Friday, January 29, 2016

Episode 21 ~ New Toy Patterns plus Big Time Arne & Carlos!

(photo inspired by the book, Waiting by Kevin Henkes)

Hi, Knitters,
I have a lot to share with you today, three new patterns, a podcast and a huge giveaway, so I will get right to it!

Pattern Releases and Lower Price Sale!
I have 3 brand-new toy patterns that I've just released today. I am running a big discount sale on all three patterns for the first week of their release. Each pattern is regularly priced at $6.00 per pattern but from Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2016, each pattern is priced at $4.00 per pattern, which is two dollars off! On Feb. 6th the patterns will be regularly priced at $6.00.

No coupon code is necessary as the patterns are priced at the discount price for your convenience.



January 2016

Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi) ?

6 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch

US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 1 - 2.25 mm

100 yards (91 m)

Small ~ 1 3/4 inches tall; Large ~ 3 1/2 inches tall
This pattern is available for $4.00 USD  buy it now
This pattern is currently on sale for $4.00 from January 29th through February 5th! On Feb. 6th the pattern will be regularly priced at $6.00. No coupon code is needed as the sale price is set for your convenience.
This pattern is available in wholesale print form for yarn shops and the like through NNK Press!
The Octopus pattern has instructions for both a fingering weight and a worsted weight version. Both are worked the same, seamlessly, from the top-down. The legs are cleverly worked right into the bottom of the body so no extra finishing is needed. The fingering weight Octopus makes a great ornament!
Here is some pattern information for you:
Finished size: 1 ¾ (3 ½) – inches tall
Small Octopus: 10 grams of fingering weight yarn
Large Octopus: 30 grams of worsted weight yarn
The samples are made in Regia Arne & Carlos sock yarn color #3653 (small size), and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted 100% superwash wool in color #412 Campbell (large size).
Small Octopus: US size 1 double-pointed needles, set of 5
Large Octopus: US size 5 double-pointed needles, set of 5
Use the size needles to achieve gauge.
Small Octopus: 8 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
Large Octopus: 6 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
Yarn needle
Detachable stitch markers
Small amount of fiberfill
Ruler or tape measure
Waste yarn
2 - 9mm safety eyes
Pattern note: Both sizes are worked the same with the exception of a couple of places in the pattern so one stitch count is given throughout. In the places where the directions are different, the smaller size is listed first and the larger size is in the parentheses. 



January 2016

Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi) ?

6 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch

US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm

134 yards (123 m)

About 5-inches in length from bottom of body to the tip of the nose
This pattern is available for $4.00 USD  buy it now
This pattern is currently on sale for $4.00 from January 29th through February 5th! On Feb. 6th the pattern will be regularly priced at $6.00. No coupon code is needed as the sale price is set for your convenience.
Now the Turtle joins the other Woodland Animals group of the Woodland FoxHedgie , RaccoonBunnySquirrel and Acorns, and Little Owl! All of these patterns are available in print form for yarn shops from NNK Press.
The four legs of the Turtle are knit first, then when the body is worked the legs are knit right in as you go! The turtle body, head and legs are worked seamlessly. The Shell is worked in the round from the center-out and attached with a quick running stitch at the end.
Here is some pattern information for you:
Finished size: From the bottom of the body to the tip of the nose, 5 ¼ - inches in length.
Turtle: 100 yards of worsted weight.
Shell: 50 yards of worsted weight.
Sample is made in Quince & Co. Lark, 100% wool, in Sweet Pea #128, and the shell is made in Noro Kureyon #352.
Turtle: US size 5/3.75mm double-pointed needles or size to obtain gauge.
Also needed are two extra double-pointed needles in the same size or a similar size, preferably smaller.
Shell: US size 7/4.5mm double-pointed needles or size to obtain gauge.
Turtle: 6 sts per inch in stockinette stitch.
Shell: 5 sts per inch in stockinette stitch.
Yarn needle
Detachable stitch markers
Ruler or tape measure
Black embroidery floss
Waste yarn

Click here for more information or to purchase the Raccoon pattern on Ravelry!



January 2016

Aran / 10 ply (8 wpi) ?

4.5 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch

US 8 - 5.0 mm

170 yards (155 m)

7-inches tall
This pattern is available for $4.00 USD  buy it now
This pattern is currently on sale for $4.00 from January 29th through February 5th! On Feb. 6th the pattern will be regularly priced at $6.00. No coupon code is needed as the sale price is set for your convenience.
Now the Raccoon joins the other Woodland Animals group of the Woodland FoxHedgie , TurtleBunnySquirrel and Acorns, and Little Owl!
Raccoon is worked seamlessly from the bottom-up for the body and head (worked back to front), all appendages are picked up and knit on. The only whipstitch seam is to attach the head to the body. This is a fun and fairly simple knit that works up pretty fast due to the heavier yarn and larger needles!
Here is some pattern information for you:
Finished size: 7 – inches tall
Yarn: Aran weight yarn
Main color: 100 yards
Contrast colors 1 and 2: 50 yards each
Sample is made in Quince & Co. 100% wool, MC - 1 skein each of Storm #104, CC1 - Egret #101, CC2 - Crow #102.
US size 8/5mm, set of four double-pointed needles.
Use the size needles to achieve gauge.
Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
Yarn needle
Detachable stitch markers
Ruler or tape measure
2 - 6mm safety eyes
Episode 21 ~ New Toy Patterns plus a Huge Arne & Carlos Giveaway!

You can subscribe or watch my episodes on YouTube and iTunes.

You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter for almost daily updates.

My very active Ravelry group is Itty-Bitty Knits! All are welcome to join in the fun over there!

Episode Links:
Knit Spin Farm Etsy Shop (my handspun sock yarn was spun by JoAnna)
Roving for my handspun socks (spun by JoAnna of the KnitspinFarm podcast - a must watch!) is Cheviot in the Owls colorway from Quillin Fiber Arts on Etsy
How I Make My Socks (my free sock pattern)
Stitches West (patterns will premiere at Alana Dakos' Never Not Knitting Booth!) Alana will have some surprises having to do with my patterns! Be sure to stop by and say hello.
Another Crafty Girl ~ Ponky Brewster colorway, fingering weight sock yarn
Jill Draper Makes Stuff ~ huge ball of Empire Yarn

Gigantic Arne & Carlos Giveaway!

12 Lucky Winners will be randomly selected!

Here are the giveaway instructions:
Please leave a comment on this blog post to enter to win 100 grams of the Fantastic Arne & Carlos Regia sock yarn (enough for 1 pair of socks!). In your comment you must leave your Ravelry ID or an email address so you can be easily contacted if you win. Please only click on the Publish button one time, please only enter once! There is a delay before you will see your comment appear on the blog. 

I will be back next week to randomly select 12 lucky winners for the Arne & Carlos sock yarn. 

Good luck, thanks for watching and for checking out my new patterns! Thanks for all of the support, as always. 
Love to you all.
Let the comments begin!
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New York, New York

(In Central Park)

Hi, Knitters,
First things first, I randomly selected a winner for the Gale's Art Sock Blank Club 3-month subscription! The winner is......

knitgineering on Ravelry! I've already contacted Jessica and Gale to let them know. Thank you to everyone else for entering. Gale told me that there are still some openings in the club so hurry on over. She is closing subscription orders tomorrow I believe, Wednesday, January 20th, 2016. Please be sure to contact Gale if you have any questions. Thank you, Gale, for the opportunity.

I'll have another giveaway very soon. Thanks for all of your participation in the blog. I really appreciate all of you for sticking with me here!

Now for today's topic. I'm back from Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2016. It was a whirlwind of knitting, teaching, the market, book signings, students, techniques, dinners, seeing old friends, colleagues, and meeting new friends. I loved every last minute of it. My classes were full and the students were enthusiastic, happy and talented. What a complete treat. Thank you to Vogue Knitting for everything.

This year my lovely husband came along with me and we had so much fun together. He made the trip easier for me in every way whether it was lugging around heavy suitcases to bringing me lunch in between classes to arranging dinners and going on late night walks in the city, but mainly just by being there. It was truly wonderful to have him along, he is the best guy around. I don't talk about my husband too much on the blog but he is the reason I get to pursue my teaching and travels and all of my work through the years. I am thankful to have him by my side for the past 34 years (we are high school sweethearts!). 

We thought the photo above was so funny because he is as big as the gigantic Welcome sign in the lobby of the hotel. He is super tall if you didn't know. 

Our room was on the 36th floor with a spectacular view of Times Square and the always interesting skyline. The first night we were thrilled to have the chance to meet up with my former editor and publicist from my publisher, Artisan Books. We have been friends for about 10 years now and we still keep in touch and really enjoy and take care of each other. We are like family and when we see each other it's like we've never been apart. The food at the Marseilles restaurant was fantastic and we lingered for a long time just catching up, laughing and simply being together. I was sad when we had to leave.

After my workshops on Friday I zipped down to Steven Be's booth on the Market floor for a book signing for my new book, Kids' Knitting Workshop. I was super excited to get to meet my new publicist from Artisan Books for the first time in person. Breanne is doing a great job with the new book. It's funny because we meet in New York but Breanne is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the UW-Madison the same year as my oldest son. Breanne moved to New York City after graduation and started working at Artisan soon after that. Breanne also knits which makes it even better to have the opportunity to work with her. We have a lot in common. She is a complete pleasure to work with and a real go-getter. People were mistaking us for a mother/daughter pair which is cute. It's that Wisconsin water I think (or the brown hair, glasses and similar stature). Thanks, Breanne, for making the effort to come to the signing.

It was a complete zoo in Steven's booth in a good way! It was so jam-packed with knitters I could not believe the frenzy. I had a great time, signed some books and the booth ended up selling a lot of copies of Kids' Knitting Workshop throughout the weekend. There is something so sincere and good-hearted about Steven if you haven't met him. He gets that by supporting the community around him in a positive way that all of his goodness and generosity multiplies a million times more. That is why he is incredibly successful and so loved. And he is fun!

Don't forget that Steven Be's shop has online shopping available for complete kits for Kids' Knitting Workshop. Included in the kit is yarn and a faux-furry pom-pom in the best and brightest colors to make one of the hats in the book, the needles to knit the hat, and a cute zebra print bag to keep it all in, and a copy of the book, of course!

Thanks to Steven Be's for hosting me.

Breanne and I hung out with Jen Geigley who was also having a book signing in the booth for Weekend (click here!)

Remember the Gaptastic Cowl? That's Jen! She is wonderful and I really enjoyed her.

 Missy and me!

Above is my girl Missy Ridley who is one of the masterminds at Steven Be's. She's the reason behind me getting to come and teach at the shop several times and my book signings and custom kits at the shop in Minneapolis. She is my friend to the end and I appreciate Missy's support so much. I wish we lived closer because we would be best buds and hanging out no doubt (if we both stopped working so hard for a minute). Our kids are around the same age and going through the same things so we have a lot in common. Thank you for everything, Missy!

On Saturday night after my last class I dashed off to the Knitty City booth where the lovely Pearl hosted me once again. I have been going to Knitty City in NYC for book signing events since Itty-Bitty Hats was released in 2006! Pearl is a constant supporter of the knitting community. Honestly, I have never seen a busier more bustling knit shop anywhere. It is a true neighborhood hang out for knitters. I love how Knitty City supports authors and knitting books. If you have been to the shop you will remember the HUGE wall of knitting books at the entrance of the shop. A lot of shops don't sell many knitting books any longer.

I had so much fun at the signing that I just hung out for awhile even after it had officially ended.  I love the people who work at Knitty City. They are fun, engaging and interesting. Pearl's daughter and son were there. One of the staff members is a touring opera singer and she is performing in Madison with the symphony orchestra in 2017. I'll have to try to go when she comes to town.

Also, we made plans for the coming spring to coordinate a huge window display with my designs and projects at Knitty City! I am super excited about this because they have the best front window ever. I'll let you know when the window display is up. It's going to be like a big trunk show at the shop.

Thank you, Knitty City and Pearl for hosting me. I signed a lot of my different books, some signed books are at the shop now if you want to pick one up. 

The view from the hotel window was very exciting for this Wisconsin native.

I loved meeting Sharon from the tvknittingpodcast on YouTube in my class on Friday.  I have been a subscriber and listener and now watcher of her podcast for a few years. Sharon is an excellent knitter and teacher. You should check out her podcast on YouTube if you get a chance. 

I came home on Sunday to my cozy house and my cozy kids (they're all adults now except TC!) who held down the fort with style and ease while we were gone. They waited up for us to get home late on Sunday night. It was so good to be together again. 

On Monday it was about all I could do to knit a sweet red wool mitten (pattern here), bake some cookies and read my new review copy of Clara Parkes' Knitlandia. 

Why are simple red wool mittens the best? 

It was a good, good weekend.

I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan 
p.s. I'll try to film a new video podcast in the next week or two! I'm way overdue. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

One Love Shawlette ~ and a sock blank club giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
I want to quickly announce that I am off to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend in NYC. I am having two book signings for my new book, Kids' Knitting Workshop. One is Friday night about 5:15pm at StevenBe's booth and the second one is 5:15pm on Saturday night at the Knitty City booth! I hope to see any or all of you there if interested. My books will be sold at the booths, too, during the event.

Thank you for the many wonderful comments for my book and yarn giveaway! I read every single comment and loved your stories of learning and teaching and hoping to teach others how to knit. We all have a story and I enjoyed them all. I have randomly selected 10 winners from the comments pool and the winners are....
kimmin121, stripesandpolkadots, zip022, vermilliongirl, fromkersey, Lynette Larkins, GrAnLu, blondie11, bookboxer1, and VCR!

Congratulations to all of the winners! My book publicist, Breanne, will be in touch with you shortly either via Ravelry or through the email address left in your comment. Arrangements will be made at that time for you to receive your prizes. If your name is listed please be checking your Ravelry messages or emails so you can respond to Breanne.

Today I have a super fun new shawlette design to introduce to you and a fun giveaway (information at the end of the post). You can make this shawlette with ANY 100 gram sock blank or sock/fingering weight skein of yarn.  

I knit my new shawlette pattern out of one of Gale's Art's Secret Sock Blanks called, Blue Love. 

I am running a special discount price celebration for the week (the pattern is already marked down, no codes necessary). The pattern is on sale for $4.00 starting today Jan. 11 and will go up to $5.00, the regular price, after January 18, 2016.

Click here to go to Gale's Art on Etsy! The Blue Love Sock Blanks are up for pre-order right now if you are interested.

 The new pattern is called One Love and here is why.... 

One sock blank or one skein, one hundred grams and a one row increase repeat! The word one kept popping up all over the place when I was thinking about a name for this crescent-shaped shawlette. The shawl is knit in a Blue Love single sock blank from Gale’s Art. So I combined the two and One Love it is!

We all have a 100 gram sock blank or skein of fingering weight yarn sitting in our stash. Often times we are not sure what to do with it besides knitting a pair of socks. Well, I have the perfect solution with the One Love Shawlette. As the name implies this shawl takes one 100 gram sock blank or sock skein of yarn. The shawlette couldn’t be any easier to knit. You can either follow your yarn striping pattern as a guide or you can use the specific instructions provided to make a shawl like mine in any type of fingering weight yarn. I’ll share how to do both versions in the pattern.

Finished size: 15-inches in depth, 60-inch wingspan; finished shawlette weighs 99 grams.

Shape: Long-shallow crescent-shape

Yarn: Gale’s ArtSecret Sock Blank (single strand), 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon; 463 yards/100 grams. The sample is made in the Blue Love colorway.

Sock blanks are individual works of art and may be the same colorway but striping will vary due to the artistic nature of the dyeing.

Yarn Note: Any 100 gram sock blank or fingering/sock weight skein will work fine. Also, any striped, variegated or tonal yarn will all work great! If you have more or less yardage you can stop or keep going at any point.

A note on using a sock blank:
I knit the shawlette straight from the Gale’s Art Secret Sock Blank - single strand (Gale has double-strand blanks but you'll want the single-strand for a shawl), unraveling as I worked. The yarn was very kinky while I was knitting, but it smoothed out significantly with a good soak and block when it was finished. However, some of the unevenness does remain in the final shawl. I like this appearance and think it makes for a fun watercolor-like fabric. If you don’t want this look you could unravel the yarn before knitting and make a skein (with lots of ties) to soak and straighten out before starting the shawl. After the smooth yarn is dried wind it into a cake or ball and then begin knitting the shawl. It’s up to you!

Needles: US size 6/4mm, 32-inch circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Yarn needle
Stitch markers
Optional: Scale to weigh yarn in grams for starting the final edging. If you don’t have a scale you can just estimate.

In the pattern I have provided two options of choice in the pattern.

Option 1: Let the yarn be your guide. Gale’s Art Sock Blanks, like the one I used in the sample, are often striped. Instead of following or counting rows, I just changed sections in order every time the color changed until I had a certain amount of yarn remaining to finish off the final border (all details are included in the pattern).

Option 2: Row-by-Row Pattern. I wrote out exactly how many rows/repeats I did of each section, including a row checklist for your counting convenience, if you’d like a more detailed pattern to follow. Every aspect is written out in full-detail, step-by-step.

In progress photo before blocking.

Photo from Gale's Art

Do you remember the Gale's Art Sock Blank Subscription Club that I gave away a few months ago? Click here to see it.  

These three sock blanks would be perfect for a One Love shawlette!! 

Today I am so happy to be offering another chance for one lucky winner to win a 3-month Sock Blank Club subscription for February, March and April! For each of the three months you get a new exclusive sock blank in the mail from Gale. The club membership is worth $99 and the sign-ups are running now through January 15, 2016. Click here for the Gale's Art club information. I'll tell you how to enter at the end of the post.

That's a lot of information I know but here's where you get to enter to win a subscription to Gale's Art Sock Blank Club. The photo above shows the three sock blanks you will receive in February, March and April. They are so beautiful, works of art!

Please leave one comment on this blog post to enter to win the 3-month Sock Blank Club subscription. Please leave your Ravelry username or an email address so we can get in touch if you win. Please only click on Publish one time. There is a delay before you will see your comment appear.

Click here for the One Love shawlette pattern!
Remember the shawlette can be knit with ANY 100 gram skein of sock yarn (mine had 463 yards), not only a sock blank.

Good luck if you enter to win! Thank you, as always, for the support.
Let the comments begin!
xo ~ susan