Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Good Tidings

Hi Knitters,
I hope you are doing well this holiday week. I love this season and all of the home-y activities with which we devote our time. I've been planning gifts and sewing and knitting up a storm and baking and cooking, etc. All of my kids are home and on break from school. It is bustling and busy. You, too?

Well, I have randomly selected a winner for the Kermis Kit giveaway from Infinite Twist! And the winner is...... matildachelsey on Ravelry or Josette! Congratulations, Josette. I have sent an email to Cate Carter of Infinite Twist with your contact information and she will be in touch with you directly to plan out your kit specifics. Click here for the Kermis pattern on Ravelry.

Thank you for the fantastic Kermis Kit giveaway response. Cate is just thrilled and has sold a lot of kits this past week. She is so thankful and excited to give good homes to her beautiful yarns and kits.

Here is some information and links for the photos in the collage:

Rainbow Socks: Quaere Fibres 10-Stripe Rainbow colorway, sport weight; US size 2 needles; toe-up with an extended afterthought heel. 56 sts for the leg and foot count.

Knit Collage Mittens: Yarn is Knit Collage Castaway in the Prism colorway, 2 skeins. I made up the pattern but there is a similar pattern on the Knit Collage website. I knit the mittens with the knit side facing me and then turned them inside out so the purl side is the right-side. I used US size 10.5 dpns to make the mittens. I gave the finished pair to my niece as an early Christmas gift. She LOVES them and now my other niece wants a pair, too. I see more of these fun mittens in my future.

Socks for my son: Regia Cotton Summer Smile Color (purchased right here) with Opal heels and toes in gray. My son wants lighter weight handknit socks and so I am trying out this cotton/wool/nylon blend from Regia to see if he likes it better. He is so knitworthy! He wears the two pairs of socks I knit him constantly, they are always in the wash. I didn't enjoy knitting with this cotton blend yarn as much but it is doable. It feels a bit like string in my opinion. But I love the end results. He picked out the colorway (I love that he likes colorful pink stripey socks!). I used US size 1 dpns and my free pattern How I Make My Socks for men (here is the men's sock information).

Rag Quilt Placemats: I made a quick set of 6 placemats for my sister-in-law. I made the same rag quilt placemats last year and wrote a blog post (click right here) with all of the details and the YouTube video tutorial I used. I made a few more for another gift for this year, too, nine in total. They are really fast!

And lastly, my son has been baking and baking and baking! I try to sneak in and bake and cook when he's not in the kitchen which is not often. He has gifted most of his cookies, muffins and breads to others but leaves plenty for us to enjoy as well. He is currently working as a baker in a popular Madison bakery and loving it.

Yesterday as I was working on the rainbow socks I sat across from TC at our kitchen table. She is working on her beaded ornaments which she has been making for the last several years. I love her focus and concentration while she is working. It is so much fun to have her on break from school and sports and whatnot. I enjoy her company so much.

And I want to mention the Santa project bag that I've been using for the holiday season this year. It is from ShopLouleigh on Etsy and it is just the cutest bag ever, honestly. I'm so in love with Leigh's work and fabric choices. She is spot on.

Here are the ornaments TC has finished so far! She'll wrap them up in little sets to give as gifts. It's so sweet. Each of these designs come in kits that we purchased at the Wisconsin Craft Market this year and last year. Some of the kits only cost a couple of dollars and include the materials for several ornaments per kit as you can see. 

Merry, Merry and Happy Holidays, dear Knitters. Thank you for the support and for the fun here on the blog and everywhere else. I appreciate you all so much. This is the tenth Christmas I have celebrated on this blog, it's hard to believe that it has been that long.

I'm wishing you all good tidings of great joy! 
xo ~ susan

Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Kermis Cardigan and the Kit Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
Be sure to read to the end to find out how you could win a Kermis cardigan kit!

How are you holding up with the holiday bustle this year? I hope well. It has been a fun stretch around here. My new book, Kids' Knitting Workshop, was officially released a couple of days ago. I hope you'll give it a look. It is really good for kids, adults and anyone in between who is interested in learning to knit.

I filmed two short tutorials to go along with the book. Click here for the Magic Loop video and click here for the double-pointed needle video!

Thank you to for the kind review, click here to read it!

Thank you to Paula of Knitting Pipeline for a good, in-depth review on her last podcast and blog for Episode 232! Click here to read and/or listen!

I have a great yarn and Kids' Knitting Workshop giveaway coming up very soon. I am getting it organized right now. Stay tuned for that.

Now onto to some knitting that's been happening around here. The lovely Cate Carter of Infinite Twist sent me a kit for the Kermis cardigan (in the photo above) a short while back. There are several different kit colorways but for some reason the Carousel kit caught my eye the most. I think it was the coral-red edgings. 

But let me tell you how I even ran across this cardigan first. Do you remember the Solja sweater I knitted last spring?

I love this sweater and I loved knitting this sweater. The lace on body and sleeves was fun and fast and the colorwork yoke was even better. I loved selecting the colors and the whole thing was a good experience. 

Anna Maltz is the designer of Solja and since I enjoyed it so much I wanted to check out her other designs. This is where I ran across the Kermis cardigan. Anna has a keen eye for playful designs that are both wearable and whimsical.

When I saw Infinite Twist had kits for Kermis I contacted Cate Carter to see if we could coordinate a giveaway for a kit for the cardigan. Cate was in! I received my kit and was blown away by the colors of the yarn, the pattern and the sweet pink buttons all included in the kit. I think needles might be included, too, but I told Cate I didn't need them. 

I couldn't wait to dive in.

I did a few things differently than in the pattern. I wanted to knit the entire thing in the round so I added a steek to the front starting at the cast on edge. The pattern has you knit back and forth up to the colorwork section of the yoke, which is only 12 rounds or so. 

I'll talk about this a little more but first here is some general information:
Size: Medium ~ 38.5 inch bust (The sizes range from xs to xl.)
Needles: US size 5

I usually knit sweaters in around a 36 inch bust size give or take depending on the sweater. The description of Kermis says it is supposed to be a fitted but as I've said many times, I don't love a tightly fitted cardigan or sweater. If I had wanted the cardigan to be fitted I could have made the small size at 35.25 inches for the bust. Anyway, I set out to make the cardigan in a more relaxed fit from the start and that's exactly what I got!

~ I added a steek for the entire bottom-up garment so I could knit it up faster in the round (the pattern has you knit back and forth for the body). I added in 5 extra stitches to be worked in stockinette stitch on each side of the 5 added steek stitches because of the eyelet rounds. When the steek is turned under on the wrong side I didn't want it showing through the eyelets.
~ I shortened the rib on the body significantly. My bottom rib section is about 2.5 inches and the pattern calls for 6.5 inches. 
~ I lengthened the body by a couple of inches before reaching the underarms.
~ I shortened the rib on the sleeves. My ribbed cuff is about 5 inches and the pattern calls for 7.25 inches.
~ I lengthened the sleeves to be full-length.
~ I used the crochet method for steeking the sweater. Click here to see a tutorial!
The pattern calls for a unique steek technique called a knotted steek where you knot the cut ends together for a tidy finish. This method looks like it takes a lot of time and would work well for a 12 round steek like the pattern calls for but it's maybe not my first choice for steeking an entire sweater.
~ I changed the numbers on the button bands for the number to pick up (I think I picked up 20 fewer stitches than called for in the pattern). 
~ I changed the number to cast off and cast on for the buttonholes from 4 to 3. Four bound-off stitches would have been too large of a hole for the buttons. I changed the numbers for the buttonhole row completely to accommodate the different buttonholes and picked up stitches.
~ I used 9 buttons instead of 8 buttons as in the pattern. 

All in all, it's adorable! My version of Kermis has a relaxed comfy fit. The fabric is light, airy and bouncy. It isn't too hot and heavy at all. I just love it. The pattern is well-written and designer Anna Maltz did a super job. Congratulations, Anna on another great garment design.

The kit I used is called Carousel. The other kit colorways are called Sparrow (browns and creams) and Toffee Apple (pinks and purples) and the new Kay's Choice (that's Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting, of course). All of the kits are gorgeous!

Check out the kits here on Infinite Twist!

Thanks to the generosity of Cate Carter of Infinite Twist I am able to offer one Kermis kit in the color of choice to a lucky winner today! The kit is valued starting at $110. Cate will work with you on the color and size selections if you win.

To enter to win a Kermis kit, please leave one comment on the blog that includes your email address or your Ravelry username so we can get in touch if you win. In your comment you can let me know what colorway you would choose for your kit if you'd like, I'd love to hear about it. When leaving your comment please click on the submit button only one time. There is a delay before your comment will appear on the blog. 

Happy holiday season to all. I hope you are all knitting away the days in happy anticipation.

Good luck if you enter and let the comments begin!
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Good News Tuesday

Hi, Knitters,
I have randomly selected 6 lucky winners from hundreds of entries from the Pete hat pattern purchasers this morning. Each winner is receiving 5 balls of the beautiful Rowan Fine Tweed in Pete-like colorways. Thank you to Rowan Yarns for the generous prizes. The lucky winners are (rav usernames): Margostitches, tinkbell, kentuckygirl1961, Murphknits, Charr, and thecraftypetite! Congratulations to all. I've contacted all of the winners via Ravelry with instructions to receive their prizes.

Thank you to all involved. The Pete hat has been a huge hit of a pattern and I hope you all enjoy knitting your understated man-hats this season and in the future. Very fun!

As a little side note, I was interviewed for the Yorkshire, UK-based shop Baa Ram Ewe's newsletter. It is a very sweet interview and photos. The photo of me teaching was taken by Gale Zucker (the credit was omitted). Click here to read the short interview!

Okay, there is so much going on around here concerning knitting, as always. I have a lot of fun stuff to share. I'll start with some book news. My new book, Susan B. Anderson's Kids' Knitting Workshop, is being released in a matter of days and there are some fun promotions going on to celebrate. 

First off, one of my favorite shops, StevenBe's in Minneapolis, MN, has pulled together a fantastic kit as part of a gift bundle idea. It is fantastic. They've thought of everything you need to make a beautifully fun and inspiring gift for any new knitter! You even get to choose your hat and pom-pom color! I love it. It's a great deal and a simple gift idea for any new or aspiring knitter you have on your gift list and a great way to support a terrific local yarn shop.

Here are some details about the gift bundle:


Beloved knitting instructor Susan B. Anderson presents her first book targeted at a young audience. This accessible introduction to knitting in the round includes easy-to-follow illustrated tutorials on techniques from casting on and binding off to joining colors to make stripes, and 17 progressively challenging knitting projects—beginning with simple infinity scarves and hats and building to supersweet toys and decor. Step-by-step text and photographs that kids can read and follow on their own mean they will be knitting independently in no time! Also included is a chapter on stocking your toolbox and sourcing yarn; plus advice on starting a knitting group, connecting with local knitting communities, charity knitting, and more.
Your gift wrapped bundle includes everything your recipient needs to create theHat with a Rib in Susan's book.
 - Susan B. Anderson's Kids' Knitting Workshop book
 - 1 ball of reflective super bulky Lumio from Schachenmayr in your choice of color
 - 1 decorative pom-pom in your choice of color
 - US13 16" bamboo circular needle
 - A special note from StevenBe to encourage your new knitter.
Choose Your Hat Color:
Choose Your Pom Pom:

I was informed by my publicist that Amazon selected Susan B. Anderson's Kids' Knitting Workshop for their Best Books of the Month in 2 categories: Nonfiction for Kids, and in Crafts, Hobbies, and Home. What an honor. It is such a good feeling to get such positive feedback as the book is coming out. 

Also, my publisher has selected Kids' Knitting Workshop as part of their holiday promotion! Here is the information on that:
Artisan’s parent company, Workman, has selected SUSAN B. ANDERSON’S KIDS’ KNITTING WORKSHOP for the company’s digital holiday promotion.

This means that from now through December 15, anyone who orders books through the following link ( can use the promo code HOLIDAY to receive 20% off the list price. As an added bonus, anyone who places their order specifically on December 8 (today) will ALSO receive free shipping.

In other book news, I am thrilled that Topsy-Turvy, Inside-Out Knit Toys has been released in paperback in Korean! I received a copy and I have enjoyed looking through it and marveling at the beautiful letters and writing of this language. 

In teaching news, I have a couple of classes left that aren't sold out for Vogue Knitting Live in NYC! I'll be there from January 15-17th, 2016. My other four classes have already sold out but you can always contact them to see if things have shifted at all, you never know!

I'll be teaching at A Good Yarn in Sarasota, Florida from March 19-21st, 2016. Click here to contact the store for more information!

The DFW Fiber Fest in Dallas, Texas, has its registration open. I'm teaching a bunch of workshops at this event. This is on April 1-3rd, 2016. Click here for more info!

Yarnover in Minneapolis is coming up! I'll be there on April 24th, 2016. Click here for the information! Last year my 2 workshops sold out so fast so be sure to jump in if you are interested in attending.

I am going to Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia, from May 19th-21st where I'll be teaching workshops and having a book signing. Please contact the shop, Fibre Space, to find out more!

I am doing some new filming for a couple of different things coming up this late winter/spring, too. I'm so excited about this! New online things are coming to the internets soon which I haven't done for a few years now.

It's going to be a whirlwind of knitting coming up! I hope to see you at my classes and events. I would really love that. Let me know if you can attend anything.

Now for a couple of quick knitting projects I have been working on......

The talented yarn designer/owner Amy from Knit Collage sent me some lovely skeins of her art yarn to play with recently. I quickly dove in because these yarns are irresistible. I just made up the pattern for the hat using the Daisy Chain yarn in the Chili Pepper colorway. I used US size 11 needles and cast on 56 stitches and went to town. It is an adult-sized hat and used 2 skeins of Daisy Chain yarn. I love it.

I put a Bernat Faux Fur pompom on the top. It works! The yarn not only has little fabric daisies but also there are bits of lace and fabric spun into the wool. The yarn is handspun in India and you can read all about it on the Knit Collage website.

Next up, I will knit mittens out of two skeins of Knit Collage's Castaway in the Prism colorway. I can't wait to see how these work up. I have been eyeing Amy's mittens (click here to look!) and they are incredibly fun. Amy's mitts look like they are purl side out. I think I'll knit mine and then turn them inside out. That's the plan Stan! I'll keep you posted on my progress.

My shoes are Birkenstock Berns in wool. And the yarn for my socks is String Theory in the Kinetic Energy colorway. Click here for the sock yarn.

I hope you are all doing well. We are having a mild December here in Madison without a stitch of snow or even any cold weather. It's very strange.

I'll be back soon with more....
xo ~ susan

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Hi, Knitters,
There is so much going on around here that I can barely keep up. Don't we all feel like that sometimes, especially at this time of year? I wholeheartedly sympathize if this applies to you. 

Please make sure to read to the end of the post, there is a really awesome and generous yarn kit giveaway for the Pete hat, and I get to randomly select 6 lucky winners! Thank you to Rowan yarns and Westminster Fibers for the yarn kits for Pete. I'll tell you how to enter at the end.

Well, I have a sweet story to tell you about the hat I am simply calling Pete

And here it is.....

~ A perfectly simple man’s hat ~
Susan B. Anderson

My brother, Peter, is one who never asks for anything. Quite a few years ago he let me knit him a simple hat with a few stripes and he loved it. I jotted down the pattern on a scrap of paper and pinned it to my studio bulletin board just in case he ever wanted another. This past weekend at Thanksgiving Pete asked if I would knit him a new hat just like the one from years ago. I jumped at the chance, quickly unpinned that waiting scrap of paper from my bulletin board and got to knitting. His only request was that the hat be a smidgen longer in length to cover his ears better which I did on this version.

My brother is an understated guy. He’s handsome, kind, quiet and humble. I feel like this hat suits him to a tee. I bet you might have some men just like my beloved Peter in your life so I decided to share this simple pattern with you.


Here is some information you might like to know about this pattern:

Pattern Note: The sample hat is knit holding two strands of fingering weight yarn together throughout, which is about the same as a worsted weight yarn. You could easily substitute with a worsted weight yarn.

Finished size at ribbed brim: 20-inch circumference, sized to fit a 21 to 23-inch head circumference.
Pete’s head measures 23 inches.
The model’s head measures 22.5 inches.

Yarn: Any sock or fingering weight yarn, two strands held together throughout OR a worsted weight yarn.

Yarn Requirements: One 100 gram skein/ball fingering weight for the Main Color or one generous skein of worsted weight (for example, Cascade 220).  Two contrasting colors, small amounts needed (use leftovers if possible!).

Yarn needed in grams:
Finished sample hat weighs 72 grams in total.
Main Color (MC): 63 grams used
Contrast Color 1 (CC1): 12 grams were used
Contrast Color 2 (CC2): 7 grams were used

Sample Hat Yarn:
Fingering weight (2-strands held double), 70% Superwash Wool, 25% Polymide, 5% Viscose, 100 grams per skein/438 yards/400 meters.
Main Color: Schachenmayr Regia 4-fadig Tweed in color #00010 (brown)
Contrast Color 1: Schachenmayr Regia Trend & Classic Tweed in color #09066 (gold)
Contrast Color 2: Schachenmayr Regia Tweed Trend & Classic in color #00002 (natural)

The original hat mentioned in the introduction (not photographed here) was made using Cascade 220, a worsted weight 100% wool.

US size 5/3.75mm 16-inch circular needle for brim
US size 6/4mm 16-inch circular needle for body of the hat
US size 6/4mm double-pointed needles for the top of the hat or preferred method for working on a small number of stitches in the round
As always, use the correct size to obtain gauge.

Gauge: 5.25 sts per inch in stockinette stitch on the larger needles

K  knit
P  purl
K2tog knit two stitches together
Kfb  knit in the front and back of the same stitch
Rnd(s) round(s)
St(s)  stitch(es)
MC  main color
CC1  contrast color 1
CC2  contrast color 2

Yarn needle
Detachable stitch marker
Ruler or tape measure

The pattern for Pete is available on my Ravelry Pattern Shop for only $2.00 right now. The discounted price is good from today, Dec. 2nd and will go through Sunday, Dec. 6th, 2015. No code is necessary. Starting Dec. 7th, the regular price for the pattern will be set at $3.00. 

Now for the giveaway details. Westminster Fibers is the US distributor of Rowan Yarns and together we have come up with a beautiful yarn kit for my Pete hat. 

The kit for the hat includes 5 balls of Rowan Fine Tweed in the following colors:
3 balls of #363 Keld (brown tweed)
1 ball of #383 Leyburn (gold tweed)
1 ball of #364 Buckden (natural tweed)

I want to offer this giveaway yarn kit prize to the pattern purchasers this time around. By purchasing the pattern you are automatically entered into the giveaway. I really appreciate you all so much. 

I will be randomly selecting 6 winners next Monday, Dec. 7th, 2015 from the Ravelry names of those who purchased the pattern. I'll contact the 6 winners via Ravelry to gather mailing addresses. 

Again, a gigantic thank you goes to Westminster Fibers for the fun and generous yarn giveaway opportunity. 

Thank you for considering Pete and good luck if you are entered to win!

I'll be back soon with more....
xo ~ susan