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