Category Archives: classes

Petite Brioche Class giveaway

I’m teaching at Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live this coming weekend. Most of my classes are full, but there’s still a few spots open in Sunday’s Petite Brioche class. Vogue is letting me give away a spot in the class.

Would you like to win this spot? Class is Sunday November 15, 7 pm EST (4 pm PST, and I’ll let *you* figure out the rest!) To enter to win, visit my Instagram page and click on the picture that looks like this one. Tag a friend and leave a comment about why you want to learn to knit brioche! I’ll pick a winner Thursday evening.

Good luck!

Evolution in class planning

My new and improved Brioche Increase/Decrease class is set to debut this Saturday. I designed my new Deep End hat especially for this class, so you can get a lot of practice with both left and right leaning decreases during the 2 hour class. 

Deep End brioche hat
Deep End

I was chatting in a Petite Brioche class this past weekend, and someone asked if there would be a cowl version of this hat, because she didn’t wear hats and would rather knit a cowl. Well, there’s not a cowl yet, but I could see doing one. Not in time for this weekend, though!

Madrona Cowl

But! My Madrona Cowl uses the same kinds of increases and decreases, and it would be perfect for this class, too. So I’m expanding the class projects to be a choice of either the Deep End hat or the Madrona Cowl. I like that there are options in this class; that makes it better for more students. I always want to improve my classes, and this one has been especially fun to develop.

If you’re already registered for this class, I’ll be emailing you with the added option. And if you would like to register, the link is here. If you’re registering for class through Twisted, the pattern is already included in your class fee.

In order to make this work, I’ve updated the Madrona Cowl pattern with easier-to-read charts (thanks, Stitchmastery!). I’ve also changed the pattern language to use the more standard sl1yo terminology, which matches the language in the Deep End hat. No confusion in class! The pattern is available on Ravelry, and also on Payhip. Also, if you previously purchased the Madrona Cowl pattern through Ravelry, the updated version is in your library, as well as the older version.

I’m having a lot of fun teaching on Zoom. These pictures are from my Petite Brioche classes this past weekend. I took them near the end of class, so some people have already left. We had fun!

Petite Brioche is a great first step in 2-color brioche in the round. From there, increases and decreases are a logical next step. Come knit with me!

VKLive from the student side

I sat in on a couple classes at Virtual VKLive this weekend. I enjoyed them both!

The first was Lucy Neatby’s 2 color double knitting in the round. I originally took this class in 2017 at Madrona, but I never did anything with it. Time for a refresher! I re-learned how it works, and several different ways to manage 2 yarns. It was fun, but it still doesn’t speak to me like brioche does.

I also sat in on Franklin Habit’s mosaic knitting class. I’ve done lots of slip stitch knitting before (most recently Half the Knit Sky), but not actual mosaic knitting, as defined by Barbara Walker. I learned a bit about how to chart mosaic knitting, and considered playing with different textures. All garter stitch? Garter on stockinette background? Stockinette on garter background? My personal preference is garter on a stockinette background, like in Half the Knit Sky and my Dotty Cowl and Dotty Cake hat.

I don’t love the waffle weave look of all garter stitch mosaic. And that’s when I realized…my Dissent Cowl is garter stitch mosaic. The waffle texture is most noticeable on the dot pattern at the beginning. But the collar portion is so iconic, it doesn’t come off as mosaic garter stitch. Well played.

The cowl is coming along nicely. It’s pretty intuitive knitting. I adjusted it to make it smaller, and the neck a little shorter. We’ll see how that turns out over all, soon. You know, of course, this just makes me want to knit a second one, with more modifications, but I don’t think I want to invest that much more time. So many things to knit!

What’s on your needles? I have this and Rio Calina, and maybe mitts to go with the Deep End Hat. I’m not feeling too excited about the mitts right now. I’m not sure I want mitts at this gauge? Would a cowl be more compelling? You couldn’t wear it with the hat (too much all together around your head/neck), but it would be a nice option for those who don’t wear hats. What do you think?

Biking and Zooming (new classes with For Yarn’s Sake)

Fall is here, and last Monday was a perfect day for a bike ride in the Columbia River Gorge. I went with some friends to bike through the Mosier Twin Tunnels, out past Hood River. They’re just on the other side of the Cascade mountains, the dry side, but it was a glorious day all around.

Eighteen Mile Island

The ride isn’t terribly long, maybe 8.5 miles out and back, but it’s hilly! It’s on a dedicated bike/pedestrian path that follows the old Columbia River Highway. You can see the (not that new) Columbia River Highway, Interstate 84, down below.

Eighteen Mile Island from the other side
Breathtaking diagonal geology across the river on the Washington side

This section of the old highway was abandoned in the 1950s when the new highway was built closer to the river. It was restored for recreational use in 2000.

Standing between the tunnels, looking east through the east tunnel

It felt so good to get out for a while!

We stopped for refreshment at Thunder Island Brewing’s new digs in Cascade Locks. They used to be down on the water, now they’re up on the main drag. Great view from the deck!

Cascade Locks is on the wetter, greener side of the Cascade mountains

It’s windy and rainy today (Sunday), but the forecast is for cool, drier weather this coming week. I’m on Day 4 of work; I spoke about blocking for the Puddletown Knitters Guild on Thursday evening, and have been teaching for Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live all weekend. Busy busy!

I have a couple new Zoom classes through For Yarn’s Sake. We’re doing Petite Brioche on Sunday October 25 (I love teaching new brioche knitters!) and Braided Wristlets on Sunday November 8.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

Braided Wristlets is one of my favorite classes to teach. It dips into beginning colorwork knitting, tonal contrast, yarn color dominance, and of course, the very fun herringbone braids. Links to the For Yarn’s Sake classes are here. Are you ready to learn a new skill?

Deep End class and discount

Deep End brioche hat

My Deep End brioche hat class has just been listed at Twisted. This class will teach you brioche increases and decreases in a jiffy! Most of the techniques are introduced in the first patterning round. The class is not a beginning brioche class; you should already know how to knit brioche rib. The Deep End pattern is included in the class fee. Registration link here. Class is on Saturday, October 24, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific time.

If you want to knit Deep End but don’t need a class, you can still purchase the pattern, and the introductory discounts are good through tomorrow, October 8. Purchase through Ravelry or Payhip.

WordPress has just chosen to force me into using their “new” block editor today. They’ve been trying to do this for a long time; I like the old editor just fine. Now I have to learn a new thing, and I’m not sure I have the mental bandwidth this week. Ugh! Aaaaand the preview tab doesn’t work. I hate change…grumble grumble grumble. Well, I’m going to go ahead and post; hope this looks okay!

Introducing: Deep End

Deep End is a 2 color brioche hat knit in the round from the bottom up. One side features a large staghorn motif, the other side uses a variation of the gull stitch. I like wearing the staghorn on the side, but you can style it any way you want.

I designed this hat as a teaching piece for my classes. You’ll learn both left and right leaning brioche double decreases on the first patterning round; it’s like jumping in the deep end of the pool! After that it’s oodles of brioche rib before the next increases and decreases.

Two crown options are included. Choose the quadruple decreases for a challenge, or go back to the shallow end of the pool with familiar double decreases.

This pattern is available through Ravelry. It’s on sale for 10% off through October 8, no coupon code needed.

This pattern is also available through Payhip, and it’s on sale there, too.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitter Ann Berg.

I’m teaching a Zoom class with this pattern through Twisted on Saturday October 24. If you’d like me to email you when registration goes live, leave me a comment. (Coordinating all aspects is like a dance, and the pattern has to go live before the class can go live. One step at a time!)

Best laid plans

Remember this? It was going swimmingly, until I got to the planned swirly decreases for the crown. It was a great plan, but in real life I didn’t like that the decreases didn’t hit the staghorn and gull motifs in a consistent way. I worked out another decrease for the top, but it’s based on 10 stitches instead of 6 or 12, which is the number of stitches I had. Blergh.

So I started over. But first, I checked to make sure I would like the new crown shaping. I decreased the extra stitches out, and then worked out the new planned crown. Just to make sure I wasn’t starting over for nothing.

It worked just fine, but it’s a much more rapid decrease than the swirly top, so the hat has to be knit taller before beginning the decreases. Ask me how I know. Call it a giant swatch. Yup.

I reknit the hat in 2 days. Partly because I can be a bit obsessive with my knitting. Also, I had a date with my tech editor for Monday, and it had to be ready because she’s booked for months.

I love it! The new decreases look just right with the gull stitch.

And the staghorn side is a thing of beauty at the top. Well, it is to me, at least.

The hat is being test knit now, and it will be published soon.

I frogged the first hat to reclaim the yarn, and am playing with mitts. Small circumference brioche is a bit fiddly with dpns or flexiflips or magic loop or 2 circulars! It’s so easy to gain or lose a YO by accident. But mitts could be very pretty. We’ll see how it works out.

In the meantime, I’m planning more classes. My classes with Twisted sold out immediately, so I added another Petite Brioche in October, and that sold out, too. We’re planning more. I’m thinking of Petite Brioche again on Sunday October 18. Message me if you want an email when registration goes live.

The new hat will be the project for a brioche increase/decrease class; I’m really looking forward to that. I’m planning that for Saturday, October 24, but I can’t list it until the pattern is ready. Soon! Again, message me if you want an email when registration goes live.

Smoke update: We had thunder/lightning/downpour at 4 a.m. The air is now merely Unhealthy, which is a vast improvement from Beyond Index, Hazardous, and Very Unhealthy! It will get better, bit by bit.

Onward!

Tinking Brioche Decreases tutorial

A student asked me how to tink brioche decreases. I made a little video so I can share it with all of you, too.

Also, my Petite Brioche class through Twisted on September 26 is full!

So we added another class on October 17. Link to register is here.

There’s still room in my Syncopation class on October 3, link here.

Let’s knit!

More brioche classes!

You may remember that I started teaching knitting about a dozen years ago at Twisted, my neighborhood LYS. I was sad to see Twisted move to an online only model early this year. But given the way 2020 has gone, it seems to have been a very good idea.

So I got to thinking: Online shop, online classes. Why not? I’m happy to announce that I’m teaching a couple classes for Twisted via Zoom.

I’ll be teaching Petite Brioche on Saturday September 26, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT. This is a gentle introduction to two color brioche in the round, which I think is the easiest way to learn brioche. Register here.

I’ll be teaching syncopated brioche using my Syncopation pattern on Saturday October 3, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT. If you’re already comfortable with knitting brioche rib and want to get fancy, this class is for you. Register here.

Classes are via Zoom, and they’re limited to 12 students each. We’ll have a cozy knitting time together.

Come knit with me! I think we could all use a happy diversion right about now.

The river runs on

It was a big week! I did a little knitting, and a lot of teaching.

Here’s the little knitting, before. I ripped back my Rio Calina a bit. I learned that it’s not so much the direction of the cable cross that drives me, but the over/under. I didn’t like long snakey lines that continued uncrossed on the top of the fabric, so I changed it! Do you see what I did?

I like it a lot better this way.

The squash I’ve been pollinating (plant sex!) in the garden did some sneaky growing while I wasn’t paying attention. It got big!

I guess the bees can manage from here on out.

I used one of the squash on a pizza. Same basic structure as the puff pastry tarts in previous posts, but this is a little more substantial than the puff pastry.

Do you remember mug cakes, from a few years ago? We needed a small dessert, so I made a mug cake. This is half, plus some goodies. Here’s the recipe.

I taught 4 classes for Virtual VKLive, including Syncopation, which made its VKLive debut. It was really fun; my students were awesome!

Now I’m working on more video tutorials, and launching a Payhip store. More on that later.

Knit on!