Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 65: Susan Anderson – Wisconsin homegrown, teaching, learning to write a book and knit toys

August 19, 2016



Sponsor: Knit City is the premiere fibre arts festival in Western Canada, showcasing local fibre artists such as dyers, spinners, weavers, pattern designers and notion makers. It also hosts a wide spectrum of Canadian and International knitting and other textile craft instructors. This special event is taking place in Vancouver BC, October 1-2, 2016 and this year marks the 5th anniversary of the show. Featuring classes and lectures from some amazing folks, including todays guest Susan Anderson, a large vendor Marketplace, free demonstrations, local food trucks and more. Knit City is proudly produced by Amanda Milne and Fiona McLean of Knit Social Event Co. To find out more info and register, visit and follow along on Instagram @knitsocial


Fiber folk: When I think about fiber folks who I’ve been most inspired by over the years, Susan Anderson is one of the first that comes to mind. The first knitting book I ever bought was her Itty Bitty Toys book, and it became dogeared and well loved. Since that time I’ve come to realize the joy and spark Susan brings to our fiber worlds…through her infectious passion behind what she does and her loyal dedication to her community. I hope as you listen today that you come to love Susan as much as so many of us do. You can find Susan at and on Instagram @susanbanderson


   Photos: Susan Anderson / Carrie Hoge / Snail Stitches / Quince and Co



Sponsor: Sunday Knits has quickly become one of my new favorite yarns to knit with. Started in 2008 by Carol Sunday, Sunday Knits is a collection of 4 merino and merino blend yarns and beautiful patterns designed by Carol. From the 100% extra-fine Australian merino to the French Angora, all their fibers are humanely sourced and then milled in Italy to Carol’s meticulous and caring specifications. Aside from this yarns obvious qualities, they’re a dream to knit with…so soft yet sturdy and the breadth of colors are beautiful and perfect for color work. And if you enjoy knitting shawls, make sure to take a look at Carol’s latest pattern, Dancing with Bears, a little warmth and a lot of style makes this beautiful shawl a wardrobe staple, and an enjoyable knit, in any of Sunday Knits’ 5-ply yarns. Visit Sunday Knits at or if you can make a trip to Roscoe, Illinois near the Wisconsin state line, make an appointment to visit Sunday Knits gorgeous studio. You can follow on Instagram @carolsundayknits

carolsundayknitsNew pattern: And today I’ve released my newest design for Little Woolens, the Weston hat pattern. I first came up with this design when I was pregnant with my son and over the years I’ve knit countless variations for friends and family…waiting to take the time to write the pattern and share it with all of you. It’s the perfect quick knit, and just in time for Fall. You can find it on Ravelry, search for the Weston hat.


Giveaway: The winners of last weeks giveaway are Branwynne, Amaia and Annie, you’ve each won a bag of various Habu yarns to experiment and play with. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaways are sponsored by Sunday Knits and Susan Anderson. Sunday Knits is giving away the Dancing with Bears Shawl pattern and kit and Susan Anderson is giving away a pdf copy of her most recent toys book String Along Toys made with Quince and Co yarns. To enter and be one of the winners, leave a comment on this post.


Music by Jónsi.

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  • Reply Heather Mitchell August 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I’d love to win! and I love Carol Sunday’s patterns, too!

  • Reply Fräuein Rucksack August 19, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Your Bonnet (and the kid wearing it!) is so sweet! Thanks for another great episode!

  • Reply eli sometimes August 19, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Sunday Knits yarn is great great stuff!

  • Reply Pat Collingwood August 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Lovely giveaway prizes

  • Reply Elaine August 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Susan Anderson is a great person, teacher, and knitter. I really enjoyed the class I had with her at Vogue Knitting in Chicago.

  • Reply Kristina August 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Great episode! I recently got home from a trip to Vancouver and wish I could return for Knit City!

  • Reply Naomi August 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    What a beautiful giveaway. Can’t wait to listen

  • Reply Jennifer Edwards August 19, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Oh how lovely it would be to win EITHER of these awesome giveaways! Will be relishing this podcast tomorrow while I knit. Thank you Ashley for all the wonderful stories you share with us!

  • Reply Cindy Billadeau August 19, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Enjoyed listening to Susan’s stories of how she became interested in knitting! I’ve always admired her ! She’s a wonderful, talented knitter!!!!!!

  • Reply Karen August 20, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Wish Susan’s podcast came out more frequently. Love hearing her voice and she always has something relevant yo say!

  • Reply Melissa August 20, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Great podcast, thanks for the opportunity to win some lovely items!

  • Reply Carol August 20, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Susan is such an inspiration and truly humble lady. I will miss her this September at the Maine retreat!

  • Reply kathy August 20, 2016 at 7:39 am

    What a treat to hear this great interview of Susan Anderson! Thanks for your continuing work, Ashley.

  • Reply Ann August 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Wonderful show with Susan Anderson. I love how relaxing and unhurried your interviews feel. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Reply Brittany August 20, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I love Susan’s patterns, blog and podcast. It was great hearing more of her story.

  • Reply Myriam August 20, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Thank you so much for spotlighting Susan – I love her optimism and generousity of spirit- and, of course her patterns!

  • Reply Kim August 20, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Such a talented and nice lady!

  • Reply Lisa Case August 20, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Love your podcast and Susan B Anderson!!!

  • Reply rachel freed August 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Thank you Ashley for another great story. I love listening to your podcast. It’s encouraging for me as a mom of young kids to hear stories of women with small children finding time to be creative and pursue their passions.

  • Reply Rain August 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Love Dancing Bears! Would love to win. Thank you!!

  • Reply Danica August 20, 2016 at 11:46 am

    What a delightful episode. Congratulations, Susan, on all you have achieved.

  • Reply Terri August 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Carol Sunday and Susan B. Anderson are both within driving distance of me, but I haven’t met either one of them! I need to rectify that. If I win the Sunday Knits prize, maybe I could go collect it in person. 🙂

  • Reply Annette August 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Wonderful episode and love the little Weston hat, adorable.
    Thanks much!

  • Reply Chelsea Allen August 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I soaked in Susan’s stories like a sponge this morning (while knitting of course!) It’s so inspiring and mind expanding to learn of other’s journeys with fiber arts. Thanks for such a lovely podcast!

  • Reply Donna Jefferis August 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Susan B Anderson is so freaking awesome.

  • Reply Yasmin August 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I love her patterns! So great to learn more about her!

  • Reply Tobie August 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    That shawl is fabulous!
    And so is the little bonnet and the cute child wearing it.

  • Reply Jayne Kellogg August 20, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Enjoyed the podcast. I love Susan’s enthusiasm and sweet spirit.

  • Reply Bowen Gibson August 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I love all of Susan’s toys and it was interesting to her the story about Susan’s first Craftsy filming. I have taken that class and would have never known that they were boiling!

  • Reply Vicki Lynch August 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Such an enjoyable listen. I’ve knitted Susan’s patterns with one of her Craftsy classes. I learned new techniques and had a wonderful toy to gift when I was finished.

  • Reply Meredith S August 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    What a great episode! I’m excited to try some of Susan’s Craftsy classes.

  • Reply Loretta August 20, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    My sister and I knitted a cupcake hat for our oldest niece which was our first “interesting ” knitting project we ever did and it happened to be one of Susan’s patterns. So happy to see here on this week!

  • Reply Adrienne Simmons August 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    I would love either prize!

  • Reply Tracey August 21, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Both prizes are so lovely!

  • Reply Emma August 21, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Thank you for the chance to win such lovely giveaways.
    I have really enjoyed listening to the podcast this morning and have managed to get a few rows on my cardigan done as well x

  • Reply pistachios August 21, 2016 at 4:02 am

    She is so wonderful, thanks for this interview!

  • Reply Christen August 21, 2016 at 7:39 am

    So many smiles here! I’ve been enjoying Susan’s blog for years. And also drooling over Carol’s kits for years. AND, it was a blanket pattern leaflet featuring “bear claws” that made me learn to knit!

  • Reply Therese August 21, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for this interview! Susan is so lovely. Her patterns are just enchanting and she is such an inspiration.

  • Reply Jennifer August 21, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Loved listening to Susan’s interview – and what lovely giveaway prizes.

  • Reply Lisa Clarke August 21, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I enjoyed this episode with my morning coffee and my most recent sweater project. Thanks for helping make my Sunset morning so pleasant!

  • Reply Lisa Clarke August 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Sunday morning. Autocorrect ☺

  • Reply Debra Sewell August 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Itty Bitty Hat’s from Susan B Anderson was my first knitting book. So many adorable baby hats. Love Susan’s new Dancing Bears Shawl pattern. Would love to win the kit and string along toys book, so fun!!!

  • Reply Jennie August 21, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Susan B. Anderson was such an inspiration to me early on in my knitting days & she continues to inspire with her wonderful patterns for kids. I have made so many gifts using her lovely designs. I loved hearing her story of how it all began. Here’s to many more successful years of knitting, Susan!

  • Reply Danielle August 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    A lovely episode this week! Susan’s patterns helped me learn to knit more interesting patterns than plain scarves and hats. I would love to win her new pattern book so I can make some of the toys for my baby niece. Cheers!

  • Reply Janet August 21, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    What a lovely interview with the amazing Susan B Anderson! Thanks.

  • Reply Catherine Paradiso August 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Another amazing episode! So inspiring to hear of Susan’s start to present knitting adventure! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Caitlyn August 21, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Looking forward to this episode! Can’t wait to listen to Susan B Anderson while working on my current knit project, which by coincidence, is using Quince & Co yarn.

  • Reply Teresa in Texas August 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Another perfectly delightful podcast!

  • Reply Madeleine August 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Absolutely lovely!

  • Reply Barbara August 21, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Carol and Susan are two of my favorite designers! I have many of each designer’s patterns and I would love to win the Dancing Bears Kit!
    Ashley – your podcasts get better and better. Keep up the amazing work.

  • Reply Tiffany H August 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Can’t wait to listen to this tonight after I put the kids to bed!

  • Reply Hannah August 21, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    What a wonderful episode! I liked hearing about how Susan put herself out there to get her first book. It seems like a courageous thing to do !

  • Reply Dani August 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    This was a great episode! The only toy I’ve ever knit was one of Susan’s patterns and it holds a special place in my knitting memories. Thanks for bringing up the subject of motherhood and knitting. I have two little boys and struggle to find a balance between the two. It’s always reassuring to hear about the experiences of other mothers and knitters. I really enjoy the calm tone and style of your podcast. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply Sara August 22, 2016 at 5:22 am

    I love Susan’s work! Her toys and socks leave me so inspired. Thank you so much for this episode.

  • Reply Megan August 22, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I was already a huge fan of Susan’s, but listening to her talk about how much of an inspiration her mother was to her made me love her that much more.

  • Reply Madeleine August 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I love hearing the story behind someone’s work. Susan’s patterns are always so lovely.

  • Reply Debby August 22, 2016 at 7:58 am

    So enjoyed this interview with Susan!!! Hope to take a class with her one day.Thanks for the Woolful podcast.

  • Reply Margaret August 22, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Another enjoyable podcast. Loved learning more about Susan B. Anderson. You and so many others give us knitters so much inspiration!

  • Reply Judy August 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Another great podcast! Will be trying to attend my first Knit City this year.

  • Reply Nancy August 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Loved the podcast. Being a former Madison resident, it brought back fond memories of my college knitting days. Great patterns!!

  • Reply Cheryl August 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Love this episode, Susan is a joy to listen to , her enthusiasm for knitting and life is amazing!

  • Reply Jennifer C August 22, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I love Susan’s patterns, and that shawl is stunning.

  • Reply Hannah Torres August 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Loved this podcast. This podcast really encouraged me to continue to knit no matter the mistakes I’ve made in my first year of consistency knitting. I’ve only really made washcloths, scarfs, and little things like that. I want to venture into more knitting with things other than cotton. I really want to knit with really nice yarn and maybe I can finally do that. Thank you so much for the podcast. It brings me so much joy to know that though I’m so new to knitting I’m not alone.

  • Reply Susan August 22, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    What a treat to hear her story and be able to connect with such a seemingly down to earth person. Thank you for the give away opportunity!

  • Reply Diane August 22, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    This was such a wonderful interview. I enjoyed every minute. Thank you for the chance to win something so fantastic.

  • Reply Maureen Johnson August 22, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Susan’s Itty Bitty Toy Book is still one of our hottest books at Cowgirl Yarn for expectant moms and grandmom’s! Nothing says excitement like a hand knit toy.

  • Reply Camille wieder August 22, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    It was so interesting to hear Susan’s story. Thank you for this great episode.

  • Reply Marcia August 22, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    This is my first time listening to your podcast and I am so happy that I found you! I so enjoyed listening to Susan B .Anderson today and found her journey to be both interesting and inspirational! Looking forward to future episodes!

  • Reply Francesca LB August 23, 2016 at 12:08 am

    What an inspiring episode (again). I love the idea of knitting toys and animals for my little children and will definitely check out Susan Andersons work, and would love to win a copy of the frogbook 🙂

  • Reply Marina August 23, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Love your cute pattern! The colour combo and pom pom are adorable!

  • Reply Carol August 23, 2016 at 5:43 am

    I need a couple baby gifts. Plan to purchase Itty Bitty Hats and knit a few.

  • Reply Katy Sammons August 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I found your podcast via Alicia Paulson, and I enjoyed it!

  • Reply Bridget August 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I really loved this episode! Susan was so genuine and I just loved her story about sending the patterns to the publisher. So great. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply Allie August 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I always love to hear from Susan! Her warmth and passion is always so palpable. Thanks for sharing her with us!

  • Reply Julia August 23, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Enjoyable listening as always. Lovely shawl pattern too! Thanks.

  • Reply Heatherlee @ Octopus Yarns August 24, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Lucky you getting to speak with Susan!

  • Reply Britney DeLeon August 24, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Woot Woot! Finally a Wisconsin knitters! Midwest is the best!

  • Reply Tess Felder August 24, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I want to wrap myself in Dancing with Bears while I knit String Along Toys ! Itty Bitty Hats book is still one of my faves!

  • Reply Sofia M August 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    What a gorgeous shawl pattern! Great giveaway!

  • Reply Doreen MacL August 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Very interesting to get acquainted with Susan B Anderson. Lucky me, I will be in one of her shawl classes at Knit City in Vancouver! Can’t wait!!

  • Reply Morgan August 25, 2016 at 5:44 am

    How DO you do it? Sorry to gush but this is my favorite podcast of all that I listen to. I have learned so much and been inspired in so many different ways by your guests. Can’t wait to listen to this one! Thank you!

  • Reply Savannagal August 25, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I love the Dancing with Bears shawl. It is simply beautiful. I especially love it in the soft natural color. It is so feminine. Just delightful. Susan Anderson makes the most adorable toys. I tried making a toy turtle once, but the tiny pieces are just too fiddly for me. My turtle looked like it had elephantitis. I have to stick to bigger items. But I so appreciate her wonderful skills.

  • Reply Rose Young August 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Awesome giveaway as always! I loved your interview with Susan B Anderson! I wish I was going to Knit City!

  • Reply corie pullman August 25, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    great episode! love the interview! always look through her bookd and admire!

  • Reply susan krisch August 26, 2016 at 4:29 am

    subscribed a while ago and havent really listened to a complete episode until today-
    i had to hear susan anderson!
    i loved it and im now hooked on future podcasts!
    thanks for a chance to win

  • Reply Hchung August 26, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Loved loved this interview. I’ve been to several of Susan’s classes and she’s a fantastic teacher.

  • Reply Killoran Moore August 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Ah! Love her! And the new Little Woolens pattern is fantastic! I’m making a second Bracken for my little guy soon – just as soon as I can measure him.

  • Reply Susan August 26, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Another interesting telling of how much the knitting world has changed over the past decade. I got my start in knitting around 2005, so some of the history recounted by Susan resonated with me.

  • Reply Beth August 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Once again a very inspiring story, the journey knitters take is so fun to listen to!

  • Reply Lauren August 26, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Lovely and exciting episode! Thank you for the interview and the cute new pattern to try in the future.

  • Reply Julia August 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I love Susan B. Anderson! Thanks for having her on your podcast.
    Juliaknit on Ravelry

  • Reply Laurel August 27, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I loved listening to Susan’s story. She’s one of my favorite designers. Thank you.

  • Reply Brenda August 27, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Great podcast! I love your questions Ashley.

  • Reply LEANNE GODDARD August 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Susan mentioned your interview and so I popped over to listen. So glad I did! Really enjoyed the podcast and will look forward to more. The Dancing Bear shawl is stunning and your new hat pattern is precious. Love your website, too!

  • Reply Bonnie August 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I was super pleased when I saw that Susan B Anderson was the topic of the podcast. She’s one of my favorite knitting celebrities! WOOLFUL is top- notch. Thanks for another great show.

  • Reply Jenny H August 28, 2016 at 5:57 am

    I loved hearing about Susan’s fiber adventure and love her spirit. I’m so glad she knits.

  • Reply Cindi Brown August 28, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Enjoyed hearing Susan B Anderson’s story. Would love to knit some of those precious string-along toys.

  • Reply Jaqui August 28, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I loved this episode, thanks so much! I used to live in Madison, WI and remember that yarn store perfectly–that’s where I bought the yarn to knit a sweater for my baby.

  • Reply Lisa August 30, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Such a wonderful episode, I just love being introduced to new fibre folks. Your podcast always makes me feel like I’m there with, and I’ve queued up a couple of her patterns. Thanks for this episode,

  • Reply Rachael Laves August 31, 2016 at 5:32 am

    I always refused to knit toys. Then I met Ben &Buddy and it was all downhill from there!

  • Reply Michelle Miller September 1, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Thank you for another wonderful interview with an amazing icon of our knitting community!

  • Reply Karen September 1, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I used to live in Crystal Lake–not too far from Roscoe–wish I were still there to patronize Sunday Knits! And so enjoyed hearing from Susan B. Anderson–love her podcast

  • Reply Chris September 1, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    My cheeks are sore from smiling so much while listening to this podcast! I recently used one of Susan’s books to lead a youth knitting group- they love the patterns. It was a joy to listen to her stories and I look forward to sharing it with my young knitting group!

  • Reply Angela Digmann September 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Itty Bitty Toys was also my first pattern book purchase! I’m so glad you were able to get Susan on the podcast. Thanks to both of you!

  • Reply Holly September 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    My favorite episode ever! Love Susan’s story, LOVE all her patterns, thank you!

  • Reply Cathy B September 2, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I love Susan’s designs. I have never made little toys but would like the opportunity.

  • Reply Alicia September 2, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the great episode and giveaway!

  • Reply Sarah in Houston September 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    This is my first time listening to your podcast and learning about you. I just love Susan and that brought me here. I love the sound of your podcast and know I will listening to more. Thanks

  • Reply Janie September 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    So inspiring and such a great giveaway! Thank you

  • Reply Margo September 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I’m very excited to listen to this episode! I love Susan’s designs.

  • Reply Bonnie B Elber September 6, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Lovelovelove the shawl!.
    Would love to knit it in that gorgeous yarn.

  • Reply Mary September 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Great episode! thanks!

  • Reply Holly September 6, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for a delightful hour of stories

  • Reply Heather Williams September 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Have been following Susan’s podcasts on YouTube for about a month and was lucky enough to take a workshop with her two years ago at the Knitter’s Review retreat. Coincidently I recently ordered a kit for a shawl that came with Sunday Knits Eden yarn…I hadn’t heard of Sunday Knits before but love working with the yarn.

  • Reply Christine September 7, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Dancing with Bears is so beautiful–I would love to win the kit and pattern!
    And Susan B Anderson is the best–I love all her patterns but more so her gentle, honest approach to our craft!

  • Reply Karen September 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Great podcast! I too have long admired Susan B Anderson’s work–and Carol Sunday is also one of my knitting heroes! Love your Weston hat–just added it to my favorites!

  • Reply Taryn Kae Wilson @ WoolyMossRoots October 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you! I so enjoyed listening to this!

  • Reply Knitting Podcasts Every Knitter Should Listen To October 8, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    […] a hand in creating and working with fiber. Craftsy instructor Susan Anderson was interviewed on the August podcast, so be sure to check that out! Listen on […]

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