Friday, October 26, 2018

Breadmaking & a Pizza Oven


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all having a great October. It's flying by so fast, as always. I am popping in today to tell you some exciting news about my son, Ben Anderson. He has been working at an organic produce farm called Sprouting Acres for a while now and it's been really interesting for him. After baking and cooking for several local bakeries and restaurants, including cooking at many local events, he is starting to teach some classes at Sprouting Acres farm. The farm is located right outside of Madison in Cambridge, Wisconsin. It is a really beautiful location. Ben and the owner and others built the class facility from the ground up. The building includes a professional kitchen, class/meeting/restaurant space and it's really pretty amazing. 

Ben is teaching several classes with more to be listed very soon. He is teaching a Sourdough Bread class, a class called Breads from Around the World (I'm taking this class on Nov. 20th!), and an appetizer class. 


I'd love to see you in class so I hope you'll join me or sign up for any of the classes being offered at Sprouting Acres if you are in the area. Let me know if you sign up!

Ben has been cooking and baking and studying all things about food for years and years. He is really talented if I do say so myself! He is adding a Holiday Baking class that will be held on a weekend day coming up, too, and I'm definitely attending this one when it gets listed. 



I know firsthand how good Ben's breads taste. They are delicious and beautiful with an artisan quality. For his sourdough class you will leave with your own starter to take with you! 


I want to share some photos from Sprouting Acres with you. It is a special place with so much potential because the people who work and live there really care about what they are doing and the produce and food they provide to local restaurants and sell at their own farmers market booths. You may have seen the Sprouting Acres booth on the market on the square if you go on Saturdays.


This is the building that Ben helped build. One inside wall is covered with old barn wood and it looks so cool. Last weekend we went to the first-ever pizza day at the farm and that's where I took these photos. They had a trio of string instrument musicians playing inside the building and it was lovely. 


That's Ben in the white t-shirt. He helped build and design the new wood-burning pizza oven. It was a super fun event and the fall weather was perfect. The pizza was so good, incredibly tasty. What an achievement. They just added the roof/shelter structure. They all worked so hard.  


This is Ben and his girlfriend Laura. Laura helped with the pizza event by running orders and making the pizzas. She is a trooper. I think she was all pizza-ed out by the end after making dozens and dozens of pizzas over the afternoon hours. 

By the way, Ben is wearing his Baker's Hat I designed and knit for him last winter. 



Here is the barn wood I was mentioning!

Andy is the owner of Sprouting Acres. Ben met Andy when he was buying local produce for the restaurant where he was cooking. They really hit it off and Ben has enjoyed working at Andy's farm.

The pizza oven in action! 




He's so at home and in his element when surrounded by the farm and cooking. 



Anyway, have a great Friday and weekend ahead and maybe I'll see you at Sprouting Acres or in Minneapolis or NYC Vogue Knitting Live events coming up. I hope so!
xo ~ susan

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Apple Picking and Fall Knitting


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are doing well this weekend. It's been fun around here. I got to spend a lot of time with good old Peachy yesterday running errands and going out for dinner. I loved the one-on-one time which is always a treat when you have a big family.
Now for a little bit of exciting news! I have a new pattern that's just been released. Here is the description: 
Crisp chilly days, colorful leaves, hot apple cider and pumpkins! The fall season is a favorite amongst many for obvious reasons and I wanted to capture a little bit of this autumnal magic with the Fall Harvest Charm Set. The pattern includes four patterns for a pumpkin, acorn, pinecone and a leaf. All of the charms are worked up in our Home Fingering Weight yarn and you only need a small amount for each. The charms are perfect for making a garland, an ornament, to top a gift, to gift to a special teacher, or to put in a bowl on a coffee table. 
Included in the pattern are 4 video tutorial links that are exclusive, meaning they are only available when you purchase the pattern! I help guide you right through as you work.

I hope you’ll enjoy knitting a little bit of fall this year!

Special Discount Price: The pattern is priced at $3.50 starting today October 12th through October 19th, 2018. Then the price will be set at $6.00. No code necessary!



Black Sheep, White Sheep + Making No. 6 / Black & White Pre-Order

Thank you so much for the enormous response to my new project and kit in the upcoming issue of Making No. 6 / Black & White. The small and clever Black Sheep, White Sheep project is really a sweet knockout of a project. We still have kits available for pre-order along with the magazine.

Jump on over to check it out while it lasts.

Important Note: Due to shipping, please note that if you pre-order the kit and/or magazine, it needs to be a separate order if you are ordering other items as well.

Click here for the Black Sheep, White Sheep Kits and Making No. 6 pre-order. 


Vogue Knitting Live New York!

Once again I’m teaching at one of my favorite events, Vogue Knitting Live New York, coming up on January 25-27, 2019! VIP sign-ups have already started and open registration begins soon, and I want to make sure that I get to see you in class if you are coming to the event. Everything sells out fast and I’m teaching on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This is an event not to miss. It’s really an incredible experience. I hope to see you in class in NYC!

Today I am leaving you with a few photos from our apple picking excursion from a couple of weeks ago. This year we went to Sutter’s Ridge Farm in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. So far I’ve made applesauce and apple crisp, my old standby recipes.

My son is wearing The Baker's Hat in a couple of the photos. Click here if interested!

I hope you are able to get out there and enjoy this beautiful season and I hope your knitting is going well. It is getting downright cold outside and I am enjoying bundling up in my woolens once again.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Making No. 6 & Black Sheep, White Sheep Pre-orders!

Photo credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Pre-Order Making No. 6 and Black Sheep, White Sheep Kits

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well. I celebrated a birthday this weekend and we enjoyed a fun family dinner last night. I'm still feeling warm and toasty about our time together this morning, feeling pretty grateful. I have some big new things happening in the knitting universe and I'd like to share those with you this morning.
Today is a big day! For the first time we are taking pre-orders for both Making No. 6 / Black & White and kits for my project in the magazine called Black Sheep, White Sheep, which is an adorable pint-size REVERSIBLE toy! The sheep turns inside out to reveal the other sheep in the opposite color. These little sheep are fun to knit, quick and super clever. Perfect for gifting to knitters, sheep-lovers and kids!

Making No. 6 and Black Sheep, White Sheep kits will begin shipping around October 30th, 2018.

Making is an exquisite magazine full of all sorts of inspiring projects, not just knitting. The issues are collector’s items, like treasured books with timeless projects. We will have all 6 issues of Making restocked in the Mercantile very soon. I have a toy design in each of these issues.
Black Sheep, White Sheep is exclusive to Making right now, meaning the pattern can only be found in Making No. 6 / Black & White. The pattern will be available for individual purchase in April 2019.

The Black Sheep, White Sheep Pre-order Kit will include:  
  • Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted in Birch (creamy white) and Inkwell (black), enough to make at least one reversible toy (most likely two).
  • An optional copy of Making No. 6 / Black & White
  • A tin of 20 stitch markers in assorted colors. 
  • An optional pair of our primitive (black) Sheep Scissors.
  • A small amount of fiberfill.
  • A hand stamped natural cotton project bag.
Click Here for Black Sheep, White Sheep Kits
Click Here for Making No. 6 / Black & White
Photo credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Tecumseh Sweater Kits

Last week I worked on re-vamping my Tecumseh sweater by steeking the front and making it into a cardigan. I also cut in afterthought pockets edged with an I-cord bind off. It turned out great and I love it. In the process, I removed several inches of fabric to make it a little smaller.

As I was working I took photos to document the changes in my Instagram stories and this is now saved on my profile page if you are interested in seeing the steps in action. This is one of the best and most beautiful sweaters I have ever knitted.

Click here to go to @susanbanderson on Instagram!

We still have a very limited number of Tecumseh Sweater Kits available in both the Rain Shower and Birch colorways. Grab one quick if you are interested. The design and pattern is by the talented Caitlin Hunter of @boylandknitworks on Instagram.
Click Here for Tecumseh Sweater Kits

Snap-On Poms!

Don’t forget that we have an ongoing deal on our new Snap-On Faux Fur poms! We love them and so do you apparently. The deal is that you get two poms for $10 with code POM at checkout.

I have two videos available for these poms.
-One shows how to attach the snap to the top of your hat. Click here for the video!
-The other video shows how you need to give the pom a quick blow dry to fluff it up after removing it from the mailing packaging. You don’t want to miss this step. Click here for the video!

You will love our poms, they are the perfect size to top any hat.

We still have the Wild Dandelion Hat and Mountain Side Hat in the Kit section! Both of these hats are perfect to top off with a fluffy pom.
Click Here Snap-On Poms

More Stock Added for Wisconsin Woolen Spun

We have been quietly building up our stock of Wisconsin Woolen Spun over the last few weeks. If you are interested in getting a sweater’s worth or just a skein or two for a smaller project I suggest you hop on over to check out the options. This yarn is nothing short of beautiful and it comes in big, generous, squishy skeins. You will fall in love with this soulful yarn. I guarantee it. 
Click Here for Wisconsin Woolen Spun
Have a great weekend, Knitters! I'll be back soon with much more.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Counting Ridges Mitten Pattern & Kits!


Hi, Knitters,
First, we are having a huge pattern sale on Barrett Wool Co.! 40% off all patterns through September 21, 2018 using the code FALL at checkout! 


This pattern sale includes patterns like Little Dino, Mermaids, Mitten patterns, Sleepy Kitten Set, Three French Hens, Bear and a Bunny Suit, Holiday Charm Set, Owen Hat, and Cabled Gigi to name a few.

Second, I have a new pattern, which is included in the pattern sale, and a new kit! The new mittens are called Counting Ridges Mittens. 



Here is a little information on the bulky weight on mitten pattern:

What could be easier than casting on and counting ridges until you have completed an adorable, squishy garter stitch mitten? Nothing much! This bulky yarn mitten pattern is one of my favorites because it is incredibly quick to knit, it fits so well and it’s so easy to memorize. I’ve provided five sizes from toddler to adult-large. That should cover most anyone from babies, kids, teens to adults. You can, of course, easily modify the lengths of the cuffs, hands, and thumbs to suit your preferences. There is something so classic, cozy and old-fashioned about these Counting Ridges Mittens. I know you will fall in love with knitting, gifting and wearing them.
Let the mitten-knitting season begin!

The kit includes our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Bulky Twist yarn wound in a ready to cast on cake and in lots of color choices, the pattern, and our signature stitch marker tin. The pattern comes in five sizes, baby through adult-large.




Have a great weekend, everyone. I hope you enjoy the new pattern and or kit! These really are the squishiest, simplest mittens around. 
xo ~ susan

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Water & Mountainside


Hi, Knitters,
Well, we were struck by a flash flood in Madison and surrounding areas last week. I've never experienced anything like it before and it is not fun. What happened is that an enormous amount of rain hit our area in a short period of time and the streets and drainage systems, ponds and lakes could not handle it. Streets have been and still are closed days later. People are drying out their basements and taking furniture, flooring and belongings out to the curbs. 

We were lucky. We had some trouble in part of our basement but we didn't lose anything and we handled the water swiftly and efficiently. Our street is on a hill and my daughter and I watched from an upstairs window as it turned into a raging river in front of us. It was incredible. I really feel for those that have had difficulty, injury, damage and even loss. Water is a force to be reckoned with. 

The photo above is of one of my favorite walking and running paths. The line of bushes in the water is where the path is supposed to go, it veers to the right when it is dry. The photo below shows the exposed path on a regular day.  


You can see the difference of the exact same spot before the flooding, where the same path veers to the right. Almost all of the greenery and flowers are now under water. Things will take a while to go back to normal but I am just thankful that most are okay. 

I hope you are all doing okay and well and that you haven't had any crazy weather issues in your areas. It seems that there are a lot of natural disasters out there right now. If you are going through one of these situations I hope that you are okay.  

photo credit: Alana Dakos

On a much lighter note, I want to share with you a new hat design by the talented Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting fame. She is a lovely designer who I have admired and mentioned many times throughout the years. 

The new hat is called Mountainside and it has a textured botanical pattern that looks like pine trees on the side of a mountain, thus the name. The hat uses Barrett Wool Co.'s Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn in Fingering Weight. We have created beautiful little kits to go along with the Mountainside hat


photo credit: Alana Dakos

I love the fit of the hat, the elegant design and the simplicity of it all. Alana has a real knack for this type of design detail. She has just the right touch.


The Mountainside Hat Kit comes with enough yarn, wound in a ready-to-use cake, to make one hat following Alana's pattern, a downloadable Ravelry pattern code (the printed pattern is not included), a stitch marker tin filled with 20 assorted color markers, a Snap-On Pom-Pom in your color of choice, and our newest offering (see below).

We have four lovely colors still available for the Mountainside Hat Kit



I made an embroidery wall hanging of our logo to put up in our office. We loved it so much that we photographed it and got it made into a coaster. I love these coasters so much. They have a handmade touch and they are useful, unlike something like a postcard.

I hope if you get an order, that you'll enjoy using the coaster with my embroidery to rest your mug while you are knitting. I like that idea.


Anyway, I am knitting my own Mountainside hat in the Oats colorway with a faux-fox snap on pom that's included in the kit. I've already casted on and am getting ready to start the stitch pattern section now. I'd love it if you'd join me.

Have a great Sunday and week ahead and stay dry and safe! 
xo ~ susan

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Tecumseh Sweater Kits & Poms with a Snap!


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well and that August is being good to you this year. I want to let you know that we have a new and exciting sweater kit available over on Barrett Wool Co. for the Tecumseh sweater! The design is by the fabulous Caitlin Hunter of @boylandknitworks on Instagram. She is just an amazing new designer who is taking the knitting world by storm. I am a big fan of her work and it thrills me that she is letting us create unique kits with her designs. She is fun and open for anything it seems. I love that about her.

Tecumseh is a roomy, comfortable sweater that has a simple top-down construction with bands of colorwork and lots of straight knitting with one color. It is the best of all worlds as far as knitting a sweater is concerned. 

The Tecumseh Sweater Kits come in two color options. 



I didn't quite get my Tecumseh finished for the kit launch but I am now working on the first sleeve with the body being finished. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

The yarn has been special ordered from our local mill. It is our Wisconsin Woolen Spun in a DK weight. 


One color option for the kit has Birch (creamy natural white) as the main color. The contrast colors of Penny and Pebble are the same for both kits.


The second color option is our light gray color called Rain Shower as the main color. Miss Molly is working on the sweater in this colorway. I really love this one, too. 

Click here for the Tecumseh Sweater Kit information! I hope you'll join me in knitting one of these gorgeous, wearable sweaters for the upcoming fall season.

And I want to let you know about a great special we have going on for all of you hat knitters...


In the BWC Mercantile, we have just listed these fantastic neutral pom-poms that snap on to the top of your hat! 

We have these on a special right now. If you purchase two of the poms and enter the code POM at checkout, you get both poms for only $10! They are $6 apiece, so that is a great saving.

Click here to find out more about these fantastic Pom-Poms with a snap!

I made a quick tutorial on how to attach the poms to the top of a hat that you might find useful.



And finally...



There has been lots and lots of this going on in August. I just love to walk, run, bike in August. It is so peaceful and lush around here. I hope you are able to enjoy a little of the great outdoors in this late summer month before the bustle of the fall is upon us. 

Take care, friends. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Great Falls Park & Little Giraffe


Photo Credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well. Things are busy and hot and humid around here. I think it is 90 degrees right now and feels like the mid-to-upper 90s with the humidity. But still, despite the heat, I am knitting away on a big sweater called Tecumseh by Caitlin Hunter. I'll share more about it later. 

First, in business, I want to let you know that we have listed more Little Giraffe Kits in the shop on Barrett Wool Co. There are three really sweet colorways available that you will love.



The pattern for the Little Giraffe originally appeared in Making Magazine No. 3 / Dots. We have this magazine in the Mercantile right now and many other Making magazines as well.


Photo Credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Little Giraffe is a little bigger size toy than many that I design. This toy sits at about 10-inches tall. It is such a great size for kids as you can see. The construction is clever, limbs and ears first, and then they are knit right in as you work the head and body. No piecing together of little parts, it's really fool-proof!



All you need to add is a little stuffing, the rest is provided including the eyes and yarn for the mouth.


So my husband and I took a little trip to see my brother and sister-in-law in Virginia last week. They are both going through some health issues so really we were there not only to visit but to help out a bit. It was great to see them and to spend time in their beautiful home. It's such a pretty area.

During one quiet afternoon we drove over to the Great Falls Park for a quick hike. It was truly spectacular and not a difficult hike so it all just seemed very pleasant. The trails were wide and well-kept as it is a busy park. The views were amazing. I recommend this one!


My hiking buddy is a pretty fun guy, always game for a hike or run or walk or bike ride. I love that about him.

Have a great week! I'll be back soon with more. I wish August would slow down a little. I'm not ready for college to start again for my girls...
xo ~ susan