Category Archives: KAL

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?


I’ve cast on for the February Hugs and Kisses KAL, now tagged XOXOKAL on Ravelry.

pdxknitterati fern shawlette

Four pattern repeats done on my Fern Shawlette. The beads are very subtle here, but they do show up better in real life.

pdxknitterati louet gems

The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering in Willow, 100g, and Miyuki Delica beads (tubes rather than seed beads) in Celery.

It’s a pleasure becoming reacquainted with this pattern of mine. It’s not difficult, but it does require paying a little attention, and also pausing to add two beads on most right side rows.

pdxknitterati bead tin

I’m using my trusty Bead Aid to add beads to my knitting, and managing my beads with my bead tin. Do you bead your knits? One of the KAL prizes for the weekly drawings is a set of Bead Aids. I know someone will love theirs as much as I love mine!

There’s still time to join the KAL; we’ve only just started casting on. And the Criss Cross patterns are still on sale for 20% off with coupon code WEAVE, through February 10.

February 2015 KAL

KAL details here.

For a little more fun, I’m giving away 2 patterns from this collection here and on Instagram. To enter, leave a comment and let me know which is your favorite! If you already own your favorite, let me know that and your hoped for pattern. On Sunday, February 8, I’ll draw a name from here, and a name from Instagram. (Do you Instagram? I’m PDXKnitterati over there, too.) You can find names of these patterns in this post.

When I’m not working on my Fern Shawlette, I’m being lured by the siren song of a new to me yarn.

malabrigo rastita solis

This is Malabrigo Rastita, a DK weight slightly felted single ply yarn. I am enchanted by it. This color is Solis, a mix of greens and blues. Not quite as blue as this picture would lead you to believe, and knitting at night it looks only green, but by daylight it is gloriously both.

I can’t show you what I’m making with it yet, but I have already knit through one 100g hank, and I’m not bored with it at all.

OK, comment time. Let me know your favorite pattern from the XOXOKAL set! And anything else you want to comment on.

Hugs and Kisses KAL: Casting on soon!

It’s official: Debbie4 named the February KAL on Ravelry: Hugs and Kisses KAL (the shawls/cowl/hat hug your shoulders/neck/head, and the Criss Cross patterns have “kisses” (x’s)

February 2015 KAL

It includes all seven of my patterns released in January 2015, and also the Hugs and Kisses OXO Fingerless Mitts, just because the name fits. Ravelry links below:

Criss Cross Beret

Criss Cross Hat
Criss Cross Mitts
Hugs and Kisses OXO Cable Fingerless Mitts (not new, but the name fits!)
Fern Lace Shawlette
Sophie’s Rose
Reversi Cowl

Edited to add: Win one of these patterns! Details in next post.

Don’t forget, the discount code for all Criss Cross patterns is WEAVE, good through February 10. And the code for Reversi is DOTDASH, good through January 31.

We’ll cast on February 1. Choose your knit, and join the KAL in this thread in my Ravelry group. I hope you can join us. We’ll have chat and weekly prize drawings. It’s a pretty small group so far, which makes your chances of winning a prize HUGE. Knit on!

New Criss Cross Accessories patterns

Done! The Criss Cross Accessories Collection is now available on Ravelry. I’m really pleased with this collection.

pdxknitterati criss cross hathat

pdxknitterati criss cross beretberet

pdxknitterati criss cross mittsmitts

The patterns are available either singly or as a set of three. To celebrate the launch of this set, use the coupon code WEAVE at checkout through February 10 for 20% off either a single pattern:




or the e-book. These patterns are also eligible for my February KAL. Come over to the Ravelry group to join the fun! Link to KAL thread here.

Coming soon: Criss Cross Hat, Beret, Mitts

I fell in love with a stitch pattern back in November, and I’ve had a great time playing with it. It’s my adaptation of a stitch pattern I saw in a Japanese stitch dictionary.

pdxknitterati criss cross stitch

It’s kind of like a cable, except the stitches go through each other, instead of in front or behind each other.

pdxknitterati criss cross hat

The first thing I did was try it on a beanie hat in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Indigo; I was teaching a circular hat class at Twisted and wanted to mix things up for myself. A little extra thinking on how I wanted to place my crown decreases, and it was done. Cute! But this style hat doesn’t look great on me, and I really wanted a hat for me.

pdxknitterati criss cross beret

Next up: the slouchy beret. It’s a thing, you know. This is Malabrigo Rios in Azules. Even more thinking about how to arrange crown decreases (I think you’ll really like it), and I love it. It looks good on Bobbi, my model, and it looks cute on me, too!

pdxkitterati criss cross beret

But what happens if you need a bigger one? If you have a big head? So I knit another one in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Black Forest, with more stitches. Looks great, but you know what? In wet blocking, the bottom band of the beret gets super stretchy, so you don’t really need more stitches to get a beret that fits a larger head. The diameter of the beret is a tad bigger, but not anything to write home about. If you want a little extra slouch, knit the large size, but the circumference of the band is hugely malleable. I put some elastic in the band on both the smaller and larger versions, and both fit my largish head just fine.

pdxknitterati criss cross beret

And then I knit one in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Moss to check my numbers, while I was on vacation. It still needs blocking.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

Unless a hat is super special (like Thrumviator, or Pippi), I like to have matching mitts to justify the pattern. Here’s the first version of the mitts in Indigo, like the beanie. I used a peasant thumb, because I didn’t want to mess with the criss cross stitch pattern. It worked great.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts and beret

Since I made the blue beret for me, I wanted matching mitts. Done. And check out those lovely crown decreases.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

I made a green set for my friend Carole for Christmas, because she loved the yarn color (Moss). I knit them with a larger needle, because the original mitts were a bit snug on her. The pattern repeat is large enough that you can’t easily change the number of stitches to adjust sizing. But when she put one of the mitts on upside down, I decided it was time to rethink the peasant thumb (which also looked a little sloppy at larger gauge).

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

I made this set in Malabrigo Rios, as a Christmas gift for my niece. (The blue Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere that I originally gave her with a promise of mitts was too heavy for this pattern, and also excess dye was crocking all over my hands and needles. Not happy with that one. Couldn’t find Azules in Rios again, so I opted for Solis, which is green. She can have her choice of these, or the Indigo pair. Her mom (my sister) is hoping she chooses Indigo, so she can have the green for herself. Go Ducks!) I used my favorite increased thumb gusset. Careful planning meant it didn’t interrupt the stitch pattern at all. Fits like a dream. The cuffs are a little longer than necessary, though.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

One more time! I knit the mitts once more in Moss, with a thumb gusset, and adjusted the overall length which required adjusting the stitch pattern. Perfect. I do all this messing around, so you don’t have to!

Patterns are all with my tech editor right now. I’m going to set them up as individual patterns, but you’ll be able to purchase them either individually, or as a set of two or three patterns, with discounts for sets. Coming soon! And the Criss Cross accessories will be eligible for February’s KAL, too.

Have you ever fallen in love with a technique or stitch pattern, and had to play it out to the nth degree? That happened to me with entrelac, and with my favorite leaf motif (Big Leaf Scarf, Garland, Autumn Scarf, a couple other projects in the works or hibernating.) I think I’ve finally played out this stitch pattern for me; that was a lot of knitting! Now it’s time to cast on something new…