Thursday, June 30, 2016

Morning Bright Yarn for you!

Hi, Knitters,
I have some exciting teaching opportunities coming up this fall and I sure hope you'll join me. 

I have new classes that I am developing over the summer that I am loving. I've never been to Vancouver so I am especially excited about going there. I am always thrilled to be teaching in my hometown in Madison and I have long talked about Minneapolis being one of my favorite cities in the country. It's a good line up ahead.

I hope you'll check out all of the fantastic teachers at these events. It is going to be such fun. Can't wait. 

A quick update on my new sock pattern. The pattern is being professionally tech edited right now so that is good news. I am calling the pattern Smooth Operator Socks due to the smooth decrease lines and equally smooth transitions. The pattern includes four different sizes, child size up to men's size, both double-pointed needle and Magic Loop instructions, photo tutorials and links, and a Quick View pattern for printing. It is pretty comprehensive and I am super excited for the pattern release. The pattern is perfect for self-striping and patterning yarns (I give lots of tips for getting matching socks and using these colorful yarns), as well as tonal or solid yarns. The best part is that the socks fit great!

Now for a little about Morning Bright Yarn. Quite awhile ago a very sweet package arrived from Becky of MorningBrightYarn on Etsy. The yarn and intention behind the yarn took my breath away. 

Here is the description on MorningBrightYarn's shop:

Do you know where your wool comes from? Morning Bright does! All of the wool in our yarns and fibers are either certified humane and environmentally-friendly, or come from local farms that we've personally visited to ensure that animals are well cared for, and practices are ecologically sustainable. Together we can make the world a brighter place - one skein at a time.

Morning Bright's products are hand painted by artist Becky Robbins in her sunny home studio in Maine, USA. All of our yarns are dyed and ready to ship unless they have "Dyed to Order" in the title (you'll find more information about this in the individual listings). We love to chat - if you've got feedback or an idea for a custom order, please don't hesitate to send us a message!

A love of nature and animals is dear to our hearts and it's important to us to contribute all we can, in the best ways we know how, to help protect and care for them. To this end, we currently offer two "Colorways for a Cause" colors:

"Blue Tabby" (a semi-solid medium blue), for which all profits are donated to the Cat Coalition of Western Maine. This is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that tirelessly fosters and cares for the feral cats and kittens of western Maine and works hard to educate the general public about their plight.

"Harbor Seal" (a semi-solid medium/dark gray), for which all profits are donated to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The National Marine Life Center is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) marine animal hospital and science and education center dedicated to rehabilitating for release stranded sea turtles, seals, dolphins, porpoises, and small whales, and to advancing scientific knowledge and education in marine wildlife health and conservation.

You can find a list of wonderful patterns written for Morning Bright yarns and read our blog at And come join in the fun in our Ravelry group, Morning Bright, at We also occasionally offer luxurious angora handspun yarns from our own beloved rabbits.

How's that for a wonderfully thoughtful mission for an independent dyer from Maine?

Click here for the Morning Bright Yarn website!

Click here for the MorningBrightYarn shop on Etsy!

Click here for MorningBrightYarn on Instagram!

Becky sent me the two skeins above. On the left is fingering weight yarn in the Moonlit colorway, 80/20 Certified Organic Merino/Nylon Sock, 100g, 405 yards. On the right is the same yarn in the Azalea colorway.

The yarn is incredibly squishy and soft. It is not superwash but it feels softer than superwash. It is so scrumptious. I am itching to dig into these skeins. My favorite yarns are always regular-old wool rather than superwash so the two skeins suit me perfectly. Thank you, Becky! 

I think combining the two would make a really fun project. Maybe a gray sock with cuffs, heels and toes in the variegated and then reverse it for another pair? Yes to that! I love wool socks and this yarn is great because it has a bit of nylon blended in for strength and to help with wear and tear. 

The photo is from MorningBrightYarn on Etsy.

Above is my favorite yarn in the shop right now. It's called, When I See Birches, and it is beautiful.

Well, I have a treat for you. Becky has generously offered a giveaway from her shop for one lucky winner. Here is the prize offer in Becky's words:

Winner's choice of any skein in my shop with free shipping worldwide! Click here to take a look at the shop.

To enter to win a skein of Morning Bright Yarn of your own, please leave one comment on this blog post that includes your Ravelry username or an email address that I can pass on to Becky. Becky will be in touch directly to finish up the details of your prize with you! When leaving a comment please only click on "Publish" one time. There is a delay before you will see your comment appear on the blog.

Seriously, you will love this yarn and you will feel good knitting it, too. I totally agree with Morning Bright Yarn out of Maine that, "Together we can make the world a brighter place - one skein at a time."

One last thing I want to mention is that Operation Wedding Necktie has commenced. This week I started knitting a navy blue necktie at my son's request for his wedding that is a little over two weeks away. I searched all sorts of tie patterns on Ravelry and none of them exactly matched what we wanted so I have sort of combined some different ideas I gathered and started off on my own. He has a back-up tie (in case this doesn't work) that I am using as a template for the width and length as I work. 

I am knitting the tie in Quince & Co.'s Chickadee in the Peacoat colorway. It is a sport weight yarn and I am using two US size 5 double-pointed needles to work flat. The needles are 6-inches in length and are from Signature Needle Arts. I am knitting the tie in a tight and crisp fashion. I think the seed stitch will help give the tie some stability.

I am about 12-inches in so far and I have some fun ideas for the finishing. I'll keep you posted and will try my best to get a good shot of him wearing it if it turns out to be a success. There is something pretty special about knitting this tie. I feel good about it. It may just be the best thing I've ever knit. 

Alright, friends, please enter the giveaway for the incredibly sweet yarn from Morning Bright and good luck if you do. I'll be back soon with the winner.
xo ~ susan 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summertime Socks & Showers

Hi, Knitters,
I hope you are all off to a super start to your summer! It's going to be a wild one around here.

I've selected a winner for the ShopLouLeigh tote bag. The winner is....

Patricia or 51Off on Ravelry!

Congratulations, Patricia! I've contacted all parties to make arrangements. I've got lots more to giveaway so I'll pull something very soon to share. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful response. And thank you to Leigh for the generosity.

Currently I am working hard on a handful of new designs and patterns to be released this fall. I'm pretty excited about the potential of a new collection or two. It still makes me happy to design new things in knitting so that's a continued good sign. 

Well, as far as sock news goes I am working on a new cuff-down sock pattern with the afterthought heel and toe with a twist. It's going well but it's going to take me awhile. I think it will be worth the wait if you are interested. 

In the new sock pattern I am using Must Stash Yarn in the Family Reunion colorway. If you are interested in this yarn you can pre-order it right now, click here to find out more! The yarn has 12 different color and even stripes and it is super fun to knit. The yarn is dyed in two matching skeins, one skein per sock. This makes getting matching socks a breeze.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

On a quick side note I found this adorable cable sweater tape measure at I don't know if they still have them in stock but you could check. It's super cute and sturdy, too.

The bridal shower I hosted for my niece this past Sunday went off without a hitch. I loved every minute of it. The theme for the shower was Iced Tea and Sweets but the gifts for the bride could be anything. We had iced tea, lemonade and ice water, brownies and lemon bars from my sister-in-law, cake pops (more on this below) and my sister brought chips from Pasqual's (the best chips ever!) and taco dip and veggies and humus. The chips and taco dip were so popular. I took note of this for future reference.

We played a couple of simple games. One of the games was that each person got a piece of paper with the bride and groom's names spelled out. The challenge was to come up with as many words as possible using the letters in their names in 5 minutes. Guess who won... my sister. My sister came up with a whopping 44 words, second place was 34 and Peachy had 33 words. My sister loves a game. 

The party favors for the guests were my favorite thing. I don't know if you remember but a long, long time ago I made a whole bunch of granny squares. Well, I looked it up and it was in 2008 and I blogged about, too. Click here if you want to reminisce with me.

I used Tahki Cotton Classic yarn and the free pattern for granny squares on Purlsoho. Click here for the free pattern!

I had these granny squares stitched together in an unfinished blanket. I undid the seams on all of the squares until I had a large stack of individual squares. I couldn't believe that when I stitched two squares together it fit perfectly around the mason jar. Two squares make the perfect Ball mason jar cozy! 

I pulled out an old tag cutter I have had for many years. We had some sturdy craft paper from another project and we cut out tags and stamped them with the happy couple's initials to make the cozied jars more personal.

We tied the tags on with baker's twine and filled the jars with chocolates, tea and mints. The shower guests seemed to really love picking out their favorite colors in the granny squares. It was a fun favor. 

I also made an embroidered journal cover with a blank book inside and I had all of the guests sign it with a note for my niece. It's super sweet. I gathered the shower cards, her save the date and wedding invitation and a few recipes that people brought. I will put it all together nicely for her and give it to her later.

The other fun and quick game we played was the classic guess how many _______ are in the jar. I found some giant Ball jars and the kids counted the candy when we filled the jars. I had pieces of paper and pens and little bowls in front of each of the jars for the guesses. The person who guessed the closest number won the jar. This was a fun and easy game, too.

I asked what the favorite candies were for the bride and groom. The bride picked Reese's and the groom picked Skittles. We also had Tootsie Pops and Sour Patch Kids.

Lastly for the shower, TC made a valiant effort and made Cake Pops. She had so much fun with these and they were just adorable. I got her a Babycakes Pop Maker and it worked great. So she set out to make three different flavors and a bunch of different toppings. She used chocolate melting wafers in some different colors to coat the cake pops. She used coconut, sprinkles, Reese's Pieces and M & Ms. They were just adorable as decorations and as bite-sized desserts.

And finally, a couple days later the cake pop maker turned 17 years old. Incredible. We love her so.

It's a busy time coming up. We have our wedding anniversary and Peachy's birthday in less than two weeks. This coming Sunday my sister is giving a shower for Miss Molly. I can't wait for that. My niece is getting married a couple weeks after Miss Molly and my son so we have had showers going for the two brides for the past four weekends. 

Is anyone else having a schedule like this? I'd love to hear about it (and your knitting, of course!). 

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

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Episode 25 ~ Christmas Socks, anyone?

Hi, Knitters,
I have posted Episode 25 ~ Christmas Socks, anyone?

You can find this episode and all of my other videos on my YouTube Channel, SusanBAnderson. Please subscribe!

You can find me on other social media as susanbanderson here:
Ravelry Pattern Store
Ravelry susanbanderson
My Ravelry group, Itty-Bitty Knits
Craftsy ~ I have three classes now.

Note: Leigh and the winner will work out the fabric selection for the prize. The photo is just a sample of one of the tote bags.

Giveaway Information:
To enter to win a fantastic Tote Bag from Shoplouleigh on Etsy please leave a comment on this blog post. Please make sure to leave your Ravelry username or an email address to contact you if you should win. Please only leave one comment and be patient for your comment to appear, only click on publish one time. There is a delay before you will see your comment.  I will be back in a few days to randomly select a winner from the comments and then I will put you in touch with Leigh to figure out your tote bag prize! Leigh is located in the UK.

I promise you will LOVE this tote bag or any project bag made from Shoplouleigh! I have purchased several of her bags and they are among my favorite and most used. 

Show links:
I'm wearing the Yowza Weigh It Shawl. Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza in a one of a kind color.

Regia Pairfect Mine are in color number 7115.

Everlasting Gobstopper ~ How to video

Must Stash Yarns ~ Family Reunion colorway pre-order is available now.

Sheep! ~ my new pattern for the three sheep Thank you for the overwhelming response! 

Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite ~ my new pattern in Making by Carrie Bostick Hoge. The pattern will be available for individual download in my pattern shop this fall 2016.

Quince & Co. Chickadee

Branches & Buds Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Christmas Socks:
Desert Vista Dyeworks
Freshisle Fibers
Kreinik Glitter Thread (I ran this thread along with the yarn to make Tinsel Socks)
Knitted Wit
Socks that Rock
String Theory
West Yorkshire Spinners

Christmas Project Bags:
Knitting Daddy

Journal covers: I just used the blank book as a guide for measuring the fabric, there isn't a pattern.

Blank books from Treetop Publishing! super inexpensive and good.

Gifts from FibreSpace students (there were more that I'll talk about later):

Handspun from Highland Handmades fiber, On the Rocks SW Targhee, spun by Emily Estrada (click here for her podcast!)

Twist Fiber Studio Yarn  Worsted in the Oooh Girl colorway

Handknit Socks from Laura of TheKnitShift Podcast!! Thank you, Laura!

Stitch Markers ~ Mermaid set from Neeko Needles & Art on Facebook.

That should do it, Friends! Please don't forget to enter to win the beautifully crafted Tote Bag from Shoplouleigh! Leave a comment and good luck if you enter!

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