Artichoke French Mittens for Me (and You!)

I bet you didn't think I would release another pattern this year... did you?
Introducing Artichoke French Mittens!!
I often get asked what my design process looks like.... and frankly it is all over the place... this time I had a hole in my wardrobe that needed to be filled (and quickly!)

This all started last month... it was starting to get cold and I realized I was desperately short in the warm mitten department. I knew I wanted some mittens that would be fitted and knit at a dense gauge to keep the wind out! I was also very aware that last winter I didn't really have any mittens that matched my new coat and it seemed sacrilegious to wear store bought mittens with a hand made coat.
So, I decided to resurrect the stitch from Artichoke French, and slap it on some mittens for me. Even better I still had lots of yarn leftover from the sweater I knit Bella and it matches my coat almost a little too perfectly!
And then I decided another pair needed to be knit from the original skein I knit the first Artichoke French in.... Jill Draper Makes Stuff Empire is the perfect yarn match for this pattern, it's structured and dense and locks out the wind! Jill is on vacation right now, so if you don't have any Empire in stock she does sell mini skeins that you can score after the first of the year! (One skein can make any of the 3 sizes!) Maybe I'll even talk her into doing a giveaway with me!
Of  course I also shot you a video of this stitch in case you have never worked with elongated stitches before... The Artichoke Stitch has a 4 round repeat, and once you get the hang of it these will FLY off your needles. (That is my way of saying that you can get these done in time for the holidays (if you are already done with everything else on your needles : )! )

Oh, and you probably noticed I took a little break from Friday giveaways, I plan on taking a complete blogging break until after the New Year, but when I come back I plan on reinstating them and I have a new sweater pattern for you to warm you up! Start looking at Bulky Yarns!

Enjoy the Solstice everyone.... I am just so very very thankful that the days will be getting longer, I do love me some daylight!


Recap: Nautical Knitting Cruise

Oh wow... sorry for the silence! It took me days to write this as I had literally thousands of photos on my camera (film is cheap these days) from the fabulous Nautical Knitting Cruise I went on with Melissa Leapman and Patty Lyons. Seriously... SO FUN! We had a huge group and made some memories! Want to see?

(Please keep in mind that the lighting on the cruise was less than stellar at times so some of these don't meet my rigid photography standards (HA!) but they were too good not to share!)
Our Boat....
Clearly Melissa, Patty and I are actually the Charlie's Angels, masquerading as knitting teachers...
Sabrina (from Anzula) came... and everyone got REALLY nice yarn in their goodie bags!
Leaving Tampa behind....
First night... I love a conference center filthy with knitters!
Do you see all the pocket people? So many of our friends couldn't make it... but we brought them along anyway!
I hot tubbed with these ladies... just sayin'!
Oh, and these ladies too!
Laurel and Greta... these two are the bomb! We went to Mexico and had so much fun no photos were taken! Hay Muchos Tacos en Mexico!!!! Estás de acuerdo Greta?
My only regret, not getting more time to just sit and look at the sea... I think I need a longer cruise next time!
In port at Key West.... a boat just a wee bit smaller than ours!
There were classes too! 21 total between the 3 of us... and of course there were pocket people at every one! 
Getting ready to give my talk.... the rapport Melissa, Patty and I had was fabulous... I think we missed our calling as stand up comedians!

Nelkin Designs Fashion Show... this is just a little peek into what was an amazing showing of my designs... THANKYOU KNITTERS!!!!!

Melissa thanking Jennifer for all her last minute help!
Teaching Pocket People a little mini class! Emma was being loud and I had to ring the bell to get her to pipe down!
Windy Las Cruces group...
The Hot Flashes...
The Hot Flashes "pretending" to do a the Can-Can!
Everyone that we could find from the Ravelry group.... : )!
There is nothing like taking an on-line friendship and making it real... plus no one lost a kidney, right?
The biggest problem with teaching knitting is there is no time to knit! Here I am looking like an addict trying to get in just a few rows while Patty gave a great talk on getting gauge (or not getting it!)
Last Night... cocktail party...Pattie's husband wasn't "that" into me taking his mug shot!
My "baes" Jennifer and Frank!
Helene learned how to knit with beads, and finished her Stereo Cuff at the cocktail party!
It was like herding cats, but we got a group photo with almost everyone!!!
Oh, and did you see Crucero, a new shawl that I designed for the cruise? Here's a peek...

You can see tons more photos and read about it here. Since it uses a special yarn (Anzula Breeze, and two colors of beads, I made a few kits for it!)

I've got more in the works for 2016,  I can't wait to see where Melissa, the best cruise director ever, takes us next! Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be the first to know!



Star of Butin: A New Beaded Cast On!

Oooohhh… Star of Butin is ALL.ABOUT.BEADS! (With a few knit stitches in between!)... even the cast on uses beads! I had to find a way to  have those beads not twist while casting on, and discovered that the German Twisted Cast On was the perfect solution!

Of course I know that not many of you use this technique, so I shot you a video!

If you don't have yarn and beads in stash you can use one of my Stars Adornaments kits to make Star of Butin!

Let me know if you have questions... as always I am happy to help!


Thankyou Sale and Star of Butin (New Pattern!)

Happy Holiday Season All!
Thankyou Sale
My Ornament, Jewelry and Accessory kits are just the thing to make this holiday season sparkle! They are fast, and fun, and fly off the needles, so you do have time to make handmade gifts for your people!  They are also fabulous gifts for knitters as well... if you have a knitting relative, friend, teacher, helper, or loved one you can wrap a kit up for them without even knitting it!!!!!!
PLUS, I just released a new ornament pattern called Star of Butin, AND if you place an order, you'll get a code to download Star of Butin for free! The Stars kit will make one of these if you don't have supplies at home.

So here are the details... go to my Etsy shop, choose some kits and use the coupon HUGETHANKS15 at checkout to get 25% off your order. (This sale is only for items in stock and will end on 12/1 at 12:00 PM EST.) Your sales receipt will contain a link and download code to redeem your free Star of Butin pattern.

Also, I should let you know that Craftsy is having a huge sale as well and all classes are $19.99 or less!  This includes all 5 of my knitting classes with them!



What's on The Needles? (and a Seven Sisters Yarn Giveaway!)

TGIF Y'all! What a week since the last giveaway.... all has felt quite unbalanced as of late, and as usual I am coping by knitting ALOT. I've finished a new mitten pattern, a shawl, knit alot of swatches AND I've got some fun stuff on the needles!

Remember those socks I told my honey were in his future... I'm almost done with the toe (on the first one). I still don't think I like knitting socks!
I'm working on another Adornament design as I am teaching them in a few weeks and I know a few of my students have already knit Stello, Stellita and Astellar. This way they'll have something new to try!
I got 2 skeins of Nona from Spirit Trail Fiberworks last weekend at KRR, and I have cast on the last sweater in the Novus Collection. I'm almost done with the sleeve which means I need to do some math before I can cast on for the front and back!
An obvious solution was also to order yarn to make Max a sweater. I haven't knit one for him in a long time. I know he wants a heavily cabled number, and that is still in his future, but for now I am knitting him Rift in Green Mountain Spinnery's Mewesic. It will be great "background" knitting on the cruise as the body and sleeves are knit in the round with simple shaping. I can handle that while chatting away! I don't have a deadline for this... it's fine if it takes a year, but in the end I will love knitting it and he'll end up with a new sweater (which he totes deserves!) I'm pretty sure this will be done before the stupid socks...
Oh, and did I tell you I'm trying something new and participating in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long in Ravelry this year?   I've got 15 patterns on sale for 25% off until November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm (23:59) US-EST... just use the coupon code giftalong2015 at checkout. There are many different threads to enter your finished gift-knitting in to win prizes... you can enter with any of my designs or those of participating designers, and they don't have to be ones that you purchased on sale!

SO GO FORTH MY DEAR NELKINITES AND SPREAD THE WORD… this would be a great opportunity for you to get some gift knitting done and share my designs with people who don’t know them :)!

Finally, I wanted to update you on Knitting for Munich! So far we have shipped 502 hats to Munich from Canada and the US... there are even more waiting to be boxed up and sent out (I wait until I have a very full box for each shipment). The last date to send donations is Nov 30th. After that Andrea will let us know if they need more. I want to make sure the hats all get to where they are needed first. Thankyou so very very very much!

Time for a giveaway... 
Karen from Seven Sisters Arts was at KRR... it was lovely to meet her! Karen used to be one half of String Theory Fiber Arts (the dyer I worked with on Skywalker) and she and I had many interactions/emails over the year but had never met in real life. She likes boots as much as I do, so clearly she is A-OK!
I kept drooling in Karen's both on her yarn, especially her gradient kits, I couldn't quite bring myself to get one as I didn't have a plan for it....  (and I'm a girl who likes a plan). BUT Karen gave me one to give to you! What do you think of that?  I chose this insanely stunning gold/earthy combo in Meridian called Seaweed ... if you don't want it, I'm happy to keep it! Can you imagine a Magmatic Boom in it? Or a Clarus?

So, what's on your needles? Has the gift knitting started in earnest? Leave a comment below by 12pm (EST) on Nov 24th.  I will randomly choose a winner and announce them in next week's Friday post!

Last week's winner...
Congrats to ....  Carolm7323 Get in touch so I can get you your arm knitting kit! You lucky winner! I promise this will make your arms buff!


Winter/Spring 2016 Workshops!

I'm just back from a fabulous weekend away... for the first time ever I went to a knitting retreat AS A KNITTER! It was amazing! If you have never gone to a retreat you must... the experience of camaraderie, familiarity, learning, and laughing with people who share your passion is indescribably PERFECT! Since I wasn't working I really let my hair down... don't worry, I didn't dance on a bar, but I did wear my pajamas and I got a lot of knitting done!
Sunday afternoon at Knitter's Review Retreat in Canandaigua!
The weekend has me so unbelievable excited for the cruise and the afterparty and classes at A Good Yarn, I'm going to get to meet many knitters from my Ravelry group for the first time. I'm packing extra tissues, I'm pretty sure there are going to be tears (from laughing!)!!!!

It also has me completely jazzed for 3 events in the first quarter of the year. I'm "trying" to be good and only book one thing a month so I can get some design work done.... we'll see how that goes! Hopefully one of these will work with your schedule and we'll get to knit together!

Vogue Knitting Live in New York City
Vogue Events are amazingly well organized with phenomenal teachers and a marketplace that is AMAZEBALLS! I am teaching some of my favorite classes here, Lace with Beads, Beading 101, Adornaments and more.... I hope I have time to shop!

Wonder/Wool Retreat in Corning New York
A smaller retreat, at the Corning Museum of glass, besides workshops with myself, Patty Lyons and Melanie Berg (who is coming from Germany!) there will be opportunities to blow glass! There is a Friday evening event at the Museum with a private tour and cocktails.... I KNOW this is going to be a unique retreat with the opportunity to really connect with your fellow knitters! I do hope you will join us!

Note: if you are worried about travel, the Elmira airport is super close by, and has many flights coming through it daily... this is the airport I use for all my work trips and I totally love it (as much as one can "love" an airport)!

DFW Fiber Fest
Oh, Texas in April, with some of my favorite knitting teachers... classes for this event sell out quickly, so don't delay if you are thinking of attending!!!!


Resurrecting Our Poof & a Flax and Twine Giveaway!

Y'all remember when I knit my living room a poof a few years ago?
Well, it went from looking all perky like this....
to this.... (my honey liken it to a watermelon that gets left out in the garden after a few hard freezes)
So, I decided I would arm knit it a new cover and see if I could breathe some life back into it!And it totally worked! WOOT!
I spent last Rhinebeck with Anne of Flax and Twine, and watched her arm knit the whole time we hung out... I knew I had to try it, and when her book, Knitting without Needles, released this fall I quickly made sure to get a copy. (As an aside, I think Anne drank less than I did that weekend as her arms were too full of yarn to drink her Martini!)
Perhaps the hardest part was choosing yarn.  I really really really wanted one of these Loopy Mango skeins, but my budget said NO!, so I found Brown Sheep Burly Spun at my LYS and got myself 4 skeins... I soon discovered that I arm knit just like I normally knit (loose) and ended up having to hold the yarn with 8 strands together, which meant I needed to go back and buy 2 more skeins. I also decided to cover the "old" poof with a piece of muslin so the green didn't show through, and I added a little extra stuffing while I was at it to firm it up even more! Anne also has kits in her shop which makes things easy if you want to make one too!

Arm knitting is a blast, have you tried it? Anne has a tutorial on her blog to get you started... but if you are intrigued, or you know someone who might enjoy checking it out... her book is a great holiday gift!

Time for a giveaway...
Miss Anne has offered up a kit to make this Arm Knit Pom Pom Hat from her book AND an exclusive video that shows you every step of its making for this week's giveaway! How sweet is that? I'm sorry if you thought this post was going to be me giving away a poof... but I'm keeping this one, it is way too heavy to ship!!

Have you ever knit with something besides your knitting needles? Do tell! Just leave a comment below by 12pm (EST) on Nov 17th.

I will randomly choose a winner and announce them in next week's Friday giveaway post!

Last week's winner... 

Congrats to .... Danielle Baines! Get in touch so I can get you your bundle of Craftsy classes! You lucky winner!

And now I want to arm knit some pillows...... oh my, this might be the start of something cray cray...