Thursday, April 20, 2017

It was Grand and other knitting news!

Hi, Knitters,
I am back from a spring break vacation with the family and I want to share a little bit about it. But first, I am so excited to say that we have a new kit available over on Barrett Wool Co. for my Three French Hens pattern. You can purchase the kit with or without the Taproot Magazine (this is the only place the pattern is available right now). I think you will love this pattern, the kit, the yarn and the magazine!

In six months from now the individual pattern for the hens will be available for purchase on Ravelry.

In other news, I did a write-up recipe for adding short row shaping to the backside of a sweater. Do you see that swoop at the back in the photo above? I did that by adding in a few short rows before I started the ribbing on the Branches & Buds sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I love doing this so that the sweater doesn't ride up in the back. I provided a general how-to recipe that could be used for any sweater or cardigan, either top-down or bottom-up.

By the way, more sweater kits are in the works for the Branches & Buds sweater and should be available very soon.

Now for some fun vacation stuff!

So we took a week off and flew to Phoenix, Arizona, a place I had not visited before, and we had a fantastic time. My entire family came along with the exception of Peachy. College gets in the way of vacations sometimes. My sons and their significant others, TC and my husband, of course, were all there for the fun.

Anyway, we stayed in a rental home that was just beautiful. It was in a nice neighborhood and it was full of little luxuries. The house had an infinity pool and spa and a putting green in the backyard. There was lots of comfy shaded seating and umbrellas, and a huge grill and outdoor dining area which we loved and used a lot. We hiked, ran, biked, walked, ate really good food, relaxed, read lots of books, and just enjoyed each other. It was really nice.

On one of the days, we took off very early and drove to the Grand Canyon. We packed a picnic lunch and hiked all around the Canyon for several hours. The photo above shows one view. There is no possible way to capture the majesty and beauty of the Grand Canyon in a photo. It is a sight beyond your wildest dreams. I have flown over the Grand Canyon many times but to actually stand at the edge of it is humbling. I am glad I got to see it in person with my family.

On another afternoon we hiked Camelback Mountain. It has an "Extremely Difficult" rating and we were warned by a park ranger as we started up the mountain. This is an accurate rating for sure, the hike was no joke. The photo above shows one section of the hike and it was pretty much straight up with huge boulders to navigate the entire time. 

I have to say that even though my husband has climbed this mountain 5 times before he didn't really describe it as all that difficult for some reason. If I had known how challenging it was ahead of time I may not have done it. But I feel really good that I safely and slowly but surely made it to the top of the mountain and back down. It was a really hard hike for me, not so much physically, but more mentally. I loved it. The best part was choosing the path to take and maneuvering around, up and down those gigantic rocks. I was more concerned about the getting down part but I made it fine.

The kids at the Grand Canyon! 

We are so lucky to have the Baker in the family! That's my second son if you don't know. He is currently cooking at a fabulous local restaurant in Madison so he isn't baking as much right now professionally. His cooking skills are impressive, to say the least. At home he pretty much only shops at our local Madison farmers markets for his daily food. He was excited to visit the Phoenix open air farmers market on our last day. It was a good market. We ate an entire meal using only the market produce that night.

Above is the salad he whipped up for us. The salad in the photo consisted of Swiss chard, beets, grapefruit, fresh squeezed lemon juice (from lemons picked from the backyard tree), and salt. It was the best salad I've ever had. The rest of the meal consisted of grilled vegetables on skewers. I loved it all so much.  

On the trip I did a ton of stitching. I have so much embroidery that I want to do but I just don't make time for it in my busy knitting schedule. I took advantage on the trip. I started and finished two pieces.

The embroidery in the photo above is from my favorite, Rebecca Ringquist, and it is called the Red Line Sampler. I've talked about her pretty extensively in the past. Her company is called Dropcloth and she is fun and artistic with her work. I highly recommend her.

Click here for Rebecca's online classes on! These classes are so good. I've taken many of them.

The other stitching I finished is from Cozyblue and it is the little house on the right. Cozyblue or Liz makes adorable little stitching kits. These kits come with the needle, floss and printed fabric. I have a couple more of these to make in my stash. 

I've recently purchased a few interesting stitching items at French General, too. I'll share those soon but the bobbins holding my threads are from French General if you are interested. 

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you are all doing well.

I'll be back soon with more. 
xo ~ susan

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite Kits!

Hi, Knitters,
How are you all doing this weekend? Things are going well around my house. Everyone seems to be at a good place in their respective jobs and schools. This is always comforting to see as a parent. I have been hard at work on a few new projects, and I've been revamping a few older projects as well. That's always satisfying.

So I wanted to bring some new to life the little Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite project I designed for Carrie Bostick Hoge's first issue of Making Magazine. I decided to put together a fantastic kit for this sweet little project over on Barrett Wool Co.

To start, I reknit the project in our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Sport Weight yarn and it was a complete delight to dive into it. I absolutely loved knitting every piece of this set again. The pattern is really good and clear if I do say so myself. Sometimes you never know when a pattern is tech-edited and reformatted to fit another publication how it's going to end up. This one is good!

The only thing I did differently this time around is that I went down a needle size. The pattern recommends a US size 4 needle and I used a US size 3. You might want to take note of this if you get a kit. I also steamed all of the parts with my iron after they were finished. With the Woolen Spun yarn steaming really helps to open up and make the yarn bloom so nicely. It makes a difference.

The custom box fits the six skeins and colors of our Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn perfectly. After you knit the toys they could be kept in the box or it could be used as a gift box, too. It is so sweet. That's my artwork patterning the top and sides of the box. I love the box so much. 

You can get the kit with or without the pattern if you already own the magazine or the pattern.

Please note that any purchases over on Barrett Wool Co. from April 9-16th will be sent out on April 17, 2017!

Here are some more photos of the kit:

These are some of the sweetest toys I have ever designed. I love how the fairies fit so perfectly in the little pockets. There is so much imaginative play that could be done with them. 

Again, please note that any purchases over on Barrett Wool Co. from April 9-16th will be sent out on April 17, 2017.

Also, we will be fully stocked again on Barrett Wool Co. very shortly! We are so excited and I have some wonderful things coming up over the next few weeks. Can't wait to share more. 

Alright, my loves! Have a super Sunday. I plan on getting a lot of knitting done today but I also have some new books lined up on my Kindle and that sounds pretty nice, too. I'd love to hear how you are doing and what you are working on lately.
xo ~ susan

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Super Clog Giveaway, Podcast news, and March Mayhem!

Hi, Knitters,
There is a lot going on today. First I posted a new podcast episode on my YouTube Channel. Click here to see the video on YouTube. I'll link all of the show note links at the end of this post. 

Next, I am so excited and honored that my Sheep! pattern has made it to the Final Four of the Mason-Dixon Knitting's March Mayhem bracket. We are in the Championship round. Thank you for voting and if you are up for one more vote I would really appreciate it. The voting is open today, March 30 and tomorrow March 31, 2017. Thank you so much for taking the time if you vote. 

I have put up a 20% discount for the Sheep! pattern on Ravelry (no code needed)! The pattern is set at $4.00 for today and tomorrow, March 30-31, 2017. Click here to go to the Sheep! pattern!

Now for a quick clog story...

I was in middle school when my mom bought me my first pair of Troentorp clogs. From then on at the beginning of the school year I would get a new pair of Levi's corduroys and a new pair of Troentorps. I was pretty much ready for anything with that kind of wardrobe. Years and years later, as an adult, I was at a doctor appointment and the nurse who was checking me in was wearing the same clogs I wore in high school. They were brown Troentorps with shoelace ties. I had forgotten about them and was completely enamored seeing her pair that day. 

Since that reminder I have been slowly building up my Troentorp clog collection. I think I have four pairs at this time and I simply love them. I especially love wearing them with my handknit socks. It is a super combination. 

I have been posting lots of Troentorp clog and handknit sock photos on my Instagram account lately. This lead the good people at Troentorp to contact me to see if I wanted to host an Instagram giveaway for a pair of Troentorp clogs. I said of course! I could not pass up this opportunity for my beloved sock-knitting friends.

To enter to win a free pair of Troentorp clogs of your choice do the following simple steps:

1. Leave on comment on Susan's Instagram post! Please do not leave a comment here on the blog or email me. Click here to go to the Instagram post to leave a comment

2. Follow @troentorpclogs over on Instagram! This is a must to be eligible to win. 

Troentorp has generously provided a 10% off discount code good through April 12, 2017 for you to use. The discount code is (same caps and space): Susan B

I hope you take advantage of this super fun clog giveaway and the discount code from Troentorp Clogs. 

I will be back in a few days to randomly select a winner over on Instagram. I'll be in touch with the winner at that time.

Show notes for Episode 28: Sweaters, Mittens & Hens

Barrett Wool Co. We now have it so you can sign up for an email notice when any out of stock item returns to the shop. This is an immediate email update from the shop so your odds are really good this way!

Barrett Wool Co. Kits

Taproot Magazine (includes the Three French Hens pattern) for sale now on Barrett Wool Co!

Soulemama ~ one of my favorite blogs!

Branches & Buds Kits  Sign-up for the email notice and our newsletter to find out when these kits hit the shop next week. They have sold out super fast the other two times we listed the kits. We have a big order of yarn coming in for this next round.

Three Color Bulky Twist Mitten Kits Grab one of these kits now! I don't know when we'll have this yarn back in the shop, it could be awhile.

Fringe Supply Co. tape measure bracelet

Tea Embassy Lemon Chiffon Tea

Jennie the Potter

Suburban Stitcher Yarn and podcast

Knitters Guild Knit In event (I'm on the schedule to vend Barrett Wool Co. and to teach next year 2018!)

Wisconsin Woolen Spun Yarns

Home Fingering Weight Yarn

Three French Hens on Ravelry

Making Magazine 3 coming to Barrett Wool Co.! I have an adorable design in this next issue in May, 2017.

Never Not Knitting (house tape measure)

Little Skein (Winnie the Pooh bag)

Okay, friends! Thanks for the support and love and I'm sending it right back at you. Much love to you all. Happy knitting and I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Butterfly & Cocoon Pattern ~ discount available now!

Hi, Knitters,
All of the beautiful photos in the post today were taken by Carrie Bostick Hoge of Maddermade and Making Magazine. Some of the photos originally appeared in Making Magazine 2: Fauna.

Today, the Butterfly & Cocoon pattern is available for download via Ravelry. I have put the pattern for sale at a special discounted price starting today and going through Sunday, March 26, 2017! The price is set at $4.50, no coupon code is necessary, and the regular price starting Monday, March 27, 2017 will be $5.50.

We will be having kits for this pattern from Barrett Wool Co. when we get our new shipment of our Home yarns. The new shipment is arriving in a couple of weeks. We are so excited to be fully back in action with all of our yarn lines.

Also, another quick note. I just saw that my Sheep! pattern has made it into Round 3 of the Mason-Dixon Knitting March Mayhem! That's so exciting. Voting is now open for Round 3 and if you are so inclined I would love to have your vote to get into the Top 2 patterns in my category.

Here is some more information you might like to know:

Butterfly & Cocoon


October 2016

Sport (12 wpi) ?

6 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch

US 3 - 3.25 mm
US 5 - 3.75 mm

200 yards (183 m)

5½" tall
This pattern is available for $4.50 USD
 buy it now or  visit pattern website
Discounted price of $4.50 is available today, March 23, 2017 through Sunday, March 26, 2017! No code necessary. Starting March 27, 2017, the price will be $5.50! 
Finished measurements
5½” (14 cm) tall
Chickadee by Quince & Co.
(100% American wool; 50 grams / 181 yards)
• 1 skein each (only small amounts of each color are used) in the following color ways:
Sample 1: Kumlien’s Gull (A), Egret (B), Shell (C), Split Pea (D)
Sample 2: Clay (A), Chanterelle (B), Aleutian (C), Honey (D)
Sample 3: Iceland (A), Petal (B), Lupine (C), Pomegranate (D)
50 yards (46 meters) or less of each color in sport weight yarn
• Tapestry needle
• Removable stitch markers
• Fiberfill
• Safety eyes, size 4.5 mm (see Notes)
• Black embroidery floss
• Waste yarn
6½ sts = 1” (2.5 cm) in stockinette stitch with smaller needles
6 sts = 1” (2.5 cm) in stockinette stitch with larger needles
Butterfly is worked in the round from the bottom up and stuffed as you go. Face detail, wings, and antennae are added after. Cocoon is worked from the bottom up in the round, then bound off at beginning of hood and continued in garter stitch. Top of hood is grafted, with stitches kept live at center of hood to make I-cord loop.
Warning: Safety eyes are considered a choking hazard for young children and infants. Embroider eyes if this is a concern.

Now for a look at some playful photos by Carrie!

I love this one as it shows the little loop at the top of the hood.

So sweet!

Thanks for your continuing support. I really appreciate it and I hope you take advantage of the pattern discount if you're interested in knitting your own set of Butterfly & Cocoon toys!

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful weekend. I hope you get to spend some time knitting. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pattern Sale & Winner & March Mayhem!

Hi, Knitters,
I have randomly selected a winner for the Gale's Art 3-month Sock Blank Club. And the winner is.....
gathersnomoss (rav name) or Becky! Becky congratulations. I hope you enjoy knitting your socks. Thanks to everyone for leaving comments and I'll have another giveaway very soon. You can still sign up for Gale's Sock Blank Club! 

If you have sock blanks and you don't want to knit socks, don't forget that I have the perfect little shawl to knit up with one sock blank or one skein of sock yarn. It's called One Love and it is a really fun knit and a great spring/summer shawl. Click here to see the pattern for One Love!

Okay, now for the pattern sale. Over on Barrett Wool Co. we are celebrating the first day of spring (and it was 60 degrees outside yesterday!) by offering a 25% off coupon code for all of our patterns. 

The coupon code is: SPRING2017 and you enter it at checkout. You can use the code on Ravelry or on 

Here are the Ravelry links to the patterns on sale (Code: SPRING2017)

And one more quick thing, we have just restocked so much of our Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarns over in the Barrett Wool Mercantile! It is just beautiful yarn and you won't want to miss it.

Over on the Mason-Dixon Knitting March Mayhem it appears my Sheep! pattern has made it through the first round of voting! Thank you so much if you voted. Round 2 voting ends at the end of the day today, March 21, 2017. So if you are voting, the Sheep! and I would love your vote for Round 2.

This is such a fun thing to get some knitting enthusiasm going. I love Ann and Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting and if you aren't following their new website and shop, be sure to subscribe. They do a fantastic newsletter called Snippets every Saturday morning and I always look forward to it.

I just taught the Sheep! Workshop at the Madison Knitters Guild Knit In last weekend and it is such a fun class. It was wonderful teaching right in Madison at such a big event. 

I loved meeting all of the knitters in my classes and getting to hang out for a little bit with Lucy Neatby, Laura Nelkin, Kate Atherley and Mary Jane Mucklestone. My husband and I took the group out for dinner at the El Dorado Grill on Willy Street, and then we took them over to the Willy Street Co-op for a quick grocery shop. They were seeking out some healthy food to keep in their hotel rooms. 

It was a fun weekend. I hope you are all doing well. I have a fun Taproot Magazine giveaway coming up later this week so I'll be back very soon. 

Much love to you all.
xo ~ susan
p.s. I forgot to mention one last thing. Vickie Howell (of Knitty Gritty fame) is trying to start up a new knitting show and she has just started a Kickstarter. Click here to check it her campaign video! It sounds like a lot of fun. This would be a great thing for the knitting community! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gale's Art Sock Blank Subscription Giveaway and much more!

Bracket from Mason-Dixon Knitting

Hi, Knitters,
I've a few quick things before the giveaway information. First, the smart and clever ladies over at Mason-Dixon Knitting always surprise me with their fun ideas. Kay and Ann have come up with a knitting version of March Madness. Get your bracket now!

I am honored to be included in March Mayhem 2017 in the Home, Baby, Toy category with my Sheep! pattern. 

Voting for each category starts today, March 15, 2017 and they will have a winner by April 3, 2017. 

Everything Kay and Ann do is so well done and humor is always a major ingredient in their knitting.

Click here for the Sheep! pattern information or to purchase. This is my pattern that is included in the March Mayhem Bracket. 

One more fun thing is that over on Barrett Wool Co. we are having a quick tiny scissors sale. We have marked down the scissors at $1.00 off the regular price through March 16th, 2017! That's tomorrow! No coupon code is necessary. All colors and styles are included. We are stocked up with Putford, Flower Power and Little Love styles in great colors.

Don't miss out on adding to your scissors collection! I love these snips and I think you will, too.

photo from Gale's Art

Now for the giveaway!

Gale of Gale's Art asked if I would like to offer a 3-month sock blank club membership to one of my lucky readers and of course I said yes. You can choose between the sparkle club and the regular sock yarn club. 

The prize is worth $100! You will love Gale's sock blanks. They are beautiful and a treat to knit. The finished socks are speckled and so beautiful. I have knit socks from her sock blanks and the finished socks are some of my favorites. Thanks to Gale for the opportunity.

Yarn information:
Fiber content for the sock blank yarn is 75% merino, 25% nylon. There are 463 yards per sock blank and they are 100 grams. The Recommended needle size is 1-3 US with 7 to 8 stitches per inch.

To enter to win leave one comment on this blog post. You must include your Ravelry username or an email address as a contact if you should win. Please only enter one time, there is a delay before you will see your comment appear. Only click on the Publish button one time.  I will randomly select a winner in a few days. I will then give Gale your contact information so you can work out the details of the prize.

Read Gale's information about each of the three blanks below:

photo from Gale's Art

“Fireworks over New York City”-The first month, April, will feature a stylized New York City Skyline at sunset. The fireworks overhead are a celebration for the summer! SHIPPING- APRIL 7, 2017

photo from Gale's Art

“Yellowstone with Bear” -The second installment will be a tribute to one of the greatest natural treasures in the United State. Verdant green mountains and valleys are the background for many happy campers and an occasional bear. SHIPPING - MAY 7, 2017

photo from Gale's Art

“Hawaii is hot,hot,hot” – is the third and final sock portion of the club offering. You can almost smell the tropical flower flowing on the trade winds of the islands! This is a super intensely colored sock has rainbow hues with purple hibiscus and bright green leaves dancing across it! SHIPPING June 2, 2017

I just have to share these cute photos from last weekend. My husband and TC and I went out for Sunday breakfast downtown and then we went to a fantastic art exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. There was also the St. Patty's Day Parade happening around the Capitol Square. My Miss Molly is from a big Irish family and they are in the parade every year. We walked over to see them and I was struck by all of our Waiting for Winter Mittens.

Miss Molly had knit her own pair and had knit some for her sister, Megan. I was wearing my own pair of Waiting for Winter Mittens out of some of my handspun yarn. My son snapped the photo above when we were comparing our mittens and I thought it was so cute. 

I am wearing my newest hat pattern called Owen. Click here for the Owen pattern!

Here are the mittens up close! 

Good luck if you enter the giveaway. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan