Category Archives: Knit

Embellishments!

I’m thrilled to be June’s guest designer for Knit Camp, which is an app community by Olive Knits (Marie Greene). Marie is a dynamo! She’s also the founder of Library House Press, which published my book, Brioche Knit Love.

This is the Embellishment Cowl. It uses one of my favorite flowery fancy stitches, plus quilted lattice slip stitch. It’s knit with two contrasting colors of fingering weight yarn. I used Schmutzerella Yarns Spectacular, which has a blingy sparkle in it.

You can knit the quilted lattice in one color or two. Beads are optional, but highly recommended, especially on the single color quilted lattice. Embellishment! I knit all three of these cowls using the 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn.

The Embellishment Cowl pattern is exclusive to Knit Camp for the first 45 days, and then I’ll be able to offer it here, too.

Curious about Knit Camp? One lucky winner will receive a free THREE-MONTH membership to Olive Knits’ Knit Camp app! This is your chance to discover the amazing Knit Cam community AND gain early access to exclusive Knit Camp patterns, discounts and more. Knit Camp membership includes free monthly patterns, video tutorials, livestreams, expert pattern support, virtual field trips and SO much more! A $75 value.

Open to followers worldwide, this giveaway ends June 30, 2022. Winner will be posted here, then contacted directly. Prize is non-transferrable and is subject to Olive Knits terms of service.

To enter, check out the Knit Camp app here, then leave a comment and tell me which part of Knit Camp interests you most.

I’ll keep you posted when I can offer the Embellishment Cowl pattern myself!

Assigned pooling progress

I started knitting another Shall We Dance cowl with the Cabana Boy from Yarn Snob, but my heart wasn’t in it.

I already have two of these cowls, and I wanted to play more with the yarn. Also, this kind of pooling requires me to actually look at my knitting to make sure the colors are stacking the way I want them to, and I like to read my kindle and not pay attention!

So I’m playing with assigned pooling. If the yarn is orange, it’s time for a sunburst! They’re slightly pink at the edges, because I want them to be 5 stitches wide. I like them! But, as is usual for my design process, I’m probably going to frog this (again!). I thought I’d like the rolled brim, but it wants to keep rolling, and that makes it hard for me to know when to start the crown shaping. I think I’ll like a sleeker k2p2 rib.

I’ll probably do a taller version of this criss-cross stitch, too. But for a baby size hat, with a rolled bottom. I think there’s enough yarn to do two hats (one adult, one baby), but I’m not sure yet. The play continues!

What are you knitting?

Introducing: Whale Watch Cap and Cowl

samples knit in Anzula for Better or Worsted

Whale Watch is two patterns in one! It features a 2-color brioche cap and cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. I designed this set as a quick start teaching piece for my 3 hour classes, beginning with 2 color brioche rib, and then introducing simple increases and decreases. Whether you prefer cowls or hats, I’ve got you covered.

Frolicking whales and soaring gulls will keep you entertained at sea, at the beach, or anywhere!

samples knit in Malabrigo Rios

Pattern uses worsted weight yarn in 2 contrasting colors. The yardage is close, but you can get a large hat and tall cowl with 200 yards of each color, if you match my gauge. The pattern includes instructions for both the cap and the cowl. The cap can be knit in 2 sizes, and there are two different ways to finish the crown.

taller cowl above, shorter cowl below

The pattern is on sale for 15% off through June 20 with coupon code ORCA. It is available through Ravelry here. You can also purchase this pattern from my Payhip store here; the same code works in both places.

I’m looking forward to using this pattern for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise at the end of August. I’ll also be using it at Knit Maine in September. I love that it’s all-in-one, both cap and cowl. I’m streamlining!

Thanks to tech editor Jen Lucas, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, and Melissa A. Rowe.

Keeping the faith?

The linen knitting continues.

The little 50g balls go pretty quickly. The knitting looks loose and crinkly, but I have this previously blocked swatch to remind me of how swingy, smooth, and drapey it’s going to be.

Do I have it in me to carry on? MAYBE! This is my ”for fun” knitting, which has nothing to do with work or publishing a pattern. That means there’s no deadline, and no reason to finish it…unless I really want to. We’ll see if I get distracted! I do have a design to work on, with this yarn…

Knit Picks Hawthorne in Spark Speckle, and Slate and Compass Kettle Dye
iPhone

Do you know the trick for checking your tonal contrast? Put your camera phone into monochrome, and that will give you a good idea if your yarns are contrasty enough. On an iPhone, use the carat at the top to change the menu at the bottom. The 3 overlapping circles (middle picture) indicate color choices. Swipe right until you get to MONO (that’s what it says in the 3rd picture; sorry it’s fuzzy). You can also do this after taking a picture too, using the edit feature when looking at your pictures. You’ll get something that looks like this.

Here I have a light and two mid-range. The gray surprised me; I thought the gold would be darker of the two mid-tones. I think I’ll aim to use each of the kettle dyes with the speckle, but not necessarily with each other. I don’t really know yet, though. Swatching is in order! I think it’s either a shawl or a shawlish cowl like Cosette, and I’d like it to have a bee theme, because of the honey colors.

Onward!

Cabana Boy

I’m teaching a pooling class at Knit Maine this fall; we’ll talk about both applied pooling and planned pooling. We’ll be using this cheery yarn from Keith Leonard at Yarn Snob. The colorway is Cabana Boy, and it’s awesome.

This is what it looks like when the skein is untwisted. You can tell by looking at it that the colors will pool, if you want them to. I definitely want them to! I like that bit of organization in my knitting, rather than random color riot everywhere.

Spiraling is a type of pooling. If you are knitting on the number of stitches that uses exactly one (or more) pass around your skein, the colors will pool and align straight up, in this case orange above orange, pink above pink, blue above blue. If that’s not your number, your colors will spiral to the right or left, depending on if you’re working more or fewer stitches than that magic number. If I wanted this hat to pool straight up, it would only be about 72 stitches, and would fit a baby/toddler. The yarn is the boss! If I wanted a different sized hat, the color stripe is going to spiral instead of stack.

In applied pooling, you let the yarn tell you when to do something. Every time that color appears, it’s a signal to use a particular stitch pattern. In this case, I did crossed stitches using multiple yarn overs. But you don’t have to be that fancy, you could go as simple as purling every time you’re above a particular color (because the purl stitch will create a bump in that color on a stockinette background).

So that’s the work knitting going on right now. I’m probably going to knit a Shall We Dance cowl with it, because that’s what I’m most likely to wear.

You know what I’m not wearing? These glasses!

(Previously my progressives, Rx sunglasses, bifocals, and computer glasses)

I had cataract surgeries in May, and at the same time corrected my vision from extreme myopia to 20/20 and 20/25. The world looks bright and colorful and CLEAR! No more haziness. I’ll re-use two of these frames, one for sunglasses with a reader bottom, and one for computer glasses. Because I’m still OLD and need readers now. Every day I wake up amazed that I can just open my eyes and SEE. Thrilling!

Linen knitting, encore encore

After all those hat crowns, my needles were finally empty! I’m not ready for a design project yet; I just want a simple project to keep my hands busy.

It’s a giant gauge swatch, really

Back in 2019, I was swatching/playing with Quince & Co Sparrow, which is fingering weight linen. I ultimately decided to design Kittiwake in Quince’s Kestrel, which is Aran weight, for a quicker project. I used the same stitch pattern for both weights.

The blocked fingering weight piece was relegated to the stash bin for later evaluation. I pulled it out yesterday and hmmmmm. It’s a beautiful drapey fabric. I think I want an oversized top, basically two rectangles, no shaping. The oversized shoulders would come down as faux sleeves. I’d knit it in the round from the bottom up until I get to the armholes, then work back and forth up to the shoulders.

The original piece is an excellent gauge swatch, and it even has the needles in it so I know what size to use. Instead of 16 repeats/37 inches, I’m going to do 20 repeats/46 inches, which gives me 9 inches (a lot) of ease. Perfect for a drapey swingy top for summer. I’ll use the same stitch patterns from Kittiwake, so I don’t have to think too hard. After the bottom edging, It’s just an easily memorized 6 round repeat, with only 3 patterning rounds.

Kittiwake

Bisquee (Biscuit) says it’s coming along well. What’s on your needles for summer (or winter, down under)?

Crowning glory

I have crowns on my mind. More hat crowns.

For Better or Worsted MCN from Anzula Luxury Yarns, yum

I love a pretty crown on a hat. This one hits all the right notes. It’s for the hat and cowl pattern that I’m designing for the class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in August. The class covers beginning 2 color brioche rib in the round, and brioche increases and decreases. Does this sound like Brioche Pastiche? Yes and no! This set includes a cowl, for non-hat wearers. An a nautical theme!

Malabrigo Rios, a favorite yarn for brioche

This crown is slightly simpler, but the overall effect is the same. I just sent the pattern off to my tech editor, and I’m looking forward to moving on with these designs.

There are a few spots left on this cruise. Do you have to cruise with us to knit this hat and/or cowl? Of course not. But it would be really fun! Here’s a list of the places we’re going.

I’ll show you the whole set soon, after tech editing. I love them!

Brioche Pastiche, even pastichier

I had a fabulous time in Minnesota last month, teaching for the Minnesota Knitters Guild Yarn Over event. This was supposed to happen in 2020, and it finally happened in 2022. It was a whirlwind event; I flew in on Friday, taught on Saturday, and flew home on Sunday.

Brioche Pastiche

One of the classes I taught was Brioche Pastiche, a three hour introduction to two color brioche rib, increases and decreases. I originally designed this hat with a spiffy four section crown. I thought it would be fun to update the pattern with an alternate crown, but first I had to design it. I was still knitting it at the retreat; I finished it when I got home.

I made it one leaf taller before beginning the crown shaping

and gave it a swirlier, flowery top. It’s just a tiny bit taller than the original hat (more leaf rounds, fewer decrease rounds).

I’ve updated the pattern and run it past my new tech editor. I’ve also updated the language in the pattern to be a little closer to standard. If you previously purchased Brioche Pastiche, you should be receiving a message through email and/or Ravelry that there’s an update available. This will give you both the original crown and the new crown. If you’re interested in purchasing this pattern, use coupon code GLORY for 15% off through May 22 on Ravelry and Payhip.

And! It’s also part of the Brioche Hat Trick ebook on Ravelry, in case you want a LOT more brioche. (The ebook is only available through Ravelry for now. If you’ve already purchased the ebook, you’ll get the Pastiche update without needing to repurchase.)

Thanks to the Minnesota Knitters for inspiring me to get this done! (If you were in my class, you’ll get this update, too.)

Goldilocks hat, Take 3: Success!

Knowing all that I learned from the two previous hats made this an easy knit for me. The yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted, 80/10/10 superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon.

A quick selfie for proof of concept. It fits the way I want it to. Now to work on a cowl version for non-hat wearers.

It’s coming along nicely. I’ll also need to work up a smaller version of the hat. And two options for crown shaping, too. So many options for this class project!

I’m writing the pattern in modular units (chart and written instructions) for each motif. And I’m trying to decide for the charts: a separate chart/page each for small hat, large hat, and cowl? Or just chart the motifs with instructions on how to set it up? That would take fewer pages, and that’s how I want to do the written instructions to avoid a 15 page pattern. It’s pretty obvious which motif you’re working, based on stitch count between markers. What do you think?

Onward!

Goldilocks, Take 2

To make the hat shorter? I made the whale tail taller, so I could use fewer repeats. From 3 tails to two. They have more visual pop, too. I put the whale tails on both front and back; that’s visually pleasing.

I added waves to each side of the whale tails. From one side the waves are breaking towards the tail, and from the other side they’re breaking away. Symmetry!

But I don’t like the waves being vertical instead of horizontal; they’re perpendicular to the whale tails. Nope. That’s not how whales swim. (You’d think I would have thought of this while knitting an entire hat, but nooooo.)

On to Take Three!