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Monday, December 1, 2014


Some Newly Published Work :

Fervent, in Swans Island Worsted, 2 skeins for the set, in Raspberry 

Raked, in the Fibre Company's Canopy Worsted, Wild Ginger

Raked in the works, here in Malbrigo Worsted, Bobby Blue

Stilla Lace Poncho, KidSilk Aura

Ricochet in (2 balls of) Kid Silk Haze and (1 skein of) Tosh Merino Light.
Knit by JustCallMeHal

And Some Works in Progress :

Noctua in Malabrigo Rios, Teal Something 

Noctua in Shepherds Wool Worsted, Spring Green

King Bee Farm Alpaca Blend 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saki Sport

Just a quick post to mention that Saki Sport is now up on Ravelry.

I was able to knit 2 pair, a small + a medium from one skein of Traveller.
If you have purchased my other Saki patterns, the coupon code saki trio will reduce the new pattern 50%.
If this will be your first, saki love will reduce the price 33% through the end of November.

Perfect little Holiday Knits. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NellKnitsNovember + Indie Design Gift-a-Long

This has already been a very busy month for NellKnits.

The New River Fiber Company has been promoting #NellKnitsNovember 
in their shop and on Instagram.
There are 2 brand new patterns for the event! 
shown in Swans Island Natural Worsted (Raspberry): 

and Raked 
shown in Fibre Company Canopy Worsted (Wild Ginger).  

These patterns will only be available exclusively at the shop, 
through the end of the month.

I'll be at the shop for a meet + greet, to offer advice and to teach 
my popular class
Tips + Tricks, this Saturday the 15th.  

The Indie Design Group on Ravelry has put together a fabulous event, and this year I am participating.

Thousands of patterns will be on sale for 25% off with the code 
during the GAL sale period - Thursday November 13th (8pm EST) through 
Friday November 21 (11:59pm EST).
Join in the GAL, which lasts until the end of the year - chat with designers and other crafters, play games, win prizes, and more importantly make some beautiful things!

I will be choosing something new to knit, too...  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh, a Give-Away!

Today I'm offering a sweet giveaway, a copy of the new book
One + One: Wraps, Cowls & Capelets by Iris Schrier.
My pattern is the Beaded Eyelet Hug, knit with one skein each of 
Artyarns Beaded Pearl and Sequins and Artyarns Rhapsody Light.  

The book shows so many beautiful shapes. I'm a big fan of cowls, capelets and wraps that are joined and stay put!  

Just leave a comment here, on Ravelry, my Instagram, or my Facebook page to be eligible to win.  I'll also have a few free NellKnits patterns to share.  The drawing will take place on Friday evening.  Good luck and enter everywhere!

The New River Fiber Company and Mosaic Yarn are giving away a Cashmere Level pass to the first ever Sheep in the Shade event!! 
I will be teaching there, along with Angie + Stephanie of Kismet Fiber Works 
and Courtney + Kate of Kellbourne Woolens.  
This will be at beautiful Claytor Lake, just outside of Blacksburg, Virginia.  

The deadline for entry is quite soon, the contest is on Instagram via  any of these links.
Good luck and hope to see you there.

I am also working on a multi-size & multi-gauge Poncho, 
shown here in a discontinued silk & cotton that I over-dyed with Indigo.  
I have been surprised at how often I have popped this one on.
Yes, it's just a simple rectangle shape, 

but with the addition of a few short rows, the neck is less open, 
and there's a flattering fit across the shoulders.  
I'm currently working on a Shale Lace edged version in some lovely KidSilk Aura 
that was just lingering in my stash, 
and have almost readied the pattern for testing.  
Do join in the fun, 
there is a size for you, 
and with all the gauge variety, you may have just the yarn you need tucked away.  
Send me an email or message if you're interested.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy September!

One of the things that September means is that the time for gift-giving is just

Right Around the Corner.

Here are a few great small projects to share, perfect for working on right now.

Gyre, made for the New River Fiber Company

That Hat, a pixie-ish topper with an interesting twist on cabling, 

made with delicious Kismet Fiber Works Sleek Fingering
a wonderful blend of Silk & Wool.  
This might be the go to pattern for several single skeins in the stash.  
This little wrap sits just right.

You can see these, me and everyone linked above at Sheep in the Shade, a fiber retreat on beautiful Claytor Lake, outside of Blacksburg, VA, the first weekend of October.  I am so excited to meet and learn about color with the Fibre Company gals, dye with Angie & Stephanie of Kismet - and meet, hang out (teach & share) with the attendees and new friends there.  I hope that you can join us.  

Stilla, my take on the poncho - soon to be available in many gauges.
Here is the prototype, knit with a long discontinued cotton & silk held double, then over-dyed in my backyard Indigo pot.

I will be talking about this soon, I expect the book to arrive this week, and will have a little giveaway, stay tuned!

Friday, July 4, 2014

“It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” Terry Pratchett

Although the quote, from "A Hatful of Sky", was not written to describe knitting, 
I think it applies.

After all the miles of yarn that have run through my hands, I am still amazed at what a needle or 2, and a few fingertip tricks can conjure up.

Introducing Wheaten.

Knit here in a hand-dyed semi-solid fingering weight from Fleur de Fiber, a souvenir from last years Chicago adventure.  It drapes, hangs and wraps wonderfully, and can be worn in may ways.  Even in the heat of high summer, I can see it wrapped snugly as a scarf - but in the meantime it will keep the chill of sudden AC off my back.
Check out the test knit by Larcyarn made of Kismet Soul!  That color!!

For the 4th of July, I plan to celebrate with a vat of Indigo Dye.  The supplies arrived yesterday and today I mix it up.  If you live in the area, come over for a little dip.

Keep an eye on Instagram for some of our results.

Speaking of Instagram, I celebrated my 3rd anniversary of publishing patterns with a giveaway there.  New friends were made and a dozen patterns gifted.  
It has been 3 fantastic years, thank you all!

Also on Instagram (can you tell it's my new favorite?) there will be a KAL with Whitney of The New River Fiber Company in Blacksburg VA.  Details will be up soon!

High Summer.  
That means a ton of vegetables from our wonderful CSA.  
We made Pickled Beets yesterday, tweaking this recipe by swapping ACV for the Tarragon Vinegar and adding a few whole cloves.

Of course there have been Onion Tarts, and I'm dreaming up new things to make with with the abundance of squashes. 

 A very happy holiday weekend to us all.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Swatching in the Round

I have really enjoyed following Ysolda's (week) daily blog, 
most especially this one about accurate swatching for in-the-round knitting.
My technique is a little different.
Here is a generous swatch, 40 stitches equalling about 6 inches in width.  
I've worked back and forth in the rib for a few rows, just for a base.

I did a little math, and estimate that one row takes about 32 inches of yarn. 
 I measured the relaxed yarn and made a slip knot at the 32 inch mark.
Do this straight of course, it's just circled round for a tidy picture.

Push the work back to the beginning of the right side and begin knitting with the attached, not the ball end of the measured yarn.  

You can see the loop at the end shows that 32 was just a few inches too long.  
If it had been a few stitches short in length, I would have just slipped them, 
unworked, and added a few inches to the next measure.  

Now knit across with the ball end, then repeat with a looped end.

With a flat swatch for knitting in-the-round it is important, IMHO, to use the very same needle that you will for the garment, and to make the swatch large enough so that you are only counting the inside area for information.  
Whatever method you do use, the edges will most likely not read true to gauge.