Tag Archives: Knit

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!

Garter stitch as worry beads

purple garter crescent

I’m working out a new design idea, and it’s fairly mindless. Garter stitch makes a great worry bead. I love these two colors together; they’re from Lorajean at Knitted Wit. The variegated is Rose City (I think it was a special for the Rose City Yarn Crawl?) and the purple may be Her Majesty (label long gone, if I ever had one).

Rows and rows of garter stitch, so soothing as I wait by the phone.

gray BellaTrix

I was startled to see that BellaTrix was going gray last week. Her brilliant white fur was changing color. Apparently she got into our bedroom fireplace (screens are not enough barrier), and spread it around when she tried to groom herself. This made her sick, so she has been to the vet several times this week.

BellaTrix lamp

Although she wasn’t feeling well, she was still pretty active and chipper at times, but not eating. Yesterday she had an x-ray. No blockage. But her liver is only 20% of normal size. She’s back at the vet today for more tests, and I’m worried.

BellaTrix nerf dart

Please send good thoughts her way. Meanwhile, I’ll keep knitting.

purple garter st

Introducing Tridacna Cowls and Necklace, KAL?

Tridacna? It’s a clam. It’s an inspiration!

tridacna cowl pdxknitterati

The scalloped edges of the elongated stitches in the Tridacna cowls and necklace mimic the fluted edges of the Tridacna clam’s shell. This cowl can be knit as a long infinity loop, a short cozy cowl, or a simple necklace. The longer cowl features yarn specially dyed by Hand Maiden Fine Yarn for A Good Yarn in Sarasota, Florida, in colors inspired by the Tridacna clam. The short cowl and necklace are shown knit in two colors. Knitter’s choice! The pattern is written for DK weight yarn. Silk enhances the drape of these pieces.

tridacna cowl pdxknitterati

The long cowl can be worn in a variety of ways: Long, doubled, keyhole style.

tridacna necklace pdxknitterati

Not ready to knit an entire cowl? The necklace is a great introduction to this fun elongated stitch. There’s a link to a video in the pattern, too, if you need help with the stitch.

This pattern is available for $6 via pdf download through Ravelry. Pattern page is here. Use coupon code CLAM for 20% off through August 10, 2016. Do you want to do a KAL beginning August 20? Let me know through blog comment, Facebook, Instagram, or Ravelry.

tridacna clam

This is the photo that inspired the yarn that inspired the cowls. Murray Post took this underwater photograph of a Tridacna clam in Fiji. He’s the husband of Susan Post, the owner of A Good Yarn in Sarasota Florida. The Posts asked hand Maiden Fine Yarn to create a custom colorway, Clam, based on this photo. When I saw the photo and the yarn, I knew exactly what the yarn wanted to be.

Murray says:
“I took this picture is of a Tridacna, or giant clam in Fiji. They are quite beautiful, with a fleshy mantle that extends out of its shell. The small black dots around the rim of the mantle are primitive eyes, that sense light and shadow. As you approach, they retract their mantles and close their shell, though once they’re any size, the shell can’t close all the way. Tridacna means 3 bites, and they were once farmed and consumed only by the village chiefs. The largest I’ve seen was over 5 feet wide. This guy is bit larger than a football.”

Thank you to the Posts for the beautiful yarn and inspiration!

Larger photos are on my PDXKnitterati Tridacna pattern page, here.

What’s in a Name? and name contest

A cat has no name. (Apologies, Game of Thrones.) It’s hard getting a name to stick to this one. She was Trix when we adopted her, and since then she’s been Coco Pele (homages to Pele the Hawaiian fire goddess, Pele the soccer player, and Kokopelli), and Clio Petra. None of them stuck. I call her Mooper a lot, but that’s not her name. The kids like Unagi (eel, because she’s so twisty/slippery), Mochi, and Biscuit. Biscuit?! Hmmm, all food names.

Late night entertainment. #catsofinstagram #purringtonsalumni

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

Well, she does like the kitchen. At just one year old, she’s a lot busier than our 16 year old Mookie was.

refrigerator cat

Yes, she tried to get into the refrigerator. Picture courtesy of Son1, and the Prisma app. (Have you played with Prisma? Free, and interesting! And you can remove the watermark in the corner, easy peasy.)

piano cat

I’ve also found her on the piano, and *in* the piano. Apparently she’s a lot sassier now that she’s feeling at home, and healthy. (She had giardia and a respiratory infection when we adopted her. Messy!)

sleepy cat

I kind of like her when she’s asleep, and not trying to bite my knitting.

cat knit helper

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll come up with a name, soon. It may even be Biscuit.

mannequin lace

Here’s another new addition to the household. I found her at Home Goods yesterday, quite by accident. She needs a name, too. I’d been thinking of getting something like this because Bobbi, my fabulous model, is off to college this fall.

mannequin dress

I gave her one of my old dresses, a black velvet mini T-shirt dress. Very demure. She’ll be introducing my newest design soon, including the necklace she’s wearing here. At least the design has a name!

Let’s have a little fun. Suggest a name for my new mannequin, and I’ll do a random drawing for a winner (but I’m too chicken to pick her name at random!). You can also suggest a name for my cat. Winner gets a copy of this book, Aura: 2016 Spring Collection from Knit Picks. Click the link to see the designs.

Aura

My Trellis Vines Poncho/Wrap is in it, along with many other breezy patterns for lightweight yarns.

I’ll pick a winner July 27. Ready, set, go!

Knitting away, and away

I’m always knitting, even if it’s stuff I can’t show you. I did finish my project with this yarn I bought from Alexandra’s Crafts at OFFF last year.

Alexandra's gradient

It was a two strand sock blank, giving me two strands, dyed exactly the same.

alexandra's crafts

I designed a little something with it, and it was perfect for a submission for a book project. Apparently they thought so, too, which means I can’t show you the FO, except like this.

mystery gradient project Alexandra

It came full circle, but now it’s garter stitch instead of stockinette.

mystery garter stitch

The new FO isn’t a gradient, but it’s beautiful either way. This blocked out really nicely. I love the way pedestrian garter stitch blocks out into an airy ethereal wonder. This yarn has silk in it, which adds to the loveliness.

knitting aerie manzanita

I knit some of it in this dreamy knitting aerie loft space in a house we rented in Manzanita. DH’s mom came out to visit us and we took her to the coast for her birthday.

birthday breezes

It was breezy and cool

breezy selfie

but we had a good time! Son1 learned to shuck oysters from a YouTube video, so we toasted Mom with oysters on the half shell. And wine, too. (Son2 had just started a new job and couldn’t get away. We celebrated again in town.)

oyster toast

Now home and knitting with one of the yarns from A Good Yarn in Sarasota. It should be done in a couple days, and then I can actually show you some knitting! But for now, a few more pix from the coast…

beach truck

message from the sea on a log

horses passing by

Are you celebrating the Fourth of July? It’s the annual Waterfront Blues Festival in town, so we’ve seen lots of music. Perfect weather this year.

Blues Cruise

Views from the Blues Cruise, NW Women in R&B.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Bang Out A Sweater next week?

When I saw that Kay and Ann over at Mason-Dixon Knitting were starting a #BangOutASweater KAL with Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover pattern, I tried to resist. I have several projects already in the works, and don’t really need one more.

But if I did decide to knit along, what colors would I use? I played with some colors online. Just looking, you know. As one does.

Lett-Lopi colors

I wondered what they would look like in real life? I went to the Knitting Bee to check. And then I bought the yarn. Oops. But Létt-Lopi isn’t very expensive on the yarn continuum, so I didn’t feel too guilty. I could put it away for later when I have more time, right?

My friend Claudia came over to bake bagels and sing with me the other day. (She, Becky, and I sing as the Pie Birds.) The bagels turned out great.

bagels with Claudia

I told her about the BangOutASweater KAL, and she was all in. She went from my house to Dublin Bay to get yarn. I’m such an enabler! (And can I say just how lucky we are in Portland to have 15 yarn shops in the area, and TWO that carry Lopi?) She sent me this picture.

Létt-Lopi for Claudia

I guess this means I should knit along with her now, instead of later. I swatched yesterday (in the round! and wet blocked!) and also sampled color placement. The size didn’t change when I blocked it, but the yarn fuzzed up marvelously and filled in the gaps at this loosely knit gauge. Perfect.

Stopover color sampling

I like the top sample better; the gray and blue pop against each other at the bottom of the peacock feather. The green and blue are too similar in value to each other and mush into each other in the bottom sample. Here it is in monotone; you’ll see what I mean.

lett-lopi monotone

So I’ll run with the color placement in the top sample, but I’m not excited about the green as the accent color pop. I may use cherry red. Or sunshine yellow. Hot pink? It’s only used in that one row, so I’ll check my stash of leftovers (Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride) to see if I have anything that works. Otherwise, back to the yarn store. Oh, darn.

How about you? Do you want to bang out a sweater with us? It will be quick. And fun! Check it out here on the blog, on the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog, their Ravelry group, and Instagram, where the hashtag is #BangOutASweater.

Bucket list knitting: Steeks!

Is steeking on your knitting bucket list? Say yes!

steek promo

A steek is a column of extra stitches inserted into your knitting so you can cut them. Why? Because stranded colorwork is so much easier in the round than knit flat. But when you want that circular knitting to be flat, as in a cardigan or a scarf, you need to cut the steek.

mid steek

It’s not as scary as it sounds, especially if you do it to a small piece of knitting, instead of the cardigan you’ve been knitting for months. To that end, I’ve designed a couple pieces to practice on.

bucket list coffee accessories

Oh, coffee, I love you so much I knit a sweater for you. And a mug rug.

These are the Bucket List Coffee Accessories. You can use them for your tea, too. I won’t tell anyone. I designed these for a class I’m teaching at Twisted later this month (see end of post for details).

They make sweet gifts, and they’re an opportunity for you to try steeking, even if you can’t come to class. The pattern is available through Ravelry, and it’s on sale for 20% off through October 15 with coupon code EEK. As in steek. Ha!

I wrote a longer tutorial here, in case you like more pictures. Who doesn’t like more pictures?

For this project, I knocked a couple things off *my* bucket list, too. It’s small circular knitting, which I usually do on dpns. I wanted to know how to knit with 2 circulars, and with magic loop. Done. I liked the magic loop. Working with two circulars is like having antennae waving all over the place, too flappy for me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m teaching a steek class with the Bucket List Accessories at Twisted on October 17 and 24 at Twisted. Come join me, and we’ll explore stranded colorwork on dpns, magic loop, and 2 circulars. During the second class we’ll cut these quick pieces with the support of our classmates. There may be bubbly at the end of the second class!

The very first time I saw a steek cut, it wasn’t even colorwork. My cousin and college roomie Kathy had been an AFS exchange student in Norway, and she was knitting a purple sweater in the round. Since it was stockinette, it was all knit, no purl. She steeked the armholes, because that’s how she was taught in Norway. Are you purl averse? Take that idea and run with it!

Presenting…Kilter!

Kilter…

Kilter hat

Off Kilter?

Kilter hat back

Both!

Presenting Kilter, a hat with maximum stretch due to the alternating stockinette/reverse stockinette sections. It looks great any way you wear it: centered on your head, pulled down over your ears, or tilted down over one ear, beret style. Knit in sport weight yarn from the bottom up, the top of the hat features a twirly, swirly square, so your hat is always slightly off-kilter! Kilter makes a great chemo cap, or a fun hat at any time.

Kilter Galileo.

Kilter is a simple project, great for multi-task knitting. I designed it as a chemo cap, but it’s cute on everyone. It takes less than one 100g skein of sport weight yarn, so choose something delicious!

You can find the pattern for Kilter on Ravelry. To celebrate this pattern launch, I’m offering it at 20% off the normal $6 price through October 1.

Are you going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend? I’m sure you can find the perfect yarn for your Kilter there! I’m teaching tomorrow (Friday), Athena Entrelac and Fern Lace Shawlette. I’m shopping/playing on Saturday and Sunday! Hope to see you local knitters out and about.

We’ve got class(es)!

I love September. For me, it’s the start of a new year. My birthday, anniversary, school, knitting…I’ve been knitting like crazy all summer, but not everyone does. September is the beginning of knitting season for seasonal knitters, and classes pick up at this time, too.

I’m teaching in my usual spots, Twisted in Portland and For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton. I’m also adding some classes at Wool ‘n’ Wares in West Linn. You can see the list of my local-ish classes here.

I also have some other gigs a little further afield this fall. I’ll be at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Friday, September 25 to teach the Fern Shawlette and Athena Entrelac Cowl.

fern shawletteFern: Sideways shawl shaping, knit in i-cord edging and fern lace with optional beads

athenaAthena: Beginning entrelac, and how to knit back backwards without turning your work

I’ll be at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters on October 5 & 6 (Monday/Tuesday) with a trunk show, and to teach three classes, Thrill of the Thrum, Blocking: It’s Magic! and Athena Entrelac Cowl.

thrumbelina thrummed slippersThrumbelina: Don’t even try to resist the squishy loveliness of thrumming!

Rosaria edge detailBlocking: You worked so hard on your project; why not help it look its best?

blockingAction shot from the student participation portion of blocking class…

I’ll be at Stash in Corvallis to teach Athena and iPhone/iPad Photography, a fun new class. It’s not just for knitting; this class will help you with your photography, all around.

You might wonder why you would want to take a project based class, if you can read the pattern and follow directions. Good question! Classes are for camaraderie, and also for learning tips for better ways to do things that aren’t part of the written pattern. In my last Fern class I showed how to fix mistakes in lace patterning when you discover them one or two rows later, without ripping out the rows. A big time saver, but not something that would be written in your pattern. You also learn when a mistake is dire, and when you can shrug it off. All good things.

kristy aloha backI love it when students send me pictures of their FOs!

kristy aloha frontThis is Kristy with her gorgeous Aloha Shawlette, started in class and finished at home.

I love teaching knitters how to be the boss of their knitting. I hope you can come take a class with me this fall!

Rosaria shawlette pattern release

It’s been over a year since the Rosaria shawlette had its moment of fame at the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl Yarn Ball. Time flies!

yarn ball

Originally an exclusive for the Rose City Yarn Crawl, the pattern is now available from PDXKnitterati through Ravelry.

pdxknitterati rosaria

pdxknitterati rosaria

The new pattern includes instructions for enlarging the shawlette, and for optimum placement of beads. Lots of beads.

Rosaria edge detail

To celebrate the re-launch of Rosaria, I’m offering $1 off through April 15, 2015 with coupon code rosegarden. Rosaria pattern page here. If you haven’t knit Rosaria yet, now is the perfect time! It requires two coordinating skeins of fingering weight yarn. Its half-pi construction means minimal fussing with stitch counts.

Have fun! What’s on your needles? I’m working on my Tilt Shift Wrap for the #tiltshiftkal.

pdxknitterati tilt shift wrap

We had fun at the cast on party last week!

tiltshiftkal party

And I have one more design project on the needles. And two in my head. And a sample that needs to be knit. And, and, and…How about you?