March 2020

Renumber and reformatWhere to go from hereOn my needlesUpcoming eventsNational Crochet MonthKeep Calm and Wash Your Hands

Renumber and reformat

By request, has a nifty new feature. On the Contribute and Edit pages, you’ll find this little button just above the “Written instructions” text entry box:

Click it, and you’ll see a dialog that lets you renumber your knitspeak:

This’ll let you “make room” for new rows at the beginning of (or in the middle of) your stitch pattern, or simply clean up the row numbers to get “normal” row numbering.

And speaking of cleaning up, the dialog will also reformat your knitspeak, optionally expanding it such that each row is shown individually – for example, changing

    rnd 2 4 6 8: p


    Round 2: Purl.
    Round 4: Purl.
    Round 6: Purl.
    Round 8: Purl.

I know this is a feature some of you have wanted for a while. Enjoy!

Read the whole news article

Another oft-requested feature for the website is enhanced search capabilities. I get it – y’all want to figure out if a pattern is available on the site, regardless of what it’s been named. And searching by tags isn’t always helpful, given that many patterns haven’t been tagged.

So I’m taking suggestions for ways of making the searches more powerful. Top contenders include:

  • Search by number of repeated rows. This could be seriously handy if you wanted to find, say, a 4-row pattern to use as an accent with a 12-row pattern. Yeah... I think this’ll get implemented fairly soon.

  • Search by abbreviation, or by knitspeak snippet – for example, search for “bunny ears” to find all patterns that use bunny ears decreases, or search for “[yo, k1] 5 times” to find patterns that might be related to Feather and Fan. This might work in some cases, but it would be too darn tedious in others – say, if you wanted to find patterns that used any cable cross... which leads me to another possibility:

  • Search for standard, automatically applied tags. What if the site automatically applied certain tags to each pattern, if certain abbreviations appeared in its knitspeak? Consider: patterns with any cable cross could be automatically tagged with “cables;” patterns with any beading abbreviation could be automatically tagged with “beads;” etc. This option has potential, but it has drawbacks too, so I want to give it more thought before diving in.

Do you have ideas to contribute? Let us know!

Join the conversation

On my needles

Since Stitches West, I’ve been on a bit of a brioche kick, designing and swatching new stitch patterns. Two projects have been vying for my attention.

The first project is a search for a way to liven up the brioche wrap I started months ago in Stunning String Luxury Fingering. I love love love the way the Thumbs Up pattern grows within wrap...

...but I’ve become bored with it, and disillusioned with the idea of a wrap all in the same stitch pattern. Don’t you agree? Wouldn’t be fun to flow from Thumbs Up to some other stitch pattern, ideally one with a somewhat larger scale, while still maintaining the same shape? And so I’ve been swatching this:

It was inspired by Fern and Fans in Nancy Marchant’s Knitting Fresh Brioche. I’m not quite sure it’s right yet, though – as a matter of fact, if you look closely you’ll see I switched things up halfway through the swatch. Naturally, more swatching is required.

The second project is just a wild hair of an idea at this point, but I’d like to play with two versions of a “crashing waves” sort of pattern, one executed at a much larger scale than the other. So far, I’ve just toyed with this small scale version:

Again, more swatching is required.

Get your own Knitting Fresh Brioche

Upcoming events

The workshop schedule has been announced for this year’s Black Sheep Gathering.

Registration doesn’t begin until April 4th, so you have some time to figure out which classes you want. FYI, I’ll be teaching Patterned Brioche, Your First Stranded Colorwork, Entrelac Basics, and Loving Your Lace Edgings.

Before Black Sheep, I’m headed to Sacramento to teach for the Camellia City Stockinettes, then soon after to Hartford for Stitches United and to Texas for the DFW Fiber Fest. Will I see you at any of events? Most of my classes still have a seat or two available!

See my full schedule

National Crochet Month

Did you know that March is National Crochet Month? I didn’t, until recently.

If you want to take part, check out the blog tour arranged by

True story: I’ve crocheted since I was a kid, when my grandfather taught me. He used to crochet lace tablecloths. I don’t know what happened to those tablecloths, but I still have the hooks he gave me.

Because I want to keep crochet as a hobby, I don’t teach any crochet classes per se... but I do teach Hook Hocus-Pocus, a class that teaches knitters how to make use of a crochet hook in their knitting. (Okay, fine, everyone’s crocheting a little bit by the end of class. But that’s as far as I go towards teaching crochet.)

If you want to learn to cast on, bind off, seam, fix mistakes, embellish, pick up stitches, and decorate an edge with a crochet hook, then sign up for Hook Hocus-Pocus. I’ll be teaching it at the DFW Fiber Fest next month, and on the China and Japan cruise next year.

Take the blog tour

Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

Speaking of the China and Japan cruise... it feels a little surreal at the moment, to be talking about cruising in that part of world. But here’s the thing: I suspect COVID-19 will run its course in a matter of months, just like SARS did. By next January, COVID-19 will be history and I’ll be enjoying a cruise.

In other words, I choose not to stress over things out of my control. And to wash my hands.

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