1.25.2018

Knit Shawls 14 Ways: Exploring Shape and Design

Have you heard about my new Craftsy Class, Knit Shawls 14 Ways: Exploring Shape and Design ?

http://www.nelkindesigns.com/craftsy_shawlshapes

This class was an absolute joy to work on! I do a deep dive into how increases and decreases form a variety of shawl shapes! Starting with 4 basic shapes (Squares, Circles, Crescents and Triangles) I show you how to create multitude of shawls. The class contains an extensive handout that contains powerful formulas that will help you understand the fundamentals needed to construct shawls completely from scratch. These are the tools I started with when I first learned to design, and you’ll see that once you grasp them, the sky is the limit!

The handout provided in the class has four distinct shawl shapes. I explain the concept, provide a formula for that shape, show an example using that formula, and finally give you a pattern for making that shape shawl. You’ll see that the patterns are written in a very generic style; you’ll decide what stitch pattern and increases or decreases you’ll be using.

While designing the class we realized that a really cool way to show you how the shapes are created would be to take a color shifting (sometimes called gradient) yarn and use the same yarn in a few different geometries....

So here is Cloudborn Alpaca Sport Color Change in Bird's Nest shown in 3 different shapes:

All three of these shawls start with the lightest color and work towards the darkest... I used the templates for the center out square, bottom up triangle, and basic boomerang.

I ended up LOVING the boomerang version, and wore it for a bunch of the class filming, it is SUPER easy to wear!
I keep getting asked about it, so I've decided to publish the pattern for those that are interested! It is probably the simplest pattern I have ever written : )!

Basic Boomerang demonstrates how easy it is to take the concepts in my class and make a wearable shawl! I've written it up so you can use any yarn at any gauge and work your shawl until you are happy with its size! Plus this is a great shawl for a brand new knitter... so if you have one in your life tell them about it!



A pile of links for you:

Download BASIC BOOMERANG!
Cloudborn Alpaca Sport Color Change (if you want to make a shawl similar to mine)
Knit Shawls 14 Ways: Exploring Shape and Design
All of my other Craftsy classes

1.18.2018

Video Tutorial: Garter Kitchener Stitch

I have a few patterns that use Kitchener Stitch on Garter Stitch fabric (knit every row) and it was time to make a video for you! Years ago I made an easy tutorial on Kitchener Stitch on Stockinette Stitch fabric, as you watch this you'll see the only difference is that in Garter Kitchener you are doing the same thing on both the front and back needles! Super easy!



Here are a few of my patterns that use this technique:
http://www.nelkindesigns.com/medio

As promised in the video here is the secret for Garter Lurra!
When working Garter Lurra you'll notice that the first two stitches are in Stockinette Stitch as you are slipping them on WS rows to create an I-Cord Edging. Those two stitches are worked with "regular" Kitchener and then you switch over to Garter Kitchener for the remain:
First Set Up like this:
1.  Go into 1st st on FRONT needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.2.  Go into 1st st on BACK needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
Start GRAFTING
like this:
1.  Go into 1st st on FRONT needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
2.  Go into next st on FRONT needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
3.  Go into 1st st on BACK needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
4.  Go into next st on BACK needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle. 
Repeat Steps 1-4 once more.
Then Graft for Garter Kitchener like this:
1.  Go into 1st st on FRONT needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
2.  Go into next st on FRONT needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
3.  Go into 1st st on BACK needle as if to KNIT, pull yarn up and drop st OFF needle.
4.  Go into next st on BACK needle as if to PURL, pull yarn up and leave st ON needle.
Repeat Steps 1-4 until all your stitches are grafted together!

1.05.2018

Swatching for Lace Mash Up... this time in COLOR!

Happy New Year!

There is LOTS going on in 2018... and I think I'll start by getting a second Lace Mash Up onto my needles for the KAL in my Ravelry group!

This time I want to knit one in color and in a lighter weight "springier" yarn so I can have this shawl for my summer wardrobe! I ADORE the Shetland Heritage I used for the original Lace Mash Up, but it is a lofty wool yarn and not perfect for summer.

The one rule I had for this is that I work from stash... the last thing I need to do is buy more yarn : )!

I had a major lace weight stash dive last night, these are the contenders I came up with:
Lakshmi’s Dreams Silk Babycamel Lace I swatched the Silk Babycamel Lace already and I think it is too fine as it is 874/yds to 100grams
Lakshmi’s Dreams BFL Silk lace The BFL Silk Lace is pretty darn nice! It is 656 yds to 100 grams, still a bit lighter than the Shetland Heritage...
June Cashmere Lace The June Cashmere is a dream, but I’d need to buy 2 skeins, all I have is 1 skein of grey and I don’t want a grey shawl!
The Fibre Company Road to China Lace
 I did a WHOLE COLLECTION in Fibre Company Road to China Lace, and it would be awesome for this design, but I only have enough cream… so I would have to dye that!
Anzula Cloud
Anzula Cloud is a favorite, that is a great back-up and I have stash of that!

I have to admit I really want use one of the Lakshmi's Dreams skeins as Andrea came with me to Ireland in October and I adore her (and her yarn!). So clearly, that is what I cast on first.

Here's the Silk Babycamel Lace on US Size 3 needles:

 I like it, but I'm not sure the definition is working for me in this pattern... it's a bit too lightweight, and the speckles aren't quite what I'm looking for in this shawl. Andrea does have a Silk Babycamel Heavy Lace that would be perfect... but remember: I AM WORKING FROM STASH!

Here's the BFL Silk Lace on US Size 5 needles:

I'm just going to say I love it... the blocking is holding is beautifully, the hand is a dream and I know I will love this wrapped around my neck. Also, THE COLOR IS SO GOOD... blues with hints of greens, this will make me happy when I knit it! It is a bit loose though, so even though I love it tonight I am going to work up another swatch on US 4's. I'll post that here when it is done and dry...

The shawl will definitely come out a bit bigger if I work it on 5's which means I may have to cut back on some Nupps so I don't run out of yarn.... I guess I could always use beads instead!

UPDATEWhat a difference needle size makes! I'm sticking with the larger US size 5 needles as I want my next Lace Mash Up to have drape and lots of negative space between the stitches! I know this will use more yarn so I am going to skip the Nupps and use beads instead!






Just to give you a comparison here's the BFL Silk Lace on top of the Shetland Heritage.... it really shows how different the fabrics are!



So, what do you think? Am I on the right track? Are you casting on Lace Mash Up? What yarn did you settle on?

12.08.2017

The story of a Faded Gola por moi!

Do you know what? Sometimes I get obsessed...
This time it was another Gola (this is my 3rd)... but FADED! This fall when Knit Stars came out I decided to find out just what this whole FADE craze I keep hearing about was. So I watched Andrea Mowry, and learned all about it!

Then I went to Indie Untangled at Rhinebeck and fell down in the Magpie Fibers booth... Dami's Swanky DK literally FELL INTO MY ARMS. It took me like 3.2 seconds to find the fade for me!
 Clockwise from Top: Eager Beaver, Hell's Bells, Rust in Peace, Woodsmoke

I got gauge and just started knitting.... I started the first sleeve with Woodsmoke. 20 rows before the short row shaping I did my first fade (Andrea's formula is a 20-row fade) into Rust in Peace. 
I then continued across with that until I thought I had about enough yardage for 10 rows and faded  into Hell's Bells.
I then decided I was going to run out of Hell's Bells, so I did a vertical stripe with Eager Beaver for 12 rows... I love being able to add vertical stripes with this side to side construction, I think they elongate my torso!
I switched back to Hell's Bells and knit through the right sleeve... all that was left was the side panels. I swear this sweater almost knit itself!

I used Eager Beaver for the left side panel and Woodsmoke for the right side panel.
It is crazy easy to adjust colors for what ever size or number of colors you want to fade for, I think the only trick is to stay away from a short-row shoulder when doing the fade. Other than that the sky is the limit!

I can't wait to see if more people try a faded Gola!

Here's a hint: do you have a fingering weight Fade kit you aren't sure what to do with? Two strands of Fingering equals one strand of DK, so you can probably get gauge with two strands! Tricksy, right?

Note: You probably notice that I don't have a head in any of these photos... that is because they were taken in Colorado and I had a horrible cold, my nose was in no shape to be captured for posterity. I think they show the sweater pretty well, though, and that is what this post is about! Next time I have a professional shoot, and my nose looks prettier I'll get some full shots!