The beauty and precision of Nordic, stranded knitting has become Laura Ricketts’ passion. Get a glimpse into why the handcrafts of Scandinavia’s nomadic peoples, the Sámi, have been such an inspiration in her life when In The Loop opens on Saturday, January 21, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST at MoonTree Gallery.
Ricketts is a knitter, knitwear designer, teacher and author. Most recently she has shared her talents as a TV show host on In the Loop with Laura, a regional cable show. A history teacher by profession with a master's degree in education, Ricketts has combined a love for history, literature and textiles in her handcraft teaching.
“My mom taught me how to knit and purl when I was young, but it was only when I was in college that I bought yarn for a project and knit from a pattern,” Ricketts explains. “I've really grown in my knitting from similarly minded friends and from online communities like Ravelry.”
“I started designing my own patterns a few years ago, and publishing in magazines shortly after that. Many of my patterns are driven by historical stories and textiles. I've designed lace inspired by the oldest known bra, and sweaters from those worn by royalty as they fled the Nazis in 1940. My favorite pieces to play with, however, are mittens! Mittens are small, but can easily show off a color or design, or accessorize a plain coat.”
Some of Ricketts’ literature-inspired patterns have appeared in Cooperative Press’ Defarge book series. Inspired after teaching and living among the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, Laura was intrigued by the handcrafts of Scandinavia’s nomadic peoples, the Sámi, and asked the question, “What have the Sámi contributed to Nordic Knitting?” The answer has turned into a wonderful quest, and has blossomed into visits, friendships and wonderful knitwear.
Her work has been featured in Interweave Press’ PieceWork magazine and Knitting Traditions as well as BÁIKI: The North-American Sámi Journal. After an extensive visit to Sapmi, the Sámi traditional homeland, she has also self-published a myriad of Sami-inspired knitting from the Swedish Sámi, Norwegian Sámi, and Finnish Sámi. She is teaching at the North House Folk School and the Janesville knitting guild in February this year, and speaking at the Madison, WI knit guild. In April, Ricketts teaches at Yarnover, a workshop of the Minnesota Knitting Guild. She lives in north-central Indiana.
Laura Rickett’s fiber artwork, In The Loop, will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from January 21 through March 4, 2017. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST during winter. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for In The Loop will be Saturday, March 4, 2017.