Friday, December 19, 2014

Gonna do some knitting....

Hi, Knitters,
I'm in full-swing Christmas-mode right now. Are you in your holiday-mode, too? 

Time is short. 
Knitting is long. 
Sunlight is none. 

It is very difficult to take good photos when every day is gray and foggy. It is dark, dark, dark all day long. I miss the sunshine. Today I did my best with the trusty camera and I want to share some of what I have been working on.

I am not going to link everything today to save some time. Please google for the links if you are interested in anything I have mentioned in the post. Thank you for understanding.

Well, I am so happy to have finished the Tinsel Socks. I used Desert Vista Dyeworks Holiday Stripes mismatched on purpose half-skein set and carried the sock yarn with a glitter-y thread of tinsel from Kreinik Thread. The socks sparkle and shimmer like no tomorrow. 

The shoes are Birkenstocks in the Bern style and they are wool. 
The socks are so elf-like. I truly love them.

For my son I have completed a pair of smart looking Kristin Nicholas Regia Garden Effects socks.

Heels and toes are in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.

The Regia will hold up so well and they look really cool. I am excited to give these to him.

I have this first sock completed past the heel and gusset and onto the foot. This pair is a gift for Christmas day. 

The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks in the Singin' the Blues colorway. I kinda love it a lot.

Will I get the pair done for Christmas? Time will tell.

I have recently picked this back up in my hands, the Rainbow Gradient sock set by KnitCircus.

Yeah. These are going to be really good. I have knit an 8-inch cuff so that all of the colors will be reached by the time I get to the toe. I hope it works. I think it will.

The needles are Signature Needle Arts dpns, 6-inch length. I always order 5 needles.

12 Holiday placemats are completed! I have way more than 12 people coming for Christmas dinner but it's a good start for this year anyway. 

I may have some more non-holiday fabric placemat sewing in the works for gifts. I am hoping to get it all done in time.

I used the rag quilt technique with batting. There are videos on YouTube showing how to do this.

My husband brought home an Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY Kit from work. It was some sort of gag gift. Old TC had to make it. She designed the lay out, I glued. See all of those little glitter ornaments and jingle bells next to the Santa? Those still need to be sewn on. I will do this later today. I'm pretty sure this will get wrapped up and given to someone on Christmas morning.

Yesterday my husband took the day off from work to go Christmas shopping with me. We actually got a lot done and it was fun having him with me. He's a good guy, neither of us are great shoppers but we muddle through somehow.

I'm going to leave you today with a short song called Knitting. 

"On a farm, in a barn, feeling lonely but I've got some yarn..... 

I'm gonna do some knitting.

I need to do some knitting."

Knitters always have company and that is good.
xo, susan

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tinsel Socks

Hi, Knitters,
Things are getting busier around here these past few days. My college kids are coming home for their winter breaks from school so there is extra hustle and bustle going on. I am trying my best to avoid going to any sort of mall and I think I might win the battle this year. There is no snow on the ground and it has been gray, foggy and raining. It's so strange. 

I have finished exactly one dozen holiday-themed rag quilt placemats as of yesterday. I'm feeling pretty good about it. I am hosting our big extended family for Christmas dinner this year so I can't wait to set these new placemats out on the tables. That will be festive and fun. 

I started knitting a pair of Christmas socks a few days ago. I think it was last year when I purchased a set of two 50 gram sock skeins that were for a mismatched pair on purpose kind of thing. The set is from Desert Vista Dyeworks. This shop has so many great colorways and striping sock yarns. Be sure to check it out.

The set of skeins I purchased is called Holiday Stripes. You can see the skeins before I wound it all up by clicking right here.

So I had this idea about making some Tinsel Socks by adding holiday colored glitter thread to the Holiday Stripes yarn. I was recently sent a box filled with Kreinik glitter threads and reflective thread that can be added to knitting or other things or embroidered, etc. Click here for Kreinik threads! Thank you to Kreinik for the generous gift.

The thread I'm using is called Twist and it doesn't change the gauge at all for knitting when carried along with your yarn. I have been asked if it is scratchy and the answer is no. The thread is not scratchy at all but it does change the texture of the knit fabric slightly. It is remarkably still soft considering the addition of a metallic thread.

The socks are knitting up super mismatched, unexpectedly so! The white is different and the green is very different. The lengths of the stripes are different, too. I love it all. I am using green Kreinik Twist on one cuff and foot and then switching to the other skein with red Kreinik glitter thread on the heel and toe. Then I am reversing this for the other sock. One sock is mainly green tinsel and the other is mainly red tinsel.

It has been a super fun Christmas-y project. Tinsel Socks! And to make it even more fun I have been carrying around the Christmas sock project in a Santa project bag from LoveSockWool on Etsy. It's really cute all around.

I am using Signature Needle Arts dpns in size US 1 (6-inch needles). I am using my own free sock pattern called How I Make My Socks.

The socks are so sparkly. It is very hard to capture the amount of glimmer and sparkle on camera. My daughters both love these socks so much. TC is just waiting to wear them. Maybe you still have time to knit some Tinsel Socks for someone special? Or is it too late? 

Or maybe for next year!

I hope you are surviving the holiday rush, dear Knitters. I love this time of year.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tons of This, That & Gift Ideas

(photo from

Hi, Knitters,
I have lots and lots of links for you today. I hope you are all doing well and knitting away. It is weird that we don't have too much snow here in Madison just spotty patches of snow here and there with none coming on the horizon. Ah well, such is the weather. Do you have snow? I think Maine has lots of snow. I've seen some pretty good Maine snow photos this year. 

So here we go with the linky-links for today.

Martha Stewart has a free pattern up called Cozy Mittens shown in the first photo. They are in worsted weight yarn, knit flat in garter and seamed with crochet. The mittens have an unusual construction. I'd like to try them because they are so cute and homespun-looking. You might like them, too.

My friend, Kriste, gave me this adorably sweet and dainty ceramic flower necklace at the Knitting Pipeline Retreat last September. I love it and wear it all of the time. Thank you, Kriste. Plus the card has foxes....

(photo from

There is a new audio podcast in town and it is called Woolful. Ashley does a great job interviewing interesting fiber-talents. She has three episodes up. Ashley also has a cool mercantile up with fascinating farm wools with stories.

I have a new color block hat pattern in a great book by Tanis Gray called 3 Skeins or Less. My hat is made in three colors of Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed and I designed it for a man. The book has the hat photographed on a woman. I guess it could be unisex. It is a fun hat with stranded color work and very simple knitting. 

This would be a good project for those leftover odds and ends of worsted weight wools. The photo in the book has the hat perched on top of the adorable model's head but it is designed to be a regular beanie pulled down over the ears for warmth. 

The book is wonderful and jam-packed with accessory patterns. You should check it out!

I found the Alan Dart Yuletide Gnome I knit years ago and set him out for Christmas. Alan Dart is an amazing toy designer that I have loved for many, many years. He is so talented. 

I knit my gnome in Cascade 220. The beard yarn is now discontinued and I don't know where to find similar yarn. Look in the finished projects on Ravelry to get ideas.

I was gifted this beautiful self-striping yarn and stitch markers from the owner of the Knitting In France shop on Etsy. The yarn is squishy and beautiful. The colorway is called Bounty. The dark section is more brown than it is looking in the photo. I love it very much. She sent two skeins so at some point I'll be giving the other one away. Thank you!!

I was also gifted self-striping sock yarn from Lise. Thank you! This beautiful squishy yarn is called Dance with the Wind (the purple), and If you think you can, you can! (the gold). 

I finished up a new shawl design yesterday and I used a lot of stitch markers along the way. I am blocking today. I can't wait to see how it blocks out. 

I noticed my Little Skein stitch markers need to be put back in their correct corked bottles so they can be sets again. These are some of my favorite stitch markers and they would make the perfect gift.

Costco has these packs of my favorite lip balm, eos. Stockings will be filled with eos at my house this year. Eos is sold everywhere, Target, CVS, Walgreens, grocery stores, etc. I first discovered eos at The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling when Sheri put it in the goodie bag. Now I collect them and run out often.

Coffee and Doughnuts anyone? It's 4 oz. of Polwarth waiting to be spun.

Hey Lady Hey is taking over my world with her amazing color and patterns! She is super talented.

(photo from Hannah's site, Knitbot)

The amazing Hannah Fettig sent me her new app called Stashbot to review. It is really cool for sweater-knitting peeps on the go or to use anywhere really. She explains it better than I ever could but it is cool, well-designed, super handy and pretty much genius. And there's even a video to help you understand. Thank you, Hannah!

I've listened to three audiobooks in the past few weeks. The first is the novel The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. It was a good listen and I liked the narrator's voice. It's a different-type story, kind of like an almost-fairytale at times due to some magical things that happen. It was entertaining and charming.

Okay, Ann Shayne of the Mason-Dixon Knitting duo, pretty much blew me away with her reading of her debut novel Bowling Avenue on audiobook. A long time ago I started reading the book and enjoyed it a lot actually but never finished it for some reason and not for the book's fault. 

Recently I was looking for a few audiobooks to listen to and saw that Ann had narrated Bowling Avenue. I had to get it. I love Ann's southern accent and sense of humor so I knew her narration was going to be good. This novel is a family-centered story set in Nashville (Ann's hometown) with lots of interesting twists and turns and secrets revealed. I LOVE this book. I hope she writes more to make it a series.

Hearing Ann's take on this story in her own voice was nothing short of funny, charming, heartbreaking, warm, sweet, thoughtful and again, funny. Please listen to this book if you get a chance. Ann is amazing and she is one of our very own.

The 2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast is a mother-daughter audio podcast about knitting and books equally. I love this podcast and never miss an episode. I have read so many books due to their recommendations. The Farm is one of those books. This one I listened to on audiobook and I could not stop. This is a suspenseful, intriguing story about a very unusual family in both Sweden and London. It has adult themes and it takes twists and turns that you can't predict. I really enjoyed this book and the narrator has a great voice and accent. It's so good.

Also, on a different note, there is a new Sock Knitting E-zine that is out! It is really good and I recommend it for anyone interested. It would make a great gift. There is a subscription available or individual issues are available. I was gifted the first edition and I am impressed. The issue is packed so full with information, interviews, 7 sock patterns and more.

Lastly, a sweet friend and neighbor of mine who I have known for years asked if I could pop over yesterday to meet her mother-in-law Lois. Lois is visiting from Colorado and she is a voracious knitter and a reader of my blog and books and such. 

Well, I went to my friend's house and was greeted by Lois in such a fun knitterly way. She had her iPad armed with photos and patterns to share. I just loved her. She enthusiastically showed me some of her preemie hats. Lois knits loads and loads of preemie hats that she donates to a local hospital. She has adapted some of my baby hat patterns and some other patterns so they will fit a preemie-sized head which is about the size of an orange. Lois' enthusiasm for donating her adorable preemie hats and for knitting in general makes me so glad to be a knitter. She was so warm and friendly and giving. It was a fun visit. 

Here is Lois' email (slightly edited) to me telling how she adapts patterns and sort of pieces them together and which patterns she used for the bow hat in the photo:

Hello, Susan,
Thank you so much for stopping by to meet me at my daughter-in-law's home. I have been a fan of yours since I discovered your book, Itty Bitty Baby Hats.

I looked a little closer as to the origins of the preemie hat I made (that you photographed) and discovered that I purchased the pattern with the bow, Preemie Hat with Bow on Etsy, from The White Daisy Designs. I used her instructions for the bow. I used the free pattern, Big Bow Hat, at for the idea of knitting a contrasting ribbon, but I used seed stitch to make it stand out.

My sister, Mary and I knit hats for preemies at Memorial Hospital in Colorado. We are inspired by your patterns and love your books! We like to adapt full-size baby hat patterns to fit preemies. Your designs lent themselves to this treatment.

Best regards,
P.S. Thanks for the wonderful gift, the potpourri and the two cute sheep cards in the cloth bag with the adorable sheep tag!

Thanks to Lois! It was great to meet you.

Alright, Knitters, that should do it for today. There is so much fun going on in our lovely community and just not enough hours in the day to get everything in.
xo ~ susan
p.s. I am not on any affiliation programs with Amazon or any other organizations so I don't get any benefits or money when you click through any of the links on this post or my website in general (with the exception of the Craftsy links on my sidebar for my specific classes. Those are links that Craftsy provided me and they are tracked through Craftsy).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Snip & Fringe

Hi, Knitters,
A reminder for you: The coupon code for $1 off on the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2 is still available for a few days. The coupon code is: YOWZA2

Click here to see the pattern info or to purchase the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2!
Winners have been selected for the Shoe Candy sock pattern giveaway!! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for entering!
agileknitter, the designer of Shoe Candy sock pattern has generously upped the ante to 3 winners! agileknitter or Leah will be in touch with the winners to gift them the pattern.
Here are the 3 winners:
From Leah, the designer of Shoe Candy:
A huge thank you to Susan for sharing the news of my new pattern and to this awesome group for your kind words. I so appreciate your feedback.
As a small token of my appreciation, I’m offering a code to this group (you have to be a member of the Itty-Bitty Knits Group) for $1 off any of my patterns. The code is IBK LOVE and is valid today through end of day Sunday, 12/7. You can view my pattern page here.
Happy Knitting, Leah
Another news-type item is that the classes and early registration is open for Yarnover 2015! I am so excited and honored to be teaching at this fun Minneapolis event. I have been hearing about how wonderful and fun it is for years. It is a one day event and from what I hear it is huge.
The event is hosted by the Minnesota Knitters' Guild but it is open for everyone (from anywhere!) but you do have to be a member of the guild.
These are my classes:
Morning: Build-a-Toy Workshop
Afternoon: Fair Isle Fingerless Mitt Design Workshop
You can read all about these in the brochure linked below!
Also new for 2015:  The deadline to join or renew your membership and qualify for early registration is December 16th rather than December 31st.
Here are the Yarnover 2015 details.  Please check back here for updated information as it becomes available: 
  • It will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
  • The Meet the Teachers Dinner will be held at the Marriott Hotel Friday, April 24, 2015.  The keynote speaker is Amy Herzog, author of Fit to Flatter. She is delightful, as you will soon experience for yourselves.
  • Early registration will begin on January 10th, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. CST for anyone who joins or renews membership by December 16, 2014.
  • The 2015 Yarnover brochure is finally here!

Now for the topic at hand. I have been making rag quilt placemats since last weekend. Last Sunday I made 6 rag quilt placemats. I have made quilted placemats for years, the regular kind with the binding on the edges. I love making those bound placemats and these are probably the most used handmade item in my house. They wash and wear like nobody's business. I love them.

By the way, I have seen place mat written as two words and one word. Which is correct? I prefer placemat so that is what I'll use.

The idea for the rag quilt technique came from watching The Knitgirllls Podcast where Leslie shared her gorgeous rag quilt on the episode. She is a beautiful sewer. It seemed like a much quicker technique and with my regular-sized old sewing machine an easier quilt project to maneuver. 

Each square is sandwiched with batting and backing and then quilted separately. Then the squares are sewn together in strips with exposed seam allowances on one side of the quilt. The outside edges are seamed together by just zipping around the quilt. Now all of the exposed edges and seam allowances are clipped to create fringe which just gets better and better with each washing.

Here is the video I used for instruction:

Here are some of the new placemats I have been sewing. I use a favorite placemat as a pattern template for the size. I just lay the old placemat on top of the fabric and cut the fabric. I don't measure (honestly, I have never measured these placemats ~ please don't ask me to measure for you:) and if they are a little different in size I don't care at all. I use straight pins to keep the quilt sandwich together before I sew it together. I don't worry much if my sewing lines are perfectly straight or even. It is all done in the spirit of ease and fun! No worries about perfection at all, I just let it go.

I am using up a few packs of fat quarters that I've had sitting around for years. They are totally mismatched fun. Everyone loves looking at the different fabrics and as I've said so many times I love mismatched handmade items. I mismatch on purpose all of the time. Each side of the placemat is a different fabric. Some of the other sides are solids.

I am having so much fun with this sewing project that I decided to make a Christmas-themed set of placemats. My goal is to get 12 Christmas placemats done for the holiday this year. I have four done so far. TC and I went to JoAnn's last Sunday armed with coupons. She helped me pick out a stack of Christmas fabrics. We had so much fun picking out the pairings. She spotted the Frozen fabric (lower left above), it's of the snowman, and she really wanted it. It was so expensive. I needed a 1/2 yard for two sides of the placemats. The fabric was $23.99 a yard! A Yard!

We almost put it back on the shelf but then I saw that all fabric was 50% off so that dropped the price way down. It was still outrageously expensive but more palatable for half a yard. It is not 100% cotton either. I don't know what the fabric content is exactly but it has a more polyester feel to it. It won't ever fringe as well I am sure but TC loves it. How can I say no to a high school teenager who still loves Disney musical movies? I'm with her.

Leslie from The Knit Girllls recommended that I get these Fiskar spring action snips made for making rag quilts. She said it would save my hands. I ordered them from Amazon, click here! Even for the smaller sized placemats these snips are nothing short of a miracle. I never would have thought that there was a tool for clipping a rag quilt but here it is. The clipping is the most tedious part but I don't mind it. The smaller the snipping the better the fringe will be (like an 1/8-inch is better than a 1/4 inch is better than a 1/2 inch for the fringes).

Next up I am going to make a big huge rag quilt. I want to make a quilt to fit on my bed and this rag style is going to be it. 

You can see the stack of freshly washed fabric I am using by clicking right here! It is a gorgeous selection of fabrics from Heather Ross. I have more of her fabrics ready to add in as I get there.

Okay, off into the weekend we go! Have a good one. Are any of you sewing right now? I'd love to hear about your projects, knitting too.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Favorite Sweater Number 6 ~ #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
Before I get into the #projectsweaterchest chat I want to let you know that I have put up a giveaway for a new sock pattern by Leah Oakley called Shoe Candy on my Ravelry group called Itty-Bitty Knits. Everyone is welcome to enter but you do have to be a member of the group to win. Simply leave one comment on the thread to enter. I will randomly select a winner in a few days. I love this new sock pattern and can't wait to try it out. I read through the pattern and it is very clearly written.

Also, if you purchase the pattern before December 16th, 2014 (I will end the giveaway with plenty of time to purchase and enter) you are automatically entered to win a skein of the always hard to get Lollipop Yarn sock yarn in the Carol the Bells colorway. If you win Leah will automatically enter you in the contest for the yarn so you won't miss out. 

Jump on over and leave a comment! Good luck to everyone. Also, come join us in this super fun group if you aren't a member already. It's a very welcoming group.

Okay, on to today's topic of #projectsweaterchest. I haven't written about this for awhile now but I have a bunch of sweater knitting plans coming up so I want to finish up reviewing the Top 10 sweaters I have already knit before talking about my new sweater plans. To refresh memories I have already talked about (in no particular order) the Garter Yoke Cardi, the Basic Chic Hoodie, Owls, Calligraphy, and Tea Leaves

In March of 2014 I quickly knit up the Hiro Sweater by Julia Farwell-Clay and I instantly fell in love with the pattern and the finished sweater.

I used some decade old black Cascade 220 and I supplemented with newer stash of Cascade 220 in turquoise, hot pink and heather gray. I think I talk about the colors numbers in the Catching Up #4 Video Podcast that I've embedded at the end of this post. You can see me wearing the sweater in this episode as well.

Hiro is a truly simple bottom up sweater design. It would be the perfect first-time color work sweater. The pattern can be knit as a cardigan as well, the instructions for this are included in the pattern. The pattern is clearly written, very simple and easy to follow instructions. It's a good one.

I felt like Hiro flew off my needles. It was fun to knit, motivating, and easy. These are all qualities I look for in a sweater pattern.

The only change I made was to eliminate the waist shaping. I made Hiro in a smaller size than I usually do, I think a 34-inch size when I normally make a 36-inch size. I can't remember what I was thinking when I did this.... wishful thinking maybe? Not sure.

It was a little snug when I first tried it on before blocking and so I stretched the heck out of it when I did block. Now it fits great! It's really kind of perfect.

I think you would love the Hiro pattern, too! I can't recommend it highly enough. It's well-written with lots of sizes and options. The fact that you can knit a cardigan or pullover is wonderful. I would even consider knitting another one of these and making it a cardigan this time.

I've included the two videos that relate to the Hiro sweater, one where I am wearing it and the 10 Favorite Sweater Video for those of you who might want to watch again or for any newcomers that have no idea what I am talking about.

Click here for my YouTube Channel for all of my videos! I have over 60 videos (I can't remember the exact number), most are tutorials and then I have 10 podcast episodes or so. Remarkably, I am getting very close to having 1.6 million views on my YouTube Channel which is pretty exciting so thank you for that! 

Good luck if you enter the sock pattern giveaway on the Itty-Bitty Knits group!

Four more favorites to go and then I am going to tell you about a couple of not-so-favorites. #projectsweaterchest is an Instagram hashtag for anyone wanting to post photos of sweater knitting of any sort. Please post in here with the hashtag because there will be some cool prizes coming for those who do!

Have a great day.
xo ~ susan

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yowza Weight It Shawl 2 is now available!

Hi, Knitters,
It's here! 

I am having such a good time using up my Yowza Whatta Skein single skein purchases while I'm making shawls and I thought why not share these designs with you along the way. The second version in the series of the Yowza Weigh It Shawls is now available. There will be four shawls in the series. Each of these no-counting weigh only shawls is a completely different shape and has different weighing points. 

All four of these Yowza Weigh It Shawls (two are available at this time) will represent a classic shawl shape and all four will be done in garter stitch. All of the shawls together will make the perfect study in basic shawl shapes that could be adapted in a million different ways. 

I am running a discount code for the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2 for $1.00 off the regular $5.00 price. It's good through Dec. 10, 2014.
The discount code is: YOWZA2

Here is some information you might like to know:
The Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2 was once again created in the spirit of dreamy simplicity.
I cast on 9 stitches to start and never counted my stitches again. The versatile half-hexagon or raglan-shaped shawl is another all-time favorite shawl shape of mine. It sits so nicely on your shoulders due to the two raglan-style lines of shaping in the body of the shawl. It can be worn many ways, over the shoulders and tied behind your back to create a shrug, over the shoulders and tied in the front, or wrapped up snugly around your neck to name a few.
Using one 8 ounce Yowza Whatta Skein! by the talented dyer Miss Babs and your trusty kitchen scale you will simply fly through the knitting of this shawl. It is another of the most addicting, fast and simple top-down shawl designs with a two row repeat (and one row is all knit) for the body of the shawl. The border is a light-ruffle with a very simple yarn-over stitch to create a more open and lighter weight fabric. The outcome is a wearable and simple shawl. There are only two places you need to weigh your yarn in the pattern.
Dream and garter stitch away!
This is the second Yowza Weigh It Shawl in the series of 4 shawls I will be releasing. Each shawl is a no-counting, weight it only shawl with a completely different shape and weighing points.
Finished measurements
Wingspan: 64-inches after blocking
Depth: 16-inches including the ruffle after blocking
Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein (100% Superwash Merino Wool, a light worsted weight; 560 yards/ 8 ounces), 1 skein (The pattern is based specifically on the Yowza 8 ounce skein but other yarns could be substituted.)
The sample is knit in the Moonlight Stroll colorway, which has shades of blue and gray. Midnight Stroll is a repeatable Babette and is found on:
Needles: US size 9, 40-inch circulars or size to obtain gauge
Gauge: 4 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
2 ring stitch markers, 1 detachable stitch marker
A kitchen scale that weighs in ounces and grams
yarn needle and scissors
The following photos show some of the details:

Another favorite way to wear the shawl is wrapped up around my neck. It's very warm. 
In the first cover photo I am wearing the shawl tied in the back as a shrug.

The coziest way to wear the shawl is over your shoulders and tied in front. The shawl brings so much warmth to your shoulders.

I only had 2 grams of yarn left over at the end of the shawl. This is the perfect shawl to use up an entire skein of Yowza Whatta Skein by Miss Babs! Or you can use 8 oz. of handspun or another combination of worsted weight yarn ~ any of these yarn choices will work great.

Click here for the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2! Use the coupon code: YOWZA2 for $1.00 off!

Click here for the Yowza Weigh It Shawl! You can use the coupon code THELOOPYEWE through Nov. 28th, 2014 for 20% off!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend if you celebrate. I hope you have time to sit by the fire with your family and loved ones and knit and have some hot cocoa. I will be doing just that!

Love to you all.
xo ~ susan

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Flower Headband Fleece Lining Tutorial

Hi, Knitters,
First a couple of housekeeping things to share:

Thank you for the kind response to Episode 11 of my podcast and for entering to win Kristin Nicholas' new book Colorful Stitchery and Kristin's new Regia sock yarn. The winner of the book and sock yarn is.....

jjurney ~ rav id !

Congratulations Jodi! I have already contacted Jodi to let her know the good news. Thanks to everyone for entering and I have another great giveaway already lined up for after Thanksgiving. You won't want to miss this one, it's huge.

Also, this week I am the featured designer on The Loopy Ewe Blog. Click here to read the interview!

The Loopy Ewe Feature also includes a coupon code for 20% off one of any of my downloadable patterns! This also includes the eBook for Mary, Millie & Morgan for the discount which makes it a great deal. 

Enter the following code at checkout:


Click here for my Ravelry Pattern Store! The code is good through November 28th, 2014. Thank you to Sheri and The Loopy Ewe for the fun blog feature.

Oh hey! My Hayward Shawl was just released back to me to add to my Ravelry Pattern Shop as a downloadable pattern!! The pattern is for sale now for $5.50 but you can use the 20% off coupon code: THELOOPYEWE, for a good deal on the new pattern.

Hayward is the shawl I talked about and wore in Episode 11 of my podcast.

I whipped up an Another Flower Headband a couple of weeks ago for TC's swim buddy. I lined it with white polar fleece which makes the headband extra warm and cozy. I've been asked how I line the headbands with polar fleece so I thought I would photograph the process and share it with you today.

Pattern: Another Flower Headband by me ~ pattern sells for $2.50 on Ravelry! (Hint: use the coupon code mentioned above for 20% off!)

The pattern comes in 3 sizes: small child, large child and teen/adult. The flower has lots of options as far as size and number of layers or it could be left off completely. 

Yarn used: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky, one skein in the Cermak colorway. Click here to find out more about the yarn! This is just beautiful bulky weight yarn. It is so soft and squishy. 

Materials needed to line the headband:
A piece of polar fleece to fit
Sewing needle and matching thread
Scissors (sharp fabric scissors are best for cutting the fleece)
Your finished Another Flower Headband!

Note: I'm sure there are lots of ways to line a headband like this. I am sharing how I like to line hats/headbands. I have lined all sorts of hats and headbands for my kids through the years and the following process has worked very well. 

Step 1: Make sure the fleece is going to stretch in the right direction before cutting. You want the fleece to stretch in the same direction that the headband will stretch. Cut a strip of fleece that is a little wider (about an inch) and a couple of inches longer on each end. Fold the strip in half with the right side of the fabric facing you.

Step 2: Turn the headband inside out and place it in the folded fleece strip. The front of the headband should be at the fold and the back of the headband is at the open end. There will be a seam at the back of the headband.

Step 3: Pin the fleece in place. 

Step 4: Turn the headband right side out. With your fabric scissors carefully trim the excess fleece so that the edges are just a little bit in from the headband edges. 

Here is the trimmed and pinned fleece inside the headband.

Step 5:  Turn the headband back to inside out again for the sewing in of the fleece lining. For the ends of the fleece strip, overlap one end about an inch under the other end and pin in place. Trim any excess fabric if necessary. 

Step 6: With the sewing needle and matching thread begin to use a whipstitch to attach the fleece to the headband. Catch a purl bump on the headband and the edge of the fleece on each stitch. Make these stitches about a 1/4-inch apart going all the way around the headband on both edges.

***MOST IMPORTANT TIP: As you are stitching the fleece to the headband stop every few  stitches to stretch the headband as you go! The headband will stretch when worn and so you need to make sure the stitches are loose enough so there is some give. If you don't stretch the headband as you stitch the thread will break when the headband is worn.

Every once in awhile the thread will break after months and months of wear, even after years of wear and I have to re-stitch it back in place. This has only happened after heavy use and it is very easy to mend.

Step 7: Whipstitch the seam to join the ends. One end overlaps about 1 inch under the other end. Tie off the thread and trim the end.

Here it is!! It's warm and cozy and ready to wear.

Here is the view from the right side with the fleece lining inside. It's so squishy!

The Another Flower Headband is knit on US size 10 needles and bulky weight yarn. This project can be whipped up in a matter of a couple of hours. It is the perfect gift! The high school and college age girls in my family all wear these headbands all of the time and just love them. They are quite stylish.

I hope this helps with the lining of your headbands. It only takes a small amount of time to make the headband even better than before. The added warmth and stability is worth the extra effort.

With that I bid you adieu.
xo ~ susan