On and off the needles

Knitting goes a lot faster if you’re not second guessing with every stitch whether you should rip it out. After deciding to make my mini skein color changes at the garter ridges, this was a breeze of a multitasking project. Three bands of the first two colors, two bands of the next three colors, and one band of the last color for the lacy edging. I spent a couple afternoons finishing my Ebb and Flow while reading in the sunny backyard. (Spring has finally sprung!) I’ll be blocking it today.

I’m also playing with this yarn combo. It’s Dream in Color Smooshy in Tip Top Tangerine and Sonoran Magic. Yes, a little more assigned pooling!

Getting the yarn to cooperate for assigned pooling is tricky when you don’t have many stitches on the needles yet. I ripped it out and started again after cutting off about 18” of yarn at the beginning of the orange. Much better. The orange and hot pink are pretty fun together. We’ll see if it fulfills my vision for this piece. Wish me luck!

Upcoming Zoom knitting classes

I’m teaching several Zoom knitting classes via For Yarn’s Sake in May and June.

I’m scheduled to teach my Embellishment Cowl class on Sunday, May 7, from 1 to 3 pm Pacific. The class (and cowl) features slip stitch quilted lattice, a fancy fan stitch, and beads! I’d love for you to join me; I need a few more people to sign up before the class is a go. If you’re interested, you can sign up via For Yarn’s Sake here.

Saturday June 3 I’m teaching Petite Brioche, beginning 2 color brioche in the round. Sign up here.

Sunday June 4 I’m teaching another assigned pooling class. I’ll be using my new Starfall Cowl pattern, which is included in the class fee. The pattern isn’t out yet; my test knitters are having fun with it. It should be out the first week of May. You can sign up for class here.

That’s all I have on the Zoom schedule for now; I’ll start Zoom classes again in the fall. Carpe diem; let’s knit!

Froggity Frog Frog

I was nearing the end of my Ebb and Flow.

That color change in the middle of a section? I tried not to let it bug me. It would be in the part scrunched up by my neck. Leave it alone.

Of course, there was another one further down. But it would probably be in the scrunch, too. (The color differences are much more apparent in real life.)

I decided to change the next color right at the garter ridge, because it would show when worn. That made me realize how much happier that made me. Uh-oh. And then I saw that I could use all six of Schmutzerella’s mini skeins if I ripped back, rather than just five. Hmmmm.

This is how much I ripped out.

And this is all the yarn that’s going in to my Ebb and Flow cowl, including that last green mini skein on the right. (I won’t use every bit of each color, but I’ll use all the colors.)

Things are going along swimmingly. I’ve just started the third color. I knew I that I might regret not ripping every time I looked at my cowl, but I’d never regret having ripped and having my colors change at the garter ridges.

Would you have ripped?

Project bag love

I have several of these Double Double project bags from Chicken Boots; they’ve been a constant favorite. I love that you can see what’s in them, which is great if you have multiple projects. When Saremy decided to discontinue making project bags (she now has her Sew Sew Live channel on Instagram and YouTube), I was pretty sad!

But Maria at A Needle Runs Through It is making some, and I snagged this one. (You can find her on Instagram, too). I love this bird-themed fabric. And Maria does such nice sewing. She also included a little triangular stitch keeper pouch (and the fabric is a brioche stitch print!), and a sparkly stitch marker.

I moved my white linen project into this bag; it’s a perfect combination. And Bisquee approves!

How many project bags do you have in current rotation? I have 2 projects going right now, and I’ll have a design project starting this week, too. Oooh, that’s two more projects than I usually have at one time. Go big or go home!

I’m not obsolete…yet

DH asked Bing’s AI (artificial intelligence) tool to write a brioche pattern for a hat, and wanted to know if it was any good. Calvin and I have gone through it, with our notes in red.

“Here’s a brioche knitting pattern for a hat.


  • 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn Should these be 2 different colors?
  • US 6 (4mm) circular needles How long should these be?
  • US 8 (5mm) circular needles I think these would make a fabric that’s too loose; tell me about gauge
  • Stitch marker


  1. Using US 6 (4mm) circular needles, cast on 80 stitches. Is this a 2 color pattern? Which color should I use?
  2. Place stitchmarker and join in the round.
  3. Work *k1, sl1yo* around. Good through here, although it would be nice to know what sl1yo means.
  4. Switch to US8 (5mm) circular needles and work in two-color brioche stitch until hat measures 8 inches from cast on edge. Well now I know I’m using 2 colors. Ummmm, how do you work 2 color brioche stitch? Do tell!
  5. Decrease as follows:

Round 1: *k2tog, sl1yo* around. What happened to the brioche stitches? What do I do with all those yos? And this isn’t going to work out past the first 3 stitches, you’d end up making a sl1yo over the sl1yo from the previous round. Which means everything from here forward isn’t going to work. Especiall Rnds 4 and 6: *sl1yo* around. What?!

 Round 2: *k1, sl1yo* around.
 Round 3: *k2tog, sl1yo* around.
 Round 4: *sl1yo* around.
 Round 5: *k2tog* around.
 Round 6: *sl1yo* around.
 Round 7: *k2tog* around.
6. Cut yarn and weave in ends.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.”

Oh, I have questions. Luckily, it lists all of its sources, and you might be able to use one of those patterns to knit your hat. Or at least get an idea of how to knit one.

As I said, I’m not obsolete yet! I guess I could use the chatbot to get a pattern started, and then edit like crazy to get it to make sense. But it’s easier to just write the pattern from scratch.

If you’d really like to learn how to knit 2 color brioche rib in the round, I highly recommend my Petite Brioche headband pattern, which is free here on this site. This is the pattern I use in my beginning brioche classes; I’ve taught hundreds of new brioche knitters. I have lots of brioche hat patterns when you’re ready for those, too.

Have you used an AI chatbot? What did you think of the results?

Ebb and Flow, encore

The linen knit is coming along nicely, but I decided I needed an even simpler project for multi-tasking. I cast one one more Ebb and Flow cowl, which is mostly stockinette. I bought these minis from Schmutzerella Yarns at Red Alder Fiber Arts Festival for just this purpose. So it’s not stash!

I want the blue up by my face, and the green at the bottom edging. I’m so happy the minis have numbers on them in case I get them out of order. Blue is 6, Green is 1, so I’m working in reverse. Each mini is 92 yards/20g, and there are 6 of them for 120g total. Doing a little math, 100g is 460 yards, which is lighter in weight than the Moss Fibers (100g/394 yards) that I used for the original cowl here.

I cast on with the same size needle (US 4), but decided pretty quickly that the fabric was too open. I started again with a US 3. Much better! It makes the neck slightly smaller, but that’s fine with me. And with 552 yards total, I’m able to have both the taller cowl neck and the longer triangle body, and I know I won’t run out of yarn before I’m done.

Do you like to knit the same thing more than once? I don’t mind, especially if it’s a good multi-tasking knit.

Spring knitting with linen, again

What goes around, comes around! This was an abandoned project from last year. I set it aside when it became clear that I wouldn’t be wearing it before summer was over. Now it’s spring again and this is the perfect simple project to keep my hands busy while I dream about the next design project and work on getting Brioche Knit Love re-published.

Where I left off last year

As I wrote last year: Back in 2019, I was swatching/playing with Quince & Co Sparrow, which is fingering weight linen. I ultimately decided to design Kittiwake in Quince’s Kestrel, which is Aran weight, for a quicker project. I used the same stitch pattern for both weights.

Kittiwake in Aran weight Kestrel

The blocked fingering weight piece was relegated to the stash bin for later evaluation. When I pulled it out last year I fell in love all over again with the beautifully crisp yet drapey fabric. The original piece was an excellent gauge swatch, and it even had the needles in it so I knew what size to use. I started an oversized top, basically two rectangles, no shaping. The oversized shoulder seams would come down as faux sleeves.

I was knitting it in the round from the bottom up to the armholes. Instead of the swatch’s 16 repeats/37 inches wide, I was knitting 20 repeats/46 inches, which gives me 9 inches (a lot) of ease. Perfect for a drapey swingy top for summer. I have about 2 inches (5 cm) to go before it’s time to split to work the front and back separately, back and forth to the shoulders.

I’m not usually good about going back to abandoned projects, but this one looks worthwhile! It’s not a design project, just a fun for me project, so there’s no pressure about getting it done. I’m just enjoying the ride again.

What’s on your needles for summer (or winter, down under)?

Coming soon: Starfall Cowl

Still on the assigned pooling bandwagon! I just blocked this, and I love it. It’s a fingering weight bandana cowl with a cascade of assigned pooling stars, and an Old Shale lace edging. This is one of my favorite looks to wear; it looks like a shawl but it stays on without a fuss.

I just finished writing the pattern and video tutorial, and it will be tech edited this week. I’m looking for a few test knitters; you’d need one skein of fingering weight yarn that’s dyed for assigned pooling, with a color pop of about 8” long. I used Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.

Let me know if you’re interested!

Brioche Knit Love review in Vogue Knitting

The new issue of Vogue Knitting is out to subscribers (thank you to Kathryn to sharing hers with me), and should be at your LYS soon.

My Brioche Knit Love was reviewed in this issue; here it is:

I’m so happy they liked it! I sent the book for review last fall. After that I found out that my publisher was closing, and the book was close to sold out. I bought the last 120 and have sold most of them via my two LYSes. (Those are gone now.) I have about 8 books left…If you want one right now, I can sell them as long as I have them.

I’m learning all sorts of things about self-publishing, including that I don’t want to have them printed myself (750 books at my house, and I would have to manage and distribute.) I’d earn more money that way, but I thought about it and realized I’d rather be knitting and designing. I’m working on having the book reformatted so I can use a Print on Demand service (my book isn’t a standard size for POD), and I’m also planning on publishing this as an ebook. I’m hoping there are physical books available by the end of May, and ebooks sooner than that. I’ll also be publishing individual patterns from the book, if that’s more your jam.

Step by step, and I’ll get there. But for now, I’m THRILLED by the review in Vogue Knitting!

If you’d like to keep current and know when the book is available again, including the ebook, sign up for my email newsletter. It comes out once or twice a month and includes knitting news, tips, and a 25% discount on my new pattern releases. I promise I won’t spam you…I don’t have the time or energy to send more often than that! Here’s the sign up link.

In the meantime…keep on knitting!

Saving yarn labels

I’m making a paper chain with the yarn labels from this year’s projects; it’s a tidy and visual way to remember what I’ve done. Ten projects by the first week of April feels pretty good.

So far, from the top: Fierce Fibers and Moss Fibers (for Ebb and Flow), Knit Picks Chroma (Aspen Leaf scarf and Athena Cowl), Yarn Snob (Pooling is a Cinch and Firefly Trails), Anzula Luxury Yarn (Aspen Leaf Coasters), Dream in Color Classy (Fanfare Cowl/Hat (2 of them) and the current project which isn’t named yet).

Also pictured: Yarn chicken mug by JaMPDX, and our ancient Darth Vader bank, which still works when you put coins in. Some heavy breathing, light saber waving, and a message: “Impressive. Most impressive. But you are not a Jedi yet!”

Do you save your yarn labels? If yes, how? I used to just throw them in a basket, but the chain is much more fun.