Category Archives: events

NYC part deux/anniversary plans

I only had 3 days between the Vogue Knitting Cruise before heading to Maine. Going home would have turned two of those days into travel days, so I made a plan to stay in NYC instead. It was also my birthday, so DH came out to celebrate with me.

We took walks, explored parks, relaxed, and saw Hamilton and Six. Six is the story of the wives of Henry VIII, reimagined as a sing off in which each wife tells why her lot was the worst. I love Tudor history, so that was very fun. The music is very catchy, and I’m still listening to it and singing along with the soundtrack.

Hamilton was all that fun and more! It’s a masterpiece. I hadn’t seen Hamilton or listened to the soundtrack before attending, but it wasn’t a problem. Also, I recognized many main characters from Outlander, haha! Washington, Lee, LaFayette. The Battle of Monmouth (and General Lee’s retreat). No Jamie Fraser in the musical, though.

Empire State Building from Bryant Park

I loved knitting in Bryant Park; it was just the relaxing afternoon I needed. Bryant Park is right behind the flagship New York Public Library.

with Patience

The iconic stone lions outside the library are named Patience and Fortitude.

Fortitude

A couple days before I left for my epic East Coast adventures, DH came to me and said that he had been planning a surprise for our anniversary, but had been persuaded to make it not a surprise. Confusing? He wanted us to renew our vows, and had been talking to my pastor. (He doesn’t do church, but he’d met her once a few weeks before.) She recommended that he ask me, because vows should be consensual and not a surprise. Makes sense! So we had a phone chat with her while we were in New York, planning for a small ceremony in a favorite park in Portland on our anniversary, the day after I’d get home from Maine. (Nonstop fun, right?) We didn’t want a big to-do; my September was full enough!

These are not the rings we seek

Since we were in New York, I got a wild hair to see if the jeweler that made my anniversary band (7th anniversary a very long time ago) was still in business. (We lived in Queens back then.) He had passed away, but his grandson now runs the business. We had a nice visit, and ordered white gold bands, each with a single tiny diamond. They wouldn’t be ready for the ceremony, but we borrowed their ring sizers as stand-ins.

It all worked out. The kids came to help us celebrate. DH and I had lovely tributes for each other. (I called him a romantic hidden inside a curmudgeon.) We renewed our vows with updated versions of the original ones. It was a small and perfect event!

Peninsula Park Rose Garden

But that happened after Knit Maine, so I’ll head back to the east coast…in the next post.

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.)

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

I had a great time. It’s so much fun to teach in-person! I don’t have a lot of pictures; I was too busy doing…stuff!

Sheepy Steeky Coasters
Happy first time steekers!
Teachers hanging out
Margaret and her blankets
An excellent example of shadow/illusion knitting, kits at Makers Mercantile
Snow to welcome me home. Happy April!
Front yard bleeding hearts

VKLive Seattle coming right up!

I’m deep in class prep this week, before packing to go up to Seattle for Vogue Knitting Live. I’m really looking forward to seeing knitters in person again!

Sheepy Steeky Coasters

I had a fun time this weekend teaching Sheepy Steeky Coasters for For Yarn’s Sake on Zoom, and I’m teaching it in person this Friday in Seattle. After that, I’m teaching it once more on May 7 via Zoom for Twisted Yarn Shop, and then not again ‘til fall, I think.

VKLive Seattle class roundup

Plans for Seattle: 3 brioche classes (Petite Brioche, Deep End increases and decreases, and Syncopation), and steeks and slip stitch.

The marketplace is free to enter all weekend. If you’re not up for classes but just want to shop and check things out, come on by! I’ll be signing Brioche Knit Love books in the Hazel Knits Yarn booth on Saturday from 12:30 to 2 pm. And I’m really looking forward to checking out her Divine yarn base, which is a fingering weight 75/15/10 blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk. Sounds very luxe, an I’m all for it! Mmmmm, cashmere.

Book signing!

Also this week: Trying to get ready to publish my Cosette cowl pattern. Wish me luck, or more hours Monday through Wednesday! We’ll see if I get it all done.

Cosette: coming soon!

How’s your week looking?

Knitting classes, in person and Zoom

We’re at an interesting time in the Covid world. Mask mandates are being lifted everywhere. I’ve been to my first in-person event, Red Alder, and felt very safe there with masks and vaccinations required. Next up is Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle/Bellevue in April; vaccinations or negative Covid tests are required but masks are optional. I’m pretty comfortable with that, but I may be wearing my mask in a crowd! I’d love to have you join me in-person!

I’m teaching Sheepy Steeky Coasters, Slip Away Cowl, Petite Brioche, Deep End (brioche increases and decreases) and Syncopation (syncopated brioche). Vogue has extended their early bird registration pricing through March 15. Marketplace tickets are free, if you just want to shop. Hazel Knits Yarn will have my books, and I’ll have a book signing on Saturday afternoon. (Hazel Knits provided some of the yarn for my book samples; it’s gorgeous.)

Not ready for in-person classes? I’ll still be teaching on Zoom; I’m teaching Slip Away Cowl through Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop 3/26, Sheepy Steeky Coasters through For Yarn’s Sake April 3, and Deep End April 2 and Sheepy Steeky Coasters May 3 for Twisted.

If you want a class with me, this is the time! I need to some time off from teaching beginning in May to take care of some things, and I’ll be back to teaching in September. I may sneak some classes in during July, depending on if there’s interest during the summer.

Let’s knit! One way or another…

Red Alder 2022 recap

This picture says it all. It was so wonderful to be back in a classroom with my knitters! This is my Brioche Pastiche class from Thursday morning. This was my first ”away” teaching since Red Alder in 2020. It’s been a long two years.

I taught 4 classes, and it was a joy. I brought my laptop and document camera, so it was the best of both worlds. Everyone could see the demonstration at the same time like a Zoom class, and then i could go around the room and fine tune with people.

The market was fun, and I had a great time signing books with the fun peeps from Northwest Yarns.

Melissa, Heather, Tristan, and Echo from Northwest Yarns
Thanks, Echo!
Karen and Donna
Nancy of Schmutzerella Yarns with her ravishing Oregon Sky
Dyers Jen of Matchmaker Yarns & Kalliope of Anzula Luxury Fibers
Test knitter Kris

I met Kris in person; she was so helpful test knitting for Brioche Knit Love. So nice to put faces with names!

Here’s what came home with me:

Sparkly fingering weight yarn from Schmutzerella, and beads from Bead Biz. I have a plan for this combination.

Sparkly DK weight yarn from Anzula Luxury Fibers. Apparently I was having a thing for all things sparkly. I think I have a plan for this, too.

And worsted weight yarn from Anzula, as a backup if the sparkles don’t work for what I was planning…

Red Alder is already planning for next year; mark your calendars for February 16-19, 2023!

Edited to add my weekend knitwear!

Here are more pictures from the weekend.

Chihuly art glass at the old Union Station
Love this reflection!
Union Station reflection on the Bridge of Glass
Mural. I’ve seen this expression on Bisquee
The mountain peeked out at sunset on Friday

Now hard at work (at home) trying to pare down the to-do list! It grew quite a bit these past two weeks. Onward!

Rose City Yarn Crawl: It’s a wrap!

It’s been a busy two weeks, so it will take me a few posts to catch up. The blog is my searchable journal, so I like to make sure things get noted here. I’ll start with the crawl, then there’s a new pattern, and then I’ll go back in time to Red Alder last month. Three posts, minimum!

I started the crawl on Thursday at For Yarn’s Sake; I had a trunk show and book signing there.

It’s a tradition that Lorajean (Knitted Wit), Shannon, Debbi and I begin the crawl at For Yarn’s Sake. This year we had two tables instead of one (new very spacious venue), so we divided as front and back of house.

We did spend some time all together with owner Anne, and the traditional bubbles! It was so nice to visit with people in person. Masks and proof of vaccination were required for the in-person crawl; there was also a virtual crawl option online.

My knitting/design project came up with an incorrect stitch count, and this dropped stitch may have been part of the reason why. I think it was laughing at me. I showed it who’s boss, though: frogged the section and got it back on track. Yes, you can frog in public. And the FitBit thinks that winding the yarn back up counts as steps. Winner!

I didn’t do a lot of crawling, but I made it to Weird Sisters Yarn Shop to see Wendee of Hazel Knits Yarn. I wanted to thank her in person for the yarn support for my book, Brioche Knit Love. She’ll be vending at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle (Bellevue, really), and I’ll be teaching there. We’re planning a book signing in the market on Saturday, April 9. More on VKL in a later post…

Here’s the total of my crawl haul. The theme tote was designed by DKGraham. I didn’t really need another tote, but this one was so pretty I decided I had to have it. The little wallet is by Heidi West Designs; she screen prints her own fabrics. I love how it coordinates with the tote. It’s perfect for hanging on to the little things in my larger tote bag. I picked up the shawl pin at Pearl Fiber Arts; I love this style and have several more by the same maker (One of a Kind). And the yarn is from Blu Fiber Company (trunk show at Starlight Knitting Society).

I was looking for a yarn to play with applied pooling. I’m currently looking for a stitch pattern that will work with this; the purple color runs may not be quite long enough to do what I want. We shall see.

I’m teaching an assigned pooling/planned pooling class at For Yarn’s Sake this Sunday March 6, if this geekery interests you!

Blue brioche headband

Also this weekend, I’m teaching Petite Brioche (beginning 2 color brioche in the round) on Saturday for Twisted Yarn Shop. The class is almost full, but there are 3 spots left. You can register here.

I know there’s a lot going on in the world. My heart is heavy for the people of Ukraine. I’m looking for a good place to send money to support them; I’m thinking World Central Kitchen. Chef Jose Andres is feeding Ukrainian refugees on the border in Poland. Everyone deserves to be safe in their homes and to be fed, whether at home or on the run.