12.30.2013

Baba's Hat: A Story!

Earlier this fall, my mother-in-law asked me for a hat.  You should know that my MIL is an AMAZING old-school knitter, who used to whip up knitted creations constantly.  She isn't knitting as much anymore, and of course I will drop anything to knit for her....
When I asked her to describe the hat of her dreams at Thanksgiving she said, "Just like Bella's!".  But Bella's hats over the years look like this:
So, I asked, "With skulls?" (pretty sure the answer is no) 
She said, "No, I'd like a grey hat that fit's like hers, and lined to the top."
So, I was like, "Sooooooo, you want two grey hats?"
Well I procrastinated and pondered what I knew was going to be the world's most boring hat... and then I went stash diving!  Do you know what I found?  The most lovely skein of Swan's Island Worsted, in a lovely deep dark grey.  Knitting with this yarn is like knitting butter, so at least even if I was bored to tears, my hands would be happy.

Next up, I needed yarn for the lining, so I went to my LYS, and found the perfect grey hand-dyed skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Worsted, a cashmere, wool, nylon blend... need I say more?  I was going to make THE.BEST.LINING.EVER!

Then I came home, and swatched, got 4.5 sts/in, provisionally cast on 100 sts, and knit for like an inch and a half, and almost abandoned ship, but then I decided that maybe, just maybe, I could get away with 4 rows of garter stitch in the lining yarn?  She can't object too strongly, it's still grey, right?  So, I did that and all of a sudden the knitting started to fly.  At 6 inches tall I started decreasing, and the first hat was born.

Then it was time to go back, unzip the provisional cast on, and start the lining!  I used a needle two sizes smaller than the original one, and knit until it was 5.5 inches long (and yes, all other work knitting was ignored during this time, knitting with cashmere in st st in the round is SO FUN!). and did the top decreasing again.  Right before starting the top decreases I took a moment to weave in  all the ends, so when the lining was done, so was the hat.  More details on Ravelry...
The result?... I want to keep it, but I gave it to her yesterday and she loved it, so I guess I'll just have to make another for me one of these days!
p.s. I have no idea how that snow is falling the first pic... google worked some of it's mojo with one of the photos I uploaded, pretty magical, huh?

12.26.2013

The M Club: First Shipment for Magpie Mystery KAL!

I hope that all of you who celebrate had a lovely holiday yesterday!  I've been waiting to share what was in the first M Club package for Magpie Mystery KAL until after X-Mas as I know many put it under their tree as a holiday present!
It was my first time building a kit for a club... and I had a blast!  Finding the perfect balance of yarn/beads/goodies, and keeping it under 12 oz for shipping and within my budget was a great challenge!

The Yarn: It's great to have friends who make yarn!  I fell deeply in LOVE with Jill Draper's Hudson, a US sourced spun and dyed Merino superwash a few years ago, and started to beg and plead her to make a light fingering weight version of it.  Well, this fall, Jill obliged and released Esopus, which is AWESOME!  The moment I knew the yarn was going to be available I ordered enough from Jill for the club's first shipment.  I love being able to bring the club and brand-new yarn we all can feel good about!
Magpie, the first MKAL, in this series, plays with 2 colors of Esopus, 500 yards of a solid and 250 of a variegated.  Jill worked her magic and based on my "ideas" came up with the perfect combo I wouldn't have thought of myself. I adore rich deep chocolatey browns and royal reds!
The Beads: I chose some lovely Toho and Matsuno glass seed beads that match the variegated but POP against the solid.  SO much fun choosing beads! I learned, though, that you when you are ordering 10 kilos of beads, you must do that early, as it takes 6 months for them to come from Japan!
The Mini: A big part of The M Club is the 4th KAL which is only open to members of the club.  In the first 3 shipments everyone is recieveing a "piece" of the 4th KAL.  This first piece is a mini of Yankee Puritan from The Yankee Dyer.  Michelle had given me a gorgeous skein of yarn last year and I'd been holding onto it waiting for the perfect project. Well, this is it! The biggest struggle with these is not remembering where they are kept until the 4th M Club. Luckily Kristen started a thread in our Ravelry group where people can post where they are stashed. Brilliant!  It seems that there are a lot of Tardis' involved!
The Goodie: My buddy Colleen gave me an empty tin in September for stashing tools and I decided the first gift should be a tool tin!  Perfect for stashing beads, dental floss threader, a caffeinated sweet treat, and a silvalume (one of my favorite knitting tools).  The club can expect to get more surprises for their tin in coming shipments! 

Want to see something fun?  Justine suggested setting up an online map so we could see where and when the M Club packages arrived... AH-MAZING!  There are knitter's around the world joining in!
For those of you not in the M Club:  Magpie is open to all, whether or not you are part of the M Club, all you need to do is sign up by purchasing the pattern, and then go find yarn and beads!  Jill's shop is on break until Jan 2, but she has offered free shipping when she returns to anyone who wants Esopus for their Magpie.  Just use the coupon code mysteriousmagpie.  I also saw that a shipment of Esopus just  landed at Happy Knits... they've got some great color combos!

12.19.2013

Hot Chocolate on a Stick!

'Tis the season for making in our house!!  My girl and I always crank out some yummies to have a sweet way to say "THANKYOU" as we head into the New Year... I have a feeling we aren't alone in this tradition!
The last few years we have made salted dark chocolate caramels, and though I know people would still be quite happy to receive those we were ready to make something new! While out and about a few weeks ago we saw "Hot Chocolate on a Stick" and decided to try our hands it... basically what you are looking at is a piece of EXCELLENT dark chocolate fudge, that you melt in a mug of hot milk! Or coffee?... mocha anyone?
We worked with this recipe and used bittersweet chocolate as I didn't want them to get overly sweet since we were adding a candy cane stirrer! 
Packing was surprisingly easy... sometimes this is the part of gifting that stumps me! We just used red aluminum muffin tins to put the fudge squares into, then peeled back the plastic from the bottom of the candy cane and shoved it down in there.  Then we cut the top off of plastic sandwich bags and used the bottom to bag it up, and tied it off with a piece of ribbon and homemade printed tag!

All in all this was affordable, fast, fun to make, and YUMMY, we kept all the trimmings from the edge of the block for our drinking/eating pleasure! Mmmmmmmm......

Have a happy holiday season!

12.12.2013

Holiday Sale 2013- 30% off Kits!!!!!

I've been planning this one and only sale of 2013 for a while and wanted to make sure that Cambio Kits were on hand when I held it!  Luckily, yarn arrived just in time and all 5 colors of Cambio are back in stock! WOOT!
My jewelry kits are FAST and FUN to knit, and there is still time to receive them and knit them for the holidays!  They also make WONDERFUL gifts for knitters as is... if you have a knitting relative, friend, teacher, helper, or loved one you can wrap one up for them!

So, while supplies last or until Monday December 16th at 12 noon EST, I am having a 30% off sale on everything in my Etsy shop.  Just enter the coupon code STILLTIME13

THANKYOU FOR AN AMAZING YEAR!!!!! 
With Holiday Cheer,  Laura

12.10.2013

Moonkoosa's for my girl....

 
Well, Hanukkah came early this year and it's a family tradition to light the menorah and exchange small gifts on the first night.
So when I saw Tiny Owl Knits Moonkoosa Boots this summer I KNEW that was the PERFECT present for my girl.  Luckily she loves them... so much that it took me a bit to pry them off her feet to felt them!  Next up is adding a sole, I know they won't last as long without one!
Our old lady has a habit of photobombing....
I added details to my Ravelry project page in case you need to run out and make some too.  They were so fast and fun to knit.... I'm thinking my Father In Law needs a short pair for around the house!  The look on his face Christmas eve will be priceless : )!

12.08.2013

Magpie Mystery KAL: Starts Jan 9th!

Yeah!  It's time to open sign-ups for the my first Mystery KAL of 2014!

http://www.nelkindesigns.com/magpie

SCHEDULE of Clues
Clue #1- January 9th
Clue #2- January 16th
Clue #3- January 24th
Clue #4- January 31st
Clue #5- February 10th

HOW IT WORKS:  Sign up by purchasing the pattern prior to January 9th for a discounted price of $6.00  (You can sign up later and receive the previous clues, but I think it's more fun if you start it right from the get-go!)  After January 9th the KAL will be $7.00

NOTE: If you are a member of The M Club an e-mail is being sent to you with a link to redeem your pattern, no need to purchase it, it is included in your club membership!

When you sign up you will be sent a pdf with a materials list, yarn ideas, and gauge to be ready to cast on. On each scheduled clue release date an updated pdf will be sent to you with the next clue.  There will be videos made just for the KAL to help you along, and an active thread in my group on Ravelry so that you have lots of support and FUN while you are knitting. Go here to read more about the KAL and find out what materials you'll need!

So, Sign UP! Sign up for the KAL on Ravelry or my website  and then get on over to my Ravelry group and start chatting about your yarn (and bead) choices!

Note
This is a brand-new never released design and it is sure to teach you TONS!  Video tutorials will be included along the way... I had such fun incorporating new techniques into this design, I hope you like it as much as I do!

Have Questions?
Ask them below... I'll answer in the comments so everyone can benefit from the answer.... if you have questions, I'll bet someone else is wondering the same thing too! 

12.02.2013

Fino: The Final Patternworks Kit Club Design!

Wow... I can't believe my last design for the Patternworks Kit Club has just shipped!  This year went QUICKLY!

I noticed how many people enjoyed the simplicity of Come Together last fall , and I wanted to design another necklace in that vein that didn't require an expensive, hard-to-find, hand-made bead. Fino is constructed with one long I-Cord that is banded together by individually made "beads"...
Fino
These "bead wraps" are made by placing seed beads with a crochet hook or Super Floss onto elongated stitches.  There are endless possibilities for this technique and I am looking forward to playing more with it!
Fino
Fino is made with one "Gumball" by Knitted Wit, a 45 yard mini skein of merino wool sock yarn and 5 different colors of Miyuki Size 6 seed beads.
Fino
I worried some of you might think that I spent hours and hours churning out this simple 4 stitch I-Cord... but I didn't!  I used a MACHINE, it was awesome, it took 5 minutes, it makes me want to churn out I-Cord all day!  In fact, I might have made some with one of my Freia Gradient skeins just for fun!  One could even go super crazy and attach a drill to theirs (I did not do this, I am not that crazy!)