Category Archives: pattern design

Lobelia sneak peek, knit nite

Here’s a sneak peak at Lobelia. I think the lace pattern looks like little lobelia blossoms.

lobelia lace

This is 150g of Thrilling by KnitCircus, Starry Night colorway. The initial write-up is done, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the pattern. I’m knitting up a version for a 100g/400 yard skein. Because, options.

KnitCircus Come What May

This yarn is KnitCircus Greatest of Ease, a super wash merino/nylon blend. Colorway is Come What May; I received it as part of my Kickstarter package supporting Jaala’s new studio. Gorgeous!

In other news, we had knit nite on Wednesday, and we actually knit! There are two grandbabies on the way, so there was some blanket knitting going on. I guess zigzag/chevrons are in!

knit zigzag

I made my new favorite quinoa salad. You can pretty much throw all your favorite things into quinoa, dress it a bit, and it’s delicious.

quinoa salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

! cup quinoa
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 avocado, diced
1/2 lb grape tomatoes, various, cut into halves
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

dressing
4 T fresh squeezed orange juice
4 T olive oil
4 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 tsp salt
liberal grind of black pepper

Rinse quinoa. Put in pot with 2 C water. Bring to boil, cover & simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with fork and transfer to large bowl to cool.

Cook edamame according to package directions. Cool.

Assemble all dressing ingredients and shake in a jar.

When quinoa and edamame are cool, combine with all other salad ingredients. Add dressing to taste. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6-8, depending on how hungry you are…

Do you have a knitting group? We don’t meet as regularly as we used to, but it’s always a pleasure to get together to share food and knitting!

Portland outdoors, knitting, Tigard Knitting Guild

It’s been a warm dry summer here, which makes getting outdoors a pleasure. Yesterday we climbed a volcano. Within the city limits! Mt. Tabor is an extinct (or maybe just dormant?) volcanic cinder cone, with an elevation of 636 feet. We wanted a short, spur of the moment hike close to home, since we were getting a late (noon) start. This was perfect.

Mt Tabor reservoir

You know most of my hikes involve waterfalls. This will have to do. This is one of the three open air reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, where part of the city’s water supply is held.

Mt Tabor view of Tillikum Crossing

There’s a nice view to the west toward downtown, looking out at Portland’s newest bridge, Tillikum Crossing.

tillikum crossing reflection

DH and I saw that bridge the other day, when I took him on my favorite bridge walk. The reflection of the bridge, and him, on the Portland Opera building was pretty cool.

fire station boat ramp pdx

This was the fifth time I’ve done this walk this summer, and I just noticed the cool sculpture on the fire station. See the concentric circles? They come into focus as you walk eastward on the Hawthorne Bridge.

If you’re looking for more fun free things to do around Portland, the Oregonian just ran a feature today. I’m feeling pretty savvy, because I was already doing some of those things!

Other than that, I’m knitting, knitting, knitting. I took a little detour from my gradient project to work with this lovely yarn from Knitted Wit. There’s a deadline for this design project, so it has moved up to the front burner.

knitted wit sprinkle dye

I’m speaking at the Tigard Knitting Guild tonight, talking about blocking. You know I love blocking! Click the link for details. You can visit the guild twice before joining, so if you’re local, come on by.

Onward!

20k stitches later…

Edit: it’s 40K, not 20K. I was thinking about the 16 row repeat, but it’s 32 rows. Math! But it’s bound off and done. Ends woven in; here are the orts:

done

It’s just the way I imagined it. I love it when that happens. I’ll show you next spring…

20k is a lot of stitches! It’s fairly regular knitting, so this was a good project to read a book by. Reading does slow my knitting down a bit, but it’s worth it to entertain both my fingers and my mind. I just read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It was a pretty good read, the stories of two women, one current day and one the personal history of an orphan in the 1920’s/1930’s. The current day portions feel like a YA novel, and the older portions were a fascinating look into a chapter of history that was new to me. But the ending of the book seemed like it was thrown together; after so much detail it seemed like there was a sudden push of the fast forward button. Still, a good read.

While not knitting, I’ve revisited what is now my favorite Portland walk. It’s 2.7 miles around the Willamette River waterfront, along the Vera Katz Eastside Esplanade and Waterfront Park on the west side. I walked it with a friend on Thursday morning and was captivated by shadows under the Hawthorne Bridge.

hawthorne bridge pdx shadows

I went back Friday with another friend because I wanted to capture the moving shadows. They’re a little cockroachy, aren’t they?

View from the other side of the Hawthorne Bridge: PacMan-esque shadows #pdx @sue.tangomango

A video posted by Michele (@pdxknitterati) on

Do you Instagram? I love it. I’m pdxknitterati over there, too. Come follow me for more fun pictures!

Here’s a little more Portland eye candy…

pdxknitterati burnside bridge

I’d never noticed the details on the Burnside Bridge turrets. Zoom in to see the detail under the windows. I love the leaf/flower? at the bottom, too.

pdx love locks

Apparently we’re copying Paris with love locks.

Eastbank EsplanadeAlong the esplanade.

Time to write up a pattern, and cast on for the next one! I already have it plotted out…

What’s on your needles?

Swatching and blocking, yarn and ice cream

Do you always swatch? Do you always wash and block your swatches? True confessions time here: I don’t always swatch, and when I do, I don’t always wash and block it. This has come back to bite me several times. Lesson learned! I’ve modified my approach: If the yarn is familiar to me, I might dive right in. A new yarn? It’s best to do my homework.

knitpicks galileo

This is Knit Picks Galileo in a deliciously plummy color called Urchin. It reminds me of these shield urchins I saw last December.

shingle urchins hawaii

But I digress.

This ia a new to me yarn. It’s sport weight, a 50/50 blend of Merino and Bamboo viscose. Two ply. It’s deliciously bouncy and round to knit with. Occasionally I’ll split the yarn with the Hiya Hiya Sharps that I’m knitting with, but I want that pointy tip for the lace stitches I’m working. It’s a reasonable trade-off.

The ballband recommends a size US 3-5 needle. I started with a 7, just for grins, because it’s going to be lace. Definitely too floppy. I swatched with a 6, and it felt pretty good, but I thought I’d push the envelope and swatch with a 5, too. It felt a little full on the needle, but surprise! It was my favorite of the three blocked swatches. It relaxed a lot from the bouncy knitted piece, but it also had more of the structure it needed to make this lace behave. So glad I swatched AND blocked in this instance. I’ve been knitting like crazy, and I’m halfway done with the project. No pictures; it’s a secret for now.

Speaking of plummy, my friends offered me plums from their super-productive tree again this year. I picked two colanders full, which was enough for two batches of jam.

yellow plums

I thought I’d come up with my perfect plum jam last summer. That was before I had some plum bourbon jam on a mini-doughnut at Pip’s Original Doughnuts. And over the year I’d also decided that I like a more traditional pectin set for plum jam. (Pomona’s is still my go-to for strawberry, and no pectin at all for raspberry.)

pdxknitterati bourbon plum jam

After the first batch, I went for the trifecta of favorite things: Plum, bourbon, crystallized ginger. Heaven. Not particularly boozy, but a extra depth of flavor that plain plum jam doesn’t have.

Notes for myself:

6 cups chopped plums
1/4 c water
Bring to boil, simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 box Sure-Jell pectin for less sugar (pink box) mixed with 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil.

Add
4.5 cups sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Boil 1 minute per pectin package drections, water bath process for 10 minutes (sea level).

Yum.

I must be an extravagant measurer, or maybe I should re-measure my plums after the first simmer, which I don’t, but I always end up with a bit more jam than I’m expecting. I can only process 8 jars with my stockpot/orange silicone trivet setup, and that’s my expected yield. Maybe it’s the added bourbon, ginger, water? Anyway, the extra jam goes into a jar and into the fridge. I had extras from 2 batches in the fridge, so I did this.

pdxknitterati plum bourbon jam ice cream

Plum bourbon jam ice cream. It was a good reason to use the ice cream maker the kids gave to me a couple years ago. And they were coming for dinner!

pdxknitterati plum bourbon jam ice cream

Tastes as good as it looks!

Inspired by Erica’s recipe, but I doubled it and adjusted it for sweetness:

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup plum bourbon jam
up to 1/4 cup sugar, to taste

Mix milk, cream, jam. Taste! Adjust sweetness as desired. Process in ice cream maker 25-30 minutes. This is a soft set; I put the ice cream in a storage container in the freezer for a couple hours before serving for a firmer set. Delicious. In a perfect world I might make a custard base for a smoother texture, but that would mean more work. I wonder if I’d like it with half and half instead of cream? This is like swatching, with food! But I’m guessing that laziness will win out, and this simple version is probably how it will always happen at my house.

I think this would be spectacular with strawberry balsamic jam, with some additional sugared strawberries thrown in. Just sayin’.

So, extravagant swatching, blocking, measuring, eating! What is your extravagance this summer?

New: Summertime Blues Wrap

I’ve just released my Summertime Blues pattern. This wrap/poncho is a perfect summer accessory. Knit in fingering weight yarn, it is light and sleek and swingy, especially in a wool/plant fiber blend. It features two sets of lacy leaves, twining up the side.

pdxknitterati summertime blues

I knit this with Knitted Wit’s Shine, a 50/50 merino tencel blend. It’s a gorgeous, shimmery, drapey wonder.

The length and width of this wrap are easy to customize to your perfect size. The wrap shown is 21″ wide by 31″ long, modified from the instructions which are for a 19″ wide wrap.

pdxknitterati summertime blues

This pattern is available on Ravelry, page link here: Summertime Blues Use coupon code BLUESFEST for 20% off through June 7, 2015.

I just finished knitting a second one, same color, but with beads. A little shorter, because I’m shorter than my model! I’ll be wearing it at TNNA this weekend. What are your plans? More knitting?

Criss Cross, encore

I’ve added a cowl pattern to my Criss Cross Accessories Collection.

pdxknitterati criss cross cowl

This is in Knitted Wit’s new Shimmer Worsted yarn. It’s 80/20 Targhee and silk. The wool is all sourced and processed in the USA. It’s bouncy, slightly rustic, and a pleasure to knit with. This color is called Kiss and Teal. Fun!

Any single pattern from the collection is $6, or you can purchase the entire collection for $10. Here’s a link to the Ravelry page.

Knitted Wit’s Shimmer comes in DK weight, too. I think I showed you my Pointer Mitts I knit with Liberally Bleeding Heart.

pdxknitterati pointer mitts

Both of these are going to TNNA for Sample It and Cash and Carry through Knitted Wit. They’re great yarns.

pdxknitterati sophie's rose

This version of my Sophie’s Rose in Knitted Wit’s Single Fingering (Enchanted Forest and Salted Caramel) is going as a display model. (Thank you, Cindy, for knitting! It blocked like a dream.)

And I have one more new design, in Knitted Wit’s Shine, but that’s not ready to show you until tomorrow, maybe. It’s very lovely. So lovely, I’m knitting another version for me, with beads. Racing to see if I can get it finished! Halfway there and counting…

What are you knitting now?

Like Savoire Faire

I’m everywhere! (Who knows/remembers this cartoon?) I’m feeling a little scattered, and focused at the same time. A lot of knit-related stuff going on this month!

Last Saturday, I did an all day workshop for the Tigard Knitting Guild. What a fun bunch of knitters! We did slip stitch mosaic knitting: The basic how to, first flat and then in the round, with several patterns to try. In the afternoon, students designed and started either hats or cowls with this technique.

pdxknitterati knitting

Ha! Those pattern samples were secret gauge swatches! They’d be more accurate over a larger number of stitches, but it was a good starting point. Everyone started on their designs, which I hope to someday see finished and out in the wild.

Tomorrow I’m teaching in Salem at Tangled Purls. Blocking in the morning, stranded colorwork in the afternoon, a trunk show all day, and a meet and greet between classes.

cowl (375x500)Kerfuffle Cowl, stranded colorwork

Non-stranded (slip stitch) and stranded colorwork, bookends to my week. Fun!

I have a new design, Summertime Blues, that I just finished knitting; it’s off to the test knitter and tech editor. I used Knitted Wit’s Shine, a 50/50 merino tencel blend that I’ve knit and loved before. It has great drape and luster. Photos next week; my model is as busy as I am!

I’m getting ready for the TNNA trade show in Columbus at the end of the month; I’ll have some designs featuring Knitted Wit’s yarns in the Knitted Wit booth (including Summertime Blues, when I’m not wearing it). Cindy (@blackmoondog) knit this version of Sophie’s Rose for us, and I blocked it yesterday.

sophie's rose enchanted forest

Knitted Wit’s Single Fingering in Enchanted Forest and Salted Caramel.

sophie's rose blocking

Delicious!

I’m closing in on the last set of criss crosses on my KAL Tilt Shift. This was on the back burner while I finished Summertime Blues, but I’m back on it now. I’d love to get this finished and blocked today so I can wear it this weekend, but it’s all weather dependent. Yesterday was a glorious blocking day, sunny and warm. Fingers crossed!

What have you finished lately?

Rosaria shawlette pattern release

It’s been over a year since the Rosaria shawlette had its moment of fame at the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl Yarn Ball. Time flies!

yarn ball

Originally an exclusive for the Rose City Yarn Crawl, the pattern is now available from PDXKnitterati through Ravelry.

pdxknitterati rosaria

pdxknitterati rosaria

The new pattern includes instructions for enlarging the shawlette, and for optimum placement of beads. Lots of beads.

Rosaria edge detail

To celebrate the re-launch of Rosaria, I’m offering $1 off through April 15, 2015 with coupon code rosegarden. Rosaria pattern page here. If you haven’t knit Rosaria yet, now is the perfect time! It requires two coordinating skeins of fingering weight yarn. Its half-pi construction means minimal fussing with stitch counts.

Have fun! What’s on your needles? I’m working on my Tilt Shift Wrap for the #tiltshiftkal.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

We had fun at the cast on party last week!

tiltshiftkal party

And I have one more design project on the needles. And two in my head. And a sample that needs to be knit. And, and, and…How about you?

Tilt Shift Wrap pattern release and KAL

The Tilt Shift Wrap is live!

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

This wrap features an intriguing woven cable that is knit through itself rather than simply crossed. It is knit flat in one piece with DK weight yarn, then folded and seamed. An edge cable mimics the undulations of the tilting stitches. Complicated? 80% of the rows are just soothing stockinette stitch. This design is perfect for semisolid tonals.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

You could call it a poncho, but I don’t want to give you flashbacks to the 1970’s. So we’ll call it a wrap, and just keep that P word our little secret.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

The pattern includes a link to a video tutorial for the woven cables. Easy peasy!

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering $1 off through March 31. Get it while it’s hot! Use coupon code CABLE for the discount. Here’s a link to the pattern page.

I’m hosting a knitalong (KAL) through my Ravelry PDXKnitterati group beginning April 1. And we’re planning an in-person get together at Wool ‘n’ Wares, for those who can make it. I’ll post details on that soon. Edit: Wool ‘n’ Wares KAL party will be Friday, April 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. They’re located at 21580 Willamette Drive, West Linn, OR 97068. Be there if you can!

I knit the green version in Malabrigo Rastita, color Solis. It’s a lovely single ply, slightly felted yarn. Sarah Peery knit the purple version in Black Trillium Fibre Studio Sublime, color Tyrian. Three 100g skeins of either will make a nicely sized wrap. Thanks to Sarah for knitting (and photographing), and Melanie at Black Trillium Fibre Studio for the lovely yarn.

Hope you’ll come knit along!

Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk shows

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is just around the corner! The 2015 crawl runs from Thursday March 5 through Sunday March 8. There are 15 participating shops in the metro area, check the RCYC website for full details.

rcyc-logo-color-highres

I have the pleasure and honor of having two trunk shows during the crawl. On Thursday March 5 I’ll be at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn from 1 to 5 p.m. They just moved downstairs in their building in December, and I’m looking forward to seeing their new larger space. On Sunday March 8, I’ll be at Twisted in Portland from 1 to 5 p.m. My home stomping grounds! Come by and say hello and see samples of my newest designs, as well as some older favorites, too.

Bonus time! Rose City Yarn Crawl is giving away free pdf downloads of last year’s RCYC pattern collection, through tomorrow, February 28. Hurry!

What else is going on? I’m slowly going through my older designs and updating and reformatting them for my current layout. Most of the time this also means making new charts (I used to chart in Excel; Intwined is so much nicer) as well. Each pattern takes two to three hours to make it flow and make it pretty. Why am I telling you this? If you already purchased these patterns, you can download the new versions. And if these patterns are new to you, you can get them at 20% off through March 7. Here are the designs that have reformatted patterns; use coupon code REFRESH for the discount on any or all of these. Go to the Ravelry page for the design; the Buy Now buttons don’t give the opportunity to enter a coupon code. Sorry about that!

pdxknitterati pointer mitts and hatPointer Mitts and Cap or Beret

zen rain shawletteZen Rain Shawlette

pacific shawlPacific Shawl

pdxknitterati log cabin blanketLog Cabin Baby Blanket

pdxknitterati pedi sockZigZag Lace Pedi Socks

oxo cable fingerless mittsHugs and Kisses OXO Fingerless Mitts

Are you participating in the yarn crawl? Come see me!