Category Archives: Knit

Just Enough Lace, and ebook giveaway

Introducing Just Enough Lace, my shawl in the new Delicate Details book from Knit Picks.

Just Enough Lace is an asymmetric bias triangle which begins at the small end and grows to a sweeping finish. It’s knit flat and the body of the shawl and the edging are knit simultaneously. No separately knit on border here! I designed it with four 50g balls of Gloss Fingering (70/30 merino/silk), but really, you can make it as big or as small as you like.

The simple leaf lace edging and eyelet stripe in the stockinette stitch body of the shawl are just enough lace to keep the knitting engaging, but not so much as to overwhelm a new lace knitter or an experienced multi-tasker.

Beads are optional on the leafy lace edging, but I really like them for sparkle and a bit of weight for drape.

I had my beaded purple sample at the Knit Picks Knit Pick-nic on Saturday for a sneak peek. Several people asked about how the beads are added, and I’m happy to say they’re bead as you go. No pre-stringing here! A lovely thing about this shawl is that it’s just enough beads, too. You never have more than two in any given row, so it’s a nice project for a first time beader.

Edge detail and original submission swatch

You can add beads with a very small crochet hook, but I prefer using a Bead Aid. I split the yarn much less often this way. Here’s a blog post from 2014 about putting beads in your knitting.

The Delicate Details book is full of lace accessories that are appropriate for newer lace knitters, or lace knitters that like a relaxed knitting experience. You can purchase the book or e-book from Knit Picks here, and you can also purchase the patterns individually. Here’s a Ravelry link to all the designs.

I’m giving away a copy of the Delicate Details e-book. To enter, leave a comment here on the blog by June 28. If you’d like an extra chance to win, subscribe to my newsletter and reply there, too. (Subscription link here. If you’re already subscribed, you should receive the newsletter today.)

Good luck!

And a reminder that my summer knitting pattern sale runs through June 20; 15% off with coupon code SUMMER. For newsletter subscribers, the discount is 25% off; that code will be in your newsletter. 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 use only.

Two more bits of eye candy: First off, finished hats from my Petite Brioche class at Stash in Corvallis. I love it when you send me pictures of your FOs. Thanks to Peggy, Cassandra, and Deb!

Second, some yarn in my stash that is calling my name, rather loudly! I hope what it’s telling me is what it really wants to be.

Happy knitting!

Summer knitting extravaganza

Do you knit year round? I do. My needles have been very busy! I designed two cowls in May, which I can’t share just yet, but I love them both. They’re simple, and the yarn makes them sing, or vice versa. No peeking!

I also knit a cute top from the Mason Dixon Field Guide, Transparency. This is the Shakerag Top, designed by Amy Christoffers using Jade Sapphire Sylph, a delicious blend of cashmere and linen. Despite my deep love for both of those fibers, I decided to knit mine out of stash…because I could!

I used Sincere Sheep’s Agleam, a 50/50 merino/tencel blend in Bare, and Sincere Sheep’s Shimma, which is laceweight mohair and silk, in St. Barts. You can see my notes on my Ravelry page here. I loved knitting this; it’s mostly very mindless stockinette in the round, which is great for multi-tasking and traveling!

I’m currently knitting my Nymphaea shawl with this lovely gradient from Fierce Fibers; the color is Surf and Sand, with Serenity as the contrast band. The brown beads have less pop against the teal than I was anticipating, but I think I like them. I could also start over and use the green beads on this part of the gradient, which would be even less pop, but more my style. What do you think? I may have to swatch that…

I have three sets of beads for this project and I’m not sure where the color transitions will happen yet, so I don’t think this is going to be my on-the-go knitting. I can handle beading on the go, but not if I don’t know which ones I’ll need when. That makes it less portable. I’m working on designing something a little simpler for anytime knitting.

This is Malabrigo Mechita in Cielo y Tierra (sky and earth), and Tosh Merino Light in Antique Lace. They’re both fingering weight singles. I’ve mapped out my anticipated progression with an Excel spreadsheet; I hope it’s as pretty as it is in my head! There’s a part of me that is really happy when the repeating elements all fit into an elegant framework. Nerdy geeky fun!

I also started a Brioche Pastiche hat while I was teaching this class down at Stash at the beginning of the month. I’m not in a hurry to finish it; I’m using it as a demo in subsequent classes (August 4 at Twisted, September 22 at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival). But Peggy from class finished hers in less than a week; she’s a superstar!

What are you knitting this summer? Or winter, if you’re down under! Simple, or complicated?

To inspire your summer knitting, I’m having a pattern sale through June 20: 15% off with coupon code SUMMER. For newsletter subscribers, the discount will be 25% off; coupon code will be in your newsletter which comes out tomorrow, I hope! (Click here to subscribe if you haven’t already). 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.

Maybe some nice Over the Rainbow Cuffs for June?

Happy knitting!

Introducing: Brioche Pastiche

It’s been done for a while, and I finally, finally took pictures for the pattern. All it took was a tripod, a camera, and an iPad to operate the camera via remote control. Whew! I could have asked DH to take pictures, but it’s hard to describe exactly what I’m looking for.

“Show the hat. Don’t show the compost bin behind me. And don’t make me look weird. What do I mean by weird? Nevermind.”

This is Brioche Pastiche. I love it. This is the hat I designed specifically for brioche classes. Pastiche means a mash-up, usually as an homage. I combined the plain ribbing of Clematis Seed (easiest to learn, so that’s where we start), the leafy goodness of Heliotrope (introducing one increase and two decreases), and a kissing cousin of Clematis Seed’s spiraling crown (four sections instead of six).

I’m teaching a brioche hat class at Stash Local in Corvallis on June 2, and this is the pattern I’m using. If you’d like to come, register at Stash; here’s the link. I’m also teaching my Tink Drop Frog: Fixing Lace and Cable mistakes. Fun!

The Brioche Pastiche pattern is available on Ravelry for $6. (Newsletter subscribers get 20% off all new patterns.) It’s also part of my Brioche Hat Trick e-book. If you buy the collection, you’ll have four fun brioche hat patterns, and two cowl patterns. If you already have the collection, Brioche Pastiche will show up as an update in your set.

I’m looking forward to heading down the highway to Stash next month. Sonia has a lovely shop, and her Stash Enhancers are a great gang to hang out with!

Lace, blocking, SSK

I always say that blocking is magic. Especially with lace. But even then, I’m always astonished at the transformation.

Here’s my Nymphaea shawl, right off the needles, no blocking, no weaving in the ends. It’s pretty small, 48 inches across the top eyelet edge, 20 inches at the wide end, not including the lace edging in either measurement.

I wet blocked it; it pinned out to be 60 inches across the top eyelet edge, and 30 inches across the wide end, just above the lace edging. Where it was once thick and chunky, it’s now ethereally and diaphanously lovely. It’s almost as big as the sample I knit last fall with the mini skein gradient kit, just nine repeats instead of ten.

Zigzags 4 evah

Lacy border, this time with beads

I knit this in Bumblebirch Heartwood, 75/25 superwash merino/nylon. The colors are Atlantic and Hellebore, the same colors in my Tumbling Leaves, but reversed. I love it, and I love the beads, too. Depending on how you look at them, they’re blue, or green. Perfect.

I’m going to knit one more of these, a sample with a Fierce Fibers 650 yard continuous gradient, and a semisolid contrast color. This is in preparation for our Fall Shawl Retreat in November. Registration opens August 1, and the price will include yarn and beads for a knit or crochet version of Nymphaea.

While knitting this shawl, I started thinking about my personal rules for SSK. When I first learned SSK, I did them conventionally, slipping both stitches as if to knit. The result is a left leaning decrease, exactly the same as SKP: Slip one (knitwise), knit one, pass slip stitch over. The passed stitch could sometimes be stretched out and unsightly; Barbara Walker invented the SSK as an improvement on the SKP.

Eventually, Elizabeth Zimmermann figured out that slipping the second stitch purlwise instead of knitwise made this decrease lie flatter, and mirror the right leaning K2tog better. It’s less zigzaggy. I learned this from her daughter Meg Swansen in a class oh so long ago, and adopted it as my go-to SSK. For me, it’s quicker to execute (don’t have to pull left needle out of the second slipped stitch before ktbl).

But! When I was designing my Meander Cowl, I noticed that this SSK looked wide and bumpy when it met up with a YO on its left side. It’s because the right leg of the stitch shows a bit more prominently behind the left leaning stitch on top. Subtle, yes, but there.

So, my personal SSK rule: Slip the second stitch as if to purl when working stockinette. But if there’s a YO to the left of the SSK, slip the second stitch as if to knit. Try them both, if you like. You’re the boss of your knitting; as long as you get the result you want, you’re doing it right! Here’s a video on the whole thing.

How do you SSK?

36 hours in Ellensburg

One catch up post!

I spent 36 hours in Ellensburg, WA to celebrate a friend’s birthday the weekend before Knot Another Fiber Festival. It was quick but we packed in a lot of fun!

Saturday was LYS Day. I wasn’t near my LYS, but Ellensburg has a very nice shop, Yarn Folk. Ann Miner’s shop has lots of high quality yarns and is full of inspiring shop samples. I didn’t need any yarn (do I ever?), but I needed a shawl pin so I picked up this leaf pin by One of a Kind Buttons. (More about the book in a bit.)

There was a sheep to shawl exhibit by Thorp Mill at the rodeo grounds, and I met this sweet lamb, as well as some spinners and weavers.

In the afternoon Vickie and I took a beyond basics block printing class at Gallery One. Every time I play with block printing, it gets a little better. So much fun!

This particular class was about chine collé (like collage, adding contrast papers in the printing) and puzzle blocks (cutting your carved block into pieces so you can put it back together while using different colors for the different parts). In three hours we sketched and carved blocks, and tried these two new techniques.

Pictured above, top row: Carved block (it’s been cut and put back together), original test print. Bottom row: Chine collé bird print, and puzzle block print. I’m looking forward to playing more with this block, or even re-doing it now that I know what I want it to look like.

In the evening we went to the college rodeo. Why yes, this was my first rodeo! It seemed about time my boots went to one.

Waiting

Birds on a wire

Matched set

I came home Sunday to teach a class, and picked up the new Mason Dixon Field Guide, Transparency.

I love the look of this Shakerag Top. (Thanks, Biscuit, for helping with the picture.) It’s knit with one or two strands of yarn to create the striping, but the yarn is all the same. This particular yarn is Jade Sapphire Sylph, a blend of cashmere and linen. I love linen and I love cashmere. It’s a little spendy, so I have to decide if I’m really going to make it. Also, deadlines! We shall see.

Knit on!

Knot Another Fiber Festival!

A little recap here. I spent the weekend at Knot Another Fiber Festival. Sarah Keller of Knot Another Hat (LYS in Hood River, OR) puts on her fall Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in The Dalles, and now this new spring festival at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR. She does a great job.

My collection of events: The market preview/happy hour on Friday, an all day brioche class with Andrea Mowry, and the banquet on Saturday evening with the always delightful Clara Parkes. The garden itself was pretty awesome too, even in the rain.

My biggest mission this weekend: To get over my aversion to flat brioche knitting. I love, love, love brioche in the round, but I had a problem remembering what happens at the selvage edges of flat brioche. It was way simpler than I was making it out to be. That CC yarn? “Let it go!” Wherever it is. Or in my songbook: “Leave It There!” Hmmmm. There may be lyrics coming out of this.

Andrea Mowry is a fabulous teacher: Patient, kind, thorough. She makes good use of technology, too; her projected diagrams were excellent. And she has a good sense of humor.

When I noted how three-dimensional the increases and decreases made the sample piece, we had a good time dreaming up the bustier we could design. Too funny.

I saw friends old and new in the market.

I love a wall of Hazel Knits! Their color palette is very pleasing to my eye.

Black Trillium‘s gradient minis never cease to thrill me. And she had a lovely green sample of my Twin Leaf Crescent in her booth.

Melanie showed me the result of her new dyeing method, Cloud Layers, which places the dye just on the surface. The back of the strand may not be the same color as the front of the strand. This is variegated and speckled and all those things. I’d love to pair this with a semi-solid, because that’s how I roll.

Despondent Dyes’ tagline made me giggle. And her color names are equally humorous. I fell in love with one of Kathy’s mini-skein packs, so it will have to turn into something wonderful because it followed me home. In honor of the weekend, I think it will need to be brioche.

This is Lydia of Abundant Earth Fibers. She mills and spins the loveliest yarn, very natural. But she also sells Tinctures, packets for dyeing that natural yarn. My friend Lisa and I both bought yarn, and we are going to have a dyeing day soon. Color? That lovely blue green on the top right corner.

I spent a lot of time in the Fierce Fibers booth. Not to visit my Go Tell the Bees (this one knit by Tami in the Titan colorway), but to pick colors for this fall’s Nymphaea Shawl retreat with Laurinda Reddig (Recrochetions).

We picked beads from Bead Biz, too.

I think I’m knitting my sample shawl in this combination:

Surf and Sand gradient, accent color is Serenity, beads are Copper Lined Diamond, Spring Mix, and Metallic Green-Lined. The yarn is Fierce Fibers Abyss, a merino/silk blend. Lovely! Now to decide if I want my beads to blend, or contrast, with the yarn.

It was a lovely weekend, and my head is full of new ideas and techniques. Let’s go knit!

And don’t forget: If you’d like to enter to win a copy of the 9 Lives pattern collection, leave a comment on the previous post. I’ll draw a winner at the end of this week.

Knitters with Kitters

I had the pleasure of hanging out with 16 knitters, and a group of kitters, last night. It was the first ever Knitters with Kitters event at Purringtons Cat Lounge. It sold out quickly. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!

We had some great product tie-in. Stacey from Knit Picks came with copies of their 9 Lives Collection, a very fun book of patterns. The photographs for this 2017 book were shot at Purringtons! We had a copy for each of the attendees, and then a drawing for a cat-themed tote bag, and a set of interchangeable needles.

Lucky is my kitty halo!

Cats can help crochet, too.

They’re very social, and would like to go home with you. All the kitties at Purringtons are available for adoption; they’re from Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood. The cat café is an opportunity for them to get social skills before adoption. Our Biscuit is from Purringtons, too; she was adoption #194. Purringtons is now up to adoption #528.

A good time was had by all, knitters and kitters both.

I have an extra copy of 9 Lives that I’d like to share. Is it calling your name? Leave a comment below and let me know. You can also leave a comment just to leave a comment, but if you want the book, please say so! I’ll draw a name next Saturday, Cinco de Meow-o. (Ouch!)

If you’d like an extra chance to win, sign up for my newsletter here; I’ll send one out next week after Knot Another Fiber Festival. Busy busy! (If you’re already signed up, you’re in! Just reply to the email when it comes.)

LYS Day on Saturday!

Do you have a local yarn store that you love? We have nine (ten?) lovely yarn stores here in the Portland metro area; we are blessed! A local yarn store is a little bit of heaven, a place where you can see and touch and sniff the yarn before you buy it. A place where you can take classes or get a little help. It’s in our best interest to keep these shops in business!

Saturday April 21 is LYS appreciation day, and shops all over the country are planning special events and offers to lure you in. If you are in the Portland area, Mary Mooney of the Oregonian’s knit blog is doing a great job of keeping track of who’s offering what. Check here!

I’m doing a little promotion with the two shops where I teach. At For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, if you purchase 2 skeins of Worsted weight yarn to make my Cannon Beach Cowl, you’ll get a coupon code to download the pattern from Ravelry for just $1. For Yarn’s Sake carries Woolfolk Får, the luxuriously soft chainette yarn that inspired this design. Another great choice is Manos Maxima, which is a fluffy single ply. Go shop and see!

At Twisted, if you purchase 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn to make my Fibonacci and Fan shawl, you’ll get a coupon code to download the pattern from Ravelry for $1. I used Knitted Wit’s Victory Sock for this version. Twisted has a whole wall of indie dyer sock yarn; what better way to support your LYS than buying local yarn?

I know that not all of you are local to Portland. I’d like you to support your local yarn shop, too. If you’re not in Portland and you’d like to participate, email me a copy/phone pic of your receipt dated April 21 for either of these two offers, and I’ll send you a coupon code, too. Share the love! My email is pdxknitterati (at) comcast (dot) net. You know the drill!

I’m leaving DH and Biscuit in charge here this weekend; I’m going to visit a friend for her birthday. But I’ll be stopping at the LYS in her town to do a little shopping, too!

Fixing Brioche Knitting Mistakes

I’m planning to teach a brioche knitting class at Stash in Corvallis on June 2, and at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on September 22. This is a three hour class, so it goes beyond the two hour Petite Brioche class that I’ve taught at Twisted.

I’m using my Heliotrope hat as the basis for this class, but I want to start with a bit of brioche rib before getting into the increases and decreases that create the leafy patterning. I may change the top of the hat too. We’ll see when I get to that part on the sample I’m knitting!

I love this color combo. While I’m knitting the sample, I’m taking the opportunity to make some video tutorials. Here you go!


Here’s my original Petite Brioche tutorial; I’m including it here so everything is one one easy page. I’m carrying my yarn in my right hand (English/throwing style).


Petite Brioche for continental knitters. I’m not the most adept at the left hand carry, but I wanted to show something that works with my Petite Brioche instructions. I think this does.


Where’s my YO? What to do if your YO goes missing from your slipped stitch.

And then I made a mistake not on purpose! So while I was fixing it, I made a video for that, too.


How to fix a brioche mistake, two rounds down. Yes, I did it, repeatedly, and lived to tell the tale.

I hope these are helpful to you!

Are you knitting brioche? You can give it a try with my free Petite Brioche pattern! And now you can fix your mistakes, too.

Re-introducing: Trellis Vines Stole/Poncho

Just in time for spring!

Trellis Vines StoleIt’s a stole!

Trellis Vines ponchoIt’s a poncho!

Trellis Vines stole poncho detailIt’s lacy and gorgeous!

I designed the Trellis Vines Stole/Poncho for Knit Picks two years ago. This was a year after I designed my Tilt Shift Wrap (I was afraid to call it a poncho, shades of the 1970s), and I wasn’t sure how long ponchos would be popular. So I hedged my bets and designed it as a stole that could be laced up into a poncho.

Trellis Vines Stole
Interestingly, Knit Picks only photographed it as a stole for their book, Aura: 2016 Spring Collection.

But it does make a lovely poncho. You can hedge your bets, too. If fashions change, you’re covered either way! The pattern is now available from me through Ravelry, as well as through Knit Picks. It’s on sale for 10% off through April 9 on Ravelry, no coupon required, or 20% off with coupon code for newsletter subscribers.

Trellis Vines is knit in two pieces with sport weight yarn, and joined with a three needle bind off at the center of the piece. Working it in two pieces gives each end a zigzaggy edge.


Trellis Vines Mitts can complete your look. The pattern is available from me through Knit Picks for $3.99, or as part of my Beanstalk Scarf and Mitts set on Ravelry (10% off on Ravelry through April 9.

I knit Trellis Vines with Knit Picks Galileo, a yummy sport weight 50/50 Merino/Bamboo blend. I’d recommend a yarn with some rayon/bamboo/tencel/silk in it, for great drape and swing. This medium weight yarn gives you enough warmth for spring days without being overbearing.  Happy spring!