Ravelry Group 3rd Quarter KAL!!!!!

I'm thrilled to announce another Nelkin Designs Knit-A-Long in my Ravelry group!  The first general KAL we did earlier this winter was GREAT!  165  knitters participated; they knit 81 of my designs and chatted away about their knitting, and so much more!  I can't wait to see what people create this time!  Participating in KAL's like this is a great way to work on some of those  WIP's that you've been meaning to finish for a while!

It's super easy to participate, all you have to do is start chatting (and cast on for one of my designs if you haven't already!).  You can read all the details here.... I do hope you will join in!
A sampling of prizes.... : )!
We've got FABULOUS prizes from:
Jul Designs
Nelkin Designs
Space Cadet Creations
Spud and Chloe
Swan's Island
Lantern Moon
Knitted Wit
Pagewood Farms
Yarn Pop
Shalimar Yarns
Lorna's Wool
Potter Craft

A huge THANKYOU to the yarn and notion companies for participating!!!  I'll admit that a few of the goodies I have for you I kinda sorta wanna keep for myself! 


TNNA 2013: A Photo Recap

I'm back from my second year showing my kit and pattern line at TNNA (the yarn industry's wholesale show) in Columbus, Ohio.  Doing shows is exhilarating, FUN, and exhausting and it's taking me a bit more than I expected to bounce back.... I definitely have what I like to think of as my "sexy" voice since I talked ALOT!  As usual I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked... but I did get some, want to see?
Felicia from Sweet Georgia and I were next to each other at Sample It! What a way to start the weekend!
A lively booth shot!
FinnKnitter, wearing Skywalker and choosing patterns and kits for her LYS, Michigan Custom Boutique!
Stephanie from SpaceCadet Creations, who I worked with on Juego is AWESOME in real life... so fun to hang out for reals!
Being interviewed by Johnny of Stitch Nation...
Kristen, my phenomenal helper, sporting a semi-secret design of mine launched as part of a collaboration with Ysolda and others.... I'll tell you more when I can : )!  THANKYOU Kristen!  You are more than awesomesauce!
I also got to finally meet Sivia Harding, I was so proud of myself for not going all fan-girl on her! Her work was my first introduction to knitting with beads...  Another lovely designer I got time to chat with was Olga Buraya-Kefelian I have long admired her aesthetic and it was great fun to connect!  And I can't forget about Carol Feller, she and I chatted HARD....

Maybe the most exciting part of the weekend was showing my editor Caitlin, and tech editor, Kate,  the book samples to date!  They both had only seen photos and it made the book feel so much more real.  Their enthusiasm was infectious and I got the energy boost I needed to finish this baby up!


A Smorgasbord!

I've got lots to share/tell you about, so are you ready for one of those list style blog posts that hits on a bunch of different things that have struck my fancy?
  • Thankyou immensely for sharing the news of Pioneer Cuffs with your LYS's... I'm thrilled that you all got into the spirit of it! I heard from a few stores that had never carried my kits before, and that's all due to your willingness to spread the word!  Congrats to Loris .... get in touch and I'll get your Pioneer Package out to you!

  • While studiously avoiding my giant pile of work yesterday I stumbled upon this AWESOME blog post written by Amanda Palmer about Neil Gaiman's new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane.... now I know she is biased as she's married to him, but I'm adding it to my Summer Reading List!  Also, subscribing to her blog, as after watching her TED talk this spring I can't get enough Amanda Palmer....

  • While avoiding the pile even more, I found Stitch-Maps a new project by JC Briar... anyone who has taken a class with me knows that I highly suggest JC's book on knit chart reading to anyone who is struggling with charts.  She is making knitting history with this innovative way of looking at charts. 
    Stitch Map of Feather and Fan
    I'm planning a blog post on Stitch Maps for later this summer, as I am totally intrigued and want to play with it more!

  • Also I'm planning another blog post on all my Fall teaching engagements.... I am hitting the road a fair bit this Fall and hope to get to meet more of your in real life!  For now, I've updated my workshop schedule... Registration just opened for Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago
  • Since I'm a Mom first and foremost, the thing I might be the most excited about this week is this monstie my girl made for her phenomenal music teacher's end of year present. 
    Made with leftover Noro and my old live Led Zeppelin cassette tape for hair!
  • I'm off to TNNA in the morning, if you want a glimpse of this yarny extravaganza follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter! I'm sure I'll be sharing some goodies : )!


My Summer Reading List 2013

I thought it would be fun for us to share what is on our bookshelves for this summer's reading!  This blog has been ALL about knitting lately, and it turns out I do other things too... I swear!

I've been on a reading/listening kick lately.... my brain just needs time to "come" down from the days excitement before I pass out.

On my Shelf:
Just Finished:
  • Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
      (oh my, there aren't really words... this book moved me)
  • Everyone Leaves by Wendy Guerra
      (poetic, and sad, even tragic... but I just kept reading!)
  • Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl 
      (don't judge me, the teen and I were doing a comparative literature study between this and Twilight..... or that's my justification anways)
So, what are reading/listening to this summer??????  I'd love to add some more books to my list!


A New Knitting Kit: The Pioneer Cuff!

Pioneer Cuff was originally released as a learning tool in my Craftsy class Knitting with Beads, and copyright reverted back to me this spring.  I always knew I'd release Pioneer Cuff as a kit as it is the perfect pattern for learning basic lace skills, working with pre-strung beads that are slipped in between stitches, AND placing beads on stitches with super floss (or a crochet hook.) The lace pattern is both charted and written out and the pattern includes links to video tutorials for working with the beads! 
I chose Anzula Cloud, one of my favorite light fingering yarns, for the kit.
Cloud is a cashmere, merino blend that is strong and scrumptious! 
The kit is available in 5 colors to start!
The kit includes:
15 yards Anzula Cloud (80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon)
60 Size 8 glass seed beads, 4 Czech Crystal Beads, 2 Snap Clasps,
Super Floss for placing beads, Dental Floss Threader for stringing on beads

Pioneer Cuff pattern which is necessary for working with this kit.
Have you ever placed a bead with Super Floss?  It is Addictive! Want to see?

I'm off to TNNA next week... for those of you who don't know TNNA is the yarn industry's trade show, and a blast to attend!  At TNNA I'll be showing my knit jewelry kit and pattern line to stores from around the world, fondling new yarns, and seeing old and new friends.

But, not every yarn store attends TNNA and I'd LOVE to have my kits in more stores as that's the best way to introduce knitters to working with beads!  CAN YOU HELP ME?  Do you have an LYS (local yarn store) you visit?  Can you tell them about my kits and suggest they try some out, maybe even for a class?

So, let's have a giveaway.... I'm giving away a COMPLETE SET of Pioneer Cuff Kits... that means one of each color (5 total)!  All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know that you've shared the news of my kits with your local yarn store!  (If you are a yarn store owner, you can leave a comment for a chance to win as well!)

You can tell LYS's about my kits a variety of ways:
  • Share on their Facebook page!
  • Tweet them a link to this post! 
  • E-mail them!
  • Give them a call!
  • Or even better stop in and tell them in person (gasp!)!!!!! 
Every time you share with a store post here, that will get you another chance to win! Comments will be open until Tuesday June 18th at midnight EST!  I'll announce the winners on the 19th! 


Juego Mystery Revealed!

Well, the last clue for the Juego MKAL went out May 24th... and that means it's time to share my photos of Juego with you!  Mystery Knit A Long's are always a blast to work on as they engender a fabulous sense of community and help expand those knitting skills.  I think many of the people who have already finished their Juego's might not have even attempted it had they seen the finished photo first.  This puppy was packed with technique!

I knit my Juego in SpaceCadetCreations Celeste Five Rings and Feather, it was my first time working with this yarn, and it won't be my last.... it handled the beads and bloomed beautifully when blocked!
Juego is a center out, top down, bi-color shawl worked seamlessly in sections with a reversible cable edging.   The pattern contains links to 7 unique videos that help immensely with the techniques used in the pattern!
Here's a list of skills used in Juego:
Circular Cast On
Knitting in the Round
Knitting Flat
Mosaic Colorwork
Carrying Colors
Basic Lace Stitches
Knitting with Beads
Knitted-On Edging
Reversible Cables
Attached ICord

A final version of Juego (sans clues) has been uploaded to Ravelry.  I've left the version with clues as well for those of you might still want to work it that way!

There are SO many knitters to thank for helping to make this KAL a success: my Ravelry moderators were amazing, Stefanie from Space Cadet got a TON of yarn dyed in a short period of time, my testers and tech editor allowed me to mess with their brains (and needles) on more than one occasion while we simplified the pattern as much as possible AND my Ravelry group... the most amazing collection of humans you will ever find.  Your perseverance, empathy, patience and AWESOME sense of humor made this the most amazing KAL yet!  Seriously, LOVE you guys! 

The best part?  I FINALLY get to wear my Juego!  I finished it in January and it's been packed away for months!  I might have worn it on a date with my honey to our favorite restaurant on Seneca Lake (it was a Wednesday, there were no knitter's there....) It's first "real" outing is TNNA in 2 weeks....


Obsessio Cowl: A Cabling and S2kpo Tutorial!

Thankyou SO MUCH for the Obsessio LOVE!  I am thrilled with the reception my new pattern has received!  I noticed in the Craftsy forum and in my Ravelry group that some of you have never worked a cable at the edge of your work and it's throwing you for a loop (as they say)!

Since a picture is always worth a thousand words I decided to shoot a little video to show you how to do it.  I also threw in how to work the s2kpo for those of you who that is new for too!

A disclaimer: This was shot at my kitchen table with my standard poodle pacing around behind me, and my nails a little worse for wear after a weekend of gardening! I know many of you are used to the high quality of my Craftsy videos.... apologies!


Obsession Cowl: My Craftsy Mystery Knit-A-Long!

Well, just about a month ago I announced my next project, a Mystery KAL with Craftsy!  Guess what?  It's a month later, and time for the BIG REVEAL!

Obsessio Cowl

Obsessio is an ethereal lacy summer cowl meant to be worn draped over the shoulders or wrapped around the neck. This undyed silk/mohair lace yarn by ArtYarns is worked at a very loose gauge on large needles, which makes it akin to wrestling with butterfly wings. It's the perfect summer knit!

Obsessio Cowl

Obessio starts with a provisional cast-on, and is worked in one long rectangle. The two ends of the rectangle are then grafted together to create the cowl shaping. The stitch pattern combines a modified feather and fan with double yarnovers, and fat cables on each outer edge. The long fibers in this silk mohair yarn bloom magnificently, and working it at this large gauge allows the fiber to expand. For this reason, the stitch pattern is not overly complex, as it would be lost in the halo.

Obsessio Cowl

It's such fun to design simple projects that still challenge the knitter and delight the recipient, even if it's for you!  I can't wait to hear what you think!

For those of you participating I'll see you over in the Craftsy workshop! For those of you who have decided to wait until I release the pattern in August... start thinking about yarn!  And maybe beads???????