Category Archives: Knit

Introducing: Brioche Entrée

I love a simple project for teaching a new technique. Brioche Entrée is your very most basic introduction to brioche rib. It only uses the brioche knit (brk) and slip 1 yarn over (sl1yo) stitches, but you still get a brioche rib scarf. No purling needed! I designed this piece to use for a guild presentation, but I’m happy to share it with you.

One skein of super bulky yarn, a pair of US 15/10mm needles, and you’re all set. I used Malabrigo Rasta; this is the Abril colorway.

You can download the pattern here. I made video tutorials for both right hand throwers and left hand continental knitters. I’ve got you covered! This is a simple pattern for brioche newbies, or a quickie pattern for experienced brioche knitters, or both.

Are you a brioche knitter? Am I tempting you to try it? Get it off your bucket list!

Teaching, learning, and knitting away

Just finished a weekend of Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live. I taught 4 classes and took 2 classes. I loved the back and forth!

My newest class, Sheepy Steeky Coasters, was really fun. The knitting is done as homework, so class is devoted to securing and cutting the steek, and finishing the edges.

Look at all the happy new steekers! You can be one, too. I’m teaching this class again on Saturday February 5 for Twisted Yarn Shop via Zoom; you can register here.

One of the classes I took was called The New Colorwork, by Margaret Holzmann. It’s all garter stitch, working with blocks of color, kind of like log cabin knitting with some extra shaping and construction. The Pythagorean Theorem is our friend.

You can see the progression from the 2 striped pink blocks and small light blue box being connected with the dark blue yarn, and then closing the gap by knitting the dark blue rectangle (actually a rectangle on top of a triangle) between them. This will eventually (if I ever get to it) have 4 more pink blocks, and 3 more dark blue rectangles, to make a larger square with a dark pink diamond crossed by dark blue arms. Cool! Margaret is the designer of the Safe at Home blanket (link to her site) that’s been so popular during the pandemic. Her blankets of geometric block constructions are ingenious.

The other class I took was Keith Leonards’s Pool Party. We played with assigned pooling (center), and planned pooling (on the needles). Keith uses a much simpler, not mathy way to find the Magic Number for planned pooling; it was an epiphany.

Shall We Dance in Rock Candy colorway

It’s much easier than the mathy way I’ve been doing it, so I’ve just updated the instructions for my color-pooling Shall We Dance cowl, and the updated pattern is now available on Ravelry and Payhip. It’s 15% off through February 1, no coupon code needed. (Newsletter subscribers hold tight, a coupon will be in your next newsletter.) Also, I’m teaching a class with this cowl and yarn in 2 color options (Huckleberry Knits Aran 2 Ply BFL that was dyed specifically for this class) with For Yarn’s Sake via Zoom on March 6. (Yarn and pattern included in class fee.) Register here.

So much teaching AND learning! A perfect weekend. How was yours?

Upcoming classes

I’m teaching for Virtual Knitting Live from Vogue Knitting this coming weekend. Want to learn a new skill? I’m offering Petite Brioche, Log Cabin Knitting, Slip Away Cowl, and Sheepy Steeky Coasters. A potpourri of classes! I love how Vogue Knitting jumped right into online events in 2020, and has continued to put them together on a monthly basis. There’s always something new and interesting to learn; I’ll be taking a couple classes, too.

I’m also teaching Sheepy Steeky Coasters via Twisted on February 5, and Stranded Colorwork Knitting via For Yarn’s Sake on February 6. All classes are via Zoom.

And in February I’m making my first foray back into in-person teaching, at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat with Brioche Pastiche hat, Syncopation Shawl, Minerva Entrelac Cowl, and Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes. Vaxed, boosted, and masked. I’m hoping to have a book signing at the market, too.

Are you ready to learn something new? I feel like 2022 is whizzing by already!

Stranded colorwork redux

2 color corrugated ribbing, let’s go!

I’m knitting Da Crofter’s Kep, a free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. The pattern uses 6 colors, but only two colors per row, which is standard for stranded colorwork. I’m terrible at putting colors together, but Anne at For Yarn’s Sake has my back, with color kits of Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift yarn, based on the color sets in the pattern.

Mine is a sample for a stranded colorwork class I’ll be teaching via Zoom for For Yarn’s Sake. We’re using the hat as a jumping off point to get us started with stranded colorwork. If you’re looking to learn this fun technique, with lots of tips on managing your yarn and avoiding the dreaded puckering, this class is for you!

The gauge for this hat is the same as for Katie’s Kep, last year’s Shetland Wool Week pattern, and the stitch count is the same. I’m using the same kind of yarn, which gives me a head start on knowing how big my hat will be; my previous hat is a big gauge swatch! It’s always good to keep notes about your yarn and needles; you never know when that information might come in handy. Present me thanks past me.

My class is on Sunday, February 6. Come knit with me!

If you’re already a pro with stranded colorwork, you may just love knitting this pattern, too. Click on the link above to download the free pattern. It’s only free until they announce the next year’s pattern, so don’t wait too long.

Blocking day

I gave a talk for the Windy City Knitters Guild the other night (brioche, and a little quick start project), so I had to wait to block my new wrap. I didn’t want to have this lying on the floor behind me. I like to pretend my studio is all tidy when I’m on Zoom. Don’t look to the right or left! Also, if you’re interested in having me speak for your guild, let me know.

I may have been suckered while knitting the wrap. It felt much smaller than the previous one while I was knitting, so I decided to knit as long as the yarn held out. But it relaxed when I soaked it and laid it out. I know, it’s superwash, so it will bounce back a lot as it dries since I’m not pinning it to hold a shape. We’ll see what the final numbers are. Keeping careful records to note in the new pattern.

I blocked the slip striped socks, too. Just because I’m not publishing a pattern for them, doesn’t mean I can’t use them! They’re warm and lovely. I just didn’t think they were zen enough to justify the pattern.

I’m dreaming of my next design project, but it hasn’t settled into itself yet. Lots of ideas floating around in my head, but the path isn’t clear yet. We shall see!

Garter stitch 4eva

I’m coming to the end of this glorious garter stitch knit. so relaxing, so soothing, so great for multi-tasking! It’s a variation on a theme, a re-imagining of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture from last spring. This one is a little more straightforward (fewer choices to make before knitting). I love these colors; I’m so glad I swapped out the pale pink for this deeper, more intense hue. I’m on the very last log, and then I have a lot of ends to sew in before blocking.

The current project has less lace, and is more ”arrow.” I’m hoping that the camellias will bloom in time for a photo shoot before I have to turn it in for Knit Picks IDP; it will be too early for cherry blossoms. It will all come out in March. I do love both wraps!

I’ve been reading (re-reading) The Overstory by Richard Powers while knitting. We’re discussing it for book group on Monday. I read it last year, so I’m doing a little skim/refresher. I do know I loved the book the first time through!

When this knit project is done, I’ll be working on a couple new design projects. I’m a pretty monogamous knitter, so I just can’t go there until I get this one done!

How many WIPs do you have? This is pretty much my only one!

Evolution of the Dotty Bed Sock

I designed this mini Dotty sock to teach top down sock basics during the Craftsy/Knitting Circle Holiday Virtual Event in December. But I always knew that I’d want to design a full size sock using the Dotty stitch pattern, which I love. Of course they’d be worsted weight socks, because I’m not a skinny yarn sock knitter. And I like quick socks!

I used a two row stripe pattern at the gusset decreases, because it was easier than trying to make those decreases fit into the Dotty stitch pattern. And I liked the way the stripes looked, so much that I put a 2 stitch slip stitch stripe pattern on the sole of the foot. Well. that was so graphic and lovely, I decided that maybe I wanted striped socks instead. So I started those.

I wasn’t sure I had enough of the purple/orange combo to make a third sock, and I wasn’t committed enough to the stripe to frog the first sock, so I started a striped pair in blue. (Thank you stash!) But you can tell that it’s hard to control the stitch gauge with the 2 stitch stripe patten; see how the cuff and the foot are wildly different in width? The gauge is definitely tighter than the Dotty stitch pattern. I wrote up the pattern while knitting the second blue sock, but by the time I was finishing the second sock, I really didn’t want to publish it. Too many caveats about gauge and centering the stripe pattern at the heel for the different sizes. I wanted it to be simple and elegant. Worst of all, they weren’t as cute as I thought they would be.

You can see from the picture above that I moved on to the green all Dotty sock.

After I finished the Dotty sock with the striped gusset, I wondered if the row gauge between the dots and the stripes were too different for me to use dots on top, and horizontal stripe on the bottom where the decreases happen. Only one way to find out. So I tried it. And it was fine. Then I had to decide which I wanted for MY pair.

Which meant I had to knit a third sock, so I’d finally have a complete matching pair. And an extra. And that’s how I ended up knitting 7 socks before I had a complete pair.

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern has both insteps, so you can choose which one you like best. But the striped sock? Not gonna happen…even though I had it tech edited. I only want you to have the best!

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern is still 20% off with code SlipSlide through January 8.

The SlipSlide code also applies to the Slip Away Cowl, through January 8. It’s been a slip stitch party!

And the Sheepy Steeky Coasters are still 15% off with code COASTING through January 8, too. If you’re looking for a low stakes introduction to steeking, this is it. Coasting into 2022, one stitch at a time.

I’ll show you what’s on my needles in the next post. Although by then, it may be off. I’m knitting up a storm of garter stitch, and thinking about more! What are you knitting in 2022?

Slip It! Slip It Good!

Apologies to Devo, and you’re welcome for the earworm.

Introducing two new slip stitch designs, the Slip Away Cowl, and Dotty Bed Socks!

Slip Away Cowl

I designed the Slip Away Cowl as a teaching piece for The Knitting Circle’s Holiday Virtual Event, and now I can share it with you, too. The cowl is knit with two colors of worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios. It features five easy slip stitch patterns; you get fun colorwork while using just one color per row. It’s knit flat, and then joined together at the end. This is a great way to get your cowl to be exactly the length you want. This is my favorite cowl length for wearability. The pattern includes tips on using these stitch patterns in the round, too. The Slip Away Cowl pattern is available on Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022. If you’re taking the Slip Away Class at January’s Virtual Knitting Live, the pattern is included in your class fee in January only, so don’t buy it twice!

Dotty Bed Socks

The Dotty Bed Socks are a quick knit in worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios for these, too. They’re knit from the cuff down, and have a flap and gusset heel turn. Magic! You can knit the top of the instep in either Dotty or stripes; instructions for both are in the pattern. The Dotty Bed Socks pattern is available through Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, check your email for a combo offer!

I do love knitting with two colors, one at a time. It’s like…brioche! Which I’ll get back to, eventually. For now, I’m knitting madly on my garter stitch Cherry Blossom Wrapture, which is also…one color at a time! Happy happy new year to you.

Sheepy Steeky Coasters

Is steeking on your list of knitting techniques to learn in 2022? The Sheepy Steeky Coasters are here to help! This worsted weight project will teach you stranded colorwork, and reinforcing and cutting a steek. It uses a crochet reinforcement of the edges, but previous crochet experience is not necessary. A detailed pictorial tutorial is included in the pattern.

The Sheepy Steeky Coasters pattern is available through both Ravelry and Payhip. It’s 15% off through January 8, with coupon code COASTING. If you’re planning to take this class at the January Virtual Knitting Live, the pattern is included in your class fee, so don’t buy it twice! My class patterns aren’t usually included, but this pattern wasn’t ready when registration opened. My tardiness is your gain…just this once!

(If you are making multiple purchases with different coupon codes, please use them separately. The system can only apply one code at a time.)

Happy new year! Let’s cut some knitting, because these coasters are steekin’ cute!

Wrapping up 2021, and putting a bow on it

Sheepy Steeky Coasters, Cherry Blossom Wrapture, Leafy Origami Hat, Leafy Origami Cowl, Brioche Knit Love, Slip Away Cowl, Swizzle Cowl, Dreyma, Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket

It’s been quite a busy year! I designed a lot, including the 21/22 designs for my book, Brioche Knit Love. I did manage to knit one thing that wasn’t my own design, and that was the Dreyma sweater for DH. Two of the designs (bottom row) were for Knit Picks.

I taught a lot, too! I introduced Darn It! (mending your knits) and Brioche Doctor, and the Slip Away Cowl and a new steeking class. I taught most months for Virtual Knitting Live, and for LYSes Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake. I took the summer off to write my book, and am slowly working my way back into classes. I’m hoping that all the in-person classes that we’ve scheduled for 2022 are really going to happen: Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, Vogue Knitting Live Seattle, Yarn Over in Minnesota, Vogue Destinations Cruise in August…and more.

I have three new patterns coming out next week: Slip Away Cowl, Dotty Bed Socks, and Sheepy Steeky Coasters. If you’re looking for something new to cast on in 2022, keep an eye out for these! Dotty and Slip Away will have a special combo deal for newsletter subscribers.

Thanks for being part of my knitting life. I appreciate that you love knitting, too. Happy new year!