Knit Scotland with Laura Nelkin: March 2019!

March 24th  - April 3rd, 2019
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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!!