Category Archives: pattern design

Introducing: Tumbling Leaves

Finally ready for prime time!

This is Tumbling Leaves, a wide crescent shawl. I designed this sample with Bumblebirch Heartwood, a lightweight 75/25 superwash merino/nylon blend. It was a delight to knit!

The shawl is wide enough to wear wrapped once, as shown above, or twice, with both ends in front.

The pattern is available for $6 USD through Ravelry as a PDF download. As usual, subscribers to my email newsletter will receive a coupon code for 20% off new releases. Not a subscriber? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add you to the list. Yes, someday I’ll automate that. But I’m too busy designing!

This has been a summer of shawls. I designed four new shawls (and knit one of them 3 times) this summer, and more design work is on the way. So many ideas to knit!

And! We have a winner for the Merry Knitmas book: Joelle! I’ll be sending her a pdf copy. Congratulations! If you’re not Joelle and you’re dying to get this book; you can get it in softcover or as a PDF download from Knit Picks. Thanks for playing along!

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Introducing Nymphaea, my Rhinebeck shawl

I’m going to Rhinebeck this weekend! But not in person.

This is my Nymphaea shawl. Nymphaea is the genus name for water lilies, and the lacy shell pattern reminds me of flowers floating in a pond on a breezy day. The zigzag ripples are laden with beads. I designed this shawl as a collaboration with Bead Biz and June Pryce Fiber Arts. I’m a little jealous that my sample is going to Rhinebeck without me!

Bead Biz will carry this pattern as part of a kit, available in their booth at festivals like Rhinebeck (Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, officially) SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Fletcher NC), Fiber Festival of New England in West Springfield MA, and Madrona Fiber Arts Festival (see you there!). The kits will also be available on their website. It is available exclusively from Bead Biz through September 2018.

The kit comes with a gradient pack of seven 100 yard skeins of June Pryce Fiber Arts Saunderstown Sock, a fingering weight superwash merino/cashmere/nylon blend. Five packs of coordinating beads are also in the kit.

My sample is knit in Purple Mountains, and there are four more colorways to choose from.

There’s a crochet version, too, designed by Laurinda Reddig (ReCrochetions). It was really fun collaborating with her to see if we could come up with something that worked equally well in knit and crochet!

I hope you get to see this shawl in person, and fall in love with it as much as I have. If you love knitting with beads, you’ll love knitting this.

Knit on!

Merry Knitmas! New holiday knitting patterns

I have a pattern (or two, depending on how you look at it) in the new Knit Picks book, Merry Knitmas.

Aren’t they sweet? It’s a choose your own adventure pattern. I wanted to offer a choice of cuff motifs that looked fairly traditional. Three hanks of Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky can be knit up into two coordinating stockings.

I love how they styled these. Very homespun Americana. I love everything about these stockings. Christmas stockings are great first socks, because big yarn means that they knit up quickly. And you only have to knit one, so there’s no Second Sock Syndrome. The stubby toe on the short leg makes me smile. And you can’t even see where I snipped the yarn, frogged half the leg, and grafted it back together.

This is what they looked like when they came back from the test knitter, oops! I couldn’t show you yet when I posted about my grafting adventure this summer.) Not the proportions I intended.

And look: They’re on the cover!

The Merry Knitmas Collection has patterns for these stockings and a lot more holiday home fun! You can order it as a hard copy book, or as a pdf download from the Knit Picks site.

I’m having a little giveaway. Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me who you want to knit these stockings for. I’ll do a random drawing on October 18, and the winner will receive the Merry Knitmas e-book. Ready? Go!

Knitting Guilds! Tigard, Portland…

Do you belong to a knitting guild? I just joined a brand new one, the Puddletown Knitters Guild. Link to Facebook site here; I don’t think there’s a website yet.

What is a knitting guild? It’s a place to share your love for knitting, and it is for all levels of knitters. There is always something new to learn, and something new to share.

Tigard Knitting Guild is our well established and wonderful guild, just outside Portland. I’ll be speaking there later this month, on October 19 at 7 p.m. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m. I’m talking about taking pictures of your knitting (and other things) with your iPhone or other mobile device. Make your pictures shine! Not a member? You can visit twice before joining.

Puddletown Knitters Guild is a new guild that is forming so there is an additional guild option for Portland area knitters. This is especially appealing for those of us on the east side of the Willamette River.

I’ll be the inaugural speaker at Puddletown Knitters Guild on Thursday, November 9. Social knitting begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7. We meet at the Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark St. You can visit twice before joining this guild, too.

I’ll be speaking about my design process. I thought about it a lot this summer, because I designed four shawls! Come learn about what I do and why. And maybe how.

Hope to see you at either or both guild meetings!

On the nightstand: Stitch dictionaries!

I love perusing the knitting books at Kinokuniya, the bookstore inside Uwajimaya. I’ve picked up a couple stitch dictionaries there, both here and once in Tokyo. It’s usually possible to puzzle out the charted stitch patterns, even though I don’t read Japanese.

I recently picked up this book. There are stitch patterns and edging patterns, and the charts are clear and easy to read. The thought of a Japanese book about Shetland lace was kind of amusing, too.

But the more I looked at the book, the more I wanted to know what the text said. There was some text with each chart, but more intriguing was the text at the beginning of the book. I could see this page was trying to indicate that you could space your stitch patterns so they fit in your repeat. I think. I wanted to know!

I poked around inside the book, and found that the author’s name is Elizabeth Lovick. Hmmm. That’s a pretty non-Japanese sounding name. So I googled her, and lo and behold…

So I bought it! There’s a wealth of information in here. It has taken the place of the Japanese copy on my nightstand.

And apparently her name was on the front of the first book, too. I just couldn’t read it. I asked Son2 if this cover said Elizabeth Lovick, and he said yes. Or at least it was something like “Erizabesu Robikku” using Katakana (phonetic alphabet).

I’m using one of the edgings on a new shawl design. I’m pleased that I figured it out from the Japanese book, so it wasn’t a complete spending fail. (Just the sawtooth edging, not the shells.) More on that, soon.

And look! I have this on pre-order. In ENGLISH. (I must be learning.) Looking forward to receiving it, October 10. I took a class with Gayle Roehm at Sock Summit 2011, and she knows her stuff!

What’s on your nightstand?

By Hand Serial: Puget Sound

It’s out today! And now I can show you my new design, Puget Sound, which is in the current issue of By Hand Serial. (All photographs from this issue by Karen DeWitz, courtesy of Andrea Hungerford.)

I put together my favorite things about Puget Sound: Sunshine and waves, seagulls, the Olympic Mountains, and a little bit of rain. I’m very pleased with the positive/negative seagulls; they are my favorite part.

Puget Sound is a half-pi shawl, a half circle that wraps you in a hug. I used Hazel Knits Entice MCN in Hoppy Blond and Splish Splash, and it is decadently glorious.

Andrea Hungerford, the creator of By Hand Serial, knit her version in blues, Twilight and Frost. I love the monochromatic shading here.

This issue of By Hand features makers in the Puget Sound area of Washington, where water meets earth meets sky. It’s a big issue with lots to love, including some of my favorite yarn makers: Hazel Knits, Spin Cycle, and YOTH. Tolt and Churchmouse Yarns and Teas are two of the featured shops. You can order this issue online, or find it at select yarn shops. I know my usual haunts Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake are carrying it here.

I love this Fern and Feather sweater by Jennifer Steingass. I hope I can squeeze in some time to knit one for me. But it’s a little busy around here. I have a design out for test knitting, a design out for tech editing, two presentations to work on, and I’m judging knit entries and teaching this weekend at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.

There’s still a little room left in my classes. Saturday morning’s class is the advanced version of my Tink Drop Frog class; this one features fixing mistakes in lace. You can sign up on site (pre-registration is closed), but there’s a bit of homework. If you’re interested, let me know and I can send you the homework assignment.

Sunday afternoon’s class is on Elongated Novelty Stitches; stitches that are made with extra yarn overs and other manipulations. I’ve added the honeybee stitch from my Go Tell the Bees shawl to the class. No homework! Register at check in.

OFFF also has animals in the barn to admire, classes and demonstrations, exhibits, and lots and lots of vendors to visit. Hope to see lots of fiber folk there!

Gradient yarn, planning ahead

Next design project: A shawl with this gradient kit. With beads!

The yarn is from June Pryce Fiber Arts, 7 100 yard mini-skeins of MCN. The beads are from Bead Biz; I’ve met them several times at Madrona.

I want to use two minis as contrast to five skeins used as gradient. I thought about using the two darkest as the contrast, but I don’t think there’s enough tonal contrast between either of those and the third darkest skein. (You know this trick, right? Use the “tonal” filter on your phone camera to check for tonal contrast.)

But if I take the two lightest skeins for contrast, both of those look great across the rest of the gradient range.

If there’s enough of the darker of the two light ones, it can be contrast to all of the five gradient series, and the lightest skein can be a ruffle at the very end.

Knitting away over here, and awaiting the eclipse!

And I’ve updated my Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern with new motifs and uploaded it to Ravelry. Christmas is just around the corner, right?

Sneak peek: Tumbling Leaves Shawl

At least that’s what I think I’m calling it. Let me know if you have a better idea!

This is a wide crescent shawl, knit from the top down with two skeins of Bumblebirch Heartwood Fingering in Hellebore and Atlantic (75/25 Superwash Merino/Nylon, 100g/463 yards each).

I love the way the blue eyelet rows squiggle, and I love, love, love the leaves.

Remember the stripe swatch? I think the one I chose (second from the top) worked out perfectly!

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. I’m hoping I can get this out in September, which is knitting season! Of course it’s always knitting season at my house. But this last week, especially. Hot and hazy out (thanks, Canadian wildfires), so I’ve just been hiding out at home. Knitting!

How about you?

Christmas is just around the corner…

It’s August, and it’s hot. I’m thinking of winter’s chill, and big fat yarn.

pdxknitterati christmas stocking

This is my Snowflake Christmas stocking. It’s one of my earlier patterns; I first published it in 2009. But I designed this stocking way before that. My original chart says 1997 on it, charted in Excel!

It was eventually joined by stockings for the rest of our family.

I’m upgrading my Snowflake Christmas Stocking pattern to include some additional motifs. I’ll have the dancers, and these birds. And a blank-ish chart if you want to chart your own adventure.

The pattern is currently available through Ravelry for $5 USD. The upgraded pattern will be $6 USD, but if you’ve purchased the pattern before the upgrade, you’ll get the updated pattern for no extra charge. I should have it done by Friday, August 18.

I’m teaching a class with this pattern at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton on Sunday, November 12. We’ll turn a tiny practice heel, and learn to work simple stranded colorwork in the round. If you haven’t knit socks before, a Christmas stocking is an ideal first sock! You only have to knit one (no second sock syndrome), and it’s quick with big yarn and big needles. I wanted to have more motif options for class, so that’s what’s driving this pattern upgrade. Coming soon!

Are you dreaming of Christmas? Not yet?

A peek into my knit design process

While I was knitting my Go Tell the Bees KAL shawlette this month, I was also designing another shawl.

This is Hazel Knits Entice MCN fingering, in Splish Splash and Hoppy Blond. Two of my favorite colors in one of my favorite yarns. This yarn is soft and not splitty, and not over or under twisted. It falls absolutely straight from my needles to the ball while I’m knitting. And that bit of cashmere makes it sooooooo lovely to knit with.

I can’t show you the shawl until September, but I’m really happy with it! It took me a while to get there. When I was about 2/3 done with the first prototype, I decided that I didn’t like a couple things about it (proportion between elements and lack of simplicity for writing the pattern), so I got more yarn and started over. I didn’t want to rip the first one until I was sure the second one was a go! Gotta have a backup handy, right?

The more I design, the more I realize that what I love is a pattern that is simple but interesting to knit. Stitch patterns that are easily memorized so I’m not tied to a chart. And it has to be pretty when I’m done! I think this one is a winner on all those fronts.

I used the leftovers to swatch some stripes for the current piece I’m designing. The piece will have have lacy sections divided by a stripe of some sort. I tried a couple of my favorite elongated stitches on my first prototype, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for. Time to swatch!

I put this up on Instagram, and received some good feedback. I really love the bottom stripe, but those are bobbles in there, and I don’t want to make 60 bobbles in a row. Ever.

I liked the way the top CC stripe is set off by the MC garter stitch above and below it, but wasn’t sure it had enough gravitas to hold things together.

So I tried that heavier eyelet stripe with a garter stitch offset (new top stripe) But all that garter stitch made the eyelets look smaller. Nope!

This one is the winner. I’m using Bumblebirch’s Heartwood fingering weight. I love this yarn; it’s a joy to knit with and it is standing up well to my knit/frog/reknit design process.

These colors, Hellebore and Atlantic, are a gorgeous combination that makes my heart sing! Thanks to Bumblebirch dyer Sarah Kurth for picking them for me.

And I’ve mathed my way into a simple and elegant design. (Wish I had done the math the first time…) I knew I was on the right track with this design when I couldn’t stop smiling. Looking forward to sharing this one with you soon.