Category Archives: classes

Assigned pooling mania

Help! I’ve fallen down the pooling rabbit hole, and I’m not sure when I’m coming up for air. The ideas are flying.

I had so much fun with the yarn for Pooling is a Cinch (publishing tomorrow), I had to play with one more design. This cowl doesn’t have a name yet, but I think it will be out later this month.

Dream in Color has pooling yarns in worsted weight, too! We’ll be using this yarn (choice of colors) for an assigned pooling Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake in April. I’m working on this pattern right now; it will also be out later this month. I love this stitch, and it’s very adaptable for the length of your colorburst.

If you have an idea for naming either of these, let me know. If I use the name you suggest, I’ll send you a copy of the pattern.

Have any new-to-you techniques caught your fancy lately? Do tell!

Planning ahead to September

I worked summers at a cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska to pay for college, way back when. I worked in the egg house, sorting and packing salmon roe to send to Japan.

That’s me, with a handful of salmon roe. I’ve always wanted to re-visit Alaska, without the fish eggs.

Guess who’s going to Alaska? This cruise with Vogue Knitting is going to be spectacular. I’m not sure what I’m teaching yet, but I think brioche and Whale Watch Cap and Cowl would be perfectly appropriate.

We shall see! Come knit with me!

Happy Fiberuary!

Or February, if you’re traditional. This is a jam packed month for me. Who knew you could have this much fun knitting? I have three in-person weekends coming up. I hope to see you at one of these events!

At Vogue Knitting Live NYC Feb. 10-12 I’ll be teaching Petite Brioche (beginning brioche), Deep End (brioche increases and decreases), Syncopation (syncopated brioche), Sheepy Steeky Coasters (steeks!), and my new Embellishment Cowl (elongated stitches, slip stitch quilted lattice, and beads).

At Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat Feb. 16-19 I’ll be teaching Petite Brioche (beginning brioche), Whale Watch Cap and Cowl (brioche increases and decreases), Sheepy Steeky Coasters (steeks!) and Assigned and Planned Pooling.

Rose City Yarn Crawl is Feb. 23-26. I’ll have a trunk show and book signing at For Yarn’s Sake on Thursday Feb. 23, along with Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit), Shannon Squire, and Debbie Stone.

Oh, and Bruce Springsteen is coming to town! Should I go see him? He held my sock, you know…

How is your February shaping up?

Introducing Aspen Leaf Coasters

I love a small project for teaching new techniques. These Aspen Leaf Coasters are a perfect lesson in brioche increases and decreases.

They even include an optional syncopated edge for a pop of accent color. They’re knit in worsted weight wool, so they’re quick, too. These were knit with Malabrigo Worsted in Sunset and Malambo.

And these were knit with Anzula For Better or Worsted in Herb and Blueberry.

I’m looking forward to teaching increases and decreases with these. (Pint tumblers by JaMPDX)

The pattern is available through Ravelry and also through Payhip. The pattern is 15% off through January 30, no coupon code needed.

Ahoy, knitters!

I’ve just signed on to teach aboard the Zodiac, a schooner that sails out of Bellingham, Washington. This is in conjunction with Northwest Yarns of Bellingham. The 3 day cruise is July 31-August 2. It’s a nautical knitting cruise! And you get to learn to help sail the ship, too.

Zodiac, the schooner

(photo from the Zodiac website, used with permission, copyright Taylor Hodges)

The trip includes 4 knitting classes. Two of them will be brioche! We’ll use my Whale Watch Cap and Cowl pattern to introduce brioche and then learn increases and decreases.

Our other two classes will explore fancy stitches and herringbone braids (and simple stranded colorwork).

Are you game? Register here!

Hello December!

It’s been a busy month since I last posted. Lots of teaching, and lots of fun. I’ve been sitting in on Shaina’s and Keith’s brioche sessions in Brioche Buddies

and tonight it was my turn. I taught about fixing mistakes, and increases and decreases. Here’s the aftermath on my desk with three swatch samples plus Deep End cowl and hat (and my little cork buddies)

and the aftermath of samples next to me

as I kept pulling more things out of the dresser where I keep some of my samples. Next week is the last week, and we’re having a cast on party, woot!

I also did a couple more rounds of tea towels.

Okay, this may have been overkill; that’s a lot of work for each towel!

I love these pine cones with gradient shading; they have more depth than the plain brown ones I did before. I’ve learned a lot and am still learning more.

And I’ve been knitting! More on that in the next post…

Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat 2023

Registration for Red Alder opens Sunday!

Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is scheduled for February 16-19 in Tacoma, Washington. Classes are listed on the website now, as well as registration information. Registration begins November 13 at 10 am Pacific time.

I’m teaching four classes:

Petite Brioche, which is a quick start to 2 color brioche in the round,

Whale Watch Cap and Cowl, which is all about brioche increases and decreases

Planned and assigned pooling

Sheepy Steeky Coasters (cutting your first steek)

There are classes for knitting, spinning, weaving…more? Check out the website, choose your classes, and register beginning Sunday. The event is at the Hotel Murano, which is a beautiful venue full of glass art. Come knit with me!

Chihuly glass at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma

Coming soon: Brioche Buddies!

I’m teaming up with Shaina Bilow and Keith Leonard to bring you Brioche Buddies! We’ll spend a month exploring the loveliness that is brioche. Weekly classes will be via Zoom, and are limited to 40 participants. Registration went live yesterday, and there are 18 spots left. If you want to be part of this brioche extravaganza you should register now.

Classes will be recorded, and you’ll have access for a year. We’ll also have an option for recorded classes only. That’s a great option if the schedule doesn’t fit your schedule, or if the Live Zoom classes are sold out.

For the Brioche Buddies event, I’ll be teaching fixing mistakes,

and brioche increases and decreases, which is how we get the lovely patterning in 2 color brioche rib.

Shaina and Keith are engaging, experienced teachers. I met Keith at VKLive Columbus in 2019, and I met Shaina at VKLive Seattle 2022. Shaina and I taught at Knit Maine last month, and that’s where I learned that they’ve been buddies ever since she taught Keith to knit. All three of us will be teaching at VKLive NYC in February 2023. I’m thrilled to be joining this dynamic duo!

If you’re brioche-curious, and want to really get it down, this series is for you. You’ll have plenty of time to practice during the week between classes, and just keeping it rolling will help you gain the muscle memory for the rhythm of brioche. I hope you can join us!

FO: Bonnie Isle Hat

Ohhhh, pretty!

Bonnie Isle Hat stranded colorwork knitting

Isn’t it lovely? It’s the Bonnie Isle Hat by Linda Shearer for Shetland Wool Week. The pattern is free for a limited time.

See how smooth and even my stitches are? They weren’t when they came off the needles! Stranded colorwork isn’t finished until it’s been blocked. This hat is currently drying after a soak. You may also wonder why there’s a string hanging off the bottom. The designer suggests putting a strand of “a strong yarn” through the ribbing and pulling it in a bit while it dries. This helps make the brim lie flat and a bit more snug.

I usually block my keps over this bowl, so the top lays out flat.

Like this. But this time I just laid the folded hat on top of the bowl (top picture), because I didn’t want it to stretch lengthwise, and I didn’t want to leave a ridge where it hits the edge of the bowl. I kept rearranging it as it dried, so it didn’t get any creases in it.

I bought the yarn pack for this from For Yarn’s Sake; I’m not the best color combiner on my own! I love this particular combination. There are five different colorways, in case you’d like a little help with your colors, too.

I’m teaching a stranded colorwork class for For Yarn’s Sake via Zoom on Sunday, November 6. We’ll talk about stranded colorwork knitting, managing multiple yarns, yarn color dominance, and blocking. We’ll use this pattern as a jumping off point, but the techniques are applicable to all stranded colorwork. I’ll also talk about how I adjusted the size of my hat via stitch count (because I don’t like tiny needles, and I like the fabric I get using a US3). Register here if you’re interested!

Most horrifying moment? After I had sewn in the ends, wondering why there was one really loose purple strand inside the hat, and then discovering that I had dropped a stitch and it the whole column was running. It was one of those dark purple lines going in to the center. I fixed it (hooray for sticky yarn that doesn’t slip-slide away too quickly!). I can tell which line it is, but I don’t think it’s too obvious.

Now…does this hat need a pompom? I’m probably too lazy to ever get around to making one!

Knit Maine 2022

After the Vogue Knitting Cruise and a few days in New York, DH headed for Portland, Oregon and I headed for Portland, Maine. Knit Maine (from Peacetree Fiber Adventures) was held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, a 3 hour drive from Portland. It was like going to camp! North Coast Maine is a magical place.

Stairs at Haystack

It’s probably good that I didn’t know beforehand that I’d be taking my suitcases (2!) down these stairs to my room.

Stairs at haystack

And back up again at the end of our stay. And that I’d be up and down them repeatedly every day. I got my 10,000 steps every day, and a stairmaster workout, to boot!

With Louis, Shaina, and Christine Walker (Knit Maine organizer!)

Happy to be settling in!

Outside the dining hall at Haystack
Gathering area outside the dining hall
Morning Yoga at Knit Maine
Morning yoga
Wood shop at Haystack

My classes? In the wood studio. I taught Petite Brioche and Whale Watch/Brioche Increases & Decreases, as well as 3 other classes.

Cabana Boy colorway from Yarn Snob

My Planned and Assigned Pooling students loved the Cabana Boy colorway from Yarn Snob.

Fancy knit stitches
YO? YO! Fun and fancy stitches to dress up your stockinette.
thrumbelina thrummed slipper
Thrumbelina thrummed slippers
thrummed knitting
So much floof!
thrummed knitting

Jacquie didn’t love making the thrummed butterflies, and I mentioned that some people use the roving as a carry-along strip. Worth a try! As long as you get the result you want, you’re doing it right.

The days were packed with classes, but we also had time to shop in the market that was set up in the clay studio. Casey Ryder from Port Fiber had some beautiful yarns from Cashmere People, Spin Cycle and Harrisville Designs (and more?).

Madder Root Trundle Bag
Madder Root Trundle Bag

Madder Root had beautiful bags. I couldn’t resist this one. You know I love the night sky!

Louis Boria
Louis choosing colors from North Light Fibers

and Sven from North Light Fibers brought beautiful yarn, including Water Street, a DK weight 40/60 cashmere/merino blend that is making me dream of cushy brioche accessories. There was more, the offerings changed from day to day. I’m sure I didn’t see everything.

The weather was perfect, and there was time to explore the campus.

At Picnic Rock with Shaina, Kristin, and Cal
Rock stack at Picnic Rock
Stacked stones at Picnic Rock
Path through the woods at Haystack
Trail…
Found the beach!
beach at sunset
Across from the flagpole
Moonrise, full harvest moon
Moonrise, full harvest moon
stump
Even the stumps are beautiful
Knit Maine teachers
Teachers!

Louis Boria, me, Shaina Bilow, Kristin Drysdale, Casey Ryder, Christine Walker (Peacetree Fiber Adventures), and Cal Patch. Knit Maine featured classes in knitting, drop spindling, embroidery, sewing, needle felting…a nice mix of fiber arts.

Happy campers!
swag

Christine is such an excellent organizer. She had Knit Maine tote bags ready for each participant, with supplies for their classes. Also in the bags? These mugs, and a center pull ball winder from Katrinkles. ETA: T-shirts, and a copy of Taproot magazine. (I had partially unpacked, and things got separated!) A skein of yarn from Moss Fibers, specially dyed as The Maine Event colorway, was the parting gift. I’m looking forward to making something special with it.

The fun didn’t stop when we left Haystack; we still had to get back to Portland.

You can get a lot done on a 3 hour bus ride

That’s a wrap on my epic east coast adventure! I’m so happy I had the opportunity to teach in such a variety of settings. What a great way to start autumn knitting. Now I’m gearing up for virtual and in-person teaching. Looking forward to a fiber-filled fall!