Knit Ireland with Laura Nelkin October 2017!

Oct 1 - 10, 2017
Many of you know I visited Ireland with my family this summer.... it turned out to be a bit of a scouting trip and I've put together a knitting adventure for us to take together next fall! Ireland is gorgeous and full of opportunity! I can't wait to knit and learn and explore the western shore of the country with you!

Day 1: Arrive in Shannon and travel to Killarney's Lake Hotel (with a scrummy lunch stop along the way). We'll be starting our adventure retreat "style" with Carol Feller, knitting and chatting and then follow that with a fantastic group dinner. The Lake Hotel has a the ruins of a 12th century castle and overlooks Killarney Lake... we'll knit, get to know each other, and rejuvenate from our travels in comfort!
View from the dining room of The Lake Hotel!
Day 2: We'll start our day with a true Irish breakfast and then have a knitting workshop with Carol Feller, lunch and a bit 'o shopping in Killarney and then a Jaunting Car Ride in Killarney National Park!

Day 3: Group breakfast, and then head out on a Ring of Kerry tour around the stunning Iveargh Peninsula and end the day with a visit and tour of the Kerry Woollen Mills.

Day 4: Another yummy Breakfast, a quick visit to Hedgehog Fibres in Cork, and then lunch and exploring Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, and then onto Galway for a lovely group dinner in our hotel at the Harbor!
The color wall at Hedgehog!
Day 5: Craft in Connemara day (starts with Breakfast!)! Tour of Connemara with a visit to Spiddal Craft and Design Centre and a basket making workshop with Ciaran Hogan, then onto Kylemore Abbey, finally a visit to a traditional working Sheep Farm, the Glen Keen Sheep Farm. The evening is your own... we may decide to head into town and catch a traditional Irish Music session in any one of Galway’s traditional pubs or simply relax in the hotel.
Day 6:  We'll have breakfast and then head out to visit to the National Museum of Country Life (optional) and then have an afternoon workshop with the iconic Anne O'Maille and visit her knitting store in Galway.

Day 7: After Breakfast (sense a theme here?) we will flight or ferry to Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands. On the island we will be met by Una McDonagh and treated to a workshop on traditional knitting methods and Aran Island stitches at the Aras Eanna Art and Craft Centre. We'll be staying at B &B's on the island and have an opportunity to get to know our hosts and learn about island life! The day ends with a sumptuous group dinner at a local restaurant!

Day 8: First, breakfast, then we'll ferry over to Inis Mór (the largest of the Aran Islands) and have a guided tour that includes the impressive fort of Dún Aonghasa. Then we'll head for lunch at a local restaurant and visit some of the knitwear shops on the island. In the afternoon we'll take the ferry back to Inis Oírr and have a St Bridgets Cross Making workshop with Una! Another yummy dinner is scheduled for the group!

Day 9: BREAKFAST! And then we'll ferry over to Doolin where we will take a short tour of the Burren and learn about the region, we'll visit Poulnabrone Portal Tomb, Cliffs of Moher for lunch and a wee hike, and then travel through the charming village of Fanore. We will then head to Dromoland Castle for our last night together! I needed us to stay in a castle before heading home... a delicious meal is planned for our farewell dinner.
Day 10: LAST BREAKFAST, and then it is time to head to the airport for our journey's home... (insert sad face here).

Tour land price is €2484 and includes :
  • Transfers on arrival and departure by private coach
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary in a luxury coach with an experienced driver and licensed guide and Laura Nelkin, knitting designer and teacher
  • Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 9 Nights (single supplement  €543/extra)
  • Irish breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, 1 farewell dinner
  • Entrance to all museums and attractions per itinerary
  • Aran Islands Flight and Ferry Fees
Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour:
  • Dinner and knitting Workshop with Carol Feller (including a copy of Carol’s Book – Contemporary Irish Knits)
  • Knitting Workshop with Anne O’Maille
  • Knitting Workshop with Una McDonagh & Mairead Sharry
  • Visit to the Inis Meáin Knitting Company 
  • Saint Bridget Cross Making Workshop
  • Kerry Woollen Mills Factory Tour
  • Eye of God Willow Cross Making Workshop with Ciaran Hogan
    VERY Detailed Itinerary and sign up form available, e-mail Laura for more details!


    Ducenti Mystery KAL revealed!

    Do you know how hard it is to wait to show you my finished Mystery KAL's? I hinted when I released sign-ups for Ducenti MKAL that it was one of my favorite thongs (ahem, shawls) I have ever designed and I finally get to show mine to you!
     Y'all learned a ton with Ducenti:
    1. Lace Cast On
    2. Beaded Attached I-Cord
    3. German Short Rows
    4. More Beaded Attached I-Cord
    5. The worlds craziest edging that looks like candy? or bacon? or bacon candy?
    6. Picking up sts knitwise and purlwise
    7. More Beaded Attached I-Cord
    8. Basic Eyelet Stitch
    9. How wack-o my brain is!

    I knit my Ducenti in Dragonfly Fibers Pixie.... they dyed custom colors for The M Club (when you are a member of the M Club you get the supplies you need for my 2 annual MKALS). I asked for a green that matched my eyes... and they did great! I have such fun working with yarn companies for my clubs (but I bet you already knew that)!
    The construction (while crazy and indescribable while you all were knitting it) is actually surprisingly simple! Basically there are two strips with a connector worked in between them. This connector starts out narrow and gets wider as you join the two strips together
    Wondering about the construction of Ducenti?
    It is knit in 3 parts which I broke into 4 clues.
    1. A long strip is worked with 2 attached beaded I-cords that have short row “eyes” in between them.
    An edging is worked along cast on edge of this long strip.
    A second long strip is made as above (without the edging).
    The two strips are joined together by a lace mesh center connector. This connector starts out narrow and gets wider as the repeats are worked. If you want a shawl that isn’t asymmetrical all you have to do is work the same number of sts for the center connector.
    What I ended up loving even more about this MKAL, was what people did to adapt the pattern once they realized what we were doing in Clue 4! Here's a few examples... so cool right? This construction clearly has possibilities!

    Kelli from Colorado made a third strip and then mirror the lace connector on the other side turning Ducenti into a rectangle! She also added the attached beaded i-cord to each edge, which finishes it off beautifully!

    Elena from Pennsylvania did this cool thing where she worked the an even number of lace connector sts, but she changed their direction in even sections....
    Judy from Indiana did this cool move where she increased to the center point and then decreases back to the other side making her Ducenti a crescent shaped shawl.... what a simple and effective idea!
    Donna from Ottawa made her connector the same width all the way across... another way to have a rectangular shaped Ducenti!

    And Kikukat from Hawaii chose amazing colors!
    An update went out for Ducenti today with the "clues" taken out so you can knit it without the clues.... I'm kinda sorta thinking about another one, cause we all need another project on our needles, right? I'm inspired... how about you????

    (and congrats to sylverscale you are the winner from last week's Star of Butin release, get in touch with me to choose your kit!)


    Star of Butin Kits (and a Giveaway!!!)

    Last holiday season I released a pattern for Star of Butin and was asked again and again if I would make kits.... so I did!

    Introducing Star of Butin Kits!
    16 yards of mercerized perle cotton
    16 grams Size 8/0 glass seed beads
    12 grams Size 6/0 glass seed beads (big)
    Dental floss threader (for stringing beads)
    2 hooks for hanging
    PDF pattern download code

    Includes yarn and beads to make
    2 Ornaments
    Choosing colors for these was a joy... and then writing up the pattern for the different color options was a brain teaser!
    For those of you who already own the pattern you will see that there is an updated version on Ravelry that includes stringing beads for the 2-color (Glacier and Crystal), 3-color (Peppermint) and 5-color (Pinwheel) versions.

    This pattern has a video tutorial for the cast on which is super helpful! You are going to have fun with these! I think they will be this year's gift for all my "people".... once you get the hang of knitting them they are FAST.

    So, are you starting to get ready for the holiday season? What are you planning? Let's inspire each other and have a giveaway to get the holiday ball rolling... 

    Who wants a chance to win a Star of Butin Kit of their choice?

    Just leave a comment below letting us know your plans.... don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through October 30th and announce a winner in a future blog post!


    Rhinebeck 2016 ROLL CALL!

    YEAH! (Did I say that loud enough?)
    It's almost the 3rd weekend in October... which means it is time for another New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (otherwise known as Rhinebeck!)

    I've got two new designs launching in its honor....
    Spirit Shawl, inspired by Synthesis MKAL, in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Birte
    (Jen will have lots to choose from in her booth, Building A, #3&4!)
    I'm having a 48 hour FLASH SALE for Spirit Shawl!!!
    Purchase Spirit Shawl and get another Nelkin Designs single pattern at no cost!
    Use the code RHINEBECK2016ORBUST (ends midnight EST 10/13)
    Jill Draper Makes Stuff is launching a collection called Rural Renewal... and I have beaded mitts in it!
    My kits will be at the Spinning Room in Building A, booth 25 for the 4th year running... I am bringing my whole line, along with a new Ornament kit! Star of Butin (I'll tell you more about this kit and get it in my Etsy shop next week, it is time to start thinking about the holidays!!)
    I've got a fun schedule planned for Rhinebeck, please do come find me!

    10:30 - 12- Helping out at the Spinning Room- Booth 25, Building A

    12 - 1(ish)- Ravelry Meet-Up- on "the hill"! My hope is that we can all find each other and catch up! Wear your Nelkin Designs if you have made one to wear to Rhinebeck... we can take photos!!!

    6 - 9- PARTY and OPEN STUDIO at Jill Draper Makes Stuff new space! (click link for more info and to RSVP) There will be TONS of Empire for Artichoke French and Middlefield for Medio Cowl... I'm happy to help you choose colors : )!

    11:00 - 11:45- CORPUS Dance Theater Performs Les MoutonsI kinda have to go see this.... a human sheep performance? Or something?
    Location TBA

    And then I am going to SHOP for yarn and kiss the sheep!