Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Craftsy Class ~ My First Toe-Up Socks!

Hi, Knitters,
First, the giveaway for my new Craftsy sock class is over, the winner was selected by Craftsy and I have contacted the winner via email with the link to receive the class! Thanks to Craftsy for the class. In one day we had close to 800 entries to win so that was remarkable. Thank you for the interest.

Now for today's news.

Today is an exciting day. I have a brand new Craftsy class has launched, My First Toe-Up Socks! It's really here!

This is my third Craftsy Class. You may or may not remember my other two classes (these are 50% off links for these two classes, too!):


All of the links to the class are provided to me by Craftsy and they are affiliate links. I get a small credit when you go through the links provided on my blog for Craftsy. Thank you if you click through here. I appreciate it.

All of the photos in the post have been provided by Craftsy. Here is the video trailer for the class:

I am so excited to be back with Craftsy once again. The toe-up sock class was a pleasure to prepare and a pleasure to film. It was hard and thorough work but I loved it. I researched and experimented and knit numerous toe-up sock using different techniques until I decided on the final version of the sock I would teach for the class. It was fun and exhilarating to dive into one subject so wholeheartedly. I really enjoyed the entire process. 

I am usually a cuff-down sock knitter so for me to switch directions of the sock construction and think about a "first-time" toe-up sock knitter was pretty easy for me. My goal for this class was to gather and to teach the simplest and most effective techniques, in my opinion, for knitting toe-up socks. I think it worked out well. 

The rainbow yarn in the title card is from Quaere Fibre.

Required skills: 
A skill prerequisite for the class is that the knitter has a general knowledge of the knit and purl stitches and is comfortable working in the round on either Magic Loop or on double-pointed needles. This is important! I go over these methods of working in the round but I am assuming the student already has a prior grasp on the concepts. 

Techniques and information covered in the class:
~ Both double-pointed needles and Magic Loop techniques are included

~ Pattern sizes include 2 weights of yarn and 3 sizes for each weight: 
          Worsted Weight socks in Small (Medium, Large)
           Fingering Weight socks in Small (Medium, Large)

~ Foot measuring to pick the correct size

~ Judy's Magic Cast-On with simple tips for memorizing

~ Afterthought Heel waste yarn placement with a twist

~ Texture and cuff alternatives, adding different yarns/colors, and how to make matching socks with striping or patterning yarns

~ Russian Bind-Off in pattern for a stretchy finish

~ Picking up stitches and working the Afterthought Heel (and how to close the gaps at the the top of the heel!), with a method for making a deeper and better fitting heel using this technique

Six detailed lessons are provided. The pace is comfortable and informative, intended for true first-timers, but it is chock-full of information for experienced knitters as well.  

I had a great time filming at Craftsy. It has changed so much since I was there in 2011. The company is at a new building with at least 5 studios filming at the same time. The building is fun and bubbling with creativity. When I filmed five years ago the small studio was about 100 degrees due to the burning hot lights. This time the temperature was so comfortable. I dressed thinking it was going to be so hot under the lights but it turns out I could have worn my handknits. If there is a next time I will dress for the more comfortable temps.

Here are some photos from the class!

I knit the worsted weight sample socks in the Craftsy yarn, Cloudborn. It's a superwash merino. I believe Craftsy has kits available for the class.

The sock above was knit in different colors to show the parts of the sock, a sock map! I refer to the sock map sock throughout the class.

I hope you enjoy the new class and maybe the old classes, too! Let me know if you decide to partake. 

xo ~ susan

Monday, March 28, 2016

Craftsy Class Giveaway ~ My First Toe-Up Socks!

Hi, Knitters,
I am having a one day giveaway for my brand new class on Craftsy.com. The new class is called, My First Toe-Up Socks, and it will be officially released tomorrow, March 29, 2016!

Click here to enter to win my new class, My First Toe-Up Socks!

Tomorrow the winner will be randomly selected at Craftsy and the class will be given to the new winner! Craftsy will be contacting the winner. Good luck if you enter to win.

This is going to be a quick giveaway turn-around but what a great opportunity for one lucky person.

Tomorrow I will be announcing the class and giving you more details about the content and links. I am so excited about this one, it's one of the best things I have done yet for sure.

Until tomorrow!
xo, susan

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This Week

Hi, Knitters,
Wow, this week is going fast. First, I randomly selected a winner for the garter stitch tray made by Creative with Clay's Charan Sachar. The winner is.....

frecklesandpurls (rav username)!!

I've contacted the winner and have already mailed off the prize! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered. I'll host another giveaway very soon. 

Last week I cleaned out my sock drawers, weeding through the years of sock knitting adventures. I reorganized, folded, and got rid of many of the old, worn and ill-fitting pairs that I really don't wear any longer. I am really pleased with every pair now resting in the drawers. I counted 53 pairs of beautiful handknit socks that spark joy Marie Kondo-style. I now have room to add more to my favorite sock collection and it feels really good to be organized once again. 

This all started because of my sock knitting teaching as of late. I am really proud to announce that on March 28, 2016 my new Craftsy class will be going live. I'll announce it here with a coupon code for a discount and I think I will be able to have a giveaway for a free class (I'll have to double-check on these things but I'm pretty sure it will be okay) so please check back here to find out more.

The class title is.....

My First Toe-Up Socks!

I have seen the class footage already as a preview and it looks really good. I am feeling great about it and I hope you will check it out. I will talk about it in more detail next week but it is a skill builder class where I go into depth about measuring your foot (3 simple measurements), Judy's Magic Cast On, increases and decreases, Kitchener stitch, Russian Bind-Off, and an afterthought heel. It is jam-packed with good information. Also, I have written a pattern for the class with 6 different sizes, 3 sizes each in both fingering weight and worsted weight.

More to come next week!

The photo above is my preparation for my new workshop called, How I Make My Socks, which I taught for the first time in Sarasota, Florida at A Good Yarn. It was fun and I think it went well.

Now for a little about the trip to Florida.

My daughter and husband tagged along for the trip so that made it extra fun. We rented a car and drove about an hour from Tampa to Sarasota. It was such a warm, pretty drive. The bridges were beautiful and seeing the ocean always feels so good and exciting. 

The traffic was tough and it took a long time to get our rental car and to get to the hotel but I got settled in at the hotel for a few minutes before heading off to A Good Yarn for a book signing, meet and greet. It was really fun. 

Susan Rife, a knitter who happens to be a reporter for the Herald-Tribune, was at the shop waiting to interview me for an article for her newspaper. We did a quick interview and the next day there was a fun article about my visit in the paper.  

photo by Susan Rife for the Herald-Tribune

It was fun to see how shop owner, Susan Post, had really planned well and had an enormous table filled with all of my books, stacks and stacks of them. It was great to see the number of books dwindle down over the weekend. She didn't have many left at all and she told me she could have sold more of the books that sold out. I think it helps so much to have the knit samples out next to the books so I was glad I brought quite a large trunk show along. 

photo by Susan Rife for the Herald-Tribune

I was really happy to meet Luann Pezet who drove 6 hours from the east coast side of Florida for the meet and greet. She was just adorable and her husband was very kind to accompany her for the journey. Luann is pure joy and I loved hearing about her 10 grandchildren. They are lucky to have her. Thanks for coming all that way to the shop, Luann!

Thank you to Susan Rife for the article in the paper. I really appreciate it.

Me, Susan Post and Laurie (@luvprettyyarn on Instagram) at dinner Saturday night.

I had a great time teaching at the shop with full classes of enthusiastic learners. Laurie was kind of my right-hand throughout the weekend. I really enjoy her and Susan so much. They were so gracious and helpful the entire weekend. I had many students who came and took every class and there were people from all over the country attending. It is a unique community because some were vacationing and happened to be there right on the same weekend so it worked out well. On a funny side note, I don't think I've ever been around so many Susans at one time. I had multiple Susans in every class, Susan Post is the owner and Susan Rife wrote the newspaper article. 

I ate some delicious meals at local restaurants, my family had a ball playing on the beach while I was teaching, and I met so many wonderful knitters. The entire weekend was a huge hit. I hope to come back to A Good Yarn sometime in the future.

I want to thank Susan Post for contacting me over 18 months ago to set this up. It has been a long time in the making. A Good Yarn is more than just a spot to purchase yarn, it is a social gathering place full of vibrant happy knitters. The large round table in the front of the shop was never empty (not for my classes but with knitters just hanging out together at the shop). The feeling in the shop is happy and welcoming and this is due to Susan Post's genuine love of her shop and her gratitude to her customers. She loves her job and it shows.

Goodbye Siesta Key Beach and A Good Yarn Sarasota! 
It was the best!

The day after my return it felt good to think back about the great time in Sarasota, knit on a new sock, and have a cup of coffee back at my own kitchen table. My daughter made the wax-relief dyed eggs for me over the weekend. The sock yarn is from Biscotte Yarns, the closest colorway is called, For Him. The bag is from Lowland Originals on Etsy. The mug is old but was purchased at Starbucks at least several years ago.

There is so much going on right now and this week. My kids are home for spring break with lots of bustling in and out, high school soccer try-outs are happening this week, all of my kids have so much going on in their personal lives ~ lots of changes and excitement and plans. We have company coming to stay for the weekend and an Easter brunch at our house for family in the plans. Hectic as always, I'm sure you can all relate.

Take care and love to you all!
I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Episode 22 ~ Socks & Mittens

Hi, Knitters,
First, I was a guest on the Curious Handmade podcast this week. 

The lovely Helen Stewart is so charming and I have loved her podcast since she started recording. I had a great time chatting with Helen. Hop on over and take a listen if you are interested.

For more news, I have recorded a new podcast. Episode 22 is now available on YouTube! Yay! What do you think about me only posting on YouTube and not on iTunes? It is so much faster and easier for me to post on YouTube and I think I would record more if I didn't have to jump through all of the hoops to get the video onto iTunes. I would really love to know what you think! 

If you leave a comment to enter the giveaway announced on the podcast and here on the blog for the beautiful tray, please let me know how you feel about this.  

Here are the links the podcast:

My Craftsy classes:  Wee Ones and The Not So Itty-Bitty Giraffe

My Ellison Bay socks in The Wool Barn Tweed Sock in the Soft Pink color.

My Lollipop Yarn socks for my son in 2 balls of self-striping combined.

I have the beautiful blue mug like the one in the photo above and I love it!

The blue tray in the photo is the giveaway item today. Click here to read more about it! It is priced at $34.00. 

Please leave a comment on the blog post to enter to win the blue garter stitch tray by Creative with Clay's Charan Sachar. Thank you, Charan, for the beautifully crafted prize from your shop! 

Your comment must include your Ravelry name or an email address so I can contact you if you win. Please leave only one comment. There is a delay before your comment will appear so please only click on Publish one time.

Have a great day and good luck if you enter to win!
xo ~ susan

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Sweet-ish Fish ~ a quick pattern for your mini-skeins or leftover sock yarn!

Hi, Knitters,
I am back safe and sound from Denver and from filming a brand new Craftsy class. I'll be talking a lot more about it very soon. The class will be available by the end of March, so that turn around is super fast. I had a blast and everything went really well. Craftsy is one impressive operation. The people who work there are incredibly talented, kind, energetic and creative. It is an inspiring work environment. More soon!

I have a new little pattern for you today and it at a low introductory price of $2.00 starting March 6, 2016 through March 13, 2016. After March 13, 2016 the price will be set at $3.00. There is no coupon code necessary.

Here is some information you might like to know:

Sweet-ish Fish is the perfect fingering weight mini-skein or leftover sock yarn project using only 3 grams of sock yarn. The project is worked seamlessly from the nose to the tail and can be whipped up in no time at all. Sweet-ish Fish makes a lovely little ornament or gift-topper or toy!

Finished measurements: 2½ inches in length; almost 1½ inches in height

Yarn: 3 grams of fingering weight or sock weight yarn

Needles:  US size 1/2.25mm needles, either double-pointed needles or one long circular needle for Magic Loop OR size to obtain gauge

Note: The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but can be easily adapted for Magic Loop.

Gauge: 8 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Materials and Tools:
Yarn needle
Small amount of fiberfill

K  knit
P  purl
Rnd(s)  round(s)
M1  Make one stitch by inserting the left needle from front to back under the strand running in between the right and left needle. Knit the lifted strand through the back loop to make a new stitch.
K2tog  Knit two stitches together.
St(s) stitch(es)

This is a super fun and fast project. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for the support, as always, and I hope you enjoy working up your Sweet-ish Fish!

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