Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nelkin Designs & the Beaded Cuff Kit Giveaway

Knittingdancer Congratulations you were selected as our winner!

Lately there's been a flurry of activity at Sandrasingh.com and that's just the way I like it. I've been busy bringing you new yarn brands, such as Kauni's Effektgarn, plus stocking up on some of your favorites like Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Sandrasingh.com and The Schaefer Yarn Co. I've also been having fun hosting Blog Giveaways, and this post will include one too.

You may have noticed the recent explosion of new knit & crochet patterns, lots of beautiful new designs by some of your favorite artists
and that I've introduced the work of 6 new talented knitwear designers. You know I usually like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on my new designers and introduce them to you on a first name basis, but there hasn't been time to single any one of them out. Starting with this post I'm going remedy that!

Laura Nelkin

Introducing Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs! I've had the pleasure of working with Laura for the past few years since she became the Design Director at The Schaefer Yarn Co. I've admired her work the entire time and Schaefer's projects are some of the most popular among my customers and of course Laura influences the line. So it was the perfect fit to add her pattern collection to my website to make it available for you.

Undulating Waves in Schaefer Susan

Laura designs, almost, exclusively in Schaefer's yarns and specializes in beaded knitwear, you may be familiar with her graceful beaded Undulating Waves scarves from Schaefer. But she's also a superb lace, jewelry and sock designer and since she resides in upstate New York her collection caters to knits that will keep you and your family warm this winter.

With her eye for fashion and insiders knowledge of the yarn industry I thought it would be interesting to learn what secrets Laura knows, she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for you. And she generously donated a gift for the giveaway, her Beaded Cuff Kit complete with the yarn, beads and pattern, details on how to enter below.

Beaded Cuffs

Hello Laura, please tell us about yourself and what got you interested in knitting and designing knitwear.

I actually didn’t learn to knit until 2004. I graduated from Cornell in the mid 90’s with a degree in Apparel Design. I managed to convince my professors to allow to me focus on dyeing and weaving for my concentration and spend many hours at the loom creating fabric for my looks. I tried to learn how to knit during this time and it just never “took”! Fast forward to 2004, I was with my daughter (who was then 4) at a playdate and her friend’s mom decided to teach me how to knit. Suffice it to say, I sold my looms the next year and haven’t looked back. I LOVE the portability of knitting. I think I always felt trapped at my looms … my knitting and I can go anywhere! Though I followed patterns in the beginning I quickly found that I was constantly trying to create things in my mind and then recreate them on the needles. Since I did not take any formal knitting classes as I was learning I didn’t have any rules I was worried I would break! This allows me to create stitches and techniques… because I just don’t know any better!

Who or what inspires you the most in your design process?

Ahh, inspiration… I pretty much never know when it is going to strike me… but often times it does while I am knitting on a current design! Once I finish the sketching/swatching step my designs are pretty much fleshed out. What this means is that my mind is left to wander while I knit. I constantly take notes of ideas as I will forget them by the time I remember I had one I wanted to follow up on. This means there are little doodles everywhere on the patterns I am working on. My family is quite active, we bike, x/c ski, hike depending on the season. I often come home from a session invigorated and all jazzed up with a new concept. My biggest challenge is to learn to finish the ideas I have already started and then edit the ones I have percolating to make sure they are worth my effort. Sometimes I wish I had an off switch for this part of my brain, as it can be rather distracting!

What direction do you see yourself heading in as a designer?

Well this relates directly back to all those ideas I keep having, right? I have a few big concepts that are “gelling” into a plan. I just have a bit more research to do to understand how I am going to move forward with them most effectively. One of the ideas involves a project with a few other designers. I relish the idea of collaboration with them!

How have the advances in technology and the internet helped you (or hindered) you as a knitwear designer?

I am really excited about how the publishing industry is rapidly changing; the idea of dynamic e-books that imbed photos, links, tutorials, and videos is unbelievably thrilling to me. I can’t wait to see how other designers (and myself) develop their patterns to push the boundaries of the publishing industry. I also REALLY appreciate the role social media has played in my creativity and design community development. So much of what we do as designers is solo. Interfaces like Raverly, Twitter and Facebook allow me to share myself day to day with like minded knitters and designers. They become my office “water cooler” a place to chat, vent, learn, and find new things to cook for dinner!

You're not only an independent knitwear artist but also the Design Director at The Schaefer Yarn Company, with all this inside knowledge of the yarn industry what direction do you see fiber arts heading in the next five years?

I do see a big trend towards more yarns that are sourced/milled/designed and produced in their own countries. Right now most fibers come from one country, they are processed in another country, then shipped to another country to be milled, possibly even dyed somewhere else, and then shipped to the manufacturer who finishes the packaging and transports them onto their final destination. That’s a lot of traveling for a skein of yarn!

The end user (i.e. the knitter) is also a much more educated consumer than they were 5 years ago. The comfort level in substituting yarns, exploring different fiber contents, and the understanding of how colors and dye techniques are going to affect their final garment has exploded. Manufacturers are challenged to continue to develop BOTH fibers and techniques that will inspire knitters to continue to stretch themselves. This is not an industry that allows you to ride on your laurels… constant research and development is a must! (and the best part, IMHO… I absolutely LOVE working on the NEW!)

Laura thank you so much for taking the time to talk to with us, it was a pleasure getting to know you.

From pullovers to beaded shawls and everything in between, please visit my site to see Laura's entire collection.


And now for the
Beaded Cuff Kit Giveaway, it includes the pattern, emailed to the winner as a PDF, and enough beads and Schaefer Andrea yarn to complete the project. The winner will be announced on Tuesday February 2, 2011.

Enter this Giveaway:
The more ways you enter, the more chances you have to win and make sure to leave a comment telling exactly what you did to enter. And please make sure to include your contact information.

1. Leave a comment about your favorite Nelkin Designs' pattern, under this blogpost.
2. Blog about this Giveaway on your blog and link it, leave a comment under this blogpost with the link back to your blogpost.
3. Join my Ravelry group Sandrasingh.com and introduce yourself in the "Welcome Tell us About Yourself..." thread.
4. Announce this Giveaway in your Ravelry group or in another Ravelry group that allows you to announce Blog Giveaways.
5. Friend me on Facebook: Sandra Singh and say you "Like" my post about this Giveaway.
6. Announce this Giveaway (with the link) on Facebook
7. Follow me on Twitter: Sandrasingh
8. Announce this Giveaway (with the link) on Twitter.
9. Sign up for my Newsletter on my Home Page.
10. Sign up to "Follow my Blog."

48 comments:

Turtle said...

very nice! can't pick just one but loving that lace!

Turtle said...

i follow

oonagh said...

i don't think i could pick just one......
cascabel is gorgeous, i love the color pops.......
aile would be really nifty as a steampunk accessory, it looks kinda like either tentacles of a squid or a prop-plane propellor......
and i love the lace down the sides of janet leigh!

gorgeous stuff.....

-oonaghfibersmyth on ravelry

agd509 said...

Hi! Thanks for another great giveaway! I'm excited about this one. Laura's got some really great patterns available. My favorites are the Vaya Shrug, the Slipster toddler dress and the Proper Etiquette Socks. I have blogged about your giveaway: agd509.blogspot.com. I am in your group on Ravelry and have introduced myself there. I posted a link to your giveaway on Ravelry. I "liked" your post on Facebook and put a link on my profile to it. I also follow you on Twitter and announced the giveaway there. I am signed up for your newsletter and I also follow your blog! That makes all 10 steps complete!

Em said...

I do love the Mythos cardigan. Such a lovely shape and drape, and perfect for a light chill in in the air on a spring or fall day.

- ahappyaccident on ravelry

Knittingdancer on Ravelry said...

I would pick the Listado Cowl since we have been having so much snow here.

Christine said...

I love the walking spiral baby's hat and socks.

But mostly, I love those beaded cuffs!!! I don't wear much jewelry, but I would wear those.....no catching on items!

Barbara said...

What a beautiful kit! Thanks for the chance to win :)
I follow your blog, and on Twitter; also "liked" the post on Facebook, and receive your newsletter.
Meditativerose on Ravelry

windtea said...

I follow your blog.
I'm roselake on Ravelry.

Sara said...

Oh, I just love this pattern:

Nelkin Designs Aile

What a gorgeous necklace!!!

nhsarab at yahoo dot com

Carolknitssweaters said...

love these patterns !!

Bethany said...

My favorite design is the beaded cuffs, but I also like all the socks! I blogged, posted on my Ravelry group, and followed your blog. I want to win!

Anonymous said...

I love the purple glove with the cable on the back of the hand. I've never knitted gloves, but this pattern might convince me to try!
Of course, I would also love to win the cuff kit!
Sue J

northstarmultimedia said...

My favorite Nelkin design is the Aile necklace which I am working on as I type!

vickie said...

I love the choice chullo and scarf

vbarton24 at gmail dot com

billicummings said...

I've never made any knitted jewelry and the beaded cuff and Alle necklace are beautiful and look like something I could make :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the lace patterns, they are gorgeous! I also love working with beads, too.

Ravelry ID: AllStrungOut89

Debbie said...

My fav is the Undulating scarf. Very pretty! I signed up to follow your blog, I'm already friends with you on Facebook and I "like" your post about the giveaway. I also get your newsletter. My Ravelry ID is gussek. Thanks! Debbie in Alaska

Priscilla said...

I love the centrio circular shawl and I also love the winterlude shawl. I love to knit lace especially with beads. I have made a few pieces of beaded knitted jewelry.

Valerie said...

I have seen and admired the Undulating scarf for quite a while. graceful and practical.

This is one talented designer.

The Sexy Knitter said...

I've been keeping an eye on Laura's designs for awhile now, and actually this beaded bracelet kit you're giving away would have to be one of my favorite things she's done! Laura, you have a real talent for designing knitted jewelry. I love that you're working with yarn to create fabric jewelry, while at the same time managing to maintain structure in your designs. Genius!

Sandra, have followed you on Twitter and tweeted about your contest!

Good luck all!

Lisette said...

I am partial to lace anything, but the socks are calling to me as well. Laura has some wonderful designs.

Lisette said...

Just saw this post on Laura's blog as well...and then noticed it is on the Schaefer Yarn Group on RAV. Love her patterns...big fan...have too many favorites to mention, so thought I would comment on where Laura can be found as well.

-Sam said...

http://samanthamcnesby.blogspot.com/2011/01/contest-win-free-knitting-kit-from.html

Soooo pretty! I blogged about the loveliness & the contest!

Karen said...

Love the baby hat, really adorable.

mysticmoon said...

Undulating waves is my fave! Mysticmoon on rav

Anonymous said...

I love the undulating scarf. And, of course the beaded cuff.

redhatdeborah on ravelry

Alissa Jones said...

Circulate is my favorite, although it is hard to narrow it down!

Emma said...

Ooh... pretty. I'm dying to win that kit. I love the scarf the most.

E-Dreamer on Ravelry

Melody said...

I love the Twisted Gloves.

melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

oooh what a pretty idea -- lace beaded bracelet cuffs. I'd love to win the kit! Claudia -- daisyfleabane

Anonymous said...

... all of the Lace is Lovely :)

ColorSlut said...

Love them all!

InJuneau said...

I really like the Undulating Waves Scarf and the Listado Cowl. SO beautiful...

I'm also already signed up (and introduced) in your group and for your newsletter.

Anonymous said...

All of them-- but especially Undulating Waves. I keep finding items that I like on Ravelry and then discover that they're Laura's designs!!!
ditetre(AT)mac(DOT)com

Lisa said...

I love the undulation waves with the beads. Breathtaking! I like how on her website she has pattern for kids labeled "For Cute People."
ColoradoKid on Rav

vicki said...

Oh, "undulating waves," definitely!
And I do love that lacework on the beaded cuff ... thanks for the giveaway!

MsVicki on Ravelry

justthreadtwiddling said...

I've made a few of Laura designs, with my favorite being Eventide. I've made several of this because they kept getting 'stolen' by friends.

Eunice said...

I really enjoyed the undulating waves scarf after I figured it out.

Debbie said...

I love the undulating waves! She is such a talented artist with or without beads.

Debbie said...

I follow your blog!

Debbie said...

I signed up for your newsletter! Hooray!

Susan J. said...

I like Mythos very much, but I think my favorite is the Feminine Tunic. Thanks for the giveaway!

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I already subscribe to your newsletter your ravelry group your blog and this giveaway was posted by you in my group on ravelry that is how I found out about it;)
I love the beaded necklace pattern and the baby hat and would love to be entered in this giveaway the kit looks like fun and I love learning new things:)Hugs Darcy

grammynan said...

ooooh, just went to a Gem Fair while on vacation and I'm yearning for just the right pattern....looks good!

Debbie said...

http://waddlesworth-debbie.blogspot.com/2011/01/nelkin-designs-beaded-cuff-kit-giveaway_31.html
My favourite is the knitted jewellery (Nelkin Designs Aile)!
What I did to enter this contest:
1. Leave a comment ...
2. Blog about this giveaway ...
3. Join my Ravelry group ...
5. Friend me on Facebook
6. Announce this giveaway on FB
9. Sign up for my newsletter ...
10. Sign up to "follow my blog"

nanalisette said...

Love Laura's designs so have to post another comment...Thanks Sandy and Laura for the "Giveaway".

Tanya said...

I have the beaded cuff pattern!! I bought it last summer because the sample in the shop was WONDERFUL and I thought I could whip some out as vacation gifts for friends. . .8 months later, I haven't knit one. Should have bought the kit, but I was too convinced I could come up with something better at the time. Obviously, I was wrong!