Laura Nelkin is a longtime friend and Knitty designer. Her first pattern Abrazo appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. Her most most popular Knitty pattern is the ethereal Mythos from First Fall 2010. She’s even in the our current issue with Gusto. But I’m not here to talk about Laura’s work for Knitty. I want to make sure that everyone knows about her newly published book Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry and Other Accessories.

Get yourself a copy!

Get yourself a copy!

It’s a fun and gorgeous book. Here’s Amy’s review from the current issue of Knitty:

Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry, and Other Accessories

I love that this book is dedicated to the author’s Ravelry group. It shows her dedication to learning from her students and fans, the hallmark (in my opinion) of a great teacher.This book is more than a book of accessories, not surprisingly, then. It’s a teaching tool in itself. Full of projects, each designed to teach a skill or set of skills, it’s a portable classroom in 144 pages.

She focuses on three techniques: wrapped and elongated stitches, advancing lace skills, and — of course — Nelkin’s signature of late: knitting with beads. Starting with accessory projects as simple as a buttoned cuff, she’ll take you through each technique in a gentle and logical manner until you’re ready for the beaded lace gauntlets on the book’s cover (so beautiful!) or the lacy, Gyrus Tam near the back of the book. The Quadro Convertible Shrug is another stunner.

The section on knitting with beads is enough to make the book a knitter’s library must. Information about what yarn content works best with beads, how to choose beads suitable for knitting, and much more are essential reading for anyone wanting to add sparkle to their fiber. Hard to pick a favorite pattern in this section, but the gradient Halli Shawl is a jaw dropper. Want.

I love the Cha-Ching Mitts on the cover and here are some other patterns that I’m excited to knit.

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Laura, Potter Craft and Craftsy have put together an sensational giveaway for KnittyBlog readers!

A copy of Knockout Knits!

The Book!

The Book!

A kit for the Cha-Ching Mitts!

The Kit!

The Kit!

Laura’s Knitting with Beads Craftsy class!

nelkin knitbeads

The Class!

One lucky KnittyBlog readers will win all three prizes.

Our regular rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday,  September 18th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the book, kit and class. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $96.98

Very well done.

Well, knitters do often spend a lot of time sitting in front of one… I rather adore these knitted televisions, created by Dutch artist Esmé Valk.

Andrew Salomone, the blogger who wrote about this project on the Makezine site, asks the question we all want to ask… “I just wonder if this was knitted while watching TV!”

Giving us a bad reputation? A knitter sparked an argument on a plane after reclining her seat to “make space to do her knitting”. The pilot elected to make an emergency landing at a nearby airport.

Sounds to me like the incident wasn’t entirely the fault of the knitter… I’m pretty sure that for me knitting on a flight prevents air-rage.

In response to a UK politician who suggested that charities shouldn’t engage in politics, but rather “stick to their knitting”, the Guardian published a brief but rather lovely editorial about the value of knitting.

With the news just breaking of a new royal baby on the way, feverish speculation begins about another possible shawl…

Simple yet very effective!

Very cool: a round-up of home-made spool knitters. I used to call this thing a French Knitter, the website calls the tool a ‘Knitting Nancy’. What other names are there for this tool?


I find endless amusement in the use of crochet for ‘sculptural’ projects. Now that Amy and I both are getting better at crochet, we probably have the skills to make this ramen bowl project. Complete with my fave bit: the eggs.

I don’t know if it’s the change in the weather or the change in schedules with the kids going back to school, but I am having a heck of a time focusing on anything for too long.

I’ve been spinning samples. Oh how I love blending colors while drafting!


A singles of drafted blended polwarth.

A single of draft-blended Polwarth.

I can’t stop playing this game and I’m terrible at it!

I haven't seen the sweater yet. :-(

I haven’t seen the sweater yet. :-(

I am giddy that there is going to be a Shaun the Sheep movie in 2015. I keep watching the trailer.

It's Shaun the Sheep!

It’s Shaun the Sheep!

Because I haven’t been paying attention, I just saw the article on Shaun the never-been-shorn Tasmanian Merino, getting shorn.

52 pounds of wool and it wasn't a record!

52 pounds of wool and it wasn’t a record!

I went for a walk today and saw this:

Rhinebeck is coming!

Leaves are turning!

Which of course means, Rhinebeck is coming! I just checked and it’s 39 days from today. You’re welcome.

Do you see what I mean that my brain is flitting? I hope you have more focus than I do this week!


Knitty readers are powerful. I linked to this awesome post on SpaceCadet Creations’ site and you guys took down their server.

Sorry about that, SpaceCadet.

Since SCC’s site is now out of commission for the next 72 hours, we thought it would be handy to repost the information here, where (hopefully) our server can handle the demand.

I know so many of us are frustrated with the way Facebook shares information. This informative post will help you understand what the heck is going on and how you can actually follow the news from your favorite companies, like Knitty and SpaceCadet, on Facebook.

Take it away, SpaceCadet Stephanie!

Facebook is an amazing resource — a way for everyone to keep up with their friends’ news, family photos, hear about upcoming events… and maybe even look up an old boyfriend or two.

And it’s a great way for me to keep in contact with you. Not only can I share with you what we’re up to at the SpaceCadet studio (or just what I’m up to on a Saturday morning) but, unlike many other channels, Facebook gives you and me a wonderful opportunity to interact — to ask and answer questions, to have a conversation, for everyone to share thoughts as a community.



Where has SpaceCadet gone?

But maybe you haven’t seen so much of SpaceCadet in your Facebook stream lately? Maybe you think I’ve gone quiet? Maybe we’re not up to much lately?


Nope, the real reason you don’t see much of SpaceCadet any more is that Facebook recently changed its policies for business pages like ours. Whereas in the past, our posts used to show up in the news feed of everyone who liked our page, Facebook now shows our posts to only a tiny fraction of the folks who follow us.

Let me show you what I mean. The SpaceCadet page has over 1200 followers, but look at the number who got to see these recent posts:

Collage,  how many people reached

200? 100?!? Sometimes it’s been as low as only 50! That’s hardly any of our followers, and it’s really disappointing when I want to share stuff with you guys but I know that only a few people are going to get to see it.

Now, the reason Facebook is doing this is that they want me to pay to “boost” my posts and to be honest, as a business person, I’m ok with Facebook wanting to make money. SpaceCadet has an advertising budget and I’m happy to spend it, but paying Facebook to “boost” every single thing I post is not really the best use of that budget, so I don’t do it very often.

Besides, if Facebook is a community, it feels a bit creepy to turn every comment I make into some kind of a paid advertisement. A lot of times, I’m just sharing cool stuff with you guys.

Saturday office

There’s an Easy (and Free) Solution!

BUT there is an better way for you to receive SpaceCadet posts again. I can’t increase the number of posts you see without paying for “boosting”, but YOU can pull our posts back into your news feed easily — and for free! All you have to do is start clicking “like” on our Facebook posts (or, even better, leave a comment or share the post). The more you interact with our posts, the more of our posts Facebook will share with you. That’s all you have to do — just start clicking “like”.

And it’s not just your timeline you’ll be affecting. When you click “like” and “share” or comment on a SpaceCadet post, everyone else gets to see more of what we’re up to as well. Want to see how powerful it is? Check this out…

The Power of Likes on Facebook

When you click “like” or share and comment on my posts, you’ll begin getting all the latest SpaceCadet news in your timeline again (along with behind-the-scenes pictures from the studio and some random shots of my lunch or my WIPs…). And, y’know, I’ll be so excited to see you again! I love sharing all the cool stuff we’re working on each day — and I love it even more when I get to hear back from you about what I’ve posted.

So here, hop over to our Facebook page right now and just click “like” on a bunch of posts (or please, leave us a comment or share a couple of posts). And before you know it, SpaceCadet will be back on your Facebook radar again!


Mauna Kea

PS –I really do love the interaction that happens on Facebook, and so I’d love for SpaceCadet to have more followers. If you think something I’ve posted would interest your knit-friends on FB, I’d be really grateful if you’d share it with them by clicking “share” as well as “like”. Thank you for spreading the SpaceCadet love!



You might have heard the rumour: Amy and I both like to crochet.

When your hobby is your work, you need to find a hobby to relax from your hobby, if you see what I mean.

I love crochet as a relaxation. I like to just follow a pattern and have fun, not worrying about design elements or writing the pattern or any of the other stuff I worry about when I’m knitting. I’m currently working on the lacy flower scarf that was in the spring/summer 2014 issue of the Noro magazine. I love how this uses the chaos of a Noro colourway and organizes it into something totally different.

The original:

(c) Noro Magazine 2014, Photo by Paul Amato for

Mine, so far:

There's going to be a few ends to weave in...

There’s going to be a few ends to weave in…

The best part about this project is that each little motif takes about ten or fifteen minutes, so I can get a quick hit in between other things. At this rate, it’s going to be a while before it’s ready, but I don’t mind.

And Amy has been working on a half-hex shawl in a fantastic array of colors.

A very promising start…

Making progress…

You can see more pictures on Amy’s Instagram account.

Yup, we both love crochet.

This is one of the reasons we were so excited to add our Plays Well Together column to Knitty: we know that many knitters crochet – and many crocheters knit – and we wanted to explore how the two crafts complement each other!

Naomi of Gannet Designs has written a series of blog posts about encoding secret messages into your knitting… having designed a pair of mittens with a message, I find this sort of thing fascinating and happy-making.

East-coast spinners: the upcoming Maritime Handspinners’ Retreat being held October 20-26 on Cape Breton Island, looks like an excellent weekend, with some very good workshops and activities.


Just beautiful: Australian artist Jacqueline Fink of Little Dandelion creates oversize textiles and installation works from natural fibers and raw materials.

Her latest exhibition is Sea Art, a collaboration with stylist and ceramicist Lara Hutton.

Inspired by the intricate forms and soft muted tones of natural sea treasures washed ashore and housed in a series of still life interior installations, Sea Art captured the beauty created when forms, textures and materials converge.

The artist at work.

Danish designer Signe Emdal creates fabulous knitted textiles with the help of both modern and old technologies: today’s Photoshop, a 1990s vintage Silicon Graphics PC, and a 1980s vintage knitting machine.

She creates graphics that are interpreted in a variety of ways, pushing the limits of the older equipment to create entirely new designs.

There’s a video of her machine at work on her own website.

I agree completely with the thesis of this post about new TV show Outlander: Come for the Scotsmen, Stay for the Handknits. There are some very nice examples of both on display…

Love this blog post on the website of the US National World War II Museum in New Orleans, on the topic of knitting for the war effort. I find the vintage patterns particularly fascinating. Great insights into the knitters that came before us – and also for me as a technical editor, a glimpse into pattern writing standards of previous generations…

Friends of Knitty Soak are hosting a photo contest this month. They’re encouraging knitters (and others!) to post pictures on Instagram and other social media. Each day has a theme, as show on the right.  At the end of the month, one randomly selected participant of the challenge will be chosen from and contacted on Instagram to win some Soak goodies. I’m not personally on Instagram, but I’m posting pictures on Twitter anyway because it’s fun!

Here’s my entrant for the “designer” theme…. Click on the hashtag #soakphotochallenge in Twitter or Instagram to see lots of great knitting-themed photos.

And if you’re looking for another way to pass the time as you get back into the swing of things at school and work, consider >the “Sheep to Sweater” version of the 2048 game.

Psst, want to see some of the fiber for my Happy Camper class on spinning variegated tops? I’m working on my samples. If you are coming to the retreat you will have the top two colorways from Yarn Hollow (left) and cjkoho designs (right) as your starting points. We will ply and draft colors together adding other variegated fibers like the ones in the two smaller photos. We’ll even throw in some solids and naturals to see what happens. It’s all kinds of fun

Yarn Hollow and cjkoho designs fibers

Yarn Hollow and cjkoho designs fiber

I taught a longer version of this class at Rhinebeck last year and here’s what happened to Tina from Nimblestix.

Post color class

Post color class

She got tired from all of the fun! There are still a few spots left for the Happy Camper Fiber Retreat, it’s September 19-21 in south eastern Michigan. Beth Smith will be teaching color carding and having a trunk show of her new book. Rita Petteys will be teaching dyeing fiber. Treat yourself, escape your family, come play!


Come on get happy!

Come on get happy!



In this week’s Proud of My Friends news: Amy King, expert spinner and amazingly talented dyer,  has a fantastic new spinning class on Craftsy! Do you know someone that wants to learn to spin or someone who wants to review spinning basics? Is it you? Amy King’s new Craftsy class is called Foundations of Spinning and it is just that – all of the basics from wheels to fiber to drafting to plying to finishing. She knows all of the spinning things!


 My kids started their school year today. I’m not sure what to do with myself, does anyone need me to drive them somewhere, make them lunch, argue the need for $200 shoes? Ha,ha,ha,ha! If anybody needs me, I’ll be over here spinning!

Marisa from Minneapolis is our winner of the Mrs Crosby/Grantangle giveaway. Congrats to Marisa!

UK Magazine is sponsoring the 2014 British Knitting Awards: a nice opportunity to promote the craft of knitting, and some of the key players in the industry, small and large. Categories include yarns brands, shops, blogs, and books.

Image courtesy The Guardian.

A Walk on the Wool Side. A farm in Wales has announced a new option for those who like a nice walk: sheep trekking. Visitors roam a nearby national park with “specially trained” Jacob sheep.

They’ve thought of everything: the sheep guides will be fitted with a “harness that can carry a light lunch”.

The video is a winner: bonus adorable puppy!

And on this side of the Atlantic, the Mississipi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario has announced the details of this year’s Fibrefest. High on the list of must-see events is a Lamb Race, rather sensibly not feature real lambs, but toy ones.

The event, held September 13 & 14th, features all kinds of fibery goodness, including demonstrations spinning, knitting, weaving, rug hooking, lacemaking, smocking and quilting; a vendor fair, and a vintage clothing show and sale. Their “Button Mania” event sounds amazing, with displays of WWI-era military and fashion buttons, and button vendors.

Also that same weekend, September 13th, it’s the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Guild Fair. It’s the second year of the even being held in its new home, the Kitchener Aud, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Needle manufacturer DyakCraft posted on their Facebook group about a devastating fire at one of their suppliers, Rutland Plywood. Their post highlights the importance of small suppliers on artisan craftspeople and their businesses. We often think of an artisan and their work, but not their suppliers.


Clever: yarn company Quince has just launched an app that allows users to search for Quince yarns by gauge.

I am now on the last 6 months before my book manuscript is due and my brain is hopping around like a flea. Everyday I take some time for a diversion, I make myself do something relaxing for at least 30 minutes in the middle of the day, when maybe, I should be working. I relax and it takes that high pitched, “you need to work better,faster,stronger!” whine in my head to a much lower decibel.

One of my favorite diversions is magazines. To be counted as a diversion it can’t be a knitting (my exception is any Japanese knitting magazine) or spinning magazine (the exception here is fresh out of the mailbox issues of PLY or Spin Off) but it can have to do with other textile lovliness. Here are a few I’m looking at this week:

Selvedge - the British textile magazine everyone I know wants to live inside.

Selvedge - even the paper feels good!

Selvedge – even the paper feels good!


TAC – the brand new Textile Arts Center magazine

TAC - Who doesn't love a fleece cover?

TAC – Who doesn’t love a fleece cover?

Hoop-La – a newish (this is the second issue) British embroidery magazine that seems to feature every embroidery designer that fill my boards on Pinterest.

Hoop-La even when I don't have time to stitch, I can read about it.

Hoop-La, even when I don’t have time to stitch, I can read about it.

Väv – a Swedish weaving magazine that Jane Patrick of Schacht introduced to me. Although I haven’t sat at a loom in many years, this magazine makes me itchy to weave.

Väv you make me want to weave again.

Väv – you make me want to weave again.

Do you read any of these magazines? Do you have any suggestions of others that I would find diverting?

In addition to writing this blog, and editing your favourite online knitting magazine, the Knitty team also enjoys teaching.

Come, take a class with us!


It’s a quiet year for me on purpose, so there’s just a few things coming up!

October 4-5, 2014 I’ll be teaching at Knit City with Kate in Vancouver!

October 14, 2014 I’m excited to be hosting a panel discussion at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto!
Topic: Make Your Voice Heard: The Intersection of Craft, Creativity, and Activism

And you can take my Plug+Play class beginner’s design class any time, now that I’m on Craftsy!

I’m now taking bookings for 2015 and beyond.


September 19-21, 2014 I’m teaching at a color party at the Happy Camper Fiber Retreat in Hartland, Michigan

Late September or Early October, 2014  My Plying class for Craftsy launches!

October 31 – November 2, 2014  I’m teaching at the Intrepid Knitter, Intrepid Spinner retreat in Baltimore, Maryland. My classes are Colorplay, Big Yarns, 12 Ways to Spin Variegated Yarn, The Difference a Ply Makes and Spinning for Stitching.

April 11, 2015 I’m teaching Colorplay at a guild in Iowa City.

April 16-19 2015 I’ll be with Kate at Interweave’s Yarn Fest in Loveland, CO. Class details TBA.


September 18-21, 2014  I’m at the Needle Emporium Knitting Camp at the Bayview-Wildwood Resort. Info here.

October 4-5, 2014  I’ll be with Amy at KnitCity in Vancouver, B.C. Classes are Custom Fit Socks, Pattern Writing, Finishing and the Pi Shawl. Info here.

October 18th, 2014 I’m at Spun Fibre Arts in Burlington, Ontario.

November 15th & 16th, 2014  I’m at Shall We Knit in Waterloo, teaching Toe Up Socks, Fixing Mistakes, Finishing and the Pi Shawl.

December 13th, 2014  I’m at Linda’s Craftique in Port Credit, Ontario.

April 16-19 2015 I’ll be with Jillian at Interweave’s Yarn Fest in Loveland, CO. Class details TBA.

Of course, if you’re in the Toronto area, I teach regularly at The Purple Purl and Lettuce Knit.

(And watch for an announcement about NYC in January…)

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