Category Archives: classes

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?

On the cusp of fall

Oh, Labor Day! Farewell summer, welcome fall…

I ran away with my knitting last week. Good thing I brought more than one project; I lost at yarn chicken on this Mitered Crosses Blanket square. I just needed 2 more green garter ridges, probably about one yard of yarn. I considered using the red as an accent stripe, but it would have been too much. One garter ridge, yes. Two garter ridges? Christmas! I had to finish at home.

This is for a group blanket project through Mason Dixon Knitting. #mdkteamblanket2

My other project is a slipper sock. I’m using 4 50g balls of KnitCircus Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient (worsted weight), colorway Thanks for all the Fish, to double strand the socks. They are glorious. (Picture from KnitCircus site, since I forgot to take a picture before I started knitting.) I finished the first one at the coast. Good thing it was time to go home; I was out of knitting!

No real sneak peek on the sock yet; the excitement is on the cuff! I knit mine using the magic loop technique, and Biscuit thought that was pretty interesting when I tried it on. I’ll be looking for test knitters soon. Would you like to knit slipper socks? They’re really quick! This one took me one day.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

It wasn’t all knitting last week. I love walking on the beach. This one was a solitary walk, just me and the seagulls.

Lone sea star at Chapman Point

I saw a lone sea star. Five years ago, there were hundreds of sea stars here. Sea star wasting disease killed many of them, but they’re starting to come back. I’m glad.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

It was a perfect getaway.

Now I’m swinging into knitting season! I have several new designs coming soon. The first is this cowl, which is also designed with KnitCircus Ringmaster Gradient, this one in Fig and Prosciutto. Look for it later this week.

Fall brings more teaching opportunities, too. I’ve got my schedule mostly set at Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake; you can see it here.

There’s still room in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (pre-register by Sept. 8).

And a few knitters’ spots left at our Nymphaea Fall Retreat (Nov. 9-11).

What are you knitting this fall?

Nymphaea Retreat registration is OPEN!

Registration is open for the Nymphaea Shawl Retreat! The event is November 9-11 at Quinn Mountain Retreat in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It’s a small retreat, so you’ll get lots of attention as you start your Nymphaea Shawl. Register soon, because there are only 16 spots, 8 each for knitters and crocheters.

You can choose to knit or crochet your shawl; my knit version or Laurinda Reddig’s crochet version. We designed these shawls as a collaborative project with Bead Biz.

The retreat fee includes a jumbo skein 150g/645yards of Fierce Fibers Abyss (50/50 merino/silk) in a continuous gradient. Choose your main color: Surf and Sand, Dragonite, Hummingbird, or Tide Pod (clockwise from upper left). You’ll also get 50g of a coordinating color for the contrast bands. And beads from Bead Biz, specially selected by Laurinda and me.

You’ll get your shawl started, and learn different ways to add beads to your knit or crochet, how to change colors, knit or crochet edgings, and blocking, which is essential for lace.

Cost for the retreat is $225, which includes yarn, beads, 2 days of breakfast, lunch, and instruction. But don’t worry; there will be free time for you to explore, too. Register with Recrochetions, link here. If you’ve purchased a Nymphaea kit from Bead Biz, there’s a discount for the retreat. More information at the link too, including lodging options.

I hope you can make it!

Alphabet soup! WWKIPD, LM, GDPR

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 9. I know that for most of us, every day is Knit in Public Day; it’s just part of what we do. But it’s fun to make a party out of it, even if it’s just once a year. There are many events going on in Portland, and all over the world. To find an event near you, check the WWKIPDay website. For a great list of local WWKIPDay events, check the Oregonian’s knitting blog here.

I’ve spent the past couple WWKIPDays with Knit Picks at their Knit Pick-nics. I’ll be doing the same this year, with a little trunk show again.

These events are always fun, and the swag is amazing: Goodie bags and raffle baskets. Come by and say hello if you’re local!

One other knitting related event in Portland that day: Lantern Moon is having a closeout sale. They’ll have mostly needles, some baskets, and other small items. The sale is June 9, 9 am to 1 pm, local sales only (no online), cash only. The address is 3324 NE 32nd Ave. Lantern Moon is closing their business; Sharon and Joel are moving on to new adventures. I have loved knitting with their ebony needles from the moment I tried them. If you love their ebony and rosewood needles, too, this is your chance to stock up. I used to blog for Lantern Moon many years ago; they will be missed! I’m hoping the retreats will continue.

I had a great time at Stash in Corvallis last weekend, teaching Tink Drop Frog for Lace and Cables, and my new Brioche Pastiche hat.

I’m teaching Brioche Pastiche again at Twisted in Portland on August 4, and then at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on September 22. I love brioche knitting!

Just so you know…I’ve updated my privacy policy regarding my blog/website, newsletter, Ravelry, PayPal, and LoveKnitting, which is now on my blog/website here. Thanks, GDPR!

Where are you knitting in public on Saturday?

Introducing: Brioche Pastiche

It’s been done for a while, and I finally, finally took pictures for the pattern. All it took was a tripod, a camera, and an iPad to operate the camera via remote control. Whew! I could have asked DH to take pictures, but it’s hard to describe exactly what I’m looking for.

“Show the hat. Don’t show the compost bin behind me. And don’t make me look weird. What do I mean by weird? Nevermind.”

This is Brioche Pastiche. I love it. This is the hat I designed specifically for brioche classes. Pastiche means a mash-up, usually as an homage. I combined the plain ribbing of Clematis Seed (easiest to learn, so that’s where we start), the leafy goodness of Heliotrope (introducing one increase and two decreases), and a kissing cousin of Clematis Seed’s spiraling crown (four sections instead of six).

I’m teaching a brioche hat class at Stash Local in Corvallis on June 2, and this is the pattern I’m using. If you’d like to come, register at Stash; here’s the link. I’m also teaching my Tink Drop Frog: Fixing Lace and Cable mistakes. Fun!

The Brioche Pastiche pattern is available on Ravelry for $6. (Newsletter subscribers get 20% off all new patterns.) It’s also part of my Brioche Hat Trick e-book. If you buy the collection, you’ll have four fun brioche hat patterns, and two cowl patterns. If you already have the collection, Brioche Pastiche will show up as an update in your set.

I’m looking forward to heading down the highway to Stash next month. Sonia has a lovely shop, and her Stash Enhancers are a great gang to hang out with!

36 hours in Ellensburg

One catch up post!

I spent 36 hours in Ellensburg, WA to celebrate a friend’s birthday the weekend before Knot Another Fiber Festival. It was quick but we packed in a lot of fun!

Saturday was LYS Day. I wasn’t near my LYS, but Ellensburg has a very nice shop, Yarn Folk. Ann Miner’s shop has lots of high quality yarns and is full of inspiring shop samples. I didn’t need any yarn (do I ever?), but I needed a shawl pin so I picked up this leaf pin by One of a Kind Buttons. (More about the book in a bit.)

There was a sheep to shawl exhibit by Thorp Mill at the rodeo grounds, and I met this sweet lamb, as well as some spinners and weavers.

In the afternoon Vickie and I took a beyond basics block printing class at Gallery One. Every time I play with block printing, it gets a little better. So much fun!

This particular class was about chine collé (like collage, adding contrast papers in the printing) and puzzle blocks (cutting your carved block into pieces so you can put it back together while using different colors for the different parts). In three hours we sketched and carved blocks, and tried these two new techniques.

Pictured above, top row: Carved block (it’s been cut and put back together), original test print. Bottom row: Chine collé bird print, and puzzle block print. I’m looking forward to playing more with this block, or even re-doing it now that I know what I want it to look like.

In the evening we went to the college rodeo. Why yes, this was my first rodeo! It seemed about time my boots went to one.

Waiting

Birds on a wire

Matched set

I came home Sunday to teach a class, and picked up the new Mason Dixon Field Guide, Transparency.

I love the look of this Shakerag Top. (Thanks, Biscuit, for helping with the picture.) It’s knit with one or two strands of yarn to create the striping, but the yarn is all the same. This particular yarn is Jade Sapphire Sylph, a blend of cashmere and linen. I love linen and I love cashmere. It’s a little spendy, so I have to decide if I’m really going to make it. Also, deadlines! We shall see.

Knit on!