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.

Looking forward to teaching at North House Folk School

It’s January 2019 and the kids are back at school. In our house, we know it is “back to business” when the dog stops waiting for table scraps and finally eats her dog food without complaint. Today was that day.

I am back to the drawing board — literally — sketching sweater ideas for submissions to magazines. The year started on task with a magazine acceptance (hooray! I new magazine to me!) Interweave Knits), and two submissions to get out this week, plus a new callout in my email box today.

Last fall, I did not submit any knitting ideas. Instead, I created my first quilt. I built it around a theme and for teaching in a class for North House Folk School for their Northern Fibers Retreat (where I’ll also be teaching knitting classes). It is the Quilting the North Woods wall-hanging. I based it off of nine-patch based blocks with northern themes (snowball, sawtooth, sailboat, maple leaf, and an appliqué North House logo center block). We begin the wall-hanging with a class on triangles centered on the first blocks. For the next three months, six blocks and the sashing and borders will be mailed out. More information is found at the North House website, northhouse.org.

Here are some images of the fabrics used and the finished quilt top.

fabrics in the quilt kit

fabrics in the quilt kit

Quilting the North Woods quilt top, unquilted

Quilting the North Woods quilt top, unquilted

We have plans to have a community quilting bee at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota at the annual Wooden Boat Show, sometime between June 22-24. Depending on weather and crowding, we may be inside, outside, or both, but the quilting frame is portable and the wall-hanging is only 50 1/2” x 50 1/2”. If you are in the area, come ready to add your stitch to the quilt! Bring a thimble, if you have one, and see you there!

NHFS block, in need of some ironing…

NHFS block, in need of some ironing…

Czech Glass Buttons

Christmas and New Years are over, and I am currently working on a “me” project of a garter-stitch, top down cardigan. I need nine buttons for it. As I stitched away, I remembered some lovely single buttons I purchased from a yarn store I love in England. I rooted around in my sewing cabinet, and — voila! Czech glass buttons!

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I bought these dragonfly buttons a long time ago when I was considering knitting a Kauni, multi-colored cardigan and was thinking through button choices then. Still thinking, although years have passed.

After I pulled these delightful singles out, I got online and looked up that yarn store again. They have since moved to Ireland and gotten rid of a lot of button stock, but I put in a new order and got a few more Czech glass buttons. Here are some of my new treasures.

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The buttons in the first and third image are quite large — between 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. They would be great as a clasp on a lace shawl. These others…?

Some of the dragonfly buttons I am thinking of collecting and using all of them on a single garment. Unfortunately, I still don’t have the buttons needed for a maroon garter-stitch cardigan! But, isn’t that the way it goes?

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round

In other January news, our regional spin retreat met at Lindenwood the final weekend of January. I brought a challenge project: 3.4 pounds of llama/merino fiber I had processed last summer. 

Admittedly, I was intimidated by the amount of fiber, and wondered if and when I could ever get through it. Spin retreat was a great place to try, but it was so hard! There were so many distractions with lovely braids and bumps of yummy fiber. After my first bobbin was filled, I longed to spin anything else.

Singles on the mother lode

Singles on the mother lode

By the time I left, I had two bobbins completely filled and had started in on another. By the end of the week, I had four filled and started plying during the Super Bowl.

a lovely three-ply

a lovely three-ply

I now have four skeins of approximately 600 yards triple plied, AND I'm really happy with it!

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