3.28.2016

Tutorial: Placing a Lifeline

What is a Lifeline?
Lifelines are like insurance policies for your knitting: You won’t necessarily need them, but if you run into trouble you’ll be glad you invested in one! A lifeline is a smooth piece of scrap yarn, typically a lighter gauge than the yarn you are working with, in a contrasting dye-fast color that is threaded through all the live stitches on the needles. If you find a mistake and need to undo multiple rows of knitting, you can rip back to the lifeline and pick up the stitches from the scrap yarn to try again.

I love using lifelines after I work a provisional cast on, as then when you go to rip out the cast on to get your live stitches they are all "caught" by the lifeline a ready to go!


Placing a Lifeline

Thread a smooth piece of scrap yarn (unwaxed dental floss or buttonhole thread work well, too), onto a bent-tip tapestry needle, then thread the needle through each stitch of your knitting. If you are knitting single-sided lace, work the yarn through a plain (WS) row, if possible. Place the lifeline on a row of knitting you know you have worked correctly so that if you need to rip back more than a row or two you’ll know you are on track. Remember to mark which row your lifeline is placed on so you know exactly where you are ripping back to. It’s also best to place a lifeline at the end of a repeat to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern.

Ripping Back to a Lifeline
Remove the needle from your work. (I know, this is scary!) Slowly wind the yarn back onto its ball and stop when you reach the stitches held on the lifeline. Then, with a needle one to two sizes smaller than the needle you are knitting with, put the stitches back onto the needle, making sure that the right leg of the stitch is to the front of your needle and the left leg is to the back. (It is much easier to pick up stitches with a smaller needle.) Then transfer the stitches to the properly sized working needle.

Multiple Lifelines
You may be asking, “Can I remove my lifeline once I have placed a second one?”
That’s up to you. Some knitters prefer the safety of having multiple lifelines in place; others find the dangling ends distracting and like to remove them as soon as possible. To remove a lifeline, gently pull the thread out stitch by stitch.

Any other questions about using lifelines? I'm happy to answer them!

3.26.2016

Happy 28th Birthday Again Sale!

Guess what?  It's my birthday (I'm turning 28 for the 17th time) and I want to celebrate with you!
For today ONLY I'm offering 28% off all my kits!

I have 20 jewelry and accessory kits to choose from! I am running low on stock for a few of them (like Soutache, and Butin), and when they sell out I won't be re-ordering supplies... I've got some new kits in the works and need to streamline a bit!

So here are the details... go to my Etsy shop, choose some fun kits and use the coupon HAPPY28THAGAIN at checkout to get 28% off. (This sale is only for kits in stock, sale ends March 26th at 11:59 pm EST.)

And THANKYOU... have I told you lately how lucky I feel to have found you and our knitting world?

xoxoxoxo

(oh, and I bet you want to know the winner of last week's Reversible Listado Cowl yarn giveaway! Craftsy actually wants to give three of you yarn, isn't that awesome? The winners are: andreatl, Jersey Shore Deb and RebeccaJensen !!! Get in touch with your address and we'll get you your yarn!)

3.22.2016

Video Tutorial: Placing Beads on Your Knitting

Have you ever placed beads on your knitting? It's surprisingly simple!

This video will show you two ways to place a bead, once with a crochet hook, and once with Super Floss!  (I also have a video that shows how to use a Beadle Needle...)



Wondering what size bead you should use on what weight yarn, luckily I wrote a blog post about that here.

If this technique is intriguing and you want to learn more about knitting with beads you can check out my Craftsy class Knitting with Beads (50% off link), you'll learn about choosing beads, choosing yarn for working with beads and many techniques for knitting with beads. There are even 3 patterns included Pioneer Cuff, Accola, and Clarus.

This is a remake of a video I made years ago. I am getting ready to release the first clue of Synthesis MKAL next week and the MKAL uses this technique in the last clue. I decided to upgrade the tutorial! Hoping you join us... there will be more videos just like this! Here's a link to sign up!

3.17.2016

Reversible Listado Cowl and a Yarn Giveaway!

This winter I "re-imagined" one of my oldest cowl patterns and designed Reversible Listado Cowl... I love Listado Cowl as is, but thought it would also be fabulous if it was longer, which meant the stitch had to be reversible, I just didn't have the right yarn for it! Then my buddy Sunne gave me a skein of Cloudborn's new yarn in Bird's Nest while I was in Denver for a Craftsy meeting... and somehow on the way home instead of working on my deadline knitting I was casting on a new cowl? I am clearly highly distractable.... (but that is another blog post).

 This yarn/pattern combo is so good that when I finished the cowl and blocked it, before I could even get photos, my husband stole it to wear with his new sweater. I had to steal it back ASAP... this is high praise as he isn't really a wool around the neck kinda guy! And then the girl tried to steal it as gradient yarn matches gradient hair!
I ended up re-vamping the original Listado pattern at the same time as it was in an older pattern format... so I've decided to bundle the patterns, if you already own Listado you can get Reversible Listado for only $2 more. And if you purchase both Reversible Listado and Listado you get $3 off the bundle. They were different enough patterns that I couldn't write them as one without confusing myself (and I tried!).

Time for a Giveaway!
So, in celebration of spring being on its way AND St Patrick's day this week... who wants to win a skein of Cloudborn Merino Alpaca Sport Color Change Yarn in Amalfi to knit up a bright and cozy Reversible Listado Cowl?
I've got it all wound up and ready to go..... I can't wait to see Reversible Listado Cowl  on one of your needles!

Just leave a comment below letting me know which your favorite colorway of Color Change is yours... I LOVE the Bird's Nest, but now I'm thinking about Puget Sound! Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through March 20th and announce a winner in my next blog post!

3.11.2016

Novus Jacket #2!

I love my Novus Jacket so very very much and I decided I needed another in yarn that worked a little better for indoor wear. I absolutely adore the one I knit in Harrisville Turbine, but it is a bit heavy as we head into spring.
I originally was going to knit it in just Fibre Company Tundra, but when I swatched it to gauge I was worried the fabric wouldn't hold up. It needed just a little more filler.... I choose Acadia in a complementary color, which fills in the gaps and gives it a bit more structure while maintaining the drape I wanted. 
I made an XS and I added an inch to the sleeve length (so 22 garter ridges for the sleeve) and 2 inches to the length (+5 sts on each side). I'm loving the proportions!  Novus Jacket is super easy to adjust, the trick is to write down what you did so you can repeat it on the second side! Notes are on my Ravelry project page. Have I mentioned lately how FAST this is to knit? I got it done amidst a ton of other projects... I think it took longer to weave in the ends and block than it did to knit!


My girl has been doing a great job behind the camera lately...I voted for sunglasses and a headband for styling as I didn't feel like putting on makeup or doing my hair, comprende? I think the sunglasses make me look fierce (or that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

3.08.2016

How's and Why's of Slipping Stitches: A Knitting Video Treatise!

I often get asked about slipping stitches, and when one should be slipping a stitch knitwise or purlwise... in most of my patterns I tell you, but sometimes you might run into a pattern that doesn't and this video will help you know which technique to use!



You'll learn a great rule in this video... but don't forget, rules are made to be broken!

And to wrap up a little blog business... Congrats to Sofia (cecbellz on Ravelry)... you are the winner of the Fino Necklace!

3.02.2016

Calling all Craftsy Virgins (& Students Too)!!!

Y'all, Craftsy has laid down a really great promotion for National Craft Month and they are challenging their instructors to help them bring new students to site... problem is it is a tiny bit complicated and every time I tried to come up with a way to share it on social media I confused myself.
So... I'm just going to explain it here:
(once you read this you'll see why I decided to go for full transparency!)
  • Any student that purchases a class through an instructor link through 3/13 will be entered to win a $1,000 donation to a craft-focused charity of his/her choice! 
  • I will receive $100 for every 5 new buyers I send to Craftsy during the promotion
  • Every instructor who drives 1+ new buyer during the promotion will be entered for a chance to win one of ten $1,000 bonuses
  • The instructor to drive the most new buyers during the promotion will receive $5,000
  • If at least 50% of instructors drive at least 1 new buyer during the promotion, Craftsy will double their charitable donation to $2,000
  • AND HERE IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO.... if I happen to win any money through this promotion I am going to donate all of it to a craft-focused charity of your choice (I'll randomly select a person from the comments below to choose the charity)
I'm going start by giving you a few discount links for some awesome Craftsy classes I think we should all take! And I'm going to ask you to share these links with your friends... those are the people who have probably never taken a Craftsy class before. And it is the Craftsy virgins we want and will help us win! Studies show that once someone takes a class and understands just how effective they are they will come back for more. The Craftsy platform really is a fabulous way to learn and Craftsy will refund you in full if you don't enjoy the class.

Every day during the next 2 weeks (the promotion is up on March 13th) I'm going to share another discount link with you (I'll post it in the list below) but I need to know from you which classes you want to take so I can give you the links you want! I'm starting off with classes for the first 3 days of March, these are all classes I am obsessed with taking this month!

Here is a link to get 50% off all FIVE of my Craftsy classes.
www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_postcard

3/1- Sewing Bras with Beverly Johnson- my new "fairy bra mother"!
www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5031_CP


3/2- Cheesecakes with Zoë François- because CHEESECAKE !!!
www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_10284_CP


3/3- Mobile Photography- I take photos with my phone everyday & I want to learn the tricks!
www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5322_CP

3/4- How to Say It! Pattern Writing for Knitters- Edie Eckman is an EXPERT!
www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_82_CP
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_82_CP
3/5- Mastering Multicolor Yarns with Jill Draper- It's no secret Jill is one of my favorite peeps... and she shares her secrets for knitting with wildly variegated yarns!!!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_10174_CP


3/6- Machine Knitting Essential Techniques
- Machine Knitting is on my bucket list of techniques to learn... but first I need to get a machine!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_6832_CP



3/7- Start Wire Weaving- One Day Designs asked for this class, I hadn't seen it before, but now I am INTRIGUED!!!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5026_CP

3/8- Bavarian Twisted Stitches- Donna Druchanus is a cultural knitting expert, and I've heard this class is superb! Enjoy!!!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_10171_CP
3/9- Icelandic Knitting- In celebration of our trip to Iceland.... many of us need to learn more about the origins of the Lopi sweater, and who better to teach us than Ragga!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_129_CP
3/10- Knit Faster with Portuguese Knitting- Staying with our techniques from other countries... sounds like many of you are interested in this class!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5229_CP

3/11- Natural Light Portraits- Oh, I am super glad Anne asked for this class, I think it is going to help me with knitwear photos! ALOT!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5025_CP

3/12- Artisan Bread in Minutes- In case anyone feels like making bread this weekend!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_4958_CP

3/13- Knitting on the Bias with Bristol Ivy- We are ending this with a knitting class... from one of my buddies, I saw some blooper reels from this class and let's just say Bristol is one of my fav's!
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LauraNelkin_5348_CP

(If you click any of these links and then end up surfing the Craftsy site to look at/buy other classes I will still get credit and you'll be entered to win the right to choose the charity for Craftsy.)

So, y'all... what Craftsy classes do you want discount codes for? There are over 1,000 to choose from! Now's your chance to ask! Leave a comment below as this is how you enter yourself to decide where my prize money goes should I win!

(To keep things fair, once this promotion is over I will have to take down this post... these discount links won't be here forever, get them while you can!)