Sunday, August 19, 2018

Tecumseh Sweater Kits & Poms with a Snap!

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well and that August is being good to you this year. I want to let you know that we have a new and exciting sweater kit available over on Barrett Wool Co. for the Tecumseh sweater! The design is by the fabulous Caitlin Hunter of @boylandknitworks on Instagram. She is just an amazing new designer who is taking the knitting world by storm. I am a big fan of her work and it thrills me that she is letting us create unique kits with her designs. She is fun and open for anything it seems. I love that about her.

Tecumseh is a roomy, comfortable sweater that has a simple top-down construction with bands of colorwork and lots of straight knitting with one color. It is the best of all worlds as far as knitting a sweater is concerned. 

The Tecumseh Sweater Kits come in two color options. 

I didn't quite get my Tecumseh finished for the kit launch but I am now working on the first sleeve with the body being finished. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

The yarn has been special ordered from our local mill. It is our Wisconsin Woolen Spun in a DK weight. 

One color option for the kit has Birch (creamy natural white) as the main color. The contrast colors of Penny and Pebble are the same for both kits.

The second color option is our light gray color called Rain Shower as the main color. Miss Molly is working on the sweater in this colorway. I really love this one, too. 

Click here for the Tecumseh Sweater Kit information! I hope you'll join me in knitting one of these gorgeous, wearable sweaters for the upcoming fall season.

And I want to let you know about a great special we have going on for all of you hat knitters...

In the BWC Mercantile, we have just listed these fantastic neutral pom-poms that snap on to the top of your hat! 

We have these on a special right now. If you purchase two of the poms and enter the code POM at checkout, you get both poms for only $10! They are $6 apiece, so that is a great saving.

Click here to find out more about these fantastic Pom-Poms with a snap!

I made a quick tutorial on how to attach the poms to the top of a hat that you might find useful.

And finally...

There has been lots and lots of this going on in August. I just love to walk, run, bike in August. It is so peaceful and lush around here. I hope you are able to enjoy a little of the great outdoors in this late summer month before the bustle of the fall is upon us. 

Take care, friends. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Great Falls Park & Little Giraffe

Photo Credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well. Things are busy and hot and humid around here. I think it is 90 degrees right now and feels like the mid-to-upper 90s with the humidity. But still, despite the heat, I am knitting away on a big sweater called Tecumseh by Caitlin Hunter. I'll share more about it later. 

First, in business, I want to let you know that we have listed more Little Giraffe Kits in the shop on Barrett Wool Co. There are three really sweet colorways available that you will love.

The pattern for the Little Giraffe originally appeared in Making Magazine No. 3 / Dots. We have this magazine in the Mercantile right now and many other Making magazines as well.

Photo Credit: Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Little Giraffe is a little bigger size toy than many that I design. This toy sits at about 10-inches tall. It is such a great size for kids as you can see. The construction is clever, limbs and ears first, and then they are knit right in as you work the head and body. No piecing together of little parts, it's really fool-proof!

All you need to add is a little stuffing, the rest is provided including the eyes and yarn for the mouth.

So my husband and I took a little trip to see my brother and sister-in-law in Virginia last week. They are both going through some health issues so really we were there not only to visit but to help out a bit. It was great to see them and to spend time in their beautiful home. It's such a pretty area.

During one quiet afternoon we drove over to the Great Falls Park for a quick hike. It was truly spectacular and not a difficult hike so it all just seemed very pleasant. The trails were wide and well-kept as it is a busy park. The views were amazing. I recommend this one!

My hiking buddy is a pretty fun guy, always game for a hike or run or walk or bike ride. I love that about him.

Have a great week! I'll be back soon with more. I wish August would slow down a little. I'm not ready for college to start again for my girls...
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Hi, Knitters,
I am so excited to announce that I am teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in Minneapolis, Minnesota from November 9-11th, 2018! I'd love to see you at the event which is in one of my favorite cities. 

Here is the list for my class options:

Seamless Dolls (using the Mary, Millie & Morgan pattern) click here to see!

Little Hedgie (using the Hedgie pattern) click here to see!

Fair Isle Hat (in class exclusive pattern and handouts)

Shawl Shapes ~ shawl design (in class exclusive handouts including tons of tips and guidelines and 11 shawl formulas)

Sheep! (using the Sheep! pattern) click here to see!

Smooth Operator Socks (using the SOS pattern) click here to see!

Anyway, let me know if you are coming to the event. I love the Vogue Knitting events so much and I think you would, too. 

Have a great day!
xo ~ susan

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mermaids ~ new pattern release!

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are doing well. We are having a rainshower-filled weekend, very off and on. We had dinner at Evan and Molly's house last night. Along with his brother and dad, he built a new deck on the side of his 100-year-old house and we tested it out with a cookout. They strung white lights and he found a small picnic table for free and he built two benches to go along with it. It is all kind of cozy and perfect. We enjoyed each other, as always, and shared a delicious meal and fun stories. The rain held off until right after dinner where we went inside to chat more and some watched the last inning of the Brewer's game. All in all, it was a successful summer night.

Well, I have a new pattern for you. I have been thinking about knitting a mermaid pattern for a long time, years in fact. I don't know why I didn't ever get around to it until now but I am glad I finally did. I really like the results!

There are Mermaids Kits available on Barrett Wool Co. with lots of options to make one or all three and there is a Mystery Item that can be added to your kit, as well. This item is a useful tool that goes along with the kit. I think you will love it. 

The Ravelry pattern for Mermaids is on discount right now through July 27th, 2018. The pattern price is set at $3.50, no code needed. After that it will be priced at $5.00. 

The Mermaids are knit with our Home Fingering Weight yarn.

Here is the Mermaids pattern information that might be of interest:
Beaches, waves, warm sunshine and of course, Mermaids! In these warm beachy months of summer it seemed the right time to create an adorable trio of Mermaids. These little mermaid dolls are knit seamlessly from the bottom-up with the arms, fins, ears and crown being picked up and knit on. The instructions provide exact placement for all of the appendages and eyes and instructional photos are included to help along the way. There is a necklace of pearls (or maybe French knots!) embroidered on afterward and there is a video tutorial link for this technique included in the pattern.
Instructions include simple guidelines for making a Merman, if interested.
I hope you enjoy knitting these lovely little Mermaids. They make for a joyful set!
Finished measurements 
9-inches tall
Barrett Wool Co.’s Home Fingering Weight (100% American Wool; 370 yards 338m / 100 grams). Samples use the following colors:
Mermaid #1: 
Hair color: Wishing Well (blue)
Bikini, Fin and Crown: Priscilla 
Skin Color: Bear 
Tail Color: Wood Violet
Mermaid #2: 
Hair color: Priscilla (pink)
Bikini, Fin and Crown: Wood Violet 
Skin Color: James 
Tail Color: Wishing Well
Mermaid #3: 
Hair color: Wood Violet (purple)
Bikini, Fin and Crown: Wishing Well 
Skin Color: Tattersall 
Tail Color: Priscilla
US size 3 (3.25mm) double-pointed needles
6mm safety eyes (2) 
Dark pink embroidery floss for mouth 
Polyester fiberfill
7.5 sts per inch /9 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

My favorite part of seamless toy knitting is working that final stitch and having the toy be completed in that instant! That is a satisfying moment. 

The Mermaids Kit is really adorable! If you give the kit a try, I hope you really enjoy it. 

One last thing I want to mention is the necklace in the photo above. My longtime friend Sheri and her daughter Whitnie are making these necklaces called We Are One. Part of the profits is donated to Global Giving. You can get We Are One stamped in your language of choice. I have purchased several of these for family members and I have my own. I chose Spanish as the language, Somos Uno. I loved it because at that family dinner last night we were all wearing our We Are One necklaces and I felt the sentiment was true, near and far. 

Have a great week ahead. I appreciate you all so much, Knitters.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Hammock Time + Molly Socks

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well and that your knitting has been satisfying this summer so far. Yesterday I spent some time in the backyard hammock. I grabbed my favorite book from childhood, Mandy by Julie Edwards who is actually the great actress/singer Julie Andrews. As a child this book Mandy drew me in and gave me comfort somehow. It is the sweetest story of an orphan who discovers a tiny run-down cottage next to the orphanage. She steals away to the cottage every spare moment and creates a home for herself through her hard work, determination and ingenuity. There are some harrowing moments along the way and the ending could not be better. 

I have my original copy of Mandy from 1971. It is tattered, taped together and the pages are yellowed but the words are as good as they were 47 years ago. You might like to have a copy to read and share.

Click here to see the book Mandy on Amazon! (I don't have any affiliation here.)  

photo from Devin Ventre

Yesterday we released a new kit for the Molly Socks over on Barrett Wool Co. Aren't they so cute? The pattern is by Devin Ventre (click here for Devin's website).  Devin is the designer of the Gigi Cardigan and the Cabled Gigi Sweater. She is new and upcoming and I love working with her. 

Devin has a way of making a simple project special with little details that entertain along the way. This is more difficult than it may seem. She has done it again with the Molly Socks. I love the way they look and knit up. 

photo from Devin Ventre

We have pulled together the sweetest kit for you to make your own Molly Socks in six different color choices that I paired with a contrasting mini-skein for the heels and toes if you like. I cast on my own pair and I have to say the super simple lace panel is one of the easiest lace stitch patterns I have done. This would be the perfect first lace project. 

Devin used the Strawflower colorway of our Home Fingering Weight and it is a pretty perfect match. 

I cast on my own pair in the Field colorway and I am going to do a contrast heel in the Strawflower colorway. I am really enjoying this pattern so much and I think you will, too. This is one of the Molly Socks Kit combinations that is available.

The Home Fingering Weight is a slightly heavier fingering weight wool that has crisp stitch definition and a lot of squish and bounce. For my size I only cast on 56 stitches so it is going really fast.

I am also excited to introduce The Sock Ruler to Barrett Wool Co. I love this tool for my sock knitting. I did a quick demonstration video on The Sock Ruler for the BWC newsletter.

This handy tool can be included in your Molly Socks Kit or it is available for individual purchase as well.

Here is the kit in the Strawflower and Field colorway. The kit includes a Ravelry download code for the pattern. 

And just to let you know there are only FIVE Sleepy Kitten Kits left in the shop this morning. You can purchase it with or without the Making Magazine. If you get the magazine we are throwing in a Ravelry download code for the pattern as well. Or you can just add the pattern to your kit. 

We probably won't have this kit available again for quite awhile so if interested be sure to check it out. 

Have a beautiful Sunday, friends. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sleepy Summer + a giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
How are you? It's been a little while. I hope you are having an excellent summer so far. June flew by as expected and it was a month full of family and a bustling house around here. Today happens to be my 29th wedding anniversary which seems impossible but time flies when you are having fun, right?

Today I have a couple of things to share with you. Over on Barrett Wool Co. we have brought one of our most popular kits back to the shop. It's the Sleepy Kitten Set Kit! These kittens are endlessly sweet and will bring loads of adoration from any recipient. And it is a fun knit to boot!

The pattern originally appeared in Making Magazine No. 4 / Lines.

The pattern is now also available on Ravelry for individual download. Click here for the pattern!

The pattern in both the magazine and the individual download includes the instructions for the super simple sewn sleeping bags.

The Sleepy Kitten Set includes all of the yarn to complete both kittens and the nightie, and some thread for the face embroidery and whiskers. 

The kittens are worked almost seamlessly (the only seam is stitching the head to the body) and there is a clever construction. All of the appendages, legs, arms, ears, and tail, are knit first and set aside with live stitches. Then as you work the body and head the appendages are knit in as you go. I really like this construction because it eliminates any guesswork for placement and it is good to get those smaller pieces done right away, too.

The kit can be purchased with or without the magazine or pattern, in case you already own the pattern.

These kits are selling quickly and we have a limited number so if you are interested jump on over to check it out. The yarn is our coveted Wisconsin Woolen Spun. It is a special kit to say the least.

Another sleepy and snuggly Giveaway is going on right now! If you are a subscriber to my Barrett Wool Co. weekly newsletter you are automatically included in a giveaway for the fantastic Wrap-Me-Up Toys Kit! These are some of the cutest toys I have ever designed. I love them so much, especially when they are wrapped up in their blankies. 

Click here to check out the Wrap-Me-Up Toys Kit! It is also available for purchase right now.

It is a prize worth over $50 and any worldwide location is eligible to win. All you have to do is be a subscriber to enter to win. I am announcing the randomly selected winner in next Friday's newsletter.

You can subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of any page on the Barrett Wool Co. website by simply entering your email address in the box.

Good luck if you are entered to win this adorable kit.

One last thing here to share is that Patricia, @pkyk61 on Ravelry (that's her photo above) was a student of mine in Edmonton last fall for my Sock Yarn Bunny Workshop. Patricia posted her fantastic finished bunny and I just had to share. It's so cute!

I put the pattern for the Sock Yarn Bunny on discount this week. It is priced at only $3.50 for a few more days. No code is needed. Then the price will go back to the original $5.00. I thought I'd let you know in case you have some lingering sock yarn that might like to become a bunny.

Thanks for stopping in today. Have a great week ahead and I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Little Dino Pattern + Kits!

Hi, Knitters,
Last week I returned from nearly a week in Vermont and New Hampshire. I was teaching at the Wing and a Prayer Retreat, also known as the New England Fiber Arts Summit. It was a beautiful setting for the retreat actually taking place right on the farm. The food was delicious and locally sourced, there were classes by Cal Patch, Katrina Rodabaugh, Bristol Ivy, Thea Colman, and me. I loved it because I got to attend the classes which is really rare when you are a teacher at an event. Taproot Magazine was a sponsor and I stayed in a house on the property with Amanda Soule of Taproot and the Soule Mama blog. Anyway, it was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you ever get a chance to attend you should do it!

Now for some business, I have a new pattern release this weekend! Little Dino is a brand new toy design and it is such a fun little knit. The toy is knit in Barrett Wool Co. Home Worsted Weight.

The pattern is on a release discount for $3.50, no code needed. In a week the price will be set at $5.00. Click here for the Little Dino pattern and discount on Ravelry!

We also have super cute kits available on Barrett Wool Co. in 3 different colorways, a pink theme, a blue theme and the green theme that you see in the photos.

I love the sweet expression and the nostrils formed by decreases. 

The back view is as cute as the front view!

The kit includes everything you need to make ONE of the dinosaurs, either the striped or solid. There is a yarn only option, too, if you want to knit more than one. It's a super affordable kit so hop on over if interested. 

Have a wonderful Sunday. I've woken up to rainfall and it's quite cool in temperature. I'm kind of enjoying this quiet Sunday morning while working on an old project, my Alabama Chanin reverse applique skirt. Do you think I'll ever finish this one? I hope so.
xo ~ susan

Monday, May 28, 2018

Episode 31 ~ Cabled Gigi & Yarn Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are having a great long weekend here in America. We had a family cookout last night which was really fun. I love having all of my kids and their significant others around. There is always a lot of laughter and storytelling. And there is always a lot of good food! The hot weather continues with a projected high of 93 degrees today. It is tough to do much at the height of that heat. I'll get outside on the early side today.

I recorded a new podcast episode. If interested, please be sure to enter to win the yarn over on YouTube by simply leaving a comment that includes your Ravelry username.

Click here for Episode 31 and to leave a comment over on YouTube!

Click here for Episode 31 Shownotes and Links over on the BWC Journal!

In the podcast, I'm wearing a new pattern release called Cabled Gigi Pullover. It is a new favorite of mine. The pattern is by Devin Ventre. Click here for Devin's website, Knitty McPurly.

The Cabled Gigi Cardigan and ALL of the Barrett Wool Co. patterns are 50% off right now using the code SUMMER at checkout.

Click here for the Cabled Gigi Pullover!

Click here for all of the Barrett Wool Co. Patterns!

We have kits right now for the Cabled Gigi Pullover on Barrett Wool Co. The kit includes the pattern and yarn and also a custom made Diamond Willow button that is truly beautiful.

Click here for the Cabled Gigi Pullover Kits in 7 gorgeous color options!

Have a wonderful week ahead. I'm traveling to Vermont to teach at the Wing and a Prayer Farm this weekend. I can't wait for this small intimate retreat in a scenic setting. I have never been to Vermont so I am really looking forward to it!
xo ~ susan

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Going West Socks, Gigi Cardigan + more!

Hi, Knitters,
Well, I've been knitting up a storm lately. I've finished a couple of sweaters and a couple pairs of socks. It feels good to get some things done. I've also been sewing up a storm. I whipped up a dozen quilted placemats and a few quilted coasters. Most of these were for gifts but I held onto a couple of placemats to add to my collection. We use these placemats so much that some of ours are getting a bit worn. I hope your creative energy has been going strong this spring.

I have a few new things to share today. I've added a new pattern to my Ravelry Pattern Shop. The pattern for my Craftsy class of the same name is now mine. The pattern is My First Toe-Up Socks and I have it available for a discounted price right now. 

The pattern price is set at $3.50 for another week or so, no code needed. Then the price will be set at $5.00. Please note, if you own the Craftsy class you already have the pattern. 

The pattern includes worsted weight and fingering weight instructions for three sizes (S, M, L) and for double-points and magic loop! 

Speaking of socks, we have two new Going West Socks Minis Kits available over on Barrett Wool Co. I've selected new color combinations in our Home Fingering Weight to make these fun striping socks. The socks use my Smooth Operator Socks pattern along with the free striping instructions on the Barrett Wool Co. Journal.

Colors from left to right: Scout, Tattersall, Blush, Ellie Grey, Strawflower and Field

Colors from left to right: Peppercorn, March Wind, James, Marmalade, Acorn and Morning Sky 

Photo credit: Lucinda Scala Quinn

And lastly, we've listed new colors for the Gigi Cardigan Kits on Barrett Wool Co. I love this cardigan so much. The photo above is the wonderful Lucinda Scala Quinn (author of the Mad Hungry cookbooks) wearing her Gigi she knitted from our kit in the Birch colorway. This is Lucinda's first sweater and she looks fabulous! I love how proud she looks.

The yarn is our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted and we still have a limited number of the custom buttons available as well. The pattern is by the talented Devin Ventre. We have a new sweater from Devin that's releasing very soon.

Okay, friends, have a wonderful Sunday. It is rainy and colder here today so it should be a good crafting day. I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Branches & Buds Sweater Kits + Galiano Island Retreat

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all doing well. I have been traveling and teaching again, spring has finally hit big-time in Madison and we have restocked sweater kits over on Barrett Wool Co.! There's a lot going on.

First, our very popular Branches & Buds Sweater Kits were just restocked last night and they are selling quickly. However, we have a large number of kits so don't worry if you'd like to get one for yourself. There are plenty! The sweater is designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge and it is an iconic sweater in my opinion, both gorgeous and instantly recognizable. 

The Branches & Buds Sweater Kit includes our Barrett Wool Co. Wisconsin Woolen Spun Sport Weight yarn. This yarn is local, light and airy and frankly, one of the most beautiful yarns I have ever used. I simply love everything about this sweater kit.

The pattern is well-written and simple enough for first-time colorwork but also perfect for experienced knitters. There is a wide size range and the sweater looks great on all sizes. I've seen it knit and worn in the smallest to the largest size and it is flattering and comfortable.

I want to share some quick photos from my latest traveling adventure. I went to the Galiano Island Retreat which is hosted by Knit Social. Galiano Island is one of the Gulf Islands off of Vancouver. This is one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen. And I had a complete ball with the knitters and hosts. This was sincerely one of the best retreats I've ever attended.

The photo above from left to right: Jodi of Grocery Girls Podcast, Amanda of Knit Social, Fiona of Knit Social, me, and Tracie of the Grocery Girls Podcast. 

Click here for the Grocery Girls Podcast! One of my faves. I'm so glad I got to spend time with my buddies Jodi and Tracie.

We stayed at the Galiano Inn, where the food was so delicious and the rooms were beautiful. All of the rooms had an ocean view. The retreat took over the entire Inn but it is small. I think there were 26 attendees. 

I went on hikes and runs every day. The views were scenic and peaceful. Just out the door was a cute bakery and coffee shop and bookstore. There were restaurants and shops just minutes away by foot. It was charming and it made you never want to leave.

There was a small and gorgeous marketplace on Saturday. I'm here with Shannon Cook of Very Shannon. Click here for Shannon's fantastic website.

Jane Richmond was with her for their table. They have written many books together and I own them all! Click here for Jane's lovely website. 

These two are some of my favorite knitters, honestly. I have met them several times before but this was the first time I got to spend quality time with them. They are simply wonderful and fun and talented. True gems of the knitting world.

I am holding my baby sweater yarn from Gauge Dyeworks! I will be knitting a couple baby sweaters in the future with this genius yarn. Click here for Gauge Dyeworks! Much more to come on this!

I cast on a new sock for the plane rides home. I am still glowing with the memory of this fantastic knitting adventure. I taught two Smooth Operator Sock workshops and the students were so fun and game to learn. The other instructor was the smart and endearing Andrea Rangel of AlterKnit fame. 

Click here for Andrea Rangel's website! Andrea is so much fun and she's interesting, friendly, and she has a great sense of humor. I enjoyed her so much.

Anyway, I'll have more to share soon. Have a beautiful weekend.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sweet Bee and Flower + Making No. 5 / Colors

photo credit: carrie bostick hoge

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Spring has finally sprung here in Wisconsin. It is supposed to be 60 degrees today. It seems hard to believe and it will be hard to not feel like grabbing my winter coat when I'm heading out the door. I am looking forward to some warmer temperatures as I'm sure many of you are, too. 
I have a new pattern out this weekend. It is called Sweet Bee and Flower and I'm really excited about it. It is in the new issue of Making Magazine No. 5 / Colors which is an incredible magazine filled with projects and inspiration. We have some fun things going on to celebrate the little bees and flowers over on Barrett Wool Co. 
The Sweet Bee and Flower kit is our first pre-order kit!  The kits will be sent out in about 4-6 weeks as we are waiting for our new shipment of yarn. If you order the Making Magazine No. 5 / Colors along with your kit, we will ship you the magazine right away and the kits will be shipped separately and for free as soon as they are ready.
We will keep you updated on the kit pre-order status as we anxiously await our new batch of yarn! Thank you for your patience and we know it will be worth the wait.

Click here to find the Sweet Bee and Flower on Ravelry!

Also, you can order Making No. 5 / Colors by itself and we have Making Magazine Numbers 1-4 available in the Mercantile! These magazines are collector's items that you won't want to miss.

Click here for the Mercantile for the Making Magazines!

photo credit: carrie bostick hoge

Here you can see the full Sweet Bee and Flower project. There is a flower cozy to hold a little sweet bee. These are knit in Home Fingering Weight yarn on US size 2 and 3 needles. There is no seaming as everything is picked up and knit on which makes it a slick and fun project. 

I had to share the beautiful cover of the Making Magazine No. 5 / Colors. It's so spring-y and fresh!

One last thing, there is a discount going on for all of the scissors over on Barrett Wool Co. If you enter SCISSORS at checkout you get $1.00 of every pair of scissors purchased. The style in the photo is our newest pair called Vintage. I think these are my new favorites. 

Have a great week ahead, Knitters! Next week I am off to teach at Galiano Island for a knitting retreat. I can't wait for this one. It is run through Knit Social and they always do an excellent job.

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