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!