Friday, April 29, 2016


Photo from Making by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Hi, Knitters,
First things first, the winner of the Little Skein project bag is..... mwbbas (rav username)! Congratulations. I have contacted the winner and Anne Vally to get in touch via pm. I'm hosting another fantastic giveaway next week so stay tuned.

Second things second, I am teaching at the Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia, from May 19-21, 2016. I am teaching 5 workshops and there are still a few openings in a few classes, some are sold out. I would love to see you at the shop! I am teaching Build a Toy, Shawl Shapes, Egg to Owl, Seamless Dolls (Mary, Millie, & Morgan), and Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts

Third things third, I am excited to announce that I will be teaching at Knit City in Vancouver, Oct. 1-2, 2016! The teacher line-up has just been announced, click here for more information in the Knit City Ravelry group. The teachers include Clara Parkes, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Andrea Rangel, Ysolda Teague, Lucy Neatby, Kate Atherley, me, and many more! The classes are being announced in May and the registration is in July. Click here for the knitsocial website for more information

Now for some Flora! Quite a long time ago Carrie Bostick Hoge contacted me about a new magazine idea she was working on. She asked if I would contribute projects to the first two issues. The theme of the first issue is Flora. Carrie basically left it open but wanted something with flowers from me for her magazine pages. Well, I couldn't say no to Carrie as I am an admirer of her beautiful work. I loved being involved in her premier Making issue.

Click here for the Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite page on Ravelry!

Click here for Making Magazine! Carrie is offering a 20% discount for subscribers through May 10th. The first print issue is coming out in May and the second issue is coming out next fall 2016!

Click here to see all of the knit projects from Making Issue 1/Flora! The magazine includes handwork, embroidery, needle-felting, journaling, recipes, sewing, beautiful photography, inspiring text and more!

I came up with this sweet little set. I am so pleased with how it turned out. Here is the introduction I wrote about my inspiration and a little about the construction of the little flower & leaf set:

When I hear the word flora my mind goes straight to flowers and leaves and my youngest daughter, some of my most favorite things. When my daughter was a little girl she began her love affair with flowers and fairies. We collected fairies of all sorts, made handcrafted fairies, had fairy gardens in our yard and there were even fairy houses behind the couches and chairs in our living room. She and her neighbor friend had collected bark, moss, sticks and rocks to make elaborate and clever miniature fairy furniture. It was such a sweet and imaginative time and I loved every minute of it.
With the flora theme in mind I decided to pay homage to the Flower Fairies and Leaf Sprites that my daughter played with in her childhood. The knitted flower and leaf pockets or little beds, and the fairy and sprite are all worked entirely in one piece, no seaming to be found. The flower and leaf become the perfect places to tuck in the little knitted characters for sleep or for the perfect hiding places.
I hope this sweet pattern sparks the imagination of fairy-lovers everywhere!
This knitting pattern is from the first issue of the print publication Making.
The individual pattern will be available in my Ravelry pattern shop six months after the release of the magazine. 

The Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite set is knit in Quince & Co. Chickadee which is a sport weight yarn. I knit on US size 4 double-pointed needles. Every piece is knit completely seamlessly and in the round. It is an enjoyable knit.

The pattern will be released as an individual download in my Ravelry pattern shop six months after the release of the magazine.

Here is some pattern information:
Finished measurements 

Flower: 41⁄2" [11.5 cm] wide and 6" [15 cm] tall Leaf: 31⁄4" [9 cm] wide and 4 1⁄2" [11.5 cm] tall, without stem
Sprite and Fairy: 3" [7.5 cm] tall

Chickadee by Quince & Co. (100% American Wool; 50 grams / 181 yards [166 meters])
One skein in each:
Pomegranate (for center color) and Shell (for petals)

Fairy: Split Pea (for body and stem), Petal (for head), Frank’s Plum (for hat), and Egret (for wings) 
Leaf: Split Pea (for leaf) and Twig (for stem) Sprite: Aleutian (for body), Chanterelle (for head), Honey (for hat), and Egret (for wings)
25 yards [23 meters] or less of each color in sport weight yarn
• One set double-pointed needles (dpns) in
US size 4 [3.5 mm]
Or size to obtain gauge
• Locking stitch markers • Tapestry needle
• Fiber ll
24 sts and 40 rnds = 4" [10 cm] in stockinette stitch, after blocking. 

The little hats are removable. They look like little acorns.

 The Leaf Sprite is so sweet in the lovely Chickadee colors.

The Flower Fairy and Leaf Sprite both have little tiny wings on their backs.

I hope you'll take advantage of Carrie's 20% off for the first two print issues of Making that is good through May 10, 2016! Click here to find out more. I have seen the first issue and I promise that you won't be disappointed. I want to make everything in the issue! The sweaters and cardigans, hat, shawl, cowl, baby bonnet, the embroidery and sewing and recipes are all so well done. The entire issue is inspiring.

Carrie Bostick Hoge is a creative force in our industry with so many talents. Her photography style and design style is one of the best I have ever experienced. It draws you in and makes you want to stay.

The Branches and Buds Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge is jumping on my needles! I can't wait to get started on this gorgeous, clever design. Carrie knows how to make a simple design with just a bit of detail to make it stand out. The Branches and Buds Pullover is a perfect example of simplicity with a little twist. The pullover is worked in Quince & Co. Chickadee as well. Maybe use the Chickadee for the Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite for the buds on this sweater ~ the perfect yarn combination. 

I'll be back soon with more! Have a great weekend, friends.
xo ~ susan

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Episode 24 ~ Sheep Heid, Pattern Sale & Little Skein!

photo from
Hi, Knitters,
I have a new podcast episode up on YouTube. Click here for Episode 24!
I'd love to see you around the interwebs.

I have two quick and important announcements: 

~ I am running a huge Spring Pattern Sale of 40% off my entire Ravelry Pattern Shop, including eBooks, from today, April 20th to the end of the day on Monday, April 25, 2016! 

To get the discount please use the code: SPRING2016

~ The second announcement is that I am giving away one of those adorable Little Skein original fabric project bags today! The bag is called, Create, and it is wonderful. 

Thank you to Anne Vally for the fun opportunity! To enter to win the project bag please leave one comment on this blog post. Please include your email or Ravelry username so I can get in touch if you win. Please be patient for your comment to appear, it takes awhile for it to show up on the blog comments. I'll randomly select a winner early next week!

Now for some links for the things I talked about in the podcast:
Sheep Heid by Kate Davies
Kate Davies Designs website
Schoolhouse Press sells Jamieson Spindrift
Miss Babs Yowza
Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag
KnitCircus Gradient Stripes Matching Socks Set in Come What May
Yarnover 2016
Crofthoose Hat
Signature Needle Arts dpns

Here is the top of the Sheep Heid hat before blocking! It's phenomenal.

You can see my pile of ends after only a couple of inches!

The Knit Circus Gradient Stripes socks are beautiful! 

Thanks for joining me today. Good luck if you enter the win the project bag from Little Skein.
I'll be back next week to randomly select a winner.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Knits of the Week

Hi, Knitters,
I'm popping in with the winners of the giveaway for two kits from Never Not Knitting for my designs, Little Owl and Squirrel and Acorns.

The winners are..... laurasimo and simbaswing (both rav usernames)!! Congratulations.

Both winners have been contacted via Ravelry. Thanks for entering and for the kind comments, I really appreciate it. I will host another giveaway very soon.

The perfect seasonal quote in my notebook says:
"The grass grew green again and the woods were full of wildflowers." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Now for the socks. I finished the second sock early this morning. The yarn is the only sock yarn I have knit twice. I gave the first pair away and vowed to find the yarn to knit another pair to keep. 

I found the yarn again and have had it for a couple of years. The other day I saw it sitting on a shelf and decided to finally cast on. I wasn't disappointed! The color lived up to my memory and beyond. I love these socks. 

Yarn: Opal Schafpate III color #5096 (Unfortunately, I don't know where to purchase this yarn at this point.)
Pattern: How I Make My Socks - my free pattern
Sock Blockers: from

This week I also revived an old project that was cast on at least a couple of years ago. The hat pattern is Sheep Heid by Kate Davies. I am using Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in the same colors as the pattern uses, the naturals. It is beautiful and fun. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I have so much work to do and I am sure you are all busy, too, so I won't keep you long today.

I also hope to get outside to enjoy the warming weather this pretty spring week and of course, to visit the wildflowers in the woods near my house. I hope you get to do the same.
xo ~ susan 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Episode 23 ~ Sock Mania

Hi, Knitters,
It's great to back! I have a new podcast episode and a super cute giveaway, too. Be sure to leave a comment on the blog post to win a kit from Never Not Knitting for the Squirrel and Acorns or the Little Owl.

Click here for the direct link to YouTube for watching Episode 23.

Subscribe on YouTube ~ susanbanderson
My Instagram ~ susanbanderson

Here are the links:

I'm wearing Owls by Kate Davies

Crofthoose Hat by Ella Gordon

Croft House by Julia Marsh

Fibre Space ~ my upcoming workshops in May 2016, Alexandria, Virginia.
Links for more information on the classes:

photo from Never Not Knitting

Today's giveaway is for the kits, either the Squirrel with Acorns or the Little Owl. I showed these in detail on the podcast. You get all of the yarn, the stuffing, embroidery floss and best of all, a code for the downloadable pattern on Ravelry! 

I will randomly select two winners, one for each kit, from the comments on this post in a few days.

To enter to win please leave one comment on this post that includes your Ravelry username or an email address so I can contact you if you win. 

Good luck if you enter to win! Thanks for watching.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Craftsy Class ~ My First Toe-Up Socks!

Hi, Knitters,
First, the giveaway for my new Craftsy sock class is over, the winner was selected by Craftsy and I have contacted the winner via email with the link to receive the class! Thanks to Craftsy for the class. In one day we had close to 800 entries to win so that was remarkable. Thank you for the interest.

Now for today's news.

Today is an exciting day. I have a brand new Craftsy class has launched, My First Toe-Up Socks! It's really here!

This is my third Craftsy Class. You may or may not remember my other two classes (these are 50% off links for these two classes, too!):


All of the links to the class are provided to me by Craftsy and they are affiliate links. I get a small credit when you go through the links provided on my blog for Craftsy. Thank you if you click through here. I appreciate it.

All of the photos in the post have been provided by Craftsy. Here is the video trailer for the class:


I am so excited to be back with Craftsy once again. The toe-up sock class was a pleasure to prepare and a pleasure to film. It was hard and thorough work but I loved it. I researched and experimented and knit numerous toe-up sock using different techniques until I decided on the final version of the sock I would teach for the class. It was fun and exhilarating to dive into one subject so wholeheartedly. I really enjoyed the entire process. 

I am usually a cuff-down sock knitter so for me to switch directions of the sock construction and think about a "first-time" toe-up sock knitter was pretty easy for me. My goal for this class was to gather and to teach the simplest and most effective techniques, in my opinion, for knitting toe-up socks. I think it worked out well. 

The rainbow yarn in the title card is from Quaere Fibre.

Required skills: 
A skill prerequisite for the class is that the knitter has a general knowledge of the knit and purl stitches and is comfortable working in the round on either Magic Loop or on double-pointed needles. This is important! I go over these methods of working in the round but I am assuming the student already has a prior grasp on the concepts. 

Techniques and information covered in the class:
~ Both double-pointed needles and Magic Loop techniques are included

~ Pattern sizes include 2 weights of yarn and 3 sizes for each weight: 
          Worsted Weight socks in Small (Medium, Large)
           Fingering Weight socks in Small (Medium, Large)

~ Foot measuring to pick the correct size

~ Judy's Magic Cast-On with simple tips for memorizing

~ Afterthought Heel waste yarn placement with a twist

~ Texture and cuff alternatives, adding different yarns/colors, and how to make matching socks with striping or patterning yarns

~ Russian Bind-Off in pattern for a stretchy finish

~ Picking up stitches and working the Afterthought Heel (and how to close the gaps at the the top of the heel!), with a method for making a deeper and better fitting heel using this technique

Six detailed lessons are provided. The pace is comfortable and informative, intended for true first-timers, but it is chock-full of information for experienced knitters as well.  

I had a great time filming at Craftsy. It has changed so much since I was there in 2011. The company is at a new building with at least 5 studios filming at the same time. The building is fun and bubbling with creativity. When I filmed five years ago the small studio was about 100 degrees due to the burning hot lights. This time the temperature was so comfortable. I dressed thinking it was going to be so hot under the lights but it turns out I could have worn my handknits. If there is a next time I will dress for the more comfortable temps.

Here are some photos from the class!

I knit the worsted weight sample socks in the Craftsy yarn, Cloudborn. It's a superwash merino. I believe Craftsy has kits available for the class.

The sock above was knit in different colors to show the parts of the sock, a sock map! I refer to the sock map sock throughout the class.

I hope you enjoy the new class and maybe the old classes, too! Let me know if you decide to partake. 

xo ~ susan

Monday, March 28, 2016

Craftsy Class Giveaway ~ My First Toe-Up Socks!

Hi, Knitters,
I am having a one day giveaway for my brand new class on The new class is called, My First Toe-Up Socks, and it will be officially released tomorrow, March 29, 2016!

Click here to enter to win my new class, My First Toe-Up Socks!

Tomorrow the winner will be randomly selected at Craftsy and the class will be given to the new winner! Craftsy will be contacting the winner. Good luck if you enter to win.

This is going to be a quick giveaway turn-around but what a great opportunity for one lucky person.

Tomorrow I will be announcing the class and giving you more details about the content and links. I am so excited about this one, it's one of the best things I have done yet for sure.

Until tomorrow!
xo, susan

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This Week

Hi, Knitters,
Wow, this week is going fast. First, I randomly selected a winner for the garter stitch tray made by Creative with Clay's Charan Sachar. The winner is.....

frecklesandpurls (rav username)!!

I've contacted the winner and have already mailed off the prize! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered. I'll host another giveaway very soon. 

Last week I cleaned out my sock drawers, weeding through the years of sock knitting adventures. I reorganized, folded, and got rid of many of the old, worn and ill-fitting pairs that I really don't wear any longer. I am really pleased with every pair now resting in the drawers. I counted 53 pairs of beautiful handknit socks that spark joy Marie Kondo-style. I now have room to add more to my favorite sock collection and it feels really good to be organized once again. 

This all started because of my sock knitting teaching as of late. I am really proud to announce that on March 28, 2016 my new Craftsy class will be going live. I'll announce it here with a coupon code for a discount and I think I will be able to have a giveaway for a free class (I'll have to double-check on these things but I'm pretty sure it will be okay) so please check back here to find out more.

The class title is.....

My First Toe-Up Socks!

I have seen the class footage already as a preview and it looks really good. I am feeling great about it and I hope you will check it out. I will talk about it in more detail next week but it is a skill builder class where I go into depth about measuring your foot (3 simple measurements), Judy's Magic Cast On, increases and decreases, Kitchener stitch, Russian Bind-Off, and an afterthought heel. It is jam-packed with good information. Also, I have written a pattern for the class with 6 different sizes, 3 sizes each in both fingering weight and worsted weight.

More to come next week!

The photo above is my preparation for my new workshop called, How I Make My Socks, which I taught for the first time in Sarasota, Florida at A Good Yarn. It was fun and I think it went well.

Now for a little about the trip to Florida.

My daughter and husband tagged along for the trip so that made it extra fun. We rented a car and drove about an hour from Tampa to Sarasota. It was such a warm, pretty drive. The bridges were beautiful and seeing the ocean always feels so good and exciting. 

The traffic was tough and it took a long time to get our rental car and to get to the hotel but I got settled in at the hotel for a few minutes before heading off to A Good Yarn for a book signing, meet and greet. It was really fun. 

Susan Rife, a knitter who happens to be a reporter for the Herald-Tribune, was at the shop waiting to interview me for an article for her newspaper. We did a quick interview and the next day there was a fun article about my visit in the paper.  

photo by Susan Rife for the Herald-Tribune

It was fun to see how shop owner, Susan Post, had really planned well and had an enormous table filled with all of my books, stacks and stacks of them. It was great to see the number of books dwindle down over the weekend. She didn't have many left at all and she told me she could have sold more of the books that sold out. I think it helps so much to have the knit samples out next to the books so I was glad I brought quite a large trunk show along. 

photo by Susan Rife for the Herald-Tribune

I was really happy to meet Luann Pezet who drove 6 hours from the east coast side of Florida for the meet and greet. She was just adorable and her husband was very kind to accompany her for the journey. Luann is pure joy and I loved hearing about her 10 grandchildren. They are lucky to have her. Thanks for coming all that way to the shop, Luann!

Thank you to Susan Rife for the article in the paper. I really appreciate it.

Me, Susan Post and Laurie (@luvprettyyarn on Instagram) at dinner Saturday night.

I had a great time teaching at the shop with full classes of enthusiastic learners. Laurie was kind of my right-hand throughout the weekend. I really enjoy her and Susan so much. They were so gracious and helpful the entire weekend. I had many students who came and took every class and there were people from all over the country attending. It is a unique community because some were vacationing and happened to be there right on the same weekend so it worked out well. On a funny side note, I don't think I've ever been around so many Susans at one time. I had multiple Susans in every class, Susan Post is the owner and Susan Rife wrote the newspaper article. 

I ate some delicious meals at local restaurants, my family had a ball playing on the beach while I was teaching, and I met so many wonderful knitters. The entire weekend was a huge hit. I hope to come back to A Good Yarn sometime in the future.

I want to thank Susan Post for contacting me over 18 months ago to set this up. It has been a long time in the making. A Good Yarn is more than just a spot to purchase yarn, it is a social gathering place full of vibrant happy knitters. The large round table in the front of the shop was never empty (not for my classes but with knitters just hanging out together at the shop). The feeling in the shop is happy and welcoming and this is due to Susan Post's genuine love of her shop and her gratitude to her customers. She loves her job and it shows.

Goodbye Siesta Key Beach and A Good Yarn Sarasota! 
It was the best!

The day after my return it felt good to think back about the great time in Sarasota, knit on a new sock, and have a cup of coffee back at my own kitchen table. My daughter made the wax-relief dyed eggs for me over the weekend. The sock yarn is from Biscotte Yarns, the closest colorway is called, For Him. The bag is from Lowland Originals on Etsy. The mug is old but was purchased at Starbucks at least several years ago.

There is so much going on right now and this week. My kids are home for spring break with lots of bustling in and out, high school soccer try-outs are happening this week, all of my kids have so much going on in their personal lives ~ lots of changes and excitement and plans. We have company coming to stay for the weekend and an Easter brunch at our house for family in the plans. Hectic as always, I'm sure you can all relate.

Take care and love to you all!
I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan