Featured Project: RobbieRobbie's Baby Ensemble

What's cuter than a Gramps / Baby Sophisticate hybrid?

Ravelry user RobbieRobbie knit this baby ensemble from For Better or Worsted in Denim and Madam that she picked up at The Knit Cafe in Toronto. I asked her about her projects and she shared the inspiration behind the set!

"I chose the sweater pattern because I love cardigans, and shawl collars in particular. There’s also something irresistibly adorable and super entertaining about a baby in a “grandpa” sweater - so they’ve become something of a staple for my baby gift knitting. I’ve tried a couple of popular patterns including Gramps & the Baby Sophisticate and have come to prefer a bit of a hybrid of the two. I love how fun and simple the Baby Sophisticate is to make, but there’s just something about elbow patches!"

"I chose the booties because all of my mom friends love the Robeez style booties and these are right up that alley! It didn’t hurt that they were super cute, not to mention fun and interesting to make. The construction is clever, and it’s an engaging pattern."

"I chose the hat b/c baby Elliott’s dad wears one similar (flat top with brim) and wore it regularly when a group of us were on vacation in Costa Rica together, so I’ve come to associate the style with him. I was looking for a cute, and different style of hat for this set, and loved that this found a clever way to have a brim without needing any extra materials."

"I chose Anzula because it’s the best of so many worlds. The colors are fantastic. Rich and interesting. The fibre is quality, and even an unschooled hand can feel that. Whether in the skein or knit up, For Better or Worsted feels luxurious and wonderful. Even though this yarn is luxurious, it’s still a workhorse. It’s superwash and it wears fantastically well. It’s a dream to knit with spongy and lofty and just pure awesome."

"I chose this yarn because the parents are important to me, and I wanted to show them that. Not just through the time and effort I put into planning and making this set, but what I chose to make it with."

Thank you so much to Robbie for letting us share her adorable baby ensemble on the blog today!

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