Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Knitting Pipeline Retreat in Review

Hi, Knitters,
The winners for the Knit Red and Sew Red books have been randomly selected and contacted through Ravelry! The winner of Sew Red is pawsandknit (rav id) and the winner of Knit Red is gussek (rav id). Thanks to all for entering and I'll have another giveaway very soon.

For today you can find all related links at the end of the post.

Last weekend I attended The Knitting Pipeline Retreat in Washington, Illinois. I was a guest of Paula Emons-Fuessle, the host of both the retreat and the podcast of the same name, Knitting Pipeline. Not only did I get to attend the event but Paula invited me to stay overnight in her beautiful home. Paula's house is open and welcoming. Her husband, Bob, is friendly and helpful. I enjoyed being in her home so much. I even got to sit for a bit in her famous knitting spot which is a room off her kitchen that overlooks a creek and woods. Paula sits in here to write the Nature Notes section of her podcast and I can see why she does it from here. The huge windows and breathtaking view would inspire any nature lover. Her bird feeders were buzzing with action in the morning. That was fun to see. 

Paula's a keen knitter so it was a joy to see her knitting sprinkled throughout the house. I found the stack of knits above on a bench by the stairs. This stack includes a cloche found in Botanical Knits by Alana Dakos (a gift for her daughter-in-law) and a bunch of shawlettes. Paula's house is filled with furniture built and crafted by her dad, including a gorgeous rustic wooden mantle. I loved seeing the personal and meaningful items in her house.

Here is the view that has inspired many a Nature Note topic. The creek is visible from the window.

Paula asked her husband to take a few photos of us before we left for the retreat on Saturday morning. It was quite comical. Apparently, when taking family photos Bob has the reputation for snapping  photos at the wrong time, either too soon or more often too late. By the time he takes the photo people are telling him to hurry up and then the photo isn't the best. The same thing happened here as you can see above. I wasn't quite ready. I loved the banter between Paula and Bob and Paula's directives. It was cute. I guess Bob is available to hire for weddings or other events if anyone is looking for a photographer who takes interesting photos.

Here we are! It was incredibly nice to meet Paula in person. (You can see the mantle above.) We have corresponded off and on for awhile now. A funny note, I often have the experience of people meeting me for the first time and they are surprised how small I am. For some reason people think I am a lot taller than I am. I hear this all of the time. In fact, the first four people I met at the retreat were taken aback by how tiny I am in person. I always think this is funny. For the record, I am definitely petite.

Well, just look at who is my exact same size? Miss Paula and I look eye-to-eye. Paula threw on her Quaker Ridge Shawlette, which is my design, and I have to say that I love her rustic, tweedy version of this shawl. I would like one like that. She is also wearing her newly knit favorite cardigan, Acer by Amy Christophers.

I asked her if I could try on her Acer because I have this pattern waiting to be knit up at home and I wanted to check out the sizing. She tried on my Calligraphy Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. It looks great on Paula. We switched and wore each other's cardigans for awhile on Saturday.

I am also wearing my My Hope Shawlette by Laura Linneman knit up in Cakewalk Yarns. I think I was asked about 30 times about the shawlette I was wearing. It is wonderful yarn and a fun pattern. 

Paula looks stunning in her Quaker Ridge Shawlette! This is my favorite photo of the event. Paula is beautiful. I love how Paula created such an easy atmosphere for the retreat. Everyone had free time to do what they liked which was mainly meet new people, chat and knit. There were break-out classes like continental knitting (taught by the lovely Brigitte of Klose Knit), darning socks (taught by Paula), beaded bracelet making (by Ewe-nique Yarns), a lecture about sheep, felted ball making (by Knit4together - a yarn shop), and a master shawl knitter's display and chat (by Cindy, TalesofYarn on rav). There was even belly dancing (really!).  I didn't belly dance in case you were wondering but I did watch a bit of a performance. The belly dancer is Liby from the Multicraftual podcast. She's cute.

Malia, who sat at my table, is a fantastic spinner. She had a drop spindle going but then on Saturday I noticed she pulled out this interesting thing. It is called a Charkha and this is a pretty slick way to spin on the go. You can see she has one bobbin filled and resting and is working on a second. It was fun to see her get this going and she was creating the cutest tiny skeins of plied yarn. You can kind of see the skeins on the right side of the photo. I was intrigued.

Malia is spinning long draw from a rolag from Unwind Yarn. That's my buddy Kathy (kally on rav) on the right from the Itty-Bitty Knits group. I loved spending time with her. 

Amy Beth from The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast was there and I loved meeting her and getting to talk to her a little bit. I love her video podcast. She is smart AND funny, a great combination. She is genuine to the core. Everyone under the sun is talking about and participating in her upcoming Orange Knitalong. Amy Beth is wearing the Watercourse Cardigan and it looked great on her.  

Paula is still wearing my Calligraphy in this photo, too. She buttoned it up in this shot.

I signed a lot of books and I had the trunk show for my newest book, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys on display for the weekend. The knitters enjoyed reversing the toys to see what was on the other side. That is always fun to watch! 

The highlight of the retreat was easily getting to see Paula and her bandmates, Heather and Bob, playing the bagpipes for the group. They played a few songs as the retreat was winding down. 

There was something so moving about it. I got a little teary-eyed while watching and listening. It was beautiful.

Paula is talented at so many different and interesting things and I think that is what adds to her appeal. She has a huge and enamored following. People adore her and hang on her every word. It was universal at the retreat.

Here is the beaded bracelet I knit on Saturday. It was a kit from Ewe-nique Yarns, a local yarn shop vending at the event.

I got to meet Rose (on the right) from Cakewalk Yarns! She is that talented dyer I have been talking about non-stop for over a year now. She is wonderful and fun and cheerful. I got a few more skeins of her yarn at the retreat. More socks and shawls to come in Cakewalk. I'll photograph my new Cakewalk Yarns and share soon.

I was thrilled to see my buddy Ruth again, along with her local to me sister, Sylvia. I have met Ruth a few times now and I was happy to get to spend more time chatting with her. Usually I have seen her in a class or something so I don't get as much down time with her. She is fun and delightful, as always. Ruth knit the Milk Cow (my design) that Rose is holding. I helped her stitch the head onto the body correctly and securely. Ruth loved that.

Amy Beth vended her hot, hot, hot wares. She has started a Fat Squirrel line of hand sewn project bags and dyed yarns and she created a mob scene when the vending opened up. I got one of those beautiful bags and a couple skeins of her yarn. I'll photograph and share more on that later.

I also purchased an adorable smaller snap-open project bag (I'll show a photo later) and some tags from Jennie (javajennie on rav). Jennie lives close to me and she let me tag along in her car for the 3 hour drive to Washington, Illinois for the retreat. Jennie was a vendor at the retreat, as well. Her shop is called, {kitchen counter crafter}, which is adorable. Thanks again for the ride!

Also at the table to my right was the lovely (and tall) Jo Anna Spring of the Knit Spin Farm video podcast. I loved meeting her so much as I watch and enjoy every episode of her podcast. She had a brand new family of sheep waiting for her when she got home. I saw a couple of photos and she was excited about it. Jo Anna gave me a sweet little hand-crafted cardinal stitch marker which I will photograph and share later. It is so cute.

All in all, for my first ever retreat and/or event where I wasn't working the whole time, I had the best time ever. Paula was a welcoming and organized host. She created an excellent and relaxing atmosphere along with her friends and helpers, Bronwyn and Sarah. Both Bronwyn and Sarah were fun to meet in person as well. They frequent Paula's podcast which are some of my favorite episodes.

Paula's audio podcast, The Knitting Pipeline, is my favorite listen as I run and walk everyday. I constantly go back and listen to old episodes. I have probably listened to every episode more than once and some more times than that and there are well over 100 episodes. If you are not listening to this podcast, you really should. You can listen right on your computer from her website by simply clicking play or you can find it on iTunes.

Thank you, Paula, for a memorable knitting experience. I will never forget my weekend in Washington, Illinois with you!

Link time:
The Knitting Pipeline Podcast
Quaker Ridge Shawlette
Acer Cardigan
Calligraphy Cardigan
Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys
Unwind Yarn Company
Java Jennie's {kitchen counter crafter} shop
Knit Spin Farm Podcast
The Fat Squirrel Podcast (shop link is on the website)
Cakewalk Yarns
My Hope Shawlette
Paula's Botanical Knits Cloche (in the first photo)
Multicraftual Podcast
Milk Cow pattern

Alright! I think that should do it. I'll be back soon with more. I am going to be in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday, May 3rd at the Fibre Space yarn shop!! I am having a workshop and meet and greet/book signing there on Friday night from 5-9pm. I hope to see you there if you are in the area.
best, susie
p.s. One more important thing, there is a blanket drive going on in my ravelry group (click here) in honor of the Boston Marathon runners/families affected by the bombing. Here is the information if you are interested in donating:
The Boston Children’s Hospital baby blanket project was conceived in response to the horrific bomb explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon that claimed several lives, including that of an 8 year old boy, Martin Richard. Small baby blankets (and hats, too) are being collected in his memory and given to the patients of the ICU units of BCH. Please contact pamelajd (rav id) if you’d like to contribute a hat or a blanket.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Books with Heart ~ A Double Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
I am excited to bring you a double opportunity to win a copy of either Knit Red or Sew Red. Both books are published by Sixth & Spring and in conjunction with the fabulous Jimmy Beans Wool. I have shopped at Jimmy Beans Wool for years and years and I love that this company has a heart for charity as well as for their customers. Both of these red-themed fiber books are part of the Stitch Red Campaign which you can read about in this blurb straight from the website:

As a part of the Stitch Red campaign, a portion of the profits from this book will be donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in support of The Heart Truth® to help raise awareness of heart disease in women. We hope you'll join us in the fight against heart disease and in knitting red! 

(photo from Knit Red)

The publisher, Sixth & Spring, and the author, Laura Zander (the heart and soul of Jimmy Beans Wool), have pulled together some of the top names in both the sewing and knitting industries for the books. Needless to say, there are wonderful designs in both books and many I would like to make myself.

The books are beautifully done. The patterns and projects in both books have a huge range from clothing, accessories, home goods and more. The photography is perfection and has the sewer and knitter in mind at all times. It is very clear.

There are two specific projects that I am going to knit from Knit Red. The photo above is a cardigan style that I just adore. It is simple and practical and pretty. I am going to knit this hoodie in a beautiful red Valley Yarns worsted weight wool that I have in my stash. The cardigan is called the A-Line Hoodie and it's designed by Diane Soucy. Click here for the Ravelry page for the A-Line Hoodie.

(photo from Knit Red)

The Cowl Neck Vest is another project from Knit Red that I am going to knit for sure. I think it is so cute. I have some Dream in Color worsted weight (in a variegated green) in my stash that will be perfect for this one. I love the designer, Cecily Glowik-MacDonald. She never misses. Click here for the Ravelry project page for the Cowl Neck Vest. Plus I always love pockets, don't you? 

Anyway, both books are winners not only because they do some good by donating part of the profits to a women's heart health organization but also because they are so well-done and beautifully crafted. Plus both books have versatile and varied designs by top designers in their fields. It's a win-win for all.

Congratulations! I am impressed.

To enter to win a copy of either Knit Red or Sew Red please leave a comment on this blog post. Please leave only one comment, specify which book you are interested in or if you are interested in both of the books. Also, please leave your email or rav id so I can get in touch to get your mailing address if you should win.

I will be back in a couple of days to randomly select two winners, one for Knit Red and one for Sew Red!

Good luck and let the comments begin!
best, susie

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hatching a Dragon

Hi, Knitters,
I am hatching a dragon. That's right, he is hatching right off my needles and before my eyes. I made a video the other day of how I start thinking about shapes and features of my knit toy designs as I am working. 

Click here for my entire YouTube Channel! I have 49 videos posted and close to 1.3 million viewings.

I have mentioned on Facebook and Twitter that I am working on designing a dragon for Unicorn Books, the distributor of Opal Sock Yarn in the U.S. I have gotten a very enthusiastic response so far. I've concluded that people like dragons. Opal has come out with a new solid series for their fantastic sock yarn. The colors are wonderful and inspiring.

Click here to see the Opal Sock Yarn and Hat Bunny on my Ravelry Pattern Shop! (Each pattern can be bought separately or together.)

Unicorn Books (the country's biggest craft book distributor) will be selling the pattern in hard copy and download to yarn shops starting this June of 2013 at TNNA. Eventually, I will be able to sell the pattern in my own Ravelry Pattern Shop as a download.

I love this little friendly dragon. I feel like he is a youngster, possibly recently hatched from his dragon egg. He has a sleepy, just woke up look about him.

In fact, I am thinking about making an egg for him to hatch out of, not as a reversible but as a separate piece. Yes to that?

I've worked so hard on his wings. After much study of dragon images and debate I decided that the wings should match the body color. Since he is a young or baby dragon, I imagined his wings just unfolding for the first time. They are kind of sweet looking.

I still have his tail to knit on. I have left a good open tail space to work with below his spine.

The face isn't complete yet either and arms and legs are still to come. Maybe a tiny flame from his mouth? Not sure. I'm having a great time designing this friendly dragon. 

Here are a couple of things to note if you want to start thinking about making this dragon for yourself: 
- The dragon is knit completely in one-piece from the bottom up. There is no seaming or stitching on of parts. When you are done knitting, the toy is done!
- The Opal Sock Yarn is the Grasgrun colorway and is held doubled throughout the project. It goes quite fast held double.
- I am knitting on US size 5 dpns.
- The dragon is about 6-inches tall.

More to come very soon on the dragon front as I complete him......

One announcement I need to make is that I will not be attending the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. The coordinator contacted my publicist to say that the author book signings have been canceled. I am sad not to attend but hopefully another year! I think I am signing book plates for the festival to use when selling my books so you can still get a signed book.

On the good news front, I WILL still be teaching a workshop and having a book signing/meet and greet at the fabulous Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, May 3rd. The workshop is from 5-7pm and the meet and greet/book signing is from 7-9pm!!

Here is the information for Fibre Space (fibrespace.com):
102 N. Fayette Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 664-0344

Enjoy your day and I hope you enjoyed this tiny look behind-the-scenes of my toy designing.
best, susie
p.s. The Ebb Cowl Knitalong is ending in one week!! There are 86 projects posted already, 344 queues, and over 1,000 favorites for the Ebb Cowl. Thank you everyone! Finish up and post your cowl if you haven't yet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Giveaway for Topsy-Turvy Book and The Loopy Ewe!

Hi, Knitters,
I am off in Colorado teaching at the wonderful Loopy Ewe Spring Fling this week. In the meantime, my friend, Kristin Nicholas, has posted a review and giveaway for my new book Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys! I want to make sure you don't miss the chance to enter as her giveaway is only open through tomorrow, Sunday, April 21st, 2013. Thank you, Kristin!

Above in the photo is the book signing table at The Loopy Ewe yarn shop in Ft. Collins from Thursday morning. The turn out was great. I taught a class on Wednesday night at the shop, too. It was a great, fun group of knitters who had traveled through an enormous blizzard to get to the class. We had a super time together and hopefully they learned a few things at the class. I taught my new Fair-Isle Hat Class.

Here is the toy display from Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out at the shop. The Loopy Ewe is a beautiful shop bursting with detail and TONS of standard and unusual yarns. It is a fantastic shop with kind and helpful workers. The owner, Sheri, is amazingly good at what she does. I'm thoroughly impressed.

This is only one aisle at the shop!

This is the beautiful Skein Yarn. This is a yarn that is hard to find.

Here is a wall of MadelineTosh worsted weight yarn. It is too much!

The book has been selling well all week and the response has been wonderful.

I had some of my Itty-Bitty Knitter friends from Ravelry come to see me. Kendra flew in from Massachussetts (in the middle) and Pam lives locally. We are heading out for dinner tonight. I can't wait!

Claudia, the dyer and creator of the incredibly hard to get Wollmeise, is Sheri's friend. Claudia is here from Germany and let me tell you, she is a delight. She personally selected this colorway called, Barist'O, for me in her Lacegarn. What a dream come true. I am so excited about this yarn. I am making Nuvem with it. The Loopy Ewe gets a shipment of Wollmeise and it is gone within minutes so it is a treat to have this in my hands.

This is the lovely and generous Sheryl from The Loopy Ewe. She patiently waited for me all day on Wednesday at the Denver airport because my flight was delayed about 6 or 7 hours. Thank you for everything, Sheryl! I have really enjoyed spending time with her this weekend.

This was the kick-off! There are well over 100 knitters attending the retreat and they are an enthusiastic bunch to say the least. My classes have been so much fun so far. I am teaching two more today, my other new class, Build-a-Toy. This is such a fun class to teach.

I'll be back soon! Please pop over to Kristin's blog before midnight tomorrow to leave a comment to win a copy of Topsy-Turvy!

I highly recommend shopping for your yarn and knitting needs at The Loopy Ewe. Their online shopping business is incredibly successful but the shop is just as good if not better in person. I have shopped here online for years now but after being in the shop and meeting the staff and Sheri, the owner, I am so impressed. Their customer service and organization and dedication is like nothing else. This is a hard working group of knitters.

best, susie

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Designs in Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2013


Hi, Knitters,
Last fall of 2012, I got a design request from Knit Simple Magazine. I can rarely say no to this magazine and the lovely people who work there because all of it is so good. I love Knit Simple Magazine for its accessibility and for the doable, clean, simple designs offered season after season. This magazine is one that is loved by yarn shops because it flies off the shelf as soon as it gets to the door. At least that's what I've heard from yarn shop owners on my travels.

So when asked by Knit Simple, I say yes. They usually have something specific in mind for me. This time it was a girl's top of some sort, a child's bunny hat and some girl-size leg warmers. That sounded like a fun challenge. All three were due in mid-December if I remember correctly. 

Here is what happens from there. I send sketches to the good editors at Soho Publishing and wait to hear back. After the sketches are approved the yarn editor tells you what yarn company and specific yarn you need to choose from for the designs. After I select the colors and they are approved I get a big box of yarn in the mail and it is time to get to work. This all goes pretty quickly.

Below are the photos of the sketches I sent off to the editors. I love what I get to design. It's pure fun for me.

With everything in order, I first got busy designing a girl-size top. I had looked up standard measurements for a 4-6 year old girl thinking that if it was a little big on the 4 year-old it could be worn more as a tunic and then more as a top as the child gets older. I love how this sweet little top turned out.  The small details make it. 

Here is the finished Tank Top on my child-size dress form. I made it for a young girl maybe around 5 years-old. It can be worn with or without a t-shirt underneath. I think it turned out great. 

You start from the bottom and knit in one-piece until you get to the armhole, separate for the front and the back working one side at a time and then finish with a 3-needle bind off at the shoulders. It's so simple and fun to knit. I added a smattering of sweet lazy-daisy flowers on the bottom front. 

The tank top is to be loose-fitting at the bottom and sort of an empire line with the garter stitch dividing the bottom from the top.

I love how the garter detail adds to the design.

(Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2013, photo by Jack Deutsch)

The model is adorable as is the skirt but I do think the top is too small for this girl. As I look at the sizes for the Tank Top in the magazine it looks like they added more sizes which is great! I knit it in a size 4-5T and this girl, gorgeous and cute, looks a bit older than that. I think they removed the flower embroidery, too.

All is good and I think it is a really cute, sweet photo. I just want you to know the details if you decide to knit this cute, simple Tank Top for a little girl in your life. It is a very fun and fast knit.

Here is the pattern information:
#23 Tank Top
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: Child 4, 6, 8, 10, 12
Yarn Information: Schachenmayr Select/Westminster Fibers Violena
Amounts: 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) balls in #01605 lilac

Now I have designed a few bunny hats in my day and doing one more is all good by me! A simple, fun bunny hat is never a miss in my book. Kids like animal hats and they always look cute in them, adults like to look at kids in bunny hats, photographs are made better when wearing bunny hats.... you can't go wrong.

This hat is knit in cotton but would work great in wool or a wool blend as well.  The ears are knit separately in pieces, thus the pink inner ear, and are then stitched onto the hat. I made the ears extra-long and floppy this time just for fun. 

I added a simple embroidered face which really adds to the cuteness factor.

The hat is 20-inches in circumference but could easily be made smaller to fit a baby. 

(Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2013, photo by Jack Deutsch)

Here is the pattern information from the magazine:
#22 Bunny Hat
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For sizes: Toddler, Child
Yarn Information: Coats & Clark Creme de la Creme
Amounts: 1 skein each in #105 Ivory and #710 Pale Pink, small amount in #12 Black

Cute photo, cute girl (love her hair) and a cute stuffed bunny to boot! I love how this project turned out.

Next up, I made a simple pair of ribbed leg warmers in a child-size. These could fit a young child, around 3 or 4 all the way up to an older child. The rib really makes them stretchy and flexible as far as sizing goes.

I love the simplicity of this design and stripes are always a good thing.

(Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2013, photo by Jack Deutsch)

I think they look great as styled in the photo and would also be cute over tights and under boots or worn to dance class. They could be knit up in school or team colors, too, and would be a great gift knit!

Here is the pattern information from the magazine:
 #25 Leg Warmers
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
For Sizes: Child
Yarn Information: Berroco Comfort
Amounts: 1 skein each in #9780 Dried Plum, #9730 Teaberry, #9702 Pearl, #9729 Smokestack

After I finished these projects, I got a request to knit up a toy for the Noro Magazine published by the same Soho Publishing team. I jumped at the chance and will share that project as soon as I get word from them that it is out. 

Click here for the Noro Magazine website to find out more! Warning: you will want to get this magazine after looking at the website. It is beautiful and who doesn't love Noro? It says the new magazine with my toy will be out June 5th, 2013, something to look forward to.

I think it is wonderful that Soho Publishing offers such a wide variety of knitting magazines. We, as knitters, should continue to support and love our knitting magazines because they offer so much in the form of patterns, reviews, introducing new products and yarns, designer features, and even for hosting events like Vogue Knitting Live. This is all the same company and it all goes hand in hand.

I'll be back with my own new book debut! I apologize for the delay on this, I've been a little busy.... it's coming. Thank you, ahead of time, for the support of my new book. I am getting the nicest comments and emails and messages from people all over the world about it. That's so encouraging.

One last reminder, I'll be in Colorado on Wednesday, April 17th, to teach an evening workshop at The Loopy Ewe in Ft. Collins, Thursday April 18th I'll be at The Loopy Ewe all morning for a book signing and meet and greet, and then on to teaching at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling retreat.

I have to say the owner, Sheri Berger, is one amazing organizer. She takes care of everything and I mean everything. I am so impressed. Sheri is on the ball like nobody's business. It's no wonder she is so successful and that there is a waiting list for her annual retreat. It makes you feel good to work for someone like that. Thank you, Sheri, for your hard work on behalf of the knitting community.

Here is the contact info for the shop:

Click here for The Loopy Ewe website! I've shopped here for years and years. The customer service and selection is incredible.

The Loopy Ewe
2720 Council Tree Ave, Ste 255
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80525
Toll-free – (888) 527-9181
Local – (970) 568-5290

I hope to see some of you there. I'll share it all when I get back.

Happy Sunday, Knitters!
best, susie

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sockless in Seattle & The Loopy Ewe Yarn Shop Events!

Hi, Knitters,
I just had to with the title of the post. While in Seattle everyone kept asking me to show them which handknit socks I was wearing and most of the time I wasn't wearing socks so I was Sockless in Seattle. However, I did knit socks in Seattle and while traveling to and from Seattle.

I finished another sock (above) in the Opal Vincent Van Gogh series. This one is called, In Variation nach. The thing I love most about the Opal patterned sock yarn is that I don't know how it will look while I am knitting it up. There is a photo on the label of a finished sock but I try not to even look at it before I start knitting so I have that element of surprise. I do look a lot at the Van Gogh painting on the label to see how the colors were incorporated into the sock yarn. It really is quite genius. 

Then while I am knitting the Opal Sock Yarn and I get into the rhythm of the pattern I always pick a favorite stripe to work toward and it pushes me to keep knitting on. In the In Variation nach colorway, my favorite stripe is that small shot of pink. 

I love this one!

I finished the Cakewalk Yarn first sock. The pattern is the Simple Skyp free pattern on Ravelry. Skyp refers to slip, knit, yarn over, pass the slipped stitch over. It is quite a simple and fun pattern. I think the yarn colorway is called Hero Squad and I have had it for a long time now. It is really beautiful with the flecks of color. Rose, the dyer, is a real talent. Paula of the Knitting Pipeline suggested combining this pattern and the Cakewalk Yarn and she is right. It's the perfect match.

Click here for the yarn shop! At the time I am writing this she does have 4 skeins of the Cherry Blossom sock yarn.....

I turned the heel on my handspun sock! It's really pretty.

I got my next package from the Knitcircus Sparkle Yarn Club and it included yarn, a shawl pattern and a beautiful wire yarn ball necklace made by Amy Detjen. I wore it all day. Thank you Amy and Jaala!

Apparently Amy Detjen does make and sell these necklaces if you are interested. You can contact her on Facebook or Twitter!

I have the second socks started for both the Opal and the Cakewalk Yarn socks. I have a lot of work knitting coming up so they may have to wait a bit. On the other hand, socks are my favorite travel project and I have a lot of that coming up as well.

Next week I am off to beautiful Colorado. On Wednesday evening, April 17th I am teaching my Fair Isle Hat class at the lovely Loopy Ewe. Click here for the address and phone number for the Loopy Ewe.  I have no idea if the class is full or not. 

On Thursday, April 18th, I will be at the Loopy Ewe shop all morning for a book signing and meet and greet that is open to the public/stoppers-by/anyone in the area. My new book, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys, will be available for purchase at the shop and I will be signing new and old books alike. I will have the trunk show of toys from the new book with me as well. 

Then starting April 18-20 I will be teaching four more workshops including the Fair Isle Hat class and my new Build-a-Toy class, at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling retreat. I believe this event is full at this time. 

I hope to see many of you there if you are able! I'll try to remember to wear my handknit socks so I don't disappoint.
best, susie
I put this link on my Facebook, too, but it is so funny and worth mentioning here. Check out the tumbler page entitled, Reasons My Son is Crying (click here). Anyone who has ever taken care of young children will have a laugh and will easily relate.