Category Archives: Knit

Summer knitting: linen adventure and a pattern sale

Well, linen captured my hot weather knitting attention, so that’s what I’m knitting right now. But not this:

I frogged this linen knitting from last summer, and started something with a simple lace pattern. How did I choose? I wanted a fairly narrow stitch pattern, because if I decide this is a winner and want to make it into a real garment pattern, I’d like to size it up or down by complete stitch repeats. The new stitch pattern is 13 stitches wide.

I had previously knit some gauge swatches for this yarn; they were knit flat because that was my intent for it last year. I liked the fabric I got with a US 3 needle (top swatch). My current knitting is still on that US 3 needle, but it’s being knit in the round. And it has a tiny bit of a lace pattern to it, rather than plain stockinette, which was just a little too boring.

Did I knit a new gauge swatch to accommodate those changes? Nope. I probably should have, but my gauge swatches usually lie to me, anyway. So I did some math to find the closest number of stitch pattern repeats that would give me an approximately 40” garment, which would fit like the T shirt I have on right now with 4” of ease. I’m guessing it will come out to 39-40”, but I don’t really know yet.

What I have is a big gauge swatch! I’m planning to work about 40 rows, and then transfer the piece to a stitch holder and give it a wash and block. Then I’ll know for sure if I have the right number of stitches. Wish me luck!

What are you knitting this summer?

To inspire your summer knitting, I’m having a pattern sale through June 21: 15% off with coupon code SUMMER. For newsletter subscribers, the discount is 25% off; the most recent newsletter just went out. (Click here to subscribe if you want the best offers, too. I send newsletters only once or twice per month; I won’t over-fill your inbox! I don’t have that much energy…) All patterns and ebooks which are available from me through my Ravelry shop are eligible; there is no limit but the code is good for a single time use only.

If all my linen talk has you hankering to knit with this fun fiber, may I suggest my Linden Leaf or SeaScape Scarflette? These were designed with linen in mind! And if you can’t decide, you can purchase them together for 25% off, no coupon needed. Previous purchases apply towards the combo discount too; you’ll only be charged the difference towards that 25% off.

Happy knitting!

Hopscotch scarf, and what’s next on the needles

It’s been a busy month here; I’ve been up to my elbows in brioche! Two of the projects will be published next winter; I can’t show them until they’re out. But they were really fun to work on. The third project?

This is my Hopscotch Scarf. I designed it as a teaching piece for syncopated brioche. It’s really fun to knit. Mine is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in 2 colors, Drawing Room and Natural. The front and back are positive/negative images of each other; they both look good. There’s no wrong side, really. You don’t have to use a gradient, just two different colors in worsted weight yarn.

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. You don’t have to be a brioche expert, but a little brioche experience wouldn’t be amiss. If you’re interested in test knitting, please let me know in the comments.

With those three projects out the door, my needles are feeling strangely empty. I have one sample I’m knitting, and a few things sketched out in my design notebook, but I’m also tempted to knit something else just for fun.

Have you seen the Soldotna Crop from Caitlin Hunter/Boyland Knitworks? It’s a cropped top down pullover with a colorwork yoke, no sleeves. That means it’s relatively quick, and the colorwork keeps it moving along. I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot on Instagram, and I was tempted enough to buy some yarn to dream with last Friday.

Of course, now that I have the yarn, it’s 95 degrees F here in Portland, so I may postpone this project and knit something with the white Quince & Co. linen I bought last year. I’m planning to frog what I started last summer; I’ve lost interest in it. Fickle, oops.

This was going to be a swingy open backed top, stockinette with just that bit of lace at the hem. I need a little more something to keep me engaged; that’s a lot of stockinette. Buh-bye! I’m perusing my stitch dictionaries for a simple, easily memorized lace pattern. I’ll start a simple little top with it and see how far I get. I do love linen for its lovely drape and swing.

What are you knitting this summer?

WWKIP Day pix, and a knitCompanion winner

I didn’t make it to IKEA on Saturday; that was one too many activities for me. But it was a great day in the park with Knit Picks. It didn’t even rain! And it was cool enough that we could wear our knits. Perfect.

I had a little display, shown here behind Meghan of JaMpdx in her lovely Blooming Brioche Shawl.

She gave me a yarn chicken patch, so new they’re not even in the shop yet. She knows I’m a big yarn chicken fan.

Emily Kintigh was the designer next to me; I love her softies. That baseball is calling my name.

Chelsea and Rebekah Berkompas are sisters-in-law who design!

And MK Nance (right) was there with gorgeous rainbows, and a friend whose name I didn’t catch. Sorry!

Cali came by to say hi, and gave me some plant cuttings! I follow her, and her kitty, on Instagram. We first met years ago during a Rose City Yarn Crawl.

I brought my new Hopscotch Scarf, which is coming soon.

Did you knit in public on Saturday? I hope you had fun!

I picked a winner for the knitCompanion Setup + Essentials. It’s kimbelina! I’m sending her an email to make arrangements for prize delivery. Thanks to everyone for commenting; it’s interesting how we all have different ways of tracking our projects. Even clothespins!

WWKIP Day is this Saturday, June 8

Worldwide Knit in Public Day is this Saturday, June 8. As knitters, we knit in public all the time. But it’s fun to make a special party of it!

There are three WWKIP Day events on my radar, and I’m hoping to make it to two of them. I know for sure that I’ll be at the Knit Picks event at Portland’s Wilshire Park, 4116 NE 33rd Ave. It’s from 11 am to 2 pm. There will be door prizes drawings, and a yarn and book giveaway for everyone. Yay, freebies!

It happens rain or shine; I’m hoping for shine. And there’s a covered picnic area, so we’re covered either way. Bring a chair and your knit or crochet project! I’ll be there along with five other designers, with samples to show.

If I’m up for an earlier start, I’ll make it to IKEA! Puddletown Knitters Guild is hosting an event at the Portland IKEA store from 9:30 to noon! I don’t think I could say it better than their Instagram post, so I’ll just put this right here.

The third WWKIP event that I know about is a joint venture between Brooklyn Tweed and Pedalpalooza. Meet at Brooklyn Tweed headquarters at NE 7th and Davis at 11:30, and join the bike ride to Ladd Circle Park for a crafty time. Or just meet at Ladd Circle Park In SE Portland at noon.

So many choices, and I’m sure there are more! Are you planning to participate in WWKIP Day? What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Also, just a reminder that I’m picking a winner for a year’s subscription to KnitCompanion’s Setup and Essentials on WWKIP Day. See previous post for review and details.

Happy knitting!

knitCompanion review

How do you keep track of where you are in a pattern? I was recently invited to try knitCompanion, an app for iOS and Android devices. I’m happy to say that this is a very useful tool.

Read to the bottom for ways to try knitCompanion for free, including a chance to win a year’s subscription to the upgrades!

The basic version of knitCompanion is free. kCBasics works with any PDF pattern. It can link to your DropBox and Ravelry accounts, so it’s easy to import your patterns. I also emailed a pattern to myself, and opened it with no problem.

Here’s my Snowy Woods hat pattern in Knit Companion. The pages are displayed at the top, but you can hide them when you’re actually working the project. You can zoom in and out as needed. I’m zoomed way in, in this picture. I like big letters!

KCBasic has a sliding row counter and stitch counter. You can have a different set of markers on each page of your pattern. There’s a project timer, and an area for project notes at the bottom of the display, which you can also hide when you don’t need it. If all you want is something to hold your pattern and your place, you’re golden!

The next step up is called Essentials. This adds a lot of features. You can highlight parts of your pattern, which is great when your pattern contains multiple sizes. Sweater knitters will love this. You can put notes right in the pattern, next to where they apply. You can also link videos to the pattern (love those tutorials), and my favorite thing? You can customize your row and stitch marker colors and width, and invert your row marker so the highlighted row is the one that really shines.

There’s also something called QuickKey, which lets you access your chart key at the bottom of the display, so you don’t have to hunt through pages for it. (Not pictured)

The highest level of knitCompanion is called Setup. There are some very powerful features here. The most useful one for me is called magic markers. You can ask that every time a particular stitch is shown in the chart, it’s highlighted in whatever color you want. You can have all your SSKs be one color, and all your K2togs be another color. Left and right crossing cables? Sure! Magic Markers can even let you know how many of the same kind of stitch are in a section; you just have to tell it the minimum number to count. 5 is good for me!

Setup also lets you cut and paste charts all onto one page, so they’re not spread out over several pages. This is a pretty high level function, which I don’t particularly need, but you might. But for the cost of a fancy coffee, the magic markers would be worth the upgrade from Essentials to Setup for me.

There are a lot of features that I haven’t tried yet. But I like an app that I can learn as I go. Right now the sliding markers are the most helpful to me, because I’m using them for editing patterns that I’m writing.

Remember that I said that Knit Companion works for all pdf patterns? That means all pdfs. I’ve been using it for pdfs of patterns that aren’t even written yet. I can paste my chart in progress into a pdf and open it in knitCompanion, using the row and stitch markers while I edit the written instructions that are generated by my charting software. I can also make a pdf of my Excel spreadsheet’s written notes, and use that while I chart. No losing my place. Magic.

I don’t necessarily take my iPad everywhere I go. It’s an older model, and it’s heavy! But I do take my phone. And Knit Companion can sync projects through my DropBox account. Cool! No DropBox? It’s free, if you keep your account under a certain size. I finally upgraded my DropBox after several years, but didn’t need to before last month. There’s a lot of stuff in it for work!

All in all, this is a nice addition to my knitting tools. KCBasics is free, and Essentials is $9.99 for a year’s subscription. Essentials + Setup is $14.99 for a year.

How do you keep track of your projects? Paper? App? Magic wand? Tell me all about it!

Have you tried knitCompanion? Sally Holt, the creator of knitCompanion, has given me a free one year subscription to Setup + Essentials for a lucky commenter on this blog. Note: I can only make this happen for an iOS app user through the Apple App Store, and only if you don’t have a current subscription. I’ll pick a lucky winner on June 8, Worldwide Knit in Public Day! (More on that later.)

And if you’re not the lucky winner, you can always try before you buy. knitCompanion offers a free 7 day trial of Essentials, or Setup + Essentials. What are you waiting for?

Note: Sally Holt provided me with a one year subscription to try knitCompanion. All opinions in this review are my own.

New classes: Planned Pooling and next Brioche!

I have a couple new classes coming soon!

First up: Shall We Dance. Learn how to tame your skein with planned pooling! Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension.

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits dyed a special 2 Ply BFL Aran for this class at For Yarn’s Sake. We have two colorways, Rock Candy (rainbow) and Legion of Boom (blues and greens, Seahawks colors). The class is this Sunday, May 19; register by phone or on the website. Hope to see you there!

My other new class is Next Steps in Brioche at Northwest Wools. I’ve taught four beginning brioche classes there since the beginning of the year. It’s time to move on to the next thing: increases and decreases! We’re using my Heliotrope Cowl and Heliotrope Hat patterns. Class will cover increases and decreases, and fixing mistakes. (Not that we’ll make any, right?) This class is on Friday, May 31. Call Northwest Wools to register, 503-244-5024.

So glad I finally played with planned pooling, and I’m still deep in a sea of brioche! What new techniques do you want to learn?

Introducing Parquetry! for Puget Sound LYS Tour

Woman wearing knit garter and brioche cowl

Introducing Parquetry, a garter stitch and brioche cowl. I designed it for Fiber Gallery, a local yarn shop in Seattle, for this year’s Puget Sound LYS Tour. This yarn crawl runs from May 15-19, 2019. If you’re planning on attending the crawl, you can snag a free copy of this pattern at Fiber Gallery over the weekend! After that, it will be available for purchase from Fiber Gallery through Ravelry.

Knit cowl with cat in reflection

I loved designing this cowl. I chose Hazel Knits Lively DK in Paisley and Plum Glace. The yarn is bouncy and round, and works as a heavy DK or a light worsted. I took advantage of brioche rib and garter stitch sharing a similar gauge, and made the checkerboard of my dreams!

Are you new to brioche? Parquetry is a very gentle introduction, even simpler than my Petite Brioche. (Petite Brioche is still a free download, and a great way to learn brioche rib.)

Speaking of local yarn shops, you may be seeing my patterns in your LYS. I’m pleased to be working with Stitch Sprouts, a distributor here in the US. This is a new way for me to get my designs out to the world. I’ve spent a good chunk of time at the computer readying my PDF patterns for printing. If your LYS orders from Stitch Sprouts, let them know you want to see PDXKnitterati!

Back to designing and pattern writing…

Count on me! Stitch marker assist

It’s been quiet over here on PDXKnitterati, but that does’t mean there’s nothing happening! It’s been an absolute storm of knitting that I can’t show you. Life is like that sometimes.

Pretty yarn balls

I designed and finished a project that I can tell you about later this month. Woot!

I also designed 4 things for submission, and two of them were accepted. Double woot! But I really can’t show you those, either.

So what can I tell you? Stitch markers. They’re a life saver. Oh, sure, you know about putting them in your knitting to mark off pattern repeats. But do you use them for general counting? I do. Here are two ways.

Casting on: If you’re casting on a huge number of stitches, use stitch markers to mark off increments as you go. If you’re casting on 300 stitches, put a marker after every 20 that you cast on. Check your 20, place marker, continue. You won’t have to recount the whole thing when you’re done. (I actually mark every 50 if I’m using long tail cast on, because it’s so fast.) If you’re casting on something that has a pattern repeat, you can use that repeat number instead, and you’ll be all set for your knitting.

Working long rows: I’ve been knitting something that has about 300 stitches per row, with a simple 4 stitch repeat. It’s easy to zone out and go off track. If I wait until the end of the row to look for errors, it means a lot of tinking if I made an error at the beginning. (Ask me how I know.) So I’ve taken to working a bit, checking my work, putting in a stitch marker, working some more, checking again, putting in a stitch marker…you know the rest. Then I don’t have to re-check the whole row over and over again as I work that one row; I just check the work after the last stitch marker. I take the markers out on the next row.

I decided to start doing this when I found a mistake 8 rows later (the next patterning row), and had to rip out 8 rows of brioche. Ouch.

Lately, the plain round markers by Clover have been my favorite. Nothing dangling, just a little circle so I don’t have to fuss with flipping the marker out of the way.

Except for the beginning row marker, for which I like this barrel counter.

And those locking markers are great for noting a mistake so I can fix it later on the next row or two, without having to rip back the whole thing. Just drop down, fix, and ladder back up.

(Can you tell I’ve been multi-tasking? My knitting has gone off track a bit while my attention wandered. Good think I know how to fix things!)

Do you use stitch markers? What are your favorites?

Oregon Sky love on LoveKnitting

I just found out that my Oregon Sky has been nominated for pattern of the month on LoveKnitting!

In addition to Ravelry, I sell patterns on LoveKnitting, which is based in the United Kingdom. I uploaded Oregon Sky there last month, and it caught someone’s attention!

If you like Oregon Sky, I’d love for you to vote for it. Voting goes through May. Link to LoveKnitting here. You may have to register/log in to vote.

Thanks for playing!

More Brioche, LYS Day

Mmmmm, brioche. It’s been quiet around here, but that’s because I’ve been doing a deep dive.

I’ve gained new skills frogging two color brioche and getting it back on the needles. It’s actually easier than it sounds. I do it by ripping until I’m close, and then tinking a row of both colors at the same time, picking up each stitch as I go. It’s just a variation on how I frog single color knitting; that controlled tink of the last row is key! I’ll eventually make a video, but if you’re desperate, give it a try.

Syncopated brioche knitting

I’m also teaching myself syncopated brioche. This is so much fun. Basically, you change the knit and purl columns instead of staying in the normal brioche rib pattern. You do have to consider what’s happening on the other side of the fabric, if both sides are going to show. I’m having fun with this, and look forward to using it on…something. Soon!

In case you’re wondering, the yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, in Pegasus. I love this colorway; I used it to design my Dotty Cowl last year (free pattern from Knit Picks here).

I’ve been playing with more block printing on fabric. I’m kind of in love, here. We did these at Vickie’s in Ellensburg last week, but I carved two more blocks when I came home. The small circle is for making a contrast cener to the flower block. Looking forward to printing these.

Carved rubber block for block printing

And! Are you celebrating your local yarn shop this Saturday? It’s LYS Day, which is a great time to support your local fiber sources. There are events and special promotions on that day.

For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton has a mini skein deal for you: Purchase a set of minis and you’ll get a coupon code to get my Lucky Star pattern for $2. (The pattern is very adaptable to whatever yardage minis you have.) Not local to For Yarn’s Sake? If you purchase a set of minis from your LYS on Saturday (4/27/19) and email me a copy of the receipt, I’ll send you a coupon code for the same deal. Cool beans!

OK, I’m heading back to brioche land. Knit on!