10.10.2019

Artichoke French... What is it? (And a 2019 Rhinebeck BRUNCH!)

I just found out many of you don't know that Artichoke French is a food I name knitwear after! I was first introduced to Artichoke French at New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in 2006, their booth was POPULAR, so I got in line to see what all the fuss was about!

In a nutshell Artichoke French is Artichoke Hearts made Francese style!


I'm not convinced that the Artichoke French booth will make it to Rhinebeck next weekend (they aren't always there)... so I thought a recipe was in order!

Lola's Homemade Artichoke French
(adapted from The Rhinebeck Sweater)


Ingredients
1 Can Whole Artichokes (approx. 14 ounces)
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour (I use unbleached white)
Salt, Pepper, and Paprika
1 large Eggs
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Toppings
(optional)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Hot Pepper or Hot Sauce

Directions
1. Drain the artichokes well, slice in half, and pat dry.
2. In one shallow bowl mix the flour with salt, pepper, and a little paprika (I had smoked paprika to everything).
3. In a separate shallow bowl beat eggs with lemon juice.
4. One heart at a time, place the in the flour and coat, shake off excess flour, then dredge on both sides in the egg mixture.
5. Meanwhile have 1 Tablespoon of butter and the olive oil heating in a heavy frying pan.
6. When oil is hot, place artichokes in pan.  When they are browned on one side flip over and delicately squash with the backside of your spatula. 
7. When the artichokes are browned on both sides, remove to drain oil on plate lined with paper towel.
8. Place artichokes in serving dish and garnish with liberal amounts of grated Parmesan and parsley. 

Artichoke French are also SUPER yummy on beans and greens, or with a white wine sauce if you want a "richer" experience!  And if you are a hot pepper or hot sauce lover (like I am) sprinkle some on before eating!

RHINEBECK 2019 BRUNCH PARTY!

Sunday- 9:30 am- BRUNCH PARTY! (we did this in 2017 and it was SO FUN!)
 I've discovered that the best time to get Artichoke French or any other food is first thing in the morning on Sunday! The lines are short and most of the food there makes an excellent breakfast! Get to the fest before 10:30 to get some brunch and then meet us at the picnic tables at the corner of building A! Wear one of your Nelkin Designs to the party... we can try for a group photo!!!

Here's a map of the fairgrounds with our Brunch spot marked in a big red circle:

Any questions? I've set up a thread in my Ravelry group so we can all connect with each other. I'll be around the  festival most of the weekend so PLEASE do stop me and say hi... I promise I don't bite! Also, can I just say that I am great at faces, and SUCK at remembering names, so go easy on me... I will never make a good politician (which isn't a bad thing!) but I am a good hugger!

10.07.2019

Installing a Zipper in your Artichoke French (or other knit sweater!)

I had this great idea last spring that I should knit a zip-up hoodie version of my Artichoke French Sweater... the only scary part? Installing a zipper! It ended up being NO WHERE as hard as I thought it would be! Here's why installing zippers is hard: you are sewing something stiff (the zipper tape) to a flexible edge (your knit). The tips below are going to make you an expert in this technique and take the fear right out of it!


First up, and MOST IMPORTANTLY The length of your zipper should be determined AFTER blocking. So, knit your Artichoke French Hoodie (or other sweater that needs a hood!) block it and THEN measure the length of the center front (laid flat without stretching) from the neckline to the bottom.This is the length you want to order! I actually knit up to the hood, blocked, then measured, and then knit my hood while waiting for my zipper. I then steam blocked my hood once that was done and didn't re-block the rest of the sweater (I know someone was going to ask that!).

I SPLURGED and ordered a custom length M6 one-way Riri Zipper from Pacific Trimming.
It was expensive, but it was TOTALLY worth it and I would do it again! If I'm going to spend that much time knitting a sweater I'm not going to have a zipper I don't love! There are definitely other zipper resources, but I was really happy with my Riri Zipper and would do it again!

My friend (and tester) Andrea ordered a two-way zipper and I'm a little jealous of that action.... so that's a choice too (and one I would make!).
Then I read all these GREAT tutorials on installing zippers into knitwear...
Finally one of my testers took a "no-sew" zipper install class from Ann Weaver and explained the process to me... it uses fingering weight yarn of a similar color and a knitpicker... in a nutshell you pick up sts along the tape with lighter weight yarn and the tool and then use a three needle bind off to join the tape to your knitting. This creates an elastic edge on the tape and is brilliant! Clearly it is what I am doing on my next Artichoke French!

With further research I learned that in 2010 Tech Knitter wrote an article for Interweave Knits about the technique, and Eunny Jang shot a video about it!



Then I searched a tiny bit more and found AN INCREDIBLY detailed article from Tech Knitter about the technique..
So, now you are armed with more than you knew you needed to know about sewing your zipper into your knits and are no longer SCARED! Amiright? Or scary?


xoxo

9.25.2019

The ULTIMATE Knitting Cruise with Laura Nelkin

July 24 – August 9, 2020
Holland America – m.s. Zuiderdam
Copenhagen-Bergen-Molde- Akureyri - Isafjordur - Reykjavik - Lerwick - Invergordon
SOLD OUT!
You can still get on a waiting list though, just fill out the link below!!


Time for our next knitting adventure... this cruise is pretty incredible as all the ports are what I would consider to be KNITTING destinations! I've taken advantage of that by creating some exclusive tours for us in Bergen, Reykjavik and Shetland!

We have a room reserved for us on the ship for our famous nightly knit nights... activities planned for our days at sea with no extra charge! I have some ideas that I think you will all ADORE!!!

I am also designing something super special for the trip (something that evokes Norway, Iceland and Shetland knitting traditions?). Yarn will be included in your goodie bag and the piece will be revealed our first day on the ship! We'll have a class that focuses on the skills used in the new design on the first day and then I'll be available to get you going and help with any knitting questions throughout the trip. We have arranged group dinners on board, so no one will eat alone!

Daily Itinerary:

July 24th – Meet in Copenhagen- City Tour and Tivoli Garden Visit!
July 25th - Exclusive Knitters Day in Copenhagen- Sommerflugen, local designer (TBA), Design Museum and ending with a local knit night!
July 26th – Board Holland America’s m.s. Zuiderdam for 14-night cruise
July 27th – Scenic Cruising Day
July 28th – Bergen, Norway (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Oleana and Dale of Norway)
July 29th – Molde, Norway
July 30th – Scenic Cruising Day
July 31st – Akureyri, Iceland
Aug 1st – Isafjordur, Iceland
Aug 2nd – Reykjavik, Iceland (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Pingborg Wool Cooperative, Alafoss, Thingvellir, Geysir and Hydroponic Tomato Farm with Icelandic Horse Exhibition!)
Aug 3rd – Reykjavik, Iceland
Aug 4th – Scenic Cruising Day
Aug 5th – Lerwick, Shetland Islands (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Shetland Designer, Jamieson and Smith, Textile Musuem)
Aug 6th – Invergordon (Inverness, Scotland)
Aug 7th – Scenic Cruising Day
Aug 8th – Skagen, Denmark
Aug 9th – Return Copenhagen

Included: 2 Nights in Copenhagen and tour, 3 Exclusive Knitting Tours, Goody Bag with yarn to knit the design Laura is making for the trip,  customized guide with yarn and fiber related activities to discover at each port, hospitality room for nightly knit nights, class with Laura and knitting related events, all port charges and taxes, meals while on ship.

Not Included:
Tips, alcoholic beverages, specialty dining on ship, flights, airport/hotel transfers in Copenhagen, optional shore and destination excursions

Optional:
Extra night in Copenhagen travel insurance,

Pricing starts at  $4249 pp Single Supplement Available.
Right now Holland America is running a promo and your on board experience may include up to $800 per cabin on board credit, specialty dining experiences, Beverage card, and premium Internet Package (balcony cabins and suites) The promo is subject to availability, certain terms, and is subject to expire at any time.

$900 per person non-refundable deposit due at book your spot.
Final payment due by April 3rd, 2020.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended and due at time of deposit.Cost is based on total trip cost and age of traveler.

Want to get more information????
Go here:https://forms.gle/JV6npnBUrwoSaAGD6

Or E-mail Melissa at AAA Western and Central New York at knitwithlaura@nyaaa.com

9.16.2019

Knit Ireland and Woollinn with Laura Nelkin! June 2020!

June 3rd - 14th, 2020
4 SPOTS LEFT!

I am SO excited to announce another knitting trip to Ireland! This one is extra special as I've timed it to end at Woollinn, a SUPER fun knitting festival just south of Dublin in Dun Laoghaire.

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin and travel to Cavan. We'll be stopping in Drogheda to meet Aine Dunne, an Irish tapestry weaver and learn about her work. We'll also meet with Jess from Olann.ie and have a dyeing demo and Q and A.  Then we'll start our adventure retreat "style" with Carol Feller, knitting and chatting and then follow that with a fantastic group dinner. The Farnham Estate in Cavan is the perfect first base!

Day 2: We'll start our day with a true Irish breakfast and then have a knitting workshop with Carol Feller, then we'll visit Sandra at Crafts of Ireland for lunch and a workshop on crocheting a traditional Irish Rose and learn about antique sock knitting machines.


Day 3: Group breakfast, and then head out to learn about Basket making from master basket maker Eddie McGrath. Afterwards we'll stop by Corleggy Cheese an award winning Irish artisan cheese to learn about the cheese making process at their farm! Yes, there will be CHEESE TASTING! In the afternoon Laura will lead a workshop in the hotel.

Day 4: Another yummy Breakfast, we'll leave Cavan to head to Donegal. On the way we are lucky enough to stop at the brand new Distillery tour of The Shed Distillery... Drumshanbo, is the unofficial drink of my Ireland trips, and we are going to learn how it is made! SO LUCKY! Then we'll head to the Butter Market in Enniskillen to see Irish crafters and artists work, and finally head to Belleek Pottery for a guided tour of their pottery production. We'll end in the day in Dongal at the Mill Park Hotel.


Day 5: Donegal Day (starts with Breakfast!)! We'll head out to Studio Donegal and get a tour of their hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. They have the most beautiful yarn! Then we'll go to Slieve League Cliffs (AMAZING) and have a wee hike, for those that are up to it! We'll end the day with a stop at Donegal Craft Village for a spot of tea and shopping. After dinner at the hotel the evening is your own... we may decide to head into town and catch a traditional Irish Music session in any one of Donegal’s traditional pubs or simply relax in the hotel.


Day 6:  We'll have breakfast and then head to Edel MacBride's for an intensive Aran knitting workshop. Enjoy a core workshop including yarn pack, working the best of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite Aran stitches. After lunch we'll visit Glebe House, the home for nearly thirty years of the renowned artist Derek Hill which is situated on rising ground, beside Lough Gartan.Then we'll enjoy the beautiful surroundings Lough Eske Hotel for a delightful Afternoon Tea before returning to your hotel to relax and further enjoy your surroundings.

Day 7: After Breakfast (sense a theme here?) we will pack up and head towards Belfast. We'll have a visit at Dunluce Castle, a walk at the amazing Giants' Causeway, and a lovely lunch stop along the way. We'll end the day in Belfast at the Grand Central Hotel where you can enjoy one of its amazing restaurants!


Day 8: First, breakfast, then we'll pay a visit to Mourne Alpacas outside Belfast, a family managed herd of Alpaca and pedigree angora goats that produce high quality fleeces, so much so that their motto at the farm is “We breed for heat, not for meat!” After lunch locally we'll head back into Belfast for a visit to the Titanic Belfast museum. This museum is extremely interactive, with technology bringing each period to life. Return to our hotel in Belfast where the remainder of the evening is your own.

Day 9: BREAKFAST! And then we'll head towards Dun Laoghaire... on the way we'll stop at the Irish Linen Museum.  On your guided tour of the centre you will explore the history of linen production in the province of Ulster. Leaving Belfast, we travel south and make a stop at Malahide House and Gardens, a medieval castle with a dramatic 800 year old heritage, opulent antiques and d├ęcor, set in 260 acres of parkland with Victorian style walled gardens, formal lawns and Ireland’s only Butterfly House. Finally, we continue to check in at The Royal Marine Hotel and then enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.


Day 10: WOOLLINN begins today ! Entrance fees are included for you to explore Woollinn at your leisure. Your pass will grant you access to the marketplace and all associated "bonus" events such as demonstrations, exhibitions and social get-togethers. Please note that workshops at Woollinn are not included in this package and we do not book people into workshops, we will provide you with the information on how to book directly with the organisers as soon as this information is available to us. This evening enjoy a Woollinn social dinner which includes a sit-down meal and entertainment, with some of the Woollinn Special Guests in attendance.

Day 11: WOOLLINN Continues... The Woollinn experience continue today or you can simply enjoy a leisurely day in your hotel, stroll through the coastal town or take the local DART train into Dublin city centre if you wish.

Day 12: Farewell to Woollinn and Ireland

The Tour includes :
  • Transfers on arrival and departure by private coach
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary in a luxury coach with an experienced driver and licensed guide and Laura Nelkin, knitting designer and teacher
  • 4* Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 11 nights
  • Irish breakfast daily, 1 welcome dinner with Carol Feller, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 farewell dinner, First Night of Woollinn Social Dinner in your Woollinn Package
  • Entrance to all museums and attractions per itinerary
  • Aran Islands Ferry Fees
Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour:
  • Dinner and knitting Workshop with Carol Feller
  • An Aran knitting workshop with Edel MacBride
  • Irish Crochet Rose Motif, Spinning Demonstration & Antique Sock Machine Knitting Demonstration with Sandra from Crafts of Ireland
  • Short Dyeing demonstration by Jess from Olann.ie
  • Aine Dunne Tapestry Weaving demonstration
  • A ticket to the social dinner at Woollinn on Friday 12th June (which includes a sit-down meal and entertainment, with some of the Woollinn Special Guests in attendance.)
  • Two-day passes to Woollinn (Fri 12th and Sat 13th June), granting access to the marketplace and all associated "bonus" events such as demonstrations, exhibitions and social get-togethers.
VERY Detailed Itinerary and sign up form available, e-mail Laura for more details!