Category Archives: events

TNNA wrap up

So late, I know! It’s been busy here. First of all, this happened yesterday:

grad

CollegeKid2, Computer Science, summa cum laude. We had to take his picture on the Jumbotron, because we were too far away from the stage to get a non-blurry zoom pic. Yay, technology!

So, TNNA. It was fun! Lorajean (Knitted Wit) had a double booth with three designers featuring designs with her yarns: Debbi Stone, Shannon Squire, and me. Here’s my corner:

pdxknitterati corner

We used my Pointer Hat and Mitts to feature Targhee Shimmer DK and Worsted at Sample It. I knit the hat sample on the plane. There’s nothing like the power of a deadline!

pdxknitterati pointer hat

sample it (just before the doors opened for Sample It)

We saw a lot of people come through the booth! StevenBe loved my Snowy Woods Cowl and LJ’s special Snowy Woods colorway.

snowy woods

Jen Lucas came by to say hello. She was at TNNA to do a book signing with her latest book, Sock Yarn Shawls II.

Jen Lucas

Sometimes you have to leave Oregon to see the Oregonians!

Marie and Vivian from Tangled PurlsMarie and Vivian from Tangled Purls in Salem

Sonia from StashSonia from Stash in Corvallis

Jackie from Northwest Wools was there, too, but I didn’t catch her picture. Somewhere on Instagram is a great picture of her napping in Skacel’s yarn teepee!

Skacel teepee

Skcel teepee inside

I sold all my look books (catalogs) and took orders for more. Yay! There were so many lovely yarns and I am inspired to design. all. the. things. I wore my new Summertime Blues for most of the weekend; it was the perfect weight for the air conditioned convention center.

Summetime Blues pdxknitterati

My favorite thing I bought over the weekend? This cute project bag from Binkwaffle. (Product research, right? I want them to do a pdxcarpet bag…they probably think I’m nuts.)

binkwaffle bag

You can hang it on your wrist and keep knitting as you walk. Reversible, and no hardware other than the giant grommit to pass the handle through. No snags!

I’m so grateful to Lorajean for having me in her booth. I got her a Pyrex bowl to feed her pyrex obsession as a thank you…

LJ and FJ

What a fun crew! JJ Foster was also there; she reps for LJ and also had her Buttonhole! Buttons in the booth.

Shannon JJ Me

elevator panorama (Elevator pano of all the booth babes)

An exhausting, fun, productive weekend. Now I’m back to work, but I’ll share the rest of these pics…

Jeni's Sun popped corn and darkest chocolate ice creams. So good.

Jul buttonA cool way to use a Jul button to wear a small triangle shawlette.

feltedFelting!

And the obligatory #pdxcarpet and Mount Hood pix, of course.

pdxcarpet

Mount Hood

Tilt Shift Wrap KAL party at Wool ‘n’ Wares this Friday

The Tilt Shift KAL begins tomorrow, April 1. Today is the last day to get the special price on the pattern. See pattern page for details.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

I’m hosting the KAL through my PDXKnitterati Ravelry group. Come join for fun and prizes!

And for those who are local, I’m having a cast on/KAL party this Friday April 3 at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn from 1 to 4 p.m.

Hope to see you, in person or on the interwebs!

History Unwound, the first

Earlier this month, I spent a weekend across the continent in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, for the very first History Unwound retreat. History and textiles? Definitely up my alley! It was an amazing weekend from start to finish. (Super long post, but worth it.)

It began with check in, and an incredible goodie bag.

history unwound goodie bag

I had an hour to make a quick zip through Colonial Williamsburg, so I went to see the textiles in the museum. They were having a special hour where you could look in the drawers at the textiles not usually on display. The sampler collection was in this room.

colonial sampler

I asked if they had any knitting, but alas, no. Lots of samplers and quilts. But lo and behold, look what I found in one of the drawers? Probably the only knitting in the museum! (The lights are kept very low in this room; sorry for the dark pictures.)

needlework sampler book

This is in a needlework sampler book from Ireland. Let’s look a little closer:

knitted lace edgingsSome knitted lace edgings, and a tiny baby bootie made for a china doll.

needlework sampler bookA tiny hat sample, and some double knitting and elastic knitting (ribbing). Cool!

Then it was time to head back for the opening dinner and lecture with Franklin Habit. His lecture was titled “B is for Purl: A Brief History of the Knitting Pattern.” Really interesting. Apparently knitting patterns as we know them didn’t really exist before the 1800’s. The talk was so engaging, I swapped my Saturday afternoon class. More on that later.

On Saturday my day started with brunch with Anna Zilboorg. I think more people had signed up than actually came, so it ended up like this.

breakfast with Anna Zilboorg

Sweet deal! She talked about the history of Women’s Work, and making the necessary beautiful.

My morning class was with Franklin Habit: History, Methods and Styles of Lace Knitting. He gave us a knitting tour of Russia, the Shetland Islands, and Estonia, and had many gorgeous samples, including this Estonian beauty.

Estonian Lace Shawl

We knit samplers while we listened. My first nupps! Not scary at all.

my first nupps

Rohn Strong talked about the role of knitting in the Civil War during a brown bag lunch. Good history, good knitting!

I was supposed to learn Double Knitting with Annie Modesitt in the afternoon, but I was so intrigued by Franklin’s presentation the night before, I asked if I could transfer to his Working with Antique and Vintage Knitting Patterns class. Yes! And it was great. Part lecture, part hands on, all perfect. There were only 7 students in class, and we worked in teams to try to figure out how several objects were made. This was my team’s puzzle:

pence jug

pence jug bottom

I won’t tell you where it starts and ends, in case you take this class yourself. But if you want to make this treasure from 1843, you can find instructions here. Franklin writes a column, Stitches in Time, for Knitty.com, and all the samples he brought have been in Knitty. I went back and read them all. He’s good!

The other class project was a mystery knit. We translated the instructions from 1870’s format to modern day, and knit. It turned out to be something recognizable, thankfully. No picture, so you can take this class and be surprised. I have an idea to make something with this little thing; we’ll see if it happens.

After class there was a lecture on Balkan socks by Donna Druchunas. (The fun never stops! So much activity. So much to learn!)

Balkan socks Donna Druchunas

She had a lot of samples, which we passed around the room. Look at the toe on this one!

toe detail balkan sock

Then it was time for the pizza and pajama party. I was too tired to go back to my room for pj’s, so I just winged it. That’s a lot of activity (six events) in one day after flying a red-eye the day before. And there was more to come on Sunday.

I started Sunday morning in a class with Anna Zilboorg, Embroidery Enhanced Sweaters. So much beauty in this pile. These are in her upcoming book, Splendid Apparel. We’ll be receiving copies of the book as a treat from History Unwound. Looking forward to it!

Anna Zilboorg sweaters

Embroidery can make already beautiful textures really sing.

Anna Zilboorg embroidered sweater

Anna Zilboorg embroidered sweater

Here’s my sampler:

knit embroidery sampler

I’m looking forward to embellishing some knits, but don’t know that I will be able to put it into design work. It would be a lot to explain…we’ll see.

After class was a brunch where Anna talked about Socks Throughout History. And in the afternoon I attended Franklin’s lecture, Impractical Oddities and Curiosities of Weldon’s Practical Needlework. Franklin is a wonderful lecturer and teacher, the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve taken a LOT of classes. Go see him if you ever have the opportunity. I took his photography class at Sock Summit II, and was very impressed. I took a class with Anna Zilboorg at a Stitches event in the 1990’s, and she changed my color knitting life. For these two teachers alone, I took this cross country jaunt. Everything else was a bonus.

But wait! It wasn’t over yet. Donna Druchunas gave the final closing lecture. She shared her collection of Lithuanian mittens. These are just a few.

Lithuanian Mittens

What a weekend! On top of that, I met friends old and new in person.

vtknitboy chris and pdxknitteratiChris

fibretown emilyEmily

Donna Druchunas and nekomichDonna and Mich

michelleMichelle

franklin habit pdxknitteratiFranklin

anna zilboorg pdxknitteratiAnna

And I won a boatload of door prizes, too.

Lion Yarn Book
Lion Brand Collection Silk Mohair, very similar to Kidsilk Haze. Yum. And this reprint of the 1916 Lion Yarn Book. Now I have vintage patterns to decipher, too. And I know how.

door prizeMore yarn, and doily patterns.

Ken McNeill art

Ken McNeill art

Original artwork from Ken McNeill. He was at the market, and was both talented and charming. Oh, I didn’t mention there was a market? Carefully curated, and full of temptation. I held myself to this pretty single ply fingering yarn from Knit Wits. It’s Periwinkle Sheep, color Stones Dancing in the Fog.

stones dancing in the fog

Also from Knit Wits, screw on buttons from Jul Designs. I’m thinking of using them for shawl pins, but I don’t know yet.

Jul button

A lot of activity packed into one weekend! History Unwound was developed by Kimberly and Christopher Villareal. It was delightful, if not restful. I loved every moment, and would do it again. Have I made you want to go on retreat? Or did I just make you tired? I’m guessing a little of both!

2015 Rose City Yarn Crawl Recap, finally

RCYC 2015 is in the history book. Yes, it was almost two weeks ago; I’m still trying to catch up with myself! I only made it to six of the 15 shops, but enjoyed each of the ones I did visit.

I started the Crawl on Thursday with a trunk show at Wool ‘n’ Wares. The lovely ladies there wore their Rosaria Shawlettes (my design for last year’s MKAL) to welcome me. Sweet!

pdxknitterati rosaria shawlette

Cali came by to say hi in person, wearing her lovely modified 2015 RCYC MKAL shawl. We had bonded through Instagram (are you on IG? I’m pdxknitterati) because I had diagnosed her non-lacy YO’s over there. Solution? YO in the other direction around the needle. VoilĂ , lacy YO’s! (Sorry for the blurry pic; it’s the only one I have.)

throwstyler

Sunday dyed her hair to match her beautiful shawl. That’s impressive dedication!

Sunday's shawl

This little guy was definitely a yarn crawler.

yarn crawler

I bought this Malabrigo Rastita to replace the yarn in the soon to be frogged project (see previous post). The color is very similar.

Malabrigo Rastita Sabiduria

My new Tilt Shift wrap made its unofficial debut. It’s very fun to wear. Here it is on Brigitte.

pdxknitterati Tilt Shift

We’re planning a KAL for it when the pattern is published, hopefully by the end of the month. It’s being test knit now. We’ll have a kick off party at Wool ‘n’ Wares when the time comes. Thanks to Vickee and Karen for hosting my trunk show, and for hosting the upcoming KAL kick off! Stay tuned for details…

On Friday, I visited Pearl Fiber Arts with Mary, and picked up some goodies for KAL prizes. I especially love these shawl pins.

shawl pins

We stopped for a macaron break at Nuvrei. They were fabulous.

Nuvrei macarons

I visited Close Knit on the way home and bought some locally made stitch markers (magenta, again), mostly because I wanted Sally Palin’s beautiful Kumori Cowl shadow knitting pattern. I can’t knit all the patterns I buy/get; there aren’t enough knitting hours. But I love them as research on new techniques, or just because they’re pretty.

On Saturday, Cathy and I went to Knitting Bee, where I chatted with Melanie of Black Trillium Fibres and made arrangements to get some of her DK weight Sublime yarn in her Tyrian colorway.

Black Trillium Fibres Tyrian

Hmmm, I definitely have red/purple on my mind.

We also visited For Yarn Sake and met Kate and Rachel of Spincycle Yarns. They dye their fiber before spinning it/having it spun, and then ply it.

Spincycle

I brought some home with me. Guess what color!

Spincycle Yarns

On Sunday I finished up the crawl with a trunk show at Twisted. Terri came by with her finished Fern Shawlette from the XOXOKAL. Mine isn’t quite done, but we both modeled them.

fern shawlettes

Debbi Stone and I posed in our 2015 and 2014 RCYC MKAL shawls, her Washington Park and my Rosaria.

RCYC MKAL shawls

A little more Rosaria shawl action:

Rosaria

Rosaria shawl

And I found the perfect person for my Webfoot Shawlette! She went home with both pattern and yarn (Hazel Knits Entice in Hoppy Blond).

Webfoot shawlette

It was a fun weekend; I wish I could have visited all the shops. Maybe next year. But I have plenty of yarn for now. I won the door prize basket at Pearl Fiber Arts!

Pearl Fiber Arts RCYC basket

This is a big basket of inspiration! I haven’t had time to really look at the contents; I was getting ready to head out of town. But I know I’ll be sharing some of this with my friends at our next knit night…

Did you participate in the yarn crawl? What’s your favorite thing that came home with you?

Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk shows

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is just around the corner! The 2015 crawl runs from Thursday March 5 through Sunday March 8. There are 15 participating shops in the metro area, check the RCYC website for full details.

rcyc-logo-color-highres

I have the pleasure and honor of having two trunk shows during the crawl. On Thursday March 5 I’ll be at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn from 1 to 5 p.m. They just moved downstairs in their building in December, and I’m looking forward to seeing their new larger space. On Sunday March 8, I’ll be at Twisted in Portland from 1 to 5 p.m. My home stomping grounds! Come by and say hello and see samples of my newest designs, as well as some older favorites, too.

Bonus time! Rose City Yarn Crawl is giving away free pdf downloads of last year’s RCYC pattern collection, through tomorrow, February 28. Hurry!

What else is going on? I’m slowly going through my older designs and updating and reformatting them for my current layout. Most of the time this also means making new charts (I used to chart in Excel; Intwined is so much nicer) as well. Each pattern takes two to three hours to make it flow and make it pretty. Why am I telling you this? If you already purchased these patterns, you can download the new versions. And if these patterns are new to you, you can get them at 20% off through March 7. Here are the designs that have reformatted patterns; use coupon code REFRESH for the discount on any or all of these. Go to the Ravelry page for the design; the Buy Now buttons don’t give the opportunity to enter a coupon code. Sorry about that!

pdxknitterati pointer mitts and hatPointer Mitts and Cap or Beret

zen rain shawletteZen Rain Shawlette

pacific shawlPacific Shawl

pdxknitterati log cabin blanketLog Cabin Baby Blanket

pdxknitterati pedi sockZigZag Lace Pedi Socks

oxo cable fingerless mittsHugs and Kisses OXO Fingerless Mitts

Are you participating in the yarn crawl? Come see me!

More Madrona

While classes are a central part of Madrona, they’re not the only reason to go. The market is full of yarn, fiber, books, and tools, and there are demonstrations going on in the rotunda. There is no admission charge for either of these things.

chicken boots knit project bag

I bought this very clever project bag from Saremy at Chicken Boots. The pocket shown here on the front is accessed from inside the bag, so your small items won’t fall out. Me? I’m using the pocket for my pattern, because the vinyl lets me see it, and it’s always accessible.

I met Henry and Roy Clemes through Brooke Sinnes of Sincere Sheep. Clemes and Clemes make all sorts of wooden tools: Drum carders, combs, spinning wheels, looms, blending boards, even this Turkish spindle that Henry is demo-ing here.

Henry Clemes turkish spindle

Clemes and Clemes Turkish spindle

The cool thing about this particular spindle is that it comes with several arms, and you can use as many as you want to vary the weight from 2 to 4 ounces. They stack on the square shaft. It spins very nicely.

Clemes and Clemes blending board

Roy was in the rotunda doing demonstrations. Depending on how you feed the fiber into the drum carder, you can get fiber prepped for worsted or woolen spinning. I had no idea. He made these rolags (for woolen spinning) on the blending board. Meg from NW Handspun Yarns stopped by and showed me how she was spindling long draw from a rolag. I’ve only spun worsted yarns, so now I’m very curious. Luckily, Roy sent me home with these rolags. Thanks, Roy!

I had fun talking to people who have knit or are knitting my designs, and saw some of my designs in the wild.

Jami's Rosaria

Jami from Knitting Bee was wearing her Rosaria Shawlette.

Anne's Aloha shawlette

Anne was wearing one of the three(!) Aloha Shawlettes that she knit. (Anne was in my lace class, too.)

Laurinda, me, Sara

And it was great to connect with other knitters/spinners I know. I had lunch with Laurinda Reddig, designer of last year’s Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Crochet Along, and Sarah of Bumblebirch Yarns. (photo by Laurinda)

I also spent time with Nadine Foster and Judy Becker (of Judy’s Magic Cast On) in the rotunda. They came up on the Traveling Ewe‘s luxury motor coach. What a great way to travel; all that knitting time while someone else does the driving! Although long solo drives are where I work on my harmony singing…

I had a great view out my hotel window. Mt. Rainier was just a tease on Thursday, but Friday’s sunrise featured a pink mountain

mt rainier sunrise

mt rainier

which made a grand appearance a little later, and then disappeared into the clouds again.

Did you miss my lace class review? It’s in the previous post, here.

Were you at Madrona? I hope you had as much fun as I did. I could only go overnight this year; too many things on the schedule. I’ll go again next year, and try to stay longer!

Madrona class review

I took a short trip to Tacoma to visit the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. I could only stay for one night, so I packed in all the fun!

I had two classes. My favorite was Designing with Lace Decreases with Evelyn Clark. The very first lace shawl I ever knit was her Shetland Triangle, so I was very pleased to be in this class. Where do the decreases belong, in relation to the yarn overs? Which decrease should you use? Well, it depends on what effect you want.

lace sampler

So much information packed into this little swatch. Notice that it does not mirror from left to right; we had lots of effects to sample! Do you want your decreases to outline your YO? Or a softer edge? Do you want your fabric to bias? (Separate your YO from your decrease.) If that biasing bothers you, consider a project in the round, which will balance out the biasing (as opposed to straight edges that won’t stay straight).

Evelyn had lots of samples to look at, and to explain. One thing she mentioned: Scallops are always stronger at the cast on edge than at the bind off edge. I’d noticed this when I designed my Rockaway Hat/Cowl, and it didn’t matter so much in that instance, but it was nice to know it wasn’t just me. (I could have swatched, but I just knit it up and said, “Oh, hey.”) But if you want to reinforce the scalloping at the bind off edge, you might try adding beads for weight there. Or forego scallops completely, and end with something else. Also, scallops are going to be offset by half a repeat (they won’t look the same at each end of your knitting) because the peak and trough of each wave is offset.

We were given the option of charting out a picture, just for fun. We talked about flipping lace motifs to knit them upside down (for top down knitting). I tried it with my leaf motif that I used in Garland. I showed it to her at the end of class, and she said that some motifs won’t work upside down, and she thought that my leaf might be one. I tried to knit it that night, but I fell asleep, so didn’t finish the flipped one.

leaf lace

But in my email the next morning, I found one from Evelyn, saying that she had thought about it, and knit it, and it really didn’t work. She sent me a picture, and it looks like an arrow! You can’t see the decrease lines at all (bottom of swatch, top chart).

inverted leaf evelyn clark

That, my friends, is a fabulous teacher. I had to figure out if there’s another way to make it work. It is completely different; I just wanted to know if I could. And that’s the mark of a great class, for it to be so thought provoking that you just have to figure it out.

inverted leaf lace knit

I had to use m1 increases and double decreases to get the lines to show up.

leaf lace flipped

It’s not pretty, but I just had to see if it could be done! Evelyn called this playing with lace “nerd knitting” and I am completely nerding out here. But it was fun.

This post is way longer than I anticipated…more in the next one.

Sophie’s Rose pattern re-release, happy new year!

Happy new year!

The pattern for Sophie’s Rose is now available through PDXKnitterati! (See bottom of post for launch sale info.) This is an asymmetric triangle, knit from the small point to the sweeping ruffle.

pdxknitterati sophies rose

pdxknitterati sophies rose

I designed this for Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake, using two very special yarns. The main color is Sophie’s Rose, the semisolid brown with raspberry pink accents. MadelineTosh dyed this custom color in honor of Anne’s new granddaughter, Sophie.

sophie

The coordinating color is Knitted Wit‘s Madge, on her Merino Single Fingering base. The theme is a garden trellis interspersed with rows of roses.

sophie's rose tosh

The big ruffle makes it really fun to wear. I wore it to Madrona last year, and lots more since then.

Sophie's Rose mlb

This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering 20% off through January 15, with coupon code ROSES.

If you want a kick start with this project, I’m teaching a Sophie’s Rose class on Saturday February 7 at 10 a.m. at Twisted in Portland. We’ll go through the trellis stitch and the rose rows, and also talk about the ruffle. I taught this class at For Yarn’s Sake last year, too. The instructions for these stitches are in the pattern, but sometimes it’s more fun (and easier to visualize) in person,

Happy new year! Are you casting on something new today, or trying to finish up last year’s project? Either way, I hope you have a chance to get some knitting in today. There are serveral cast on parties around town; I know Twisted is having one at noon, and Lorajean is having one at the Knitted Wit studio from 11 to 2. Being the contrarian that I am, rather than casting on I think I’ll try to finish my Honey Cardigan. Apparently I set it aside last year when the weather changed, but the body is done and it just needs sleeves and finishing. I could use a new sweater about now. It’s cold out!

Knit Picks Craft Night at West Elm

Knit Picks had a little holiday craft night last Thursday. It was a cozy time at West Elm in the Pearl District, a sweet store full of all the things that would make your home look gorgeous, any time of year.

image

Lots of crafters came to play. I didn’t bring my current project, so I looked for inspiration in these books…

image

which came home with me. There was yarn to sample.

image

image

I think I’m going to have to put a holiday hat together with these colors. All planned out; I just have to do the knitting.

I met Kim, who was wearing my Fern Shawlette.

image

And I got to see my friend Stacey! She’s the Independent Designer Partnership coordinator (and much more) at Knit Picks. I’ve known her since before she started at Knit Picks, when our blogs crossed paths.

image

Lots of fun and inspiration. Thanks to Knit Picks for inviting me!

Are you knitting gifts? I don’t usually, but this year I have a plan for a couple. Let’s see if I can actually make it happen. So many fun things to knit, so little time! My friend Carole and I wore our Pippi Hats while selling Christmas trees last week. I knit hers for Christmas last year.

image

Or it may be that she received a box full of yarn, and a promise. That sounds familiar. A quick check on Ravelry shows that I knit it February 6-9. Gotta love Ravelry for keeping me honest!

Hoping your needles are flying!

Happy birthday, Knitted Wit!

It’s Lorajean’s birthday, and she’s having an Open Studio day on Sunday, December 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. to celebrate. Here’s the scoop:

Join us to celebrate Lorajean’s birthday with a sale!!! We’ll have local designers with patterns to inspire, buttons from Buttonhole! Buttons to help you find the perfect button to tie it all together, and bags from A Needle Runs Through It! Birthday cake will be sliced and ready to greet you!

I’ll be there as one of the aforementioned designers, with samples in lovely Knitted Wit yarns, including two of my newest, the Big Leaf Scarf

Big Leaf Scarf

and the Super Cabled Christmas Stocking

pdxknitterati christmas stockings

both in Knitted Wit Cotton Candy super bulky 100% merino wool.

Come by and say hi, and happy birthday!