Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Spin and Link

Hi Knitters,
I haven't had too much time to spin lately but here's a little bit of progress being made. The ribbed scarf is from some Frabjous Fibers roving I spun up recently. I used every last inch. It is bright and fun.
It is a good feeling to use up your every last bit of yarn. It makes you feel accomplished or maybe complete is the better word. I think this colorway is called Enchanted.
This is a bobbin full of Springtree Road in the Uala colorway spun up and waiting to be plied with some more Springtree Road in a different colorway.
I had enough of the Patina Frabjous Fibers yarn left to make another quick hat.
I fell in love with the purl side so I turned the hat inside out. The wrong side became the right side.
Again, I used every last inch of the yarn when I made the pom-pom for the top.
Fits like a charm.

Here are a few things I am thinking about today:
I'd like to try this roving from Maine

See you soon. I have a couple of giveaways coming up very soon. Good stuff to share.
best, susie

Friday, January 28, 2011


Hi Knitters,
I received a message on Ravelry this week that made me cry. Every once in awhile a story strikes a chord and this is one of those times. I asked permission to share Catalina's story about her gorgeous grandma and her adorable knit bear with you. I can feel the love between these two women just by looking at that photo. Okay, I am crying again.

Here is the message from Catalina (she is amazing):

Thank you
Sent at 3:22 PM January 26, 2011

Dear Susan,
I’ve been meaning to write this message since last summer, I wanted to thank you for your baby bear pattern.
Last year I used this pattern to make a bear for my grandma after she was diagnosed with cancer, I was lucky enough to be able to go see her and spend some time with her, she slept with that bear every night and took him everywhere until she passed away last June, so thank you! you helped me say good bye to someone very dear to me.

She named him Pantaleon

Then I went to Catalina's Pantaleon project page on Ravelry and read what she wrote there and it made me cry again:


This is the dearest project I’ve made, so much that I still carry the ball band in my purse.
I made it in April for my grandma, years ago she said she’d like a bear to keep her company at night since she missed my grandpa so much.
Long story short, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer and I rushed to Colombia to spend a couple of weeks with her, I knew I was saying good bye so I wanted to make something for her that she could keep when I returned to Michigan, so I went with this beautiful bear.
It was a great project, she named him Pantaleon and she slept with him and took him everywhere until she died in June last year, the pictures here are my last pictures with her.
I miss her very much.

It's me again and nothing more needs to be said.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear Knitters. What we do matters in the most humble way.

best, susie

Monday, January 24, 2011


Hi Knitters,
I was taken with this photo today. Wendy knit the Wrap Me Up Puppy (in Itty-Bitty Toys) up for her friend who is having her fourth boy. Before she gave it away her daughter snuck in a squeeze and a kiss. Isn't that the sweetest photo?

Here is what Wendy had to say about her knit puppy project:
Thank you so much!
It is hard for anyone not to love this sweet little puppy - thank you for such a great pattern!
I had been looking for the perfect item to make for a friend expecting her fourth son. I didn’t want to make a baby hat since my friend is a new knitter and has been delving into hat making. I was searching Ravelry for something inspiring and saw another friend who made the Wrap-Me-Up-Puppy a favorite. Once I saw it - I knew I had to make it! I already had your book because I had previously made the hippo and sisters, but forgot all about the darling puppies :)
Unfortunately for my daughter, the puppy is not hers. I had to take it away from her throughout the knitting process because I kept finding the nose wet from her kisses (ha!)
Now I can’t decide if I want to make her a puppy of her own or possibly the giraffe. Perhaps it will be both!
Thank you again, Susan, I so enjoy your books and reading your blogs!!

There's just something about that blanket.

Thanks, Wendy, for sharing with me and letting me share your puppy and your adorable daughter on here.
best, susie

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hi Knitters,
Here are some quick updates for you. I am plugging away on the sleeves for the Camp Hoodie Knitalong. I've made some fun and simple modifications to the original. I switched out the fair isle pattern, took out the waist shaping, took off the hood and now I am adding sleeves that are picked up and knit down in the round. I think it is so fun to explore how much you can change a simple pattern and make it your own through a few easy modifications. It's turning out pretty cute!

For more information on the knitalong (you can still join in anytime, we just got started and many haven't started yet) or to follow along please jump over to my other blog, Spud says! (click here).
I finished the Baktus shawl out of the Zauberball. Love it! Google away or look it up on Ravelry for the yarn and free pattern.
I've already worn it quite a bit.
I added a knit through the back loop on my yarn overs because I like the lacy edging and it was easier to keep track of what row I was on for the increases and decreases with the hole in the edge.
It's always a thrill to have a new knitted piece to wear.
I spun up this gigantic hank of Sunshine Yarns roving in the colorway called, Winter Song. It is the bounciest hank of yumminess ever. This hank is 8 oz. and really, it is big!
I am making everyone in my house hold my huge Winter Song hank of handspun. They all love it and rub it on their cheeks. My husband and TC both carried it like a baby in the crook of their arms at separate times. Gotta love those two.

You know for the spinning I am getting better at being more even at times but what I really love about my handpun yarn is the crazy stuff. The fluffy bits and pieces that aren't so uniform and the plying that is incredibly imperfect. If I wanted perfect yarn I would just buy it. This yarn has character and silliness and that's what I love the most about it. I hope I don't ever lose that in the spinning, like become too good at it so the yarn is perfect. That's how I feel about it now. I have always had a fondness for the imperfections of handmade things because they are deeply endearing.

Have a beautiful Sunday.
best, susie

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It Never Gets Old

Hi Knitters,
You'd think this knitting thing would get old after awhile. It has been going on for decades. For some reason it doesn't wear out its welcome. I am continually fascinated. I made a quick hat out of my handspun yarn. I love it so much. The hardest part of using my amateurish handspun was that I couldn't quite figure out the gauge.
My highly rustic handspun varies from very thick to very thin and not on purpose. I started and ripped back three or four times with varying stitch counts and different size needles. I finally used a US size 10 and I probably could have ended up casting on maybe four more stitches or so to start. Still it turned out really cute and it will be worn by many.
I kind of love this spinning thing along with the knitting. It's plain old fun and it adds a new twist for me.
My knitting protegé Miss Molly (my son's girlfriend) has whipped up two pairs of mittens over the last couple of weeks. She used the aptly titled, Molly's Mittens, pattern. Of course she caught on to all things mitten like the speed of light. She made a red pair for her brother and this raspberry striped pair for her sister. I love how she is immediately knitting for her loved ones. She is really something.

I have this mitten pattern available for purchase and download on my Ravelry shop! Click here for more information.
Molly is already onto a scarf for her best friend. She is knitting a ribbed scarf out of this gorgeous yarn, Rowan Colourscape. I happened to have two hanks of this sitting in my studio just waiting to be used. This yarn has been taking up space for a long time. I think it is magnificent and I can't wait to see the finished scarf. I will probably have to get some more Colourscape to make some sort of scarf for myself after I see Molly's version.

I love to see a young talented person like Molly take off with knitting. Each project is a new adventure and learning something new is around every corner. Wait, that's how it is for this not so young knitter, too.

Like I said, it never gets old.

I have a new free pattern for an adorable hat on Spud says! Click here to see the pattern!
best, susie
p.s. I started a fun knitalong for the Camp Hoodie over on Spud says! Come join in the fun if you are able. Click here for the details.
p.p.s. I have two new instructional videos on fair isle knitting and a simple embroidery technique used on the Camp Hoodie. Click here for all of my videos on youtube.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Down and Link Time

Hi Knitters,
This will be my last installment in my sock saga for awhile. I have to get on with my real knitting for a bit as there is so much to get done coming up here. My sock is inspired from these beautiful socks.
I love how this has turned out. The toe for the next sock will sport the two shades of green.
The toe I finished up early this morning.
The colors are the best. I used Spud & Chloë Fine in the following colorways going down the sock:
Shitake (main color)
Bumble Bee
Glow Worm

I've had quite a few people ask for the colors so there you go!
I can't wait to get the other one done so I have a new pair of handknit socks. My handknit sock drawer is getting thinner by the day. Especially since TC discovered handknit socks are perfect to wear inside her ice skates. Trouble.

Here are some fun links for you today to start the week:
I love Hannah Fettig so much! She's a knitting star. I'd love to knit everything she designs.
I want to make this and this from the new knitty.
Oh, and I love this hat from knitty, too.

That's enough for now. I have caught the most miserable cold. I can't stand to be around myself for all of the hacking and blowing going on. I hope you are all faring much better than me this week.
best, susie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To Each Her Own

Hi Knitters,
Well, I ripped out the afterthought heel and that felt good. I quickly got my trusty heel flap and gusset in place. That feels even better.

I think it is funny and wonderful how people have such strong feelings about the type of sock they call their own. Is it top down, magic loop, toe up, double-pointed needles, long cuff, short cuff, heel flap, gusset, afterthought, short row or every innovative creation in between? The truth of the matter is that it can be any of those things and more. I am a huge fan of finding what's right and feels good for you! That's what works best then. 100%.

For me that means top-down, heel flap, gusset socks knit on 4 double-pointed needles. That's what makes me happy. The only way to discover your own favorite is to try other options. I love trying new things. That's what makes knitting endlessly fun and interesting.
Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls podcast wrote a comment asking if I used 50% or 60% of the stitches for the afterthought heel. I had forgotten that she had a discussion about using 60% on her podcast. I used 50% because my memory failed me on that point. I totally agree that 60% would have worked much better on my sock because the heel really was too shallow and that would have added some needed length. It's a good thought to remember if you are going to try the afterthought heel. I still believe that even if I had used 60% of the stitches I would not have kept it in. I, for whatever reason, find the heel flap and gusset more visually pleasing. I may just be more used to it. Who knows. I do think the afterthought heel would look good with striping sock yarn creating a bulls-eye for the heel. Maybe someday I'll come back and give it another try.

I am about halfway through the foot at this point. Hope you are having a good weekend. We are up to our eyeballs in swim meets. What's happening with you this weekend?
best, susie
p.s. I never, ever miss an episode of the Knitmore girls podcast. Jasmin does the podcast along with her mom, Gigi. They have a perfect rapport and conversational style. The two are sweet together in a warm mother-daughter way. I enjoy that. They are both super smart and voracious knitters, Gigi is a seamstress and quilter, Jasmin is an adept spinner and they love to eat at fun restaurants. I love hearing about their eating adventures. They also have interviewed some of the most interesting and clever knitters on earth. You should go and subscribe on itunes or hop on over to the Knitmore Girls podcast show notes to listen on your computer. They also have some terrific videos on youtube. The Knitmores also go to lots of the major knitting events and provide great insight into the goings on. I think you'd enjoy if you don't already! Oh, and click here to join or check out the huge following on their Ravelry group!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Afterthoughts

Hi Knitters,
Well, I want to keep you posted on my heel study. Rather, on my failed heel study. I decided not to go any farther on the foot of my sock before I put the afterthought heel in just in case I didn't end up liking this style of heel. Boy, am I ever glad I did that because, honestly, I don't like this heel at all. It is too shallow and sort of unattractive and I can't imagine that it would fit well. I considered keeping it for about a minute or two and then I happily decided I would rip that afterthought heel right out. In its place I will put my good old-fashioned heel in and I will carry on with the rest of the sock as planned.

Thank goodness for stopping and trying new things out in the middle. Now I don't have to go back very far at all. I don't feel any disappointment in the afterthought heel only relief that I still love the heel flap - gusset style socks the best and that's always been what I use for my socks. I will continue on in this vein. Although it may not be exciting, the heel flap-gusset socks simply look good and fit great. What more do you need?

More to come very soon....
best, susie

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Heel is Held

Hi Knitters,
I have my afterthought heel placement all set. See the skinny orange line of stitches? That's where my heel will go after the rest of the sock is knit. Now I have 5 1/2 inches to work on the foot. I am subtracting 4 inches from the total length of my regular sock to start the toe, which is 9 1/2 inches. Then I will add the two-color toe at the end of the foot, pink on one sock, green on the other.

By the way, some have asked, I won't be writing up the pattern for these socks because my socks are directly inspired by someone else's socks. Although they aren't exactly the same, they are very similar and I wouldn't feel right about that. You can make your own socks by plugging in some colorful stripes into a basic rib sock pattern like this one. Voila! They are yours.
Next, I put my needles back in for the heel stitches and pull out the heel holding orange yarn. Work one more toe for the heel in the main color, Shitake. Done deal.

Do you think it will work? I am such a top-down-heel-flap-gusset kind of girl. I am a little worried. I'll keep you posted. I am loving those stripes though. Anyone who complains about weaving in a few (or a lot) of ends doesn't see the pure beauty in stripes. Those few moments of weaving in is worth every bit of time and more to me.

Stripes make me happy.
best, susie

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sock Love

Hi Knitters,
I have fallen in love with a pair of socks. Click here to see them. Aren't the originals glorious? I am making my own version and I can't wait to finish.

By the way, click here to see the rest of this wonderful knitter's flickr photos. She is amazingly inspiring. I love everything she makes.
I started thinking about the colors in Spud & Chloë Fine and how they would work in a slightly different version of these socks. I am pretty thrilled with how they are turning out. I must say that Fine is pretty fine. My sock is not exactly like the original but it has a similar feel to it with the striping.
I just started this morning and I am moving right along. I am working on US size 1 dpns. Usually I work on US 2's but it seems like my socks are always a little loose so I will try the smaller size needle to see if it helps. It should.

After the rib at the top of the cuff I am working one round knit and then the next round k3, p1 and then repeating. I am really excited to try an afterthought heel which I have never done before. I have been listening to the Knitmore Girls podcast and they keep talking about the afterthought heel. I have to give it a try, it sounds so easy. I hope I remember what they said on how to do this type of heel. I didn't write it down or anything but I will trust my memory. Fingers are crossed.

I'll keep you posted on my afterthoughts of the afterthought heel. I am definitely doing the toes in different colors like in the original pair. I am in desperate need of new knit socks. TC has been wearing all of my handknit socks this winter and she is not easy on things. We just cleaned out her drawer and I pulled out five pairs of handknit socks and one without its match (which I cannot find).

Packers are on, family is gathered, Kindle is charged and sock knitting is at the ready so I don't have to watch. What a Sunday.
best, susie

Saturday, January 08, 2011

All in a Morning

Hi Knitters,
Oh, the hustle and bustle that goes on around here... I walked around my house and took photos this morning to share a brief glimpse into the goings on.

I received a big bundle of flowers this week as a kind thank you. I love having flowers around the house in the winter although it really doesn't happen all that often. This is why I love it all the more when it does happen.
That burst of color and the shades of green make me so happy.
I also enjoy arranging flowers and have no idea what I am doing but I pretend I do. I think this arrangement turned out pretty good. I like the leaves that are included.
TC's plugging away on this blanket she has been working on for a long, long while. You should hear her grumble about the final ball of yarn she needs to finish to make it the right size. It makes me laugh. Grumble, grumble. She is like an old, seasoned knitter.
My son's girlfriend brought over a huge bin of stamps last night and the kids old and young gathered around and stamped cards of all sorts. Seeing all of her stamps and ink pads makes me want to collect stamps. I love it when she gives me a hand-stamped card. I always save them or hang them up.
The imperfections are what make these cards so sweet.
TC's gearing up already for Valentine's Day. Seems too soon.
TC is determined to read all of the Babysitter's Club books and there are well over 100 of them. She is on the third one right now. She ordered a bunch more of used copies in the series at an incredibly low price. My son helped her search them out. I am not sure where they ordered but she is really excited about it.
TC also got a Crayola Crayon Maker for Christmas. She has been crayon making crazy ever since. This is a good and fun one from Crayola. My sister brought over a huge freezer bag filled with old broken crayons for her to make into new pointy crayons. She loves mixing up the colors. Mad scientist of color she is.
TC and Peachy are making banana chocolate chip pancakes for the crew this morning. They are a funny and sometimes bickering team. Bicker, bicker. This is what I say to them, "Quit your bickering." You can borrow that if you like.

Actually, this morning wasn't too bad. There isn't anyone else in the world you can bicker with like your sister. The next minute you are best friends again.
TC and I are reading this book together. We just sit and read a couple of chapters a day. We are almost done. There are a couple more books in this series and we will read those together, too. It is a super easy book and sometimes it is just nice to sit and read a simple book out loud together.

Oh, and in that old beat up bag of crayons TC unearthed a special glow in the dark crayon that truly works (we went in the bathroom and shut the door to try it out), an old harmonica that TC plays loudly and drives everyone nuts, and a mini-pack of cards. You just never know.
I've taken to putting a big bowl on the bench in the kitchen to store hats and mittens and gloves. It is so ridiculous but the kids come in and whip their knits down on this bench so there is no room to even sit down. I am often just trying to manage the mess it seems.
Peachy dropped her phone in the toilet last night. It ain't gonna work.
Oh, and here is that bin of stamping supplies. I love it. We are making more cards later today.
The sleeve I started on my Camp Hoodie is coming along slowly but nicely. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
This morning I was looking for a whole punch in a closet (don't ask) with TC by my side. She spotted a pack of brand new canvas bags in the closet that I had bought for a girl scout activity but never used. A short while later I walked in the living room and she had quietly created this piece of art. She's a maker. She told me this is her new knitting bag for her blanket.

Then she grumbled about how she is never going to finish.

What's going on in your house this morning?
best, susie
p.s. I got a new camera for Christmas that I am still trying to figure out. As I posted the photos for this entry I see that many of the more horizontal shots are cut off on the right side. I'll get it all figured out soon but if you want to see the whole photo just click on it and it will let you see the entire shot. Sorry about that.