Half the Knit Sky KAL: Choose your yarn

I’m looking forward to the Half the Knit Sky KAL. We’ll knit from now through the end of August, at your pace. Please let me know if you’re knitting along; I’ll do random draws for prizes as we go.

To be eligible for a prize, post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #halftheknitsky, or post a picture in this linked Ravelry thread and make a project page using the halftheknitsky tag. You can even post in the comments of a KAL blog post like this one, and I’ll make arrangements to get a picture from you!

What are you knitting with? I thought about just cheering you on from the sidelines, but I decided to knit one more version of this shawl. It’s such a simple and satisfying project, it will be a perfect multi-tasking knit.


I stopped at For Yarn’s Sake the other day and came home with this. It’s a Huckleberry Knits sock weight gradient cake in Practical Tactical Brilliance, and MadelineTosh Twist Light in Stormborn. Why yes, I’ve used this gradient colorway before.

I used a DK weight version for my Aspen Leaf scarf, and I loved it. For the shawl, I’m going to start with the magenta at the center, moving through the purple and blue, and end with the green at the bottom of the shawl. I’m hoping it looks like the aurora borealis at the horizon.

I was poking around to double check the name of the photographer of the inspiration photo for this project, Nikita Maykov, and found a time lapse video version. Here’s a link; it’s mesmerizing.

I’ll be casting on this coming week; how about you?

Introducing: Half the Knit Sky

Half the Knit Sky is a half pi shawlette, based on a time lapse photo of the night sky. Shown above in Knit Circus Sparkle Gradient, The Knit Sky, and Knit Circus Trampoline, Mistress of Myself.

Photo by Nikita Maykov

This easy knit uses only one color per row. Slip stitches create the colorwork star trail stripes, and the Star Stitch rows are a pop of fun. A bit of lace near the end sends you into orbit! The half-pi construction keeps your patterning simple with only occasional changes in stitch count.

Shown here in Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye, Delphinium, and Knit Picks Hawthorne Speckle, Blueberry Speckle.

The pattern is easily adjustable to the yardage you have. It requires two 100g skeins of fingering weight yarn.

Half the Knit Sky pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s 10% off through July 14, no coupon code needed. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, check your email for your special offer. If Ravelry’s recent website renovation renders the site unusable for you, please email me or leave a comment here, and I can send you an invoice through PayPal instead. It’s a little slower, but it works.

I’m planning a KAL for this design, to be through this blog, Instagram, and Ravelry. Whatever works best for you! Please use #halftheknitsky to participate on Instagram, or this thread on Ravelry to participate there. Comment on this post, or any later posts about Half the Knit Sky, to participate through the blog.

I’m very pleased with this design, and hope you love it, too. Come knit with me!

Tutorial: Fixing a dropped brioche YO several rows down

I promised a video tutorial to 3 of my classes at the last Virtual VKLive, and I made one and sent it along. But I just re-made it with more descriptive detail. Here’s the link on YouTube.

I learned this technique from a video by Nancy Marchant, and then expanded on it as I learned how and why it works. Just another tool in the brioche toolbox!

I put a link to this video on my tutorials page, so you don’t even have to remember where to find it. And if you didn’t know I have a tutorials page, go check it out. I have lots of tips over there, and I’m getting better and better at making videos.

My brioche classes are sold out at VKLive, but you can take brioche classes from me at the Peacetree Fiber Adventures online retreat on July 24 and 25. Register here.

There’s still room in my Minerva Entrelac scarf/cowl class at Virtual VKLive. Register here!

Peacetree Fiber Adventures retreat

Virtual, of course!

I’m teaching for Peacetree Fibers Knitting and Yoga retreat, July 24 and 25. Classes are via Zoom. Click here to register.

I’m teaching Petite Brioche (beginning 2 color brioche in the round), and

brioche knitting

Next Steps in Brioche: Increases and Decreases featuring your choice of either Heliotrope Hat or Cowl, or Brioche Pastiche hat.

You can take one or both classes, and you can even use the knitting from the Petite Brioche class as the beginning of the Brioche Pastiche hat!

I’m also teaching these classes at Virtual Vogue Knitting Live the week before, but those classes are already sold out. This is another opportunity to take these classes, soon.

(As of this moment, there is still room in the VKL Minerva Entrelac class. Jump if you want it!)

Bluprint/Craftsy update

If you’re a previous Craftsy/Bluprint purchaser/subscriber, you’ll be pleased to know that their assets have been purchased by TN Marketing, and your access will continue. Yay!

Will I actually watch the classes I purchased a million years ago? I don’t know, but I’m glad I’ll have the option to do so!

Bluprint’s statement here.

And a news piece on it here.

One more story here.

Tonal Contrast in the Knit Sky, redux

Remember this? I really liked how the smaller/whiter ball was popping against the dark blue background, but I didn’t have enough to knit a whole shawl with this leftover half ball.

The more heavily speckled/creamier ball had more color than I liked in the big stars. (This was also against a lighter background, so it had even less pop.) What to do?

Mix and match! I’m using the whiter/less speckled yarn for the single stitch stars, and for the big star stitch rows. I’m using the specklier yarn for the star trails, and I love how it looks. It’s blending really well. I didn’t take out the very first set of star trails; they’re so short that the less speckled yarn was a better choice there.

I’ll still keep the overall combined contrast color to 100g for test knit math purposes. But this night sky version is making me very happy.

weighing yarn for half the knit sky

I have enough of the blue to finish as written, but not enough to add any extra rows. Good to know! I like that I can figure this out without playing yarn chicken. Instructions for weighing (ha!) your options are in the pattern.

Note that Biscuit is helping me here.

Are you interested in a KAL? I think this could also be a fun class; it has a few interesting techniques, and you’d learn them all at the beginning. Hmmmm…..

(Re) introducing Just Enough Lace

This is my Just Enough Lace shawl. I designed it for the Knit Picks Delicate Details Collection two years ago, and now it’s available on Ravelry, too.

Just Enough Lace is an asymmetric triangle knit on the bias. It features a leafy edging along one edge, and a stockinette body with occasional bands of eyelet lace. The leafy edging is a perfect place to add beads for sparkle and drape.

The pattern is easily adjustable to the yardage you have. It is written for 150g/660 yards of Knit Picks Gloss Fingering, but you can make it longer or shorter as you wish. You’re the boss of your knitting!

I wish I had the original Blackberry version of this shawl; I had beads on the edge. I gave it to mom-in-law for her birthday way back when, and somehow I never took a proper FO pic! But here’s the edging.

To celebrate the re-launch of this shawl, I’m offering it at 10% off the Ravelry price through July 8, 2020, no coupon code needed. Ravelry link here. (As always, newsletter subscribers get a bigger discount; subscribe to my newsletter here.)

If you’re having trouble working with Ravelry while they work through their site re-vamp, message me and I can send you an invoice for direct payment and then email you the pattern. It takes a little longer that way, though; I’m not automated!

The pattern is also available through Knit Picks, that link is here.

PS: I had a really fun time doing a Facebook Live Zoom interview with Hannah from Knit Picks last week. You can watch the replay through Facebook with this link here. Not a Facebook user? It will eventually be posted on YouTube, and I’ll post that link when it’s ready. Not yet!

Happy knitting!

Virtual VKLive Round 3 coming up!

I’m pleased to be teaching at the July edition of Virtual VogueKnitting Live! More brioche, and more entrelac. And for the first time, they have a preview page so you can see what the class offerings will be. Link right here. Sign up for their newsletter, and you’ll be first to know when registration goes live, which will be very soon.

I’m knitting away on my second Half the Knit Sky. Pattern coming soon; 2/3 of my test knitters are done. I’m ready to rock and roll! Would you be interested in a Half the Knit Sky KAL? I’d be happy to organize one, if the interest is there. This is lovely lightweight summer knitting.

What are you knitting now?

Facebook Live with Knit Picks

I’m having a chat with Hannah from Knit Picks on Thursday morning at 8:30 am PDT. Late notice, but here we go! Here’s a link if you want to chime in. We’ll talk about design and more! I’ll bring my current shawl knitting; I’m knitting another Half the Knit Sky with Knit Picks Hawthorne.

Hope to see you in the morning!

Tonal contrast and dye lots

I accidentally finished my pink Love Note before Monday’s Zoom knit nite, so I was desperate to put something else on the needles. This is the downside of being a monogamous knitter.

I poked through my tiny stash, and decided to cast on a second Half the Knit Sky, just to see how far 2 400 yard skeins could take this. The original only has 388 yards in the gradient sparkle skein.

You know the mono tonal contrast camera trick? Put your camera phone in monotone to see if your colors have tonal contrast. Based on this picture, it looks like the speckled yarn would show up well against either of the two blues I have here. I opted for the lighter of the two, because I had tried the darker before and I thought the colors looked muddy together.

But you really don’t know until you try it. Where are my stars?

I think the issue is in the dye lot. The one I’m using is in the upper corner. It looks like the speckles are longer/heavier than the speckles on the one in the lower corner, which is leftover from my Both Sides Now shawl. The light background of the speckle is an ok tonal pop with the background color, but the big star stitch stars are getting lost because there’s too much of the speckle dye in them.

I only have half a ball (44g) of the older version, not enough to do the whole shawl.

I really like the way the older speckle yarn pops off the dark background. When I swatched the dark yarn before with the new speckle, I thought it was a bit muddy. Whyyyyy?

The other difference between these two speckled yarns? The older one is whiter, and the newer one has a more natural/cream background. This isn’t a knock on the yarn; dye lots can vary quite a bit. It’s only when you have your heart set on a particular vision that it becomes problematic.

I do think the darker background is the better choice.

What to do? I think I can make this work if I use the whiter yarn for the single stars and the tall star stitch rows, as well as the final border. I can use the creamier, more heavily speckled yarn in most of the star trail rows (the long white lines). That would be like natural variation in the sky, and it would also vary the perceived length of the lines.

As with most knitting, I’ll have to try it and see. I just have to decide whether to rip back to the beginning of the second set of star trails, or let those bright trails stand. What do you think?