Sunday, November 02, 2014

All in a Week

Hi, Knitters,
Thank you for the generous response to my new shawl design called Hayward for Infinite Twist. Cate Carter, the owner of Infinite Twist, has been in touch and said the sales of the kits have been going really well! Thanks for supporting Cate. The shawl pattern will be available for individual download in my Ravelry Pattern Shop at the end of December. Until then the shawl is only available in kit form from Infinite Twist. I highly recommend the kit if you are at all interested. Infinite Twist is a wonderful small company.

The winner of the Hayward shawl kit in her color of choice is..... 1tims on Ravelry or Tracey! Congratulations Tracey. I have contacted Tracey and have let Cate know we have our kit winner. 

I am planning a shawl knitalong starting in January, after the holiday rush. I will announce it here on the blog and on my super fun Ravelry group, Itty-Bitty Knits (please join us over there!). The shawl knitalong will include not only the Hayward Shawl but also the Prairie Ridge Shawl, the Quaker Ridge Shawlette, the 50 Row Shawlette, and my soon to be released pattern called the Yowza Weigh It Shawl (more on this later). I will round up a lot of cool prizes from some of my favorite companies. I'll keep you posted on the starting date and I hope you'll join in. Mark your calendars if interested.

For today I made a few photo collages of some of what has gone on in the past week. The photos above reflect the fall season slowly coming to an end around here. I try to spend a lot of time outdoors everyday and I love to take photos of our ever-changing seasons here in Wisconsin. It is pretty entertaining.  We are having colder temperatures lately, the sun angles have changed, everything is getting a little quieter and darker. 

My husband and I were out walking at dusk the other day in our favorite nature conservancy and all of a sudden we heard the cracking of branches overhead and the whooshing of air. We looked up and sure enough the enormous wild turkeys we had just passed along the path were flying up into the trees to stay for the night. Yikes.

The turkeys are so awkward when they fly into the trees. There is nothing graceful about it. The branches don't seem strong enough to hold them and their giant wingspans send smaller branches cracking and falling to the ground as they fly into the trees. It is a weird and creepy sight if you have been in a forest to witness this nighttime ritual for the wild turkeys. They sleep perched in the trees. A lot of people don't know that wild turkeys can fly or that they sleep up in the trees. We have been in these woods when this has happened before and I don't like it at all. Seeing huge wild turkeys sitting on branches above my head makes me want to run for shelter. It is scary.

As for the other parts of the land around here the leaves have fallen for the most part. The trees are looking bare and cold although there is still a little lingering color if you look for it. It is becoming browner in general. It has been a beautiful, colorful fall season in Madison, one of the best I can remember. I can't complain about it almost being over. It has been fun to live in such a beautiful fall-themed wonderland for the past month or so. 

Last weekend I taught on Sunday only at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. TC had a swim meet on Saturday and of course I wouldn't want to miss that so we drove down for the day on Sunday. My ever-supportive husband drove to Chicago with me, brought me lunch and drove me back home and I am so appreciative of his effort. It is a long day when you get up at 3:30am, teach 6 hours of brand-new workshops, and have an hour-long lecture at lunch. He is a keeper and it was a successful day.

I had fantastic classes filled with super knitters. I really enjoyed everything about my day. I taught two brand-new workshops. The students (not all are in the photo) placed their dolls all together on a table in the photo above (some dolls didn't make it in the photo). This workshop is the Mary, Millie & Morgan Seamless Doll Workshop. I loved teaching this class so much. We had a great time learning about seamless doll construction, hair creation for dolls, face embroidery, picking up and knitting ears, and all sorts of other toy related stuff. 

I brought a little toy suitcase with Mary, Millie & Morgan and all of their clothes and I brought along Ben and Buddy, the boy counterpart, as well. The students really enjoyed seeing the dolls in person. That was fun to see.

Click here to see more about the patterns for Mary, Millie & Morgan and here for Ben & Buddy! The patterns for these are available as downloads through Ravelry.

I also taught a new Fox in a Vest Worskhop. I love this top-down seamless sock yarn project. The pattern will become available for download this November! 

What a nice, fun group of knitters were in the Fox class, too. We had a great class and it was good way to end the day. One of the students, Sara, had purchased a Vogue magazine sweater sample in the market. When she showed me which one she purchased I immediately knew it was a Kristin Nicholas design. I remembered seeing it in the Vogue magazine in the Fall 2011 issue. This is one stunning colorwork garment. Sara let me try on her treasure of a sweater. It is a black and white masterpiece. Oh, I loved trying on that sweater so much. Thank you for sharing with me Sara. I know you will enjoy your new sweater this winter.

Vogue puts on wonderful knitting events. Please check out my workshop offerings for Vogue Knitting Live in New York City. I hope to see you there. Click here to see the classes for NYC!

As for the knitting this past week, it has been crazy! I am working on a bunch of sock projects as always. The three sock yarns in the photos above are the Knitcircus Rainbow Matching Gradient Socks Set, and for both of my sons the Patons Kroy Brown Marl (purchased at the Wisconsin Craft Market) and the Kristin Nicholas Garden Effects Regia.

I am super excited about a new garter stitch shawl design I cast on last week. I am using one skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, a light worsted weight, 560 yards per skein. Each skein weighs in at 8 oz.  This is the simplest, fastest shawl I have ever made and that is the point. You cast on and then you never have to count again for the entire shawl. You just weigh the skein as you go and when you get to a certain point you start the border and bind off. I am adding a picot bind off (which involves a slight bit of counting) but you could just do a regular bind off. I am working my way across the bind off now and I hope to have the shawl pattern available very, very soon.

If you are interested grab that crazy variegated or more subtle skein of Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, your kitchen scale and your US size 9 - 40 inch circs and you'll be ready to go! If you want to check your gauge while waiting it is 4 stitches per inch in stockinette. Handspun would be really perfect for this shawl as well.

I'll post about the new pattern as soon as it is ready!

Click here for Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein! The colorway I am using is called Top Secret and was purchased 3 or 4 years ago at a festival in Kentucky. It is a one-of-a-kind Babette but there are so many good colorways to choose from ~ no worries!

I also knit TC's swim buddy an Another Flower Headband for her birthday. She just loved it! I used Noro Kochoran (discontinued yarn) and it is a bulky weight yarn. I am making another Another Flower Headband this week for another swim buddy in the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in the #512 Cemak colorway (a gorgeous, rich tonal blue). This pattern is so easy and fun, knit on a US 10, you can easily finish in one day. Seriously. 

Last but not least, the week has been full of family, food and cooking, yarn, fun mail and SNOW! Yes, we had a dusting of snow for Halloween. That's not right. It was really cold and wintery. I want to mention the sweet Louise of the Caithness Craft Collective podcast and Etsy shop. She sent me a project bag she sewed from Scotland, where she lives, that is made out of Anderson Tartan plaid. I met Louise at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat. This was so unexpected and I love the Anderson Tartan project bag. Thank you, Louise! 

Check out Louise's Etsy Shop and her wonderful podcast which I love! 

I also received a big box of Solitude Wool to knit with and review! This is breed-specific farm yarn from Virginia. It is completely impressive and beautiful. I received Targhee, Romney, Icelandic yarns and more. I am planning a couple of design projects using these glorious farm yarns. Thank you so much to the owners for sending the yarn. I will be posting much more about them coming up in the future.

I'll be back soon with more! I'd love to hear about what you did last week. It's a busy time of year for everyone and we are just getting warmed up for the holidays.

xo ~ susan