TNNA 2012!

I'm recuperated enough from my weekend at TNNA to share with you a bit about it!  This was my first TNNA with my VERY OWN BOOTH!  (I felt so grown-up!)  For those of you who don't know, TNNA is the yarn industry trade show.  The response to my jewelry kits and patterns was overwhelming to say the least, and I definitely have a summer of work ahead of me to fill the orders I wrote there.  Want to see my booth?
My Booth, Saturday am, before it all began!
A close up!
Of course I was WAY too busy to take pics once the show opened, but Caro got her paws on my camera and took a few of me in action!
Booth working-it!
Working with a customer, such fun : )!
Yarn Super Hero, you should know her!
YarnSuperHero, love this lady,  just look at that smile!  (she's responsible for getting me hooked on Jul findings!)
This is my nice way of saying, that though I had meant to take way more pictures I only got a few more... one day I'll become one of those people who can be busy and take pictures at the same time!  So, all of you who I spent such fabulous time with... I miss you already, can we do it again next weekend? 
yarnthing designer dinner
Caitlin, Kate, and myself wearing masks my girl made us (with duct tape!) at The YarnThing's designer dinner! 
A huge thanks to Marly and all the companies who donated to the event!
Kristin and Caitlin in their Butin's!
Caitlin and Kristin rockin' their Butin's at dinner on Sunday eve!
I did get some REALLY nice yarn from some awesome yarn companies, I cannot wait to play with these babies....
tnna yarn haul
Top Row: Anzula Cloud in Denim, Dream in Color Wisp in Crisp, Shalimar Yarns Homage
Middle Row: Isager Bomuld, Anzula Haiku in Bark, Blue Sky Alpaca's Metalico in platinum
Bottom Row: Sweet Georgia Yarns Silk Mist in Woodland, Anzula Haiku, and last but not least, 2 skeins of the MOST GORGEOUS Swan's Island Pure Blends Organic Merino Wool/Alpaca Fingering weight.
I've got plans for many of these yarns already... and I just can't wait to have time to play with them all! TNNA is definitely good for design stash enhancement.  I am especially excited about the Metalico. This skein got nicknamed "kitty" by Caitlin, as the weight of it in your hand, it's natural color, and silkiness makes it feel EXACTLY like a kitten!  If you see some in your LYS pick it up and start purring, you'll see what I mean right away.  (This skein is destined for an Adorn Anew design... you've been forewarned!)

Oh, and the winner's of Hunter's book giveaway! Congrats go to Aimee, get in touch and Hunter will send you a hard copy of her book.... AND congrats to Shannon and Robin,  get in touch with your e-mail so we can send you pdf copies!


Lace Shawl Design with Miriam Felton

I'm thrilled to share with you about the latest class Craftsy has released, Lace Shawl Design with Miriam Felton.  For those of you who have taken my Lace and Knitting with Beads classes on Craftsy, this course is an excellent follow up that will help you continue to build your lace knitting skills!  I've never done an interview on my blog before, and I thought it would be really interesting for you to get to know Miriam and her new class a bit better!

What shawl shapes do you explain how to design in your class?  Which of these is your favorite?  Why? 
There are templates for a top down triangular, a bottom up triangular, fast increasing point to wingspan, slow increasing point to wingspan, fast decreasing wingspan to bottom point, and slow decreasing wingspan to bottom point, but we discuss charting into rectangular shapes as well, so straight up scarves and rectangular stoles, plus there's a lot of info on modifying existing templates to fit stitch patterns, plus adding a center panel, etc... So there are more than just the templates and you can create a truly unique piece.

I'm not sure I have a favorite.... but I do love riffing off a top down triangular style. There are so many ways you can change it up that I find it to be very versatile.
Andromeda, one of Miriam's shawl designs
 Does your class include any complete patterns, or is it's focus on teaching how to create one's own lace design?
There aren't any complete patterns, which I think is kind of lovely and carefree.  There's no project you need to feel pressured to finish at all. It's chock full of technique and examples, and swatches that you can knit to get a better understanding of how your lace stitches are working together, but in the end, the goal is that you'd be able to design and knit your own lace shawl.  The homework consists of picking stitch patterns for your piece, swatching them, and charting them together. 

I thought about giving the patterns for the sample shawls I use as examples in the class, but in the end I felt it was counter-intuitive to the goals of the class. 

Miriam showing how to chart a top down triangular shaded shawl.
I LOVE the section in your class about fixing mistakes!  Especially Reworking a Repeat... this lesson is brilliant! Is this a technique you figured out on your own, or did you learn it from somewhere else? 
Years back the Yarn Harlot used it to fix a cable that was mis-crossed, and I think it might have been Rosemary Hill who I first saw use the technique on lace.  It's super useful and every knitter, whether with lace or cables or whatever should know how to do this. It has saved my bacon so many times!

Also, the wow factor is pretty amazing. It tends to blow the tops right off people's heads when they get it. :)
I am always interested in the dissemination of knitting information and tricks!  What is a tidbit you have learned from a student or other teacher that you would love to pass on?  For example, one of my students told me she remembers m1R and m1L by saying to herself, "I'll be right back" as a reminder that when working a m1R (make one right) you come in from the back of your work.
That m1R tip is brilliant! My favorite trick is for basic knitting stitch instructions, which I learned from Lorilee Beltman.  It's great for teaching kids how to knit because they always remember it.  Especially little boys :)  If you picture the stitches on your left needle as being all lined up on a cliff, using your right needle you "stab it, choke it, pull his guts out and shove it off the cliff."  For a purl you just modify it that you stab it in the front instead of the back. It's amazingly effective and just cooky and dark enough that I love it!

What's OTN (on the needles) for you right now? 
I've just finished all of my work knitting and I'm finishing up a pair of socks for my husband's birthday and I'm knitting the sleeves of a cute little grandpa-style baby sweater for my good friend's first baby (who is a boy).  I like to have a little palette cleansing knitting before I decide what to design next. And I'll probably work a little on the modular sock yarn afghan that is an ongoing saga at my house. I originally started it to use up all my sock and fingering weight yarn scraps, but as that scrap basket has grown so has the afghan and I think i have more yarn in the basket than I started with, even though the blanket is about lap blanket size now. So I'm going to make it bigger and maybe it will finish up at king size. :)

Interested in signing up for Miriam's class?  This link will provide with a chance to take the class at 50% off.
It's my last day at TNNA today... I'll be home tomorrow and once I recuperate I promise to post all about the weekend!


Review and Giveaway: The KCC!

Oh my goodness, I am completely smitten with Hunter Hammersen's new self-published book, The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, that landed on my doorstep yesterday afternoon!  WOW, this is a self-published book? They can look like this? The book is stunning: it's layout, the designs, the photography, the feel, the whole shebang! Hold the phone, maybe it's time for me to get my own book in the works!  But I digress.... and I've only written a paragraph, you want to see more of this book, don't you?

The blurb on the back cover sums up the Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet perfectly:
The concept behind KCC is wonderful, Hunter became inspired by 10 Vintage Botanical Illustrations and provides two patterns for each of the drawings... one of which is always a sock!  This means the book contains 20 patterns: 10 for socks, 2 mitts, 2 hats, 2 shawls, 3 cowls, and 1 cuff.
Rosa Rubiginosa Mitts
Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus Sock
Chrysanthemum Frutescens Hat
This is just a sampling of the designs in KCC... you can see them all on Ravelry here and on the KCC website here.  I am so very impressed by this book, and I think you will be too!

Hunter has generously offered to give away three copies of the book, one in print (hard-copy) and two in *.pdf.  Would you like to win one?  Just leave a comment by the end of Tues June 31st letting Hunter and myself know which pattern you are drawn to in the book... it's so fun for a designer to hear which patterns are your favorites!

I'm off to TNNA this weekend with my first booth and will be posting pictures and tidbits on
instagram (LauraNelkin), Facebook (NelkinDesigns) and Twitter (LNelkin) as time allows... feel free to follow along, I promise y'all a post chock full of yarny/designer goodness when I get back!  In the meantime, enjoy the giveaway and have a great weekend!


Clematis Yoke Dress

Clematis Yoke Dress
Earlier this spring I saw this GREAT upcycled t-shirt on Pinterest by the brilliant Cal Patch (have I told you I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole yet?) and decided I NEEDED to make one for myself pronto!

So, a few weekends ago I put down my needles to modify a WhiteWash dress I got this spring at the Flax Barn Sale! (Have I told you that right out of college I worked for Flax, which is based outside of Ithaca?)
Clematis Yoke Dress
I grabbed a size B crochet hook, a skein of Juniper Moon Findley in Bittersweet, the pattern (which Cal helped me find!), and got to it... in a few short hours I had my new favorite summer dress !
Clematis Yoke Dress
Thanks Cal, for enabling me to get this done... and Maya for the super sweet photo shoot this morning (with eggs!)


Spumante: A New Beaded Shawl!

Spumante- A Beaded Garter Stitch ShawlSpumante- A Beaded Garter Stitch Shawl
Just in time for summer and early fall... a new beaded shawl which is the perfect cover up for cool evenings down at the lake, or to throw on when you get a chill.

Spumante is worked from the bottom up, it begins with a beaded lace border and then is shaped with simple garter stitch short rows. The nine row edging chart incorporates nupps and beaded yarnovers to create a delicate and textured border. A detailed swatching section with an exclusive step by step video is included to help you get started on this stunning shawl.  I think this design gives you the best of both worlds, a challenging edging that is a joy to work, and then rows of garter stitch that make for fabulous knitting on-the-go!
I knit this first version of Spumante with Hand Maiden Swiss Silk in Salt Spray.  Swiss Silk is light fingering and 100% silk... it was a JOY to work with, and feels incredibly luxurious around my neck.  I have a skein of Swan's Island Fingering that is destined to be a second version of this, as I can already tell how well this design fits into my wardrobe.  Other yarns that would be perfect for Spumante are String Theory's Bluestocking, Schaefer Yarn Anne, and Wollmeise.

You can purchase Spumante on my website or on Ravelry!  I've set up a thread in my Ravelry group if anyone wants to join in on a KAL...


Stash and Burn: Oh! You Pretty Things!

So honored to have Adorn reviewed on Stash & Burn over the weekend, I love listening to Nichole and Jenny's podcast and I think you will too!  Nichole made EIGHT unique Helleborus cuffs (above) in record time for graduation gifts and she shares her process in detail.  It's a blast for me to listen to how people modify and explore my designs : )!  Thanks Nichole and Jenny!


A Wee Distraction....

I feel like I've been quieter than normal here... and that's not because I'm out riding my bike and eating ice cream.  TNNA is in two weeks, and I'm having a booth for the first time!  This means there is a glimmer of insanity in my eyes... I'm actually on schedule, but there is alot to be done to get my new booth design in shape. There have been trips to Lowe's, Ikea, and AC Moore, and I've been playing with decals, mod podge, glitter paint, duct tape and canvas prints. I'm definitely having a crafty good time!

So, while I keep my head to the grindstone can I distract you with a few random things?

1. There is mini interview of me on the Craftsy blog today.... want to know the 3 things I need on a desert island? (I forgot to mention the cabana boy... whoops!)

2. I am a bit obsessed with making oatmeal smoothies... off to get more ingredients today!

3. Also, these egg boats are on the menu for this week... our CSA has started so eggs and greens abound.  I am going to make them with caramelized onions, chard, and herbs.

4. Laura Chau released a new collection of sweaters, Afternoon Tea, that I adore...

5. My favorite bag maker, Namaste has a new color!  Any guess what I'll be coming home with from TNNA?

Oh, wait, you need a photo, don't you?  Spumante, my new beaded shawl, is releasing next week!  Want a sneak peek?


Ithaca Festival: Parade Time!

This weekend was Ithaca Festival which commemorates the weekend after Cornell graduation. The majority of the students leave for the summer and the locals take to the streets in droves to celebrate their departure until Fall (and our glorious town!)

It's always kicked off by a parade on Thursday eve... this year's was extra fun because my derby girl was skating with the Junior League, and Ithaca's knitters had a float of their own!  Want to see?

The knitter's float had live Jazz and a trailer with sheep, cause that's how they roll!
Mandatory Ginormous Knitting Needles!
Knitting makes you happy, right?
Strangey, our fearless leader!
The Frida Kahlo Appreciation Society, where one can get a unibrow free of charge!
The GunShow, Ithaca's fledgingling Men's Roller Derby team  (yes, they are "pulling" a volvo... this is Ithaca!)
Aw, my derby girl.....
I missed pics of the EPIC Volvo ballet and a crew of steamy men revving their chainsaws to Aretha Franklin's Chain of Fools... guess I'll have to save those to share with you next year!


Mudra: June's Adorn Anew Pattern!

Ready for June's Adorn Anew pattern? Introducing Mudra!
Mudra Necklace
Mudra Necklace is created by taking an I-cord that has beads slipped up in between the cord’s stitches (just like Mudra Cuff) and hooking it through a pendant with a half hitch knot. The beaded sections have smaller size 8 beads surrounding a larger accent bead.
Mudra Necklace
I'm sure you are wondering about the donut I found... just like Beignet I used a 2 inch shawl ring from Jul designs. This handcrafted Balinese ring one is made with slices of cinnamon stick that have been fused to a wood base with resin. A bonus? The ring actually smells a bit spicy : )!
Mudra Necklace
Of course I think one of the fun things about the patterns in Adorn Anew is seeking out your own supplies to make a truly unique creation BUT, you know what? For those of you who would rather have me get it all together for them I have NEW KITS for both Mudra and Mudra Cuff!!!! Read more about them here!  Kits have started shipping out to stores this week, and they will be debuting at TNNA later this month, I've also stocked the Etsy shop as well....