Category Archives: Knit

Playing with slipped stitches

I know we use the heel stitch to make the heel of socks a bit thicker; slipping every other stitch gives us a double layer of yarn over the heel. So for a bed sock, why not used slipped stitches to make the whole thing doubly thick and cozy?

I finished one, almost. I won’t commit to grafting that toe until I’m done playing with my stitch patterns! I have a Dotty slip stitch pattern on the leg of the sock, but I didn’t want that underfoot. Even though this is intended to be a bed sock (worsted weight, warm), I didn’t want those bumps on the sole. At first I tried using the double stitch stripe on the whole foot, but it was hard for me to carry the floats loosely. I put them just on the sole.

But the heart wants what the heart wants. As you can see, now I’m trying the stripes on the leg first, to see if I can keep things loose enough there. If yes, then I can do it on the foot, too. I kind of love the idea of vertical stripes on leg and foot, and a band of horizontal stripes across the gusset shaping. (Partly because working the decreases into the vertical stripe pattern seemed like a pain in the…foot? But I’ll think about it again when I get there on the second sock.) Also, I want the purple foot stripe to begin right after a purple gusset stripe, and end right before the purple toe. I don’t like the purple bar floating against the orange background. See how nice it looks snugged up to the ribbing on the second sock?

Do I want to explain all of this in a pattern, or just make these for myself for fun? It would be a quick gift knit.

I love these colors. Malabrigo Rios, in Lavanda (purple) and Archangel. It feels like fall to me. And I’m sitting here in the backyard, making the most of a gloriously sunny day. Rain tomorrow!

Brioche Knit Love: putting it all together

The final projects of Brioche Knit Love combine all the techniques we’ve been learning throughout the book. We now get to play with both worsted and fingering weight yarn. (I like to teach using worsted weight, so you can see your stitches better. Now you’re ready for the fun stuff.)

I wanted this chapter to be beach themed, in honor of my beloved Oregon Coast. But the book is coffee themed, so I had to rename all the projects with that in mind, too. I think that was the hardest part of making this book!

(knit in Malabrigo Rios)

This is the Cappuccino Cowl, a study in syncopated brioche. It was originally called Coast Range, after the mountains between Portland and the coast, but now the peaks are peaks of foam on a cappuccino. You can wear it with either light or dark peaks pointing up.

(knit in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted)

The Seafoam Latte Scarf combines increases and decreases with a syncopated crest of the wave. The working name for this piece was Beachcomber. I do love the thought of Seafoam Lattes, though.

(knit in Hazel Knits Entice MCN)

The Coffee Bean Trivia Cowl is a bandana style cowl that is knit flat from the lower point until it’s wide enough to join to knit the neckline in the round. This is a very easy to wear piece. And the yarn is sooooo soft. The working name of this was Kelpie, because I thought it looked like a kelp forest underneath the waves. I decided that the little roundels could also be tiny coffee bean trivia shells, as in this post. (Check the link for a fun free project, the Victoriana bracelet.)

(knit in Huckleberry Knits Gradient, and Madeline Tosh Twist Light)

Seagull Flight may be my favorite project in the book, but it’s so hard to choose. And it’s always been called Seagull Flight, from the very beginning. This one just rolled off my needles. I knew what I wanted it to look like, and I knew the basic layout. It’s a half-pi shawl, and very easy to knit.

How did I get it to fit my coffee theme? A flight of coffee. Done.

The final project in the book is actually two projects. You can knit Coffee Breakers as either a cowl or a shawl. (Working name was Surf’s Up)

(knit in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock)

The cowl is easy to wear, and takes about half as much yarn as the shawl.

(knit in Hazel Knits Entice MCN)

And the shawl takes two skeins of fingering weight yarn; it’s sooooo squishy. I love how it feels around my neck, especially in this yarn. (Thanks to Ann Berg for knitting this sample for me!)

I hope I’ve enticed you to try brioche knitting! I’ll be with you every step of the way. Brioche Knit Love has photo tutorials, as well as a link to video tutorials. All the designs are accessories, and mostly small and easily accomplished. The projects start from the very beginning, and build on your skills, one at a time. If you already knit brioche, you can knit the easier projects as quick gifts, and knit the projects from the last chapter with confidence.

You can see all 21 designs from the book here.

Brioche Knit Love is available through local yarn shops, and from the publisher, Library House Press. Local yarn shops can order from our distributor, Sommer Street Associates. The book’s official publication date is October 19, but pre-orders are shipping, and I know several knitters have already received their copies!

Brioche Knit Love: Increases and Decreases, and a winner

Brioche increases and decreases make brioche rib so much prettier, and so much more fun to knit! Just a few new stitches to learn, and the brioche world is your oyster.

Knit with Hazel Knits Lively DK

The chapter begins with the Iced Latte hat. There’s only one new stitch to learn, the right leaning brioche decrease, and we don’t use it until we’re shaping the crown at the very end.

The Iced Latte hat is a perfect pairing with the Iced Latte Cowl.

Knit with Malabrigo Rios

The Berry Galette Cowl and Wristlets give you the opportunity to create undulating patterns in your brioche. These were inspired by the blueberry bushes in my garden.

More Malabrigo Rios

The Green Tea Chai Scarf has a simple repeat, which is a great opportunity for learning to read your brioche knitting! You won’t need to look at the chart/instructions after a few repeats.

A little more Malabrigo Rios!

And the Latte Leaf Coaster and Cup Cozy give you a chance to explore increases and decreases along with syncopated brioche, both flat and in the round. These make great quick gift knitting.

All of these patterns have written instructions as well as charts. And there are photo tutorials for all the increases and decreases. I had to use the book yesterday to remind myself how to make a 4 stitch brioche decrease while teaching my Brioche Doctor class for Virtual Knitting Live! Very handy.

Winner! I’ve picked a winner from the comments on the introductory Brioche Knit Love post, and that winner is Meredith Coelho. Meredith, I’ll email you to get your snail mail addy. Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments. If you didn’t win, please buy my book! I’d love to teach you brioche. Purchase from your LYS or directly from the publisher.

One more chapter’s projects to show you after this, in which we get to combine all our new brioche techniques.

(All photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography)

Brioche Knit Love: Syncopated Brioche

The photo tour of my upcoming book, Brioche Knit Love, continues. It’s a short chapter, but the next section of the book teaches you to syncopate your brioche. Syncopation means switching your brioche knits to brioche purls, and your brioche purls to brioche knits. Why do we want to do this? Brioche knit stitches pop up, and brioche purl stitches recede into the background.

You can syncopate entire rounds, as in the Crema Cowl. See how the colors and the white take turns being the star of the show? The colors that show are the brioche knit stitches.

And in the Shortbread Scarf the knits and purls trade places within the rows, to create the checkerboard pattern you see here. Both of these patterns are knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. I love the subtle shading of this gradient yarn. The Shortbread Scarf is named because the squares make me think of shortbread squares.

I baked some chocolate chip shortbread to share with you, and you can bake your own. The recipe is in the book.

Once syncopation is in your toolkit, we’ll move on to brioche increases and decreases. This is where brioche really shines. No more straight lines! I’ll show you in a future post.

Don’t forget, I’m giving away a copy of Brioche Knit Love to a lucky blog reader! Leave a comment on the introductory blog post here, if you’d like a chance to win. I’m picking a winner Sunday night (October 10). Good luck!

(Photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography)

Brioche Knit Love: On to 2 color brioche

Continuing the tour through my new book, the next two chapters in Brioche Knit Love feature 2 color brioche, knit in the round and flat.

The Grande Brioche Cowl is an upsized version of my Petite Brioche headband, with a more interesting edge treatment. (Shown in Malabrigo Rios)

Did you know that brioche doesn’t have to be knit/purl ribbing? The Peppermint Mocha Cup Cozy and Coaster are stockinette brioche. I love the look of this fabric. (More Malabrigo Rios!)

The Italian Soda Cowl is 2 color brioche rib, knit flat. You’ll get into a rhythm with the brioche rib, and with the selvages, too. I knit this with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. That rainbow colorway is Pegasus, one of my favorites.

And the Iced Latte Cowl is a reincarnation of my Parquetry Cowl. I love garter stitch and brioche rib together. In fact, I loved it so much, I designed a matching hat, which I’ll show you in a later post. These are knit in Hazel Knits Lively DK.

Can I just say how great it was to have my sister Sharon modeling with me for this book? We had a very fun day! She’s the perfect model. (All book photos in this post are by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography.)

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the intro post for this book, if you’d like a chance to win a copy. I’m picking a winner on Sunday October 10. Right after I finish teaching for Virtual Knitting Live!

If you’re interested, i think there’s still room in some of the classes. I’m teaching Herringbone Braids and Beyond, Log Cabin Knitting (newly revised!), Brioche Increases and Decreases, and Brioche Doctor. The registration page is here.

Onward!

Free pattern: Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket

I had the joy of designing this blanket last spring; it’s the Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket. The blanket is a celebration of garter stitch, and so much fun to knit!

Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket in Knit Picks Chroma Twist

The blanket is made up of 9 (or more) units that are all knit the same. The fun is in letting the color shading yarn work its magic. We start with a mitered square, and then add three more mitered squares, to finish the center. A log cabin style frame is worked after that. Mitered squares and log cabin work so well together; it’s a symphony in garter stitch!

The pattern is free from Knit Picks as part of their Twelve Weeks of Gifting, which they do as a run up to the holidays. (I was paid for this design, never fear. It’s free to YOU, though.) Here’s the link: Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket. I had mentioned this to my Log Cabin Knitting class at the virtual Knit Camp at the Coast last month, and now you can download the pattern!

I have one more pattern coming in the Twelve Weeks of Gifting series; I’ll let you know when it goes live. Have fun!

If you haven’t already, check the previous post to enter to win a copy of my new book, Brioche Knit Love: 21 Skill Building Projects from Simple to Sublime. I’ll be back to showing you more designs from the book soon.

Introducing: Brioche Knit Love

I have this book at my house, and I’m thrilled! It’s beautiful, and I couldn’t be happier with the final product.

When Marie Greene of Olive Knits and Library House Press asked me if I had a book in me, I wasn’t sure, but apparently I did. You know I love to teach, and you know that a lot of my designing is done with teaching in mind. This book gave me the opportunity to do both, with a subject that makes my heart go pitty-pat. Brioche! I’ll be showing the designs here on the blog, in a series of themed blog posts. If you’re a Ravelry user, you can see the listing for the book and its patterns here.

The book starts at the very beginning, with one color brioche. I explore it with brioche knitted flat, in the round, and a combination of round/flat/round.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The very first project is the Hello Brioche Scarf. It is knit with just two stitches, brk (brioche knit) and sl1yo (slipped stitch with a yarn over). So simple! I used super bulky yarn (Malabrigo Rasta) and big needles, so the stitches are very easy to see on this learning project.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The second project is the Hello Brioche Hat, worked in the round. There are instructions for worsted weight (blue Malabrigo Rios), and for Aran weight (pink Knit Picks Muse Tonal), which is an even quicker knit. This pattern introduces the brp (brioche purl) stitch, as well as brioche in the round.

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography

The third pattern in this chapter is the worsted weight Hello Brioche Mitts. They start at the wrist, worked in the round. The thumb opening section is worked flat, knitted back and forth. And the palm/top of the mitt is worked in the round.

I love teaching one concept at a time, and building on it. The designs in this chapter were test knit by absolute brioche newbies as well as experienced brioche knitters. Everyone had successful projects!

The book has photo tutorials, with large photos (4 per page). And for those of you who like a little more help, I made a set of video tutorials specifically for the book; the resources page at the back of the book has a link to the tutorials.

That’s just the beginning; I’ll show you more in the coming week. There are designs for two color brioche, syncopated brioche, increases and decreases, and combinations of all the techniques. The patterns are appropriate for brioche beginners on up. They’re all accessories, and many of them are great for quick gift knits.

I’m giving away a copy of this book to a blog reader. Leave a comment below for a chance to win. Tell me if you already knit brioche, or if you want to learn. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, October 10. That’s before the publishing date of October 19, so if you’re not the winner you’ll still have time to get this at your LYS on the drop date, or order through Library House Press. I’d love for you to ask your LYS to carry it, too. Wholesale orders are through Sommer Street Associates.

Seagull Flight

I’ve spent all of Friday working on getting the 21 patterns in Brioche Knit Love set up on Ravelry. I’m still not done! But I’m close. After I get that set, I can start sharing the projects on other social media, and my test knitters will be able to share, too.

But I’m not all that patient, so I’m going to go ahead and show you Seagull Flight. It’s a half-pi shawl, and lots of fun to knit. It’s actually pretty easy knitting, because I already did all the math for you. (Blue yarn is Huckleberry Knits Gradient in Echo, white yarn is MadelineTosh Twist Light in White Wash)

I was at the coast at the end of July with some friends, and Becky took these pictures for me. She was a trouper!

It was really fun to play in the breeze! Seagull Flight is one of my favorite patterns in Brioche Knit Love. I found out yesterday that pre-orders are going to ship just a bit early, so you’ll probably have your book before the actual publication date (October 19). Or you can wait and get it from your local yarn shop (ask if they’re going to carry it), so you can support your LYS!

photo by Angela Watts, Tekoa Rose Photography, modeled by my sister Sharon, for the book

My tentative schedule for book signings:

Saturday October 24, Yarn Folk, Ellensburg WA, 10 to 11 am

Saturday October 30, For Yarn’s Sake, Beaverton OR, 1 to 2:30 pm

Saturday November 20, Knot Another Hat, Hood River OR, time TBA

Saturday December 4, Wild Knits, Salem OR, 1 to 2:30 pm

Brioche Knit Love book pre-order info

The pre-order page for Brioche Knit Love is live! The book is due out on October 19. It will be available through the publisher, Library House Press, and also through local yarn shops. Ask your LYS if they’ll have this book for you! But not until next week; the wholesale ordering system isn’t quite set up yet.

If you’re a brioche newbie, this book is for you! And if you already know how to knit brioche, and just want some new pretty patterns to knit, this book is for you, too. Here’s the description:

“Grab a latte and join Michele Lee Bernstein from PDXKnitterati as she guides you through the basics of brioche knitting. Using bite-size accessory projects as the foundation for learning, Michele will lead you confidently through every step, from start to finish. You’ll find gentle instruction, clear photos and twenty-one tantalizing patterns as you work your way through one- and two-color brioche (flat and in the round), increasing and decreasing, and syncopated brioche. Michele even teaches you how to recognize and fix your mistakes along the way. From cast on to bind off, Brioche Knit Love is the perfect primer for first-time brioche knitting.”

I learned a lot about the book-making process this summer, designing for this book and making it come to life. I learned about managing multiple test knits at the same time, too. Thanks so much to my test knitters, especially the brioche newbies who learned to knit brioche with the first patterns from this book.

My sister came to model with me; we had fun.

I’m looking forward to holding this book in my hands. Not sure about jumping into brioche? Here’s what the experts say:

“A sweet, clear guide to one of knitting’s most enchanting techniques. The advanced-level patterns are nothing short of aspirational, and the beginner-level patterns are cool enough to attract even the expert.
— Franklin Habit, international knitting instructor & author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons”

“Brioche has a unique language of its own, but have no fear! Michele teaches what you need to know exactly when you need to learn it for each irresistible design. The clear guidance and inspirational photos inspire confidence and motivation to cast on for these cozy projects.
— Anne Berk, author of Annetarsia Knits: A New Link to Intarsia”

“If you’ve been nervous about Brioche knitting, this is the book you need! Michele clearly explains the technique and her designs are absolutely gorgeous. You’re going to want to knit everything in this book!
— Jen Lucas, knitwear designer and author of Sock-Yarn Shawls”

I’m planning some book signing events at a few local yarn shops, too: Yarn Folk in Ellensburg, WA on Saturday Oct. 23, my local yarn source For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, OR on Saturday, Oct. 30, Knot Another Hat in Hood River, OR on Saturday Nov. 20, and Wild Knits in Salem, OR on Saturday, Dec. 4. They’ll have books available for you there. I’ll bring some favorite pieces from the book, so you can see them in person.

If those dates or locations aren’t convenient for you, or you just can’t wait, check out the Brioche Knit Love book page and place your order if you’d like to knit brioche with me! Bonus: I’ve made a special page of video tutorial links, just for this book.

I can’t wait to share all of this with you!

Book teaser

My publisher shared this online, which means I can, too. The proofs are back from the printer, and we’re good to go! You can see the cover for my book, Brioche Knit Love, and me wearing one of my designs. If you zoom in on the picture, you can see that the subtitle is “21 Skill Building Projects from Simple to Sublime.” Twenty-one! It’s been a busy summer of knitting and designing.

The book should be available October 19, if all goes according to plan. I’ll have information for pre-orders in a week or so. Looking forward to it!