RECAP: Knit Ithaca 2019!

55 knitters including myself and Thea Colman had an absolute blast last weekend at Knit Ithaca, my yearly hometown knitting retreat...

Here are some of the photos I captured, but if you want to see TONS more checkout #knitithaca I was too distracted to catch everything we did and everyone did a great job of documenting our weekend together! (I would watch the below video large screen to see the subtitles!)

Knitting... it brings us together and feeds our souls. I can't imagine what my life would look like without these extraordinary makers.Thank you to all that came to retreat with me in my glorious hometown... I miss you already!!! #knitithaca

Next year's Knit Ithaca is November 5 - November 8th, 2020...details here!


Artichoke French... What is it? (And a 2019 Rhinebeck BRUNCH!)

I just found out many of you don't know that Artichoke French is a food I name knitwear after! I was first introduced to Artichoke French at New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in 2006, their booth was POPULAR, so I got in line to see what all the fuss was about!

In a nutshell Artichoke French is Artichoke Hearts made Francese style!

I'm not convinced that the Artichoke French booth will make it to Rhinebeck next weekend (they aren't always there)... so I thought a recipe was in order!

Lola's Homemade Artichoke French
(adapted from The Rhinebeck Sweater)

1 Can Whole Artichokes (approx. 14 ounces)
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour (I use unbleached white)
Salt, Pepper, and Paprika
1 large Eggs
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Hot Pepper or Hot Sauce

1. Drain the artichokes well, slice in half, and pat dry.
2. In one shallow bowl mix the flour with salt, pepper, and a little paprika (I had smoked paprika to everything).
3. In a separate shallow bowl beat eggs with lemon juice.
4. One heart at a time, place the in the flour and coat, shake off excess flour, then dredge on both sides in the egg mixture.
5. Meanwhile have 1 Tablespoon of butter and the olive oil heating in a heavy frying pan.
6. When oil is hot, place artichokes in pan.  When they are browned on one side flip over and delicately squash with the backside of your spatula. 
7. When the artichokes are browned on both sides, remove to drain oil on plate lined with paper towel.
8. Place artichokes in serving dish and garnish with liberal amounts of grated Parmesan and parsley. 

Artichoke French are also SUPER yummy on beans and greens, or with a white wine sauce if you want a "richer" experience!  And if you are a hot pepper or hot sauce lover (like I am) sprinkle some on before eating!


Sunday- 9:30 am- BRUNCH PARTY! (we did this in 2017 and it was SO FUN!)
 I've discovered that the best time to get Artichoke French or any other food is first thing in the morning on Sunday! The lines are short and most of the food there makes an excellent breakfast! Get to the fest before 10:30 to get some brunch and then meet us at the picnic tables at the corner of building A! Wear one of your Nelkin Designs to the party... we can try for a group photo!!!

Here's a map of the fairgrounds with our Brunch spot marked in a big red circle:

Any questions? I've set up a thread in my Ravelry group so we can all connect with each other. I'll be around the  festival most of the weekend so PLEASE do stop me and say hi... I promise I don't bite! Also, can I just say that I am great at faces, and SUCK at remembering names, so go easy on me... I will never make a good politician (which isn't a bad thing!) but I am a good hugger!


Installing a Zipper in your Artichoke French (or other knit sweater!)

I had this great idea last spring that I should knit a zip-up hoodie version of my Artichoke French Sweater... the only scary part? Installing a zipper! It ended up being NO WHERE as hard as I thought it would be! Here's why installing zippers is hard: you are sewing something stiff (the zipper tape) to a flexible edge (your knit). The tips below are going to make you an expert in this technique and take the fear right out of it!

First up, and MOST IMPORTANTLY The length of your zipper should be determined AFTER blocking. So, knit your Artichoke French Hoodie (or other sweater that needs a hood!) block it and THEN measure the length of the center front (laid flat without stretching) from the neckline to the bottom.This is the length you want to order! I actually knit up to the hood, blocked, then measured, and then knit my hood while waiting for my zipper. I then steam blocked my hood once that was done and didn't re-block the rest of the sweater (I know someone was going to ask that!).

I SPLURGED and ordered a custom length M6 one-way Riri Zipper from Pacific Trimming.
It was expensive, but it was TOTALLY worth it and I would do it again! If I'm going to spend that much time knitting a sweater I'm not going to have a zipper I don't love! There are definitely other zipper resources, but I was really happy with my Riri Zipper and would do it again!

My friend (and tester) Andrea ordered a two-way zipper and I'm a little jealous of that action.... so that's a choice too (and one I would make!).
Then I read all these GREAT tutorials on installing zippers into knitwear...
Finally one of my testers took a "no-sew" zipper install class from Ann Weaver and explained the process to me... it uses fingering weight yarn of a similar color and a knitpicker... in a nutshell you pick up sts along the tape with lighter weight yarn and the tool and then use a three needle bind off to join the tape to your knitting. This creates an elastic edge on the tape and is brilliant! Clearly it is what I am doing on my next Artichoke French!

With further research I learned that in 2010 Tech Knitter wrote an article for Interweave Knits about the technique, and Eunny Jang shot a video about it!

Then I searched a tiny bit more and found AN INCREDIBLY detailed article from Tech Knitter about the technique..
So, now you are armed with more than you knew you needed to know about sewing your zipper into your knits and are no longer SCARED! Amiright? Or scary?



The ULTIMATE Knitting Cruise with Laura Nelkin

July 24 – August 9, 2020
Holland America – m.s. Zuiderdam
Copenhagen-Bergen-Molde- Akureyri - Isafjordur - Reykjavik - Lerwick - Invergordon
You can still get on a waiting list though, just fill out the link below!!

Time for our next knitting adventure... this cruise is pretty incredible as all the ports are what I would consider to be KNITTING destinations! I've taken advantage of that by creating some exclusive tours for us in Bergen, Reykjavik and Shetland!

We have a room reserved for us on the ship for our famous nightly knit nights... activities planned for our days at sea with no extra charge! I have some ideas that I think you will all ADORE!!!

I am also designing something super special for the trip (something that evokes Norway, Iceland and Shetland knitting traditions?). Yarn will be included in your goodie bag and the piece will be revealed our first day on the ship! We'll have a class that focuses 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 on board, so no one will eat alone!

Daily Itinerary:

July 24th – Meet in Copenhagen- City Tour and Tivoli Garden Visit!
July 25th - Exclusive Knitters Day in Copenhagen- Sommerflugen, local designer (TBA), Design Museum and ending with a local knit night!
July 26th – Board Holland America’s m.s. Zuiderdam for 14-night cruise
July 27th – Scenic Cruising Day
July 28th – Bergen, Norway (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Oleana and Dale of Norway)
July 29th – Molde, Norway
July 30th – Scenic Cruising Day
July 31st – Akureyri, Iceland
Aug 1st – Isafjordur, Iceland
Aug 2nd – Reykjavik, Iceland (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Pingborg Wool Cooperative, Alafoss, Thingvellir, Geysir and Hydroponic Tomato Farm with Icelandic Horse Exhibition!)
Aug 3rd – Reykjavik, Iceland
Aug 4th – Scenic Cruising Day
Aug 5th – Lerwick, Shetland Islands (Exclusive Knitting Tour: Shetland Designer, Jamieson and Smith, Textile Musuem)
Aug 6th – Invergordon (Inverness, Scotland)
Aug 7th – Scenic Cruising Day
Aug 8th – Skagen, Denmark
Aug 9th – Return Copenhagen

Included: 2 Nights in Copenhagen and tour, 3 Exclusive Knitting Tours, 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 Copenhagen, optional shore and destination excursions

Extra night in Copenhagen travel insurance,

Pricing starts at  $4249 pp Single Supplement Available.
Right now Holland America is running a promo and your on board experience may include up to $800 per cabin on board credit, specialty dining experiences, Beverage card, and premium Internet Package (balcony cabins and suites) The promo is subject to availability, certain terms, and is subject to expire at any time.

$900 per person non-refundable deposit due at book your spot.
Final payment due by April 3rd, 2020.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended and due at time of deposit.Cost is based on total trip cost and age of traveler.

Want to get more information????
Go here:https://forms.gle/JV6npnBUrwoSaAGD6

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


Knit Ireland and Woollinn with Laura Nelkin! June 2020!

June 3rd - 14th, 2020

I am SO excited to announce another knitting trip to Ireland! This one is extra special as I've timed it to end at Woollinn, a SUPER fun knitting festival just south of Dublin in Dun Laoghaire.

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin and travel to Cavan. We'll be stopping in Drogheda to meet Aine Dunne, an Irish tapestry weaver and learn about her work. We'll also meet with Jess from Olann.ie and have a dyeing demo and Q and A.  Then we'll start our adventure retreat "style" with Carol Feller, knitting and chatting and then follow that with a fantastic group dinner. The Farnham Estate in Cavan is the perfect first base!

Day 2: We'll start our day with a true Irish breakfast and then have a knitting workshop with Carol Feller, then we'll visit Sandra at Crafts of Ireland for lunch and a workshop on crocheting a traditional Irish Rose and learn about antique sock knitting machines.

Day 3: Group breakfast, and then head out to learn about Basket making from master basket maker Eddie McGrath. Afterwards we'll stop by Corleggy Cheese an award winning Irish artisan cheese to learn about the cheese making process at their farm! Yes, there will be CHEESE TASTING! In the afternoon Laura will lead a workshop in the hotel.

Day 4: Another yummy Breakfast, we'll leave Cavan to head to Donegal. On the way we are lucky enough to stop at the brand new Distillery tour of The Shed Distillery... Drumshanbo, is the unofficial drink of my Ireland trips, and we are going to learn how it is made! SO LUCKY! Then we'll head to the Butter Market in Enniskillen to see Irish crafters and artists work, and finally head to Belleek Pottery for a guided tour of their pottery production. We'll end in the day in Dongal at the Mill Park Hotel.

Day 5: Donegal Day (starts with Breakfast!)! We'll head out to Studio Donegal and get a tour of their hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. They have the most beautiful yarn! Then we'll go to Slieve League Cliffs (AMAZING) and have a wee hike, for those that are up to it! We'll end the day with a stop at Donegal Craft Village for a spot of tea and shopping. After dinner at the hotel the evening is your own... we may decide to head into town and catch a traditional Irish Music session in any one of Donegal’s traditional pubs or simply relax in the hotel.

Day 6:  We'll have breakfast and then head to Edel MacBride's for an intensive Aran knitting workshop. Enjoy a core workshop including yarn pack, working the best of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite Aran stitches. After lunch we'll visit Glebe House, the home for nearly thirty years of the renowned artist Derek Hill which is situated on rising ground, beside Lough Gartan.Then we'll enjoy the beautiful surroundings Lough Eske Hotel for a delightful Afternoon Tea before returning to your hotel to relax and further enjoy your surroundings.

Day 7: After Breakfast (sense a theme here?) we will pack up and head towards Belfast. We'll have a visit at Dunluce Castle, a walk at the amazing Giants' Causeway, and a lovely lunch stop along the way. We'll end the day in Belfast at the Grand Central Hotel where you can enjoy one of its amazing restaurants!

Day 8: First, breakfast, then we'll pay a visit to Mourne Alpacas outside Belfast, a family managed herd of Alpaca and pedigree angora goats that produce high quality fleeces, so much so that their motto at the farm is “We breed for heat, not for meat!” After lunch locally we'll head back into Belfast for a visit to the Titanic Belfast museum. This museum is extremely interactive, with technology bringing each period to life. Return to our hotel in Belfast where the remainder of the evening is your own.

Day 9: BREAKFAST! And then we'll head towards Dun Laoghaire... on the way we'll stop at the Irish Linen Museum.  On your guided tour of the centre you will explore the history of linen production in the province of Ulster. Leaving Belfast, we travel south and make a stop at Malahide House and Gardens, a medieval castle with a dramatic 800 year old heritage, opulent antiques and décor, set in 260 acres of parkland with Victorian style walled gardens, formal lawns and Ireland’s only Butterfly House. Finally, we continue to check in at The Royal Marine Hotel and then enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 10: WOOLLINN begins today ! Entrance fees are included for you to explore Woollinn at your leisure. Your pass will grant you access to the marketplace and all associated "bonus" events such as demonstrations, exhibitions and social get-togethers. Please note that workshops at Woollinn are not included in this package and we do not book people into workshops, we will provide you with the information on how to book directly with the organisers as soon as this information is available to us. This evening enjoy a Woollinn social dinner which includes a sit-down meal and entertainment, with some of the Woollinn Special Guests in attendance.

Day 11: WOOLLINN Continues... The Woollinn experience continue today or you can simply enjoy a leisurely day in your hotel, stroll through the coastal town or take the local DART train into Dublin city centre if you wish.

Day 12: Farewell to Woollinn and Ireland

The Tour includes :
  • Transfers on arrival and departure by private coach
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary in a luxury coach with an experienced driver and licensed guide and Laura Nelkin, knitting designer and teacher
  • 4* Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 11 nights
  • Irish breakfast daily, 1 welcome dinner with Carol Feller, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 farewell dinner, First Night of Woollinn Social Dinner in your Woollinn Package
  • Entrance to all museums and attractions per itinerary
  • Aran Islands Ferry Fees
Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour:
  • Dinner and knitting Workshop with Carol Feller
  • An Aran knitting workshop with Edel MacBride
  • Irish Crochet Rose Motif, Spinning Demonstration & Antique Sock Machine Knitting Demonstration with Sandra from Crafts of Ireland
  • Short Dyeing demonstration by Jess from Olann.ie
  • Aine Dunne Tapestry Weaving demonstration
  • A ticket to the social dinner at Woollinn on Friday 12th June (which includes a sit-down meal and entertainment, with some of the Woollinn Special Guests in attendance.)
  • Two-day passes to Woollinn (Fri 12th and Sat 13th June), granting access to the marketplace and all associated "bonus" events such as demonstrations, exhibitions and social get-togethers.
VERY Detailed Itinerary and sign up form available, e-mail Laura for more details!


Proto-Lola: September's Lola's Choice Kit!

I think most of the kits have landed so I can share September's Lola's Choice Kit with you all...

Introducing Proto-Lola!

I decided to depart from the smaller delicate beaded pieces I had been designing for Lola's Choice and make a hat for fall. Lola told me she needed one... with her logo on it!

I used Berroco Catena with Alafoss Lettlopi for this design... I adore Lettlopi but it is a wee bit too "toothy" for hats for me. I realized if I used Catena (which is a chainette construction and SUPER soft) for the brim I could have a hat that is warm, soft and light. I've used both these yarns for Leio and when I did some colorwork with my leftovers I knew they were going to work together perfectly!  I did design the hat so if you want to skip the logo and just have the colorwork "star" go all the way around the hat it is easy to do. And those leather tags were just the finishing touch!


My photographer Jamie, is deep into senior portrait season, and Lola decided she wanted her photos to simulate that back to school mood... how did we do? 48 is the new 18, am I right?

It has been super fun to see how others are modifying their Proto-Lola's! Green Tops, Tassles, and extra colorwork! Fun, right

Finally, I did announce a little QUICKIE KAL in my Ravelry group... it was Lola's idea (of course it was!) All you have to do is finish your Proto-Lola by September 30th... (there is a charity component as well).

I do have a few kits for Proto-Lola left, so if you sign up for Lola's Choice now, you'll start with this kit!

xoxo, Lola


Bering Blanket: A Design in Process!

So, a few weeks ago when I launched the Bering Shawl I got a wee bit excited about making a blanket with the same general construction! I posted this photo on Facebook and Instagram was encouraged to cast on and share a bit of the design process with you! I purchased this natural gradient from Ironwood Hill Farm last November at Knit Ithaca, it is spun from the their Finn sheep after being meticulously sorted by color. With the amount I have I'll be making a square lap blanket, but I'm going to write up the pattern to make it easily customize-able to other shapes and yarn weights. In theory I'll have this done and tested by November?

I'm happy to report that 2 weeks later I have the 4 squares done! Here is the first baby done and blocked! It measures about 19 inches square...

While designing and knitting on this I realized I want the pattern to be REALLY versatile, so that we can get the most out of our yarn. For me it involved a fair amount of math and a spread sheet that looked like this:

For Square 1, I worked with 3 colors A, B and C, with A being the lightest in the gradient. You can see that I used my trusty scale and weighed (and measured) my skeins before I started and then after each section.

The darkest color in the gradient will become the main color and connect the squares together and also be the border. I have a sneaking suspicion I am going to be getting one more skein of that darkest color (or something similar) from the farm as I want the border to not be too puny!

I already have an idea for a second blanket, this one rectangular using Feederbrook Farm Entropy and Harrisville Flywheel I have in stash from Itha-Cowl! Won't that be amazing?

We might need an intervention over here! Halp?


Tips and Tricks for Knitting a Leio (or any other sweater) in Linen!

Y'all... last year around this time I decided I needed a linen sweater in my wardrobe... I was just getting ready to release Leio (in both Lopi and Catena) and wished I had one in a warm weather fiber.

So, what did I do? I ordered yarn (9 skeins of Quince and Co. Kestrel in Porpoise and started swatching (more on that below).

Then winter came, and the last thing I wanted was a Linen sweater, the Lopi version was perfect, thank you very much!

But this spring I decided to get knitting... there was more swatching as I forgot what needle size I had used in the fall.
Note to self:
You always think you will remember, but you really should make a note on your Ravelry project page, like any other grown-up knitter would do!

And then I started to knit! The two halves of the sweater were perfect travel knitting for my trip to Scotland... whenever I was asked what I was knitting I would say, "oh, you know, just a Uterus" We would all crack up at the look of confusion on the innocent tour guide's face... there is nothing better than an inside joke, right?  (Those of you who have knit a Novus Sweater know what I mean about the Uterine phase.)

Then I came home and got super busy, but I got the front cable panel done on vacation in Greece, and then the side panels done during my garden tour with Jess in Ireland.

All that was left was the collar, which took me a whopping 3 tries to get right... the thing with linen is that it doesn't have a memory and the collar as written was making the neckline too wide and my wee shoulders kept escaping Flash Dance style, which doesn't match my 48-year-old aesthetic! Basically I just needed to pick up fewer sts, and add more short rows to fill in the neckline space. Here's an example of the first neckline... you can see how wide it is (sorry, it is a bad hotel room selfie!)

And now I have ended up with the most wearable summer sweater EVER! The hand and drape on my new baby are superb... the small struggles I had learning how to work with linen were totally worth it (and I get to share them with you, so there is that!)

So, I worked my swatch the same way I would for any other Novus Sweater... by casting on for the sleeve and working 6 inches of it. Then I wet my swatch and through it in the dryer (what?) with some towels and jeans until it was pretty much dry. Finally I hung it sideways with weights on it (this simulates the weight of your sweater hanging off your shoulders). Remember Novus sweaters are knit sideways, so you should be more concerned with getting accurate row gauge than stitch gauge! Linen needs to be softened and the act of throwing it wet into the dryer "beats" up the fibers and makes it STUNNING! If you could "feel" through the internet I would have you sample a swatch blocked and dried vs. just blocked, the difference is incredible.

The biggest thing I found was that the swatches I did that weren't correct couldn't really be used again as after they were dried the yarn didn't behave the same. For this reason it is KEY to make sure you purchase some extra yarn when working with linen!

Oh, and remember, if you write down what needle size you use on your sleeve swatch (either with knots in the tail, or in your notebook, or on Ravelry) then you won't need to swatch for your sweater twice.

These blog posts were helpful to me when I was learning about linen and swatching!
  • https://quinceandco.com/blogs/news/114693766-warming-up-to-linen
  • http://knitbot.com/blog/2013/5/22/finishing-with-linen
  • https://untangling-knots.com/2016/05/20/6-things-to-know-about-knitting-with-linen/

Weaving in Ends- In the beginning I was following Hannah's advice above about weaving in ends... but then I found this video about joining balls on tubular yarn (Kestral is a tubular linen tape) and began to do that... it is magical and works really well!

Have you knit with 100% linen before? If not, I think it might be time to try!


Kairos Cuff: The Story and Technique Behind It!

Have you seen Kairos Cuff July's kit for Lola's Choice? I've actually been working on the concept for this cuff since last winter (I think I first hatched the idea at a Tamale Party at Robin's house). I had a crazy idea that I could design a leather closure that could be used on a cuff (and maybe on other things too!).

I ended up spending a chunk of the winter learning a bit about working with leather (aka learning everything I don't know about leather work). I quickly understood that I wasn't going to be the one to make the clasps and luckily found a leather worker up the hill from me on Seneca Lake who was happy to take on the project. Renee at Uncle Joe's Saddlery makes gorgeous bags, and had all the equipment and know how to make it work! Phew! Renee to the creative rescue! (I even roped in my husband Max to make the technical drawing for the leather die!) This was a community effort!

Besides the leather clasp, Kairos uses a new to me "random" beading technique that allows the beads to POP to the front of the cuff's fabric. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I'm not that random a designer, I like a PLAN, so choosing beads that allowed for randomness to make a bead stew was total fun. I'll admit that the bead mix had a weight ratio formula to ensure it stayed random. I can't help myself! 😃 The technique I use is easy... you work with randomly pre-strung beads and incorporate them into 1 x 1 ribbing. The pattern includes a link to a full video tutorial that teaches the technique, it takes less than 2 minutes to learn! Here's a little snippet to show you how easy it is!

Oh, and finally? Can I tell you about the yarn? Emma and Laura from Four Purls sent me a few swatches of Emma's Yarn to play with over a year ago... one of them was Bohemian Market on Practically Perfect Sock and when I saw it I KNEW it wanted to be a summer yarn for a Lola's Choice kit... but I had no idea what to design with it. Fast forward to the winter when I learned about Laerke Bagger, a danish knitwear designer, who works with beads in a way completely outside of my wheelhouse. I mashed up Emma's Yarn with Laerke's beading aesthetic, and my new leather clasps for a design completely my own!

Yowsers... nothing like a long winter to inspire, right? Makes me a little nervous for what next winter will bring!

I've been asked if I'll be selling the clasps on their own, as of right now the answer is no, BUT I do have a line of kits in the works (5 colors total),  I'm just waiting on more clasps to be made. For now the only way to get Kairos Cuff is to sign up for my small knitted kit club, Lola's Choice. Working on kits for this club with my crazy alter ego Lola has kept all of my creative juices flowing, and I know you won't be disappointed by the kits coming up!

You can sign up for a 3-kit, 6-kit, or recurring subscription... all the info is right here! Lola and I would love it if you came to play with us!

For those of you who have already received Kairos, don't forget, we have a K(n)it-a-Long happening in my Ravelry group.... come post photos of your Kairos, you can win some pretty fabulous yarny prizes (including some of Emma's Yarn!)

Any questions? I hope y'all are as thrilled about this new kit as I am : )!


Video Tutorial: Beaded Long Tail Cast On!

My latest design, LoquitaLola's Choice May kit (my small knitted kit club) uses a SUPER easy beaded long tail cast on!

This video assumes you know how to work a long tail cast on, and want to learn how to incorporate beads into it! You are working with beads that are pre-strung on your yarn with a dental floss threader or large eye beading needle.

Here's an example of how it looks on Loquita:


Knit Alaska Reading List!

I am getting all kinds of excited for our trip to Alaska this summer... and I wanted to share a few of the books I've been reading! (Ok, one of them I read the preview and couldn't quite get into... but that doesn't mean you won't!)

  • Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis- I just found this while googling books about Alaska... and bought it. It is based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley. I started this last night and might have stayed up a little later than I was supposed to reading it!
  • Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy- When I saw the cover of this book it was utterly familiar to me, I never read it, but I think it was on my bookshelf for a few years. I am so glad I stumbled upon it again. It is based on an old Russian Fairy Tale about an elderly husband and wife who didn't have children and one day build a child out of snow that comes to life. It is set in Alaska, and the prose is just stunning! I highly suggest reading (or listening to) it when you have time!
Already Read:
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah- I have read most of Kristin Hannah's other books and enjoyed them immensely, this one might be my favorite. It is set in Alaska and is written from the perspective of a adolescent girl growing up in a violent and dysfunctional family who escapes to Alaska in hopes of finding a solution. Her story is challenging to read and it evokes the rugged nature of the land beautifully.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer- (from Amazon) In a compelling book that evokes the writings of Thoreau, Muir, and Jack London, Krakauer recounts the haunting and tragic mystery of 22-year-old Chris McCandless who disappeared in April 1992 into the Alaskan wilderness in search of a raw, transcendent experience. His emaciated corpse was discovered four months later. (also a movie)
Tried to Read:
  • Alaska: A Novel by James A. Michener- In true James Michener style this book starts, oh, a billion years ago with Alaska's history and builds from there... I lost interest around the Woolly Mammoths... don't judge me! BUT, I just found out it is on audible and is 57 hours long... just think of all the knitting I'll get done! (Plus, I can fast forward over the manmoths if necessary!)

Any other suggestions? Maybe a movie or two that must be watched? Or more books to read? Our trip is 100 days away so there is time!!!

Suggestions from Facebook and Instagram! Thanks Y'all... this has become a great resource!

p.s. I didn't bring up Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London or the Julie of the Wolves series by ... these are classics, which I know I read when I was MUCH younger. I probably should read them again, I'm sure my perspective on them would be different!


Kitty Sweater: The Construction

Have you heard about the Kitty Sweater KAL we are gearing up for in my Ravelry group? It is time for a new spring sweater, don't you think?
It is definitely important for you to understand how Kitty is constructed, especially if you are thinking of making any adjustments to the pattern!
Kitty is a seamless sweater that uses my side-to-side Novus Construction in a new way... ready?
Step 1: 
Cast on with the right sleeve of the sweater.

Work the sleeve... this is actually the gauge swatch (the pattern will tell you more about that!)
Step 2: 
Provisionally cast on sts for the front and back of your sweater. This is where you will add length for the bodice if you need it!
Step 3: 
Then you'll work across all the sts, back, sleeve, front 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.

Step 4: 

Then you'll rejoin for the left shoulder and work it!

Step 5:  
  Once the left shoulder is done, you'll put your front and back sts on scrap yarn and then work the left sleeve and bind it off.

Step 6: 
Time for some Origami...
fold your sweater in half at the shoulder! 


Step 7: 
Pick up stitches along each edge of a sleeve and coordinating side seam and then work a side panel up.  As you work through the Side Panel, RS rows decrease st(s) from the Front, and WS rows decrease st(s) from the Back.

Step 8: 
Ok, now for some fun! Pick up sts along the bottom border of the bodice!


Step 9: 
Work these sts in the round, down until your sweater is its desired length! You've got room to play here!!!

Then, bind off, block and wear!

JOIN OUR KITTY KAL, it is sure to be fun!!!!!!

There are still kits available if you want to use the same yarn I did : )!