Category Archives: yarn

Rose City Yarn Crawl starts today!

Rose City Yarn Crawl, Portland’s premier yarny event, begins today, March 4, as usual. But it’s not business as usual, because the crawl is going virtual this year, with an extended crawl March 4-14.

I usually kick off the crawl at For Yarn’s Sake with owner Anne Lindquist, Knitted Wit dyer Lorajean Kelley, and designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone (Ravelry link). This year we toasted virtually in a Zoom we recorded last night. You can see our chat online on the For Yarn’s Sake RCYC page here. And you can find our trunk shows for the crawl on the same page. I’m featuring 7 designs. Six are new this past year, and Lucky Star is an older favorite that Features Knitted Wit’s yarn.

My Half the Knit Sky design is being offered as a yarn kit with gradient yarn from Huckleberry Knits, another Pacific Northwest dyer. Quantities are limited, so if you want a kit, now’s the time for action! These colorways are Practical Tactical Brilliance and Made you Blush (shop exclusive for For Yarn’s Sake). Pattern is sold separately from the kit through Ravelry and Payhip. Many of our trunk show items are in the shop so you can see them up close, too.

Check out the Rose City Yarn Crawl site for ways to participate and win prizes. And you can even visit the stores in person; it’s just not required this year. This may be the first year in a long time that I’ll be able to visit all eight participating shops, if only virtually!

Best laid plans…

I’ve been knitting along in a dream state with these pretty yarns, thinking of how to make the shawl that I see in my mind. This is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, in Ticklish, Cherry Blossom, and Fresh Cut.

A lot of my designing is trial and error, so there’s a lot of ripping and re-knitting. But I learn something every time I rip. I’ve been knitting away, thinking, and it was time to figure out how how big this would be. I used the Pythagorean Theorem. When’s the last time you thought of that? The hypotenuse is the magic number here.

It turns out I had made the beginning way too big. I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish if I kept going. So I frogged the 11,000 stitches that came after this. Which was fine, because I used those stitches to map out what I want to do, see how things would fit together, and decide what the stitch patterns should be. And it was a really big gauge swatch, too. I took a lot of notes along the way, and now I’m well on my way. At least I think I am!

My current workspace is not too shabby.

Are you a ripper? I really don’t mind it, if I get what I want, eventually.

Half the Knit Sky, again

I’m having a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake as part of this year’s Rose City Yarn Crawl. We’re featuring kits for my Half the Knit Sky using gradients from Huckleberry Knits.

This colorway is called Made You Blush, and it’s an exclusive at For Yarn’s Sake. It’s paired with Manos Alegria in Pewter in the kit. You can start your gradient ball at the white end, or the pink end, knitter’s choice! Test knitter Ann is now a sample knitter, and she sent it to me for blocking. You may recognize my fence.

The other kit features the Practical Tactical Brilliance colorway, which is a favorite of mine. Scarlet says that she made the new batch a little bluer than this at the end, to be even more like the aurora borealis. I can’t wait to see it. The contrast color in this kit is Madelinetosh Twist Light in Stormborn. Both kits go on sale on March 4.

Rose City Yarn Crawl begins on March 4, and runs through March 14. I’ll pop up another post with a link to my trunk show when it goes live. There will also be a recorded Zoom interview with my other trunk show buddies, Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), Shannon Squire, and Debbie Stone. I just wanted to show you the pretty pink shawl!

Half the Knit Sky, encore

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is coming up next month, and I’m having a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake! The crawl is virtual this year. You can visit the shops in person, but it’s not required for the crawl. I’m sending over my Half the Knit Sky knit with Huckleberry Knits gradient and MadTosh Twist Light. There *will* be kits, in two colorways. The gradient on this one is Practical Tactical Brilliance, and the other will be Made You Blush, an exclusive for For Yarn’s Sake.

I knit this last year for my KAL, and stopped short of the acid green at the end because I had already added 24 rows to the original pattern. Last weekend I decided to take the edging off and use more of the gradient, so I did! I ripped back all the way through the flying arrows, so I could add a third repeat of that last section of star trails. I then replaced the flying arrows, and finished again. I had 1.3 g of gradient left, yay for yarn scale and not yarn chicken!

Adding this many rows put me just past where I’d need another increase row based on the pi shawl formula, so I was counting on the flexibility of knitting to make it work because I didn’t want an increase so close to the edge. Also, no more yarn! I used a Russian bind off for the refinished edge, because I knew it was going to be quite a stretch blocking the edge out.

Finished size: 60” x 30” pinned out, and it bounced back to 60” x 28” deep when I took it off the wires. It is larger partly from the added knitting, and partly because the first time I blocked it, I did it outdoors on a hot September day, and it was drying very quickly while I was pinning. Now we’re in winter, and I blocked it in my studio. It is the loveliest, airiest thing. Yay!

Before and after. I’m really happy with it!

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is March 4-14; check out their website here.

Multiple WIPs, oh noes!

I usually have one or two projects at a time; that’s plenty for me. I work better when I’m a bit obsessive. But my two current projects are both stranded colorwork (Dreyma and Katie’s Kep), and that means paying attention to a chart, all the time. Sometimes that’s not possible.

So here we are with brioche again, a perfect multi-tasker project for me. I decided I hadn’t had enough of this color combo yet; Malabrigo Rios in Volcan and Azul Profundo. I gave two friends the previous cowls in this color combo, and I decided I liked it so much I wanted to use it again.

Debbie Braden, one of my Leafy Origami Cowl test knitters, said she was wearing the small cowl as a hat with her ponytail coming out the top. Hmmm. I think I can actually make this close up on top, gracefully. I’ve gone so far as to chart it, and now I have to see if it works in real life. If not, I’ll rip off the top, and finish as a cowl for Mom-in-law. It’s a winner, either way.

Here’s another non-charted project from the weekend. I made a little bow with my other 32 ft strand of fairy lights. US 9 needles, again. I made a stitch holder for the live stitches, using a piece of guitar string. After that I realized that I probably have a stitch holder somewhere that would have worked! Oh well, it’s all good.

I’ve got a lot of food gifts to make in the next few days, which will be a good changeup from knitting. My forearms are still reminding me that I knit too long on Dreyma last week, so it still looks like this:

DH wore the hat over the weekend, so I guess we’ve done our gifts early! (Mine is the board in the leafy hat-to-be picture.)

Are you a mulit-WIP or monogamous knitter? Are you scrambling this week, or completely chill?

Introducing: Leafy Origami Cowl

large cowl

The Leafy Origami Cowl is a 2-color brioche cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. It features a stitch pattern that falls into mountain and valley folds, just like origami. The result is a delightfully three dimensional fabric. It’s knit with 2 colors of worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios.

small cowl

The beginning of the round moves forward and backward on several rounds to keep the center vein of the first leaf as the first stitch of the round, making this a challenging brioche pattern. The results are worth it! I’ve made several video tutorials to guide you through the increases, decreases, and moving the markers. The stitch pattern is adapted from the Under Dutch Skies stitch pattern in Nancy Marchant’s book, Knitting Fresh Brioche.

A better view of all those leaves

This pattern is available through Ravelry and through Payhip for 10% off through December 16, 2020 with coupon code FOLDS. Newsletter subscribers, see your special offer in your inbox.

large cowl

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, Elizabeth Forester, and Wendy Sakai.

small cowl, with colors reversed

I hope you enjoy knitting this as much as I did! Four cowls later, I’m still smitten. You know I love leaves, and you know I love brioche. This is a perfect combo for me.

This is my last pattern release for the year. 2020 has been strange, but ultimately productive. Hunkering down and knitting has had some benefits. I hope you’re making the best of 2020, too. Carry on…

Log Cabin Knitting, and the last classes of 2020

I taught two classes over the weekend, Log Cabin Knitting for Twisted, and Tink Drop Frog for For Yarn’s Sake. I love these classes; they’re relaxed and fun. Perfect for December knitting.

Log Cabin blocks

Log cabin squares are such easy knitting; it’s all garter stitch. Once you know where to pick up your stitches (where to stick it!), it’s a relaxing knit all the way.

I decided after class that my blanket needed some repair, and a bath. So she got both. I knit this from 2007 to 2009. It was supposed to be a scrap project, but as it got bigger I had to buy more yarn. Twice! This is knit in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, a non-superwash wool. I soaked it in my top-loading washing machine, but didn’t agitate. No felting, please! The original scraps were from my Felted Slip Stitch Tote design projects, when that was a thing. The pattern is “How to Log Cabin” from the first Mason Dixon Knitting book; this was my very first log cabin knitting project.

Tink bear

Sunday’s Tink Drop Frog class was the first time I’ve taught it via Zoom. I’ve been teaching this class for a decade, and it’s always lots of fun to help kntters become the boss of their knitting! And it works just fine in Zoom, too, maybe even a little better since everyone can see my hands at the same time.

I’m teaching both of these classes for Virtual Vogue Knitting Live this coming weekend. The Tink class is full, but there’s still room in the Log Cabin class. I’m also teaching Next Steps in Brioche/Increases and Decreases with my Deep End hat or cowl or Madrona Cowl, and Cast On/ Bind Off.

What are you knitting in December? I have 2 hats on the needles. One is a sample for a January class, and one is a swatch for a sweater for DH. And I have visions of another Log Cabin project dancing in my head. Hmmm, I may be outrunning my fingers here!

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!