9.22.2011

Getting to Know You #4: Laura Nelkin

Welcome back to Getting to Know You! Today I'm interviewing the lovely and gracious Laura Nelkin, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at TNNA. Laura's portfolio includes a stunning 70 designs that have been featured in magazines like Interweave Knits, Knitty.com, Creative Knitting, many books from DRG Publications and Storey Publishing, and her own latest collection, Adorn.


Laura modeling her shawl design, Clarus. See? Lovely!

TSK: With designs that include children's toys, intricate lace shawls, tailored garments, socks, and scarves (just to name a few!), you seem to be extremely talented at all areas of knitwear design. Your latest collection of knitted jewelry patterns, Adorn, has been a runaway hit. Should we expect to see you start focusing solely on jewelry design, or will you continue to offer a full range of items? Are there any items you particularly enjoy designing?
Ten patterns are planned for this collection; six have already been released!

LN: Wow, I love this question! I do love jewelry design, and one of the things that I love about it is that although the design aspect takes me about as much time as any of my other pieces the actual knitting so SO much quicker… that way I can always have some jewelry pieces ready to publish WHILE I am focusing on some longer term more time consuming projects. I do enjoy being challenged by my designs so I am almost always taking something new on… this is how I learn new techniques! Right now, in fact, besides the final designs for Adorn, I have another passion on my needles… colorwork gloves! (Sneaky side note for my readers: The latest from Laura, the Iota Collection, is in the works! The new collection will feature four garment patterns centered around a focal stitch motif. Stay tuned to her blog for more info!)

Beautiful colorwork mittens designed by Laura for a mitten swap. Read more about them here.

TSK: One thing I'm always curious about is how other knitters learned how to knit. What's your story?

LN: I’m actually a bit new to knitting, I went to school for apparel design and did a TON of weaving and textile design while in school. I tried knitting in college, but believe it or not, it was too hard (says the girl who mastered a 32 harness compu-dobby loom) and I gave up. Fast forward almost 10 years, my daughter was 4, I was at a play date and one of the moms taught me how to knit. Suffice it to say, we had A LOT of play dates over the next year while I knitted and learned as the kids raised hell all around us… fun times!


The latest design from Adorn, the Beignet Necklace, and Laura's gorgeous Beaded Cuffs.

TSK: So what's the latest for you? What exciting new ventures are you undertaking these days? I know your class on Craftsy, Mastering Lace Shawls, is doing extremely well! How did you find the experience of working with the Craftsy team?

LN:   Frankly, I had a small idea of what I was getting into, but WOW, I am so impressed by the class and the platform! I designed two top down shawls, Clarus and Skywalker, that teach many lace techniques, such as provisional cast ons, chart reading, shawl shaping, fixing mistakes, lifelines, and more. The class and its discussions and videos are available 24 hours a day for students to follow along with at their own pace.  The class has been live for about a month and already has over 1000 students.  I’ve had a fabulous time interacting with them! If anyone wants to check out the class further there is a link on my blog for 50% off the class… just click on the link on
the image at the top. 

This Craftsy class will equip you with all the skills you need to knit lace like a Jedi Master!

TSK: Just had to point this out - Laura's Craftsy class includes over 5 and a half hours of video instruction time! If you sign up via the link on Laura's blog and receive 50% off the class, that makes it just $20.00. Where else are you going to be able to take a class from such an experienced instructor that A) is that inexpensive, B) you can retake any time you want, for FREE, and C) has a teacher that's available to answer questions any time you have one? Just sayin'...

Okay Laura, one last question just for fun. If you had to choose one yarn to knit with for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

LN: Really? Can I not answer this? How about yarns I am currently obsessed/can’t live without by weight?

Lace: Tie between JuniperMoon - Findley and Sweet Georgia Yarn - Cash Silk
Fingering: String Theory Caper
Worsted: Stonehedge Fiber Mill - Shepherd’s Wool
Bulky: Schaefer Yarn Company - Esperanza (Sadly discontinued!)

As a special thank you to my readers, Laura is offering a subscription to her jewelry collection, Adorn, to one reader, and a kit from her Etsy shop to another! To enter the giveaway, sign up for Laura's newsletter (Bonus! Laura randomly selects 5 newsletter members to receive a free pattern each time she releases a new one!), then come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite piece from Adorn is. We'll announce the winner on Wednesday, September 28.


My favorite's Ribband!

Thanks so much to Laura for stopping by! Follow Laura's career through her blog, Twitter, Facebook fan page, or find her and her group on Ravelry. Her Etsy shop, featuring gorgeous kits to knit the pieces from her Adorn collection, can be found here.

ALSO, through the October 26th, you can get 15% off anything in Laura's Etsy shop or Ravelry shop by using the code, "FALL4KNITTING" during checkout.

44 comments:

  1. I love Laura's work! I'm currently making one of her beaded cuffs. My favorite from her Adorn collection (a hard decision btw) is Thrice.

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  2. Wowee! My favorite is Ribband. I can see LOTS of those in my future!

    FelicityS on Ravelry

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  3. If Laura ever comes to your local knitting store and teaches a class - take it!

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  4. Dutifully subscribed!

    I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of "Beignet," how it could work with so many of the odd things I've collected over the years, saying, "Oh, this could become a pendant." Besides, I loves me some beignets for real!

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  5. I have to say, I really like the look of Beignet, but the piece that always got me looking at Laura's stuff is Butin. (In both necklace and earring form). Small, simple, beaded, variegated yarn, shiny, silky...exactly everything that could possibly make me love a project. :D I've wanted to try one of those kits for a while now, and I don't usually wear jewelery!

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  6. I like the simple look of Ribband. Just a lovely way to use small amounts of yarn for something truly beautiful.

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  7. I discovered Laura about a year ago, and have been a huge fan. I have almost finished a Beignet. My fav Adorn is the Ribband. It has endless possibilities, is quick to knit, and is quite striking. Tamsyn

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  8. I love the crochted Butin.I have known about Laura & her designs.Great work & a wonderful collection in "Adorn".
    rinebird on Rav
    rinebird@gmail.com

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  9. Ribband is definitely my favorite. I've already decided that I'm going to make the great sacrifice of not buying any ice cream for three weeks so that I can buy the whole collection.

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  10. i love the butin earrings..and the necklace is also lovely! raineoc@yahoo.com

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  11. Thrice is my favorite pattern from Adorn. I have always wanted to knit with beads but am still hesitating to start something else that will cost me more money and time ;)

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  12. What a sweet interview! Y'all are making me blush : )! "Sosoclever"- Really? You'd give up ice cream for Adorn? You are my new hero : )!

    And "Lauren"- I hope I get to come to Atlanta and see you again.... teaching down there was fabulous!

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  13. Anita (anitat on Rav)September 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Butin is my fav. A great way to use left over sock yarn and my huge bead stash

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  14. Rose (Sisterrobinson on Rav)September 22, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    They are all very lovely but the Butin is just so exquisite that I would love to make it first.

    sisterrobinson on Ravelry.

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  15. Laura's designs are gorgeous! Normally, I am a huge lover of earrings, but I must say that I am in love with the Butin Collar - it is an absolutely lovely piece!

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  16. The Butin necklace is stunning - so many possibilities to customize it.

    lindaran (On rav)

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  17. I really love the Butin collar too - especially in the blue and green color in her Etsy shop!

    mrscollinhobbs on Ravelry

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  18. Loving the Beignet necklace!

    elflyn on Ravelry

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  19. I was lucky enough to take a class with Laura. My favorite jewelry design is Beignet. czsknits on ravelry

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  20. Wow, her designs are sooo awesome!

    My favourite design in Beignet...

    I'm Knittinggirl13 on Rav.

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  21. I love Beignet! I have it in my Ravelry queue and can't wait to cast on.
    (ahappyaccident on Rav)

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  22. Great interview. I signed up for the newsletter and looked at the jewelry patterns. I like the Butin. I had seen it somewhere else and would be thrilled to win the patterns.

    lyknnits

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  23. Signed up for her newsletter - I just love Beignet and the Beaded Cuffs! They both are cool patterns!

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  24. Knitted Butin is my favourite so far. I bought the kit but haven't knitted it yet. I also love the looks of Beignet and Thrice!

    knittingwithwords on Ravelry

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  25. I signed up for the newsletter. I love all of patterns. But I think the Thrice is my favorite

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  26. I've just signed up for the newsletter and had a squizz around the site... the Ribband is beautiful! I love the beaded cuffs as well - definitely adding to my knitting queue!

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  27. Ribband is certainly my favorite pattern from Adorn as I've already made 5 of them!!

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  28. Wow it is really hard to choose. Thrice would be first but only by a stitch. ccguard on ravelry

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  29. The knitted Butin necklace is my favorite.

    ETA: It wouldn't let me choose yahoo to identify myself, but I subscribed to the newsletter under the same name at yahoo.com

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  30. the Beaded Cuff Kit- Gertrude Ederle, has a beautiful combination of yarn colours and beads
    Susanjd

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  31. I have knitted the Butin Necklace. I need the Butin Earrings pattern to go with it. I also have a beaded cuff kit to knit.
    I signed up for the newsletter.

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  32. I don't wear much jewelry but I love the Butin necklace!

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  33. Yay more knitting newsletters. I love the beignet design and have the perfect circle for it!

    I'm jhoops7 on rav

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  34. Love, love, love the Butin earrings and the crochet Butin necklace. These are going to be the perfect stocking stuffers for my daughter and future daughter in-law for Christmas this year.

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  35. If Laura Nelkin creates it - - I love it !

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  36. It's a tie between the Butin Collar and the Butin Earrings

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  37. it was ribband all the way for me....until beignet came out....damn you knitting temptress :)

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  38. The Butin kit just arrived this week and I can't wait to get started....after the busy weekend! Ribband looks pretty great, too!

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  39. Kittycatknit on RavelrySeptember 25, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    I like the butin earings! They look so beautiful!

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  40. Love the Butin Collar. Tried many times to register for the newsletter but the confirmation code was rejected each time. Will try again another day. mysticmoon on rav

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  41. Thank you for showcasing these designs, they're amazing! I signed up for the newsletter right away. The Butin Collar is my absolute favourite, just gorgeous.

    ilina (on Ravelry)

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  42. The butin necklace and matching earrings are definitely my favorites. I plan on making several for Christmas presents!!

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  43. I really like the Beaded Cuff Kit- Greenjeans! I have been wanting to add beads to my knitting and these seem like a great place to start!

    Amalthia on Rav.

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  44. I like the Butin Collar KIT- Elena Piscopia


    sophia.komninou at gmail.com

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