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.