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