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Episode 31 ~ Cabled Gigi & Leading Men Fiber Arts Giveaway!

 

Hi, Knitters,

Here are the Shownotes for Episode 31:

To enter to win the Leading Men Fiber Arts Yarn please click on over to YouTube and leave a comment under the video. Click here! 

For the 50% Off Barrett Wool Co. Pattern Sale on Ravelry use the code: SUMMER at checkout. Click here for the BWC Pattern Shop on Ravelry or for the BWC Pattern Shop on our website!

The pattern sale includes the new Cabled Gigi Pullover pattern for 50% off with the code SUMMER and the Sven booklet with the same code! 

Click here for the new Cabled Gigi Sweater Kits! Includes exclusive Diamond Willow Button from Wooly Moss Roots! 

Knit Social

Andrea Rangel

Grocery Girls

Shannon Cook

Jane Richmond

Kristan MacIntyre ~ necklace!

Gentle Armour

Hinterland

Mrs. Brown's Bags

Devin Ventre ~ Knitty McPurly

Gigi Cardigan Kits

Cabled Gigi Pullover Kits

Diamond Willow Buttons

Barrett Wool Co. Yarns

Studio Britta

Carbeth Cardigan

Entwined Hat

Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted

Faux-fur Pom-Poms

Sylvan Meadows Farm

That should do it! Thanks for watching and entering the giveaway.

xo ~ susan

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Erland Hat Modifications

(My modified version of Erland above)
Hi, Knitters,
I think Tanis Gray's Erland hat design is genius! In Erland Tanis shows such a complete understanding of design and how to effectively puzzle together her Fair Isle repeats to make the most beautiful hat. This is one of my most favorite knits ever! Thank you, Tanis. I highly recommend this hat pattern. It is fun, simple and gorgeous.
I'll start with some links:
Now you can see by comparing the photo above to the photo directly below, I made a few minor adjustments to the pattern. The original pattern is wonderful as is and as you can see it fits well on the model.
I am particular about the fit of my hats and it probably has something to do with living in an extremely cold climate. Your hats become your best friends in the winter. So I like my hats to be a bit more fitted, even snug, and a bit longer to generously cover my ears. The original has a looser fit and it is a little short to cover my ears.
This is, of course, all just personal preference. The original hat fits fine and you can knit it exactly as is in the pattern.
The original version of Erland knit by Tanis Gray (above).
The pattern is completely charted colorwork which is so simple to follow and is really one of my favorite types of hat patterns. In the pattern, there are 4 repeats of the chart which makes a 22-inch circumference hat. I usually like my hats to be about 19-20 inches in circumference. I have a 22-inch circumference head measurement.
So to make the hat circumference be about 19-20 inches, I took out one of the chart repeats and did only 3 repeats of the chart instead. I changed the needle size/gauge as well. 
 
I started by using a US size 7 needle which made the gauge slightly larger at 5 stitches per inch.
I cast on 96 stitches and worked 2-inches of 2 x 2 corrugated rib. Now, if I were to do this over I would've only done 1-inch of the corrugated rib. This was for a couple of reasons. 
When you remove one of the chart repeats the top of the hat will become more pointed. I blocked out the point as much as possible, really stretching the crown to be rounded as it was drying (as you can see in the photo above). With the 2-inches of corrugated rib the hat was a little longer than I wanted (this was because I went up in needle size and gauge), in the end, making the top of the hat not fit snuggly on the top my head. Basically, there was a little point at the top that I wanted to flatten out.
What I ended up doing and really liking is I rolled the brim under and folded it in half. I then whip-stitched the cast on edge to the Latvian braid on the inside of the hat and it turned out perfect! I absolutely love the doubled brim. And the one-inch reduction in length made the top of the hat sit perfectly on my head which rounds out the point, it disappears. The finished length is now just right to cover my ears. 
It turned out great! This is one of my favorite hats of all-time. I know I will love wearing it this coming fall and winter.
We have beautiful Erland Hat Kits in the shop right now. The kit includes a Ravelry download code for the pattern, the Home Worsted Weight in Snowy Pine and Marmalade, your choice of faux-fur pom-pom color, stitch markers and a hand-stamped project bag. We have it priced at a really good deal for you. 
Okay, off into the weekend we go! Have fun with the Erland hat, whatever version I know you will love it.
love, susan

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Handmade Artisan Wooden Buttons

Hi, Knitters,

I've had a long and successful past with the Etsy shop Wooly Moss Roots. Jeff Wilson, the button maker, and Taryn Wilson, his accomplice, make the most beautifully finished wooden buttons I have ever seen. They reside in Mapleton, Oregon, USA. I originally discovered their shop through the Soulemama blog many years ago. Since stitching the first set of Wooly Moss Roots buttons onto my own handknit sweaters I rarely use any other buttons. The quality and craftsmanship is unparalleled. 

So when I started pulling the Gigi Cardigan Kit together I knew exactly where to turn for custom wooden buttons to include in the kits. I contacted Taryn and described what we were looking for to go with the Gigi Cardigan Kits. And the process was started and I am thrilled with the results. We decided on Black Walnut buttons that measure about 1 1/4-inches each and will compliment any colorway of yarn. Since these buttons are truly handmade they are not identical and this adds to their unique beauty. 

The craftsmanship that goes into the making of the Wooly Moss Roots buttons is impressive, to say the least. I asked Jeff Wilson if I could share a message he wrote to me about his process and he agreed. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

"Hi Susan, this is Jeff, the Button Maker.
It's kind of a long process that I'd like to tell you about so you know exactly what you are getting.
Each of these buttons takes about a half an hour to make, and I've gotten pretty fast.
First, we find the best woods, then I slice them to a thickness on a band saw, then each one is drawn on the wood slab and the holes marked. Then they are cut out, the holes drilled and then I round them on a Circular sander.
Next, I sand them on 3 or 4 grits (depending on how new my sandpaper is. ) I generally start with 80 to shape it, then 220, (which is where most button makers quit), then I do 600, then 1200. This is super fine. It takes quite some time because of the rounded edges. With most flat buttons you just sand 2 sides, with square buttons you sand 6...but with the rounded edge buttons it's like 70 sides, it takes at least 10 times as long, (probably a lot more than that) than just a flat button. I do the sanding under water, this allows me to use the fine grits without burning the wood. People ask me how I can work under water so long, but it's actually just the wood that's under water, hehe...I have an 8-inch lapidary sander. So once I've sanded them down to the finest grit they have to dry for at least a couple of days, then I hand rub a shellac/walnut oil/carnauba wax into them, let it dry, buff it with steel wool and apply another coat. That dries a couple of days then I buff it on 2 different wheels, ending with a polishing compound made for polishing eyeglass lenses.
Then Taryn ties each one on a card (she loves doing that)....and they are on their way to their destiny in someone's creation.
These buttons are handmade start to finish, a lot of energy goes into each and I feel...... honored to have them going out to all these folks who will be putting them on beautiful creations, that they have put a lot of energy into.
China has made machines that can make 210 buttons in a minute.... and they are perfect and cheap.... and each identical. And there are a lot of flat buttons, sanded only slightly that are pretty cheap out there. Mine are not perfect, or cheap, or identical, or flat.... but they each contain the love and energy that goes into making them. And I thank you for doing business with our family.

Sincerely,
Jeff Wilson"

This couple, Jeff and Taryn, are some of the sweetest people around and it is clear that they love what they are doing. They are sincere, hard working, and humble and I am proud to be working with artisans like them. Wooly Moss Roots buttons are kind of magical. There is something indescribable about these buttons and I can't wait for you to try them. You will see what I mean.

Part of Barrett Wool Co. is that I want to introduce you to makers that I love and respect, some are newer to me and some I have known for a long time. Wooly Moss Roots is a great place to start. 

I am planning on many more projects with Wooly Moss Roots and I hope you will join me in celebrating these wonderful local makers.  

Click here to see the Gigi Cardigan Kits and the beautiful custom Black Walnut buttons!

Click here to go to Wooly Moss Roots on Etsy!

Thanks for reading and enjoy these fantastic artisan buttons. I'll be back soon with more.

I'll be back soon with more.

love, susan

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How to Stripe your Gradient Twist Mitten Kit or Any Mittens!

Hi, Knitters,
The Limited Edition Gradient Twist Mitten Kits use two colors of our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted together and my original Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern to make a fun pair of stripey mittens. The striping instructions are not included in the pattern so I want to share with you how I did that here. It's not complicated and I am sure you could figure it out on your own but sometimes it's nice to have it spelled out.
Also, if you are not using the kit but want to create a fun pair of striped mittens using two colorways of Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted this will work for you as well.
So I will label the two skeins as follows:
Gradient Twist is Color A.
Birch is Color B.
Cast on with Color A. 
Work 2 rounds.
Introduce Color B.
Work 2 rounds.
Continue working 2 round stripes, alternating Colors A and B and carrying up the yarn on the inside of the mitten.
Continue to work the stripes up to the Decrease Rounds at the top of the mitten.
For the Gradient Twist Kit cut both Colors A and B and attach the other end of the Gradient Twist yarn cake and work the Decrease Rounds. 
If you are using another colorway just use the next stripe color to complete the Decrease Rounds. 
For the Gradient Twist thumb, attach the other end of the cake (the same end used for the top of the mitten), and complete the thumb. 
If you are using another colorway, match the thumb to the top of the mitten.
The mittens in the photo use the Blue to Purple skein of Gradient Twist and the Birch Wisconsin Woolen Spun Worsted. The colors are hard to capture but the mitten on the left starts with the Blue and then the mitten on the right turns to purple stripes. It is subtle but fun!
Here you can see the color change a little more. The left mitten is the Blue in the Gradient Twist skein and the right has the purple stripes. 
I loved knitting these and I think I will love wearing them even more. 
I hope this helps with your mitten striping questions.
love, susan

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Into the Weekend :: Mitten Kit Giveaway!

Hi, Knitters,
I have an exciting giveaway offer for you today! We are giving away one of our amazing Three Color Mitten Kits to one lucky winner. The mitten kit includes three colors of our Wisconsin Woolen Spun Bulky Twist yarn, enough to make several pairs of mittens, the Waiting for Winter Bulky Mitten pattern, a tin of stitch markers and a hand stamped project bag. The kit is worth $44.00 and we will ship it right out to the randomly selected winner. This kit is one of my favorites and I am happy to be giving one away. Think of the holiday gifts you get done ahead of time!
There are only two simple things you need to do to enter to win.
1. Sign up for our newsletter. The spot to enter your email to sign up is at the bottom of every page on this website. If you already are signed up then you are all set!
2. Please leave one comment on this blog post! Make sure you leave either your Ravelry name or an email address so we can get in touch if you should win.
That's it! 
Good luck if you enter! I'll be back in a few days with a randomly selected winner.
I'll be back soon with more.
love, susan

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