8.23.2016

200th Pattern Party (and the next MKAL!!!)

ALRIGHT.... I AM BACK FROM VACATION AND READY TO PARTY!!!! ARE YOU????
(sorry, I'm excited!!!!!)

It is time for the next Mystery KAL, which just happens to be my 200th pattern on Ravelry. I've called it Ducenti, which means 200 in Latin, cause I like to be obvious like that! The pre-clue is up on Ravelry with all the yarn/gauge/optional bead info you need!


The first clue comes out Sept 18th, and I decided that since this is such a big milestone it was time to hold a very rare for me pattern sale

Join in on the Ducenti MKAL (by purchasing the pattern) and get 25% off ALL Nelkin Designs Ravelry patterns! This discount will automatically be taken off at checkout, no coupon code needed! Discount ends when the first clue is released on Sept 18th!

We are having a celebration KAL in my Ravelry group to keep everyone busy until the MKAL starts... I got some pretty good yarny prizes while I was traveling this summer and will be awarding them during the KAL... details on that here.

This is a little odd to say, but I think Ducenti is one of the prettiest most interesting shawls I have ever made, I literally gasped when it came off the blocking board, it is bold and unusual and I completely adore it.

Oh, and for those of you who are hoping for more vacation photos... I'm planning a post, there are a TON to go through, I have a few pretty special shots I can't wait to share.
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8.02.2016

Reading List: Summer 2016

We are headed on a family travel adventure to Ireland and Scotland and I've had a great time building a summer reading list for myself! I have a feeling a few of you are reading/listening more than usual and might have some other ideas for me as well!


On my Shelf:
  • Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks- #1 best seller in Northern Ireland Travel Guides... the dude makes a drunken bet to hitchhike around Ireland with  a fridge... I had to get it! Gonna crack into it on the plane!
  • Raven Black (Shetland Island Mysteries Book 1) by Ann Cleeves- Jill made me promise I'd read these... we aren't going to Shetland on this trip, but I might as well be prepared for a future one! Plus, once I finish I can watch Shetland on PBS, right?
  • A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman- I liked the reviews I read... I bought it... I think that is all I know!!
    Just Finished:
    • My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One by Elena Ferrante- Historical Fiction set in Italy in the 1950's... I feel mixed about this, I finished it which means I didn't dislike it, but it also didn't totally spin me in its web.
    • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- Don't judge... everyone needs a little trash in their lives!
    • The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann- NO idea how I stumbled across this gem but I really enjoyed it. There was history, mystery and a little love! Perfect bedtime reading : )!
    Listening: 
    •  The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova- 26 hours of vampires and historical fiction... need I say more?
    • City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg- I've been listening to this on and off, something about it is a little too close to home (tortured teens and young adults in NYC in the mid-80's)... I like it but get depressed everytime I listen to it!
    • The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood- I heard I am going to like the second book in this series even more than I liked the first one? How is that possible?
    Listened: 
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert- I am not a "self-help" reader and avoided this book on creativity like the plague, but I have to say I am really glad I listened to it.... I pretty much agreed with 90% of what Elizabth said, and therefor felt validated and great about myself, isn't that what a self help book is all about?
    • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood- Like 12 people told me to listen to Oryx and Crake this spring.... THEY WERE SO RIGHT! Already onto book #2! Taking them slow as the story line is so good and I don't want it to ever be over!
    • Power of One by Bryce Courtenay- a friend suggested this as her favorite book of all time, I'm not sure it's my favorite, but it is up there! The girl and I listened together and were able to discuss, which made it even more interesting.
    • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari- this book taught me what Tinder is, and why I don't need it!
      Knitlandia Book Around Update: The book is onto the 5th reader.... and is making its way around the world, I believe it is about to leave the US and go to Belgium and Chile! Kinda awesome, right? I might suggest a book around with Round Ireland with a Fridge... let's see if I love it first!

      Also, can someone remind me next year to not schedule vacation right when the peach tree ripens?


      What are you reading/watching/listening too?  I know I'm going to blow through this list and be looking for more! Let's help keep each other entertained!

      7.21.2016

      Knit Iceland with Laura Nelkin in March 2017!!!

      March 23 - 29, 2017
      Unique, distinct, mysterious, legendary - Iceland remains a well-kept travel secret and a mecca for knitters. Iceland is synonymous with knitting and wool is everywhere (even the grocery stores and gas stations). Knitting is as much a necessity in the cold dark winters as it is a labor of love. Join Laura Nelkin, knitwear designer, instructor, and passionate traveler to discover the magic that is Iceland in September. Dive deeply into Iceland's knitting tradition, its unique landscape, and experience its geothermal activity at the hot springs with Laura and a group of avid friendly knitters. This is a dream trip and I hope you'll join in!
      Day 1: Travel to Reykjavik

      Day 2: Group breakfast, tour of Reykjavik (to get our bearings), visit to Hand Knitter's Guild, check in at hotel and group dinner.

      Day 3: Istex Factory Tour and Alafoss Outlet Shop (need I say more? The home of Lopi!!!) Afternoon Tour of the Hellishei├░i Power Plant.

      Day 4: "Free Day" in Rekjavik, or Optional Tours: Riding Icelandic Horses or Reykjanes Peninsula Tour, Northern Lights Tour in the evening. (extra fee)

      Day 5: Saga Trails, Tour a Local Sheep farm; visit the natural dye studio of fiber artist Gudrun Bjarnadottir

      Day 6: Golden Circle Tour: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Strokur (active Geysir), and ├×ingborg Wool Center (heirloom wool and craft center that is AMAZING!)
      Farewell banquet in the evening.

      Day 7: Visit to Blue Lagoon (can you say geothermal hot spring resort?), and then home!

      Laura visited Iceland with her family in 2012, you can read about her adventures and see photos here and here.

      Tour land price is $2550 and includes :
      • Five nights in superior hotel rooms (double occupancy) at the Center Hotel Arnarhvoll (single supplement $450/extra)
      • Private motor coach for group excursions with full time English speaking tour guide/manager
      • Knitting designer and passionate traveler Laura Nelkin will escort the group and provide informal instruction
      • Breakfast daily, welcome dinner and farewell banquet
      • Entrance to all museums and attractions per itinerary
      • Gratuities for guide/driver
      • Extensive pre-departure material (as is Edventures style)
      • Limited group size
      VERY Detailed Itinerary available upon request.
      Contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322 or goedventures@gmail.com to secure your spot.

      (FYI- I've known Mary since before I learned how to knit, when I was in my early 20's we worked together at a local eco-tourism travel agency. She has been organizing and leading tours for a long time, and is a professional. I am SO happy to be joining forces with her on this project!)

      Note: there is already a FULL trip to Iceland in September I am SO VERY EXCITED to be started a tradition of traveling to my favorite places with knitters! There are only so many wool-focused activities I can make my family do with me on our adventures! xoxo

      7.05.2016

      Knit Texture: One Motif at a Time and the Contexta Afghan SWAP!

      Finally.... my new Craftsy class Knit Texture: One Motif at a Time launched today. This is my 6th class with Craftsy and one that I have been planning for a while.... it is a technique class and also a project class! So you'll learn and make at the same time!
      The class is built around the Contexta pattern and teaches you how to create mitered squares and octagons using a toolkit of textured stitch patterns.
      These Octagons and Mitered squares are then combined together into a multitude of ways for different size shawls, afghans, baby blankets and more!
      You can play with color if you want, or choose a neutral palette... I don't think any two Contexta's will be exactly alike!

      I am extra super excited as we have decided to have a Contexta Octagon SWAP in my Ravelry group! It's been almost a year since our last swap, and the structure we've come up with for this one is going to be a pretty special. I've made sure to leave room in my schedule so I can join in.... in fact, I was the first one to sign up! Go read all the details, hopefully you'll want to sign up to play with us!
      I want to tell you about the yarn I used.... Craftsy has a new yarn line, called Cloudborn, and they asked me if I would work with Superwash Merino Worsted Twist for Contexta... after swatching I knew it was the perfect yarn, and was happy to say yes! It has a tight twist which lends itself to great stitch definition, is very smooth, and doesn't pill easily (and I did a fair amount of ripping as I designed the octagons and squares for Contexta... which is the best pilling test there is!) We'll be using it in the swap so everyone's Octagon's are similar. I think you'll be really happy with it, it is quite affordable, the colors are great, and it will create an afghan that will last!

      Finally, guess what? Craftsy knows how much you love a giveaway.... so who wants to win a Contexta Kit (12 skeins of Superwash Merino Worsted Twist in Oatmeal Heather) to make the oatmeal colored afghan shown above? Enter below! And congrats to Kelli Mullen who won last week's pre-launch giveaway!

      Giveaway!!!

      (Full Disclosure: All the links in this post are affiliate links... meaning I earn more if you use them, and you pay less, so it is WIN/WIN for us both! Please use them anytime you want to shop for yarn/classes on the Craftsy site!)