Sunday, September 17, 2017

Lille En


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well. I am on a teaching trip right now for the Webs Retreat in Massachusetts and it has been so much fun. It ends today and this morning I get the opportunity to hear Franklin Habit speak. I am looking forward to that!

I want to quickly tell you about some new patterns I've released as a set. The set is called Lille En, which means "little one" in Danish. I am so excited about this one. It is incredibly quick and easy to knit and would make a perfect baby gift. 

The Lille En Vest is knit from the bottom up and is done completely in garter stitch, the checkers are really fun to add in, and the buttonholes are knit in as you. The shoulders are seamed with a 3-needle bind off. Easy peasy! The pattern comes in four sizes, newborn to 24 months.

The Lille En Bonnet is knit from the brim to the back. The bonnet starts flat, working back and forth, then the decrease is worked in the round. The decreases are set to make the sweetest little peak at the top. The i-cord ties are picked up and knit on. The bonnet comes in four sizes, newborn to 24 months.

The Lille En Blanket is a FREE pattern on the Barrett Wool Co. Journal! It is a garter stitch blanket worked with two strands of worsted weight held together and it is so squishy and bouncy! It is a fast, fast blanket.




We are having a wonderful Lille En celebration on Barrett Wool Co. you may not want to miss. With the purchase of 4 skeins of any of our yarns (the set is knit in Home Worsted) and the pattern for the Lille En Set, we are offering FREE U.S. SHIPPING with the code: LILLE at checkout! This is starting today, Sept. 17th, and going through the end of the day on Tuesday, Sept. 18th, 2017. 


The blanket pattern is included in the pdf pattern for convenience. 


Have a wonderful Sunday and I'll be back to share more about my trip to the east coast very soon.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Roger Cardigan!


Hi, Knitters,
I finished a new cardigan and I am so excited about it. The designer is NellKnits or Nell. The cardigan is named Roger after Mr. Rogers, which I love. Did you know that Fred Rogers' mother knit all of his cardigans that he would put on at the beginning of each of his PBS children's episodes? Quite a few years ago I visited the Smithsonian and had the chance to see one of Fred Rogers' cardigans in person (and Julia Child's kitchen!). It was a real highlight. 

The Roger cardigan is comfy and cozy and it makes you feel good which is why the name dedication to Mr. Rogers is really quite perfect. Nell has done a fantastic job with her design. 

Over at Barrett Wool Co. we have worked together with NellKnits to develop the new Roger Cardigan Kits. And they have just become available for purchase if you are interested. The cardigan is knit in our Home Worsted Weight yarn. 

Click here to find out more or to purchase a Roger Cardigan Kit! I also share details about the construction of the cardigan here. 





I always enjoy a couple of in-progress shots. I really love that moment when you can try on a top-down cardigan to see how it is fitting. At this point in the process I was certain that Roger would become a new favorite for me. 


I love how Nell rounded out the top edge of the button bands. This is such a sweet detail. I also love the set-in pockets. Nell has instructions for both a fabric lined pocket and a knitted pocket lining. 


I think this photo shows how cozy and sweet this cardigan is, the wool looks so squishy. The slight A-line shape is created by going up a needle size on the lower part of the body.


We are working to get custom wood buttons made right now. These are not available yet but with the Roger Cardigan Kit we are including a 20% coupon to be used when we get the buttons in stock. The buttons on my cardigan are Yew wood and they are handmade from Wooly Moss Roots. 


I love the longer length of the cardigan and the drape of the textured fabric. The texture pattern is a simple broken rib. One row is knit only, and then the next row is k2, p2. The smooth stockinette stitch on the sleeves is really flattering. 


I made my pocket linings with stripes. The kit includes a few mini-skeins of Home Worsted Weight yarn with plenty to knit your pocket linings if you so choose. 

Photo from NellKnits

Nell knit her Roger cardigan in Home Worsted Weight in the Field colorway. I think this color is spectacular. Her cardigan has fabric lined pockets and she has a tutorial on how to do this right here!

Photo provided by NellKnits

The collar is picked up and and knit on. I love the details Nell included, how she lined up the rib and the short rows to raise the back of the neck. It is elegant and lovely. 


Anyway, I am excited about my new handmade wardrobe addition. I will be wearing Roger day and day out this coming fall and winter. It is my new favorite. I know you will love to knit and to wear the Roger cardigan. Congratulations to Nell for a beautiful design and pattern!

And as Mr. Rogers always sang, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. 

Click here to find out more about the Roger Cardigan Kit! There are lots of colors available. I think I'd like one in Bear next!

Have a super Sunday, friends. I hope you are all off to a good start in this fall season.
xo ~ susan

Saturday, September 02, 2017

September Story


Hi, Knitters,
It has been such a full and busy summer and I know like everyone else I can't believe it is already September. I thought I would start today by sharing a quick family photo of our crew at my nephew's wedding a couple of weeks ago. This photo was taken right after the outdoor wedding ceremony in the same park. It was lovely and we had such a good trip. We made a week long vacation out of it and we loved the San Diego area so much. It is so beautiful and the landscape is interesting and varied. We enjoyed a few different beaches and the ocean and the hiking (we went to a state park but I can't remember the name of it). We stayed at a house in La Jolla. The neighborhood had winding hilly streets and houses that were unbelievable. It was all good!

I hope your August was a good one, too.  


A fun development has come about. Kelmscott Designs is a Canadian company that makes fun and little scissors. The owner, Paula, has designed and created a new pair of snips in my honor. She asked my permission and sent me design samples along the way. And just a few days ago we were sent a sampling of the finished version. 

The new scissors are called Susan Scissors and I just love them. I was already a big fan of the Kelmscott tiny scissors. I have a pair in pretty much every project bag I own and I love traveling with them because they are TSA approved. 

We are making a small preview selection of the Susan Scissors available in the Barrett Wool Co. Mercantile right now. They won't be available anywhere else for a couple of weeks!

Thank you to Kelmscott Designs for the Susan Scissors. What an honor.





Next up we have the Elida hat by Tanis Gray! This is the third hat in a small collection by Tanis for Barrett Wool Co. The Elida uses all four of the colors that were used in both the Vidar hat and the Erland hat. If you have one skein each of Barrett Wool Co. Home Worsted Weight in Marmalade, Snowy Pine, Field and Peppercorn, you have enough to make all three of these fantastic colorwork hats by Tanis Gray. 

So we decided to do a fun bundle deal over on Barrett Wool Co. 

If you purchase four skeins of Home Worsted Weight in any colors and add the three hat patterns (Vidar, Erland and Elida) to your cart you will get the three patterns for free by entering the code TANIS at checkout!

How fun is that? 





Elida is so beautiful. The brim starts with a 1 by 1 corrugated rib that switches colors. Then the hat moves into a pretty motif repeat that changes background colors as you work up toward the top. 


The tops of Tanis' hats are always so beautiful and fun to knit! 


Now, I came out with a new toy kit for the Egg to Owl pattern. I didn't get a chance to mention it here and there are still some kits available in the shop. 

If you aren't familiar with this reversible toy pattern you start with an egg and you end up with an adorable owl. The photos below show you how it works. I'll meet you at the other end!






This is the perfect fall knitting project. They are cute and fun and nearly seamless.



I am excited to say that we have added a few new colors to our Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn line and I am pretty excited about them. Pebble, Laurel and Fable are the names. Here is a little description:

Pebble is a dark and stormy charcoal gray, deep and rich.
Laurel is a glorious medium mossy green, lush and hopeful.
Fable is a happy and full shade of purple, strong and lovely.

These new colors are available in the BWC Mercantile right now until we get them added to the regular Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn page on the website.



And I am working on a new red cardigan! I am almost done with the first sleeve. Details to come.

Have a good long weekend, Knitters.  
xo ~ susan

Sunday, August 27, 2017

So Long to Summer


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are doing well. I just returned from a fantastic trip to the San Diego area for my nephew's wedding. We made a vacation out of it and stayed for a week. It was so fun and the area is just beautiful. We rented a house in La Jolla and that was interesting. The neighborhood was filled with gorgeous homes and extensive landscaping. The neighborhood roads were winding and very hilly and narrow. The wedding was top-notch actually taking place in a park in Del Mar. I'll share some photos when I get them transferred to my computer.

For now, I just wanted to pop in and say hello and to let you know that I have a 50% off pattern sale going on for the Barrett Wool Co. patterns. These can be purchased on Ravelry or on the Barrett Wool Co. website.

To get 50% off any of the Barrett Wool Co. patterns enter the code at checkout. The sale is going now and will end on tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 28th, 2017.

The code is:  SOLONG




There are patterns for shawls, hats, mittens, toys, a cowl, etc. The hat above is the Erland Hat and we have some kits available right here! This hat was designed by Tanis Gray.


The Baker's Hat uses one skein of Home Fingering Weight. Both of my sons love their Baker's Hats so much. It fits both men and women. 

The Owen Hat is a fun colorwork hat that uses our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Fingering Weight and Home Fingering Weight


The Sonora Shawl is a design by Kirsten Kapur and it is a stunning and fun shawl to knit. There is not one purl stitch in the entire shawl and the mosaic section only uses one color at a time. It looks deceptively more complicated than it is which is the best!

The shawl uses 3 skeins of Home Fingering Weight, two in a main color, and one in a contrast color.


Baa is a sweet sheep pattern and it is one of the first projects a designed in Barrett Wool Co.


The Wrap Me Up Toys pattern has been really popular. It uses our Home Worsted Weight. The toys are all worked completely seamlessly. 

Anway, those are just a few.  Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful Sunday, Knitters.

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


Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Fruits of Summer


Hi, Knitters,
The summer is going a little too quickly around here. But one thing I really look forward to is the ripening of our backyard garden. We have a good-sized garden in a sunny spot that is fenced in to keep out the rabbits. We have two raised beds and I think this year we finally have it down. The plants are spread out and supported nicely and this is paying off. Our trouble has always been overplanting. 

This year we have a couple of kinds of peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, a big variety of tomatoes from cherry to Roma to heirloom, and tons of basil. My favorites are the tomatoes. I love tomatoes and once this season hits I can eat a tomato sliced up with salt and pepper for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. It is a highlight of summer. 

The shining stars this summer are the heirloom tomatoes. These are the best we've grown. I love the taste, the look, and the color of these heirlooms. I love the folds and gathers at the top, kind of looks like a knit hat. 

Anyway, I hope you are having success if you garden or maybe if you get to hit a farmers' market or two this summer.


One other fun thing about August is hiking in our neighborhood conservancy. The paths become enveloped in tall grasses, way above my head, and the masses of flowers are beyond belief. No photo can capture what it's really like. The colors and sounds are so beautiful. Hiking in August is something I look forward to every year and with the rainfall this summer, everything is in its prime.


I started a couple of fun projects this past week. One project I am especially excited about is a pattern that's not released yet but it is coming soon. I cast on and started a red cardigan with pockets and a fun textured stitch pattern. I will keep you posted. I think wearing a red cardigan this fall and winter is going to make me really happy. 



The other project I started and finished is this gorgeous Erland hat. Tanis Gray is the designer and she wrote the pattern for Barrett Wool Co. I love this kind of hat that is simply casting on and following a chart for the entire hat. Erland is one of my favorite knits ever.

In the photo above, that's Tanis' sample hat and on the right is my version of Erland.


I finished it up in one day and here it is blocking. I modified the original Erland pattern a little bit but not much. I knit the hat on a US size 7 needle at 5 stitches per inch. I added some corrugated ribbing for extra length to cover my ears. And because I was knitting at a bigger gauge I took out one of the repeats, so instead of four repeats I only did three repeats. 

I misjudged the length a tiny bit. After Erland dried I realized that I should have only done one-inch of corrugated ribbing instead of two-inches. So I tucked the cast on edge under and whipstitched it to the inside of the Latvian braid so the brim is doubled, which I love. 

Now the hat is perfect and the fit is fantastic. When you only do three repeats instead of four repeats of the chart the top of the hat becomes slightly pointed. I blocked out the point as much as possible and when the hat is worn there is no visible point. 

Anyway, I love this hat. I feel like it is a tiny piece of art. Thank you to Tanis for such a rewarding design. I haven't had this much fun knitting a hat in awhile. 





I finished writing up all sorts of good tutorials and updates on the Gigi Cardigan. It has been really fun to walk through a typical modification series for a simple top-down cardigan.


There is a lot of good information for sweater knitters here!

Okay, friends, thank you for the Smooth Operator Socks pattern love. The discount has been extended through the weekend. No code is necessary for the discount on the pattern. 


Love to you and yours.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Smooth Operator Socks Anniversary Celebration!


Hi, Knitters,
I'm checking in on this lovely Sunday. I hope you are well. We are having a little cooler weather for August which is really pleasant. Today is supposed to be in the mid-70s for a high. I like it. I have been knitting up a storm and I have some fun things coming out this fall so I am looking forward to that. I'll keep you posted if you are interested.

Today, I am celebrating the one year anniversary of my Smooth Operator Socks pattern which was published last summer. This sock pattern/tutorial has become my most popular pattern of all time. In order to make the first anniversary a little special I made some additions to the pattern and I discounted the price.

The Smooth Operator Socks pattern is on sale for $3.50 from Aug. 5-12, 2017! No code is necessary. The pattern will return to the regular price of $5.00 on Aug.13, 2017.



So I've added a couple of new things. 

The first is a new additional tutorial has been added to the Variation Notes at the end of the Smooth Operator Socks pattern. The new tutorial is called No Waste Yarn Afterthought Heel and it takes you step-by-step through how to cut directly into the sock to make the opening for the afterthought heel. It's an even simpler way of adding in an afterthought heel with less fuss.


The second thing I've added is a recipe for adding the beautiful heart motif to your Smooth Operator Socks over on the Barrett Wool Co. Journal. There is a chart and there are general instructions to help you do this. I love the look of these heart-filled socks. The heart instructions do not include the full sock pattern. 


The yarn in the photos is Barrett Wool Co. Home Fingering Weight in the Red Flannel colorway. One skein is plenty for an adult-size pair of socks. 



The Heart motif will work on any type of yarn, solid, striped, tonal or gradient. 


Have fun if you partake in the Smooth Operator Socks pattern discount or if you add hearts to your next pair of SOSocks. Keep me posted.

We have re-stocked handmade faux-fur pom-poms in the Mercantile and we got some new colors! If you order a skein of Home Worsted Weight or Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted Weight we will kit-it-up for you to make an Entwined Hat kit. Let us know on your order if this is something you would like us to do.


Okay, Friends, have a super Sunday. I will be back soon with more. I hope you are having a fantastic day.

xo ~ susan

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Meet Gigi!

Photo provided by designer Devin Ventre

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. We went to the Madison Farmers' Market yesterday morning and it was fantastic as always. For dinner last night we used the produce we purchased to make tofu spring rolls. We have done this a couple of times now and although it's a lot of work we kind of have it down now where everyone has a certain job to make it go faster. I also made a rhubarb crisp for dessert and I just love that tart taste. Anyway, it was all so delicious that I'm still thinking about it as you can tell.

Yesterday we released a new cardigan kit over on Barrett Wool Co called the Gigi Cardigan Kit. You can read all about the background of this cardigan and kit on the BWC Journal by clicking right here. We are so excited about this charming short-sleeved cardigan which is knit up in our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted yarn. The pattern and design are by new designer Devin Ventre. Devin has been so much fun to work with on this collaboration.


We have five colorways from which to choose and custom artisan Black Walnut buttons to add if you like. These buttons are really special and are made by my favorite button maker, Jeff Wilson of Wooly Moss Roots

Read all about the buttons right here! It has been quite a process to get these buttons and they are exquisite. 

photo provided by Devin Ventre

Devin knit her Gigi in the Rain Shower colorway. I love the little details like the reverse stockinette on the shoulder and sleeve. 

Photo provided by Devin Ventre

The pocket is reverse stockinette stitch, too. 

Devin knit her Gigi in size 34 and my Gigi (below) is knit in size 38. Positive ease is written into the pattern so make sure you check out the finished measurements when determining your size.


Here is my Gigi worked up in the Sherwood colorway! I love it so much. I am already wearing it this summer. It is the perfect layering garment for all seasons. I am planning on wearing my Gigi with jeans and t-shirts both long and short sleeve, skirts, and over dresses. It can be dressed up and casual. This is one versatile garment. 

I made quite a few fun modifications and I am going to be blogging about those all week, including tutorials, over on the Barrett Wool Co. Journal if you'd like to follow along. 


I love sewing on buttons. It means things are almost finished. The buttons for the kit are simply amazing. They are handmade in Mapleton, Oregon, and honestly, they are the perfect finishing touch. 


This is the Sherwood colorway and it is an interesting color. It is teal but it is dyed over a darker wool so there is a heathered look to it that is hard to capture in photos. The Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn is incredible to knit with on so many levels. The finished sweater is as light as air. 

Gigi is the perfect sweater for beginning sweater knitters or experienced knitters wanting to relax. The pattern is clear and concise. I worked my sweater on a US size 8 for the body and a US size 7 for the edgings. It goes really fast!


The Black Walnut buttons might be my favorite part of the kit. 


I have been wearing my Gigi everyday since it's been finished. Devin Ventre did such a wonderful job with this design and pattern. Congratulations, Devin!


Photo provided by Devin Ventre

I think this is my favorite photo from Devin. She knit a Gigi for her mother and it looks so cute. She used the Penny colorway and the cardigan is worked up in a size 42. It's a wonderful color for her.

Anyway, enjoy the Gigi Cardigan Kit if you get one. I'll have lots of tips and tricks for you along the way while you're knitting. As always, let me know if you have any questions or if we can be of any help over on Barrett Wool Co.

Much love to you all and happy Sunday!

xo ~ susan