2.10.2016

Recap: Knitting for Munich!!!

Hello Dear Knitters!

This blog post has been a long time in the writing. Frankly, you all took my breath away with the fierce power of your needles at a great time of need. I am happy to announce that within three short months you knit and I shipped over 1,000 hats/mittens/scarves/cowls and socks to warm the Syrian refugees as they entered their first winter in Germany.

As Andrea in Miesbach received all our knitted pieces it took her a bit of time to come up with a plan for distribution... but she got lucky the day her boss came into her office and saw a box of hats and asked what they were for! When she explained, he quickly sprung into action and helped her get the word out about the project.... since that day in November Knitting for Munich has gotten press in papers, TV, and radio around Germany. What a thrill to see all your work being appreciated and worn!

On a personal note, as an American, I have been underwhelmed by the response of our public to the Syrian crisis. You knitters restored hope for me, and helped remind me that the "loud" voices are not necessarily the majority. You let your needles do the talking, and I couldn't be more proud! 

Rosy Bijou did an excellent job of cataloging the press Knitting for Munich received AND translating whenever possible! Thankyou for taking the time to do this Kerry... since my German skills are pretty much non-existent having a resource like you created is FANTASTIC!

If you want to maybe see one of your items being gifted I would suggest watching this RTL video or this excellent ARD show. They are both so well shot that you'll understand the story even if you don't speak a word of German : )!

The need for knitted items is far from over, and I'm happy to say that European knitters have found out about our effort and have put their needles to work. So, if you are based in Europe, head over to Andrea's group on Ravelry to find out more about donating. It isn't financially feasible to keep shipping over seas, and with our 1,000 items sent we have managed to gift every refugee in Andrea's county of Miesbach a lovingly knitted item, which was our goal!

If you are on this side of the pond and want to continue to use your needles for good I've found a few projects that are well established and could use donations:
25000 Tuques (Canada)
1000 Stitches for Syria (Canada)
Kind Canada (Canada)
Knit Your Bit (US)
Hats and More for Worn Torn Syria (US)

A ginormous, huge, completely awe-struck THANK YOU from myself and the Knitting for Munich team!
Laura, Andrea, Jennifer, Kelly and Bella

p.s. the lack of photos in the post is distressing to my image driven sensibilities, but I don't want to single out any one or two knitters by highlighting their contribution and not showing others. We did this as a team! GO TEAM!
(but if you want to see photos, just scroll through my Ravelry group, Andrea's Ravelry group, and the links on Kelly's page)

2.08.2016

Knit Iceland with Laura Nelkin!!!

September 10 - 16, 2016
Unique, distinct, mysterious, legendary - Iceland remains a well-kept travel secret and a mecca for knitters. Iceland is synonymous with knitting and wool is everywhere (even the grocery stores and gas stations). Knitting is as much a necessity in the cold dark winters as it is a labor of love. Join Laura Nelkin, knitwear designer, instructor, and passionate traveler to discover the magic that is Iceland in September. Dive deeply into Iceland's knitting tradition, its unique landscape, and experience its geothermal activity at the hot springs with Laura and a group of avid friendly knitters. This is a dream trip and I hope you'll join in!
Day 1: Travel to Reykjavik

Day 2: Group breakfast, tour of Reykjavik (to get our bearings), visit to Hand Knitter's Guild, check in at hotel and group dinner.

Day 3: Golden Circle Tour: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Strokur (active Geysir), and ├×ingborg Wool Center (heirloom wool and craft center that is AMAZING!)

Day 4: Istex Factory Tour and Alafoss Outlet Shop (need I say more? The home of Lopi!!!)

Day 5: Saga Trails, Tour a Local Sheep farm; visit the natural dye studio of fiber artist Gudrun Bjarnadottir

Day 6: Free Day in Rekjavik, possible visits with Ragga Eiriksdottir (to learn about Lopi sweaters) and Helene Magnusson (to learn about Icelandic lace). Farewell banquet in the evening.

Day 7: Visit to Blue Lagoon (can you say geothermal hot spring resort?), and then home!

Laura visited Iceland with her family in 2012, you can read about her adventures and see photos here and here.

Tour land price is $2400 and includes :
  • Five nights in superior hotel rooms (double occupancy) at the Center Hotel Arnarhvoll (single supplement $400/extra)
  • Private motor coach for group excursions with full time English speaking tour guide/manager
  • Knitting designer and passionate traveler Laura Nelkin will escort the group and provide informal instruction
  • Breakfast daily, welcome dinner and farewell banquet
  • Entrance to all museums and attractions per itinerary
  • Gratuities for guide/driver
  • Extensive pre-departure material (as is Edventures style)
  • Limited group size
VERY Detailed Itinerary available upon request.
Contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322 or goedventures@gmail.com to secure your spot.

(FYI- I've known Mary since before I learned how to knit, when I was in my early 20's we worked together at a local eco-tourism travel agency. She has been organizing and leading tours for a long time, and is a professional. I am SO happy to be joining forces with her on this project!)

1.28.2016

Auditioning Yarns for Novus Jacket!

I've been getting questions about choosing yarns for Novus Jacket and it seemed like a good idea to write y'all a little blurb on how I decide on yarns for sweaters!
Hint: It's all about yarn shopping (and then swatching)!

I call it holding yarn auditions.... when I'm out and about yarns call to me,  in fact sometimes they even sing! When this happens I HAVE to take them home.... and then I end up with a pile of single skeins of yarn to play with, and never enough for a sweater!  This turns out to be a good thing. I can swatch and design with a yarn and then if I know it is right I will order up as much as I need. Harrisville Turbine sang to me at Rhinebeck, a single skein came home with me and that is how it got chosen for my Novus Jacket.
Novus is easy to swatch for! Just cast on a sleeve for the size you are making and knit at least 6 inches of it. Then take that "swatch" and block it... do you like the fabric? Did you get gauge? If the answer is yes then you can put that swatch back on the needles and keep knitting. If you didn't then you can play around with different needle sizes (go up in ndl size if you need less sts per inch, and down in ndl size if you need more sts per inch) and see if you get gauge AND confirm you like the fabric.

You'll find there is a big decision to make with Novus... do you want a sweater that has a bit of drape or one that is more structured ? The yarn you choose will dictate this, and swatching will give you an idea of how it will behave. The softer the yarn and air in between the sts, the more drape it will have. Do keep in mind that those softer yarns are not going to wear as well. I've also seen people knitting Novus with two strands held together which is totally intriguing!

I spent some time swatching a few different yarns this week and came up with some great options for Novus:

Cloudborn Bulky, Fibre Company Tundra, and Dragonfly Fiber's Super Traveler make a dreamy loose fabric and will give your Novus more drape.
DragonFly Fiber's Super Traveler in Winter Woods
Look at Jan's Novus.. she used Fibre Company Tundra and adjusted the pattern to make it a little longer! (I want to steal her sweater... but instead I ordered some Tundra to make one of my own!)

Kitt used Cloudborn  Fibers Superwash Merino Bulky, and got a great result as well! I love how you can look at projects and get an idea of how a yarn will behave.

Clara's new Cormo 3.0, I got a sample at her retreat, is kinda sorta perfect for Novus, it is soft, but creates a somewhat stiff fabric! (I think she is updating her site with more soon). (I hope!)
Brooklyn Tweed Quarry is similar to Harrisville Turbine in it's woolly qualities, but it isn't quite as heavy so once you achieve gauge with it you'll find the fabric has more air in between the stitches making it flow a bit more in the sweater fabric.
Now, do you see why I have been buying single skeins of bulky weight yarns? Auditions are fun! And whatever doesn't become part of a Novus can always turn into the world's best cowl, right? It is easy to invest in single skeins until you know what will make the PERFECT Novus Jacket for you!

Oh, and last week's giveaway winner?... CONGRATS Amy (aka Hudson Valley Knits!), get in touch with your address so I can send you your awesome Triplex kit!

So, what yarns are you thinking of auditioning for Novus Jacket? I know there are more out there to choose from!!! Ask questions, I'm happy to help you!  We've also got a KAL going in my Ravelry group and help is just a post away!

1.20.2016

A Gradient Triplex!

Do you remember Triplex? Well one of my brilliant friends, Laurel, had the great idea to knit it in a gradient! She used a Wonderland Yarns Mad Hatter Mini-Skein Set paired with Fibre Company Road to China Light.... didn't it come out AMAZINGLY?

 I love when knitters get inspired by my patterns and search out the perfect yarns for them!


Time for a giveaway...

Wonderland Yarns generously offered up a Mad Hatter Mini-Skein Set in "Down the Rabbit Hole" with a matching skein of  Mad Hatter in "Tea Tray" to so you can knit up your own Triplex! How lucky are we? This would be a great project for someone to knit in the First Quarter KAL in my Ravelry group!

I'm off to Denver for the weekend for some "professional development". I'll be at Fancy Tiger hanging out with some of my buddies on Thursday night, so if you are in the area, stop by and say hi!


Just leave a comment below by 12pm (EST) on Monday Jan 25th. I will randomly choose a winner and announce them in next week's post! (A tutorial on auditioning yarn for the Novus Jacket!)