Category Archives: classes

Frogging, refinishing, classes, and a retreat

I love my Cherry Blossom Wrapture; it’s so pretty. But it’s huge! When I designed and knit the sample, I wanted to see how far the yarn would go, and it went this far. 98 inches wide, which is a lot of wrap(ture) for a 5’2” person. So this week, I’m frogging the ends to take off 4 sets of stripes from each end. That’s a lot of frogging, but it’s all modular so it’s really easy to know when to stop.

I’m well on my way; one end is already done. I’m featuring this piece, as well as my other log cabin knits (Log Cabin Baby Blanket, Snowy Woods Log Cabin Blocks) in a video class I’m making for Olive Knits/Knit Camp’s Knit Camp at the Coast Retreat in September. The virtual retreat is open for registration to members of Knit Camp, a virtual club that has activities all year long. For knitters who aren’t Knit Camp members, registration will open on August 16.

I’m not a member of Knit Camp (yet?), but I’m going to register for the retreat. The other teachers are Marie Greene (founder of Olive Knits and Knit Camp), Marceline Smith (Hey Brownberry), Amy Detjen, Stephanie Lotven (Tellybean Knits), Shawna Clingerman, Marcie Leek, and Heather Best, teaching topics from knitting to lettering to yoga, and more.You can read all about it here. The retreat is September 16-18, online. Classes are recorded, and playback is limited to two weeks, just in case you can’t participate in real time.

This is the video class that I mentioned in a previous post. It’s based on my log cabin knitting class that I’ve taught before, but I’m adding new shapes and ideas for more log cabin knitting fun. (I learned some new things with Cherry Blossom Wrapture.) I’ve written the script, knit the step-outs and samples, and now I need to practice, time, record, edit, and compile. Never a dull moment around here!

I don’t have any in-person classes scheduled for fall yet. Are you still taking online classes? Are you taking in-person classes? What’s the mood out there these days?

I’m writing a book!

I just signed a contract to write a book! This is the summer project I’ve been hinting about, but I didn’t want to put it out there before the contract was signed. The book will be out in the fall, and it’s about knitting, of course. It will have 20 patterns for accessories and home items (you know I don’t design many sweaters), from simple to more challenging.

I’m looking for some test knitters for these small projects. If you’re interested, let me know, and I’ll email you back with more details.

I’m working with Library House Press, which is Marie Greene’s new publishing company. You may know Marie as Olive Knits, and also through her Knit Camp. She has published a couple books with a traditional publisher, and she decided to launch her own publishing company this year with her third book, Knit a Little. I have a copy, and it’s beautiful. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather work with.

DH and I did take a little time to stop and smell the roses this weekend. We biked over to Peninsula Park, where the rose garden is in full bloom.

I love how these buds are peeking through the spent blooms.

I noticed a split stitch in my knitting this afternoon. I didn’t want the yarn to break and run down the column, so I had to fix it. My cable hook was a little short, but I managed to squish them all on there. I was too lazy to go inside to get an extra hook or circular needle! All better now.

I’m teaching Brioche Doctor next month through Bazaar Girls; I can’t wait to show them this picture. That split stitch was 21 rows down! Come to class if you want to know how to fix this and other mistakes in brioche knitting!

I’m taking the summer off to work on my book. Classes will begin again in the fall. I’m looking forward to teaching both via Zoom and in person!

Knit, knit, knitting this week

It’s a knit filled week! I’m speaking and teaching for the San Diego North Coast Knitters Guild on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were hoping it would be in-person, but at commitment time their venue wasn’t open yet. So Zoom it is! We know how to have fun, no matter what.

On Friday at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern, I’m chatting with Amy Snell/Devious Knitter on her podcast, Would Knit Be Fun. Amy is an excellent designer/teacher with a great knowledge base. Come join us! You can sign up at this link.

After these events, I have just one more class before taking a summer break. I’ll be teaching Brioche Doctor via Zoom for Bazaar Girls on Tuesday, June 22. You can register here. The listing says 10 am to 1 pm, but it’s a 2 hour class, so we’ll get that straightened out this week. I’m pretty sure it’s at 11.

And I can finally tell you about my new project…in my next post! Tuesday, I think.

It’s a holiday weekend here. DH and I took an unexpected trip out to Hood River; the place we wanted to hike yesterday was overrun with people, so we just kept driving east.

The clouds are prettier on the other side of the Cascades! At least they were yesterday. It’s the wind…

Mt. Adams, Columbia River

A stroll instead of a hike, and lunch. Perfect.

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Classes: Get ‘em while you can!

I have a couple big projects to work on this summer, so I’m cutting back on my teaching schedule. If you’re itching to take one of these classes, do it now!

Petite Brioche at Virtual Vogue Knitting Live: There’s still room in my Petite Brioche class on Saturday, May 15. If brioche is on your bucket list, Petite Brioche is a great place to start.

Darn It! Mending Your Knits: Tuesday May 18 via Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop, and Saturday May 22 via Twisted Yarn Shop. Weekday or weekend, I’ve got you covered!

Advanced Tink Drop Frog (Lace Edition): Sunday May 23 via For Yarn’s Sake.

Brioche Doctor: Fixing Brioche Mistakes: Tuesday, June 22 via Bazaar Girls (link coming May 20 or so).

I’m taking a chunk of time to work on a big project, and I’m looking forward to telling you about it, once I get some final details ironed out.

And summer’s coming; we want to get outside! I’ve had both my Covid vaccinations, and I’m starting to see friends and family in real life. I had a road trip with friends up the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River last weekend. We had a year’s worth of stuff to catch up on.

Mt. Adams
A big winding oops (it all worked out)
Stirrings by Ann Fleming

I saw this bronze at Gallery 301 in Hood River, and I’m in love. She’s so serene, and she knows that kitchen magic. I’m not sure where she would go in my house, though.

Looking west from Hood River

We drove home on the Old Historic Columbia River Highway (it’s been closed due to landslides, but it’s open again).

Horsetail Falls, right off the highway

I used to bring the kids out here to play in the splash pool on hot summer days, before we had air conditioning in the house. It’s also the trailhead for a favorite hike.

Horsetail Falls splash pool
Vista House on Crown Point

Vista House is currently closed to visitors, but the views are still inspiring.

Looking east toward Beacon Rock from Crown Point on the Columbia River
Salmon and scallop poke, and favorite bubbles!

And I was home in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with the family. The kids came over and made 2 kinds of poke, and we made pineapple fried rice to go with it. (Tossing the pre-cooked rice with fish sauce before it goes into the wok makes it so good.) It was great to be back in the kitchen with them, after a long year of distancing. A perfect cap to the weekend.

Eeek! Steeks!

Back in 2012, I took a steeking class with Mary Scott Huff at Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival (blog post here). It was fabulously fun, and I learned 3 ways to secure my steek. My favorite was the crocheted steek, so that’s what I use. I’ve been thinking of ways to fine tune them, though, so I decided to sit in on Mary’s class yesterday morning via Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop. It did not disappoint.

Top picture, going around from right to left: One full stitch in the center with slip stitch crochet reinforcement through the two stitches on each side of it; half of each center stitch reinforced with slip stitch crochet through the stitch next to it; and half of each center stitch reinforced with single crochet to the stitch next to it.

Bottom pictures are a closeup of the single crochet reinforcement going through half of the center stitch and half of the stitch on each side.

Here’s what I found: Leaving a whole stitch in the center means messier ends. But it also means security. I’m a belt and suspender kind of knitter, I want to make sure things won’t fall apart. Today’s exercise showed me that it won’t fall apart. Probably. Heh. There are many ways to secure a steek, and none of them are wrong if you get the result you want! I’ve seen a one stitch steek on an Icelandic sweater, and I’m too chicken to try it.

What I was really wondering about was the bulkiness of my crocheted steek, since I’ve been working with worsted weight yarn. Best answer? Use a lighter weight yarn to crochet the reinforcement, like I did with these swatches. If I pick a coordinating color, single crochet makes a lovely finished edge without any more fuss (bottom 3 pictures on collage above). If I’m trying to minimize bulk, like maybe behind a zipper, slip stitch crochet works well. Picking up a ribbing or other edging in the column of stitches a couple stitches away from the cut edge forces it to turn back, like a seam allowance, and all the ends are hidden either way.

But enough about my crochet steek fussiness. Here’s a new one (I had previously read about it in Modern Daily Knitting). A needle felted steek! Look at this: all business on the front…

Fuzzy party in the back! It holds beautifully. I’d probably want to do something to make that edge look more finished, though.

What a fun way to spend a morning! But now it’s on to other tasks…still knitting away on the log cabin wrap; I have 4 more logs to knit, and then I’m done. Tech editing is done, too. I’ll check in with my test knitters, but look for it mid-April.

Onward!

Dreaming of Spring

I’ve been haunting the Portland waterfront this month, waiting for the cherry trees to bloom.

The top picture is 2 weeks ago, and the bottom is from March 31, 2019. Hoping next weekend is peak!

This color palette is on point!

Here’s a peek at what it’s becoming. I’m so pleased with this. After my adventure with the Pythagorean Theorem and the hypoteneuse, all is well! I don’t regret frogging those 11,000 stitches at all. I’m just over halfway done with this. Pattern coming soon.

I didn’t get much knitting done this weekend because I was teaching for Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live. I debuted my new Darn It! class, which was really fun! Mending and even more visible mending. This all started with that sock mending project for a friend; it was so much fun I wanted to share my new skills. I’m teaching it again through For Yarn’s Sake on April 25, registration on this page, soon.

And we also launched Brioche Doctor. This covers reading your brioche knitting, and fixing mistakes. I love that it’s different every time, depending on the questions from my students. We can make this as calm or as crazy as you want! I like having several samples so we can play with it different ways.

April classes are booked; I’m looking forward to teaching Brioche Doctor, Tink Drop Frog, Syncopation, and Log Cabin Knitting for Vogue in April. Sign up for their newsletter so you can be notified when registration goes live.

I’m also teaching a slightly longer Syncopation/Syncopated Brioche class for Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop on April 3. I’ll walk you through flat brioche instead of assigning it as homework, before getting to the syncopated brioche. Class is a little longer than the VKL classes to accommodate this. Register here!

I have classes with Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake in April, too. Sign up for my newsletter for the most complete list of classes, plus knitting news, tutorials, and the best discount on my new pattern releases. I try to keep my Workshops and Classes pages updated here on the blog, but there’s no way to let you know about updates on that.

Knit on!

New Classes: Darn It! and Brioche Doctor

I’ve been having so much fun mending my knits, I decided to develop a class to share the love. Darn It! There’s a Hole in My Knitting makes its debut at the March Vogue Virtual Knitting Live. Registration for VKL is now open:

I’m also teaching Brioche Doctor: Fixing Brioche Mistakes, another new class. And I’ll be teaching Petite Brioche and Syncopation, and giving my lecture on Blocking: It’s Magic! A full slate of fun for me, and for you, too.

I had a great time teaching Petite Brioche for Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop on Saturday, so much brioche success! My next class in the series is Deep End: Brioche Increases and Decreases on Saturday March 6, which is coming right up. You can choose your project: Deep End Hat, Deep End Cowl, or Madrona Cowl, and the pattern is included in the class fee. Register here.

So much going on around here. Onward!

Sleeve Island Dreams

The end is in sight! I finished one sleeve, and am well on my way on the second one. Actually, I’ve knit two sleeves already. I realized I didn’t like the fit of the first one when it was 2/3 finished, so I started the second one, adding 6 stitches over all. That’s the finished sleeve you see. Then I ripped the first one all the way back to the yoke and started it over to match the second sleeve. I wish I had added 8 stitches, but I made a math error, and I’m not going back!

We’ve decided to skip the patterning at the wrist; it’s just a place to snag fingers on the stranding inside. This isn’t a particularly grippy yarn (Berroco Vintage Worsted), so it’s definitely a consideration.

But you know this means my mind is wandering along to the next project. I’m swatching!

This isn’t the real yarn for this project; I just wanted to know what would happen, and get an approximate gauge for fingering weight yarn.

It’s really a square; it’s just easier to manage on a circular needle when it gets this big. I’m thinking of a pastel floral garden. I started another block in a dark green single ply from my stash, and it’s just not living up to the dream, so I’m doing a little online yarn shopping…

What’s on your needles? Something new, or something that needs to be finished? Or both?

Brioche classes with Bazaar Girls!

I’m so pleased to announce that I’ll be teaching a series of brioche classes with Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop and Fiber Emporium! We’ll begin with Petite Brioche, 2 color brioche in the round, in February. We’ll work our way through more advanced techniques in following months. I’ll walk you through step by step until you’re a brioche pro!

Blue brioche headband

Petite Brioche is a gentle introduction to 2 color brioche rib. We begin with a simple long tail cast on, so there’s no special fussing to get started. I want to make sure you have a successful experience.

The first class is Saturday, February 20, from 11 am to 1 pm Pacific time. The Bazaar Girls shop is in Port Townsend, Washington, but through the magic of Zoom, you can take this class from anywhere in the world. Come knit with me!

New class: Brioche Doctor! Fixing Brioche Mistakes

We love knitting brioche. But sometimes things happen. I’m launching a new Zoom class, Brioche Doctor: Fixing Mistakes in Brioche. We’ll go from finding simple missed yarn overs all the way through frogging and getting back on the needles. Class will be on Saturday, February 13, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Pacific time. Registration is through Twisted Yarn Shop.

We’ll be working with a flat 2 color brioche swatch, but even if you’ve only ever done brioche in the round, this should be pretty accessible for you. I love new classes, and I think this one will be lots of fun. Come tink, drop, and frog with me!