Category Archives: Uncategorized

Yarn chicken hijinks

I’m just back from Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. I’ll catch up with pictures from that eventually, but right now I’m packing to go to Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat in Tacoma, Washington. I’m leaving today, so…I’ll catch up when I catch up! You can see some of my pictures on Instagram.

I worked on this assigned pooling design on my flights to and from New York. I have a very small digital scale for travel, but it’s not very accurate on a bouncy airline tray table. I waited until I was in my hotel room to carefully weigh my yarn to see how many grams it took to knit a round. Then I figured the number of rounds I needed to complete my project, and added a buffer. That yarn there? That was calculated to be enough to bind off, and knit a cord to cinch the top of this cowl/hat, just like the finishing on Pooling is a Cinch.

Almost done…and it’s clear that the bit of yarn left is not going to be enough to finish binding off the stitches on the needle. So much for math! I need about the equivalent of one more round, but I’d have to frog 10 rounds to get to the place where I would shorten this piece. Blergh.

Luckily, I remembered this trick, so here is this tutorial for you.

Binding off when you’ve lost at yarn chicken…

I win! And I like this narrower cord; it will fit in the eyelets better. That’s serendipity!

Have you ever had to resort to binding off without yarn?

Top Nine 2022

A fun thing to do at the end of the year: check out my top nine Instagram posts!

  1. Whale Watch, the crown of the cap
  2. “How I style” collage: basic black with a pop of color! With Wailin’ Jennys and BRUUUUUUCE
  3. On the Norwegian Breakaway for the Vogue Knitting Cruise
  4. Cherry blossoms on Portland waterfront
  5. What I wore at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat
  6. Sheepy Steeky Coasters class at VKLive Seattle
  7. Closeup! Elongated stitches on Half the Knit Sky
  8. Key lime pie that naughty cat Calvin sampled (we ate the unsampled part)
  9. PeaceKnitLove demonstrates winding on the KnitMaine bus!

You can check yours out at TopNine. Interestingly, it’s a collection of photos rather than a collage, so you’d need to take a screenshot because it’s nine individual pictures. I also tried BestNine, but it never finished gathering.

Happy new year!

Peacetree Fiber Adventures retreat

Virtual, of course!

I’m teaching for Peacetree Fibers Knitting and Yoga retreat, July 24 and 25. Classes are via Zoom. Click here to register.

I’m teaching Petite Brioche (beginning 2 color brioche in the round), and

brioche knitting

Next Steps in Brioche: Increases and Decreases featuring your choice of either Heliotrope Hat or Cowl, or Brioche Pastiche hat.

You can take one or both classes, and you can even use the knitting from the Petite Brioche class as the beginning of the Brioche Pastiche hat!

I’m also teaching these classes at Virtual Vogue Knitting Live the week before, but those classes are already sold out. This is another opportunity to take these classes, soon.

(As of this moment, there is still room in the VKL Minerva Entrelac class. Jump if you want it!)

Bluprint/Craftsy update

If you’re a previous Craftsy/Bluprint purchaser/subscriber, you’ll be pleased to know that their assets have been purchased by TN Marketing, and your access will continue. Yay!

Will I actually watch the classes I purchased a million years ago? I don’t know, but I’m glad I’ll have the option to do so!

Bluprint’s statement here.

And a news piece on it here.

One more story here.

Tonal Contrast in the Knit Sky, redux

Remember this? I really liked how the smaller/whiter ball was popping against the dark blue background, but I didn’t have enough to knit a whole shawl with this leftover half ball.

The more heavily speckled/creamier ball had more color than I liked in the big stars. (This was also against a lighter background, so it had even less pop.) What to do?

Mix and match! I’m using the whiter/less speckled yarn for the single stitch stars, and for the big star stitch rows. I’m using the specklier yarn for the star trails, and I love how it looks. It’s blending really well. I didn’t take out the very first set of star trails; they’re so short that the less speckled yarn was a better choice there.

I’ll still keep the overall combined contrast color to 100g for test knit math purposes. But this night sky version is making me very happy.

weighing yarn for half the knit sky

I have enough of the blue to finish as written, but not enough to add any extra rows. Good to know! I like that I can figure this out without playing yarn chicken. Instructions for weighing (ha!) your options are in the pattern.

Note that Biscuit is helping me here.

Are you interested in a KAL? I think this could also be a fun class; it has a few interesting techniques, and you’d learn them all at the beginning. Hmmmm…..

Rhapsody in pink

I love my Aquarius/Beach Glass Love Note so much. It’s a teaching wardrobe staple. I have a skirt that pairs well with it.

It was such a quick knit and perfect fit, so I decided to knit one more.

This time the colors are Cherry Blossom and Ticklish, which has tiny flecks of pink and green.

Since I’m using the same yarn, hazel Knits Lively DK, and I have good notes on Ravelry, it’s a pretty mindless knit. I’m going to use all of the MC on the body, and work the sleeves in Ticklish. Thank you, past self!

I started this on Monday night. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m zooming along down the body. But now it’s time to put my knitting down and prep for my next Virtual VK Live class. I’m teaching Minerva Entrelac this afternoon. Two more classes tomorrow, both brioche, and that will be the wrap up! I’m so glad knitters can still get together, even while knitting apart.

My Facebook Live with Wool and Fiber Arts and Bead Biz was fun. We had five designers instead of four; Alasdair Post-Quinn was able to join us after all, yay! So it’s me (in my Love Note sweater above), Alasdair, Anna Dalvi, Laurinda Reddig, and Linda Dean. Here’s a link to it on YouTube if you want to watch.

And my Facebook Live with Knit Picks was postponed a week, so that should be happening this coming Thursday, June 18, 8:30 am PDT, link here. .

It’s Worldwide Knit in Public Day. I may knit for a moment on my porch! So different this year. Are you knitting in public?

Paying attention

A little quiet over here this week, as I watch, and listen, and learn, and hope.

Some news in the knitting world:

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival has been cancelled for 2020. They’ll be back in 2021 with the same classes we were hoping to have this year.

NBC Universal is discontinuing BluPrint, which was their rebranded version of Craftsy. If you have “forever” classes from Craftsy/BluPrint, you’ll want to download them before they disappear. I received an email saying they’ll let me know more soon; we shall see. I own 10 Craftsy classes, none of which I’ve watched all the way through. Let’s hope they do the right thing.

Alasdair Post-Quinn, of FallingBlox double knitting fame, suffered a house and studio fire and has lost all his samples and work in progress. He and his wife are safe, but they have lost everything. If you have interest in double knitting, support him by purchasing patterns from his Ravelry shop.

Soho Publishing, the good people who bring us Vogue Knitting magazine and the Knitting Live events, has had to change their operations. Knit Simple magazine will no longer be published, and Vogue Knitting will have fewer issues per year for now. VirtualKnitting Live returns next week, and I will be teaching and lecturing via Zoom.

“Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.” ~ Elizabeth Zimmermann

Bagels, no yeast, no wait

Yogurt bagels

I wanted to bake bagels again this past weekend, but I’m short on yeast. An Instagram post by @minibagelmom mentioned something called yogurt bagels. And right down the rabbit hole I went!

Apparently there are 2 ingredient bagel recipes, which use just self-rising flour and greek yogurt. Self rising flour is just flour with baking powder and salt added, so that’s a 4 ingredient bagel at our house. Why buy and store self-rising flour separately? I have a tiny kitchen.

I looked through a lot of yogurt bagel recipes online; most made 4 bagels. That’s not enough bagels to turn on the oven. Doubling it would require 2 cups of greek yogurt, which I didn’t have. But! The recipe on the Fage Yogurt page only needed 1.5 cups of yogurt, and claimed to make 8 bagels.

And it did. There’s no rise time for these bagels, just mix, knead a tiny bit, and shape. No boiling, just bake. They’re not a perfect bagel, but a darn good substitute if you are short on yeast and time. DH liked them, and I’d make them again. Recipe here.

Note: Definitely shape them as directed; my usual way of making a ball and poking my thumb through made a very unattractive sticky ring. Rolling into a rope and making a circle looked much better, so I reshaped my originals.

We’re eating at home a *lot* with an occasional take-out meal to support a favorite restaurant. Other delicious things we’ve had recently:

Quinoa bowl with brussels sprouts and eggplant
Quinoa bowl with roasted brussels sprouts, eggplant, and tahini, recipe from NYTimes/Melissa Clark.

lentil and spinach soup
Instant Pot lentil and spinach soup from Kitchen Treaty.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve cooked recently? Are you being more adventurous in the kitchen?

New beginnings

I love casting on. It’s a new beginning, and everything is possible.

just enough long tail cast on

A perfectly guessed long tail cast on is encouraging.

tridacna beginning

And the first bit of beauty encourages hope for the possible.

The news cycle is so awful right now. I don’t have the right words to express my feelings, but I’ll try. We need a new beginning, where we all see each other as people with hopes and dreams and reasons for believing what we do. We need to acknowledge that there is so much good in people and the world, and try to honor that, too. Fear-mongering, othering, demonizing, and killing has to stop. I want love to win over hate.

So I’ll keep trying to add a little beauty to this world, and do my best to make it a better place.


Bird update and Mother’s Day

It’s just like sending your kids off to college.

baby finches 2 weeks old

One day you think they’ll never be ready to leave. (Yesterday, Mother’s Day)

baby house finch

Should I stay or should I go? (This morning)

I was at the window this morning when Mama Bird came to visit. I stopped the video so I could adjust the exposure, and Junior took off! I went out and checked; the nest is empty, so both survivors are off to new adventures. So relieved after last week’s drama.

If you missed the first part of this bird saga, click here for more.

My kids came over yesterday and helped me clean out the garage. It’s a Mother’s Day tradition that they come help with gardening or firewood splitting or whatever, and then we cook. The garage was pretty grungy. Now it’s much better.

gin sampling

We did some gin tasting, and had lemon orzo pasta salad and Vietnamese chicken for dinner.

vietnamese chicken

A fun day of work and play.

Emma Bag

And they gave me this beautiful Emma bag from Grace’s Cases. It’s designed to stand up by itself. It’s tall enough for a folder of class handouts, roomy enough for class samples, and well organized with several pockets inside. This will be perfect for when I don’t need my entire rolling suitcase of samples.

How was your weekend?