Thursday, April 20, 2017

It was Grand and other knitting news!

Hi, Knitters,
I am back from a spring break vacation with the family and I want to share a little bit about it. But first, I am so excited to say that we have a new kit available over on Barrett Wool Co. for my Three French Hens pattern. You can purchase the kit with or without the Taproot Magazine (this is the only place the pattern is available right now). I think you will love this pattern, the kit, the yarn and the magazine!

In six months from now the individual pattern for the hens will be available for purchase on Ravelry.

In other news, I did a write-up recipe for adding short row shaping to the backside of a sweater. Do you see that swoop at the back in the photo above? I did that by adding in a few short rows before I started the ribbing on the Branches & Buds sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I love doing this so that the sweater doesn't ride up in the back. I provided a general how-to recipe that could be used for any sweater or cardigan, either top-down or bottom-up.

By the way, more sweater kits are in the works for the Branches & Buds sweater and should be available very soon.

Now for some fun vacation stuff!

So we took a week off and flew to Phoenix, Arizona, a place I had not visited before, and we had a fantastic time. My entire family came along with the exception of Peachy. College gets in the way of vacations sometimes. My sons and their significant others, TC and my husband, of course, were all there for the fun.

Anyway, we stayed in a rental home that was just beautiful. It was in a nice neighborhood and it was full of little luxuries. The house had an infinity pool and spa and a putting green in the backyard. There was lots of comfy shaded seating and umbrellas, and a huge grill and outdoor dining area which we loved and used a lot. We hiked, ran, biked, walked, ate really good food, relaxed, read lots of books, and just enjoyed each other. It was really nice.

On one of the days, we took off very early and drove to the Grand Canyon. We packed a picnic lunch and hiked all around the Canyon for several hours. The photo above shows one view. There is no possible way to capture the majesty and beauty of the Grand Canyon in a photo. It is a sight beyond your wildest dreams. I have flown over the Grand Canyon many times but to actually stand at the edge of it is humbling. I am glad I got to see it in person with my family.

On another afternoon we hiked Camelback Mountain. It has an "Extremely Difficult" rating and we were warned by a park ranger as we started up the mountain. This is an accurate rating for sure, the hike was no joke. The photo above shows one section of the hike and it was pretty much straight up with huge boulders to navigate the entire time. 

I have to say that even though my husband has climbed this mountain 5 times before he didn't really describe it as all that difficult for some reason. If I had known how challenging it was ahead of time I may not have done it. But I feel really good that I safely and slowly but surely made it to the top of the mountain and back down. It was a really hard hike for me, not so much physically, but more mentally. I loved it. The best part was choosing the path to take and maneuvering around, up and down those gigantic rocks. I was more concerned about the getting down part but I made it fine.

The kids at the Grand Canyon! 

We are so lucky to have the Baker in the family! That's my second son if you don't know. He is currently cooking at a fabulous local restaurant in Madison so he isn't baking as much right now professionally. His cooking skills are impressive, to say the least. At home he pretty much only shops at our local Madison farmers markets for his daily food. He was excited to visit the Phoenix open air farmers market on our last day. It was a good market. We ate an entire meal using only the market produce that night.

Above is the salad he whipped up for us. The salad in the photo consisted of Swiss chard, beets, grapefruit, fresh squeezed lemon juice (from lemons picked from the backyard tree), and salt. It was the best salad I've ever had. The rest of the meal consisted of grilled vegetables on skewers. I loved it all so much.  

On the trip I did a ton of stitching. I have so much embroidery that I want to do but I just don't make time for it in my busy knitting schedule. I took advantage on the trip. I started and finished two pieces.

The embroidery in the photo above is from my favorite, Rebecca Ringquist, and it is called the Red Line Sampler. I've talked about her pretty extensively in the past. Her company is called Dropcloth and she is fun and artistic with her work. I highly recommend her.

Click here for Rebecca's online classes on! These classes are so good. I've taken many of them.

The other stitching I finished is from Cozyblue and it is the little house on the right. Cozyblue or Liz makes adorable little stitching kits. These kits come with the needle, floss and printed fabric. I have a couple more of these to make in my stash. 

I've recently purchased a few interesting stitching items at French General, too. I'll share those soon but the bobbins holding my threads are from French General if you are interested. 

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you are all doing well.

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


KC Heller said...

I hope you bring some of those French Hen kits to the Zombie knitpocalypse retreat!

Kristin Nicholas said...

Great trip Susan! I haven't ever been to the Grand Canyon. WOuld love to go. Loving your embroidery and all the things you are sharing. XO Kristin

EstherGrace Gilbert said...

A question and then an idea

Is Creativebug another business like Craftsy? Any preferences and why?

That picture of the Grand Canyon and your memories, might they get you inspired to design something yourself?

Susan B. Anderson said...

Creativebug is a little different. It is a subscription website although I think you can purchase individual classes as well. The classes are usually shorter and a little more specific project based.

I really like it a lot. I like Craftsy a lot, too. Craftsy is a little more in depth, a lot of technique classes, longer classes, more variety, etc. You can purchase individual classes on Craftsy, too.

Both are good resources!

LannieK said...

Isn't the Canyon just amazing! Glad you & your family got to visit. You are so right that no photo can do it justice - just bring back the memories of the many beautiful & changing colors, the light, sounds and views! I still want to ride a burro to the bottom one day.
Love your stitching! So cheery and bright. Makes me want to drag mine out again :-)

Pam K said...

Hi Susan; So glad you had a nice vacation in Phoenix (my home). I am impressed that you made it up Camelback. I have been afraid to try. The Grand Canyon has the same impact on me. It is always breathtaking.
Loving the stitch work. I might try some this summer.

conny said...

Oh, I would so much love to see the Grand Canyon again. A couple of years ago (well, 7 to be precise) my husband and I toured the western part of your great country, and the Grand Canyon was so amazing. We saw Zion, Bryce and Yosemite as well, and each National Park has its own wonderful uniqueness.
Although we drove many, many miles, I didn't bring any knitwork at that time - it would have been a good way of relaxing during the long hours in the car.

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing your Southwest adventure

Pauly Heller said...

Beautiful post, Susie! Wish I'd known you were in Phoenix, my "hometown" for the past 36 years. Glad you enjoyed the beauty here. My kids used to run up and down Camelback Mountain, but not me. The footing is too tricky and steep for this lady.

Rebekah B. said...

I just love everything you do! You're amazing! I'm wondering about a cute bear in a bunny suit that you posted about on instagram a while ago. Can I buy just that pattern as a single, or do I have to buy the book? He's just so cute!!!

Susan B. Anderson said...

Rebekah B.
The pattern for the Bear in a Bunny Suit is only available in the book at this time:)
Thanks for asking.

purlgin said...

Thank you for this post. I would love to get your Short Row Recipe, but the link takes me your (adorable) giraffe pattern.

Susan B. Anderson said...

Purlgin, I've fixed the link in the post! Thank you for letting me know. Here is the link:

Jodiebodie said...

That's a great photo of the Grand Canyon.
I have never been to America but if I ever got the chance to go, the Grand Canyon is the one thing on my list to see. If I see nothing else, I will be satisfied.
You have such a big country and it is nice to see the scenery in your blog.

I am also amazed at how well developed the yarn crafting industry seems to be in your country. I suppose that's because you have a large population to sustain it. How exciting to be part of an enterprise like Craftsy and to have those opportunities!

peggy said...

I love getting your emails. There's always something interesting, especially the kits. Peggy