7.10.2019

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 : )!

5.17.2019

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:

4.24.2019

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!)


Reading:
  • 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!

3.15.2019

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?
http://www.nelkindesigns.com/kitty
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 : )!