Category Archives: my book project

Free pattern soon: Boxed Hearts Coasters

You know I’m teaching at this Virtual Retreat next week, December 1 & 2, right? I’m teaching slip stitch knitting, featuring this cowl and mini-stocking. We’ll also review the elements of top-down sock knitting, so you’ll be ready for the real thing. No time next week? You’ll have access to the recorded video classes for 60 days after the event. I’m teaching with Corrina Ferguson; she’s teaching her Jovia Shawl, and beautiful edgings. Jen Lucas is our moderator. The event includes patterns for all these items. The current discounted price is $50, and you can use the code Michele10 for an extra 10% off. Register here!

Boxed Hearts Coaster, Yarn Chicken Pint (by JaMPDX)

While I’m there at the Craftsy/Knitting Circle studios, we’re going to have a Live event on Tuesday, November 30 at 12:30 pm Central/10:30 am Pacific. I designed these coasters specifically for this event, and I’m going to teach Jen Lucas how to reinforce and cut a steek! The pattern for this will be free; you can learn along with Jen. Check out the Facebook pages for The Knitting Circle or Craftsy to watch. (Knit these after the event; I don’t expect you to knit and cut these within the hour!)

You know you want to do this! And it makes 2 coasters at the same time. Two chances to cut a steek, too!

But first, Thanksgiving. Thank YOU for being part of my epic knitting journey!

Photo credit: Bonne Marie Burns

And thanks to Bonne Marie for taking this fabulous picture of me at Weird Sisters Yarn Shop! The trunk shows/book signings have been so much fun. I have one more scheduled, at Wild Knits in Salem, Oregon on December 4.

Onward!

An epiphany!

I was looking at a Knit Picks call for design submissions, and it said that the designer needs to have a USA, Canada, UK, or Australia shipping address. I knew they shipped to USA and Canada, but the rest was news to me. Hello!

Knit Picks is carrying my book, Brioche Knit Love, and where it would cost me $80 to ship to Australia via the post office, their rates are much better. So if you’re in the UK or Australia and want my book; check it out. My publisher doesn’t have distributors there, so this is a great way to get access. And it works for Canada, too. We do have a Canadian distributor (Julie Asselin), but I don’t know if books are in Canadian LYSes yet.

Currently sold out, but they’ve ordered more!

Knit Picks featured me in their email newsletter last month; that was thrilling.

It’s supposed to go on their blog this month; I’ll post a link if/when that happens. For now, I’m chuffed that my book can get to some other countries! It can travel internationally, even if I can’t, yet.

Oh the places I’ll go…

At least, I hope I will! I’m planning to teach at several knitting events in 2022, and I hope they all happen. I’ve already mentioned Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, February 17 – 20. And then…

I’m teaching at Yarn Over, the annual retreat for the Minnesota Knitters Guild. This was supposed to happen in 2020, and you know what happened to that year. This event is April 29 to May 1, and I’m teaching brioche and herringbone braids.

I’m teaching on a cruise for Vogue Knitting at the end of August. We haven’t chosen the class yet, but there’s time. Norah Gaughan is the other onboard teacher, and we’ll be visiting with Bristol Ivy in Portland, Maine. The *other Portland!

I have several more irons in the fire, so I’ll keep you posted as we go. I’m vaccinated and ready to roll.

Coming right up via Zoom, next week I’ll be the special guest for Makers’ Nite on Tuesday, November 2 at 5 pm Pacific. Makers’ Nite is a fun, monthly, online hangout event from Makers’ Mercantile LYS. “Bring your spinning, crochet, knitting, weaving, sewing, felting, tatting (did we forget anyone?) and spend some time with your fellow Makers.” You can come hang out with us! Here’s the link to register; it’s free but registration is encouraged. I’ll be chatting about my book, and whatever else Kyle Kunnecke decides to ask me about.

I’m at For Yarn’s Sake this Saturday from 1 to 2:30 pm, if you’d like to come by and get your book signed. I’ll have all my samples with me, so you can see them in real life.

Ann Miner of Yarn Folk in Ellensburg, Washington hosted my very first book party last Saturday, and we had a great time! (I forgot to actually take a picture with Ann, though.)

Kathy Temple (left) brought her beautiful Oregon Sky Shawlette
Look, it’s Yoga Nan in real life!
Talking cowl construction…

And I even had a chance to hike with my friend Vickie. She really wanted me to see the larch trees up at Blewett Pass, and now I know why.

on the Swauk Forest Discovery Trail, an easy 2.5 mile loop

These deciduous conifers turn bright yellow in autumn, before shedding their needles. Gorgeous. A great weekend getaway, all around.

What are you doing to enjoy autumn (or spring, down under?)? I love the changing seasons. And are you planning to be out and about next year?

Brioche Knit Love book parties!

Happy happy official publication day to Brioche Knit Love!

I’m having a little book tour to celebrate Brioche Knit Love. Come see the samples from the book, and I’ll sign your book, too! You can pre-order your book from these shops.

Oct. 23: Yarn Folk, Ellensburg WA, 10 to 11 am

Oct. 30: For Yarn’s Sake, Beaverton OR, 1 to 2:30 pm

Nov. 6: Weird Sistsrs, Portland OR, 1 to 2 pm

Nov. 20: Knot Another Hat, Hood River, OR, 1 to 2:30 pm

Nov. 21: Northwest Wools, Portland OR, 1 to 2 pm

Dec. 4: Wild Knits, Salem OR, 1 to 2:30 pm

Come say howdy!

Not local? Ask your LYS to carry it. If they don’t, you can also order it directly from the publisher, Library House Press.

Knit happy, knit brioche!

Coffee Breakers Shawl

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!

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