Frogging brioche tutorial

Is it possible? Can you frog brioche? Of course. It’s getting it back on the needle that’s tricky. I’m here to help! I’ve had a lot of experience frogging…(for newbies: frogging means rip-it, rip-it, rip-it).

You can rip one row/round at a time, alternating colors, but it’s just as easy to rip them simultaneously. The trick is to rip until you’re close to where you want to end up, and then tink (un-knit, knit spelled backwards) the last row or round, one stitch at a time, picking up each stitch as it’s freed from the yarn. This is also how I frog regular knitting.

After I made this video, I frogged this project completely, because it’s a little too big. But I wanted to show you how it worked, before completely undoing it. It turned out to be just a big swatch!

Best laid plans

Remember this? It was going swimmingly, until I got to the planned swirly decreases for the crown. It was a great plan, but in real life I didn’t like that the decreases didn’t hit the staghorn and gull motifs in a consistent way. I worked out another decrease for the top, but it’s based on 10 stitches instead of 6 or 12, which is the number of stitches I had. Blergh.

So I started over. But first, I checked to make sure I would like the new crown shaping. I decreased the extra stitches out, and then worked out the new planned crown. Just to make sure I wasn’t starting over for nothing.

It worked just fine, but it’s a much more rapid decrease than the swirly top, so the hat has to be knit taller before beginning the decreases. Ask me how I know. Call it a giant swatch. Yup.

I reknit the hat in 2 days. Partly because I can be a bit obsessive with my knitting. Also, I had a date with my tech editor for Monday, and it had to be ready because she’s booked for months.

I love it! The new decreases look just right with the gull stitch.

And the staghorn side is a thing of beauty at the top. Well, it is to me, at least.

The hat is being test knit now, and it will be published soon.

I frogged the first hat to reclaim the yarn, and am playing with mitts. Small circumference brioche is a bit fiddly with dpns or flexiflips or magic loop or 2 circulars! It’s so easy to gain or lose a YO by accident. But mitts could be very pretty. We’ll see how it works out.

In the meantime, I’m planning more classes. My classes with Twisted sold out immediately, so I added another Petite Brioche in October, and that sold out, too. We’re planning more. I’m thinking of Petite Brioche again on Sunday October 18. Message me if you want an email when registration goes live.

The new hat will be the project for a brioche increase/decrease class; I’m really looking forward to that. I’m planning that for Saturday, October 24, but I can’t list it until the pattern is ready. Soon! Again, message me if you want an email when registration goes live.

Smoke update: We had thunder/lightning/downpour at 4 a.m. The air is now merely Unhealthy, which is a vast improvement from Beyond Index, Hazardous, and Very Unhealthy! It will get better, bit by bit.

Onward!

Introducing: Piano Christmas stocking!

Busy busy over here! I guess being confined to quarters (wildfire smoke creating beyond hazardous air quality, plus pandemic) makes me pretty productive.

pdxknitterati piano christmas stocking

I‘ve had requests for a pattern for my piano Christmas stocking from knitters who have seen it on my blog and my project page on Ravelry. I’m finally getting to it! This is one I made for myself about 20 years ago, before I started designing.

I wrote a Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern based on the other stockings I had knit for the family. I’ve updated it with additional cuff treatments over the years. It was pretty easy for me to look at my piano stocking and chart it. It did require a little adjustment to the stitch count, but that was easy to figure out, too. I’ve just added the new chart to the Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern. These knit up quickly in heavy worsted/aran weight yarn. (I used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted for mine.)

We have quite an assortment! These are the family stockings. All these designs, plus birds, are in the updated Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern. (I made the new piano keys chart just a bit taller, to match the other stockings.) If you previously purchased this pattern, you will find this update in your Ravelry library.

If you’d like to purchase this pattern, it’s available on Ravelry and Payhip. Both are on sale for 15% off through September 23. Newsletter with subscriber discount coming soon, too. (I’m trying to consolidate some newsletter items so I don’t send a raft of newsletters this month. One more item tomorrow!)

pdxknitterati christmas

Here’s a classic assortment at our house. The Super Cabled Christmas Stockings are another pattern of mine, in super bulky yarn. The cat pawprint stocking is from a book, not mine, somewhere.

Between these stockings and the Tidal Wave Mitts and Hat, I think it might be time to start knitting for the holidays! Looking forward to having 2020 in the rearview mirror.

It’s still really smoky here, and the Air Quality Index is still listed as Hazardous. A sunbeam broke through the smoke yesterday to grace my sunroom floor. The air is supposed to improve this weekend. Hoping it does!

Introducing: Tidal Wave Mitts and Hat

They’ve been a long time coming, haven’t they? And they’ve had a name change, too! Their working name was Sneaker Wave, but there really wasn’t anything sneaky about them, and sneakers just remind me of Keds. Tidal waves are the rollers of the tide going in and out. Sounds soothing to me. (And thank goodness for “Find/Replace” in Microsoft Word!)

The Tidal Wave Mitts and Hat both begin with ribbing for a stretchy fit. Loose rolling cabled waves alternate to transform ribbing into WOW. The mitts feature mirrored cables, so each hand has a cable that twists toward the thumb.

The thumb gore is formed with centered double increases. Bulky yarn and big needles make this quick knit a breeze!

The hat’s cables terminate elegantly to close the top of the hat, in both a shorter version and a taller version for a perfect fit. This is a great introduction to knitting cables.

The mitts and hat each take about 100g/130 yards of bulky weight yarn. They’re designed here with Knit Picks Chroma Twist Bulky, shown in the Narwhal colorway.

Charts and line by line instructions are included.

The mitts and hat patterns are available individually or together as an ebook for a discounted price. The pdf downloads are available on Ravelry and on Payhip.

Bonus! These patterns are 15% off, no coupon code needed, through September 23, 2020. As always, newsletter subscribers get a bigger discount; newsletter will be out in the next day or so. Subscribe here if you want knitting news, tips, and special offers. I send a newsletter once or twice per month. No spam!

Click here for Ravelry and choose the ebook or individual pattern you’d like.

Click here for Tidal Wave Mitts on Payhip
Click here for Tidal Wave Hat on Payhip
Click here for Tidal Wave Accessories Collection ebook on Payhip

Tinking Brioche Decreases tutorial

A student asked me how to tink brioche decreases. I made a little video so I can share it with all of you, too.

Also, my Petite Brioche class through Twisted on September 26 is full!

So we added another class on October 17. Link to register is here.

There’s still room in my Syncopation class on October 3, link here.

Let’s knit!

More brioche classes!

You may remember that I started teaching knitting about a dozen years ago at Twisted, my neighborhood LYS. I was sad to see Twisted move to an online only model early this year. But given the way 2020 has gone, it seems to have been a very good idea.

So I got to thinking: Online shop, online classes. Why not? I’m happy to announce that I’m teaching a couple classes for Twisted via Zoom.

I’ll be teaching Petite Brioche on Saturday September 26, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT. This is a gentle introduction to two color brioche in the round, which I think is the easiest way to learn brioche. Register here.

I’ll be teaching syncopated brioche using my Syncopation pattern on Saturday October 3, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT. If you’re already comfortable with knitting brioche rib and want to get fancy, this class is for you. Register here.

Classes are via Zoom, and they’re limited to 12 students each. We’ll have a cozy knitting time together.

Come knit with me! I think we could all use a happy diversion right about now.

On the needles: more brioche!

After teaching my brioche increases and decreases class at Virtual Knitting Live last month, I started thinking that I wanted to design one more hat.


Specifically, it would be a teaching hat, one that uses both left and right leaning double decreases within the first few rounds. I love Heliotrope and Brioche Pastiche, but it takes quite a while before we get to the right leaning decreases.

I wanted a big stitch pattern to make a visual statement, and there it is! This is the staghorn motif from Nancy Marchant’s Knitting Fresh Brioche. I could use this motif twice, and not have a big enough hat, or three times, and the hat would be too big. Hmmm. I could use the motif once or twice, and make the rest of the hat in garter stitch, which has the same row gauge as brioche rib. But that could be confusing for students, as it knocks one out of the rhythm of brioche knitting.

Also, using this motif once or twice doesn’t guarantee that students will get to practice both increases more than a few times during class. A better alternative to garter stitch would be to use a smaller motif for size adjustability, and for practice with both decreases.

This stitch pattern is based on Nancy Marchant’s large gulls. I made it taller, to make it fit the row repeat of the staghorn motif. I like the way it echoes the shape of the staghorn motif. Perfect. I added a single rib on each side of the staghorn motif as an accent.

Sometimes designing is just this specific. I knew what I wanted to feature in the pattern, and then it was just a matter of putting several parts together. Like playing with Legos? Now I’m up to the crown shaping, and working out how to make that work for three sizes, which is just a bit of engineering.

It’s coming soon; I want to use it for classes this fall. That means it’s jumping to the top of my to-do list. Don’t worry, Sneaker Wave is still coming, too. By the end of the month, I think!

How do you decide which project to work on? Do you have many or few? What makes one jump to the top of the list? For me, there’s nothing like the power of a deadline.

Monday, when the sun was still visible through smoke

Side note: 2020 is an absolute dumpster fire. Pandemic, lockdown, a crashed economy, civil unrest to protest police brutality and racism…and now wildfires up and down the west coast. Entire towns have burned to the ground, and people are being evacuated for their safety. The fires aren’t close to my home right now, but smoke has blanketed most of western Oregon, and the air is unhealthy for breathing. The city of Portland declared a state of emergency as of last night.

I’m hoping and praying for change on so many levels.

Working on this little knitting project is giving my brain just enough to chew on, to keep the worry at bay. I’m grateful for home and safety, and grieving for those who have lost everything.

“Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.“ Elizabeth Zimmermann

Half the Knit Sky KAL: It’s a wrap!

Our Half the Knit Sky KAL ran through the end of August, and I finished mine, just under the wire.

You may recall that I finished knitting at the beach last Wednesday.

I wet blocked it on Saturday, and took pictures yesterday.

I love all three of my shawls, but this one reminds me of the sky with the aurora borealis dancing across the stars. Not that I’ve ever seen the aurora, but it’s on my bucket list!

I have prizes for my last two KAL finishers, so I’ll be getting in touch with Terri and Marilee soon.

I haven’t forgotten Sneaker Wave; I’ll have the patterns out next week, I hope? But I’m also juggling some blog posts and videos for a company I’m working with, so we’ll see how the week goes. Nothing like the power of a deadline! I steam blocked yesterday. The left mitt is blocked; see how relaxed the fabric and the cable are, compared to the right mitt? Don’t worry, I blocked that one, too. Blocking is magic, even steam blocking!

Calvin insisted on helping with the photo shoot, even though the hat is too big for him.

And Biscuit decided to start the holiday weekend early.

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday weekend! Tomorrow’s my birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that, too. Cheers!

PDXKnitterati is now on Payhip

What’s Payhip? It’s another online platform for PDXKnitterati pattern sales. Some knitters are having health issues caused by Ravelry’s recent update and are unable to use the site, so I want to provide an alternate way to purchase patterns.

Here’s the link to my Payhip store. I have most of my shawls and wraps listed, and I’ll keep working to put more of my patterns over there. Coming soon: the brioche collection, and then cowls and scarves. (If I say this here, it’s incentive for me to get it done.) The site is pretty, but it doesn’t have a database for searching like Ravelry does. At least, I don’t think it does.

If you’d like to try it out, I’m offering 15% off my patterns there through September 7. Use coupon code SEPT15 for this discount. (If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll get a code for 20%.)

If you’re a Ravelry user and want to put the pattern in your library, email me your receipt and I’ll gift you a copy on Ravelry. And if you’d rather purchase the pattern on Ravelry, the code works there, too. Please check my Payhip store to see which patterns are included in this sale.

Here’s the link to my Ravelry store, which is the most complete of all the options at this time. The database of patterns and projects is still a great resource; there’s nothing like it anywhere else.

You can find some of my designs on LoveCrafts. This site is the slowest for me to work with, so I’m not planning to add more patterns on it for now.

Last but not least, some of my designs are on Knit Picks, either through their books, or through the Independent Design Program (IDP). They choose the patterns, so there is a limited number of mine on this site.

Savoir-Faire is everywhere? (Old cartoon callback; let me know if you get it!)

Life’s a beach

I was lucky to get away for a bit this past week. Walking on a beach on a cool sunny day is a great way to clear one’s head. And the lack of things to trip on make walking free and easy, unlike walking on sidewalks in town.

One of my favorite beach walks is south of Cannon Beach, beginning at Tolovana and heading south to Jockey Cap and Silver Point. It’s much quieter down that way, away from Haystack Rock.

Further down the coast, north of Rockaway, looking back to see Twin Rocks. (I do love monoliths.)

I spotted this sea lion on Nedonna Beach at the South Nehalem Bay Jetty.

Looks like someone needs a cuppa coffee! He did swim back out to sea after this.

Lots of jellyfish on the beach, some big and some small.

I saw the Big Dipper each night, and managed to catch it with my iPhone. Turn up your screen brightness if you need help to see it.

And I finished knitting Half the Knit Sky for my KAL, just in time. (See how I snuck the knit sky in with the night sky?) Now it’s time to block. If you’re knitting along, post a picture by August 31 for the last round of prizes.

It was a lovely getaway. Back to work!