Category Archives: events

Seeing Stars Fall Shawl Retreat Oct. 11-13

Just a reminder, registration is open for our Seeing Stars Fall Shawl Retreat. This is a small retreat in the Columbia River Gorge, near Camas. I’m doing this with crochet designer Laurinda Reddig, and both of our shawls feature stars!

I’ll be featuring my better garter tab for top down crescent shawls, which helps reduce the hump that can occur at the center neck. Who wants a humpy lumpy neck? Not me!

I’ll also be showing how to make your stars even bigger! Laurinda was inspired to design her Star Bright shawl based on my Lucky Star shawl, and I was inspired to make even bigger stars based on her Star Bright. Synchronicity!

This year we’re featuring yarn from Mosaic Moon at the retreat; the colors are shown above on the right. I hope you can join us. Registration is limited to 7 knitters and 7 crocheters, so if you want to come, please register now.

And for those of you who are following my Soldotna Crop progress, I’m nearing the finish line!

I made it down to the bind off and tried it on. I decided that it really would be better a bit more cropped, so I ripped back and eliminated some of the body pattern. It looks better now that you can see that I have a waist.

I’m finishing the arms, and then I have to figure out what I want to do with the neck. Right now it’s just sitting on a provisional cast on. I think I want a small stockinette roll at the neck, but I’m not sure yet. And same color? Contrasting color? Hmmmm. Opinions, anyone?

Vogue Knitting Live Columbus Nov. 1-3

I’m teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in Columbus, Ohio this fall! The event is November 1-3, and general registration is now open at this link.

I’m so excited to take my show on the road! I’ll be teaching these classes:

pdxknitterati braided wristletsHerringbone Braids and Beyond

Athena Entrelac Cowl

Brioche Pastiche Hat

Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes

YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Stitches

and a lecture on Blocking: It’s Magic!

It’s a very full schedule, and I’m looking forward to it! I’ve been to Columbus once before, for TNNA back in 2015, so I’m familiar with the venue. We’re going to have a lot of fun. And Jeni’s Ice Cream.

I hope you can come knit with me!

Here are some highlights that are happening at the show:

Diversity Panel and Town Hall: The panel will include members of the Vogue Knitting Diversity Advisory Council as well as members of our community.

Indie Yarn Tasting: Try before you buy! Sample yarns from indie dyers in the Marketplace. A few rows are already knit for you to take a few stitches and see what you think, then head to their booth and shop.

Opening Ceremony with Clara Parkes: Kick off your weekend with a keynote from Clara Parkes on the current state of the wool industry.

Free lectures: Cultivating Resilience: Fiber Production in a Changing Environment with Charis Bennett Walker AND The Love Language of Making with Marceline Smith

Free learn to knit and crochet lessons available to complete newbies as well as those who want a refresher! Needles and hooks provided by Knitter’s Pride.

#HatNotHate Collection: Join Lion Brand in their anti-bullying campaign. They encourage people to make, wear, donate, and post handmade blue hats, adding #HatNotHate when sharing on social platforms. Blue hats can be donated at the #HatNotHate drop-off box in the Marketplace all weekend long.

The Knitterati Diagonal Afghan KAL will be starting on Thursday, September 5, 2019. See squares from this afghan on display in the Marketplace as well as past blankets.

Cheers!

Planning for fall knitting classes

It’s the dog days of summer, but I’m busily planning for fall. (This is my friend Sissy at Lost Lake, Mt. Hood National Forest, last week.)

Dog at Lost Lake, Mt. Hood

First off, I’ll be teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. This local festival is just the right size, with lots of things to do. I’m teaching my Brioche Pastiche Hat, and Slip Stitch Knitting on Saturday, September 28.

And right after that, I’m doing another fall shawl retreat with crochet designer Laurinda Reddig, October 11-13 at Quinn Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge. I’m teaching my Lucky Star Shawl, with ways to embiggen those stars. Laurinda was inspired by it to design her new Star Bright Shawl, which just took 3rd place for accessories at the Crochet Guild of America last week. Knit or crochet, you’ll be seeing (and making) stars! Registration is open now.

In November, I’m teaching in Columbus, OH at Vogue Knitting Live. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity! I’ll tell you all about it in a separate blog post in just a bit.

But summer isn’t over yet, so I’ll also be showing you my linen project…soon!

WWKIP Day pix, and a knitCompanion winner

I didn’t make it to IKEA on Saturday; that was one too many activities for me. But it was a great day in the park with Knit Picks. It didn’t even rain! And it was cool enough that we could wear our knits. Perfect.

I had a little display, shown here behind Meghan of JaMpdx in her lovely Blooming Brioche Shawl.

She gave me a yarn chicken patch, so new they’re not even in the shop yet. She knows I’m a big yarn chicken fan.

Emily Kintigh was the designer next to me; I love her softies. That baseball is calling my name.

Chelsea and Rebekah Berkompas are sisters-in-law who design!

And MK Nance (right) was there with gorgeous rainbows, and a friend whose name I didn’t catch. Sorry!

Cali came by to say hi, and gave me some plant cuttings! I follow her, and her kitty, on Instagram. We first met years ago during a Rose City Yarn Crawl.

I brought my new Hopscotch Scarf, which is coming soon.

Did you knit in public on Saturday? I hope you had fun!

I picked a winner for the knitCompanion Setup + Essentials. It’s kimbelina! I’m sending her an email to make arrangements for prize delivery. Thanks to everyone for commenting; it’s interesting how we all have different ways of tracking our projects. Even clothespins!

WWKIP Day is this Saturday, June 8

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 8. As knitters, we knit in public all the time. But it’s fun to make a special party of it!

There are three WWKIP Day events on my radar, and I’m hoping to make it to two of them. I know for sure that I’ll be at the Knit Picks event at Portland’s Wilshire Park, 4116 NE 33rd Ave. It’s from 11 am to 2 pm. There will be door prizes drawings, and a yarn and book giveaway for everyone. Yay, freebies!

It happens rain or shine; I’m hoping for shine. And there’s a covered picnic area, so we’re covered either way. Bring a chair and your knit or crochet project! I’ll be there along with five other designers, with samples to show.

If I’m up for an earlier start, I’ll make it to IKEA! Puddletown Knitters Guild is hosting an event at the Portland IKEA store from 9:30 to noon! I don’t think I could say it better than their Instagram post, so I’ll just put this right here.

The third WWKIP event that I know about is a joint venture between Brooklyn Tweed and Pedalpalooza. Meet at Brooklyn Tweed headquarters at NE 7th and Davis at 11:30, and join the bike ride to Ladd Circle Park for a crafty time. Or just meet at Ladd Circle Park In SE Portland at noon.

So many choices, and I’m sure there are more! Are you planning to participate in WWKIP Day? What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Also, just a reminder that I’m picking a winner for a year’s subscription to KnitCompanion’s Setup and Essentials on WWKIP Day. See previous post for review and details.

Happy knitting!

More Brioche, LYS Day

Mmmmm, brioche. It’s been quiet around here, but that’s because I’ve been doing a deep dive.

I’ve gained new skills frogging two color brioche and getting it back on the needles. It’s actually easier than it sounds. I do it by ripping until I’m close, and then tinking a row of both colors at the same time, picking up each stitch as I go. It’s just a variation on how I frog single color knitting; that controlled tink of the last row is key! I’ll eventually make a video, but if you’re desperate, give it a try.

Syncopated brioche knitting

I’m also teaching myself syncopated brioche. This is so much fun. Basically, you change the knit and purl columns instead of staying in the normal brioche rib pattern. You do have to consider what’s happening on the other side of the fabric, if both sides are going to show. I’m having fun with this, and look forward to using it on…something. Soon!

In case you’re wondering, the yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, in Pegasus. I love this colorway; I used it to design my Dotty Cowl last year (free pattern from Knit Picks here).

I’ve been playing with more block printing on fabric. I’m kind of in love, here. We did these at Vickie’s in Ellensburg last week, but I carved two more blocks when I came home. The small circle is for making a contrast cener to the flower block. Looking forward to printing these.

Carved rubber block for block printing

And! Are you celebrating your local yarn shop this Saturday? It’s LYS Day, which is a great time to support your local fiber sources. There are events and special promotions on that day.

For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton has a mini skein deal for you: Purchase a set of minis and you’ll get a coupon code to get my Lucky Star pattern for $2. (The pattern is very adaptable to whatever yardage minis you have.) Not local to For Yarn’s Sake? If you purchase a set of minis from your LYS on Saturday (4/27/19) and email me a copy of the receipt, I’ll send you a coupon code for the same deal. Cool beans!

OK, I’m heading back to brioche land. Knit on!

Rose City Yarn Crawl

The 2019 Rose City Yarn Crawl is in the books, and it was fun as always!

It’s a tradition that we begin on Thursday with a big trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake. Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit, and designers Shannon Squire, Debbi Stone and I come with lots of pretties for oohing and aahing. This year was especially fun because we had just launched the Glow Up Knitted Wit collection, and we had many of the samples on hand.

Thanks so much to Anne Lindquist of For Yarn’s Sake for hosting us, and for supplying these beautiful rosé bubbles!

Lorajean got a little punchy by the end of the day, and put on ALL the cowls. There was a lot of giggling.

See my Instagram feed for more pictures from the trunk show and crawl.

On Friday I only made it to one shop, Twisted, and that was because I needed a 32” size 5 sharp circular for a design project.

Somehow, in the moment, it made more sense to buy the whole interchangeable sharp set. I have the regular set and love it, but sometimes you need pointier tips!

On Saturday I stopped by Close Knit. I love this knitting jewelry designed by Lisa Carney-Fenton of Hand Works. Alas, they’re made with brass, so my skin chemistry doesn’t agree with them. I’d love one in sterling silver, but that would be a very spendy special order.

I also went up to Vancouver to visit Blizzard Yarns, a shop that’s new to the crawl. It’s a lovely large space. They had multiple trunk shows going on, including one with Larissa Brown. I love her designs, and am waiting for her next novel to come out. She sets her stories in 10th century Iceland. Cool.

On Sunday I visited Fiber Rhythm and Crafts, which was new to me. I like their space in the old Ford Building; the building is brick with tall windows. I went there specifically because I wanted to try their reflective yarn. I want to knit a hat for DH for his pre-dawn/post-dusk walks. The reflective yarn is meant to be a carry-along with other yarn. I also bought a couple reflective buttons for good measure.

I didn’t mean to buy yarn on this crawl; I have a lot to work with already. But I was approached by a young lady, E, who offered me chocolate, and then proceeded to tell me about the wonders of her mom’s yarn (Art by Eve). The colors are all based on fairy tales. E is 12, almost 13, and a perfect spokesperson. I had to reward her presenation by making a purchase! I love how vibrant these colors are. (E was modeling a hat and cowl, but prefers not to be on social media yet.)

My final stop was at Starlight Knitting Society. Their expanded space is very inviting.

Remember this pin I bought at Knitty City in NYC 2 weeks ago? I didn’t realize until after I was home that Thao of Nerd Bird Makery is local here!

It was a pleasure to meet her. I bought another pin and a T-shirt. Pictures someday, maybe. Gotta pack up for Crafty Moms Weekend! (This month is astoundingly busy, but relaxing at the Oregon Coast is going to be good for my soul.)

Madrona: That’s a wrap!

The 20th, and very last, Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat was last weekend. It was perfect, and perfectly wonderful. This community of fiber artists just feels like home. I had the honor and pleasure of both teaching and being a student, as well as a happy shopper and fiber socializer. Here’s a taste of the weekend. It’s a long post. Savor it, because it’s the last Madrona post!

I taught two classes, Brioche Pastiche hat, and YO? YO! Fancy Stitches.

My brioche class was the best it has ever been. The students were ready for adventure, and did a great job learning brioche rib, and then adding increases and decreases. They also learned to fix mistakes.

The fancy stitches class made samplers like this one, and Ann from last year’s mini class brought me this vintage pattern with a version of one of the stitches we do.

She also wore her Tumbling Leaves shawl. I love it when people show me their projects from my designs!

Karen in brioche class wore her gorgeous deep purple Summertime Blues wrap.

And Jennifer from last year’s Athena Entrelac class showed me her Athena, knit with her handspun alpaca. Brilliant!

Do you plan your retreat attire around your knits? I do! Left to right: Meander Cowl (it was really all about those leopard print boots that I wanted to wear to the teacher talent show, so I switched to my planned pooling cowl later that day, which also pulled the browns together), Lucky Star (the rainbow version), and Garland Shawl. On Sunday I wore my gradient gray and pollen Lucky Star, but alas, no pic.

I took an all day class on Bohus knitting with Susanna Hansson on Saturday. This knitting style from Sweden was the basis of a cottage industry in response to the Great Depression; the Bohus Stickning cooperative operated between 1939 and 1969. The style features stranded colorwork with both knits and purls in fine gauge wool and angora.

Do the purl bumps make a difference? You bet they do! See the difference? The first time I came to a round with purls, I actually giggled in delight. I hadn’t realized that the purl bumps would appear in the contrasting color from the previous round; it wasn’t obvious from the chart.

Here’s my Blue Shimmer cuff start, along with one of the class samples. These are my US size 1 Lantern Moon ebony dpns; I worked the ribbing on US size 0 needles. Not my comfort zone, but it’s so pretty.

And here’s a smattering of student projects! I really enjoyed this class, and would highly recommend it.

But there’s more to Madrona than just classes. The market was full of inspiring and useful things.

This Hazel Knits Lively DK from the Fiber Gallery is going to be a brioche project in the near future. I love how these two colors, Paisley and Plum Glace, go together.

And this Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy in Clusterfact (also from the Fiber Gallery booth) is going to be another adventure in planned pooling. I just can’t stop…

The Canon Hand Dyes booth is always inspiring; her colors are beautiful.

I bought this Chicken Boots notions bag to corral my essentials in my big tote; this made it much easier to find my wallet without carrying the bulk of my purse. I, um, may have also acquired a matching Double Double project bag, my favorite style. I had to get it now; Saremy is not going to continue making bags; she’s launching her Sew Sew video livestream on YouTube.

I enjoyed knitting and chatting with people throughout the retreat. It’s really the people who make Madrona such a delight. Here are a few examples.

I met Zina, the knitter of this wonderful hat. She gathered the mountain goat fluff on a hike, but didn’t know how to spin. The story of how she processed the fluff, including Judith MacKenzie offering to spin it for her(!) is on her blog here.

At the teacher showcase, I chatted with Heather, who said that she wanted to learn to crochet, but she was having a hard time because she’s left-handed. I was so pleased to tell her that crochet designer Laurinda Reddig was going to be demo-ing in the Rotunda the next day, and that she could help her because she’s left handed too. I saw Heather two nights later with her spinning wheel near the fireplace, and she said that Laurinda had helped her with crochet.

I ran into Cecillie moments later, and she told me that she was having difficulty showing her left-handed friend Elizabeth how to crochet. Aha! I popped back over to Heather, and then Heather, a crocheter of all of one day, was showing Elizabeth how to get things going. That’s the spirit of Madrona.

Cecillie, Heather, Elizabeth

I met Pamela several years ago at Madrona. She is a brioche fiend! I introduced her to Sarah Hauschka last year; Sarah taught us linked double knitting, which is like working both colors of brioche in the same pass. The fabric is slightly different than brioche, which Sarah discovered over the course of this year. (There was a long thread on Facebook about it!)

Suzanne Pedersen and Cornie Talley created and sustained this beautiful fiber arts community called Madrona. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it! Thank you, Suzanne and Cornie. ❤️

I’m also pleased that there will be a fiber retreat next year in the same venue. John Mullarkey and Rebecca Edwards are launching Red Alder in 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow!

Cold feet! and Indie Design GAL

Remember these?

My Concentric Slipper Socks. So beautiful in this lovely panoramic gradient from Knit Circus. But they’re an expensive slipper because they’re double-stranded with four 50g balls of beautiful gradient yarn. You could knit these with any worsted weight yarn and be very happy. The gradient just makes them extra lovely.

So this happened.

I frogged the slippers, which I loved, because I want to make single-stranded bed socks. Those four balls should make two pairs of bed socks, if I use a contrasting yarn for heels and toes.

GAME ON.

You’ll note that I’m using some very interesting needles. These are Skacel’s FlexiFlips, which come in a set of 3. (I reviewed them before, here.) It’s a hybrid of dpns and magic loop or two circulars; there’s a bit of cable between the two tips. Divide your work in half, and the third needle is the working needle. I like having fewer transitions than when using dpns, and no fiddling with sliding stitches on cables.

I had started these socks with magic loop on 32” cables which felt too long, and moved to 24” cables which felt too short. The FlexiFlips are just right. They each have a pointy end and a blunter end, so you can choose which suits your knitting style. And I find I don’t need to re-tension the yarn in my throwing hand when I switch needles, which is saving me time.

(Edited to add: More thoughts on the Flexi-Flips here. They were too short, once I picked up the gusset stitches! Back to magic loop.)

I’ll let you know how the bed socks turn out…soon! Worsted weight yarn means quick socks!

What else is going on? The Indie Design Gift-A-Long starts on Friday!

What’s a Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer event through Ravelry to help you kick-start your holiday gift-making. It begins with a pattern sale, and then the fun and games begin on Ravelry, with KAL/CAL activity and prizes. Your project with any paid pattern by a participating designer is eligible for prizes, not just the patterns in the sale. Here are a few of my patterns that are included in the coupon sale portion of the GAL; you can see the rest in the GAL bundle on my Ravelry designer page.

The pattern sale runs from Friday, November 23 at 8:00 pm US EST – Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm US EST. The coupon code is giftalong2018 and it’s good for 25% off any of the participating patterns from all the designers. The KAL/CALs will run from Friday, November 23 at 8pm (US-EST) through the New Years Eve party December 31 at midnight (US-EST). Check out the Ravelry group for all the details.

And! Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it! I hope you get a lot of knitting time in over the holiday weekend. What else would you do while the turkey is cooking? I was planning to knit these bed socks, but then this happened:

The car door and I had a difference of opinion. Click. I went for an x-ray (my hands are very important to me!) and found that my knuckle is just bruised and swollen, nothing broken. It will just slow me down for a few days. I’ll be knitting…gingerly!

I’m very thankful it’s not broken. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Nymphaea Shawl Retreat: That’s a wrap!

Our Nymphaea Fall Shawl Retreat was this past weekend, and it was a blast. We had knitters and crocheters playing with beads and yarn up at Quinn Mountain in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. I wish I had more pictures, but it was a pretty busy weekend. The weather was perfect, too.

I wish I had taken a picture of our beautiful room that we used for the knitters’ break out sessions, but I forgot. This tree was right outside the door, though.

Quinn Mountain is a beautiful spot.

This was on the back of the pickup. Doesn’t it make you dream of circular pi shawls?

Afternoon tea time included a tasting of Plum Deluxe Teas, which are a favorite of mine.

We chose our contrast color yarns to go with these beautiful gradients by Stacey at Fierce Fibers, and then mixed and matched beads to our liking.

My students all learned a lot, and made a good start on their Nymphaea shawls. And I learned a lot from them, too.

The Nymphaea Shawl pattern is back to me after being an exclusive with Bead Biz, so I’ll be re-releasing that to Ravelry tomorrow. I’ve added lots of tips and tricks to the pattern, including a stitch and bead count chart, so if you purchased it at a festival, let me know and I’ll get you the updated pattern. (You should have a download code for it.)

I love this little statue in downtown Camas. She looked chilly on this autumn day, so she’s modeling my not yet complete Nymphaea shawl. Someday it won’t have a strand of yarn trailing from it!

Big thanks to Laurinda Reddig of ReCrochetions for hosting me at this retreat!