Thursday, May 21, 2015

Yowza Weigh It Shawl 4 is Now Available!


Hi, Knitters,
The winner of the YOTH Yarns giveaway is..... elvensknits on Ravelry or Sharon Keller!

Congratulations to Sharon! I have contacted both Sharon and Veronika of YOTH Yarns to let them know and to coordinate the details of the prize. Thank you to everyone for the fantastic response. We had over 800 entries to win which is very exciting.

Now for some more fun news. I have finished the fourth shawl in my Yowza Weigh It Shawl series. That's right Yowza Weight It Shawl 4 is here!

The idea behind this continued study of shawl shapes is that you cast on using 8 ounces of a light worsted weight yarn (like the Miss Babs Yowza which is 560 yards) and you never count a single stitch! You keep track of what to do by weighing your yarn only one time while working on the shawl for the Yowza 4! 

The shape is an asymmetrical elongated triangle for the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 4. The entire shawl is worked in garter stitch including the applied edge. There is not a single purl stitch to be found. This shawl is incredibly simple with a 2 row repeat. You instantly have it memorized. 

All of the Yowza Weigh It Shawls 1-4 are based on the use of one skein of the very popular Yowza from Miss Babs. Other yarns could be substituted and would work fine. All of the shawls are incredibly simple, mostly all garter stitch, and they provide an excellent exploration of a variety of popular shawl shapes in a very easy to understand way.




Yowza Weigh It Shawl 4


Finished Measurements (after blocking): 78-inch wingspan, 16.5-inch depth

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 8 oz./560 yards), 1 skein.
The sample is knit in the Perfectly Wreckless colorway.

Weight of the finished shawl: 7 3/8 oz.

Needles: US size 8/5mm circular needles, 32-inch or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Materials:
Yarn needle to weave in ends
A detachable stitch marker
Kitchen scale that weighs in ounces and grams

Abbreviations:
k  knit
kfb  knit in the front and back of the same stitch to increase 1 stitch
k2tog  knit 2 stitches together to decrease 1 stitch
st(s)  stitch(es)
RS  right side
WS  wrong side

Pattern Notes:
The shawl is knit from side to side on the bias with a slow increase of stitches on one side. When a key amount of yarn is reached an applied garter stitch edging is added to finish the shawl. There is a continuous ribbed edging option in the pattern for those not interested in an applied edge detail.

In celebration for the Yowza 4 pattern release I have a discounted sale price for all 4 Yowza Weigh It Shawls. I have changed the price for all 4 Yowza Weigh It Shawls to $1.00 off the regular price of $5.00. 

The discount sale price of $4.00 is good from today, Thursday, May 21 through next Thursday, May 28th! After May 28th the price will go back to $5.00. 


Here are some photos of the shawl for you to enjoy. Note that no filters or any type of alteration has been used on the following photos and yes, the yarn is that brilliant on its own!









Thanks for stopping by! Have a great long holiday weekend if you are in the U.S. 

xo ~ susan

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Episode 14 ~ Knitting Talk & a YOTH Yarns Giveaway!




Hi Knitters,
I have a new podcast episode for you today. I am sharing some of my favorite new and new-ish video podcasts, new to me yarns, a finished shawl design, a sock in progress, and a huge giveaway for YOTH Yarns!

Click here to watch the my podcast on YouTube! 

Links:
Video Podcast recommendations:
Junk Yarn Podcast
A Homespun House Podcast
Little Bobbins Knits Podcast
Little Bobbins Etsy Shop
A Wee Bit Knitty
Sara Wright ~ LoveSockWool Podcast and Etsy Shop
Manda Rine's Podcast
Buckaloo View Podcast
Round the Twist
Disascraftwork
Stitched in Sweden

Vibes & Scribes Donegal Tweed
Cakewalk Yarns
Must Stash Yarns

Paula of the Knitting Pipeline
The Summer of Paula Episode
Hyla Brook Shawl

Curious Handmade ~ Knitting Pipeline Retreat Special podcast

Sun Valley Fibers
SSK Retreat ~ July 2015 in Nashville
The Knit Girllls Podcast

photo from YothYarns.com

Above is a photo of the Gradient Yoth Yarns sets that are displayed so beautifully on dowels. These sets were the hot item at the last Vogue Knitting Live in Pasadena.



Yoth Yarns Website

Yoth Yarns Designs on Ravelry

Yoth Yarns Giveaway ~ 
A sweater's worth of Big Sister! That's 6 skeins, 231 yards per skein in DK weight. Superwash Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend. You will work out the colorway with Veronika! I think you will love this luxurious yarn. Thank you to Veronika for the generous prize.

To enter to win please leave a comment on this blog post. Please only leave one comment and include your Ravelry username or an email address. Please be patient for your comment to appear, there is a delay before it will show up on the blog comments. Only click on publish one time.

Good luck! Thanks for watching. I'll be back soon with a randomly selected winner.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

April Travel Review & Kit Winners Announced






Hi, Knitters,
Well, today is the day. Anne Vally of Little Skein upped the ante due to the ENORMOUS response to the giveaway. She decided to offer 2 of the Big Woods Luxe Kits as prizes. I have randomly selected 2 winners from the 1,077 entries, each will win a Big Woods Luxe Kit from Little Skein.

The winners are.... lindarumsey and sewmanygirls (both rav usernames)! 


Congratulations to the winners. I have given your names to Anne Vally of Little Skein and she will be contacting you via Ravelry pm to gather your preferences and mailing addresses to send your kits. Thank you for the overwhelming response.

Click here for the Little Skein Etsy Shop!

Anne asked me to pass on some further kit information to you. There are still some of the Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering Big Woods Kits available in the red- Mr. Edwards and green- Big Woods colorways! The golden Half Pint colorway is sold out. Also, be sure to note that Anne provides many different kit combinations so there is something for almost any price range, you can pick and choose.

collage photo provided by Little Skein

I wanted to thank Anne for sending me my shawl sample back to keep and wear and for including some of the lovely kit items as gifts in the package. One of the available kit items she sent, which is my favorite by far, is the photo collection by Joy Prouty. I follow and love Joy Prouty on Instagram along with tens of thousands of others. I am framing these Little House photos, signed by Joy, and will be hanging them in my home studio. They are joyful, peaceful and perfect. The photos are from Joy's personal collection and include original photographs of her visit with her family to the Ingalls' Homesteads in Walnut Grove, Minnesota and DeSmet, South Dakota. 

Read all about this beautiful Little House photo collection right here! You can purchase only one photo or all of them.

Click here for the Little Skein pop-up shop!

Thanks to Anne for the giveaway and for the fun opportunity.

Now that May is here and I am home for awhile (or at least until SSK in Nashville this July), I wanted to share some photos of my April travels to Maryland, California, and Minnesota.

And with that off we go!
Than

Fun and successful Pasadena students are making their adorable 3 Wee Sheep. Some of the students got really far along during class which is always fun to see. Note (top left) the Yowza Weigh It Shawl in Miss Babs Yowza in the Funny Papers colorway, and the lovely Esther in her Quaker Ridge Shawlette (top right). Esther won the Arne & Carlos Regia yarn from my blog giveaway.


I loved the artsy stenciled walkways of Pasadena. What a pretty area.


Minnesota is where I got to meet lots of my Itty-Bitty Knits group members! And Twinset Ellen (center top row) of the Twinset Designs Podcast! And I was excited to hear Amy Herzog speak (top left photo) at the opening dinner for Yarnover. She was a wonderful and vibrant and informative speaker. Very impressive. I met a couple more Itty-Bitty Knits group members Carla and Robin (bottom left) at Yarnover.

My buddy Rae Lynne (bottom right) was at StevenBe's on Sunday. I have known her for a few years now through our Ravelry group. She gave me a couple of very sweet gifts from her Etsy Shop Chase Art. Thank you Rae Lynne!

I taught at both Yarnover and at StevenBe's in Minneapolis on the same weekend.


In Minnesota I also got to spend time with my son. Let's just say we ate A LOT! Many restaurants were visited in a couple of short days. It was fun because he stayed with me at the hotel on Saturday night. I loved that time we had together. He is the second of my four children so as you can imagine we have never had a lot of one-on-one time together. It was wonderful.

I purchased the Irish yarn called Hedgehog Fibres in the Teacup colorway at StevenBe's. It is so pretty that I immediately wound it and cast on a shawl... more to come on that. I finished a pair of Arne & Carlos socks and started a very casual Instagram knitalong for any Arne & Carlos Regia socks with the hashtag #acregiakal if you are interested in joining in.

In summary, in April I taught on both U.S. coasts and in the middle. I taught Fair Isle Mitts and Fair Isle Hat workshops, 3 Wee Sheep classes, Mary, Millie & Morgan and Ben & Buddy Quince & Co. Doll Workshops, Build a Toy Workshops, Opal Sock Yarn Bunny and Mini-Sock Yarn Bunny classes, Little Dragon classes, Fox in a Vest classes, lectured at Vogue Knitting Live and spoke on a panel discussion.....  And I survived and had fun to boot!

Oh! And.....

I am quietly finishing up my next book with my publisher, Artisan Books. There is lots of editing and deadlines going on there as well. I am super excited about this new book and I hope you will be, too.

Psssst..... my new book is already up for pre-order on Amazon if you are interested in taking a peek!



And lastly, in Maryland Greg of the Knitting Daddy blog shared his new pattern samples with me. 

The hat pattern is called, Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hats. The hats are adorable! 

All of the proceeds from this pattern go directly to the Family Support Network of Central Carolina.  You can read all about it on the project page right here! Plus, there is a discount code for the month of May for $1 off: BLUEBERRY

What a great way to use up sock yarn leftovers. 

I'll be back soon with more. Until then, be well and knit on.
xo ~  susan

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Win a Big Woods Luxe Kit from Little Skein!


photo from Little Skein

Hi, Knitters,
I am so excited today to be able to offer a winner one of the amazing Big Woods Luxe Kits curated by Anne Vally of Little Skein. I was fortunate enough to be asked by Anne to design a shawl with the theme of Little House on the Prairie. Not only did I love these books as a child, I love them as an adult. I had recently reread the series before Anne had even contacted me and as you know I often hike in the beautiful prairies of a nearby nature conservancy. It was the perfect match!


Click here for the Pioneer Girl Shawl on Ravelry! The individual patterns for the shawl and mitten bookmark/ornament will be available in my shop in a couple of months.

There is an Instagram-along happening right now with the hashtag #littlehousealong that Anne is hosting. You can post photos with this hashtag #littlehousealong to enter. The photos don't have to include knitting, the photos can include the books, tv show, crafting related to Little House, cooking, prairies, etc.....  anything related to the Little House! There are already lots of photos posted. I think Anne is selecting for prizes during the #littlehousealong so don't miss this chance.

After I was in for the design, Anne and I talked about yarn and colors. She brought up the Plucky Knitter and she wasn't sure if that would work out. Well, as it happened I had seen Sarah, The Plucky Knitter, and her sister recently at Fibre Space where I was teaching and she was having a trunk show. We chatted enthusiastically about doing a project together. I have known Sarah since before she was the Plucky Knitter and that's getting to be a long time now. Since we had discussed doing a project together I thought Anne would have a pretty good chance at putting the two of us together for her kit.

It worked! The hard to get your hands on Plucky Knitter yarn was in! You get 2 skeins of Plucky Primo Fingering in this kit! This yarn is really nearly impossible to to get.

Then the colors were discussed. I wanted a deep red. I know that Laura had red wool mittens and Ma had a red shawl (in the Disney movie version of Little House and I think the mittens or a red hat were also mentioned in the book). Then The Plucky Knitter came up with the most gorgeous rich, red exclusive colorway. I was surprised and delighted that the color was named Mr. Edwards.  Who doesn't love Mr. Edwards? 

Anne and The Plucky Knitter came up with the caramel gold Half Pint colorway and the cool emerald green The Big Woods colorway. They are all so pretty and fun and perfect.

photo from Little Skein

Just look at the fabric Anne designed for the project bag! Click here for a better view! It's so cute and the inside fabric is just as sweet.

Here is description of today's prize, the Big Woods Luxe Kit worth $135 from Anne:

I am delighted to offer The Big Woods shawl kit, featuring an exclusive new shawl pattern by Susan B. Anderson and three exclusive new colors of Plucky Knitter yarn in the scrumptious Primo fingering base. The Luxe kit begins at $135 and you can customize your kit to include absolutely everything you would like from my Big Woods collection, which has involved eight different artists -- all of whom are passionate about and inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's incomparable stories of her pioneer childhood.
Your Luxe kit is made to order and will ship in approximately 3 to 4 weeks. It includes:
  • Pioneer Girl shawl pattern by Susan B. Anderson (which can be downloaded immediately)
  • 2 skeins of Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering yarn in one of three new colorways (fingering weight; 75% merino, 20% cashmere, 5% nylon; 385 yards/100g) (which is shipped immediately, so that you can cast on and join in the knit-along)
  • Project bag (drawstring bag at the base price or upgrade to a larger zipper bag for an additional $15)
  • Little Skein stitch markers in one of eight new designs
  • "Christmas in the Big Woods" row marker, an adorably handcrafted stack of polymer clay pancakes with lobster claw clasp
  • Lo-Lo "to go" lotion bar in the exclusive "Big Woods" scent or in an unscented version
  • A wee packet of wildflower seeds, to create your own corner of the prairie
  • A bonus pattern: Half Pint Mittens by Susan B. Anderson, to create an adorable bookmark, ornament or other decoration from a wee bit of your Plucky yarn

I am so proud of the design, Pioneer Girl. It takes 2 skeins of the The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering yarn. I wanted to do a modern take on the Little House theme. At first I was thinking about the traditional triangle shawl shape (which I love) but I know that many don't enjoy wearing this shape as much. I wanted to design a shawl that everyone can wear successfully. I also wanted the shawl to be super simple to knit. 

I decided on a long crescent shaped garter stitch shawl, it's so easy to knit and wear. I added a simple house-shaped lace motif. The final touch was an elegant and beautiful applied garter stitch edging. I love it so much. You will have it memorized in no time and the applied edging will zip right along, I promise. Of course you could always leave the applied edging off and call it a day after the lace motif but I think it really makes the shawl something special. 



The photos above are my iPhone photos of the Pioneer Girl shawl as it was blocking. You can see the full shape of the shawl and a close up of the edging and lace. It is very sweet. This is a great first shawl, first lace, first applied edging for knitters of any level of experience.

After I finished the shawl I kept looking at the leftover yarn and thinking we really needed to add a little something extra with that yarn. The books are the heart of this kit and as I was thinking I remembered Laura's mittens. I decided to come up with a mitten bookmark which fit in perfectly with the kit as a whole. Anne loved the idea.

Here are a few quick photos of the mittens on a string pattern called Half Pint Mittens. This bonus-pattern is included in the kit: 





I think I like the tiny mittens on a string as much as I like the shawl which would come as a shock to no one. It is an adorable bookmark or ornament. I want to hang these little mittens on a string all over my Christmas tree and put them as present toppers next year. They only take a bit of fingering weight yarn, too. Perfect.

Anyway, if you'd like to win the The Big Woods Luxe Kit by Little Skein please leave one comment on this blog post. You must include your Ravelry username or an email address to be eligible to win. In your comment you can just say hello with your contact information, but if you feel inclined tell me what The Little House on the Prairie books mean or meant to you.  I'd love to hear. Please be patient for your comment to appear and only click on Publish one time. There is a delay before your comment is posted. 

Thank you to Anne Vally of Little Skein for this amazing kit and for offering the Luxe Kit worth $135 to one of you. Thank you for everything. The kits have been an enormous hit for Little Skein. Anne has had record-breaking sales and the shawl pattern made it up to #8 on the Ravelry Hot Right Now patterns. There are limited kits in The Plucky Knitter exclusive yarn (I think some of the colorways have sold out) so this prize Luxe Kit is a treasure trove.  

The pattern for the Pioneer Girl shawl and the Half Pint mittens will be available for individual purchase in my Ravelry pattern shop in a couple of months if you only want the patterns. I will let you know when the patterns become available for download.

Good luck and let the comments begin! 
xo ~ susan

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Along Moves April


Hi, Knitters,
April 2015 has been one of the busiest work months on record for me. Travel, deadlines, new project designs, teaching, lots of administrative emails and contracts, etc. I don't remember how it got scheduled this way but I am 100% sure that I am to blame since I run the show around here.

The winner of Kristin Nicholas' new book, Crafting a Colorful Home, is..... PurledUp on Ravelry!

Congratulations to Judy. I have contacted Judy on Ravelry with instructions and also Kristin to let her know about the winner. Thanks for entering and coming up next week I will be hosting a giveaway for the one and only Luxe Big Woods Kit from Little Skein. This is a huge package worth $135 so be sure to stay tuned for that.

I am off tomorrow for my final trip in April. I'm going to Minneapolis to teach at Yarnover and StevenBe's Fiberfest! I hope to see you there. Please come sit with me at dinner on Friday night for the kickoff for Yarnover. I would love that.

Today is just a quick share of a couple of things I have going on. I selected the yarn in the photo above for a book project I am working on. It is a collaboration book so I am in charge of one project for the collection. Whenever I am asked to select a yarn I always try to get Quince & Co. It is a big favorite of mine. I am lucky it worked out this time with Quince & Co. Owl which is a 50% wool/50% alpaca. It is soft, rustic looking and it has a great halo. I want 10 sweaters out of this yarn or maybe even an entire wardrobe..... Yes to that.

I am looking forward to working up this new design and that's all I can divulge about it right now. More to come!

Click here for Quince & Co. Owl.


I finished this lovely pair of tweed socks a week or two ago. It is the Regia Tweed Trend & Classic. I have a bunch of this in my stash, and I mean a lot of different colors. They had it at the Wisconsin Craft Market awhile back and I grabbed as many as possible when I saw it. 

When ordering or purchasing any Regia yarn be sure to check if you are getting a 50 gram ball or a 100 gram ball. Regia has both put-ups for the same yarns and I have heard from many that they order one ball thinking it is 100 grams only to find out it is 50 grams. A pair of socks for most all adults will need a 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn or 2 balls of 50 grams each. You may not use all 100 grams but you definitely need more than 50 grams.


The Regia Tweed Trend & Classic can be difficult to find. I recently found a source here from Sara of lovesockwool on Etsy (also watch her new podcast mainly about sock knitting! She's really cute.). 

This same shop also has the Arne & Carlos Regia in 50 gram balls available at this time and in every colorway! Go quick.

Yarn: Regia Trend & Classic Tweed in Hellgrau #00090.
Needles: Knitters Pride Karbonz US size 1, 2.25mm DPNS (I only use 6-inch dpns.)
Pattern: How I Make My Socks (my free pattern)
Sock blockers: From theloopyewe.com


I love looking at the heel flap, turn and gusset on my socks. It is the best part and seems somewhat miraculous every time. Thank you to the inventor of such a genius chain of techniques. Does anyone know who originated the flap, turn and gusset heel? I'd love to know. I need to look into that.

I'll be back with the Little Skein Kit giveaway! See you next week right here. Have a good weekend.
xo ~ susan 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crafting a Colorful Home ~ giveaway!

(photo of the book cover by Rikki Snyder)

Hi, Knitters,
I'm so glad to be home for a few days before leaving for Minneapolis for Yarnover and for StevenBe's Fiberfest this coming weekend. The classes for Yarnover are sold out, I believe, but there are still a few openings in the StevenBe classes for Sunday:

Both classes are being held on Sunday, April 26th at StevenBe's.

Click here for my Top-Down Seamless Doll Workshop (Mary, Millie & Morgan)! This workshop has become one of my most popular classes. The doll kits from Quince & Co. have sold out but the smart people at StevenBe's ordered a lot of the kits. You don't have to have a kit for the class, you can use your own yarn no problem but the kits are really nice.

Click here for my Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts Class! 2-Handed, 2-Stranded! I am teaching Fair Isle techniques, Latvian Braids, corrugated rib, simple chart reading and how to design your own unique mitts. I LOVE this class.

I hope to see you in Minneapolis this weekend. Let me know if you are going to be there. I will be at the dinner on Friday night for Yarnover and I'd love to sit with any of you for the dinner and kick-off speech.

Now for today's topic at hand. I am thrilled to see that my one of my favorite people in the world, Kristin Nicholas, has just published another book. This one may be my favorite yet. Here is what the book is about (from Kristin's website) and a few reviews from the back of the book:

Published on January 20, 2015 from Roost Books is my newest book is Crafting a Colorful Home with photos by Rikki Snyder. This book is my most personal to date. I let you in on how I decorate, collect, make, and color our 1751 farmhouse. Written with thrift and style in mind, follow my lead to make your home cozy, welcoming and artistic. The book includes:
  • 21 step-by-step projects to make your home cozy and bright including colorful sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, painting, crafting and more
  • 12 DIY techniques to freshen and transform your home with color, paint, and more
  • 1 favorite farmhouse recipe
  • full of colorful inspirational photography
Here are some of the advance reviews........
“Kristin Nicholas’s enchanting home is a richly layered canvas upon which her inspirations—from the rugged New England countryside beyond her windows to the vibrant patchwork of exotic fibers and fabrics that surround her—are played out with delightful yet masterful abandon, creating a modern-day Bloomsbury. Kristin’s sophisticated understanding of color, along with her fun and functional exercises, inspire me to rethink my own palette, or better yet, actually create the one I dream of.”—Alicia Paulson, author of Embroidery Companion and Stitched in Time and the blog Posie Gets Cosy

“In Crafting a Colorful Home Kristin Nicholas shares her belief that each home is ‘a blank canvas’ that each of us can turn into the home of our dreams. Kristin demonstrates that, through color and handmade home decor essentials and accessories, we can quickly transform an ordinary space into something extraordinary, and also welcoming, comforting, and memorable.”—Jo Packham, creator and editor-in-chief of Where Women Create

Crafting a Colorful Home brings together Kristin’s love of family, home, and craft into one vibrant volume of inspiration. Without breaking the bank, and without following the passing trends, Kristin guides us to creating a home that’s truly reflective of the family who lives in it—the passions we share and the color that surrounds us everywhere in the natural world. Full of great tips, tools, and techniques—not to mention peeks of the inspiring colorful corners of her rooms—this book is sure to get you started on bringing the colors of your life into the home you love.”—Amanda Blake Soule, creator of SouleMama and author of Handmade Home

(photo by Rikki Snyder, painting a coffee table)

The book is full of crafty DIY projects for each room of your house. I love this entire book from cover to cover. Before I was knitting so much I did all of the crafty things that in this book like, mosaic, painting walls and furniture, collecting thrifted home items, stamping, knitting, crochet, quilting, home decor, sewing, recycling fabrics, etc. I miss doing all of these different creative things and Kristin has got me longing to put down my knitting needles and dive into some other crafts again. I miss this kind of lifestyle so much. 

Kristin has really captured her multi-faceted creative soul this time. Although there is some knitting in the book, Kristin is going beyond just knitting and sharing her many varied talents with us. The tag line of Crafting a Colorful Home says, "A room-by-room guide to personalizing your space with color." And that's exactly what the book does. 

The chapters are:
In the Studio
The Garden and Entryways
The Kitchen
The Porch
The Living Room
The Dining Room
The Library
The Upstairs Bedrooms and Stairway

Kristin covers it all. The projects range from very small to very large. There is something for everyone, and every skill level. There are projects you could do individually, with children and friends, or with a group. 

The photos are stunning and personal. The book is photographed at Kristin's Western Massachusetts farmhouse. The house is a riot of color in the best way possible. I want to live there, period. The book includes fantastic photography of Kristin's home and farmland and setting. It is like nowhere else.

Here are some photos and projects included in Crafting a Colorful Home:




The mosaic pots really got to me. I used to make these all of the time and I haven't for so long. This summer I will mosaic once again, that's a promise. The pots make the perfect gifts, too. Kristin's step-by-step tutorial is spot on, detailed and clear, as are all of the project directions in the book.

(photo by Rikki Snyder, painted lampshades)

(Kristin's original book plates you get when ordering from Kristin's shop.)

Crafting a Colorful Home is chock-full of fantastic photos, crafts, ideas, information, how-to, tutorials, recipes, lifestyle, stories from Kristin about her farm life, nature, inspirations..... the list goes on and on. It is a coffee table book with endless hours of ideas and entertainment. What an achievement for Kristin this book must be. It is frankly incredible!

Here are some great Kristin links:

I subscribe to Kristin's blog and her newsletter and you should, too. She is a great writer and storyteller. I look forward to receiving updates and emails from Kristin every time. I never miss an opportunity to read anything from Kristin. I am a fan forever. I was a fan before I ever met Kristin in person and then after I met her I was an even bigger fan (if that's possible). 

To win a copy of Kristin's new book, Crafting a Colorful Home, please leave one comment on this blog post. You will LOVE this book! Please leave contact information in your comment, an email or your Ravelry username. Please be patient for your comment to appear on my blog, only hit publish once, there is a delay before it will appear.

I will be back in a few short days to randomly pick a winner!

Good luck and let the comments begin!
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Solomons, Maryland Retreat Recap

My travel knitting for the plane.

Hi, Knitters,
First, a winner has been selected for the two Quince & Co. Doll printed pattern books: Mary, Millie & Morgan and Ben & Buddy.  And the winner is..... honeysugar (rav id)!! Congratulations. I have already contacted honeysugar via Ravelry.

Apparently the kit for the Mary Doll is sold out (remember that they are a limited offer). There are still kits for Morgan and Ben & Buddy available. However, StevenBe's purchased lots of kits for my Top-Down Seamless Doll Workshop so I know they have some available for my students and possibly to sell. There are still spots left in this class on April 26th. 



Next, I have to mention the enormous response to the Big Woods Kits through Little Skein. The kits are inspired by the book, Little House on the Prairie. I designed the shawl and bookmark patterns that are included in the kit. I was teaching and there was no wifi so when the kit went live I kept in touch with Anne Vally of Little Skein via email to check in on how things were going. 

Here's how the kits are going from a few days ago:

Anne had a record-setting day on Saturday, April 11th, for the Big Woods Kit release. She broke the previous kit release record by 3-times! That's huge. Anne has really outdone herself. To quote Anne, "I'm BLOWN away!!"

Anne sewed 100 project bags to be ready for the release and now she has over 300 more to sew since the release. Again, that's huge.

The three Plucky Knitter yarn exclusive colorways have proven to be popular as expected. The gold colorway sold out first. There were only a handful of the deep red and there were still some available in the rich green colorway available. 

Anne had 300 kits available for purchase right away and blew through almost all of them.

The Pioneer Girl shawl reached number 8 on the Hot Right Now Patterns on Ravelry. The individual pattern for the shawl and bookmark will be available for purchase in my Ravelry pattern shop in June 2015 if you are wondering.

Little Skein is giving away a kit on Instagram right now and is hosting a Knitalong for the shawl coming up so stay tuned.  Little Skein is annielightknits on Instagram. You should follow her as she always has a lot of fun things going on.

I will be giving away a Luxe Big Woods Kit worth $135 in the very near future so stay tuned for that.

Now on to today's topic. I want to share a little bit about the retreat I attended last weekend in Solomons, Maryland. The retreat is hosted by the Reston SnB group (near D.C.). This group meets every Wednesday night and usually about 20 to 30 are in attendance. Every year the group hosts a retreat at the knitting group leader's home on Solomons Island Maryland. The leader's name is Marie and if you are interested in attending (the retreat is open to everyone not just group members), Marie's Ravelry username is NiteOwl. Click here for Marie's Ravelry profile, niteowl. 

Marie's historical home is spacious and is set up like a bed & breakfast. Some attendees stayed here and others stay at a nearby bed and breakfast and others stayed at a nearby hotel. 

I had a beautiful time, it was a treat. There were a total of 17 attendees, a few were in and out, but most all were there for the entire weekend. It was the perfect number of students. We had students come from North Carolina (knittingdaddy on rav) and New Jersey (christinenj on rav), and even  from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Margaret and her daughter who now lives in Maryland. 


The entire weekend was enjoyable due to the kind, fun, enthusiastic and welcoming students and the host Marie. Marie is one of the most caring, gracious, attentive hosts I have ever met. She is outstanding and beloved by her group and I can see why. She makes the most pleasant experience for everyone. There is not a detail that isn't tended to, and I mean down to supplies for the classes, winding yarn for the kits, ordering safety eyes for everyone, cutting out felt circles for the owl project, etc. The meals were at her home (and they were beautifully presented, DELICIOUS and healthy!) except for one dinner at a nearby pier restaurant. We walked to the restaurant, ate and chatted and watched the sunset. 

Thank you to the talented and fun group of knitters and to Marie. I really will never forget this past weekend together. I hope we all meet again in the future. I will come back any time, just name the date.

Here are some photos from the retreat: 


My classroom view. I taught on a huge enclosed front porch that included fresh air and bright sunlight!


Marie's exquisite historical home where 6 attendees stayed, including me. You can see the classroom, it was the gigantic front porch.

The view from my morning runs along the boardwalk. I got 5 mile runs in each day. What is the name of this bridge again? I can't remember.

Lunch is served. Bountiful meals were prepared each day. It was so good.

The view from the restaurant on Saturday night after class.

The Quince & Co. Doll Kits and patterns await the workshop early in the morning. The Doll workshop was the highlight of the weekend for many of the students and me!


My newest workshop is Little Owl! Quite a few finished their Little Owls during the weekend. The project has loads of good toy and general knitting techniques packed in the tiny project.

 The doll workshop is awaiting the start here. All is set up and ready to go. Don't they look sweet? 

Serious work going on!

More serious work going on!

Marie is on the end chair in the back and her daughter, Jackie, is on the front left. 

The students are concentrating so hard in these photos (that's why I snapped the photos, they didn't even see me) but I assure you that this group laughed so often as did I throughout the weekend. They were light-hearted, game for anything, and their hearts were really into learning and making all of the projects. I loved them all. What a fun group.

Jinann's Little Owl was a hit with the fun color choices. 

I loved Jeanne's partially finished doll storage method! 

A special thank you to Jeanne for the 1.5 hour drive to the airport on Sunday.


teaching photos from Greg, KnittingDaddy

This is a great retreat open to everyone! You don't have to be a member of the group to attend. Mark your calendars for April 2016 if you are interested. Contact Marie, niteowl on rav for more information. 

Marie's email contact is: nofrogging@gmail.com

I'm off to Pasadena for Vogue Knitting Live this weekend. I hope to see you there!


xo ~ susan