Category Archives: beading

Nymphaea gradient update

I’m so glad I started over. It was a tough decision to rip out an almost finished shawl, but I’m glad I did it.

The softer contrast of the gray Soft Kitty instead of the green Serenity really speaks my language. (Others are using the green, and it works for them. Color is so personal!)

I love these iridescent Black Copper-Lined Diamond AB beads against the brown end of this gradient yarn.

As the brown shades into gray, I transitioned to the green beads…

until it was green beads on green.

And then switched to Terra Dove Gray Pearl beads as the green becomes more intense. I think the gray beads tone down the green nicely.

I’m working on repeat 9, and could do 10 or even more before getting to the edging. We’ll see how those greens turn out. If they’re too intense for my preferred muted palette, I’ll stop early.

Wish us luck!

Knitting in color and changing my mind

Oh, that little voice that says, “Are you sure that’s what you want?”

Green beads, green yarn

And you say, “Maybe?”

On our way with green beads, green yarn, and contrasting green yarn

Commitment is just so hard sometimes. I decided this might need contrasting beads instead. The green silver lined beads don’t show on the very vibrant teal at this end of the gradient cake.

Brown beads on green yarn

On our way again, with more contrast

But as I got further, I decided that wasn’t the look I wanted, either. So I started over. Again.

At the other end of the gradient this time. And I changed the yarn contrast color too, because I wanted it to feel less “tree” and more “sand.” Both the green and gray yarns work with the main cake; it’s just personal preference at this point.

I love it! And I like these beads on it; they’re subtle but they reflect a lot of color.

I know that I won’t use every inch of the yarn cake (600 yards), so I won’t have my bead dilemma on that most vibrant end.

I’m generally pretty conservative in my yarn color choices. I usually choose my beads to be not too contrasty, too. You may like more pop in your knitting. There’s no one right way; do what makes you happy!

Edited to add this picture of Laurinda’s take on color and beads.

I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Nymphaea Shawl Retreat with Laurinda Reddig. We’ll be talking about color choice as we begin knitting or crocheting our Nymphaea shawls. And my Nymphaea pattern will be available through Ravelry next week when I get back; I’ll have a re-launch now that it’s mine again.

Color choices are so interesting, and so personal. I loved knitting my rainbow Lucky Stars shawl, but it’s more color than I normally wear.

I’m wearing my Carbon/Pollen Lucky Stars all the time: One neutral main color (gray gradient) and the golden pop.

My clothes are mostly black. It’s a great background to show off my knitting! Occasionally my skirt will tie in with the theme.

But that’s usually as far from black as I get.

How do YOU feel about color?

Flock and Fiber? Yes Please!

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is just around the corner! This local fiber festival has something for everybody: yarn, fiber, classes, animals, cooking, shopping, and more.

I’m teaching two classes this year. Brioche Pastiche is sold out; I’m really looking forward to introducing more knitters to two color brioche in the round!

There’s still room in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class. We’ll make mini samples of four of my favorite shawl shapes, and talk about how to incorporate your design ideas into them. You’ll have a better understanding of how shawls are made, and a good basis for designing your own. Come join me on Saturday morning, September 22. Registration link is here; pre-register by September 8 to make sure you get the class info you need.

I’m judging the knitting entries at OFFF again this year. It was educational for me last year, and I hope my comments on lasts year’s entries were educational for the knitters! You can enter your knit, crochet, felted, woven, and other fiber projects at OFFF, as well as spinning. Last year’s winners were stunning, and all of the entries were worthy of praise.

One more class! A reminder that registration is happening now for the Nymphaea Shawl Retreat that I’m doing with Laurinda Reddig at Quinn Mountain Retreat in the Columbia River Gorge (near Camas), Nov. 9 – 11. There are only 4 knitter’s spots left. Come get a jump start on knitting or crocheting this beaded shawl with us! Gradient yarn by Fierce Fibers and beads are included in the registration price. Registration link here.

Fall is coming; make plans to get your knit on!

Introducing Nymphaea, my Rhinebeck shawl

I’m going to Rhinebeck this weekend! But not in person.

This is my Nymphaea shawl. Nymphaea is the genus name for water lilies, and the lacy shell pattern reminds me of flowers floating in a pond on a breezy day. The zigzag ripples are laden with beads. I designed this shawl as a collaboration with Bead Biz and June Pryce Fiber Arts. I’m a little jealous that my sample is going to Rhinebeck without me!

Bead Biz will carry this pattern as part of a kit, available in their booth at festivals like Rhinebeck (Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, officially) SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Fletcher NC), Fiber Festival of New England in West Springfield MA, and Madrona Fiber Arts Festival (see you there!). The kits will also be available on their website. It is available exclusively from Bead Biz through September 2018.

The kit comes with a gradient pack of seven 100 yard skeins of June Pryce Fiber Arts Saunderstown Sock, a fingering weight superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend. Five packs of coordinating beads are also in the kit.

My sample is knit in Purple Mountains, and there are four more colorways to choose from.

There’s a crochet version, too, designed by Laurinda Reddig (ReCrochetions). It was really fun collaborating with her to see if we could come up with something that worked equally well in knit and crochet!

I hope you get to see this shawl in person, and fall in love with it as much as I have. If you love knitting with beads, you’ll love knitting this.

Knit on!

Eclipse 2017: Path of Totality

Well that was stellar! And lunar. And solar…definitely awe inspiring!

Pinhole camera made with knitting needle and paper on hand

I trekked down to Salem to view the eclipse from Willamette Valley Vineyards. They were in the path of totality; Portland was at 99%. That tiny, tiny 1% makes a big difference.

DH stayed home; he’s not as geeky about these things as I am. I wanted the sun to disappear completely. It did not disappoint.

It was so uplifting to share this awe-inspiring event with an enthusiastic group of people. So much positivity. We wrote and sang “Path of Totality” to the tune of Age of Aquarius. Fun and funny.

Of course I brought my knitting. Bag by Chicken Boots (Saremy), needle keeper by A Needle Runs Through It (Maria), bead needle by Bead Aid (Sarah), bead tin by Miss Purl (Danielle), yarn by June Pryce Fiber Arts (Cheryl), beads by Bead Biz (Jean)! It’s like another group of friends beyond the ones I was actually sitting with.

People’s phones kept going off with emergency alerts. Turn off your ringers, please! Yes, rock climbing. Check out this link for an amazing photo; it’s not mine so I don’t want to publish it here. Rock climber silhouetted by eclipsed sun at Smith Rock.

I don’t pretend to have a camera good enough to get a picture of what it really looked like; I’m leaving that to the professionals. This is what it looks like from an iPhone.

So cool to see Venus out during the day. The sun is completely eclipsed here, but the phone camera can’t catch it. It was a dark circle surrounded by intense twinkling light. It was easy to tell when totality hit; a collective gasp went up and our eclipse glasses didn’t let any light through. It was equally easy to tell when it was time to put the glasses back on. So bright! Those two minutes of totality went by all too quickly. Just a tiny sliver of sun seemed like complete daylight.

The sun was about halfway back for this picture. Hard to tell.

Traffic home was a bear. But it was worth it. Biscuit and I caught up with Game of Thrones the next day. She likes dragons; I think because they sound like her. Kind of raspy and squeaky. Bisqueak!

Did you chase the eclipse, too?

Gradient yarn, planning ahead

Next design project: A shawl with this gradient kit. With beads!

The yarn is from June Pryce Fiber Arts, 7 100 yard mini-skeins of MCN. The beads are from Bead Biz; I’ve met them several times at Madrona.

I want to use two minis as contrast to five skeins used as gradient. I thought about using the two darkest as the contrast, but I don’t think there’s enough tonal contrast between either of those and the third darkest skein. (You know this trick, right? Use the “tonal” filter on your phone camera to check for tonal contrast.)

But if I take the two lightest skeins for contrast, both of those look great across the rest of the gradient range.

If there’s enough of the darker of the two light ones, it can be contrast to all of the five gradient series, and the lightest skein can be a ruffle at the very end.

Knitting away over here, and awaiting the eclipse!

And I’ve updated my Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern with new motifs and uploaded it to Ravelry. Christmas is just around the corner, right?

Road tripping

It’s been a multi-craftual couple of weeks.

I went to a piano retreat at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort in Leavenworth, WA. No, I”m still not playing the piano, but it was a chance to hang out with the far-flung Adagio Babes, so I made my own personal retreat. I brought my guitar and yarn, and worked on singing and knitting. Pretty awesome. And the piano music was so beguiling I came home and played some, too.

meadow stage

My practice room: the Meadow Stage, with Sleeping Lady watching over. See her profile, forehead to the left, chin to the right, boobs to the right of that?

sleeping lady

You can see her better here. The setting was inspirational!

twin leaf at icicle creek

I’m working up a 100g version of my Twin Leaf Crescent Shawl. The pattern rights return to me in June, and I want to include two sizes. Right now it’s only written for Black Trillium’s five mini skein, 165g gradient kit.

canon hand dyes gradient

I’m using a 100g ombre gradient from Canon Hand Dyes. It’s very different because it’s one long shading from Lavender to Blush. So far, so good. I’m on the crescent shaping, and we’ll see if there’s enough yarn to make it work, or if I have to do a little more magic. Yarn chicken, it’s my life!

Icicle Creek

Icicle Creek valley

hikers

In between music and knitting, I took a little hike with friends. Not very long, but a respectable elevation gain.

double wrap bracelet

Before I went to Icicle, I stopped in Ellensburg, WA to visit V. A very belated birthday visit. I made this double wrap bracelet for her: Beads, leather cording, silk thread.

single wrap bracelet

There was enough left over for me to have a single wrap for myself. Win!

beads

Even better, we went to the bead store, and I showed her how to make them. Double win!

hita von mende crossing the bar

Went to an art show and fell in love with Hita von Mende‘s paintings. This is her Crossing the Bar, 30″ x 30″. Wish it would fit over my fireplace, but it won’t…

What’s new with you?

Beads and Bead Aid giveaway, twinleafKAL2016

Have you signed up for the Twin Leaf Crescent KAL? Dyer Melanie Dilworth of Black Trillium Fibres tells you how in this post.

Twin Leaf wingspan

The KAL begins January 1, 2016, and runs through March. But we want the fun to begin earlier than that, so join us in the Black Trillium Fibres group on Ravelry for discussion and fun.

We’ll be giving away beads from Fire Mountain Gems to two lucky participants, and a set of Bead Aids to three lucky participants before the knitting begins. What color yarn and beads do you want to knit with? I generally stick with clear beads, but if contrast is your thing, go for it!

Lower edge detail

Special thanks to Sarah Lajoie, the maker of Bead Aids, for donating these for the giveaway. They make beading so much easier.

I’ll be knitting my Twin Leaf Crescent in Mallow, which is shades of mauvey-pink. I guess I should say I’ll be re-knitting it. I’ll be ripping out my original prototype so I can make it perfect.

twin leaf prototype

We had fun comparing these at knit nite last week. The gauge on this was too loose, I had a lot more decreasing in the lace section which made it narrower at the top than I envisioned (not enough wrap around), and the lovely top edging wouldn’t stand up. But I wasn’t ready to frog it all until I knew I had a better version. Melanie was kind enough to send me the Periwinkle gradient so I could work things out. Now I’m happy, and I can frog and re-knit the first one.

So join the KAL and knit along with me in January. It’s selfish knitting month. Or if you’re feeling unselfish, give the yarn/pattern combo as a gift to a very good knitting friend. Everybody wins! Details on the KAL are on Ravelry in the Black Trillium Fibres group. Sign up by December 22 to be in the beads and Bead Aid drawing. Are you dreaming of colors? Go!

A couple more OFFF finds

I taught my Fern Lace Shawlette class at OFFF, and showed my students my Altoids tin bead management system.

pdxknitterati bead tin

I’d noticed that my Bead-Aid wasn’t sticking to the top of my magnet as well as I would like. The enameling on this magnet from my kids’ magnet set was pretty, but interfering with function. When I saw needle minder magnets from A Needle Runs Through It in the Knitted Wit booth, I had to have one.

needle minder

I chose the sheep. Of course. These are actually meant for cross stitch, but they’re perfect for Bead-Aids, too. Maria also makes beautiful project bags. Go check out her Etsy shop!

pdxknitterati bead tin

Perfect fit, and the magnet is super strong so my needle is NOT going to get lost. If you want to make one of these to corral your beading equipment, all you need is an Altoids tin, magnet, Bead-Aid, and a short bead tube. If you want to get fancy, put a piece of fun foam or bead mat in the bottom so your beads don’t rattle so loudly. Keep most of your beads in the tube, and pour out about 20 at a time. If your tin gets dumped, you won’t lose ALL your beads!

What else did I get?

Alexandra's Crafts  Double Knit Sister

From local dyer Alexandra’s Crafts, this a gradient dyed sock blank made up of two strands of fingering weight knit double. Normal knitters would knit perfectly matching socks.

Alexandra's gradient

Me? I don’t love knitting socks, but I love fingering weight accessories. This will be some kind of scarf/stole, shading from one end to center and back out again. It’s Duffy’s Fault. I don’t know what the thing is yet, but Duffy made me buy it, and that will be the name. Eventually. Other deadline knitting has to happen first. Queue it up!

I have a new design coming out October 1. It’s a fun Portland designers group project, and I’m really looking forward to showing you one of the many things I knit this summer.

I also have a new shawl design coming out, probably next week. I’ve knit it in two sizes, both in gradient yarns, and also a non-gradient version. They’re like children; I can’t decide which one I like best!

My needles have been super busy, and now you get to see at least some of the fruits of my summer. Soon…

Rosaria shawlette pattern release

It’s been over a year since the Rosaria shawlette had its moment of fame at the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl Yarn Ball. Time flies!

yarn ball

Originally an exclusive for the Rose City Yarn Crawl, the pattern is now available from PDXKnitterati through Ravelry.

pdxknitterati rosaria

pdxknitterati rosaria

The new pattern includes instructions for enlarging the shawlette, and for optimum placement of beads. Lots of beads.

Rosaria edge detail

To celebrate the re-launch of Rosaria, I’m offering $1 off through April 15, 2015 with coupon code rosegarden. Rosaria pattern page here. If you haven’t knit Rosaria yet, now is the perfect time! It requires two coordinating skeins of fingering weight yarn. Its half-pi construction means minimal fussing with stitch counts.

Have fun! What’s on your needles? I’m working on my Tilt Shift Wrap for the #tiltshiftkal.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

We had fun at the cast on party last week!

tiltshiftkal party

And I have one more design project on the needles. And two in my head. And a sample that needs to be knit. And, and, and…How about you?