Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Flower Headband Fleece Lining Tutorial


Hi, Knitters,
First a couple of housekeeping things to share:

Thank you for the kind response to Episode 11 of my podcast and for entering to win Kristin Nicholas' new book Colorful Stitchery and Kristin's new Regia sock yarn. The winner of the book and sock yarn is.....

jjurney ~ rav id !

Congratulations Jodi! I have already contacted Jodi to let her know the good news. Thanks to everyone for entering and I have another great giveaway already lined up for after Thanksgiving. You won't want to miss this one, it's huge.

Also, this week I am the featured designer on The Loopy Ewe Blog. Click here to read the interview!

The Loopy Ewe Feature also includes a coupon code for 20% off one of any of my downloadable patterns! This also includes the eBook for Mary, Millie & Morgan for the discount which makes it a great deal. 

Enter the following code at checkout:

Coupon Code: THELOOPYEWE

Click here for my Ravelry Pattern Store! The code is good through November 28th, 2014. Thank you to Sheri and The Loopy Ewe for the fun blog feature.

Oh hey! My Hayward Shawl was just released back to me to add to my Ravelry Pattern Shop as a downloadable pattern!! The pattern is for sale now for $5.50 but you can use the 20% off coupon code: THELOOPYEWE, for a good deal on the new pattern.


Hayward is the shawl I talked about and wore in Episode 11 of my podcast.


I whipped up an Another Flower Headband a couple of weeks ago for TC's swim buddy. I lined it with white polar fleece which makes the headband extra warm and cozy. I've been asked how I line the headbands with polar fleece so I thought I would photograph the process and share it with you today.

Pattern: Another Flower Headband by me ~ pattern sells for $2.50 on Ravelry! (Hint: use the coupon code mentioned above for 20% off!)

The pattern comes in 3 sizes: small child, large child and teen/adult. The flower has lots of options as far as size and number of layers or it could be left off completely. 


Yarn used: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky, one skein in the Cermak colorway. Click here to find out more about the yarn! This is just beautiful bulky weight yarn. It is so soft and squishy. 

Materials needed to line the headband:
A piece of polar fleece to fit
Sewing needle and matching thread
Pins
Scissors (sharp fabric scissors are best for cutting the fleece)
Your finished Another Flower Headband!

Note: I'm sure there are lots of ways to line a headband like this. I am sharing how I like to line hats/headbands. I have lined all sorts of hats and headbands for my kids through the years and the following process has worked very well. 


Step 1: Make sure the fleece is going to stretch in the right direction before cutting. You want the fleece to stretch in the same direction that the headband will stretch. Cut a strip of fleece that is a little wider (about an inch) and a couple of inches longer on each end. Fold the strip in half with the right side of the fabric facing you.

Step 2: Turn the headband inside out and place it in the folded fleece strip. The front of the headband should be at the fold and the back of the headband is at the open end. There will be a seam at the back of the headband.


Step 3: Pin the fleece in place. 


Step 4: Turn the headband right side out. With your fabric scissors carefully trim the excess fleece so that the edges are just a little bit in from the headband edges. 


Here is the trimmed and pinned fleece inside the headband.


Step 5:  Turn the headband back to inside out again for the sewing in of the fleece lining. For the ends of the fleece strip, overlap one end about an inch under the other end and pin in place. Trim any excess fabric if necessary. 

Step 6: With the sewing needle and matching thread begin to use a whipstitch to attach the fleece to the headband. Catch a purl bump on the headband and the edge of the fleece on each stitch. Make these stitches about a 1/4-inch apart going all the way around the headband on both edges.

***MOST IMPORTANT TIP: As you are stitching the fleece to the headband stop every few  stitches to stretch the headband as you go! The headband will stretch when worn and so you need to make sure the stitches are loose enough so there is some give. If you don't stretch the headband as you stitch the thread will break when the headband is worn.

Every once in awhile the thread will break after months and months of wear, even after years of wear and I have to re-stitch it back in place. This has only happened after heavy use and it is very easy to mend.


Step 7: Whipstitch the seam to join the ends. One end overlaps about 1 inch under the other end. Tie off the thread and trim the end.


Here it is!! It's warm and cozy and ready to wear.


Here is the view from the right side with the fleece lining inside. It's so squishy!


The Another Flower Headband is knit on US size 10 needles and bulky weight yarn. This project can be whipped up in a matter of a couple of hours. It is the perfect gift! The high school and college age girls in my family all wear these headbands all of the time and just love them. They are quite stylish.

I hope this helps with the lining of your headbands. It only takes a small amount of time to make the headband even better than before. The added warmth and stability is worth the extra effort.


With that I bid you adieu.
xo ~ susan

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Episode 11 ~ Ode to Kristin


Hi, Knitters,
The podcast and all of my other videos are available for viewing and subscription on my YouTube Channel (click here!) and on iTunes (click here!).

Today on Episode 11 I chat about all kinds of things knitting-related and beyond. I especially focus on my friend, the multi-talented Kristin Nicholas, and all of the wonderful new ventures she has going on. I am giving away some of her beautiful Regia Colorations jacquard sock yarn and her re-released book, Colorful Stitchery.


If you can't see the videos through the email for subscribers, please hop over to my blog to view. Click here! The video below was filmed at Kristin's farm for Creativebug.com where she has several classes. It is a very well-done video and it is fun to get a visual of Kristin and her home and farm. Kristin lives on her farm with her husband, who she affectionately calls The Farmer, and her teenage daughter, Julia.



More of Kristin's links:

Kristin's Blog Getting Stitched on the Farm! I subscribe and you should, too!

Kristin's Shop and all of her links!

Kristin's new Craftsy Crewel Embroidery Class called Stitch It with Wool!

The Craftsy Kit for the class and more embroidery kits through Kristin's website!

Buy Kristin's books directly from her website! You can purchase all of the books I show in the podcast on her website. Kristin signs them, too, upon request which is an added bonus for purchasing directly from the author.

Kristin's sock yarns are available at a variety of yarn shops locally and online. Here are a couple online options: Websters, and Webs. It comes in 50 and 100 gram balls so don't forget to check when ordering.

3 interviews with Kristin on Ready, Set, Knit! with Steve and Kathy Elkins of WEBS (you'll really enjoy these!):
Click here!
Click here!
Click here!

(My Monkey Socks knit in Regia Garden Effects by Kristin - aren't they pretty?)


Click here to see more about today's giveaway book, Colorful Stitchery!

Knit and Crochet Now! PBS show where Kristin is the knitting expert.

I am giving away a copy of Kristin's re-released book Colorful Stitchery and enough yarn for an adult pair of socks in her new Regia Colorations Color jacquard sock yarn line! Read at the end of the post about how to enter to win!


Other links from the podcast:

Free Press Plush Tights (I said Fresh Press but it is Free!)

Jill Draper Empire Yarn ~ My skein is in the Charcoal colorway.

Tolt Yarn and Wool (I bought the Jill Draper Empire here and Veronika of YOTH Yarns works here!)

Taproot Magazine

Amanda Soule ~ SouleMama.com

Barn Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Knit Girllls ~ Leslie recommended the sewing patterns.

100 Acts of Sewing patterns ~ I got the tunic, sleeveless dress and dress with sleeves patterns.

Yoth Yarns ~ Mine is the DK weight Big Sister in the Caviar colorway.

Yowza Weigh It Shawl

Yowza Whatta Skein by Miss Babs

Hayward Shawl kits

Infinite Twist

You don't need to watch the video to enter to win the giveaway!

Giveaway Information:
Please leave one comment on the blog post that includes your Ravelry username/id or your email address so I can get in touch if you win. Please be patient for your comment to appear, there is a delay. One randomly selected winner will receive a copy of Colorful Stitchery from the publisher and the Regia Colorations sock yarn, enough to knit a pair of socks (colorway to be determined) from Kristin. I'll be back in a few days to randomly select and announce the winner.

Good luck and let the comments begin!

I think that's it! Enjoy!
xo ~ susan

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, Monday


Hi, Knitters,
I want to pop in this Monday morning to say hello. I have been working hard on finishing up the manuscript for my next book. I only have a couple of details left before it goes off to copyediting for the first time. There is still so much work left (lots of editing, illustration, photography, more editing, book design, etc.) but I am feeling a lot of relief just by getting this far. It has been hard to get much work done in between the teaching and traveling and family activities this fall. But now I am almost there and that feels really good. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Next up in the works, I have a shawl design I'm working on for a well-known indie designer, a couple of specific toy designs for a certain someone who we all know and love, and another shawl for a popular indie dyer, and then I have a few of my own designs lined up for my Ravelry pattern shop. I also have an even bigger scale project I am working on for sometime in the near-ish future and this is one that I'm particularly excited about. It's a lot on my plate. There is always so much to get done and that's part of the fun. I like being busy and having work lined up. I will start traveling again quite a bit to teach starting in January and going through the spring and even into the summer. Remember that if you are interested my teaching schedule is always at the top of the sidebar on my blog.

I am almost done with the second design in my Yowza Weigh It Shawl series. I think there will be three or four shawls in the series in the end (that's how many skeins of Yowza I have in my stash). Each shawl will have a different shape, absolutely no counting and different weighing points. I want to thank everyone for the incredible response to the first Yowza Weigh It Shawl. Pattern sales have been over the top and I really appreciate it. The pattern shot up all the way to #2 on the Ravelry Hot Patterns List after its release. This has been really fun and gratifying! Thank you so much.

Also, Cate Carter from Infinite Twist has been giving me updates on the Hayward Shawl Kit sales. She has reported that the kits are selling really well so far. That's exciting. Any of her kits would make fantastic gifts and she has a lot of variety. Click here to check out the Hayward Shawl Kit and her website Infinite Twist!

I went craft shopping with TC yesterday. She loves making beaded ornaments and our local craft store, the Wisconsin Craft Market, always has a lot of beaded ornament kits. Last year she made tons of ornaments and we boxed up little gift sets for everyone in the family. It was the sweetest gift and she felt really great about it. She is so much fun and I love it when she gets crafty. It is hard when you are in high school and a high school sport to find much free time. Now that her swimming is over for the school year she'll have a little more time. And I'll get to see her more! Yes to that!

As far as the socks in the photo go, I couldn't wait to give the fresh off the needles socks to my son. He came over to watch the Packer game yesterday and the socks were sitting there looking all wonderful and cozy. It is unusually cold for this time of year around here, about 20 degrees below normal. We had a fire going and I simply couldn't resist handing them over before his birthday which is in a couple of weeks. He put them on immediately and they fit perfectly. They fit like a glove as the saying goes. That is a great feeling. He loves them. Oh, and by the way he finished and caught up with the Corcoa orders last weekend. He has worked night and day and every spare moment in between on those orders. Thank you for that as well!

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Ragg Shades, #55048 in the Grey Brown Marl colorway. I bought it at the Wisconsin Craft Market for $7.49/ball. 

I used two 50 gram balls, almost all of it. My son wears a US men's size 11 shoe. I knit an 8-inch cuff.

Pattern: How I Make My Socks If you look on the pattern page there is a link to the men's sock pattern information that I put in a blog post (click here for the men's sock info.). I gave all of the numbers I use for knitting men's socks in this link.

Needles: US size 1 dpns, Knit Picks. I found the Signature Needle dpns, my usual favorites, were a little too sharp with this yarn and the points kept splitting the yarn so I switched to the Knit Picks. These worked great.

I have another sock on the needles for my other son. I am on the heel of the first sock so I have a ways to go. Both of these boys are crazy about handknit socks. They would love it if that was all I worked on.

Have a great Monday. I'll be back with a super fun review and giveaway in a couple of days. Maybe I'll squeeze in a podcast this week.
xo ~ susan

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Knitter's Review Retreat ~ There and Back


Hi, Knitters,
Last weekend I had the fine opportunity to teach at the 13th annual Knitter's Review Retreat. Clara Parkes is the host and organizer of the retreat and she does a stellar job. Every detail is thoughtfully taken care of by Clara. Clara offers the perfect amount of organized knitting and gathering time, and free time for the attendees. The entire retreat was a dream come true for me.

Click here for the Knitter's Review website! I have subscribed to Clara's newsletter for years and you should, too!

Clara is the author of these must-have books! I own and love all of Clara's books.

 I'd like to take you on the journey to Canandaigua, New York and back because it was a good one. 

I had a good feeling when I boarded the plane on the first leg of my trip from Madison to Detroit because I had an aisle seat and the two seats next to me remained empty. What kind of rare and good luck is that? I was pretty sure it was a sign of things to come. 


I carried with me a pair of socks I was knitting for my son's birthday which is at the end of November and a new shawl design I'm working on. I ended up plugging away on the socks during the flights. I made good progress on the foot of the first sock on the way to the retreat. The yarn is Patons Kroy in the Grey Brown Marl #55048 colorway. I wonder why the red is not mentioned in the name of the colorway? It's all about the red in my eyes.


It was gray and cloudy on the ground but once the plane was above the clouds it was so beautiful from the window. The world is an amazingly mysterious place.

The flights were short and on time, no troubles at all. On the second flight from Detroit to Rochester I heard some people sitting behind me talking about fingerless mitts and whatnot. I peeked around my seat and one of the knitters recognized me and started laughing. It was Chris from the very famous and beautiful Briar Rose Fibers and her knitting buddy Dawn. It was so nice to meet them along the way. 



I noticed as I flew in that there was still a lot of remaining colorful fall foliage and green in the area. Here in Madison we are already heading into winter so that was nice to see. Canandaigua is in the Finger Lakes Region of New York and we stayed at The Inn on the Lake hotel. The hotel sat right on a lakefront and in fact my first floor room had a door that opened directly to a scenic lakeshore area. The weather wasn't ideal but I still made it outside everyday to explore and get a feel for the area. I was rained on a bit but it was worth it.


The first day, Thursday, I had a bit of time before the kick off dinner and meeting so I went for a short run in the rain. I went straight down Main Street to check out the little shops and restaurants. I snapped a quick photo of the Court House. Every building seemed old and charming and with purpose. It is an adorable main street area that was busy and bustling even in the cold and rainy weather.

The Inn on the Lake was the perfect spot for the retreat. All of the meals were included and they were quite good with a nice variety of options. The convenient meeting rooms, casual knitting areas and classrooms were wonderful and roomy. My room was clean and comfortable. It was really good all-around.

We had a kick-off meeting where Clara got everyone excited and even happier to be there if this is  possible. The vibe of the retreat was really interesting to me. Since it is a long-running annual retreat there were only a small number of new attendees. So as you could imagine there was this instant feeling of camaraderie and joy for the reuniting of people with these longstanding friendships. The group was so welcoming and warm as is Clara. I suspect this is no accident. Clara fosters the environment and it really works. The event has a kind of joyous and comforting feeling running along with every moment. I really loved the feeling of acceptance and warmth from this group of knitters.


Friday started with my Sock Yarn Bunny Workshop. I had an enthusiastic group of bunny makers. We worked so hard and the class had an extended time after the lunch break. I wish all of my classes had that extra couple of hours. You can get so much more done with that amount of time and it is more relaxed. This group had the best time together! I was glad we took a photo. I don't want to forget this day of bunny knitting with this group. 





There were so many bunnies that popped up during the retreat. Some finished their bunnies from head to toe and others made great progress almost finishing. I hope everyone does finish and I'd love to see them when they are done!


This was the view from my room. Not too bad.


I found a couple of good running paths. One circled the lake and another circled a series of lagoons. 


It was so tranquil. The entire event had such a cozy feeling.


During my first workshop it started snowing. It added to the magical feel of the retreat. The snow didn't stick but with the rain and drizzle I was glad that I threw a waterproof coat and some of my warm sweaters and woolens in my suitcase before leaving. I am always thrilled to get the chance to wear the Peerie Flooers Hat by Kate Davies. I think this is a must-knit pattern. Canandaigua was the debut wearing for the cold season ahead.


The second workshop I taught was a Wee Sheep knitting workshop. This one went really fast. I recently designed these tiny sheep (about 2.5 inches tall) with several different stitch pattern options to create the woolly coat. It is a seamless bottom-up toy with a clever neck design to make it all one piece. I love this new class and several people finished the toy during the class and several others almost finished. It was fun to see their success. I had a several repeat students from the bunny workshop from the day before and the group was again warm and fun. What a pleasure.

The pattern for these tiny sheep isn't available for purchase yet. I am teaching this new workshop amongst others in New York City at Vogue Knitting Live in January 2015. I hope to see you there!



I brought a lot of toys to share with the knitters during the workshops. One of the most popular was the Quince & Co. doll set I recently released called Mary, Millie & Morgan. These dolls are top-down and seamless, knit completely in one-piece and there are clothing pieces and accessories for the dolls. The knitters in my workshops loved seeing the set of dolls all together. They also really loved all of the reversible/topsy-turvy toys I brought along, too. Those got a huge fun reaction.

Click here for the Mary, Millie & Morgan ravelry download eBook and Ben & Buddy patterns!

I am teaching this Seamless Doll Workshop at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, too! Can't wait!


The retreat is steeped in tradition and many of the traditions or planned activities seem sort of sacred so I won't say too much. However, I will say that Saturday night of the retreat was possibly my most favorite retreat moment ever (coming in a close second was Sunday morning of the retreat). Saturday night was hilarious and fun. I haven't laughed so hard and had so much fun in a long time. It was just amazing.

This photo (I know it isn't the best photo of everyone but I had to share anyway) was taken right after the Saturday night festivities and you can see we are all a little bit flushed. We really shook it hard (yes, we moved it!) and I loved every minute of it. Some of my "shaking it" partners in crime are from left to right, me, Julie Weisenberger, Carson Demers (he teaches the ergonomics of knitting) and Linda Pratt. Julie and Carson were instructors at the retreat and Linda Pratt is with Westminster Fibers but she was an attendee of the retreat, not working. 

Along these same lines of having fun I just had the best time with the talented and extraordinarily smart Julie Weisenberger, the designer behind Coco Knits, and her trusty and every bit as talented assistant Tracy. 



Trust me, these two are fun, funny and just about perfect. Julie is so down-to-earth and honest and fun. I loved getting to meet and know her a bit. You know I have used her Knitters Block for years. She is an inventor of useful things for knitters as well as a designer. Her sweater and accessory designs are so well-known and beautiful. The entire theory behind her garment design revolves around flattering a woman's body with fit and drape and lines. I can't say enough good things about Tracy and Julie. Tracy is a long-time knitter and former yarn shop owner. The two met in college and have remained fast friends who live on either side of the country. It was fun to get to witness such a long term friendship with years of history. I was lucky they let me dine with them for just about every meal. They really made the retreat for me. Thank you Julie and Tracy.


I was struck by the many weeping willow trees in the Canandaigua area. We have these in my neighborhood/area but they are not hearty trees so many have been lost through the years. It is one of my favorite trees and I enjoyed seeing so many of them in one spot.


The lagoon paths featured wooden bridges and I went across every one I saw.


Sunday morning of the retreat was another favorite, cozy time. Again, I feel like much of the retreat should stay at the retreat so I'll just share a little bit. There was a final meeting before everyone began going their separate ways. Clara, if you don't know, is a wonderful speaker and although she certainly didn't spend too much time speaking the time she did I thoroughly enjoyed. I knew she was witty and clever and an extremely good writer but what I didn't know is that she is really adorable and downright funny. My sides hurt. She is a bundle of energy and quick wit. Another thing I noticed about Clara is that she is a really good listener even when she is in the midst of being busy. When you are talking to her she stops and focuses and soaks in what you are saying. I love this about her.

Clara shared some of her upcoming projects and yarn with the group. Clara has started a fascinating journey in the milling of select fibers from across the country to create her very own Clara Yarn. 


These yarns come and go from her shop. She develops them in small batches with different mills and wool breeds and when they are to her liking she sells the yarns. When the yarns are gone they are gone and she is off to create more and different yarn. It is one of the most inspiring and earnest yarn development projects I have ever seen.

Clara gave each of the knitters in the large group on Sunday morning a tiny wound ball of her newest Clara Yarn, a sampling that is yet to be available, and a little notebook with Clara Yarn on the cover. While Clara talked and read a moving and beautiful piece she wrote she asked us if we would swatch a little square of our liking with her newest yarn. I had somehow missed that we were to bring needles with us to the gathering. Although Clara suggested a US 4 for the swatch the only needles I had with me were US 1s from the sock in my bag. I quickly pulled out the US 1 dpns from my sock stitches so I could partake in this magical time with the knitters. I swatched a tiny 2x2 inch square with garter stitch borders and a stockinette center while I listened to Clara's calm, pleasant voice reading a lovely ode to an extraordinary fiber artist and friend who recently passed away.

~my tiny swatch knit on two US 1 dpns~

I was completely moved. The feelings of being exhausted from a full and fun weekend, meeting one of my favorite fiber industry people, Clara, having her hand-selected and developed yarn running through my fingers and onto my needles, and the swirling enthusiasm, warmth and love of knitting emanating from the knitters around me was overwhelming. I breathed it all in.

I felt so fortunate and thankful for this moment in my life. 

I'll keep this little golden swatch to remember.

And then there was Yarn Church. All I can say is that you have to be there for this one. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is a time of hope, good will and encouragement for all knitting projects and their knitters.

So to Clara, I thank you for a life-changing retreat. The weekend was a gift. I hope I get to return someday. Thank you.


With that I was off toward home. Flying at night was the perfect way to end things. It was quiet and beautiful.


And when I got home I realized that I had finished the pair of men's socks for my son's upcoming birthday. I didn't feel like I got much knitting done but in the end I guess I did.

It was like magic, sort of like the entire weekend.

Thanks for coming along today. I hope all of you get to attend a beautiful knitting retreat someday. It is an amazing journey that restores and nourishes your knitting life.

xo ~ susan

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Yowza Weigh It Shawl ~ now available!


Hi, Knitters,
The Yowza Weigh It Shawl is up and available for purchase now! 

I am running a $1 off discount code from today, Nov. 4th through Nov. 12th, 2014. The regular pattern price is $5.00 and with the discount code it is $4.00.

The discount code is: YOWZA


This is such an easy, fun, fast, addicting shawl that you may want to make more than one. I cast on with every intention of knitting a completely mindless shawl in garter stitch that used up an entire skein of Yowza Whatta Skein by Miss Babs. I succeeded. After you count the cast on stitches, 9 stitches to be exact, you don't ever have to keep track of anything or count stitches or rows again! Ahhhhh, it's so easy and relaxing this shawl.

I used a one of a kind colorway of Yowza called Top Secret. I purchased this a few years ago at the Sheep & Wool Festival in Lexington, Kentucky. Babs herself let me know yesterday on Facebook that a similar colorway that is repeatable is called Gal Noir which she is dying up today I think. However, there are so many other colorways that are beautiful and would work great! It is hard to choose. Either a variegated or a tonal would be perfect for this garter stitch shawl.


Again, there is no counting involved whatsoever in this simple crescent shaped shawl. Start with 8 ounces of a light worsted weight yarn, cast on and then repeat one row. Weigh your yarn occasionally as you go and when you reach a certain weight you start the ruffle border, weigh one more time to finish with a picot bind off. It's that fun and easy!

You could substitute other yarns but the shawl is based off of 8 ounces of a light worsted weight yarn. This is one skein of the Miss Babs Yowza, one of my most favorite yarns ever. Handspun would also be perfect for this shawl.


Here is some information you might like to know from the Ravelry project page:

The Yowza Weigh It Shawl was created in the spirit of dreamy simplicity.

I cast on 9 stitches to start and never counted my stitches again. No counting or keeping track of rows is needed. The versatile top-down shallow crescent-shaped shawl is knit in garter stitch throughout. Using one 8 ounce Yowza Whatta Skein by the talented dyer Miss Babs and your trusty kitchen scale you will simply fly through the knitting of this shawl. It is one of the most addicting, fast and simple shawl designs ever with a one row repeat for the body of the shawl. The outcome is a stunning and elegant shawl. There are only two places you need to weigh your yarn in the pattern. Dream and garter stitch away!

Finished measurements
Wingspan: About 72-inches after blocking
Depth: 14-inches including the ruffle after blocking

Yarn: Miss BabsYowza Whatta Skein (100% Superwash Merino Wool, a light worsted weight; 560 yards/ 8 ounces), 1 skein (The pattern is based specifically on the Yowza 8 ounce skein but other yarns could be substituted.)

*The sample is knit in the Top Secret colorway which is a one-of-a-kind Babette skein that is not available. Babs Austerman, the dyer and owner of Miss Babs says the closest thing to the Top Secret in a repeatable Babette is a colorway called Gal Noir.  www.missbabs.com

Needles: US size 9, 40-inch circulars or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Tools: A kitchen scale that weighs in ounces and grams and a yarn needle


Here are a few photos of the shawl!


The Yowza Weigh It Shawl is incredibly versatile with long shallow dimensions. It can be worn all wrapped up around your neck like a scarf, tied behind your back, worn as a traditional shawl around your shoulder, etc. It's a great gift shawl because of the versatility and simplicity of the knit.


A skein of Yowza and the pattern would be a great gift idea for any knitter on your list!


I loved knitting this shawl. I have three more skeins of Yowza in my stash right now. I am thinking I might do more simple "weigh it" shawl designs with different shapes for each of the skeins I own. 


Enjoy! 

Don't forget the discount code for $1 off the regular $5 price: YOWZA 

xo ~ susan

Sunday, November 02, 2014

All in a Week


Hi, Knitters,
Thank you for the generous response to my new shawl design called Hayward for Infinite Twist. Cate Carter, the owner of Infinite Twist, has been in touch and said the sales of the kits have been going really well! Thanks for supporting Cate. The shawl pattern will be available for individual download in my Ravelry Pattern Shop at the end of December. Until then the shawl is only available in kit form from Infinite Twist. I highly recommend the kit if you are at all interested. Infinite Twist is a wonderful small company.

The winner of the Hayward shawl kit in her color of choice is..... 1tims on Ravelry or Tracey! Congratulations Tracey. I have contacted Tracey and have let Cate know we have our kit winner. 

I am planning a shawl knitalong starting in January, after the holiday rush. I will announce it here on the blog and on my super fun Ravelry group, Itty-Bitty Knits (please join us over there!). The shawl knitalong will include not only the Hayward Shawl but also the Prairie Ridge Shawl, the Quaker Ridge Shawlette, the 50 Row Shawlette, and my soon to be released pattern called the Yowza Weigh It Shawl (more on this later). I will round up a lot of cool prizes from some of my favorite companies. I'll keep you posted on the starting date and I hope you'll join in. Mark your calendars if interested.

For today I made a few photo collages of some of what has gone on in the past week. The photos above reflect the fall season slowly coming to an end around here. I try to spend a lot of time outdoors everyday and I love to take photos of our ever-changing seasons here in Wisconsin. It is pretty entertaining.  We are having colder temperatures lately, the sun angles have changed, everything is getting a little quieter and darker. 

My husband and I were out walking at dusk the other day in our favorite nature conservancy and all of a sudden we heard the cracking of branches overhead and the whooshing of air. We looked up and sure enough the enormous wild turkeys we had just passed along the path were flying up into the trees to stay for the night. Yikes.

The turkeys are so awkward when they fly into the trees. There is nothing graceful about it. The branches don't seem strong enough to hold them and their giant wingspans send smaller branches cracking and falling to the ground as they fly into the trees. It is a weird and creepy sight if you have been in a forest to witness this nighttime ritual for the wild turkeys. They sleep perched in the trees. A lot of people don't know that wild turkeys can fly or that they sleep up in the trees. We have been in these woods when this has happened before and I don't like it at all. Seeing huge wild turkeys sitting on branches above my head makes me want to run for shelter. It is scary.

As for the other parts of the land around here the leaves have fallen for the most part. The trees are looking bare and cold although there is still a little lingering color if you look for it. It is becoming browner in general. It has been a beautiful, colorful fall season in Madison, one of the best I can remember. I can't complain about it almost being over. It has been fun to live in such a beautiful fall-themed wonderland for the past month or so. 


Last weekend I taught on Sunday only at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. TC had a swim meet on Saturday and of course I wouldn't want to miss that so we drove down for the day on Sunday. My ever-supportive husband drove to Chicago with me, brought me lunch and drove me back home and I am so appreciative of his effort. It is a long day when you get up at 3:30am, teach 6 hours of brand-new workshops, and have an hour-long lecture at lunch. He is a keeper and it was a successful day.

I had fantastic classes filled with super knitters. I really enjoyed everything about my day. I taught two brand-new workshops. The students (not all are in the photo) placed their dolls all together on a table in the photo above (some dolls didn't make it in the photo). This workshop is the Mary, Millie & Morgan Seamless Doll Workshop. I loved teaching this class so much. We had a great time learning about seamless doll construction, hair creation for dolls, face embroidery, picking up and knitting ears, and all sorts of other toy related stuff. 

I brought a little toy suitcase with Mary, Millie & Morgan and all of their clothes and I brought along Ben and Buddy, the boy counterpart, as well. The students really enjoyed seeing the dolls in person. That was fun to see.

Click here to see more about the patterns for Mary, Millie & Morgan and here for Ben & Buddy! The patterns for these are available as downloads through Ravelry.

I also taught a new Fox in a Vest Worskhop. I love this top-down seamless sock yarn project. The pattern will become available for download this November! 

What a nice, fun group of knitters were in the Fox class, too. We had a great class and it was good way to end the day. One of the students, Sara, had purchased a Vogue magazine sweater sample in the market. When she showed me which one she purchased I immediately knew it was a Kristin Nicholas design. I remembered seeing it in the Vogue magazine in the Fall 2011 issue. This is one stunning colorwork garment. Sara let me try on her treasure of a sweater. It is a black and white masterpiece. Oh, I loved trying on that sweater so much. Thank you for sharing with me Sara. I know you will enjoy your new sweater this winter.

Vogue puts on wonderful knitting events. Please check out my workshop offerings for Vogue Knitting Live in New York City. I hope to see you there. Click here to see the classes for NYC!


As for the knitting this past week, it has been crazy! I am working on a bunch of sock projects as always. The three sock yarns in the photos above are the Knitcircus Rainbow Matching Gradient Socks Set, and for both of my sons the Patons Kroy Brown Marl (purchased at the Wisconsin Craft Market) and the Kristin Nicholas Garden Effects Regia.

I am super excited about a new garter stitch shawl design I cast on last week. I am using one skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, a light worsted weight, 560 yards per skein. Each skein weighs in at 8 oz.  This is the simplest, fastest shawl I have ever made and that is the point. You cast on and then you never have to count again for the entire shawl. You just weigh the skein as you go and when you get to a certain point you start the border and bind off. I am adding a picot bind off (which involves a slight bit of counting) but you could just do a regular bind off. I am working my way across the bind off now and I hope to have the shawl pattern available very, very soon.

If you are interested grab that crazy variegated or more subtle skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, your kitchen scale and your US size 9 - 40 inch circs and you'll be ready to go! If you want to check your gauge while waiting it is 4 stitches per inch in stockinette. Handspun would be really perfect for this shawl as well.

I'll post about the new pattern as soon as it is ready!

Click here for Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein! The colorway I am using is called Top Secret and was purchased 3 or 4 years ago at a festival in Kentucky. It is a one-of-a-kind Babette but there are so many good colorways to choose from ~ no worries!

I also knit TC's swim buddy an Another Flower Headband for her birthday. She just loved it! I used Noro Kochoran (discontinued yarn) and it is a bulky weight yarn. I am making another Another Flower Headband this week for another swim buddy in the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in the #512 Cemak colorway (a gorgeous, rich tonal blue). This pattern is so easy and fun, knit on a US 10, you can easily finish in one day. Seriously. 



Last but not least, the week has been full of family, food and cooking, yarn, fun mail and SNOW! Yes, we had a dusting of snow for Halloween. That's not right. It was really cold and wintery. I want to mention the sweet Louise of the Caithness Craft Collective podcast and Etsy shop. She sent me a project bag she sewed from Scotland, where she lives, that is made out of Anderson Tartan plaid. I met Louise at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat. This was so unexpected and I love the Anderson Tartan project bag. Thank you, Louise! 

Check out Louise's Etsy Shop and her wonderful podcast which I love! 

I also received a big box of Solitude Wool to knit with and review! This is breed-specific farm yarn from Virginia. It is completely impressive and beautiful. I received Targhee, Romney, Icelandic yarns and more. I am planning a couple of design projects using these glorious farm yarns. Thank you so much to the owners for sending the yarn. I will be posting much more about them coming up in the future.


I'll be back soon with more! I'd love to hear about what you did last week. It's a busy time of year for everyone and we are just getting warmed up for the holidays.

xo ~ susan