Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sweet Pea Hat Pattern

Hi Knitters,
The Sweet Pea hat pattern is available for purchase.

Pattern Information:
Sizes: 0-24 months (although the largest size will fit an older child)
Needles: US size 7 sixteen-inch circular needles and a set of 4 US size 7 dpns or the size to obtain gauge and a set of 2 US size 5 dpns for the pea pod.
Yarn: 2 skeins Tahki Cotton Classic to knit as for samples (or about 100 yards of worsted weight yarn and a much smaller amount of a contrasting color).
Click here to find out more or to purchase this pattern for $5.50.

best, susie

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sweet Pea's A-Coming

Hi Knitters,

I can't believe it's already Thursday. What is going on with the time flying by? I know I have been promising for about a month that I am going to make the Sweet Pea hat pattern available on my blog. I have actually pinned my son down for this weekend to make that happen. He does all of the configuring and pdf stuff for me. He has promised to help me so I will hold him to it. This pattern was available on my online shop that closed recently so now I am bringing it here. The other patterns that were on there I hope to make available soon as well. I am trying my hardest is all I can say. These things take time which, like I said, is flying by...

Nothing's better than a good sweet pea. If you are interested in this pattern be sure to check back.

The It's a Purl, Man live podcast I co-hosted with Guido Stein is now available for download or you can just listen right from his site. The link for that show is here. I think it turned out great. The topic is baby knitting which is always a happy, fun topic. Make sure to check out Guido's other shows, they are always a good listen.

Time for some odds and ends. These are the cutest booties ever, I have to purchase this pattern (or one of them) and give them a try. I love that the sock is knitted right in for a sweet layered look. Seriously, you have to look at this knitted baby gift, it is about the cutest pairing I have ever seen. Annie's Market is seriously cute as well, add it to your list! This girl is a real talent.

Here is one more thing I am going to be knitting real soon. Check this free pattern out. I used to love these little tennis socks with the pom on the back. I had them in every color. I am totally making some of these to sport around, pom and all.

This book looks cute. I have to check this out soon.

As I say to my kids on the way out the door, "Move it and shake it." Have a good day, Knitters.

best, susie

p.s. Granny square count: 45

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cleansing the Palate

Hi Knitters,
Believe it or not, I have actually been getting some work done for the book project I have under hand. I say this because I post about other side projects that I work on concurrently with my "work" knitting. The thing is that after I finish a project that I have designed and knitted I have to catch my breath for a moment. Take a quick breather, clear my mind, gear up for the next challenge.
I have started saying to myself after I finish a project and work on something mindless for a minute or two, "Now I need to cleanse my palate." My knitting palate that is. These granny squares have become my knitting palate cleanser, a bit like a light sorbet in between courses at a fancy restaurant. Do any of you do this (mindless knitting) in between tackling challenging projects?
On another note, I listened to this wonderful podcast today while I was running, by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood and the authors of the new Knitalong book. I am going to review this book when I get a chance. You should take a listen. I just love Jennifer, she is a real talent.
Thanks to the knitters who joined in on the live podcast yesterday for It's a Purl Man. That was really fun and I loved the questions and comments and web cam stuff during the podcast. What a new experience that was. I was definitely on overload trying to keep up.
Okay, have a good Monday evening.
best, susie

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guido and Me

Hi Knitters,
This is late notice but if you are free tomorrow at 11:00 am eastern time, 10:00 am central, I am kind of co-hosting the It's a Purl Man podcast with Guido Stein. The link is here if you want to join in to make comments or ask questions. You can write in and listen as we are on the air. Now that I read his post I guess I am co-hosting, not kind of. I didn't want to be presumptuous.
The topic is one of my favorites which I bet you can guess. It is Guido's 50th podcast so I am extra honored to be a part of this event. I better get some good rest tonight to be sure I am on my toes for a live show.
I hope you can spend your Sunday morning with Guido and me. He is an interesting knitter who lives in the Boston area with his new wife. I listen to his every podcast with joy. In fact, his theme song, which he sings with his brother, is worth the listen in itself. It makes me laugh every single time. He is a smart, happy sort with a great attitude about knitting and knitters. I especially love his interviews because he is completely charming and so are his guests.
If you miss the live show Guido will be posting it later as a regular podcast so I will direct you to that with a link when it comes out. He has a great podcast which sticks to knitting and spinning as the topics. I always appreciate this.
I hope to hear from you! Keep your fingers crossed for me doing a live show.
Good night, Knitters.
best, susie

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Minneola Cozy?

Hi Knitters,
My daughter discovered my pear apple cozy also fits a juicy minneola. She suggested that I let you all know this fact and so I am doing just that. Run and cozy your minneolas, quick!
On to a couple of other things. I am still crocheting away on my granny squares, and I am still loving it. They are just plain fun.
I checked out this blog this morning. Then I had to buy this pattern. I already started the scarf and I am actually figuring it out pretty easily, photos to come. I also printed out this great scarf pattern here. I love this with the cable with the dropped stitches. I plan on knitting this one soon.
The editor at Parents magazine I have been working with asked me to let you know about a contest they are having. They are looking for creative birth announcements and the link is here if you would like to enter. I know you are a creative bunch of baby lovers so get in touch with the magazine with your ideas!
I did find out that I will be at Joseph Beth Booksellers on May 17th for book signing activites and then I am going to be on a panel discussion at 3:00 that same day. I don't know who will be on the panel wtih me but I am sure it will be fun. I will let you know when I find out. The link about this event is here.
Okay, just a quick one today. It is beautiful here, finally!
best, susie

Monday, April 14, 2008

Granny Squared

Hi Knitters,
How cute are these? On Saturday I was browsing around on the internet, looking at knitting stuff of course, when I came across this. I can't believe it's true but I have never actually made a granny square before. I became suddenly obsessed with producing these adorable little squares. I crocheted the last couple days away and made it through one last snowfall (hopefully). I have always loved the vintage look of a good granny square.
I love the size, the colors, the simplicity and just the overall cuteness factor of a granny square. The tutorial on the purlbee is exceptional including step-by-step photographs. I memorized the pattern after completing one square. You only use the chain, double crochet and slip stitches to make this version. It couldn't get any more basic than that.
This site is phenomenal for inspiration, tutorials, free patterns, etc. I try to get on there often to see any updates. If you get a chance spend some time going through the right sidebar. There is no doubt you will find something that will strike your fancy. I am just a big fan of Purl in general. I love the store in NYC, the online shop, Joelle Hoverson and her sister, Jennifer, the books, the fabrics and accessories, the list goes on and on. There is such an understated feel of quality and natural beauty associated with everything they do at Purl. I order from them frequently and they have fantastic customer service to boot.
Back to the crochet at hand, I used a size H crochet hook and Tahki Cotton Classic in an assortment of colors. The color range of this yarn is hard to beat. It is funny because my daughter at one point took my odds and ends of Cotton Classic and organized it all by color. She put variations on a color theme in separate baggies. What I have been doing is pulling out the baggies she sorted and using her color groupings to create the squares. This has been pretty joyful all around. The squares are fun to make and I think of her while I look at the colors. I guess a blanket may eventually come of these squares. Granny squares may be my new mindless project for the time being.
Want to join me?
best, susie

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who Knew?

Hi Knitters,
Well, that was fun! I really had no idea, honestly. I pictured getting maybe 30 comments or so. I have never had enormous numbers of comments so I hadn't a clue that so many would come in. What a nice surprise. Thank you and thank you so much for the kindness in your comments. That sure makes a knitting girl feel good!

Since there was such a large number of entries I couldn't see printing out the comments and putting them in a hat (too much ink and paper wasted), so instead I added in the 15 emailed entries (you really were included) to the total number of comments left on the blog. Also, I posted a few comments that came in after the deadline but I didn't include those in the drawing. Rules are rules. We had the computer take the total number of comments and generate a random number and then we counted out on the blog to find the comment that matched the number. Phew!

On to the contest, here are the items that will be packaged up and sent out in a timely fashion. The package includes the knitted appletini elefante, of course, a signed copy of the elefante pattern (the one that sat on my lap as I knitted this sock yarn elefante), an autographed copy of my book, an Itty-Bitty Nursery tape measure, a sheep stitch marker and two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn dyed in exclusive colors for Purl and purchased at Purl. I adore this yarn. I thought the pink and blue skinny stripes would make the most perfect pair of elefantes.
And the winner is....
Blogger Caryn said...

Thank you for your creativity. I have made many of your hats for my son to wear and love the comments I get when he has a new one on. I also have your Itty Bitty Nursery book and just make the fruit look bag - very cute! Looking forward to having another child some day to make the blanket, bunny, and sweater set!

April 10, 2008

Yay, Caryn! I hope you enjoy your package and thanks for entering the giveaway. Send me an email (see sidebar) with your mailing address and I will send off your gift straight away. I read you already have a copy of itty-bitty nursery but I thought I would send one anyway. Do with it what you'd like! I can't wait to find out where you are from.

Thanks again, sweet knitters, for entering and leaving me love notes. It really was a fun week. Have a beautiful rest of the weekend.
best, susie

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Elefante Giveaway!

Hi Knitters,
I have been wanting to knit an elefante in left over sock yarn for quite some time now. Yesterday I pulled out my remaining yarntini in the appletini color way and plunged right in. I used US size 3 dpns and it turned out as cute as a button. What a great way to use up the sock yarn remnants sitting in your stash. You should try this, it works like a charm.
This pattern has been such fun to watch. I wrote it up about one year ago and it has taken on a life of its own. As of today there are 231 finished elefantes posted on ravelry and 1185 in people's queues. Elefante is #14 in popular toy patterns on ravelry as well. I love that. Every day this pattern gets tons of hits on my blog and that makes me so happy.
In honor of this stripey friend and the joy this blog brings me, I am having my first giveaway!
Here's what you have to do to win my appletini elefante, knitted by me with love:
Leave a comment on this post, you don't have to say much, even a simple hello is fine. I will accept comments for this contest through Friday, April 11, 12:00pm central time.
On Saturday, April 12th, I will have one of my kids randomly draw (I will take pictures of the process and post them) the winner. I will post the winner by the name left on the comment that same day! The winner will then need to email me with a mailing address (kept private) so I can send elefante to its new home. I can't wait.
**I will include a couple more surprises (having to do with knitting, of course) in the package. They are good surprises having to do with some of my favorite things!**
From my hands and needles to your home this sweet elefante will fly!
I want to sincerely thank you, dear Knitters, for your knitterly support over this past year and a half. I love this blog. It has become a home to me and hopefully to you, too.
best, susie

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Itty-Bitty Nursery Corrections

Hi Knitters,
There has been a reprinting of Itty-Bitty Nursery so all of the errata listed below is only for the first printing of the book. All of the corrections on this post were made for the second printing of the book which was in 2010.

Here are the corrections for Itty-Bitty Nursery first printing only:

Squares and Rectangles Cardigan
pg. 12
Sleeves schematic should read (to match the text):
Length: 5 (5 1/2, 6) inches

Circles and Stripes Stroller Blanket
p. 26
2 skeins each in Nut #82 and Bone #80 and 4 skeins in Sand #81

Circles Stroller Jacket
p. 28
Knit 4 rows.

p. 30
Eliminate Row 5
Repeat rows 1 through 4 another 3 (4, 5) times...

Work the following 2 rows 3 (1, 0) times:
Row 1: k1, ssk, knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.
Row 2: purl
26 (30, 32) stitches remain.

Work straight until.......

p. 31
Hood Edging:
Sew the completed garter edging to the edge of the hood with a yarn needle and yarn with whip stitch.

Flower Cardigan
p. 40
Work the decrease row every other knit row 1 (4, 5) times. 30 (34, 38) stitches remain.

Baby's Texture Blanket
p. 46
Grape Smocking Square:
Smocking Stitch:
Row 3: *k3 (with the yarn in the front, slip 3 stitches purlwise, pass the yarn to the back going in front of the slipped stitches, slip the same 3 stitches back to the left needle pass the yarn behind the slipped stitches and back to the front) repeat 2 more times, with the yarn in the front, slip 3 stitches to the right needle, pass the yarn to the back going in front of the slipped stitches.* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row.
Row 7: *(with the yarn in the front, slip 3 stitches purlwise, pass the yarn to the back going in front of the slipped stitches, slip the same 3 stitches back to the left needle pass the yarn behind the slipped stitches and back to the front) repeat 2 more times, with the yarn in the front, slip 3 stitches to the right needle, pass the yarn to the back going in front of the slipped stitches, k3* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row.
Row 8: Purl
Repeat rows 1-8 until the piece measures 6 inches.

White Square with Rings:
Yarnover row: k5, (yo, k2tog, k3) repeat to the last 5 stitches, k5.

Knotted Cardigan
p. 63
Neck Shaping (left front)
Row 1: Bind off 4 stitches, purl to the end.

p. 64
Work evenly in stockinette stitch until the sleeve measures 6 inches from the beginning...

Garden Mice Mobile
p. 75
Row 7: ssk, k1, k2tog. 3 stitches remain.

pg. 86
Turtleneck Sweater
Next row (neck opening): k6, bind off 12 stitches. 6 stitches remain. Knit to the end of the row.

p. 101
After rounds 19-28:
Stuff the trunk with fiberfill.

Cupcake Mittens
p. 114
Needle 3: 8 (9, 8)

p. 115
Decrease Rounds
Round 1: Knit any remaining stitches.
Round 4: Knit any remaining stitches.

p. 127
Increase Rounds
Round 10:
Needle 3: 8 stitches

p. 129
Next round: On each needle: k1, kfb, k3, kfb, k3, kfb, k1. 14 stitches per needle. 56 stitches total.

Dotted Chickens
p. 131
Increase Round: k1, kfb, k2, kfb, k2, kfb, k3 (14 stitches on each of 4 needles/56 stitches total)

Three Pigs and a Wolf
Add 1 skein of Rowan Handknit Cotton in Black
p. 138
Hut of Sticks:
Back: Cast on 30 stitches.

Hope that helps.
best, susie

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Video Answers & Knitting a Cup on Your Hat

Hi Knitters,
I sat down tonight during a quiet moment to answer some more questions in a video. I hope you enjoy these. I refer to the hat above during the video. Here is the cup pattern for the top of the hat:

I used Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton in the natural color way and knit on US size 7 needles at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. I started the hat in a k2, p2 rib for one inch and continued on in stockinette stitch for the rest of the hat. Knit all the way through the top of the hat decreases of the "simple baby cap" to the end (in Itty-Bitty Hats). I made the size where you cast on 72 stitches so I ended up with 9 stitches (3 stitches per needle on 3 dpns).
Next round: On each needle knit in the front and back of each stitch. (6 stitches per needle and 18 stitches total are on the needles.)
Knit every stitch for the next 3 rounds. Bind off.

That's it, super easy! The 18 stitches for the cup seemed to fit that 2cm ball like a glove. If you make a different size hat and end up with a different amount of stitches I suggest you increase the remaining stitches to 18 stitches to fit the ball. The felted balls I ordered from here. Good luck and let me see the hats you make.

One quick note about the Itty-Bitty Nursery Trunk Show Tour, if you are interested in having these knitted samples in your shop you have until April 15th to get the forms in or to contact Jaime to get signed up. You can email me too and I will pass on the information to Jaime. Make sure to jump in!

Here's the video answers to questions. Hope you enjoy.
The video is now working!
best, susie

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Question #4

Hi Knitters,
Today I am answering another question. This is a question I get all of the time not just over the past couple of weeks. I have also received this question on ravelry several times. So without further ado here it goes.

Question #4: What sock pattern do you use for the ribbed socks?
Answer: I have no idea exactly what pattern I used for learning to knit socks and when exactly I started ribbing them. This pattern is everywhere you look. It is a basic sock pattern and I am telling you it is in almost every sock book available. I have no clue who originally wrote this pattern or where it came from. It is just a basic sock pattern with a k3, p1 thrown in. I memorized this sock pattern so many years ago that it has become my go-to project every single time. It is permanently stuck in my brain. I suggest you memorize your favorite sock pattern so you just know exactly what to do when you are knitting on the go.

I love this pattern and when I knit a different sock pattern I am often disappointed and I wish I would have stuck to my old ribbed socks. It is fun to knit and the rib makes the socks fit your feet and ankle just right. I have recently mentioned how I have a dresser drawer filled with these ribbed hand knit socks. Can't seem to get enough.
I started searching through my books to see if I could find a pattern that would match the one that is sitting in my head. I actually found the exact pattern right down to the extra stitch I like to pick up on the gusset set up to help get rid of those nasty holes.
It is in a wonderful book by Ann Budd and I know I have mentioned it before. I suggest every sock knitter have this fantastic resource, Getting Started Knitting Socks. I found the pattern I use on page 76. The pattern is for the Fibonacci Stripes Socks. You can use this pattern for self-striping, variegated or solid colors of sock yarn.
Also you can use any fingering weight yarn to knit the socks I make. I always knit on a set of 4 US size 2 dpns and I always cast on 64 stitches. It seems to work for me with all of the yarns I have used and that's a pretty long list. I make the cuff 5-6 inches long before I start the heel flap. The needles I use are 6 inches long so many times I use this as my measurement while I am knitting the cuff. I am sure all of this isn't perfect but I'm sticking to it. The Fibonacci Stripes Socks will give you this exact ribbed pattern (k3, p1) that I have used for all of these socks for all of these years, just ignore the stripe pattern or not.
Another place I have found this pattern is in Charlene Schurch's, Sensational Knitted Socks, which is another great resource for sock knitters. And after starting a new pair of ribbed socks a couple of nights ago I found the same basic pattern for free on backside of the label of the Jitterbug sock yarn I am using. If you buy some Colinette Jitterbug you will get that pattern with the yarn.

The same cast on 64 stitches right through to the toe, you can add in the k3, p1 rib or you can always do a plain stockinette stitch. The basic sock pattern casting on 64 stitches, using a heel flap and a decreased toe with kitchener's stitch to finish is available all over the place. I didn't search the web but I am sure it is available for free somewhere out there.

One more terrific break down of a sock comes in recipe form from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in this book. I know everyone has probably already read this but I can't say enough good things about the information Stephanie has included in this little paperback book. It is worth so much more than it costs, good deal. Her explanation or recipe for "A Good, Plain Sock (knit from the cuff down)" made me think about my socks in a much clearer way. She has general information gathered in here for socks, hats, scarves and shawls, and sweaters. It is a plethora of valuable knitting tips, tricks and stuff you just need to know. If you don't have Knitting Rules you should go get it!

One last thing on this topic, I love working in a sportweight or dk weight yarn for socks as well as fingering weight. Talk about a fast way to knit a pair of socks. What I always do here is on a set of 4 US size 4 dpns I cast on 48 stitches and I work the exact same pattern on this heavier weight yarn. The exact pattern I use for dk weight yarn is in Getting Started Knitting Socks on page 58. Ann's pattern is listed for worsted weight or 5 stitches per inch but it works for me with the sportweight yarns, too.

Have a good Wednesday and go knit some ribbed socks!
best, susie