Category Archives: classes

January: Resolutions or Goals? Classes!

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, because I know I won’t keep them. Why set myself up for failure? But I do like to set knitting goals for the year. This year, I plan to learn brioche knitting. I bought a book last year, and never even opened it. So I signed up for a class with JC Briar at Madrona next month. Gonna get it done!

But along came a Knitstrip project from Mason Dixon Knitting, a quick little one color brioche scarf, knit flat.

Brioche Scarf

That was easy! I loved the squishy Malabrigo Rasta so much, I decided I needed a cowl. In the round. Wait for class?

Brioche in the round

Nah. It was slightly more confusing with the purl stitch, but I worked it out. But I didn’t like the dimensions of this particular one skein cowl. It was too chunky at the back of my neck as a small circumference cowl, so I’m knitting an earband or hat (we’ll see!) directly off it from the bind off. Biscuit is helping.

I’m looking forward to learning to work with colors, increases, and decreases in brioche knitting at Madrona. And I’m looking forward to *teaching* at Madrona, too! I’m teaching Elongated Novelty Stitches on Saturday, February 18.

Elongated Stitches class

I love how these add pizazz to a simple stockinette project. I’m also teaching a blocking mini-class on Thursday morning, and a mini-class with just a couple novelty stitches (Tridacna Cowl) on Saturday morning. The whole Madrona schedule is here.

The other knitting that I’ve been doing a lot, from the teaching end, is stranded colorwork. In the past couple weeks, I’ve taught Braided Wristlets (stranded colorwork and Latvian braids)

Braided Wristlets Class

Bucket List Coffee Accessories (stranded colorwork and crocheted steeks)

Bucket List steeks

And Kerfuffle Cowl (stranded colorwork).

Leann's kerfuffle

Leann was so happy about class, she stayed up late that night and finished her cowl. She did a great job. (Thanks for sharing your picture with me, Leann!)

Stranded colorwork is nice and warm, because it has two layers of yarn on every row. Just right for the snowy weeks we’ve had. Ready to thaw out now!

Icicles

Do you have knitting goals for this year? What do you want to learn?

Eek, steeks, like a BOSS, and tea

I had the pleasure of teaching my Bucket List Coffee Accessories class last week and this week at Twisted.

steek promo

This class covers the basics of two color stranded knitting, knitting a steek, reinforcing a steek, and CUTTING the steek. Not for the faint of heart, but knitters are brave! And it’s such a quick knit, it’s not so scary after all.

Crocheted Steek prep

Here’s the before picture: Steeks reinforced with single crochet.

Cutting the steek 2

Cheri makes the CUT!

Steek cut done

And done. Check out John’s double mug rug; a clever way to avoid magic loop/2 circulars/dpns. He used a 16 inch circular needle and will have two mug rugs after he cuts that SECOND steek. Brilliant!

Afterward, we celebrated with bubbly, and worked on finishing our edges. A total win for all. I love teaching knitters to be the boss of their knitting, and what’s more boss than steeking?

Have you cut a steek before? Or is it on your bucket list? My Bucket List pattern provides full instructions for your first steeked project, in a small user-friendly project. Go for it!

In between class last week and this week, I planned, prepped, and served high tea for 60 with my bestie Carole on Saturday. A few pictures, so I can find them later!

High tea

The room

Kerri's tea cup

It all begins with scones, clotted cream, jam (no scone pic, too busy!). This tea cup is from my friend Kerri in Massachusetts.

High tea savories
Savories

Pumpkin mousse shooters high tea
Pumpkin mousse shooters

High tea sweets
Sweets. There was a fruit plate, too, but it went out the kitchen door before I could get a picture.

It was a very lovely afternoon, a welcome respite from an ugly election season. More civility, please.

Thanks to those who have signed up for my new email newsletter! I’m exploring Mail Chimp and figuring out how it works. It’s pretty spiffy! If you haven’t joined the newsletter yet, and you’d like to, tell me in the comment section below. You’ll receive a newsletter once or twice a month with news and special offers, and my Lobelia Shawl pattern as a thank you for signing up.

Knit on!

Madrona 2017

First off: If you’re looking for my blog post about signing up for my newsletter, there’s a link at the bottom of this post.

The schedule is up! The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is February 16-19 (President’s Day weekend), and registration for classes opens on the morning of November 10. I am super excited to be teaching my class, Be Manipulative: Elongated Novelty Stitches, on Saturday afternoon.

Elongated Stitches class

I love how these stitches give my knitting a little extra zing. I’ve used these in many of my designs such as my Criss Cross Accessories, Tilt Shift Wrap, Sophie’s Rose and Aloha Shawls, and my Tridacna Cowls. We’ll knit a sampler in class, and then you’ll be ready for them to dress up your knitting, too.

I taught a mini class on blocking at Madrona last year, and we’re planning to have it again this year, as well as another class if the schedule holds. Mini class registration will be in January.

As I said in my previous post on Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, I love taking classes and learning new things, including extra things that aren’t the focus of the class. Who knows what might come up?

Besides classes, Madrona has a wonderful market, demonstrations, evening entertainment, and lots of opportunities for knitting and spinning with friends old and new. A little something for everyone. Are you planning to go to Madrona? It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope to see you there.

As promised: If you’re looking to sign up for my new newsletter, here’s the link to the post about that. There’s a free pattern as a reward for your efforts. I just sent out the first wave, and I think it looks pretty spiffy. There were a couple bounced emails, so if you’re Trish or Mary and you didn’t get the newsletter email, please give me your email addy again. Thanks!

Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival recap

Well, that was a whirlwind fun weekend! I went to The Dalles (where?!), Oregon for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival this weekend, and had a blast. Three classes, chatting with knitters, and shopping…I’m one tired pup.

My first class was Happily Ever After (ergonomics) with Carson Demers. Lots of information on where we get our stress while knitting, and ways to alleviate it. For someone like me who knits for hours every day, this will go a long way towards making me a more comfortable knitter. Easiest takeaway: Take breaks! Avoid the death grip, match the right needles with the right yarn, have a variety of types of projects. And more.

My second class was Lace Doctor with Patty Lyons. I fix mistakes in my lace all the time, but usually in the same row, or a few stitches on the next right side row. I knew it was possible to fix an entire section of lace (several stitches/rows), but hadn’t had the need to do it. This class MADE me do it.

Before Lace Doctor Before. See how that center chevron is all wonky?

Ready to Rock and Roll Lace Doctor

Ready to rock and roll!

Halfway there! Lace DoctorHalfway there!

After Lace DoctorAfter: All better!

This was exactly the experience I was looking for. I’ll offer my own take on lace fixing (and probably simple cables, too) in advanced Tink, Drop, Frog classes in 2017.

My third class (whew!) was Two Sided Cables with Norah Gaughan. Wow. We knit several cable swatches and learned what kind of cables lend themselves to cables on the reverse side. These are not just reversible cables (usually made in ribbing), but cables that look completely different on the front and back. A whole new world! I bought Norah’s book and have been paging through it and dreaming big.

Norah Gaughan cable book

One of the things I love about taking classes is incidental learning, things that aren’t the focus of the class, but come up in passing during class. In my cable class, I was sitting in front of Carson Demers and Mary Scott Huff (both fabulous knitters and teachers). Mary had learned the alternate cable cast on in another class with Norah, and proceeded to play with it and discovered a way to make it look like a tubular cast on.

Super Tubie Cast On

Mary’s swatch on the left, mine on the right (my edge is a little taller than Mary’s, a result of on-the-fly what-iffing.) Carson suggested changing the cast on from cable to a knit cast on to make it lean less on the first row. I’ll try it and share later. Totally tubular.

Mary and Carson are both teaching at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival in February, and so am I! So thrilled to be in their esteemed company. More on that later.

This was an inspiring weekend, class-wise. I have a lot of new ideas to play with, and look forward to sharing with you. But wait, you say…What about the market? A fiber festival must have a market, right?

Yes, of course. A few pictures, for fun.

Alpha B Hipster B

Dyer Alpha B was in the Knot Another Hat booth with several of her yarns. I picked up this Hipster B Aran weight from her; it’s 100% merino, not superwash, slightly crunchy, and milled on Whidbey Island, WA. The color is called Sink Back Into the Ocean. It’s a little more green than it shows on this gray day, and has a wonderful tonal quality.

Bumblebirch

Sarah of Bumblebirch and helper Felicia were super cute as bumblebees.

Bumblebirch Heartwood

I picked these three colors of Heartwood (fingering weight 75/25 superwash merino/nylon): Atlantic, Honey, and Crush. I have a shawl I’ve been dreaming about for 2 years, and I hope two of these colors will make it happen. Honey and Atlantic, or Honey and Crush? We shall see…

Czech glass buttons

I fell in love with some Czech glass buttons, and bought the two little dragonfly buttons you see here. One will be the closure on a wrap bracelet (I bought beads last week), and the other? Not sure yet.

Sari Peterson

There was a lot more to the market, including my favorite spinner/spindle peddler Sari of Twists and Turnings. And Grace of Grace’s Cases (maker of my current favorite teaching bag). And Stacey of Fierce Fibers, who is playing with gradient cakes.

Fierce Fibers gradient cakes

and so much more!

Okay, time to get back to work. Thanks for visiting CGFF through this blog post. See you there next year?

Sheeper than Therapy retreat

Moving backwards to move forward! Before my meeting with the Boss, I was at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Three Rivers, California to teach at the Sheeper Than Therapy Guild’s fall retreat. We had a great time. The weather was perfect.

St Anthony's Retreat Center

We played with Log Cabin blocks

Log Cabin blocks

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

And the fun stitches of the Tilt Shift Wrap

Tilt shift stitch

We finished up Monday morning with an overview of photography and editing on mobile devices (phone and tablet).

Sheeper Than Therapy group

This was a very fun group of knitters to hang out with! Many thanks to Ann for organizing, and to Susan for recommending me. Susan knit my 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery shawlette, and met me during the crawl.

Susan and me

Want to know more about the weekend? Here’s Renee’s blog post.

While I was knitting there, we noticed something interesting on my yarn label. My fellow Pie Bird Claudia gave me this yarn many years ago. It’s lovely, lovely stuff: 65% Cashmere and 35% silk. So soft, and it knits up into an airy dream.

Bollicina label Fa Re

The name of the yarn is Bollicina, which means bubble in Italian. The label features the treble staff, with two notes, Fa and Re. Why? Google Translate tells me that “fare” means “to make” in Italian. So it’s a big musical pun!

Now I’m home, writing up four new patterns, and planning what happens next. Onward!

Belated OFFF report, onward!

It came; it went! The weather was perfect at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last weekend.

Wristlet class picture

On Saturday, I taught my braided wristlets class. A lot of fun in such a small piece of knitting!

Sunday was my play day. Here’s my small haul, which I’ll explain as we go. Picture does not include the sheep cheese and goat cheese; they’re in the fridge. Or the tea.

OFFF loot

That little wooden yarn ball? It’s really a needle minder, but I bought it to use as a shawl pin. It’s magnetic, so it doesn’t poke through my shawl. It worked great on my stockinette based shawl. I bought it from Maria, A Needle Runs Through It. I bought one of her needle minders for my bead tin last year. Very handy.

Miss Purl tin

Speaking of my bead tin, I’m upping my game with this tin from Miss Purl. It goes with my sock monkey tool bag.

Bead tin

It’s all set up with my other needle minder.

Blissful Knits

Raya at Blissful Knits had this cute mini bar setup. I bought a couple minis to swatch with.

Blissful Knits minis

Such happy colors!

Three Fates

I bought this sparkly fingering weight gradient from Stephania at Three Fates Yarn. Just because I liked it.

Knitted Wit

And I loved the cheery color pops on this Aran weight yarn from Lorajean at Knitted Wit. Colorway is called Macaron. Yum! I’ve knit with Lorajean’s Aran before, my long Snowy Woods Cowl, and I love how “chewy” it feels to knit with. This will be a quick hat for someone, I think. Or a short cowl. Or…

Plum Deluxe

I was pleased to see Andy Hayes of Plum Deluxe. This was his first OFFF. I love his teas, and was running low on my favorite, so I bought it (Oregon Breakfast Tea) plus two more. The strawberry Earl Grey is fantastic.

30 breeds blanket

I visited the exhibit hall, and saw two very impressive blankets. This one has wool from 30 breeds.

30 breeds blanket key

And here’s the key.

Sheep blanket

This blanket is a little more fanciful.

Anna's Fern Shawlette

Anna took my Fern Shawlette class last year, and entered it in the exhibition this year. She did a very lovely job.

Back out to the lawn!

Stacey and Tami

Tami (right) was helping out at Stacey’s booth, Fierce Fibers (formerly Thoroughly Thwacked). Tami was spinning from the fiber around her neck. Nice!

Fierce Fibers gradients

Stacey has been playing with gradients. These laceweight cakes are lovely. They’re actually all the same, just wound inside out or outside in. It really makes a difference in how you see them.

Aloha Stitch Jones

I noticed the Aloha Shawlette that Sharon Spence (StitchJones) knit, hanging in the booth. I originally designed this using Sharon’s yarn. It all goes around!

Chicken spinning wheel

I loved this chicken spinning wheel.

Squire Brooms

These handmade brooms by Squire Brooms were quite a hit. Kirby is watching her broom being made, and she even got to help with the sewing.

Kirby's broom

Ready to ride! Or sweep…

Jenkins spindles

The Turkish spindles from Jenkins Woodworking are always gorgeous.

And what’s a trip to OFFF without a trip to the barn?

Icelandic wool on the hoof

Icelandic wool on the hoof. Let’s bang out another sweater!

Siri and huacaya

Alpacas, Suri and huacaya.

Whew! So much fun. And now I’m off to teach at the Sheeper than Therapy Retreat in Three Rivers, CA.

Sheeper than Therapy

Catch you on the other side!

Enabling your inner knitter

Looking around the blog universe, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who feels euphoric about September knitting. Social media is full of posts about new cast ons. I’m here to enable you! I love teaching people to be the boss of their knitting. I’ve filled out my teaching schedule at Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake here locally; you can see my classes on my teaching page here.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

I’m also looking forward to teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Saturday, September 24. We’re making braided wristlets, with several kinds of braids worked in, as well as lessons on color and yarn dominance, and managing your yarn for stranded knitting. Class description is here; “out of stock” just means that pre-registration is over. You can sign up on-site at OFFF; class starts at 9:30 a.m. Come a little early if you want to pick up yarn from Knitted Wit for this project; she’ll have these colors kitted up for you.

And I’m really excited to be teaching at the Sheeper than Therapy retreat in Fresno, CA, at the end of the month. We have a full slate of fun classes for the weekend: Log Cabin Squares, Braided Wristlets, the Tilt Shift Wrap, and Photography with iPphone/iPad. Looking forward to it!

All in all, September is a knitting whirlwind. I love it! What’s on your needles? Are you going to OFFF?

Braided Wristlet class at OFFF in September

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

August already?! My thoughts are turning toward fall. I’m looking forward to the 20th annual Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. The theme this year is braids and bands, so I’m teaching my Braided Wristlets class on Saturday, September 24. I designed this pattern to be a workshop in herringbone and other braids, two color stranded knitting, and color dominance, all in a manageable little package for your wrist. Come knit with me! Registration for this class is here.

OFFF is always a big part of my September. Classes, shopping, and visiting the animals in the barn…heaven!

Braided Wristlets Class Debut, singing, and more

I had a super busy weekend, and knittingly, this was the highlight.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

I taught my new Braided Wristlets class at Twisted. I designed this pattern to be a workshop in herringbone and other braids, two color stranded knitting, and color dominance. We did cover all these things, and had a great time, too. And I made a good start on another one of these for me.

braided wristlet

I’ll be teaching this class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. It will be an all day class on Saturday, September 24. Come and learn new skills with me!

But the weekend wasn’t all knitting. Sunday was Pentecost, and I organized and led music with the Pie Birds for worship. (The Pie Birds are a 3 part harmony group with guitars and mandolin: My friends Claudia and Becky and me.) So much work, so much fun. We sang Somewhere to Begin for the prelude; link provided if you want to give a listen. We closed the service with Turning of the World, with the congregation joining in.

We had a guest chorus from the Randolph-Macon Academy in Virgina sing for us. What a talented group of young people! They sang We Sing and All Creatures of Our God and King (not the version you might expect). Really wonderful. And they joined our choir for Spirit Come Down; it was so much fun to have all these voices singing with us.

I needed a recovery day on Monday!

PIe Birds mimosas

Roundup: Classes, baby birds, knitting

Work first, then play:

pdxknitterati fern shawlette edge detail

I’m teaching a class on the Fern Shawlette tomorrow (Saturday May 7) at Twisted, 2 to 4:30 pm. A little lace, a fun sideways shawl construction, and beads!

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

Next Saturday (May 14) I’m debuting my Braided Wristlets class at Twisted, 2 to 6 p.m. We’ll cover simple stranded knitting, yarn color dominance, and several kinds of knitted braids.

elongated stitches sampler

And next week Sunday (May 15) I’m teaching Elongated Novelty Stitches at For Yarn’s Sake. Put some pizzazz in your stockinette! Come take a class with me; it will be fun!

Over the Rainbow Cuffs

No time for class? This is a reminder that my Over the Rainbow Cuffs pattern is 20% off through May 8 (Sunday) with coupon code RAINBOW.

nest

While I was in Santa Barbara, a pair of house finches set up house in the willow wreath on my front porch. Not the best place for them, but what can you do after the fact?

newborn finches

The eggs hatched on April 24.

4 day old finches

Four days old.

Daddy brought take out home for dinner! #birds #housefinch

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It’s been sweet to watch these little peepers for the last couple weeks.

But on Wednesday this week, there was a predator attack (guessing it was a crow), and two of the hatchlings were killed. I was pretty bummed. I know it’s nature and all, but these are my surrogate pets, right outside my dining room window. (Yes, I miss Mookie.)

Family time: Mom, Dad, 2 youngsters. #birds #housefinch

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On Thursday, the two surviving chicks climbed out of the nest and up on/into the wreath. I’m not sure they were ready, but I think it’s pretty gross in the nest. I’ll spare you the details. The parents are still on duty, taking care of these two.

finch baby and momFinch baby and mom

finch baby and momFeed me!

finch baby and dadFinch baby and dad

finch baby and dadFeed me!

I’ve been knitting and keeping an eye out the window. I hope they learn to fly soon; I worry about them!

Alexandra's gradient

I’m knitting with this yarn from Alexandra’s Crafts. It was two strands knitted into a blank and gradient dyed for a matching set; I had a hard time winding them. I tried to ravel and wind at the same time, but perhaps I should have rolled the two strands into a single ball and then rolled two balls from there, maybe? In any case, it’s very pretty.

alexandra's crafts gradient

These beads I pirated from my collection turned out to be not quite right, so I found the perfect beads.

alexandra's crafts

But I can’t show them to you in the knitting, because I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this project yet. I can tell you that watching the colors slowly change has been mesmerising!

Whew, long post! What are you doing this weekend? Mine is going to be busy, busy, busy…