Category Archives: KAL

Half the Knit Sky KAL: It’s a wrap!

Our Half the Knit Sky KAL ran through the end of August, and I finished mine, just under the wire.

You may recall that I finished knitting at the beach last Wednesday.

I wet blocked it on Saturday, and took pictures yesterday.

I love all three of my shawls, but this one reminds me of the sky with the aurora borealis dancing across the stars. Not that I’ve ever seen the aurora, but it’s on my bucket list!

I have prizes for my last two KAL finishers, so I’ll be getting in touch with Terri and Marilee soon.

I haven’t forgotten Sneaker Wave; I’ll have the patterns out next week, I hope? But I’m also juggling some blog posts and videos for a company I’m working with, so we’ll see how the week goes. Nothing like the power of a deadline! I steam blocked yesterday. The left mitt is blocked; see how relaxed the fabric and the cable are, compared to the right mitt? Don’t worry, I blocked that one, too. Blocking is magic, even steam blocking!

Calvin insisted on helping with the photo shoot, even though the hat is too big for him.

And Biscuit decided to start the holiday weekend early.

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday weekend! Tomorrow’s my birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that, too. Cheers!

Life’s a beach

I was lucky to get away for a bit this past week. Walking on a beach on a cool sunny day is a great way to clear one’s head. And the lack of things to trip on make walking free and easy, unlike walking on sidewalks in town.

One of my favorite beach walks is south of Cannon Beach, beginning at Tolovana and heading south to Jockey Cap and Silver Point. It’s much quieter down that way, away from Haystack Rock.

Further down the coast, north of Rockaway, looking back to see Twin Rocks. (I do love monoliths.)

I spotted this sea lion on Nedonna Beach at the South Nehalem Bay Jetty.

Looks like someone needs a cuppa coffee! He did swim back out to sea after this.

Lots of jellyfish on the beach, some big and some small.

I saw the Big Dipper each night, and managed to catch it with my iPhone. Turn up your screen brightness if you need help to see it.

And I finished knitting Half the Knit Sky for my KAL, just in time. (See how I snuck the knit sky in with the night sky?) Now it’s time to block. If you’re knitting along, post a picture by August 31 for the last round of prizes.

It was a lovely getaway. Back to work!

River and sky #4catbordhi

I’m trying to get excited about my emPower People bandana, but I’m just not. I think it’s even frowning at me! I had hoped to finish it and use it for special election Tuesday next week, but I’m just not feeling the love. I’m going to put it aside for now.

I need to work on my Half the Knit Sky KAL; I’m trying to finish by the end of August. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a lot more knitting than I expect, because the yardage on this Huckleberry Knits gradient is so much longer than on my original KnitCircus gradient.

I love how subtle the color shift is.

If you’re knitting along, please post a picture on Instagram or Ravelry so you can be in this week’s prize drawing. I’ll pick a winner over the weekend.

My Rio Calina #4catbordhi is calling my name. I love how quickly this river moves along, big stitches, bold cables. I’m trying to be random with the cables and go with the flow, but those two long lines heading to the left are just begging for an intervention!

What is your knitting telling you to do?

Onward!

WIP it, WIP it good

You know I’m pretty much a monogamous knitter. I like having one, or at most two, projects on the needles. That makes it easier for me to get things done. Right now I have two projects, my Half the Knit Sky KAL and the emPower People Brioche Bandana. Oh, didn’t I tell you about that one?

The emPower People Project is “a craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.“ Link here. The project is a bandana to knit, crochet, Tunisian crochet, or sew as a catalyst for conversation and change. And now there’s a brioche knit version by Nancy Marchant, so I decided to try it. You can download your pattern at the link, but the version of the brioche pattern on Ravelry is currently much more complete than the one on the website.

OK, two projects on the needles. But now comes word that Cat Bordhi is dying of cancer. She has always been such a bright light in the knitting community with her brilliant inventive mind and warm personality. Her grace-filled post is here. She’s offering the gift of her Rio Calina cowl pattern to everyone. She says, “It teaches you to let go and allow the spatial brilliance and inherent grace of nature create a unique stream of cabled rivulets. I like to imagine that this technique can soothe and heal all manner of troubles…and is so so beautiful to watch emerging. And I would love for thousands of knitters to be knitting this design…it is truly beautiful.“

How can I say no to that appeal?

I met Cat Bordhi at Sock Summit 2009. I had a six hour class on different sock architectures with her. Such a great teacher.

It was in this class that I met Elizabeth DeHority, when she shared her Cat Bordhi Aha yarn with me. Elizabeth was on a Make a Wish-type trip for Sock Summit, and I had the honor of knowing her for a few years. She passed away in 2015.

Sock Summit blog post here, if you want a blast from the past.

In the meantime, I’ll be looking through my stash to see if there are two matching skeins of worsted.

Half the Knit Sky: First prizes

The KAL continues! My magenta is shading into a deep, deep purple. That will be followed by a deep blue; I’m looking forward to seeing that, too.

I did a random drawing for the cast on prize, and marleneknitter on Instagram is the winner! Marlene, please message me your snail mail addy through IG, and I will send you the yarn bras.

But also! Arlene (scrapquilts989 on Ravelry) finished her shawl, and she added beads, too. Definitely a double achievement! So as first finisher (and a spectacular one at that), I’m sending her a Knit Picks circular needle, because you can never have too many shawl appropriate needles. It’s a US3, 32 inch metal needle; I’m using one and I love it. The join transition is perfect for the stars; no catching at the join. Arlene, please message me your address through Ravelry.

OK, that’s a lot of coincidence: Winners are Marlene and Arlene, and both are from Canada. Knit on!

The Half the Knit Sky pattern is now available on the Knit Picks site through their Independent Design Program. I’m glad to make it available through more channels. Here’s the link to purchase the pattern there.

Keep cool, and keep knitting!

Half the Knit Sky KAL: cast on prize drawing

The KAL has been underway for a little while, and so it’s time for a prize! Please post a progress pic by the end of Friday, July 24. Everyone who has posted at least a cast on and several rows will be eligible for the drawing. I’ll be looking on Ravelry and on Instagram for your pictures. Don’t forget to hashtag your Instagram pictures so I can find them! #halftheknitsky

The prize: 2 yarn bras to hold your yarn. I am trying one of these for the first time, and I love it. Usually my center pull cakes go conical as I use them, but this seems to be keeping my yarn in shape. You can see it on the white cake here. I’m using the gradient from the outside, so no bra for that one.

I had a Zoom knit nite last night, so I had time to do some knitting. I’m about to start the second star stitch row. These are a little tricky to do, but so worth it in terms of effect! And of course there’s a video link in the pattern.

Post your pictures, and I’ll draw a winner on Saturday morning!

Brioche trifecta

Apparently I’m living my best brioche life today. This morning I got up early and took a VKLive class with Nancy Marchant, Lacing Up Brioche.

I learned 2 ways to make eyelet holes in my brioche, the double yarn over method, and the release purl method. Brilliant! I bought Nancy’s book back in March, but had yet to open it. I just needed someone to make me pay attention. It was 7 a.m. here for me, and 4 p.m. for Nancy in Amsterdam. There were students all over the world; thank you Zoom!

Here’s a better look at my swatch, with the light shining through.

Brioche item 2: I also taught a Petite Brioche class later in the morning; these are always fun. Twenty new brioche knitters sent out into the world!

Brioche item 3? I’m test knitting a hat for Hunter Hammersen. I saw her call for test knitters on Twitter, and her sample was so pretty I couldn’t resist. It’s knitting up nicely in Malabrigo Rios. The variegation in the dark color doesn’t show much on the public side, but the inside is spectacular.

It’s been a very brioche day. But not to worry, I also got a few rows in on my Half the Knit Sky KAL.

I just finished the next increase row, so my smile is getting bigger!

Tomorrow I’m teaching brioche increases and decreases, and Petite Brioche again on Sunday. Lots more brioche going on!

brioche knitting

If all this talk of brioche makes you want to learn, there are still a few spots in my classes *next* weekend through the Peacetree Fiber Adventures online retreat. I’m teaching Petite Brioche and Next Steps in Brioche: Increases and Decreases. Check it out!

Half the Knit Sky KAL: Casting on

I sat down and knit for just over an hour, and here’s what I have. I’m really happy with it, and I think it’s smiling back at me! I actually cast on twice. At first I used a US 4 needle, but it felt too loose and floppy for me by Row 15, so I took it out and used a US 3 instead. It really depends on your yarn. I used a US 4 for my Knit Circus shawl, and a US 5 for my Knit Picks version. As long as you get a fabric you like, you’re golden.

My white yarn has a yarn bra; I’m trying this out because my center pull yarn cakes tend to go conical after a while, and I would like to have it not fall apart. No bra for the gradient; I’m working from the outside on that one.

I really love the subtle speckles on the MadelineTosh Stormborn. Just enough to keep it interesting, but not enough to overwhelm the brightness of the stars.

We have a nice bit of chatter going on in the Half the Knit Sky KAL thread on Ravelry; come join in if you’re able to use Ravelry. I’ll be posting here on the blog, there on Ravelry, and also on Instagram.

This is one of my two current projects. Weird for me, because I usually only have ONE. I’m test knitting a brioche hat for Hunter Hammersen; her sample looked really pretty and I couldn’t resist. I even had several appropriate yarn combos in my stash. I’ll show you this project after it’s something more than brioche rib. Soon!

How many WIPs do you have?

Half the Knit Sky KAL: Choose your yarn

I’m looking forward to the Half the Knit Sky KAL. We’ll knit from now through the end of August, at your pace. Please let me know if you’re knitting along; I’ll do random draws for prizes as we go.

To be eligible for a prize, post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #halftheknitsky, or post a picture in this linked Ravelry thread and make a project page using the halftheknitsky tag. You can even post in the comments of a KAL blog post like this one, and I’ll make arrangements to get a picture from you!

What are you knitting with? I thought about just cheering you on from the sidelines, but I decided to knit one more version of this shawl. It’s such a simple and satisfying project, it will be a perfect multi-tasking knit.


I stopped at For Yarn’s Sake the other day and came home with this. It’s a Huckleberry Knits sock weight gradient cake in Practical Tactical Brilliance, and MadelineTosh Twist Light in Stormborn. Why yes, I’ve used this gradient colorway before.

I used a DK weight version for my Aspen Leaf scarf, and I loved it. For the shawl, I’m going to start with the magenta at the center, moving through the purple and blue, and end with the green at the bottom of the shawl. I’m hoping it looks like the aurora borealis at the horizon.

I was poking around to double check the name of the photographer of the inspiration photo for this project, Nikita Maykov, and found a time lapse video version. Here’s a link; it’s mesmerizing.

I’ll be casting on this coming week; how about you?

Introducing: Half the Knit Sky

Half the Knit Sky is a half pi shawlette, based on a time lapse photo of the night sky. Shown above in Knit Circus Sparkle Gradient, The Knit Sky, and Knit Circus Trampoline, Mistress of Myself.

Photo by Nikita Maykov

This easy knit uses only one color per row. Slip stitches create the colorwork star trail stripes, and the Star Stitch rows are a pop of fun. A bit of lace near the end sends you into orbit! The half-pi construction keeps your patterning simple with only occasional changes in stitch count.

Shown here in Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye, Delphinium, and Knit Picks Hawthorne Speckle, Blueberry Speckle.

The pattern is easily adjustable to the yardage you have. It requires two 100g skeins of fingering weight yarn.

Half the Knit Sky pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s 10% off through July 14, no coupon code needed. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, check your email for your special offer. If Ravelry’s recent website renovation renders the site unusable for you, please email me or leave a comment here, and I can send you an invoice through PayPal instead. It’s a little slower, but it works.

I’m planning a KAL for this design, to be through this blog, Instagram, and Ravelry. Whatever works best for you! Please use #halftheknitsky to participate on Instagram, or this thread on Ravelry to participate there. Comment on this post, or any later posts about Half the Knit Sky, to participate through the blog.

I’m very pleased with this design, and hope you love it, too. Come knit with me!