Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi, Knitters,
If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today I wish you a very happy holiday! I know I am thankful for all of you. Enjoy the day and maybe even sneak in a little knitting if possible.

I noticed that the email subscribers did not receive the last post and it was an important one. I have a new pattern available in kit form from Little Skein. I am hosting a wonderful full kit giveaway on the last post. Due to this technical glitch I am leaving the giveaway open for a few extra days. I don't want you to miss this opportunity if you depend on the email subscription to read the blog.

Click here to see or find out how to order the beautiful kit and to enter the giveaway! Don't miss the chance to win the kit which is worth over $100!

Yesterday I whipped up a new shawl design. It takes about 250 yards of a worsted weight. I used my handspun from fiber from Unwind Yarn Company, and a US size 10 needles.

The name of the new design is the 50 Row Shawlette. It literally is knit in 50 rows on big needles. You are left with a flouncy, sweet little should wrap. I just love it and it is the perfect gift for our upcoming holiday season. I tried it on with a shawl pin when it was still a bit damp. I can't wait to wear it. It's so charming.

I'll let you know when the pattern is ready.

Here is my start on the shawlette just one day ago. I had so much fun knitting the 50 Row Shawlette and I jotted down the pattern as I worked. I will write up the pattern this weekend and get it available next week if you are interested.

By the way, I did a little interview for a yarn shop. Click here if you are interested.

I pre-drafted some Sunshine Yarns merino fiber in the Cornish Pixie colorway. I will spin this on my new Artisan Wheel. I am plying the Into the Whirled on my Ladybug. Finally! That spin has been going on for months now.

I have a blue theme going on it seems.

This was the sky today as I ran. 

Oh, yes, I am thankful.
best, susie

Monday, November 25, 2013

Velveteen Rabbit Inspired Kit Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
The winners of Green Gables Knits are Auntea, MamaMustKnit, DeeS, greenwgirl, and yarnbasket (all Rav IDs)! Congratulations to the winners. I have messaged the winners and given them Joanna Johnson's contact. Winners please email Joanna and provide her with your mailing address so she is able to send out the books directly. 

I can't believe it but I am actually doing two giveaways in a row. I think that is a first. Today I have an incredible kit giveaway for you. My blog giveaway will be your ONLY chance to win the FULL kit version of Bunny Love worth over $100! 

Awhile back Anne Vally of Little Skein contacted me to design a Velveteen Rabbit-inspired bunny to be included in her Little Skein's Read Together series. The last kit was the Extra Yarn featuring Laura Linneman's beautiful sock design. 

Anyway, I jumped at the chance. I am so inspired by children's literature and the Velveteen Rabbit is one of my all-time favorites. The book conjures up many sweet childhood memories for me as it does for so many people. Anne Vally has pulled together and created a beautiful kit experience for you to go along with the book.

The kit goes live today for purchase at 10am EASTERN time!

I received a kit on last Saturday and opened it for the first time on the video above. The video is 8 minutes long and if you can't see it on the email version of the blog post click here to view the opening directly on YouTube!

The individual pattern will be available in January 2014 on my Ravelry Pattern shop! I know I will be asked this so I want to be sure to mention this information.

Click here for the Ravelry project page for Bunny Love!

The bunny is called, Bunny Love, and was sweetly named by Anne. It is knit completely seamlessly from the bottom up. In the DK weight yarn it goes very quickly and is quite a simple knit. I loved every minute of designing this dear little project. Anne Vally's Little Skein is truly one of my favorite Etsy shops. I have talked about her talent on the blog quite a bit before. She is out of San Francisco.

Here are the important links:

Gynx Yarns! on Etsy!

In the photo above you can see how I tried to capture the feel of the slightly sad windblown bunny. I love how the ears can be put to the side to look like the book cover illustration. The toy, along with the beautiful stripey Gynx Yarn, is so old-fashioned and innocent looking. Gynx yarns are just stunning and fun to work with. You should give them a try!

The ears can be flopped to the sides as well.

Here is a back view! Of course every bunny needs a pom-pom tail. The written pattern includes tutorial photos on how and where to pick up the stitches for the little arms and legs. The pattern was tech-edited by the one and only Amy Detjen and Anne Vally test knit her own bunny using the pattern. The pattern is in great shape!

(photo from Little Skein)

I feel so fortunate to be able to offer you the chance to win the full kit today on the blog! My blog is the only one featuring a giveaway for the full kit!! Thank you to Anne. 

Here is the description of the full kit from Little Skein:

Bunny Love will be released on November 25, 2013 as part of a holiday kit for knitters created by Little Skein in the Big Wool.
The pattern will be available for individual purchase in Susan B. Anderson’s Ravelry Pattern Shop after January 25, 2014.
Bunny Love is an adorable, vintage-inspired knitted rabbit that reimagines Margery William’s beloved children’s holiday classic, The Velveteen Rabbit. The pattern is the centerpiece of the “Velveteen” kit for knitters, which is available only at the littleskein Etsy shop ( throughout the holiday season and New Year, and includes:
• The Bunny Love pattern in PDF format
• 1 skein of Gynx Yarns self-striping DK in antique colors of satin pink, french vanilla and soft, velveteen brown, a three-striping color exclusive to this kit
• A drawstring or zipper project bag (knitters’ choice), sized to fit your rabbit-in-progress in an original holiday fabric designed and handcrafted by littleskein
• Unique stitch markers, cotton thread for whiskers on a vintage spool, and more
Read on to see how you can enter to win a full kit for yourself!
(photo by Little Skein)

The Petite Bunny Love Kit is an option for purchase shown above in the photo.

From Anne:

Bunny Love is also available in a “petite kit” with a beautiful pink tonal yarn also created by Gynx Yarns for this kit.

Here are some photos of Anne's version of the Bunny Love design (she is an expert toy-knitter!):

(photo from Little Skein)

(photo from Little Skein)

(photo from Little Skein)

(photo from Little Skein)

The kit is going live this morning at 10am EASTERN Time! You can order the kit and items in all sorts of ways, lots of options to fit in your budget.

Here is the description from the Little Skein website with information on how to buy the kit, future publicity and more:


The kit will be available beginning Monday, November 25 (at 10:00 a.m. EASTERN Time) at
The full kit is priced at $100 (with a drawstring bag) or $120 (with a zipper bag).  I will also be debuting a suite of Velveteen "companion" items for knitters with budgets of all sizes. A petite kit, including tonal yarn, will be available for $50, several of the kit components will be available for individual sale, and there will be a limited supply of self-striping Velveteen sock yarn for knitters who want to expand their suite of Velveteen items.
Available for individual sale will be:
•  Petite kits | pattern, tonal yarn from Gynx Yarns, stitch markers, and whisker thread | $50
•  Velveteen stitch markers, in littleskein's signature cabochon style | $14
•  Drawstring project bag, sized for single skein projects in the exclusive Velveteen fabric and handcrafted by littleskein | $30
•  Zipper project bag, sized for 2-skein projects in the exclusive Velveteen fabric and handcrafted by littleskein | $45
•  Self-striping BFL sock yarn created by Gynx Yarns in the Velveteen striping colorway | $34
•  Hardback copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit," by Margery Williams, with original text and illustrations | $14


A limited number of ready-to-ship kits will be immediately available on November 25, and when those have sold, pre-orders will be available throughout the holiday season and New Year. 
Pre-orders will ship on a first-ordered basis, and as quickly as my sewing queue allows. I expect that my queue for these custom kits will fill up quickly, so if it is not possible to ship your order by Christmas, you can request a special (free) gift package, which includes a custom-printed postcard, personal note with details about when the kit will ship, all wrapped in a beautiful pillow box, perfect for putting under the tree or in a stocking.


Velveteen will be featured, beginning November 25, on these wonderful blogs and podcasts. Look for a review or a video preview of the kit:
Susan B. Anderson blog
Knitting Pipeline audio podcast
Must Stash video podcast
Stockinette Zombies video podcast
The Dyer's Notebook video podcast
To win the FULL KIT version (worth $100 to $120!!) of Bunny Love please leave only one comment on this blog post. Please leave your email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you and Anne can gather your mailing address to send you your kit directly. Please do not comment more than once, there is a delay in the actual posting of your comment. In a couple of days I will be randomly selecting one winner for the full kit! 

Good luck and let the comments begin!
best, susie

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Green Gables Knits ~ 5 Winner Giveaway!

All photos in this post are provided by Green Gables Knits

Hi, Knitters,
I have a wonderful giveaway opportunity for you today. Joanna Johnson has kindly offered to send 5 lucky winners copies of her newest book, Green Gables Knits! This is a sweet little collection of 8 irresistible designs. The book has a charming old-fashioned feel but it is full of beautiful designs that are completely modern and fresh for today's world. The book is available in ebook form right now and in regular book form on November 28th, 2013. If you pre-order the book right here you get the ebook for free!

I love the cover. I want to be her.... 

Here is the description straight from the Ravelry page for the book:

Green Gables Knits is now available as a Ravlery ebook!
Inspired by the beloved children’s classic, Anne of Green Gables, this collection of eight patterns includes knits for ages 12 to adult and includes garments and accessories for teens, women, and men. Each pattern is accompanied by quotes from the novel alongside a selection of L. M. Montgomery’s personal photographs from Prince Edward Island. This work is published in collaboration with The Heirs of L. M. Montgomery, Inc.
Green Gables Knits will be released on November 28, 2013, and will be available at your local yarn shop, our Etsy shop, and
We are now offering our pre-order special: order before November 30, and you will receive the Ravelry ebook for free. Details are here:

Here are a few of my favorites, starting with Anne's Sweater.

I love this cardigan, the color, the ease, the stitch detail, the pockets, just everything. 

Here is the lovely, Diana's Hat. 

And here is the dapper Gilbert's Scarf.

I just love the look and feel of this book. The photography is wonderful. Joanna is a talented pattern writer, fiction writer, knitter and designer. Click here to see all of her designs on Ravelry!

Okay, five of you get to win a copy of Green Gables Knits! The winners must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address. Please leave a comment on the blog post and include your Ravelry ID or email address where I can get in touch if you win. Please be patient for your comment to appear and only post your comment one time. There is lag time in between commenting and actually seeing your comment on the blog post. In a couple of days I will randomly select 5 winners.

Good luck! I know you will love this sweet and charming collection. Fans of literature and knitting alike will enjoy everything about this book. Thank you to Joanna for this fun opportunity.

Have a great weekend and let the comments begin!
best, susie

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homemade Holidays 101

Hi, Knitters,
I mentioned this briefly a couple of posts ago but I want to make sure to share the deals going on once again. My publisher is hosting a six-week promotion called Homemade Holidays 101. With the launch of my books becoming available in ebook form, along with many other books from Workman, Homemade Holidays 101 has kicked off to a tremendous start. All five of my titles, see the stack in the photo above, are on sale at incredible discount prices for several more weeks! 

Don't miss this chance if you have an e-reader or an app for your computer, etc. I own many of my knitting books in both digital and book form. At home I always use my regular books but how nice it is to go out the door with multiple books stored in my Kindle and iPad. For travel, it is the best. I have instant pattern information, and yarn requirements all at my fingertips. For yarn shopping at your local yarn shops ebooks are a wonderful take along option. While you are at your local shop you can support them by buying regular books, too. Everything starts with local knit shops, don't forget!

Click here to browse the Homemade Holidays 101 website! If you sign-up for the newlsetter you receive a FREE ebook and are automatically entered in the sweepstakes. It only takes a second to sign up, look on the sidebar at the top.

I have had many questions coming in about the variety of formats for my books and it turns out they are available for really any electronic reader you may own including Kindle, Nook, iPads, iPhones, etc.

For your searching and gifting convenience here is a linked table for all of the various formats for my 5 books:

Title Amazon B&N iBooks
Itty-Bitty Hats
Itty-Bitty Nursery
Itty-Bitty Toys
Spud and Chloe at the Farm
Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys

Title Google Play Kobo
Itty-Bitty Hats
Itty-Bitty Nursery
Itty-Bitty Toys
Spud and Chloe at the Farm
Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys

Now for a little knitting content!

Thank you for the fun support for my Catching Up video from last week. If you missed it, click here! 

I have heard from so many of you. Thank you for the kind and positive comments. For every comment on the blog I probably receive 10 more messages through email, Facebook, and Ravelry. I don't know why that is but it has always been that way on this blog. My blog is having record setting statistics lately and after 7 years of writing that is such a remarkable thing. You are appreciated. 

I talked about the Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl in the video podcast. As I finish the ruffle on my Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl, I spend time thinking about my good friend and shawl designer Paula Emons-Fuessle ( and her hometown of Washington, Illinois. A few days ago Washington was devastated by horrific tornadoes. I'm sure most of you have seen this on the news. Paula is okay as are her podcast sidekicks Sarah and Bronwyn, also from Washington. Now Paula is working overtime helping others at the Red Cross relief center. Paula has hosted several knitting retreats in Washington so I know many of you have been to this charming town filled with good people.

Click here to find out how you can help if interested! This link was provided by Paula in a Tornado Update thread on her Ravelry group.

As for the shawl, I made the decision to add in a skein of black Finch, in Crow, from Quince & Co. to make the dramatic ruffle edging to finish. I love it. I have a few more rows, each row has well over 700 stitches. It will be worth the effort in the end.

While we're on the subject of Quince yarn, the company donated 10% of their sales one day last week to support the typhoon recovery in the Philippines. Click here to read about it if interested. There is a link to contribute in the post if you still want to help.

Nature is a powerful force and so are the knitters in the world.
best, susie
p.s. hosted by Quince's Pam Allen and Knitbot's Hannah Fettig has a new episode up: click here! I joined their Ravelry group: click here! I am now following on Twitter and iTunes as well. This is one smart and educational audio podcast.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Catching up... a video podcast of sorts

Hi, Knitters,
Today I sat down and did a video for you. I am sharing my current projects both finished and unfinished. I recommend a couple of new books and talk about other general knitting things. I apologize for the shaking camera at some points in the video. I'll do better next time, I promise.

If you are an email subscriber and can't see the video on the email, click here to watch on YouTube!

Click here for my YouTube Channel, SusanBAnderson! I now have 56 videos on the channel, most are instructional.

Here are some of the links for the things I talk about in the video:

Belfast Hoodie by Carrie Bostick-Hoge (the cardi I am wearing)
Quince & Co.
Friends in Fiber on Etsy
Peerie Flooers by Kate Davies
Snawheid by Kate Davies
Scrap Happy Hat free pattern by me
Be sure to watch to find out how to make a worsted weight version (using 1 strand) at 4.5 sts per inch in stockinette stitch on US size 7 and 8.
Bella's Mitts Peachy's favorite mittens and a free pattern
How I make my socks free pattern by yours truly
Spunky Eclectic Sport weight Super Nova sock yarn
Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle
Clover pom-pom makers
The Rhinebeck Sweater by Ysolda
Adventures in Yarn Farming by Barbara Parry

I mentioned that Vogue Knitting Live in New York is offering all of the Sunday, January 19th classes for 50% off right now. Click here to see the classes! I hope to see some of you in my classes. Yes, please?

Another fun sale that's going on through Craftsy right now is that this weekend, starting tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 15th, and lasting 48 hours you can get up to 65% off of fabrics and up to 85% off yarns! That's a good deal. I have ordered lots of yarn through Craftsy and it has been wonderful.
Click here to see the deals starting on Fri., Nov. 15th!

One last thing is that I did a little reversible toy that is now a free pattern for Knit & Crochet Now! which is a PBS show. I haven't seen the episode yet and I think you have to login to get the pattern. The lovely Candi Jensen, the producer of the show, asked me if I would design a reversible toy to be featured in a segment for the show. The Elephant and Mouse is adorable and quick and a great use of leftovers. I will talk more about it very soon on the blog.

Click here for the tiny and free Elephant and Mouse pattern on Knit & Crochet Now!

Have a great Friday and I'll be back soon with more!
best, susie

Monday, November 11, 2013

Scrap Happy Hat Recipe


Hi, Knitters,
First I need to announce the winners of the 2 skeins of Made in America Yarns! The winner of a skein of Florafil is MadamMarple - rav id! Hurray!  The winner of the skein of American Lamb is chavahsdaughter - rav id! Woo! Hoo! Both winners have been contacted through Ravelry and given instructions on how to get your yarn winnings. Thank you to everyone for entering and I'll have another giveaway, I'm thinking for a book or two, very soon.

Today is a good day for a free hat recipe. As promised I am giving you a quick hat recipe to use up those worsted weight scraps. A recipe for a project is good for this one because I just grabbed some leftover yarns and started in and that's what you'll have to do as well. I don't know the exact amounts of yarns that I used so gather several different colors and dive in. Add more colors as needed as you knit along. I am thinking about 300 yards of worsted weight (it is held doubled throughout) should do it.

To give a brief background on these hats, it all started several years ago. My oldest daughter, Peachy, is now a senior in high school so this has been going on for 4 years now. Each year for the girls high school swim team the girls are all assigned a swim sister. The swim sisters give weekly gifts and posters and general encouragement to each other. I guess it is a form of the buddy system. Now that TC is in high school and part of the team the sister load was doubled. Two of everything! 

I have always tried to include a handknit gift or two for the swim sisters. This year I did some super-bulky mittens in team colors and then I gathered up a bunch of worsted weight leftovers and whipped up these adorable earflap hats.

The following is general information to make your own Scrap Happy Hats! Remember this is a sketchy recipe available here on my blog only (I am not making a pdf for this one) and it is free. I hope you are able to understand that I don't have much spare time to answer a lot of questions about this hat pattern. I'll try to make it as straight-forward as possible right here on the blog post for you. 

Updated pdf version: Jennifer Patten, a kind and generous blog reader, has made this pattern into a slick 2 page pdf for you to download through my Ravelry pattern shop! It's still free! 

Click here for the Ravelry info. and download the pattern!

Copyright information: As always, please be respectful of copyright and please don't sell my words or work as your own. Charity and fundraising knitting with my patterns is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated.

Scrap Happy Hat
by susan b. anderson

Size: A unisex earflap hat intended for a large child, teen or adult-sized head, will easily fit a head circumference of about 20-23 inches. The hat is supposed to have a generous fit, lengthy and roomy.

Yarn: Worsted weight yarn held doubled. I am guessing it will take about 300 yards or so.


Use 150 yards or so of a super bulky or bulky weight yarn that will get the same gauge!

Suggested yarns: 
Quince & Co. Lark
Cascade 220 (wool or superwash)
Lorna's Laces Worsted
Sunshine Yarns Worsted
Quince & Co. Owl
Madelinetosh Worsted
Handspun worsted
Brooklyn Tweed Shelter
Valley Yarns Northampton

Anything goes!

Needles: US size 11 or 13, 16-inch circular and a set of 4 dpns or size to obtain gauge
I used US size 13 for the teen and adult-sized heads and US size 11 for a child's head for a tighter fit
* The samples here are knit on US size 13

Gauge: 3 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Tape measure
Yarn needle
Detachable stitch markers
Pom-pom maker (optional)

Pattern note: This hat is your own creation. Switch and add colors whenever you'd like! Also, switch stitch patterns whenever you'd like! It's all up to you. I used rib, garter, seed stitch, a simple checkered fair-isle stitch pattern, stripes and I threw in a purl row here and there. I am providing the general hat pattern but you will need to fill in the colors and stitch patterns and striping depending on your scrap colors and amounts. Have fun and be creative!

With the circular needles and the 2-strands of worsted weight yarn held together, cast on 60 stitches. Join to work in the round being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.

Rnds 1-4: (k2, p2) repeat to the end of the round OR (k1, p1) repeat to the end of the round

Switch to your stripes and various stitch patterns.

Work until the hat measures 7 inches from the cast on edge. Here is where you might want to make the hat shorter if it is for a younger or smaller sized head! The samples are for adult-sized heads and I knit to 7-inches and they fit the girls great.

Decrease for the top of the hat:
*Work onto your double-pointed needles when needed.
Rnd 1: (k4, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (50 sts remain)
Rnd 2: knit
Rnd 3: (k3, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (40 sts remain)
Rnd 4: knit
Rnd 5: (k2, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (30 sts remain)
Rnd 6: knit
Rnd 7: (k1, k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (20 sts remain)
Rnd 8: (k2tog) repeat to the end of the round (10 sts remain)
Cut the yarn and place the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining 10 sts and pull up tight to close the hole. Pull the end to the inside, weave in and trim.
Weave in all ends on the inside of the hat and trim.

You don't have to add earflaps to the hat at this point! You could leave it as is.

Earflaps (optional):
Mark the center front of the hat with a stitch marker. I do this by folding the hat in half with the first stitch of the round (and color switching spot) at the back of the hat. Lay the hat flat and find the stitch at the center of the front brim. This is where I put the stitch marker.

Measure 4 inches going toward the back of the hat on both sides of the center stitch marker. Place stitch markers to mark this 4-inch back from the front center marker on both sides. This marks where the earflaps will start on the sides of the hat. Count 12 stitches from the earflap stitch markers and going toward the back of the hat and place a second stitch marker here. Now you have both of the earflaps marked off on your hat.

Use 2 of the double-pointed needles to work back and forth to knit the earflaps. With the right side facing you, attach the earflap yarn (2 strands held double) pick up the 12 stitches along the cast on edge and in between your placed stitch markers for the earflap.

Rows 1-8: knit
Row 9: ssk, knit to the last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 10: knit
Repeat rows 9 and 10 until there are 4 sts remaining.
Bind off. 
Cut the yarn and weave in all ends to the wrong side of the hat/earflap and trim.
Repeat for the second earflap.

Optional: Add a pom-pom (2-inch multi-colored poms are used in the samples) or add I-cord ties or twisty ties as you see fit.

Twisty Ties:
To make the twisty rope ties, cut the yarn to be 4 times your desired length (anywhere from 8-12 inches). Hold 3 or 4 different colors together. Fold the strands in half and twist them to the right until they start to wind back up on themselves. Fold in half again and let go. The strands will twist up on themselves to create the rope. Tie an over-hand knot at the end and trim the ends. Tack securely onto the end of the earflap.

And there you have it!!

Enjoy your scrappy hats, sweet Knitters:)

For an added personal touch for the swim sisters, and because for this style of hat it is often difficult to tell the front from the back, I added these sweet little wool felt name-tags. I simply cut a tiny rectangle of felt (yours could be a heart) and took some black sewing thread and a needle and embroidered the girls' names and stitched them onto the inside of the brim to mark the back of the hat. It is all imperfect and perfect at the same time. 

Copyright Susan B. Anderson 2013

Love you, Knitters!
best, susie

Friday, November 08, 2013

Made in America Yarns Giveaway!

Edited to Add: Made in America Yarns is in booth #210 right now at Stitches East! Beck will be there all weekend. If you are at Stitches, please stop by the Made in America Yarns booth and say hello from me. While you're there give the yarn a good squish. You won't be able to resist bringing some home with you!

Hi, Knitters,
I have a fantastic opportunity for you to win some homegrown yarn today. Last June at TNNA I was lucky enough to be introduced to Beck Gusler. Beck is the sister of the fabulous Laura Linneman of the Knit Girllls and part of a wonderful family filled with fiber artists so she has been well-versed in yarns all of her life. I had the opportunity to have Beck in one of my classes at SSK and to sit next to her at dinner last summer. She is so excited about her new career path, it just pours out of her. Beck recently landed a job at a really cool American-based yarn company located in Philadelphia called, Made in America Yarns. At TNNA Beck was working in the Made in America Yarns' booth and gave me the two sample balls you see in the photo above. I was interested in this American yarn company and really liked the yarns she gave me.

Here is a blurb straight from the website about the company and mill in Philadelphia:

At Made in America Yarns, all of our yarns are spun, twisted and dyed at our mill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Our yarns are designed and manufactured at Huntingdon Yarn Mill in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Our mill has been in operation since 1940, and many of our employees are second- and third-generation workers. We are deeply rooted in our community and dedicated to keeping jobs in the USA.

Beck asked if I would be interested in reviewing and hosting a yarn giveaway on my blog. I jumped at the chance. I didn't know of this wonderful company before and there is a chance that you may not have heard of Made in America Yarns either. 

Beck sent me two regular-sized hanks of Made in America Yarns to enjoy and review. The first is this lofty, fluffy hank of American Lamb (shown in the photo above). Oh, to give this yarn a squish! You would be sold immediately. American Lamb is 100% wool and 146 yards in bulky weight. My hank is in the Delft Blue colorway. On a recommended US size 10 needle you get about 14 stitches for 4-inches in stockinette stitch. The yarn has a textured appearance due to the finer thread that is plied with the loftier ply of the wool. I love this style of yarn! It is super fun to knit and creates a great fabric. 

I will be casting on a hat with my hank of Delft Blue American Lamb. I'm not sure what pattern but possibly something like this, or this, or this, or most likely this (these are all free patterns!). I will be making a pom-pom with the smaller sample hanks I received at TNNA. It will be super cute and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

The other squishy, soft hank of yarn I was sent to review is this gorgeous bulky-weight cotton, called FloraFil. My hank is in the deep, rich Chocolate Lily colorway. I love it. You want to sink right in and stay awhile. This yarn is 97% cotton and 3% nylon (the plying thread is the nylon). This is a lofty and textured cotton that comes in 125 yard hanks. 

One thing you might be surprised about is the number of times I am asked to recommend a cotton yarn for people who are allergic or want an alternative to wool. I struggle coming up with great recommendations especially when asked about a heavy worsted or bulky weight cotton yarn. Well now my problem is solved. I LOVE this bulky weight cotton. There are so many things you could knit with this yarn, especially for babies. Many people want to knit in cotton for babies and I totally get that. FloraFil is so soft and wouldn't irritate a baby's skin at all. Plus it is machine wash safe, a big bonus for baby knitting, especially when knitting gifts for non-knitters.

Think about little hats, sweaters, washcloths, blankets, booties, toys, buntings..... it would all be beautiful and would work up incredibly fast on US size 10 needles at 14 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. Adults could make great use of this yarn, too!

Today I am thrilled to be able to offer you a fantastic yarn giveaway thanks to Made in America Yarns and to Beck! Thank you for the chance.

I am going to randomly select two winners in a couple of days. Each winner will get one hank of Made in America Yarns, one cotton FloraFil and the other American Lamb wool in your color of choice (click here and here to see the colors). These are beautifully crafted American-made yarns. I can't wait for you to check out the site and to get some of this yarn in your hands and on your needles. Let's support this unique company together.

Please leave one comment and specify if you would like a hank of the cotton FloraFil or the wool American Lamb and which colorway you would like. Please leave an email address or your Ravelry ID so I can easily get in touch with you if you win. I will gather your mailing address and pass it on to Beck to mail out your yarn directly. Please be patient for your comment to appear, it takes some time, and please don't comment more than once.

Good luck and let the comments begin!
best, susie
p.s. I have found two things to be true: I love styling yarn for photos and I want to be a yarn stylist. Does this exist as a career-path? (I am sort of kidding but not.)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Knitting on Fire

Hi, Knitters,
One quick and fun announcement, my publisher has made all of my books available for the Kindle and iBook! This is incredibly exciting. Right now all of my books are on sale for around $2.99 and less. I hope you take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Even if you own the hard copies of the books, to be able to own them digitally is a big deal, perfect for portability and easy access anytime (travel and yarn shopping included). All of the book content is now available at the tips of your fingers instantly. I love that this has happened. I'll talk more about the eBook editions later.

Now for today's topic at hand:

My house is full of fiber, yarn and knitting this fall. To quote the song, this girl is on fire! It's that time of year.

Paula Emons-Fuessle introduced the Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl this week and she told me I was the first one to purchase her new pattern. Yesterday, in my post-event-fog of a Monday, I slowly selected my leftover fingering weight yarn and wound it in a gigantic cake of all in one ruffle shawl yarn. It was fun, mindless and somewhat soothing. I hand-selected yarns that are my favorites for many different reasons.

One yarn is Opal sock yarn from socks I knit for my sister-in-law a couple of years ago. These were some of my all-time favorite socks and although I loved giving them away, I have longed for a pair for myself ever since. I put in my beloved Kristin Nicholas Garden Effects yarn and my adored remnants from three gorgeous skeins of Cakewalk Yarns. I threw in some old Kaffe Fassett Regia from a pair of socks I made for TC many years ago. Last but not least, I tossed in some Noro Kureyon Sock. I still love and wear these socks all of the time. I will modify as I knit, pulling out colors and maybe even adding more. I plan to let the shawl pull me in and take me for a knitting ride. No plan is set but this is a memory shawl for sure, a trip down memory lane.

The yarn bowl above was a gift from a beloved Itty-Bitty Knits group member on Ravelry. The ceramic artist's shop is here.

Links for the project:
Magic Ruffle Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle
The Knitting Pipeline ~ (Paula's podcast) Please listen to episode 150 to learn more about the shawl! All of your questions will be answered in the podcast episode or in the written pattern.

I highly recommend this project. You will love it! This project and the Patchwork Socks are wonderful and useful ways to use up and find beauty in your leftover sock yarn.

Friends in Fiber Falkland Pumpkin Patch is now on the wheel. This fiber shop on Etsy is amazing, has great service and wonderful products. The owner wrote me a personal note to thank me for the many visits to her shop after my mention of the Falkland Number 6 fiber from her shop. She has it available now if you are interested. This is some beautiful roving.

Gorgeous. Fun. Autumnal.

Double Marl technique ~ my favorite way to spin!

Here are some progress shots from the Peerie Flooers hat by the talented and interesting Kate Davies.

What a fun and motivating knit so far.

My love of colorwork is stronger than ever. I use stitch markers to mark the repeats. This helps me go a lot faster. I don't ever have to stop to see where I am once I start the round, it is instantly memorized. I am in love with this hat. The fabric is light and woolly and so beautiful. I am excited to get to the top decreases. I am making the medium size to make sure it covers my ears for the bitter cold winter ahead. I have one more repeat to go before the last chart for the top.

Sheep Heid is next and then Snawheid after that and you better believe I am making that gigantic pom-pom for the top of Snawheid. I love Kate Davies' work.

best, susie
p.s. If you are reading this as an email subscriber, please hop over to my actual blog (click here for and take a look at the fresh new layout. The photos are bigger and brighter and I have a new header. I am loving the new look. The sock yarn in the header is 15 Colour Rainbow by Fab Funky Fibres on Etsy.