Category Archives: Knit

Vogue Knitting cruise: O Canada

We had two stops in Canada: St John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

St. John had two yarn shops in walking distance from the port. First stop? Cricket Cove, in Brunswick Square.

Norah and the Hand Maiden display

So much beautiful yarn, a lot of it Canadian-dyed. This Hand Maiden Yarns display was gorgeous! It had several interesting kits set up, some for thrumming and some for color pooling, both of which I’d be teaching in Maine the next week. But I already had yarns for those classes, so I didn’t indulge. (I like my yarn acquisitions to have a plan.)

Sweet mouse overseeing the desk

Our second stop was Good Fibrations, which had a good selection of hand-dyed yarns, and spinning and weaving supplies.

And goodie bags for us, including this sweet notebook set and hand balm.

Super bulky from Wild Side of Colour

I bought this skein of hand-dyed super bulky; I need a new demo yarn for my Brioche Entrée scarf. I’ve been using the same bit of yarn for years, and it’s time for a refresh. This will be perfect against my white demo needles.

I also bought a new circular for my Petite Brioche class; I wanted a metal needle that would contrast better than my dark wooden needle against my dark demo yarn. No 16” circulars in sight! LYS owner Elizabeth Miller told me that she likes 20” (who am I kidding, 50 cm because we’re in Canada) circulars for hats, so that’s what she carries. I didn’t even know that Hiya Hiya stainless circulars came in 20” lengths. I bought one, and it’s perfect.

Felted shop dragon by Margaret Pitre

On to Halifax!

Another port, another charming lighthouse…or several

I met up with fellow blogger Brenda Solman. We walked the boardwalk and visited The Loop yarn shop, where I finally bought yarn that didn’t have a plan. Oops.

Flyss in Arctic

Can you blame me? This is Flyss from Hand Maiden Yarns. It’s 65% silk, 35% linen. I don’t know what it wants to be, but it’s stunning.

on the Halifax Public Gardens gate

We walked the Halifax Public Gardens, established 1867.

Busy bee

Some of the cruisers went on an optional wine and fiber tour. I wish I could have been in two places at once!

Halifax was the last stop on our cruise. The next day was a full day at sea. We had the second of our classes in the morning, and a get together in the afternoon. A few more cruise pictures below.

Carla Scott, VK host, Kat, and Kathy Bunbury, tour specialist

Lots of knitting, and lots of fun!

Relaxing after touring Halifax, with yet another lighthouse

It was a very fun trip; I’m so glad I was a part of it!

The other Portland (port o’ call)

Our Vogue Knitting Cruise also made a stop in Portland, Maine.

One of the many lighthouses…

Unlike Newport, Rhode Island, and Bar Harbor, which involved a tender (small boat to get from cruise ship to port), Portland has a deep water harbor that accommodates cruise ships. We could just walk on and walk off! With proper documentation, of course.

Windy!

We had a trolley tour of Portland, which ended at Port Fiber yarn shop. Port Fiber is owned by Casey Ryder, with whom I’d meet up again the following week at Knit Maine.

Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy

Designers Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy came to show samples and talk about knitting in Maine. Seeing and touching samples in real life is always so compelling!

Selfies were taken, of course.

Mary Jane
Bristol

You know I’m not much of a yarn stasher. But I love a yarn with a story, and couldn’t resist this.

Casey imports and distributes yarn for Cashmere People Yarns. These yarns are ethically sourced, handspun and hand-dyed by women in Tajikstan and Afghanistan.

Each skein has a picture and bio of the spinner, which I find charming. My skein is a two ply fingering weight cashgora, which isn’t a blend of cashmere and angora fiber. It’s actually from cashgora animals, which are a cross between Russian fiber goats and cashmere-type goats in Tajikstan. My skein is in the Atlantic colorway, which I thought was appropriate for this cruise souvenir. I’m planning to knit a Zephyr shawlette, which starts at the skinny end and I can knit til I run out of yarn. Or if I get wild, I’ll design a new thing that’s similar. (If you want your LYS to carry this luscious yarn, have them contact Casey Ryder at Port Fiber.)

Kathy and me

I also took the opportunity to meet a longtime friend from my piano forum. I’ve met up with other piano and knitting friends after knowing them online. It’s fun to meet in real life; you just pick up the chat where you left off. (The first time I ever did this, DH was worried that I was meeting up with an axe murderer. Hasn’t happened yet!)

Lobster roll at Gritty’s

We went to Gritty’s so I could fulfill the lobster roll on my bucket list. It was delicious! But spendy. I think I enjoyed my unphotographed lobster Cobb salad at Stewman’s in Bar Harbor even more. Less guilt…it’s a salad, right? (And split with a friend…with fries…)

Pilot boat guiding us out of Portland
Knit Fit kit

Don’t forget I’m giving away my Knit Fit kit; see this blog post for details on how to enter to win! We got these in Bar Harbor, which I previously posted about in order to get this party underway. My next post: O Canada! Two more ports…

Vogue Knitting Cruise: Newport, RI and NYC

The Norwegian Breakaway was huge! Lots of indoor and outdoor places to explore; it’s like a floating city with lots of restaurants, lounges, pools, and hot tubs. And a casino, if that’s your thing. You get to visit lots of places on and off the ship, and your hotel room just moves along with you. Tidy.

People do play with this outdoor chess set!
Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport RI

So many charming lighthouses on this trip! This one greeted us at our first stop, in Newport, Rhode Island.

We visited Knitting Needles, a sweet shop not too far from the tender dock. She was ready for us with goodie bags, and a visit with the dyers behind Hugs With Shrugs, a charity that supports moms that have children with pediatric cancer.

I bought a couple mini skeins that are Newport-themed. I’ll find a use for them with another worsted. A little brioche accent, maybe?

I met John Brennan, author and pirate. He came to chat about his book, Newport Live, which is a history of Newport.

first class

I taught my first brioche class that afternoon; we had fun! I taught beginning 2 color brioche in the round, with the option to learn increases and decreases to knit my Whale Watch Cap and Cowl. I designed these accessories especially for this cruise! And I also used them the following week at Knit Maine.

Whale Watch Cap and Cowl. See the Whale Tail?

The other half of our group had class with Vogue Knitting’s editor-in-chief Norah Gaughan; they learned techniques from Norah’s new book, Knit Fold Pleat Repeat. We swapped groups at the end of the week, so everyone had a chance to take both classes.

I’m adding miscellaneous cruise pictures to this post; this blog is my pictorial journal, too!

Closing gathering, with new stash!
Cruise knitters!
Verrazano Narrows Bridge

I woke up early on our return day; the lights of this bridge were reflecting in my mirror! Apple Maps told me that it was the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and that the Statue of Liberty was coming right up. Which it did.

Next stop: Portland, Maine

Knitting on the go go go!

It’s true, as knitters we tend to sit a lot. Have you ever thought about walking and knitting at the same time? It’s possible, given a simple enough project and the tools to handle it.

Knit Fit kit

This is the premise behind the Knit Fit kit. These were a gift from Michelle McCann of Knit Fit LLC. The kit includes a ball of yarn and needles to practice knitting while walking, a hat pattern and 3 balls of yarn to knit the hat, and various tools (snips, stitch holder, stitch markers). The lining of the bag is printed with tape measures.

Michelle of Knit Fit
And the walkers!

We met Michelle in Bar Harbor, Maine, a stop on our Vogue Knitting Cruise. She told us all about Knit Fit, and then we walked, knitting, to La Rochelle for a tour of this lovely mansion.

I’d love to share my kit with one of you! Are you ready to walk and knit? At the same time? Willing to give it a try? Leave a comment and tell me why I should pick you! I do need to limit this to USA addresses due to shipping costs. And note that my sample knitting is still on the needles, so the kit is not perfectly pristine! I’ll choose a winner after September 30.

I’m going to be posting bits and bobs from my travels as I catch up. It’s too much for a giant post; you wouldn’t hear from me until next month if I waited to put it all together! More soon. Miscellaneous photos from La Rochelle below.

The Norwegian Breakaway, home away from home, outside La Rochelle
Square piano in the parlor
You may play it, gently. I played a few arpeggios
Singer treadle sewing machine
Would love this cabinet!
Carpet sweeper, same brand as the one I grew up with
Dining room fireplace

The surrounds on the fireplaces are most ornate in the public rooms. The bedrooms, a bit less so. The servants’ quarters? Minimal. Same for the crown moldings and baseboards.

Strawberry Thief wallpaper on the entry staircase

This William Morris wallpaper is appropriate to the age of the house, but is not original. Gorgeous, though.

Bar Harbor was one of my favorite stops on this trip; the town is touristy but cute. There’s a great bookstore with some good craft supplies, Sherman’s, where I found a small quad ruled flip notebook. So helpful for charting knitting on the go! Nice selection of pens, games, and books.

Including this! But not my book or Norah’s book. We checked. Of course.

Remember to leave a comment here if you’d like a chance to win my Knit Fit kit. Onward!

Back from the east coast and knitting again

*Finally* knitting again!

Mystery project

I finished knitting this project while in Maine. Some of you may have seen it at Knit Maine (couldn’t not try it out!). I mostly love it, but there are some tweaks I want to do as I write the pattern. I don’t want to frog this, so I’ve ordered more yarn for the reknit.

Shetland Wool Week’s Bonnie Isle Hat

It took a week to catch up enough that I could cast on a new project. This is Bonnie Isle, this year’s free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. It’s fun to knit. I wasn’t sure about the colors when I pulled them out of the kit bag from For Yarn’s Sake (it was the Lipstick that made me say hmmmm), but with the white background it all tones down into a harmonious symphony of color. (The kits come in several colorways, in case this pink is not your style.)

My gauge is way off; I knew it would be because I’ve knit with the same yarn for the past two Shetland Wool Week keps. Which means my previous hats are perfect gauge swatches! I don’t want to use smaller needles (these are US 3/3.25 mm) because I like the fabric. So I’ve done some math, and I’m knitting happily and getting the size I want.

I’m teaching a stranded colorwork class via Zoom for For Yarn’s Sake on November 6, using this hat as a jumping off point. I’ll give you all my best pointers on stranded colorwork knitting, and also resizing if you’re interested in that, too. Register here.

Trundle bag from Madder Root

My Bonnie Isle project is in a new bag from Madder Root; I bought this bag at Knit Maine.

When I saw the lining I had to have it as my Maine souvenir. (Shown here with my class materials from my Thrumbelina slippers class.)

Rising full Harvest Moon, Deer Isle, Maine

Because the moon made a big Maine impression on me over the weekend! So orange, so full, so gorgeous.

I’m going to be posting bits and bobs from my travels as I catch up. It’s too much for a giant post; you wouldn’t hear from me until next month if I waited to put it all together! More soon.

Halfway through the East Coast swing

The Vogue Knitting Cruise was great fun; I met lots of knitters and also got to know my fellow teacher, Vogue Knitting Editor in Chief Norah Gaughan.

Norah Gaughan and me on the balconies
Hi Norah!

I met blogger Brenda Solman/Kingshearte in Halifax; we’ve been reading each other’s blogs and commenting back and forth for years. So nice to meet in person!

Lady Liberty welcomes us back to NY

I was thrilled to accidentally wake up early and see the Statue of Liberty as we returned to New York. So cool! The person in the next stateroom said that she had booked her portside cabin and set her alarm to get this view. Me? I lucked out at 5 am.

Bryant Park (ooh Empire State Building)

I’m spending a few days in NYC and then heading to Maine tomorrow for Knit Maine with Peacetree Fiber Adventures.

I’ll post more about the cruise, and Knit Maine, when I get back next week. Knit on!

Classes for fall!

I’ve been busy working on setting up classes for fall; here’s what’s up!

Vogue Knitting Cruise August 28-September 4 (probably too late to sign on?)

Knit Maine September 9-11

Embellishment Cowl

Embellishment Cowl Zoom class at Twisted, Saturday Oct. 1, register here. This class is new, and features three techniques: Elongated/gathered stitches for the flowery bits, quilted lattice slip stitch, and beading as you go. Come get a great start on a quick holiday gift for you or a loved one! 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn can make 3 cowls.

Petite Brioche

Petite Brioche 2 color beginning brioche in the round Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Oct. 2, register here

Petite Brioche in person at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Friday Oct. 14, register here

Deep End Brioche increases and decreases in person at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Saturday Oct. 15, register here

Deep End hat or cowl

Deep End Brioche increases and decreases Zoom class via Twisted, Saturday Nov. 5, register here.

Bonnie Isle Hat

Bonnie Isle Hat/Stranded Colorwork Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Nov. 6, register here

Tink Drop Frog

Tink Drop Frog, finding and fixing mistakes Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake, Sunday Dec. 4, register here

That’s it for now!

Introducing Embellishment Cowl

Re-introducing: Embellishment Cowl! I originally designed this as an exclusive for Knit Camp with Olive Knits, and now the rights have returned to me. That means I can offer it to you!

The Embellishment Cowl is knit with two skeins of fingering weight yarn. It features a fun elongated/gathered stitch, quilted lattice slip stitch in one or two colors, and optional beads, knit as you go. You can knit three cowls with 2 skeins of yarn, if you switch up the color setup.

I knit mine with 2 skeins of Schmutzerella Spectacular, which has a little bling in it. Two skeins is enough for the three cowls you see here.

Pattern is available through Payhip and Ravelry.

I’m teaching a Zoom class for the Embellishment Cowl via Twisted Yarn Shop on Saturday, Oct. 1; registration link will be here. Pattern is included in class fee; don’t buy it twice.

Do you want to do a knit along in October? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set it up!

Cape Perpetua getaway

It’s was ridiculously hot here last week (90 to 100F), so a planned camping trip with the ladies was a welcome respite. We went to Cape Perpetua, near Yachats, on the central Oregon coast.

Looking south from Cape Perpetua

It was a cool and misty weekend, with highs in the mid-60s. The curtains of mist falling past the cape were ethereally lovely.

Banana slug

I brought my assigned pooling cowl, but didn’t do a lot of knitting. There was a whole world to explore.

Giant Spruce

This Sitka Spruce was here before Columbus arrived in the New World. Older than Henry VIII?!

View from the other side

The hollow underneath was formed as the tree grew out of a nurse log, which then rotted away, hundreds of years ago.

fauna growing from nurse log
What’s going to grow from this nurse log? Who will see it hundreds of years from now?
Stone shelter on Cape Perpetua

Stone shelter built by the CCC in the 1930s. Workers (young men) earned $30/month. They kept $5, and $25 went home to the family.

Note the temporarily blue sky!
Fungus among us
Looking at you, oxalis?

Cape Perpetua is on a pretty rocky part of the coast, but there are occasional sandy beaches. Tillicum Beach was wide and inviting.

Designer feathers on Tillicum Beach
Tide pools like moonscapes
The rise and fall in Thor’s Well is mesmerizing.
Spouting Horn blow hole
Cape Perpetua overlook
Farewell to our mascot, who stayed with us all weekend

Back in town, where it’s cooled off a bit. Time to work out my next design!

3 skeins of yarn: white speckle, gray, and yellow

I’ve gone through two design ideas so far. One would require an extra skein of speckled yarn, so no go on that one. It’s risky to order another and expect that the speckles will be the same (ask me how I know). Both this idea and the next idea involve working from the large end to the small end, in order to make the motif right side up. It’s a lot more planning and math, but it will be worth it. I hope. Onward!

More assigned pooling

I guess I’m not done with assigned pooling yet! I had this monster skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy left from teaching a previous planned pooling class. I was stack pooling it, but I put it aside when class was over.

For planned pooling to stack, I need to keep my eye on my knitting, adjusting my tension as needed to make the colors stack or move slightly to the left or right. But I don’t usually look at my knitting; I’m usually reading blogs or my Kindle. So planned pooling means I have to be more mindful. Right now I want to be more mindless!

This is why I’m really enjoying the assigned pooling. It just takes an occasional glance to see when it’s time to work the pooling stitches. That’s much more relaxing for me because I don’t have to control the tension. So I’m knitting a cowl, approximately 34 inches in circumference (making a wild guess based on the piece that was previously on the US 10 needles). I’m using the sunburst stitch whenever the deep red-purple appears.

Plushy is an Aran weight yarn (Ravelry says worsted and I disagree), 3.5 to 4 sts per inch, 330 yards/270g. I think this color is Let Your Love Light Shine. It’s spectacularly cheery!

Still occasionally knitting the white linen too, while my mind chews on how I want to arrange these three skeins of Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering. I have an idea…but it’s going to take a lot of mental gymnastics before I get there.