Laura Nelkin

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: knitting expert Laura Nelkin, returning designer guest!

logoheadshot_caroLaura Nelkin is not a stranger to the YarnThing podcast, she was on a couple of years ago and is back today to talk about her Mystery KAL.  So just to get everyone up to speed on Laura, she is an independent knitwear designer who lives in upstate New York.  Laura learned to knit in 2004 when her daughter was a toddler, got obsessed with knitting and then designing her own patterns.  Soon after she got a job a Schaefer Yarns as their design director and worked there for 5 years.  She has published lots of patterns and several books so check them out on her website an Ravelry.  She is also an instructor at workshops and shows around the country and on Craftsy.com.

One of the big things that Laura is known for are her Mystery Knit-a-Longs, which is what she talked about today.  She runs several of them per year and they are usually one of three things: a cowl, shawl, or wrap (basically accessories).  Her newest way of doing the KALs is her M Club, the Mystery KAL club.  With this club, you sign up at the end of the year for the next year’s KALs and then throughout the year you get a kit for the KAL, which includes the yarn and other necessary items(an example of the latest one is below) , and the instructions come on a schedule.  No worries if you missed out for this year, you can still by the patterns and participate in the KALs (and you might even be able to get kits for past KALs as well).  The next KAL coming out is the Magnify pattern and incorporates one of Laura’s favorite things, beads! magnifykitListen in below to hear Marly and Laura talk all about the KALs, Laura’s design process and more!

Important links from today’s show:

Online Knitting Radio at Blog Talk Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we definitly won’t forget the Giveaway for this show!  Leave a comment below with Laura’s keyword for your chance to win free entry into her newest Craftsy class due to come out in early April!


Let’s give some love to our sponsors! 
XRX Books, Knitter’s Magazine, STITCHES Expos
Indian  Lake Artisans
Fiesta Yarns
Drew Emborsky
Bijou Basin Ranch
Buffalo Wool Co.
Green Mountain Spinnery

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  1. Miranda Gaines says:

    I love Laura’s craftsy classes, I’m signed up for all three of her current ones right now and would LOVE to do her next one as well. Maybe I can find a way to magnify this post so it will be seen by Marly when she’s picking the winner!

  2. Audrey says:

    Marly and her guests magnify the joys and possibilities we can partake in as fiber artists. Love Laura’s bead class by the way! I look forward to more!

  3. Greta says:

    Loved the interview! Looking forward to start the magnify mkal on April 1 st. And waiting for the book and the new craftsy class

  4. Lizzie says:

    I am so excited to start knitting Magnify! Laura is amazing and an inspiration to many. Everybody, feel free to join us over in the Nelkin Designs group on Ravelry!!!

  5. Jennifer Hill says:

    I really enjoyed the interview with Laura. It magnified my anticipation of working on her Magnify MKAL.

  6. Cindy says:

    What a great way to magnify my anticipation of MKAL…….I also understand the value of the number 9. : )

  7. Ruthie says:

    Great interview! I can’t wait to see what Laura Nelkin’s new Craftsy class will be about. This interview really did magnify my anticipation!

  8. Susan says:

    Loved the interview. I have attended two of Laura’s craftsy classes and look forward to another fantastic class. But first, I get to start Magnify!!

  9. JoAnne Hewatt says:

    I enjoyed the interview with Laura. I was in her Juego mystery KAL and she is right. If I had seen it first, I would not have attempted it! I won’t want to magnify my newbieness!

  10. SandraR says:

    Great interview. Very intriguing! I just had my eyes tested, last week, as I now have to magnify my knitting and sewing!

  11. Sara-Zoe Furgason says:

    Just joined your Ravelry group last week…it is a great group..I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and doing some fun KAL’s..I love working with beads…I think they can magnify a simple pattern and create a one of a kind work of art!

  12. hotknitter says:

    I would need to magnify the bead holes to get them onto my knitting! I enjoyed learning about mystery KALs.

  13. Erin Davis says:

    I am super interested in the Mystery Knitting! If only I knew how to knit! I am a crocheter and would love to MAGNIFY my experience and learn knitting. Maybe one of Laura’s classes could help me!?

  14. Mary Kay Smith says:

    This podcast further magnified my appreciation of Laura’s designs! Knitting with beads is one of my 2014 goals.

  15. Margaret Mahoney says:

    Loved your interview with Laura! After taking Laura’s Lace Shawl Crafty’s class, I have become obsessed with all of her designs and it my knitting skills magnify from her lessons!

  16. Linda says:

    Marly and her guests always magnify fun! I can’t wait to find out the details of Laura’s new Craftsy class.

  17. Bonnie Jane says:

    What a wonderful interview which magnifies my interest in the upcoming mystery KAL. I would love to take a class from you!

  18. Renee says:

    It was really interesting listening to how Laura develops the knit-a-longs! I can’t even imagine how she does that while working it on her needles. That really magnifies how brilliant her mind is to be able to do that, IMHO! Thanks, Marly, for helping us get to know her, her history in fiber arts, her classes and her designing ideas.

  19. JudyAnn says:

    I have taken Laura’s crafty class. It helped magnify my enjoyment of knitting with beads in my lace shawls!

  20. TopHat says:

    I really liked this interview! My favorite was when she described the design process as trying to come up with a new construction- what a fun puzzle! I haven’t done one of her KALs, but maybe I will and magnify my skills!

  21. Debbie says:

    I’ve enjoyed 2 of Laura’s Craftsy classes, and an MKAL, and I know this kit and MKAL would magnify my knitting skills another notch! Great podcast! Thank you both!

  22. Vicki Lynch says:

    I have the Craftsy beading class in my wish list. I love Craftsy, so I’m intrigued by your hints for the next class. Knitting with beads might take a special tool to magnify the work so I could see it better, but I might have to give the mystery KAL a go.

  23. Terri Drimel says:

    I have been intimidated by the thought of knitting with beads. Laura was so encouraging and the Ravelry group sounds so supportive that I am going to join the Magnify KAL. I think I will do it without beads, though. I have just spent the last hour looking at her designs on Ravelry and plan on signing up for her beginner bead class on Craftsy!

  24. Patty Jones says:

    I am all set to knit Magnify..can’t wait for first clue. Meeting Laura at VKL magnified my appreciation of her teaching skills. I have done all her Craftsy classes and would love to win her new one, whatever it is. Thanks for the great podcast!

  25. Elaina says:

    I loved looking at Laura’s website and magnifying all the pictures of her KALs on my iPod Touch to see all the beautiful details!

  26. Kelly F says:

    Currently working on Laura’s baby blanket from her Craftsy class Lace From the Inside Out. The fingering weight yarn is challenging to work with and I wish I could magnify it to see the stitches in more detail!

  27. Kathy says:

    Incorporating beads into knitting would magnify my skills, for sure. I enjoyed this program, and Laura’s comments about not leaving anyone behind in the Mystery KAL encourages me to join in at some point.

  28. Cheryl clemons says:

    I enjoyed listening to Marly and Laura talk about her MKAL’s. I think I would have to magnify the stitches to work with beadsso it wouldn’t be a challenge.

  29. Janet says:

    I love the look of lace weight, but I think I need to magnify it! The KAL’s look awesome, I haven’t tried one yet… but I’m tempted!

  30. Kate M says:

    Thanks for another great episode. I am looking forward to seeing the Magnify patter and crochet along! I defiantly have to check out Lara’s classes on Craftsy! Can’t wait to see her new one!

  31. Charles Parker says:

    I just finished the Socks MKAL for Knitter’s Brewing Companies Sockahaulics. I hadn’t been looking for another MKAL, but I’ve wanted to work with beads, so I might just join this one.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

Meet Marly

Knitting & Crochet Patterns for Every Mood
A cartoon image of a joyful chicken, sitting comfortably in a green armchair, knitting happily with blue yarn, surrounded by pink and white flowers, looking for DIY project ideas. -Marly Bird

Netflix & Chill

Simple projects for when you want to relax and zone out

A colorful illustration of a white rabbit with a unicorn horn, nestled among multi-colored leaves arranged like a fan behind it, projects every mood of peacefulness and whimsy. -Marly Bird

Social Butterfly

Frustration-free projects that you can easily work on in public areas

A whimsical illustration of a white chicken adorned with pink flowers and light pink butterflies, featuring flowing tail feathers and a playful pose, all set against a simple white background, perfect for mood-based projects. -Marly Bird

Smooth Jazz

Projects that require a bit more intense focus (but music is nice!)


Shhh Be Quiet!

Advanced projects requiring deep focus (but a big payoff, too!)