Category Archives: yarn

Introducing: Deep End

Deep End is a 2 color brioche hat knit in the round from the bottom up. One side features a large staghorn motif, the other side uses a variation of the gull stitch. I like wearing the staghorn on the side, but you can style it any way you want.

I designed this hat as a teaching piece for my classes. You’ll learn both left and right leaning brioche double decreases on the first patterning round; it’s like jumping in the deep end of the pool! After that it’s oodles of brioche rib before the next increases and decreases.

Two crown options are included. Choose the quadruple decreases for a challenge, or go back to the shallow end of the pool with familiar double decreases.

This pattern is available through Ravelry. It’s on sale for 10% off through October 8, no coupon code needed.

This pattern is also available through Payhip, and it’s on sale there, too.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitter Ann Berg.

I’m teaching a Zoom class with this pattern through Twisted on Saturday October 24. If you’d like me to email you when registration goes live, leave me a comment. (Coordinating all aspects is like a dance, and the pattern has to go live before the class can go live. One step at a time!)

Introducing: Tidal Wave Mitts and Hat

They’ve been a long time coming, haven’t they? And they’ve had a name change, too! Their working name was Sneaker Wave, but there really wasn’t anything sneaky about them, and sneakers just remind me of Keds. Tidal waves are the rollers of the tide going in and out. Sounds soothing to me. (And thank goodness for “Find/Replace” in Microsoft Word!)

The Tidal Wave Mitts and Hat both begin with ribbing for a stretchy fit. Loose rolling cabled waves alternate to transform ribbing into WOW. The mitts feature mirrored cables, so each hand has a cable that twists toward the thumb.

The thumb gore is formed with centered double increases. Bulky yarn and big needles make this quick knit a breeze!

The hat’s cables terminate elegantly to close the top of the hat, in both a shorter version and a taller version for a perfect fit. This is a great introduction to knitting cables.

The mitts and hat each take about 100g/130 yards of bulky weight yarn. They’re designed here with Knit Picks Chroma Twist Bulky, shown in the Narwhal colorway.

Charts and line by line instructions are included.

The mitts and hat patterns are available individually or together as an ebook for a discounted price. The pdf downloads are available on Ravelry and on Payhip.

Bonus! These patterns are 15% off, no coupon code needed, through September 23, 2020. As always, newsletter subscribers get a bigger discount; newsletter will be out in the next day or so. Subscribe here if you want knitting news, tips, and special offers. I send a newsletter once or twice per month. No spam!

Click here for Ravelry and choose the ebook or individual pattern you’d like.

Click here for Tidal Wave Mitts on Payhip
Click here for Tidal Wave Hat on Payhip
Click here for Tidal Wave Accessories Collection ebook on Payhip

River and sky #4catbordhi

I’m trying to get excited about my emPower People bandana, but I’m just not. I think it’s even frowning at me! I had hoped to finish it and use it for special election Tuesday next week, but I’m just not feeling the love. I’m going to put it aside for now.

I need to work on my Half the Knit Sky KAL; I’m trying to finish by the end of August. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a lot more knitting than I expect, because the yardage on this Huckleberry Knits gradient is so much longer than on my original KnitCircus gradient.

I love how subtle the color shift is.

If you’re knitting along, please post a picture on Instagram or Ravelry so you can be in this week’s prize drawing. I’ll pick a winner over the weekend.

My Rio Calina #4catbordhi is calling my name. I love how quickly this river moves along, big stitches, bold cables. I’m trying to be random with the cables and go with the flow, but those two long lines heading to the left are just begging for an intervention!

What is your knitting telling you to do?

Onward!

New on the needles: Rio Calina

Well, I didn’t find 2 skeins of worsted in my small stash, but I did find 2 skeins of fingering weight that I could use doubled, for a roughly worsted equivalent.

This is Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi in their Springwater colorway. One of them seems more purple than the other, but that just means that the blend will be that much richer.

The pattern for the Rio Calina cowl is a gift from Cat Bordhi. The cables are meant to be random, like a river. I’m not very good at being random. I like rules; that’s how I design. I’m trying to be intentionally random here, which is testing me a bit, but for Cat Bordhi, I’d do it. Thank you, Cat, for encouraging me to go with the flow.

I cast on while Carole was visiting for wine o’clock in the backyard; she was working on a quilt while I was knitting. It would be sweet to knit this only when I’m with friends, either in person or in virtual Zoom knit nights. But that may not work during our pandemic social distancing. We’ll see how strong the pull of the knitting is. I now have 3 projects on the needles, so I can rotate…randomly?

Cat Bordhi is such a shining light; I’m so sad that the knitting world will soon be without her. If you missed her grace-filled post, it’s here.

Do you want to knit along? You can see posts with #4catbordhi on Instagram and other social media. I’ll be knitting, over here.

Sneaker Wave! Coming soon…

Earlier this spring, Knit Picks gave me the opportunity to try out a new yarn, Chroma Twist Bulky. I love Chroma Worsted, so I jumped at the chance. I chose this color, Narwhal.

I knew I wanted to make some bulky mitts, based on a recipe I dashed off on a piece of paper for my friend Vickie back in 2012. I thought it would be a fairly simple process of reverse engineering the picture she sent me back then.

Reader, I knit the first mitt 4 times, fussing with needle size, cable frequency, cable placement, thumb gore increase options (lifted/m1/other) and rate of increase, and more. Sometimes designing is more engineering than art. But after that, the second mitt was easy. Behold, a vertically centered cable that is neither too tight nor too loose.

I asked for 2 skeins, knowing I wanted to design a matching hat. It was going to be a basic ribbed hat with a single cable as a feature, but the cable didn’t look nearly as impressive on the bigger field of a hat, compared to a single cable on a mitt. MORE CABLES, PLEASE.

And thank you.

I’m really pleased with the finish on the crown.

I loved knitting with this yarn; it’s big and chewy like bucatini pasta. It’s plied rather than a single ply, which gives it more durability than my beloved Chroma Worsted. And it knits up fast! The color is a gentle gradient back and forth; I played around a bit to make sure the mitts had some shading, because the first one I knit was all one color, no thank you. It went to the frog pond and I started from the other end of the skein for the next attempt.

I also played with my hat so that it would begin with the darker shade next to my face, because that’s the shade I liked best.

I’m just going to make these as one size fits most, which is not my usual. Both the hat and the mitts are very stretchy because they’re basically just ribbing. If I add more stitches, it will throw off the perfect symmetry. If you really wanted to change the size a bit up or down, you could do it by changing the needle size. I liked the fabric best on US 9, but US 8 made a great fabric, too. The ball band recommends a US 10, so it’s all covered.

I’ve written the pattern, and it’s been tech edited already, too. I’m looking for a few test knitters for the hat, or mitts, or both. Drop me a line if you’re interested. The hat takes 100g/127 yards, and the mitts take the same. And they’re quick!

Tonal contrast and dye lots

I accidentally finished my pink Love Note before Monday’s Zoom knit nite, so I was desperate to put something else on the needles. This is the downside of being a monogamous knitter.

I poked through my tiny stash, and decided to cast on a second Half the Knit Sky, just to see how far 2 400 yard skeins could take this. The original only has 388 yards in the gradient sparkle skein.

You know the mono tonal contrast camera trick? Put your camera phone in monotone to see if your colors have tonal contrast. Based on this picture, it looks like the speckled yarn would show up well against either of the two blues I have here. I opted for the lighter of the two, because I had tried the darker before and I thought the colors looked muddy together.

But you really don’t know until you try it. Where are my stars?

I think the issue is in the dye lot. The one I’m using is in the upper corner. It looks like the speckles are longer/heavier than the speckles on the one in the lower corner, which is leftover from my Both Sides Now shawl. The light background of the speckle is an ok tonal pop with the background color, but the big star stitch stars are getting lost because there’s too much of the speckle dye in them.

I only have half a ball (44g) of the older version, not enough to do the whole shawl.

I really like the way the older speckle yarn pops off the dark background. When I swatched the dark yarn before with the new speckle, I thought it was a bit muddy. Whyyyyy?

The other difference between these two speckled yarns? The older one is whiter, and the newer one has a more natural/cream background. This isn’t a knock on the yarn; dye lots can vary quite a bit. It’s only when you have your heart set on a particular vision that it becomes problematic.

I do think the darker background is the better choice.

What to do? I think I can make this work if I use the whiter yarn for the single stars and the tall star stitch rows, as well as the final border. I can use the creamier, more heavily speckled yarn in most of the star trail rows (the long white lines). That would be like natural variation in the sky, and it would also vary the perceived length of the lines.

As with most knitting, I’ll have to try it and see. I just have to decide whether to rip back to the beginning of the second set of star trails, or let those bright trails stand. What do you think?

Knit Circus The Night Sky

This showed up in the mail, just before the stay-at-home order took effect. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s from Knit Circus; the sparkle gradient is The Knit Sky, and the speckle is Mistress of Myself.

I bought these with an idea in mind, something I’ve been dreaming about for a year or more. I’m finally ready to play with it. My initial swatching looks promising. A shawl, and it’s *not* brioche. I know, unbelievable!

More later. Gotta go knit.

Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn

Let’s talk about yarn. For the Minerva samples shown here, we’ve used worsted weight yarns with a long slow color change. The colors are constantly shifting, but not as quickly as in a variegated yarn. The show color shift makes each block look like a separate color. But the yarn has done all the work; you don’t have a million ends to sew in. (Side note: Today is Calvin’s Gotcha Day anniversary; he’s been part of our family for one year. He’s a love bug!)

These two cowls are knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted. Chroma is a mirrored gradient, so the color change in one direction, and then back, around a central color.

This cowl is knit with Noro Silk Garden, a worsted to Aran weight yarn. Noro yarns have delightful color changes. Other options are Berroco Millefiori, Cascade Melilla, and Plymouth Gina.

If you don’t mind sewing in more ends, you could choose two or more colors, and knit each tier in stripes of color. You could even knit an entrelac rainbow! But you’d have a lot of ends to sew in.

For the KAL, I’m planning to knit with a slightly lighter weight yarn, Huckleberry Knits American Dream DK in the Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway. This is the same colorway I used for my Aspen scarf, and I love how it transitions in a continuous rainbow. I won’t get individually colored squares, but I’m hoping for a shimmering rainbow progression. We shall see! The DK yarn will give me a slightly narrower cowl (my worsted version is 8” wide) but I’ll be perfectly happy with that.

What yarn are you choosing for your Minerva? Cowl or scarf? See pattern for yardage information. You can find the Minerva pattern here on Ravelry.

Next up: cast ons!

Edited to add:
All Minerva KAL 2020 posts:
Introducing Minerva Entrelac Cowl/Scarf and KAL
Minerva KAL: Choosing your yarn
Minerva KAL: Casting On
Minerva KAL: Base Triangles
Minerva KAL: Tier 2
Minerva KAL: Finishing Tier 2

Minerva and KAL coming soon!

I’ve decided that this version of my upcoming Minerva Cowl is as long as I want it to be! I like my cowls to be about 34” long; they fall well on me there. Right now this is 35”, but I couldn’t resist that last color I was knitting. I’m ready to give it a little steam block, and then seam it with a 3 needle bind off. I started with a provisional cast on, so that will be easy.

I know there’s not enough yarn to get to 56”, which is what I’d want for a double loop cowl, so I’m stopping now!

I’ll be releasing this pattern soon, with free and paid options, and having a virtual KAL via social media. Would you like to learn entrelac? It’s really fun, and looks really clever. Stay tuned for more info!

More cancellations and more knitting

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Not spring yet! #pdxsnow

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The world seems a bit crazy right now; COVID-19 and social distancing, and SNOW in Portland this weekend!

I just found out this morning that April’s Yarnover in Minnesota is canceled. VKLive Seattle was postponed from this weekend, with no new date yet. I’m very sorry that these events aren’t happening, but staying healthy and safe is more important. For me and other teachers, this means losing a significant amount of teaching income. I know the stakes are even higher for the organizers of these events, and for the vendors who invest in creating product to sell at these events. These costs have already been incurred. If you can be supportive of these small businesses, please do.

I canceled the local classes that I was going to have at the church yesterday. Worship services have been canceled for the next two weeks, and it didn’t feel right to carry on with my classes. We’ll try again later.

I was planning to go on the Lantern Moon retreat in Ashland next week, but that’s been canceled, too. No gatherings of more than 250 people in Oregon, so plays and concerts are NOT happening. All public schools in Oregon are closed until April 1, and our county libraries are closed, too. Definitely time to be home and knit.

I’m currently knitting a Noro version of my upcoming Minerva cowl. This is an in-between size; I’m using 3 50gm balls of Noro to make a 32-34” cowl, which is my current favorite length.

I’m still planning to knit a DK weight cowl with a Huckleberry Knits DK Gradient, but the Vivace I bought at yarn crawl doesn’t have a quick enough color shift. Scarlet is dyeing more DK in Practical Tactical Brilliance, the same colors in my Aspen Leaf scarf. I think the extra colors in that gradient will make a stunning statement! I’m saving the Vivace for another project later. And this, my friends, is how a non-stasher acquires a stash. I only buy yarn for planned projects, but sometimes it’s not a perfect match, and the yarn becomes stash. But the right project will come along…eventually.

What are you knitting? Are you staying home? Here’s a great article on social distancing. Let’s flatten the curve, and stay healthy! If not for ourselves, then for the most vulnerable among us.