Tag Archives: Knit

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!



Kilter hat

Off Kilter?

Kilter hat back


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?

Barbie’s fashionable knit wardrobe

This is adapted from a post from 2009. There’s some good stuff back in the archives!

I’ve had this booklet/magazine that’s been on my knitting shelf for what seems like forever.


This one is a 1965 reprint of a magazine originally published in 1952. It used to belong to my Aunt Vivian, who gave it to me when I was in high school. I remember knitting these slippers!


My Thrumbelina Thrummed Slippers have a very similar super simple shaping.

thrumbelina thrummed slippers

Check out this dress:


Aunt Vivian used to make clothes for our Barbie dolls. Does this look familiar?

that dress

The sash is long gone. I found this dress, along with some other treasures, at Mom’s house. The other items are from more doll clothing booklets, and I have those, too. Check out what a fashionably dressed Barbie was wearing in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Stylish sheath dresses:


Mohair winter coat, scarf, hat:

the pink

A sequined shell:


And this half of a skater outfit. I love the mohair edging on this. I wonder where the fabulous flared skirt went? I always wanted one just like it for me. I remember sewing dresses with full circle skirts with my Aunt Rose (who later taught me to knit); I loved twirling in them. In college I made a simple full circle skirt with a drawstring waist…out of a bedsheet!


Check out this elegant skirt.


Especially the waist shaping!


Aunt Vivian loved to knit and crochet. She made lots of clothes for our dolls, and vests for us. In her later years she knit many, many hats for the homeless. Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I spent the summer with her when I was 14. How lucky was I? Two aunts with crafty skills, one on each side of the family.

Who taught you to knit?

Coming soon: Criss Cross Hat, Beret, Mitts

I fell in love with a stitch pattern back in November, and I’ve had a great time playing with it. It’s my adaptation of a stitch pattern I saw in a Japanese stitch dictionary.

pdxknitterati criss cross stitch

It’s kind of like a cable, except the stitches go through each other, instead of in front or behind each other.

pdxknitterati criss cross hat

The first thing I did was try it on a beanie hat in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Indigo; I was teaching a circular hat class at Twisted and wanted to mix things up for myself. A little extra thinking on how I wanted to place my crown decreases, and it was done. Cute! But this style hat doesn’t look great on me, and I really wanted a hat for me.

pdxknitterati criss cross beret

Next up: the slouchy beret. It’s a thing, you know. This is Malabrigo Rios in Azules. Even more thinking about how to arrange crown decreases (I think you’ll really like it), and I love it. It looks good on Bobbi, my model, and it looks cute on me, too!

pdxkitterati criss cross beret

But what happens if you need a bigger one? If you have a big head? So I knit another one in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Black Forest, with more stitches. Looks great, but you know what? In wet blocking, the bottom band of the beret gets super stretchy, so you don’t really need more stitches to get a beret that fits a larger head. The diameter of the beret is a tad bigger, but not anything to write home about. If you want a little extra slouch, knit the large size, but the circumference of the band is hugely malleable. I put some elastic in the band on both the smaller and larger versions, and both fit my largish head just fine.

pdxknitterati criss cross beret

And then I knit one in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Moss to check my numbers, while I was on vacation. It still needs blocking.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

Unless a hat is super special (like Thrumviator, or Pippi), I like to have matching mitts to justify the pattern. Here’s the first version of the mitts in Indigo, like the beanie. I used a peasant thumb, because I didn’t want to mess with the criss cross stitch pattern. It worked great.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts and beret

Since I made the blue beret for me, I wanted matching mitts. Done. And check out those lovely crown decreases.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

I made a green set for my friend Carole for Christmas, because she loved the yarn color (Moss). I knit them with a larger needle, because the original mitts were a bit snug on her. The pattern repeat is large enough that you can’t easily change the number of stitches to adjust sizing. But when she put one of the mitts on upside down, I decided it was time to rethink the peasant thumb (which also looked a little sloppy at larger gauge).

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

I made this set in Malabrigo Rios, as a Christmas gift for my niece. (The blue Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere that I originally gave her with a promise of mitts was too heavy for this pattern, and also excess dye was crocking all over my hands and needles. Not happy with that one. Couldn’t find Azules in Rios again, so I opted for Solis, which is green. She can have her choice of these, or the Indigo pair. Her mom (my sister) is hoping she chooses Indigo, so she can have the green for herself. Go Ducks!) I used my favorite increased thumb gusset. Careful planning meant it didn’t interrupt the stitch pattern at all. Fits like a dream. The cuffs are a little longer than necessary, though.

pdxknitterati criss cross mitts

One more time! I knit the mitts once more in Moss, with a thumb gusset, and adjusted the overall length which required adjusting the stitch pattern. Perfect. I do all this messing around, so you don’t have to!

Patterns are all with my tech editor right now. I’m going to set them up as individual patterns, but you’ll be able to purchase them either individually, or as a set of two or three patterns, with discounts for sets. Coming soon! And the Criss Cross accessories will be eligible for February’s KAL, too.

Have you ever fallen in love with a technique or stitch pattern, and had to play it out to the nth degree? That happened to me with entrelac, and with my favorite leaf motif (Big Leaf Scarf, Garland, Autumn Scarf, a couple other projects in the works or hibernating.) I think I’ve finally played out this stitch pattern for me; that was a lot of knitting! Now it’s time to cast on something new…

Pick your poison

pdxknitterati dpn magic loop two circs

That’s a lot of pointy bits! Kind of like my cat when I’m trying to get her into the carrier.

I recently taught a circular hat class at Twisted. It’s a pretty basic hat, knit bottom up beginning with some ribbing, then stockinette, and K2tog decreases to close up the crown. At some point, we move to dpns, because that’s how the pattern is written.

I remember when I knit my first hat (it was about 24 years ago), I was terrified of the dpns, so I just worked the last several rounds back and forth, and then sewed the seam shut. CHICKEN!

Malabrigo Rios

Now dpns are an old standard for me. I like them; they’re very Little House on the Prairie. They look scary, but you only use two needles at a time. I tell my class it’s a Jedi mind trick. The other needles? “Those are not the needles you are looking for. They do not exist at this moment.”

There’s been some interest in using two circulars, or magic loop, so I was asked to demonstrate those two methods, too. I don’t use them, so I taught myself a couple nights ago. Easy peasy.

pdxknitterati magic loop

I had a nice flexible cable on my HiyaHiya 32″ needle, so magic loop wasn’t so bad. I could see using this, and might on my Honey Cardigan sleeve, when I get to decreasing. I think I’d like the cable to be slightly longer, maybe 40″ or so.

pdxknitterati two circulars

Two circulars? I can do it, but I don’t like the needle ends flapping around. It seems like an alien octopus. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

What’s your favorite method for small diameter knitting?

New year, new knits?

On New Year’s Eve I picked up my previously abandoned Honey Cardigan project, and found that it really only needs sleeves. The body increases are finished, and it’s long enough, so I finished the bottom edge in garter stitch.

honey cardi wip

It’s supposed to have applied i-cord all the way around the body and neck edges, but I know I’ll never finish that. I’ll crochet around the fronts and neck instead. I’m working on the first sleeve, and I think it will go pretty quickly in simple stockinette. Perfect multi-tasking knitting. I’ll finish the sleeves with the same garter stitch border as the body.

honey cardi bottom edge

I certainly don’t want to set this aside for another year. Apparently I began this in Feburary 2013 (thanks Ravelry, for keeping me honest). And in the realm of “do as I say, not as I do,” I didn’t wash and block my gauge swatch, so this is an adventure all around.

malabrigo arroyo purpuras

I’m hoping to cast on Joji Locatelli’s Even Flow cardigan after this one is done. I bought the yarn last fall when Twisted had a big delivery of Malabrigo. You have to jump if you want a sweater quantity of Mal!

dream in color classy with cashmere

I may be getting ahead of myself, though. I gave my niece a ball of lovely yarn and a promise of mitts for Christmas, and I do need to finish that, both for the gift, and because I want to publish the pattern! This Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere turned out to be a little too heavy for what I wanted to make. Also, it was leaving blue dye all over my fingers, and my wooden needles, too. I had to go back to Twisted and buy more yarn, this time a skein of Malabrigo Rios.

Malabrigo Rios

They’re both listed as worsted, but the Classy knits up a lot heavier than the Rios. Back on track now…

japan new year stamp

This is sweet. The Japan new year stamp for the year of the sheep shows a sheep that has finished the scarf it was knitting 12 years ago, the previous year of the sheep. Or maybe the sheep has knit oodles of project since then. Hard to tell. But check out the detailing: The yarn ball label with the character for sheep on it on the old stamp, and the circular needle with the crochet hook behind it on the new stamp. Fun! This must be the year to Buy. All. The. Wool.

Don’t forget, I have three newly re-released patterns on sale with coupon code at check out:

fern shawlette

FERN for 20% off Fern Lace Shawlette

sophie's rose shawlette
ROSES for 20% off Sophie’s Rose

thrumviator hat

THRUM for $1 off Thrumviator

I’m thinking of doing a re-release KAL with these knits in February through Ravelry after I finish last year’s knitting this month. Check out the Ravelry thread here. Why join a KAL? Fun, camaraderie, and prizes! I’ll be knitting another Fern Shawlette, this time with the beads I didn’t have time for when I knit the prototype. I’ll be using Louet Gems, and these lovely Miyuki Delica beads that I originally swatched with.

What’s on your needles? Are you knitting out the old, or knitting in the new?

Astoria StitchFest: Check!

Last weekend’s first ever Astoria StitchFest was a delight. It was a small event, but very nice. The weekend began with a delightful Stitch Feast at the Baked Alaska, right on the river. We had a little show-and-tell fashion show after dinner.

The classes were held in the light and bright rooms above the Liberty Theater, across from the historic Hotel Elliott. Mary Scott Huff and I taught knitting, and Laurinda Reddig taught crochet. I taught Cast On Bind Off, Slip Stitch Cowl Design, and Blocking: It’s Magic. I think everyone went home with new skills.

blocking with pdxknitterati

I had a free afternoon, so I sat in on Mary Scott Huff’s Sassy Selbuvotter class. She is a fabulous teacher, and also fun to hang out with! Here’s the beginning of my mitten.


Classic Selbuvotter (mittens in the traditional style of the town of Selbu, Norway) have a gusset thumb, but these sassy mitts will only have a slot thumb. I was curious about Norwegian mittens, because I had knit these many years ago.

selbu mitten

These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. The have a fake gusset (no increases, just patterning to look like a gusset) and a slot thumb. They’re kind of a mix of thumb techniques. My next Selbuvotter will have a traditional, real thumb gusset, because I like the way they fit!

Astoria sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a fun mix of the old and the new. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore, but I popped on down to Coffee Girl for lunch on Saturday because my singing buddy Claudia loves it, and used to sing there.


I didn’t realize that Coffee Girl is right on a pier that houses the West’s oldest cannery building.

bumble bee logo

I worked at a salmon cannery on Kodiak Island for five summers to pay for college. We even canned for Bumble Bee. This brought back all sorts of memories.

cannery workers

We didn’t look quite like this, but aprons, hair nets, and steel toed rubber boots were the uniform!

pier 39 astoria

Canneries were a big part of Astoria’s history. Even the waste baskets on the streets downtown acknowledge this.


Mary and I had rooms at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, a very interesting Victorian house. My room was breathtakingly gorgeous, with lace draperies around the bed, and at the entrance to my sitting room

grandview b & b

which was a great place to relax.

Grandview b&b

The sitting room had a view of the Columbia River, and the bridge that crosses to Washington.


Many thanks to Bonnie Lively and LeAnn Meyer, the organizers of Astoria StitchFest. I had a fabulous time, and hope that all the participants did, too. I’d love to do this again next year, and you should come, too!

New classes for fall

I’m teaching several new classes this fall. I’m most excited about this one, because it has the most possibilities: Slip Stitch Cowl Design. It’s an intro to slip stitch knitting, and we explore this fabulous colorwork technique that uses only one color per row/round.

pdxknitterati knitting

Using only one color per row/round makes it really easy to manage your yarn. We also explore how light and dark colors interact with each other, and why. After the introduction to slip stich techniques, we figure out how to apply this to a simple cowl. A tiny bit of math, and you’re the designer of your own cowl! My ZigZag Lightning Cowls are based on this slip stitch technique. Remember, it’s only one color per row/round!

ZigZag Lightning Cowls

This class is being offered at the first ever Astoria StitchFest on Sunday, October 12, and at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday October 25.

beanstalk scarf and mitts

I’m also teaching an introduction to lace class using my Beanstalk Scarf. It covers basic lace stitches, and working with written instructions and charts. It also includes a fabulous knit-in i-cord edging. This class is offered at Twisted in Portland on Tuesday October 14 and at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton on Sunday November 2.

snowy woods cowl

My third new class is an intro to cables class, using my Snowy Woods Cowl pattern. This class covers cabling with and without a cable needle, twisted stitches, and using charts and/or written instructions. It also features the two-ended long tail cast on, which prevents you from running out of tail before you run out of cast on. This 2 session class is offered at Twisted on Sundays November 16 and 23.

I love teaching knitters new techniques, and how to be the boss of their knitting. Come join me and rule the world!