Category Archives: Knit

Fern Lace Shawlette update

Beads and Lace

I’ve just updated my Fern Shawlette pattern to streamline it for classes. The i-cord edging, garter stitch body, and lace edging are now all on the same chart, and together in the instructions, instead of my previous modular approach.

I’m leaving both versions in the downloads section on Ravelry, so you can choose which way works better for the way you think! If you previously purchased Fern, you’ll find an update notice in your Ravelry library.

To celebrate this update, I’m offering 10% off the pattern through May 29. Use coupon code FernUpdate on the Fern Lace Shawlette Ravelry page here. Current newsletter subscribers, check your inbox for your code.

I’m using this pattern at Virtual Knitting Live in June. If you’re taking this class, make sure you download the file that says “Fern Shawlette for classes 05.20” for the updated version!

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.

Knit Circus The Night Sky

This showed up in the mail, just before the stay-at-home order took effect. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s from Knit Circus; the sparkle gradient is The Knit Sky, and the speckle is Mistress of Myself.

I bought these with an idea in mind, something I’ve been dreaming about for a year or more. I’m finally ready to play with it. My initial swatching looks promising. A shawl, and it’s *not* brioche. I know, unbelievable!

More later. Gotta go knit.

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!

Lockdown Love Note finished again and again

It’s been modified yarn chicken all the way with my current Love Note sweater. I knit until I had just enough Aquarius to finish the body with 4 rows of ribbing plus bind off. It felt a tiny bit short.

Love Note DK sweater and cat

I frogged the ribbing, and knit the stockinette body until the Aquarius ran out. Then I knit 4 rounds of ribbing in Beach Glass.

I didn’t really want a contrast color ribbing at the waist (yoo hoo look over here!), but that was all the Aquarius I had.

That also meant that the sleeves would have to be in the lighter color, too.

I had plenty of Sea Glass, so I first made the sleeves at 20 rounds. But this made the sweater look too color blocky on me, so I eventually made the sleeves really short, just 4 rounds of stockinette before ending with 3 rounds of ribbing. (Yes, I tried it on at 20, 16, 12, 8 rounds as I ripped back the first sleeve. Because why not?)

In a perfect world, I would have ended the lighter color at the end of the lace, and then the body and lower sleeves would have been in the darker color. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have enough of the darker color to make that happen, so I waited until after the split for the sleeves to go back to the darker color. This was my way of avoiding an awkward dark stripe on the sleeve before having to finish with the light color. Winning!

Love Note contrast ribbing

The contrasting waistband looked fine, but I didn’t like the way it looked on ME.

Love Note sweater FO and cat

So I took it off and re-finished with the darker color again, this time with one more round of stockinette, and 3 rounds of ribbing. Now that there are sleeves, it looks better. I think blocking will help a bit, too.

So that’s Love Note, knit in a week and a day, and finished several times. I think it’s time to move on! After blocking, of course. It’s drying now. This has been a fun knit, twice, with this pattern by Tin Can Knits.

Mood ring

Mood? Pretty good! The mood ring agrees. How about you?

Love Note in the time of Coronavirus

After finishing my fuzzy purple Love Note Memoir, I wanted a spring-ier version to wear sooner. I had this Hazel Knits Lively DK in my stash. I only have one skein of Aquarius and one skein of Beach Glass because they were going to go into a brioche shawl or scarf design, but it wasn’t quite right for the project. This yarn has patiently waited for its time in the spotlight, and now it’s time to shine. I love how crisp and clear the lace is with this yarn.

It’s Love (Note) in the Time of Coronavirus! Love Note is a perfect knit for these strange times; it goes quickly and I don’t have to pay too much attention.

The pattern calls for 600 yards of yarn; I have 550. Because of the limited amount of yarn, this will be short/cropped/normal on me. And it will have short sleeves for spring/summer wear.

How can I use the two colors together and make it look right? I don’t think it would look good striped into a fade, that would look too stripey/sporty for the pretty lace. I could have made the entire top portion in the lighter color, but I don’t know how long the bottom portion will end up being. I don’t want it to look like I chopped the sweater (and me) in half. The color blocks would have to be in the right proportion to each other, and I don’t think I have enough control (or yarn) to make sure that works out.

So….I’m knitting the lace yoke in the lighter color and as much as I can of the body in the darker color. I don’t know what color the sleeves will be, below the lace yoke, until I see how far I get with the dark color on the body. Will I have to have a stripe of the lighter color at the hem? We’ll find out!

I don’t want a neckline as snug as my first Love Note, so I skipped the provisional cast on and just began with long tail cast on with the larger needle at the neck, then knit the ribbing on the smaller needle. Back to larger needle to work down towards the body.

I finished the lace, and continued in the lighter color until just *after* the split for the sleeves. I suspect that I won’t have enough of the dark color for sleeves, so I’m hedging my bets. I don’t want a line of dark at the underarm if I end up having to use the light color for the sleeves. That would be WRONG.

Now I’m on autopilot, cruising down the body. We’ll see how far this single skein of Aquarius will take me.

Oh! My classes sold out at Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live, so it’s clear that knitters want to get together to knit and learn, even if we have to do it from a distance. There are still a few classes and lectures available at the event, but you should hurry if you want to snag a spot. Here’s the website again.

Away we go!

Kerfuffle Cowl update, and Kerfuffle Zoom class

Read to the bottom if you’re interested in class!

Young woman wearing snowflake colorwork cowlLarge cowl

I’ve updated the pattern for my Kerfuffle Cowl to streamline it for classes. I’ve been saying for years that I was going to do this, and now I have a little time to get it done. Here’s what I’ve changed:

  • Changed the needles to omit the smaller needle for the ribbing. Now the ribbing and the body both use the same larger needle. It works fine, and makes class that much more accessible.
  • Omitted the purl stitches in the first 3 and last 3 rows of the charted pattern. I was concerned about the edge flipping, but blocking takes care of that, and it’s one less thing for a new colorwork knitter to think about.
  • Added a larger 30″ size to the original 24″ size. Knitter’s choice!

The Kerfuffle cowl is a great project for first time stranded colorwork. There are only two colors used per round, and I’ve taken care that the motifs don’t have long floats that need to be trapped.

To celebrate this update, you can purchase the Kerfuffle Cowl pattern for 15% off through April 24, 2020 using the coupon code FRESH when you purchase it through Ravelry. Newsletter subscribers will have a 25% discount in the next newsletter. Not a subscriber? Sign up here!

Small cowl

I’m teaching a Kerfuffle Cowl stranded colorwork class through Zoom on Wednesday May 6, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The class is being organized by Fuchsia Troutman at Weird Sisters Yarn Shop. She’ll have class kits available, and a special pattern discount, too. Register here!

By the way, my May 2 Petite Brioche class is now full; thank you for your interest! This will be a great way to get into the swing of Zoom classes. I’m looking forward to being able to teach from home, and I hope you enjoy learning from home, too.

Three of my four Virtual Knitting Live classes are full (that was quick!). There are a few spots left in my Minerva Entrelac class, so if you’re interested in that, register now. VKLive link is here.

Let’s knit together, apart!

Virtual Knitting Live: Teachers gonna teach

Virtual Knitting Live card

I’m so excited that I’m teaching at Virtual Knitting Live, Vogue Knitting Live’s new event, next month. Registration is now open! Class sizes are limited, so register early for best selection.

Classes are 2 hours long. I’m optimizing my offerings to work well as interactive classes through the Zoom platform. I’m teaching:

  • Petite Brioche: 2 color brioche in the round (sold out already!)
  • Herringbone Braids and Beyond: Braided Wristlets
  • Minerva Entrelac cowl or scarf
  • YO? YO! Fun and Fancy Stitches

Virtual Knitting Live class collage
Clara Parkes is giving the keynote speech at 9 a.m. on Monday May 11, which means 6 a.m. here. Not sure I’ll be awake for it, but she’d be worth it!

I’m also teaching a couple smaller classes beforehand, which is my opportunity to practice my Zoom skills before the event. I’m teaching Petite Brioche on Saturday May 2, and Kerfuffle Cowl (through Weird Sisters Yarn Shop) on Wednesday, May 6. More info on Kerfuffle in my next post, and info on Petite Brioche is in this previous post.

Let me know if you want to knit together, apart!

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?

Petite Brioche Zoom class May 2

Petite Brioche: It’s my gateway project into brioche knitting. Brioche rib has such a simple, soothing rhythm to it; it’s a perfect technique to learn during this pandemic lockdown. The Petite Brioche pattern is free here on my blog, but sometimes you want a little more guidance, right?

Blue brioche headband

I’m offering a virtual class via Zoom on Saturday, May 2, 1 to 3 pm PDT. I’ll help you get started with your 2 color brioche rib headband. Price is $25. Class size is limited, as we figure out the ins and outs of this new way of teaching and learning. Come knit with me!

Leave a comment if you’re interested. Hoping to introduce you to the joys of brioche!