Sneak peek: Rhea Silvia

It’s not so much that I’m overwhelmed with pride over the design itself (though I do love it), it’s the fact that I actually, finally finished the sample after almost a year. Seriously, I cast this on last March (maybe late February?) in the hopes of having it ready for the June TNNA. Clearly, that didn’t happen. But, last week, I did finish it and am now working on the pattern.

Thus, I give you a sneak peek of Rhea Silvia, just to prove that I actually did get it done:

Rhea Silvia preview

Ha! Friends and family will recall that this is the project I called the “Circular Scarf of DOOOOM”, since I had to rip back so many times as the pattern evolved.

Incidentally, the name comes from the ancient Roman goddess of the forest (or, alternately, the mother of Romulus and Remus), Rhea Silvia. Mostly because the cables make me think of knots in trees :)

Once Caulking (and a couple of others) are done, this’ll be up in a snap. Honest!

Run Roughshod

This one has been overdue for several months now, since the photoshoot was in September. But, what with Mom’s hospitalization (etc), it kind of got pushed back several times. Finally, though, Roughshod is done, done, done!

Inspired by traditional square dishcloths/ washcloths that are knit with one or two stitch patterns, I wanted to create a pattern that would show off variegated and hand-painted yarns – particularly Maia’s lovely Tactile Fiber Arts Sierra Sport Sock, which I had been obsessing over in the color “Dogwood”. Pink and green, what’s not to love?

The mitts are knit flat squares in Linen and Seed St with afterthought thumbs and button holes/ bands to fasten them in the round. Super easy and very quick to knit, since they’re basically two washcloths with some holes and thumbs :) They’re worked sideways to show off the Linen St and give a more “woven” appearance – hence the name “Roughshod”, since they kind of look handwoven.

Anyway. That’s enough from me. I bet you want photos. Here are a few:




Roughshod pattern preview

For more photos, you can see them on Flickr, or the pattern on ravelry. Big thanks to Lindsay and Eva for being my models!

And now, the stats:


    • 22 sts & 36 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Seed St on smaller needles
    • 22 sts & 36 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Linen St on larger needles


    • Approx. 180 (200, 220) y / 164.5 (183, 201) m of sport to light-DK weight yarn. Sample shown was knit with Tactile Sierra Sport (225 y / 206 m per 3.5oz/ 100g skein, shown in “Dogwood”.
    • Tapestry needle
    • 2 stitch markers
    • Waste yarn
    • 12 (14, 16) 1”/ 2.5 cm buttons
    • Matching sewing thread


    • 1 pair US 6/ 4 mm straight needles
    • 1 pair US 7/ 4.5 mm straight needles
    • 1 set of five US 7/ 4.5mm DPNS (6” long)

SIZING: Adult S (M, L): Approx. palm circumference: 7 (7.5, 8)” / 18 (19, 20) cm

I still have two patterns from the September batch left over, plus a slew of new ones, but one step at a time.  I’m just glad to have one crossed off the list!

Next time, I have some BIG news and another preview of a coming pattern.  ‘Til then, happy knitting!

Bonnie Kellswater

So, a couple months ago I received an inquiry for a pattern from none other than Interweave Knits. Not that I’m bragging, I’m still rather perplexed over why they contacted me. Anyway. This week, the Spring 2012 preview went up and the issues went out, so now I can share images!

The first two are courtesy of Interweave Knits



The second two are from the photoshoot I did with Lindsay and Eva in September, as the pattern was originally going to be a Rose City Knits release :)

Bonnie Kellswater 2

Bonnie Kellswater 4

The name, Kellswater, comes from a traditional Irish song which just makes me think of fishermen’s knits every time I hear it (read the lyrics or, better yet, listen to Loreena McKennitt’s version and you’ll get me). The design itself includes some of my favorite Gansey stitch patterns, particularly the Tree of Life and the anchor. I have to admit that I am inordinately proud of this pattern, since I literally made it up on the fly while attending Sock Summit (seriously, TheBon and SinisterSpinster can attest) and then it somehow ended up published.

Weird.  But cool.

If you’d like to fave it or add it to your queue, it’s up on ravelry.

I know I’m terribly behind on the blogging and oh so much has happened since my last update, so look forward to more posts in the coming days – really!

Covet Central: Gridded Fade-Out Vellum

Every once in a while I find an awesome tool or gadget that knitters and designers would love. Usually, I just bookmark it or forward said goody to friends I think will like it. But since so many people responded to the Post-It Label tape, I figured it’d be cool to share future finds on le blog. This time I found something designers will definitely want:

Clearprint Drafting and Design Fade-Out Vellum

Available in 8½” × 11″ and 11″ x 17″ pads, as well as 24″ × 5 yd and 36″ × 5 yd ROLLS. For those of you who enjoy* charting complex lace and Fair Isle projects, the rolls make great sense. Especially because the rolls can come in 10 x 10 grid. Neat, right?

I think I need to stock up!

A real blog post is overdue, I know, but will have to wait until later.  If you’re waiting on a response from me, I promise I’ll get to you in the next 24 hours, honest!  It’s been a little crazy ’round here.

*Using the word “enjoy” in a loosely defined way.

Sew Excited!

I know, I know, it’s sew been done (sorry, couldn’t resist). But I have three very good reasons to be excited. Drumroll, please…

Caput Helianthus pattern preview

Caput Helianthus is done, done, done! It’s up on ravelry and the Rose City Knits website (though the price is mysteriously wrong there… weird).

This design was actually inspired by a vintage doily (circa the 1940s) that I really liked the concept of but hated the execution. So I decided to take the concept and adapt it for a hat. Caput Helianthus (literally “sunflower crown”) is the result. To keep it interesting (okay, I got bored), I created two versions – an 8-petal and a 16-petal version, just because. It’s knit with just 150 – 175 yards of fingering weight yarn (I used one skein each of Staccato for both samples) and is a great stash-buster.

I feel I should warn you, however, because it IS addictive. Opus and I have each knit three of these hats and are both considering a fourth (I’m thinking cashmere for mine!). There’s something magical about how quick it knits up, I guess. Anyway, here are the details:

GAUGE: 28 sts & 32 rnds = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette st

    • Approximately 150 yards/ 135 meters fingering weight yarn. Sample shown: Shibui Knits Staccato (191 y/ 175 m per 1.75 oz/ 50g skein), 1 skein each, shown in “Dijon” and “Redwood”.
    • One 16-inch US 2.5/ 3.00mm circular needle
    • 8 Stitch markers
    • Tapestry needle

SIZING: Adult/ 20 – 22” head circumference & 10” diameter, laid flat after blocking
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

The one thing about the pattern that made me sad was that I had so many amazing pictures to use and so little space :( One of my favorites that didn’t make the cut is still a winner to me:

Caput Helianthus 2

It’s just so quaint.

The SECOND item on my “sew excited” list?  Well, I finally got a sewing machine of my own!

Oh, yes, it’s mine and mine alone.  I’m already plotting.  Look forward to many sewing related posts in the future :)  The first will probably be with a sneak peek at my new studio space (still in the, ah, development stages).  I’m hoping to get a sewing area set up this weekend and break my new toy in a bit.

Should be fun.

Aaand, THREE

This is my 1,200th post!  Can you believe it?  I certainly didn’t.  When did we get past 1,000?  200 posts ago, I guess.  Of course, the blog will be 6 years old in October (that’s actually older than my niece, T), so I’m not exactly a chatterbox.  Okay, maybe a little, since that averages out to around 200 posts per year.

Who knew?

Has it been that long?

Apparently my last post was on the 7th.  It doesn’t seem like it was so long ago… but I can’t really argue with the WordPress calendar, can I?

Well, much has been happening in that time.  I’m trying two new migraine medicines (re: Migrain Brain) with mixed results.  I know it takes time to determine medication efficacy, so I’ll restrain from judgement now.  Keep your fingers crossed.

But, and this is much more interesting, that’s not the only thing that’s happened in the past couple of weeks.  The biggie?  A photoshoot for the Fall RCK pattern collection (if we loosely define the word “collection”).  The first three patterns are in the final stages of technical editing and formatting, with the others following in various stages of development.  To give you a taste of what I’ve been working on, here’s a fun little preview:

Rose City Knits Fall Pattern Preview
I’d also like to give a big ‘THANK YOU!’ to Lindsay and Eva for being my willing and very patient victims models.  Yes, I did the photography myself.  My poor, long-suffering father acted as my assistant during the shoot (i.e. he held lenses and carried props around).  Another big ‘THANK YOU’ to a friend who lent us her farm for the day (the Undisclosed Location).

We had a hoot (which you can probably tell from the photos*) and I really think it turned out well, especially with none of us being what you might term ‘professionals’.  Still, the ladies were great and the light was fantastic, so it wasn’t hard.  All in all, I’m quite pleased :)  I’ve even updated the RCK website to include a couple of shots from the shoot, just as another little tidbit.

Other than that?  I’m working on winter patterns – in fact, I have so many ideas, I’m going to have to be rather selective :(  Sad.  Maybe next winter.  Swatches litter the house and my studio area, plus sketches and charts and notes.  It’s more than a little chaotic.  But that’s my default state.

That’s all the big stuff for now.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce the release of Caput Helianthus** this week (or soon, at any rate).  Until then, I had better get back to work.  And my tea :)

*I really should post some of the outtakes.

**Sunflower crown (or head, if we’re being extremely literal).

Migraine brain

I spent most of the weekend (yep, the 3-day one) down with a migraine, because I just know how to have fun. Which added up to very little achievement in the not  “laying in the dark” arena.

Though I did finish one thing – the prototype of a new design:

Caulking preview 3
From the front (modelled by Gertrude)
Caulking preview 5
From the back (modelled by Gertrude)

Caulking, so-called by Opus and her Mum because it fills in the gap where your coat leaves off :)

I literally could not make these things up.  (See more photos here)

Sample #2 is currently underway – both knit with Tactile Fiber Arts Sierra Sport.  I quite like this yarn (possibly too much), which is probably going to become ridiculously obvious this Fall.

But that will have to wait as I need to get back to charting.  Knitting will be my reward in a little bit… hopefully.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Literally, in Gerturde’s case.

Who is Gertrude?, you ask?

Well… Gertrude is my new live-in model:


Or, rather, a vintage Royal Form dress form. Size 10, I think. I found her on Craig’s List a few weeks ago and fell in love.

Especially since everything looks good on her :)  She’ll be my impromptu model from now on, so look for more Gertrude sightings.

Next, we have another model who ought to be familiar to you by now – Opus, who is also my faithful test knitter:

Opus' Helianthus (1)

Wearing her styling new Helianthus hat, knit with Kauni Effektgarn in the colorway WEU.  After blocking it, she got her brother Daniel to take some pix, including this fun one:

Opus' Helianthus (1)

Which might just have to go into the pattern itself.  ‘Cause that’s just awesome.

Between Opus (who is now knitting her Heianthus 2) and my beloved tech editor, there shouldn’t be any errors in this pattern.

Keep weather eye out, the pattern should be available soon!

Victory dance

As promised, a new pattern!

Barnes pattern preview$6.00 (PDF download)

Designed as a special release for the Knit Purl Month of Lace, Barnes is inspired by a friend and former coworker – who is also the store manager of Knit Purl. The central design is a lace motif flanked by knit-and-purl teardrops, all surrounded by a neat garter stitch edge – for an elegant and modern lace design.

Sample shown was knit using two skeins of The Sanguine Gryphon Gaia in the color “Sea Glass” . Pattern includes both charts and written line-by-line instructions, as well as U.S. standard and metric measurements.


  • Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace, shown in the color “Gaia”
  • Gauge: 28 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches in Lace patt
  • Needles: US 3/ 3.25 mm
  • Yardage: 800 yards/ 732 m
  • Sizing: Approx. 12”/ 30.5 cm wide x 48”/ 122 cm tall


  • Photographer: Sara Morris
  • Graphic Design: Sonia Jones Design
  • Tech Editor: Katherine Vaughan
  • Location: Woodstock Neighborhood, Portland, Oregon

Portlanders (and, hey, non-Portlanders), you can also pick up a copy of the pattern in person – as well as the yarn used – at my old haunt, Knit Purl.  The best part is that the yarn is only sale through the end of July as part of their annual Month of Lace.

Lastly, since I know I keep promising to post things other than pattern updates (in fact, I have a list of topics I want to cover!), have you ever visited the blog Sri Threads?  If not, you really need to.  I’m mad obsessed with them and their beautiful photographs of vintage and antique Asian textiles (particularly Japanese pieces), such as this lovely Sakiori Sodenashi:

Well, lovely to me, anyway.  Especially since it was the Sodenashi silhouette that inspired my Alsea vest from Shibui Texture.  In fact, when I saw this on Google Reader, I totally squealed with excitement.  It’s a geeky obsession, to be sure, but I’m going to stick with it.

Next time, I’m going to show off some cool new tools I found that knitters everywhere should stock up on!