Category Archives: classes

Introducing: Hopscotch!

You know how much I love brioche knitting. I’ve fallen so far down the brioche rabbit hole, first with 2 color brioche in the round, then increases and decreases. What’s next? Flat brioche. Flat brioche, syncopated. If you swap the knits and purls in a brioche rib column, you get a reversal of color pop! Now I want to share how to do that with you.

Hopscotch is a syncopated brioche scarf, knit from end to end. It’s knit with two 100g balls of worsted weight yarn in contrasting colors. Gradients make an especially nice Hopscotch scarf. This version is in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, Drawing Room and Natural.

The playful interchange between brioche knit and brioche purl stitches within a column of brioche rib creates a delightful quilt block inspired pattern. Reverse image right side and wrong side are equally handsome; choose two contrasting colors and jump right in!

Hopscotch is a great way to take a next step in brioche knitting. Some prior experience in brioche knitting is helpful; I recommend my free Petite Brioche pattern for learning two color brioche rib in the round.

The Hopscotch scarf pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. It’s 10% off through August 9, 2019, no coupon needed. Newsletter subscribers will receive a coupon code for 20% off in today’s newsletter.

Test Knitter Ann’s Hopscotch in Pegasus and Natural, Knit Picks Chroma Wosrsted.

I’ve just scheduled a Hopscotch syncopated brioche class at For Yarn’s Sake on October 20. I’m also teaching this at Twisted on November 16. Come knit with me!

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Ann Berg, Laura Caudle, Melinda Davis, Chris French, and Eden Scheans. I hope they all had as much fun as I did!

Vogue Knitting Live Columbus Nov. 1-3

I’m teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in Columbus, Ohio this fall! The event is November 1-3, and general registration is now open at this link.

I’m so excited to take my show on the road! I’ll be teaching these classes:

pdxknitterati braided wristletsHerringbone Braids and Beyond

Athena Entrelac Cowl

Brioche Pastiche Hat

Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes

YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Stitches

and a lecture on Blocking: It’s Magic!

It’s a very full schedule, and I’m looking forward to it! I’ve been to Columbus once before, for TNNA back in 2015, so I’m familiar with the venue. We’re going to have a lot of fun. And Jeni’s Ice Cream.

I hope you can come knit with me!

Here are some highlights that are happening at the show:

Diversity Panel and Town Hall: The panel will include members of the Vogue Knitting Diversity Advisory Council as well as members of our community.

Indie Yarn Tasting: Try before you buy! Sample yarns from indie dyers in the Marketplace. A few rows are already knit for you to take a few stitches and see what you think, then head to their booth and shop.

Opening Ceremony with Clara Parkes: Kick off your weekend with a keynote from Clara Parkes on the current state of the wool industry.

Free lectures: Cultivating Resilience: Fiber Production in a Changing Environment with Charis Bennett Walker AND The Love Language of Making with Marceline Smith

Free learn to knit and crochet lessons available to complete newbies as well as those who want a refresher! Needles and hooks provided by Knitter’s Pride.

#HatNotHate Collection: Join Lion Brand in their anti-bullying campaign. They encourage people to make, wear, donate, and post handmade blue hats, adding #HatNotHate when sharing on social platforms. Blue hats can be donated at the #HatNotHate drop-off box in the Marketplace all weekend long.

The Knitterati Diagonal Afghan KAL will be starting on Thursday, September 5, 2019. See squares from this afghan on display in the Marketplace as well as past blankets.

Cheers!

Planning for fall knitting classes

It’s the dog days of summer, but I’m busily planning for fall. (This is my friend Sissy at Lost Lake, Mt. Hood National Forest, last week.)

Dog at Lost Lake, Mt. Hood

First off, I’ll be teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. This local festival is just the right size, with lots of things to do. I’m teaching my Brioche Pastiche Hat, and Slip Stitch Knitting on Saturday, September 28.

And right after that, I’m doing another fall shawl retreat with crochet designer Laurinda Reddig, October 11-13 at Quinn Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge. I’m teaching my Lucky Star Shawl, with ways to embiggen those stars. Laurinda was inspired by it to design her new Star Bright Shawl, which just took 3rd place for accessories at the Crochet Guild of America last week. Knit or crochet, you’ll be seeing (and making) stars! Registration is open now.

In November, I’m teaching in Columbus, OH at Vogue Knitting Live. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity! I’ll tell you all about it in a separate blog post in just a bit.

But summer isn’t over yet, so I’ll also be showing you my linen project…soon!

New classes: Planned Pooling and next Brioche!

I have a couple new classes coming soon!

First up: Shall We Dance. Learn how to tame your skein with planned pooling! Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension.

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits dyed a special 2 Ply BFL Aran for this class at For Yarn’s Sake. We have two colorways, Rock Candy (rainbow) and Legion of Boom (blues and greens, Seahawks colors). The class is this Sunday, May 19; register by phone or on the website. Hope to see you there!

My other new class is Next Steps in Brioche at Northwest Wools. I’ve taught four beginning brioche classes there since the beginning of the year. It’s time to move on to the next thing: increases and decreases! We’re using my Heliotrope Cowl and Heliotrope Hat patterns. Class will cover increases and decreases, and fixing mistakes. (Not that we’ll make any, right?) This class is on Friday, May 31. Call Northwest Wools to register, 503-244-5024.

So glad I finally played with planned pooling, and I’m still deep in a sea of brioche! What new techniques do you want to learn?

Introducing: Shall We Dance

Shall We Dance is an adventure in planned pooling.

Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension!

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

The Huckleberry Knits 2 Ply BFL Aran was specially dyed for this project. I used all of the skein, and the cowl measures 32″ x 8″.

I consulted with Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits to come up with colors and a yarn base that would work well for a class. We chose her Rock Candy and Legion of Boom (Seattle Seahawks colors) colorways, shown here on her Willow fingering weight. (My first planned pooling cowl is on the left, knit with ancient Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in Cat Bordhi Aha!, purchased at Sock Summit 2011.) We’re using a 2 Ply BFL Aran which isn’t one of her usual bases, but I love it! It’s soft and lovely to knit. This yarn will be available at For Yarn’s Sake, and I’m teaching a planned pooling class there on Sunday May 19.

I also knit a version in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy. This skein has more yardage, but I chose to finish the cowl at 33″ x 6.5″, using 60% of the skein. It’s bouncy and fun to knit with, but a litle harder to get accurate measurements because it’s so wonderfully springy!

The Shall We Dance pattern is available through Ravelry download. It’s 10% off through March 31, 2019, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a 20% off coupon, so sign up if you want to be in on my special offers!

Everyone into the pool!

Thank you to Amanda Woodruff for tech editing.

iPhone photography workshop review

Gale Zucker, knitwear photographer extraordinaire, was in town last weekend for TNNA. We worked out a way for her to do a workshop here through the Puddletown Knitters Guild. It was great!

I’ve taught iPhone knitting photography before, and wanted to take Gale’s class to see what more I could add to my toolbox. I’m pretty good with basic photography and composition, and adept with the editing apps. But she’s got a GREAT eye, and that comes from talent and years of practice. I’ll keep working at it!

We practiced making a flat lay, and also went outside to practice on each other. Here’s the evolution of my flat lay.

First, just laying it out with a sheer background.

I added a Bullet Journal for interest, keeping the limited color palette.

She said to throw in something that you might think was ridiculous, and these pompoms were ridiculous. But something about that color pop was intriguing.

So I added this color contrasty fake succulent. And I liked it. Except for the hole in the middle.

Here’s the finished, edited picture. I like it much better than the picture that is currently on the Concentric Bed Socks pattern, so I’ll be changing that up, eventually.

I’ll be incorporating new tips into my iPhone knitting photography class. The next one is scheduled for March 24 at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton. Come play!

By the way, Knit Circus has just put together a yarn kit for Concentric Bed Socks. They have several color options, too. These are fabulously luxurious, absolutely gorgeous gradients combined with a semi-solid for heels and toes. Lovely.

Check out this Love is Love and Bedrock combo. Sweet!

Hope you’re staying warm and toasty! We’re having a little snow event here in the Pacific Northwest. I hope it doesn’t mess up my Madrona plans next week. Fingers crossed!

Brioche knitting for all!

I’m teaching three beginning brioche knitting classes at Northwest Wools. The classes are full, but I’m also teaching it at Twisted on Saturday March 23. This class features my Petite Brioche pattern, which you can download for free here.

I love teaching, and I love brioche knitting. I think two color brioche is easier to learn than one color brioche, and knitting it in the round is easier than knitting it flat. No sliding back and forth.

Look at all the new brioche knitters!

Everyone was off to a good start. We diagnosed and fixed some mistakes, too. Learning to read your brioche knitting is a valuable skill.

Being around all that brioche knitting kick started me into more brioche.

This is my first foray into designing with flat two color brioche. I’m starting with a half-pi shawl construction, because there aren’t any increases in the brioche field, so I can just figure out what’s happening at the edges. I like it so far! I have a plan for the rest of it, too.

I’m knitting with Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering. It’s a fabulous workhorse yarn for design experimentation; I knit nearly an entire shawl with it for a design submission last summer because it was so fun I couldn’t stop at the little swatch sample. It doesn’t mind frogging, either, which is good. Trial and error, knitting and frogging are part of my design process! At 357 yards it’s a bit shorter than my usual 400 yard/100g skeins, so I’m not sure I’ll use it for the whole design. We’ll see how things go.

What’s exciting you in the knitting world? Do you want to learn something new? What’s on your bucket list?

Last night’s lunar eclipse, in the clouds. Not as exciting as the solar eclipse, but very pretty. Did you see it?

Coming up: A revamped Bucket List for steeking class

Steeks! Does the word strike fear in your heart? Cutting your knitting…it’s not so scary if it’s just on a tiny piece, and that’s why I designed my Bucket List Coffee Accessories a few years back.

Steeking a little piece of knitting isn’t nearly so scary as cutting a sweater. There’s so much less time invested in the knitting.

I took a steeking class with Mary Scott Huff many years ago at Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. Afterwards, I designed this scarf as a first steeking project. I offered a class for this project, and it was fun. But the catch was that you had to knit the whole thing before class. That was a commitment!

So I designed a smaller project, the mug rug (coaster) and coffee cozy that you see here. I reshaped the class as a two-parter: Beginning stranded colorwork on week one, and steek cutting and finishing on week two.

Now I’m going to offer the class at Twisted as a single class, the one with the cutting fun. I’m updating the pattern with a few more helpful hints for stranded colorwork, and changing the steek area from a checkerboard pattern to vertical stripes. This will make it easier to see exactly where to reinforce the knitting before cutting the steek.

If steeking is on your knitting bucket list, this is a gentle introduction. If you’ve purchased the pattern before through Ravelry, you’ll be notified when the update is ready later this month. I want to re-photograph the steeking instructions for the pattern, so I’m reknitting samples.

My class at Twisted is scheduled for January 26. It will be fun!

And then you’ll be ready for more. I’m very tempted by Fringe Association’s upcoming Steekalong in January. It has so many things to recommend it: Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Sólbein pattern (she designed Stopover, and I knit two of them) and Léttlopi, the lovely Icelandic wool yarn knit at a looser than normal gauge (again, Stopover). Also, the camaraderie with other knitters on Instagram is fun, too.

Here’s Stopover. Light and airy! Imagine a similar cardigan…

Hoping I can squeeze out the knitting time for this, as I work on a design deadline piece before February. But first: Bucket List update!

Are steeks on your bucket list?

OFFF 2018 weekend and brioche inc/dec tutorial

It was a glorious transition into autumn. What better way to celebrate than with a fiber festival? Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is done for another year.

I spent Friday afternoon judging the knitting entries. This piece was the winner of several awards, including the top award for the festival.

It’s handspun from Jacob wool (this year’s featured breed), hand knit, with 1300 beads, and perfectly blocked. I loved everything about it. (Shawl pattern is Moon Shadows by Romi Hill.) I found out afterward from the knitter that she had lost at yarn chicken the week before, and had to spin more yarn to finish. She took this off the blocking wires the night before the judging. Close!

This was the felted Grand Champion. It demonstrates wet felting, needle felting, and probably other techniques I don’t even know about. Exquisite.

This felted entry used Jacob wool, which I thought was brilliant.

This embellished knit coat was also knit from handspun. I loved the detail in it. The pattern is by Anna Zilboorg from her Splendid Apparel book. I took this class with Anna just before her book came out.

Saturday I taught Favorite Shawl Shapes in the morning. So much fun! I’m planning to teach this class again, but I may give it a better name. Shawl Design 101? What would sound even more enticing?

I taught Brioche Pastiche in the afternoon. It was interesting that many had tried brioche before but not succeeded. I’m glad to help make new successful brioche knitters! Most had a good grasp of 2 color brioche rib in the round by the end of class.

I’ve just made a video tutorial of brioche increases and decreases. These are the ones used in the hat, but handy for all brioche.

Sunday I went back to shop and play! The weather was perfect.

My favorite purchase? This yarn chicken pint glass from JaMPDX. Yarn chicken is my life!

I also picked up this gorgeous yarn set from Knitted Wit. It’s Victory Sock in Pollen, plus two Sixlet gradient sets in Carbon. Plus two more mini skeins in Ghostly, but I may not need them. I’m knitting one more version of my Lucky Star Shawl, but with two Sixlets instead of one for a deeper, wider shawl. It’s going quickly; I hope to be done knitting by the end of this week.

More eye candy from Sunday:

Stacey’s Fierce Fibers booth, including a splendid version of my Rosaria shawl. Look at those gradient cakes! We’re using her yarn for our Nymphaea Retreat in November.

Speckled gradient cakes from Boss Kitty. I bought some of their cat-eared stitch markers. Mine glow in the dark!

I loved this rug on display with one of the vendors in the main pavilion.

And of course there were animals. Goat? Sheep? I’m never sure. Cute, though. (Goat.)

Bunnies are easier to recognize, yes?

Alpacas!

And humans. Amanda and Margaret representing Puddletown Knitters Guild. Hi, ladies!

A very fun weekend. Now I’m back at home working. More knit fun to follow. How was YOUR weekend? Welcome, fall!

Knitting for the near future

I’ve been knitting up a storm.

Here’s a sneak peek of my newest shawl, coming soon. It’s called Lucky Star. You may now have a Madonna song running through your head. You’re welcome.

You know that hump that happens at the center neck of top down crescent shawls? I didn’t want that on Lucky Star, so I’ve worked on minimizing it. I’m making a tutorial on how to do that. It’s coming soon, too. I’m debuting it in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this Saturday morning.

I’ve been knitting little samples for class, too. We’re going to have fun talking about shape and design.

You can still register for this class on-site. You can knit these little shapes, too!

What are you knitting now?