Friday, October 25, 2013


Hi, Knitters,
Fall has hit hard and fast here in Madison. In fact, it has been feeling downright wintery as far as the temperatures go, freezing at night and climbing into the 40s during the day. It has been blustery and cloudy for much of the week but the sun is shining today. We have had a terrible cold running through every member of the family for the past couple of weeks. The coughing and running nose have taken me out for a few days. It's a bad one. The snuffles and raw noses have added to the fall-like feel around here as well. 

We have been pulling out hats and mittens and shawls and coats and wool sweaters to fight the chilly temps. My knitting has really kicked up a notch as it often does for everyone this time of year.

I pulled out my Pop Spots Shawl and finished up the body of the shawl, which is incredibly fun to knit, leaving only the applied lace edging to go. I am knitting the shawl out of Madtosh Sock in Tart and Madelinetosh Feather in Tidal Basin. In reality I know that it is going to take me forever and a day to finish the lace edging on this large shawl even though it is a fun part of the shawl to knit. I am going to just tackle it a little bit at a time. We'll see when it gets done. I know I will love this shawl and wear it a ton when it is done. That is motivating.

I am finishing up lots of socks that are partially done or one done. It is fun to finish up a new pair of socks, nothing better really. I have lots of plans for what I want to knit for fun coming up, the non-work knitting on the side. That always drives and inspires me. The planning and dreaming about knitting is the best. My son requested a pair of socks and I have a half-way finished sweater for my other son that I am hoping to finish by Christmas (this Christmas).

I have lots of designs in the works, some coming out soon, lots coming out in January. Plus, I am plugging away on a new book. The behind the scenes knitting and writing and pattern writing is sometimes overwhelming, that's the part I don't share much on here because I can't spoil upcoming releases. 

Juggling all of the emails, teaching requests and teaching obligation work, etc., is something I am starting to struggle to keep up with, especially all of the emails. It seems things are just getting more and more. The thing is that I sincerely want to do it all, respond to every request, question and opportunity. I truly love what I do and I feel very fortunate. That's the hard part, keeping it down to a manageable level. I want to say yes to everything. I'm not complaining at all, I enjoy my work so much. Sometimes I just think I need an assistant so I can focus more on the actual knitting and writing work and not all of the busy-work that is necessary but time consuming. That will probably never happen but it's fun to dream.

The photo above is my usual work uniform in the fall and winter months. I know I am a lucky girl when I get ready for work by pulling on my Quince & Co. Belfast Hoodie, my favorite pair of jeans and slipping on my Bern Wool Birkenstocks (whoa, they are on sale right here!) with handknit rainbow socks tucked inside. If it's really cold I throw a shawl on over my shoulders on top of the sweater. Wool on top of more wool. It feels so good. I sit in the comfiest chair in the house surrounded by fabulous yarns, my computer and multiple projects in action. It is all good and happy and for some reason it is even better when it turns cold outside.

I know that you all know exactly what I mean.

The other thing that happens in the fall is that my pattern sales really pick up. I always find pattern sales interesting. I like to think about what the knitters are buying and knitting. There are some patterns that have been selling like hotcakes recently, like for example, Another Flower Headband (in the photo above) and I find the timing funny because my own daughters have been wearing their Another Flower Headbands almost everyday. They love this headband.

I love how the yarn used in each headband fits the girls' different personalities to a tee. My older daughter is much quieter and understated, thus the gray, and old TC loves a rainbow anything, the brighter the better. It makes me happy to see them wear the headbands so often. Both are lined for extra warmth. The gray is lined with a cut piece of fleece and the colorful one is lined with a store-bought knit headband ($1 at Joann's in the bins by the checkout). I stitched these in with a needle and thread. I did have to re-stitch the gray lining this year in a couple of spots but it only took a few minutes.

The other pattern that has been flying out of the shop is the Waiting for Winter Mittens and Fingerless Mitts pattern. This pattern is my tried and true mitten pattern, one that I have refined and worked on for years by knitting mitten after mitten. It is so easy and memorizable and that's what makes it fun, I guess.

Click here to see all of the downloadable patterns in my Ravelry Pattern Shop! (You don't need to be a member on Ravelry to view or purchase patterns.)

Other patterns that have been selling like mad for some reason are:
Milk Cow (I have no idea why this one has picked up so much.)
Ebb Cowl (Copyright just switched over to me! Yay!)
Quaker Ridge Shawlette (My bestselling pattern!)
Mini-Sock Yarn Bunny (recently released)
Opal Sock Yarn Bunny (I think people are pairing the big and mini together.)

And last but not least, the Surefire Hat is always a big fall and holiday knitting seller. I am happy to report that my sons are both still wearing their Surefire Hats! This has been going on for years and years now. Each of them have two different versions of the Surefire Hat and they wear them all winter long.

Here is the Ebb Cowl I did for blocking ~ it is completely reversible with an interesting and fun texture stitch.

The pattern has several different sizes written out. What a fun and fast knit!

Here are my boys in their original Surefire Hats. I made these when the boys were swimming on swim team in the winter and their coach required that all swimmers wear warm winter hats during the season. They were not to be outside without a hat. This picture above is so old now, it kind of makes me sad how young the boys were, in middle and high school. Now both are in college.... time flies.

Anyway, I love thinking about what sells in what season and why, as far as patterns go. Sometimes the ones that sell the most surprise you and sometimes not. Thanks for indulging me a bit.

I hope you are all well and enjoying your fall knitting.
I'll be back soon with more....
best, susie