Category Archives: yarn

Lobelia shawlette pattern and yarn giveaway

Thanks for the warm welcome for Lobelia! I love this shawl and shawlette, and I’d like to share the love.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

lobelia shine tugboat

As you can see, Lobelia looks great in both gradients and semi-solids. I have these two lovely semi-solids from Knitted Wit from my stash. Both are 4 ounce skeins of fingering weight 100% superwash merino. I’m not sure of the yardage, but I’m guessing that there is at least 437 yards in each skein (label is for 100 yards, but these are heavier than that).

knitted wit superwash merino fingering

Sooooo, the giveaway. One skein of yarn in the color of your choice, plus a pdf download of either Lobelia, or one of my other single skein shawl/shawlette patterns. Which color speaks to you? Mint Mojito? Or the purple, whose name I’ve forgotten? Huckleberry, maybe? Which pattern? Leave a comment and let me know which color/pattern combo is calling your name!

To make this easier, here are links to my single skein shawls/shawlettes. You can also click their names on the sidebar.

Lobelia (bottom up crescent) (sideways)
Webfoot (bottom up crescent)
Filigree (bottom up crescent)
Ooh La Lace (botom up crescent)
Fern Lace (sideways)
Zen Rain (top down, wide, shallow, fun!)
Pacific (top down extended wingspan triangle)

I’ll choose a winner at random for each color on Monday, November 9. Remember, you need to name both a color and a pattern for your entry to be valid. Have fun and good luck! And remember: The Lobelia pattern is still on sale for 20% off with coupon code GRADIENT through Sunday, Nov. 8.

ETA: Winners posted! Congrats to Noreen and Emme.

Introducing: Lobelia Shawl and Shawlette

Remember the lovely gradient yarns I showed you this summer? Two of them turned into the Lobelia Shawl and Shawlette.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

This is the Lobelia shawl in KnitCircus Thrilling, Starry Night. I used a 150g/575 yard skein and loved every inch of it. The continuous gradient shades gently through the lacy lobelia flowers. 150 grams makes a shawl you can really get cozy in.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

But what if you only have a standard 100g/400 yard skein? This is the Lobelia shawlette in KnitCircus Greatest of Ease, Come What May, 400 yards. Not quite as big, but very lovely. Perfect when you need a little something.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

Not into gradients? Lobelia also looks great in a semi-solid color.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawlette

This is the Lobelia shawl knit in Knitted Wit’s Shine in Tugboat, 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel.

pdxknitterati lobelia shawl

These shawls begin at the lacy edging. The crescent is shaped with simple short rows. No wrapping at the turns is required. I’ve used this this shaping before, in my Ooh La Lace, Filigree, and Webfoot Shawls. This one is slightly modified from that classic shaping, in order to not run out of yarn before finishing the crescent shaping. I learned a new trick!

This pattern is available for $6 USD. Link to the Ravelry page is here. Pattern is 20% off with coupon code GRADIENT through November 7, 2015.

So, over the summer I knit three versions of this shawl, using 1385 yards. That’s more than 3/4 of a mile! And I have another gradient project in the works…mmmm, gradients!

Cruise control knitting

I worked on six designs this past summer, and now it’s time for a little (almost) mindless knitting. I had a sweater quantity of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in my stash.

Malabrigo Merino Worsted Contintental Blue

It wasn’t meant to be stashed; I was going to make Lempster when I saw it in Knitty last year. But it never happened. This is why I try not buy yarn until I’m absolutely ready to cast on. The road, the good intentions…you know.

But at knit nite earlier this week I was talking about my Honey Cardigan that I just can’t get the enthusiasm to finish.

honey cardi wip

I don’t know; is it the bell shaped sleeve that I already know I don’t like? I’m almost done with the first one, and it’s meh. I need to rip the sleeve out and start that part over as something more fitted. But you know how exciting an old project is.

I didn’t want to have to keep my eyes glued to a chart for Lempster, so I went hunting on Ravelry for a sweater at 18 sts/4inches. I’ve cast on for Bonne Marie Burns’ (ChicKnits) Edin. This is a raglan that starts with a provisional cast on at the center neckband. After the neckband is set, stitches are picked up and the raglan shaping begins. I got that far on Tuesday night so I could take this to jury duty on Wednesday morning. This is perfect knitting for me; a little bit of (easily memorized) lace to hold my interest, and lots of stockinette between markers so I can read while I knit.

Edin raglan shaping

There’s a lot of hanging out and waiting in the jury pool room, a perfect place to knit. Last night I made it to the point where the sleeves are separated out. What’s your go to cast on for the underarm portion on a raglan? I’ve used the simple backwards loop cast on before, but I hate how it stretches out when you go to work it on the next round. I remembered that I learned a different cast on in a sweater shaping class with Faina Goberstein last winter at Madrona. I was so captivated by it that I did a little video on my iPhone, and it was still there. I’ve uploaded it to YouTube so you can use it, too. You can hear class going on in the background. Sorry, no pretty manicure in this video!

It makes a firmer edge, which I like. It still stretches a bit as you work the first row, but it’s much better.

raglan cast on

Edin wip

After separating out the sleeves, it feels like this is going much quicker, and it was already quick! Wish me luck in keeping up this pace. I really want to wear this. I know that this soft single spun yarn will get pilly with wear, but I’ll put up with that because I love it, and I can always use one of those sweater shavers to tidy things up. Do you have a recommendation on those? I have an ancient Sweater Stone, but I’ve never liked it…

Snowy Hat Collection is live!

snowy woods hat

I’m pleased to be one of the six designers of the Snowy Hat Collection by Knitted Wit. My contribution is the Snowy Woods Hat.

snowy woods hat detail

The pattern is available individually, or in the Snowy Hat Collection e-book, or in the Snowy Hat Collection kit from Knitted Wit (limited time offer).

photo by Stefan Lombard, by Stefan Lombard,

The Snowy Hat Collection is a true Portland collaboration. Local hand-dyer Knitted Wit created 6 new snowy-inspired yarn colors, 6 Portland designers created unique and wearable hat patterns inspired by these new colors, and local ceramics company jamPDX created mugs to coordinate with the collection. Kits will be available for a limited time through Knitted Wit starting October 1st, and they include the following:
• one skein either Knitted Wit Worsted OR Targhee Shimmer Worsted in your choice of one of six Snowy colors:
o Cedar – green
o Lump of Coal – dark grey
o Winterberry – red
o Tinsel – light grey
o Snowy Woods – blue
o Frozen – turquoise
• one Ravelry code for download of Ebook, which includes 6 patterns:
o A Salty Salute – Star Athena
o Drifted – Debbi Stone
o Siskiyou – Lee Meredith
o Snowy Peaks – Shannon Squire
o Snowy Woods – Michele Lee Bernstein
o Winter Crocus – Katherine Leek
• one jamPDX Snowy Mug
• three hand-blended teas from Happy Rock Coffee
• 10% of proceeds from the sale of kits through 12/31/15 will go to Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency and emergency shelter.

I designed my hat as a companion piece to my Snowy Woods Cowl, which features additional intertwining cabled trees as well as the fir trees on this Snowy Woods Hat.

snowy woods cowl for hat

Here’s the whole hat collection:


I hope you knit a Snowy hat! I’m especially in love with the crisp texture of the Targhee Shimmer Worsted (80/20 Super Wash Targhee Wool/Silk). Enjoy!

A couple more OFFF finds

I taught my Fern Lace Shawlette class at OFFF, and showed my students my Altoids tin bead management system.

pdxknitterati bead tin

I’d noticed that my Bead-Aid wasn’t sticking to the top of my magnet as well as I would like. The enameling on this magnet from my kids’ magnet set was pretty, but interfering with function. When I saw needle minder magnets from A Needle Runs Through It in the Knitted Wit booth, I had to have one.

needle minder

I chose the sheep. Of course. These are actually meant for cross stitch, but they’re perfect for Bead-Aids, too. Maria also makes beautiful project bags. Go check out her Etsy shop!

pdxknitterati bead tin

Perfect fit, and the magnet is super strong so my needle is NOT going to get lost. If you want to make one of these to corral your beading equipment, all you need is an Altoids tin, magnet, Bead-Aid, and a short bead tube. If you want to get fancy, put a piece of fun foam or bead mat in the bottom so your beads don’t rattle so loudly. Keep most of your beads in the tube, and pour out about 20 at a time. If your tin gets dumped, you won’t lose ALL your beads!

What else did I get?

Alexandra's Crafts  Double Knit Sister

From local dyer Alexandra’s Crafts, this a gradient dyed sock blank made up of two strands of fingering weight knit double. Normal knitters would knit perfectly matching socks.

Alexandra's gradient

Me? I don’t love knitting socks, but I love fingering weight accessories. This will be some kind of scarf/stole, shading from one end to center and back out again. It’s Duffy’s Fault. I don’t know what the thing is yet, but Duffy made me buy it, and that will be the name. Eventually. Other deadline knitting has to happen first. Queue it up!

I have a new design coming out October 1. It’s a fun Portland designers group project, and I’m really looking forward to showing you one of the many things I knit this summer.

I also have a new shawl design coming out, probably next week. I’ve knit it in two sizes, both in gradient yarns, and also a non-gradient version. They’re like children; I can’t decide which one I like best!

My needles have been super busy, and now you get to see at least some of the fruits of my summer. Soon…

Even more gradient yarn, and pretty food

knit circus come what mayKnitcircus Greatest of Ease, Come What May

The pink is shading ever so gently, getting paler and paler. Heading into cream (why does this look like dessert?); the gray will come later. Pink and white roses, gray rain clouds? Whatever, it’s gorgeous.

Black Trillium Fibres Periwinkle

This is waiting in the wings. Black Trillium Fibres Lilt, in Periwinkle.

In the meantime, there’s been a lot of pretty food! I hosted my annual Pinot & Piano fun-raiser a couple weeks ago. I provide piano and dessert. My co-hosts provide wine and music. It all comes together in a lovely evening for 16 guests. This year’s desserts:

flourless chocolate torteFlourless Chocolate Torte

puff pastry pear tartPuff Pastry Pear Tart, served with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

pomegranate panna cottaPomegranate Panna Cotta

These aren’t as big as they look; they’re served in mini wine glasses.

mini wine glass dessert

Love these glasses for presentation!

baking bagels

Last week Sue (Tango Mango) taught us how to make bagels.


We had them for lunch!

panna cotta

And panna cotta with raspberry sauce for dessert.

What pretty things are you making? Knitting? Food? Other?

Lobelia sneak peek, knit nite

Here’s a sneak peak at Lobelia. I think the lace pattern looks like little lobelia blossoms.

lobelia lace

This is 150g of Thrilling by KnitCircus, Starry Night colorway. The initial write-up is done, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the pattern. I’m knitting up a version for a 100g/400 yard skein. Because, options.

KnitCircus Come What May

This yarn is KnitCircus Greatest of Ease, a super wash merino/nylon blend. Colorway is Come What May; I received it as part of my Kickstarter package supporting Jaala’s new studio. Gorgeous!

In other news, we had knit nite on Wednesday, and we actually knit! There are two grandbabies on the way, so there was some blanket knitting going on. I guess zigzag/chevrons are in!

knit zigzag

I made my new favorite quinoa salad. You can pretty much throw all your favorite things into quinoa, dress it a bit, and it’s delicious.

quinoa salad

Summer Quinoa Salad

! cup quinoa
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 avocado, diced
1/2 lb grape tomatoes, various, cut into halves
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

4 T fresh squeezed orange juice
4 T olive oil
4 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar or honey
1/4 tsp salt
liberal grind of black pepper

Rinse quinoa. Put in pot with 2 C water. Bring to boil, cover & simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with fork and transfer to large bowl to cool.

Cook edamame according to package directions. Cool.

Assemble all dressing ingredients and shake in a jar.

When quinoa and edamame are cool, combine with all other salad ingredients. Add dressing to taste. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6-8, depending on how hungry you are…

Do you have a knitting group? We don’t meet as regularly as we used to, but it’s always a pleasure to get together to share food and knitting!

Portland outdoors, knitting, Tigard Knitting Guild

It’s been a warm dry summer here, which makes getting outdoors a pleasure. Yesterday we climbed a volcano. Within the city limits! Mt. Tabor is an extinct (or maybe just dormant?) volcanic cinder cone, with an elevation of 636 feet. We wanted a short, spur of the moment hike close to home, since we were getting a late (noon) start. This was perfect.

Mt Tabor reservoir

You know most of my hikes involve waterfalls. This will have to do. This is one of the three open air reservoirs on Mt. Tabor, where part of the city’s water supply is held.

Mt Tabor view of Tillikum Crossing

There’s a nice view to the west toward downtown, looking out at Portland’s newest bridge, Tillikum Crossing.

tillikum crossing reflection

DH and I saw that bridge the other day, when I took him on my favorite bridge walk. The reflection of the bridge, and him, on the Portland Opera building was pretty cool.

fire station boat ramp pdx

This was the fifth time I’ve done this walk this summer, and I just noticed the cool sculpture on the fire station. See the concentric circles? They come into focus as you walk eastward on the Hawthorne Bridge.

If you’re looking for more fun free things to do around Portland, the Oregonian just ran a feature today. I’m feeling pretty savvy, because I was already doing some of those things!

Other than that, I’m knitting, knitting, knitting. I took a little detour from my gradient project to work with this lovely yarn from Knitted Wit. There’s a deadline for this design project, so it has moved up to the front burner.

knitted wit sprinkle dye

I’m speaking at the Tigard Knitting Guild tonight, talking about blocking. You know I love blocking! Click the link for details. You can visit the guild twice before joining, so if you’re local, come on by.


Gradient yarn knitting progress

I’m knitting along on my current design project with Knit Circus gradient yarn, and I wanted to show you my progress.

Knit Circus Thrilling

See how the yarn is changing into the next shade of blue? I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next, and when.

Gradient yarn

Have you fallen down the gradient yarn rabbit hole? I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!

Knit Circus yarn

This is 150 grams of gradient heaven from Knit Circus Yarns. The yarn is called Thrilling, 80/20 Superwash Merino/Tussah Silk, colorway Starry Night. 575 yards is going to make a shawl that I can really wrap up in! The long continuous color change is going to work perfectly with the design I’ve plotted out.

The other gradient that I’ve knit with recently is from Black Trillium Fibres. Rather than a continuous shading, it’s in five even mini-skeins.

Black Trillium Lilt

The mini-skein put-up was perfect for the design I was working on, where the color changes are distinct and need a start and end point.

Have you knit with gradient yarns? Do you plan your gradient projects based on the type of gradient, or do you choose your gradient based on the project? Or do you just wing it, and apply glorious gradients to whatever you’re knitting? Inquiring minds wanna know!

PS: I had a math error on my last post: It was 40,000 stitches, not 20,000! I was thinking in terms of the right side row patterning, rather than both right and wrong sides. No wonder it went on and on and on! But definitely worth the effort. So pretty!