattern is on sale for 15% off through June 20 with coupon code ORCA. It is available through Ravelry here. You can also purchase this pattern from my Payhip store here; the same code works in both places.

I’m looking forward to using this pattern for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise at the end of August. I’ll also be using it at Knit Maine in September. I love that it’s all-in-one, both cap and cowl. I’m streamlining!

Thanks to tech editor Jen Lucas, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, and Melissa A. Rowe.

Keeping the faith?

The linen knitting continues.

The little 50g balls go pretty quickly. The knitting looks loose and crinkly, but I have this previously blocked swatch to remind me of how swingy, smooth, and drapey it’s going to be.

Do I have it in me to carry on? MAYBE! This is my ”for fun” knitting, which has nothing to do with work or publishing a pattern. That means there’s no deadline, and no reason to finish it…unless I really want to. We’ll see if I get distracted! I do have a design to work on, with this yarn…

Knit Picks Hawthorne in Spark Speckle, and Slate and Compass Kettle Dye
iPhone

Do you know the trick for checking your tonal contrast? Put your camera phone into monochrome, and that will give you a good idea if your yarns are contrasty enough. On an iPhone, use the carat at the top to change the menu at the bottom. The 3 overlapping circles (middle picture) indicate color choices. Swipe right until you get to MONO (that’s what it says in the 3rd picture; sorry it’s fuzzy). You can also do this after taking a picture too, using the edit feature when looking at your pictures. You’ll get something that looks like this.

Here I have a light and two mid-range. The gray surprised me; I thought the gold would be darker of the two mid-tones. I think I’ll aim to use each of the kettle dyes with the speckle, but not necessarily with each other. I don’t really know yet, though. Swatching is in order! I think it’s either a shawl or a shawlish cowl like Cosette, and I’d like it to have a bee theme, because of the honey colors.

Onward!

Cabana Boy

I’m teaching a pooling class at Knit Maine this fall; we’ll talk about both applied pooling and planned pooling. We’ll be using this cheery yarn from Keith Leonard at Yarn Snob. The colorway is Cabana Boy, and it’s awesome.

This is what it looks like when the skein is untwisted. You can tell by looking at it that the colors will pool, if you want them to. I definitely want them to! I like that bit of organization in my knitting, rather than random color riot everywhere.

Spiraling is a type of pooling. If you are knitting on the number of stitches that uses exactly one (or more) pass around your skein, the colors will pool and align straight up, in this case orange above orange, pink above pink, blue above blue. If that’s not your number, your colors will spiral to the right or left, depending on if you’re working more or fewer stitches than that magic number. If I wanted this hat to pool straight up, it would only be about 72 stitches, and would fit a baby/toddler. The yarn is the boss! If I wanted a different sized hat, the color stripe is going to spiral instead of stack.

In applied pooling, you let the yarn tell you when to do something. Every time that color appears, it’s a signal to use a particular stitch pattern. In this case, I did crossed stitches using multiple yarn overs. But you don’t have to be that fancy, you could go as simple as purling every time you’re above a particular color (because the purl stitch will create a bump in that color on a stockinette background).

So that’s the work knitting going on right now. I’m probably going to knit a Shall We Dance cowl with it, because that’s what I’m most likely to wear.

You know what I’m not wearing? These glasses!

(Previously my progressives, Rx sunglasses, bifocals, and computer glasses)

I had cataract surgeries in May, and at the same time corrected my vision from extreme myopia to 20/20 and 20/25. The world looks bright and colorful and CLEAR! No more haziness. I’ll re-use two of these frames, one for sunglasses with a reader bottom, and one for computer glasses. Because I’m still OLD and need readers now. Every day I wake up amazed that I can just open my eyes and SEE. Thrilling!

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!