Tag Archives: linen

Introducing: Kittiwake!

I love linen in the summer. It’s cool and crisp, and feels just right to wear. I’m hoping for a long slow slide into fall, because I’m not done with summer yet!

Kittiwake is a breezy summer shell that knits up quickly in Kestrel, Quince & Co’s Aran weight chainette linen. The chainette keeps it light and airy, and is easier on my hands for knitting.

Worked flat in 2 pieces from the hem up, Kittiwake features an undulating wave edging and a simple lace pattern that resembles a kittiwake, or gull.

I’ve included three hem options: Plain hem, split hem, and split shirttail hem. Instructions are both written and charted.

I’ve also swatched this with Berroco’s Remix, and it makes a lovely fabric that is spot on for gauge.

The pattern is now available through Ravelry, link here. It’s 10% off through date, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a special offer in the upcoming newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here!

Thanks to tech editor Meaghan Schmaltz, and test knitter Ann Berg. Thanks also to my sister Sharon for modeling with me!

Camping and knitting…with white linen!

What kind of person brings white linen knitting on a camping trip? Yes, it’s me.

I had just finished the white linen top, and I didn’t love it. I wanted minimal shaping, so I designed it with two simple rectangles. It turned out boxier than I wanted it to be, which meant that I needed to rip it back down to the beginning of the armholes, and add armhole shaping. That meant re-knitting 1/3 of the FO, ouch!

This new design had an impending date with the tech editor, just a few days away. So white linen and camping? Game on!

I did get it finished, and I love it. The shoulder/armhole shaping made a big difference. Pattern coming soon.

I’m currently knitting one more sample at a slightly tighter gauge, but the pattern is done and tech edited already. It just needs final measurements from the second sample; I’m almost done with the second half of it. This is a really quick knit in Aran weight Kestrel from Quince & Co.

Camping was lovely, too. We were at Lost Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

We had a little help with the cake!

If a tree falls in a forest…

These clouds!

It was great to get away for a few days. No cell service, but my iPhone camera was handy!

And my feet were toasty warm in my Concentric Bed Socks.

I don’t have any big vacation plans this summer, just little jaunts close to home. But that’s not a bad thing. I was over in Sisters a few weeks ago for another friend’s birthday. That trip included karaoke, an incredible hailstorm, and a sailboat’s maiden voyage.

View this post on Instagram

Oh, hail.

A post shared by Michele Lee Bernstein (@pdxknitterati) on

Here’s to good times with good friends! And linen. Definitely linen.

What are you up to this summer?

More linen knitting

So, my gauge swatch ended up being 39” in circumference and 5” tall, unblocked. I gave it a soak and laid it out with just a little bit of encouragement to maintain its size, and it pretty much did.

The stockinette swatches I made previously got a little smaller when I blocked them, but this slightly lacy pattern seems like it can be coaxed to maintain its size. That’s good, because I don’t want this to be any smaller than 39 inches.

We shall see! I popped this back on the needles and continued going in circles.

Note that the stitch holders are cables from my HiyaHiya stainless circulars, with their cute panda stoppers on the ends. I’m doing the actual knitting on my Lantern Moon ebony circulars, because that’s what I swatched with.

As I continued knitting, I had a little worry. Will I have the perseverance to actually finish a top in fingering weight yarn? There are no idle hands here, but an idle mind led me down this path…

What if I knit it with Quince and Co. Kestrel instead of their Sparrow? Heavy worsted/aran weight linen for a quicker knit? The yarn is actually a narrow knit i-cord ribbon. Playing with this idea also lets me try knitting it flat, so I can have side seams for stability AND a split hem at the sides. I like how bold the stitch pattern looks in this weight, too.

It all feels a bit crunchy right now, but the linen will soften when I wash it. This is one 50g hank, knit up. It measures 20” wide by 6” tall. I’m going to wash and block it now, but I like it so much, I’ll just cast on for the other side while I’m waiting for this to dry.

I don’t know what the actual outcome of this linen experiment will be yet, but it’s summer and the knitting is easy. The actual knitting, anyway. The planning is a little more work.

Just a reminder, my summer knitting pattern sale ends on Friday. See the previous post for details. Happy knitting!

Summer knitting: linen adventure and a pattern sale

Well, linen captured my hot weather knitting attention, so that’s what I’m knitting right now. But not this:

I frogged this linen knitting from last summer, and started something with a simple lace pattern. How did I choose? I wanted a fairly narrow stitch pattern, because if I decide this is a winner and want to make it into a real garment pattern, I’d like to size it up or down by complete stitch repeats. The new stitch pattern is 13 stitches wide.

I had previously knit some gauge swatches for this yarn; they were knit flat because that was my intent for it last year. I liked the fabric I got with a US 3 needle (top swatch). My current knitting is still on that US 3 needle, but it’s being knit in the round. And it has a tiny bit of a lace pattern to it, rather than plain stockinette, which was just a little too boring.

Did I knit a new gauge swatch to accommodate those changes? Nope. I probably should have, but my gauge swatches usually lie to me, anyway. So I did some math to find the closest number of stitch pattern repeats that would give me an approximately 40” garment, which would fit like the T shirt I have on right now with 4” of ease. I’m guessing it will come out to 39-40”, but I don’t really know yet.

What I have is a big gauge swatch! I’m planning to work about 40 rows, and then transfer the piece to a stitch holder and give it a wash and block. Then I’ll know for sure if I have the right number of stitches. Wish me luck!

What are you knitting this summer?

To inspire your summer knitting, I’m having a pattern sale through June 21: 15% off with coupon code SUMMER. For newsletter subscribers, the discount is 25% off; the most recent newsletter just went out. (Click here to subscribe if you want the best offers, too. I send newsletters only once or twice per month; I won’t over-fill your inbox! I don’t have that much energy…) All patterns and ebooks which are available from me through my Ravelry shop are eligible; there is no limit but the code is good for a single time use only.

If all my linen talk has you hankering to knit with this fun fiber, may I suggest my Linden Leaf or SeaScape Scarflette? These were designed with linen in mind! And if you can’t decide, you can purchase them together for 25% off, no coupon needed. Previous purchases apply towards the combo discount too; you’ll only be charged the difference towards that 25% off.

Happy knitting!

Hopscotch scarf, and what’s next on the needles

It’s been a busy month here; I’ve been up to my elbows in brioche! Two of the projects will be published next winter; I can’t show them until they’re out. But they were really fun to work on. The third project?

This is my Hopscotch Scarf. I designed it as a teaching piece for syncopated brioche. It’s really fun to knit. Mine is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in 2 colors, Drawing Room and Natural. The front and back are positive/negative images of each other; they both look good. There’s no wrong side, really. You don’t have to use a gradient, just two different colors in worsted weight yarn.

The pattern is off to the tech editor, and I’m looking for a few test knitters. You don’t have to be a brioche expert, but a little brioche experience wouldn’t be amiss. If you’re interested in test knitting, please let me know in the comments.

With those three projects out the door, my needles are feeling strangely empty. I have one sample I’m knitting, and a few things sketched out in my design notebook, but I’m also tempted to knit something else just for fun.

Have you seen the Soldotna Crop from Caitlin Hunter/Boyland Knitworks? It’s a cropped top down pullover with a colorwork yoke, no sleeves. That means it’s relatively quick, and the colorwork keeps it moving along. I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot on Instagram, and I was tempted enough to buy some yarn to dream with last Friday.

Of course, now that I have the yarn, it’s 95 degrees F here in Portland, so I may postpone this project and knit something with the white Quince & Co. linen I bought last year. I’m planning to frog what I started last summer; I’ve lost interest in it. Fickle, oops.

This was going to be a swingy open backed top, stockinette with just that bit of lace at the hem. I need a little more something to keep me engaged; that’s a lot of stockinette. Buh-bye! I’m perusing my stitch dictionaries for a simple, easily memorized lace pattern. I’ll start a simple little top with it and see how far I get. I do love linen for its lovely drape and swing.

What are you knitting this summer?

Introducing: SeaScape Scarflette

Introducing my SeaScape Scarflette, a summery accessory knit in sport weight linen. Is it a scarf? A shawlette? You decide.

SeaScape long

This long narrow asymmetric triangle features a lacy edge inspired by the curl of the waves off Maui.

SeaScape

It can be worn long, loosely knotted, double wrapped…so many ways to add a little pizazz to your outfit.

Euroflax minis

The scarflette was inspired by a set of Euroflax Sport linen mini-skeins from Mason-Dixon Knitting. As soon as I saw this color set, I knew what it wanted to be. I took it to Maui in December and worked out the design while enjoying the view of Molokai from the lanai.

Euroflax minis in mason jarHand winding the balls three times made the yarn softer!

Linen gives this fabric a lovely hand and sheen. I highly recommend it! With mini-skeins, part of the fun is deciding in what order to use your colors. The longest, narrowest section is at the beginning, and features the most waves. The last section is short and wide, and features the bubbly eyelet pattern.

SeaScape 1

My first sample had pale green at the far end; the design sample has the mid-gray. I took the sample to Nashville to meet Mason-Dixon Knitting’s Ann Shayne, and she called it “deliriously pretty.” Thrilling!

SeaScape

The mini-skein set has 325 yards. You could also knit this with a single skein of Euroflax Sport, which is 270 yards. (I used about 300 yards of the minis, due to placement of color joins.) Test knitter Sarah Peery used Juniper Moon Farm ZOOEY, a 60/40 Cotton/Linen blend. It also blocked beautifully.

seascape-sarah-cropSarah’s SeaScape before blocking, photo by Sarah Peery

The pattern is available through Ravelry; the pattern page is here. It’s 10% off through March 10, no coupon code needed. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll receive a coupon code for 20% off. Want to join the list? Let me know in the comments.

More linen minis

I’ve fallen in love with linen, so there’s another linen mini-skeins design in progress. Come see a sneak peek; I’ll have the SeaScape Scarves and the new project with me at my trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake on Thursday, March 2 for the Rose City Yarn Crawl!

Stopover to Aloha

Is my Stopover done?

Stopover red aloha

Nah, who knits with Lopi in Hawaii? Well, me, just for a bit, but I also brought some linen to play with. This is the Euroflax Sport mini skein set from Mason Dixon Knitting, in Sea.

Euroflax minis

Euroflax minis in mason jar

I think they are spot on with the colors! I had an idea for this set, and after six swatches, I think it knows what it’s doing.

Aloha knitting

It’s on hold, now that I’m home, and cold! But the plan is set.

Stopover sleeve

I knit a sleeve on the flight home, stopped to prep for Hanukkah and Christmas, and knit the other sleeve in the last couple days. I didn’t have my row counting stitch marker with me on vacation, so I made do with a piece of contrast color yarn, flipped from front to back or back to front each time I made an increase. One must make do with the tools at hand. I think I actually like this better than the row counter; it’s very visual.

Stopover three tubes

I now have three tubes, and am headed toward something resembling a sweater. I am really looking forward to wearing this! In the meantime, here are some vacation pictures because, aloha.

Moonset Dec 13 2016 Maui

Moonset Dec 13 2016 Maui

The full moon coincided with the beginning of our time on Maui, and you know how I am about the moonset. So glad I took my real camera with me; the iPhone can do most things, but not this.

Lana'i Cat Sanctuary

We had a couple stellar day trips. One was to the Lāna’i Cat Sanctuary (512 cats!) on the next island over. Fun day, with two ferry rides, drinks at the Four Seasons, and some tide pooling on a very beautiful beach.

Whale spout off Lana'i

We saw three whales playing near a sailboat in the sunset from our ferry back to Lahaina.

Family 2016

My favorite day included a hike to the Nakalele Blowhole. This is Mother Nature at her most impressive.

Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole Maui

Rainbows everywhere! (If you’re curious about the gifs, I’m using an app called Motion Stills, free from Google, that makes gifs from iPhone “live photos.” It has image stabilization, which is awesome. It can also make short videos from the same photos.)

Maui sunset

We really enjoyed the wraparound lanai on our rental condo. We had views of Lana’i and Moloka’i. Erosion has taken away the beach, but we were there for the views, including monk seals and green turtles swimming past. A perfect getaway.

knitted wit cedar and sprinkle

Sneak peek at a new shawl design debuting in January. Until then, aloha!

Four Seasons Lana'i

Ruffle Tank transformation

I finished my red ruffle tank (rav link). Leigh Radford is the designer, and this is the second time I’ve knit this pattern. Last time I knit with Louet MerLin, a merino/linen blend. This time it’s linen all the way, Louet Euroflax sport in burgundy.

I had set this project aside to work on the Zen Rain KAL and the This Little Ziggy vests, but I really wanted to wear it to OFFF. At the beginning of the week, I could tell that I was going to have to do some marathon knitting, which isn’t that much fun with linen! I just had one shoulder to finish and and join to the other, four ruffles to knit, and some i-cord edgings. I had already worked this in the round so there were no side seams to deal with, and omitted the keyhole back neck and just made the back shaping match the front. Even so, I took a few shortcuts at the end. Instead of applied i-cord I opted for a simple slip stitch crochet edging around the neck and armholes. After the crochet bind-off on the first ruffle, I did a purl bind-off on the rest because it was faster for me. Still, I finished binding off my last ruffle at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Knowing that I could put this yarn in the washer and dryer meant that I could go to bed and hope for the best in the morning!

ruffle tank

The fabric was really crispy before I washed it, almost like a net. I opted to wash it by hand, and I’m really glad I did. I filled the kitchen sink with warm water and a bit of Soak (love this product) and started squishing it. There was a lot of excess dye, so I ended up rinsing it 6 times, and the water was still pink. But oh, the transformation! When I first started handling it, the fabric was stiff and rough. With each subsequent sink full of water, the fabric became progressively more like…fabric! It was so much fun to feel this transformation with my hands. It was still a bit stiff when I was done, but it was headed for the dryer.

I put it in the dryer and checked it every 15 minutes. What an adventure! (I know, I should wash and block my swatches, but then where would the excitement be?) When it was dry, it was a slinky feeling piece of fabric, almost fluid. It is amazing. I love it. It is so comfortable to wear, even on a hot and humid day at OFFF. And it’s a good thing I wore it Saturday, because Sunday was rainy and cold.

micheles

I’m glad I got it finished, and I’m glad it fits! I think in a perfect world it would be an inch narrower, but I had already altered it to make it smaller than the smallest size. If it still bothers me the next time I wear it, I’ll crochet a little seam along the sides from the inside. Until then…absolute love.