Category Archives: yarn

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!

FO: Soldotna Crop

I tried on my Soldotna Crop halfway through the bind off, and it either needed to be a little shorter or a lot longer. I thought it would be cuter as a little cropped thing, so I ripped back and took out some of the body dot section. I’m pretty short waisted, so 5 completed dot repeats is plenty on me. Now it’s a cropped crop!

Sleeve finishing: I had 59 sts per sleeve based on my change at the body/sleeve division. I picked up 5 sts at each underarm (where I bound off 3 sts); the two extra stitches are to avoid holes there, and also because I need a multiple of 4 to make the ribbing work. 59+5=64; perfect.

I first finished this with green at the waist, but decided that I didn’t like a bright green horizontal line across my midsection. So I swapped it out with the dark purple instead. I had also finished the sleeves in green (just following directions!) but having so much green at the yoke and sleeves made it read as a green sweater. I wanted a purple one. I tried the dark purple here, but it was too much of a statement; it needed to be either green or light purple, like the motif just above it. I think the light purple is perfect.

A little steam blocking, and it’s ready to rock and roll. BTW this turned out to be 38” at the bust, which is fine for me. Gauge…

I finished this in less than two weeks, even though I knit most of it twice! Which means it’s a really quick knit in real life.

And it’s so cute! It’s perfect for now through fall.

So what is this monogamous knitter knitting now?

I’m swatching some Berroco Remix, a nylon/cotton/acrylic/silk/linen blend, as an alternative to Kestrel for my upcoming Kittiwake pattern release. It’s looking like it will be a good alternative. It’s soft and cottony, rather than crisp like linen. Choose what works for you!

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of a new shawl, probably brioche. We’ll see what happens next!

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!

Soldatna color update

Well, it took all morning, but I just had to know for sure.

Here’s the green yoke version.

And here’s the white yoke version. The green and purple arrow section isn’t nearly as compelling as I imagined it would be, I think because of the nearby white. See how much more the green and dark purple stand out from each other on the first picture, when there’s no white near them? It doesn’t work that way in the second picture. Also, the green vertical stripes are harder to read on the white background, than the white vertical stripes on the green.

So I’ll be carrying on with the green yoke/purple and white arrow version!

It’s actually pretty quick knitting, when you’re not knitting two. I started these on Friday, and it’s only Monday afternoon.

Onward!

On the needles: Soldotna Crop

I don’t knit from other designer’s patterns very often; usually I’m designing something of my own. But every once in a while a design will catch my attention, and I just have to knit it! The last time it was Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover. I loved it so much I knit two of them.

This time? Caitlin Hunter’s Soldotna Crop is calling my name. I bought yarn for it in June. But I set it aside so I could design and knit a linen top first. That’s the incentive plan: Work first, then play.

Here’s the yarn I bought in June. Iris, Spooky Hue, Nickel, and Fresh Cut. I was a little worried about the gray and green; they don’t have much tonal contrast, and I really wanted to use the green for the arrow line across the yoke. Per the pattern, it would be paired with the gray.

Not much contrast there, right? But I knew I wanted the watercolor-y light purple Iris for the main part of the body, and I thought I wanted the dark purple to pop off of that.

I ignored my warning bells and cast on. Did I do a proper washed and blocked gauge swatch? No. Do as I say, not as I do! Sometimes just jumping in and starting is as good as a gauge swatch. I don’t mind ripping.

The first attempt used the recommended size US 5 needles, and it was tighter than it should have been. So I started over on a US 7. Oh, with a provisional cast on. I’ve paged through a lot of Ravelry project pages, and the one complaint is that the neckline is very high. So I’m skipping the ribbing and the short rows, and just beginning right below the colorwork. I’ll figure out the neck treatment later.

When I got to the green/gray arrow, there was no contrast at all. Guess I should have listened to those warning bells. Also, I decided that I didn’t want the dark purple as a background at the beginning; the whole sweater was bringing me down. Too autumnal, or even wintery. So I went back to Twisted, and bought a skein of Nekkid to replace the gray.

I still want the light purple as the main part of the body. And I wanted way less of the dark purple, so I’ll use that for the arrow. That’s the least used color. The question is: Nekkid or Fresh Cut for the beginning and the interplay with the light purple?

I started with Nekkid, and it felt like the purples were a stripe on a white sweater. Pretty contrasty! In this color scheme, the arrow would be dark purple against green, which I would love. Should I knit a little further? As I said, I don’t mind ripping!

I also started with green, and the combo of this and the light purple made me think of sugared violets. Beautiful! I like how everything seems to blend. But now the arrow would be dark purple against Nekkid, which is very contrasty, and not quite as pleasing as purple against green.

So far, I’ve decided to go with the green beginning. It feels more blendy/cohesive. And the contrasty arrow will really stand out. But of course I’m having second thoughts. There might be more green than I want here. I may go and knit a little further on the other piece and see what happens. Which do you like?

I find color to be such an adventure, and so hard to predict how colors will interact until I try it. How about you?

I never did wash and block any of these beginnings. I guess it will fit…or it won’t!

Kittiwake, my linen top, is coming in August! I’ve knit two of them. The pattern has been edited, and test knitter Ann just got her yarn and is knitting away. I’m looking forward to sharing that with you! Soon!

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!

WWKIP Day pix, and a knitCompanion winner

I didn’t make it to IKEA on Saturday; that was one too many activities for me. But it was a great day in the park with Knit Picks. It didn’t even rain! And it was cool enough that we could wear our knits. Perfect.

I had a little display, shown here behind Meghan of JaMpdx in her lovely Blooming Brioche Shawl.

She gave me a yarn chicken patch, so new they’re not even in the shop yet. She knows I’m a big yarn chicken fan.

Emily Kintigh was the designer next to me; I love her softies. That baseball is calling my name.

Chelsea and Rebekah Berkompas are sisters-in-law who design!

And MK Nance (right) was there with gorgeous rainbows, and a friend whose name I didn’t catch. Sorry!

Cali came by to say hi, and gave me some plant cuttings! I follow her, and her kitty, on Instagram. We first met years ago during a Rose City Yarn Crawl.

I brought my new Hopscotch Scarf, which is coming soon.

Did you knit in public on Saturday? I hope you had fun!

I picked a winner for the knitCompanion Setup + Essentials. It’s kimbelina! I’m sending her an email to make arrangements for prize delivery. Thanks to everyone for commenting; it’s interesting how we all have different ways of tracking our projects. Even clothespins!

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!