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Yikes! During Part 2 of the Serial Knitters Highland Plumes Cowl KAL we found an ERROR in the chart. Gadzooks!

If you have the pattern, all you need to know is this:

Chart row 24 is missing two decreases. Row 24 should be identical to row 20.

For those of you who purchased the pattern through Ravelry, you can download the updated, beautified, clarified version in your library.

Happy knitting!

Long Tail Cast-on Tutorials, Tips and Tricks…

Hey Knitters, looking to learn the Long Tail Cast-On?  Here are some resources and suggestions to get you started…

Step One: Watch this lovely, simple tutorial from If you follow the link and go over to their website, she has a lovely explanation of the qualities of this cast-on.

Step Two: Grab some scrap yarn and give it a go.

Step Three: Celebrate and post a picture of what you’ve done!

Alternate Step Three: Throw it on the ground, mutter curses and post here about the problems you are having.

Tips for stretchy cast-on success… I recently took a class from knitting guru Cat Bordhi. She talked about the secret to a stretchy cast-on. When you make your cast-on, don’t pull those stitches tight and sit them close together. Space them out evenly with a small equal space between each stitch… about the size of the height of the stitch. This leaves space for a lovely stretchy edge.

More tricks… How long should the tail be?
With the long-tail cast-on you need to estimate the length of tail needed in order to make all of your stitches. That can be a drag. One way to avoid this is to cast on using two balls of yarn, or two ends of the same ball of yarn. How?

I found Julie Weisenberger’s short and useful blog tutorial here that shows it in pictures:

And here’s a clear, concise video version by Liat Gat:

Check them both out and see if you want to give this method a try. The only downside is you have one more end to weave in at the end. However, in a future post I’m going to show you how to weave in your ends beautifully, so it’ll be nice to have some additional ends for practice …

Veterans, have other thoughts about the long-tail cast-on? Please share them here. Not everyone agrees on techniques because, luckily, we are all different. So, share your experience and any favorite resources you have.

Let’s practice casting on!

#outlanderKAL has begun!

We kicked off the in-person #outlanderKAL today at Serial Knitters!

The pattern, Highland Plumes, was inspired by this picture from costume designer Terry Dresbach‘s blog:

My version looks like this:



Not a bad match, hm?

Here is my LYS owner’s version in Malabrigo Mecha:

Everyone is going crazy for that one, and no surprise. It glows! So, we got the knitters together today for part one of an in-person KAL.

#outlanderKAL #highlandplumes #KALatSK #serialknitters

A photo posted by pamela grossman (@pamelamama) on

Aren’t they adorable?

The majority of knitters, inspired by Debie Frable’s model, chose Malabrigo Mecha for the piece.  Second place, with two knitters, was the Classic Elite Chalet yarn, and one bold knitter chose the mega Malabrigo Rasta. All of the colors chosen were beautiful!

We kicked off by watching the steamy preview for the second half of season one. Have you seen it? Looky here:…/vid…/da6176d76bb04503a0125c17febdbde0

Then, a few tutorials. New learning included: long tail cast-on, long tail cast-on from two balls of yarn, chart reading, yarn-overs, marker placement and a variety of decreases.

HP Student Cowls


One great joy of knitting with bulky yarn? Major progress was made by the end of our first meeting. Here are two student projects, zipping along. (Malabrigo Mecha was used for both.)

Are you knitting Highland Plumes? Tag your Instagram and FB project photos with #outlanderKAL and #highlandplumes so everyone can oooh and ahhhh. I can’t wait to see all the cowls. Project discussion and support is happening on the shop Ravelry page, here: Join us!

Pattern is here: Highland Plumes Cowl

Happy Knitting!

Oh, and here’s a bonus picture of me looking like a mad scientist/knitting teacher:

HP Class Teaching



New knitting pattern available!

Looky here:

Plus, the coupon code CLAIRE will get you $2 off the pattern. PLUS you can get this pattern, Pulse Point,  for free when you buy anything in my ravelry store until January 31, 2015. hooray!

Fighting with WordPress, so keeping this brief!

Pattern support on FB:

Pattern support on Ravelry:

Updated to Add: I’ve got online and in-person knitalongs happening. Get in touch if you want to join up!









ode to an abandoned project

Sweet crochet and beads
Seven skeins of lace weight yarn
What was I thinking?

knitting-related class at serial knitters!

I’ll be teaching a class next weekend at Serial Knitters in Kirkland. Learn to use a super cool app called KnitCompanion. Any questions? Call the shop to register. (425) 242-0086


I wrote a poem today!

Two Ways of Looking at a Pillow

~a poem in two parts~

Part I

At night I sit with pillows propped

and know my tasks should soon be stopped.

But books lure sweetly, “One more word!”

and warning voices won’t be heard.


“Tomorrow you will want to cry!”

“Smart heads upon their pillows lie!” 

Despite this knowledge, with book I sit,

and clutching my needles, continue to knit.


Part II

The pillows I viewed last night with rejection

this morning receive undiluted affection.

Blankets billow and cuddle and soothe;

my body I will not remove.


The tasks of the day loom large in my brain

yet under this pillow I’ll steadfastly remain.

Why in the morning does it tempt and demand,

while a pillow at night is dismissed out of hand?




I wrote this today at a Responsive Classroom workshop, inspired by the poem Bed In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson. Hooray for Academic Choice! Gosh, I love to write. I’d forgotten.

Portraits of the Teacher

Today third graders wrote self-reflections after a lesson was derailed by inadequate attention and failure to meet my standards of decorum. (It’s all part of the process!) A few included some awesome drawings, including portraits of the teacher. Enjoy.


Mysterious Requests

Anyone have a good quality knitting machine I could borrow for a project? I also need your yarn leftovers in any quantity. Also anyone have a grandfather clock or similar that you want to repurpose? More details to follow as this project evolves…

Ed tech + Jewish ed = ?

What happens when educational technology meets Jewish education? I’ll find out on my epic journey beginning tomorrow. Look out Teaneck, here I come. Looky here.