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.

Nordic Knitting Conference

Last Wednesday I gathered my wool and headed up to South Bend to fly to Seattle and the Nordic Knitting Conference 2014. The Nordic Knitting Conference is a biennial gathering of a handful of knitting teachers and like minded students. It meets at the Nordic Museum in the Ballard suburb of Seattle.

South door to the Nordic Museum, Seattle
 Just in case you weren't sure… a Viking boat at the main entry to the Nordic Museum.

Just in case you weren't sure… a Viking boat at the main entry to the Nordic Museum.

 Good, old fashioned Ballard humility

Good, old fashioned Ballard humility

 Apparently, even the Viking statues knit here.

Apparently, even the Viking statues knit here.

This year, the keynote speakers and teachers were Arne & Carlos -- super intelligent, talented and humorous knitting gurus from Norway. They have at least four books out that have been translated into 15 languages and range from small designs knitted into Easter eggs and Christmas balls to cutting edge sweaters. And, this is all after successful careers as clothing designers and teachers. A highlight of my time was meeting them, being in one of their classes, and just hanging out with them. They are such great guys!

 Carlos, Laura and Arne

Carlos, Laura and Arne

I was very honored to be one of the right teachers myself this year. I taught one class on my Sámi knitted mittens (Skolt class). To my surprise, my class and one of Arne & Carlos' sold out the first day of registration! Speaking to my students, the subject was of such interest that they drove from British Columbia, Northern Idaho and a variety of farflung areas. Several I recognized from previous NKCs.

So, with 20 students, we plunged right into the sordid history of the Skolt Sámi, explored the mitten motifs, and each student created her own cuff with a mix of Skolt Sámi border and main motifs.

A good three-hours work -- what wonderful students!

hat fun is this! A big thank you to each of my students who came. Some came from far away -- British Columbia, and Northern Idaho were the homes of two students. I, of course, did not hear the stories of all of them, but that is the part of teaching I like the most: sharing the stories of the Sámi, and hearing the stories of the students who came. At least three had Sámi roots they had discovered in amazing ways.

I certainly hope each of you can come and share your stories with me.