Spud says (the blog)

Archive for May 2011

May 27, 2011

Reversible Rib and Lace Scarf ~ Free Pattern!

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

Even though I get excited about new toy, hat, sweater and blanket designs, nothing excites me more than a really great scarf. The Reversible Rib and Lace Scarf is easily my new favorite. I used 2 hanks of the new colorway, Skydiver #7520 (available this June!), to make this light and airy scarf. It is such a winning combination of color and stitch pattern and size. I am thrilled with the final result.

Here is some information you might like to know:

 

Finished measurements: 6 inches by 72 inches

Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater (55% superwash wool, 45% organic cotton; 100 grams/160 yards), 2 hanks in Skydiver #7520

Needles: US size 9 or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Tools:

Scissors

Yarn needle

Tape measure

Note: The stitch pattern used in this scarf is an adapted stitch pattern from Reversible Knitting – 50 Brand-New, Groundbreaking Stitch Patterns by Lynne Barr.

After blocking this scarf took on such fantastic stitch definition. You can see the front and back of the scarf in the photo above. By combining the lace pattern with the rib pattern you get a completely reversible and interesting design which is always appreciated for a scarf.

I like a long scarf that can be wrapped about your neck two or three times or worn a multitude of ways. I really can’t emphasize how light and airy the scarf feels. It will be perfect for cool summer nights or spring or fall or winter nights at that. This is a year-round project.

The stitch pattern is 6 rows and is easily memorized after a few times through.

The new Skydiver colorway is dreamy but any color in Sweater will make a gorgeous scarf.

I wish I could keep this one but it will be sent off to your favorite Spud & Chloë local yarn shops in trunk shows. I will have to make one for myself to keep. I’m adding it to my list right now.

Enjoy!

Click here to download the free pattern for the Reversible Rib and Lace Scarf!

Click here for the Ravelry project page for the Reversible Rib and Lace Scarf!

May 24, 2011

Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

I am back from Lexington, Kentucky and it was a fine weekend of fiber and animals and hot weather. I had a terrific time and I want to share a bit of the weekend with you here. Above is Luna having her bottle break. Luna belongs to my host, Dianne, who had a booth with her homegrown sheep, roving, yarns and knit goodies on sale. Boy, does she ever work hard. Thanks to Dianne for inviting me and making my stay such a comfortable one. You are a gracious and kind host.

I taught a busy and big class on Saturday morning to a group of enthusiastic Spud & Chloë at the Farm knitters. We made a mouse from the book and everyone worked so hard. I was excited to see Mandy again (in the white shirt). She had come to a signing I did in Lexington about 4 years ago.

Spud & Chloë yarn was everywhere you looked and the mice were furiously being knit up. I did loads of demonstrations for small groups as the class progressed. I showed techniques for Spud’s twisted loop stitch, French knots (for the mouse’s eyes),  how to embroider a spider web (for Chloë’s eyes), how to stitch on ears and arms and heads effectively, how to secure face embroidery and stitch small features and how to make and secure whiskers (on the mouse and Barn Cat in the book). We also went over stuffing tips and tricks and general toy making information. It was a busy class.

Here we have a mother-daughter team and a fast mouse knitter in the forefront. There was so much chatting and comraderie amongst the group. It was really fun and relaxing. I loved it.

I always have trouble remembering every name but I do remember Janice in the center. She and her friend (on the right) drove from Indiana to come to the class. In fact, I don’t think anyone in the class was actually from Lexington. In addition to Inidana, there were people from Ohio and all over Kentucky. I even met The Knit Girllls (check out their video podcast!) who drove from Mississippi (7 hours!) and there were two nurses who read about the festival on my blog and drove from outside of Chicago to come. That is so incredible and fun. I really can’t get over that.

Making a mouse can be serious business….

The class was big and fun. A few completed mice left at the end and the rest were almost completed. It’s fun to take a class and leave with something finished or almost finished to take home.

This is Vicki and she is a yarn shop owner. I loved meeting her.

At the end of class I signed books for everyone and there were lots of photos taken. I had a super-duper gift bag from Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloë for the attendees. I had a giveaway for a few extra patterns and a few extra hanks of Blue Sky Worsted Cotton that I threw in my bag. It’s a fun way to end the class and a big thank you goes to Blue Sky for the constant support and generosity.

This is one of my Ravelry friends, Bren. She is participating in the Spud Knitalong and brought her in-progress Spud with her as did several other knitters. That is so fun to see and she was so fun to meet in person. Finished Spuds are popping up everywhere. I love this photo because Bren looks so proud of her Spud! It makes me smile every time I see it. Isn’t that cute?

More signing….

This table had a group of four that came together from Estill County. They were amazing. I have to point out Barb on the left. Barb has been a longtime supporter of mine and online friend. It’s been years now. She warms my heart with her positive and genuinely kind comments, emails and support. It was such an honor to finally get to meet her in person. She was so funny as I was waiting on pins and needles to meet her. Class was starting and no one had introduced themselves as Barb to me yet. I had to ask, “Is Barb here?” I thought maybe she hadn’t made it to the class. Then Barb raised her hand and said she hadn’t said anything to me because she didn’t want to scare me. That is so funny and sweet and charming. Her friend, Keith, was an incredibly fast and meticulous knitter. Barb and her gang were so much fun in class. Thank you all for coming.

Diana, in the floral shirt, has 12 kids. That’s right, twelve! And she home schools. I was so interested in her amazing story and her open heart. She is a humble and hard working soul and I felt so honored to meet her and I love that she finds the time to knit in her hectic life.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Wendy’s that she let me share. Click here to see Wendy’s finished mouse and her adorable daughter giving the mouse a good squeeze. Wendy knit the Wrap Me Up Puppies (made in Blue Sky Skinny Cotton in Itty-Bitty Toys) in her own version with Blue Sky Organic Cotton that her daughter just loves, too. Click here to see that excellent work as well. Wendy is a fun and vivacious knitter!

In the afternoon on Saturday I had a really nice signing event, too. I signed lots and lots of books and Dianne, my host sold lots books. I love it when people bring a stack of my books and then apologize for bringing all of them for me to sign. I LOVE that more than anything and there isn’t an author out there who wouldn’t love it. I also love when the books are well-worn and loved with coffee stained and dog-eared pages and a broken-in binding. That is the best.

Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. It was a huge hit and a fun event! I hope I can come back again in the future.

I am almost done with a new Rib and Lace Scarf  in the new Skydiver colorway of Sweater. I will be back to share that very soon. It is gorgeous!

Have a good start to your week.

May 19, 2011

Embroidering a Face on Toy

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

Here is a video tutorial on embroidering Spud’s face but the tips are good and useful for embroidering any knit toy’s face. The ball I used in the demonstration is made in Blue Sky Worsted Cotton. Sometimes in the email the subscribers receive the video doesn’t show up for some reason so I am including the link directly to youtube for you.

Click here to watch the tutorial on youtube.

I hope this helps!

Enjoy!

May 18, 2011

Here and There

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

There has been a lot of here and there and everywhere lately. First off, I have a date with my son tomorrow to help me tape a video tutorial on embroidering Spud’s face. Look for that here if you are interested. Secondly, the Spud knitalong is going great. Almost every day another completed Spud or two pops up on Ravelry. Click here to see the knitalong thread. We now have over 800 comments about Spud on this thread. Also, there are 60 completed Spuds (click here to see them) and one is even done in Splash which is a bright blue color! I love that.

One comment from the thread made me feel so good today and I asked the knitter if I could share her comment on here. She said yes if I left out the names so here it is, a very sweet comment and testament on how worthy Spud’s wooly coat is:

“Susan, I meant to tell you this quick story about my Mr. Spud. I mentioned before that I work in a nursing home. Well, I frequently take in finished projects to show the folks, many of them are “retired” knitters and crocheters and appreciate a nice chat about old hobbies. Anyway, I took in Mr. Spud and one dear friend held him in her hands, and petted him and said “why, this feels just like a sheep”, what you don’t know is that she is blind but could enjoy Spud just the same! His wooly coat really made her day! So, I thank you for the pleasure he gave her!”

Okay, onto another here and there….  Last weekend I had a fun time teaching the Spud & Chloë at the Farm “knit a mouse” Workshop held at Stitcher’s Crossing in Madison, Wisconsin (which is here for me). I had about a dozen hard working knitters show up. It was such a treat. We went over a bunch of toy making skills and at least a couple of mice were completed during the class.

Stitcher’s Crossing has a beautiful quilt-adorned and spacious classroom. It is really comfortable. It is a pleasure to teach at this shop.

I had three knitters who came from other cities although not too far away. I think the farthest this time was Katie from Milwaukee. I’ve known Katie for several years now so it was good to see her again. I appreciate the effort everyone made to get to the class. May is one busy month. My calendar is so jammed that it scares me to even look at it. Is your calendar like that too?

In fact, this fun mom in the black had to get going a tiny bit early because her daughter had prom and she was hosting the picture taking session for the group. What a good sport. I hope all went well.

The class was perfect. I had a lot of fun and hopefully the knitters learned a few good and helpful toy-making tips along the way! Thanks to Blue Sky Alpacas for the gorgeous gift bags for all of the attendees. They loved it!

So now I’m here back at my house. I just had to cast on a new scarf project in the new Skydiver shade of Sweater (available in June!). After a few false starts I am well on my way now. I have over 20 inches done at this point. I am going to call this one Rib and Lace. It is completely reversible with a 6 row repeat with only 2 of the rows being lace involved with yarn overs and decreases. It is easy to memorize and it looks so pretty. It will be available as a free pattern in the near future.

The Skydiver colorway is mesmerizing. I love it so much and I can’t wait to wear this one.

This coming weekend I will be there! There is the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival. I will be teaching another Spud & Chloë Workshop in the morning on Saturday, May 21st, and then I am having a book signing from 2-4pm that afternoon. There will be books available for purchase at the event. I hope to see you there if you are in the area.

Then lastly today I have to share a funny photo. Late at night a few days ago I helped my son’s girlfriend, Molly, knit a tiny leaf to adorn the top of her completed Blue Sky Worsted Cotton baby hat. My son had my camera and was taking photos of everyone else around me but I didn’t know he had snapped this shot of me knitting. It surprised me when the photo popped up on my computer but also I thought that it showed exactly how I look everyday around here. Knitting all of the time day and night, hair pulled back out of the way and glasses firmly planted on my nose so I can see the stitches in front of me. It’s not glamorous but it’s how I live. By the way, the hat turned out really cute.

The stitches have been flying around here lately. I have a lot of Spud & Chloë projects being worked on and there is a lot of new stuff going on at Blue Sky Alpacas, too. There is a new Bluesletter, which is the best name for a newsletter I have ever heard. In fact if you click here you can subscribe to the Bluesletter but to make it even better (if that’s possible) you can enter to win the new Blue Sky Alpacas Techno yarn which is beyond amazing and really different. I know this because I have already knit several small projects with Techno and it is a true favorite now. The colors are excellent with brights to neutrals available. Here is the description of this exciting new yarn that is available in June:

“Modern technology makes Techno a feather-weight genius: baby alpaca is blown into a mesh tube of silk for really fast knitting with literally no splitting.”

Click here to enter to win. Don’t miss the giveaway going on over there. There will be 10 winners selected!!

Good luck!

May 16, 2011

Enjoy the View ~ New Colors!

Spud & Chloë Fine in Hippo #7823

Spud & Chloë Fine in Hippo #7823

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

My favorite time of year has rolled around again. It’s time for new colors from Spud & Chloë. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. In fact, just the opposite is true. The new colors speak to me in a fresh, new and inspiring way like never before. When I see these colors new projects race around in my head. The shades evoke feelings and memories and settings. Plus, there are a few colors I have been waiting for since the beginning and this may be the case for you, too. What a gift.

I am proud to introduce you to our newest shades in all three Spud & Chloë lines and as always the color names are a highlight on their own.

Hippo in Fine (photo above), is a darker shade of gray, almost a charcoal gray. It makes me think of smoke from a bonfire and dark thunder clouds on a hot day. A gorgeous simple shawl made with this colorway would accent every wardrobe color under the sun. That’s my plan.

Spud & Chloë Fine in Sidewalk #7822

Spud & Chloë Fine in Sidewalk #7822

Sidewalk is the second shade of gray in Fine for this round of colors.  This lighter color reminds me of cool concrete on a hot summer’s day. It is smooth and natural looking. I want to cast on for a new pair of cable-filled socks with Sidewalk. The crisp stitches in this light color would make those cables pop!

Spud & Chloë Fine in Dolphin #7821

Spud & Chloë Fine in Dolphin #7821

Dolphin in Fine is the most inviting shade of blue. It is light and airy. It reminds me that Cornflower Crayola crayon I was just talking about a few weeks ago. I was referring to my favorite crayon color when I was growing up and here it is in a gorgeous hank of yarn. Dolphin is fresh and fun. There are a million projects that Dolphin would be so perfect for. I think everyone will want this yummy shade of blue in their stash and on their needles.

Now, I’ll tell you what I really want to do. I want to take Dolphin, Sidewalk and Hippo and stripe them together. When I received a clear bag filled with these new shades of Fine I couldn’t believe how beautiful they looked together. I think a new pair of stripey socks is on my horizon….. yes!

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Penguin #7522

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Penguin #7522

As a toy knitter this one is for me! I have been requesting black, black and more black. I am thrilled to introduce Penguin (how about pairing this with Igloo for an arctic theme?) to the Sweater line. This deep, dark black makes me think of a kitten’s whiskers, a baby’s eyelashes, sleepy nights and yes, a slick penguin’s back.

I’ve always wanted to knit a simple black sweater but never have and now here is my chance. I can knit a black sweater in my favorite yarn. I love black, I wear black and I will knit with Penguin to no end.

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Beluga #7521

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Beluga #7521

Here we go with another option for all of you gray lovers out there and I know there are many of you. Beluga in Sweater is a rich, creamy gray that I can’t get enough of. I am just going to say it, I want a cardigan out of Beluga in the worst way possible. Then I want to wear my Beluga cardigan with every brightly colored t-shirt I own. That would look so good! It’s in my knitting plans over the next few months.

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Skydiver #7520

Spud & Chloë Sweater in Skydiver #7520

Skydiver in Sweater is another treat of a blue. Skydiver reminds me of calm seas, a dripping blue popsicle on a hot summer day, a cool breeze and clear skies. This shade will quickly become a Spud & Chloë favorite. I have no doubt.

In fact, I am casting on a lacy scarf in Skydiver today! I have 2 hanks wound and ready to go. More to come soon on this project….

Spud & Chloë Outer in Wave #7217

Spud & Chloë Outer in Wave #7217

Now we’re onto Outer. Outer always impresses because of its uniqueness but with these additional colors it really can’t be beat.

Wave is a deep, rich shade of blue. The bluest skies, the deepest ocean, the purest blue eyes….. ahhhhhh.

Spud & Chloë Snow Day #7216

Spud & Chloë Snow Day #7216

Snow Day in Outer is the brightest, cleanest white that I can’t live without. I want an oversized cable hat with a big pom-pom on top and a turned up brim, a matching scarf and some yummy mittens in Snow Day. It is like the blinding snow on a sunny winter day. The. Best. White. Fresh, fresh, fresh.

I think sometimes you think white is white but Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloë do white like no one else. It’s a talent to take the most mundane shade and make it interesting and special and enticing.

Spud & Chloë Outer in Giggle #7215

Spud & Chloë Outer in Giggle #7215

Blueberry pie hot out of the oven, taffy, a hair ribbon in a little girl’s ponytail and my daughter’s favorite color….

Meet Giggle in Outer. This happy shade of purple is gorgeous and saturated and just plain fun. Purple lovers will go crazy for Giggle and some new purple fans may be converted when they see this colorway. Love it!

All of the new colors will be available at your local and online yarn shops in mid to late June, 2011!

Enjoy.