Category Archives: KAL

Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Oh, that last bit, the right edge triangle. It sounds a little tricksy at the end, but it’s not hard. Just keep following the directions, to the end, which is a slightly tricky part. Here’s a video for you:

Then it’s on to Tier 3, which is a piece of cake! 🍰

When you’re finishing Tier 4, with another right edge triangle, picking up the last stitch can be a little tricky. I like to pick up here, in the outside of the first V on the outside edge, so the corner of the triangle doesn’t stick out as a bump on the lovely straight edge.

Now it’s just a matter of knitting away and watching your colors change. Have fun!

Entrelac knitting

You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry, and choose your own price from full price to free through April 7, 2020. Pay what you can, and come knit with me!

If you’re on Ravelry, please make a project page for your Minerva; I’d love to see them there. Ravelry makes it so easy to find them all together. And post on Instagram using #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati too. I love seeing your progress.

Just keep knitting…

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:

Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2

Minerva KAL: Tier 2

How are your base triangles looking? Not really triangles, are they? But they’re close enough, and they’ll look good as we go on.

I forgot to ask: If you’re on Ravelry, please make a project page for your Minerva; I’d love to see them there. Ravelry makes it so easy to find them all together. And please post your progress on Instagram using #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati so I can see them there, too.

Here’s a short video on how to start the left edge triangle.

And here’s a video on picking up stitches for the first right leaning rectangle.

You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry, and choose your own price from full price to free through April 7, 2020. Pay what you can, and come knit with me!

Knit on…

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:

Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles

Minerva KAL: Base Triangles!

Did you cast on and purl your setup row?

I used a crochet chain provisional cast on. If you’re doing it right, you’ll see the chain. See on the last 3 stitches, I did it wrong? Don’t do that!

Here’s a short video to walk you through the beginning of the first row.

And a video of the transition between the first and next triangle.

Let me know how you’re doing with your project; post on Instagram and use #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati so I can see them. And please make a Ravelry page for your project if you’re a Raveler; I love being able to check in on your projects. And post on your blog if you’re a blogger and let me know!

I’m using a bit of Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, I think in Pegasus, to show you this beginning, because I already used my Huckleberry Knits Gradient to do a little knitting last night. I had a Zoom meeting with the knitters who were going to come to my Minerva class that I had to cancel, so it’s a bit ahead of where we are right now.

Biscuit helped me set up my workspace. She was ready for her closeup, under the warm Ott light!

We had a good meeting, but it sure is a lot harder to have a knitting class when you can’t touch the other people’s knitting! And one on one is easier than a large group. So in a pinch, Zoom for sure. But I’d always choose in-person over virtual meeting, if possible.

If you want to join the Minerva KAL, you can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry, and choose your own price from full price to free through April 7, 2020. Pay what you can, and come knit with me!

If you need a private lesson or tutorial via Zoom, I can arrange that! Shoot me a message.

Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises. ~ Elizabeth Zimmermann

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Minerva KAL: Casting On

Minerva Entrelac KAL: Casting on

Ready to cast on? Almost! Are you planning to knit a cowl, or a scarf? It’s good to plan your ending before beginning.

Photo by test knitter Paula Sadler

If you’re planning to knit a scarf, you can just begin with a long tail cast on. The first row after that is a purl row, because when you turn to knit back after casting on, you’re looking at the bumpy purl side of your cast on. We’re knitting stockinette based entrelac, so we want all those purl bumps on the back! By purling the setup row, we’re getting ready to work from the public side, the right side, the knit side.

If you’re planning to seam your Minerva into a loop cowl, I’d recommend beginning with a provisional cast on. When you’re finished knitting, you can pick up the live stitches from the provisional cast on, and use these with 3 needle bind off to join the beginning to the end. I did this with my Noro Minerva; I’d always rather knit than sew!

The crochet chain provisional cast on is my favorite provisional cast on. I made this tutorial back in 2012; it’s not as pretty as more recent tutorials, but it still works! You can use whatever provisional cast on you choose, though.

And if you just use a long tail cast on because you thought you were knitting a scarf, and somewhere along the way you change your mind? You can also pick up stitches along the cast on edge, and join those to the end with a 3 needle bind off. It’s a little bit tighter, though, so I didn’t love doing that (on the 2 Chroma cowls). I used an elastic bind off, in combination with the 3 needle bind off, to make the seam more flexible. But that’s for later!

OK, let’s go! Cast on, and purl your setup row. We’ll go from there.

You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry, and choose your own price from full price to free through March 31, 2020. Edit: Extending coupons to April 7, 2020!

Lovenote Sweater update

While you’re busy choosing yarn for the MinervaKAL2020, I thought I’d show you where I am with my Love Note sweater. I had put it on hold while I finished my Noro Minerva sample, but now I have time to get back to it.

I love the better lace definition on US 9 needles, and I’ve gone back to US 10 for the body because I like the floaty quality of the stockinette that way. Yes, I did knit stockinette on the 9 for an inch or so, and didn’t like the way it felt, so there was a little more frogging.

I still don’t really know what my gauge is, but I put it on 2 circulars and tried it on, and it is a much better size than the first one! I know, do as I say, not as I do as far as gauge swatching for sweaters goes. As long as you’re willing to live with the consequences, you can do whatever you want! You could say that my first two attempts at this sweater were giant gauge swatches, themselves.

The first time I tried to get an update picture, Calvin wanted to help. There’s not enough contrast between rug and sweater, but I love this picture anyway. It was his one year anniversary with us, and he has been very charming since day one.

It’s a rainy day here, after a stretch of glorious sunshine. Today’s to do list:

  • Learn how to use Instagram Stories (don’t laugh; I’ve been resisting
  • Learn how to use Zoom on my laptop (for singing and knitting?)
  • Try sewing some masks using this tutorial (haven’t used my sewing machine in a long time, hope it’s in good form!)

What are you doing during this time of social distancing? Let’s flatten that curve!

Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn

Let’s talk about yarn. For the Minerva samples shown here, we’ve used worsted weight yarns with a long slow color change. The colors are constantly shifting, but not as quickly as in a variegated yarn. The show color shift makes each block look like a separate color. But the yarn has done all the work; you don’t have a million ends to sew in. (Side note: Today is Calvin’s Gotcha Day anniversary; he’s been part of our family for one year. He’s a love bug!)

These two cowls are knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. Chroma is a mirrored gradient, so the color change in one direction, and then back, around a central color.

This cowl is knit with Noro Silk Garden, a worsted to Aran weight yarn. Noro yarns have delightful color changes. Other options are Berroco Millefiori, Cascade Melilla, and Plymouth Gina.

If you don’t mind sewing in more ends, you could choose two or more colors, and knit each tier in stripes of color. You could even knit an entrelac rainbow! But you’d have a lot of ends to sew in.

For the KAL, I’m planning to knit with a slightly lighter weight yarn, Huckleberry Knits American Dream DK in the Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway. This is the same colorway I used for my Aspen scarf, and I love how it transitions in a continuous rainbow. I won’t get individually colored squares, but I’m hoping for a shimmering rainbow progression. We shall see! The DK yarn will give me a slightly narrower cowl (my worsted version is 8” wide) but I’ll be perfectly happy with that.

What yarn are you choosing for your Minerva? Cowl or scarf? See pattern for yardage information. You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry, and choose your own price from full price to free through March 31, 2020. Edit: Extending coupons to April 7, 2020!

Next up: cast ons!

Introducing: Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL

Minerva is an entrelac cowl or scarf, knit flat. She’s a twist on my Athena Cowl, which is knit in the round. You can choose your pricing; see below.

Why knit a round cowl flat? To learn all the elements you need to know for any entrelac project, and to avoid a huge game of yarn chicken on a long scarf or loop cowl knit lengthwise! Entrelac looks like it’s woven, but it’s just a lot of squares and triangles, knit one at a time. You’ll want to knit just one more square…

Knit to the length you like! Samples shown in worsted weight yarn, but I’ll be knitting one in Huckleberry Knits American Dream DK for a KAL.

Short cowls, steam or wet blocked

100g/200 yards will give you a short cowl.

Noro Silk Garden, 115 g (2.3 balls)

I used 115g of Noro Silk Garden for the longer cowl. 200g/400 yards of Noro will give you a 60″ scarf or cowl.

Test knitter Paula Sadler’s Minerva Scarf, 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden

I’m planning a KAL during this time of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Come knit with me at a distance! I’ll be posting the updates here on my blog. I’ll also be posting pictures on social media; I’m @pdxknitterati on Instagram, and PDXKnitterati on Facebook. Use #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati on Instagram. I’ll help you through the tricky spots!

Choose your price for Minerva Entrelac Cowl or Scarf (Ravelry link) using these coupon codes through March 31, 2020. Edit: Extending coupon codes to April 7!

Full price: no coupon code
25% off: MINERVA25
50% off: MINERVA50
75% off: MINERVA75
Free pattern: MINERVAFREE

I know that many of us are experiencing financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, so I don’t want the cost of a pattern to keep you from participating, or even just having a soothing knitting project. We’ll get through this together! Let me know if you’d like to learn entrelac with me. I’ll post soon about choosing yarn and getting started.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Kristine Alcade, Ann Berg, Anne Fields, and Paula Sadler.

Minerva and KAL coming soon!

I’ve decided that this version of my upcoming Minerva Cowl is as long as I want it to be! I like my cowls to be about 34” long; they fall well on me there. Right now this is 35”, but I couldn’t resist that last color I was knitting. I’m ready to give it a little steam block, and then seam it with a 3 needle bind off. I started with a provisional cast on, so that will be easy.

I know there’s not enough yarn to get to 56”, which is what I’d want for a double loop cowl, so I’m stopping now!

I’ll be releasing this pattern soon, with free and paid options, and having a virtual KAL via social media. Would you like to learn entrelac? It’s really fun, and looks really clever. Stay tuned for more info!

Introducing Oregon Sky

I’m delighted to introduce my new shawl design, Oregon Sky. It’s a collaboration with local dyer Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit.

And a cast of thousands. Or at least 10.

From Lorajean:

What do you get when you put a brand-spanking-new Knitted Wit rainbow and ten uber-talented designers in a room? Glow Up Knitted Wit! The ten-pattern collection, along with five gorgeous colorway combos, drops on Friday, March 1st, 2019. You can get the whole pattern collection for $33 through April 1, 2019, and all patterns will also be available from the individual designers, as well as through Ravelry In-Store pattern sales for our LYS partners.

You can get the yarn on the Knitted Wit website. The hardest part will be choosing which complementary full skein you want!

We came up with a transcendent new rainbow, which we called Glow Up, and paired a Gumball Sixlet of it with a smattering of full skeins of Fingering. We reached out to some of our favorite designers, and asked them to make some magic, and oooh, wow, did they ever! Check out the amazingness created by ​Makenzie Alvarez, Michele Lee Bernstein, Kira Delaney, Marie Greene, Stephanie Lotven, Lisa Ross, Joshua Ryks-Robinsky, Shannon Squire, Debbi Stone, and Angela Tong! Each designer chose a contrasting skein and created a rainbowriffic masterpiece.

You can purchase the whole Glow Up Knitted Wit collection as an ebook, or you can purchase patterns individually. The collection is a great deal, $33 for 10 patterns. If you only want Oregon Sky, I’m offering a 10% discount on Ravelry through March 10, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a discount code for 20%. Not a subscriber? Subscribe here!

There will be KALs and CALs over on Instagram. More on that later. For now, dream of rainbows!

I’ll have Oregon Sky at our multi-peeps trunk show during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, at For Yarn’s Sake this Thursday, March 7, 10 am to 5 pm. I’ll be with Knitted Wit’s Lorajean Kelley, and designers Shannon Squire and Debbie Stone, who also have designs in the Glow Up Knitted Wit collection. Come say hi if you’re local!

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!