Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tallent-ed in California

Traveling on the west coast recently I had the pleasure to sit down with a very "tallented" designer. Yes, dears, spellcheck is all over that one, but I do have good reason for this orthographic error.

California girl Stephannie Tallent, or StephCat on Ravelry, is a wonderful designer and author. She has inspired me and many, many others with her books The Wild West Collection, California Revival Knits, and Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock . They are truly some of my favorites. Her work is refreshing and inspiring. On another note, I was lucky enough to take her Craftsy Class, Custom Colorwork Techniques: Mitts, and it is one I surely recommend.

I sat down with Stephannie over a cocktail at Manhattan House in Manhattan Beach. It's a rustic little eatery with locally sourced, seasonal fare & classic cocktails. As I, to be traditional, sipped a Manhattan, we discussed life, travel and her lovely patterns and designs. Here is what she had to say.

Okay, let's start with something simple. Where were you born?


I was born in Bellflower, California, and lived in Long Beach until I was 5. We moved to Riverside after that, then to Arizona when I was 10.

Arizona is beautiful, if a bit hot. Where do you live now? 

Here in Hermosa Beach California, since 2000.

I do love California. The weather is almost perfect. What place, that you’ve lived, would you call your favorite? And why?  

I really love Hermosa Beach.  It's a tiny beach town within the Los Angeles area, just about 15 min from the airport. It's very laid back, and the beach here is beautiful.  There's so much to do here -- beach stuff, hiking, bicycling, restaurants, breweries....

Do you enjoy travel? 

Oh, I do!  I love seeing new places, eating regional food, seeing everything from different architectural styles, to natural settings, meeting new people.

And what, if I may ask, is the place you long to see again?

Bora Bora. My husband and I got to visit French Polynesia about 10 years or so ago. We cried as we were taken to the airport to leave. All those pictures you see of turquoise water? It's really that color.It is a truly magical set of islands.

Second choice: Roma.  I always thought I'd love Florence, Firenze, more, but the first time I ever visited Rome, I fell in love.  I don't know what it's like to live there, but I love visiting.

Rome is my second favorite city in Europe. The gelato and the Campari make for a wonderful afternoon. So, what new place or places do you dream of seeing?

Too many to name!  Too many places to still see.

I know, I know, the world is a big beautiful place. What three things do you never travel without? 

Knitting, reading material, a refillable water bottle.

Hydration is key to feeling and looking one's best. What is your favorite part of a trip away from home? 

Trying new food, wine, beer, etc.

What do you like least about being away from home?

I miss our kitties!

Wonderful. So tell me dear, how did you come to be entangled in the wonderful world of yarn?

I've knitted on & off for nearly forty years, and got excited about designing around 7 years ago.

I love knitting and crochet, but at times it can prove to be a challenge. Have you any pet peeves or joys about the knitting process?

I wish I could knit faster. I'm not slow, but there's simply not enough time.

Haha, yes, time is always at a premium. So moving right along to patterns, what design would you like to have featured with our little tête-à-tête

Beneath the Moon. And Alongshore, lol.

They are two of my favorites. And as the suns sets here on the beach, oh, so apropos. Tell me something of how these designs came to be. Were you responding to a personal need?

I was in love with the flower edging from Isn't It Romantic, and wanted to do more with it. I also wanted to play with a new-to-me design shape. Initially I started doing a simpler main body, but I tried the leaf motif and utterly fell in love with it too.

It is exquisite. How was your experience of the yarn? Reticule, correct?.

Yes. Oh my gosh. I adore that peacock colorway. It's one of those colorways that seduces you into knitting more and more just to see how it comes out.

I agree. You have done such beautiful work with our yarns. I am truly amazed at your talents, Ms. Tallent. Thank you so much, darling, for being a part of our big, wide yarn world. Thank you.

Until we meet again, dear hearts, I remain,
Mrs. Crosby


For more on Stephannie Tallent visit her website at www.sunsetcat.com or find her on Ravelry as StephCat.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Julie, Julie Julie

Finally back in the studio and my hometown of Chicago. Time flies when you're knitting (and having fun). But enough about me, welcome to another lovely episode of my chats with designers I truly admire.

I recently sat down with the talented knitwear designer Julie Turjoman.

Julie is an accomplished knitter and has designed everything from garments to accessories. She calls herself an "equal-opportunity crafter" because she "loves both knitting and designing, and if a day goes by when I don’t pick up my needles, something is seriously wrong!" Haha.

As well as crafting she is an accomplished author. Her book "Brave New Knits" caught my eye in 2010 and I've been a fan ever since. Her other books, "A Head for Fashion", "A Head For Trouble: What To Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders" and "Knits That Breathe: 12 Breezy Projects To Keep You Cool" quickly went into my library. They are a delight full of designs and inspiration.






I caught up with Julie over tea at a local eatery called "Spoke" on Chicago's Northside and we had the most lovely chat.

Read, create, and enjoy.


Hello dear, so good to catch up with you. For our dear readers and my spellcheck program how should your name appear in this manuscript?
Julie Turjoman. And that’s Tur-jo-man, with the emphasis on the first syllable. The “j” is pronounced as an English J, and not as a Spanish “h.” Just to clarify, for those who prefer not to mangle the name.

Delightful. Now, let's begin with the easy questions. Where were you born?
New York.

And where do you live now?
I’ve lived in the elegant metropolis of Chicago.

And for how long? Four years.

What place that you’ve lived would you call your favorite? And why?
Having lived on both U.S. coasts and now in the Midwest, I’d have to say that my favorite place is wherever I’m living at the moment. I loved New York for all of its maddening contradictions. I loved California because it was there I discovered that my thumbs are green after all (though it must be said that in the pre-draught years, everything grew better in CA, so credit should probably go to the climate rather than to my nurturing capabilities). And I love the Midwest for its friendly people, and Chicago in particular for its spectacular architecture and incredible food, arts, and theater scenes.

Do you enjoy travel and why or why not?
Not to put too fine a point on it, travel is my life (as long as I can bring my knitting with me). I like nothing better than a jaunt outside my cultural comfort zone and into a country where I don’t speak the language, see nothing familiar on my plate, and have to rely on the courtesy and kindness of other human beings to get around. It makes me see the world through the eyes of a child again – or an extraterrestrial, depending on your point of view!

Where have you been that you long to see again? Why?
I’ve been to Morocco twice so far, and would love to return. With its wildly varied landscape, natural beauty, cuisine, architecture, and history, it’s a constant – and sometimes rather overwhelming – feast for the senses. The people I’ve met there have been fascinating; proud, industrious, and warm.

What new place do you dream of seeing? Why?
I’d love to visit New Zealand, where among other temptations there’s a photogenic little town called Napier, known for its fine examples of Art Deco architecture. Of course, my interest has absolutely nothing – not a bit of it! – to do with the fact that it’s also at the epicenter of both New Zealand’s wine country and its vast wool production industry.

What three things do you never travel without?
Several knitting projects, which counts as one thing because I compress them into a single bag; An eye mask because, darling, the darkness of a sealed tomb is required for a good night’s sleep; Chocolate for emergencies, bribery, or the guaranteed revival of low spirits.

What is your favorite part of a trip away from home?
My travels are often guided, I confess, by my stomach and my passion for cooking. The chance to sample new and unfamiliar foods is my favorite element of travel, and dining adventures often make for a good story upon my return because some of the best meals are found in the unlikeliest of places. One of the most exquisite lunches I’ve ever had was at a tiny outdoor café discovered while woefully lost inside the ancient walled city of Granada, Spain.

What do you like least about being away from home?
I do miss sleeping in my own bed.

How did you come to be entangled in the world of yarn?
It’s the classic tale of a hobby that evolved into a career, but mostly my yarn world entanglement is the result of being constitutionally unable to leave well enough alone. I’ve yet to knit an existing pattern that even remotely resembles its original design by the time I’ve finished with it.

Have you any pet peeves or pet joys about process?
The greatest joy is seeing a new design go from its early conceptual sketches and calculations to a finished project. The creativity and ingenuity involved in that process is a constant challenge, and often something of a surprise when the final steps are complete.

A pet peeve is the perpetual undervaluing - by both the publishing industry and by knitters who insist that all patterns should be free - of the effort, time, and skill that go into creating new designs.

What Mrs. Crosby design would you most like to have featured with your questionnaire?
Absolutely my Consuelo Cloche, a divine little bit of stylish millinery made with two skeins of “Hatbox.”


Tell me something of how this design came to be. Were you responding to a personal need? Inspired by something in your world? Or simply in a mood? Do tell.
Fashionable members of history’s hat-wearing eras are a frequent source of inspiration. American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt was one of New York high society’s intrepid “buccaneers” of the late Gilded Age, whose mother pushed her into marrying the Duke of Marlborough, who was noble but penniless. As Duchess of Marlborough, she became quite the grande dame in her own right, eventually divorcing her cold fish of a husband and remarrying for love the second time around. This cloche would suit her style during her happiest years.

How was your experience of the yarn? Why did you choose it? Why that color (or those colors)?
Hat Box is the ideal yarn for my Consuelo Cloche because its blend of silk and cashmere with merino wool offers the luxurious softness that a stylish buccaneer – or today’s fashion-conscious modern knitter – would expect in a new fall chapeau. The richly saturated colors Peacock and A New Leaf offer just enough contrast to set off the asymmetrical split band and the ribbon flower brooch that embellishes one side of the cloche.

Thank you so much, darling, for being a part of our big, wide world.

Discover more about the lovely Julie Turjoman here: http://www.julieturjoman.com or shop Julie's Patterns on Ravelry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flowers most Divine

Dear hearts,

With a heavy sigh I watch the final days of summer wane. At the same time, my soul flutters at the thought of fall and all its glorious color. 

My travels this year have taken me far and wide. In February, I visited the Chiang Mai Flower Festival. The dancers, in their traditional costumes, were enchanting. I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of one of them and whiled away an afternoon over tea with her. I may have even learned a thing or two. 

May found me in Medellin where their flower festival celebrates the end of slavery in the most beautiful way. Come June, I walked the floral carpets of the Genzano Infiorata Flower Festivals in Italy. I was sorely tempted to pick a bloom, but decorum prevailed.



Next month, I am off to Bloemencorso in Zundert. I am told it is the largest festival of its kind in the world. One can never have enough tulips, can one?

Why, pray tell, am I regaling you with the bits and bobs of my little trips? Well, all the blooms made me positively giddy with the prospect of putting color onto yarn. Our newest offerings are bursting with that excitement, seven brand new colors celebrating the bounty of the bud.

They are in order:

Buttercup
Walking through a field in northwest New York earlier this year, I was taken by the beauty of the buttercup. Did you know that the scientific name of a buttercup is "Ranunculus" originating from the Latin meaning "little frog"? I assume that is because buttercups often inhabit areas near the water, just like small frogs. It certainly isn't from the lovely yellow hues. Although, one does suppose there are yellow frogs somewhere. I will have to see about that.


Foxglove
The dramatic spikes of tubular flowers with speckled throats was the beginning of my inspiration for this lovely colorway. Foxglove blooms in midsummer and I believe add an elegance to a perennial border and woodland areas. Of course, while pink and white are generally the color of Foxglove, I was more intrigued by the notion of a small, well dressed mammal having tea at the corner of a shade garden. Whimsy is the spice of life.


Hosta
Truly one of my favorite perennials. Easy to take care of and elegant in its own way, I see Hosta all over the world. Whether in front of an embassy or in a shade garden behind a close friend's cottage, the Hosta is as ubiquitous as it is beautiful.


Hydrangea
Mother's favorite blossom was the genesis here. I do love the colorful options this dear offers, but I am a simple woman and feel the bright white base allows the other colors to pop right out to a knitter and say, "Yes, dear, I am more than you think I am."


Magnolia
Old, elegant and surprisingly tough, the Magnolia is a flower I come back to time and again. It is said to be an "ancient" plant appearing on Earth even before bees. I like to think that the industrious honey bee created themselves just to help pollinate this blossom.


Pansy
My favorite wildflower, the Pansy, is truly amazing.. Whether in a small annual garden or wildly sticking up through the cracks in a sidewalk, I encounter them at every turn. The name, I do believe, is derived from the French word pensée or thought. Why, I wonder? A little research is in order. 


Tiger Lily
Fondly known as the Ditch Lily, the Tiger Lily can be found in and around ditches in large parts of America. For some that would make it something to stay away from, but for me, the wilder the better.





I do hope you enjoy the beauty of my "flowers" and that they will bring as much inspiration into your life as they have into mine.

Yours Ever,
Mrs. Crosby

Contentedly traveling somewhere over the Pacific.

Friday, July 22, 2016

On Balla Mara with Jen

Designer is Jen Hagan is next up in my Crosby Querstionnaire. She is the lead designer at Figheadh. As it says on the website, "The word itself is Gaelic and means knitting or weaving and is pronounced Fee-yugh."

Her work is an inspiration in color and cables. I caught up with her recently and below is our wonderful conversation.

Read, create, and enjoy.




So, Jen, tell me where were you born?
Langdale, Alabama, a town that no longer exists.

Where do you live now? And for how long?
Tacoma, WA, for the past 13 years

What place that you’ve lived would you call your favorite? And why?
I love the PNW! The climate, the landscape, the culture—it's the best! But who knows where the next adventure will take us?

Do you enjoy travel? Why or why not?
I do enjoy travel, but I love traveling by car the best. I suppose my grandparents instilled a love for road trips in me at a very young age. I have fond memories of roadside picnics with them as we made our way through Georgia and Alabama to visit relatives and attend camp meetings with singings and “dinner on the ground.”

Where have you been that you long to see again? Why?
Washington, DC—the museums! The food! I spent two weeks there once and it wasn't enough.

What new place do you dream of seeing? Why?
British Columbia—we live in driving distance but I have yet to go to the mainland. I loved our trips to Vancouver Island and want to see more!

What three things do you never travel without?
My husband, my knitting, and a good book or two

What is your favorite part of a trip away from home?
Exploring, especially seeing the landscape from a car window! That way, you can stop and further explore anytime and anywhere you want.

What do you like least about being away from home?

I am a homebody, so there is no place like home.

How did you come to be entangled in the world of yarn?
Aran sweaters, of course!

Have you any pet peeves or pet joys about the knitting process?
I love working with yarn in natural fibers. It's alive and it will tell you what it wants to be. There is so much to learn that it could keep me happily occupied forever.

What Mrs. Crosby design would you most like to have featured with your questionnaire?
Our Balla Mara Shawl in the Figheadh Yarnworks line.






Tell me something of how this design came to be. Were you responding to a personal need? Inspired by something in your world? Or simply in the mood? Do tell.
When I was tumbling this thing around in my head, I knew the shawl would be great worked up in Mrs. Crosby Satchel, because it is a lofty single fingering and the simple stitch patterns would definitely hold up to some hand-dyed yarn. Mrs. Crosby sent me some of her yarns to play with last year, so I had swatched with this lovely stuff and knew I wanted to use it. I put in a request for some Satchel in Submarine, because why not keep this whole thing about the sea, right? The nice folks at Mrs. Crosby sent me the two skeins I requested and I was off for a lovely time knitting this shawl up. I hope you'll try both my shawl and Mrs. Crosby's yarn Satchel. You won't have a moment of sorry.

So, complimentary. Dear, it was truly my pleasure to chat with you.Thank you so much, darling, for being a part of our big, wide world.

Discover more about the lovely Jen Hagen here: http://www.jenhagan.com and shop for Balla Mara and more here: http://www.figheadh.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Spring and Summer and Gustav Mahler

Dear Hearts,

Traveling once more with my old friend "insomnia". Not another soul in the lounge this evening on the Queen Victoria from Ponta Delgada to Southampton save a very talented mixologist named Gustav.


Although skilled in his profession and lovely to gaze upon, his conversational skills could use a polish. He longs to return to his first love, music. Tending to the needs of thirsty travelers seems to be merely a fall back position.

I am reminded, by said steward, of Gustav Mahler who was once quoted as saying, "With the coming of spring, I am calm again." Oh, how I wish I could have said the same dear Gustav.

While not unpleasant, Spring was quite, maybe even overly, eventful. Hence, my lack of keeping you informed of my travels. Trade shows, meetings, seeing and being seen was both exhaustive and exhilarating. More than once I lay abed dreaming of relaxing along the Champs-Elysee knitting gifts for friends, but that was not to be. Spring is a time for the busiest of bees and, all told, busy is good and this year fleeting.

Alas, June is upon us as is The National Needle Arts Summer Market. This year it's being held in Washington, D.C. I do hope to see a few of you there. I know that I am excited to be heading back to the capitol. It has been years since I've walked the mall and smelled the cherry blossoms.

My father was stationed in Washington when I was a child. Mother and he held many a tony party. Black ties, beautiful gowns, and I'm sure more than a little political intrigue were the rage. I would sneak out of my bedroom in the night and listen from atop the staircase to the goings on and dream of being in the middle of it all chatting and laughing.

Now I am to return. Warm feelings abound. I am actually quite excited to see how the city has changed. I hear there are many new museums, but the old ones hold many fond memories for me. I will also be seeing my dear friends Talitha Kuomi and Vivian who will be releasing their new book, "The Voyages of Vivian" at The Market. 


They were kind enough to send me a preview and I think the patterns are just divine. Of course, the yarn is no slouch, but it would be bold of me to say so.



I told her we just must have copies at the booth and we shall.

But for now I must leave dear Gustav and see if I can locate Mr. Sandman. Hopefully I can coax him into sending me to Dreamland for a titch.

Yours Ever,
Mrs. Crosby
Somewhere over the Pacific

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

If I had a Hammersen

Spring has been busy with travel and knitting, but well, here we are again. Welcome to another episode of my series of chats with designers I truly admire.

This month I chat with Hunter Hammersen. Her books include CurlsThe Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet series (Volume I, Volume II, and Volume III), Ne’er-Do-Well KnitsRabble Rousers, and Silk Road Socks. She also has a lot of individual patterns to tickle your fancy on Ravelry. If you want to keep up with Hunter, you can always visit her blog, Violently Domestic, or join her group on Ravelry. Her book "Fine Things for Plain Occasions" was one of my favorite reads in a long time. I encourage you to discover it and her other books at pantsvillepress.com.

I met with Hunter, over tea, near her home in Cleveland, Ohio.

Read, create, and enjoy.



Good afternoon, dear. Shall we start at the beginning. Where were you born?
Germany.  I'm American, but an army brat, and I grew up overseas.

Where do you live now? And for how long?
Cleveland, Ohio. Somehow, I've lived here for about 18 years.  I'm not quite sure how that's possible, but the math seems solid...

It does. What place that you’ve lived would you call your favorite?
Is it cheating to say the place we go on vacation every year?  We rent a little cabin on the coast of Maine and settle in for a few weeks of gazing at the sea and scampering over rocks. We've been going long enough it's starting to feel like home (and we've started looking for a place of our own out there)!

Do you enjoy travel?
Oh yes! But I find I've moved past the 'we must make a painstakingly precise schedule that will allow us to visit every important cultural landmark and read a never ending stream of historical markers' style of travel that featured prominently in my youth.  I am now much more in favor of setting in somewhere for a while, hitting up the market and cooking a few excellent meals, making a careful survey of the local used book stores, and tracking down the best cocktails in town.  It takes longer, but you come home feeling like you actually saw the place instead of like you got hit on the head with a guidebook.

Where have you been that you long to see again?
I very much want to get back to Croatia. I need to check and make sure the light is every bit as pretty as I remember.

What new place do you dream of seeing?
Iceland is near the top of my 'new places we need to visit' list. I mean of course you've got sheep (and a climate that instills a proper appreciation for the benefits of knitting), but from what I've seen it also looks like the closest I'm going to get to seeing terrain that looks like another planet without actually donning a space suit.

What three things do you never travel without?
Good tea (with a proper tea pot whenever even somewhat feasible, and with at least a suitable in-cup strainer when not), cozy knit slippers (the more structured, shoe-like ones can be hard to tuck in a piece of hand luggage, but knit ones really don't take up much more space than a pair of socks and make all the difference at the end of the day), and a really excellent handbag.

What is your favorite part of a trip away from home?
That first morning, when you've unpacked your suitcase (always unpack your suitcase if you're staying somewhere more than a night, it makes all the difference), you've got a cup of tea in hand, and you're just about to start exploring somewhere new.

What do you like least about being away from home?
 Airports.  I'm not sure how they cram so much gloom into one building. 

How did you come to be entangled in the world of yarn?
Oh, more or less by accident!  I started knitting to keep sane in grad school.  My innate inability to follow instructions meant I was soon working on my own patterns instead of following others.  People were kind enough to say they liked them and encourage me to write them up, so I did. 

Not too long after that, I realized I was struggling to fit my school work in around my design work, thought a bit more about what the life of a history professor would really be like, decided far more people were reading my knitting books than would ever read my dissertation, and fled!  It was absolutely the right move (and I get to indulge my penchant for history more than you might expect). 

Have you any pet peeves or pet joys about the knitting process?
The interminable stretch between 'yes, this idea is fabulous, I have all the details figured out' and 'oh look, the knitting is actually done' is always my undoing.  I am the very furthest thing from a process knitter.  I adore figuring out how things should go together, and I love swatching and getting to know new yarns and stitches, but actually knitting things seems to take far, far too much time.  I always long to be off to the next new idea. 


You recently created "Women are Usually Obstinate". 
Can I tell you how much I adore that name?
Of course!

Tell me something of how this design came to be.
Oh, this one takes a bit of explaining (especially that title)!  You see, I've always had something of a fondness for old etiquette books.  The advice in them is just so delicious.  Not too long ago, I gave into the inevitable and used a group of my favorite quotes to inspire a collection of knitting patterns.  So to truly understand this sock, you have to see the quote that inspired it. It reads: 

"How common is the complaint among young women, especially those of sedentary habits, of chilliness, cold feet, and other symptoms of deficient circulation! And yet how impossible would it often be—for women are usually obstinate on this head—to induce them to exchange the thin silk stocking for a warm merino one, or to substitute a proper walking shoe for the paper-like articles which they designate by that name!"

 The Ladies' Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness:
A Complete Hand Book for the use of the Lady in Polite Society
by Florence Hartley, 1873
With that quote in mind, the socks were easy.  They had to be pretty enough to tempt you if you were thinking of reaching for beautiful but impractical things (and I think the lovely little scallop pattern accomplishes that nicely), and they had to be made with a yarn that would be both warm and practical (which the lovely Train Case certainly accomplishes). 



How was your experience of the yarn?
The yarn was delightful!  Given the quote I was working with, I needed something that had some merino and would be warm, and something that would let me really show off some fancy stitch work.  Train Case is a classic sock weight (skinny enough to give you lots of stitches to work with, not so tiny you lose all hope of finishing) with beautiful stitch definition and wonderful soft colors.  For this project I needed just the right color palette (sort of muted, chalky colors...not faded or sepia toned, just delicate),  and this was perfect. 


All the photos from the book were taken by Zoë Lonergan.

Thank you so much, darling, for being a part of our big, wide world.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

A word with Ms. Laura Nelkin

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to another episode of my series of chats with designers I truly admire. But first, allow me to apologize for not getting this chat up earlier, I must confess that distractions, such as knitting and something I'm starting to explore, weaving, can be a bugaboo. But enough about me.


This month I chat with Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs. She recently launched another of her delightful Mystery Knit Alongs featuring her considerable talents and my newest entry to the yarn world, Reticule. The first hint went out, oh, pooh, March 29th. Mea culpa, mea culpa. If you're on Ravelry you can find it here: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/nelkin-designs/3403095/1-25

I met with Laura near her home in upstate New York.

Read, create, and enjoy.


Hello Dear. Please let me say you look wonderful. That is quite the smart top. But I digress, let us find out who is Laura Nelkin?

Where were you born?
Westchester County outside of New York City

And where do you live now?
Trumansburg, NY which is outside of Ithaca…. I’ve been here since 1991, so 25 years. (How did that happen?)

I love to travel. Please, tell me what place, anywhere in the world, would you call your favorite?
And why?
I’m going to have to say home… despite the cold and grey, this area fits my lifestyle perfectly. The food, community, music, outdoor activities, and general spirit make it the best place to live day to day. When I am not traveling I am a homebody, and I LOVE living somewhere simple. It is easy to get around, procure what we need and not battle crowds and traffic. Some people say it is 10 square miles surrounded by reality, I just call it Gorges!

Do you enjoy travel?
OH MY GOODNESS YESSSSSSS!

Where have you been that you long to see again? Why do you miss it?
I absolutely loved Copenhagen, I could happily live there for a few months. The design, aesthetic, architecture, coffee and pastries made me feel right at home. We live quite rurally and it is a city I could find myself at home in!

And are there new places you dream of seeing?
I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about going to Spain and then the Canary Islands… this will happen in the next few years for sure! Oh, and also Panama!

What three things do you never travel without?
1. My aeropress, handgrinder and Gimme! Coffee
2. A whiskey flask
3.
Emergen-C and Wellness Formula

This is my kit for travel success!





What is your favorite part of a trip away from home?
I sleep with my knitting! At home I never take my knitting to the bedroom (it’s work for me you see)… when I travel alone it is like a treat! Especially if I leave my family at home, then it is my companion!

As a counterpoint what do you like least about being away from home?
I miss my family (if they aren’t with me) and my spazzy standard poodle, Noche and freaky kitty Buffy!

How did you come to be entangled in the lovely world of yarn?
A little fate, a little luck and A LOT of hard work! (It helped that Schaefer Yarn was 6 miles from my house on back roads!)


Have you any pet peeves or joys about the knitting process?
I wish I wasn’t such a perfectionist sometimes…. The more I knit the more I know how good something can be. This means I rip out and reknit WAY more than I used to!


Let's chat about your newest Mystery KAL. Tell me how this design came to be. Were you responding to a personal need? Inspired by something in your world? Do tell.
Even though I am telling knitters that this Mystery KAL (MKAL) is a shawl I always like knitters to think that they are making a thong… so every MKAL I do is inspired by different ways a thong can be constructed. Synthesis is no exception to this rule!Except there is so much purple yarn involved it is clearly a thong for Barney this time!

That is delicious. How was your experience of the yarn?
Reticule is stunning, its drape is superb and thought the fibers are smooth they aren’t too slippery making it not too difficult to work with. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of it as they sink their needles into this new and scrumptious yarn!

Thank you dear. It was wonderful to find out a little bit more about you than I knew before. We must do this again in, let's say, Copenhagen?
Haha, it's a date. 

There she is dear Hearts, Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs. Do join her Mystery KAL. It sounds like a lovely project with, if I may say so myself, a wonderful new yarn called Reticule.

To learn more about Laura, her amazing work, and her delightful mystery knit along club, The M Club, please visit her website NelkinDesigns.com.

As for me I'm off to find a hand grinder and some that delicious Gimme Coffee.

Ciao Darlings.