Category Archives: pattern design

Fussing with finished knitting

Do you ever go back and adjust things, after you’ve finished? Or are you all for good enough and done? Apparently I’m a fusser.

My Parquetry Cowl sample came back to me, and I decided I wanted it to be just a little more…more. So I frogged the ending and I’m adding a half repeat, which will make it 8 inches tall instead of 7. It will look about the same, but there will just be a little more squishiness to enjoy.

I wasn’t sure what needle I had used, and I wanted to use the same material to keep consistent gauge. Ebony? Stainless? I scrolled through my phone to see if I had taken any progress pics.

Bingo! Looks like my Hiya Hiya stainless. Ravelry and the pattern told me it was a US size 6. No guessing here! Did I re-use the yarn that had previously been knitted into the cowl? No. I had plenty left over, and the previous steam blocking left the yarn a bit kinky. I don’t mind knitting with kinky yarn, but I didn’t want it to mess with my gauge. Fresh yarn was a better choice.

Almost done! And because I’m really a fusser, I edited the pattern to add the half repeat ending to it, too. If you recently bought Parquetry from my Ravelry store, you will have received an email regarding an update. But don’t worry; the previous pattern instructions work well, too. BTW, Parquetry is still on sale for 10% off through October 11, 2019.

Also in the fussy column: I decided that my very cropped Soldotna Crop wanted to be just a little longer, too. So I frogged the ribbing at the bottom and added one repeat (6 rows) of the dot stitch pattern, gaining 3/4 of an inch. That’s really all the MC Iris I had left, so that’s long enough! Not worth purchasing another skein for any more length, and it’s perfect now. I’m really happy with it.

So…do you fuss? Tell all!

Re-introducing: Parquetry

I designed Parquetry last spring for The Fiber Gallery for the Puget Sound Yarn Tour. It’s just come back to me, so I can now introduce it here.

I designed it to be a simple and easy knit. Garter stitch and simple brioche stitches combine to form the checkerboard pattern, like a parquet floor.

Knit cowl with cat in reflection

I used two coordinating colors Of Hazel Knits Lively DK. I think this was the first time I used their DK, and I liked it so much I used more of it for my Soldotna Crop. It’s great yarn to knit with. But you can use any heavy DK/worsted yarn for your Parquetry. Just adjust your needle size to get a fabric you like.

The pattern is now available on Ravelry, link here. And it’s 10% off through October 11, 2019, no coupon code needed.

Happy knitting!

Nymphaea Shawl FO number 3!

I started this shawl for the Nymphaea Fall Shawl Retreat last year, and set it aside sometime after my last post about it in November 2018. Other design projects were calling my name. You can see my progress up to that point in the previous blog post, with lots of thoughts about color and beads.

So when the Bead Biz ladies asked if they could borrow my sample for their shows, I decided now would be a good time to finish!

I was already on the 10th repeat of the ZigZag Lace pattern, and that was about where I wanted to end up. There’s enough yarn left for at least another partial repeat, maybe a half? But deadlines are deadlines, so I finished the 10th repeat and went on to the edging.

I was planning to use the dove gray pearl beads on the edging, but the yarn in the Soft Kitty colorway was tabby striping, and the beads weren’t really adding anything to the story. So I ripped back and changed to peacock beads, to pick up the teal from the last repeat. I love it.

The finished shawl is so beautiful; can I really stand to let it out of my custody to go to west coast shows with Bead Biz?

Sure, as long as it comes back soon. The yarn is from Fierce Fibers, her Abyss base (with silk!) in the Surf and Sand gradient. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Finally!

The original shawl was knit with a mini skein gradient.

The second shawl was knit with 2 435 yard semi solid skeins from Bumblebirch. (Lots of CC left over.)

And this third shawl was knit with a 650 yard gradient from Fierce Fibers, plus a 50g skein of contrasting yarn.

I love them all!

Color is a funny thing

Color is a funny thing. I learn a lot about it by trial and error.

I bought these two skeins of of Malabrigo Worsted to play with some more brioche ideas. I wanted the multi-color to be the main color, and the Polar Frost to be the contrast color.

But the multi doesn’t really stand out here, or look very organized.

The back side is a little more cohesive; you can tell where the stitch columns are. This made me think that the semi-solid should be the MC, and the multi should be the CC. But this combination doesn’t really have much spark.

So I bought more yarn. This is how a non-swatcher accumulates a stash, by the way.

Now we’re cooking! I like this orange on the right side.

And because of the contrast with the bright orange, the multi-colored wrong side looks more cohesive, too.

What am I making? I’m just playing with a couple brioche ideas right now. We’ll see how it turns out!

Introducing Syncopation shawl and scarf!

Syncopation adds so much to music, and to brioche knitting, too!

My Syncopation is a brioche asymmetric triangle shawl or scarf, knit from narrow end to wide end. The interplay between the dark rib and light edging is enhanced by the playful dance of the leafy border. It’s knit in fingering weight yarn in 2 coordinating colors, one skein of each.

I designed the shawl first. It’s a deep triangle, slightly off center due to its asymmetry. Gravity makes it feel like it’s knit on the bias, with that lovely bias swing.

After I finished the shawl, I wanted to design a scarf with the same yardage, so it could be longer to easily wrap twice around my neck. Making it longer means it’s also narrower/shallower because it doesn’t grow in width (depth) as quickly.

I wasn’t sure how it would wrap until it was off the needles and blocked; it’s so long and skinny for much of it. But it does exactly what I wanted. I love it when that happens.

I’m really happy with both pieces!

Size is easily adjustable, simply by using more or less yardage. I used Hazel Knits Entice MCN for both shawl and scarf.

Options are given for plain or fancy endings; I love the syncopated rib ending with the single leaf point at the corner. Knitter’s choice!

Syncopation is a great way to take a next step in brioche knitting. This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. It’s 10% off through October 3, no coupon code needed.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Ann Berg, Tami Hawes, Jacqueline Lydston, Eden Scheans, and Jardee Worcester.

Time jump! Fall knitting and events

Well, the rest of August went by in a flash! It’s time to catch up and think about fall.

I have a new shawl coming out soon; it’s syncopated brioche and I’m in LUV. So squishy. It’s being test knit now, and I plan to have it out before Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival later this month. If you’d like to know when it’s out, and get a discount on this and other new releases, sign up for my newsletter here!

I just celebrated my birthday; my friend Carole made me this beautiful (and delicious) cake for a gathering with friends. And I had a great dinner out with the family, too. September is my celebration month: birthday, anniversary, back to school, back to knitting (not that I ever stopped). But the festivals and retreats start up again!

I’m so excited about teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in Columbus, November 1-3! As part of the preparation for that, I’m doing an Instagram takeover of the VKLive account on Tuesday, September 10. Follow me on Instagram, pdxknitterati, and VK Live, vogueknitlive to be in the loop. I’ll be doing a giveaway on my Instagram page for a Buckeye Daytripper Package, so follow me and comment to win!

The last day of VKLive Early Bird registration is Tuesday September 10; prices go up at midnight EDT. Registration info is here.

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is September 28-29 (some classes are on Friday the 27th, too). Today (September 8) is the last day of online registration. My Brioche Pastiche class is full, but there’s still room in my Slip Stitch/mosaic class if you’d like to come knit with me. You can register on-site for classes that still have space, but registering early is better, as classes can be canceled if there aren’t enough people signed up for them. It pays to plan ahead!

My Seeing Stars Fall Shawl Retreat is October 11-13. It’s a very small retreat, so if you want to come, please sign up soon! We sold out last year. I have room for 7 knitters max. We’re knitting Lucky Star with very beautiful yarn from Mosaic Moon.

Oh! I’m speaking at the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting on Thursday, September 19. Social knitting is at 6, and I go on at 7 pm. Come hear about my design process! It’s evolving, just like me. Not a member? You can visit for two meetings before deciding if you’d like to join.

Back to my knitting…happy fall!

Introducing: Kittiwake!

I love linen in the summer. It’s cool and crisp, and feels just right to wear. I’m hoping for a long slow slide into fall, because I’m not done with summer yet!

Kittiwake is a breezy summer shell that knits up quickly in Kestrel, Quince & Co’s Aran weight chainette linen. The chainette keeps it light and airy, and is easier on my hands for knitting.

Worked flat in 2 pieces from the hem up, Kittiwake features an undulating wave edging and a simple lace pattern that resembles a kittiwake, or gull.

I’ve included three hem options: Plain hem, split hem, and split shirttail hem. Instructions are both written and charted.

I’ve also swatched this with Berroco’s Remix, and it makes a lovely fabric that is spot on for gauge.

The pattern is now available through Ravelry, link here. It’s 10% off through date, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a special offer in the upcoming newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here!

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitter Ann Berg. Thanks also to my sister Sharon for modeling with me!

Introducing: Hopscotch!

You know how much I love brioche knitting. I’ve fallen so far down the brioche rabbit hole, first with 2 color brioche in the round, then increases and decreases. What’s next? Flat brioche. Flat brioche, syncopated. If you swap the knits and purls in a brioche rib column, you get a reversal of color pop! Now I want to share how to do that with you.

Hopscotch is a syncopated brioche scarf, knit from end to end. It’s knit with two 100g balls of worsted weight yarn in contrasting colors. Gradients make an especially nice Hopscotch scarf. This version is in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, Drawing Room and Natural.

The playful interchange between brioche knit and brioche purl stitches within a column of brioche rib creates a delightful quilt block inspired pattern. Reverse image right side and wrong side are equally handsome; choose two contrasting colors and jump right in!

Hopscotch is a great way to take a next step in brioche knitting. Some prior experience in brioche knitting is helpful; I recommend my free Petite Brioche pattern for learning two color brioche rib in the round.

The Hopscotch scarf pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. It’s 10% off through August 9, 2019, no coupon needed. Newsletter subscribers will receive a coupon code for 20% off in today’s newsletter.

Test Knitter Ann’s Hopscotch in Pegasus and Natural, Knit Picks Chroma Wosrsted.

I’ve just scheduled a Hopscotch syncopated brioche class at For Yarn’s Sake on October 20. I’m also teaching this at Twisted on November 16. Come knit with me!

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Ann Berg, Laura Caudle, Melinda Davis, Chris French, and Eden Scheans. I hope they all had as much fun as I did!

Camping and knitting…with white linen!

What kind of person brings white linen knitting on a camping trip? Yes, it’s me.

I had just finished the white linen top, and I didn’t love it. I wanted minimal shaping, so I designed it with two simple rectangles. It turned out boxier than I wanted it to be, which meant that I needed to rip it back down to the beginning of the armholes, and add armhole shaping. That meant re-knitting 1/3 of the FO, ouch!

This new design had an impending date with the tech editor, just a few days away. So white linen and camping? Game on!

I did get it finished, and I love it. The shoulder/armhole shaping made a big difference. Pattern coming soon.

I’m currently knitting one more sample at a slightly tighter gauge, but the pattern is done and tech edited already. It just needs final measurements from the second sample; I’m almost done with the second half of it. This is a really quick knit in Aran weight Kestrel from Quince & Co.

Camping was lovely, too. We were at Lost Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

We had a little help with the cake!

If a tree falls in a forest…

These clouds!

It was great to get away for a few days. No cell service, but my iPhone camera was handy!

And my feet were toasty warm in my Concentric Bed Socks.

I don’t have any big vacation plans this summer, just little jaunts close to home. But that’s not a bad thing. I was over in Sisters a few weeks ago for another friend’s birthday. That trip included karaoke, an incredible hailstorm, and a sailboat’s maiden voyage.

View this post on Instagram

Oh, hail.

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Here’s to good times with good friends! And linen. Definitely linen.

What are you up to this summer?

More linen knitting

So, my gauge swatch ended up being 39” in circumference and 5” tall, unblocked. I gave it a soak and laid it out with just a little bit of encouragement to maintain its size, and it pretty much did.

The stockinette swatches I made previously got a little smaller when I blocked them, but this slightly lacy pattern seems like it can be coaxed to maintain its size. That’s good, because I don’t want this to be any smaller than 39 inches.

We shall see! I popped this back on the needles and continued going in circles.

Note that the stitch holders are cables from my HiyaHiya stainless circulars, with their cute panda stoppers on the ends. I’m doing the actual knitting on my Lantern Moon ebony circulars, because that’s what I swatched with.

As I continued knitting, I had a little worry. Will I have the perseverance to actually finish a top in fingering weight yarn? There are no idle hands here, but an idle mind led me down this path…

What if I knit it with Quince and Co. Kestrel instead of their Sparrow? Heavy worsted/aran weight linen for a quicker knit? The yarn is actually a narrow knit i-cord ribbon. Playing with this idea also lets me try knitting it flat, so I can have side seams for stability AND a split hem at the sides. I like how bold the stitch pattern looks in this weight, too.

It all feels a bit crunchy right now, but the linen will soften when I wash it. This is one 50g hank, knit up. It measures 20” wide by 6” tall. I’m going to wash and block it now, but I like it so much, I’ll just cast on for the other side while I’m waiting for this to dry.

I don’t know what the actual outcome of this linen experiment will be yet, but it’s summer and the knitting is easy. The actual knitting, anyway. The planning is a little more work.

Just a reminder, my summer knitting pattern sale ends on Friday. See the previous post for details. Happy knitting!