Goldilocks hat, Take 3: Success!

Knowing all that I learned from the two previous hats made this an easy knit for me. The yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted, 80/10/10 superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon.

A quick selfie for proof of concept. It fits the way I want it to. Now to work on a cowl version for non-hat wearers.

It’s coming along nicely. I’ll also need to work up a smaller version of the hat. And two options for crown shaping, too. So many options for this class project!

I’m writing the pattern in modular units (chart and written instructions) for each motif. And I’m trying to decide for the charts: a separate chart/page each for small hat, large hat, and cowl? Or just chart the motifs with instructions on how to set it up? That would take fewer pages, and that’s how I want to do the written instructions to avoid a 15 page pattern. It’s pretty obvious which motif you’re working, based on stitch count between markers. What do you think?

Onward!

Goldilocks, Take 2

To make the hat shorter? I made the whale tail taller, so I could use fewer repeats. From 3 tails to two. They have more visual pop, too. I put the whale tails on both front and back; that’s visually pleasing.

I added waves to each side of the whale tails. From one side the waves are breaking towards the tail, and from the other side they’re breaking away. Symmetry!

But I don’t like the waves being vertical instead of horizontal; they’re perpendicular to the whale tails. Nope. That’s not how whales swim. (You’d think I would have thought of this while knitting an entire hat, but nooooo.)

On to Take Three!

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

I had a great time. It’s so much fun to teach in-person! I don’t have a lot of pictures; I was too busy doing…stuff!

Sheepy Steeky Coasters
Happy first time steekers!
Teachers hanging out
Margaret and her blankets
An excellent example of shadow/illusion knitting, kits at Makers Mercantile
Snow to welcome me home. Happy April!
Front yard bleeding hearts

Goldilocks hat syndrome

I’m designing a hat for a class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise at the end of August. It’s a quickstart brioche class, with brioche rib, increases, and decreases.

Brioche Pastiche

I usually use Brioche Pastiche to teach a class like this. It’s a lovely hat, and it does teach all the thngs you need to know, but we don’t get to the right leaning decreases until late in the class, and I’d like to have more practice time before sending students off.

When I teach increases and decreases separately from brioche rib, I use my Deep End hat or cowl, or Madrona Cowl.

Deep End and Madrona

But those don’t start with brioche rib, so they’re not quite right for the 3 hour class, either.

New hat above, Deep End below

Piece of cake, right? I’ll design a hat with a whale tail motif (how nautical), beginning with brioche rib, and then working into increases and decreases. And! I’d make the back with a choice of all gulls like Deep End, or a mix of gulls and plain rib, so there’s not as much to overwhelm a new brioche knitter on the first patterning round. The stitch count is the same as for Deep End. Why, this hat would practically design itself. Sounds great!

Massive fail. the hat is enormous, because the plain rib is much wider than the gulls, over the same number of stitches. And it’s a little too tall, too, because of the added brioche rib at the beginning.

Back to the drawing board. I’ll be back…

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!

VKLive Seattle coming right up!

I’m deep in class prep this week, before packing to go up to Seattle for Vogue Knitting Live. I’m really looking forward to seeing knitters in person again!

Sheepy Steeky Coasters

I had a fun time this weekend teaching Sheepy Steeky Coasters for For Yarn’s Sake on Zoom, and I’m teaching it in person this Friday in Seattle. After that, I’m teaching it once more on May 7 via Zoom for Twisted Yarn Shop, and then not again ‘til fall, I think.

VKLive Seattle class roundup

Plans for Seattle: 3 brioche classes (Petite Brioche, Deep End increases and decreases, and Syncopation), and steeks and slip stitch.

The marketplace is free to enter all weekend. If you’re not up for classes but just want to shop and check things out, come on by! I’ll be signing Brioche Knit Love books in the Hazel Knits Yarn booth on Saturday from 12:30 to 2 pm. And I’m really looking forward to checking out her Divine yarn base, which is a fingering weight 75/15/10 blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk. Sounds very luxe, an I’m all for it! Mmmmm, cashmere.

Book signing!

Also this week: Trying to get ready to publish my Cosette cowl pattern. Wish me luck, or more hours Monday through Wednesday! We’ll see if I get it all done.

Cosette: coming soon!

How’s your week looking?

Match your yarn to your needles

I don’t mean by color. In fact, it’s helpful to have a contrasting color needle so you can see your stitches! Although I do remember the time I knit a black tank top on ebony needles. Good thing I knit mostly by feel.

When I was at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, I took a class from my friend Carson Demers, author of Knitting Comfortably. Carson is a physical therapist, and specializes in ergonomics. One tip he gave was this: If your yarn is slippery, you might want to choose a grippier needle so you’re not fighting for control. I do love my HiyaHiya stainless steel needles for most knitting, but this skinny Schmutzerella Spectacular superwash was a bit challenging on them. I was more comfortable using my Knitters Pride Ginger wooden needles for this project.

In this picture, I’m moving my knitting off my metal needles back onto my wooden needles. I do love both kinds of needles, depending on the project. I had been using the metal needle as a stitch holder so I could borrow the wooden one for something else.

I’m not saying you should never use metal needles with superwash; I don’t usually have an issue with them. It may depend on your yarn content, or yarn size. Choose what is comfortable for you while you’re swatching (or starting over because you’re not comfortable…) PS: Don’t change needles mid-project; that can change your gauge!

Do you have a favorite type of needle? Or does it depend? What are you knitting with right now?

Beads in knitting and pink spring!

Whoa, 21 days since my last post? Inconceivable! I’ve been knitting up a storm, and paring down a to-do list that grew to anxiety-provoking length. It’s better now. On the to-do list were three video tutorials for the project on the needles. No, the project isn’t hard. But sometimes having an extra visual can make things more clear.

Adding beads to your knitting

One of the videos shows how to add beads to your knitting using the crochet hook method, and also using a BeadAid, which is my favorite beading tool. You can click the link above to watch it.

The video also features my bead tin setup. I hope you enjoy it!

Looking south to the Burnside Bridge

This past week the cherry blossoms have come into their full glory down at the Willamette River waterfront. This is the river that goes through the center of Portland.

Looking north to the Steel Bridge

Gorgeous! I went for a walk with friends last Thursday.

And then DH and I rode our bikes down there on Sunday. It’s a nice 10 mile loop from our house.

The magnolia trees are in full bloom, too.

Camellia Wrap

My favorite camellia hedge is also blooming, even more than in this updated Camellia Wrap picture from 3 weeks ago. It’s definitely Think Pink season around here.

It looks like we’re in for a rainy weekend. Perfect timing. I’ll be teaching two zoom classes this weekend: Deep End Brioche Increases and Decreases on Saturday and Sheepy Steeky Coasters on Sunday. It’s not too late to sign up for either one, but the steeks class has homework so you’d definitely need to address that now.

Happy spring! Or fall, depending where you live. Happy change of seasons, anyway…

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.