Category Archives: pattern design

Introducing Pooling is a Cinch!

Pooling is a Cinch is a convertible piece that will please both hat and cowl lovers. The stockinette stitch body is a perfect canvas for playing with assigned pooling. Worsted weight yarn knits up quickly for a fun introduction to this technique. Choose a yarn that is meant to pool; you’ll want 6 to 8 inch (15-20 cm) runs of your pooling color.

Knitting begins and ends with a reverse stockinette rolled edge. A knit cord is threaded through a round of eyelets near the top. The cord is tied in a decorative knot on the cowl. The cord can also be cinched to convert the cowl to a hat.

The pattern is now available through Ravelry here, and through Payhip here. It’s 15% off through February 14, no coupon code needed. If you’re in my Pooling class at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, the yarn and pattern is included in your class packet. (I think there are 2 spots left; come knit with me!)

I used Yarn Snob’s A Wondrous Worsted in the Times Square colorway, and it pooled beautifully. Calvin approves!

Assigned pooling mania

Help! I’ve fallen down the pooling rabbit hole, and I’m not sure when I’m coming up for air. The ideas are flying.

I had so much fun with the yarn for Pooling is a Cinch (publishing tomorrow), I had to play with one more design. This cowl doesn’t have a name yet, but I think it will be out later this month.

Dream in Color has pooling yarns in worsted weight, too! We’ll be using this yarn (choice of colors) for an assigned pooling Zoom class via For Yarn’s Sake in April. I’m working on this pattern right now; it will also be out later this month. I love this stitch, and it’s very adaptable for the length of your colorburst.

If you have an idea for naming either of these, let me know. If I use the name you suggest, I’ll send you a copy of the pattern.

Have any new-to-you techniques caught your fancy lately? Do tell!

Introducing Ebb and Flow

Ebb and Flow is a bandanna cowl, a scarf-ish cowl, a cowlish scarf, but definitely not a scowl. Waves of lace and stockinette alternate from the neck down to a triangular point. You can knit the cowl to be taller and the triangle shorter, as in this version.

Or you can knit the cowl to be shorter and the triangle longer, as in this pink version. As one ebbs, the other flows, keeping it within the limits of a single skein of fingering weight yarn. If you have extra yardage, you can have both the taller cowl and the longer triangle. I suppose if you’re impatient or short on yarn, you could also knit a shorter cowl and a shorter triangle. You do you!

This design was inspired by a glorious weekend teaching at Haystack School of Arts and Crafts for Knit Maine last September. Gabriela of Moss Fibers made this beautiful souvenir yarn for us in The Maine Event colorway. I knew it would be a water-inspired design of some sort!

The pattern is now available through Ravelry here, and also through Payhip here. It’s 15% off through February 6, no coupon code needed.

Thank you to tech editor Jen Lucas, model Sharon Hsu, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, Jody Brostrom, Rowan Frost, Iris Mondri-Kish, Melissa A. Rowe, and Nan Wagner. It was a fun and lively test knit group!

Everybody into the pool!

What’s in a name? You may recall that I asked for help naming this pattern. There were a lot of suggestions on the blog and Facebook and Instagram! I didn’t want the name to be color specific, because the piece is meant to work with many color pooling yarns. And the color may or may not spiral, depending on the individual knitter’s stitch count and gauge.

Sue suggested Pooling’s a Cinch, which honored both the pooling and the cinch detail from cowl to hat. Winner! I ultimately decided that “Pooling Is A Cinch” would work better on the internet, and here we are. Congratulations to Sue; I’m sending her a pattern when it’s published next week.

I had so much fun with this yarn from Yarn Snob/Knits All Done. I wasn’t ready to stop, so I’m designing one more piece with it. I absconded with one of the skeins meant for my pooling class at Red Alder, which means there are only 2 spots left. Come knit with me and this amazing yarn! Register here, class is Friday February 15.

You’ll note from the yarn wrapped around the yarn in the yarn bra (do you use these? I love them) that there has been some frogging and re-knitting as I decide how I want this to look. I think I’m on track now, but I thought that the first three times, too. That’s how I design…try it, frog it, try it, frog it, BINGO!

Have you played with color pooling yarn?

Introducing Aspen Leaf Coasters

I love a small project for teaching new techniques. These Aspen Leaf Coasters are a perfect lesson in brioche increases and decreases.

They even include an optional syncopated edge for a pop of accent color. They’re knit in worsted weight wool, so they’re quick, too. These were knit with Malabrigo Worsted in Sunset and Malambo.

And these were knit with Anzula For Better or Worsted in Herb and Blueberry.

I’m looking forward to teaching increases and decreases with these. (Pint tumblers by JaMPDX)

The pattern is available through Ravelry and also through Payhip. The pattern is 15% off through January 30, no coupon code needed.

Name this cowl hat!

Remember this yarn?

It’s now a cowl.

Or a hat. It’s both! I’ve designed this for my assigned/planned pooling class at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat next month. There are a couple spots left in class. Yarn is included in the materials fee. It’s A Wondrous Worsted from Yarn Snob, in the Times Square colorway. I’m in LOVE. Better pictures on a human soon; it’s finally stopped raining here.

In the meantime, please help me name this cowl/hat! I’ve been calling it Bossy Cowl Hat, in a nod to the yarn telling you when it’s time to do the exciting stitch, and the idea of Bossy the Cow(l). Ha! But it doesn’t sound very inviting, or very pretty. What should I call it?

If I pick the name you suggest, you’ll get a free copy of the pattern, which should work with any worsted weight color pooling yarn. Fire away!

Have you tried planned pooling or assigned pooling? What did you think of it?

Unrelated PS: The Nautical Knitting cruise on the schooner Zodiac is sold out! But if you’re interested, sign up for the waiting list; there can be changes between now and the end of July. Ahoy!

Color pooling yarn

Calvin was very interested in this box, even before I opened it. Did it smell like freshly dyed yarn? Or did it smell like Teddy, Keith Leonard’s orange tabby cat? (Keith AKA Yarn Snob)

Inside the box: 16 skeins of A Wondrous Worsted in the Times Square colorway. Keith usually dyes his pooling colors on fingering weight, but I like worsted for teaching. The knitting goes more quickly, so we can cover more in class. I find this worsted to be a little lighter in weight than the worsteds I usually knit with, more like a DK, which is great.

This yarn is meant to pool! I bought it for my Jump Into the Pool! Planned and Assigned Pooling class at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat next month. All students will begin a skein of this yarn, so we can have a successful pooling experience together. I’m about to knit up a sample cowl using assigned pooling, and then write up a pattern that will work with any color pooling yarn.

Cabana Boy yarn

I had Keith dye Cabana Boy with a longer center color for my Knit Maine class last September. I wrote up instructions specifically for this hat and headband and this yarn, but I want to write more general instructions for a central colorburst of varying lengths.

There are a few spots left in my class. Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is in Tacoma, Washington February 16-19, and this class is on Friday afternoon. Come knit with me!

Coming soon, Ebb and Flow

I didn’t frog; I finished!

And I love it with the lighter color on top. I’m so glad I didn’t frog it. Sometimes you have to tell that little voice to just go away. Blocking went fine, whew! But I think it will become less crisp the more I wear it; it’s 50/50 baby yak and silk.

This is the first one I knit while designing. It has a taller neck, and less down in the triangle. I think I like them both! This one is 85/15 superwash wool and nylon. The fabric has more body to it, which I also like.

What I really like is how the math works so elegantly for the increases in the triangle, so that each section is created in exactly the same way. Very satisfying for my inner nerd.

This shape is one of my favorites; it doesn’t fall off when you wear it. Do you have a preference on the neck/triangle options? I like having options! If you have a lot of yardage, you could have both a taller neck and a longer triangle.

On to test knitting and tech editing! This will be out in 2023. I’m looking forward to the new year. I hope you’re having a joyous holiday season!

Finish or frog?

I started this on vacation a couple weeks ago, and I was closing in on the end yesterday. Have you ever been knitting a gradient, and all of a sudden you begin to think that maybe you should have started at the other end? And that thought keeps buzzing around in your head?

Go Tell the Bees Shawl

This is my Go Tell the Bees, which is not what I’m knitting, but it’s the same colorway, with the deepest color at the top, and the lightest as the edging. I think it looks great that way, but I’d forgotten all about it. My current project is a top down cowlish thing, and the light color is at the top. I’m at the last 12 round repeat using the darkest part of the gradient, and I nearly frogged it yesterday.

I finished it this morning, put it around my neck, and the color was fine. Glad I didn’t frog it! It’s currently soaking so I can block it, and then comes the next test. I’ll find out if it was a mistake to not wash and block a swatch with this new to me yarn base of baby yak and silk. Fingers crossed!

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! And happy solstice, too. (Pic from a previous year; we’re not that far into the holiday yet!)

On the needles, blue and pink…

I’ve been working on a design project with this lovely yarn from Moss Fibers. The colorway is The Maine Event, and this was in our goodie bags at Knit Maine. It’s really nice; the color is evocative of our event, and the yarn is wonderful to work with.

After several false starts, I knew needed to simplify; there were too many ideas trying to fit into this single skein project. I started again, and frogged it again after I realized there was a more elegant way to arrange my chosen stitch pattern. It now flows seamlessly, and that makes me happy.

This is a 2 part cowl, like Cosette, with a round cowl and then a bandana cowl at the bottom. Now that I’ve finished the project, I’ve decided that it’s not as wide as I want it to be at the bottom. Because it’s a one skein project, if I want it to be bigger at the bottom, it will have to be shorter at the top. Does that mean I’m going to frog the whole thing? Nope. It may become a size option; we’ll see.

Now I’m knitting option number 2. A little wider to begin, and on we go. This yarn is BosSi from Fierce Fibers in the Plum Gradient colorway. She’s not dyeing on this base any more (50/50 baby yak and silk), but it’s very lovely, and was one only two options in my limited stash when I suddenly wanted a gradient. Beautiful!

Ummmm, I just realized that I haven’t knit with this particular fiber base before. I didn’t knit and block a swatch before beginning, and I can’t just stop in the middle of the gradient and make a swatch. I hope that doesn’t turn around to bite me later! I mean, I guess I could knit a small swatch from the other end of the ball, but why take the blocking chicken fun out of the game?

Knit faster, find out sooner…