Category Archives: giveaways

The other Portland (port o’ call)

Our Vogue Knitting Cruise also made a stop in Portland, Maine.

One of the many lighthouses…

Unlike Newport, Rhode Island, and Bar Harbor, which involved a tender (small boat to get from cruise ship to port), Portland has a deep water harbor that accommodates cruise ships. We could just walk on and walk off! With proper documentation, of course.

Windy!

We had a trolley tour of Portland, which ended at Port Fiber yarn shop. Port Fiber is owned by Casey Ryder, with whom I’d meet up again the following week at Knit Maine.

Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy

Designers Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy came to show samples and talk about knitting in Maine. Seeing and touching samples in real life is always so compelling!

Selfies were taken, of course.

Mary Jane
Bristol

You know I’m not much of a yarn stasher. But I love a yarn with a story, and couldn’t resist this.

Casey imports and distributes yarn for Cashmere People Yarns. These yarns are ethically sourced, handspun and hand-dyed by women in Tajikstan and Afghanistan.

Each skein has a picture and bio of the spinner, which I find charming. My skein is a two ply fingering weight cashgora, which isn’t a blend of cashmere and angora fiber. It’s actually from cashgora animals, which are a cross between Russian fiber goats and cashmere-type goats in Tajikstan. My skein is in the Atlantic colorway, which I thought was appropriate for this cruise souvenir. I’m planning to knit a Zephyr shawlette, which starts at the skinny end and I can knit til I run out of yarn. Or if I get wild, I’ll design a new thing that’s similar. (If you want your LYS to carry this luscious yarn, have them contact Casey Ryder at Port Fiber.)

Kathy and me

I also took the opportunity to meet a longtime friend from my piano forum. I’ve met up with other piano and knitting friends after knowing them online. It’s fun to meet in real life; you just pick up the chat where you left off. (The first time I ever did this, DH was worried that I was meeting up with an axe murderer. Hasn’t happened yet!)

Lobster roll at Gritty’s

We went to Gritty’s so I could fulfill the lobster roll on my bucket list. It was delicious! But spendy. I think I enjoyed my unphotographed lobster Cobb salad at Stewman’s in Bar Harbor even more. Less guilt…it’s a salad, right? (And split with a friend…with fries…)

Pilot boat guiding us out of Portland
Knit Fit kit

Don’t forget I’m giving away my Knit Fit kit; see this blog post for details on how to enter to win! We got these in Bar Harbor, which I previously posted about in order to get this party underway. My next post: O Canada! Two more ports…

Knitting on the go go go!

It’s true, as knitters we tend to sit a lot. Have you ever thought about walking and knitting at the same time? It’s possible, given a simple enough project and the tools to handle it.

Knit Fit kit

This is the premise behind the Knit Fit kit. These were a gift from Michelle McCann of Knit Fit LLC. The kit includes a ball of yarn and needles to practice knitting while walking, a hat pattern and 3 balls of yarn to knit the hat, and various tools (snips, stitch holder, stitch markers). The lining of the bag is printed with tape measures.

Michelle of Knit Fit
And the walkers!

We met Michelle in Bar Harbor, Maine, a stop on our Vogue Knitting Cruise. She told us all about Knit Fit, and then we walked, knitting, to La Rochelle for a tour of this lovely mansion.

I’d love to share my kit with one of you! Are you ready to walk and knit? At the same time? Willing to give it a try? Leave a comment and tell me why I should pick you! I do need to limit this to USA addresses due to shipping costs. And note that my sample knitting is still on the needles, so the kit is not perfectly pristine! I’ll choose a winner after September 30.

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. Miscellaneous photos from La Rochelle below.

The Norwegian Breakaway, home away from home, outside La Rochelle
Square piano in the parlor
You may play it, gently. I played a few arpeggios
Singer treadle sewing machine
Would love this cabinet!
Carpet sweeper, same brand as the one I grew up with
Dining room fireplace

The surrounds on the fireplaces are most ornate in the public rooms. The bedrooms, a bit less so. The servants’ quarters? Minimal. Same for the crown moldings and baseboards.

Strawberry Thief wallpaper on the entry staircase

This William Morris wallpaper is appropriate to the age of the house, but is not original. Gorgeous, though.

Bar Harbor was one of my favorite stops on this trip; the town is touristy but cute. There’s a great bookstore with some good craft supplies, Sherman’s, where I found a small quad ruled flip notebook. So helpful for charting knitting on the go! Nice selection of pens, games, and books.

Including this! But not my book or Norah’s book. We checked. Of course.

Remember to leave a comment here if you’d like a chance to win my Knit Fit kit. Onward!

Embellishments!

I’m thrilled to be June’s guest designer for Knit Camp, which is an app community by Olive Knits (Marie Greene). Marie is a dynamo! She’s also the founder of Library House Press, which published my book, Brioche Knit Love.

This is the Embellishment Cowl. It uses one of my favorite flowery fancy stitches, plus quilted lattice slip stitch. It’s knit with two contrasting colors of fingering weight yarn. I used Schmutzerella Yarns Spectacular, which has a blingy sparkle in it.

You can knit the quilted lattice in one color or two. Beads are optional, but highly recommended, especially on the single color quilted lattice. Embellishment! I knit all three of these cowls using the 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn.

The Embellishment Cowl pattern is exclusive to Knit Camp for the first 45 days, and then I’ll be able to offer it here, too.

Curious about Knit Camp? One lucky winner will receive a free THREE-MONTH membership to Olive Knits’ Knit Camp app! This is your chance to discover the amazing Knit Cam community AND gain early access to exclusive Knit Camp patterns, discounts and more. Knit Camp membership includes free monthly patterns, video tutorials, livestreams, expert pattern support, virtual field trips and SO much more! A $75 value.

Open to followers worldwide, this giveaway ends June 30, 2022. Winner will be posted here, then contacted directly. Prize is non-transferrable and is subject to Olive Knits terms of service.

To enter, check out the Knit Camp app here, then leave a comment and tell me which part of Knit Camp interests you most.

I’ll keep you posted when I can offer the Embellishment Cowl pattern myself!

Brioche Knit Love: Increases and Decreases, and a winner

Brioche increases and decreases make brioche rib so much prettier, and so much more fun to knit! Just a few new stitches to learn, and the brioche world is your oyster.

Knit with Hazel Knits Lively DK

The chapter begins with the Iced Latte hat. There’s only one new stitch to learn, the right leaning brioche decrease, and we don’t use it until we’re shaping the crown at the very end.

The Iced Latte hat is a perfect pairing with the Iced Latte Cowl.

Knit with Malabrigo Rios

The Berry Galette Cowl and Wristlets give you the opportunity to create undulating patterns in your brioche. These were inspired by the blueberry bushes in my garden.

More Malabrigo Rios

The Green Tea Chai Scarf has a simple repeat, which is a great opportunity for learning to read your brioche knitting! You won’t need to look at the chart/instructions after a few repeats.

A little more Malabrigo Rios!

And the Latte Leaf Coaster and Cup Cozy give you a chance to explore increases and decreases along with syncopated brioche, both flat and in the round. These make great quick gift knitting.

All of these patterns have written instructions as well as charts. And there are photo tutorials for all the increases and decreases. I had to use the book yesterday to remind myself how to make a 4 stitch brioche decrease while teaching my Brioche Doctor class for Virtual Knitting Live! Very handy.

Winner! I’ve picked a winner from the comments on the introductory Brioche Knit Love post, and that winner is Meredith Coelho. Meredith, I’ll email you to get your snail mail addy. Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments. If you didn’t win, please buy my book! I’d love to teach you brioche. Purchase from your LYS or directly from the publisher.

One more chapter’s projects to show you after this, in which we get to combine all our new brioche techniques.

(All photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography)

Introducing: Brioche Knit Love

I have this book at my house, and I’m thrilled! It’s beautiful, and I couldn’t be happier with the final product.

When Marie Greene of Olive Knits and Library House Press asked me if I had a book in me, I wasn’t sure, but apparently I did. You know I love to teach, and you know that a lot of my designing is done with teaching in mind. This book gave me the opportunity to do both, with a subject that makes my heart go pitty-pat. Brioche! I’ll be showing the designs here on the blog, in a series of themed blog posts. If you’re a Ravelry user, you can see the listing for the book and its patterns here.

The book starts at the very beginning, with one color brioche. I explore it with brioche knitted flat, in the round, and a combination of round/flat/round.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The very first project is the Hello Brioche Scarf. It is knit with just two stitches, brk (brioche knit) and sl1yo (slipped stitch with a yarn over). So simple! I used super bulky yarn (Malabrigo Rasta) and big needles, so the stitches are very easy to see on this learning project.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The second project is the Hello Brioche Hat, worked in the round. There are instructions for worsted weight (blue Malabrigo Rios), and for Aran weight (pink Knit Picks Muse Tonal), which is an even quicker knit. This pattern introduces the brp (brioche purl) stitch, as well as brioche in the round.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The third pattern in this chapter is the worsted weight Hello Brioche Mitts. They start at the wrist, worked in the round. The thumb opening section is worked flat, knitted back and forth. And the palm/top of the mitt is worked in the round.

I love teaching one concept at a time, and building on it. The designs in this chapter were test knit by absolute brioche newbies as well as experienced brioche knitters. Everyone had successful projects!

The book has photo tutorials, with large photos (4 per page). And for those of you who like a little more help, I made a set of video tutorials specifically for the book; the resources page at the back of the book has a link to the tutorials.

That’s just the beginning; I’ll show you more in the coming week. There are designs for two color brioche, syncopated brioche, increases and decreases, and combinations of all the techniques. The patterns are appropriate for brioche beginners on up. They’re all accessories, and many of them are great for quick gift knits.

I’m giving away a copy of this book to a blog reader. Leave a comment below for a chance to win. Tell me if you already knit brioche, or if you want to learn. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, October 10. That’s before the publishing date of October 19, so if you’re not the winner you’ll still have time to get this at your LYS on the drop date, or order through Library House Press. I’d love for you to ask your LYS to carry it, too. Wholesale orders are through Sommer Street Associates.

February Freebies

There are a few fun things I want to share with you.

First of all, Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat isn’t happening this year, but they’re doing a series of interviews with some of the teachers over the canceled retreat weekend of February 11 – 14. It’s free to watch, but you have to register first. You can register here to see/hear Sarah Larson (spinner, editor), Franklin Habit (knitter, designer), Anne Hanson of KnitSpot (designer, yarn purveyor), and Rebecca Mezoff (weaver and tapestry artist). I’m really happy that the good folks from Red Alder are reaching out to us as this pandemic lockdown continues. I’m looking forward to Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat in 2022! (That sounds like a long time from now…)

Second, how about a free pattern? Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks) is offering a cropped sweater pattern, Feel the Bern (Ravelry link), based on those meme-tastic mittens Senator Bernie Sanders was wearing on Inauguration Day. Her pattern hasn’t been tech edited, but it’s based on her Soldotna Crop pattern, which I found very easy to follow. Others have already posted finished sweaters on Instagram.

Imagine this yoke, but in browns, in that (in)famous mitten pattern!

Oh, not a freebie, really, but you might be interested in the Fiberuary challenge going on over on Instagram. Daily postings based on these prompts, and you can participate, too! Share a little about yourself, and learn about other knitters and crafters. Do as much or as little as you’d like. Look for the hashtags #fiberuarychallenge and #fiberuarychallenge2021

Okay, back to Sleeve Island for me!

Katie’s Kep: FO! and VKL class winner

I just finished knitting Katie’s Kep, the free Shetland Wool Week pattern from 2020.

The crown is definitely the star of the show. Absolutely gorgeous. Both of these pictures are pre-blocking.

I didn’t knit to gauge, but I’m not willing to knit a hat on smaller than US3 needles. The hat is supposed to be 22” but mine is 23” instead, and 9” tall. I don’t swatch for hats. I go by Meg Swansen’s maxim that the hat will fit *someone*! My first hat is a great big gauge swatch.

I’m knitting a second hat, with one fewer repeat of the body stitch pattern. My kit from For Yarn’s Sake has enough of all the CC yarn for a second hat, if I buy an extra ball of the main color, which I did. (There are 5 colorways to choose from.)

I’ve adjusted my cast on, too. I know how to get the crown to work out, based on my reduced number of stitches. Math tells me that my new hat will measure 19”, which gives me some negative ease to help keep it on my head. I might try to remove a few stitches to make it a bit shorter…or not. When it stretches out to accomodate my 22.5” head, that will also make it shorter. Fabric has to come from somewhere! My hats are generally 8” tall.

I’m teaching a Zoom class for For Yarn’s Sake this Sunday, and again later in the month, based on this pattern. (Classes are full. Should we schedule a third class?) We’ll start the class with a discussion on gauge! We’ll also talk about swatching, or not, and ways to adjust the size of the hat. I’m really looking forward to it!

In other class news, I’ve picked a winner for a free class with me at January Vogue Knitting Live. It’s Lauri T! I’ll email her and let her know that she’ll be in my YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Elongated Stitches class. I’m pretty excited about that one, too. I just re-vamped the handout for class, adding more fun stitches. We won’t get through them all in 2 hours, but the handout is a good reference and jumping off point. Congratulations, Lauri!

What new knitting skill do you want to learn in 2021?

Vogue Knitting Live January 2021

I’m thrilled to be teaching at Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live in January. It feels like a lifetime since I taught in NYC last January, in very different circumstances! Someday, we’ll all knit together in-person again, but for now this will do. We’ve been doing virtual events since May, and it’s going pretty smoothly. For the January event, Vogue is adding some very NYC flair, including a virtual fashion show.

I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog/Fixing Mistakes, Syncopated Brioche/Syncopation Shawl or Scarf, Minerva Entrelac Cowl, and YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Elongated Stitches. And! I’m giving away a spot in one of my classes. Leave a comment and let me know which class you’d like to take if you win, and why. I’ll pick a winner on January 5. You can also leave a comment on my Dec. 29 Instagram post, Facebook post, Twitter post, and/or in reply to my newsletter! I’m PDXKnitterati everywhere…

Good luck!

Petite Brioche Class giveaway

I’m teaching at Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live this coming weekend. Most of my classes are full, but there’s still a few spots open in Sunday’s Petite Brioche class. Vogue is letting me give away a spot in the class.

Would you like to win this spot? Class is Sunday November 15, 7 pm EST (4 pm PST, and I’ll let *you* figure out the rest!) To enter to win, visit my Instagram page and click on the picture that looks like this one. Tag a friend and leave a comment about why you want to learn to knit brioche! I’ll pick a winner Thursday evening.

Good luck!

Fun with Knit Picks

First off, my Holiday Stockings pattern from Knit Picks has been free for one week (I think through Monday, tomorrow), during their 12 weeks of gifting event. You can find the pattern here. (Sorry for the late notice; I was waiting for one more Knit Picks related thing to include in this post, but it hasn’t happened yet. Rather than have you miss the pattern, I’m posting without it.) Sixty-eight days ‘til Christmas!

I designed this pattern for them a few years ago, and it has done so well for them that they bought it from me outright, rather than returning it to me at the end of its exclusivity period. Win-win!

These are knit with bulky yarn, so they’re big and they’re quick. Lots of room in there. They’re very similar to my Snowflake Christmas Stocking, which is knit with worsted, and has many more motif options for the cuff.

(there’s a bird motif, too, not shown here)

Also fun, here’s a YouTube link to the Facebook Live Zoom interview I did with Knit Picks this summer! It feels like a very long time ago.