Category Archives: pattern design

Back from the east coast and knitting again

*Finally* knitting again!

Mystery project

I finished knitting this project while in Maine. Some of you may have seen it at Knit Maine (couldn’t not try it out!). I mostly love it, but there are some tweaks I want to do as I write the pattern. I don’t want to frog this, so I’ve ordered more yarn for the reknit.

Shetland Wool Week’s Bonnie Isle Hat

It took a week to catch up enough that I could cast on a new project. This is Bonnie Isle, this year’s free pattern from Shetland Wool Week. It’s fun to knit. I wasn’t sure about the colors when I pulled them out of the kit bag from For Yarn’s Sake (it was the Lipstick that made me say hmmmm), but with the white background it all tones down into a harmonious symphony of color. (The kits come in several colorways, in case this pink is not your style.)

My gauge is way off; I knew it would be because I’ve knit with the same yarn for the past two Shetland Wool Week keps. Which means my previous hats are perfect gauge swatches! I don’t want to use smaller needles (these are US 3/3.25 mm) because I like the fabric. So I’ve done some math, and I’m knitting happily and getting the size I want.

I’m teaching a stranded colorwork class via Zoom for For Yarn’s Sake on November 6, using this hat as a jumping off point. I’ll give you all my best pointers on stranded colorwork knitting, and also resizing if you’re interested in that, too. Register here.

Trundle bag from Madder Root

My Bonnie Isle project is in a new bag from Madder Root; I bought this bag at Knit Maine.

When I saw the lining I had to have it as my Maine souvenir. (Shown here with my class materials from my Thrumbelina slippers class.)

Rising full Harvest Moon, Deer Isle, Maine

Because the moon made a big Maine impression on me over the weekend! So orange, so full, so gorgeous.

I’m going to be posting bits and bobs from my travels as I catch up. It’s too much for a giant post; you wouldn’t hear from me until next month if I waited to put it all together! More soon.

Introducing Embellishment Cowl

Re-introducing: Embellishment Cowl! I originally designed this as an exclusive for Knit Camp with Olive Knits, and now the rights have returned to me. That means I can offer it to you!

The Embellishment Cowl is knit with two skeins of fingering weight yarn. It features a fun elongated/gathered stitch, quilted lattice slip stitch in one or two colors, and optional beads, knit as you go. You can knit three cowls with 2 skeins of yarn, if you switch up the color setup.

I knit mine with 2 skeins of Schmutzerella Spectacular, which has a little bling in it. Two skeins is enough for the three cowls you see here.

Pattern is available through Payhip and Ravelry.

I’m teaching a Zoom class for the Embellishment Cowl via Twisted Yarn Shop on Saturday, Oct. 1; registration link will be here. Pattern is included in class fee; don’t buy it twice.

Do you want to do a knit along in October? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set it up!

Cape Perpetua getaway

It’s was ridiculously hot here last week (90 to 100F), so a planned camping trip with the ladies was a welcome respite. We went to Cape Perpetua, near Yachats, on the central Oregon coast.

Looking south from Cape Perpetua

It was a cool and misty weekend, with highs in the mid-60s. The curtains of mist falling past the cape were ethereally lovely.

Banana slug

I brought my assigned pooling cowl, but didn’t do a lot of knitting. There was a whole world to explore.

Giant Spruce

This Sitka Spruce was here before Columbus arrived in the New World. Older than Henry VIII?!

View from the other side

The hollow underneath was formed as the tree grew out of a nurse log, which then rotted away, hundreds of years ago.

fauna growing from nurse log
What’s going to grow from this nurse log? Who will see it hundreds of years from now?
Stone shelter on Cape Perpetua

Stone shelter built by the CCC in the 1930s. Workers (young men) earned $30/month. They kept $5, and $25 went home to the family.

Note the temporarily blue sky!
Fungus among us
Looking at you, oxalis?

Cape Perpetua is on a pretty rocky part of the coast, but there are occasional sandy beaches. Tillicum Beach was wide and inviting.

Designer feathers on Tillicum Beach
Tide pools like moonscapes
The rise and fall in Thor’s Well is mesmerizing.
Spouting Horn blow hole
Cape Perpetua overlook
Farewell to our mascot, who stayed with us all weekend

Back in town, where it’s cooled off a bit. Time to work out my next design!

3 skeins of yarn: white speckle, gray, and yellow

I’ve gone through two design ideas so far. One would require an extra skein of speckled yarn, so no go on that one. It’s risky to order another and expect that the speckles will be the same (ask me how I know). Both this idea and the next idea involve working from the large end to the small end, in order to make the motif right side up. It’s a lot more planning and math, but it will be worth it. I hope. Onward!

Bossy hat!

I finished the hat with the criss-cross stitches, and the earband with the sunbursts. I love them both. I think the name for them is Bossy, because the yarn tells you what to do.

You may remember that I frogged a perfectly good sunburst hat to knit the criss-cross version. After all of that, I think I like the sunbursts better after all!

But I’m not going to frog it and knit it again. That would be silly.

These, along with my Shall We Dance cowl, show the ideas we’ll address in my Planned and Assigned Pooling class at Knit Maine in September. Students can choose which project they’d like to make; the class yarn (Yarn Snob Wonderful Worsted in Cabana Boy) can do any of these things. I’ve written up the class notes; do you want it to be a pattern, too?

What tickles your fancy? Have you tried planned pooling or assigned pooling? Or is it on your bucket list? So many questions!

Loose Lace Quick Fix

Say that three times quickly!

We’re having a gorgeous week, and I’m making the most of my outdoor space. I’m currently swatching for a little cowl, and it’s not even brioche! The yarn here is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Cackle. I have 75g left from my Brioche Knit Love book projects, and that’s enough for the kind of cowl I want. I hope.

The edging features this favorite motif of mine. It’s called cats paw, but I see it as a flower. What I don’t like about it today is that the stitches above the yarnovers look sloppy, and it detracts from the motif.

So now I’m knitting through the back loop on the stitch above the yarn over, on the next right side row. (It wouldn’t help to knit through the back loop on the very next row; that would close the eyelet.) I love how it makes the center of the flower pop. But the stitch above the upper right eyelet looks a little prominent (more so in real life than in this picture).

It looks better if I twist the stitch in the opposite direction. Now it mirrors the one on the left perfectly. I *could* twist all the ones on the right side of the motif this way, but it’s fussy and doesn’t really show in real life. So just the top right one for me! You do you. I definitely like this better than the first picture!

We had a milestone last night. Puddletown Knitters Guild has been Zooming through the pandemic, but last night we had our first hybrid meeting!

I was impressed by all the equipment it took to make this happen. Multiple mics, sound mixer, speaker, 2 laptops, projector, 2 extra iPhone cameras. There was probably more than that involved; that’s just what I could see. Thanks so much to the guild for making this happen, and in a new space (we outgrew the old one).

Anne Berk was the speaker, and she talked about her favorite kind of knitting: intarsia, or Annetarsia! I’ve taken her Annetarsia in-the-round class; she made it so easy. She and I have the same attitude about knitting: It needs to be fun!

If you’re interested in learning intarsia, Anne’s book is a great place to start. You can find it here.

Is intarsia on your bucket list? Brioche? (I have a book for that!) Lace? Stranded colorwork? Do tell!

Done and undone

I finished my assigned pooling hat with the sunbursts/flowers. It’s cute! I tried it on, and it’s a little snug on me. It measures 17” around; those sunbursts do pull in the fabric a bit. The hat in the above picture isn’t blocked; blocking will make the sunbursts prettier.

Calvin’s already good-looking enough!

I haven’t blocked the hat yet because I also want to knit a hat using this criss cross stitch I used in my Criss Cross accessories and Tilt Shift Wrap. I needed to know if I have enough yarn to do that.

Now that I’ve started, I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough yarn to knit both, and I think I’m more likely to wear the criss cross stitch, so I’m frogging the sunburst hat while I knit the criss cross version.

I don’t mind re-knitting; the yarn is ridiculously entertaining. I’ll knit a sunburst headband with the yarn that’s left from the skein. It’s been fun figuring out how big (how many wraps, how many stitches) I need to make the sunbursts and criss crosses look their best. This will vary depending on your yarn! I’m teaching this very fun class at Knit Maine in September. We’ll be using this exact same yarn in class; it’s Wonderful Worsted from Yarn Snob yarns in Cabana Boy.

The winner of 3 months of Knit Camp from Olive Knits is…Quite a Yarn Blog! I’ll contact you for info to connect you with Knit Camp. Congratulations!

And finally…

(Project bag from NerdBirdMakery).

Who ever thought we’d be set back by 50 years? Outrageous. Women’s rights are human rights. Dissent. Protest. Effect change. Let your voice be heard.

Embellishments!

I’m thrilled to be June’s guest designer for Knit Camp, which is an app community by Olive Knits (Marie Greene). Marie is a dynamo! She’s also the founder of Library House Press, which published my book, Brioche Knit Love.

This is the Embellishment Cowl. It uses one of my favorite flowery fancy stitches, plus quilted lattice slip stitch. It’s knit with two contrasting colors of fingering weight yarn. I used Schmutzerella Yarns Spectacular, which has a blingy sparkle in it.

You can knit the quilted lattice in one color or two. Beads are optional, but highly recommended, especially on the single color quilted lattice. Embellishment! I knit all three of these cowls using the 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn.

The Embellishment Cowl pattern is exclusive to Knit Camp for the first 45 days, and then I’ll be able to offer it here, too.

Curious about Knit Camp? One lucky winner will receive a free THREE-MONTH membership to Olive Knits’ Knit Camp app! This is your chance to discover the amazing Knit Cam community AND gain early access to exclusive Knit Camp patterns, discounts and more. Knit Camp membership includes free monthly patterns, video tutorials, livestreams, expert pattern support, virtual field trips and SO much more! A $75 value.

Open to followers worldwide, this giveaway ends June 30, 2022. Winner will be posted here, then contacted directly. Prize is non-transferrable and is subject to Olive Knits terms of service.

To enter, check out the Knit Camp app here, then leave a comment and tell me which part of Knit Camp interests you most.

I’ll keep you posted when I can offer the Embellishment Cowl pattern myself!

Assigned pooling progress

I started knitting another Shall We Dance cowl with the Cabana Boy from Yarn Snob, but my heart wasn’t in it.

I already have two of these cowls, and I wanted to play more with the yarn. Also, this kind of pooling requires me to actually look at my knitting to make sure the colors are stacking the way I want them to, and I like to read my kindle and not pay attention!

So I’m playing with assigned pooling. If the yarn is orange, it’s time for a sunburst! They’re slightly pink at the edges, because I want them to be 5 stitches wide. I like them! But, as is usual for my design process, I’m probably going to frog this (again!). I thought I’d like the rolled brim, but it wants to keep rolling, and that makes it hard for me to know when to start the crown shaping. I think I’ll like a sleeker k2p2 rib.

I’ll probably do a taller version of this criss-cross stitch, too. But for a baby size hat, with a rolled bottom. I think there’s enough yarn to do two hats (one adult, one baby), but I’m not sure yet. The play continues!

What are you knitting?

Introducing: Whale Watch Cap and Cowl

samples knit in Anzula for Better or Worsted

Whale Watch is two patterns in one! It features a 2-color brioche cap and cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. I designed this set as a quick start teaching piece for my 3 hour classes, beginning with 2 color brioche rib, and then introducing simple increases and decreases. Whether you prefer cowls or hats, I’ve got you covered.

Frolicking whales and soaring gulls will keep you entertained at sea, at the beach, or anywhere!

samples knit in Malabrigo Rios

Pattern uses worsted weight yarn in 2 contrasting colors. The yardage is close, but you can get a large hat and tall cowl with 200 yards of each color, if you match my gauge. The pattern includes instructions for both the cap and the cowl. The cap can be knit in 2 sizes, and there are two different ways to finish the crown.

taller cowl above, shorter cowl below

The pattern is on sale for 15% off through June 20 with coupon code ORCA. It is available through Ravelry here. You can also purchase this pattern from my Payhip store here; the same code works in both places.

I’m looking forward to using this pattern for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise at the end of August. I’ll also be using it at Knit Maine in September. I love that it’s all-in-one, both cap and cowl. I’m streamlining!

Thanks to tech editor Jen Lucas, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, and Melissa A. Rowe.

Keeping the faith?

The linen knitting continues.

The little 50g balls go pretty quickly. The knitting looks loose and crinkly, but I have this previously blocked swatch to remind me of how swingy, smooth, and drapey it’s going to be.

Do I have it in me to carry on? MAYBE! This is my ”for fun” knitting, which has nothing to do with work or publishing a pattern. That means there’s no deadline, and no reason to finish it…unless I really want to. We’ll see if I get distracted! I do have a design to work on, with this yarn…

Knit Picks Hawthorne in Spark Speckle, and Slate and Compass Kettle Dye
iPhone

Do you know the trick for checking your tonal contrast? Put your camera phone into monochrome, and that will give you a good idea if your yarns are contrasty enough. On an iPhone, use the carat at the top to change the menu at the bottom. The 3 overlapping circles (middle picture) indicate color choices. Swipe right until you get to MONO (that’s what it says in the 3rd picture; sorry it’s fuzzy). You can also do this after taking a picture too, using the edit feature when looking at your pictures. You’ll get something that looks like this.

Here I have a light and two mid-range. The gray surprised me; I thought the gold would be darker of the two mid-tones. I think I’ll aim to use each of the kettle dyes with the speckle, but not necessarily with each other. I don’t really know yet, though. Swatching is in order! I think it’s either a shawl or a shawlish cowl like Cosette, and I’d like it to have a bee theme, because of the honey colors.

Onward!