Monday, November 30, 2009

What's New?

Hi Knitters,
Wasn't that a fast holiday weekend? It flew by and I was sad to see it end. We had lots and lots of good family time. There's never enough of that in my book. Hope you all had a peaceful weekend filled with loved ones and good, hearty eating.

The December issue of American Baby is out and look what's on the cover! The original Candy Cane Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats! A long time ago I sent a bunch of my hats to Parents Magazine for a cover shot. That never materialized but a couple of months ago I received an email telling me that a photo from the past photo shoot was selected for the cover of Parents' sister magazine, American Baby. What a thrill.
I was glad to see that on the inside page they told readers where to get the pattern for the hat. Maybe it will spur some new people on to take up knitting. I can dream. I've already received a couple of emails from people asking where they can buy the hat. Isn't that funny?

Thank you, Awilda, for sending me a copy of the magazine. I appreciate you very much!
Here is the original photo from Itty-Bitty Hats by baby photographer extraordinaire, Liz Banfield. It happens to be one of my favorite shots from the book. I love the over the shoulder glance and the expression of that adorable baby. The angle shows the sweetness in the shape of the Candy Cane Hat. Recently, the Itty-Bitty Knits group did this hat for their bi-monthly Itty Bitty Hats knitalong. For a good viewing of the hat, here is the Ravelry link for 235 posted projects of the Candy Cane Hat.

One more newsworthy development over the weekend is that Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood released episode 108 of her Craftsanity podcast where we chatted for about an hour about all kinds of knitting and other stuff. If you are interested in taking a listen here is the link for the podcast. You can listen right on your computer with a simple click or you can download the podcast to your ipod or whatever you use on Itunes.

This is my third time as a guest on her show and Jennifer has provided links to the previous shows. The first time I was on the show I designed a free pattern for a Santa hat ornament called, Santa Baby. It is a quick little knit and a great gift for the Christmas season.
Onto a bit of family news, eighteen years ago on Thanksgiving Day I had my first child, a wonderful son. The years have sped by and we have loved this baby into a beautiful young man. He is a quiet, loyal and humble soul. He may actually qualify for being the easiest child to raise in the history of child-raising. He is that good and easy.
Everyday, even on those early 5:30am swim team days, we give each other a hug and kiss before he leaves for school. I always wish him a good and safe day and tell him I will be here when he gets home. I love that moment in the day.

When he was born my mom came to the hospital to see our new baby. She laughed, in a good way, when she saw him because he looks exactly like my husband. She said that he looked like my husband wrapped up in a blankie. It's true. He is a dead ringer for my husband. I don't know why but there is something fun about that. I've always liked that fact.

He makes me proud. I can't wait to see what he'll do next. Happy birthday to my (big) little sweet pea.

I'll be back soon! What's new with all of you?
best, susie

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Corrections for Itty-Bitty Toys

Hi Knitters,
Although we all work incredibly hard to achieve perfection in our pattern writing, mistakes still happen. Thank you to the diligent knitters who take the time to contact me with any errors they may come across. This is immensely helpful to me. What would I do without you, dear Knitters?

With each subsequent printing of the book these corrections will be fixed. Here are the omissions and errors I have collected so far:

Corrections for Itty-Bitty Toys

Page 46
Foot (make 2):
Rnd 6:
Needle 3: (k1, m1) twice, k2, m1, k1 (8 sts)

Page 54
Decrease rounds for neck:
Rnd 16: (k3, k2tog), repeat to the end of the round (16 sts per needle, 48 sts total remain)
Rnds 17-37: knit

Page 87
Panda Puppet:
Black eye patch (make 2):
With Black and working back and forth, cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: kfb, k1, kfb (5 sts)
Row 2: purl
Row 3: knit
Row 4: purl
Row 5: ssk, k1, k2tog
Bind off. Whipstitch to the face using a yarn needle and one of the tails. Weave in the ends to the inside.
Cut a 12-inch-long length of Natural and thread on a yarn needle. (The rest is the same.)

Page 93
Mama Duck and Ducklings:
Gauge: 6 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

pg. 93
Decrease Rows
Row 4: p2tog, p to last 2 sts, p2tog (5 stitches remain)
Place a stitch marker on the first of these 5 stitches and then knit them. Continue... (as is from there)

Page 99
Wrap Me Up Puppies:
Gauge: 6 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

p. 99
Round 36:
Needles 2 and 3: (k3, k2tog) repeat twice (8 sts remain)

p. 112 (added Oct. 2, 2010)
Pea Pod

Add another two rows after the rows 1 and 2:
Next row: k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1 (7 sts remain)
Next row: purl

Then go on to row 3 and complete as written.

Page 127
Baby Doll
Body decrease rounds:
Rnd 16: (k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (4 sts per needle, 12 sts total remain)

Page 130
Baby Doll
Ruffle Pants:
Place the front and back pieces together, purl sides facing and use mattress stitch (see p. 10).

Page 130:
Decrease the same as for the front (6 sts remain).
Added Text: Leave the 6 remaining stitches on the needle and cut the yarn leaving a 6-inch tail. With the right sides facing out, graft the 6 stitches remaining from the back together with the 6 stitches remaining from the front using the kitchener stitch (see p. 9). Weave in the ends to the inside and trim.

Page 143
Lion and Elephant:
Lion: 1 skein each in Amber #6122 and Agate #8014

With a length of Agate and the yarn needle... (the rest is the same).

For the Elephant p. 143, Cat p. 149 and Sisters p. 155:
O-Wool Balance in Slate #2215 has been discontinued.
O-Wool Balance in Jade #3125 is recommended as a substitute for the Elephant and Sisters dolls.
O-Wool Balance in Agate #8014 is recommended as a substitute for the Cat doll.

I hope this helps!

best, susie

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can't Resist

Hi Knitters,
How could I say no to this request? Here is the email I just received:

Dear Susan,

Of all of your fans across the U.S. and around the world, I'm pretty confident that my mom Heidi is one of the biggest. She waits patiently every day for her very old and maddeningly slow computer to boot up and log on to the web. And as soon as it does, she's checking in with your blog, following your knitting and family adventures.

Two Christmases ago, my husband and I told her and my dad that their first grandbaby was on his or her way, and we gave her your book "Itty Bitty Nursery." She's been knitting little hats ever since, and my daughter Ellie, now 15 months old, has the cutest collection.

I have a unique request, but before I even make it, I understand that this is a far stretch, and most likely not something you do with your blog. But I was wondering if you could help me say thank you to my mom in a really special way. I recently took some adorable photos of Ellie in one of her new hats, and my mom has not yet seen these photos. I would love to send a unique thank you to her through your blog. I can picture her logging on, pulling up your blog, and spending a few very confusing moments staring at a photo of her granddaughter.

Please don't hesitate to say so if this is not a possibility. I completely understand, and I apologize for being so bold as to ask. But I've learned that it never hurts to ask, and for my mom, I'm always looking for interesting ways to show her just how much we appreciate her.

I know you're busy, so if I don't hear back from you, please don't worry about it.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

All the Best,
Jamie Escola
Massillon, Ohio
That's about the cutest thing I have ever read! I am humbled by Jamie's thoughtfulness toward her mother and by Heidi's efforts to check in with me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing with me, I am touched.
She's a cute one! Wow.
Hi Heidi! You must be one fantastic grandma and an even better mom for your daughter to make such a kind request to brighten your day. It looks like little Ellie gets plenty of love. Heidi, you are clearly appreciated.

I appreciate all of you, too, readers, for the support and love and I am sending it right back to you.

Happy Thanksgiving, Knitters. I am hosting dinner at my house for my side of the family and I don't think I'll make it back here beforehand. I have too much to do and too little time, as we all do, right? What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

On this holiday weekend, I hope you have a lovely time with your families and friends and that you get to knit a little bit here and there.

best, susie
p.s. The orange flower pattern is in Itty-Bitty Hats and it is included in the Felted Flower Hat pattern. The flower Heidi knitted is not felted, with 2 layers, and it works wonderfully that way, too. I also have a video tutorial on my sidebar for this flower if you are interested. I think Jamie may have meant the Itty-Bitty Hats instead of Itty-Bitty Nursery that they gave her mom. Either way it is awesome.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Impressive Sow's Ear!

Hi Knitters,
Get ready for a long one today! I can't help myself.

I have to start by saying that The Sow's Ear event was one of the most successful yarn shop events I have ever had. I even stayed an extra hour because there were still so many people at the table enjoying the toys and the books. I couldn't just pack up and leave. It was awesome! Any author couldn't have dreamed of a better reception than this. Thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday. What fun. What struck me most was that people didn't want to leave the shop and the event, they stayed and stayed for hours. The shop makes everyone want to move in, I guess. That's very telling, it's like you can't get enough.

You know you can't go wrong when you start off an event with a visitor like this one (photo above)! I was at The Sow's Ear for the afternoon yesterday and look who wandered in. Meet Katrina. She is 16 months old and is wearing the Pink Paper Bag Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats (it's the cover hat). Instead of pulling the ducks on their wheels Katrina liked picking the whole thing up and carrying it around. I love that.
Katrina's mom, Jasmine, knitted the hat for her daughter and I was happy to meet both of them. Jasmine's husband is in Iraq and has been there for 2 years now. He has only seen Katrina five times but he is expected home in January. Katrina and Jasmine stayed with me for a long time at The Sow's Ear in Verona, Wisconsin but that seemed to be the theme of the day for this wonderful book signing event yesterday.

Katrina must have walked all the way around the table a good twenty times. One time on her route behind my chair I actually got her to stop for a second so I could hold her for a bit. She sat on my lap for a good long time. It was great.
I thought this series of photos was so funny. I love to hold a baby but Katrina wasn't too sure about me...
... after a little work her mom got a little smile out of her.... I tried to win her over...
... I went in for the squeeze but Katrina wasn't feeling it.... look at her expression and the lean back ... so funny...
Katrina was clearly over me .... I still managed to get a tiny dose of baby love for the day. Thanks for the hug, well, sort of, Katrina! You made my day. She was awfully sweet and entertaining. Jasmine was an enthusiastic knitter to say the least. Thanks for coming and for waking up from your nap to see me, Katrina.
The steady flow of knitters began right at the starting time and it did not stop the entire time. It was so much fun and well-attended. I was impressed by the entire event. Heather, one of the shop managers, was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The shop features a wonderful coffee cafe. I had a fantastic lemonade and a pumpkin spice coffee on the house. I loved it. Thank you for taking care of the tired and thirsty author, Heather. You are wonderful and welcoming and warm. Heather took the photos for me, too.
I signed and signed and signed. It was awesome. We went through stacks of books that knitters bought at the event and loads of people brought their copies with them to be signed. It was a very successful signing and I highly recommend this shop to other authors/designers/ publishers for a fun spot to visit for events. You could not find a happier, warmer crowd of knitters anywhere.

I sincerely feel like I have rediscovered this shop. I used come out and knit and shop here but I hadn't been for a long while just due to being too busy. I am definitely scheduling some hanging out time here in the near future. It is too fun to not take advantage of when a shop like this is right in your hometown. If you see me hanging out and knitting at The Sow's Ear be sure to say hello! They have knit nights until 11pm every first and third Thursday of the month. That's too late for me but I hear it is an absolute zoo of enthusiastic knitters on these nights. It sounds really fun!
Sara, who I have met through my blog, made her way up from Platteville, WI, to come to the event. She was so sweet and even sat next to me for awhile in that empty chair at the table. She has been such a positive source of support for a long time. Sara is a retired kindergarten teacher and I bet she was an excellent teacher, I can tell. She has a kind way about her. Thank you, Sara, it was great to meet you.

I don't have a photo but there was another sweet woman who had just moved to Madison recently. She came and sat next to me for a little while so I could help her learn the twisted loop stitch for the baby doll's hair. She couldn't believe how simple it was and once she tried a couple of stitches, she had it made in the shade! She was thrilled.

Another woman brought her finished baby doll with her and it turned out so great. She was very proud of her doll and told me she had been looking for a knitted baby doll pattern for years. She was so excited about the doll pattern. That was fun to hear.
These two were celebrating the birth of their first grandchild. They stopped by to have a book signed on their way to Milwaukee to meet their new baby boy! The husband wanted to buy one of the reversible toys... I thought that was funny. He was serious. He understood when I explained the toys weren't for sale. His wife will just have to get knitting for that new grand baby right away!
The woman in red coat works with my husband. She was so sweet to come and stay for awhile at the signing. My husband just loves working with her. She doesn't even knit but bought a book anyway. Isn't that nice? I loved seeing her and she just loved the toys. She came to a signing a couple of years ago and visited with my mom for a long time at that event. I'll always remember that. She is a kind supportive soul.

What I love in the photo above and the next few photos is the little girl in the striped hat. She started at one end and...
... systematically worked her way down the table...
... quietly touching and trying out every toy...
... until she got to the very end! That's the way to do it! Love the hat, too:) She was very cute.
These two knitting friends were so excited. The woman on the left brought her finished puppy from Itty-Bitty Toys to share. It turned out great. She used a little heavier yarn, which is just fine, so her puppy turned out a little bigger. That's the good thing about toy knitting, you don't have to worry so much about the gauge if you don't mind having a toy that turns out a little bigger or smaller than the one in the book.

It was great fun to meet these ladies!
Sara got some good lovin' from the friendly giraffe. I love how the arms are draped around her neck like a baby.
It was awesome, there was a kids knitting class going on at the same time as the signing. The teacher, Liz, let the girls take a break to come and see the toys. Grace (in blue) was wearing the hat they were making in class and she actually finished her own hat by the end of the day. I think the two middle girls were in the hat knitting class and that's just my little toy buddy on the end.

Grace basically wouldn't leave the shop after her class until her mom bought her a copy of Itty-Bitty Toys. Her mom finally gave in, being the kind soul that she is, and Grace is now planning on making the New Sock Monkey as her first toy! It was a funny exchange, the whole thing. I enjoyed it.
This was another little girl who spent a ton of time at the table. She would come and play with the toys and then she would leave. Then a little while later she would reappear again to play for awhile. This happened three or four times. She was very quiet but entranced by the knitted toys. I love seeing older kids, teens and adults get as much joy out the the toys as the little ones do. My dear friend, Chris, showed up and also stayed a long time. Her daughter works at the shop, too. I have to tell you something special about Chris. She was my obstetrician when The Collector was born. She came to the hospital when she wasn't even on call in the middle of the night for her delivery. She was born at about 3am. That's a true friend alright. Our sons grew up best friends and we all spent countless hours at each others' homes together and traveled together on family vacations for many years. We have many connections in different ways and I will always consider Chris a very dear and special friend. I am a lucky girl to have her. Isn't she cute? She gives the best hugs ever.
I was intrigued by these large flat cakes of wool. It is unspun wool by School House Press (Elizabeth and Meg Zimmerman's Pittsville, WI company). You can double the strand and knit on a size 8 at about 4 stitches per inch or on a single strand on a size 3 for 7 stitches per inch or so. I would like to have all of those yarn cakes for my house, please:) They are really cool. The Sow's Ear had all sorts of unique yarns that I hadn't seen before. The inventory is fantastic and full and organized. It's simply a great shop!
The shelves are packed to the brim with loads of fantastic yarn.
This is my friend Chris's daughter, Kate. Kate loves working at the shop and is their best barista I have heard from a reliable source. I have known Kate since she was 10-years-old and she is in her early twenties now. She is adorable and fun! It was great to see her post-college and looking so young and happy with her life.
The shop houses many rooms including this spacious area for eating and knitting and sipping coffee and tea. It is a wonderful setting.
I have sat many times and knitted, with Chris in fact, in the little window nook to the left right there. You can't see it that well because it is always occupied and I didn't want to disturb the knitters in there. There are some cozy chairs tucked in that spot.
The shop is a little old house with a big front porch. It is on the main street in downtown Verona, which is about 15 minutes from my house. Verona is really considered a part of Madison in many ways. It is very quaint.
The sign is even endearing with the sow sporting a pilgrim hat for the season.
A little cement pig greets you at the steps.
I love the mosaic table on the front porch. It was such an unseasonably warm day that there were people sitting out on the porch when I arrived.
Inside there are buttons, bags, patterns, books, tons of yarn and needles, etc. You can't go wrong here.
Thank you, Sow's Ear!!!! What a day to remember. I hope to be back real soon.

Heather and I talked about setting up a workshop sometime soon so keep your eyes out for that if you are interested.

Also, Madison Knitters Pay Attention: The Sow's Ear is getting an account with Spud & Chloë! Your waiting is over in the Madison area for a shop to carry Spud & Chloë. This is very exciting news. Thank you! I will be sending everyone your way to get their Spud & Chloë yarns and patterns. The shop will be getting the line very soon so also keep your eyes and ears out for this development. You would not believe how many emails I get from Madison knitters wanting Spud & Chloë in a local shop and now I will send them right over!

Phew! What a day! I am home for the holiday week so it won't be restful but it will be loads of family time together. Plus, my son is turning 18 years old next weekend. It is a big week around here.

If you are still with me, thanks for sticking it out to the end!
Have a good Sunday knitters.
best, susie

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wool Cabin in Salt Lake City

Hi Knitters,
I am sitting in my most favorite place on earth, O'Hare airport in windy Chicago, waiting for my flight home to Madison. Actually it isn't too bad here right now so there must be some luck on my side. I want to share with you my fantastic day yesterday at The Wool Cabin.

What strikes me the most when I walk in the doors of this shop is how bright, sunny and fresh it feels. It is clean and organized with a huge variety of yarns, bags, patterns, samples, needles and helpful staff. It is a refreshing treat. The explanation for this welcoming atmosphere becomes quickly apparent when you hear the story of how this shop came to be. The shop is currently owned by two sisters, Alison (left below) and Suzette (right below). However, the shop was originated by their mother, Renee. She opened the shop with high hopes and with the intention of having a friendly shop and resource for knitters. Sadly, she passed away about five years ago and the sisters decided to carry on their mother's dream in The Wool Cabin.

The photo of Alison's and Suzette's mom hangs proudly in the shop and to look at it brings a tear or two to my eyes. In the photo Renee happily works on a customer's sweater and Alison said it is the perfect picture of her. Renee would be so incredibly proud of her daughters as they honor her memory through the shop but mainly the way the live their lives. Her legacy lives on through them. I love coming to The Wool Cabin, I have had the opportunity to be there two times now and I would come back anytime.
Aren't they wonderful? Both owners are fantastic and inspiring knitters. I started the day at the shop with a workshop. There was a good group of knowledgeable knitters ready at the go. I designed a mini-reversible toy that I am only making available to my workshop students at this time. I have a few more workshops to teach over the next months and then I'll see what I want to do with the pattern. Suzette and Alison smartly made a small kit with all necessary yarns and the pattern for the class. It was really slick and fun. Since the toy is only about 3 inches tall, you really don't need too much of anything to complete the toy.
There was a great display of the Itty-Bitty books and lots of Spud & Chloë everywhere you looked. I loved it. Suzette knitted up the Wrap Me Up Puppy and the Cupcake Pincushions. Alison knitted up the Baby Bartlett set and Ribbit. The Cupcake Hat from Itty-Bitty Nursery is up there, too. As for all shops, the samples are what sells the yarn and patterns. It is so fun to see things in finished form.
It was a glorious sunny day in SLC with warm temperatures and bright light streaming into the shop. They even kept the door open during the class and that fresh Utah air felt so good to me. What a pleasant setting for a class. The classroom is roomy and comfortable. The Wool Cabin offers classes all of the time and if you are in the area you should pop in or call to sign up.
The cute knitter on the right, Jessica, drove 3 hours just to take the class. Her husband had to rearrange his work schedule to watch their child and to let her come and take the class. She was adorable and such a treat to meet. Jessica is a fairly new knitter and she was awesome and remarkably accomplished. I wasn't close to that good when I was new and I mean that.

The ladies worked and worked. They were all excellent and skilled knitters so I didn't have to work too hard. I loved it. It was more like a big knitting circle and we all chatted and told stories during the class. I gave out my Big 5 toy knitting tips during the class. I had the trunk show on a table near by for playing time if someone needed a break.
The two hour class literally flew by. I couldn't believe how fast it went. I had a lot of good laughs during the class mostly due to Alison, the owner. She is a hoot and she really is silly and fun. I love being around her because I love to laugh. Alison gave me the most touching introduction. Her son has recently joined the military and she emails me with updates every once in awhile. She referred to this and she started tearing and that made me tear up. We quickly laughed to stop the tearing before it went too far. As I looked at Alison and her sister and her mom on the wall, it wasn't hard to get emotional.

Alison Barlow also has a knitting book of her own. This book was started by her mom and after she passed Alison finished it. Look here to see this wonderful book for beginners. It is a good one for anyone wanting quick and simple projects.
Now some of these wonderful knitters came to my class last time I was at The Wool Cabin and I remembered them. I loved meeting the new knitters, too. There were so many sweet women here I can't begin to describe how warm and friendly the class was. I had one woman tell me the class was better than Christmas. How sweet is that? I tell you, times and experiences like these make all of the travel worthwhile. You can't understand what the knitting means to people until you experience it firsthand. I am so grateful I get to travel and meet Itty-Bitty knitters all over. It is life-changing for me.
Most of the knitters got close to finishing one side of the reversible and a couple got a good start on the second side. If you can master the techniques in this class project you can knit every toy in the book with ease. I included all of the necessary skills for all of the Itty-Bitty Toys in this one tiny toy project. I loved seeing the concentration and efforts of the ladies. There was one woman doing the magic loop method and everyone else used double-pointed needles. Everyone did great!

The signing was fun, too. I had several people who couldn't get into the class stop by to see the trunk show and get their books signed. I was glad I got to meet them and sorry there wasn't more room in the class. I have to say it was a really nice size class, just perfect. There was a husband who came to get his wife's book signed (I always love that!). There were lots of kids and a couple of babies, and they loved the toys! It was all good!!
That's just my friends and me hanging out in the hotel.... we have a lot of fun bonding while out on the road:)

Thank you to Alison and Suzette for a wonderful experience. You have the sweetest knitters at your shop, it's really remarkable. It is a reflection of both of you and your mom, no question. The sisters then took me out for a yummy dinner at the Dodo Bird (?) restaurant. I had a fantastic turkey and swiss sandwich on a garlic roll that you dipped in a tangy barbeque sauce. I loved it. Plus they had my favorite soup in the world, butternut squash. It was smooth as silk. It was good company and good food. I appreciate the rides, too, Alison!

The Wool Cabin has a website and they take phone orders and ship directly to customers all over the world. They have tons of yarn, Blue Sky, Spud & Chloë, Noro, Debbie Bliss, sock yarn, Encore, Cascade... if you ask I bet they have it! Hop on over to The Wool Cabin for more information. This is a wonderful shop to support. They have the Knitted Chickens pattern I did for Blue Sky (see my sidebar for details) in the shop! I have so many requests for how to get this pattern so here you go. Suzette told me she has sent out so many chicken patterns around the world, she has lost count. I love that.

I signed lots of books for stock at the Wool Cabin, so if you didn't make it to the signing or class you can still pick up a signed copy.

I have to pass on some exciting news. Itty-Bitty Toys is already heading in for a second printing! Thank you for the support out there!

More news, Trent, my editor, keeps me posted on Itty-Bitty Hats and its availability. It is in the warehouse and should be shipped and available any day now. All backorders will be filled and IBH should be ready to roll once again.

My flight is boarding and I can't wait to get home! Oh, I can't wait.
Take care knitters.
best, susie

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two More Minnesota Moments

Hi Knitters,
I think the photo above is so funny. I only wish there was better lighting. That is Colonel Mustard in the background with his teeth sticking out. Aren't they a curious pair? My daughter saw this photo and burst out laughing and then said, "Awwwwww."
At the Blue Sky Alpacas offices I loved seeing my designs (and everyone else's designs) sprinkled about the space. Rachel had knit up some autumnal Cupcake Pincushions I did for the Spud & Chloe blog. I love the chocolatey pumpkin spice cupcakes. These cupcakes would make great little holiday gifts this season. It is fun to mix up the colors and try new things.

I have a new hat pattern called, Modern Rib Hat, that I previewed on Spud says! if you are interested in checking it out. I will have it up and available for free download next week sometime.

That's it for today! I am sitting in my hotel in sunny Salt Lake City, Utah. I will be at the Wool Cabin with one of my favorite set of sisters and shop owners, Suzette and Alison, this afternoon for a workshop (I designed a new toy just for the workshop students!) and a book signing from 4-6pm following. Should be fun. I'll share the details afterward.
best, susie