Category Archives: Knit

Two favorite knit-in i-cord edgings

I love i-cord selvage edgings that are worked simultaneously with your project. No afterthoughts here! They give a finished edge, and help keep stockinette from rolling. I’ve been using two techniques for this.

thrumbelina thrummed slippers

The first is on my Thrumbelina slippers, around the opening. This i-cord is accomplished by this little dance with the last 3 stitches of each row, both right and wrong side: Bring yarn to the front, slip last 3 sts purlwise. At the beginning of the next row, just knit.

As you can see, the edging curls towards you on the left edge, and away from you on the right edge. It takes working a few rows before you see the curl clearly, too. (There’s a column of garter stitch right next to the edging, to separate the stockinette from the i-cord.)

beanstalk scarf and mitts

My Beanstalk scarf features a different knit-in i-cord edge. It works like this (wyif means with yarn in front):
Beginning of the row: K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.
End of the row: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif.

You can use this on one edge or both edges; you just have to remember the dance for beginning or end.

These edgings look a little more like each other. I like using this edging on scarves and sideways shawls to give the edge a more finished look. It also helps reduce curling. (There’s a column of garter stitch right next to the edging, to separate the stockinette from the i-cord here, too.)

So why did I just run through these options? A knitter wrote to me with a question about the edging on the Thrumbelina slippers, because the edges look different. I thought about revising the pattern with the second i-cord technique, so I made these swatches. Here’s what I found:

The original edging on the Thrumbelina slipper is firmer and slightly bulkier. I like that for a slipper opening, so I’m not going to change it after all. If the slightly different appearance on each edge gives you the willies, you can always swap it out. Knitter’s choice!

Edited to add:
Based on Leslie’s comment below, I tried out her beginning of row i-cord edging: Slip 3 with yarn in back at beginning of RS rows, Slip 3 with yarn in front at beginning of WS rows. I kept my garter stitch column next to the i-cord, and worked in stockinette. Here’s the pic:

It rolls to the back on both edges, yay! But it doesn’t roll as tightly as the other two, so I’m still not changing anything. It’s good to have so many options, and I may play with more, but not right now. Other projects are calling!

Use these handy edges for all sorts of other knitting; they’re pretty cool. Where do you want to add them now?

Madrona registration begins this Thursday!

The class schedule is up! The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is February 15-18 (President’s Day weekend) in Tacoma, WA, and registration for classes opens on the morning of November 9. I am super excited to be teaching my class, Athena Entrelac Cowl, on Thursday afternoon.

Athena is a great way to learn entrelac. I like to teach entrelac beginning with entrelac in the round, because there are fewer units to learn (base triangles, left and right leaning rectangles, no side triangles). I also teach how to purl back backwards (some call this knitting back backwards), without turning your work. Handy on these little stockinette units! As a fun bonus, I’m updating my Athena Cowl pattern with an option to include some entrelac knit flat, if you’re up for a little more challenge.

I’m also teaching my mini class on blocking again, as well as a mini version of my elongated stitches class, if the schedule holds. Mini class registration will be in January.

Besides classes, Madrona has a wonderful market, demonstrations, evening entertainment, and lots of opportunities for knitting and spinning with friends old and new. A little something for everyone. Are you planning to go to Madrona? It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope to see you there.

Also on Thursday: The first meeting of the new Puddletown Knitters Guild. Social meeting starts at 6, program starts at 7. We’re at the Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark Street in Portland, and you can visit twice before joining. I’m the speaker! I’ll be talking about my design process.

Cheers!

Introducing: Tumbling Leaves

Finally ready for prime time!

This is Tumbling Leaves, a wide crescent shawl. I designed this sample with Bumblebirch Heartwood, a lightweight 75/25 superwash merino/nylon blend. It was a delight to knit!

The shawl is wide enough to wear wrapped once, as shown above, or twice, with both ends in front.

The pattern is available for $6 USD through Ravelry as a PDF download. As usual, subscribers to my email newsletter will receive a coupon code for 20% off new releases. Not a subscriber? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add you to the list. Yes, someday I’ll automate that. But I’m too busy designing!

This has been a summer of shawls. I designed four new shawls (and knit one of them 3 times) this summer, and more design work is on the way. So many ideas to knit!

And! We have a winner for the Merry Knitmas book: Joelle! I’ll be sending her a pdf copy. Congratulations! If you’re not Joelle and you’re dying to get this book; you can get it in softcover or as a PDF download from Knit Picks. Thanks for playing along!

Introducing Nymphaea, my Rhinebeck shawl

I’m going to Rhinebeck this weekend! But not in person.

This is my Nymphaea shawl. Nymphaea is the genus name for water lilies, and the lacy shell pattern reminds me of flowers floating in a pond on a breezy day. The zigzag ripples are laden with beads. I designed this shawl as a collaboration with Bead Biz and June Pryce Fiber Arts. I’m a little jealous that my sample is going to Rhinebeck without me!

Bead Biz will carry this pattern as part of a kit, available in their booth at festivals like Rhinebeck (Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, officially) SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Fletcher NC), Fiber Festival of New England in West Springfield MA, and Madrona Fiber Arts Festival (see you there!). The kits will also be available on their website. It is available exclusively from Bead Biz through September 2018.

The kit comes with a gradient pack of seven 100 yard skeins of June Pryce Fiber Arts Saunderstown Sock, a fingering weight superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend. Five packs of coordinating beads are also in the kit.

My sample is knit in Purple Mountains, and there are four more colorways to choose from.

There’s a crochet version, too, designed by Laurinda Reddig (ReCrochetions). It was really fun collaborating with her to see if we could come up with something that worked equally well in knit and crochet!

I hope you get to see this shawl in person, and fall in love with it as much as I have. If you love knitting with beads, you’ll love knitting this.

Knit on!

Merry Knitmas! New holiday knitting patterns

I have a pattern (or two, depending on how you look at it) in the new Knit Picks book, Merry Knitmas.

Aren’t they sweet? It’s a choose your own adventure pattern. I wanted to offer a choice of cuff motifs that looked fairly traditional. Three hanks of Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky can be knit up into two coordinating stockings.

I love how they styled these. Very homespun Americana. I love everything about these stockings. Christmas stockings are great first socks, because big yarn means that they knit up quickly. And you only have to knit one, so there’s no Second Sock Syndrome. The stubby toe on the short leg makes me smile. And you can’t even see where I snipped the yarn, frogged half the leg, and grafted it back together.

This is what they looked like when they came back from the test knitter, oops! I couldn’t show you yet when I posted about my grafting adventure this summer.) Not the proportions I intended.

And look: They’re on the cover!

The Merry Knitmas Collection has patterns for these stockings and a lot more holiday home fun! You can order it as a hard copy book, or as a pdf download from the Knit Picks site.

I’m having a little giveaway. Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me who you want to knit these stockings for. I’ll do a random drawing on October 18, and the winner will receive the Merry Knitmas e-book. Ready? Go!

Knitting Guilds! Tigard, Portland…

Do you belong to a knitting guild? I just joined a brand new one, the Puddletown Knitters Guild. Link to Facebook site here; I don’t think there’s a website yet.

What is a knitting guild? It’s a place to share your love for knitting, and it is for all levels of knitters. There is always something new to learn, and something new to share.

Tigard Knitting Guild is our well established and wonderful guild, just outside Portland. I’ll be speaking there later this month, on October 19 at 7 p.m. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m. I’m talking about taking pictures of your knitting (and other things) with your iPhone or other mobile device. Make your pictures shine! Not a member? You can visit twice before joining.

Puddletown Knitters Guild is a new guild that is forming so there is an additional guild option for Portland area knitters. This is especially appealing for those of us on the east side of the Willamette River.

I’ll be the inaugural speaker at Puddletown Knitters Guild on Thursday, November 9. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7. We meet at the Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark St. You can visit twice before joining this guild, too.

I’ll be speaking about my design process. I thought about it a lot this summer, because I designed four shawls! Come learn about what I do and why. And maybe how.

Hope to see you at either or both guild meetings!

On the nightstand: Stitch dictionaries!

I love perusing the knitting books at Kinokuniya, the bookstore inside Uwajimaya. I’ve picked up a couple stitch dictionaries there, both here and once in Tokyo. It’s usually possible to puzzle out the charted stitch patterns, even though I don’t read Japanese.

I recently picked up this book. There are stitch patterns and edging patterns, and the charts are clear and easy to read. The thought of a Japanese book about Shetland lace was kind of amusing, too.

But the more I looked at the book, the more I wanted to know what the text said. There was some text with each chart, but more intriguing was the text at the beginning of the book. I could see this page was trying to indicate that you could space your stitch patterns so they fit in your repeat. I think. I wanted to know!

I poked around inside the book, and found that the author’s name is Elizabeth Lovick. Hmmm. That’s a pretty non-Japanese sounding name. So I googled her, and lo and behold…

So I bought it! There’s a wealth of information in here. It has taken the place of the Japanese copy on my nightstand.

And apparently her name was on the front of the first book, too. I just couldn’t read it. I asked Son2 if this cover said Elizabeth Lovick, and he said yes. Or at least it was something like “Erizabesu Robikku” using Katakana (phonetic alphabet).

I’m using one of the edgings on a new shawl design. I’m pleased that I figured it out from the Japanese book, so it wasn’t a complete spending fail. (Just the sawtooth edging, not the shells.) More on that, soon.

And look! I have this on pre-order. In ENGLISH. (I must be learning.) Looking forward to receiving it, October 10. I took a class with Gayle Roehm at Sock Summit 2011, and she knows her stuff!

What’s on your nightstand?

By Hand Serial: Puget Sound

It’s out today! And now I can show you my new design, Puget Sound, which is in the current issue of By Hand Serial. (All photographs from this issue by Karen DeWitz, courtesy of Andrea Hungerford.)

I put together my favorite things about Puget Sound: Sunshine and waves, seagulls, the Olympic Mountains, and a little bit of rain. I’m very pleased with the positive/negative seagulls; they are my favorite part.

Puget Sound is a half-pi shawl, a half circle that wraps you in a hug. I used Hazel Knits Entice MCN in Hoppy Blond and Splish Splash, and it is decadently glorious.

Andrea Hungerford, the creator of By Hand Serial, knit her version in blues, Twilight and Frost. I love the monochromatic shading here.

This issue of By Hand features makers in the Puget Sound area of Washington, where water meets earth meets sky. It’s a big issue with lots to love, including some of my favorite yarn makers: Hazel Knits, Spin Cycle, and YOTH. Tolt and Churchmouse Yarns and Teas are two of the featured shops. You can order this issue online, or find it at select yarn shops. I know my usual haunts Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake are carrying it here.

I love this Fern and Feather sweater by Jennifer Steingass. I hope I can squeeze in some time to knit one for me. But it’s a little busy around here. I have a design out for test knitting, a design out for tech editing, two presentations to work on, and I’m judging knit entries and teaching this weekend at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.

There’s still a little room left in my classes. Saturday morning’s class is the advanced version of my Tink Drop Frog class; this one features fixing mistakes in lace. You can sign up on site (pre-registration is closed), but there’s a bit of homework. If you’re interested, let me know and I can send you the homework assignment.

Sunday afternoon’s class is on Elongated Novelty Stitches; stitches that are made with extra yarn overs and other manipulations. I’ve added the honeybee stitch from my Go Tell the Bees shawl to the class. No homework! Register at check in.

OFFF also has animals in the barn to admire, classes and demonstrations, exhibits, and lots and lots of vendors to visit. Hope to see lots of fiber folk there!

Eclipse 2017: Path of Totality

Well that was stellar! And lunar. And solar…definitely awe inspiring!

Pinhole camera made with knitting needle and paper on hand

I trekked down to Salem to view the eclipse from Willamette Valley Vineyards. They were in the path of totality; Portland was at 99%. That tiny, tiny 1% makes a big difference.

DH stayed home; he’s not as geeky about these things as I am. I wanted the sun to disappear completely. It did not disappoint.

It was so uplifting to share this awe-inspiring event with an enthusiastic group of people. So much positivity. We wrote and sang “Path of Totality” to the tune of Age of Aquarius. Fun and funny.

Of course I brought my knitting. Bag by Chicken Boots (Saremy), needle keeper by A Needle Runs Through It (Maria), bead needle by Bead Aid (Sarah), bead tin by Miss Purl (Danielle), yarn by June Pryce Fiber Arts (Cheryl), beads by Bead Biz (Jean)! It’s like another group of friends beyond the ones I was actually sitting with.

People’s phones kept going off with emergency alerts. Turn off your ringers, please! Yes, rock climbing. Check out this link for an amazing photo; it’s not mine so I don’t want to publish it here. Rock climber silhouetted by eclipsed sun at Smith Rock.

I don’t pretend to have a camera good enough to get a picture of what it really looked like; I’m leaving that to the professionals. This is what it looks like from an iPhone.

So cool to see Venus out during the day. The sun is completely eclipsed here, but the phone camera can’t catch it. It was a dark circle surrounded by intense twinkling light. It was easy to tell when totality hit; a collective gasp went up and our eclipse glasses didn’t let any light through. It was equally easy to tell when it was time to put the glasses back on. So bright! Those two minutes of totality went by all too quickly. Just a tiny sliver of sun seemed like complete daylight.

The sun was about halfway back for this picture. Hard to tell.

Traffic home was a bear. But it was worth it. Biscuit and I caught up with Game of Thrones the next day. She likes dragons; I think because they sound like her. Kind of raspy and squeaky. Bisqueak!

Did you chase the eclipse, too?

Gradient yarn, planning ahead

Next design project: A shawl with this gradient kit. With beads!

The yarn is from June Pryce Fiber Arts, 7 100 yard mini-skeins of MCN. The beads are from Bead Biz; I’ve met them several times at Madrona.

I want to use two minis as contrast to five skeins used as gradient. I thought about using the two darkest as the contrast, but I don’t think there’s enough tonal contrast between either of those and the third darkest skein. (You know this trick, right? Use the “tonal” filter on your phone camera to check for tonal contrast.)

But if I take the two lightest skeins for contrast, both of those look great across the rest of the gradient range.

If there’s enough of the darker of the two light ones, it can be contrast to all of the five gradient series, and the lightest skein can be a ruffle at the very end.

Knitting away over here, and awaiting the eclipse!

And I’ve updated my Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern with new motifs and uploaded it to Ravelry. Christmas is just around the corner, right?