Category Archives: KAL

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!

Virtual VKLive Round 3 coming up!

I’m pleased to be teaching at the July edition of Virtual VogueKnitting Live! More brioche, and more entrelac. And for the first time, they have a preview page so you can see what the class offerings will be. Link right here. Sign up for their newsletter, and you’ll be first to know when registration goes live, which will be very soon.

I’m knitting away on my second Half the Knit Sky. Pattern coming soon; 2/3 of my test knitters are done. I’m ready to rock and roll! Would you be interested in a Half the Knit Sky KAL? I’d be happy to organize one, if the interest is there. This is lovely lightweight summer knitting.

What are you knitting now?

Potpourri catch-up! Zoom classes, pickles, and more

First, I have a Kerfuffle stranded colorwork cowl class on Wednesday evening through Weird Sisters. You don’t even have to be in the same time zone! Here’s the link.

It *is* possible to learn knitting techniques through Zoom, and if you’re missing your usual knitting circle, this is a great way to get your knitting fix. We had a Petite Brioche class on Saturday, and everyone was successfully knitting brioche by the end of class.

Second, I mailed off some goodies for the Minerva KAL participants this morning. If you’re out of the country, it could take up to 2 weeks to arrive. Otherwise, locally should be much quicker than that.

Third, my Fibonacci and Fan shawl pattern was just featured by Noble Knits. Check out this page for Fibonacci and Fan, and more great math geek knitting!

Fish sauce pickled cucumbers

Fourth, I’ve been playing with quick pickles recently. My favorite so far are these spicy fish sauce pickles. Original recipe here, and my take below. Basically double the liquid ingredients, reduce the sugar and red pepper. And only one cucumber. That’s what fits in the jar!

Spicy Fish Sauce Quick Pickles

1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 small cucumber

Cut cucumber into 1/4” thick rounds. Whisk all other ingredients together in a wide mouth 12 oz canning jar. Add cucumber slices. Refrigerate for 3 hours/overnight. They get spicier the longer you soak them! I take them out the next day and store them in a covered dish.

Minerva KAL wrap up

Gradient Minerva Cowl

Here’s my Minerva that I knit for the KAL! I love how this gradient version turned out. The yarn is Huckleberry Knits DK Gradient, Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway. This is my favorite of my three Minervas.

We had a small but intrepid group of knitters for the Minerva KAL. Participants included knitters from Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest including Portland. That’s pretty cool!

Minerva Cowl

Two of the colors that I love on this Minerva meet up right at the seam, and I don’t really want to feature the seam when I’m wearing this. What’s a knitter to do?

Minerva Cowl with Shawl Belt

Tiny Shawl Belt to the rescue! This is a very tiny shawl cuff. I purchased it online from Indigodragonfly last month. It hides the seam, and it looks good, too. It’s made by purlandhank.com.

I had misplaced the Tiny Shawl Belt in my studio (it was with all my shawl pins right where it belonged; I don’t remember putting it away), so I ordered another one. And because I was afraid it wouldn’t get here from Canada in time for this photo shoot, I also ordered this Thinline Wrist Ruler from Crossover Industries here in Portland. It wraps twice on my wrist, three times on Minerva. It has quarter inch measurements, but it’s also available in a centimeter version. I love it.

Minerva Cowl with Wrist Ruler

Now I’ll have two Tiny Shawl Belts (second one still not here yet), so I’m giving one away as a KAL prize.

Other prizes include stitch markers and shawl pins. I’m messaging participants for their addresses, all over the world. Thanks for knitting along! I love seeing your projects on Ravelry, Instagram and yuur blogs. You can see more Minervas on this Ravelry page, and you can also see Minervas on Instagram with #minervakal2020.

Now my needles are empty again. I usually have one or two projects going at any time, but I just finished both of them. I’m ready to work on a new shawl design. I think I needed to work through some pandemic anxiety knitting and sewing first, and now I’m finally ready.

Also on the agenda this week: tidying up my studio so that it looks good for Zoom classes, and reviewing my classes and handouts to make sure they’re Zoom ready, too.

Back to work!

Minerva KAL home stretch status check

I finished the knitting on my Minerva KAL cowl this week. I used my yarn scale to maximize my yarn usage; I wanted to use as much of this glorious gradient as possible.

Minerva entrelac knitting

First, how much yarn does it take to knit a rectangle unit? A triangle? And then multiply by the number of remaining units. Some quick math told me I had enough yarn to knit that last set of left and right leaning tiers before finishing, but it still felt like yarn chicken at the end.

It’s easiest to block Minerva before seaming. I steam blocked it to relax things a bit, but I didn’t want to completely flatten it. This went from 31” long to 33” long, and stayed at 7” wide.

The next step was to remove my provisional cast on. I love how the crochet chain provisional cast on unzips.

Next up: Seaming my cowl into a loop using 3 needle bind off. You could also kitchener stitch/graft your seam, but I always have to look up the instructions, and I’m feeling lazy.

Did you enjoy the hedge trimmer sound effects in the background? With everyone home for the coronavirus shutdown, and a gloriously beautiful day, there was bound to be some shared sound in the neighborhood. Oops.

Finished pictures coming soon. I ordered a Tiny Shawl Belt from IndigoDragonfly for this project, and now I can’t find it! I may have to photograph with something else in the meantime.

How are you doing with your Minerva? I see projects on Ravelry and Instagram, and some blogs, too. I’m going to let the KAL play out through the end of April, and then give away some prizes. You don’t have to be completely finished to receive a prize, but finishing is sweet.

Please show your projects on Ravelry or Instagram (or both!) if you’d like to be included! Make sure your Ravelry project page is linked to the pattern so I can find it. Tag your Instagram posts with #minervakal2020 and #pdxknitterati so I can find them there, too.

Have I tempted you enough? It’s not too late to cast on, if you’d like to join the KAL. Here’s everything you need to know:

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2
How’s your Minerva KAL progress?

How’s your Minerva KAL progress?

I haven’t been knitting a lot; I got sidetracked by sewing face masks this weekend. More on that later.

Minerva KAL progress

But I love how entrelac gives me a little feeling of victory, each time I finish a rectangle or triangle. Progress! I can tell as I cycle through my colors that I’m getting somewhere. And I love seeing what’s to come, too. My Huckleberry Knits DK Gradient is knitting up into a shimmering rainbow, rather than individual squares, just as I envisioned.

How are *you* doing with yours? Do you have any questions? The pattern is meant to stand on its own, but my little video tutorials can help light your way.

If you’ve downloaded the pattern, please do give Minerva a try. I offered special introductory pricing as a way to help in these troubling pandemic times. I’d love to know that it’s helping you! Please post your projects on Ravelry or Instagram and let me know. Use hastags #pdxknitterati and #minervakal2020 so I can find them on IG.

The Minerva Entrelac Cowl or Scarf pattern is available through Ravelry. Come knit with me!

Previous Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

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. 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…

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing 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. Come knit with me!

Knit on…

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

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.

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

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2