Friday, February 28, 2014

Tea with Jaala ~ Yarn for You

Hi, Knitters,
I finally had the chance to spend a morning with my dear friend, Jaala Spiro. You may know her from Knitcircus where she writes, knits, designs, hosts yarn and pattern clubs, and dyes beautiful yarns. What you may not know is that she is one of the sweetest, most generous, most sincere, talented and smart people I know. Jaala's generosity is something beyond description. For example, last year she welcomed her son's friend, she calls him Buddy D, into her home to live with them when he was having troubles at home. Buddy D became a part of her family, a son, for a year until his own family was able to take him back again. This is not your everyday generosity. This is life-changing generosity. She has done other things even bigger than this but she doesn't discuss them publicly.

Anyway, I love it when she comes over to my house for tea and knitting because she always brings her latest yarn-y creations to share with me. Jaala was working on a sweater in her kettle-dyed gradient sweater set yarn, which was a chunky weight wool and beautiful shades of red. I loved it so much that I've put in an order for a gradient sweater set for myself now. My kettle-dyed gradient sweater set will be in shades of gray, with a deep rich magenta accent skein maybe for button-bands and edgings. I can't wait! I'll keep you posted on this future gradient sweater adventure.

Here are the links for everything Jaala:
Here's the link to her website:
Here's the podcast with the hilarious Amy Detjen:
The Knitcircus Etsy store:
Jaala's beautiful patterns on Ravelry:

Jaala's Knitcircus shop has a lot to offer as far as yarn selection ~ 8 types of fingering weight alone!

Take a look at the impressive yarn options at the Knitcircus Shop:

High Wire Lace, 800 yds 100% Merino

Aerialist: 100% Superwash Merino
Ballerina: 60% Superwash Merino,, 30% Bamboo, 10% nylon
Corriedale Superwash Sock: 75% Superwash Corriedale Wool, 25% Nylon
Opulence: 80% Superwash Merino, 10% nylon, 10% Cashmere
Pixie Dust (Sparkle): 63% Superwash Merino wool, 20% Silk, 15% Nylon, 2% Silver Poly
Spectacular: 100% Superwash Merino Wool singles
Thrilling: 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Tussah Silk
Greatest of Ease: 75% Superwash Merino, 25% nylon

Cabaret: 85% Polwarth Wool, 15% Silk

Carousel Worsted: 100% Merino wool singles
Lap of Luxury Worsted: 60% Merino Wool/40% Silk

Pachyderm Bulky: 100% Superwash Merino

A couple of other things she brought over to share with me, in addition to her sweater in progress, were two different matching gradient sock sets. These matching cakes of gradient sock yarns are her biggest hit! At shows where she vends these little matching cakes literally fly out of her booth. She can never dye enough of them to keep in stock. The sets are dyed in an ingenious way, which I won't share, but each cake is literally inch by inch exactly the same so whether you start from the inside or outside of the cake you will have two socks that will be perfectly matched! It is a fun, interesting and smart concept.

Here is some information you might like to know about the Matching Gradient Sock Sets from the Knitcircus shop:

Dyed-to-match gradients make perfect self-striping socks, slowly changing from one tone to the next. Every stitch will be the same; just choose if you'd like to start from the center or the outside of the cakes!  

Okay, when I saw this unusual and fun sock cake set she brought, I asked if she'd like to do a giveaway on my blog. She said sure! I'm always thinking about you, dear readers. Luckily I'm having a lot of giveaways lately.

Today I'd like to offer you the chance to win this beautiful matching gradient sock set!! Here is the information:

Greatest of Ease Sock in the Eat Pray Love colorway
75% superwash meriono, 25% nylon
460 yards
US size 1-3 needles
3.5 oz./100 grams

Now if I were knitting up this set of matching socks I would do the cuff in the yellow and the foot in the darker shades of lovely purples but you could do the opposite. I love these colors so much. The cool thing is that they aren't just plain solid blocks of colors. Each stripe has variation and depth. It is lovely.

If you want to knit matching gradient socks (I have a pair on the needles right now!) with the fun Eat Pray Love colorway, please leave one a comment on this post. Please leave either your Ravelry ID or an email address. Please be patient for your comment to appear, it takes awhile for me to approve each comment. 

I'll be back in a couple of days to select a winner and I will send the winner this squishy set of yarn cakes!

Good luck and let the comments begin! Have a great weekend everyone.
best, susie 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Hi, Knitters,
First of all, thank you for the impressive response to the Mary, Millie, & Morgan ebook and Quince & Co. Chickadee yarn giveaway! Whoa. Over 600 entries poured in and many of you are interested in joining me for a knitalong in the early spring months ahead. There will be many more excellent prizes for that. Remember if you want to start knitting your dolls now, go ahead, you can still enter them in the knitalong for prizes at any time. No worries there!

Okay, the winner of Mary, Millie, & Morgan ebook and 6 skeins of Chickadee from Quince & Co. is....

sewknittystar (rav id) or Margo! Congratulations. I have already contacted Margo through Ravelry.

There is a review of the Mary, Millie, & Morgan ebook on Knitcircus! Jaala saw the dolls in person when she was over at my house for tea.

Now for today's topic at hand. I am titling this post bountiful. The definition of bountiful applies to the Minnesota knitters I had the privilege to work with last weekend, the projects and yarn and patterns I have at hand, and even the snowy winter weather that seems endless this year. Here is the definition, see if you agree:

1. large in quantity; abundant
synonyms: abundant, plentiful, ample, copious, bumper, superabundant, inexhaustible, prolific, profuse

The following is some of the abundance I've been experiencing at home lately.

I pulled out an enormous skein of gloriously colored yarn. It's Miss Babs Yowza in the Deep Sea Jellyfish colorway. Each skein has over 500 yards of light worsted weight 100% superwash merino wool. The colors are vibrant and deep and unusual. It's breathtaking.

Be sure to browse around the different colorways of Miss Babs yarn. It varies from variegated to tonal/solids. I knit Hannah Fettig's Effortless Cardigan in Yowza and it is a great garment as well as accessory yarn. Click here to see my version! 

It's as pretty in the cake and in the knitted fabric as it was in the unwound skein. The shawl I'm knitting is the Brickless by Martina Behm, shown in the top photo. I love it. What a beautiful yarn and pattern, a great match.

Click here for the pattern information for Brickless.

Click here for the project bag from Little Skein. This one has macaroons and pastries!

This is a really fun shawl to knit. Due to the varying but simple stitch patterns it holds your interest without ever having to pay too much attention. This is the perfect kind of pattern for this long shawl. It's entertaining and can be finished in a timely manner. You might want to make one of these for yourself!

Here is my progress on that beautiful batt I shared on my last "podcast." It is the Black Raspberry batt by JoAnnaSpring of Knit Spin Farm. Click here for her shop! Click here for her video podcast!

I am trying to spin semi-woolen, but in reality I'm kind of just experimenting with different types of drawing. It has been so much fun. The batt is truly a piece of fiber art. It's almost too good to be true really. What a talent.

TC and I like to go to Barnes & Noble just for fun. We browse around, take our time looking at books and magazines, get something yummy to drink at the Starbucks, and then we usually come home with something good in hand to read. I am a soup-lover to the highest degree so I came home yesterday with Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Soups & Stews. The recipes in here look so comforting and filling and warm. I am going to go to the store later to get ingredients for several of the soups so I can start cooking!

I'll keep you posted on the soup!

I bought this awhile back just for a bit of fun! Talk about a great gift idea.

Here is an update on my Regia Super Jacquard sock from the last "podcast" episode.

Yup, I'm moving right along on the second sock! I don't know where to purchase this yarn.

Hmmmmm, what should I say about this big, beautiful, squishy hank of wool other than go get some for yourself!!! It's simply incredible. Click here for the Sincere Sheep website. I purchased my skein on Fringe Supply Co.

Here is what it says on Sincere Sheep about this Sheperdess Wool:
  • Description

    Shepherdess is a worsted weight 3-ply yarn of 100% domestic wool spun in Michigan. 
    This yarn has Merino-like softness and can be worn next to the skin while at the same time being versatile enough to use in your felting projects.
    100% Domestic Wool (Spun in Michigan, USA)
    250 yards | 4 ounces

I bought the Sincere Sheep Wool to knit the fingerless mitts in Journey by Jane Richmond & Shannon Cook. Honestly, the Sincere Sheep is so gorgeous that I am having a hard time cracking it open to wind. It is so pretty as it sits now.

Journey, above, is a small independently published pattern book that has 6 patterns. All I need to say to you is that I will be knitting all 6 patterns. I love and would (will) wear all of them. I already have the yarn for the Antrose sweater, Quince & Co. Osprey in the Pea Coat colorway. That's coming next on my needles.

Here is one more new yarn for you to check out. It is called Lynai Yarns. Click here for the website.

I love this yarn. The photo doesn't fully show the colors, especially in the speckled yarn on the left. There are so many color sprinkles in this skein. It is so much fun. The skein on the left is called, Across the Universe. The yarn on the right is called, Roxanne. Each skein comes with a pretty little matching handmade stitch marker.

Go check this shop! I think you'll be surprised.

My knitting travels last weekend were met with a gigantic blizzard in Minneapolis. The snow was bountiful to say the least. My flight was canceled on Thursday night due to the storm and rescheduled for 7am Friday morning. Since I wasn't teaching until 10am, I still had a good chance to make it. The flight, surprisingly, went off without a hitch despite wind warnings. I was at StevenBe's Yarn Garage by 9am, ready to teach my first class that started at 10:00.

The Minneapolis area and really the state of Minnesota had been pummeled with the worst storm of the season. The streets had a thick layer of ice with 12-inches of snow stuck on top. I mean stuck. The plows plowed the snow but it made little difference because of the ice underneath. The roads were still ice and snow covered, many having huge ruts in the ice. There were accidents everywhere. 

It was so cold, too. Minnesota cold is so much colder than Madison cold. It chills you to the bone. This is the parking lot but the streets weren't much better at all as far as snow conditions. The other thing is that the streets are so incredibly narrow from the snow and parked cars. It is single lane everywhere you go. The state is now in a state of emergency for parking on the streets so they can attempt to clear some of the snow and widen the streets.

This is entrance to the shop when we arrived. The lovely Missy Ridley, the manager and hostess with the most-est, had to scrounge around with one of the neighbors to get a lighter to thaw the gate lock. She told me to go back and sit in the car while she tried to get the lock to thaw. It didn't take her long to get the lock open. I was impressed. 

Anyway, here is the entrance to the famous Yarn Garage! It is so cool in here. I love the basket of slippers for customers to wear. Knitters in slippers!

Upstairs in the Fiber Loft was my teaching space. Can you believe it? I loved it.

I thought I might be sitting in this big space all by myself because the roads were so terrible.

Little by little the knitters arrived. There were only a few who ended up canceling but they were from Iowa, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The classes were full as can be with each class having well-over 20 students. I signed so many books, stacks and stacks and stacks. People pre-purchased books at the shop and they also bought books that day and brought their books from home. It was a huge success. I enjoyed signing each and every book. 

Here are some of my afternoon students! In the morning we did the Build a Toy Workshop together. In the afternoon we knit on an Egg to Turtle reversible toy. In both workshops we learned tons of toy knitting techniques and tips and tricks along the way. Tonya, on the far right, spent all day Friday and all day Saturday with me, attending all four workshops. Thank you, Tonya! I loved meeting you.

I met beloved members of my Ravelry group, Itty-Bitty Knits, Susan and Heather (in the red on the left above). That was such a treat. They are even better in person if that's possible.

Here are some of my afternoon knitters. Sitting on the right is the lovely Orit. I loved meeting her and she spent all day Friday and all day Saturday with me. She is a good one. Jennifer Williams, to the left of Orit, was my host from the Minnesota Knitters Guild. She took good care of me on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you, Jennifer!

Thank you to all of the students at StevenBe's and for stopping by the luncheon, too! What a great day.

Here we are getting ready for class with the Minnesota Knitters Guild. Wow, were these Minnesota knitters ever fun and good knitters. Many just flew through the projects, all while coming up for small group demonstrations in between the knitting time. This is one talented bunch. 

My favorite potter in the world, Jennie the Potter, came to class to knit bunnies. I didn't know she was there until way after class when I saw she tweeted about it later. I regret not knowing because I would have gushed over how her work brightens my every day. She literally is with me every day while I drink coffee and knit. I met and saw so many new people over the weekend and I really regret not getting to talk to Jennie about her beautiful pottery. I missed her somehow. Anyway, a special thank you to Jennie for coming to my class. I hope you'll come again and next time grab me and say, it's me, Jennie the Potter! I am such a die-hard fan.

On Sunday, one of the knitters, Karen, from Saturday's Little Dragon class showed up at the guild meeting with her finished dragon. Every little detail was wonderful. She even knit Egg to Alligators, two of them, as swatches for the Little Dragon. I loved that.

Here is the front view of Karen's Little Dragon. Isn't it wonderful? I saw another orange dragon and a couple of finished toys from the Build a Toy Workshop and a bunch of Egg to Turtles, too. That was fun!

The weekend finished off with the Minnesota Knitters Guild annual tea. It is a Sunday afternoon tea with desserts, coffee and of course, tea. There were about 80 knitters in attendance and boy, what a fun, fun group. I was the guest speaker for the meeting and they were interested, funny, laughing, and a pleasure all around. They had a lot of questions at the end, which I loved answering. I met quite a few who had driven for hours to get to the meeting and I really appreciated it.

Thank you, Minnesota Knitters Guild and Steven Be's Yarn Garage! It was the weekend of a lifetime that I will never forget. I was hugged, patted, and kissed and welcomed all weekend by loving Minnesota knitters and I'm not exaggerating. Knitters brought their toys (one even brought a huge basket filled with toys knit from my books), they wore their shawls, mittens, and hats all designed by me. They showed me photos of babies and children wearing my hats and holding my toys. They told me stories of how their children and grandchildren have cherished the toys they've knit for them. They told me about the babies and children they were knitting for and it made them so happy. They shared how they love and read my blog. They knew all kinds of facts and things about me and they shared with me what we had in common. It was wonderful. I loved everything about last weekend.

The love and support I was given was nothing less than heartwarming and it reminds me why I love my work so much. I wouldn't change a thing.

See? Bountiful!

I hope to be back very soon to knit with you all!
best, susie
p.s. I nearly cried when my son picked me up after the guild meeting. He was working all weekend until late so I didn't get to see him until Sunday after the meeting. It was hard to be in the same city as my son and not get to see him. All of a sudden after the meeting I looked up and he was standing right in front of me saying, "Hi, Ma!" It overwhelmed me. He had borrowed his roommate's car to pick me up. We went to dinner together and I then bought him a carload of groceries before he drove me to the airport to drop me off. He's a sweet, loving, appreciative son. It was the perfect way to end the weekend.
p.p.s. There are still openings at Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 1 for this summer! I can't go due to scheduling but you should check it out. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mary, Millie & Morgan eBook & Quince Yarn Giveaway!

Edited to Add: Please visit my friend Dianne of Sheep Dreams giveaway for the cozy Knitted Slipper Book by Katie Startzman. Click here to check it out! Please give Dianne a hello from me if you enter.

Hi, Knitters,
Please read to the end for information on the generous giveaway from Quince & Co.! You won't want to miss it. Also, the winner of the Mollie Makes set of 5 craft books is knitclicketyclack (rav id). Congratulations to you!

About a month ago I had an adorable little pattern ebook published by Quince & Co.  The book couldn't be sweeter as it is a doll collection I've had knocking around in my head for many years. I've always wanted to design a series of knit dolls with clothes and accessories. I'm happy to say that this time has finally come!

Mary, Millie, and Morgan are three little knit folk dolls inspired by dolls in my imagination. I would have loved to own these exact dolls when I was a girl. I can imagine how I would have cherished and played with these well-crafted homemade dolls as a youngster. Even then I loved anything homemade. This project is one of my proudest knitting accomplishments. Each piece was carefully and lovingly designed over time and added to the collection.

Please be sure to look at the beautiful lookbook created and published by Quince & Co. This is a feast for your eyes, so simple, pure and lovingly made. My own sketches are included on the pages. Under the direction of the always lovely Pam Allen each page of the ebook is a winner including the text that winds its way through the pages.

The photography is by the talented Carrie Bostick Hoge, one of my favorite designers and photographers. Carrie helped to accomplish the purity and simplicity of the little pieces all while showing off the dolls' traditional beauty. I love everything about the group effort put forth on the Mary, Millie, & Morgan project.

The following photos share the different states of dress the clothes and accessories offer. Make multiples of the pieces and you have unlimited mixing and matching. I would suggest making more than one doll, too, because everyone needs a friend or maybe a sister. 

All of the clothing patterns are provided in the ebook along with the doll patterns.

The dolls are knit in one piece, seamlessly from the top-down. I love the construction so much that I am adding a brand-new Seamless Knit Doll Workshop to my upcoming class offerings. I am pretty excited about this and I think there will lots of interest in this topic from top to bottom.

The doll names, Mary, Millie and Morgan, are after my own family names that represent many generations. Perhaps you'd like to do the same and name your doll or dolls after members of your own family past and present. It gives such a feeling of ownership to make and name the dolls as a nod toward your own family history. 

The dolls, clothing and accessories are all knit in possibly the sweetest yarn I have ever come across, Quince & Co. Chickadee. It's a sport weight 100% American Wool yarn that is round, springy and frankly delightful. I have fallen deeply in love with Chickadee and I think you will, too. It's as close to perfection as any yarn will come in my opinion. 

With the beautiful and wide selection of colors Chickadee, you are able to create your very own version of the little folk dolls to represent your family if you'd like. There are many lovely skin tones and hair color choices, so many combinations are available. Personalizing the dolls will make them even more loved and they may even become family heirlooms to be passed on to future generations to come. This would be my dream come true for you as the knitter of these little darlings.

The dolls start out with knit-in outfits, or under-clothes so to speak. Even starting out with creating the basic doll is enough to get going because she is already dressed. You could change things and do solid tights and stripey undershirts, or maybe you'd like an unclothed doll to start the journey. That's all good. You get to knit your own story!

Here is some further information you might like to know about the ebook Mary, Millie, & Morgan:

Click here for the Ravelry page for the Mary, Millie, & Morgan ebook! The ebook is only available through Quince & Co. at this time. It is priced at $12.00 for the collection of patterns. 

In a couple of months I will be adding the ebook and also the doll and individual clothing and accessories patterns for purchase in my own Ravelry Pattern Shop. 

Finished measurements
9” 23 cm tall when standing, 6” 15 cm body circumference,
approx 3½” 9 cm arm length, and 4½” 11.5 cm leg length
1 skein each in the following colorways:
Doll #1 (Millie ~ blonde with white skin):
Egret 101, Bird’s Egg 106, Frank’s Plum 114, Storm 104, Winesap 133, Glacier 105, Carrie’s Yellow 125
Doll #2 (Mary ~ brunette with peach skin):
Petal 111, Carrie’s Yellow 125, Kumlien’s Gull 152, Gingerbread 120, Crow 102, Lupine 116
Doll #3 (Morgan ~ black hair with brown skin):
Twig 119, Iceland 153, Peacock 109, Crow 102, Winesap 133
Note: Yardage includes yarn needed for outfits.
• One set of 4 double-pointed needles (dpns) in size US 3 3.25 mm
Or size to obtain gauge
6½ sts = 1” 2.5 cm inch in stockinette stitch.

It's such a sweet collection of clothes. I am planning many more items for dress and play for the dolls and even boy dolls are coming in the future. Just think of all of the mixing and matching you could do with these adorable pieces.

This is my little suitcase, in the photo above, that I sent along to Quince with the dolls inside. It is lime green on the outside and orange on the inside. I have had my play suitcase for many, many years. It is really a cute way to keep your doll collection together. It even has a vintage feel and would be fun to decorate as well. The suitcase is a win in my opinion.

The following are some of my own home photos of the dolls in progress before I sent them off to Quince. The level of excitement on my part while I was knitting up the dolls was so high. What a happy project.


I have an exciting giveaway offer for you today. The extraordinary Pam Allen, the founder and creator of Quince & Co., has generously offered one of you the opportunity to win a copy of the ebook, Mary, Millie, & Morgan, AND 6 skeins of Chickadee in your colors of choice! That's right, it's an enormous prize. Thank you Quince & Co.! 

On a brief side note, Pam Allen is one of the loveliest, most talented, smart, sweet, generous and understanding people I have ever worked with. She doesn't rush things but instead lets them simmer until they are just right. I admire this quality so much. I would love to see everyone rally around her yarn company in force. What an inspiring role model Pam has become for me. We are lucky as knitters to have Pam so involved in the knitting industry. I am hoping to do many more projects with Quince & Company in the future.

Please leave one and only one comment on this blog post to enter win this deluxe doll giveaway! Please include your Ravelry ID or your email address. It takes awhile for your comment to post so please be patient if you don't see your comment right away and be confident it will appear within a short time. 

Coming in early spring I intend to host a knitalong for Mary, Millie, & Morgan so stay tuned if you are interested in joining me. If you'd like to start knitting your dolls now, no worries, I will still let you enter the knitalong with your dolls, whenever started, to win prizes. I won't stand in the way of doll-knitting, ever!

Good luck and let the comments begin!
best, susie

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day + a Mollie Makes Giveaway + more!


Edited to add: I want to send out a huge, enormous thank you for all of the pattern love for the Bunny Love, Bunny Love Modifications and for the Mini-Bunny Loves patterns. Oh my gosh, have these patterns ever been selling like crazy. I couldn't be more pleased to find out that you love knitting bunnies as much as I do. Hooray for knit bunnies and I wish you a sincere thank you for the support.

Hi, Knitters,
First from my house to yours, I want to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day. As a small token of appreciation for all of you faithful Susan B. Anderson blog readers, Sew Bendy Bags on Etsy is offering an exclusive sale to only you. Use the discount code 214LOVE at checkout.

Thank you to Melissa and Jenn for this discount that amounts to around $5.00 off or so on any purchase over the next week. That's a good deal for some of my favorite little project bags. You have heard me mention these bags more times than I could count and way before project bags were even popular. I use these sweet project bags more than any others. They are cute, simple, portable and well-made. I highly recommend them.

Click here for the Sew Bendy Etsy shop!  Please give the ladies my regards if you order!

Now onto a couple of fun crafty things around our house for the season. This year TC made this wonderful cupcake liner wreath, in the first photo, to hang in our front window. She saw this on display at the Wisconsin Craft Market and we immediately bought the supplies so she could make her own. We also picked up the pretty LOVE ribbon to hang it.

Click here for general instructions on how to make a cupcake liner wreath!

We have had the wreath hanging in the window but with the lighting this morning I took it down so you could see it better. TC really stuffed her wreath very full and I think it took a little over two packages of liners to cover the styrofoam form. She worked so hard on it and she is really proud of her work. I love it, too.

TC also made the beaded heart garlands we have hanging around in various windows. These were made with cut cardboard paper towel rolls, paint (the hearts are a metallic red), string and beads. She is a good one for making seasonal decorations. What would we do without her?


For more fun topics today I have something excellent for you. In my last video blog (click here to see it), I shared the Mollie Makes craft books I am crazy about. Whenever I review something that was sent to me I always send a courtesy email to the publicist or company to let them know I mentioned what they sent me. By the way, if you are reviewing something sent to you, you should do this, too, because they want to know.

Anyway, the publicist I contacted asked if I would like to host a giveaway for a set of all 5 of the Mollie Makes books!! Of course I jumped at the chance so one of you could be the lucky winner.

These books are published by Interweave/F+W Media and the jacket art photos below are all provided by Interweave. The photography and instructions inside the pages are colorful, clear and helpful. TC loves these craft books and looks through them all of the time as they sit on our coffee table.

The books are adorable and have a similar look and appeal as the Mollie Makes Magazine, a UK publication (pick this magazine up if you haven't yet). Click here for the Mollie Makes Magazine website! The books are like old-school craft books where there is a little bit of everything included, crochet, knitting, paper craft, sewing, felting and more. I love these traditional-style craft books of yore. They are just so much fun. The books are full of inspiration and doable craft projects for adults, teens and kids, there is something for everyone. And I'll tell you, I'd love to crochet a blanket just like the one on the cover of the crochet book. It is gorgeous.

So here is what one lucky winner will have sent to them, one copy of each of the following books:

Mollie Makes: Christmas
Interweave / F+W Media; 12.95

Mollie Makes: Crochet
Interweave / F+W Media; 12.95

Mollie Makes: Woodland Friends
Interweave / F+W Media; 12.95

Mollie Makes: Weddings
Interweave / F+W Media; 12.95

Mollie Makes: Feathered Friends
Interweave / F+W Media; 12.95

As you can see, the books retail at just below $13.00 so this is a huge prize. One winner will receive a copy of all 5 hardcover books. You will love these books. To enter to win, please leave one comment that includes your Ravelry ID or an email address (this is a must in order to win!). Be patient for your comment to appear and please don't enter more than once! I will randomly select a winner in a couple of days. The mailing address has to be U.S. only for this one.

I'll be back with a second big giveaway, way bigger in fact, in a couple of days! So keep a look-out for that.

Quickly, I have been working on a sock for my son. I was going to make him a simple stockinette pair of socks but then he threw out the idea of a chevron pattern and I thought that sounded kind of fun. I had picked up several balls of the Patons Kroy Socks sock yarn at the WI Craft Market so I thought I'd try a chevron stitch pattern with this stripey yarn.

You can try many different 2 round chevron stitch patterns to achieve this same look. I used a 12 stitch repeat for one round and then knit the second round. Look in your stitch dictionaries, or look at the free Jaywalker sock pattern (a hugely popular sock pattern by Grumperina) on Ravelry to get ideas. I am not writing up this pattern because all it is is sticking in a stitch pattern into a regular sock pattern. You can do that on your own and you can vary the stitch pattern for the number you like to cast on.

Here are a couple of online chevron stitch patterns for you to try:

I did go up to a 2.5 mm US size 1 needle and I cast on 72 stitches. I thought this would be big enough for my son but it's not going to fit him. It fits me and it fits snuggly so I will be keeping these or giving them to TC. In the photo above I am working on the heel flap. I have now finished the gusset and for this pair I will continue the chevron pattern on the top of the sock.

My son just loves the sock so far, so I will start another pair for him and pick up more of the yarn. For him I will cast on 84 stitches and go up to a US size 2 for the chevron pattern. I may or may not include the chevron stitch on the top of the foot. If I do the foot in stockinette only I might then decrease to 72 stitches at that point. Or I might only include one chevron over 12 stitches on the top of the foot. That might look cool.

I'll keep you posted.

I made these no-bake granola bars last weekend and they were a huge hit. I will be making them again.

Here's what it looks like around here, wintery and cold, but still as beautiful as ever. We have been snowshoeing and skating quite a bit despite the bitter cold temps. It is going to get up to 30 degrees in a few days. That sounds downright balmy to me. I'll take it.

By the way, I look things up all of the time, like phrases and words and word usage. Today for this post I looked up "in spite of" and "despite" and how they are used correctly. Here is what I found that I didn't know for certain:
For prepositional use, despite and in spite of are interchangeable. 

Despite is thought to be a gentler version because the word spite can be used as vengeful.

I love words and writing and maybe you do, too.

I'm sending love to you all today. Be well and I'll be back soon with more.

Let the comments begin. Good luck if you enter to win the set of 5 craft books.
best, susie