Saturday, March 29, 2014

Catching Up Episode 5 ~ now on iTunes!

Hi, Knitters,
If you can't see the video for the email subscribers click here to see the video on YouTube!

Here are the pertinent links for today's podcast:

You are now able to subscribe to my video podcast through iTunes by searching for my name, Susan B. Anderson, and clicking on the subscribe button! Hooray! I will continue to post on my YouTube Channel and you can subscribe there as well.

Ravelry Pattern Shop 25% off sale goes through tomorrow, March 31st, 2014! discount code: THINKSPRING

Dyeabolical Yarns and Fiber

Prairie Ridge Shawl

Infinite Twist

Waiting for Winter Mittens

Double Marl spinning technique on the Knitty Blog

How I Make My Socks (free sock pattern)

Regia Super Jacquard

Tolt Yarn & Wool

Swan's Island Yarn

Jill Draper Makes Stuff

Knit Spin Farm podcast

Knit Spin Farm Etsy Shop

Sisters Baking Company (Rain City Crunch granola!)

Fibre Space ~ come see me!!! April 4-6th, 2014

Wisconsin Craft Market (Patons Kroy sock yarn)

There you go!
best, susie

Friday, March 28, 2014

Domino & Little Pines Hats ~ Patterns Now Available!

(photo provided by Our Back 40)

Hi, Knitters,
First, next weekend, April 4-6th, 2014 I am teaching and having a meet and greet book signing at Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia. Danielle the owner has told me the classes are all almost sold out but there are a few spaces left! I hope to see you there! 

Second, both of these new hat patterns, along with all of my patterns, are on sale for 25% until Monday, March 31st in my Ravelry Pattern Shop by using the code: THINKSPRING at checkout. These new hat patterns are included in the sale. They are regularly priced at $5.00 per pattern and with the sale they are $3.75 each. 

The sale is only lasting a couple of more days. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with the response to the pattern sale. It has been really amazing. Thank you for the support and pattern love! You are the best.

So for the main topic today, I have two more fun hat patterns to share with you as the copyright has reverted back to me. Both are hat designs I did for Our Back 40 quite awhile back. I love this alpaca yarn company. Be sure to hop over to the Our Back 40 website to find out more about their work.

The most important thing to note for both of these hats is that I held the Our Back 40 sport weight yarn doubled throughout to get a worsted weight gauge of 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on US size 7 needles. The Our Back 40 sport weight yarn is very light and it is more like a fingering or sock weight yarn. 

You could use a fingering weight held doubled or you could use worsted weight yarn to get the correct gauge! Substitutions for the yarn could be any worsted weight like Cascade 220, Quince & Co. Lark, Lorna's Laces Worsted, Madelinetosh Worsted, Berroco worsted, etc. 

Domino is in the photo above, Little Pines is in the photo below. I just adore both of these unisex-style hats. Both hats are perfect for boys, girls, teens and adults. The hats comes in one size but they are very stretchy and could easily fit a head circumference of 19-23 inches. You could add a pom-pom for fun! I think the young man above looks fantastic in his Domino hat. Both hats could be easily changed and brightened up with different colors or more contrasting colors. The sky is the limit with these fun color work hats.

(photo provided by Our Back 40)

Little Pines is the hat in the photo above. The beauty of this hat is that it has a longer ribbed brim which could be cuffed and worn more like a beanie-style hat or un-cuffed to wear as a slouchier-style hat. Both ways it looks great. Again, both hats are versatile for sure!

Don't forget about the 25% off sale (only a couple more days) with the coupon code: THINKSPRING

Progress is being made on the Split Back Snowflake Hat from my test knitter. She hopes to finish it up over the weekend so I should have it in the shop by next week some time.

Have a great weekend everyone!
best, susie

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ruche Panel Tuque ~ Pattern Now Available!

Hi, Knitters,
Wow! Thank you for the enormous response to my Think Spring pattern sale! I'm beyond words, so a simple thank you will have to do. The sale is still going on through March 31st at midnight. The sale is 25% off of all of my Ravelry Pattern Shop patterns by entering a coupon code.

The coupon code is: THINKSPRING

On the topic of the sale, I added this new hat pattern, Ruche Panel Tuque, to my sale patterns this morning. If you purchase the new hat pattern before March 31st you will get a fantastic price of 25% off! The Ruche Panel Tuque will regularly be $5.00 and with the sale it is only $3.75! It's a steal.

On to today's new pattern. I have exciting news about a new pattern I posted for purchase in my shop this morning, the Ruche Panel Tuque.  I designed and knit this sweet hat last winter on request from Tanis Gray. The Ruche Panel Tuque was designed for a wonderful alpaca yarn company called, Our Back 40, and the copyright ownership has just returned to me. 

Click here for the Our Back 40 website! Kits are available for purchase on the Our Back 40 site.

The owner, Lynn, let me know that this hat in kit form has been a very good seller for her business. That is always so good to hear. I want to thank Lynn, Tanis and Our Back 40 for the opportunity.

The Ruche Panel Tuque is knit in a worsted weight yarn at 5 stitches per inch for the gauge. This means the hat could be worked up in so many different yarns like Quince & Co. Lark, Owl or Owl Tweet, Cascade 220, Lorna's Laces Worsted, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, Madelinetosh Worsted.... the list could go on and on! 

I am particularly proud of the ruffled cast on that I worked out that is just done for the panel section of the hat, not all the way around. This gives the panel section a slight ruffle at the brim which I just love. This hat fits and feels great on your head. 

Here is some information you might like to know about the Ruche Panel Tuque:

·      Our Back 40 Ne Plus Ultra Worsted Weight (100% alpaca, 100 yds per skein), 2 skeins.  Sample shown in color “Timothy.”
·      Size 7 (4.5 mm) 16 inches (41 cm) circular knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge.
·      Set of 4 double-pointed needles, size 7 (4.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge.
·      3 stitch markers
·      Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rounds = 4 inches (10 cm) in stockinette stitch.

Size: 19 inch (48 cm) circumference to fit a 20-22 inch (51 cm – 56 cm) head circumference

(photo from Our Back 40)

I have been very busy this morning already. I just sent off the pattern for the Split Back Snowflake Hat ~ Traditional Version, too! to my trusty, smart and fast test knitter. As soon as I hear back from her and incorporate her improvements the pattern will be up and ready to go. Get your Quince & Co. Owl ready to fly! By the way the traditional version is completely unisex, men, women, teens, and even older children can wear this hat. If you are purchasing Owl, you need 2 skeins of the main color and 1 skein of the contrast color for both versions. I used Cerulean and Elf.

It's coming soon! I'll post here as soon as it is available. 

Here is a small sneak peek of the Split Back Snowflake Hat version (That's my beautiful niece modeling and she wants the hats to keep! I'll have to knit her one to take with her.):

Here is a small sneak peek at the Traditional Snowflake Hat version (no split at the back, just a ribbed brim that can be worn turned up or down):

Don't forget to take advantage of the spring sale! THINKSPRING is the coupon code.

There is so much exciting stuff going on around here. Big things! I can't wait to share.
I'll be back soon with more.
best, susie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Think Spring!

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you all had a good weekend. I had a nice quiet weekend at home with my family. These are my favorite kinds of weekends by far. Saturday felt like spring but Sunday felt just like winter again. And with snow in the forecast later today I feel like I need a bit of a spring boost!

To start out, I am now officially on iTunes. I have been doing a few episodes of a video podcast now and again. Recently at my teaching venues I have had a lot of requests to make these videos available on iTunes so that people can watch and download and subscribe through their pod-catchers. I use Downcast. So last week my son helped me get my last video on iTunes. If you are interested in subscribing to me through iTunes, search in podcasts for Susan B. Anderson and I will pop up. You can always subscribe on YouTube as well. That's enough on that. I will still post videos intermittently at this point, not on any set schedule. 

Thanks to those who have shown interest and support! I appreciate you. I am new at this so I am crossing my fingers that there aren't any glitches along the way.

Today I have activated a Think Spring sale on all of my patterns available for purchase in my Ravelry Pattern Shop! I first looked through my patterns and was picking out my spring-themed type patterns but the list kept growing and growing and growing. Finally I decided to include ALL of my patterns in the sale each pattern being 25% off starting today through next Monday, a full week!

The coupon code for 25% off your pattern purchase is THINKSPRING!

If I counted correctly, I currently have 51 patterns available for purchase through my Ravelry Pattern Shop.

The patterns in my Rav shop include, hats (baby through adult, men and women, girls and boys), mittens, cowls, shawls, loads of toys, washcloths/dishcloths (I have lots of these!), fingerless mitts, ornaments, a fun scarf, and a teddy bear/American Girl cardigan pattern.

There is a lot of variety for everyone and lots of great gift knitting projects, too.

I always think statistics are interesting. Just for fun I looked up my Top 8 selling patterns. Here they are listed in order (you may be surprised that the top 3 aren't toys!):

4. Mini-Sock Yarn Bunny (in the photo directly above)

Here are a few more spring-like patterns available in the shop:

Lamb from Scratch (Made with my very first handspun but commercial yarns are recommended, too.)

Oh, Bunny! Washcloth/Dishcloth

These two can be purchased as a set for lower price: click here for the set!

I recently saw versions of this shawl knit up in fingering weight and the shawl is a knockout in the lighter weight yarn! I want to knit one up in fingering weight now (or at least finish the Brooklyn Tweed Loft version I have going). The original is knit in a worsted weight but knit in a lighter weight yarn it would make the perfect spring/summer shawl.

I have to say it was fun browsing around in my Ravelry Pattern Shop. I haven't looked back at all of these patterns for a long, long time.  

For a reminder, the sale/coupon code for 25% off is THINKSPRING!  The sale starts today, March 24 and ends March 31 at midnight. 

Let's enjoy this last week of March together. I'll be back soon with more. I have some new patterns to release and add to my pattern shop, actually 4 new hat patterns for adults. I would love to get a new video up this week as well. I have lofty goals.

We'll see how much I get done!
best, susie

Thursday, March 20, 2014

VK Live ~ Everywhere but Seattle

Hi, Knitters,
Thank you to Melissa (keatime on rav) for the Tolt photo above and the in-class photos!

I'm sorry for the long delay between posts. I was in Seattle (sort of) teaching at Vogue Knitting Live last week for four days. I came back home late Monday night. It has been busy around here trying to recover and get things back in order. My oldest son has spring break right now so it has been fun having him around more. 

The trip to Seattle was wonderful. My two oldest sons came along with me. While I worked they ran around Seattle and saw the sights and ate all kinds of wonderful local food. They had a good time despite the rain. Actually they had pretty good weather on Saturday but Sunday was a downpour for most of the day for them. 

I didn't ever get into Seattle at all on this trip. The Vogue event actually takes place in Bellevue which is outside of Seattle. I started teaching a couple of hours after our arrival on Friday and worked straight through Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, at my lunch break my friend from our Itty-Bitty Knits group on Ravelry picked me up and drove me to Carnation, WA, to visit Tolt Yarn and Wool. I'd say it was about a 30 minute drive give or take. Thank you to Melissa for taking me to Tolt. I really appreciate it and it was a highlight of the trip for me.

I have rarely heard so much about a new yarn shop. This shop is on fire. It is beautiful from the inside out. The setting and decor of the shop is friendly and warm and inviting. The owner is lovely, that's her behind me in the first photo, and her name is Anna. The shop is out in the country, a scenic drive, and the owner also has a small farm. She is a photographer and is fun to follow on instagram. This is one busy young woman.

Here is Melissa at the entrance to the shop. The displays are just gorgeous. There are so many different and unusual yarns in the shop, things I have never seen or used before. This is a sign of a good shop! I bought two skeins of yarn, both new to me. I bought a skein of Jill Draper and a skein of Swan's Island. Both are worsted weight and generous in yardage. I'm looking forward to cracking into these new skeins. I'll share more later on this yarn.

Rebecca Gunderson posted this photo above on my Facebook wall so I hope it's okay to post on here as well. This group of beautiful young knitters were at Tolt when I arrived and they were incredibly sweet and fun and excited about everything. They asked for this photo together and I was happy to be in it. The woman on the far left was a student in one of my classes as well. They were so cute!

Rowan Felted Tweed anyone?

I was delighted that the shop had stacks of my books. Anna asked if I would mind signing my books. Of course I signed them all! Veronika of Yarn on the House works at this shop. She also drove us to and from the airport. Thank you, Veronika! Part of the reason I like going to Seattle is due to Veronika. She is so welcoming and warm and a real treat to be around. 

The other person working at Tolt is the one and only Tif Fussell or the inspired Dottie Angel Etsy shop owver and blog writer. I was so pleased to meet Tif in person. She is adorable. As a coincidence I had just ordered some notebooks and a project bag from her Etsy shop right before the trip. I didn't know I would get to meet her over the weekend. I'll share those items later with you. 

The Itty-Bitty Knitters were everywhere! Melissa on the left and Becky on the right, were in my Little Dragon class on Saturday morning. Becky actually finished her Little Dragon by dinner that night. She knit it out of her own handspun and it was the cutest dragon ever! I couldn't believe how quickly she finished it.

Actually, I just found the following photo from Becky (below)! Apparently her dragon attended and watched attentively during my lecture on Saturday night:

Carol (cehermanator on rav) on the right was in class, too! She's another Itty-Bitty Knits member who I love. She has designed some wonderful colorwork mitts that are being released soon in pattern form. She's quite a talent. A group of Itty-Bitty Knitters and I went out for a fantastic dinner on Saturday night which was so much fun. Debbie (knittingrandma on rav) is not in the photo but she came to class and also dinner. I loved meeting all of these wonderful ladies in person!

That is Willa Cather's namesake and granddaughter on the left, pretty cool stuff and Becky (gathersnomoss rav id) on the right. I'm in the middle teaching away as usual. In all of my classes I met so many wonderful knitters. There were a lot of students I recognized from my classes last year at this same event which is always nice. There were students from all over, many from Canada. 

On Monday morning my sons and I went out for a fabulous breakfast with lots of local food and ingredients. That was fun. Then we took off and walked for almost 2 hours. We walked through beautiful shoreline neighborhoods and parks. I LOVED it.  The sun even came out for us!

I was so thrilled to see blooming trees and flowers! It made me so happy and warm inside. I am also intrigued at the mossy coverings on trees, branches and even the streets. It is moist in the Seattle area.

Here are some photos from our lovely morning together:

These are Flowering Currant blossoms.

The homes were spectacular and beautiful!

 Green! Green! Green!

The sky and water were so inspiring!

We had a wonderful time. What an experience to get to travel with my sons. I feel so lucky to get these opportunities and times we won't forget. The knitting was fun, the knitters I met and taught are so talented. It was one of the friendliest, most loving groups of knitters I have had the privilege to teach. I received more cards, gifts, hugs and warm greetings than anyone could believe.

Thank you Vogue Knitting Live for another terrific event!

I'll be back soon with more.
best, susie

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Catching Up #4: Socks, Sweaters, Shawls, Book Recommendations, Yarn, etc.

Hi, Knitters,
I have a new "podcast" for you today! I am talking about sweaters, shawls, yarn, patterns, book recommendations, socks, handspun, future designs, and much more.

If you are an email subscriber and can't see the video, please CLICK HERE and watch the video directly on YouTube.

I'm sorry but I don't have time to do show notes today, I'm busy packing for Seattle. I leave very, very early tomorrow morning. Wish me luck on my travels over the weekend.

Oh, and it is Chrissy (not Kristi) of Manic Purl and the Snappy Stitches podcast! Go check it out if interested.

Have a great weekend!
best, susie
p.s. Susan, the one who made me the project bag, just gave me this link to pom-pom fruit. It's amazing! Click here to see it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hiro ~ a colorwork sweater in progress

Hi, Knitters,
It has been a busy week already and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday we went on yet another college tour. I've been on a lot of college tours at this point plus I grew up on the UW Madison campus. It's a lot of college around here. Next fall I will have three kids in college which is slightly incredible for me to believe. But that's how it goes.

I am also getting ready to leave for Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle at the end of the week, March 14-16. I'll be teaching and speaking and signing books all weekend. My schedule is jam-packed and I am really looking forward to all of it.

Click here to see my teaching and lecture schedule! I'd love to see you in class or at my lecture early Saturday evening right after class.

I will be signing books on Friday night in the Market at the Adirondack Yarns booth #217 and #219 at 5:30pm. You can purchase my books at the booth and please feel free to bring your own books along as well.

I hope to see as many of you there as possible! 

Now for my latest sweater adventure! I started knitting the brilliant Hiro sweater by Julia Farwell-Clay quite a few months ago but I put it down due to other work knitting obligations. About a week ago I picked it back up with the intention to finish it up and quickly. I have so many cardigans I want to knit but I wanted to finish this one first.

In the first photo I had one sleeve finished to the underarm and the sweater body finished to the underarm. I decided to put the body on Try-It-On-Tubing so I could get a sense of whether or not the sweater was going to fit.

I made a few changes to the pattern. I took out the waist shaping (I often do this because I don't love a tightly fitted sweater and really, knit fabric does a lot of the shaping for you because that is the nature of it). I don't love a hemmed sweater, so I took that out. Instead I did the beautiful colorwork at the bottom with a 2 by 2 rib. 

I love this product and use it with every sweater in progress.

These were my first color choices. It's all Cascade 220.

Then my friend Suzanne suggested switching out the white with gray. For the whole sweater I did not want to purchase any new yarn, I already had all of this in my stash. I happened to have a ball of gray Cascade 220 Superwash on hand. When I put the colors together with the gray I knew this would be perfect. Thanks to Suzanne! Check out Suzanne's new cowl pattern! It's really cute.

I joined the sleeves and body for the yoke. The colorwork yoke is the best part. It's like dessert at the end of a long dinner.

The sweater started moving very quickly at this point. Hiro is very simple. The construction is as basic as you can get, which is what is so appealing and wonderful about it. The colorwork is simple. There are literally three decrease rounds in the yoke. I love this kind of sweater so much. It's pure fun. Hiro is a perfect first time colorwork pattern. It's simple and motivating. The four color mixture makes it entertaining. I love that I used yarn from my stash. You can make the worsted weight sweater tonal or use bright and different colors completely.

As soon as I added in the bright rosy pink, I felt that the sweater became perfection. I just love it.

I pulled out the Try-It-On-Tubing once again and tried the sweater on before finishing off with some short rows and the ribbing at the neck. Oh I changed that, too, from a 1 by 1 rib to a 2 by 2 and I didn't go to a smaller needle. I don't like a tight neck in a sweater.

So there you go! Isn't it pretty?

My new Hiro has been soaked and it is blocking as we speak. After it is dry we'll see what the next steps will be. I think I will end up steeking the front and adding button bands to make it into a cardigan. It could maybe use some pockets, too. 

I'll keep you posted. Maybe I'll end up loving it as is but I do always enjoy a cardigan much more than a pullover. That's just a fact. 

Take care and I'll be back soon with much more!
best, susie