Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kitchener Stitch Demo with Yarntini Love

Hi Knitters,
I am so excited to be done with these beautiful Yarntini socks. I love them and my feet love them, too. This yarn is one of my all-time favorites so if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some snatch it up quick.

I finished the second sock on video so you could enjoy the moment with me and see the kitchener stitch if you haven't done it before!
best, susie

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sprout Hat Topper Tutorial

Hi Knitters,
I have another clip for you on the sprout hat topper from Itty-Bitty Hats. I've had a few questions about this one along the way and thought it would be a good and quick video tutorial.
best, susie

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chain Stitch and Wrap Stitch

Hi Knitters,
Remember this blanket I made for a baby gift awhile back? I received quite a few emails wondering how I embroidered Charlotte onto the blanket. All of a sudden I noticed yesterday that there is a new button to upload videos onto your blog. I am all about easy buttons and we are trying it out.

My son filmed me today for a tutorial on the chain stitch with wrap stitch technique. There is one brief moment that is slightly out of focus, but other than that it turned out okay. This is one of my favorite embroidery techniques to use on knitted fabric. There is so much flexibility with this technique. Take some time to practice and you will quickly see how easy it is. I hope this helps. Let me know what you think.
best, susie

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can't Wait

Hi Knitters,
There are so many great knitting books coming out this fall and winter. I simply can't wait to get my hands on some of these. Here is a list of the books I am especially anxious to get (but not in any specific order):

1. Knitting New Scarves
2. Knitting Little Luxuries
3. Kaffe Knits Again
4. Bag Style
5. Kristin Knits
6. Essential Baby
7. Yarnplay at Home
8. Felt Forward
9. Warm Fuzzies

This is just the start. I am amazed at the number of really fantastic books out there. It is such fun. For you new knitters you wouldn't believe the lack of books available when I started knitting over 20 years ago. You could maybe find 3 or 4 books at a bookstore on knitting if any at all. It is wonderful to have all of the choices now not only in the books we buy but in the yarn we have access to. I think it is one of the greatest developments in knitting over the last years. The knitting world is our oyster.

The other interesting thing I have noticed is the increase in books on knitting for men that are coming out shortly. Among other titles there is Son of a Stitch and Bitch and The Knitting Man(ual) both of which have great titles. There is always this complaint that there aren't enough patterns available for boys and men. I always find this interesting since I rarely see knitters knitting for men. That may be the whole chicken and the egg debate for knitting for men. If there are more patterns will everyone start knitting for men? We'll have to see.

This week is coming to a rapid close. I have just finished registering my four kids for school. That means there has been a lot of standing in lines, filling out forms and writing lots and lots of checks. It is not all that fun but I am done and sadly enough that gives me quite a feeling of accomplishment. If you set the bar low enough it can make life pretty easy (those are not good words to live by).
best, susie
p.s. The rainbow came yesterday during a brief reprieve from constant pouring rain this week. Rainbows are always so good!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Attraction Coming Soon

Hi Knitters,
My son has convinced me to add a new feature to my blog. He is getting really into this stuff. I am going to start making some of my patterns available for purchase directly from my blog through paypal. I am still going to have the occasional free pattern available and I have a lot of tutorials in the works for knitting techniques that are used in Itty-Bitty Nursery. The bear sweater from page 81 in Itty-Bitty Hats is going to be the first pattern I make available. It will be sent to you in pdf form for you to print out.
I have received so many requests for this pattern that I felt I should write it up and get it out there.
I can't promise exactly when the pattern will be ready for several reasons. The first being that the pattern is currently written all over frog post-its. The other reasons are that my son and I are setting up paypal (that's not going smoothly at all) and we are figuring out how to get the pattern in the right format to send to you. As soon we get everything in place you'll find it here. If you have any tips about any of this be sure to let me know.
I have a couple more patterns in the works like a cute handbag (it is a mix of knitting and crochet) and some more knitted toys. Well, I have 8 kids running around in my house right now and there is a wild thunderstorm going on outside so it might be a wise choice for me to go.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

Hi Knitters,
We're back safe and sound. Isn't is good to come home? We went to Disney World for the week. My husband thought our kids were at the perfect ages to take a fun-filled journey to the land of dreams. He was right. I am not a ride person but I got to see things like one of the original Dorothy dresses from the Wizard of Oz at Planet Hollywood. That's enough to hold me over for a long time.
When I was 8 years old I went to Disney for the first time. When I saw this castle I simply couldn't believe my eyes. It didn't seem true. I felt like magic was all around. I loved seeing my kids feel that same excitement I felt so long ago. Anyway we had fun in the hot, hot sun. It was in the upper 90's everyday and humid beyond belief. In Madison it didn't even reach 60 yesterday and it is pouring rain. Talk about contrast.
I knitted a lot for the first couple days of the trip. I made eight mini-cupcakes for my publicist, Jaime, to hand out to various people she is contacting. It was adorable to see them all stacked up together when they were done. I had three flight attendants stop to talk about the cupcakes on the flight down. They all thought they were cute. Then as I was getting off of the plane the attendants were gathered at the door and they were talking about the cupcakes as I walked by. It is a good sign that they were still thinking about them later. The pattern is in the new book. Hopefully the cupcakes will do the trick for Jaime. We had to find a Fedex/Kinkos last Monday and mail them off to New York. Good thing my kids are patient with this stuff.
After I finished the cupcakes I dove into a new project, embroidery on felt. I fell in love with this project. It is a Jennifer Pudney kit I bought quite awhile ago. I bought several of her kits online just to have on hand. They are stuffed with beautiful materials, high quality goods to say the least. There are brief instructions that were good enough for me but if you want more detail on embroidery I recommend this and this.
Isn't it fun? I kept calling it my stitching and the kids laughed about that. I kept telling them how I loved my stitching. They like to laugh at me but they are very interested too. They kept admiring it and both of my girls want to stitch now that we are home. I will have to get some simple projects going for them.
Now Jennifer Pudney's company is extra great because they offer finishing services for you. You can either get your finished piece framed or for the felt embroidery only you can get it made into a bound journal cover. I am getting this piece made into a 120-page bound journal. I am giving it to my dear friend who is going through chemo right now. What I loved most about this project is that every time I took a stitch I thought about her and the journey she is going through. Most of all I thought about how much I care for her and want her to get well. That is positive energy well spent.
Here is my other Jennifer Pudney creation. This is the Princess and the Pea, only they call it the Pea Story. I had this one framed and they do all of the blocking for you. I sent off my wrinkly, masking taped needlepoint canvas and this gorgeous artwork is what I got in return. What a great deal!
There was a prince next to the mattresses but I took him out. I liked the bed, the pea and princess alone. Who needs that old prince in there?
Here are the kits. They are tiny. The needlepoint kits are called postcards. Anyway, thought I would share with you what captured my mind on the trip. I was completely engrossed and thoroughly impressed with this kit.
When I was waiting for my family to exit the rides I pulled the second pureknits yarntini sock out and knitted away. I made some progress. I got a lot of second looks by passersby while I was knitting. I always wonder what they see. I only had one woman ask me if it was a sock but mainly kids are completely fascinated by the knitting. They are mesmerized, almost walking backwards as they are being pulled along. What do they think? I make a wish sometimes that one day someone will teach them to knit. I little wish never hurt.
One more quick thing, my friend Stacey, made a post about a pea pod topped hat she knitted. She learned this in an embellishing class I taught many years ago. I have this sweet pea hat pattern available in my online shop if anyone is interested. This pattern is the bestseller on my site by far. We keep getting it reprinted and reprinted. Stacey had so many comments about the pea hat that I thought maybe people would like to have the pattern. I haven't talked about my shop much in the blog but take a look if you like.
It's good to be home! Hope you all had a good week.
best, susie

Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Don't know when I'll be back again.
Hi Knitters,
Just kidding. I am heading off on a short holiday with my family tomorrow. We are heading out for some end of summer fun.
Have a good knitting week and I'll be back before you know it.
p.s. Does anyone even remember that song?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fruit Style

Hi Knitters,
Check out this featured item from the Style section of the New York Times. Don't you love it? I have to have one or two of these just to look at. They make me smile.
best, susie

Friday, August 03, 2007

Flip Flop Fun

Hi Knitters,
Here is a quick and easy project to spruce up those summer flip flops for your girls.
You just need a pair of plain flip flops. I have used lots of different types of flip flops from the $1.99 types to the more expensive $20.00 type. So use whatever you have handy. I think I recently picked up 2 pair for a buck.
Next you will need loops. Let me tell you I do have a strong recommendation here. Klutz puts out the best loops ever! Take it from someone who has taught countless numbers of kids how to make potholders, these are the best. They are stretchy and colorful. One of my kids first got these loops in a potholder kit from Klutz. This little book that comes with the kit is fantastic. It teaches all about the weaving of potholders and then it gives patterns for designs and projects to make with completed potholders.
My kids whipped these out today including my 15 year old son making the tic tac toe potholder. I love that. He even crocheted the edges. Klutz also makes fantastic craft kits for all kinds of crafts and they are all good. These make great birthday gifts and they are fun, fun, fun.
I order up bags of loops straight off of the Klutz site.
The loops come like this. My girls were so excited when this package arrived. They raced off to start making their potholders.
Here's what you do to make these frilly flip flops. I have made these for both of my girls for many years. I start at one end of the flip flop and pull a loop through the underside.
Then I simply tie a half knot and I pull it really tight. They don't come off at all with the half knot but be sure to pull extra tight.
Next take another color and tie it the same way.
The important part is to push them down as tight as they will go. I cram as many loops on as possible. This makes the flip flop full and extra loopy. Just keep repeating this all the way around the top being sure to push the loops together as you work.
My daughter couldn't be more excited about these. They are so cute! I have seen other flip flop embellishing in this same style with balloons, fabric scraps and hair ties. It only takes a matter of minutes and little girls love them.
Guess what? I received my first copy of Itty-Bitty Nursery today. Artisan sent it out to me yesterday. It is pretty fun to see it in true book form. It looks wonderful. Everything is falling into place for the fall release. It is an exciting time. My tour is getting set up and it is looking great. I get to return to places I went last fall and then I get to visit a bunch of new cities on top of that! I can't wait to see all of those knitters again, old friends and new. I'll fill you in on all of that stuff once it is all set.
If you make some flip flops let me know!
best, susie