Category Archives: Knit

Santa Barbara getaway

Earlier this month, I took a gal pals trip to Santa Barbara. We were celebrating a birthday (not mine).

Santa Barbara is a cute town! It’s the county seat for Santa Barbara County. The county courthouse is gorgeous.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

There are 360 degree views from the clock tower, and a view into the clock fromt the inside, too.

I meant to share this last week. Inside the clock tower. Time flies!

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

 

This mural depicting the history of the area is in the meeting room. Click to embiggen; it’s worth it.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

The Santa Barbara Mission is also beautiful, and is next to a rose garden.

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission and Rose Garden

Santa Barbara is right on the water. We watched surfers, paddle boarders, and dolphins? Porpoises?

Another from last week. Dolphins or porpoises? Very cool, either way.

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

 

pelican

Pelicans are bigger than I thought.

poppies and Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are right across the water. These are not the islands of Channel Island cast on fame.

We spent a day on the beach at Carpinteria. The fog rolled in during the afternoon, so it was warm and cool at the same time. The water was cold! I re-designed this knitting project three times on this trip. It’s finally done, pictures in an upcoming post.

Carpinteria beach knitting

There are a lot of wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley on the other side of the mountains behind Santa Barbara. We took the opportunity to sample the local offerings. But first, aebelskivers (pancake balls) in Solvang, a Danish-themed town.

solvang windmill

aebelskivers

old gringo boots

And these boots were quite tempting, too. But on to the wine!

Deep Sea Winery

Figgie at Brander Winery

Too much wine for Figgie?

Millie at Brander Winery

Millie reminded me of my Mookie.

J Ludlow Winery

While we were tasting at J Ludlow in Los Olivos, we met fellow tasters Lori and Bob. Bob makes his own moonshine, distilled from merlot. He shared some moonshine with us; this one was cinnamon flavored. It was DELICIOUS. Thanks, Bob!

moonshine!

A very fun trip.

knit leaf coasters

I came home and knit these coasters as a gift for our hosts, and will get them into the mail this coming week. Onward!

Inspinknity Blocking Wires Review

I bought some Inspinknity blocking wires a few months ago, in anticipation of.blocking my Twin Leaf Crescent. I had knit two of these before (one prototype, one FO) and had not loved the blocking process.

old twin leaf blocking

Scallops are hard to block! Last time I used straight blocking wires across the top, and three pins in each scallop to try to avoid a point. It was not fun trying to get all those scallops pinned out.

twin leaf blocking

This time, I used straight wires across the top again.

inspinknity twin leaf

The Inspinknity wires come in two weights, and I went with the ultra-thin wires, which are meant for lace. I threaded the Inspinknity wires along the edge of my scallops, right where the reverse stockinette edge meets the stockinette leaf. This gave me a continuous edge to pull out with pins.

twin leaf blocking closeup

twin leaf blocking

It was the easiest scalloped pin out ever! The wire kept the pinning from making things to pointy, although I did use 2 pins per scallop to get the desired shape. The high points between the scallops bounced up and were easy to place, too.

inspinknity wires

These wires are memory wire, and they’ll take whatever shape you pin out. When you’re done, they bounce back to straight. They’re stored as circles to save space. I’m hooked! Or pinned. I’ll be using these again.

twinleafkal2016 begins

I knit this shawl with yarn from the frogged prototype which had been wet blocked before. I didn’t try to get the kinks out of the yarn before reknitting. My stockinette looked a little wonky before blocking, and I hoped it would block out.

twin leaf reknit

It didn’t all even up. For some reason, it doesn’t show as much in the lace section.

I’ve re-knit a lot of yarn before, but not necessarily after wet blocking. On chunkier yarns, I don’t think it matters as much. But for this fine, smooth fingering weight, it would have been better to re-skein, soak, and hang it to straighten it out before re-using. Live and learn! I’m not frogging to re-knit again. I’m just going to call it character, or prosecco bubbles.

Do you use blocking wires? I’m in love with these!

Aura e-book winner, Chinatown exhibit in PDX

Trellis Vines Stole Poncho

Stole vs Poncho: The readers have spoken! It sounds like it was a good idea to hedge my bets and have Trellis Vines be wearable both ways. I am currently wearing mine as a poncho, but glad to have the flexibility to unlace it later. I do love how ponchos stay on my shoulders.

Thanks to everyone for commenting. Random.com has spoken, and the 29th commenter is the winner of the Aura e-book! I’ll send Juanita an email to let her know.

I went with my mom and one of my sisters to the Oregon Historical Society to see the exhibit on Portland’s Chinatowns. I didn’t know that the first Chinatown was on Southwest 2nd Avenue; I thought it was always on the North side of Burnside where it is now. Lots of interesting artifacts and pictures. We even saw Mom’s grandmother in a picture of the Portland Chinese Women’s Club Anniversary Celebration from 1948. Cool! The exhibit runs through June 21. Admission is free if you’re a Multnomah County resident, and not a lot if you’re not.

grandmothers

Speaking of grandmothers, here’s a picture that has both of my grandmothers. It was taken at an event in 1938 or 1939. The Chinese community was protesting the sale of US scrap iron to Japan before the US entered World War II. Lily Lee on the left, Violet Wong on the right. (Family friend in the middle.) There were other pictures from this event in the Chinatown exhibit. It was interesting to be able to place this family photo in historical context, and even more interesting to see family members as activists!

It’s been a busy few days. How was your weekend?

Introducing Trellis Vines; Aura e-book giveaway

I’ve been dying to wear this new piece for the last six months, but I had to wait until it was published last week. This is my Trellis Vines Stole and Poncho.

Trellis Vines Stole

It’s a long rectangle of lacy loveliness. You may recognize the lace pattern from my Beanstalk Scarf and Mitts, and also from my Beanstalk Poncho.

Trellis Vines detail

When I fall in love with a stitch pattern, I tend to use it in several designs before moving on. In this case, I’ve used it as an allover pattern, rather than as a single beanstalk. It’s more work for the knitter, but I think it’s worth it.
Trellis Vines Stole

It makes the piece wearable as a stole, where a single beanstalk would look lonely. It also makes the hemline scallop!

Trellis Vines Poncho

And you know I love a rectangular poncho worn on the diagonal. Tilt Shift, Summertime Blues, Beanstalk Poncho. I have five ponchos in my wardrobe right now. This one is probably my last for a while. At some point, ponchos won’t be as fashion-forward as they are currently. I wanted this piece to be wearable long beyond, so I’ve designed it so that it can be laced up with ribbon for a poncho, or no ribbon for a stole. Covering my bases; I’m bi-wraptual!

Trellis Vines is knit with Knit Picks Galileo, a sport/dk weight 50/50 Merino wool/bamboo blend. The bamboo gives it a swingy drape and lovely sheen.

Trellis Vines is in the new Knit Picks Spring 2016 Collection, Aura, which is available as a hard copy book or an e-book. Here’s the Ravelry link to all the designs. Trellis Vines is also available as an individual download from Knit Picks.

I’m giving away a pdf copy of the Aura e-book. Leave a comment and let me know how you’d wear Trellis Vines. Stole? Poncho? Both? What makes your heart go pitty-pat? I’ll pick a winner on Saturday, April 2.

Trellis Vines Stole

Introducing: Braided Wristlets

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

It’s all about the braid. These cuffs are a little workshop in stranded color knitting and braids. Three types of braids are featured: Latvian herringbone braids, half braids that resemble chain links, and half braids that resemble twisted rope. They are knit in the round, from the bottom up. DPNs, magic loop, two circulars: knitter’s choice. Choose three colors and get knitting! I can’t seem to stop. I’ve knit four pairs and I’m almost done with my fifth. It’s still chilly enough in Portland that these make sense!

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

The pattern calls for less than 60 yards of each of three colors. (These are Knitted Wit Double Bubble mini skeins.) Instructions are written, with a video tutorial on the knitted braid technique.

The pattern is available as a pdf download through Ravelry for $6. Ravelry pattern page link here. To celebrate this pattern’s release, use coupon code BRAIDS for 20% off through April 4, 2016.

I’ve knit these with 3 kinds of DK weight yarn. My favorite so far? Knitted Wit Double Bubble DK. The twist on this yarn is nice and tight, which is less prone to split, and gives the braids lovely definition. Lorajean will have yarn kits for this in her etsy shop soon (today, I think).

pdxknitterati braided wristlets go ducks

Go Ducks! Once you know how to knit the braids, you can adapt these to your heart’s delight. I learned the herringbone braid in a Latvian Mitts class with Beth Brown-Reinsel last month at Madrona, and was enchanted by the possibilities. A series of “What if I do this? Or this?” led to these definitely not-Latvian wristlets.

Thanks to tech editor Amanda Woodruff, test knitters Lisa Yarrow and Kim Winter, and Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit for the beautiful yarn.

I’m teaching a class with this pattern at Twisted on Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. We’ll learn about stranded knitting with two colors and managing your yarns so they don’t tangle, yarn color dominance, and braids. Contact Twisted to sign up!

Introducing: Beanstalk Poncho

As promised, here’s my newest design, the Beanstalk Poncho. I wore it on the last day of the yarn crawl, and loved it. It’s knit with two 400 yard skeins of fingering weight yarn, a perfect lightweight accessory for spring and summer.

Beanstalk Poncho

A single beanstalk climbs from hem to shoulder, reaching for the sky on both front and back. I used two Three Fates Yarns’ five shade gradient sets in her Eponymous Sock; the colorway is Time Lapse gradient. It would be equally lovely in a semi-solid colorway.

Beanstalk poncho detail

The length and width of this wrap are easy to customize to your perfect size. The wrap shown is 18″ wide by 29″ long.

Beanstalk poncho 2

This pattern is available as a pdf download through Ravelry; pattern page is here. To celebrate this pattern’s release, use coupon code BEANS for 20% off through Thursday, March 17, 2016. St. Patrick’s Day! Save some green and knit the green.

Beanstalk Poncho

It’s super fun to wear!

Crafty Moms Weekend catch up

The weekend before the yarn crawl was the 13th annual Crafty Moms weekend at the coast. That’s a lot of tradition!

The Beanstalk Poncho that I wore Sunday?

Terri, me, M

I seamed it at Crafty Moms weekend.

beanstalk seam

I was going to use mattress stitch, but my blocking wires left a loopier and rufflier than expected edge, and I didn’t want to take up even more fabric in the seam allowance. Those holes ended up being perfect for slip stitch crochet. I didn’t have an appropriately sized crochet hook, but I had this little repair hook, and that did the trick.

Twin Leaf at Crafty Moms

I almost finished my Twin Leaf Crescent for the Black Trillium KAL, which wraps up at the end of this month on Ravelry. The view beyond the window was pretty, too.

wrap bracelets

Carole made the bracelet on the left for me with beads we bought at Shipwreck Beads on the way home from Madrona. The middle one is hers. And I made the one on the right, but I don’t love it. The orange beads with the brown leather don’t make me happy. So I’ll frog it and do it again, later.

It was rainy and not rainy, as is customary on the Oregon Coast. So there was walking and not walking!

rope and sea creatures

The ocean likes beading, too. I think these beads may be anemones?

Here’s a little live action…

Crafty Moms weekend at the #oregoncoast. Sometimes you have to go outside.

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

sunset

It was a very relaxing weekend with 16 Crafty Moms!

RCYC 2016 Day 4

twisted

I spent the last day of the yarn crawl at my home haunt, Twisted. I teach many classes here. My trunk show here was just plain fun.

Terri, me, M

Terri showed me her finished RCYC MKAL for this year. Her friend M was visiting from Canada. M said that she has knit Summertime Blues, but hasn’t blocked it yet, so I let her model mine. Me? I’m wearing my new Beanstalk Poncho. So new, it hasn’t been published yet. It should be out in the next few days; I just need to edit the photo shoot pix we did last Wednesday. The yarn is a gradient set (x2) from Three Fates Yarn in Salem; they have it at Twisted.

Camille

Camille also finished her MKAL. Looks great!

Judy

Judy took my Athena Entrelac class at OFFF last September. She brought her unfinished project, and decided to knit it with a cashmere blend instead. It will be soft and lovely!

knit fox

I didn’t catch this knitter’s name, but she was visiting with two adorable littles, and this fox that she knit. Cute!

summertime blues

More Summertime Blues! It’s so helpful for people to be able to see my knits in person and try them on.

Adam and Digby

Ex-Twistedista Adam came by with Digby. So cute!

PDXKnitterati trunk show

And that’s a wrap! It was a very fun, very yarny weekend. Thanks so much to For Yarn’s Sake, Lantern Moon, and Twisted for having me!

Next on the agenda: Getting Beanstalk Poncho ready to publish, and making a video tutorial for another pattern that’s in the works. Blocking my just finished Twin Leaf Crescent for the Black Trillium KAL. Blocking my Stopover sleeves about an inch longer (I’m only going to wet the sleeves. Think it will work? We shall see.) And two design projects that are only in my head so far.

alpaca

This is part of the yarn for one of the design projects. Two ply fingering weight spindle-spun alpaca from Peru. The hank was bigger than my swift, and I tried to hand-wind it by hanging it on a doorknob. Messy, and totally my fault for being impatient. The other hank? I’m going to call a friend!

What’s on your knitting agenda this week? Clickety-click!

RCYC 2016 Day 2

I won’t even pretend that I’ll be able to go to all 14 shops on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I salute those who have already turned in their completed passports! I started my day with a trunk show, but not on the crawl.

Lantern Moon luncheon

Lantern Moon’s fabulous retreat began with a luncheon at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. I had a little trunk show for this room full of happy knitters before they headed off for Skamania Lodge. Also in this show were Brooke Sinnes (Sincere Sheep, you can see her at For Yarn’s Sake on Sunday) and Deb Accuardi (Chicken Coop Botanicals).

Summertime Blues

Summertime Blues is making the rounds! So fun for people to try things on.

The Lantern Moon crew was headed for a tour of Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal, WA. Two of the retreat attendees are wool-allergic, so they planned to hit a few stores on the Crawl and meet up with the group at Skamania. They had already been to Close Knit, so I recommended Twisted and Yarnia. Yarnia, so uniquely Portland, where they could choose their fibers and have them made into their own one-of-a-kind yarn. I ended up there later, and heard that they had made it in and made their yarns!

Yarnia

Yarnia’s offerings are sorted by fiber content. You choose your plies, and they are wound off together for you.

Yarnia

Yarnia also has pre-wound yarn, for those of us who can’t decide. (I’ve been one of those before.) I love how they display little swatches on the cones, and label the wool-free ones. I hadn’t been to Yarnia’s new location, so I really wanted to see it, and am glad I had a chance to visit. Their new space is lovely.

Yarntastic

Yarntastic is another new-to-me shop. It’s over in the Sellwood neighborhood, which is the far end of Portland from me. I was charmed by their yarn tree, seen here over Stacey Kok’s (Thoroughly Thwacked) trunk show display. What a lovely riot of color.

thoroughly thwacked

This little sparkly blue gradient set was calling my name, loudly. I’m still thinking about it. Hmmmm.

Shannon & Lorajean

I also stopped at Northwest Wools, which was mobbed by crawlers. I’m not really stalking Shannon and Lorajean, but wherever you go, there they are! Plus, I was picking up Girl Scout cookies from Shannon. If you need cookies, she’s your source. Nom.

Today I’m planning to go to Wool ‘n’ Wares to see rainbows and maybe sheep, and back to For Yarn’s Sake to see the Spincycle gals.

Spincycle Yarns

I bought this beautiful yarn from them last year, and realized later that it really needs a coordinating/contrasting color to make it sing. So I’ll bring my pretty pink/purples and audition the other colors with them. (Does this remind you of my color pop auditions for BangOutASweater? Seeing is believing!)

Where are you on the crawl today? Leave a comment. There may be a reward!

Rose City Yarn Crawl and trunk shows

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year: Rose City Yarn Crawl! This year there are fourteen participating shops in the metro Portland area. The crawl begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. Are you ready?

I’ll be at two shops with trunk shows this year.

image
2014 trunk show with LJ and Frances

On Thursday, I’ll be at For Yarn’s Sake from 10 to 4 with fantastic local dyer Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), and designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone. It’s a party!

fern shawlettesLast year at Twisted

On Sunday I’ll be at Twisted from 1 to 4 p.m. Stop by and say hello!