Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Here's what you do...


Edited to Add: This morning at 6am there are only 3 skeins of the Cotton Classic left (out of 96 skeins) in my Ebay listing! Wow! Thank you! We are listing lots of new yarns for sale today, Jan. 1st, 2014, so please check back for more GREAT yarn at discounted prices. Click here to keep checking!

Hi, Knitters,
Be sure to read to the end of the post to find out about today's fantastic giveaway!

Before I jump into today's giveaway, I want to quickly tell you that I have listed 96 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic for sale on Ebay. I am selling the skeins at a very low price, $3.50 per skein. The going retail price is $6.50 per skein. This is beautiful, vibrantly colored cotton that can be used for child and baby knits (I used a lot of this yarn in Itty-Bitty Hats!). Also, it is great yarn for washcloths, crochet, garments, toys, hats, any charity knitting, etc. It's very versatile and machine wash and dry. 

The yarn is in brand-new condition, never used or opened, and every skein has the label.

Click here for my Ebay listing called, Yarn Sale!  Please use the Add to Cart feature to purchase multiple colors. $6.00 total shipping in the U.S. for any number of skeins. Contact me through Ebay for international shipping costs. 

Special offer: If you include a message with your purchase that says you learned about the Ebay Yarn Sale here on the blog or subscription email, I will throw a surprise in the package for you! It could be more yarn, a tape measure, a pattern..... you never know!

I will be adding much more yarn for sale at discounted prices so if you are interested in getting some yarn from my stash be sure to check back.

(photo provided by Mary Jane Mucklestone)

Now for more fun! I have wanted a reindeer hat since last winter when I spotted two young women at a local outdoor skating rink wearing the most charming reindeer hats I had ever seen. I even made up my own colorwork chart with a reindeer but I never got around to it. All of a sudden last week I saw the cutest hat pattern by one of my favorite designers, Mary Jane Mucklestone. The pattern is aptly called, Muckle Toque.  

And what a great photo from Mary Jane! Doesn't the photo make you want to knit one, too?

(photo provided by Mary Jane Mucklestone)

I knew right away what to do.

I bought the Muckle Toque pattern from Mary Jane and I pulled out her beautiful new book, 150 Scandinavian Motifs. I just adore this book and have owned it since it came out. It is like a treasure chest of colorwork stitch patterns. I have looked through this book so many times, more than I could count. I knew there were a few reindeer motifs I could insert right into Mary Jane's hat pattern. By combining the two I would have a complete Mary Jane masterpiece! My reindeer hat dreams were finally coming true.

Here are a few links for you:

Mary Jane Mucklestone's website! Please go visit Mary Jane's website. You will be blown away by her knitting and designing and photography. She is someone I really admire in the industry. What a talent!



(Jacket Art from Interweave/F+W Media)

This amazing book is one that every knitter should have in their library. The stitch patterns are wonderful, diverse, interesting and downright beautiful. You should run out and get this book if you have any interest in colorwork knitting.

Now, after making a very slight stitch number variation so the motif would fit into the hat pattern, here is what I came up with.......


I used the reindeer motif #140 on page 128 in 150 Scandinavian Motifs. I knit the hat in some Cascade 220 Superwash I had in my stash. The hat pattern offers different sizes and has yarn suggestions. You can knit the hat in different weight yarns, too. Mary Jane tells you how to do it all in the pattern.

Thank you to my little TC for modeling today.


I love this new hat! Seriously, it is now my favorite hat for warmth and cuteness, of course.


I got some new snowshoes for Christmas and I have been hitting the great snowy outdoors with my reindeer Muckle Toque and my new snowshoes. I have been out a bunch of times already. I have to tell you, this hat just makes me feel good. My entire family likes my new hat, too.

I am making a second Muckle Toque in turquoise and white with a snowflake motif. I am well into the long 1x1 ribbed brim. I even love it a second time through. I will keep you posted on my progress. I have a feeling there will be many more. The hat is the perfect stash buster.


One new thing I learned in the pattern is how to make a spotted pom-pom. I love this idea and will use it again. I will add more spots on the next one now that I have it figured out. How cute is that?


So here's what you do......

First, get Mary Jane's new Muckle Toque pattern. Next, get Mary Jane's new colorwork motif book. Combine the two and come up with your very own spectacularly adorable winter hat! It's so cheerful, charming and fun. What great gift hats, too. 

Now here's the good part. One of you will win a copy of the book, 150 Scandinavian Motifs AND a copy of the Muckle Toque pattern! I am so excited to be able to offer this to you. Thank you to Interweave/F+W Media for the book and to Mary Jane for the pattern. 

Please leave a comment on this blog post to enter to win. Leave only one comment and be patient for your comment to appear. Please leave your Rav ID or your email address so I can contact you if you should win.

I'll be back in a few days to randomly select a winner!

If you are buying yarn from me on Ebay don't forget to leave me a note so you get your surprise!

Happy New Year to you all, dearest Knitters! May we all have the best upcoming year ever.
best, susie

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oh, darn.

(after)

Hi, Knitters,

Oh, darn.

 (before)

My first darning. I watched Paula Emons-Fuessle demonstrate darning socks at the Knitting Pipeline Retreat last spring and remembered what she shared with us in a small group.




Here is a very short 15 second Flipagram of some of my favorite Instagram photos from 2013:

video


That's all.
best, susie
p.s. I love visible patches so I used a contrasting sock yarn. The original is my own handspun.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After


Hi, Knitters,
I hope you had a great Christmas yesterday if you celebrate. It was a wonderful day around here. We had Christmas Eve and morning with our own little family. After that we headed over to my sister's house for a delicious Christmas feast. A great time was had by all.

I am happy to report that the sweater I knit for my son fit beautifully. He wore it the rest of the day and it looked fantastic on him. I actually got a bit teary-eyed when he tried it on and it fit, such a relief. I will get some photos later with him in the sweater to share with you. It looks good!

I also knit this same son the Windschief Hat. He loved his new hat as well and he wore it much of Christmas day along with his sweater. I did add length to the Windschief Hat to make sure it covered his ears and I am glad because as written it would have been too short. He got a new apron (he is a cooker) as a gift and was wearing the new hat while doing some chopping in the kitchen so I quickly snapped his photo.


On another making front, TC went to town on ornament making this year. She spent hours and hours at the kitchen table making her ornaments. Every night we had to clear the table to eat our dinner together, and then she would load it right back up with her ornaments in progress. I loved that she was so absorbed and had so much fun.

After her flurry of ornament making was done, she packed up little gift sets full of ornaments for a few relatives. We got to keep a bunch for our own tree, too. Most of these ornaments were kits we purchased at the Wisconsin Craft Market, one of our favorite craft supply shops in town. She just loved the kits and started making the ornaments right after Thanksgiving. Some of the ornaments were quite complicated, others were easier. She packed the sets up in brown hexagon shaped boxes and I helped her tie a big Christmas-themed ribbon on each. They were impressive looking.

My favorite thing about her making the ornaments was when she said to me, "It makes you feel good to make things, doesn't it." Well, she was speaking to the right person. Yes!

Below is a series of photos of her beautiful creations:











I will leave you today with my freshly washed and stacked wool socks. I did a second round of sock washing after these so I have a couple more stacks to put back in my sock drawers. I hand wash my socks and lay them flat to dry whether or not the wool is superwash. Every once in awhile I will throw a pair in the dryer for a few minutes, with superwash wool only, right at the end of the drying. This just tightens up the stitches a bit more.

There is nothing much better than freshly washed socks. They feel and look like new again. I finished another colorwork hat I'll share with you next. I think you'll really love it and may want to knit one for yourself or a loved one.

It's good to be back on the other side.
best, susie

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Week Before...


Hi, Knitters,
I am wishing you a most wonderful week ahead. I hope you get to spend time with family, friends, loved ones and that you get to spend some time relaxing and knitting, as well. I still have a few last minute gifts to pick up so wish me luck fighting the crowds this weekend. 

It has been a very knitterly season around here this year which has been fun. All of the knitting and the anticipation for our sons to be home for five straight weeks has been exciting. By the way, I don't think I've mentioned this yet but my two sons are coming with me to Vogue Knitting Live in New York City in January 2014. They will be ending their long college winter break and we decided that they should tag along with me and have some fun. I'll be teaching my little heart out while they run around and have fun in the big city! I love that.

By the way, I still have a few openings in some of my afternoon workshops for VK Live in NYC, the morning workshops are full at this point. However, if you make a request to get into a class sometimes I can accommodate one or two more students or space opens up so go ahead and contact Vogue if that's the case. 

Please check it out if you are coming to VKLive NYC! I'd love to see you in class. 

The rest of the post is a simple show and tell of cool stuff, finished knits, in-progress knits and spins, and loads of links. So here we go!

In the photo above, I am trying to finish a pair of Christmas socks but it doesn't look like I will get them done at this point. Aren't they sweet looking though? The yarn is the no longer being made Cakewalk Yarns in the Peppermint Bark colorway. It really does look like peppermint bark. That's the first sock and I am on the foot now so it will speed along. They'll get done when they get done.

I am making the socks using my free sock recipe called, How I Make My Socks.



Have you been hearing about this great website with cool items and supplies both knitting related and not? It's called, Fringe Supply Co. Their tag line is perfect, "nice things for makers." The shop has a fun mix of items, some unexpected.


Above is the cutest, simplest linen bag I purchased from Fringe Supply Co. 


Basically the bag is two long triangles stitched together and then there is a flat bottom that opens up. The ends are for tying to close the bag. TC loves the striped bag and thinks it should be hanging from a pole slung over your shoulder, hobo-style.

The bags are called, Bento Bags, and they are pretty reasonably priced. Click here to see the sizes and fabrics for the Bento Bags. Anyway, I love my Bento Bags and I think you might, too. Fringe Supply Co. has great customer service.


When your project is in the bag you just turn down the points and it sits open.


The project in the Bento Bag is the Windschief Hat by Stephen West and it is knit in one of my favorite indie yarns, Sunshine Yarns, in a worsted weight. Sunshine Yarns yarn and fiber have a depth that I love. The hat is a gift so I hope to get it done later today.


I finished the sweater for my second son. The pattern I used is the Chesterfield pattern by Julie Hoover published by Brooklyn Tweed in his recent men's collection.


The sweater is knit in my old tweedy standby, Tahki Donegal Tweed. If you are a tweedy woolly wool fan, you should knit with this yarn. I love it. 

The sweater turned out big, much bigger than I expected. It was knit from the bottom up, sleeves knit and joined at the underarm, and then a raglan yoke is finished from there. There are short rows involved at the bottom hem, the back and the neckline, which is good. The sweater is intended to be worn with 4-5 inches of positive ease so I'm hopeful it will still be okay despite the fact that it seems a bit too big. He currently wears an over-sized sweater he got at a thrift shop so I don't think he minds a roomy sweater. 

It's a great pattern, well-written, and simple. I didn't add the turtleneck as in the pattern. I just did a rib crew neck instead.

I will try to get a photo of my son wearing his new handknit sweater. My thought is that he is going to love it and wear it a ton. He has been asking for a handknit sweater for a few years now and I finally got one done for him.

Fingers are crossed on all fronts. I am going to hand-embroider a wool tag to stitch in the back of the neck with my initials and the year. I'll get a photo of that to share, too.


Guys! Guess what? I finished the Snawheid by Kate Davies! It still needs blocking. I added an extra half of a repeat because for me it was too short to cover my ears. It's perfect now in every way. The crown is so cool and winter-y looking. I'm debating the large pom-pom for the top. 

Click here to see Snawheid by Kate Davies! This girl is a colorwork genius.


Up next for me? Sheepheid by Kate Davies. I can't wait to dig in. I'm obsessed with these little colorwork hats by Kate. Yum.


I have a bunch of spinning ready to go. I'm hoping over the holidays I will get some time to sit and spin. The little fiber balls above are from Friends in Fiber on Etsy. I am pretty excited about spinning this up. The bowl is holding 2 of the 4 ounces, so much fun!

One last thing before I go, there is a new eBook that I read about on a new to me website. The site is called, Very Shannon but the url is, luvinthemommyhood.com. Click here to check it out! Shannon Cook is a talented writer, knitter, sewer, mother, photographer.... etc.! 

Anyway, Shannon recommended an eBook called Handmade Winter. I purchased it and it is a good one. I am going to make the things and use the recipes for many months to come. I just love Handmade Winter and you might, too. Click here to see Shannon's review (she has a pattern in the book) and click here to purchase. It's a steal for all of the good patterns and recipes and inspiration included and the photography is dreamy.

Anyway, that's it for today. I hope you are well and good. 
Take care, dear Knitters.
best, susie


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Freebies!

 

Hi, Knitters,
I have had a bunch of new patterns released recently. First, let me say thank you for the huge support of the 50 Row Shawlette and the Mini-Stocking and Candy Cane patterns. These patterns have been flying out of my pattern shop and it has been very exciting. Both of these patterns are still on sale for $1.00 off through December 25th.

Click here to see the 50 Row Shawlette! The sale code is MERRY

Click here to see the Mini-Stocking and Candy Cane patterns! The sale code is IBKLOVE

Now I have had several free patterns just be released recently. The first is called the Woven Ladder Hat. This hat was made and submitted for the My Mountain hat design contest. The Woven Ladder Hat placed in the top 5 in the contest (thank you, again, for voting!). I won an iPad mini for this hat and I have loved it. The iPad mini will be joining me on my knitting travels, of which I have a lot coming up starting in January 2014.

The free pattern for the Woven Ladder Hat is now available for free download!

Click here for the free Woven Ladder Hat pattern!

This hat is a very fast knit on US size 11s and 13s. It takes two skeins of the Lova yarn, which can be purchased here.




(photo from My Mountain)

The next new and free pattern to be released is the reversible toy, Elephant and Mouse! Candi Jensen, the producer of Knit and Crochet Now!, a PBS show, asked me if I would design something for a segment of the new season of her acclaimed show. Of course I said yes! The pattern is for a tiny reversible toy, fitting in with my new book, Topsy-Turvy Inside Out Knit Toys. 

If you want to test the water for your own reversible toy, knitting this is a cute, simple version of an inside-out flip toy is the perfect way to start! The Elephant and Mouse toy is about 3-4 inches tall and you can see how it works in the following photos:






The Elephant and Mouse Toy is knit in Quince & Co. Lark.

The next free toy pattern release has been long awaited.......




The reversible Egg to Turtle pattern was something I designed to go along with the publication of my latest book, Topsy-Turvy Inside Out Knit Toys. I have used the pattern to teach workshops and to give as a thank you to people showing up for my book signings and events since the book came out. By the way, I am teaching the Egg to Turtle workshop, which includes tons of toy-knitting techniques and demonstrations and some surprises, at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC and Seattle coming up soon in 2014!

I was asked to film a segment for Knitting Daily TV, a PBS show, last fall where I demonstrated some of the techniques used in the Egg to Turtle reversible toy. Now the pattern for the toy used on the show has been released as a free download on the Knitting Daily website. The yarn used for the Egg to Turtle reversible toy is Quince & Co. Lark.

Click here for the Ravelry page for the Egg to Turtle reversible toy!


And that's all for now!

Enjoy.
best, susie