Auditioning Yarns for Novus Jacket!

I've been getting questions about choosing yarns for Novus Jacket and it seemed like a good idea to write y'all a little blurb on how I decide on yarns for sweaters!
Hint: It's all about yarn shopping (and then swatching)!

I call it holding yarn auditions.... when I'm out and about yarns call to me,  in fact sometimes they even sing! When this happens I HAVE to take them home.... and then I end up with a pile of single skeins of yarn to play with, and never enough for a sweater!  This turns out to be a good thing. I can swatch and design with a yarn and then if I know it is right I will order up as much as I need. Harrisville Turbine sang to me at Rhinebeck, a single skein came home with me and that is how it got chosen for my Novus Jacket.
Novus is easy to swatch for! Just cast on a sleeve for the size you are making and knit at least 6 inches of it. Then take that "swatch" and block it... do you like the fabric? Did you get gauge? If the answer is yes then you can put that swatch back on the needles and keep knitting. If you didn't then you can play around with different needle sizes (go up in ndl size if you need less sts per inch, and down in ndl size if you need more sts per inch) and see if you get gauge AND confirm you like the fabric.

You'll find there is a big decision to make with Novus... do you want a sweater that has a bit of drape or one that is more structured ? The yarn you choose will dictate this, and swatching will give you an idea of how it will behave. The softer the yarn and air in between the sts, the more drape it will have. Do keep in mind that those softer yarns are not going to wear as well. I've also seen people knitting Novus with two strands held together which is totally intriguing!

I spent some time swatching a few different yarns this week and came up with some great options for Novus:

Cloudborn Bulky, Fibre Company Tundra, and Dragonfly Fiber's Super Traveler make a dreamy loose fabric and will give your Novus more drape.
DragonFly Fiber's Super Traveler in Winter Woods
Look at Jan's Novus.. she used Fibre Company Tundra and adjusted the pattern to make it a little longer! (I want to steal her sweater... but instead I ordered some Tundra to make one of my own!)

Kitt used Cloudborn  Fibers Superwash Merino Bulky, and got a great result as well! I love how you can look at projects and get an idea of how a yarn will behave.

Clara's new Cormo 3.0, I got a sample at her retreat, is kinda sorta perfect for Novus, it is soft, but creates a somewhat stiff fabric! (I think she is updating her site with more soon). (I hope!)
Brooklyn Tweed Quarry is similar to Harrisville Turbine in it's woolly qualities, but it isn't quite as heavy so once you achieve gauge with it you'll find the fabric has more air in between the stitches making it flow a bit more in the sweater fabric.
Now, do you see why I have been buying single skeins of bulky weight yarns? Auditions are fun! And whatever doesn't become part of a Novus can always turn into the world's best cowl, right? It is easy to invest in single skeins until you know what will make the PERFECT Novus Jacket for you!

Oh, and last week's giveaway winner?... CONGRATS Amy (aka Hudson Valley Knits!), get in touch with your address so I can send you your awesome Triplex kit!

So, what yarns are you thinking of auditioning for Novus Jacket? I know there are more out there to choose from!!! Ask questions, I'm happy to help you!  We've also got a KAL going in my Ravelry group and help is just a post away!


A Gradient Triplex!

Do you remember Triplex? Well one of my brilliant friends, Laurel, had the great idea to knit it in a gradient! She used a Wonderland Yarns Mad Hatter Mini-Skein Set paired with Fibre Company Road to China Light.... didn't it come out AMAZINGLY?

 I love when knitters get inspired by my patterns and search out the perfect yarns for them!

Time for a giveaway...

Wonderland Yarns generously offered up a Mad Hatter Mini-Skein Set in "Down the Rabbit Hole" with a matching skein of  Mad Hatter in "Tea Tray" to so you can knit up your own Triplex! How lucky are we? This would be a great project for someone to knit in the First Quarter KAL in my Ravelry group!

I'm off to Denver for the weekend for some "professional development". I'll be at Fancy Tiger hanging out with some of my buddies on Thursday night, so if you are in the area, stop by and say hi!

Just leave a comment below by 12pm (EST) on Monday Jan 25th. I will randomly choose a winner and announce them in next week's post! (A tutorial on auditioning yarn for the Novus Jacket!)


Novus Jacket: A Bulky Weight Sweater Pattern!

GAH! I am so excited to share my latest creation with you... mostly because now that it is released I can start to wear it (at Vogue Knitting Live this weekend!)!!!!
The Novus Jacket was inspired by the construction of the sweaters in the Novus Collection. I wanted a winter weight jacket that would keep me WARM and that I could wear open or closed! The jacket is worked from the sleeve towards the center in two halves and then joined together by back and sleeve panels. You can read more about this crazy construction here. It is easy to adjust! Add length to the jacket when you cast on for the body and add width by working more rows at the collar.

Things about this design that make me swoon?
The Yarn.....
Harrisville's newest yarn Turbine is one of the most lovely bulky yarns I've come across. It is structured while still being soft and airy. They explain in depth about the milling process on the yarn's page. There is much to learn from this mill!
The Shoulder Detail....
The garter stitch stripe which starts at the wrist flows up towards the neck
and curves out at the shoulder refining the design.
The Asymmetrical Collar
This the first time I've designed something that isn't symmetrical...
I definitely confused the test knitters!
Some of you have been asking if this is the third pattern in the Novus Collection... the answer is NO! I decided that this design was too much of a departure from the other two patterns in the collection (Hot Flash and Las Cruces), the third sweater is currently on the needles. It is worked in a heavy lace weight and it GORGEOUS! (if I do say so myself) That sweater will be out this spring.... it's definitely not for the winter. But,  if you have previously purchased the Novus Collection you will automatically receive a discount of $2 on Novus Jacket at checkout, no need for a special code!

Thanks so much for your input on closures... I had actually already decided on the Wavy Shawl Pin and luckily most of you agreed with me. The shawl pin allows me to shape the jacket a bit at the waist which is a bit more flattering on me. Part of why I did that post is that I thought it would help you see how a different closure can really change the look of this sweater. I can't wait to see what you all come up with as your Novus Jackets come off your needles! The winner of that giveaway is Glenda... Congrats! Get in touch and I'll get you your prizes!
(tons more photos on Ravelry!!!!)


A Question of Closure....

Oh, I know some of you have been waiting on this design for a long time! It took a weekend to knit and two months to write, grade, tech edit, test, tech edit again, and photograph! So, now that it is officially almost ready I thought I would ask you which closure you like best? 

When I designed Novus Jacket I knew I wanted to use a piece from Jul and Laura (the owner and designer) was kind enough to send me 3 very different options...
Leather Latch Closures!
Gate Hinge Closure!
Classic Waves Shawl Pin!!!!
Time for a giveaway...
So, which do you like best? The random winner will get their choice and a free pattern when it is released next week (hopefully!)

I will randomly choose a winner and announce them when the Novus Jacket is released!

Some old business
Life got busy and I took a break from Friday giveaways and realized I never awarded the AMAZING gradient set from Seven Sisters Fiber Arts... that must be because I wanted to keep it!

Congrats to Karen Kugler ....  Get in touch so I can send you your yarn!

Oh, and because I know many of you have been waiting for this pattern for a while I have posted the  yarn/materials information in my Ravelry group so you can go yarn shopping this weekend! I get to go to a retreat at my local yarn shop tomorrow morning, and I think I'll wear mine and give everyone a sneak peek!!


A Nelkin Designs 2016 First Quarter KAL!


It’s 2016 and I have SO MUCH in store for us! I know many of you are waiting for some new designs to be ready AND for my next Mystery KAL (to be released on April 1st).

I spent the last day of 2015 doing a little stash dive and came up with ALOT OF PRIZES! They are going to live in this super cool yarn storage pillow by Go Knits until it is time to send them to the winners...
It is time for another First Quarter KAL!  This one is a tiny bit different than the ones held in 2013 and 2015 so do read below! 

  • Anyone can participate, but you must be a member of my Ravelry group to win any prize(s).
  • Only designs by me (Laura Nelkin) are eligible.
  • You must have a project page made for the Nelkin design you are working on.
    Please use the tag Nelkin1stQKAL16 so others can find it!
  • Chatter is encouraged, though if you have a specific pattern question it might be a good idea to ask in that pattern’s thread.
  • Please post photos… especially amusing photos! Photos are how you win prizes!
  • Both WIPS and new projects are eligible... just don't forget to tag the project if it is a WIP!

Weekly Draw:
  • ANY post with a progress photo within the week of that particular draw (done randomly on a number generator).
  • You can post more than one photo per project during the week, but only one will be counted by the generator. You must have a tagged project page made for this project to be eligible (see above).
  • The prize for the weekly draw is for something knitting related……. whether it’s a jewelry kit, or a gift certificate toward my Etsy or Ravelry shop, or yarn donated by one of many amazing companies.
We thought it would be fun to have some group goals, with incentives, I have three special big prizes planned, and you will all have to work together for them to be presented! Lucky for us Justine has offered to keep count and update us on the statistics!
    Last year the KAL had 493 completed projects, let’s shoot for 500 this year! When we reach that number I’ll randomly choose a winner for this prize! You have to participate and have at least one completed tagged project to be eligible.
    Last year the KAL made 104 of my designs, I think we can try for 116 this time! You have to participate and have at least one completed tagged project to be eligible.
    I think we can do this! Last year we had 170… for this goal you have to participate and have at least one tagged project to be eligible, but it doesn’t have to be finished!
Everyone who has participated in the KAL and has finished at least one project will be eligible to win the final AMAZING prize…. to be announced when the KAL is over!

Just post away with a photo of a Nelkin Designs pattern you’re working on, and you might just win something!!! :-)

Oh, and want to see the first prize? It's pretty awesomesauce...
Black Trillium Lilt Sock in the 5th Doctor…
this is the exact yarn I knit my first Oscillo in (which was lost in the Vancouver airport).
The rest of January's prizes are here...

This KAL will run for January, February AND March of 2016! And then on April 1st we’ll have our next MKAL together! Can I get a WOOT WOOT?