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.

Seattle or bust

October 4, my friend Janet and I boarded an Alaskan Airlines plane bound for Seattle. Our purpose? The Nordic Knitting Conference, held at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.

Of course, that is moisture on the sign! This is Seattle, folks.

Of course, that is moisture on the sign! This is Seattle, folks.

I was honored to teach there for the three day conference and deliver the keynote address.

The ferry ride to Bainbridge island and the fantastic view of Seattle as we went.

The ferry ride to Bainbridge island and the fantastic view of Seattle as we went.

Janet and I had a good time, traipsing around town. We took the ferry to Bainbridge island our first day, and, of course, did the Titanic thing on the way there (I shan't share those photos). We visited Blackbird Bakery and Churchmouse Tea and Yarn. It seems a bunch of us teachers wandered over there in the day!


That night, we had the teachers' dinner. It was delightful to see those I hadn't seen in a year and meet a few new experts.

The Nordic Heritage Museum always puts on a good show! The brainchild of Karin Lowe and Karen Clausen, as well as hard-working museum staff, the Nordic Knitting Conference has always been every other year in October. This is the first year they have attempted only one year interval, and this is such a busy year to have done it: The NHM is building a new  facility which will open May 2018.


Despite distracting daily urgencies involving a new facility, the conference was a joy. Wonderful, wonderful students and hand-knitting enthusiasts came together and took classes from Arne and Carlos, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Chris Bylsma, Carol Rhoades, Evelyn Clark, and myself covering from a very wide range of topics.

Saturday night, my dear friends Melinda and Karina Ricker joined us for the banquet, after which I spoke on Sámi knitting across the Northern Nordic lands. I highlighted how the knitting reflects many aspects of the gákti, as well as some of the crafts people in that land. Many thanks to Laila Durán who allowed me to use many of her gorgeous photographs.

Sunday night, I dragged some people to my high school friend's choir concert. It was outstanding. Seriously, if you are in the Seattle area and like good choral music, consider attending any of the Esoterics' concerts. We happen to be at the one that features the three winners of their international, national and youth modern a cappella song writing yearly contest. It was magical, and a great way to finish off the trip.

Any three days teaching can take it out of me. We flew home and I got to tackle the many items I had successfully put off for days. But, you know, once you've loitered with Beth Brown-Reinsel, everything else loses its flavor.