Category Archives: pattern design

Introducing Parquetry! for Puget Sound LYS Tour

Woman wearing knit garter and brioche cowl

Introducing Parquetry, a garter stitch and brioche cowl. I designed it for Fiber Gallery, a local yarn shop in Seattle, for this year’s Puget Sound LYS Tour. This yarn crawl runs from May 15-19, 2019. If you’re planning on attending the crawl, you can snag a free copy of this pattern at Fiber Gallery over the weekend! After that, it will be available for purchase from Fiber Gallery through Ravelry.

Knit cowl with cat in reflection

I loved designing this cowl. I chose Hazel Knits Lively DK in Paisley and Plum Glace. The yarn is bouncy and round, and works as a heavy DK or a light worsted. I took advantage of brioche rib and garter stitch sharing a similar gauge, and made the checkerboard of my dreams!

Are you new to brioche? Parquetry is a very gentle introduction, even simpler than my Petite Brioche. (Petite Brioche is still a free download, and a great way to learn brioche rib.)

Speaking of local yarn shops, you may be seeing my patterns in your LYS. I’m pleased to be working with Stitch Sprouts, a distributor here in the US. This is a new way for me to get my designs out to the world. I’ve spent a good chunk of time at the computer readying my PDF patterns for printing. If your LYS orders from Stitch Sprouts, let them know you want to see PDXKnitterati!

Back to designing and pattern writing…

Introducing: Shall We Dance

Shall We Dance is an adventure in planned pooling.

Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension!

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

The Huckleberry Knits 2 Ply BFL Aran was specially dyed for this project. I used all of the skein, and the cowl measures 32″ x 8″.

I consulted with Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits to come up with colors and a yarn base that would work well for a class. We chose her Rock Candy and Legion of Boom (Seattle Seahawks colors) colorways, shown here on her Willow fingering weight. (My first planned pooling cowl is on the left, knit with ancient Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in Cat Bordhi Aha!, purchased at Sock Summit 2011.) We’re using a 2 Ply BFL Aran which isn’t one of her usual bases, but I love it! It’s soft and lovely to knit. This yarn will be available at For Yarn’s Sake, and I’m teaching a planned pooling class there on Sunday May 19.

I also knit a version in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy. This skein has more yardage, but I chose to finish the cowl at 33″ x 6.5″, using 60% of the skein. It’s bouncy and fun to knit with, but a litle harder to get accurate measurements because it’s so wonderfully springy!

The Shall We Dance pattern is available through Ravelry download. It’s 10% off through March 31, 2019, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a 20% off coupon, so sign up if you want to be in on my special offers!

Everyone into the pool!

Thank you to Amanda Woodruff for tech editing.

Introducing Oregon Sky

I’m delighted to introduce my new shawl design, Oregon Sky. It’s a collaboration with local dyer Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit.

And a cast of thousands. Or at least 10.

From Lorajean:

What do you get when you put a brand-spanking-new Knitted Wit rainbow and ten uber-talented designers in a room? Glow Up Knitted Wit! The ten-pattern collection, along with five gorgeous colorway combos, drops on Friday, March 1st, 2019. You can get the whole pattern collection for $33 through April 1, 2019, and all patterns will also be available from the individual designers, as well as through Ravelry In-Store pattern sales for our LYS partners.

You can get the yarn on the Knitted Wit website. The hardest part will be choosing which complementary full skein you want!

We came up with a transcendent new rainbow, which we called Glow Up, and paired a Gumball Sixlet of it with a smattering of full skeins of Fingering. We reached out to some of our favorite designers, and asked them to make some magic, and oooh, wow, did they ever! Check out the amazingness created by ​Makenzie Alvarez, Michele Lee Bernstein, Kira Delaney, Marie Greene, Stephanie Lotven, Lisa Ross, Joshua Ryks-Robinsky, Shannon Squire, Debbi Stone, and Angela Tong! Each designer chose a contrasting skein and created a rainbowriffic masterpiece.

You can purchase the whole Glow Up Knitted Wit collection as an ebook, or you can purchase patterns individually. The collection is a great deal, $33 for 10 patterns. If you only want Oregon Sky, I’m offering a 10% discount on Ravelry through March 10, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a discount code for 20%. Not a subscriber? Subscribe here!

There will be KALs and CALs over on Instagram. More on that later. For now, dream of rainbows!

I’ll have Oregon Sky at our multi-peeps trunk show during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, at For Yarn’s Sake this Thursday, March 7, 10 am to 5 pm. I’ll be with Knitted Wit’s Lorajean Kelley, and designers Shannon Squire and Debbie Stone, who also have designs in the Glow Up Knitted Wit collection. Come say hi if you’re local!

(Re) introducing Rain Chain Shawlette

Rain, rain, rain. And then the flowers bloom!

This is my Rain Chain Shawlette. I designed it for the Knit Picks Little Luxuries Collection two years ago, and now it’s available on Ravelry, too.

The Rain Chain Shawlette is a sideways end to end knit, and both edges have interesting detailing. It was inspired by the kusari doi, the traditional copper rain chain of the Japanese garden.

The Rain Chain Shawlette is worked flat from end to end to form a gentle crescent shape. It features a built in I-cord top edge with a garden “rain chain” motif, garter stitch body, and a floral design for the bottom edge. Optional beads create raindrops on the rain chain.

I love end to end shawl construction. It’s easily adjustable to the yardage you have; you increase to the halfway point of your yarn, and then decrease back down to the end. A yarn scale comes in handy! Or you can just knit it to the specified width. The pattern is written for 100g/440 yards of Knit Picks Gloss Fingering, but I could see adding a third 50g ball to make it 150g/660 yards. I’m the boss of my knitting!

To celebrate the re-launch of this shawl, I’m offering it at 10% off the Ravelry price through February 28, 2019, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a 20% coupon code; subscribe here. Newsletter coming soon.

I’m back from Madrona, and still catching up! Madrona post is coming next. It was so. Much. Fun.

Planned Pooling, now with Yarn Chicken!

I finished my Planned Pooling cowl. It was an adventure!

I started by trying to stack the colors exactly. Then I loosened my gauge for a bit to get the colors to veer to the right (because the colors were starting earlier than before). Of course I had to veer back to the left, by knitting a little tighter for a bit. You don’t have to change gauge for the whole round, just enough to get the first stitches of the previous stacking to change. But you do have to keep checking to see what your colors are up to. Eventually I decided to stop paying attention and just let the colors dance, since I knew that they would more or less stack.

If you want matching cast on and bind off edges, you can use a provisional cast on, and then use your favorite bind off on both edges. The bind off colors won’t match the knitting exactly; binding off uses more yarn than a regular round of knitting. Since the colors weren’t going to match, I didn’t feel that fussy, so I used a long tail cast on and the usual bind off.

I ran out of yarn before the end of the bind off. Oops. I did have a little extra yarn left over from an overly cautious long tail cast on, so that saved the day.

Biscuit helped.

What can you do in real life if you run out of yarn, and there isn’t more? If you don’t need a stretchy edge, you can bind off without knitting. I know, wut? Slip the stitches instead of knitting them, like this.

Slip one stitch knitwise. *Slip another stitch knitwise. Lift the right stitch over the left stitch and off the right needle. Repeat from * to last stitch. Using a yarn needle, run a piece of yarn through last stitch and sew in ends.

This would have worked fine for my cowl, since a small area of of less stretchy edge wouldn’t have been too troublesome. But I wouldn’t have wanted it for the entire bind off. Not bad in a pinch, though!

Final thoughts on planned pooling. Well, it’s interesting! It’s kind of like a dance. I’m used to deciding what the yarn is going to do. Even when dancing, I’ve always been a back-leader! In planned pooling, the yarn is the leader and decides the size of the project because of the color repeat. This cowl is 32″ in diameter, which is kind of an in-between length for me. It’s 6″ tall, because that’s what one skein of this yarn made.

(DH and I are in a social swing dance class; he’s learning to lead and I’m learning to follow.)

I’d love to try making argyles, but realistically I know that I like to multi-task while knitting. That means I don’t like looking at my knitting all the time to make sure my tension is even and the colors are stacking properly. But it was a fun experiment. I’m thinking of designing a class on simple planned pooling. What do you think? Do you want to know just a bit about it? I think of it as party trick knitting! I do like knowing a little bit about a lot of techniques. Planned pooling was on my bucket list for this year, so I’m starting off with a bang!

For now I’ll say thank you to my project (very KonMari), and get on to my next project, which is…brioche!

Brioche knitting for all!

I’m teaching three beginning brioche knitting classes at Northwest Wools. The classes are full, but I’m also teaching it at Twisted on Saturday March 23. This class features my Petite Brioche pattern, which you can download for free here.

I love teaching, and I love brioche knitting. I think two color brioche is easier to learn than one color brioche, and knitting it in the round is easier than knitting it flat. No sliding back and forth.

Look at all the new brioche knitters!

Everyone was off to a good start. We diagnosed and fixed some mistakes, too. Learning to read your brioche knitting is a valuable skill.

Being around all that brioche knitting kick started me into more brioche.

This is my first foray into designing with flat two color brioche. I’m starting with a half-pi shawl construction, because there aren’t any increases in the brioche field, so I can just figure out what’s happening at the edges. I like it so far! I have a plan for the rest of it, too.

I’m knitting with Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering. It’s a fabulous workhorse yarn for design experimentation; I knit nearly an entire shawl with it for a design submission last summer because it was so fun I couldn’t stop at the little swatch sample. It doesn’t mind frogging, either, which is good. Trial and error, knitting and frogging are part of my design process! At 357 yards it’s a bit shorter than my usual 400 yard/100g skeins, so I’m not sure I’ll use it for the whole design. We’ll see how things go.

What’s exciting you in the knitting world? Do you want to learn something new? What’s on your bucket list?

Last night’s lunar eclipse, in the clouds. Not as exciting as the solar eclipse, but very pretty. Did you see it?

A whale of a new year, and more on Barbie knitting

Last week was Winter Whale Watch week at the Oregon Coast; gray whales are migrating down to Baja to their warmer winter waters. I went on a day trip with friends to try to catch a glimpse of them.

We ended up at Ecola State Park, which has gorgeous views. You can see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach from here.

We didn’t see any whales/spouts, so I made this picture to commemorate the day.

Along the way, I had this very happy lap full of rainbow knitting. This is a project with Knitted Wit, due in late February. It’s her #glowupknittedwit rainbow mini skeins, paired with a skein of Oregon Sky. The base is Knitted Wit Fingering.

It was the perfect knit for a drizzly day. The project is done and currently blocking; I love how it turned out. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you soon.

Thanks for all your comments on the previous Barbie knits post. I was wondering just what kind of skating outfit was in that Knitting for Barbie canister, so I googled “knit 2 piece barbie skating outfit” and found this pattern page on Ravelry. It’s a 1962 pattern for a sweater and skinny pants. There’s a picture of the printed pattern, and more googling found a copy of the pattern posted on an old blogspot blog.

The instructions are extensive and quite bossy, with a header that says DO ONE STEP AT A TIME — DO NOT READ AHEAD and a footer that says DO NOT PUT YOUR WORK DOWN BEFORE YOU FINISH THE ROW YOU’RE WORKING ON. The pattern is aimed at beginners, with instructions for ribbing that include moving the yarn back and forth between the needles for knits and purls. I wonder how many of these outfits were knit, and how many were abandoned?

Maybe it wasn’t that hard. At least it was small; the cast on for the back is only 14 stitches.

My Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I was 14. My first knitting project was a pullover sweater knit in the round with baby blue worsted weight yarn, with twin cables up the front. What was your first project?

Introducing: Concentric Bed Socks

My new Concentric Bed Socks are knit from the cuff down using a single strand of worsted weight yarn for a quick and cozy knit. You can use magic loop, 2 circulars, or double pointed needles; knitter’s choice! Alternating bands of knits and purls create a scrunchy fabric that traps warm air at the ankle. These Bed Socks are very similar to my Concentric Slipper Socks, which are knit double stranded. They’re perfect when you don’t need quite so much bulk and warmth.

The Concentric Bed Socks are sized for women, or a small man’s foot, based on the available yardage in Knit Circus’ Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient 50g cakes. They feature a contrasting heel and toe, which makes it possible to use just two matching 50g balls of gradient yarn for the ankle and foot.

This pattern is now available through Ravelry; link here. Want to knit both the Bed Socks and the Slipper Socks? See the Ravelry pattern page for special pricing. If you’ve already purchased the Slipper Socks pattern, the price for the Bed Socks pattern will be automatically adjusted for you.

These are a perfect treat for you to knit during January, aka Selfish Knitting Month. Or you could knit them for someone special, almost as special as you.

Cool factoid: This is my 13th pattern this year, and my 100th pattern on Ravelry!

Thanks to tech editor Amanda Woodruff, and test knitters Jacqueline Lydston, Denise Delagarza, and Ann Berg.

Happy new year!

Second chance knitting

One of the things that I love about knitting is that you can always tweak it if it’s not exactly the way you want it.

When I first knit my carbon/pollen version of my Lucky Star shawl, I knit 9 repeats of the edging, and decided it was too much. I didn’t want the bright edging to overwhelm the shawl. I ripped it back to five repeats, and deemed it perfect.

And it was. Fresh off the blocking wires, it was just the way I wanted it.

But this very bouncy, round Knitted Wit Victory Sock yarn relaxed a bit, making the edging a little shorter than I anticipated.

So I tinked the dark carbon bind off, and added two more repeats of the lace edging for a total of 7 repeats.

Each row is about 450 stitches, so I’m adding 3600 stitches. Piece o’ cake.

Binding off…again!

Now I just have a few extra ends to sew in. *After* I re-block. I could sew before blocking, but I never clip the ends until after, anyway. I don’t want the ends to pop through when I block my shawls. Since I don’t want to handle the ends twice, I just wait and take care of it all after blocking.

Do you sew your ends before or after blocking? And have you ever tinked a bind off to lengthen or shorten a piece of knitting? (Are you as fussy as I am?)

Coming up: A revamped Bucket List for steeking class

Steeks! Does the word strike fear in your heart? Cutting your knitting…it’s not so scary if it’s just on a tiny piece, and that’s why I designed my Bucket List Coffee Accessories a few years back.

Steeking a little piece of knitting isn’t nearly so scary as cutting a sweater. There’s so much less time invested in the knitting.

I took a steeking class with Mary Scott Huff many years ago at Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. Afterwards, I designed this scarf as a first steeking project. I offered a class for this project, and it was fun. But the catch was that you had to knit the whole thing before class. That was a commitment!

So I designed a smaller project, the mug rug (coaster) and coffee cozy that you see here. I reshaped the class as a two-parter: Beginning stranded colorwork on week one, and steek cutting and finishing on week two.

Now I’m going to offer the class at Twisted as a single class, the one with the cutting fun. I’m updating the pattern with a few more helpful hints for stranded colorwork, and changing the steek area from a checkerboard pattern to vertical stripes. This will make it easier to see exactly where to reinforce the knitting before cutting the steek.

If steeking is on your knitting bucket list, this is a gentle introduction. If you’ve purchased the pattern before through Ravelry, you’ll be notified when the update is ready later this month. I want to re-photograph the steeking instructions for the pattern, so I’m reknitting samples.

My class at Twisted is scheduled for January 26. It will be fun!

And then you’ll be ready for more. I’m very tempted by Fringe Association’s upcoming Steekalong in January. It has so many things to recommend it: Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Sólbein pattern (she designed Stopover, and I knit two of them) and Léttlopi, the lovely Icelandic wool yarn knit at a looser than normal gauge (again, Stopover). Also, the camaraderie with other knitters on Instagram is fun, too.

Here’s Stopover. Light and airy! Imagine a similar cardigan…

Hoping I can squeeze out the knitting time for this, as I work on a design deadline piece before February. But first: Bucket List update!

Are steeks on your bucket list?