Introducing Trellis Vines; Aura e-book giveaway

I’ve been dying to wear this new piece for the last six months, but I had to wait until it was published last week. This is my Trellis Vines Stole and Poncho.

Trellis Vines Stole

It’s a long rectangle of lacy loveliness. You may recognize the lace pattern from my Beanstalk Scarf and Mitts, and also from my Beanstalk Poncho.

Trellis Vines detail

When I fall in love with a stitch pattern, I tend to use it in several designs before moving on. In this case, I’ve used it as an allover pattern, rather than as a single beanstalk. It’s more work for the knitter, but I think it’s worth it.
Trellis Vines Stole

It makes the piece wearable as a stole, where a single beanstalk would look lonely. It also makes the hemline scallop!

Trellis Vines Poncho

And you know I love a rectangular poncho worn on the diagonal. Tilt Shift, Summertime Blues, Beanstalk Poncho. I have five ponchos in my wardrobe right now. This one is probably my last for a while. At some point, ponchos won’t be as fashion-forward as they are currently. I wanted this piece to be wearable long beyond, so I’ve designed it so that it can be laced up with ribbon for a poncho, or no ribbon for a stole. Covering my bases; I’m bi-wraptual!

Trellis Vines is knit with Knit Picks Galileo, a sport/dk weight 50/50 Merino wool/bamboo blend. The bamboo gives it a swingy drape and lovely sheen.

Trellis Vines is in the new Knit Picks Spring 2016 Collection, Aura, which is available as a hard copy book or an e-book. Here’s the Ravelry link to all the designs. Trellis Vines is also available as an individual download from Knit Picks.

I’m giving away a pdf copy of the Aura e-book. Leave a comment and let me know how you’d wear Trellis Vines. Stole? Poncho? Both? What makes your heart go pitty-pat? I’ll pick a winner on Saturday, April 2.

Trellis Vines Stole

Introducing: Braided Wristlets

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

It’s all about the braid. These cuffs are a little workshop in stranded color knitting and braids. Three types of braids are featured: Latvian herringbone braids, half braids that resemble chain links, and half braids that resemble twisted rope. They are knit in the round, from the bottom up. DPNs, magic loop, two circulars: knitter’s choice. Choose three colors and get knitting! I can’t seem to stop. I’ve knit four pairs and I’m almost done with my fifth. It’s still chilly enough in Portland that these make sense!

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

The pattern calls for less than 60 yards of each of three colors. (These are Knitted Wit Double Bubble mini skeins.) Instructions are written, with a video tutorial on the knitted braid technique.

The pattern is available as a pdf download through Ravelry for $6. Ravelry pattern page link here. To celebrate this pattern’s release, use coupon code BRAIDS for 20% off through April 4, 2016.

I’ve knit these with 3 kinds of DK weight yarn. My favorite so far? Knitted Wit Double Bubble DK. The twist on this yarn is nice and tight, which is less prone to split, and gives the braids lovely definition. Lorajean will have yarn kits for this in her etsy shop soon (today, I think).

pdxknitterati braided wristlets go ducks

Go Ducks! Once you know how to knit the braids, you can adapt these to your heart’s delight. I learned the herringbone braid in a Latvian Mitts class with Beth Brown-Reinsel last month at Madrona, and was enchanted by the possibilities. A series of “What if I do this? Or this?” led to these definitely not-Latvian wristlets.

Thanks to tech editor Amanda Woodruff, test knitters Lisa Yarrow and Kim Winter, and Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit for the beautiful yarn.

I’m teaching a class with this pattern at Twisted on Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. We’ll learn about stranded knitting with two colors and managing your yarns so they don’t tangle, yarn color dominance, and braids. Contact Twisted to sign up!

Introducing: Beanstalk Poncho

As promised, here’s my newest design, the Beanstalk Poncho. I wore it on the last day of the yarn crawl, and loved it. It’s knit with two 400 yard skeins of fingering weight yarn, a perfect lightweight accessory for spring and summer.

Beanstalk Poncho

A single beanstalk climbs from hem to shoulder, reaching for the sky on both front and back. I used two Three Fates Yarns’ five shade gradient sets in her Eponymous Sock; the colorway is Time Lapse gradient. It would be equally lovely in a semi-solid colorway.

Beanstalk poncho detail

The length and width of this wrap are easy to customize to your perfect size. The wrap shown is 18″ wide by 29″ long.

Beanstalk poncho 2

This pattern is available as a pdf download through Ravelry; pattern page is here. To celebrate this pattern’s release, use coupon code BEANS for 20% off through Thursday, March 17, 2016. St. Patrick’s Day! Save some green and knit the green.

Beanstalk Poncho

It’s super fun to wear!

Crafty Moms Weekend catch up

The weekend before the yarn crawl was the 13th annual Crafty Moms weekend at the coast. That’s a lot of tradition!

The Beanstalk Poncho that I wore Sunday?

Terri, me, M

I seamed it at Crafty Moms weekend.

beanstalk seam

I was going to use mattress stitch, but my blocking wires left a loopier and rufflier than expected edge, and I didn’t want to take up even more fabric in the seam allowance. Those holes ended up being perfect for slip stitch crochet. I didn’t have an appropriately sized crochet hook, but I had this little repair hook, and that did the trick.

Twin Leaf at Crafty Moms

I almost finished my Twin Leaf Crescent for the Black Trillium KAL, which wraps up at the end of this month on Ravelry. The view beyond the window was pretty, too.

wrap bracelets

Carole made the bracelet on the left for me with beads we bought at Shipwreck Beads on the way home from Madrona. The middle one is hers. And I made the one on the right, but I don’t love it. The orange beads with the brown leather don’t make me happy. So I’ll frog it and do it again, later.

It was rainy and not rainy, as is customary on the Oregon Coast. So there was walking and not walking!

rope and sea creatures

The ocean likes beading, too. I think these beads may be anemones?

Here’s a little live action…

Crafty Moms weekend at the #oregoncoast. Sometimes you have to go outside.

A video posted by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

sunset

It was a very relaxing weekend with 16 Crafty Moms!

RCYC 2016 Day 4

twisted

I spent the last day of the yarn crawl at my home haunt, Twisted. I teach many classes here. My trunk show here was just plain fun.

Terri, me, M

Terri showed me her finished RCYC MKAL for this year. Her friend M was visiting from Canada. M said that she has knit Summertime Blues, but hasn’t blocked it yet, so I let her model mine. Me? I’m wearing my new Beanstalk Poncho. So new, it hasn’t been published yet. It should be out in the next few days; I just need to edit the photo shoot pix we did last Wednesday. The yarn is a gradient set (x2) from Three Fates Yarn in Salem; they have it at Twisted.

Camille

Camille also finished her MKAL. Looks great!

Judy

Judy took my Athena Entrelac class at OFFF last September. She brought her unfinished project, and decided to knit it with a cashmere blend instead. It will be soft and lovely!

knit fox

I didn’t catch this knitter’s name, but she was visiting with two adorable littles, and this fox that she knit. Cute!

summertime blues

More Summertime Blues! It’s so helpful for people to be able to see my knits in person and try them on.

Adam and Digby

Ex-Twistedista Adam came by with Digby. So cute!

PDXKnitterati trunk show

And that’s a wrap! It was a very fun, very yarny weekend. Thanks so much to For Yarn’s Sake, Lantern Moon, and Twisted for having me!

Next on the agenda: Getting Beanstalk Poncho ready to publish, and making a video tutorial for another pattern that’s in the works. Blocking my just finished Twin Leaf Crescent for the Black Trillium KAL. Blocking my Stopover sleeves about an inch longer (I’m only going to wet the sleeves. Think it will work? We shall see.) And two design projects that are only in my head so far.

alpaca

This is part of the yarn for one of the design projects. Two ply fingering weight spindle-spun alpaca from Peru. The hank was bigger than my swift, and I tried to hand-wind it by hanging it on a doorknob. Messy, and totally my fault for being impatient. The other hank? I’m going to call a friend!

What’s on your knitting agenda this week? Clickety-click!

RCYC 2016 Day 3

Only two shops for me today, but they were great!

rainbow connection moose

First stop, Wool ‘n’ Wares to see the Rainbow moose. (Rainbow Connection scarf pattern by Shannon Squire.) So much rainbow in one shop! And trunk shows. Four simultaneous trunk shows, plus lambs outside.

Ruby

Mama Ruby from was visiting with her girls Calico Kate and Bonny Lass. They’re from The Spinning Ewe Farm; Jan McMahon raises a variety of crossbred sheep with the handspinner in mind.

lambs

These lambs were born in December. They don’t really look like babies any more!

carl herndon seam rippers

Carl Herndon (C H Woodcraft) makes beautiful things from wood. He had spindles, swifts, niddy-noddies, and more including these very elegant seam rippers. I don’t sew much any more, but I had to have one to replace the nasty plastic thing in my sewing box. I bought the last two; one will be a gift. Carl doesn’t have a web site yet, but he’s at the Oregon City Farmer’s Market, and you can reach him at herndoncarl (at) gmail.com. Choose your own wood, people!

Debbi Stone

Debbi Stone had a trunk show here today. I promise I’m not stalking her, either.

JJ Foster

And JJ Foster with her Buttonhole! Buttons. Vintage and modern buttons for your knits.

Spincycle

On to For Yarn’s Sake. Yes, I was there with a trunk show on Thursday, but I really wanted to see Kate and Rachel, the Spincycle Yarns ladies, to choose a color to go with the yarn I bought last year.

spincycle

Success! After considering a pale seaglass aqua and a vivid orange, I settled on this pink and gray named Heart Sigh. A good combo with last year’s Nostalgia. I’m kind of a color chicken at heart, and this pairing of pinks fits well with my tendency towards tonal monochrome. Perfect.

PDXKnitterati trunk show

My last stop was late in the day, to set up Sunday’s trunk show at Twisted. I ran into JJ here. Maybe she’s stalking me? Nah, she was there first.

If you’re out and about on the crawl on Sunday, come say howdy!

RCYC 2016 Day 2

I won’t even pretend that I’ll be able to go to all 14 shops on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I salute those who have already turned in their completed passports! I started my day with a trunk show, but not on the crawl.

Lantern Moon luncheon

Lantern Moon’s fabulous retreat began with a luncheon at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. I had a little trunk show for this room full of happy knitters before they headed off for Skamania Lodge. Also in this show were Brooke Sinnes (Sincere Sheep, you can see her at For Yarn’s Sake on Sunday) and Deb Accuardi (Chicken Coop Botanicals).

Summertime Blues

Summertime Blues is making the rounds! So fun for people to try things on.

The Lantern Moon crew was headed for a tour of Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal, WA. Two of the retreat attendees are wool-allergic, so they planned to hit a few stores on the Crawl and meet up with the group at Skamania. They had already been to Close Knit, so I recommended Twisted and Yarnia. Yarnia, so uniquely Portland, where they could choose their fibers and have them made into their own one-of-a-kind yarn. I ended up there later, and heard that they had made it in and made their yarns!

Yarnia

Yarnia’s offerings are sorted by fiber content. You choose your plies, and they are wound off together for you.

Yarnia

Yarnia also has pre-wound yarn, for those of us who can’t decide. (I’ve been one of those before.) I love how they display little swatches on the cones, and label the wool-free ones. I hadn’t been to Yarnia’s new location, so I really wanted to see it, and am glad I had a chance to visit. Their new space is lovely.

Yarntastic

Yarntastic is another new-to-me shop. It’s over in the Sellwood neighborhood, which is the far end of Portland from me. I was charmed by their yarn tree, seen here over Stacey Kok’s (Thoroughly Thwacked) trunk show display. What a lovely riot of color.

thoroughly thwacked

This little sparkly blue gradient set was calling my name, loudly. I’m still thinking about it. Hmmmm.

Shannon & Lorajean

I also stopped at Northwest Wools, which was mobbed by crawlers. I’m not really stalking Shannon and Lorajean, but wherever you go, there they are! Plus, I was picking up Girl Scout cookies from Shannon. If you need cookies, she’s your source. Nom.

Today I’m planning to go to Wool ‘n’ Wares to see rainbows and maybe sheep, and back to For Yarn’s Sake to see the Spincycle gals.

Spincycle Yarns

I bought this beautiful yarn from them last year, and realized later that it really needs a coordinating/contrasting color to make it sing. So I’ll bring my pretty pink/purples and audition the other colors with them. (Does this remind you of my color pop auditions for BangOutASweater? Seeing is believing!)

Where are you on the crawl today? Leave a comment. There may be a reward!

RCYC 2016 Day 1

FYS bubbles for RCYC

The Rose City Yarn Crawl started off with a bang. Or more accurately, a POP! I spent the day at For Yarn’s Sake having a multi-trunk show with dyer Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit, and fellow designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone. Owner Ann started our morning with a bubbly toast. Let the crawl begin!

bubbly

It was fun chatting with knitters about designs, and steering them towards (more) yarn. Trunk shows are a great way to see knits up close and personal, and even try them on.

Summertime Blues Mo

Mo is planning to knit her very own Summertime Blues. She’s not the only one. Seeing the drape and swing of this poncho in person is a game changer!

Rosaria Melinda

Melinda brought her cashmere-infused Rosaria (2014’s mystery knit) to show me. I love her colors.

Sunday

Sunday once again dyed her hair to match her completed mystery KAL. Awesome!

Henry

Henry knits color work scarves, flat, with recycled yarn.

Binkwaffle

Debbi and I love our dumpling bags by Binkwaffle. They’re reversible, and just the right size for a single skein project. The bonus is that it comfortably sits on your wrist, which is helpful if you don’t have pockets to stash your yarn. Ann has these bags in the shop, but ours are from last summer’s TNNA show.

sock wheel shannon

I love Shannon’s sock wheel. Her dad made it for her. I’m impressed! I have some of his sock blockers, but the sock wheel is so far beyond that.

What’s next? Friday I’m doing a trunk show for Lantern Moon’s retreat, and then I’ll hit a few shops for the crawl. Saturday is free for crawling and on Sunday I’ll be at Twisted from 1 to 4 p.m. If you see me this weekend, say hi!

trtlgrlThrowback to 2014’s crawl.

I know Rachel is missing the crawl; on Wednesday she posted on my FB that she wished she could be here. She moved to Florida last year (sunny and warm!); it’s a little out of range, though. We miss her, too. She’s one of the Turkish Delight OFFF spinners!

bubbly knits2014 RCYC rest stop with Rachel

Knit on, my lovelies, with bubbly if you must! Are you crawling this weekend? If not, what are you doing instead?

Rose City Yarn Crawl and trunk shows

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year: Rose City Yarn Crawl! This year there are fourteen participating shops in the metro Portland area. The crawl begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. Are you ready?

I’ll be at two shops with trunk shows this year.

image
2014 trunk show with LJ and Frances

On Thursday, I’ll be at For Yarn’s Sake from 10 to 4 with fantastic local dyer Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley), and designers Shannon Squire and Debbi Stone. It’s a party!

fern shawlettesLast year at Twisted

On Sunday I’ll be at Twisted from 1 to 4 p.m. Stop by and say hello!

FO: Stopover BangOutASweater

Well, that was a hoot!

BangOutASweater FO

I knit this Stopover in 8 days, and then set it aside to wait for my color pop swap yarn to arrive in the mail. What a difference a color pop makes!

yarn swap bangoutasweater

The swap yarn arrived shortly after I got home from Madrona. (Go back to the previous two posts if you missed the Madrona fun.) I auditioned all but the purples, which were too dark against the lapis background. And I tried my green one more time.

bangoutasweater color swap audition

Orange, yellow, green? Yellow! It looks like daffodils and bluebells in spring.

stopover color pop

I’m super happy with this sweater. Thanks so much to bluecanarygirl (Ravelry) for organizing the yarn swap. The yellow makes my heart sing.

The sweater fits perfectly, with a bit of ease but not a ton. It did not change size with blocking (I didn’t want it to). I did spin some of the water out of it, but I put it into the top loading washer in an up and down orientation so the spin wouldn’t elongate the body or arms. Short spin, rearrange, short spin. Pat out to dry.

The Lett-Lopi wool isn’t super scritchy; it’s like wearing a cloud. Except at the neck. I took the FO picture without a turtleneck under it, because I wanted to show the neckline (you can see a bit of my black T). But yesterday I wore it with turtleneck, and it was perfect.

Thanks to Mary Jane Mucklestone for a perfect pattern, and Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner at Mason-Dixon Knitting for dreaming up this very fun KAL! You can see a collage of FO’s over at the MDK blog; I see me in there! That post has links to all the help you’d ever need if you want to bang out a Stopover of your own. My Ravelry project page with notes is here.

Clara Parkes

Other recent fun? Clara Parkes was here to read from her new book, Knitlandia, at Powell’s in Portland last Saturday. Guess who won a Claramel?

knitlandia claramel

The green knitting in the photo is done! Time to block, and finish up the pattern. Reveal coming soon…