First, I want to remind anyone interested that I am speaking at the Seattle Knitters Guild on Wednesday, April 3rd. I am speaking at 7pm for an hour or so. Please come and join me if you are able! I would love to see you there. I will have my new book, Topsy Turvy Inside Out, my new free Egg to Turtle bonus pattern card for attendees and I will sign books - new and old - at the event!
Yesterday I approved some new openings in my sold out classes at Vogue Knitting Live April 5-7th in Seattle. There are now more spots in the Sock Yarn Bunny and Build-a-Toy Workshops and there are still a few spots left in the String-a-Long Toys Workshop. The Fair Isle Hat class is already full to the highest limit I can take but check back because people's plans change and a spot may open up.
The photo above is the mini-version of the Opal Sock Yarn Bunny. This version is for the students in the Sock Yarn Bunny class to work on during our 3 hour class time. There is so much technique crammed into this little bunny and with the smaller version we will get through more of the skills together. However, if someone wants to make the larger version of the bunny during class that pattern will be provided as well and all of the demonstrations and tips and discussion will work the same.
Here are the regular Opal Sock Yarn Bunny and the brand-new Mini Sock Yarn Bunny together for a size reference. The mini bunny takes only 15 grams of sock yarn. Leftovers beware!
The Sock Yarn Bunny is knit completely in one piece from head to toe. Once that last stitch is knit, you are completely done with the bunny. It is a fun-filled knit.
The pattern for the original, larger Opal Sock Yarn Bunny is available for purchase right here!
The Opal Sock Yarn Bunny and Bunny Hat set can both be made from less than 1 ball of sock yarn. Click here for the bunny and matching hat pattern set.
The Mini Sock Yarn Bunny pattern is not available for purchase yet but will be in the future. The yarn is Opal's Vincent Van Gogh in the Sunflowers colorway.
I have been working hard on the class samples for my new Build-a-Toy Workshop that premiers in Seattle at Vogue Knitting Live. I am teaching two sections of Build-a-Toy. It is going to be so much fun. I am demystifying toy knitting for the students in this class. I have laid out many, many different shapes and techniques for the students to put together to create an endless variety of knit toys. We will also be covering all sorts of tricks and tips for finishing your toys for the best possible results.
Seriously, I think this should become another book for me. The students are getting so much information and so many patterns. I can't wait. I am having great fun pulling the parts of the class together. I am teaching the Build-a-Toy class in other places, too. One is the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling and the other is KnitEast next fall. Even if you aren't going to the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling this April, I will be at the Loopy Ewe Yarn Shop in Ft. Collins on Wednesday, April 17th for a book signing and meet and greet open for the public.
Above in the photo is a Bear in a hoodie union suit (is there such a thing?) done completely through color change. I love the way he turned out.
Of course I had to add the back flap!
This sweet, adorable bunny is also included in the class as an option. You can put together any variety of the pieces to end up with a bear, bunny, cat, owl, puppy, sheep, doll, giraffe, mouse, monkey, frog, etc.
I finished up this snowman this week as well from the Build-a-Toy options.
Three new toys together!
The toys in the class are anywhere from 3-6 inches tall. The snowman is a little taller with the hat.
The patterns are only available for the class right now.
However, this adorable new Little Lamb pattern is available right now! This is the new cover model from a brand-new hot off the presses book, 60 Quick Baby Blankets.
(60 Quick Baby Blankets, published by Sixth&Spring Books. Photos by Jack Deutsch copyright © 2013 by Sixth&Spring Books/Cascade Yarns. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
Here Little Lamb is looking all proud on the cover. I used a simple loop stitch for the woolly coat (different than the twisted loop stitch). This stitch is much easier to create. I was asked to create the lamb as a bonus project included in the book and for the cover.
[Little Lamb designed by Susan B. Anderson from 60 Quick Baby Blankets, published by Sixth&Spring Books. Photos by Jack Deutsch copyright © 2013 by Sixth&Spring Books/Cascade Yarns. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
I have another project besides the Little Lamb included in the book and that would be a baby blanket. When the publisher called to ask if I would contribute a baby blanket I said sure. Then they said it needed to be an intarsia monster-themed blanket. And I still said sure. I was thinking it would be a fun challenge and it was.
[Monster Mash designed by Susan B. Anderson from 60 Quick Baby Blankets, published by Sixth&Spring Books. Photos by Jack Deutsch copyright © 2013 by Sixth&Spring Books/Cascade Yarns. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
I sketched and tried a variety of monster-ish things before settling on the blanket you see above. I love the finished baby blanket the publisher named Monster Mash. It is perfect for any monster-loving baby or child. The colors used can make the blanket boyish or more girlish. I picked out the more boy-themed colors because a lot of knitting designs (mine included) can lean toward girls more.
Now, for any of your intarsia fears.... throw them out of the window. This blanket is made in squares. Four of the squares are plain stockinette with a garter stitch border. The five monster squares are all made exactly the same. The intarsia is incredibly simple. I didn't use bobbins just long lengths of the yarn. The yarn is bulky weight, Cascade 128 (click here to see the amazing colors available in this superwash yarn). It knits up incredibly fast and squishy. This is great yarn.
I wanted the monsters to appear to be moving and jumping all over the squares. The added embroidery makes the monsters come to life, don't you think? It's a really fun and sweet knit. I made a garter stitch border in the round with mitered corners. It's a nice finishing touch.
You could add a fabric backing on the blanket in flannel or something but I made sure to take a photo of the backside before I sent off the blanket for photography. I think the back of the blanket looks great! You don't need a backing at all.
60 Quick Baby Blankets is a fantastic collection of blankets with a huge variety in the mix, everything from cables to stitch patterns to stripes to baby buntings to gingham to plaid and more. Plus, you can get the book for only 10 bucks on amazon and it has 62 patterns. This is an example of why knitting books are still the best deal around for knitting patterns. Unbelievable deal! Even if you don't knit all of the projects it is packed full of stitch pattern ideas, charts, and inspiration that you could use on other projects.
I think this is a must-have for anyone interested in knitting special gifts for babies.
That's it for today. I heard that my new book, Topsy-Turvy, Inside-Out Knit Toys is being released a little early! I am so excited for this book to come out, it's really a different twist on knit toys. I'll be back with more on the projects inside covers soon. If you'd like a fun sneak peek check out the book trailer video by clicking right here.