Category Archives: classes

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!

Vogue Knitting Cruise: Newport, RI and NYC

The Norwegian Breakaway was huge! Lots of indoor and outdoor places to explore; it’s like a floating city with lots of restaurants, lounges, pools, and hot tubs. And a casino, if that’s your thing. You get to visit lots of places on and off the ship, and your hotel room just moves along with you. Tidy.

People do play with this outdoor chess set!
Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport RI

So many charming lighthouses on this trip! This one greeted us at our first stop, in Newport, Rhode Island.

We visited Knitting Needles, a sweet shop not too far from the tender dock. She was ready for us with goodie bags, and a visit with the dyers behind Hugs With Shrugs, a charity that supports moms that have children with pediatric cancer.

I bought a couple mini skeins that are Newport-themed. I’ll find a use for them with another worsted. A little brioche accent, maybe?

I met John Brennan, author and pirate. He came to chat about his book, Newport Live, which is a history of Newport.

first class

I taught my first brioche class that afternoon; we had fun! I taught beginning 2 color brioche in the round, with the option to learn increases and decreases to knit my Whale Watch Cap and Cowl. I designed these accessories especially for this cruise! And I also used them the following week at Knit Maine.

Whale Watch Cap and Cowl. See the Whale Tail?

The other half of our group had class with Vogue Knitting’s editor-in-chief Norah Gaughan; they learned techniques from Norah’s new book, Knit Fold Pleat Repeat. We swapped groups at the end of the week, so everyone had a chance to take both classes.

I’m adding miscellaneous cruise pictures to this post; this blog is my pictorial journal, too!

Closing gathering, with new stash!
Cruise knitters!
Verrazano Narrows Bridge

I woke up early on our return day; the lights of this bridge were reflecting in my mirror! Apple Maps told me that it was the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and that the Statue of Liberty was coming right up. Which it did.

Next stop: Portland, Maine

Back from the east coast and knitting again

*Finally* knitting again!

Mystery project

I finished knitting this project while in Maine. Some of you may have seen it at Knit Maine (couldn’t not try it out!). I mostly love it, but there are some tweaks I want to do as I write the pattern. I don’t want to frog this, so I’ve ordered more yarn for the reknit.

Shetland Wool Week’s Bonnie Isle Hat

It took a week to catch up enough that I could cast on a new project. This is Bonnie Isle, this year’s free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. It’s fun to knit. I wasn’t sure about the colors when I pulled them out of the kit bag from For Yarn’s Sake (it was the Lipstick that made me say hmmmm), but with the white background it all tones down into a harmonious symphony of color. (The kits come in several colorways, in case this pink is not your style.)

My gauge is way off; I knew it would be because I’ve knit with the same yarn for the past two Shetland Wool Week keps. Which means my previous hats are perfect gauge swatches! I don’t want to use smaller needles (these are US 3/3.25 mm) because I like the fabric. So I’ve done some math, and I’m knitting happily and getting the size I want.

I’m teaching a stranded colorwork class via Zoom for For Yarn’s Sake on November 6, using this hat as a jumping off point. I’ll give you all my best pointers on stranded colorwork knitting, and also resizing if you’re interested in that, too. Register here.

Trundle bag from Madder Root

My Bonnie Isle project is in a new bag from Madder Root; I bought this bag at Knit Maine.

When I saw the lining I had to have it as my Maine souvenir. (Shown here with my class materials from my Thrumbelina slippers class.)

Rising full Harvest Moon, Deer Isle, Maine

Because the moon made a big Maine impression on me over the weekend! So orange, so full, so gorgeous.

I’m going to be posting bits and bobs from my travels as I catch up. It’s too much for a giant post; you wouldn’t hear from me until next month if I waited to put it all together! More soon.

Classes for fall!

I’ve been busy working on setting up classes for fall; here’s what’s up!

Vogue Knitting Cruise August 28-September 4 (probably too late to sign on?)

Knit Maine September 9-11

Embellishment Cowl

Embellishment Cowl Zoom class at Twisted, Saturday Oct. 1, register here. This class is new, and features three techniques: Elongated/gathered stitches for the flowery bits, quilted lattice slip stitch, and beading as you go. Come get a great start on a quick holiday gift for you or a loved one! 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn can make 3 cowls.

Petite Brioche

Petite Brioche 2 color beginning brioche in the round Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Oct. 2, register here

Petite Brioche in person at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Friday Oct. 14, register here

Deep End Brioche increases and decreases in person at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Saturday Oct. 15, register here

Deep End hat or cowl

Deep End Brioche increases and decreases Zoom class via Twisted, Saturday Nov. 5, register here.

Bonnie Isle Hat

Bonnie Isle Hat/Stranded Colorwork Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Nov. 6, register here

Tink Drop Frog

Tink Drop Frog, finding and fixing mistakes Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Dec. 4, register here

That’s it for now!

Introducing Embellishment Cowl

Re-introducing: Embellishment Cowl! I originally designed this as an exclusive for Knit Camp with Olive Knits, and now the rights have returned to me. That means I can offer it to you!

The Embellishment Cowl is knit with two skeins of fingering weight yarn. It features a fun elongated/gathered stitch, quilted lattice slip stitch in one or two colors, and optional beads, knit as you go. You can knit three cowls with 2 skeins of yarn, if you switch up the color setup.

I knit mine with 2 skeins of Schmutzerella Spectacular, which has a little bling in it. Two skeins is enough for the three cowls you see here.

Pattern is available through Payhip and Ravelry.

I’m teaching a Zoom class for the Embellishment Cowl via Twisted Yarn Shop on Saturday, Oct. 1; registration link will be here. Pattern is included in class fee; don’t buy it twice.

Do you want to do a knit along in October? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set it up!

Introducing: Whale Watch Cap and Cowl

samples knit in Anzula for Better or Worsted

Whale Watch is two patterns in one! It features a 2-color brioche cap and cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. I designed this set as a quick start teaching piece for my 3 hour classes, beginning with 2 color brioche rib, and then introducing simple increases and decreases. Whether you prefer cowls or hats, I’ve got you covered.

Frolicking whales and soaring gulls will keep you entertained at sea, at the beach, or anywhere!

samples knit in Malabrigo Rios

Pattern uses worsted weight yarn in 2 contrasting colors. The yardage is close, but you can get a large hat and tall cowl with 200 yards of each color, if you match my gauge. The pattern includes instructions for both the cap and the cowl. The cap can be knit in 2 sizes, and there are two different ways to finish the crown.

taller cowl above, shorter cowl below

The pattern is on sale for 15% off through June 20 with coupon code ORCA. It is available through Ravelry here. You can also purchase this pattern from my Payhip store here; the same code works in both places.

I’m looking forward to using this pattern for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise at the end of August. I’ll also be using it at Knit Maine in September. I love that it’s all-in-one, both cap and cowl. I’m streamlining!

Thanks to tech editor Jen Lucas, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, and Melissa A. Rowe.

Knit Maine this September

I’m looking forward to spending a beautiful long weekend in Maine, teaching at Knit Maine September 8-11 with PeaceTree Fiber Adventures. It’s at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. I’ll be teaching with five other teachers: Kristin Drysdale, Casey Ryder, Cal Patch, Shaina Bilow, and Louis Boria. Gaye Glasspie of GGMadeIt will be there to party with us, too! You get to choose your classes from these any/all of these teachers. It looks like there are only 3 spots left, so hurry!

I’m teaching Petite Brioche, Brioche Increases & Decreases (with my new Whale Watch hat and cowl pattern, I think), Thrumbelina thrummed slippers, YO? YO! Fancy stitches, and Planned Pooling. Currently plotting and planning the yarn with Keith Leonard (Knits All Done/YarnSnob) for the planned pooling class; it’s so gorgeous.

I’ve been to Maine once before, to Sebasco Harbor for one of DH’s work retreats. Such a beautiful place.

How far in advance are you planning your life? It’s weird to be planning things again, after Covid lockdowns. I know the virus is still out there, and I’m trying to strike a balance between caution and life. Knit on!

Crowning glory

I have crowns on my mind. More hat crowns.

For Better or Worsted MCN from Anzula Luxury Yarns, yum

I love a pretty crown on a hat. This one hits all the right notes. It’s for the hat and cowl pattern that I’m designing for the class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in August. The class covers beginning 2 color brioche rib in the round, and brioche increases and decreases. Does this sound like Brioche Pastiche? Yes and no! This set includes a cowl, for non-hat wearers. An a nautical theme!

Malabrigo Rios, a favorite yarn for brioche

This crown is slightly simpler, but the overall effect is the same. I just sent the pattern off to my tech editor, and I’m looking forward to moving on with these designs.

There are a few spots left on this cruise. Do you have to cruise with us to knit this hat and/or cowl? Of course not. But it would be really fun! Here’s a list of the places we’re going.

I’ll show you the whole set soon, after tech editing. I love them!

Brioche Pastiche, even pastichier

I had a fabulous time in Minnesota last month, teaching for the Minnesota Knitters Guild Yarn Over event. This was supposed to happen in 2020, and it finally happened in 2022. It was a whirlwind event; I flew in on Friday, taught on Saturday, and flew home on Sunday.

Brioche Pastiche

One of the classes I taught was Brioche Pastiche, a three hour introduction to two color brioche rib, increases and decreases. I originally designed this hat with a spiffy four section crown. I thought it would be fun to update the pattern with an alternate crown, but first I had to design it. I was still knitting it at the retreat; I finished it when I got home.

I made it one leaf taller before beginning the crown shaping

and gave it a swirlier, flowery top. It’s just a tiny bit taller than the original hat (more leaf rounds, fewer decrease rounds).

I’ve updated the pattern and run it past my new tech editor. I’ve also updated the language in the pattern to be a little closer to standard. If you previously purchased Brioche Pastiche, you should be receiving a message through email and/or Ravelry that there’s an update available. This will give you both the original crown and the new crown. If you’re interested in purchasing this pattern, use coupon code GLORY for 15% off through May 22 on Ravelry and Payhip.

And! It’s also part of the Brioche Hat Trick ebook on Ravelry, in case you want a LOT more brioche. (The ebook is only available through Ravelry for now. If you’ve already purchased the ebook, you’ll get the Pastiche update without needing to repurchase.)

Thanks to the Minnesota Knitters for inspiring me to get this done! (If you were in my class, you’ll get this update, too.)