Episode 21 – Susan B Anderson and the Barrett Wool Co

Episode 21 - Click on the image to view

Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 21 kicks off 2017 with an interview with Susan B Anderson, but rather than talking about knitting designs or technique, we will be looking at Susan’s latest creation, the Barrett Wool Co.  Self-proclaimed history nerd and prolific garment knitter Cleo Faraone is our guest on Knitters of the World.  We get a close look at the completed Hiking Jacket and there’s an update on Andrea’s Catherine Parr by Alice Starmore.

Episode 21 - Click on the image to view
Episode 21 – Click on the image to view

Susan B Anderson and the Barrett Wool Co

Barrett Wool CoSusan B Anderson is well known in the knitting community for her designs, books, blog and podcast, and her live courses – right now she is teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in New York.  Susan has now enrolled the support of her business-trained son Evan to launch a new venture, the Barrett Wool Co, combining her wealth of design experience with a range of specially developed yarns.

Susan B Anderson with son and business partner Evan
Susan B Anderson with son and business partner Evan

Barrett is Susan’s maiden name, and this is clearly a family effort.  Susan’s son Evan is a co-founder of the company and brings a degree in business from the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Business.  Evan specialized in accounting but his studies included small business and entrepreneurship – which will no doubt find plenty of application in the new company.  But Evan is also active in the creative side of the business, with photography, graphic design and video production all under his responsibility.   The energy between Susan and Evan is great so we’re expecting it to be a successful partnership!

The Barrett Wool Co’s initial yarns are a 4-ply fingering weight and a 3-ply worsted weight, each in a palette of sixteen colors.  Susan had specific expectations of her yarns and has put a lot of time and effort into the selection of the fleece, the spinning, and the colors.  One key requirement was that the yarns be 100% American made.  Although Susan has traveled extensively for her work, home is important, and this is reflected in the products that she has developed.  The yarns are 100% American wool, locally spun, and dyed in Maine.

Barrett Wool Co - Yarn Palette
Barrett Wool Co – Yarn Palette

In addition to the new yarns, the Barrett Wool Co is selling designs and kits, sometimes including instructional videos to ensure your project success.  We wish Susan and Evan all the best with their new venture!

Books by Susan B Anderson


Knitters of the World – Cleo Faraone

When Andrea checked out a project she wanted to knit on Ravelry, she would often find that Cleo had been there before her.  Cleo is a prolific garment knitter, and her taste for history has lead her to many of the same designs that Andrea likes – including Alice and Jade Starmore, amongst others.

Katherine Howard, by Jade Starmore
Katherine Howard, by Jade Starmore

And Cleo is prolific – listing 160 projects as we go to air.  There are some accessories to be seen, but most of the projects are sweaters and cardigans.

Kilronan, by Alice Starmore
Kilronan, by Alice Starmore

But even the accessories are spectacular.  Kilt hose are essential are essential if you’re into Scottish dancing, or if you happen to be getting married in a kilt.

Left, Clessidra by Gabriella Chiarenza (his) and right, He' mo Leanan Kilt Hose by Anne Carroll Gilmour (hers)
Left, Clessidra by Gabriella Chiarenza (his) and right, He’ mo Leanan Kilt Hose by Anne Carroll Gilmour (hers)

Thank you to Cleo for being our guest on Knitters of the World.  You can find Cleo on Ravelry as cfaraone.

The Hiking Jacket

It’s true – the Hiking Jacket is complete, finished as planned whilst we were enjoying our holidays in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in northern Wales.

The Hiking Jacket in Betws-y-Coed
The Hiking Jacket in Betws-y-Coed

I am proud of my part in this project – that is a lot of stitches, on 3 mm needles (US 3) at 24 stitches per 10 cm (4 in).  But for full disclosure and to give credit where it’s due, the design and fitting – which are perfect – were by Andrea.  Andrea also did most of the tricky bits – hem, cuff and collar, inserting the zipper.  Madeleine also did some of the sweat work, giving me a fully knitted sleeve for Christmas.  And we had a few tips from viewer Diane – particularly the technique for doubling back on the hem and sleeves, including incorporating the contrast color without it showing through.

The Hiking Jacket
The Hiking Jacket

I will enjoy wearing the jacket, particularly knowing that the wool has come from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust‘s flock of Hebridean sheep.  You can hear all about their conservation grazing project in Episode 10, and purchase some wool for your own project at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Etsy Shop.

Catherine Parr

Progress continues on Andrea’s Catherine Parr by Alice Starmore, under the close supervision of Madeleine, who is keen to wear it.  The garment is knitted in pieces, which means a bit of purled colorwork for the band.  Andrea says that this is a fairly simple pattern, with only two colors, so is a good chance to get into doing stranded colorwork in the flat.

Catherine Parr, by Alice Starmore
Catherine Parr, by Alice Starmore

Patron News

As we mention, our Patrons make it possible for us to continue producing the show – so thank you to everyone who has decided to support us.  Becoming a Patron is easy and flexible – visit our Patreon Page for more details, and if you have any questions, write them in the Patreon thread in the Fruity Knitting Podcast Ravelry group and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

On the 20 January we have our next Fruity Knitting Live event for our Shetland level Patrons.  Merinos can also submit questions and will be able to listen to a recording of the event.

Lene Alve, our very first guest on Knitters of the World, has kindly submitted her Anni Cuffs pattern for all Fruity Knitting Podcast Patrons.  Patrons can download the pattern from the Patron post.  Many thanks to Lene for this support.  (Please respect copyright and do not distribute the pattern further.)

Anni Cuffs by Lene Alve
Anni Cuffs by Lene Alve


  • J. S. Bach, The Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1, Prelude No. 3 in C sharp major, BWV. 848, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, Creative Commons Atribution 3.0 License
  • Agustin Barrios Mangore, Don Perez Freire, performed by Edson Lopes, Creative Commons Atribution 3.0 License

7 thoughts on “Episode 21 – Susan B Anderson and the Barrett Wool Co”

  1. What is the sweater pattern Andrea is wearing in the interview?
    I love the lime green with the pink roses in the yoke. Thank you for a wonderful show:

  2. Where do I find the tutorial from Episode #21 where Andrea shows how to do the back stitch seaming and joining sweater pieces?
    I am a patreon member.

  3. Thank you for sending the two links. I just seamed a sleeve using the backstitch method and it worked perfectly.

    I am just curious as to why I could not find the list of tutorials? –That was one of the reason I became a Patreon member so I would have access to these instructions. The only ones I see listed at the top under TUTORIALS are a scarf, BaaBaa hat, sweater–not anything about seaming with backstitch or setting in sleeve
    Is there a link for all the tutorials that have been done?

    I always look forward to your wonderful knitting program.
    Thanks again

    1. Hi Sylvia.

      I’m sorry – I should have said. The separate tutorials which are only available to Patrons can be found on the Patreon site – patreon.com/fruityknitting, then click on Posts, then click on Tutorial. I do need to make an index to all the tutorials – it’s on my list of things to do.

      Great to hear that that was successful!


  4. I am a very new fan and follower, so this is how far I have come in the series (binge watching though!!!) But I have to say: the hiking jacket is out of this world! I love in general very many of the same types of knitting that is covered in the podcast (fair isle and modifications) but the hiking jacket is so far my absolute favorite thing! I am so impressed! Love the small yes so effective details!

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