Did you ever wonder, brioche selvedges edition

I was wondering about the different ways knitters deal with the edges of flat brioche knitting. Two color, because that’s what I dream about, always.

When I first learned to knit brioche flat, I learned it with a garter stitch selvedge edge. I didn’t like it, because it made horizontal stripes next to the vertically oriented brioche.

Then I went to Nancy Marchant’s book Knitting Brioche, and there was an option for a one stitch selvedge edge, and this is how I’ve been doing it, mostly. There’s a little dance of yarn at the stitch before the first and after the last CC stitch on the CC color rows, after/before slipping the MC stitch at each end.

I took another class, and the teacher said to just leave that next to last stitch yarn where it was, no dancing yarn. It seemed to work fine, too.

So why the dance? I have some time on my hands (#socialdistancing), so I decided to find out.

Can you see a difference between the stitches in the red circle (yes dance) and the stitches in the blue circle (no dance)?

Here’s a video so you can see it all in action.

Still teaching, even though I’ve canceled all my classes for the time being! Just doing it from a distance.

Have fun!

More cancellations and more knitting

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Not spring yet! #pdxsnow

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The world seems a bit crazy right now; COVID-19 and social distancing, and SNOW in Portland this weekend!

I just found out this morning that April’s Yarnover in Minnesota is canceled. VKLive Seattle was postponed from this weekend, with no new date yet. I’m very sorry that these events aren’t happening, but staying healthy and safe is more important. For me and other teachers, this means losing a significant amount of teaching income. I know the stakes are even higher for the organizers of these events, and for the vendors who invest in creating product to sell at these events. These costs have already been incurred. If you can be supportive of these small businesses, please do.

I canceled the local classes that I was going to have at the church yesterday. Worship services have been canceled for the next two weeks, and it didn’t feel right to carry on with my classes. We’ll try again later.

I was planning to go on the Lantern Moon retreat in Ashland next week, but that’s been canceled, too. No gatherings of more than 250 people in Oregon, so plays and concerts are NOT happening. All public schools in Oregon are closed until April 1, and our county libraries are closed, too. Definitely time to be home and knit.

I’m currently knitting a Noro version of my upcoming Minerva cowl. This is an in-between size; I’m using 3 50gm balls of Noro to make a 32-34” cowl, which is my current favorite length.

I’m still planning to knit a DK weight cowl with a Huckleberry Knits DK Gradient, but the Vivace I bought at yarn crawl doesn’t have a quick enough color shift. Scarlet is dyeing more DK in Practical Tactical Brilliance, the same colors in my Aspen Leaf scarf. I think the extra colors in that gradient will make a stunning statement! I’m saving the Vivace for another project later. And this, my friends, is how a non-stasher acquires a stash. I only buy yarn for planned projects, but sometimes it’s not a perfect match, and the yarn becomes stash. But the right project will come along…eventually.

What are you knitting? Are you staying home? Here’s a great article on social distancing. Let’s flatten the curve, and stay healthy! If not for ourselves, then for the most vulnerable among us.

VKLive Seattle postponed; pattern sale and local classes

It’s official: Vogue Knitting Live Seattle has been postponed. With the COVID-19 outbreak hitting the Seattle area particularly hard, this is a wise decision.

Teachers, vendors, organizers, and participants have prepared for this show, so it’s disappointing that we won’t be together. The vendors, especially, have invested in preparing inventory, and it won’t be sold next weekend. The vendor list is still up; if you’d like to support them with a purchase, you can see who they are here. I see names of some local favorites on the vendor list, including Knitted Wit, Hazel Knits, and Despondent Dyeworks.

As for me, I’m having a pattern sale to help make up for a lost work weekend. You can get 20% off my patterns on Ravelry with the code POSTPONED through March 15, 2020. Knit something fun!

In the meantime, if I can gather enough people, I could do a Petite Brioche beginning brioche class here in Portland on Saturday, March 14, from 10:30 to 12:30, $25. It would be at Fremont United Methodist Church, the same building where Puddletown Knitters Guild meets.

Or would you like to learn basic entrelac, knitted flat? The notes for this class are the foundation of my upcoming Minerva Cowl or Scarf (no worries; it’s been tech edited!). Class would be from 1:30 to 4 pm, same venue, $30.

I know it’s short notice, but I’m game if you are. Leave a comment to let me know if you’re interested in either or both classes, and I’ll let you know if it’s happening by Thursday.

For now I’ll be home, transforming my Rose City Yarn Crawl goodies into new designs for you.

And for Bisquee and Calvin. We need to keep the kibble supply rolling!

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2020

Fun, as usual! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (PDXKnitterati on those, too), you may have seen a lot of these pictures already. But I find it easier to search for pictures here on my blog, so Future Me is thanking Today Me for archiving these here.

I started the weekend with a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake with Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), Shannon Squire, and Debbi Stone. It’s become a tradition! Thanks so much to Ann for having us, year after year.

Shannon and LJ swear that they didn’t plan to color coordinate their clothing, but here they are. And their color orbit is so strong, the shawl on the wall is part of the fun, too.

This year’s mystery KAL was designed by Marie Greene. I love it! Carrie’s is lovely.

TJ embellished the edge of hers with eyelets and beads to use up her remaining yarn. Perfect!

Kim showed me her Zen Rain Shawlette. I designed this for Sock Summit 2011. Many happy memories there!

Paula took my Brioche Pastiche class 2 weeks ago, and brought her finished hat wth her. I love the colors and the squishiness; she did a great job!

I showed Julie how to use her phone’s camera filter to check for good tonal contrast so her colorwork will have some pop. Do you know the camera filter trick? Use the Mono setting (alas, they’ve done away with Tonal) to make sure you’ll be able to see your colorwork! This is a gentle contrast, but enough to show off her colorwork knitting.

Someone (I’ve lost your name; let me know if you see this) had an advance copy of the new Vogue Knitting magazine (on sale March 10) and told me that my picture is in it! It’s from VKLive Columbus from my Fancy Stitches class; I’m showing off my Aloha Shawl. My 15 seconds of fame continues…

It’s hard to knit at a trunk show, but it’s really easy to frog! I brought the too big version to frog so I can use the yarn on the smaller size. Frogging the mohair and fingering together was surprisingly easy, and I just balled it up together since I’ll be knitting them together again. It’s really hard to separate them!

It was so nice to chat with so many people on Thursday.

Kathryn and Stash

Alissa from El Rey Knits podcast

More fiber friends!

I went back to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday to get more DK Gradient from Scarlet of Huckleberry Knits. In my hand: Vivace. I love it, but I also ordered another ball of Practical Tactical Brilliance for my current entrelac project. It’s the same color as my Aspen Leaf scarf pictured above.

I also went to Knitting Bee to see DKGraham’s wooden stitch markers and pins. So cute! And so is she. We’re going to get together to knit some brioche and plot some pins or…

One more store on Friday: I met up with Thao from Nerd Bird Makery. I love her pins and T shirts; I have several. We live in adjacent neighborhoods, so we’re going to get together and knit…brioche, of course.

On Saturday I went to Twisted and Pearl Fiber Arts, but the yarn fumes must be getting to me…I forgot to take pictures! But I *did* remember to order some sparkly yarn from Stacey of Fierce Fibers for a project I’ve been dreaming about for a couple years. It’s TIME!

I’m staying home today to catch up with my life and house; it’s been a very busy couple months. Did you Yarn Crawl? I hope you had fun!

What was I thinking?

Seven-and-a-half inches of ease? That’s an awful lot on a short person, especially a short-waisted short person knitting a cropped sweater. The very short, very wide rectangle was not destined to be flattering.

I had knit down past the armholes so I could try it on, and I wasn’t happy with where this was heading. Also, there was so much fabric in the lace section that blocking it out to show it off would only make this more of an oversized sack on me.

My favorite sweaters to wear are my Stopover sweaters, designed by Mary Jane Mucklestone. I love how they fit. They are about 40 inches around (3 inches of ease). There’s a more vertical look to these. Proportion is everything!

My choices with this Love Note pattern are 38.5, 41.5, and 44.5 inches. 41.5 inches would give me 4.5 inches of ease. That seems to be a good place to land. Still slightly floaty, but not ridiculous.

I decided to cast on a second yoke and knit to see how things went before frogging everything. This second yoke is one day’s knitting. Including time for a walk on the beach, and some other work knitting! (More on Crafty Moms Weekend later.)

Interestingly, I used my Hiya Hiya sharp needle for the lace pattern this time, instead of switching to the regular tips. The lace pattern is a bit tighter, and a bit better defined (on the right). I like it, so I waited until the lace was finished before switching to my preferred blunter points. The lace can be blocked out to show off the holes, and the body will still be the size I want it to be.

I love how the purple mohair halo blends all the colors of the Rogue into a soft melange.

Now I have two yokes, and I’m ready to frog the first one. Hope it cooperates! I think it will be fine, as long as I don’t try to separate the two strands. If it doesn’t cooperate, I’ll resort to the freezer method, after I cook more things from the freezer and have some space!

How was your weekend?

Trunk Show at Rose City Yarn Crawl next week!

This picture popped up in my Facebook memories: 2014 was the year of the first Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL, and it was my Rosaria. The Yarn Ball was the perfect place to show off a lot of them, all at once!

pdxknitterati rosaria

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2020 is Thursday through Sunday next week, March 5-8. I’m having a trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake all day on Thursday, come see me! I’ll have my latest designs for you to see in person. Also at trunk showing with me: Knitted Wit, Shannon Squire, and Debbi Stone. It’s our tradition to kick off the crawl together at For Yarn’s Sake. Hope to see you there!

You can see all the details for the Yarn Crawl here. I’m trying to decide which trunk shows and shops I need to see, and put them into some kind of order. What’s your plan?

Love Note playdate

I stopped in to see Bonne Marie Burns, and we happen to be knitting the same sweater: Love Note by Tin Can Knits. It’s a super speedy knit on US 10 needles, but the most interesting thing is that you carry two yarns together as you knit. If your colors are very similar (my wheelhouse), you know what to expect, but when your colors are wildly different, the results can be surprising!

You know mine will be purple, because purple + purple = purple. But notice how the cool purple fingering weight yarn is warmed up by that warmer purple mohair.

Bonne Marie’s screaming yellow is toned down to a rather gorgeous ochre by the gray mohair. I never would have thought to combine gray and yellow into a single yarn, but it works. Grellow for the win! That’s the power of having stash to play with, too. I only had purple and purple for my adventure.

Bonne Marie pulled open her buffet drawer and I had to laugh. Of course it’s full of yarn. What’s in your buffet? Mine has china, table linens, and flatware. But I did empty out one cupboard to use as a pie safe so Calvin can’t eat our baked goods!

I’ve split for the sleeves on my Love Note, and now I’m knitting a few rounds so I can try it on. I’ll frog it if I need to change the size. I noticed that Bonne Marie had an orange version in her buffet drawer, and she had frogged it back after swatching. She just wound the two yarns up together around the ball because she was going to re-knit them together anyway. Brilliant.

That solves my frogging problem. I was afraid to swatch too far because I have a limited amount of the purple mohair, and I was having a hard time separating the two yarns after frogging. But I’m committed to this color combination, so there’s no reason to try to separate the yarns if I’m just going to re-knit them together anyway. Perfect!

What color is your knitting this week?

Aspen Leaf backstory

I think it’s fun to document how I get from an initial idea to the finished product when I design. Here are some pictures along the way to my Aspen Leaf scarf.

I knew I wanted a series of leaves, so I started out playing with some Hazel Knits DK Lively that I had purchased on a whim. It was a bit lightweight for a scarf. I also decided it needed to not be 2 semi-solid colors together; that would be a lot of knitting the same thing over and over again. (I do love the yarn, just not for this particular project. Back to the waiting bin it goes.)

I picked these two colors of Malabrigo Worsted. At first, I used the variegated for the MC, but the color speckles made it so that I couldn’t “read” the leaf. So I flipped it and made the orange the MC. I decided this leaf was going to be too long and skinny.

Also, the skinniest point between the leaves was going to be too narrow compared to the rest of the scarf, so I started planning for a background of syncopated color reversal on each side of the leaf.

I tried making the leaf shorter and more compact overall, but all those decreases stacking so closely together meant that the top of the leaf pooched out, like a bra cup. THIS IS NOT A BRA.

The syncopated color reversal wasn’t a bad idea, but it had too much visual weight and was taking attention from the leaf, which should be the star of the show. I’d have to make it narrower.

Short bottom, tall top. Halfway to success! I like the leaf, but the syncopated background was now too narrow. I knew what I needed to do.

This sample is in Malabrigo Rios, a superwash plied worsted weight yarn. I liked it! Happy leaf, happy background, which serendipitously looked like butterflies. I would have knit it up, but I thought it would be more fun if the main color for the leaves could be a gradient.

I went to Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival looking for the perfect worsted weight gradient. No luck, but this DK weight gradient from Huckleberry Knits was too pretty to pass up. Scarlet was happy to find a coordinating color for my background.

Since I already had it planned out, this was perfect vacation knitting for me last December. The pattern is pretty easy to memorize.

And I love how it turned out! You can see this one in person at my Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, Thursday March 5. Scarlet (Huckleberry Knits) will be there with it on Friday, March 6, too.

I did knit a worsted weight version, eventually. This is Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Pegasus and Natural. I seem to be having a thing for rainbows. Again, fairly mindless travel knitting for me in January and February. (Still not blocked yet; I’ll get there eventually! Then the lines of the last blue leaf will straighten out a bit.)

And the Malabrigo Worsted? I didn’t want to frog that a fourth time, so I used the rest of it for a Dotty Cake hat sample. And after photographing it, I gave it to my Mom-in-law for Christmas, because she admired it at Thanksgiving. Perfect.

And that’s the story!

On the needles: Love Note

The week before Red Alder, I went to St. Louis to visit DH’s mom. She moved to assisted living in January, and we wanted to do a check-in. I’m pleased that it’s been a fairly smooth transition, and that things are going well.

I finished my Chroma Worsted Aspen Leaf scarf on the plane home (FO pix soon). I’ve been working on sample knitting in the new year because I needed mindless knitting during a lot of travel: St. Louis, VKLive NYC, New Orleans, St. Louis again.

When I finished Aspen Leaf, I had a bit of a dilemma. I’m a fairly monogamous knitter, and I had nothing else on the needles.

I couldn’t go to Red Alder without knitting. And I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to design something to work on at that very moment.

I’ve been inspired by Instagram pictures of Love Note sweaters. It’s always fun to knit someone else’s design; it’s like a knitting vacation when I don’t have to dream up every detail. The pattern calls for two yarns held together, so I poked around in my limited stash, and came up with two purple yarns. One is this Lion Brand Silk Mohair that I won as a door prize at the one and only History Unwound Retreat in Colonial Williamsburg in 2015.

The other is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Rogue colorway; I think that means that it’s a one off. I have 2 skeins from my gift basket from the Lantern Moon Retreat that I taught at in 2018. (Click the links for blog posts about these two retreats; they were stellar.)

Would these two yarns play well for a Love Note sweater? The pattern requests a single ply fingering weight paired with a laceweight mohair. The Artisan Sock is a plied yarn, but it’s what I have. I looked at projects in Ravelry, and others have used plied yarns, so why not? And I’m kind of tickled that both these yarns are retreat souvenirs. It would be great to use stash yarn for this project!

I did a half, um, hearted gauge swatch, figured it was close enough, and cast on so I’d have something to knit at Red Alder. I didn’t want to use too much mohair in my swatching, because it’s really hard to frog, especially when held with another yarn! And my yardage is *just* enough to make this sweater.

So we’ll see if I like the fabric; the jury is still out. So fuzzy! And we’ll see if the gauge I’m knitting results in a reasonable sweater. Did I wash and block my swatch? No; do as I say, not as I do! But the pattern recommends anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of positive ease, and I’m pretty sure my knitting will result in ease somewhere in that very wide range. It’s modeled with 7 inches of ease in my size.

I’ve finished another lace repeat since the picture above, and I’m almost to the sleeve division. But I’m not going to work on it for a few days.

I cut my thumb on broken glass, and it was deep! No stitches needed, though. We added a splint on top of all of this to keep me from bumping/using it. I’m hoping I can unsplint to teach classes all weekend. I’m trying to write instructions and knit a swatch for a new class for my Syncopation shawl/scarf. Wish me luck!

Red Alder 1.0

The first ever Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is in the books, and it was fabulous. It followed in the footsteps of Madrona, but it was its own thing, created from scratch, and ever so wonderful.

I arrived to see Red Alder’s Becky with her finished Petite Brioche (note how she has diagnosed and fixed the WS of her brioche rib by watching the video for continental knitters) and her Clematis hat work-in-progress. This all came about due to an Instagram conversation last week! (In case you’re new here, my Petite Brioche is a free beginner brioche pattern with video tutorials, link here.)

I taught 4 classes: Herringbone Braids and Beyond, Athena Entrelac Cowl, Brioche Pastiche, and Fixing Lace Mistakes.

This is always my favorite moment in the Tink Lace class, if just for the shock value. The students always get over it…eventually. And then they fix it!

Krista brought her finished Brioche Pastiche to show me. It looks great!

And Joan brought her finished Dotty Cake hat to show me, too. I just happened to have mine with me because I used it for a sample in my Herringbone Braids class. Serendipity!

The market had lots of familiar faces, and some new ones, too.

I’m seeing Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and Shannon more on the road than at home! Last month at VKLive NYC, this month at Red Alder, next month at VKLive Seattle/Bellevue. This is their first Madrona/Red Alder show. And we’ll have our annual Rose City Yarn Crawl mega-trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake with them and Debbi Stone on Thursday, March 5. See you there!

Rebecca from A Hundred Ravens yarn showed me some beautiful colors on a yak base, and others on merino.

Greenwood Fiberworks had some gorgeous mini-skein kits.

Foxy Stacey and Cindy were flaunting all the colors at Fierce Fibers. I re-acquainted myself with a few gradient colorways that have me daydreaming again. This was the first Madrona/Red Alder show for Fierce Fibers, too.

There was a lot more in the market; this was just a tiny taste.

Besides teaching, I took a class on Knit 1 Below with Harry Welles. It looks like brioche; it just uses another way to get that result. It was interesting, but I’ll just keep knitting brioche…you know I’m smitten!

Evenings were fun, too. Here’s Red Alder’s John in fine disco gear from the Friday night Fiber-In. I’ll leave you to search the web for Harry’s crochet pants.

Clara Parkes gave the keynote at the Saturday banquet, about wool, of course!

There were some yarn winding shenanigans before the banquet; Mary Scott Huff needed a swift so I stepped in. I still say this beautiful color from Fierce Fibers is NOT pink. Terra cotta? It has a lovely brown undertone.

The hotel Murano features a different glass artist on each floor; I finally got up close and personal with this piece, which I’ve admired on their key cards for years. I didn’t realize how subversive it is! Susan Taylor Glasgow’s statement says, “My life and art are the result of homemaking gone awry. I have the luxury of exploring the complexities of domestic life from the safe distance of my studio.”

Happily ever after, cooking, ironing and vacuuming…ha!

I’m so glad the inaugural Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat was a success. Lots of smiles! I look forward to this event again next year.

Moonrise over Tacoma, first night.

Moonset over Tacoma, last morning. And that’s as much Mt. Rainier view I had all weekend!

Did you go to Red Alder? What did you love?