A lot of you responded to the Knitting Ganseys raffle and I’m sorry that I only have one copy to give away.

The random-number generator chose Cheryl, who wrote: “I’d be tickled to win this book. I met Beth years ago, before I understood who she was. Now that I know of her talents, it would be a treat to explore her new edition and knit one of her designs!”

Congratulations Cheryl! I’ll contact you directly to get your mailing address and I’ll get the book in the mail (honest).

For those of you who didn’t win, Beth will happily sign any copy purchased through her website at KnittingTraditions.

When Beth Brown-Reinsel wrote the first edition of Knitting Ganseys twenty-five years ago, I was on the editorial staff at Interweave Press. Hers was the first book manuscript I had the pleasure of reading. I was so taken with the traditional designs that I quickly used her clear instructions and design guidelines to design a gansey for my one-year-old son. Fast-forward twenty-five years and Beth and I have become good friends and that son is now living on his own.

I can’t emphasize how delighted I was to learn that Beth was working on a revised and updated edition of that book, titled Knitting Ganseys: Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters (published by Interweave Press; ISBN: 978-1-63250-616-0; $29.95).

I received a review copy in the mail and I’m pleased to say that I’m not disappointed. The new hardcover edition is bigger and brighter—color photos replace all but the historic black-and-white images in the original.

Like the original, the updated edition includes detailed step-by-step instructions for knitting a miniature sweater that incorporates all of the components of a traditional gansey, along with guidelines for expanding the instructions for full-size garments. The book also includes blank schematics and worksheets along with detailed information on sizing. Beth makes it surprisingly easy to take inspiration from the multitude of charted stitch patterns and design variations to create your own version of this old-world classic.

If you’re not up to designing your own, choose one of the nine projects included in the revised edition. You may recognize variations of four of the six designs in the original book, two of which feature expanded sizes. However, this edition also includes five completely new designs. From simple to intricate, clear step-by-step instructions ensure success from cast-on to finishing.

Even if, like me, you have the original edition of Knitting Ganseys, you’ll welcome the fresh layout, clear photos, worksheets, sizing information, and design inspiration in the revised and updated edition.

Generous as ever, Beth sent me a copy of Knitting Ganseys: Techniques and Patterns for Traditional Sweaters to raffle off on my blog. Respond to this post by telling me that you’d like to knit a gansey and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for the free copy. I’ll announce a winner Monday, October 1.

You can get an autographed copy if you order directly from Beth’s website at https://knittingtraditions.com/product/the-new-knitting-ganseys-2/

When you receive this post I’ll be traveling the highways with my event coordinator, Cindy. We’ll head east from Colorado to Wisconsin, where I teach for a couple of days at the Milwaukee Knitter’s Guild (you can find them on Facebook at Greater Milwaukee Knitting Guild). This road trip will be in part a revisit of my childhood when my parents would pack all four of us kids and the family dog in the station wagon to visit our grandparents in Madison. The most memorable trips were the time we were stuck in Nebraska waiting out a tornado while listening to the weather report on a transistor radio, and the time the family dog got into some garbage at a rest stop and some miles later had uncontrollable diarrhea. I was sitting in the back of the car with the suitcases and the miserable dog. I don’t remember much beyond screaming at my father to stop the car and let me out. My fingers are crossed for clear weather and good health.

After teaching in Milwaukee, we’ll head to beautiful Door County for the sold-out Knit For Fun Retreat in Sturgeon Bay. Years ago my parents took a bicycle tour of Door County and raved about the beautiful scenery. These were people who routinely biked in Germany and Switzerland and were no strangers to breathtaking scenery. Their enthusiasm prompted me to schedule a retreat in the area. The timing should be right for crisp air, blue skies, and fall colors.

I’ll write a recap of the fun when I return. In the meantime, you can read about Knit For Fun Retreats on my website. I invite you to join the future fun!

I’m happy to announce that I’ve uploaded a new pattern on Ravelry.

I designed Longest Day Socks while knitting from sunup to sundown as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. During the 16 hours of sunlight, I completed one and half socks and raised more than $2,000.

I admit that I took a a little break from knitting and didn’t finish the second sock until a few days after the event.

These socks are worked from the top down in columns of traveling stitches that resemble vertical lines of lightening bolts, Harry Potter fashion.

The socks begin with a Twisted German cast-on, followed by a few rounds of twisted rib. The remainder of the leg and the instep are worked in the embossed lightening bolt pattern for an interesting, but not-too-complicated knit. A traditional round heel (composed of a heel flap and gusset) provides a comfortable fit. The tip of the toe is closed with Kitchener stitch.

Use the coupon code CURE ALZHEIMER’S to receive 20% off the purchase price of Longest Day Socks between now and midnight September 15.

I recently taped my segment of Knit Stars 3.0: North Stars Rising. Unlike other video workshops I’ve done, I got to tape this one in the comfort of my own home.

It took about six hours to tape what will be about 60 minutes of class. During the class, I instruct how to secure steek stitches with slipstitch crochet, cut the steek open, then finish the edges with a zipper or button band. It’s similar to a class I’ve taught for a couple of years.

I’ve found that many knitters are wary of cutting their knitting (and, honestly, who can blame them?) and are uncomfortable attaching a zipper to knitting. To minimize the knitting time, I teach the techniques on a cool little cup cozy. The cozy can be knitted in a couple of hours so students don’t feel as though they may sacrifice a whole lot of knitting time if the cutting goes wrong (it never does, by the way).

I knitted nine step-outs in preparation for the day of taping. I didn’t want to waste time knitting on set when I could easily grab a separate cozy for each technique.

We set up stage on my desk, which I covered with a linen tablecloth to provide a neutral background. Once the camera was set up, we used masking tape to mark off the edges of the field of view. The tape helped me stay focused in the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the last segment was tapped, I’m not sure who was more delighted — me because I got through it all or my videographer, Daniel who had time to join his girlfriend at a local brewery! Suffice it to say that we were both happy.

Now Daniel’s real work begins — he has to put together a cohesive class from all the starts and stops of the taping, and cut out all my blunders!

Knit Stars 3.0 will debut November 26 – December 14.

Freebie videos will become available October 16, 19, and 23, followed by a live Q&A with the makers of Knit Stars on October 24.

Enrollment for Knit Stars 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 (including yours truly in 3.0) will be open for one week between October 25 and November 1. After that, the classes will be unavailable for an indefinite amount of time. Mark your calendars for the dates if you’d like to join in (and I hope you do!).

Live Q&A with the teachers will take place December 15 and December 16.

Although it’s been a couple of weeks, it seems like we got back from our grand vacation just yesterday.  We arrived in Paris July 28, in the midst of severe heat wave that affected most of western Europe.

The heat didn’t prevent me from enjoying cafe au lait while knitting at one of the million outdoor cafes. It did, however, make me rethink plans to climb the steps in the Eiffel Tower. I was quite satisfied to enjoy it (and a lot of other monuments) from the shade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we were whisked to the Burgundy region where we joined four other couples on L’Impressioniste, a luxury canal barge operated by European Waterways. We spent six fabulous days traveling down the Burgundy canal at a slow, relaxed pace interrupted by thirty-some locks. In addition to cases of fine French wine, the barge was equipped with bicycles for all of the passengers. We took a ride along the tow path but the heat made us give up after only five miles.

The views were fantastic. Along the way we visited castles, vineyards, and wineries, oh my!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the canal “cruise”, we returned for another week in Paris, where we joined forty million other tourists at the Louvre, Orsay, and Picasso Museums, and the Palace of Versailles. It was a challenge to see some of the masterpieces up close, but I found that many of the ceilings were equally impressive easier to see amid all the tourists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most interesting things I stumbled upon was a class of budding artists sketching one of the statues in the Louvre. Without appearing too obvious, I watches as these youngsters demonstrated remarkable talent. I wanted to get a sketch pad and join them!

I was in serious danger of gaining a lot of weight, what with all that pastry, wine, and cheese, but the museums offered lots of miles to walk off the calories. I racked up some serious steps on my FitBit and came home only a few pounds heavier!

 

 

 

 

For three days only, Craftsy Classes are under $20 
Back-to-school savings aren’t just for kids! Tomorrow through Sunday (August 17 – 19), every Craftsy class is on sale (some restrictions apply). This includes my three classes Save Our Stitches: Fixing Knitting Mistakes, Essential Skills for Sock Knitting, and Knit Like a Master, as well as tons of new classes.

 

 

Knit Like a Master Craftsy Class

Continue your path of learning from the comfort of your home.

You don’t need a coupon to save. Simply choose from the huge selection by clicking here.

 

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and nice comments about my books!

The winner of the raffle is Sheila Malcolm, who wrote on August 8:

“Bonjour, Ann! Thanks for this offer. I’m interested in Simple Style. I’ve always loved that sweater on the cover, and its beautiful fall colors. And I seem to have a number of other books already!”

Congratulations Sheila! I’ll contact you directly through email to get your mailing address.

As you read this post I’ll be getting ready to return from a most excellent two-week vacation with my husband in France. I’ll post about the details later.

For now, I’d like to give you a chance to win a copy of one of my books. Simply reply to this post telling me which book you’d like and I’ll draw a winner on Saturday, August 11.

Not familiar with my books? No problem. Below is a list with links.

Getting Started Knitting Socks

New Directions in Sock Knitting

Sock Knitting Master Class

Knitted Gifts

Lace Style

Wrap Style

Bag Style

Color Style

Simple Style

Knitting Green

Scarf Style 2

The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns

The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down SweatersColor Style

The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns

I’ve recently posted the pattern for my Hygga Delight Socks on Ravelry.

Like a lot of people, I’ve embraced the Danish concept of hygge, which roughly translates to “cozy.” And what is cozier than slipping your feet into a blend of merino, cashmere, and silk? I designed these socks for unbridled self-indulgent luxury. Wear them while sipping cocoa in front of a fire, reading a novel on a stormy night, or simply relaxing at the end of a cold day.

These socks are worked with one strand each of two luxury fingering weight yarns held together throughout. The cuff begins with a decorative Channel Island cast-on followed by a few slouchy welts. The heel is composed of a flap and gusset; the toe is finished with the Kitchener stitch.

I realize that the heat of the summer is not exactly prime time for knitting such thick and warm socks, but I promise that cold weather will be here before we know it. Like any good Girl Scout, you’ll want to be prepared.

You’ll find my Hygge Delight socks on my Ravelry page. Use the code COZY to get 20% off the purchase price between now and midnight August 1. Then be prepared to laugh in the face of winter.