Meet the Knitter: Michele Lee Bernstein

Michele Lee Bernstein, PDXKnitterati, loves designing accessories, especially if they use one or two skeins of very special yarn. She’s fond of texture (brioche, lace, entrelac, elongated stitches), and enjoys using interesting techniques to make small objects sing. She loves teaching knitters to be the boss of their knitting, and does so at local yarn shops in Oregon, fiber festivals including Vogue Knitting Live, guild retreats, and now all over the world via Zoom! Find her on Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, and her website

The Knitting Circle: When and how did you get started with knitting?
Michele Lee Bernstein: My Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I was 14. My first project was a sweater, knit in the round, with cables up the front!

TKC: What is your favorite thing to design and why?
MLB: I love to design shawls because gauge is not critical. I get to use this background to play with fun stitch patterns and color, and I know the finished shawl will fit!

TKC: What does your day look like as a knitwear designer and maker?
MLB: Every day is different! Sometimes I knit for hours, and sometimes I don’t get to knit at all. Some days are all about pattern writing or editing. I also teach knitting classes, so sometimes I’m teaching, or planning classes. It’s great to wear a lot of different “hats” because that means there’s always something different every day.

TKC: What’s your favorite type of yarn? Why do you love it?
MLB: I love all kinds of yarn! Wool, cashmere, linen…they all have things that make them special.

TKC: If you could only use one knitting technique for the rest of your life, what would it be?
MLB: Brioche, definitely! I fell in love with brioche in 2017, and I’m still obsessed. There are so many techniques within the genre, and I’m learning more with each design project.

TKC: What other crafts or hobbies do you enjoy?
MLB: I love block printing. From coming up with an idea, to carving the block, to choosing colors and printing on paper or fabric, it’s all really interesting. I don’t get to do it very often, though. On a more daily basis, I love cooking and baking.

TKC: Any quick tips/knitting hacks to share?
MLB: Blocking is magic! Block your finished objects for that special finishing touch!

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16 Responses to “Meet the Knitter: Michele Lee Bernstein”

  1. Janet Kington

    Thank you for a wonderful class at Oregon Flock and Fiber. I am sorry to have missed out on the handout.

  2. Susan

    In your video demonstrating the wave stitch, you are wearing a very cute knit short sleeve sweater. Is there a way to buy the pattern please? Thanks!

  3. Anne Cartwright

    After 70 years of clicking needles I’m still in love with lace. Originally holes were dropped stitches but at the age of 8, five years in, I learned how to put them in the right place. Laceweight yarn in cashmere, baby alpaca, silk, perle cotton … all these are fun to work with using Shetland or Estonian patterns (I do love nupps). I do lots of other crafts too but always return to my needles or crochet hooks.

  4. Rhonda Declaire

    I would like to know how to knit a sock from toe to knee high the whole thing to follow I am more a hands on person. I want to watch how to make the heal and toe I am left handed does it matter well I think I am left not sure on that one, and does it matter if you use a different toe or heel when your doing socks or do you have to stay with pattern.

  5. Brenda

    As a new knitter about a year, and the pandemic, what do I need to do to progress, I’d like to learn knitting in the round and more techniques

    • Sylvia Krzak

      Hello Brenda, As a new knitter there is so much more to learn… the options are endless. I recommend you buy a knitting book in colour with good pictures showing a broad selection of the most common and popular knitting patterns. Using some oddments of yarn, you can knit swatches and record the wool type, stitch type etc. This is a good exercise and you’ll discover which patterns are your favorites. Knitting in the round isn’t difficult and there are plenty of tutorials on You Tube demonstrating how to get started. If you like textured knitting as I do, there are plenty of patterns that give a textured look that aren’t difficult. Here’s one you might like if you knit a scarf: Cast on multiples of four. Start with: K1, k1, knit into the back of the next stitch then purl the fourth stitch. Repeat to the end and do this on every row. The scarf will be double sided and will have a nice texture to it. Also, I’ve been doing Aran knitting since I was 18, there are some lovely Aran patterns that aren’t difficult. Try not to take on something that’s too difficult… the more simple patterns you familiarize yourself with the more confidence you’ll gain. Knitting is a wonderful hobby and I wish you all the best. From a very old knitter of 65 years. You go girl! Sylvia x


    I have been knitting a lot of infant hats but saw your tutorial on mittered knitting am I’m using the same colors for the mittered squares. we/ll see!


    I like knitting the brioche stitch but it is such a pain if you’ve made a mistake and have to go back to fix.