Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Episode 11 ~ Ode to Kristin


Hi, Knitters,
The podcast and all of my other videos are available for viewing and subscription on my YouTube Channel (click here!) and on iTunes (click here!).

Today on Episode 11 I chat about all kinds of things knitting-related and beyond. I especially focus on my friend, the multi-talented Kristin Nicholas, and all of the wonderful new ventures she has going on. I am giving away some of her beautiful Regia Colorations jacquard sock yarn and her re-released book, Colorful Stitchery.


If you can't see the videos through the email for subscribers, please hop over to my blog to view. Click here! The video below was filmed at Kristin's farm for Creativebug.com where she has several classes. It is a very well-done video and it is fun to get a visual of Kristin and her home and farm. Kristin lives on her farm with her husband, who she affectionately calls The Farmer, and her teenage daughter, Julia.



More of Kristin's links:

Kristin's Blog Getting Stitched on the Farm! I subscribe and you should, too!

Kristin's Shop and all of her links!

Kristin's new Craftsy Crewel Embroidery Class called Stitch It with Wool!

The Craftsy Kit for the class and more embroidery kits through Kristin's website!

Buy Kristin's books directly from her website! You can purchase all of the books I show in the podcast on her website. Kristin signs them, too, upon request which is an added bonus for purchasing directly from the author.

Kristin's sock yarns are available at a variety of yarn shops locally and online. Here are a couple online options: Websters, and Webs. It comes in 50 and 100 gram balls so don't forget to check when ordering.

3 interviews with Kristin on Ready, Set, Knit! with Steve and Kathy Elkins of WEBS (you'll really enjoy these!):
Click here!
Click here!
Click here!

(My Monkey Socks knit in Regia Garden Effects by Kristin - aren't they pretty?)


Click here to see more about today's giveaway book, Colorful Stitchery!

Knit and Crochet Now! PBS show where Kristin is the knitting expert.

I am giving away a copy of Kristin's re-released book Colorful Stitchery and enough yarn for an adult pair of socks in her new Regia Colorations Color jacquard sock yarn line! Read at the end of the post about how to enter to win!


Other links from the podcast:

Free Press Plush Tights (I said Fresh Press but it is Free!)

Jill Draper Empire Yarn ~ My skein is in the Charcoal colorway.

Tolt Yarn and Wool (I bought the Jill Draper Empire here and Veronika of YOTH Yarns works here!)

Taproot Magazine

Amanda Soule ~ SouleMama.com

Barn Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Knit Girllls ~ Leslie recommended the sewing patterns.

100 Acts of Sewing patterns ~ I got the tunic, sleeveless dress and dress with sleeves patterns.

Yoth Yarns ~ Mine is the DK weight Big Sister in the Caviar colorway.

Yowza Weigh It Shawl

Yowza Whatta Skein by Miss Babs

Hayward Shawl kits

Infinite Twist

You don't need to watch the video to enter to win the giveaway!

Giveaway Information:
Please leave one comment on the blog post that includes your Ravelry username/id or your email address so I can get in touch if you win. Please be patient for your comment to appear, there is a delay. One randomly selected winner will receive a copy of Colorful Stitchery from the publisher and the Regia Colorations sock yarn, enough to knit a pair of socks (colorway to be determined) from Kristin. I'll be back in a few days to randomly select and announce the winner.

Good luck and let the comments begin!

I think that's it! Enjoy!
xo ~ susan

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, Monday


Hi, Knitters,
I want to pop in this Monday morning to say hello. I have been working hard on finishing up the manuscript for my next book. I only have a couple of details left before it goes off to copyediting for the first time. There is still so much work left (lots of editing, illustration, photography, more editing, book design, etc.) but I am feeling a lot of relief just by getting this far. It has been hard to get much work done in between the teaching and traveling and family activities this fall. But now I am almost there and that feels really good. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Next up in the works, I have a shawl design I'm working on for a well-known indie designer, a couple of specific toy designs for a certain someone who we all know and love, and another shawl for a popular indie dyer, and then I have a few of my own designs lined up for my Ravelry pattern shop. I also have an even bigger scale project I am working on for sometime in the near-ish future and this is one that I'm particularly excited about. It's a lot on my plate. There is always so much to get done and that's part of the fun. I like being busy and having work lined up. I will start traveling again quite a bit to teach starting in January and going through the spring and even into the summer. Remember that if you are interested my teaching schedule is always at the top of the sidebar on my blog.

I am almost done with the second design in my Yowza Weigh It Shawl series. I think there will be three or four shawls in the series in the end (that's how many skeins of Yowza I have in my stash). Each shawl will have a different shape, absolutely no counting and different weighing points. I want to thank everyone for the incredible response to the first Yowza Weigh It Shawl. Pattern sales have been over the top and I really appreciate it. The pattern shot up all the way to #2 on the Ravelry Hot Patterns List after its release. This has been really fun and gratifying! Thank you so much.

Also, Cate Carter from Infinite Twist has been giving me updates on the Hayward Shawl Kit sales. She has reported that the kits are selling really well so far. That's exciting. Any of her kits would make fantastic gifts and she has a lot of variety. Click here to check out the Hayward Shawl Kit and her website Infinite Twist!

I went craft shopping with TC yesterday. She loves making beaded ornaments and our local craft store, the Wisconsin Craft Market, always has a lot of beaded ornament kits. Last year she made tons of ornaments and we boxed up little gift sets for everyone in the family. It was the sweetest gift and she felt really great about it. She is so much fun and I love it when she gets crafty. It is hard when you are in high school and a high school sport to find much free time. Now that her swimming is over for the school year she'll have a little more time. And I'll get to see her more! Yes to that!

As far as the socks in the photo go, I couldn't wait to give the fresh off the needles socks to my son. He came over to watch the Packer game yesterday and the socks were sitting there looking all wonderful and cozy. It is unusually cold for this time of year around here, about 20 degrees below normal. We had a fire going and I simply couldn't resist handing them over before his birthday which is in a couple of weeks. He put them on immediately and they fit perfectly. They fit like a glove as the saying goes. That is a great feeling. He loves them. Oh, and by the way he finished and caught up with the Corcoa orders last weekend. He has worked night and day and every spare moment in between on those orders. Thank you for that as well!

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Ragg Shades, #55048 in the Grey Brown Marl colorway. I bought it at the Wisconsin Craft Market for $7.49/ball. 

I used two 50 gram balls, almost all of it. My son wears a US men's size 11 shoe. I knit an 8-inch cuff.

Pattern: How I Make My Socks If you look on the pattern page there is a link to the men's sock pattern information that I put in a blog post (click here for the men's sock info.). I gave all of the numbers I use for knitting men's socks in this link.

Needles: US size 1 dpns, Knit Picks. I found the Signature Needle dpns, my usual favorites, were a little too sharp with this yarn and the points kept splitting the yarn so I switched to the Knit Picks. These worked great.

I have another sock on the needles for my other son. I am on the heel of the first sock so I have a ways to go. Both of these boys are crazy about handknit socks. They would love it if that was all I worked on.

Have a great Monday. I'll be back with a super fun review and giveaway in a couple of days. Maybe I'll squeeze in a podcast this week.
xo ~ susan

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Knitter's Review Retreat ~ There and Back


Hi, Knitters,
Last weekend I had the fine opportunity to teach at the 13th annual Knitter's Review Retreat. Clara Parkes is the host and organizer of the retreat and she does a stellar job. Every detail is thoughtfully taken care of by Clara. Clara offers the perfect amount of organized knitting and gathering time, and free time for the attendees. The entire retreat was a dream come true for me.

Click here for the Knitter's Review website! I have subscribed to Clara's newsletter for years and you should, too!

Clara is the author of these must-have books! I own and love all of Clara's books.

 I'd like to take you on the journey to Canandaigua, New York and back because it was a good one. 

I had a good feeling when I boarded the plane on the first leg of my trip from Madison to Detroit because I had an aisle seat and the two seats next to me remained empty. What kind of rare and good luck is that? I was pretty sure it was a sign of things to come. 


I carried with me a pair of socks I was knitting for my son's birthday which is at the end of November and a new shawl design I'm working on. I ended up plugging away on the socks during the flights. I made good progress on the foot of the first sock on the way to the retreat. The yarn is Patons Kroy in the Grey Brown Marl #55048 colorway. I wonder why the red is not mentioned in the name of the colorway? It's all about the red in my eyes.


It was gray and cloudy on the ground but once the plane was above the clouds it was so beautiful from the window. The world is an amazingly mysterious place.

The flights were short and on time, no troubles at all. On the second flight from Detroit to Rochester I heard some people sitting behind me talking about fingerless mitts and whatnot. I peeked around my seat and one of the knitters recognized me and started laughing. It was Chris from the very famous and beautiful Briar Rose Fibers and her knitting buddy Dawn. It was so nice to meet them along the way. 



I noticed as I flew in that there was still a lot of remaining colorful fall foliage and green in the area. Here in Madison we are already heading into winter so that was nice to see. Canandaigua is in the Finger Lakes Region of New York and we stayed at The Inn on the Lake hotel. The hotel sat right on a lakefront and in fact my first floor room had a door that opened directly to a scenic lakeshore area. The weather wasn't ideal but I still made it outside everyday to explore and get a feel for the area. I was rained on a bit but it was worth it.


The first day, Thursday, I had a bit of time before the kick off dinner and meeting so I went for a short run in the rain. I went straight down Main Street to check out the little shops and restaurants. I snapped a quick photo of the Court House. Every building seemed old and charming and with purpose. It is an adorable main street area that was busy and bustling even in the cold and rainy weather.

The Inn on the Lake was the perfect spot for the retreat. All of the meals were included and they were quite good with a nice variety of options. The convenient meeting rooms, casual knitting areas and classrooms were wonderful and roomy. My room was clean and comfortable. It was really good all-around.

We had a kick-off meeting where Clara got everyone excited and even happier to be there if this is  possible. The vibe of the retreat was really interesting to me. Since it is a long-running annual retreat there were only a small number of new attendees. So as you could imagine there was this instant feeling of camaraderie and joy for the reuniting of people with these longstanding friendships. The group was so welcoming and warm as is Clara. I suspect this is no accident. Clara fosters the environment and it really works. The event has a kind of joyous and comforting feeling running along with every moment. I really loved the feeling of acceptance and warmth from this group of knitters.


Friday started with my Sock Yarn Bunny Workshop. I had an enthusiastic group of bunny makers. We worked so hard and the class had an extended time after the lunch break. I wish all of my classes had that extra couple of hours. You can get so much more done with that amount of time and it is more relaxed. This group had the best time together! I was glad we took a photo. I don't want to forget this day of bunny knitting with this group. 





There were so many bunnies that popped up during the retreat. Some finished their bunnies from head to toe and others made great progress almost finishing. I hope everyone does finish and I'd love to see them when they are done!


This was the view from my room. Not too bad.


I found a couple of good running paths. One circled the lake and another circled a series of lagoons. 


It was so tranquil. The entire event had such a cozy feeling.


During my first workshop it started snowing. It added to the magical feel of the retreat. The snow didn't stick but with the rain and drizzle I was glad that I threw a waterproof coat and some of my warm sweaters and woolens in my suitcase before leaving. I am always thrilled to get the chance to wear the Peerie Flooers Hat by Kate Davies. I think this is a must-knit pattern. Canandaigua was the debut wearing for the cold season ahead.


The second workshop I taught was a Wee Sheep knitting workshop. This one went really fast. I recently designed these tiny sheep (about 2.5 inches tall) with several different stitch pattern options to create the woolly coat. It is a seamless bottom-up toy with a clever neck design to make it all one piece. I love this new class and several people finished the toy during the class and several others almost finished. It was fun to see their success. I had a several repeat students from the bunny workshop from the day before and the group was again warm and fun. What a pleasure.

The pattern for these tiny sheep isn't available for purchase yet. I am teaching this new workshop amongst others in New York City at Vogue Knitting Live in January 2015. I hope to see you there!



I brought a lot of toys to share with the knitters during the workshops. One of the most popular was the Quince & Co. doll set I recently released called Mary, Millie & Morgan. These dolls are top-down and seamless, knit completely in one-piece and there are clothing pieces and accessories for the dolls. The knitters in my workshops loved seeing the set of dolls all together. They also really loved all of the reversible/topsy-turvy toys I brought along, too. Those got a huge fun reaction.

Click here for the Mary, Millie & Morgan ravelry download eBook and Ben & Buddy patterns!

I am teaching this Seamless Doll Workshop at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, too! Can't wait!


The retreat is steeped in tradition and many of the traditions or planned activities seem sort of sacred so I won't say too much. However, I will say that Saturday night of the retreat was possibly my most favorite retreat moment ever (coming in a close second was Sunday morning of the retreat). Saturday night was hilarious and fun. I haven't laughed so hard and had so much fun in a long time. It was just amazing.

This photo (I know it isn't the best photo of everyone but I had to share anyway) was taken right after the Saturday night festivities and you can see we are all a little bit flushed. We really shook it hard (yes, we moved it!) and I loved every minute of it. Some of my "shaking it" partners in crime are from left to right, me, Julie Weisenberger, Carson Demers (he teaches the ergonomics of knitting) and Linda Pratt. Julie and Carson were instructors at the retreat and Linda Pratt is with Westminster Fibers but she was an attendee of the retreat, not working. 

Along these same lines of having fun I just had the best time with the talented and extraordinarily smart Julie Weisenberger, the designer behind Coco Knits, and her trusty and every bit as talented assistant Tracy. 



Trust me, these two are fun, funny and just about perfect. Julie is so down-to-earth and honest and fun. I loved getting to meet and know her a bit. You know I have used her Knitters Block for years. She is an inventor of useful things for knitters as well as a designer. Her sweater and accessory designs are so well-known and beautiful. The entire theory behind her garment design revolves around flattering a woman's body with fit and drape and lines. I can't say enough good things about Tracy and Julie. Tracy is a long-time knitter and former yarn shop owner. The two met in college and have remained fast friends who live on either side of the country. It was fun to get to witness such a long term friendship with years of history. I was lucky they let me dine with them for just about every meal. They really made the retreat for me. Thank you Julie and Tracy.


I was struck by the many weeping willow trees in the Canandaigua area. We have these in my neighborhood/area but they are not hearty trees so many have been lost through the years. It is one of my favorite trees and I enjoyed seeing so many of them in one spot.


The lagoon paths featured wooden bridges and I went across every one I saw.


Sunday morning of the retreat was another favorite, cozy time. Again, I feel like much of the retreat should stay at the retreat so I'll just share a little bit. There was a final meeting before everyone began going their separate ways. Clara, if you don't know, is a wonderful speaker and although she certainly didn't spend too much time speaking the time she did I thoroughly enjoyed. I knew she was witty and clever and an extremely good writer but what I didn't know is that she is really adorable and downright funny. My sides hurt. She is a bundle of energy and quick wit. Another thing I noticed about Clara is that she is a really good listener even when she is in the midst of being busy. When you are talking to her she stops and focuses and soaks in what you are saying. I love this about her.

Clara shared some of her upcoming projects and yarn with the group. Clara has started a fascinating journey in the milling of select fibers from across the country to create her very own Clara Yarn. 


These yarns come and go from her shop. She develops them in small batches with different mills and wool breeds and when they are to her liking she sells the yarns. When the yarns are gone they are gone and she is off to create more and different yarn. It is one of the most inspiring and earnest yarn development projects I have ever seen.

Clara gave each of the knitters in the large group on Sunday morning a tiny wound ball of her newest Clara Yarn, a sampling that is yet to be available, and a little notebook with Clara Yarn on the cover. While Clara talked and read a moving and beautiful piece she wrote she asked us if we would swatch a little square of our liking with her newest yarn. I had somehow missed that we were to bring needles with us to the gathering. Although Clara suggested a US 4 for the swatch the only needles I had with me were US 1s from the sock in my bag. I quickly pulled out the US 1 dpns from my sock stitches so I could partake in this magical time with the knitters. I swatched a tiny 2x2 inch square with garter stitch borders and a stockinette center while I listened to Clara's calm, pleasant voice reading a lovely ode to an extraordinary fiber artist and friend who recently passed away.

~my tiny swatch knit on two US 1 dpns~

I was completely moved. The feelings of being exhausted from a full and fun weekend, meeting one of my favorite fiber industry people, Clara, having her hand-selected and developed yarn running through my fingers and onto my needles, and the swirling enthusiasm, warmth and love of knitting emanating from the knitters around me was overwhelming. I breathed it all in.

I felt so fortunate and thankful for this moment in my life. 

I'll keep this little golden swatch to remember.

And then there was Yarn Church. All I can say is that you have to be there for this one. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is a time of hope, good will and encouragement for all knitting projects and their knitters.

So to Clara, I thank you for a life-changing retreat. The weekend was a gift. I hope I get to return someday. Thank you.


With that I was off toward home. Flying at night was the perfect way to end things. It was quiet and beautiful.


And when I got home I realized that I had finished the pair of men's socks for my son's upcoming birthday. I didn't feel like I got much knitting done but in the end I guess I did.

It was like magic, sort of like the entire weekend.

Thanks for coming along today. I hope all of you get to attend a beautiful knitting retreat someday. It is an amazing journey that restores and nourishes your knitting life.

xo ~ susan

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Yowza Weigh It Shawl ~ now available!


Hi, Knitters,
The Yowza Weigh It Shawl is up and available for purchase now! 

I am running a $1 off discount code from today, Nov. 4th through Nov. 12th, 2014. The regular pattern price is $5.00 and with the discount code it is $4.00.

The discount code is: YOWZA


This is such an easy, fun, fast, addicting shawl that you may want to make more than one. I cast on with every intention of knitting a completely mindless shawl in garter stitch that used up an entire skein of Yowza Whatta Skein by Miss Babs. I succeeded. After you count the cast on stitches, 9 stitches to be exact, you don't ever have to keep track of anything or count stitches or rows again! Ahhhhh, it's so easy and relaxing this shawl.

I used a one of a kind colorway of Yowza called Top Secret. I purchased this a few years ago at the Sheep & Wool Festival in Lexington, Kentucky. Babs herself let me know yesterday on Facebook that a similar colorway that is repeatable is called Gal Noir which she is dying up today I think. However, there are so many other colorways that are beautiful and would work great! It is hard to choose. Either a variegated or a tonal would be perfect for this garter stitch shawl.


Again, there is no counting involved whatsoever in this simple crescent shaped shawl. Start with 8 ounces of a light worsted weight yarn, cast on and then repeat one row. Weigh your yarn occasionally as you go and when you reach a certain weight you start the ruffle border, weigh one more time to finish with a picot bind off. It's that fun and easy!

You could substitute other yarns but the shawl is based off of 8 ounces of a light worsted weight yarn. This is one skein of the Miss Babs Yowza, one of my most favorite yarns ever. Handspun would also be perfect for this shawl.


Here is some information you might like to know from the Ravelry project page:

The Yowza Weigh It Shawl was created in the spirit of dreamy simplicity.

I cast on 9 stitches to start and never counted my stitches again. No counting or keeping track of rows is needed. The versatile top-down shallow crescent-shaped shawl is knit in garter stitch throughout. Using one 8 ounce Yowza Whatta Skein by the talented dyer Miss Babs and your trusty kitchen scale you will simply fly through the knitting of this shawl. It is one of the most addicting, fast and simple shawl designs ever with a one row repeat for the body of the shawl. The outcome is a stunning and elegant shawl. There are only two places you need to weigh your yarn in the pattern. Dream and garter stitch away!

Finished measurements
Wingspan: About 72-inches after blocking
Depth: 14-inches including the ruffle after blocking

Yarn: Miss BabsYowza Whatta Skein (100% Superwash Merino Wool, a light worsted weight; 560 yards/ 8 ounces), 1 skein (The pattern is based specifically on the Yowza 8 ounce skein but other yarns could be substituted.)

*The sample is knit in the Top Secret colorway which is a one-of-a-kind Babette skein that is not available. Babs Austerman, the dyer and owner of Miss Babs says the closest thing to the Top Secret in a repeatable Babette is a colorway called Gal Noir.  www.missbabs.com

Needles: US size 9, 40-inch circulars or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Tools: A kitchen scale that weighs in ounces and grams and a yarn needle


Here are a few photos of the shawl!


The Yowza Weigh It Shawl is incredibly versatile with long shallow dimensions. It can be worn all wrapped up around your neck like a scarf, tied behind your back, worn as a traditional shawl around your shoulder, etc. It's a great gift shawl because of the versatility and simplicity of the knit.


A skein of Yowza and the pattern would be a great gift idea for any knitter on your list!


I loved knitting this shawl. I have three more skeins of Yowza in my stash right now. I am thinking I might do more simple "weigh it" shawl designs with different shapes for each of the skeins I own. 


Enjoy! 

Don't forget the discount code for $1 off the regular $5 price: YOWZA 

xo ~ susan

Sunday, November 02, 2014

All in a Week


Hi, Knitters,
Thank you for the generous response to my new shawl design called Hayward for Infinite Twist. Cate Carter, the owner of Infinite Twist, has been in touch and said the sales of the kits have been going really well! Thanks for supporting Cate. The shawl pattern will be available for individual download in my Ravelry Pattern Shop at the end of December. Until then the shawl is only available in kit form from Infinite Twist. I highly recommend the kit if you are at all interested. Infinite Twist is a wonderful small company.

The winner of the Hayward shawl kit in her color of choice is..... 1tims on Ravelry or Tracey! Congratulations Tracey. I have contacted Tracey and have let Cate know we have our kit winner. 

I am planning a shawl knitalong starting in January, after the holiday rush. I will announce it here on the blog and on my super fun Ravelry group, Itty-Bitty Knits (please join us over there!). The shawl knitalong will include not only the Hayward Shawl but also the Prairie Ridge Shawl, the Quaker Ridge Shawlette, the 50 Row Shawlette, and my soon to be released pattern called the Yowza Weigh It Shawl (more on this later). I will round up a lot of cool prizes from some of my favorite companies. I'll keep you posted on the starting date and I hope you'll join in. Mark your calendars if interested.

For today I made a few photo collages of some of what has gone on in the past week. The photos above reflect the fall season slowly coming to an end around here. I try to spend a lot of time outdoors everyday and I love to take photos of our ever-changing seasons here in Wisconsin. It is pretty entertaining.  We are having colder temperatures lately, the sun angles have changed, everything is getting a little quieter and darker. 

My husband and I were out walking at dusk the other day in our favorite nature conservancy and all of a sudden we heard the cracking of branches overhead and the whooshing of air. We looked up and sure enough the enormous wild turkeys we had just passed along the path were flying up into the trees to stay for the night. Yikes.

The turkeys are so awkward when they fly into the trees. There is nothing graceful about it. The branches don't seem strong enough to hold them and their giant wingspans send smaller branches cracking and falling to the ground as they fly into the trees. It is a weird and creepy sight if you have been in a forest to witness this nighttime ritual for the wild turkeys. They sleep perched in the trees. A lot of people don't know that wild turkeys can fly or that they sleep up in the trees. We have been in these woods when this has happened before and I don't like it at all. Seeing huge wild turkeys sitting on branches above my head makes me want to run for shelter. It is scary.

As for the other parts of the land around here the leaves have fallen for the most part. The trees are looking bare and cold although there is still a little lingering color if you look for it. It is becoming browner in general. It has been a beautiful, colorful fall season in Madison, one of the best I can remember. I can't complain about it almost being over. It has been fun to live in such a beautiful fall-themed wonderland for the past month or so. 


Last weekend I taught on Sunday only at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. TC had a swim meet on Saturday and of course I wouldn't want to miss that so we drove down for the day on Sunday. My ever-supportive husband drove to Chicago with me, brought me lunch and drove me back home and I am so appreciative of his effort. It is a long day when you get up at 3:30am, teach 6 hours of brand-new workshops, and have an hour-long lecture at lunch. He is a keeper and it was a successful day.

I had fantastic classes filled with super knitters. I really enjoyed everything about my day. I taught two brand-new workshops. The students (not all are in the photo) placed their dolls all together on a table in the photo above (some dolls didn't make it in the photo). This workshop is the Mary, Millie & Morgan Seamless Doll Workshop. I loved teaching this class so much. We had a great time learning about seamless doll construction, hair creation for dolls, face embroidery, picking up and knitting ears, and all sorts of other toy related stuff. 

I brought a little toy suitcase with Mary, Millie & Morgan and all of their clothes and I brought along Ben and Buddy, the boy counterpart, as well. The students really enjoyed seeing the dolls in person. That was fun to see.

Click here to see more about the patterns for Mary, Millie & Morgan and here for Ben & Buddy! The patterns for these are available as downloads through Ravelry.

I also taught a new Fox in a Vest Worskhop. I love this top-down seamless sock yarn project. The pattern will become available for download this November! 

What a nice, fun group of knitters were in the Fox class, too. We had a great class and it was good way to end the day. One of the students, Sara, had purchased a Vogue magazine sweater sample in the market. When she showed me which one she purchased I immediately knew it was a Kristin Nicholas design. I remembered seeing it in the Vogue magazine in the Fall 2011 issue. This is one stunning colorwork garment. Sara let me try on her treasure of a sweater. It is a black and white masterpiece. Oh, I loved trying on that sweater so much. Thank you for sharing with me Sara. I know you will enjoy your new sweater this winter.

Vogue puts on wonderful knitting events. Please check out my workshop offerings for Vogue Knitting Live in New York City. I hope to see you there. Click here to see the classes for NYC!


As for the knitting this past week, it has been crazy! I am working on a bunch of sock projects as always. The three sock yarns in the photos above are the Knitcircus Rainbow Matching Gradient Socks Set, and for both of my sons the Patons Kroy Brown Marl (purchased at the Wisconsin Craft Market) and the Kristin Nicholas Garden Effects Regia.

I am super excited about a new garter stitch shawl design I cast on last week. I am using one skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, a light worsted weight, 560 yards per skein. Each skein weighs in at 8 oz.  This is the simplest, fastest shawl I have ever made and that is the point. You cast on and then you never have to count again for the entire shawl. You just weigh the skein as you go and when you get to a certain point you start the border and bind off. I am adding a picot bind off (which involves a slight bit of counting) but you could just do a regular bind off. I am working my way across the bind off now and I hope to have the shawl pattern available very, very soon.

If you are interested grab that crazy variegated or more subtle skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, your kitchen scale and your US size 9 - 40 inch circs and you'll be ready to go! If you want to check your gauge while waiting it is 4 stitches per inch in stockinette. Handspun would be really perfect for this shawl as well.

I'll post about the new pattern as soon as it is ready!

Click here for Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein! The colorway I am using is called Top Secret and was purchased 3 or 4 years ago at a festival in Kentucky. It is a one-of-a-kind Babette but there are so many good colorways to choose from ~ no worries!

I also knit TC's swim buddy an Another Flower Headband for her birthday. She just loved it! I used Noro Kochoran (discontinued yarn) and it is a bulky weight yarn. I am making another Another Flower Headband this week for another swim buddy in the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in the #512 Cemak colorway (a gorgeous, rich tonal blue). This pattern is so easy and fun, knit on a US 10, you can easily finish in one day. Seriously. 



Last but not least, the week has been full of family, food and cooking, yarn, fun mail and SNOW! Yes, we had a dusting of snow for Halloween. That's not right. It was really cold and wintery. I want to mention the sweet Louise of the Caithness Craft Collective podcast and Etsy shop. She sent me a project bag she sewed from Scotland, where she lives, that is made out of Anderson Tartan plaid. I met Louise at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat. This was so unexpected and I love the Anderson Tartan project bag. Thank you, Louise! 

Check out Louise's Etsy Shop and her wonderful podcast which I love! 

I also received a big box of Solitude Wool to knit with and review! This is breed-specific farm yarn from Virginia. It is completely impressive and beautiful. I received Targhee, Romney, Icelandic yarns and more. I am planning a couple of design projects using these glorious farm yarns. Thank you so much to the owners for sending the yarn. I will be posting much more about them coming up in the future.


I'll be back soon with more! I'd love to hear about what you did last week. It's a busy time of year for everyone and we are just getting warmed up for the holidays.

xo ~ susan

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Hayward Shawl is Here with a Kit Giveaway!

The log cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin

Hi, Knitters,
Well, there is just so much going on around here it is hard to keep up! First, I want to thank you all for the overwhelming response to my son's small business class project, Corcoa. The number of orders for the coasters have been off-the-charts and so unexpected. I never could have predicted such a positive and supportive response. My son is working so hard (night and day, literally) trying to make the orders and to get them shipped out in a timely fashion. As you might imagine, the Knitting Coaster Set is the most popular by a landslide. I believe an "A" is coming his way.

So my heartfelt appreciation is being sent to all of you, dear Knitters. Thank you, friends. 

Secondly, the lucky winner of the 9 beautiful skeins of Manos Silk Blend is kmacmillan2003 (rav id)!! Katherine is from Saskatchewan, Canada so I know she needs a handknit sweater or two in her closet. The Manos will come in handy. I have already contacted her. Congratulations! 

Now, for even more big news today I have a brand-new shawl pattern that is available as of today! I have been anxiously waiting for the word from Infinite Twist as to when the kit is being launched and I woke up to an email from Cate Carter, the owner and creative force behind Infinite, telling me that the Hayward shawl kit is now available.


Let me start at the beginning for a brief moment. Last fall, I released another shawl pattern with Infinite Twist called the Prairie Ridge Shawl. I am so proud of the Prairie Ridge Shawl and everywhere I go to teach I have people talk to me about this shawl. I have seen it made in the original handspun from Infinite Twist as many bought the kit version and I have seen it made in beautiful sock yarns and dk weight and sport weight yarns as well. I have seen a lot of versions made in Madelinetosh yarns for some reason. The shawl works beautifully in any weight. The reason I am bringing the Prairie Ridge Shawl up now is because I did a blog post that explains the yarn company Infinite Twist in great detail. 



The Prairie Ridge Shawl was such a big hit that when Cate came out with a new commercial yarn called Helix (a DK weight yarn) she asked if I would like to design another shawl for her company with her new yarn. Of course I would love to and have done just that. Click here to find out more about Helix. It's 100% springy merino wool.

Here is the vital information and description for this light as air crescent-shaped shawl:

By the way, after the holidays I am planning a potential knit along for the Hayward shawl. Let me know if you are interested in joining me.

The pattern is now available in KIT form from Infinite Twist! There are 4 great colors to choose from and the kits are beautifully pulled together by the talented owner of Infinite Twist, Cate Carter. The kit price starts at $56 and includes options and free shipping to the US and China! 
Click here to go directly to the kit information! 
In two months (December 2014) the individual pdf pattern will be available in Susan’s Ravelry pattern shop for download.

From Susan:
The Hayward Shawl was created and knitted during a fantastic week in August that my family spent in Hayward, a sleepy little tourist town deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

The shawl is a long crescent shape with stockinette stitch, garter stitch, and a couple of very simple lace patterns that reflect the ripples and tiny waves in the small crystal clear blue lake next to our log cabin.

The Clear Water colorway was chosen for the original sample because both the skies and the lakes were the deepest, clearest shades of blue - both bright and dark, exactly like the Helix yarn in front of me. I couldn’t take my eyes off either of them, the yarn or the natural surroundings.
This top-down crescent-shaped shawl is a joy to knit, being both simple and interesting at the same time.

About this Pattern
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Skills Needed: Basic knitting skills, plus increases (yo, kfb).
Finished Size:
Wingspan: 72 inches / 180 cm Depth at center: 16 inches / 40 cm
Yarn:
Infinite Twist Helix, 600 yds / 200 grams. Samples shown in Clear Water and Lichen.
Needles:
U.S. size 6 / 4.0 mm circular, 32 inch / 80 cm long, or any size yielding correct gauge. U.S. size 7 / 4.5 mm circular, 32 inch / 80 cm long, or any size yielding correct gauge. U.S. size 8 / 5.0 mm circular, 32 inch / 80 cm long, or any size yielding correct gauge. 

This pattern is offered for personal, non-commercial use only, and © Susan B. Anderson, 2014. Used with permission by Infinite Twist. Visit infinitetwist.com for patterns, tutorials, and knitting kits.

Gauge (before blocking):
On smallest size needle: 22 sts over 4 inches / 10 cm in stockinette stitch On middle size needle: 20 sts over 4 inches / 10 cm in stockinette stitch On largest size needle: 18 sts over 4 inches / 10 cm in stockinette stitch
Notions: 30 stitch markers (if you want to mark off your lace repeats), yarn needle.
Abbreviations
K - knit
k1-yo-k - k1, but don’t drop the stitch off the left needle, yo, then knit the stitch again (2 sts increased).
Kfb - knit into the front and back of the stitch (1 st increased).
P - purl
RS - right side
st(s) - stitch(es)
WS - wrong side








I am so incredibly proud of this long, lovely and versatile shawl. It is knit in 660 yards of the Helix dk weight yarn which is dyed to perfection. It is a tonal variegated yarn and I had no trouble with pooling or adding in new skeins. The shape of the shawl, a long crescent, is one of my most ideal shawl shapes as you can wear it so many different ways.


What a great holiday gift idea for all of the knitters in your life! 

There are 2 kit options:

1. Full kit includes pattern, yarn in color of choice, needles and stitch markers.

or

2. Yarn and pattern ONLY!

Shipping is free for the US and China (where Cate is located)! The kit starts at $56. That is so reasonably priced that I don't know how Cate can do it. Please, if you are interested, check out Infinite Twist. It is a good company to follow.

The individual pdf pattern will be available for download at the end of December 2014 from my Ravelry pattern shop! So favorite or queue the pattern now if you only want the pattern and it will be available very soon.


I'll leave you with a couple of photos from the Hayward trip and the podcast episode that I taped while I was on vacation in case you missed it last August. I take you on a canoe trip at the end where you can see the blue sky reflected in the glassy lake water in the quaint and charming Hayward, Wisconsin.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think of the new shawl.

Giveaway time!

Please leave a comment if you would like to enter to win a full kit in your choice of color from Infinite Twist! Please only leave one comment that includes your email or Ravelry username. Please be patient for your comment to appear.






Have a great week! I'll be back soon with more.

Let the comments begin to enter to win a full kit from Infinite Twist for the Hayward Shawl!
Good luck!
xo ~ susan