Feasting with Jimmy Beans Wool

One of the reasons it was so exciting that Jimmy Beans Wool picked us up this year was because they are always doing some sort of creative, exciting project. So when they asked us to be a part of this year's Fit For a Feast, we were all-in!

Around the warehouse, we started talking about favorite Thanksgiving foods. We batted around so many different ideas. Holiday traditions aren't a common topic of conversation, but you can really get to know more about each other through finding out how everyone celebrates. We had a great time swapping stories, but we weren't any closer to choosing a food to be the inspiration for our colorway. 

Our lead dyer, Kelly, decided to take the evening to think about it. She asked her son, Charles, what his favorite Thanksgiving food was. After reminiscing about holidays past, he decided that his favorite was Triple Berry Pie, so that's what our colorway had to be!

Kelly worked to create each berry color individually, as well as the perfect crust color, before combining them, tweaking as necessary, and finally dyeing a skein of Triple Berry Pie. What she didn't have the recipe for, though, was the actual triple berry pie of Charles' memory. Knowing that Charlie, our operations manager, does a lot of baking, she asked her about pie recipes. Charlie agreed to share a family recipe for berry pie, and that is what is included in the Fit For a Feast recipe booklet! 

You can get your own skein of Triple Berry Pie only on Squishy, for a limited time, and only at Jimmy Beans! Choose the single skein, the full feast, or try the sampler

Featured Designer: Laura Nelkin

Sometimes it's easy to describe a designer's hallmark. You might have a go-to designer that inspires you with colorwork, one that inspires you with construction, and yet another that inspires you with his/her sense of style. Laura Nelkin's designs certainly can't be boiled down to a single stand-out characteristic! Her construction is frequently unique. She's known for her beadwork and lacework, and yet she has many amazing patterns that feature neither. Her designs are joyful and full of movement while remaining sophisticated. There's a lot to love about her work!

If you've ever been intrigued by adding beads to your knitting, or if it's a technique you love, Laura's website is a great one to check out. She offers a number of tutorials, not only on beading but also other knitting techniques as well. You can also browse her patterns and add them directly to your Ravelry shopping cart. 

Laura has put together kits for a number of her jewelry patterns. Kits include the beads, fasteners, yarn, and bead-placing tools - all you need are needles! You can be sure that the beads and yarn will coordinate and that the beads will be the proper size, making your first foray into knit jewelry a snap. Her Pioneer Cuff kits are available in Cloud from her Etsy shop or your LYS. She packages the kits in a little organza bag that would be perfect to use when gifting the cuff this holiday season. 

© Laura Nelkin

© Laura Nelkin

The Mica Tam is knit in Squishy. We've had the pleasure of sharing this knit at trade shows and it is even more stunning in person. The combination of the tiny sparkling beads with the soft yarn is wonderful. 

Laura recently released her first book, Knockout Knits! She offered the pattern for the Forza Scarf as a free teaser. The Forza Scarf, shown above, was knit in Vera, and is an excellent starter project for knitters wanting to enter the world of lace knitting!

As you can tell, Laura is committed to encouraging knitters to use new techniques. She even offers Craftsy classes as well as in-person workshops. (She'll be at Chelsea Yarns and The Yarn Club soon!) Clarus, shown above, can be knit in Cloud and is part of the Craftsy workshop "Knit This! Mastering Lace Shawls."

Thank you to Laura for letting me spotlight her amazing designs! Make sure to check out Laura's website, Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry group

 

Shifting Rib Cowl

I am not sure that many people know this, but my roots are in designing. In the early days of Anzula, I crocheted accessories and hand spun yarn to sell at craft fairs, farmer's markets, my local yarn shop and a record store. I published a few of my patterns way back in the day, and occasionally designs come to me and I still knit them up. But I don't usually bring them out in public because I don't have the time to write them up. 

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Last fall, Justin and I were on one of our tours through Arizona and Texas and I had a skein of For Better Or Worsted with me. I didn't know what I wanted to knit, mostly just something that I didn't have to think about and could work on while in yarn shops. I cast on a bunch of stitches and did what comes naturally. I knit. What first began as a nothing that was just something for me to do in my down moments, became a For Better Or Worsted Cowl that I needed a pattern for because others saw me knitting it and wanted to have one also. 

We were getting ready for TNNA and Stitches West, and I knew I would have little to no time to write it up, so I asked my friend Miriam if she could help me out. I sent her the knit, and she wrote the pattern and the Shifting Rib Cowl was born. 

It is one of my favorite go to knits. I have knit two in For Better Or Worsted, and one in Cole. This summer I cast on another one while Lacie and I were in New York. She needed something to knit and at some point took over knitting it. When we headed home she left it in the truck, and I decided to teach Logan to knit on it. He knit a few rows, then wanted to start his own project. It continued to sit there until this trip. I finished my sweater and picked it up. I had already made the decision to do this one a bit differently, I wanted something I could truly cuddle up with. For Better Or Worsted feels so good against the skin so this would be a two skein version with major color blocking. 

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Logan loves to drive, so I get a lot of knitting time on the road. It feels like this one knit itself. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.