Category Archives: pattern design

Introducing: Brioche Entrée

I love a simple project for teaching a new technique. Brioche Entrée is your very most basic introduction to brioche rib. It only uses the brioche knit (brk) and slip 1 yarn over (sl1yo) stitches, but you still get a brioche rib scarf. No purling needed! I designed this piece to use for a guild presentation, but I’m happy to share it with you.

One skein of super bulky yarn, a pair of US 15/10mm needles, and you’re all set. I used Malabrigo Rasta; this is the Abril colorway.

You can download the pattern here. I made video tutorials for both right hand throwers and left hand continental knitters. I’ve got you covered! This is a simple pattern for brioche newbies, or a quickie pattern for experienced brioche knitters, or both.

Are you a brioche knitter? Am I tempting you to try it? Get it off your bucket list!

Teaching, learning, and knitting away

Just finished a weekend of Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live. I taught 4 classes and took 2 classes. I loved the back and forth!

My newest class, Sheepy Steeky Coasters, was really fun. The knitting is done as homework, so class is devoted to securing and cutting the steek, and finishing the edges.

Look at all the happy new steekers! You can be one, too. I’m teaching this class again on Saturday February 5 for Twisted Yarn Shop via Zoom; you can register here.

One of the classes I took was called The New Colorwork, by Margaret Holzmann. It’s all garter stitch, working with blocks of color, kind of like log cabin knitting with some extra shaping and construction. The Pythagorean Theorem is our friend.

You can see the progression from the 2 striped pink blocks and small light blue box being connected with the dark blue yarn, and then closing the gap by knitting the dark blue rectangle (actually a rectangle on top of a triangle) between them. This will eventually (if I ever get to it) have 4 more pink blocks, and 3 more dark blue rectangles, to make a larger square with a dark pink diamond crossed by dark blue arms. Cool! Margaret is the designer of the Safe at Home blanket (link to her site) that’s been so popular during the pandemic. Her blankets of geometric block constructions are ingenious.

The other class I took was Keith Leonards’s Pool Party. We played with assigned pooling (center), and planned pooling (on the needles). Keith uses a much simpler, not mathy way to find the Magic Number for planned pooling; it was an epiphany.

Shall We Dance in Rock Candy colorway

It’s much easier than the mathy way I’ve been doing it, so I’ve just updated the instructions for my color-pooling Shall We Dance cowl, and the updated pattern is now available on Ravelry and Payhip. It’s 15% off through February 1, no coupon code needed. (Newsletter subscribers hold tight, a coupon will be in your next newsletter.) Also, I’m teaching a class with this cowl and yarn in 2 color options (Huckleberry Knits Aran 2 Ply BFL that was dyed specifically for this class) with For Yarn’s Sake via Zoom on March 6. (Yarn and pattern included in class fee.) Register here.

So much teaching AND learning! A perfect weekend. How was yours?

Blocking day

I gave a talk for the Windy City Knitters Guild the other night (brioche, and a little quick start project), so I had to wait to block my new wrap. I didn’t want to have this lying on the floor behind me. I like to pretend my studio is all tidy when I’m on Zoom. Don’t look to the right or left! Also, if you’re interested in having me speak for your guild, let me know.

I may have been suckered while knitting the wrap. It felt much smaller than the previous one while I was knitting, so I decided to knit as long as the yarn held out. But it relaxed when I soaked it and laid it out. I know, it’s superwash, so it will bounce back a lot as it dries since I’m not pinning it to hold a shape. We’ll see what the final numbers are. Keeping careful records to note in the new pattern.

I blocked the slip striped socks, too. Just because I’m not publishing a pattern for them, doesn’t mean I can’t use them! They’re warm and lovely. I just didn’t think they were zen enough to justify the pattern.

I’m dreaming of my next design project, but it hasn’t settled into itself yet. Lots of ideas floating around in my head, but the path isn’t clear yet. We shall see!

Garter stitch 4eva

I’m coming to the end of this glorious garter stitch knit. so relaxing, so soothing, so great for multi-tasking! It’s a variation on a theme, a re-imagining of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture from last spring. This one is a little more straightforward (fewer choices to make before knitting). I love these colors; I’m so glad I swapped out the pale pink for this deeper, more intense hue. I’m on the very last log, and then I have a lot of ends to sew in before blocking.

The current project has less lace, and is more ”arrow.” I’m hoping that the camellias will bloom in time for a photo shoot before I have to turn it in for Knit Picks IDP; it will be too early for cherry blossoms. It will all come out in March. I do love both wraps!

I’ve been reading (re-reading) The Overstory by Richard Powers while knitting. We’re discussing it for book group on Monday. I read it last year, so I’m doing a little skim/refresher. I do know I loved the book the first time through!

When this knit project is done, I’ll be working on a couple new design projects. I’m a pretty monogamous knitter, so I just can’t go there until I get this one done!

How many WIPs do you have? This is pretty much my only one!

Evolution of the Dotty Bed Sock

I designed this mini Dotty sock to teach top down sock basics during the Craftsy/Knitting Circle Holiday Virtual Event in December. But I always knew that I’d want to design a full size sock using the Dotty stitch pattern, which I love. Of course they’d be worsted weight socks, because I’m not a skinny yarn sock knitter. And I like quick socks!

I used a two row stripe pattern at the gusset decreases, because it was easier than trying to make those decreases fit into the Dotty stitch pattern. And I liked the way the stripes looked, so much that I put a 2 stitch slip stitch stripe pattern on the sole of the foot. Well. that was so graphic and lovely, I decided that maybe I wanted striped socks instead. So I started those.

I wasn’t sure I had enough of the purple/orange combo to make a third sock, and I wasn’t committed enough to the stripe to frog the first sock, so I started a striped pair in blue. (Thank you stash!) But you can tell that it’s hard to control the stitch gauge with the 2 stitch stripe patten; see how the cuff and the foot are wildly different in width? The gauge is definitely tighter than the Dotty stitch pattern. I wrote up the pattern while knitting the second blue sock, but by the time I was finishing the second sock, I really didn’t want to publish it. Too many caveats about gauge and centering the stripe pattern at the heel for the different sizes. I wanted it to be simple and elegant. Worst of all, they weren’t as cute as I thought they would be.

You can see from the picture above that I moved on to the green all Dotty sock.

After I finished the Dotty sock with the striped gusset, I wondered if the row gauge between the dots and the stripes were too different for me to use dots on top, and horizontal stripe on the bottom where the decreases happen. Only one way to find out. So I tried it. And it was fine. Then I had to decide which I wanted for MY pair.

Which meant I had to knit a third sock, so I’d finally have a complete matching pair. And an extra. And that’s how I ended up knitting 7 socks before I had a complete pair.

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern has both insteps, so you can choose which one you like best. But the striped sock? Not gonna happen…even though I had it tech edited. I only want you to have the best!

The Dotty Bed Sock pattern is still 20% off with code SlipSlide through January 8.

The SlipSlide code also applies to the Slip Away Cowl, through January 8. It’s been a slip stitch party!

And the Sheepy Steeky Coasters are still 15% off with code COASTING through January 8, too. If you’re looking for a low stakes introduction to steeking, this is it. Coasting into 2022, one stitch at a time.

I’ll show you what’s on my needles in the next post. Although by then, it may be off. I’m knitting up a storm of garter stitch, and thinking about more! What are you knitting in 2022?

Slip It! Slip It Good!

Apologies to Devo, and you’re welcome for the earworm.

Introducing two new slip stitch designs, the Slip Away Cowl, and Dotty Bed Socks!

Slip Away Cowl

I designed the Slip Away Cowl as a teaching piece for The Knitting Circle’s Holiday Virtual Event, and now I can share it with you, too. The cowl is knit with two colors of worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios. It features five easy slip stitch patterns; you get fun colorwork while using just one color per row. It’s knit flat, and then joined together at the end. This is a great way to get your cowl to be exactly the length you want. This is my favorite cowl length for wearability. The pattern includes tips on using these stitch patterns in the round, too. The Slip Away Cowl pattern is available on Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022. If you’re taking the Slip Away Class at January’s Virtual Knitting Live, the pattern is included in your class fee in January only, so don’t buy it twice!

Dotty Bed Socks

The Dotty Bed Socks are a quick knit in worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios for these, too. They’re knit from the cuff down, and have a flap and gusset heel turn. Magic! You can knit the top of the instep in either Dotty or stripes; instructions for both are in the pattern. The Dotty Bed Socks pattern is available through Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, check your email for a combo offer!

I do love knitting with two colors, one at a time. It’s like…brioche! Which I’ll get back to, eventually. For now, I’m knitting madly on my garter stitch Cherry Blossom Wrapture, which is also…one color at a time! Happy happy new year to you.

Sheepy Steeky Coasters

Is steeking on your list of knitting techniques to learn in 2022? The Sheepy Steeky Coasters are here to help! This worsted weight project will teach you stranded colorwork, and reinforcing and cutting a steek. It uses a crochet reinforcement of the edges, but previous crochet experience is not necessary. A detailed pictorial tutorial is included in the pattern.

The Sheepy Steeky Coasters pattern is available through both Ravelry and Payhip. It’s 15% off through January 8, with coupon code COASTING. If you’re planning to take this class at the January Virtual Knitting Live, the pattern is included in your class fee, so don’t buy it twice! My class patterns aren’t usually included, but this pattern wasn’t ready when registration opened. My tardiness is your gain…just this once!

(If you are making multiple purchases with different coupon codes, please use them separately. The system can only apply one code at a time.)

Happy new year! Let’s cut some knitting, because these coasters are steekin’ cute!

Color is a funny thing

Remember this color combo? I really wanted it to work for a version of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture for the Knit Picks IDP (Independent Design Partnership) program. I took it to Hawaii to knit after the Dotty Bed Socks (working, working, working). I liked the green and the pink together. I liked the green and the speckle together. I didn’t like the pink and the speckle together. Blergh. I tried to make it work by making the log cabin frame around the leafy center green instead of pink, hoping that using less pink would make it work.

I kept telling myself it was okay, but the pink still looks like a tacked on afterthought. The shawl was reading as way more green than pink, and it’s the pink that I’m most interested in. Over the course of vacation, I got word that this pattern will be featured by Knit Picks in spring 2022 for the IDP program, and the thought of it not being perfect made my stomach hurt. So I started poking at using a different color with the Poseidon and Italian Ice.

Camellia, Goddess, Turkish Delight

My options? Turkish Delight (a deeper and more magenta pink), or Goddess (straight up purple). I love the Goddess with the greens, but I don’t think the flowers would show up in a color that dark, so I decided to try the Turkish Delight.

I think Turkish Delight is a winner! Somehow it holds its own against the green and yellow, where the Camellia did not. So that’s how it’s going to be. I love it. Now I just have to finish knitting it, and re-writing parts of the pattern. I’ve done the math and know how big it’s going to be…yay math!

Bisquee is helping. She let me her pawdicure snips, because I left the snips from this project bag in my studio for a class.

What are you working on during this in-between week? Are you planning to celebrate the new year with a new cast on? I want to finish this project first, and I have miles of garter stitch to go…

Christmas aloha

It’s been a minute or two, hasn’t it? I came home from Minnesota on a Friday, did a book signing and taught on the weekend, and left for Hawaii on Monday…two and a half weeks ago?!

We had planned for the kids to be with us, but after traveling at Thanksgiving and then learning of the omicron variant, they decided to opt out this year. That left us with the usual 3 BR condo, and lots of room to spread out. We worked *and* played.

Not a bad place to knit! I decided that I wanted the Dotty Bed Socks to have the dot pattern on the top of the instep, instead of an all striped instep, but some of my test knitters loved that wrap around stripe. Which do you like?

Knitter’s choice! Instructions for both insteps will be in the pattern. I’ll publish it next week, or the week after, along with the Slip Away Cowl. If you’re interested in a combo deal, make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter!

Slip Away Cowl

Now I’m home, and scrambling to catch up. (More aloha pictures at the end of this post.) I put up new Christmas lights on the house on Tuesday. I still need to put the knitted fairy lights on my wreath, hopefully today.

The tiny tree is up, and both Biscuit…

…and Calvin have investigated. One of my Korknisse was missing, but I found him under the piano, and all is well.

Three Wise Guys

I just made a batch of Irish Cream for gifts. The recipe is in this post, and the picture is a re-run because it’s biz (Bisquee?) as usual around here! Onto the next thing! But I’ll leave you with a little more aloha…

yellow billed cardinal
a brazen Zebra dove
Java finches (Java sparrows)
Honu!
A rum pum pum pog…
Moonset

Mele Kalikimaka to you!

Steek with me! Free pattern

I’m in Minneapolis, MN this week to teach from the studio for Craftsy/The Knitting Circle. I did a free steeking event featuring my Boxed Hearts Coasters.

You can download the pattern and find the video here.

My favorite giggle-worthy moment:
Me: Are you just talking because you’re afraid to cut your steek?
Jen Lucas: (pause) YES.

I also taught two slip stitch knitting classes for the Holiday Knits Virtual Event. It was really fun! A lot like teaching via Zoom, but I didn’t have to manage the cameras. I just had to my hands in the frame while knitting (thank you monitor). We had 3 cameras; one on top of the monitor (to see both Jen and me), one overhead (shows on the monitor), and one over the shoulder. Fancy!

I’ll publish the pattern for the slip stitch cowl when I get home; I’m wearing it in the picture with Jen.

I’ll be teaching Brioche Doctor via Zoom on Sunday, December 5 with For Yarn’s Sake. This is my last class of the year. If you’d like to learn how to fix your brioche mistakes, this class is for you! Register here.

HOLIDAY21

And! Tomorrow is the last day of my holiday pattern sale. 21% off any of my self-published patterns through December 3 with coupon code HOLIDAY21; the coupon works on both Ravelry and Payhip.

Looking forward to going home tomorrow. Calvin keeps knocking over the Snowy Woods Log Cabin Blocks pillow and using it as a throne.

But now Bisquee has taken over. She’s definitely the Queen of the House!