RECAP: Knit Ithaca 2019!

55 knitters including myself and Thea Colman had an absolute blast last weekend at Knit Ithaca, my yearly hometown knitting retreat...

Here are some of the photos I captured, but if you want to see TONS more checkout #knitithaca I was too distracted to catch everything we did and everyone did a great job of documenting our weekend together! (I would watch the below video large screen to see the subtitles!)

Knitting... it brings us together and feeds our souls. I can't imagine what my life would look like without these extraordinary makers.Thank you to all that came to retreat with me in my glorious hometown... I miss you already!!! #knitithaca

Next year's Knit Ithaca is November 5 - November 8th, 2020...details here!


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)

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

Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Hot Pepper or Hot Sauce

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!


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!


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?



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
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

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