Category Archives: pattern design

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.

A post shared by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

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!

Summer knitting: linen adventure and a pattern sale

Well, linen captured my hot weather knitting attention, so that’s what I’m knitting right now. But not this:

I frogged this linen knitting from last summer, and started something with a simple lace pattern. How did I choose? I wanted a fairly narrow stitch pattern, because if I decide this is a winner and want to make it into a real garment pattern, I’d like to size it up or down by complete stitch repeats. The new stitch pattern is 13 stitches wide.

I had previously knit some gauge swatches for this yarn; they were knit flat because that was my intent for it last year. I liked the fabric I got with a US 3 needle (top swatch). My current knitting is still on that US 3 needle, but it’s being knit in the round. And it has a tiny bit of a lace pattern to it, rather than plain stockinette, which was just a little too boring.

Did I knit a new gauge swatch to accommodate those changes? Nope. I probably should have, but my gauge swatches usually lie to me, anyway. So I did some math to find the closest number of stitch pattern repeats that would give me an approximately 40” garment, which would fit like the T shirt I have on right now with 4” of ease. I’m guessing it will come out to 39-40”, but I don’t really know yet.

What I have is a big gauge swatch! I’m planning to work about 40 rows, and then transfer the piece to a stitch holder and give it a wash and block. Then I’ll know for sure if I have the right number of stitches. Wish me luck!

What are you knitting this summer?

To inspire your summer knitting, I’m having a pattern sale through June 21: 15% off with coupon code SUMMER. For newsletter subscribers, the discount is 25% off; the most recent newsletter just went out. (Click here to subscribe if you want the best offers, too. I send newsletters only once or twice per month; I won’t over-fill your inbox! I don’t have that much energy…) All patterns and ebooks which are available from me through my Ravelry shop are eligible; there is no limit but the code is good for a single time use only.

If all my linen talk has you hankering to knit with this fun fiber, may I suggest my Linden Leaf or SeaScape Scarflette? These were designed with linen in mind! And if you can’t decide, you can purchase them together for 25% off, no coupon needed. Previous purchases apply towards the combo discount too; you’ll only be charged the difference towards that 25% off.

Happy knitting!

Hopscotch scarf, and what’s next on the needles

It’s been a busy month here; I’ve been up to my elbows in brioche! Two of the projects will be published next winter; I can’t show them until they’re out. But they were really fun to work on. The third project?

This is my Hopscotch Scarf. I designed it as a teaching piece for syncopated brioche. It’s really fun to knit. Mine is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in 2 colors, Drawing Room and Natural. The front and back are positive/negative images of each other; they both look good. There’s no wrong side, really. You don’t have to use a gradient, just two different colors in worsted weight yarn.

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. You don’t have to be a brioche expert, but a little brioche experience wouldn’t be amiss. If you’re interested in test knitting, please let me know in the comments.

With those three projects out the door, my needles are feeling strangely empty. I have one sample I’m knitting, and a few things sketched out in my design notebook, but I’m also tempted to knit something else just for fun.

Have you seen the Soldotna Crop from Caitlin Hunter/Boyland Knitworks? It’s a cropped top down pullover with a colorwork yoke, no sleeves. That means it’s relatively quick, and the colorwork keeps it moving along. I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot on Instagram, and I was tempted enough to buy some yarn to dream with last Friday.

Of course, now that I have the yarn, it’s 95 degrees F here in Portland, so I may postpone this project and knit something with the white Quince & Co. linen I bought last year. I’m planning to frog what I started last summer; I’ve lost interest in it. Fickle, oops.

This was going to be a swingy open backed top, stockinette with just that bit of lace at the hem. I need a little more something to keep me engaged; that’s a lot of stockinette. Buh-bye! I’m perusing my stitch dictionaries for a simple, easily memorized lace pattern. I’ll start a simple little top with it and see how far I get. I do love linen for its lovely drape and swing.

What are you knitting this summer?

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!