Category Archives: yarn

Introducing Cosette

Cosette

Cosette is a cross between a cowl and a shawlette. A cowlette? It starts out as a round cowl, knit from the top down. After the cowl is finished, knitting continues with triangular shawl shaping in the round. This cowl/shawette combo provides great coverage, and it won’t slip off your shoulders! It’s fuss-free wear.

Here’s Cosette in its unscrunched glory. I really love how this turned out, and I enjoyed all the mathy bits that made it work!

Cosette is knit with 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn. I used Knitted Wit Sock in Kiss and Teal and The Future is Bright (variegated). I love how the quilted lattice stitch shines in a variegated yarn. Other stitches in this pattern include my favorite lacy flower, and a shell lace stitch that uses elongated stitches with extra yarnovers that are dropped on the next round. There’s a video tutorial for the shell lace stitch.

Cosette ends with either brioche rib or k1p1 ribbing; it’s your choice. I love the way the contrast color peeks through the brioche rib. There are brioche video tutorials linked in the pattern, too.

The Cosette pattern is available through my Ravelry shop here, and my Payhip shop here. Use coupon code QUILT for 15% off through April 14 in either shop.

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, model Sharon Hsu, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, Karen Cunningham, Jesse Hodgden, Jacqueline Lydston, Marilee Reinhart-Davieau, and Andrea Roosth.

Happy knitting!

On the needles

Cosette is finished except for the publishing. I’ve also knitted three versions of another design for a June release (no pictures yet). My needles were empty, so it’s time for another project! I’m designing a new hat/cowl project for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise in August. (Come cruise with me!)

Look at the color of that water. It inspired me to choose this yarn.

Mmmmm, Malabrigo

This is Malabrigo Rios in Azul Profundo and Cian. So pretty! My class is a brioche class, and I’m trying to make it as user friendly as possible. It’s just a 3 hour class, so I have to think about pacing and how to cover everything I want. (You may be thinking about my Deep End hat and cowl, but that’s too much of a quick start for brioche newbies.)

I have this design all planned out, and now I just have to knit and see if it really does what I want, at the pace I want. Wish me luck!

Coming soon: Cosette

Cosette is a cowl that didn’t stop when the cowl was done. It continued on into a triangular shawl shape so I could use more of this pretty variegated yarn from Knitted Wit. That’s the yarn that called my name first! It took me a while to figure out how to let it shine best. I think I’ve got it.

The edging is brioche rib, but there’s an option to work the edging in K1P1 ribbing instead. Brioche rib is just glorified ribbing, right? The whole thing goes over your head like a cowl, but looks like a shawlette when it’s on. And it doesn’t fall off. This is my new favorite shape, a mashup of cowl and shawl.

I’m looking for a few test knitters. Let me know if you’re interested! You’d need 2 skeins fingering weight yarn in contrasting colors, and I’d need you to finish in about 2 weeks? Three weeks max. This one just flew off my needles.

We’ve come a long way from this little mishap!

I woke up from a dream the other morning, with three design ideas in my head, but could only remember two of them when I wrote them down. I’m on a roll, though…still can’t get excited about doing my 2021 bookkeeping, though! I do need to finish that. Soon.

Red Alder 2022 recap

This picture says it all. It was so wonderful to be back in a classroom with my knitters! This is my Brioche Pastiche class from Thursday morning. This was my first ”away” teaching since Red Alder in 2020. It’s been a long two years.

I taught 4 classes, and it was a joy. I brought my laptop and document camera, so it was the best of both worlds. Everyone could see the demonstration at the same time like a Zoom class, and then i could go around the room and fine tune with people.

The market was fun, and I had a great time signing books with the fun peeps from Northwest Yarns.

Melissa, Heather, Tristan, and Echo from Northwest Yarns
Thanks, Echo!
Karen and Donna
Nancy of Schmutzerella Yarns with her ravishing Oregon Sky
Dyers Jen of Matchmaker Yarns & Kalliope of Anzula Luxury Fibers
Test knitter Kris

I met Kris in person; she was so helpful test knitting for Brioche Knit Love. So nice to put faces with names!

Here’s what came home with me:

Sparkly fingering weight yarn from Schmutzerella, and beads from Bead Biz. I have a plan for this combination.

Sparkly DK weight yarn from Anzula Luxury Fibers. Apparently I was having a thing for all things sparkly. I think I have a plan for this, too.

And worsted weight yarn from Anzula, as a backup if the sparkles don’t work for what I was planning…

Red Alder is already planning for next year; mark your calendars for February 16-19, 2023!

Edited to add my weekend knitwear!

Here are more pictures from the weekend.

Chihuly art glass at the old Union Station
Love this reflection!
Union Station reflection on the Bridge of Glass
Mural. I’ve seen this expression on Bisquee
The mountain peeked out at sunset on Friday

Now hard at work (at home) trying to pare down the to-do list! It grew quite a bit these past two weeks. Onward!

Introducing: Camellia Wrap

I’ve been working on a project for Knit Picks IDP (Independent Designer Partnership) program. They’ve begun doing monthly IDP showcases, and I applied to feature my Cherry Blossom Wrapture for their March “green” showcase. This meant that all I needed to do was to knit a sample in Knit Picks yarn. Easy, right?

The colors I chose didn’t want to play along. I think the stronger colors I chose required a simpler, less busy layout. I ended up writing a new pattern, Camellia Wrap. Camellia Wrap is a streamlined version of Cherry Blossom Wrapture. It’s simpler in that there’s just one way to lay out the colors, and there’s only one lace motif for the logs. I did all the thinking so you don’t have to; you just get to knit!

I chose the name Camellia Wrap because I envisioned photographing the wrap in front of a friend’s camellia hedge. Apparently the hedge didn’t want to cooperate either; it will probably be in full bloom in mid-March. See the single blossom above Sharon’s head?

The pattern is available for purchase through the Knit Picks Independent Design Partnership here.

The pattern is also available for purchase through Ravelry downloads, link here.

The pattern is also available through this link to my Payhip store, link here.

On Ravelry and Payhip, you can use the coupon code blooms for 15% off your purchase.

If you previously purchased Cherry Blossom Wrapture, you can get the Camellia Wrap pattern for free! I sent out an update to previous buyers with a special code.

pdxknitterati rosaria

In case you’re wondering, this is what the camellia hedge looks like in full bloom. This is Rosaria, my design for the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery KAL in 2014. I was working with Knit Picks for a March 1 launch, so I couldn’t wait for the mass bloom effect. Maybe later…

Just keep knitting…

Swatching, charting, knitting

It was a splendidly beautiful day yesterday; it got up to 67 degrees F (19 C); which is unusual for February in Portland. I took my work outside. My math swatch has paid off, and I’m done with the first section of my new design. The next step required some charting and planning to make stitch counts work out on the repeat (do you sense a theme here?). I want to alternate the variegated and semi-solid, and give the variegated yet another chance to sing. This yarn is Knitted Wit Sock in The Future is Bright and Kiss and Teal.

The book on the table is Lorna Miser’s The Hand Knitter’s Guide to Hand-Dyed and Variegated Yarn. It talks about different dye methods, and how to make the most of them. A lot of the book is about how to recognize if colors will pool, and how to avoid pooling, if desired. There are lots of stitch patterns to play with. I’ve swatched the one that it will be perfect for this project. We shall see.

Sometimes you want colors to pool, and Hunter Hammersen’s Stochastic Hat is an example of that. She worked with Gauge Dyeworks to make a yarn with spaced out color runs, just long enough to knit random color burbles into the hat. (As well as a section to knit a brim all in the contrast color, whoa.) You can use any yarn for this hat, but the thought of knitting it with assigned pooling (the yarn tells you when to make the burbles) is fun.

I was going to knit this hat with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, but the fuzzy single ply (top) doesn’t want to settle nicely into burbles. The smooth superwash yarn (Malabrigo Rios, below) is much better behaved. I’m not sure I have a hat’s worth in two coordinating colors, though. I’ll poke around a little more. I’m glad I swatched the burbles *before* jumping in and knitting an entire hat brim before finding out my yarn wasn’t going to cooperate! Swatching can be very helpful.

I’m teaching a Zoom class on planned pooling for For Yarn’s Sake on March 6. We’ll talk about planned pooling and assigned pooling. Come knit with me! Register here.

That same weekend I’m teaching Petite Brioche for Twisted (also Zoom). Saturday March 5. If you’d like a jump start into two color brioche in the round, this is it! Register here.

Okay, time to see if my charting made sense, and if my math works out!

Introducing: Brioche Entrée

I love a simple project for teaching a new technique. Brioche Entrée is your very most basic introduction to brioche rib. It only uses the brioche knit (brk) and slip 1 yarn over (sl1yo) stitches, but you still get a brioche rib scarf. No purling needed! I designed this piece to use for a guild presentation, but I’m happy to share it with you.

One skein of super bulky yarn, a pair of US 15/10mm needles, and you’re all set. I used Malabrigo Rasta; this is the Abril colorway.

You can download the pattern here. I made video tutorials for both right hand throwers and left hand continental knitters. I’ve got you covered! This is a simple pattern for brioche newbies, or a quickie pattern for experienced brioche knitters, or both.

Are you a brioche knitter? Am I tempting you to try it? Get it off your bucket list!

Mmmm, cinnamon rolls

I’m deep into cinnamon roll experimentation. My sister gave me some Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon, so it’s cinnamon roll season. FIrst I made the recipe that came with the cinnamon; it was a no-yeast version. The dough was really wet and messy, but the rolls were good.

Then I tried the NYTimes no-yeast cinnamon roll recipe. The dough was easier to handle, and they were pretty. A little too salty, but also good.

A friend recommended this yeast cinnamon roll recipe. This version involves pouring heavy cream or half and half over the rolls before baking. Another friend recommended braiding and rolling the dough into knots, which I’ll try next time. I wasn’t sure my yeast was still good (April 2020), so I didn’t want to get too ambitious.

I even iced them. They were fabulous! And the yeast was a little slow, but things turned out fine. Yeast rolls are alway so much better than quick rolls, but they do take a little more effort.

Biscuit approves. Happy Sunday!

I’m still knitting my kep, but it’s not mindless knitting because of the chart. I need some knitting for multi-tasking, so I’ll be designing something a little simpler for this yarn.

Knitted Wit Sock, in Kiss and Teal and The Future is Bright. I have two ideas, so I need to pick one and then swatch a bit. Perfect for a three day weekend here in the US.

What are you knitting?

Slip It! Slip It Good!

Apologies to Devo, and you’re welcome for the earworm.

Introducing two new slip stitch designs, the Slip Away Cowl, and Dotty Bed Socks!

Slip Away Cowl

I designed the Slip Away Cowl as a teaching piece for The Knitting Circle’s Holiday Virtual Event, and now I can share it with you, too. The cowl is knit with two colors of worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios. It features five easy slip stitch patterns; you get fun colorwork while using just one color per row. It’s knit flat, and then joined together at the end. This is a great way to get your cowl to be exactly the length you want. This is my favorite cowl length for wearability. The pattern includes tips on using these stitch patterns in the round, too. The Slip Away Cowl pattern is available on Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022. If you’re taking the Slip Away Class at January’s Virtual Knitting Live, the pattern is included in your class fee in January only, so don’t buy it twice!

Dotty Bed Socks

The Dotty Bed Socks are a quick knit in worsted weight yarn; I used Malabrigo Rios for these, too. They’re knit from the cuff down, and have a flap and gusset heel turn. Magic! You can knit the top of the instep in either Dotty or stripes; instructions for both are in the pattern. The Dotty Bed Socks pattern is available through Ravelry and Payhip. Use the code SlipSlide for 20% off, through January 8, 2022.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, check your email for a combo offer!

I do love knitting with two colors, one at a time. It’s like…brioche! Which I’ll get back to, eventually. For now, I’m knitting madly on my garter stitch Cherry Blossom Wrapture, which is also…one color at a time! Happy happy new year to you.

Color is a funny thing

Remember this color combo? I really wanted it to work for a version of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture for the Knit Picks IDP (Independent Design Partnership) program. I took it to Hawaii to knit after the Dotty Bed Socks (working, working, working). I liked the green and the pink together. I liked the green and the speckle together. I didn’t like the pink and the speckle together. Blergh. I tried to make it work by making the log cabin frame around the leafy center green instead of pink, hoping that using less pink would make it work.

I kept telling myself it was okay, but the pink still looks like a tacked on afterthought. The shawl was reading as way more green than pink, and it’s the pink that I’m most interested in. Over the course of vacation, I got word that this pattern will be featured by Knit Picks in spring 2022 for the IDP program, and the thought of it not being perfect made my stomach hurt. So I started poking at using a different color with the Poseidon and Italian Ice.

Camellia, Goddess, Turkish Delight

My options? Turkish Delight (a deeper and more magenta pink), or Goddess (straight up purple). I love the Goddess with the greens, but I don’t think the flowers would show up in a color that dark, so I decided to try the Turkish Delight.

I think Turkish Delight is a winner! Somehow it holds its own against the green and yellow, where the Camellia did not. So that’s how it’s going to be. I love it. Now I just have to finish knitting it, and re-writing parts of the pattern. I’ve done the math and know how big it’s going to be…yay math!

Bisquee is helping. She let me her pawdicure snips, because I left the snips from this project bag in my studio for a class.

What are you working on during this in-between week? Are you planning to celebrate the new year with a new cast on? I want to finish this project first, and I have miles of garter stitch to go…