Introducing: Ships in the Night Shawl

It finally stopped raining, so I had the chance to photograph my newest shawl design: Ships in the Night.

Ships in the Night

This was my comfort knitting when Bisquee/Biscuit/BellaTrix/Trix was ill after her adventures in the fireplace. It’s probably the most soothing knit I’ve ever designed. So much zen garter stitch, with just enough Fibonacci sequence thrown into the striping that you don’t fall asleep knitting. “Ships in the Night” refers to the Fibonacci stripe patterns gliding past each other. I knit mine with two coordinating skeins of Knitted Wit’s Victory Sock yarn.

Ships in the Night shawl wingspan

It’s an absolute joy to wear, too. Worn on the shoulders, the ends hang down nearly to my knees. It’s like a great big garter stitch hug.

Ships in the Night Shawl

Worn scarf style, it feels luxuriantly engulfing. Ella is much taller than I am, so it’s not quite as engulfing on her. Your mileage may vary. You could also wear it bandanna style, with both ends hanging in front. I did that yesterday.

For long-time readers who want to know: Bobbi is away at college, and Ella stepped in to help me out. Thanks, Ella!

The pattern is available through Ravelry, pattern page here. I’m offering 20% off the price of the pattern to subscribers of my new newsletter through November 15. Have you signed up? Leave a comment below if you’d like to. You’ll also receive my Lobelia Shawl/Shawlette pattern, free.

I’m hoping you’ll love this comfort knitting. It’s election week here in the USA, and I think many of us could use a chill pill right about now!

Madrona 2017

First off: If you’re looking for my blog post about signing up for my newsletter, there’s a link at the bottom of this post.

The schedule is up! The Madrona Fiber Arts Festival is February 16-19 (President’s Day weekend), and registration for classes opens on the morning of November 10. I am super excited to be teaching my class, Be Manipulative: Elongated Novelty Stitches, on Saturday afternoon.

Elongated Stitches class

I love how these stitches give my knitting a little extra zing. I’ve used these in many of my designs such as my Criss Cross Accessories, Tilt Shift Wrap, Sophie’s Rose and Aloha Shawls, and my Tridacna Cowls. We’ll knit a sampler in class, and then you’ll be ready for them to dress up your knitting, too.

I taught a mini class on blocking at Madrona last year, and we’re planning to have it again this year, as well as another class if the schedule holds. Mini class registration will be in January.

As I said in my previous post on Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, I love taking classes and learning new things, including extra things that aren’t the focus of the class. Who knows what might come up?

Besides classes, Madrona has a wonderful market, demonstrations, evening entertainment, and lots of opportunities for knitting and spinning with friends old and new. A little something for everyone. Are you planning to go to Madrona? It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I hope to see you there.

As promised: If you’re looking to sign up for my new newsletter, here’s the link to the post about that. There’s a free pattern as a reward for your efforts. I just sent out the first wave, and I think it looks pretty spiffy. There were a couple bounced emails, so if you’re Trish or Mary and you didn’t get the newsletter email, please give me your email addy again. Thanks!

Free pattern for newsletter subscribers

Coming soon: the PDXKnitterati newsletter! What’s in it for you? Hot news about new designs, new classes, and what I’m up to next. I’ll offer discounts on new designs, just for subscribers. And as an extra thank you, you’ll also receive a coupon for a free copy of my Lobelia Shawl and Shawlette pattern through Ravelry.

Lobelia Shawl

If you’d like to sign up, please leave a comment below (your email won’t show publicly, but I can see it), or email me at pdxknitterati(at)comcast(dot)net (replace the at with @ and the dot with a period, and you’re all set). I plan on sending newsletters once or twice a month; I don’t want to overwhelm either of us. And I won’t share your email with anyone. Yes, I’m going to learn to automate the sign-up process, but not today!

Ships in the Night

I have two new designs in the pipeline, nearly ready to publish, and I’ll be offering discounts only through the newsletter. I’ve been wearing this one a lot; it’s my current favorite.

Don’t forget, comment or email me to subscribe, and I’ll put you on the list. Thank you!

Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival recap

Well, that was a whirlwind fun weekend! I went to The Dalles (where?!), Oregon for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival this weekend, and had a blast. Three classes, chatting with knitters, and shopping…I’m one tired pup.

My first class was Happily Ever After (ergonomics) with Carson Demers. Lots of information on where we get our stress while knitting, and ways to alleviate it. For someone like me who knits for hours every day, this will go a long way towards making me a more comfortable knitter. Easiest takeaway: Take breaks! Avoid the death grip, match the right needles with the right yarn, have a variety of types of projects. And more.

My second class was Lace Doctor with Patty Lyons. I fix mistakes in my lace all the time, but usually in the same row, or a few stitches on the next right side row. I knew it was possible to fix an entire section of lace (several stitches/rows), but hadn’t had the need to do it. This class MADE me do it.

Before Lace Doctor Before. See how that center chevron is all wonky?

Ready to Rock and Roll Lace Doctor

Ready to rock and roll!

Halfway there! Lace DoctorHalfway there!

After Lace DoctorAfter: All better!

This was exactly the experience I was looking for. I’ll offer my own take on lace fixing (and probably simple cables, too) in advanced Tink, Drop, Frog classes in 2017.

My third class (whew!) was Two Sided Cables with Norah Gaughan. Wow. We knit several cable swatches and learned what kind of cables lend themselves to cables on the reverse side. These are not just reversible cables (usually made in ribbing), but cables that look completely different on the front and back. A whole new world! I bought Norah’s book and have been paging through it and dreaming big.

Norah Gaughan cable book

One of the things I love about taking classes is incidental learning, things that aren’t the focus of the class, but come up in passing during class. In my cable class, I was sitting in front of Carson Demers and Mary Scott Huff (both fabulous knitters and teachers). Mary had learned the alternate cable cast on in another class with Norah, and proceeded to play with it and discovered a way to make it look like a tubular cast on.

Super Tubie Cast On

Mary’s swatch on the left, mine on the right (my edge is a little taller than Mary’s, a result of on-the-fly what-iffing.) Carson suggested changing the cast on from cable to a knit cast on to make it lean less on the first row. I’ll try it and share later. Totally tubular.

Mary and Carson are both teaching at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival in February, and so am I! So thrilled to be in their esteemed company. More on that later.

This was an inspiring weekend, class-wise. I have a lot of new ideas to play with, and look forward to sharing with you. But wait, you say…What about the market? A fiber festival must have a market, right?

Yes, of course. A few pictures, for fun.

Alpha B Hipster B

Dyer Alpha B was in the Knot Another Hat booth with several of her yarns. I picked up this Hipster B Aran weight from her; it’s 100% merino, not superwash, slightly crunchy, and milled on Whidbey Island, WA. The color is called Sink Back Into the Ocean. It’s a little more green than it shows on this gray day, and has a wonderful tonal quality.

Bumblebirch

Sarah of Bumblebirch and helper Felicia were super cute as bumblebees.

Bumblebirch Heartwood

I picked these three colors of Heartwood (fingering weight 75/25 superwash merino/nylon): Atlantic, Honey, and Crush. I have a shawl I’ve been dreaming about for 2 years, and I hope two of these colors will make it happen. Honey and Atlantic, or Honey and Crush? We shall see…

Czech glass buttons

I fell in love with some Czech glass buttons, and bought the two little dragonfly buttons you see here. One will be the closure on a wrap bracelet (I bought beads last week), and the other? Not sure yet.

Sari Peterson

There was a lot more to the market, including my favorite spinner/spindle peddler Sari of Twists and Turnings. And Grace of Grace’s Cases (maker of my current favorite teaching bag). And Stacey of Fierce Fibers, who is playing with gradient cakes.

Fierce Fibers gradient cakes

and so much more!

Okay, time to get back to work. Thanks for visiting CGFF through this blog post. See you there next year?

Coming soon, garter stitch zen

Remember this garter stitch “worry bead” knitting?

purple garter crescent

It grew up to be this:

Ships in the Night

The pattern is coming soon; it’s back from the tech editor and is being test knit.

You might remember that it was my zen project when Biscuit/BellaTrix/Bisquee was ill after her adventures in the fireplace. It’s probably the most soothing knit I’ve ever designed. It’s an absolute joy to wear, too. I wore it for the first time on Sunday, because I was worried about kitty again. She was really sick last week, and after three vet visits and worry about lack of appetite, obstructions, pancreatitis, and food alllergies, it turned out to be a UTI, mostly. She’s back to her happy self, and a little more snuggly and a little less naughty. She’s growing up!

But about the shawl: Worn on the shoulders, the ends hang down nearly to my knees. It’s like a great big garter stitch hug. Worn scarf style, it feels luxuriantly engulfing.

Ships in the Night

The stripes are based on the Fibonacci sequence, so there’s a little bit of nerdy fun in there too. The current name is Ships in the Night for the way the stripes glide past each other, but I could also call it BellaTrix for this silly kitty. Even though her name is Biscuit. Pronounced Bisquee. What do you think?

Biscuit BellaTrix

Looking forward to sharing it with you soon!

Sheeper than Therapy retreat

Moving backwards to move forward! Before my meeting with the Boss, I was at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Three Rivers, California to teach at the Sheeper Than Therapy Guild’s fall retreat. We had a great time. The weather was perfect.

St Anthony's Retreat Center

We played with Log Cabin blocks

Log Cabin blocks

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

Braided Wristlets

And the fun stitches of the Tilt Shift Wrap

Tilt shift stitch

We finished up Monday morning with an overview of photography and editing on mobile devices (phone and tablet).

Sheeper Than Therapy group

This was a very fun group of knitters to hang out with! Many thanks to Ann for organizing, and to Susan for recommending me. Susan knit my 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery shawlette, and met me during the crawl.

Susan and me

Want to know more about the weekend? Here’s Renee’s blog post.

While I was knitting there, we noticed something interesting on my yarn label. My fellow Pie Bird Claudia gave me this yarn many years ago. It’s lovely, lovely stuff: 65% Cashmere and 35% silk. So soft, and it knits up into an airy dream.

Bollicina label Fa Re

The name of the yarn is Bollicina, which means bubble in Italian. The label features the treble staff, with two notes, Fa and Re. Why? Google Translate tells me that “fare” means “to make” in Italian. So it’s a big musical pun!

Now I’m home, writing up four new patterns, and planning what happens next. Onward!

What Springsteen said to me

“You’re a dangerous woman.”

Springsteen n me

Who, me?

Bruce Springsteen was in town to promote his new autobiography, “Born to Run.” The event was at Powell’s Books, a large and wonderful independent bookstore here in PDX. We managed to get tickets (we crashed the first server, just like Sock Summit), but poor DH is out of town so a friend came with me.

The rules:

• The event is a meet and greet only. There will be no book discussion, booksigning, or performance.

• Springsteen will not sign anything during the event (books will be pre-signed). No memorabilia or other items are allowed.

• Please leave bags, backpacks, and personal items at home as these are not permitted at the event. Any personal items that cannot be pocketed will not be permitted in the event space. This includes backpacks, purses, shopping bags, etc. Only the book that ticket buyers receive at check-in will be allowed into the event space with ticket holders.

• You are allowed one posed photo with Bruce Springsteen. An employee of Powell’s will take the picture using your phone or camera.

Knitting in line

I don’t have a lot of clothing with pockets; I’m all about the skirts and boots! I wanted to take some knitting with me for waiting in line, and it had to be small to fit in my tiny jacket pockets. I’m not a sock knitter, but a half ball of yarn and a sock on the needles made sense. Of course, for me it was sport weight on size 2 magic loop. Look at that heel flap! I finished the flap, the heel turn, and started gusset decreases while in line.

What do you say to Bruce Springsteen, that hasn’t been said a million times before? In my case, it was, “Would you hold my sock?” (Definitely inspired by the Yarn Harlot.) But when it was my turn, the handler looked at my needles and told me I couldn’t go up with knitting needles. So I took the needles out, because I really wanted Bruce to hold my sock. Here’s our exchange.

Me: Would you hold my sock?

Bruce: (looks bemused)

Me: I had to take the needles out; they wouldn’t let me have them near you.

Bruce: You’re a dangerous woman…with those needles!

He had the sock; I had the yarn ball in my pocket. We’re connected by yarn! So we took our picture, and I thanked him for coming before they sent me on my way. 10 seconds, totally worth it.

Springsteen n me at Powell's

I just found out that you can make gifs and videos from the live photos on newer iPhones. So here it is; I love how Bruce is wiggling the sock. Too cute!

Springsteen sock wiggle gif

As I said, I’m not really a sock knitter, so I may never finish this sock. I’d have to put it back on the needles, for starters. So I think it will go in a shadow box with the picture, and we’ll call it good.

The Oregonian was there talking to people who were waiting in line, and I ended up in their video. I’m at the 26 second mark, in my Webfoot Shawlette in Hazelknits Entice, Hoppy Blond.

OK, back to knitting!

Belated OFFF report, onward!

It came; it went! The weather was perfect at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last weekend.

Wristlet class picture

On Saturday, I taught my braided wristlets class. A lot of fun in such a small piece of knitting!

Sunday was my play day. Here’s my small haul, which I’ll explain as we go. Picture does not include the sheep cheese and goat cheese; they’re in the fridge. Or the tea.

OFFF loot

That little wooden yarn ball? It’s really a needle minder, but I bought it to use as a shawl pin. It’s magnetic, so it doesn’t poke through my shawl. It worked great on my stockinette based shawl. I bought it from Maria, A Needle Runs Through It. I bought one of her needle minders for my bead tin last year. Very handy.

Miss Purl tin

Speaking of my bead tin, I’m upping my game with this tin from Miss Purl. It goes with my sock monkey tool bag.

Bead tin

It’s all set up with my other needle minder.

Blissful Knits

Raya at Blissful Knits had this cute mini bar setup. I bought a couple minis to swatch with.

Blissful Knits minis

Such happy colors!

Three Fates

I bought this sparkly fingering weight gradient from Stephania at Three Fates Yarn. Just because I liked it.

Knitted Wit

And I loved the cheery color pops on this Aran weight yarn from Lorajean at Knitted Wit. Colorway is called Macaron. Yum! I’ve knit with Lorajean’s Aran before, my long Snowy Woods Cowl, and I love how “chewy” it feels to knit with. This will be a quick hat for someone, I think. Or a short cowl. Or…

Plum Deluxe

I was pleased to see Andy Hayes of Plum Deluxe. This was his first OFFF. I love his teas, and was running low on my favorite, so I bought it (Oregon Breakfast Tea) plus two more. The strawberry Earl Grey is fantastic.

30 breeds blanket

I visited the exhibit hall, and saw two very impressive blankets. This one has wool from 30 breeds.

30 breeds blanket key

And here’s the key.

Sheep blanket

This blanket is a little more fanciful.

Anna's Fern Shawlette

Anna took my Fern Shawlette class last year, and entered it in the exhibition this year. She did a very lovely job.

Back out to the lawn!

Stacey and Tami

Tami (right) was helping out at Stacey’s booth, Fierce Fibers (formerly Thoroughly Thwacked). Tami was spinning from the fiber around her neck. Nice!

Fierce Fibers gradients

Stacey has been playing with gradients. These laceweight cakes are lovely. They’re actually all the same, just wound inside out or outside in. It really makes a difference in how you see them.

Aloha Stitch Jones

I noticed the Aloha Shawlette that Sharon Spence (StitchJones) knit, hanging in the booth. I originally designed this using Sharon’s yarn. It all goes around!

Chicken spinning wheel

I loved this chicken spinning wheel.

Squire Brooms

These handmade brooms by Squire Brooms were quite a hit. Kirby is watching her broom being made, and she even got to help with the sewing.

Kirby's broom

Ready to ride! Or sweep…

Jenkins spindles

The Turkish spindles from Jenkins Woodworking are always gorgeous.

And what’s a trip to OFFF without a trip to the barn?

Icelandic wool on the hoof

Icelandic wool on the hoof. Let’s bang out another sweater!

Siri and huacaya

Alpacas, Suri and huacaya.

Whew! So much fun. And now I’m off to teach at the Sheeper than Therapy Retreat in Three Rivers, CA.

Sheeper than Therapy

Catch you on the other side!

OFFF tomorrow!

Ready? Go! I’ve got my patterns printed, and class samples ready for my Braided Wristlets class tomorrow (Saturday) at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. It’s an all day class, 9:30 to 4:30, so I won’t have much time to play. Which only means that I’ll have to go back on Sunday, which promises to be a gorgeous day. Win! Come to the registration booth at 9 if you want to join us tomorrow.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets go ducks

Here’s my wristlet variation, since you’ve seen the others several times recently on the blog. Instructions for this variation are in the pattern, too.

Last week I was over in Sisters to visit friends who recently moved away. We worked on a song I’m writing; it’s about tumbleweeds, or really about friends moving away. This is number four in the last 2 years. Ouch! The song started in my head after V moved away, but is finally coming together now, a couple years later.

Trampoline

But it wasn’t all music. There was some trampoline time.

And a lovely walk along Whychus Creek.

Whychus me

With a view of the Three Sisters by day…

Sisters

Sisters sunset

And night! We took the kids to watch the sunset and moonrise; they were conveniently at the same time and the moon was nearly full. The kids thought they needed to use our phones for flashlights, but the moon was so bright…nope!

Sisters sunset collage

Do you use Layout? It’s a free app from Instagram, and it makes great collages. It works great with my iPhone, and the only complaint that I have is that it doesn’t play nicely with my iPad; it doesn’t show me the pictures I’m choosing from until I click the blank space where it should be. But I can work around that.

Hope to see you this weekend, knit and spin peeps!

Enabling your inner knitter

Looking around the blog universe, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who feels euphoric about September knitting. Social media is full of posts about new cast ons. I’m here to enable you! I love teaching people to be the boss of their knitting. I’ve filled out my teaching schedule at Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake here locally; you can see my classes on my teaching page here.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

I’m also looking forward to teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Saturday, September 24. We’re making braided wristlets, with several kinds of braids worked in, as well as lessons on color and yarn dominance, and managing your yarn for stranded knitting. Class description is here; “out of stock” just means that pre-registration is over. You can sign up on-site at OFFF; class starts at 9:30 a.m. Come a little early if you want to pick up yarn from Knitted Wit for this project; she’ll have these colors kitted up for you.

And I’m really excited to be teaching at the Sheeper than Therapy retreat in Fresno, CA, at the end of the month. We have a full slate of fun classes for the weekend: Log Cabin Squares, Braided Wristlets, the Tilt Shift Wrap, and Photography with iPphone/iPad. Looking forward to it!

All in all, September is a knitting whirlwind. I love it! What’s on your needles? Are you going to OFFF?