I’m teaching an immersive two day brioche workshop at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast, July 15-16. Fees are just for the workshop; you’ll need to find lodgings nearby if you’re not local.
We’ll start with beginning one color brioche, move into 2 color brioche in the round, and then introduce increases and decreases to make the whale tail and seagull motifs on the Whale Watch cap or cowl. You’ll be a brioche pro by the end of the weekend! Register here.
This is the same hat and cowl that I’m using on the Nautical Knitting Cruise on the schooner Zodiac at the end of July. (The cruise is full, but you can sign up for the wait list if you’re interested.) Either way, you’ll have fabulous brioche skills at the end of your time with me.
I may be teaching Whale Watch brioche on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in September, too. We’ll see if we have repeat cruisers; if there are a lot then I’ll choose a different pattern. I’m looking forward to all of these coastal adventures!
I worked summers at a cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska to pay for college, way back when. I worked in the egg house, sorting and packing salmon roe to send to Japan.
That’s me, with a handful of salmon roe. I’ve always wanted to re-visit Alaska, without the fish eggs.
Guess who’s going to Alaska? This cruise with Vogue Knitting is going to be spectacular. I’m not sure what I’m teaching yet, but I think brioche and Whale Watch Cap and Cowl would be perfectly appropriate.
We had two stops in Canada: St John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
St. John had two yarn shops in walking distance from the port. First stop? Cricket Cove, in Brunswick Square.
So much beautiful yarn, a lot of it Canadian-dyed. This Hand Maiden Yarns display was gorgeous! It had several interesting kits set up, some for thrumming and some for color pooling, both of which I’d be teaching in Maine the next week. But I already had yarns for those classes, so I didn’t indulge. (I like my yarn acquisitions to have a plan.)
Our second stop was Good Fibrations, which had a good selection of hand-dyed yarns, and spinning and weaving supplies.
And goodie bags for us, including this sweet notebook set and hand balm.
I bought this skein of hand-dyed super bulky; I need a new demo yarn for my Brioche Entrée scarf. I’ve been using the same bit of yarn for years, and it’s time for a refresh. This will be perfect against my white demo needles.
I also bought a new circular for my Petite Brioche class; I wanted a metal needle that would contrast better than my dark wooden needle against my dark demo yarn. No 16” circulars in sight! LYS owner Elizabeth Miller told me that she likes 20” (who am I kidding, 50 cm because we’re in Canada) circulars for hats, so that’s what she carries. I didn’t even know that Hiya Hiya stainless circulars came in 20” lengths. I bought one, and it’s perfect.
On to Halifax!
I met up with fellow blogger Brenda Solman. We walked the boardwalk and visited The Loop yarn shop, where I finally bought yarn that didn’t have a plan. Oops.
Can you blame me? This is Flyss from Hand Maiden Yarns. It’s 65% silk, 35% linen. I don’t know what it wants to be, but it’s stunning.
Our Vogue Knitting Cruise also made a stop in Portland, Maine.
Unlike Newport, Rhode Island, and Bar Harbor, which involved a tender (small boat to get from cruise ship to port), Portland has a deep water harbor that accommodates cruise ships. We could just walk on and walk off! With proper documentation, of course.
We had a trolley tour of Portland, which ended at Port Fiber yarn shop. Port Fiber is owned by Casey Ryder, with whom I’d meet up again the following week at Knit Maine.
Designers Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy came to show samples and talk about knitting in Maine. Seeing and touching samples in real life is always so compelling!
Selfies were taken, of course.
You know I’m not much of a yarn stasher. But I love a yarn with a story, and couldn’t resist this.
Casey imports and distributes yarn for Cashmere People Yarns. These yarns are ethically sourced, handspun and hand-dyed by women in Tajikstan and Afghanistan.
Each skein has a picture and bio of the spinner, which I find charming. My skein is a two ply fingering weight cashgora, which isn’t a blend of cashmere and angora fiber. It’s actually from cashgora animals, which are a cross between Russian fiber goats and cashmere-type goats in Tajikstan. My skein is in the Atlantic colorway, which I thought was appropriate for this cruise souvenir. I’m planning to knit a Zephyr shawlette, which starts at the skinny end and I can knit til I run out of yarn. Or if I get wild, I’ll design a new thing that’s similar. (If you want your LYS to carry this luscious yarn, have them contact Casey Ryder at Port Fiber.)
I also took the opportunity to meet a longtime friend from my piano forum. I’ve met up with other piano and knitting friends after knowing them online. It’s fun to meet in real life; you just pick up the chat where you left off. (The first time I ever did this, DH was worried that I was meeting up with an axe murderer. Hasn’t happened yet!)
We went to Gritty’s so I could fulfill the lobster roll on my bucket list. It was delicious! But spendy. I think I enjoyed my unphotographed lobster Cobb salad at Stewman’s in Bar Harbor even more. Less guilt…it’s a salad, right? (And split with a friend…with fries…)
Don’t forget I’m giving away my Knit Fit kit; see this blog post for details on how to enter to win! We got these in Bar Harbor, which I previously posted about in order to get this party underway. My next post: O Canada! Two more ports…
The Norwegian Breakaway was huge! Lots of indoor and outdoor places to explore; it’s like a floating city with lots of restaurants, lounges, pools, and hot tubs. And a casino, if that’s your thing. You get to visit lots of places on and off the ship, and your hotel room just moves along with you. Tidy.
So many charming lighthouses on this trip! This one greeted us at our first stop, in Newport, Rhode Island.
We visited Knitting Needles, a sweet shop not too far from the tender dock. She was ready for us with goodie bags, and a visit with the dyers behind Hugs With Shrugs, a charity that supports moms that have children with pediatric cancer.
I bought a couple mini skeins that are Newport-themed. I’ll find a use for them with another worsted. A little brioche accent, maybe?
I met John Brennan, author and pirate. He came to chat about his book, Newport Live, which is a history of Newport.
I taught my first brioche class that afternoon; we had fun! I taught beginning 2 color brioche in the round, with the option to learn increases and decreases to knit my Whale Watch Cap and Cowl. I designed these accessories especially for this cruise! And I also used them the following week at Knit Maine.
The other half of our group had class with Vogue Knitting’s editor-in-chief Norah Gaughan; they learned techniques from Norah’s new book, Knit Fold Pleat Repeat. We swapped groups at the end of the week, so everyone had a chance to take both classes.
I’m adding miscellaneous cruise pictures to this post; this blog is my pictorial journal, too!
I woke up early on our return day; the lights of this bridge were reflecting in my mirror! Apple Maps told me that it was the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and that the Statue of Liberty was coming right up. Which it did.
I flew into NYC the day before boarding for the Vogue Knitting Cruise. On the non-stop Portland to JFK flight, I inhaled a book called The Boys by Katie Hafner. It’s about relationships, pandemic isolation, parenthood, and more…with a great twist that I never saw coming. This is Katie Hafner’s fiction debut; she’s the author of several non-fiction books, and when I met her at Sonata piano camp in 2002 she was writing for the NY Times. I loved this book, and I highly recommend it.
Late in the book, the protagonist has dinner in New York city at a ramen restaurant that is known for solo dining. I was alone, so I googled and found Ichiran. The restaurant has long counters with folding side panels, so you are alone at a booth with your food. If you’re with a friend, you can fold the panel back and be side by side, together. The curtain goes up, you place your order (written), and never see the server’s face. The ramen shows up, and the curtain goes back down. The idea is to concentrate on your food, but I think for introverts and solo diners, the point is to be alone without feeling like a weirdo! At least it was for me. And the tonkotsu ramen was delicious.
I had time for a bit of a walkabout on Sunday morning before boarding, so I’ll share some favorite sights.
I loved this dress. I want it. Dolce & Gabbana. $7800. I don’t want it that badly, and it would have to be shortened, anyway. Nope. But isn’t it gorgeous?
It’s true, as knitters we tend to sit a lot. Have you ever thought about walking and knitting at the same time? It’s possible, given a simple enough project and the tools to handle it.
This is the premise behind the Knit Fit kit. These were a gift from Michelle McCann of Knit Fit LLC. The kit includes a ball of yarn and needles to practice knitting while walking, a hat pattern and 3 balls of yarn to knit the hat, and various tools (snips, stitch holder, stitch markers). The lining of the bag is printed with tape measures.
We met Michelle in Bar Harbor, Maine, a stop on our Vogue Knitting Cruise. She told us all about Knit Fit, and then we walked, knitting, to La Rochelle for a tour of this lovely mansion.
I’d love to share my kit with one of you! Are you ready to walk and knit? At the same time? Willing to give it a try? Leave a comment and tell me why I should pick you! I do need to limit this to USA addresses due to shipping costs. And note that my sample knitting is still on the needles, so the kit is not perfectly pristine! I’ll choose a winner after September 30.
I’m going to be posting bits and bobs from my travels as I catch up. It’s too much for a giant post; you wouldn’t hear from me until next month if I waited to put it all together! More soon. Miscellaneous photos from La Rochelle below.
The surrounds on the fireplaces are most ornate in the public rooms. The bedrooms, a bit less so. The servants’ quarters? Minimal. Same for the crown moldings and baseboards.
Bar Harbor was one of my favorite stops on this trip; the town is touristy but cute. There’s a great bookstore with some good craft supplies, Sherman’s, where I found a small quad ruled flip notebook. So helpful for charting knitting on the go! Nice selection of pens, games, and books.
Including this! But not my book or Norah’s book. We checked. Of course.
Remember to leave a comment here if you’d like a chance to win my Knit Fit kit. Onward!
The Vogue Knitting Cruise was great fun; I met lots of knitters and also got to know my fellow teacher, Vogue Knitting Editor in Chief Norah Gaughan.
I met blogger Brenda Solman/Kingshearte in Halifax; we’ve been reading each other’s blogs and commenting back and forth for years. So nice to meet in person!
I was thrilled to accidentally wake up early and see the Statue of Liberty as we returned to New York. So cool! The person in the next stateroom said that she had booked her portside cabin and set her alarm to get this view. Me? I lucked out at 5 am.
Whale Watch is two patterns in one! It features a 2-color brioche cap and cowl, knit in the round from the bottom up. I designed this set as a quick start teaching piece for my 3 hour classes, beginning with 2 color brioche rib, and then introducing simple increases and decreases. Whether you prefer cowls or hats, I’ve got you covered.
Frolicking whales and soaring gulls will keep you entertained at sea, at the beach, or anywhere!
Pattern uses worsted weight yarn in 2 contrasting colors. The yardage is close, but you can get a large hat and tall cowl with 200 yards of each color, if you match my gauge. The pattern includes instructions for both the cap and the cowl. The cap can be knit in 2 sizes, and there are two different ways to finish the crown.
The pattern is on sale for 15% off through June 20 with coupon code ORCA. It is available through Ravelry here. You can also purchase this pattern from my Payhip store here; the same code works in both places.
I’m looking forward to using this pattern for my class on the Vogue Knitting cruise at the end of August. I’ll also be using it at Knit Maine in September. I love that it’s all-in-one, both cap and cowl. I’m streamlining!
Thanks to tech editor Jen Lucas, and test knitters Ann Berg, Debbie Braden, and Melissa A. Rowe.
I love a pretty crown on a hat. This one hits all the right notes. It’s for the hat and cowl pattern that I’m designing for the class I’m teaching on the Vogue Knitting Cruise in August. The class covers beginning 2 color brioche rib in the round, and brioche increases and decreases. Does this sound like Brioche Pastiche? Yes and no! This set includes a cowl, for non-hat wearers. An a nautical theme!
This crown is slightly simpler, but the overall effect is the same. I just sent the pattern off to my tech editor, and I’m looking forward to moving on with these designs.
There are a few spots left on this cruise. Do you have to cruise with us to knit this hat and/or cowl? Of course not. But it would be really fun! Here’s a list of the places we’re going.
I’ll show you the whole set soon, after tech editing. I love them!