I knit myself a sweater... that turned into a dress!

I have this need to "clean" up languishing projects on my needles at the end of the year so I can start fresh! It may be my secret to actually getting things done! Read the story of my new tunic below...
It all started with a trip to Ireland last spring... we went to Studio Donegal, and I fell hard for this armful of Donegal Wool Spinning Company, a limited edition worsed weight yarn spun in Donegal by Studio Donegal.
Luckily I ran out of "work" knitting towards the end of my trip and was able to start it on my way home. I decided I wanted to try the Novus construction but with a new twist I thought of in a pub one night! (Them's  dangerous words right there...)

In a nutshell, my Novus construction is worked flat side to side and I wanted to try working part of it in the round. So, the top is knit flat, I just made the top part short (like a bolero) by casting on way less sts for the side seams, and then joined with side panels (as all of the other sweaters in this construction are). Then I just picked up all the way around it and worked down in the round!
Working in the round, meant I could play with color.... I did some slight a-line shaping to allow for my pear, but nothing too extreme, I wanted to the lines pretty straight.
I finished the top at some point early last summer and sat languishing in a basket until a month ago when I decided to finish it up! After all, if there is anytime I could use a knit dress, it is now! Wool Bum Warmer for the WIN! (Details on Ravelry)
Aaaannnd, I haven't decided if I am going to write this up or not. The yarn I used isn't easily available, but it is certainly a warm memory of my trip! maybe in fingering weight? With  some options for different lengths? What do you think? I'm all ears!


Recap: Knit Ithaca 2018!

What a glorious weekend I just had with 50 knitters from the US and Canada! Want to see a few photos from the 2nd annual Knit Ithaca? Seriously, I feel so incredibly blessed to have you all be part of my life! Who knew what would happen when I learned to knit almost 15 years ago!
Almost everybody... a few people stayed back at the hotel to rest up!
The format of Knit Ithaca is unique... we have knit nights every night, classes on Saturday, and a tour of the Fingerlakes on Sunday. This year we had an added Monday extension to Corning Museum of Glass! Every year I invite a teacher to teach along side me, this year's teacher was Mary Jane Mucklestone... my only flaw in inviting Mary Jane was that I wanted to take her class on the interaction of color and I was teaching at the same time she was!
Samples from Mary Jane's book!
Students work... they all played with the same 6 colors, but look how different the cuffs are!

My Instagram stories from the weekend, they tell a pretty good story!

A selection of photos from the Saturday Night public knit night photo booth with Jamie:

I also designed an Ithaca inspired project for the weekend... it started out as a cowl, but ended up as a full collection! Introducing the Itha-Cowl, the Itha-Mitts and Itha-Head! All the patterns are up on Ravelry now, and there are kits in my Etsy shop! I am pretty proud of these pieces, they are a departure for me design wise (there are no beads!) and I LOVE them!

Interested in attending a future Knit Ithaca? You can read more here...


Knit Alaska with Laura Nelkin: Summer 2019!

July 27th  - August 4th, 2019
(Optional extension to August 8th)


Time for our next knitting adventure... This is one I've been dreaming about organizing for a while, ever since I found out I like to cruise! How about a little outdoor adventure, with knitting on the ship in between?

I have a room reserved for us on the ship for nightly knit nights... activities are being planned for our day at sea with no extra charge! I have an idea up my sleeve that I think you will all ADORE!!! I will be designing something super special for the trip. Yarn will be included in your goodie bag and the piece will be revealed at Sweet Georgia Yarns on our first night together. We'll have a class that focus's on the skills used in the new design on the first day and then I'll be available to get you going and help with any knitting questions throughout the trip. We have arranged group dinners every night we are on the boat.

Daily Itinerary:
July 27th- Vancouver-
Meet at 5pm the hotel lobby for a tour of Vancouver City, a stop at Granville Island for dinner (on your own) and a visit to Maiwa Handprints. and then a studio tour and visit (with shopping!) at Sweet Georgia Yarns.
(Included: Overnight at Residence Marriott Vancouver Downtown and breakfast)
July 28th- Vancouver-
Check on board Holland America's newly renovated and highly reviewed Westerdam
(Included: Hotel/pier transfer, all meals on board the ship)
July 29th- Scenic Cruising Day-
Class with Laura (the group will be split in two so you'll have time to do other things on the ship!)
July 30th- Ketchikan

July 31st- Juneau
August 1st- Skagway
August 2nd- Glacier Bay
August 3rd- Sea Day-
Laura has a plan for this day that will be ALOT of fun and be quite interactive!
August 4th-
Seward/Anchorage- (trip is over for those not doing the Denali extension.  You will be transferred by motorcoach from Seward to Anchorage for your return flight home) Those doing the extension will transfer by rail to Anchorage from Seward. I am looking into a visit to a Musk Ox farm later this day but don't have timing from the cruise ship to organize this yet... if I can pull it together there will be an extra fee (hopefully not big!).
(Included: Overnight in Anchorage, meals not included for the rest of the trip, a meal plan is available if desired... I just plan to eat ALOT on the boat and then take it easy for a few days! )
August 5th and 6th- Denali- Train to Denali and two nights to explore and discover Denali National Park. Full Day Tundra Wilderness Tour included... who wants to see a grizzly with me? We will have a room at the hotel for knitting/hanging in the evening!
(Included: Overnight in Denali, meal plan available upon request)
August 7th- Fairbanks-
Train to Fairbanks, and an afternoon riverboat cruise with lunch!
(Included: Overnight in Fairbanks, lunch on riverboat, final farewell event)

Included: Goody Bag with yarn to knit the design Laura is making for the trip,  customized guide with yarn and fiber related activities to discover at each port, hospitality room for nightly knit nights, class with Laura and knitting related events, all port charges and taxes, meals while on ship.

Not Included:
Tips, alcoholic beverages, specialty dining on ship, flights, airport/hotel transfers in Vancouver, optional shore and destination excursions

Extra night in Vancouver, meals on Denali Extension, travel insurance,

Pricing starts at  $1859 pp for Cruise ONLY and $3179.00 per person for the Cruise + Denali Extension  Single Supplement Available.
Right now Holland America is running a promo and your on board experience may include a Beverage Package and Dining Experience... The promo is subject to availability, certain terms, and is subject to expire at any time.
AAA of Central NY is in the middle of an Alaska marketing blitz and Holland America is giving all 2019 Alaska cruise only and cruse/land journeys added benefits.  The benefits are up to $200 on board credit (based on category and land extension), 2 more dining experiences, and Denali Dollars for land extensions to Denali.  Deposits must be paid by 10/4 to lock in this promo!

$900 per person non-refundable deposit due at book your spot.Final payment due by May 7, 2019. Travel Insurance is highly recommended and due at time of deposit.Cost is based on total trip cost and age of traveler.

Want to sign up?
Go here: https://goo.gl/forms/A5hs30Xcc14I0aTr2

Or E-mail Melissa at AAA Western and Central New York at knitalaska19@nyaaa.com

Oh, and do you want to hear the best part?
My girl is coming with me... so bring your family... we will have plenty of time to play with them in Alaska during the day and then knit together in the evening! Can you tell I am SUPER excited?


Knit Scotland with Laura Nelkin: March 2019!

March 24th  - April 3rd, 2019
SOLD OUT! Sign up for my newsletter to hear about future trips!

Time for our next knitting adventure! This time let's explore Scotland together.... after Edinburgh Yarn Fest! This tour starts and ends in Edinburgh and has some pretty fabulous highlights!

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh and enjoy a scenic tour of the city on our coach. We will be stopping for a yummy lunch with Hazel Tindall, who will talk with us about knitting in Shetland, and then touring a bit more before checking into our hotel to rest up before our welcome dinner.

Day 2: We'll start our day with Scottish breakfast and then have a fabulous knitting workshop with Emily from Tin Can Knits on her modern Strange Brew pattern, I can't wait to meet Emily and learn about color work from her! We'll have lunch on our own and then gather to tour the Edinburgh Castle. The rest of the day is yours... explore Edinburgh an absolutely gorgeous city to wander (I will give a list of "ideas" of things to check out!)

Day 3: After a big group breakfast we will head out to Fife to have a workshop with Di Gilpin. We'll learn about the history of Gansey knitting in Scotland and look at samples of both traditional pieces and the more contemporary designs from her studio.Then we'll learn some traditional gansey stitches by working on blanket squares in her yarn. After that we'll take our appetites to a cafe that specializes in cheese making (YUM CHEESE!) for lunch, and then head to Claddach Farm to learn about specialist, pedigree and rare-breed animals, including various commercial sheep breeds; Cheviot, Texel and Bluefaced Leicester. Then it is onto our next hotel in Dundee where we will settle in and have a group dinner together.

Day 4: Oh, this is going to be a fun day! Another yummy Breakfast in the morning, followed by a visit to the beautifully refurbished Verdant Works Mill, in Dundee City Centre. Listen to the stories of the mill workers; see how they lived and how they worked in an industry which played a pivotal role in Dundee’s history. Next it’s on to Dundee’s newest museum, the brand new V & A Design Museum for a guided tour.  The V&A Dundee is the first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland and the only other V & A museum anywhere in the world outside London. There are plans to focus on their textile collection, which I am VERY excited about  We'll have dinner on our own tonight, either at the hotel or in Dundee!

Day 5: First breakfast, then we leave Perth and make our way to Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.... driving through the picturesque town of Pitlochry, our first stop is Edradour Distillery for a tour and tasting. Wee dram before lunch anyone? Then we'll head to Knockando Woolmill for an intimate look at Scotland's oldest working mill. Afterwards we'll go to Fort Augustus and our hotel where will enjoy a lovely meal together!

Day 6:  After Breakfast we'll have a tour of the ruins of Urquhart Castle, afterwards we'll enjoy lunch at the castle and take a scenic cruise on Loch Ness. (clearly Lola will be looking for Nessie). Then we'll head into Inverness to learn about the history, tradition and culture of the Scottish kilt at the  The Scottish Kiltmaker. We'll then head back to Fort Augustus for dinner and a sweet group knit night!

Day 7: This morning we'll pack up, eat breakfast, and then have a working shop with Sarah Berry on Fair Isle Knitting with naturally dyed yarn. Then we'll head out towards Glencoe, and absolutely stunning drive through the Scottish highlands. We'll stop mid-way for lunch and end up in Oban at our hotel and dinner on our own in this seaside town.
Day 8: Today we get to take the ferry over to the Isle of Mull where we will visit the Ardalanish Farm and Isle of Mull Weavers.... this 1500 acre farm is set on a picturesque peninsula and we are lucky to be able to visit them so early in the season. They weave gorgeous fabrics and mill their own yarn from their Hebridean sheep. REALLY excited for this visit! Then we'll explore the very photogenic Duart Castle and learn more about the island as we tour. We'll return back to Oban for the evening and enjoy our dinner together!

Day 9: After another breakfast we have a great treat at the Auchindrain Township, which simulates what life was once like in the Scottish Highlands. We will participate in a 'Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh’ which translates to the ‘Inverclyde Waulking Group'. Waulking is a method of finishing newly woven tweed by soaking and thumping it steadily to shrink and soften it. The group sings Waulking Songs as they work! Wait until you hear me sing, you'll be glad the trip is almost over! Afterwards we'll head to Inverary for lunch and a walk about town and then onto the shores of Loch Lomond to take in it's gorgeous views.We'll then head to our hotel in New Lanark and get some rest before our busy last day!

Day 10: So, we'll have a great breakfast and then enjoy our last full day together. We will have the opportunity to explore New Lanark Mill, a unique 18th century mill and UNESCO heritage site. A guided tour of the mill will help us to learn more about its history and then we'll be free to dive deeper into the exhibits. After time to explore the site and have lunch on your own, we travel to the small village of Sanquhar which is famous for a traditional geometric-style pattern named after its founding village. We will visit the A’ The Airts Centre for a presentation on the traditional Sanquhar pattern. You will enjoy a demonstration of hand-knitting of Sanquhar Gloves and see how the pattern is made on their knitting machines.We'll end the day back in Edinburgh and join together for a scrumptious farewell dinner.

Day 11: LAST BREAKFAST, and then it is time to head to the airport for our journey's home... (insert sad face here).

The Tour includes :
  • Transfers on arrival and departure by private coach (for arrivals prior to 11am)
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary in a luxury coach with an experienced driver and, accredited guide and Laura Nelkin, knitting designer and teacher, entrance fees included if applicable.
  • Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 10 nights
  • Scottish breakfast daily
  • 7 hotel table d’hote dinners
  • 5 lunches 
  •  Entrance to the following attractions: Edinburgh Castle, Auchindrain Township, Verdant
    Works, V&A Dundee, Urquhart Castle, Duart Castle, New Lanark UNESCO heritage site.
  • Tour of the Isle of Mull
  • Visit the Ardalanish Farm & Isle of Mull Weavers for demonstration and talk
  • Knockando Woolmill guided tour 
  • Tour of Edradour Distillery with Whisky tasting 
  • Scenic boat cruise along Loch Ness
  • Kilt making demonstration at The Scottish Kiltmaker visitor centre
  • Waulking with wool performance at Auchindrain Township
  • Visit to see the sheep and alpacas at Claddach Farm

Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour:
  • Lunch & Chat with Hazel Tindall
  • Tin Can Knit’s ‘Strange Brew’ workshop (Fair Isle techniques covered)
  • Gansey Knitting Workshop with Di Gilpin
  • Fair Isle knitting with naturally-dyed yarn with Sarah Berry
  • The option of arriving early and booking workshops at Edinburgh Yarn Festival

£2772 (Approx. $3326) per person sharing a twin or double room
£595 (Approx. $774) supplement applies if a single room is requiredTo secure your place a deposit of 20% of the total cost is required.
The balance is payable 60 days before departure.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2 Night Pre-Tour Package
If you wish to visit the Edinburgh Yarn Festival prior to your Knitting Tour starting 24th of
March, we have rooms available 22nd - 24th March. The package will include transfers from
Edinburgh Airport to the Radisson Blu Hotel (or similar), 2 nights' accommodation in rooms with
private facilities on a bed and Scottish breakfast basis and a 24 hour Hop-on, Hop-off sightseeing
bus ticket. The cost for this package will be £240 per person sharing a twin or double room &
£440 per person in a single room. Please be aware that admission to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival
is not included.

VERY Detailed Itinerary and sign up form available, e-mail Laura for more details!


Poca Sweater: The Construction

I am so excited for the Poca Sweater KAL we are gearing up for in my Ravelry group!!!

It is pretty important for you to understand how Poca is knit, especially if you are thinking of making any adjustments to the pattern!
Poca is a seamless sweater constructed using my side-to-side Novus Construction. 
Step 1: 
Cast on for the right side of the sweater.

Work the sleeve, first with a seed stitch border and then with increases to start the shaping! with and then to cast on for the front and back and work them along with the already established sleeve stitches.

Next, you’ll be splitting your stitches for the neckline, working neckline shaping and separating the shoulder from the front and back.

When finished the sts are put onto scrap yarn and held.
Step 2: 
Provisionally cast on sts for the front and back of your sweater and begin to work the dolman shaping by slowly starting to integrate these sts into the sleeve.
Step 3: 
Then you'll work across all the sts, back, sleeve, front and pocket and work the shoulder rows to the neckline split.

Next, you’ll be splitting your stitches for the neckline, working neckline shaping and separating the shoulder from the front and back.

  Your back sts get put on a holder while your front sts get worked with neckline shaping towards the center front. 

You'll continue building your pocket sts while you work the front!

Step 4: 

The pocket sts are "folded" up and worked into the center front, and then the front sts are put onto a holder!

Step 5:  
  Next work the left half just like the right!

Step 6: 
Place all back held sts onto one long circular needle and cast onto left needle tip ready to work back panel!


Step 7: 
Work back panel from bottom of sweater to collar. As you work through the Back Panel, RS rows decrease st(s) from the Left Back, and WS rows decrease st(s) from the Right Back.

Step 8: 
Time for some Origami...
fold your sweater in half at the shoulder! 


Step 9: 
Pick up stitches along each edge of a sleeve and coordinating side seam and then work a side panel in the same fashion as  the back panel. At the same time you do this you'll be folding up the pocket and integrating the pocket sts in with the side panel sts.


Step 10: 
Finally, place your front stitches back onto the needle, pick up a few stitches along the neckline decreases, replace the shoulder and back panel stitches on the needle, and then pick up more stitches on the left neckline decreases and finally put the left front stitches back on the needle.

Now you are ready to work the I-Cord edging... WAHOO, you are done!!




Tutorial- How to work Odd Count Tubular Peyote Stitch

This technique is used in my design Pass the Peyote, July 2018's design for Lola's Choice (Laura’s super fun small knitted kit club)! There is also a video tutorial for this technique... just scroll to the bottom of this post!

This tutorial demonstrates how to make Peyote Stitch cylinders that start with an odd-number of beads. Peyote stitch isn’t hard to do, the most awkward part is the first 2 rounds, but that is the same when you knit, so you all should be used to that!

Size D nylon beading thread
Size 8 Japanese glass seed beads
Size 10 beading needle
If you are working with larger (or smaller) beads you may need to adjust your thread and/or needle size.

Photo Tutorial (video tutorial at the end of the post and here)

1) Prepare your materials
Cut a length of nylon beading thread that is approx. 36 inches (91 cm) long.
Take this and thread it onto a beading needle.

2) String 11 beads onto your thread.
You can also choose to do another odd number, but for this tutorial I am using 11 as that is the number I use in my bracelet design Pass the Peyote.

3) Create a Circle
Leaving an 8 inch tail, and starting with the first bead strung on, go back through all the beads on your thread.
Then go through the first bead again.
At this point you might find it helpful to put your cylinder onto the tip of a pencil or knitting needle, we found that a Size 9 [5.5mm] needle holds 11 beads perfectly (thanks Jan!). That will give you something to hold onto while you establish your cylinder.

4) Begin Row 1 (uses 5 beads)
String 1 bead onto your thread, with beading needle skip a bead and go through the next bead in the circle.

Repeat this four more times. You will now have your thread coming out of the 11th bead, the next bead will have the tail coming out of it.
Tips: I find it helps to hold the tail tightly against the needle as you work, you can even tape this down if you want. Also after everytime you string on a new bead pull the thread taught a bit, this keeps the beads in order. You can choose to work clockwise or counter clockwise, and have your needle horizontal or vertical, I find working counter clockwise with my needle held horizontally the easiest. You can work however is more comfortable for you! Just remember, things maybe a little loosey goosey. If so it is time to tighten up your work a little, this will shift the beads and help them sit on top of each other.

5) Begin Row 2 (uses 6 beads)
String 1 bead onto your thread, with beading needle skip one bead and go through the following bead in the circle. This bead will be “popping” up a bit, it is the first one you placed on the previous row.
 Repeat this five more times. You will now have your thread coming out of the first bead. You can count your rows at this point by counting the beads stacking on each other and see that you have 2 complete rows worked.

6) Repeat Rows 1 and 2
Now you’ll just repeat Rows 1 and 2 until your cylinder is the height that you want it. You’ll know when you have made it all the way around the cylinder when you are back at the tail. Count the beads you have in each “column”. You’ll know you have finished a Row 2 when you have the same number of beads in each column all the way around your cylinder.
 Pass the Peyote has 6 beads total in each column, and uses a total of 66 beads per cylinder.

7) Finishing
Wasn’t that easy? Now just go back through each bead once more at the end of your cylinder.

Then weave in your thread down through a few beads and poke your needle through to the inside of the cylinder and up through the center.

Cut your thread so it isn’t coming out the end. The more time you spend weaving in your end the more secure your bead will be! Repeat this with the tail from the beginning of your cylinder.

Video Tutorial

WAHOO! You did it! Way to learn odd-number tubular peyote stitch!
Check out Pass the Peyote, my cuff design that uses Peyote Stitch Beads!

Other resources for odd count tubular Peyote:
Video- Jill Wiseman
Photo Tutorial- The Spruce Crafts


LLK- Knit with Laura & Lola: Log 1

WAHOO! Guess who started a video bloggy thing?
Lola and Laura, that’s who!

Show Notes

What I’m Knitting
Sweater with yarn I got in Studio Donegal in Ireland
color 3781

What I’m Obsessed with
Do you have a favorite serger?
Witch’s Stitches- Big Flats

Oxford Punch Needle Size #10 from Amy Oxford

What’s Coming Down the Pike (or already came down it?)
Reversible Undulating Waves Kits
Wearing longer version of Reversible Undulating Waves Cowl in Kathmandu

Novel-T and Novel Long release on July 1st!
No link for Novel-Long yet!
Yarn- Carol Feller’s Nua in Haybale

My last Aquifer kit!
Enter here.
Pattern here.
Closes when the next log launches or July 2nd at 12pm EST, whichever comes first!

The N Club (sign ups open in September ’19)
Lola’s Choice (sign ups always open!)


Travel Beading Kit!

In April I launched a new product... and it sold out in hours! I've restocked in a BIG way as I've been getting awesome feedback on my Travel Beading Kit!
Two sizes of "micro" hooks for placing beads and a dental floss threader for stringing beads are packaged in the world's cutest tin. Perfect for beading on the go!

I put this kit through it's paces on my latest trip to Ireland:
From ferries:
To picnics in Connemara:
And drinks in a castle:
This beading tin travels well!

You might need to get a few so you can have them in more than one project bag.... : )!