Thursday, September 18, 2014

Come See Me!

Hi, Knitters,
Well, I have started my fall teaching line up and it is off with a bang! Last weekend I had the most wonderful time at The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling. That is such a well-run event, like clockwork. I had fantastic full classes, fun and talented students, and great teaching company.

Next, I am off to The Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat and I can't wait. I am teaching two workshops and then I will get to actually retreat right along with the other attendees. That is a dream come true. We are going to be in Kennebunk, ME. I'll take lots of photos to share.

Then right after Maine I will be flying east again to teach at WEBS! I'm so excited about this (see the above photo). If you are in the Massachusetts area, please consider popping into one of my workshops. I am teaching a Fair Isle Hat Workshop and Sock Yarn Toy Knitting! These are my two most popular workshops wherever I go so I am glad I get the chance to teach these at WEBS.

Sock Yarn Bunny!

Little Dragon!

Fair Isle Hat!

Click here to find out more about my visit to WEBS, America's Yarn Store!

Or call 1-800-FOR-WEBS to get more information.

I would love to see you at WEBS. Let me know if you are going to be there!

You can also see me online through Craftsy.  I don't push the Craftsy selling on my blog but this is a great deal for all of you! They are having a competition with the instructors to see who can sell the most classes while Craftsy has this fantastic sale going on.

I have two Craftsy classes of which I am very proud. Everywhere I travel to teach I have students talk to me about my Craftsy classes and that makes me feel so good. I have the Not So Itty-Bitty Giraffe class and the Wee Ones class. The links to both of these classes are always on my blog sidebar. I would love to see you over on Craftsy in my classes!

For this sale, I get credit for ANY class you want to sign up for, not just my classes. I get credit if you use my Craftsy link which is right here:

Click here to browse all of the Craftsy classes for this amazing sale!

Thanks if you use the link! Thanks if you are coming to see me at WEBS! And most importantly, thanks in general for visiting my blog, subscribing and for coming out to see me wherever I might be!

I'll be back with more sweater talk next!
xo ~ susan
p.s. Right after WEBS I'll be teaching and speaking in Chicago at Vogue Knitting Live! Click here to register and find out more!! I'd love to see you in Chicago, too.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oldies but Goodies Video #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
Get ready to laugh as I take a trip down memory lane by trying on some of my oldest sweaters in this 5 minute video. If you can't see the video on the email update click right here to watch!

Some of these gems are over 25 years old at this point. I carefully selected the music by Natalie Merchant, Kind and Generous in particular, because I truly feel gratitude toward all of the sweater knitting experience that went into each of the garments. I learned so much during the time I knit these sweaters. No matter how dated and goofy they look now each one served a purpose and helped me improve as a knitter. Even now as I look back at the enormous amount of knitting that went into the oversized, gigantic look of this era, I remember them fondly even though I would never wear any of them today.

The most striking difference to today's sweater designs is how enormously WIDE the sweater style was and not even that long ago really. Some of the sweaters were like knitting two sweaters in one that you would make today. The sheer amount of fabric is somewhat amazing! I think the size really helped me get faster and better.

All of the sweaters in the video were seamed and knit flat in pieces (except the poncho, of course).

Here's a quick run-down on the 13 sweaters from what I can remember and in the same order as the video:

1. Fruit and Leaves sweater by Susan Duckworth: That is not the real name of the pattern. This sweater was knit using some unidentified Italian wool for the background and embroidery wool for the fruit and leaves. I purchased the wool at The Knitting Tree. The fruit was knit in using intarsia. I knit this sweater right after I got married 25 years ago and in my first year of teaching middle school. I brought it to school with me everyday and very occasionally I would get a few minutes at lunch to knit on it. I remember I had to learn a specific crochet edging for the collar. The fruit was supposed to cover the entire sweater front, back and sleeves. I got very burned out as you can see and put it only on the front but I think it's hilarious that I put one bunch of grapes on the center back. Why?

2. Rowan Magazine Flower sweater: I made this in Tahki Cotton Classic purchased from a long gone shop in Madison called Yarn It All. The owner suggested the Cotton Classic because of the color selection. This sweater is all worked in intarsia and I also had to learn a crochet border for this edging. The inside of the sweater is so messy. I had no idea what I was doing.

3. Rowan Denim People sweater: I was so crazy for everything Rowan and especially the denim yarn. I just loved this yarn so much. As you'll see in the video, I bound off the neck way too tight and could barely get it over my head without leaving a mark.

4. Donegal Tweed Acorn Sweater: I have no idea what the origin of this cardigan is or where I got the acorn buttons. This one is very wide and short and the color selection is off somehow. I think I duplicate stitched on the acorns and the button band is sewn closed I think so I didn't have to make buttonholes. The entire thing is pretty horrible.

5. Rowan Summer Tweed Collection - light blue with leather-laced front. Super cropped but a little more fitted than some of the others. I loved that Summer Tweed yarn a lot!

6. Gigantic Cabled Rowan Double-Knit Wool ~ This huge sweater took me forever to finish and the pattern is from a Rowan collection. I learned how to cable on this one. The yarn was held doubled throughout and I remember that the yarn would make my hands itch while I was knitting it. I cut the fingers off of some cheap little stretchy gloves to wear while I worked on it. The funny thing is after I washed it it didn't make me itch any longer. I still am known to throw this one on for a freezing cold winter day. It is like wearing an enormous wool blanket as you can imagine.

7. Gigantic Red Snowflake Intarsia Sweater: This sweater is simply hilarious. It is made out of Lopi yarn purchase so many years ago, decades ago, at the Wisconsin Craft Market when they had one tiny aisle of yarn in the back. I think I used the same Rowan pattern as the cabled sweater but included a snowflake chart from another sweater (how clever of me!).  This one never got much wear and for good reason. It's pretty ridiculous.

8. Cream Rowan Big Wool Poncho: There was a time when Rowan Big Wool also came in a version where fuzzy wool bits were included. The pattern is Rowan, too. Do you notice the trend of the turtle neck? A lot of my sweaters used to have turtle necks. I don't mind a turtle neck to this day but not usually in my sweaters.

9. Flag Sweater: Another Tahki Cotton Classic knit for which I can't remember the pattern information. I did used to wear this one. For this past 4th of July my son wore this all night at our family celebration. It was pretty funny and I enjoyed that.

10. Oh Houndstooth!! This is a Vogue Knitting pattern from one of the old magazines. I LOVED this sweater so much after I knit it. I learned chart reading and colorwork here. I was in graduate school working as a P.A. (program assistant) for the School of Education at the UW- Madison in the late 1980s. I remember clear as day wearing this to work along with the matching pencil skirt I knit as well. Yes, I said handknit matching houndstooth pencil skirt.  And yes, I did wear them both together at the same time...... and I don't have the skirt any longer, not sure what happened to it. I wish I still had it. The yarn is unknown but I remember that it had a chain construction and it is a surprisingly light weight garment.

11. Orange Rowan Cork Sweater with leather ties: Clearly Rowan enjoyed the leather tied Henley style sweater design for awhile. Not much to say about this one. It's really not too bad.

12. Noro Kureyon Ribbed Turtle Neck: Not much to say about this one either. This was very fitted, a little cropped and a pretty simple style. It's probably 8 to 10 years old at this point.

13. Colinette Point 5 Ribbed Turtle Neck Sweater: This is a pattern from Interweave from the early 2000s and the yarn is a thick and thin wool. I remember that the yarn was very expensive and I bought it with a discount from the yarn shop where I was working. It is again a little too short but other than that it's not too bad.

Well, there you have it! 13 Oldies from the sweater chest. I should somehow use them otherwise, get rid of them, store them elsewhere, etc. You can see that even after removing the 10 Favorites and 13 Oldies from the chest that it is still quite full.

There are many more handknits still sitting in the chest. It would be nice to have room in the sweater chest for new sweaters to come and that's my plan.

Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls and Leslie from The Knit Girllls and I chatted last week about #projectsweaterchest and we have some fun plans coming up. We are hoping to get a sweater knitting movement going where we all knit sweaters together and share and spread the joy! I hope you'll consider joining in. There isn't going to be a short timeline, in fact it is going to be quite a long time frame so there isn't any pressure. More to come on that soon.

I'll be back soon with more of the Top 10 Favorite sweater patterns.

If you want to check out the 5 minute video of me trying on my favorite current Top 10 Sweaters click right here!

xo ~ susan

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#projectsweaterchest Favorite Sweater #3 Owls

Hi, Knitters,

All of the photos are taken from my own older posts about today's sweater.

Today is sweater favorite #3 for #projectsweaterchest! If you are just now joining me, I am cleaning out and organizing and hopefully adding to my big cedar chest where I keep all of my handknit sweaters. I have selected my top 10 current favorites. 

Now on to today's sweater! 

Needles: US 10.75 (Which I don't remember owning but I wrote in past posts that I used this size.)

I originally knit this as a pullover sweater. I knit Owls one size larger than I normally select. I made a 38-inch size when I usually select around a 36-inch size. Even with the up sizing this sweater was way too fitted for my liking. I had the correct gauge and was using the called-for yarn that the pattern suggests. 

If you look at the project page you will see in the photos that this is a very fitted bulky-weight sweater. I truly felt like a sausage when I put it on even after blocking. I was pretty disappointed.

The buttons for eyes ended up being only on one owl in the front and off to the side at first and then I moved the eye buttons to the back later. These are two vintage buttons a friend gave me from her mother's collection so they are very special buttons to me.

As you can see above, the waist shaping is all done at the back and it is a pretty severe waist shaping. 

If you choose to knit the Owls sweater you may want to consider both the size and the waist shaping. I have to say that I really don't like tight clothes so I may be more sensitive than others on the fit issue.

Well, this sweater was originally a clunker to me because it was so tight. I kept it in pullover form for a short while and never wore it or had any urge to wear it. I decided that the only chance the sweater had was if I steeked it down the front to make a cardigan. 

The decision was made without much thought, either the sweater sits unworn or I change it. I had no worries or hesitation about the steeking. I found the center front and since I hadn't planned on steeking I had to go right through the center of an owl. I wasn't sure how this was going to look in the end.

I used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch on either side of the center line before cutting. It was a very smooth and simple steeking process.

Here is the newly steeked cardigan without the button bands. 

It worked out so well! The center owl that was cut in half even looked fine and kind of disappeared after the button bands were added.

I actually had some leftover yarn to use for the button bands so that wasn't a problem. I quickly picked the edges up and knit the button bands. I planned out the buttonholes to fit 4 oval-shaped red buttons that I had in my stash. Red and gray go so well together.

Look how neat and tidy this steek turned out. It's perfection. The changing of this cardigan from a pullover to a cardigan took about a morning's worth of work. It was so worth it.

Here is the finished Owls cardigan. It is now one of my favorite handknit cardigans. If you prefer you could add buttons all the way down. The button bands gave the sweater a little more width and wiggle room on top and then by leaving it open at the bottom the fit is now perfect.

Here is the back view of Owls by Kate Davies. You can see that I moved the eye buttons to one owl in the back. I think it is so sweet looking.

I love the simple clearly written pattern. It is knit from the bottom-up, seamlessly, using an Elizabeth Zimmermann like formula with 3 decrease rounds at the top. The owl cable is so simple. This would be a really great first sweater pattern and first cable pattern. Plus it is knit on large needles with bulky yarn so it goes super fast. 

The Owls sweater also comes in a kid-sizes and is called Owlet. Owlet would be a really great first sweater because it is so tiny. I have the Owlet pattern in my library and want to knit a few up to have as baby gifts in the future.

Kate Davies is one of my favorite designers. She does loads of color work, hats, blankets, sweaters, cardigans.... she is all-around a pretty amazing designer.

I'm off to The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling at the end of the week. I can't wait to teach at this retreat for the second time. It will be a treat. I'll see you on the flip side!

Take care and let me know if you are going to knit an Owls or an Owlet or if you already have knit an Owls sweater. I'd love to hear what you think of the design and how your version fits. At this point there are over 7,500 finished Owls sweaters in Ravelry so I know some of you have probably already knit one.

xo ~ susan

Friday, September 05, 2014

#projectsweaterchest Top 10 Sweater Video!

Hi, Knitters,
I couldn't resist making a fun video beside my sweater chest trying on my Top 10 Favorite Sweaters for you with my buddy Cat Stevens singing away. I hope you like it!

I'm still going to write about the other 8 sweaters and provide links in the next upcoming posts. I did a video trying on a bunch of oldies but not so goodies, too. I'll work on editing that and post at a later date. It's pretty funny.

If you are an email subscriber please click here to see the video directly on YouTube!

Have a super weekend. I'll be back with more #projectsweaterchest very soon.

xo ~ susan

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Old Favorites #1 and #2 for #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
The photos in this post are from old blog posts of mine from about 4 years ago.

I had a really interesting email from Jeanette Huisinga, the owner of The Yarn Studio in Casey, Illinois. She raised some good points that I think are probably true for a lot of yarn shop owners. Jeanette sees that the majority of her customers are most comfortable knitting accessories, not sweaters. She says that many of her yarn reps say the same thing. In reference to my post about my Project Sweater Chest or #projectsweaterchest and my favorite handknit sweaters, Jeanette asked that I share my favorite sweaters, tried and true designs, in hopes of getting more people knitting sweaters. 

I think that's a great idea so thanks for writing with the suggestion, Jeanette. I went through my sweater chest yesterday, which is a large cedar chest, and pulled out the sweaters that I wear day in day out. It turns out that I have 10 favorite handknit sweaters right now. My plan is to take the next five blog posts and share two favorite sweaters in each of these posts. I am using the term sweater to also refer to cardigans.

So here it goes!  The 10 sweaters I list are not in any particular order.

Starting with two cardigans by Melissa LaBarre that I knit in 2010...... 

Favorite handknit sweater #1:

Yarn: Peace Fleece in the Grass Roots colorway

Needles: US size 7

I love the turquoise buttons I chose because the tweed flecks in the rustic yarn are the exact same turquoise color. It's a good match. I can't remember where I got these buttons.

I laughed when I found this old photo of the sweater in progress. I am always telling my students to clean-up as you go when knitting their projects so that when the knitting is done there isn't much left to do. I actually do what I say! I love that I had the buttons sewn on before I even started the sleeves, that's so me.

The cardigan is knit seamlessly from the top town with a yoke-raglan combination. The design is supposed to be a much more fitted cardigan but my version has positive ease and it is extremely comfortable. I may have left out any waist shaping if there is some in the pattern.

I wear this cardigan all of the time in the cold fall and winter months. I'm excited to wear it again during the colder months ahead. It is incredibly cozy and the Peace Fleece makes me feel comfortable and warm. I love this yarn.

The Garter Yoke Cardi is a very good beginner sweater. The pattern is clear and easy to follow. The concepts are basic and the end result is a very wearable and casual cardigan. The look of this cardigan can be changed a lot by the choice of yarn and the fit. A double thumbs up from me!

Favorite handknit sweater #2:

Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK in the Burnished colorway

Buttons: from Purlsoho

Needles: US size 6 and 7

I made this cardigan in 2010. I went on a book tour visit to Nina, a yarn shop in Chicago, and I wanted to purchase a yarn to remember the fantastic event at the shop. It was a great day. I was on the WGN midday show, my husband was with me, and then Nina's was a full-house for the signing. The yarn choices at Nina's are fantastic. I stumbled on the Mad Tosh DK and was intrigued by the Burnished colorway. It looks different in different lighting. The yarn literally changes colors. Sometimes it looks more on the brownish rusty side and sometimes it looks a brilliant green.  

I know that many people have gone away from the button-at-the-top only cardigans but I still LOVE them. The thing is that so often I don't button the lower half of my cardigan buttons anyway. I think the original pattern only calls for 3 buttons so I added a fourth button which makes it a little more secure. I love that the buttons are tiny.

If you don't prefer the buttons at the top you could easily add more buttonholes on the button band. That would be simple to modify.

The other thing to note is that this cardigan doesn't have short rows at the neckline and it has a wider neck opening. I know Paula of the Knitting Pipeline (and my favorite person to knit everything she knits), didn't like the fit of her Tea Leaves because she felt like the neckline was falling off of her shoulders. Mine isn't like this as it sits very nicely on my shoulders. Who knows why? Maybe the gauge was different or the sizing selected, it could be for many reasons, just be sure to consider the style of the neckline if you are planning on knitting this one.

The Tea Leaves Cardigan is a good first cardigan for people to try but remember that all of the ruching or those ruffly sections on the yoke have a doubled stitch count. The rows get very, very long in this section. More practice, right?  

I wear this cardigan day in and day out in the colder months. I throw it on with skirts and jeans. It goes with everything. It is incredibly comfortable and not too heavy. Since it is superwash wool, I have washed and dried it in the machine and it comes out as good as new. Tea Leaves is a definite winner!

Okay, so we have #1 and #2: 

I will make a compiled list in one place to refer to at the end of #10. I will also share some of my clunkers from the past which I think will make you giggle a bit. Lastly, I am going to share my future sweater knitting plans and the list is looooooooong and by that I mean super long.

More fun to come on the sweater knitting front! Have you started any sweaters? The Knitmore Girls Jasmin and GiGi, a favorite podcast of mine, have joined me or better yet we have joined together on the quest to improve our sweater chests. If you are on Instagram please post sweater photos with the tag #projectsweaterchest so there is an easy way for all of us to look at what others are working on. Jasmin has already talked it up on her podcast. Be sure to check out the amazing Knitmore Girls! 

And you don't need a sweater chest to participate. It could be a drawer, a bin, a closet shelf..... anything.

I hope you'll join in.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sock Report ~ Hudson Bay Socks Finished and More Started!

Hi, Knitters,
I have a quick sock update for you on this fine summer Sunday. This morning I finished up the toe on my Hudson Bay Socks and couldn't wait to slip the pair on my feet before using the Kitchener stitch to close up the toe. This is one lovely pair of socks. 

Here are some links if you are interested:
Needles: Signature Needle Arts dpns, US size 1/2.25mm, 6-inch length

I have been in touch with Jo Dee, the dyer and owner of Fishknits Yarn, because I wanted to warn her to get ready for a lot of orders of Canadiana sock yarn. I had a feeling this one was going to be super popular. Over the last week or so she has sold way over 200 skeins of Canadiana (I'm sharing this information with Jo Dee's permission). It has been really crazy!  Congratulations to Jo Dee. She is working hard to fill orders.

Now I know I will get some questions about how this yarn works when you are knitting socks. It is dyed in an interesting way. Each skein is dyed to make two socks with one striping repeat on each sock.  What I did was to get out my scale and I handwound two 50 gram balls, one for each sock.

I did do a little shuffling around with the yarn at the top to get it to work the way I envisioned the socks. I started at the top of the cuff with white. I did a 2 by 2 rib for 12 rounds. Then I knit 4 rounds. Next I found the start of the blue stripe in the ball which was right toward the start so I didn't have to look far. I cut the yarn and added in the blue stripe. The rest of the sock was completed by simply knitting the rest of the ball. Then I just repeated this for the second sock.

You could do toe up socks and just knit the yarn as is in the skein. The cuff will be quite long if you do it this way.

The cuff on my sock measures close to 7-inches before the heel flap begins which is the perfect length for me. I do have some of the white sock yarn left over.

Now I'm on to my next pair.....

Awhile back I heard about a new to me Etsy shop called Coloring Book Yarns. I think The Knit Girllls' Laura and maybe Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel both used this yarn and I loved what I saw. When I popped on the Coloring Book Yarns Etsy shop there happened to be a couple of skeins available. I quickly purchased the SF Giants (on the left) and the BMO (on the right) colorways.

I wound the balls in separated stripes. I have a video tutorial on how to wind like this right here.

Click here to go to the Coloring Book Yarns Etsy shop! I see the shop is empty and there is going to be an update on September 5th. I don't know much more about it and if you have questions you'll have to contact the shop owner through Etsy.

I put up the photo above on my Instagram and my Facebook and asked the knitters to vote on which sock yarn I should start next. The vote tipped toward BMO but there were lots of votes for the SF Giants colorway as well. For me the orange, black and white is more for Halloween not so much for the Giants.

If you are wondering what BMO is click here. I still am not exactly sure what it is but people seem to like it.

So when I was on a car trip last Friday I cast on the BMO socks! How cool is that striping pattern? What I really love about it is the use of the black stripes to outline the sections or color changes. Genius! The colors are really vibrant and stunning, too. 

Here it is a little further down the cuff, I'm still in the car here.

See that gorgeous orchid colored bag?

Here it is on the dashboard. I love this little project bag so much. I like the bright orchid fabric surprise on the inside. It is from Molly of A Homespun House podcast. I really enjoy her so much. Molly is from a little city right outside of Madison but now she lives in Berlin with her daughter and husband. 

I'm not sure if she's still sewing project bags. I bought this one through Etsy but it looks like Molly has a new website. You'll have to contact her if you are interested. I've had my project bag for awhile but this is the first time I've used it. The teacups are so sweet as are the polkadots. It is very well constructed.

Click here for A Homespun House website! Check out Molly's new shawl.

Molly just released a new shawl design called Whispering Pines. It is so pretty. I really want to knit this one up and soon. Great job, Molly! I can't wait to cast on.

Isn't there so much fun stuff out there for all of us to enjoy? What a great and interesting world of talented people we live in. And they share!

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back soon with more on #projectsweaterchest. I have some great ideas brewing.

xo ~ susan

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ben & Buddy ~ new pattern release!

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

Hi, Knitters,
Yesterday was an exciting day because I have new patterns released by Quince & Co.! That is always a thrill. Ben & Buddy is a small pattern collection I designed as an extension of the Mary, Millie & Morgan ebook released last spring, which is a girl doll pattern with clothes to fit. 

By the way, the Mary, Millie & Morgan ebook was and is one of the proudest moments in my knitting career for so many reasons. It was the culmination of timing and many years of knit toy designing. The set of dolls and clothes turned out even better than I could ever have imagined. These dolls are something I had wanted to design for years and it finally happened.

Photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Quince & Co.

I am teaching a doll workshop using the Mary, Millie & Morgan collection for the first time at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago in this coming October (click here for more information!).

Right after the collection of girls came out I began receiving requests to design a boy doll as well. The good folks at Quince & Co. agreed and so this summer I set out to design a boy doll and a few clothing items to fit. The Ben & Buddy set and the Mary, Millie & Morgan set go together so well. The dolls are designed to be together with a traditional look and appeal but also with a slightly modern twist for today's children. 

I started thinking that instead of knitting more samples of the boy in different color selections that a sidekick might be a better use of my time. And really what could be better than a boy and his dog? Not much in my eyes. This storybook pairing can now come to life through your knitting. 

Plus, you can pick the colors for you boy and dog on your own! That makes it even more fun. If you need suggestions for yarn color choices just check out Mary, Millie & Morgan for some great color combinations in Quince yarns for skin, hair and clothing colorways.

Here are the important links for Ben & Buddy:

Ben & Buddy pattern and yarn information on Quince & Co.

Ben & Buddy pattern information on Ravelry (the pattern will be in my pattern shop in 3 months, it is now in the Quince & Co. pattern shop).

Mary, Millie & Morgan ebook ~ the girl doll version!

Now let's talk about construction.

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

Both the boy and girl sets are worked completely seamlessly, all of the items, not just the dolls. The boy has some very different shaping and slightly different measurements to make him, well.... more boyish. And obviously the hair is different than the girl's as well. The boy's hair was definitely the most well-thought out and challenging aspect of this new toy design. I worked very hard to get it exactly how it should be and I am so pleased with the end result. The boy's hair is both knit in and finished with a little duplicate stitch. It is pretty perfect.

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

The shoes are like the icing on the cake. I LOVE those little brown shoes with the white laces. There is something really sweet about the combination. I also love the boy's knit in t-shirt and shorts. He already has a great play outfit when you finish knitting that last stitch on the toe.

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

The boy's wardrobe is simple, clean and functional. The colors in the Quince Chickadee sport weight yarn gives you so many options for the clothes. For my sample version I thought there was nothing better than a red cap, blue jeans and a sweatshirt gray sweater with a tiny bit of Fair Isle at the bottom edge. The clothes are so playful and again, boyish!

All of the clothes are seamlessly knit as well as the doll and the dog! These are a few slick and fun projects to knit.

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

The final piece of the set is Ben's loyal pup Buddy. This little guy is knit seamlessly from the bottom up with a very interesting technique I devised when you get to the neck. I have used this neck and head technique on other toys and have taught it in workshops. It is a total winner for looks, effectiveness, and simplicity. I think you will love it.

Buddy the dog sort of pulled the entire set together. This dog packs in so much personality. I am so proud of the expressiveness of his face. He is one lovable little puppy. Buddy is a plus for the set but he is also a great stand-alone piece for any child or dog lover out there.

Photo by Pam Allen for Quince & Co.

I hope you will enjoy this wonderful little 5-piece collection I pulled together and lovingly designed for one of the best yarn companies out there, Quince & Co. I love working with Quince so much and I hope our partnership continues for years to come.

Let me know what you think about Ben & Buddy! I'd love to hear about your thoughts and for whom you will be knitting the dolls. Will you make the set to go along with Mary, Millie & Morgan or will you knit Ben & Buddy without the girls? I am really curious about how the boy version will do in comparison with the girl set.

I often hear a lot of knitters say there isn't enough out there for boys as far as knitting patterns are concerned. Well, here is a chance to knit something specifically boyish for little boys. Little girls will love the boy doll, too, no doubt. The imaginative play will expand so much with these two new characters added to the bunch.

I'd especially like to thank Pam Allen for the ongoing support and for her beautiful photography. What an honor to have Pam photograph my work. All of the good people at Quince are wonderful to work with and I am sending them a very deserving and heartfelt thank you!

I hope you are all having a super week so far.

Go forth and knit toys!
xo ~ susan