Sunday, September 30, 2012

QRS Update and Halos of Hope

Hi, Knitters,
The Quaker Ridge Shawlette (QRS) Knitalong is buzzing along with only a few weeks left to go. I am having the best time with this fun and chatty group of knitters. Finished QRSs are popping up left and right and they all look fantastic. Many are venturing into shawl and bead knitting for the first time and they are having great success.

Quaker Ridge Shawlette pattern
Quaker Ridge Shawlette Knitalong
Quaker Ridge Shawlette posted projects

The photo above (used with permission) is of three of the Itty-Bitty Knits group members and Quaker Ridge knitalong-ers having a meet up in Seattle at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Don't they look wonderful in their freshly knit shawls? I love this photo so much.

From left to right are (by rav id), gathersnomoss (her shawl is still on the needles), redbayknits, and jenb69. Thanks for sharing! Here is what gathersnomoss had to say about the Itty-Bitty Knits gathering:

Today, we had an Itty Bitty meet-up in Seattle. Luckily, there were QRSs so we could recognize each other. We took a field trip to Churchmouse Yarn and Teas and modeled our shawls. Please ignore the fact that mine is still on the needles. We got loads of compliments and one person wanted to know who knitted them for us. It was a fun outing.

For the QRS knitalong group I have been having weekly prize drawings. The first prize drawing to kick off the knitalong was from me, 10 winners won a gifted pattern of their choice from my Ravelry pattern shop.

Along with this prize, I have had some generous donations from other vendors so far. This gorgeous prize yarn is from Luna Grey Fiber Arts. Jackie, the owner and dyer, generously donated this beautiful hank of her Polwarth/silk fingering weight yarn.

Click here for Jackie's etsy shop, Luna Grey Fiber Arts!

Jackie also donated this project bag to go along with the yarn. Now for the best part......

The winner! This is racedogmom (rav id) , SallyAnn. This photo (used with permission) was taken by her husband and I just love it because you can just feel her excitement. She's so cute and joyful. It really is the best.

Thank you, Jackie and thank you, SallyAnn for sharing!

The next prize drawing was from Sun Valley Fibers. Jeanette is a local vendor to me and she is always so incredibly generous and quick to donate. I love that about Sun Valley Fibers.

Jeanette has donated a new colorway, called Bug Juice, in her Merino/Cashmere/Nylon fingering weight base. Click here to read more about it! It is really beautiful. Sun Valley Fibers attends and sells at major knitting events all over the country and is quite well-known in the industry. So it is an honor to get to have prizes from them for the knitalong.

Click here to see all of the Sun Valley Fibers yarns! Hop over and check out the Yarn Buddies, too. I have one and I use it all the time. I love it.

Okay, the latest prize being drawn for later today comes from my buddy and fellow Madison native, Jaala Spiro. She has started her own hand-dyed yarn line through her Knitcircus brand. She is just so creative. Jaala generously donated the yarn in the photo above for one lucky winner. Thank you to Knitcircus yarns and Jaala. Here is more information about the yarn.

Knitcircus Silk-Wool Fingering in Autumn Harvest: 
Self-striping long repeat moves from burnt orange through ochre and
goldenrod yellow. The softness of wool blended with silk's strength and
gloss; hand-dyed one at a time. 70 merino wool, 30% silk, 440 yards/skein.
Perfect for lace, shawls and heirloom knitting or crochet. Colored using
professional-grade acid dyes.

Click here for the Knitcircus etsy shop for gradient and kettle-dyed yarns and gorgeous patterns!

Click here for the Knitcircus website, sign up for the newsletter, listen to Jaala's podcast with Amy Detjen (love this one!) and more!

We are having a ball over on the Quaker Ridge Shawlette knitalong. If you missed out on this one, I will host another knitalong soon. I have lots of ideas in the works including another shawl design that is already completed. I have some fun toy ideas for a knitalong, too. If you have a preference let me know what type of pattern you'd enjoy for the next knitalong.

I have a couple of quick announcements here to finish out today.

I am hosting the October Charity Knitting on the Itty-Bitty Knits group on Ravelry but anyone can join in and send donations. I am honored to be co-sponsored this month by Halos of Hope.

Click here for the Halos of Hope charity knitting organization!

Click here for the downloadable label for your Itty-Bitty Knits donations!

Click here for the Halos of Hope charity knitting thread on the Itty-Bitty Knits Ravelry group! We are already having responses from people who will be donating this month.

Here is the information directly from Pamela Haschke, the President and founder of Halos of Hope:

As we were looking through what we’ve received lately, realized we actually may be short on kids’ hats. We’re going to do two larger campaigns for kids here in the next few months, so stocking up on kids’ caps is probably a great way to do this KAL/CAL with Itty Bitty Knits. We’ll need both basic kids patterns (simpler) hats, as well as some festive ones, which always bring a smile to the kids. 
Sizes should be 14 - 19” in circumference. This is considered baby to teen size. No preemie hats, please, as those go to a different area of the hospital that the cancer units. Hats need to be 5.5” to 6” in height.
Yarns: The key is soft and washable for kids’ hats. Cottons, cotton blends, acrylics, acrylic blends, 100% superwash wool. Two comments here, please ask folks to be careful with economy worsteds, because they often are scratchier than 100% Highland wool, and don’t soften when washed. So those hats sit at the centers, because they aren’t soft enough. The second is, if the hats have any wool content, just let us know. Because of the washables, we don’t shy away from wool, but we just need to have the hat ‘tagged’ if it has wool content. Also, Fun Fur. I know it sounds crazy, but the kids seem to love these. 
Address to mail your donations:
Itty Bitty Knit Group Hats
Halos of Hope
P.O. Box 1998
Arlington Heights, IL 60006-1998
That way my guys will pull these out from the general donations, get them to me, and I can count them separately. We’ll try to get photos of the overall donated hats to share through our social media, and post to the group once they are all received.
About Halos of Hope:
Halos of Hope is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 organization not-for-profit organization committed to providing in-need cancer patients with crafted hats donated by caring volunteers. The organization was started in October 2007 by Pamela Haschke, a survivor of a rare breast cancer with a high mortality rate, and provides caps to more than 475 cancer treatment centers across the United States. We currently support over 155 pediatric centers nationally. 77,000 hats have been provided to comfort cancer patients since our inception, and over 2,400 continue to be sent each month. We believe cancer is a journey of courage, and we hope a caring, handcrafted hat provides some comfort along the way. Centers are asked to give the caps to their patients free of charge.

What an organization! I hope to get lots of donations throughout the month. Be sure to let me know or post on the thread if you donate. Thanks to Pamela for letting us all be a part of this important charity that does so much good on such a large scale. I'll share more on this as the month progresses.

best, susie
p.s. It has been announced by The Knit Girllls that I will be teaching at the SSK (super summer knitogether) in Nashville in June 2013! I am so excited about this upcoming event that is so popular that they have a lottery drawing to get in and a huge waiting list for those who don't get in through the lottery. More to come on this soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall Obsessed

Hi, Knitters,
I have become obsessed with a few things as of late, the fall season, my phone camera, instagram, and nature hikes.

I post a lot of photos of my hikes and findings throughout the day plus a ton of knitting stuff on my twitter account, under SusanBAnderson. If you are interested you can follow me by clicking right here. You can also follow me on under susanbanderson.

The following photos are some of my latest shots of the fall Wisconsin terrain.

I have a fun and big giveaway lined up and ready to go I just haven't had the time to do it justice. I will get that going as soon as I am able.
I hope you are enjoying this glorious fall as much as I am.
best, susie

Monday, September 24, 2012

Knitting Heritage Project plus a little sharing

Hi, Knitters,
A few weeks ago Karen Kendrick-Hands contacted me about a knitting project she is passionate about. It is not your everyday ordinary project but instead she is working on establishing a Knitting Heritage Museum right here in Madison, Wisconsin. With impressive backing and support Karen is organizing an event entitled, Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress; Making the Case for Collecting, Preserving, Researching and Sharing Our Knitting and Crochet Heritage. The event takes place this coming November 8-10, 2012, at the Wisconsin Historical Society on State Street in Madison.

Here is a little information about the project from Karen:
"Knitted and crocheted objects, works of the hand and heart, provide snapshots of the ethnic traditions and socioeconomic status of the maker and the wearer. An infant's christening gown celebrates an intergenerational milestone. An intricate Shetland shawl or Bohus sweater knit for hire illustrates the often unsung ways women supported their families when male incomes disappeared. A sock, knit during wartime, connects the maker at home to the warrior at the front.

These often humble and utilitarian items were worn, passed down from generation to generation and sometimes donated to a local or regional museum. Many museums have these items in their collections but are unsure how to preserve, categorize and display them."

Karen is out to explore, discuss and hopefully solve many of the issues surrounding preserving and sharing knitting from a historical perspective.

There is an exciting panel discussion on Friday, November 9th, about the value of heritage and why it is important. The panel includes some industry heavy hitters including, Trisha Malcolm, VP and Editorial Director of Vogue Knitting and Jack Blumenthal, VP of Lion Brand Yarn.

Anyway, I love this entire project. I have liked the Facebook page and am hoping to be able to attend some of the events over the three days. I hope some of you can join in, too. Our beloved knitting is historically important and very much under-recognized from a historical perspective. I love the idea of a Knitting Heritage Museum and what better place than in the home state of Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Here are the links to find out more about this moving project:

Click here for the Knitting Heritage Museum website.

Click here for the Knitting Heritage Museum on Facebook.

Click here for the Ravelry group for the Museum -wip.

Now onto some fun and fast sharing today. I was gifted this gorgeous skein of Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock, superwash yarn, 370 yards in 100% merino wool, in the Trek colorway.  The gift giver is the wonderful Diana (GrandmaBuck on Ravelry). I had admired a prize yarn donated by Dani of Sunshine Yarns, and before I knew it I had the same skein in my hands. Isn't it stunning?

I might have to design something out of this skein. It is that amazing.

I made a little progress on my HD Yarns sock. The shop has put up a notice that it will be posting lots more of their self-striping yarn on October 20thso if you are interested you should go favorite the shop and then be sure to check back. This yarn is called, Dynamics, which has bright colors and varied stripes which makes the sock a fun knit.

My next shawl pattern is moving along. It is going to be really pretty and it will have a different edging that I can't wait to try when I get there. I am almost done with the last repeat. I am knitting this one out of my fingering weight handspun from Sunshine Yarns roving. I'm going to knit another one in a commercial yarn that's accessible to everyone.

I promised myself that I would find the time to start the Hyla Brook by Paula Emons-Fuessle. Well, I did. It's a tiny start but it is a start. Oh, those are Signature Needles in US size 5, 32-inch circulars.

The Quince & Co. Tern in the Sea Grass colorway is sweet and earthy. This yarn is a blend of wool and silk. It is soft and beautiful.

I'll be back soon with a giveaway. Have a good start to your week.
best, susie

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Knit Simple inside the Issue and at Home

 (photo provided by Knit Simple)
Hi, Knitters,
First, the photographs from the Knit Simple Holiday Issue 2012 that are shared in this post are by Paul Amato for, Rose Callahan, Jack Deutsch and Marcus Tullis. The issue hits the stands on October 2nd, 2012.

I want to share the rest of my projects found in Knit Simple Holiday 2012 today. 

The first is the #19 Fairy Doll. The doll is knit in the round, completely seamless and from the top-down. The wings are knit separately and stitched on the doll's back.

Click here for the Ravelry project page for the Fairy Doll.

Here is more information for the fairy doll:
For sizes: 12" long

Yarn Information: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash
Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Quatro
Amounts: 1 ball each in #817 aran, #914A tahitian rose and #902 soft pink
1 ball in #1932 butterscotch

(photo provided by Knit Simple)

I was asked to take on the gift section for the cook/kitchen this year. I was assigned an owl tea cozy, an owl pocket apron, a market bag and a dishcloth. The yarn was sent to me and here is what I came up with for the kitchen section.

Above is the #41 Owl Tea Cozy. That happens to be my sister's orange teapot in the photo. She loaned me her teapot to use while I designed the cozy. It looked so cute with the finished cozy that I sent it along for Knit Simple to use for the photo shoot. This is a super easy and quick knit. It is worked in the round, separated to knit the openings on the sides for the handle and spout, joined again to work in the round, and finished with a three-needle bind off. Easy peasy!

Here is more information for the Owl Tea Cozy:
Owl Tea Cozy
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: 16" circumference x 7 1/4"
Yarn Information: Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Batik
Amounts: 1 skein #22 waffle cone

Before I send off any projects I try my best to take a series of photos of the project in progress and then again when it is finished. I love how the ear tassels look so perky in the photo above.

Also, here you can see the side slits for the spout and handle. I wanted it to stay in place so I made a loop and bobble to hold the cozy tightly around the teapot. It's really cute.

(photo provided by Knit Simple)

The editors also wanted an apron with an owl pocket. There was an owl theme going on for this kitchen set. This was a fun and fast knit as well and really it couldn't get much simpler. The apron is knit from the top-down and the ties are picked up and knit on. The owl pocket is made separately and stitch to the front of the apron. This project turned out great.

Here is more information about the apron:
Owl Apron
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: One size
Yarn Information: Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme
Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Batik
Amounts: 2 hanks in #602 orange creme
1 hank in #22 waffle cone

Here the apron is on TC. At first I knit the apron without the ruffle but the editors wanted a ruffle so I added it on later. You could knit it either way but the pattern in the magazine includes the ruffle.

It's an adorable set and would make quick knit gifts for the holiday season.

 I just love this photo of TC, "Could I get you some tea?"

(photo provided by Knit Simple)

I love this super stretchy, lightweight linen/cotton market bag. The stitch pattern is fun and easy, a rib and eyelet pattern that is easy to memorize. The bag is knit in one piece from the bottom up to the garter stitch top, which is then separated. It is a very simple and quick knit. 

I'd like one of these for myself. Here is some information about the #42 Market Bag:
Cook's Market Bag
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: One size
Yarn Information: Classic Elite Yarns Cricket
Amounts: 4 balls in #3981 grass green

I adore the Classic Elite Cricket yarn. It is the perfect yarn for this project. What a fun knit.

(photo provided by Knit Simple)

I love a knit washcloth/dishcloth. I love to knit them and design them. When asked to do some kitchen dishcloths, I immediately wanted to stray away from the square shape you usually see. I thought something round and sweet would make for a fun gift knit. The yarn called Sprout from Classic Elite is just fantastic. It is a soft, thick cotton that works up like a snap. The cloth is worked from the center out on US size 9 needles.

I did three versions, all fun and simple and cute. Here is more information on the #43 Dishcloths:
Kitchen Dishcloths
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: Set of 3, 9" across
Yarn Information: Classic Elite Yarns Sprout
Amounts: 1 hank each in #4320 spring breeze, #4381 mint, and #4346 glacier

Knit Simple is one of my favorite knitting magazines. There is a lightness and a sense of fun in every issue and the projects are so doable. Everyone can find something fun to knit in every issue. I am so excited to be a part of the holiday issue again this year. This is the third year in a row that I have had projects in the holiday issue and it is such an honor. Holiday gift issues are always the best. You get over 50 project patterns in this one issue.

Click here for the Knit Simple website!

The magazine hits newsstands October 2nd!

I hope you are all having a great week. It is flying by fast.
best, susie

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Fairy Doll Pattern!

Hi, Knitters,
I noticed this morning that the Knit Simple Holiday 2013 issue has its preview up! I have five patterns published in this issue that I am really excited about. The first project I want to share with you is this adorable 12-inch fairy doll. I just love this fairy so much.

The doll is knit completely in one-piece from the top-down. Her top, skirt, arms and legs are all knit right in as you go. The wings are knit flat and are stitched on the back of the doll. It is a really fun, fast, clever and interesting knit. I came up with a new way to place and knit the arms and legs in as you go and I am quite pleased with how this worked. I will be using this technique again for sure.

The fairy doll is knit in Cascade 220 Superwash on US size 6 needles. This project is a great stash buster for any worsted weight yarn you might have. The magazine has called the fairy, #19 Fairy Doll.

Click here for the Knit Simple Holiday 2013 preview!

Click here for the #19 Fairy Doll project page on Ravelry! 

I had a great time creating and knitting this sweet fairy. I just love the way she turned out, including her burst of golden hair and her tiny pointed ears.

Here you can get a better feel for the doll's size while she sits in TC's hands. 

Last year I had the tiny flower fairies that had a knit flower purse to sit in and that pattern has continued to be incredibly popular. Click here to see the flower fairies from last year. I still get requests for that pattern almost weekly and people have trouble locating the magazine. If you are interested in knitting this fairy doll I would suggest grabbing a copy of Knit Simple Holiday 2013 as soon as possible. I am not sure when it hits the stands but it should be very soon if it's not already out.

Edited to add: I was just left a comment from Jessica that the KS Holiday 2012 is out October 2nd! Thanks, Jessica.

I'll be back to share the other four projects in this issue!
best, susie

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quick Picks

Hi, Knitters,
We made a spur-of-the-moment apple run to the Eplegaarden, one of our local apple and pumpkin picking farms, yesterday. We grabbed TC and headed over to pick a large bag of apples. We were in and out of the farm pretty quickly. I hope to get back with a bigger group of family to pick pumpkins in a few weeks. The apples were pretty picked over already as I think the picking season started early this year due to our extreme weather over the last six months. 

My husband and TC worked so fast picking our bag of gala apples that I had a hard time fielding the flying apples and taking photos at the same time. Here is our first apple run in photos ~

 My husband walking through the raspberry crop.

 Worker bees.

 Our tried and true technique works every time. Most of the apples left were at the tops of the trees.

 A bag full.

 Snapped from the car, another beautiful farm on the short drive over.

Now for a couple of knitterly items from the weekend.......

 I've started another shawl design. It's quick, fun and simple. This version is in my fingering weight handspun, the next version will be with a commercial fingering weight yarn. 

 While watching The Fat Squirrel Speaks video podcast last week, I saw her HD Yarns self-striping sock yarn and quickly jumped over to Etsy to get some of my own. 

Now the two hanks are wound and ready to cast on. 

Note that HD Yarns just opened on Aug. 3rd, 2012, and has had only 6 sales. Rich, the owner and dyer, is currently dyeing up more of his fantastic and unusual striping sock yarn. The colorway I have is called Dynamics. I like it for the color changes and the uneven striping. The base yarn Rich uses is from Knit Picks. I can't wait to get started.

Have a super Monday!
best, susie

Friday, September 14, 2012

Soule Sister

Hi, Knitters,
I have wanted to write about Amanda Soule and her Soule Mama blog for quite awhile now but haven't found the right moment. That moment is finally here. As you can see by the stack of her books and magazines above, I have been a long time follower and admirer of her writing, sewing, crafting, cooking, gardening, knitting, family rearing, and her honest lifestyle. She does it all and she does it quietly and thoughtfully. There is something peaceful and earnest about her blog that I love. The joy she finds in her family and nature shines through in every post.

Click here for the Soule Mama website.  Here you will find Amanda's inspiring blog, links for her books and her magazine. 

Click here for the inspiring soulemama project page on Ravelry. I want to knit everything Amanda knits and I definitely have knit things inspired by her photos and postings. The Garter Yoke,  Shalom and the Tea Leaves cardigans are all examples of projects I have made due to Amanda's blog posts and her beautiful knitting. She chooses, executes and photographs her projects so skillfully.

When I first heard the news that Amanda was becoming the editor and contributor for a new grass roots magazine called, Taproot, I knew it would be nothing short of unique and beautiful. The artwork on the cover and throughout the magazine is stunning and interesting. The inside pages are chock-full of information and articles. I subscribed right away. 

There have been three issues so far (in order above from right to left) and each has a theme, issue 1 is soil, issue 2 is paths and issue 3 is retreat. I have read them all cover to cover and there is a wide variety of topics offered in each magazine. You'll find everything from gorgeous photography, illustration and artwork, quotes, science lessons, recipes, patterns, well-written articles surrounding the theme of the issue and much more more. 

For example, in the retreat issue, there is an article about the Squam Retreat that recently took place in the New Hampshire woods. Amanda attended Squam this year and then wrote about it for the magazine. I really enjoyed seeing that article and would love to attend this retreat someday. I think my friend Dianne went this year and gave it rave reviews as did Amanda. Oh yes, Dianne's posts about Squam are here and here. Dianne's blog is really good, too, and you should read it if you don't. She is a woman with many talents.

 (photo from the pages of Taproot)
Anyway, back to issue 3 of Taproot. I was pleased to see that the multi-talented Carrie Bostick Hoge, of Quince & Co. and, has a mitten pattern in the pages of this issue. These adorable corrugated mittens are knit in Quince & Co. Puffin, Osprey or Lark, depending on the size you are making. I will be making a pair of Carrie's mittens out of Quince yarn for sure. The mittens come in sizes from baby all the way up to fit men. That's a wide range.

Click here for Quince & Co. of which Carrie is the art director. All of the glow-y photography for Quince is from Carrie.

Click here for Carrie's blog, Swatch Diaries, and her patterns on She has been quite prolifically designing baby patterns lately, probably inspired by her own beautiful little girl I imagine. I have the yarn and pattern set for this gem of a sweater by Carrie and it is next in line after I finish the Calligraphy cardigan (which is taking me forever).

Anyway, please check out Taproot, the Soule Mama blog, and Amanda Soule's books. You won't be disappointed and you'll have hours of reading and inspiration ahead.

Now onto some more knitting fun.....

I even have more Quince & Co. for you today. I ordered two skeins of Quince's Tern, which is a wool and silk blend in a fingering weight. I keep saying this everyday, but I really am casting on Paula's Hyla Brook this weekend. I have had this set for weeks on end and I just haven't gotten to it yet. The colorway is called Sea Grass and I am knitting it on US size 5 needles.

Can't wait!

Here is the third pair of worsted weight mittens I have made from my newly created mitten design. The pattern is coming soon. These are just the best pair of simple worsted weight mittens I have made. The mittens above are made out of Noro Kureyon and it takes two skeins to make this medium-sized pair.

I am working on a big project right now with a deadline looming. This is why I haven't started my Hyla Brook yet amongst other things. I still have a ways to go. This project is stretching my skills a bit as it includes something I haven't designed before. Take your guesses!

One last thing, my Vogue Knitting Live class for the top-down baby cardigans has been sold out for awhile but now there is suddenly one spot available! The class is from 2-5pm on Sunday, October 28th in Chicago. I hope someone snags the opening soon. Click here for more information on the class!

Have a great weekend, Knitters. It is turning into a lovely fall season so far.
best, susie