Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sock Report and a bit more

Hi, Knitters,
It's time for a sock update. Most all of these socks are made using my sock recipe. Click here for my free sock recipe information. See that pile of yarn, needles, socks in all states of finished-ness, and project bags? To some it may look overwhelming or maybe even not fun but to me that's about the best pile around.

I just simply love knitting socks, mostly of the plain sort. I carry them around with me everywhere I go. After I finish knitting the pair, which is so enjoyable, I love wearing the handknit socks even more. Last weekend I was at a swim meet and it was in the 50s and I wore wool handknit socks. I got lots of compliments, too. That was kind of funny.

I'll break the Sock Report down for you...

Yarn: Cakewalk Yarns Worsted Weight in the Brooklyn colorway (Shop is on hiatus while Rose, the talented dyer, moves from Michigan to Illinois over the summer.)
Needles: US 4 - Knitters Pride DPNS
State of progress: One sock completed, second sock on the heel flap (These are incredibly fast to knit with the worsted weight yarn.)
Project bag: Little Skein Red Riding Hood bag with red gingham inside (the. best!)
Special note: I will be sharing the worsted weight sock recipe as soon as I finish the pair. The first sock took 120 yards, 7-inch cuff, 9 1/2-inch foot.

Yarn: My own handspun from Moonshine Fiber Co. roving (no longer in business)
Needles: US 1 - Knit Picks DPNS
State of progress: One sock completed, second sock on the heel flap.
Project bag: A handmade gift from Becky (gathersnomoss - rav id)

Needles: US 1 Signature DPNS - 6-inch
Pattern: A new one I am working on that will have options! It's really cool.
State of progress: One sock finished, second sock on the cuff.

Yarn: Wee Skeins from Knitterly Things in Halloween colorways
Needles: US 1 - Knitter's Pride Karbonz 
State of progress: One cuff almost complete. Rewound and joined all of the mini-skeins together and will now just knit straight through.
Project Bag: Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2013 special bag made by Fat Squirrel Fibers.

Yarn: Cakewalk Yarns sock yarn in the Peppermint Bark colorway (shop is on hiatus while Rose, the dyer is moving from Michigan to Illinois) This yarn became insanely popular last holiday season. I just happened upon it early in the fall and picked up a skein, not knowing anything about the craze to come later.
Needles: US 1 - Knit Picks DPNS 
State of progress: Finished ribbing on one sock cuff and just started the stockinette part of the cuff.
Project bag: Sew Bendy on Etsy (great little bags - reasonably priced! cute bags in the shop right now!)

Yarn: HDYarns in the Dynamics colorway (shop is closed for the summer months - returning soon!)
Needles: US 1 Knit Picks DPNS
State of progress: Completed to the heel flap of the first sock.
Project bag: Sew Bendy on Etsy (check out the cute bicycle bag in the shop right now!)

Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks Sock Yarn in the Tiki Bar colorway  (Susan, the dyer, is taking orders for this 6 striping sock yarn now!)
Needles: US 1 Knit Picks DPNS
State of progress: On the foot of the first sock (very fun to knit!)
Project bag: SSK 2013 bag from Fat Squirrel Fibers

Yarn: Opal Vincent Van Gogh in The Bridge colorway - I love this one so much. I couldn't find a link for you. Van Gogh Opal has been discontinued and is getting harder to find.
Needles: US 1 Knit Picks DPNS 
State of progress: One sock finished, second sock on the gusset
Project Bag: stored in the same Fat Squirrel Fibers bag - holds 2 sock projects.

At the SSK Retreat Market I purchased this slick dpn holder by Jelby on Etsy. There are two rubber ends held together by clear stretchy elastic strands. At the center is an adorable hand-felted sheep. I think she is calling them flock locks - not entirely sure about that. I also think Jelby is going to be at Stitches Midwest if you are attending that event.

Here is a closer view of the adorable felted sheep button at the center. I like this handy holder as my dpns often poke through my bags and this will prevent that from happening.

Now for a couple of odds and ends.

I have sewn 6 fleece penguins with our swim team initials on the tummies. These are for my girls' little swimming buddies and friends on the team. The big All-City meet is coming up in a couple of days.

TC found the free sewing pattern on the internet. I tried to find to link for you but couldn't find it again. We googled "penguin craft images" and she found it in there somewhere. It was a very simple and sweet pattern, which I love, and there wasn't much instruction included. Someone had scanned hand-drawn pattern pieces which we printed out and then cut out the fabric. I modified it quite a bit in the end. I used both machine and hand-stitching to make the penguins. We used poly-pellets and fiber-fill for stuffing. They sit nicely and they feel so good to hold. 

I made 6 stuffed fleece penguins total. I already had the fleece fabric from a huge 50% off sale at JoAnn's a long time ago. I was happy to use it up. The letters are in red glitter felt that TC picked up recently at JoAnn's. Red is the team color and penguins are the team mascot. They are perfect!

I loved sewing these stuffed toys and I hope the kids love them. One is for TC to keep, of course. I feel like making my own line of fleece hand-sewn/machine sewn stuffies now I had so much fun making these and they were so easy and fast. 

Would you mind hand-drawn pattern pieces? I love that home-y style of stuff but I don't know if others are bothered by it.

And last but not least, I still need to block my beautiful Lullaby Rain Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle of The Knitting Pipeline. I will get to that very soon. I love looking at it unblocked. I know it is going to grow so big when blocked and that I can't wait to see. This is surely going to be a new favorite shawl. The yarn is Quince & Co. Chickadee in Frank's Plum.

My oldest son and I headed out to a nearby prairie to photograph my next shawl pattern that is coming out soon through a very cool and innovative yarn/fiber/wheel company called, Infinite Twist. You are all going to be able to purchase the worsted weight handspun (yes, handspun!) yarn kits with the shawl pattern! I'm so excited about this project. You can contact Cate Carter to let her know if you might be interested in ordering when it is released. I know she is revving up right now. I don't have all of the details yet but it is coming soon. Click here to email Cate!

We got some gorgeous photos! It was a breathtaking day out there in the nature. I can't wait to share them with you and the pattern, too.

Happy Tuesday!
best, susie

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reliving the Super Summer Knitogether Retreat

Hi, Knitters,
Last Wednesday I arrived in Nashville, Tennessee for the Super Summer Knitogether or SSK retreat. SSK is a 5-day knitting retreat in its second year hosted by The Knitgirllls, Laura and Leslie. I remember following along last summer as the event took place and thinking what a wonderful retreat it seemed to be. A couple of days after SSK 2012 was over I received an email from Leslie asking if I would be able to teach at SSK 2013. I couldn't respond fast enough with a resounding yes!

I had heard a little about the venue for the retreat, the Scarritt-Bennett center, a set of historical buildings located next to Vanderbilt University. The Scarritt-Bennett center is a non-profit organization with a long and interesting story. It used to be a small Christian college. The old and fascinating buildings include small dorms, a dining hall, a meeting or central building, a chapel (many weddings take place here) and an auditorium. The grounds are beautiful. 

I jump around a bit in order on this post but it is kind of how the photos were taken over the weekend.

This is the building I stayed in, Gibson Hall. I enjoyed a second-floor small single room with its own bathroom. I felt lucky to have this luxury as most all of the rooms shared a bathroom in between two rooms. There was a reminder given at the start of the event to not lock your roommate out of the bathroom, which I thought was funny but also a very good tip for the weekend. Being locked out of your bathroom in the middle of the night would not be fun.

The first night, Wednesday, I was taken out for dinner along with the other instructors for the event. This included Gale Zucker, Amy Christoffers and Jayce Boggs. Jayce Boggs is a spinning master and she has just started a magazine called, Ply. She was fun to talk to at dinner, very entertaining. She taught her classes and then left right after due to work obligations so I didn't see her much again after the first night. We got the first edition of Ply magazine in our goody bags. It's really good!

The stonework and detail of the buildings was stunning. I could look at these buildings forever and find new details. You just don't see new construction like this any longer. It is true artistry.


The dining hall was a gorgeous building with a massive door, huge floor to ceiling windows, a cathedral ceiling, and plenty of room for the 150 knitters.

Above is the inside of the dining hall. People kept calling it the Harry Potter dining hall which I loved. The food for breakfast and lunch in the hall was surprisingly good and there were always lots of healthy options to choose from. I appreciated that.

I felt like my classes were always packed full of fun knitters including a few celebrity sightings, in the knitting sort of way. Above in the front row I had Paula of The Knitting Pipeline on the right and the elegant Missy (marynvoigt - rav id) of Nashville, in the next row back on the far right with the sunglasses on her head is Laura of The Knitgirllls and hostess with the most-est, to the left in purple is madaboutmatisse (rav id) Denise of my Itty-Bitty Knits group on Ravelry (which recently reached over 4,000 members!), and then I had lots and lots of repeat class takers who I had previously met at other knitting events. That is always fun to see. 

I also had the pleasure of having Laura's mom, Nicki (not sure I am spelling that correctly), and her sister, Beck, in my baby cardigan class and Nicki again for my Fair-Isle hat class. What an incredibly hardworking, friendly, fun, kind, giving, smart family of fiber artists the Linnemans make. Rumor has it that Laura's dad was there but I didn't run into him.

Paula generously let me tag along with her and her famous podcast sidekick Bronwyn for many a dinner. I so enjoyed that. What great company I was lucky to enjoy throughout the event.

The woman in the second row on the right is slightly obscured but she is Rebecca Danger's best friend, Chris. Chris and Rebecca Danger came to the event just to have fun, Rebecca taught at the event last year and had such a good time that she came again as a knitter. That is a good sign and testament to how well this retreat is run.

I love to see the students hard at work on the task at hand. 

I got to spend a little time with Rebecca Danger on Saturday which I loved. She is a kind soul and I am such a fan of her knitting. Click here for her Etsy Shop!

Leslie, the other hostess with the most-est, made about 100 pom-poms to decorate the main meeting hall. It was adorable and worth the effort!

It was hot in Nashville, as it should be in mid-July I guess. I dragged myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning each day to get a run in before the temperature and humidity climbed. I ran all over the Vanderbilt campus and up and down the surrounding streets which were sprinkled with country music legend. 

Vanderbilt has many "interesting" sculptures at every turn. I especially enjoyed this one. What does this say to you? It makes me feel like clearing my throat for some reason.

Here is the center of the Vanderbilt campus with buildings and the student union attached to the right and left of the grassy hill. I ran here a lot because there are paths that criss-cross up and down the hill. I didn't have to think about where I was going too much which is a good thing for someone directionally challenged like me. It is a pretty campus with loads of history.

As I stayed in the Scarritt-Bennett Center I became very aware of doors and doorways. The doors all weighed about 100 pounds. They were solid and heavy and gigantic and forceful. To get to the different buildings you had to wind around paths and go under beautifully constructed stone archways which made it kind of magical. 

Below I took a few photos of the various doors and archways at Skarritt-Bennett.

Right below my window was a labyrinth. I saw many a thoughtful knitter silently walking the labyrinth throughout the weekend. It was quite lovely. I even took a turn with Mel of Single-handed Knits by my side. Mel and I took a late night walk one night after dinner which was very fun and chatty. I enjoyed meeting Mel who flew in from Hawaii for the retreat.

 More sculpture along the streets.....

 .... and another.

I ran up and down Music Row which is a street where about every old house lining the street is a recording studio. There were studio signs on the lawns and congratulation signs for various country artists and their hit singles. I got a kick out of it but to be honest my knowledge of country music is very limited. I knew a few of the names here and there.

This sculpture has some deep meaning I am sure but it escapes me. Under this turtle shell is a woman giving birth. Well, if you get it let me know.

This sculpture is outside of the Vanderbilt Student Union building. I like this one. The movement of the people kind of pulls you in. I also loved this thick tall grassy covering that was all over the campus. It makes you want to dive in and squish around.


These two hardworking students stayed after class was over to make pom-poms with my Clover pom-pom makers for their Fair-Isle Hats. See them fluffing and trimming? Also, look at the hats sitting on the table (one is behind the cup). They both got so far in class, almost to the top of the hats, all while listening to me teach, coming up to the teacher table for demonstrations and while trying out new techniques. It was impressive. 

The next day in the morning they called me over to check out their finished hats! Look at the pride and the success in their faces. They learned two-handed colorwork, trapping or weaving in, corrugated rib, and left and right-leaning Latvian Braids, amongst other tips and tricks, all in three hours. 

The woman on the left is from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. She was really disappointed that she didn't have her pom-pom on the top of the hat yet for the photo. That was cute. I had another woman from Delavan, WI, in my class. Wisconsin knitters are everywhere.

By the way, behind the camera here is the one and only renowned photographer Gale Zucker. More on Gale in a second. 

There was the finely curated SSK market on Saturday. The doors opened at 10am and people were sitting in line waiting to be the first to get inside around 6am. The instructors got to come inside early to shop before the crowds.

That's sweet Diane of The Knitabulls podcast leading the pack! Diane's husband is from Wisconsin and I love how fondly she feels about that fact. It was fun to meet her in person. She recently did a Susan B. Anderson Knitalong, which was quite successful, and she is making the Topsy-Turvy Petticoat Dolls from Topsy-Turvy Inside Out! 

I signed lots of books at the retreat. I had kind knitters stopping me throughout the days and before and after class to sign books. I always love that opportunity. It's very sweet. I had two people tell me that Itty-Bitty Hats is the first knitting book they ever bought and that they learned to knit with it. That's really the best.

One of the best parts of the retreat is that I got to spend quality time with some of the knitters. Paula, of the Knitting Pipeline was one of those people, but in addition I got to meet and spend time with designer extraordinaire/teacher Amy Christoffers (that's pronounced like the name Christopher with an "s" at the end) and photographer extraordinaire/teacher Gale Zucker. 

Gale and Amy were on a mission to eat as many natural fruit and herb handmade popsicles as possible throughout the weekend. These creatively flavored popsicles called paletas were found at a place called Hot & Cold. I think they each ate about 6 paletas over a few days. I think the lime and mint paleta was perhaps their favorite. I tagged along one day and had a strawberry/blueberry paleta and it was delicious. Gale also had a chai tea mini paleta that was good. I think Amy had a hot chocolate and chilis paleta, too. The photo above was taken in Hot & Cold and that's Amy (with the large brown bag) buying her second paleta of the day. 

These beloved and smart women were so inspiring to meet and get to know a little bit. I am hopeful our paths will cross again.  

 Here is a quick photo of Paula and Mel before Mel had to leave.

Now on Saturday night something really amazing and unexpected happened. While I was out walking around Nashville with Amy and Gale, Gale was trying to connect with Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame. Gale happened to be the photographer for Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines so she knows Ann and Kay Gardiner well. When Ann called Gale back she invited us to her home for dinner! When Gale asked if I'd like to go to Ann's house for dinner I was so excited.

Here are some links:
Mason-Dixon Knitting (the blog) One of my forever favorites!
Mason-Dixon Knitting Books - I own them both.
Ann Shayne's fiction novel, Bowling Ave. - set right in Nashville!

I loved Paula's response when I told her I was going to Ann Shayne's house for dinner. I didn't want her to feel like I was ditching her and of course she handled it so graciously. She quickly said, "Go! I'd ditch you to go to Ann Shayne's house, too!" I loved that, so funny. 

Ann came and picked the three of us up at Scarritt-Bennett. We got a kick out of her bumper sticker saying to be sure and read Bowling Ave. (her novel).  She agreed to sit by her bumper sticker for a photo. Just look at Ann Shayne, there is really something about her. She is so easy, casual, friendly, warm, pulled together.... southern in the most lovely way possible. 

As Ann drove us to her house she pointed things of interest out along the way. One of those sites was the home of Big Kenny. I had no idea who Big Kenny was but Ann filled us in by saying Big & Rich, the country duo. As I said, I don't know beans about country music but I do know a few names and I have heard of Big & Rich for some reason. Big Kenny has an enormous gated mansion set right in a Nashville neighborhood with a built-on studio and many, many cars in the huge driveway. 

Ann also pointed out Taylor Swift's penthouse apartment which was fun to see. Fancy stuff, people. 

Back to Ann's house, what a gorgeous, beautiful, warm home she has made for her family. We sat out on her large screened in porch for dinner and knitting. The temperature had cooled off quite a bit and it was very pleasant. There was also a wonderful thunderstorm that passed through and it was like heaven sitting on that porch knitting and chatting away with these extraordinary women. Being outside felt so good after teaching inside most of the time.

Ann Shayne has wonderful artwork and textiles decorating her house. Her kitchen is adorable and fun. The powder room even has handknit hand-towels. Yes, there was a stack of neatly folded handknit towels next to the sink. Whatever fantastic ideas you have about Ann Shayne - it's all true. She is funny and smart and talented. Her home is even better.

Her son had his wisdom teeth out that day so Ann's husband was being the caretaker for him while Ann was with us. He would sweetly call her away now and again to help with her son. What I loved about Ann's conversation-style is how she would insert the funny and quiet quip every once in awhile. If you are able to catch these funny bits you will be laughing out loud. She is hilariously funny but in a quiet way, which to me is the best. She told one story about her son's tooth pulling adventure that literally made my sides hurt from laughing. The. Best. 

Ann had ordered in Vietnamese food for dinner and it was fresh and delicious. I helped Ann spread out a lovely printed table cloth, then she effortlessly pulled out these sweet plates for our dinner. She had a pitcher of ice water for us to quench our thirst. It was all relaxing and really lovely. Sometimes I can't believe my good fortune and this night easily falls into that category.

What an amazing way to end our time in Nashville. Ann took a photo of us on the porch with our knitting to send to Kay so she would be jealous. Kay wrote back, "Jealous." How good is that?

As we were chatting Ann told us that she had recently seen a baby barn owl in her back yard, in fact, two of them. As the sun was setting there was a rustle of leaves and a large bird flew by the porch and landed in a tree.

Sure enough....

The evening included a baby owl sighting. It sat for a long time and unfortunately I only had my phone camera with me but you can still see the owl on the branch. It was pretty cool.

We stayed on Ann's porch until well after dark knitting and chatting away. I didn't want it to end but we finally had to give into the fact that we were all tired. She drove us back to our dorms. We said our goodbyes, I packed up for an early morning 6am pick up and SSK ended.

Every year Laura and Leslie are asking new and different teachers to their event so I don't know if I'll ever be back again at SSK. I have definitely offered to come back and teach any time in the future.

SSK goes down in my books as one of the great memories in my knitting career. Thank you to Laura and Leslie and the knitters in my classes and the knitters at the event. 

best, susie

Monday, July 22, 2013

Home Again

Edited to Add: Due to high demand Susan has now listed the Tiki Bar striping sock yarn as a custom order on her shop. Here is the listing for the Tiki Bar Desert Vista Dyeworks sock yarn: Click right here! 

Hi, Knitters,
I am home from Nashville and the Super Summer Knitogether (SSK). What a fantastic and well-run event. I can't get over what a great job Laura and Leslie (The Knitgirllls) did with the planning and organizing of this huge event. Congratulations to them! I've been gone since last Wednesday and returned yesterday. That's a long time for me to be away from home. I'll post more on the retreat later but today I just wanted to pop in to say hello.  

I taught four classes filled with lovely, chatty, eager and fun knitters, really some of the best groups I've had. I had so many students, especially in the two-handed fair isle classes, trying new techniques and succeeding. I loved how the students kept me posted on their progress after class. I saw so many baby cardigans and fair isle hats (many of them finished!) for the rest of the weekend. Seeing people working on your class projects after the class is always fun and happy. I'll post more on this later, too.

The Knitgirllls curated a fantastic market on Saturday. The teachers got to come in early before the official opening to shop for a short while. I picked up a few select things to take home. One of the small treats I purchased was this self-striping sock yarn from Desert Vista Dyeworks, hand-dyed by Susan who lives in Arizona. Her booth was an explosion of creatively dyed self-striping sock yarns. It was very difficult to choose.

The colorway is called Tiki Bar, which has 6 repeating stripes. I love the fresh mix of bright and subtle colors in this skein. I was looking for the swift and winder on Saturday but it had already been taken down so I hand-wound this ball separating it out by stripes as I wrapped.

I saw on my instagram that Susan is dyeing up more custom orders of Tiki Bar sock yarn for my followers who have made requests. Susan said her email has exploded with custom orders for Tiki Bar since I posted a couple of photos. Make sure you let her know if you'd like a skein, too.

This is how far I got on my sock. I am working on the heel flap now and the cuff is about 7 inches long. I really like this yarn and can recommend it highly to all of you. The stripes go from light blue to light green to raspberry pink to light gray to dark orange to light orange. It's quite beautiful.

Here is Susan's description of the colors (much better than mine): 
Tiki Bar is a Six Stripe Self Striping Sock weight yarn in the pattern: Silver Ice/Bloody Mary/Pineapple Daiquiri/Blue Curacao/Midori Green/Cosmo Pink.

One of the only other things I bought was this bag from Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast. It is a linen project bag with an SSK wooden tag attached. I didn't notice until later but the bag and my new sock yarn match. That's a fun coincidence. The new sock is of course being stored in this new bag.

I'll share much more from Nashville later in the week. Today I am wishing you a pleasant and productive start to your week. I really have to buckle down and work, work, work. I have project commitments coming out of my ears along with a brand new book contract that is now complete.... no slowing down in sight and I love that.

Happy knitting to you all.
best, susie

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fast and Furious Summer

Edited to Add: I forgot to mention an enormous thank you for the great response to my Vogue Knitting Live Chicago classes. The classes sold out incredibly fast so I contacted Vogue and we've added additional openings to both of my classes on Nov. 3rd, 2013! You can still get in if you register soon! Click here for the Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013 registration information!

Hi, Knitters,
This is going to be a fast and furious post today, no links, just photos and descriptions of what has been going on lately. Summer is flying by and I have been knitting and crafting up a storm amidst the chaos of my full and busy home. I've said it before but you think you are busy when your kids are little.... just wait. When your kids are older there is more of everything possible, more food, more laundry, more in and out of your house, more pick-ups and drop-offs, more activities to attend, more volunteering and working at those activities, more schedules to keep track of, more worrying and waiting up at night, but most of all there is more FUN! I love every minute of all of it.

I am packing and finishing up some swatches and demo samples for my classes at SSK (Super Summer Knitaway in Nashville). I leave tomorrow and I can't wait for this retreat. I have been looking forward to attending and teaching at SSK for almost a year now.

Here's what is going on at home. Above, I am on the picot bind-off edge of the Lullaby Rain Shawlette by Paula Emons-Fuessle. She designed this for Quince & Co. It is so beautiful in the Chickadee yarn in the Frank's Plum colorway. I can't wait to block it when I get back from Nashville. I will share that process and the finished shawl with you on here.

I am knitting a pair of worsted weight socks, my first in this weight, out of Cakewalk Yarns worsted weight in the Brooklyn colorway. They are going to be great socks for the house, in clogs and for skating and hiking in the winter months. They are squishy. I am making up the pattern as I go along and I will share it with you when I am done.

I have been enjoying the lush green prairies in my area on my daily runs and hikes. It is really impossible to capture how gorgeous the prairie greens and flowers are with a camera. It is truly breathtaking. I am such a season person. Every season has something unique and beautiful and magical to offer. I can't imagine living without seasons. They add so much to my life.

As the afternoon sun winds down.... 

I don't remember all of the sunflowers last summer. I think someone introduced them to the prairie this year. This is a late afternoon photo. Gorgeous sky and lighting abound.

I am working on a new toy design for an independent yarn dyer. I have found a great design in an old sketchbook that I did awhile back and haven't used yet. I am going to revamp this design with this new yarn and it has loads of potential. Old sketchbooks are the best. This sketchbook contains every pattern and then some from Itty-Bitty Toys. I have yarn labels, handwritten patterns and notes, drawings, phone numbers, calendar stuff, a couple of photos, ideas that never came to be and more all crammed into these pages. I have an entire cabinet stuffed with all of my old and new sketchbooks. It is a slight obsession of mine, the sketchbooks.

I pulled my Slinky Ribs sweater back out. I decided to add cap sleeves to it, picked up and short rowed around. This little sweater is genius in construction, quite unusual. It is from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits. You know all of the current talk about picked up sleeves in the round with short rows and various top-down constructions and necklines and shaping, flattering shapes for your figure and measuring? Wendy Bernard did all of this years ago, seamless-style, and it is all in this book! If you are a sweater knitter who loves seamless knitting this book should be in your library. Even if you don't love all of the designs the information alone is worth the price and more. Custom Knits is a treasure trove of sweater knitting information.

 My version of Slinky Ribs from Custom Knits in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool.

 I am knitting my son a pullover sweater out of Donegal Tweed. It is a bottom up, raglan construction. I am a few inches in so far.

I have started spinning Into the Whirled fiber purchased at the Loopy Ewe. It is lovely.

We went to the Madison Art Fair on the Square last weekend. It was inspiring to say the least. I enjoyed the pottery, weaving, painting, embroidery that looked like fine-art painting, hand dyed and printed clothing and kettle corn! It was a good day.

 Madison's beautiful capitol building.

We stopped by the UW-Madison Union to see the new pier. 

 The UW-Madison campus has a stunning setting along the edges of Lake Mendota. What a gorgeous campus. The Union is a favorite Madison spot for students and community members alike.

 The signature Union chairs are adorable and colorful.

The shadows are even happy.

 I don't know why but I never fully noticed the gorgeous tile work ceiling on the front of the Union steps. I can't get over how pretty it is. 

These old campus buildings make me so happy for some reason. They are tearing down and rebuilding many of the campus buildings which makes me cherish the old buildings even more.

 Here is the old Science Hall at the bottom of Bascom Hill, looking stately and academic as always.

This photo made me laugh. No, I am not giving any of you a gesture in poor taste but rather I am simply trying to proudly share my finished Opal sock on this hot, hot summer day. Please forgive and just look at the sock.

I'll take lots of photos at SSK in Nashville and share along the way. Join me on Instagram and Facebook to follow along up to the minute. I'll post right here on the blog, too, when I get back.

I hope you are all enjoying these fun and crazy hot summer days!
Knit on!
best, susie