Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekend Cast On:: Sonora

Hi, Knitters,
The gorgeous new Sonora shawl by Kirsten Kapur has captured my attention and all I can think about is casting one on for myself. Kirsten graciously accepted my invitation to design a shawl for Barrett Wool Co. and when the finished shawl arrived in the mail I could not get enough of it. It is my favorite shawl. The shawl takes 3 skeins of Home Fingering Weight. Two skeins of a main color and one skein of a contrasting color.

The Sonora pattern is on sale for $4.00 right now with the code: SONORA
The code is good on Ravelry and Barrett Wool Co.
The sale is on now through Sunday, April 30, 2017! On May 1, 2017, the pattern price will be set at $5.50. 

We took the shawl to the Grand Canyon with us in hopes of getting a couple good photos to use for the pattern. We got more than a few. The shawl seemed so at home in the setting. It was a blustery day but when we took the photos the wind didn't affect us at all. My son's girlfriend modeled the shawl and she really is a natural in front of the camera. How lucky am I to be surrounded by such wonderful young women in my family? I absolutely love it.

The day was sun-kissed and the beautifully scenic photos only added to the happy mood. 

Kirsten Kapur has some of the most beautiful designs. If you aren't following her you really should. Here are some of her links:

Drop Dead Easy Knits (Kirsten's first book! I have a project in here, too.)

The shawl is worked completely in garter stitch, not a purl to be found. The diamond pattern is done with slipped stitches and uses only one color at a time. I can't wait to try this stitch pattern! It looks like so much fun. Even the lace border is done in garter stitch. Kirsten Kapur is one of my favorite designers because her work is beautiful, fun to knit, and the end result is always stunning and wearable.

This is the perfect spring knitting project! I'm casting on this weekend.... now for what colors to use.

The shawl in the photos is knit in the color Bluff for the main color and Morning Sky for the contrast color. 

Over at Barrett Wool Co., we are so excited to be fully stocked again with our Home Yarn Collection. All of our 100% American Wool in fingering and worsted weight are back in stock.

And just a reminder, we are celebrating by offering free U.S. shipping for any purchase of 3 or more skeins starting now and running through the end of the day on Sunday, April 30, 2017. You don't need a coupon code, the free shipping will be automatically calculated into your order.

I'll leave you with this gorgeous photo of the Grand Canyon taken by my son. Indescribable.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy knitting and happy spring to you all.
xo ~ susan

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It was Grand and other knitting news!

Hi, Knitters,
I am back from a spring break vacation with the family and I want to share a little bit about it. But first, I am so excited to say that we have a new kit available over on Barrett Wool Co. for my Three French Hens pattern. You can purchase the kit with or without the Taproot Magazine (this is the only place the pattern is available right now). I think you will love this pattern, the kit, the yarn and the magazine!

In six months from now the individual pattern for the hens will be available for purchase on Ravelry.

In other news, I did a write-up recipe for adding short row shaping to the backside of a sweater. Do you see that swoop at the back in the photo above? I did that by adding in a few short rows before I started the ribbing on the Branches & Buds sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I love doing this so that the sweater doesn't ride up in the back. I provided a general how-to recipe that could be used for any sweater or cardigan, either top-down or bottom-up.

By the way, more sweater kits are in the works for the Branches & Buds sweater and should be available very soon.

Now for some fun vacation stuff!

So we took a week off and flew to Phoenix, Arizona, a place I had not visited before, and we had a fantastic time. My entire family came along with the exception of Peachy. College gets in the way of vacations sometimes. My sons and their significant others, TC and my husband, of course, were all there for the fun.

Anyway, we stayed in a rental home that was just beautiful. It was in a nice neighborhood and it was full of little luxuries. The house had an infinity pool and spa and a putting green in the backyard. There was lots of comfy shaded seating and umbrellas, and a huge grill and outdoor dining area which we loved and used a lot. We hiked, ran, biked, walked, ate really good food, relaxed, read lots of books, and just enjoyed each other. It was really nice.

On one of the days, we took off very early and drove to the Grand Canyon. We packed a picnic lunch and hiked all around the Canyon for several hours. The photo above shows one view. There is no possible way to capture the majesty and beauty of the Grand Canyon in a photo. It is a sight beyond your wildest dreams. I have flown over the Grand Canyon many times but to actually stand at the edge of it is humbling. I am glad I got to see it in person with my family.

On another afternoon we hiked Camelback Mountain. It has an "Extremely Difficult" rating and we were warned by a park ranger as we started up the mountain. This is an accurate rating for sure, the hike was no joke. The photo above shows one section of the hike and it was pretty much straight up with huge boulders to navigate the entire time. 

I have to say that even though my husband has climbed this mountain 5 times before he didn't really describe it as all that difficult for some reason. If I had known how challenging it was ahead of time I may not have done it. But I feel really good that I safely and slowly but surely made it to the top of the mountain and back down. It was a really hard hike for me, not so much physically, but more mentally. I loved it. The best part was choosing the path to take and maneuvering around, up and down those gigantic rocks. I was more concerned about the getting down part but I made it fine.

The kids at the Grand Canyon! 

We are so lucky to have the Baker in the family! That's my second son if you don't know. He is currently cooking at a fabulous local restaurant in Madison so he isn't baking as much right now professionally. His cooking skills are impressive, to say the least. At home he pretty much only shops at our local Madison farmers markets for his daily food. He was excited to visit the Phoenix open air farmers market on our last day. It was a good market. We ate an entire meal using only the market produce that night.

Above is the salad he whipped up for us. The salad in the photo consisted of Swiss chard, beets, grapefruit, fresh squeezed lemon juice (from lemons picked from the backyard tree), and salt. It was the best salad I've ever had. The rest of the meal consisted of grilled vegetables on skewers. I loved it all so much.  

On the trip I did a ton of stitching. I have so much embroidery that I want to do but I just don't make time for it in my busy knitting schedule. I took advantage on the trip. I started and finished two pieces.

The embroidery in the photo above is from my favorite, Rebecca Ringquist, and it is called the Red Line Sampler. I've talked about her pretty extensively in the past. Her company is called Dropcloth and she is fun and artistic with her work. I highly recommend her.

Click here for Rebecca's online classes on! These classes are so good. I've taken many of them.

The other stitching I finished is from Cozyblue and it is the little house on the right. Cozyblue or Liz makes adorable little stitching kits. These kits come with the needle, floss and printed fabric. I have a couple more of these to make in my stash. 

I've recently purchased a few interesting stitching items at French General, too. I'll share those soon but the bobbins holding my threads are from French General if you are interested. 

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you are all doing well.

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

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite Kits!

Hi, Knitters,
How are you all doing this weekend? Things are going well around my house. Everyone seems to be at a good place in their respective jobs and schools. This is always comforting to see as a parent. I have been hard at work on a few new projects, and I've been revamping a few older projects as well. That's always satisfying.

So I wanted to bring some new to life the little Flower Fairy & Leaf Sprite project I designed for Carrie Bostick Hoge's first issue of Making Magazine. I decided to put together a fantastic kit for this sweet little project over on Barrett Wool Co.

To start, I reknit the project in our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Sport Weight yarn and it was a complete delight to dive into it. I absolutely loved knitting every piece of this set again. The pattern is really good and clear if I do say so myself. Sometimes you never know when a pattern is tech-edited and reformatted to fit another publication how it's going to end up. This one is good!

The only thing I did differently this time around is that I went down a needle size. The pattern recommends a US size 4 needle and I used a US size 3. You might want to take note of this if you get a kit. I also steamed all of the parts with my iron after they were finished. With the Woolen Spun yarn steaming really helps to open up and make the yarn bloom so nicely. It makes a difference.

The custom box fits the six skeins and colors of our Wisconsin Woolen Spun yarn perfectly. After you knit the toys they could be kept in the box or it could be used as a gift box, too. It is so sweet. That's my artwork patterning the top and sides of the box. I love the box so much. 

You can get the kit with or without the pattern if you already own the magazine or the pattern.

Please note that any purchases over on Barrett Wool Co. from April 9-16th will be sent out on April 17, 2017!

Here are some more photos of the kit:

These are some of the sweetest toys I have ever designed. I love how the fairies fit so perfectly in the little pockets. There is so much imaginative play that could be done with them. 

Again, please note that any purchases over on Barrett Wool Co. from April 9-16th will be sent out on April 17, 2017.

Also, we will be fully stocked again on Barrett Wool Co. very shortly! We are so excited and I have some wonderful things coming up over the next few weeks. Can't wait to share more. 

Alright, my loves! Have a super Sunday. I plan on getting a lot of knitting done today but I also have some new books lined up on my Kindle and that sounds pretty nice, too. I'd love to hear how you are doing and what you are working on lately.
xo ~ susan