Category Archives: my book project

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!

Book going to print!

I just finished all the edits on my book with my publisher, and it’s off to the printer! It’s so pretty. I’m looking forward to being able to share it with you. Soon! But not yet.

While I was waiting to see the layout so I could finish the edits, I went camping with a group of friends. We were at Lost Lake near Mt. Hood (Wy’east). A great place to knit! There’s not much snow on the mountain this summer; it has been hot and dry. Fires are currently not permitted in the national forests, so we didn’t get to hang around the campfire this time.

The alpenglow at sunset was still pretty, though!

There were two tent sites in my campsite; I pitched my tent up this set of stairs, and felt like a princess in the tower. A perfect place to knit.

A clearer picture of the mountain. One of my favorite sights, from land or sky.

And now I’m home, my edits are done, and the waiting begins. Publication day for my book is October 19, if all goes according to plan. This week I’m working on stuff for Knit Camp at the Coast (virtual), which will be September 16-18. Are you joining in? I’m teaching log cabin knitting, and I’ve added some fun new material for this event. And I’ve signed up for the whole event, so I’ll be there for more than just the class I’m teaching.

I’m also working on another virtual event for November. That little snippet of knitting in the first picture is part of what I’m teaching. It’s time to get my samples knit, and my handouts writ!

Hard to believe it’s September already…summer flew by, and my autumn calendar is filling quickly. What are you up to this fall?

Coming up for air

My book manuscript is done! I turned it in on Sunday evening, before my Monday deadline. Woot!

Writing a manuscript for a knitting book is more than just writing prose. There are patterns (21, in this case), charts, keys for the charts, and photos for tutorials. Those extras don’t go *into* the manuscript; the writer just notes where those things belong, and then those things have to be stored somewhere for the person compiling the book to access them. Done!

I took a little time before that to go to the coast. I did some manuscript editing, knitting for a video class I’m doing (more on that later), music making (guitar, mandolin-playing friend, harmony singing), and lots of walking on the beach. Working from home means working from wherever you are.

It was cool and cloudy, for the most part. The hot inland air meets the cool coastal air, and we get clouds and fog.

I tried to find an intact sand dollar, but no luck. This one looks like a miniature volcano.

You can tell that the aforementioned seagulls have been feasting.

The sunsets were odd, dropping out from under the clouds for just a few minutes before sinking into the sea. But pretty, nonetheless.

Now I’m waiting for the copyeditor to get back to me. In the meantime, I’m working out a script for the video class I’m making. More on that in the next post.

I’m still knitting! You?

Book getting closer to real

I finished the final design for my book last Wednesday night, just in time for our photo shoot on Thursday morning!

My publisher is in Salem, Oregon, so we met at Archive Coffee and Bar in Salem. Cute place. Nice coffee. I didn’t partake at the bar, but it looks impressive.

I can’t show you my actual knitting, so check out this artful blur. Yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, in Iris and Cackle.

More blur. But I’m looking forward to sharing these projects with you this fall! Progress on the book is coming along; I have two more items that need to be photographed, and then a bunch tutorial photographs. I’m not the photographer, so I’m not too fussed about that. But the patterns are finished, and the tech editing is also done, as of last week. Now I just need to do all the writing for the parts before and between the patterns. I’m on my way!

I also need to do some work for a video class that I’ll be recording in August, for a September event. Deadlines for that are coming up soon, too. I’m glad I can shift my work around to fit my very flexible schedule.

You know what doesn’t respect a schedule? Ripe produce! I picked plums at my friend Linda’s house, which meant I had to jam them right away. I made plum jam with ginger bits and bourbon. And because I couldn’t find a record of my final be all and end all recipe, except in Facebook comments on a post from last year, I’m noting this here. Sure Jell recipe, and at the end add a generous 1/4 cup bourbon, and 1/4 cup Penzey’s Sweet Ginger Bits. Perfect.

Also, it was such a pretty picture, I ran it through the Waterlogue app to “paintify” it. Happy summer!

Time out, time shift

I took a break on Sunday and Monday, since weekends aren’t a real thing around here lately. On Sunday DH and I took a walk on Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano cinder cone. I’ve probably posted pictures from there before, but there we were again!

One of the reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, inactive now

Our city water used to be held in reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, but now they’re underground. The city kept the old reservoirs because they are beautiful and add to the atmosphere of this city park.

There’s currently a piano at the top of Mt. Tabor. I’m not sure why it’s there, but it’s available for public play.

And there’s one place at the top to peek at Mt. Hood, through the trees.

On Monday, I went hiking with the kids in MacLeay and Forest Parks. I love that there are easily accessible green spaces in the city.

Tiny waterfall on Balch Creek
Watching water skimmers and crayfish
Tinier waterfall
This must have made a heck of a noise when it split the other tree
The leaves were nearly fluorescent

The weather has been beautiful this past week. And now it’s back to work. One more thing to design for my book. Things are moving along. Tech editing is under way. Our first photo shoot is this week; I’m looking forward to it. There are still a few things to finish knitting, for a later shoot. And then a lot of work putting it all together. I’m pretty excited about this!

Onward!

Scenes from the design studio

Currently on the needles, another piece for my book. I love these colors together, Iris and Cackle. These are on the Hazel Knits Artisan Sock base, but I’m not knitting socks!

I had to knit a small swatch and do some math to see if I had the right increase rate for what I want, and I didn’t. A wee bit of frogging ensued. Better now than 20 inches in. And say hello to my new split keyboard! It’s more comfortable for typing. It also has lifters to tilt them thumbside up. I’m still doling out my knitting time in 15 minute increments, but my forearm tendinitis is much better.

So how do I use math to know what I want the increase rate to be? Math and gauge tell me that I can have it shaped like either of these mock-ups.

Fewer increases per repeat
More increases per repeat

I cut both shapes from tissue paper, like making a muslin when sewing. I just didn’t have any fabric I wanted to sacrifice for the cause. I tried both these shapes on, and that told me that I want the second one. Okay! Normally I would just knit for a while and see how things are looking, but I don’t want to do that much knitting if it isn’t going to work out. That means I have to be smarter about how I design. I hope it all works out the way I think it will.

We went to St. Louis last week to celebrate Mom-in-law’s birthday. I had this lovely view on the way home.

Mt Hood, or Wy-East

I had some good knitting time on the plane,

but unfortunately had to frog 6 very long rows the next day when I found a stitch that had dropped, *under* the most recent increase/decrease row. (I think I knit the yo but not the stitch that it belonged to.) Ugh. I finished this project yesterday, a week later than I hoped I would. But it’s done!

Things are moving along. What are *you* knitting?

Mood board, and moody

When I started my book project, I was asked to do a mood board. What reflects my vibe/ What do I want my book to look like?

(Mood indigo? Moody blues?)

Looking at recent projects, I think you can tell I like a monochromatic palette, different shades of the same hue. And blue is big! I can’t have an all blue book (and why not?), but I can definitely have a monochromatic vibe.

(Blues, patiently waiting)

I just need to swatch what I’ve charted to make sure it works, and then this is off to Ann, who is sample knitting for me.

I’m funny with deadlines. I used to be a procrastinator, and somewhere along the way I’ve morphed into an all-in obsessive. Not good! There’s a lot of knitting that needs to happen, but slow and steady wins the race.

(If it’s going to be green, it will have a blue undertone!)

I need to do a better job balancing my knitting time. I didn’t listen to my body, and I have developed tendonitis in my forearms, which affects knitting *and* typing. You know, the things I need to do to get this book done! So I’m not knitting for 3 days, and minimally typing.

(Big project? No, a set of two projects.)

For now, I’m petting yarn, and sketching and charting things on paper. I’m on the last big design project for the book, and then I have three more small ones that should be easy. Should. I never know until I actually try to knit them!

Have you ever done a mood board? What would your mood board say about you?

Working like a busy bee

Lots of computer work today. Who knew that a lot of writing a book would involve organizing information via google forms and google sheets? Good thing I love a spreadsheet! I’m learning a lot about google forms, too.

I also did some knitting math to finish writing a pattern. Now I’m going to kick back for the evening and continue knitting with this beauty. This is my first time knitting with Malabrigo’s superwash Washted, which is much like its non-superwash counterpart, Worsted. I like it! Not quite as fluffy, but I chose it because this colorway wasn’t available on the worsted base right now.

I’ll start a new design project *tomorrow* when my brain is fresh. I have lots of options to choose from (these skeins are all designated for book projects.)

What’s on *your* needles?