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!

11.26.2017

AQUICOWL (a new Craftsy kit!) and a yarn GIVEAWAY!

I've been waiting to tell you about this lovely cowl, AQUICOWL, for quite a while.... I finished it up this summer, with the goal of giving it to my father-in-law for the holidays. I am pretty sure he is going to love wearing this while walking the dog this winter!
http://shrsl.com/n6xc
AQUICOWL is worked in the round with a two-color mosaic stitch. This fun stitch incorporates elongated slipped stitches into an easily memorizable pattern! The stitch is very similar to what I used in Aquifer, the 3rd design in 2017's M Club.
http://shrsl.com/n6xc
Combining this stitch with a gradient yarn set makes for some awfully amusing knitting! I used a Cloudborn Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini set, which was the perfect match for it.
http://shrsl.com/n6xc
The AQUICOWL pattern is only available in a kit through Craftsy.... but lucky for you you can see that it is DEEPLY discounted as they are having some major Holiday Sales. You may want to check out my other kits with Craftsy at the same time : )!

To celebrate releasing AQUICOWL I have a set of Cloudborn Merino Superwash Sock Twist Mini's in Blue Warbler!  WHO WANTS IT? 
http://shrsl.com/nroo  Just leave a comment below letting me know how your week was... I'd love to hear from you! Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through November 30th.  I'm going to announce the winner on December 1st in a Facebook Live event I am going to do FROM THE STUDIOS OF CRAFTSY! (more on this next week... just follow my Facebook Page for details!) Never a dull moment around here!

Winner Announced! Congrats BeeGi!!!

Oh, and want to hear who won last week's skein of Freia Fibers Ombre Worsted for Brioche Topper? Congrats MimiFan, get in touch to claim your yarn!

11.19.2017

Brioche Topper : A New Hat!

Anybody ready for some gift knitting? I know I am! I've been saving this pattern for you.... it's quite a fun and fast one!

Brioche Topper
I worked Brioche Topper in Freia Fibers Freia Ombré Worsted... what is SUPER fun about this design is that you get the appearance of two colors by working from the inside and outside of the ball... but really, you are just working with one gradient ball of yarn! Tricksy, right?

I discovered this technique when playing with the yarn in Brioche Booster, and realized I could translate it into a hat, which is great for learning brioche in the round. What I LOVE about Brioche in the Round, is that there are only 2 rnds to work, and once you have the pattern established you are good to go! Of course, I made a tutorial for you if you haven't worked Brioche in the Round before....


You've probably also seen some photos of me lately wearing a slightly different version of Brioche Topper, my new winter hat!
I pretty much wear my hair in a messy bun or ponytail ALOT of the time, so I needed to leave a hole at the top! I've included instructions for how I did this in the pattern... and put notes up about this version on its project page.

To celebrate releasing Brioche Topper I have a skein of Freia Fibers Freia Ombré Worsted in Flare!  WHO WANTS IT?
Just leave a comment below letting me know how your gift knitting is going. Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through November 25th  and announce the next winner in a giveaway on November 26th! It's time to get into the holiday spirit with y'all!

WINNER ANNOUNCED HERE!

11.15.2017

Knit Ithaca 2017 RECAP!

This weekend was the first annual Knit Ithaca.... and WOW! What a blast! I can't tell you how amazing it was to not travel for the weekend and have the knitters come to me! I think I am onto something here!

This is going to be one of those blog posts that is heavy in photos and light in words because I think you'll see that everyone's smiling faces say it all!

Kate Atherley joined us as our guest teacher for Saturday's classes.... on Sunday I made her go to nature : )!
Kate just released a new Mitten book and in celebration she designed The Wine Trail Mitts (pattern on Ravelry!)
I designed a scarf for the retreat, inspired by Taughannock Falls, which we hiked to on Sunday!
I have hardly any photos from Friday and Saturday as we were all so busy talking and knitting.
This is Susan casting on Taughannock.

Some of us did take a walk to Cascadilla on Saturday after lunch and before the afternoon class!
Here is Vicki's Cascadilla at Cascadilla!
And Marsha's Cascadilla at Cascadilla!
Susan designed and knit an AMAZING sweater honoring Taughannock Falls!
Saturday night we had a HUGE KNIT NIGHT and local knitters joined us... it was super fun and busy and I didn't get one photo as I was too busy catching up with everyone... WHOOPS!

On Sunday we were treated to a tour by Experience the Fingerlakes, we loaded onto a giant bus and headed out to some of my favorite spots!

Taughannock Falls... my favorite place on earth!








Hedda quickly became our mascot, and when she wasn't helping Rita, she got lots of snugs from us, don't worry!
Melissa at Fingerlakes Cider House educated us on permaculture, Kite and String Cider and more!
Then we were fed really well while we tasted ciders! Smart, right?



Then we tasted goat cheese from Lively Run Goat Farm
And visited their goats!
Finally we ended at Sheldrake Winery, with a wine and cheese pairing that was quite superb!
Then it was back to the hotel for a farewell dinner, a hysterical fashion show (no photos from this... what happens at the Knit Ithaca fashion show stays at the Knit Ithaca Fashion show!), and a final knit night!
One thing about Knit Ithaca? The husbands had about as much fun as we did....!
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou sweet knitters for joining me on this epic event! I hope to make it an annual one!

Oh, and the best way to hear about future events is to sign up for my mailing list.....

10.15.2017

Video Recap: Knit Ireland October 2017!

I'm am just back from an AMAZING adventure to Ireland with 28 of the world's most wonderful people (this includes Ann Marie our tour guide, and Sam, our fearless bus driver!)

I posted lots of photos on Instagram and Facebook during the trip, and decided that instead of going through and individually posting more I would make a wee video for you all that encapsulates our adventure. I tried to make sure that everyone was represented at some point along the way!



One bit of craic (fun in Irish) we had was "borrowing" Sam's marmot when we went to the Aran Islands... he left with only a wee bandana and came back with a full on wooly wardrobe!



Thank you again wonderful knitters for making adventuring with a a possibility!!!! I can't wait until next time!

10.11.2017

Rhinebeck Roll Call 2017!

It is time for one of my favorite events of the year! New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck NY! Are you going to be there????


I've got some fun plans for the weekend and I'm hoping you can join me!!!!!

Friday
I am honored to have a booth at Indie Untangled this year! 
When: Friday October 20th from 5 - 8
Where: The Best Western Plus, 503 Washington Ave., Kingston, N.Y. Click here for directions.

I've been restocking kits (and working on some new ones) and will have those along with a rack of my sweaters to try on! You don't need tickets for this event, but you do need to RSVP.
Go here for more information.

I'll be at booth 23 and can't wait to meet you!

Saturday
12 - 1(ish)- Ravelry Meet-Up- on "the hill"! (Right behind the 2x2 petting zoo) When you get to the meet up area head up the hill to the benches. I'll be up there! Wear your Nelkin Designs if you have made one to wear to Rhinebeck... I'll have presents for the first 25 people I see wearing one of my designs!!!

6 - 9- PARTY and OPEN STUDIO with Jill Draper Makes Stuff! (click link for more info) There will be TONS of yarn there and I'm happy to help you choose yarn for a Novus Sweater, or other special project!

Sunday
10:30 am- ARTICHOKE FRENCH BRUNCH PARTY! (new this year!)
I've discovered that the best time to get Artichoke French is first thing in the morning on Sunday! The line is short and it makes an excellent breakfast! Get there before 10:30 to get yours and then meet us at the picnic tables right across from there to all have brunch together!

Here's a map of the fairgrounds with the Artichoke French Brunch and Ravelry meet-up marked on it:

Any questions? I'm happy to help!!!! Leave a comment below if we are going to see you there (and what you'll be wearing!) I have a new sweater on the needles, and there is a small chance it might actually be done in time!

9.04.2017

Knit Stars Travel Tips!

By now you have probably heard I am one of the Instructors in Knit Stars 2.0, an online knitting summit, in October 2017!

Checkout these Travel Tips from a few Knit Stars 2.0 instructors...
(Tip: my little travel trick is at the end... )



Filming is over, my handouts are with the tech editor and I am SO excited to share my explorations into lace around the world with you! I built a small stitch dictionary with stitches inspired by Shetland, Estonia and Japan which I share in my seminar.

If you haven't signed up for Knit Stars yet, now is the time!
There is going to be one more enrollment window starting this Friday Sept 8th and you don't want to miss out!


8.02.2017

Contexta Afghan Available for ALL!

I cannot believe it has been a year since I released Knitting Texture with Craftsy! Well, it has been, so that means I can release Contexta as an individual pattern!

This version of Contexta has a little edition... the world's easiest Octagon with no texture at all!
I added this as a friend of mine needed Contexta to be as easy as it possibly could be! At last report she is addicted to making the mitered squares for it and hasn't started any Octagons.

The Contexta Friendship SWAP we had last Fall was AMAZING... out of the SWAP 23 new blankets were created (or are in process!), AND a Contexta Octagon Expansion Pack was born with 7 new Octagon designs in it. All proceeds from the Expansion Pack are being donated to cancer research, and I'm proud to say that we've already donated $625! Awesome! (You can read more about the project here.)

Contexta was originally designed and knit in Cloudborn Superwash Merino Twist, which was fabulous to knit with, but I always wanted to see Contexta knit in a non-superwash hand-dyed yarn. Luckily my buddy Jill's Mom, Gail, decided she needed to knit a Contexta in Jill's yarn, Windham. Want to see? Isn't it STUNNING?

Windham is a worsted weight, non superwash wool that is locally sourced, milled and dyed. Y'all this is yarn you can feel good about!

Jill and her mom are so thrilled with Contexta that Jill decided to make kits for it!
(Also she is offering a discount on Windham if you want to choose your own colors).
Just use the code BlanketFort at Checkout!

Check out these gorgeous choices:
I anticipate that some of you might ask about care for a non-superwash blanket.... but here's the thing, I wouldn't put my Contexta knit in Cloudborn  in the washing machine and dryer. When it is time to clean it I'll soak it in the bathtub, spin it out in the washing machine and then lay it out to dry. This can be done on my deck on a sheet on a warm/dry day.... or on a sheet on my guest room bed on a wet day. The trick is to really spin out the extra moisture in the washing machine, and then to flip it once or twice (and change the sheet underneath if it is really damp) as it dried. Machine washing and drying anything causes extra wear and tear and I want my blanket to last for as long as possible!

Finally, entirely by accident this is my first blog post in over 2 months... whoops! I'm determined to start blogging more,  I've promised to journal my travels to Shetland and France (which is a few blog posts) and I've got a lot more to share too!