Category Archives: events

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!

OFFF 2018 weekend and brioche inc/dec tutorial

It was a glorious transition into autumn. What better way to celebrate than with a fiber festival? Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is done for another year.

I spent Friday afternoon judging the knitting entries. This piece was the winner of several awards, including the top award for the festival.

It’s handspun from Jacob wool (this year’s featured breed), hand knit, with 1300 beads, and perfectly blocked. I loved everything about it. (Shawl pattern is Moon Shadows by Romi Hill.) I found out afterward from the knitter that she had lost at yarn chicken the week before, and had to spin more yarn to finish. She took this off the blocking wires the night before the judging. Close!

This was the felted Grand Champion. It demonstrates wet felting, needle felting, and probably other techniques I don’t even know about. Exquisite.

This felted entry used Jacob wool, which I thought was brilliant.

This embellished knit coat was also knit from handspun. I loved the detail in it. The pattern is by Anna Zilboorg from her Splendid Apparel book. I took this class with Anna just before her book came out.

Saturday I taught Favorite Shawl Shapes in the morning. So much fun! I’m planning to teach this class again, but I may give it a better name. Shawl Design 101? What would sound even more enticing?

I taught Brioche Pastiche in the afternoon. It was interesting that many had tried brioche before but not succeeded. I’m glad to help make new successful brioche knitters! Most had a good grasp of 2 color brioche rib in the round by the end of class.

I’ve just made a video tutorial of brioche increases and decreases. These are the ones used in the hat, but handy for all brioche.

Sunday I went back to shop and play! The weather was perfect.

My favorite purchase? This yarn chicken pint glass from JaMPDX. Yarn chicken is my life!

I also picked up this gorgeous yarn set from Knitted Wit. It’s Victory Sock in Pollen, plus two Sixlet gradient sets in Carbon. Plus two more mini skeins in Ghostly, but I may not need them. I’m knitting one more version of my Lucky Star Shawl, but with two Sixlets instead of one for a deeper, wider shawl. It’s going quickly; I hope to be done knitting by the end of this week.

More eye candy from Sunday:

Stacey’s Fierce Fibers booth, including a splendid version of my Rosaria shawl. Look at those gradient cakes! We’re using her yarn for our Nymphaea Retreat in November.

Speckled gradient cakes from Boss Kitty. I bought some of their cat-eared stitch markers. Mine glow in the dark!

I loved this rug on display with one of the vendors in the main pavilion.

And of course there were animals. Goat? Sheep? I’m never sure. Cute, though. (Goat.)

Bunnies are easier to recognize, yes?

Alpacas!

And humans. Amanda and Margaret representing Puddletown Knitters Guild. Hi, ladies!

A very fun weekend. Now I’m back at home working. More knit fun to follow. How was YOUR weekend? Welcome, fall!

Knitting for the near future

I’ve been knitting up a storm.

Here’s a sneak peek of my newest shawl, coming soon. It’s called Lucky Star. You may now have a Madonna song running through your head. You’re welcome.

You know that hump that happens at the center neck of top down crescent shawls? I didn’t want that on Lucky Star, so I’ve worked on minimizing it. I’m making a tutorial on how to do that. It’s coming soon, too. I’m debuting it in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this Saturday morning.

I’ve been knitting little samples for class, too. We’re going to have fun talking about shape and design.

You can still register for this class on-site. You can knit these little shapes, too!

What are you knitting now?

Flock and Fiber? Yes Please!

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is just around the corner! This local fiber festival has something for everybody: yarn, fiber, classes, animals, cooking, shopping, and more.

I’m teaching two classes this year. Brioche Pastiche is sold out; I’m really looking forward to introducing more knitters to two color brioche in the round!

There’s still room in my Favorite Shawl Shapes class. We’ll make mini samples of four of my favorite shawl shapes, and talk about how to incorporate your design ideas into them. You’ll have a better understanding of how shawls are made, and a good basis for designing your own. Come join me on Saturday morning, September 22. Registration link is here; pre-register by September 8 to make sure you get the class info you need.

I’m judging the knitting entries at OFFF again this year. It was educational for me last year, and I hope my comments on lasts year’s entries were educational for the knitters! You can enter your knit, crochet, felted, woven, and other fiber projects at OFFF, as well as spinning. Last year’s winners were stunning, and all of the entries were worthy of praise.

One more class! A reminder that registration is happening now for the Nymphaea Shawl Retreat that I’m doing with Laurinda Reddig at Quinn Mountain Retreat in the Columbia River Gorge (near Camas), Nov. 9 – 11. There are only 4 knitter’s spots left. Come get a jump start on knitting or crocheting this beaded shawl with us! Gradient yarn by Fierce Fibers and beads are included in the registration price. Registration link here.

Fall is coming; make plans to get your knit on!

Nymphaea Retreat registration is OPEN!

Registration is open for the Nymphaea Shawl Retreat! The event is November 9-11 at Quinn Mountain Retreat in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. It’s a small retreat, so you’ll get lots of attention as you start your Nymphaea Shawl. Register soon, because there are only 16 spots, 8 each for knitters and crocheters.

You can choose to knit or crochet your shawl; my knit version or Laurinda Reddig’s crochet version. We designed these shawls as a collaborative project with Bead Biz.

The retreat fee includes a jumbo skein 150g/645yards of Fierce Fibers Abyss (50/50 merino/silk) in a continuous gradient. Choose your main color: Surf and Sand, Dragonite, Hummingbird, or Tide Pod (clockwise from upper left). You’ll also get 50g of a coordinating color for the contrast bands. And beads from Bead Biz, specially selected by Laurinda and me.

You’ll get your shawl started, and learn different ways to add beads to your knit or crochet, how to change colors, knit or crochet edgings, and blocking, which is essential for lace.

Cost for the retreat is $225, which includes yarn, beads, 2 days of breakfast, lunch, and instruction. But don’t worry; there will be free time for you to explore, too. Register with Recrochetions, link here. If you’ve purchased a Nymphaea kit from Bead Biz, there’s a discount for the retreat. More information at the link too, including lodging options.

I hope you can make it!

Madrona Farewell

As you may know, Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is one of my favorite events of the year. I’ve been going to Madrona for many years, and teaching there since 2016.

Last week, founder Suzanne Pedersen emailed to let the Madrona community know that 2019 will see the 20th Madrona Festival, and it will be the last. She and co-founder Cornie Talley will be retiring this beautiful event.

If you’ve never been to Madrona, please make plans to join us in February! Madrona is more than a festival; it’s a community. There are classes, amazing speakers, a well-curated market, a teacher talent show that raises funds for charities, and lots of places for people to just hang out together and share knowledge and joy.

Last year at Madrona, I met Sarah Hauschka (inventor of magic loop!), and she taught me linked double knitting: brioche knitting holding a color in each hand, which meant all stitches could be worked in the same row. Astounding. She showed me as we sat in the Rotunda, just hanging out. My brain was too full to really take it in (and no pictures, darn it), so I introduced her to my friend Pamela Grossman, who took to it like a duck to water. This is an example of the happy sharing that is part of the Madrona experience.

The spirit of Madrona will live on, as we continue to share our love of the fiber arts. But this will be your last chance to have the Madrona experience in person. Mark your calendar for February 14-17. It will be a very special weekend.

Alphabet soup! WWKIPD, LM, GDPR

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 9. I know that for most of us, every day is Knit in Public Day; it’s just part of what we do. But it’s fun to make a party out of it, even if it’s just once a year. There are many events going on in Portland, and all over the world. To find an event near you, check the WWKIPDay website. For a great list of local WWKIPDay events, check the Oregonian’s knitting blog here.

I’ve spent the past couple WWKIPDays with Knit Picks at their Knit Pick-nics. I’ll be doing the same this year, with a little trunk show again.

These events are always fun, and the swag is amazing: Goodie bags and raffle baskets. Come by and say hello if you’re local!

One other knitting related event in Portland that day: Lantern Moon is having a closeout sale. They’ll have mostly needles, some baskets, and other small items. The sale is June 9, 9 am to 1 pm, local sales only (no online), cash only. The address is 3324 NE 32nd Ave. Lantern Moon is closing their business; Sharon and Joel are moving on to new adventures. I have loved knitting with their ebony needles from the moment I tried them. If you love their ebony and rosewood needles, too, this is your chance to stock up. I used to blog for Lantern Moon many years ago; they will be missed! I’m hoping the retreats will continue.

I had a great time at Stash in Corvallis last weekend, teaching Tink Drop Frog for Lace and Cables, and my new Brioche Pastiche hat.

I’m teaching Brioche Pastiche again at Twisted in Portland on August 4, and then at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on September 22. I love brioche knitting!

Just so you know…I’ve updated my privacy policy regarding my blog/website, newsletter, Ravelry, PayPal, and LoveKnitting, which is now on my blog/website here. Thanks, GDPR!

Where are you knitting in public on Saturday?