Category Archives: classes

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 Sunday, May 16. 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!

To the frog pond, happily

I knit the hat on the left, while developing the hat on the right (pattern next week; I just need pictures). The first hat wasn’t what I wanted, so I frogged the crown and re-finished it as a cowl. Yes, you *can* frog brioche and get it back on the needles!

Side conversation: I’m working up a Brioche Doctor version of my Tink Drop Frog fixing mistakes class; I’ll let you know when that goes live.

Done. I love these leaves, and I had enough yarn leftover to knit one more cowl. I decided to play with the smaller leaf that I worked out for the blue hat. But! What if I made it a longer (wider) loop, too? That’s really my preferred cowl style, long and hanging down, not so much up around my neck. I’d need this yarn back to do that, though.

To the frog pond! You know that brioche is a two sided fabric, in separately worked layers. Did you know you can frog one color at a time, leaving the other color behind? This looks so cool, like a frilly petticoat peeking out under a skirt.

Almost there…

I have the new cowl about halfway done, which means it’s the traditional time where I start second and third guessing myself. Should I make the leaves even smaller? Do just I add this version on to the existing cowl pattern, or make a new pattern? I think the answer to that depends on how much extra work goes into it. Right now it’s just using the new smaller leaf from the hat, but if I make the leaves even smaller, it would be a ton of work to redo the chart and written instructions *again*, so it would want to be a separate pattern. Diminishing leaves, diminishing returns?

Really, I just need to finish knitting this so I can move on to a couple shawl ideas that are buzzing in my head. It’s time to get 2021 on the road!

VKLive from both sides again, and Inauguration Day 2021

I had a great weekend teaching at VKLive. I love teaching, and it was especially fun to teach my revamped YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Elongated Stitches class. I got to become reacquainted with some of my favorite designs.

I also had the chance to be a student again, this time in Laura Nelkin’s Beaded Brioche class. Two of my favorite techniques in one class!

Laura explained how she decides where to bead her brioche stitches (hint: make a pattern swatch first and visually decide where you want them). She went on to show how to either place beads via crochet hook or pre-string them. The beads in this sample are placed, but I used my trusty Bead Aid. rather than a crochet hook. In real life I’d like more contrast than there is here, but I was working with leftovers from other projects.

I usually place my beads *before* working a stitch, and couldn’t visualize how to do this on a brioche knit stitch. Laura places her beads *after* working the stitch. That makes a lot more sense for brioche; then it’s just like placing beads in any other knitting. Easy peasy! I’m looking forward to adding beads to my next brioche shawl or scarf.

I also attended the Rowan High Tea (BYO beverage); it was fun to learn about all the ways tea is enjoyed in different regions in the UK. And I knit this peach while watching! It’s stuffed with yarn scraps that I collected while sewing in ends. Reduce, reuse, recycle! The pattern is free from Anna Hrachovec at MochiMochiLand, if you’d like to knit your own peach. Mine is knit with Malabrigo Worsted on US3 needles, so it’s not as tiny as hers. You can see it in the second picture, which gives a better sense of scale. I used my Flexi-Flips which made it work up very quickly; I was done before the tea ended!

I‘ve finished the colorwork on DH’s Dreyma, yay! I worked the short rows using the German short rows that I learned in classes with Bristol Ivy and Ana Campos at December’s VKLive. One thing that was slightly confusing was that we learned to make and resolve short rows either on the right side (knit) or the wrong side (purl) but we didn’t discuss resolving short rows made on the purl side but resolved on the knit side when knitting in the round. I found this tutorial by Patty Lyons which worked fairly well, but one of my short rows resulted in a hole…that I’ll just sew up later. Git ‘er done!

I’ve divided for the sleeves and body, and it’s just stockinette for miles for a while. This is perfect for knitting while waiting for classes to start, or during Zoom meetings, or even while reading. But I must admit, I was too captivated by the inauguration ceremonies this morning to knit. Congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris!

Pearls and pjs

Leftover bacon/arugula/pear/blue cheese pizza with poached egg for breakfast. Soooo good. My favorite aunt (the one who taught me to knit!) sends me pears every year, and these are spectacular.

Have a great day!

Katie’s Kep, encore

I had my first Katie’s Kep class on Sunday for For Yarn’s Sake, and we had a great time. We started off with a chat about size and gauge. I think that’s especially important with this project, which is prescribed to be 22” around. You can see how much smaller my second kep will be, and you can also see how lovely the fabric is after blocking. Blocking is magic, both for this yarn and for stranded colorwork in general.

Even though I’m reducing the circumference, the top will still have this lovely six pointed star. Math!

The hat pattern is free from Shetland Wool Week if you’d like to make your own. Also, I’ve added a third stranded colorwork Zoom class through For Yarn’s Sake on February 28 for this project. Register here, if you’d like to start your kep with me and a small group of knitters. We’ll talk about sizing, gauge, how to manage your yarns, yarn color dominance, and more! If you need yarn, For Yarn’s Sake also has kits for this project in 5 colorways. I found that very helpful!

Shetland Wool Week also has patterns for a cowl and fingerless gloves that coordinate with this hat; you can purchase them here.

I find the small color pattern repeats in each round to be very soothing, meditative knitting. Not a bad thing in these turbulent times. So far, 2021 is on a pace to outrun 2020. Yikes.