Category Archives: KAL

How to use yarn dominance to your advantage

I finished the quilted lattice band of the Heladas Hat that I’m knitting for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, and moved on to the pinstriped body. The stripes are made with a combination stranded colorwork/slip stitch technique. But I noticed that the lovely stripes were sinking into the stockinette stitch so that they were barely visible. Hmmm.

I thought about yarn dominance in stranded colorwork, so I decided to change how I was carrying my yarns. I usually carry two colors in my right hand, and the position of the yarns doesn’t make much difference as long as they keep their relative positions. But it was making a difference in this case, so I switched. I had been carrying the main color in my favored (usual) throwing position, and the contrast color above because it doesn’t get used as often. Swapping them made all the difference. You can see that the first stitch of the contrast color stripe is kind of buried in the stockinette stitch, and above that they pop out. Yay!

heladas yarn dominance

I don’t particularly like carrying the MC in my non-favored throwing position; it’s a little more cumbersome. So for this project I’m carrying the CC in my left hand and picking it continental, which still puts it in the lower position, and lets the color pop.

Do you know about yarn dominance? It’s a fun fact and useful thing to know. Your particular knitting technique may end up making the upper yarn dominant instead of the lower; you’d have to check and see. But after you decide which one is dominant and like it that way, keep your yarns in the same relative postion as you knit your colorwork. Have fun!

And don’t forget that the pattern sale for the GAL ends on November 27 at midnight; the coupon code is giftalong2015. The knitting/crocheting/prizes continue until the end of the year.

Indie designer: Yarn Intercept Designs

Heladas Hat

Last night I cast on my first Indie Design Gift-Along project, the Heladas Hat. I love the clever 2-color quilted lattice stitch on the wide band. A very fun stitch that adds a lot of interest!


The Heladas (frost) Hat is designed by Beverly S, yarnintercept on Ravelry. I’ve followed Beverly’s blog for many years; back in 2011 she even interviewed me for her blog!

Beverly is a middle school math teacher who also designs knitting patterns. She’s not afraid to use math in her design work! She designs accessories: hats, mitts, socks, and shawls. Her asymmetrical Bricktown Shawl is a very appealing use of slipped stitches and eyelets using two complementary yarns.



I had been planning to cast on Beverly’s Frozen Spires Cowl. This lovely cabled cowl would be perfect for the extra skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted that’s left over from my Edin cardigan. Even better, I have an extra 1/5 skein from the sweater, so I can make this cowl one repeat bigger and even squishier than the original seen here.

frozen spires

And I still may. But right now, the hat is humming along. I’m using Malabrigo Arroyo in Purpuras and Borrajas, and I love the way it looks.

Malabrigo Arroyo purpuras y borrajas

Check out these designs and more on Beverly’s Ravelry designer page. And stock up during the Indie Designer Giftalong sale!

(All photos by Beverly S/Yarn Intercept Designs, except my cast on.)

Indie Design Gift-Along: Let’s get this party started!

Last year’s Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry was so much fun, I’m particpating again this year as both a designer and a knitting participant.

GAL2015 mosaic

These are just a few of the 20 designs I’m including in the event.

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion 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. You don’t have to belong to Ravelry to buy patterns, but you do have to join if you want to participate in the KAL/CAL games and prizes.

The pattern sale runs from Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST – Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST. The KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 19 at 8pm (US-EST) through our New Years Eve party, Thursday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST). Check out the Ravelry group for all the details.

Here’s a link to my featured patterns for this event; scroll down to the Giftalong 2015 bundle (fuzzy Thrumbelina picture) and click. The discount is 25%; use the code giftalong2015 at checkout. Remember that it starts working tonight (Thursday, Nov. 19) at 8 p.m. Eastern, which is 5 p.m. Pacific. (When we lived in New York, my PDX Mom would always ask “What time is it there?” when she called me.)

Ready, set, KNIT! (or crochet…)

Are you knitting gifts for the holidays?

FO: Edin cardigan

I love a good finished object! This is my Edin Cardigan, pre-blocking.

Edin, pre-blocking

I gave it a light steam block so I could take a photograph for the ChicKnits KAL. Here you can see that the band on the left is unblocked, and the one on the right is steamed a bit.

Edin bands

I love how the whole thing begins at the back of the neck.

Edin back neck

I wet blocked it 2 days ago, and it’s still drying in the sunroom.

Edin blocking

Almost dry! It relaxed a bit, gaining an inch in width and an inch in length, both of which are good things. (Did I wash and block my swatch? No. But I did swatch, and I use this particular yarn a lot, so it behaved according to plan.)

Here are the details:

Edin, design by Bonne Marie Burns of ChicKnits
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Continental Blue, 4.8 skeins
Needles: Hiya Hiya US 7
Began Oct. 13, finished Nov. 14. Quickest sweater ever for me.

I really enjoyed knitting this; Bonne Marie’s pattern is well written and easy to follow. Edin as a top down cardigan, mostly stockinette except for the lace bands that look like cables. So pretty! Stockinette is great for multi-tasking knitting; I did a lot of reading while knitting this.

Edin magic loop sleeve

I also perfected my magic loop technique while knitting the sleeves. I knit the first one last month in Sisters, Oregon, where my yarn was the same color as the sky.


At least on the first day. The next day was quite frosty in the morning.

Sisters morning

While I was in Sisters, I had the opportunity to meet up with Sarah and Paula at the Stitchin’ Post. Good times.

Sarah me Paula

I have 1.2 skeins left of this glorious blue yarn, and I’m planning to make a cowl in the Indie Designer Gift-Along on Ravelry, which starts Thursday. I’ll post about that in a few days.

The seamy underside of knitting…

Shannon Squire had a post recently on Instagram about (not) sewing in ends. We all like to put this off. Sometimes we just tuck the ends in and do the photo shoot without actually doing the finishing work! The dirty little secrets of knit designers…

tilt shift seaming

The other day I was seaming the Tilt Shift Wrap that I knit during my KAL this spring. I finished the knitting, blocked the piece, but set it aside in favor of deadline knitting. In the time between then and now, I lost the leftover ball of yarn! Two searches later, success, and I could do my seaming.

Let’s talk about seaming for a minute. My options on this long stockinette seam were either mattress stitch, or a crocheted slip stitch seam. While I love a good mattress stitch seam, it wasn’t the right choice for this piece for me. The yarn is lovely DK weight Malabrigo Rastita. The weight of the wrap is going to be on that seam on my shoulder, which makes it pull a little bit. When I pulled on the seam, you could see the zigzag of the mattress stitch, which wasn’t attractive.

I opted to use a crochet slip stitch seam for my Tilt Shift Wrap. Very tidy, even with a little pull on it. It disappears into the ditch of the seam on the right side. Perfect.

tilt shift seam sunshine

This is not to say that this is the perfect seam every time. When I seamed my Summertime Blues wrap, I used mattress stitch. That wrap is knit in Knitted Wit’s Shine, a fingering weight yarn, and there isn’t as much weight on the seam. Knitters are thinkers! You are the boss of your knitting; choose what works best for you in each case.

While I’m thinking of it: The pictures above were taken in direct sunlight. Pretty harsh lighting, but I wanted to use the first picture on Instagram, and title it, “We’ll Seam in the Sunshine.” Most of the time I prefer indirect light; it makes pictures prettier.

tilt shift seam 2

I’m teaching a class this fall on using your iPhone/iPad for photographing your knits and editing your pictures. It’s not just about knits; the information is good for other photography, too. I’m teaching it at Twisted in Portland and Stash in Corvallis. Click the workshop and classes tab at the top of this page for dates. Come play!

Looking forward to wearing this Tilt Shift soon. Fall is in the air. Bring out your knits!

bee wine glass not perigord

Hey wait; that’s mine!

Upcoming classes, and catching up the blog

It’s been super busy here since I came home from Port Ludlow, Edmonds, Ellensburg. I feel like there’s a mega-post about that road trip that needs to happen, but I haven’t had a chance to process it yet. So I’m going to jump ahead and let you know what’s going on now, and then work backwards. We’ll pretend it’s ballroom dancing or something…

May is shaping up to be a busy month. I’m doing a workshop for the Tigard Knitting Guild on May 9. We’re going to play with mosaic slipped stitch knitting. In the morning we’ll learn how it works, and in the afternoon we’ll design something with it! This is such a great way to play with color, but we only use one color per row. No carrying, no floats.

pdxknitterati knitting

On May 16, I’ll be down in Salem teaching at Tangled Purls. I’m teaching two classes. The first is Blocking: It’s Magic from 10 to noon.

Rosaria edge detail

In the afternoon I’m teaching beginning stranded colorwork with the Kerfuffle Cowl from 1:30 TO 4 p.m. Contact the shop to register for either of these.

pdxknitterati kerfuffle cowl

I’ll also have my trunk show there all day! We’ll have a meet and greet between classes, so come take a class or just say hello.

I’ve been knitting like mad this month. I’m working with Knitted Wit’s new Targhee Shimmer yarn, 80/20 Targhee/silk in DK and worsted weights. The wool is sourced 100% sheep to skein in the USA. I designed a Criss Cross Cowl in Kiss and Teal (to go with the Criss Cross mitts and hat and beret) with the worsted, pattern coming soon. This color is amazing, but it doesn’t photograph well. In real life, it’s a very rich aquamarine, like a deep blue-green emerald.

pdxknitterati criss cross cowl

I knit a pair of Pointer Mitts with the DK, in Liberally Bleeding Heart.

pdxknitterati pointer mitts

These are going to TNNA, the The National Needlearts Association trade show at the end of May. There will also be a Pointer cap to go with the mitts, but a sample knitter is doing that one for me. And a Sophie’s Rose Shawlette in Knitted Wit’s Single Fingering, in Enchanted Forest and Salted Caramel which I’m not knitting, but I’ll block it. Thank goodness for sample knitters!

I’ve also been diligently knitting on my Tilt Shift KAL project. Two skeins down, one left to go. This is very relaxing knitting for me, because it’s 80% stockinette. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and watching TV with it. The KAL has been going on all month, and should be wrapping up this week.

Tilt Shift KAL

I don’t know that I’ll have mine done by then, because I have a design project to finish before TNNA which is higher priority because it has a deadline. Click, click, click…

I also blocked my Fern Shawlette that I knit for my previous KAL. Finally! You’ll note that I’m artfully hiding the ends I have yet to sew in.

pdxknitterati fern shawlette

In my spare time (ha!) my friends Carole, Suzanne, and I put on a tea for 60 on Saturday. Planning, shopping, cooking, plating, serving. And no pictures of the event; I was too busy kitchen wenching. But Sue from Tango Mango came and did a presentation with her collection of vintage purses, which was very cool. Here are just a few.

princess mary purseNote the floral detail at the bottom.

vintage beaded bags

And then there was an Earth Day event on Sunday that required folding some origami cranes, among other things…

origami cranes for earth day

I’ll do a report on the Strung Along Retreat soon. It was great. But I have to wash and block my little swatches from Clara Parkes’ class before I can blog it!

What have you been up to while I’ve been away?

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!

Tilt Shift Wrap pattern release and KAL

The Tilt Shift Wrap is live!

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

This wrap features an intriguing woven cable that is knit through itself rather than simply crossed. It is knit flat in one piece with DK weight yarn, then folded and seamed. An edge cable mimics the undulations of the tilting stitches. Complicated? 80% of the rows are just soothing stockinette stitch. This design is perfect for semisolid tonals.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

You could call it a poncho, but I don’t want to give you flashbacks to the 1970’s. So we’ll call it a wrap, and just keep that P word our little secret.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

The pattern includes a link to a video tutorial for the woven cables. Easy peasy!

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering $1 off through March 31. Get it while it’s hot! Use coupon code CABLE for the discount. Here’s a link to the pattern page.

I’m hosting a knitalong (KAL) through my Ravelry PDXKnitterati group beginning April 1. And we’re planning an in-person get together at Wool ‘n’ Wares, for those who can make it. I’ll post details on that soon. Edit: Wool ‘n’ Wares KAL party will be Friday, April 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. They’re located at 21580 Willamette Drive, West Linn, OR 97068. Be there if you can!

I knit the green version in Malabrigo Rastita, color Solis. It’s a lovely single ply, slightly felted yarn. Sarah Peery knit the purple version in Black Trillium Fibre Studio Sublime, color Tyrian. Three 100g skeins of either will make a nicely sized wrap. Thanks to Sarah for knitting (and photographing), and Melanie at Black Trillium Fibre Studio for the lovely yarn.

Hope you’ll come knit along!

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. Voilà, lacy YO’s! (Sorry for the blurry pic; it’s the only one I have.)


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.


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 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?

Right tools for the job

I’ve been working slowly on my XOXOKAL Fern Shawlette, and I finally realized that I don’t like this yarn/needle combo. The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering, and the needles are Signature circulars. The needles are just a little too slick for this particular yarn. I’m switching back to my Lantern Moon ebony circulars, which is most likely what I used when swatching with this yarn before submitting it to Knit Picks for their Under 100 collection.

kntting needle swap(Slightly grainy pic under incandescent light, sorry.)

Ahhhh. Better. The ebony needles are a little grabbier than the metal, so I no longer feel like my stitches are slip sliding away. I normally love my Signature needles for lace shawls, but not with this yarn! One size does not fit all. I love my ebony needles, too, but not on a project with multiple YO’s that have to scoot from cable to needle. The Signatures were a better choice for those (Aloha Shawlette, Sophie’s Rose). And for the Criss Cross Hats, I’ve been using Hiya Hiya stainless steel circulars, either regular point or the sharps. I like them both, but probably like the sharps a little more. It’s a good thing to have a lot of needles to choose from! I bought several more needles because I’ve been leaving them in my projects as samples for some of my classes.

Do you have a favorite needle?