Laura Ricketts Designs

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands..."

Laura Ricketts Designs is a personal and business website for Laura Ricketts, hand-knitwear designer, author, teacher, crafter, mother and wife.


I had a most excellent time teaching at Yarnover in Minneapolis last weekend. Yarnover is the once-a-year conference for the Minnesota Knitting Guild. June Hemmons Hiatt was the keynote speaker Friday night. She wrote the amazing The Principles of Knitting tome. Everything you would ever want to know about knitting is inside it.

Her website is Her latest passion has been belt knitting, the very efficient knitting method made famous on the Shetland Islands. June and her son Jesse have created a new fangled version of the knitting belt -- beautiful and in multiple colors.

I taught a class on methods of color knitting based on a beautiful flower motif in Jokkmokk Flowers pattern. This gorgeous pattern is based on a mitten in Erika Nordvall Falck's wonderful mitten collection from Norrbotten, Sweden. The flowers are a regional pattern, and widely used in Sami mittens. Her former mother-in-law used the motif often in family mittens knitted in many colors.

When a knitter works a larger color work motif, like the the flower in the Jokkmokk Flowers mitten, he or she must know what to do with longer stranded floats. In the class we sampled methods of stranding, variations on what to do with long floats, and experimented with two alternative ways of doing color work. 

I had great fun, and the students were the best! Seriously! Gold stars, guys.

I also had a chance to meet up with River City Yarn store owners, Barb and Cynthia. River City Yarns is a great store in Edmonton, Alberta. Being dyed-in-the-wool Canadians, Barb and Cynthia have named their store brand yarn "Hat Trick," dyed in the National Hockey League team colors. They interviewed me along with Lars Rains. Here is a part of that fun...

Baby hat stint

The reception went really well for my exhibition opening. Thank you to all who came! The exhibition is still up through March 4 at MoonTree Studios. Please, come out and see it.

I'm gathering information and the knitted goods I reserved from the exhibition to travel up to Wisconsin this weekend to speak and teach. Now, I have to go the library and get some books on tape for my listening pleasure as I drive.

Swim season has wound up and I have finished off and sent in three projects for upcoming publication. Two are for the Fall Knitting Traditions magazine, and one for PieceWork -- I'm not exactly sure which month. I'm glad this teaching trip is in a brief spell of no deadlines! When I get home, the yarn should be here for the Winter Love of Knitting project. And, that, of course, will come just in time for soccer season. What do these spectator parents do that don't knit?

In the meantime, I've been working up some hats: one for my mom, and two baby hats. A number of friends are expecting wee ones. I did some stash dives, waved some sticks in the air, and Presto! Bang! 

Mum's Hyacinth Bucket hat done in Brown Sheep worsted

Mum's Hyacinth Bucket hat done in Brown Sheep worsted

Sweet little Norwegian baby cap 

Sweet little Norwegian baby cap 

Norwegian baby cap 2; Plymouth Happy Feet and Koigu

Norwegian baby cap 2; Plymouth Happy Feet and Koigu

Gallery Exhibition at MoonTree Studios

Today, we set up my gallery exhibition at MoonTree Studios!

Mom helped in the hauling, setting up, and making sure all the items were level. (Thank you, mom!)

MoonTree is a great studio in the county over. It is a brainchild of the sisters of the Poor Handmaidens of Jesus Christ at the Center at Donaldson, Indiana. Sisters Nancy and Mary Baird are the two wonderful, creative women in charge there. As the mission statement says, MoonTree "challenges people to experience mindfulness as they fearlessly explore the interconnectedness of art, nature, and the Spirit within."

Sister Nancy

Sister Nancy

Me, Sister Mary Baird, and Peggy Dawson

Me, Sister Mary Baird, and Peggy Dawson

My loving husband built me that hap (shawl) blocker out of beautiful walnut wood. It did its job wonderfully as I strung up my Estonian shawl and blocked it. Nancy, Rachel and I worked to hand it in the Southern window. It mimics a stained glass window as the sun shines through it.

Sister Nancy and Rachel

Sister Nancy and Rachel

He also built me two mitten mobiles. Here, Sister Nancy and Rachel are figuring out how to hang them from the huge barn beams overhead.

So, if you are available (and close enough), please come to the reception for the exhibition this Saturday, January 21st, from 1 - 3p. I hope to see you there!


Christmas was a good time last month. I tried to limit my handmade gifts in order to enjoy the season more. But, I still worked on a pair of socks for my honey.

I got this snazzy sock yarn from Steve Be's in Minneapolis, all because of the name of the color line. Ready? "These are the Droids you are looking for." Who could resist that? I even knit on it while watching the new Star Wars movie in a theatre just before Christmas. 

Unfortunately, the colors ran with the first washing. :(

I also made a large collection of knitted, spinning angels for my local spin group's gift exchange.

I made 12 in all, in 10 different patterns. Each of the skirts, bodices and wings are different. It was the first time I had starched a project and it was all very fun! Each angel is spinning some camel/silk blended roving. Heavenly!

The family and I went to Chicago a couple days before Christmas. Here is our obligatory photo with the silver bean in Millennium Park. (I guess it's actually called Cloud Gate.)

Happy Christmas from us all!