Wrapping up 2021, and putting a bow on it

Sheepy Steeky Coasters, Cherry Blossom Wrapture, Leafy Origami Hat, Leafy Origami Cowl, Brioche Knit Love, Slip Away Cowl, Swizzle Cowl, Dreyma, Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket

It’s been quite a busy year! I designed a lot, including the 21/22 designs for my book, Brioche Knit Love. I did manage to knit one thing that wasn’t my own design, and that was the Dreyma sweater for DH. Two of the designs (bottom row) were for Knit Picks.

I taught a lot, too! I introduced Darn It! (mending your knits) and Brioche Doctor, and the Slip Away Cowl and a new steeking class. I taught most months for Virtual Knitting Live, and for LYSes Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake. I took the summer off to write my book, and am slowly working my way back into classes. I’m hoping that all the in-person classes that we’ve scheduled for 2022 are really going to happen: Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, Vogue Knitting Live Seattle, Yarn Over in Minnesota, Vogue Destinations Cruise in August…and more.

I have three new patterns coming out next week: Slip Away Cowl, Dotty Bed Socks, and Sheepy Steeky Coasters. If you’re looking for something new to cast on in 2022, keep an eye out for these! Dotty and Slip Away will have a special combo deal for newsletter subscribers.

Thanks for being part of my knitting life. I appreciate that you love knitting, too. Happy new year!

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…

Christmas aloha

It’s been a minute or two, hasn’t it? I came home from Minnesota on a Friday, did a book signing and taught on the weekend, and left for Hawaii on Monday…two and a half weeks ago?!

We had planned for the kids to be with us, but after traveling at Thanksgiving and then learning of the omicron variant, they decided to opt out this year. That left us with the usual 3 BR condo, and lots of room to spread out. We worked *and* played.

Not a bad place to knit! I decided that I wanted the Dotty Bed Socks to have the dot pattern on the top of the instep, instead of an all striped instep, but some of my test knitters loved that wrap around stripe. Which do you like?

Knitter’s choice! Instructions for both insteps will be in the pattern. I’ll publish it next week, or the week after, along with the Slip Away Cowl. If you’re interested in a combo deal, make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter!

Slip Away Cowl

Now I’m home, and scrambling to catch up. (More aloha pictures at the end of this post.) I put up new Christmas lights on the house on Tuesday. I still need to put the knitted fairy lights on my wreath, hopefully today.

The tiny tree is up, and both Biscuit…

…and Calvin have investigated. One of my Korknisse was missing, but I found him under the piano, and all is well.

Three Wise Guys

I just made a batch of Irish Cream for gifts. The recipe is in this post, and the picture is a re-run because it’s biz (Bisquee?) as usual around here! Onto the next thing! But I’ll leave you with a little more aloha…

yellow billed cardinal
a brazen Zebra dove
Java finches (Java sparrows)
Honu!
A rum pum pum pog…
Moonset

Mele Kalikimaka to you!

Steek with me! Free pattern

I’m in Minneapolis, MN this week to teach from the studio for Craftsy/The Knitting Circle. I did a free steeking event featuring my Boxed Hearts Coasters.

You can download the pattern and find the video here.

My favorite giggle-worthy moment:
Me: Are you just talking because you’re afraid to cut your steek?
Jen Lucas: (pause) YES.

I also taught two slip stitch knitting classes for the Holiday Knits Virtual Event. It was really fun! A lot like teaching via Zoom, but I didn’t have to manage the cameras. I just had to my hands in the frame while knitting (thank you monitor). We had 3 cameras; one on top of the monitor (to see both Jen and me), one overhead (shows on the monitor), and one over the shoulder. Fancy!

I’ll publish the pattern for the slip stitch cowl when I get home; I’m wearing it in the picture with Jen.

I’ll be teaching Brioche Doctor via Zoom on Sunday, December 5 with For Yarn’s Sake. This is my last class of the year. If you’d like to learn how to fix your brioche mistakes, this class is for you! Register here.

HOLIDAY21

And! Tomorrow is the last day of my holiday pattern sale. 21% off any of my self-published patterns through December 3 with coupon code HOLIDAY21; the coupon works on both Ravelry and Payhip.

Looking forward to going home tomorrow. Calvin keeps knocking over the Snowy Woods Log Cabin Blocks pillow and using it as a throne.

But now Bisquee has taken over. She’s definitely the Queen of the House!

Holiday pattern sale

HOLIDAY21

I’m having a pattern sale this week, now through Friday, December 3. Use coupon code HOLIDAY21 in either my Ravelry or Payhip shops to get 21% off any of my self-published patterns. That should kick your gift knitting in gear!

Why 21? It’s been an interesting year, with working from home, teaching via Zoom, and writing my Brioche Knit Love book. While I’d love for the pandemic to go away, it has been super productive for me, so thank you 2021.

I’m about to head out of town to teach from the Craftsy/The Knitting Circle studios in Minnesota.

First up: a Facebook Live on Tuesday November 30 (tomorrow) at 12:30 pm Central/10:30 am Pacific. this is a free event with a free pattern for my Boxed Hearts Coaster. It’s a quick project, and a non-threatening steeking experience! Look for the Craftsy or The Knitting Circle page on Facebook; I don’t have a link yet.

Then on Wednesday I’m teaching slip stitch knitting. The Dotty Mini Sock comes first, then the Slip Stitch Sampler Cowl. Corrina Ferguson is teaching her Jovia Crescent Shawl and Fancy Finishes on Thursday. You can still register for this event here, and they dropped the price a bit for a last push. You can still use Michele10 as a code to get 10% off, too! You’ll have access to a recording of the video for 60 days after the event, as well as 4 patterns and a few extra bonus classes from Craftsy.

Okay, gotta get ready to FLY. Have a great week!

Free pattern soon: Boxed Hearts Coasters

You know I’m teaching at this Virtual Retreat next week, December 1 & 2, right? I’m teaching slip stitch knitting, featuring this cowl and mini-stocking. We’ll also review the elements of top-down sock knitting, so you’ll be ready for the real thing. No time next week? You’ll have access to the recorded video classes for 60 days after the event. I’m teaching with Corrina Ferguson; she’s teaching her Jovia Shawl, and beautiful edgings. Jen Lucas is our moderator. The event includes patterns for all these items. The current discounted price is $50, and you can use the code Michele10 for an extra 10% off. Register here!

Boxed Hearts Coaster, Yarn Chicken Pint (by JaMPDX)

While I’m there at the Craftsy/Knitting Circle studios, we’re going to have a Live event on Tuesday, November 30 at 12:30 pm Central/10:30 am Pacific. I designed these coasters specifically for this event, and I’m going to teach Jen Lucas how to reinforce and cut a steek! The pattern for this will be free; you can learn along with Jen. Check out the Facebook pages for The Knitting Circle or Craftsy to watch. (Knit these after the event; I don’t expect you to knit and cut these within the hour!)

You know you want to do this! And it makes 2 coasters at the same time. Two chances to cut a steek, too!

But first, Thanksgiving. Thank YOU for being part of my epic knitting journey!

Photo credit: Bonne Marie Burns

And thanks to Bonne Marie for taking this fabulous picture of me at Weird Sisters Yarn Shop! The trunk shows/book signings have been so much fun. I have one more scheduled, at Wild Knits in Salem, Oregon on December 4.

Onward!

Free Pattern: Swizzle Cowl

I recently designed the Swizzle Cowl for Knit Picks, for their Twelve Weeks of Gifting. It’s available today!

Knit with Muse Fingering and Aloft Kid Mohair held together on US10/6mm needles, it’s a quick knit for you or a loved one. The Swizzle Cowl pattern has instructions for 3 sizes, so whether you like your cowls close to the neck, long and double looped, or somewhere in between, I’ve got you covered.

Here’s a closer view of the stitch pattern from my submission swatch. Apparently I never took a picture of the finished cowl! It’s in a box here, somewhere…

I’m really pleased to have TWO patterns in this year’s Twelve Weeks of Gifting. My Impressionist Kaleidescope Blanket is the other one.

One other Knit Picks item going on…I’m knitting a version of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture shawl with Knit Picks Hawthorne, so I can offer the pattern through their IDP (Independent Designer Partnership) program.

Knit Picks Hawthorne in Camellia, Poseidon, and Italian Ice Speckle

The Poseidon and Camellia have a blue undertone, but the speckle has more of a yellow undertone that I expected. (The joy of choosing color online!) Poseidon plays well with both of the other colors, but I wasn’t sure about the Camellia with the speckle. So I’m making the log cabin frame around the speckled center in Poseidon instead of Camellia. The pink will be a pop, and begin further away from the big speckled center. I think it will work. We’ll find out soon…

Original colorway

This just means rearranging my blocks/logs. If I don’t like it when I get there, I’ll get some Bare (natural) and swap that in. Hope I don’t have to!

An epiphany!

I was looking at a Knit Picks call for design submissions, and it said that the designer needs to have a USA, Canada, UK, or Australia shipping address. I knew they shipped to USA and Canada, but the rest was news to me. Hello!

Knit Picks is carrying my book, Brioche Knit Love, and where it would cost me $80 to ship to Australia via the post office, their rates are much better. So if you’re in the UK or Australia and want my book; check it out. My publisher doesn’t have distributors there, so this is a great way to get access. And it works for Canada, too. We do have a Canadian distributor (Julie Asselin), but I don’t know if books are in Canadian LYSes yet.

Currently sold out, but they’ve ordered more!

Knit Picks featured me in their email newsletter last month; that was thrilling.

It’s supposed to go on their blog this month; I’ll post a link if/when that happens. For now, I’m chuffed that my book can get to some other countries! It can travel internationally, even if I can’t, yet.

Improving my steek

I was perusing Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 150 Scandinavian Motifs the other day, and I was struck by her steek setup.

She uses a six stitch steek, but the two center stitches are the same color. This makes it clear where you cut: between the two stitches that are the same color. Easy peasy!

My first forays into steeking used a checkerboard pattern. I use single crochet to reinforce my edges. I’ve tried slip stitch crochet, too, but I like the way single crochet looks, better. Trial and error, right? The checkerboard pattern kept me on my toes, as far as seeing where to crochet my reinforcement; the color alternated with every stitch.

On my next steeking pattern, I decided to use striped columns, so I was always crocheting into the same colors. Better. But not symmetrical as far as the edge stitches go.

The double center line makes it super clear. Yes, it’s the same as far as crocheting under 2 different color legs, but this makes my heart go pittypat. In a good way. The steek edges are the same color, where I pick up my edgings, so they look the same. That’s a win for me. Symmetry! You can use whatever steek arrangement you like; I like this one best. So far…

If all goes according to plan, this pattern will be offered free via Craftsy/The Knitting Circle for a Live Event on Tuesday, November 30. I’ll keep you posted. I love these little projects for teaching, learning, and gift giving! And I’m glad I learned something, too.

Have you ever discovered a better way to do something, and it was so simple it made you laugh out loud?

Slip-sliding away

Oh, look! I’m knitting something that’s *not* brioche!

This is my slip stitch sampler cowl. I’m teaching a class for a virtual retreat for Craftsy/The Knitting Circle, November 30 – December 2. Slip stitch knitting is a great way to do colorwork, using just one color per row/round. No yarn juggling! I’m also teaching a session on sock knitting, using a mini-sock to go through all the steps for a cuff down sock. The sock features a slip stitch pattern on the leg.

It’s perfect for holding a tiny trinket, or as an ornament.

I’m teaching with Corrina Ferguson, and Jen Lucas is our host. Corrina is teaching some shawl and edging magic. You can find more details here. The price is currently super low; you’d pay this much for the patterns alone. And if the dates don’t work for you, you also have access to the videos for 60 days after the event.

We’ll be teaching from the Craftsy studios, which will be a new experience for me. I made some videos for The Knitting Circle from my home studio during the 2020 lockdown, but I’ve never been to their studios before. While I’m there, I’ll be doing a fun little steeking project for them, too. I’m working out the details, which I’ll let you know soon.

Pattern play!

I’m also designing a slip stitch bed sock, which isn’t part of the retreat. I think it’s going to just be stripes, because I love how the stitch pattern pops. It’s been fun playing with my options.

Have you played with slip stitch knitting before?