Monday, November 17, 2014

Designer Interview: Jen Lucas

As part of the 2014 Gift-A-Long we received random assignments to promote other fellow designers on social media. I was lucky enough to get the fabulous designer, Jen Lucas. And to my surprise she's local to me here in the Chicagoland area. I can see us doing coffee sometime soon to talk shop;)

What amazes me is that Jen has been in my Ravelry Friends list for a while now and I'm just now getting the connection between her long list of awesome designs and the same person who is in my list!! Have you see her collection of designs? WOW, her extensive collection makes my mind dizzy! It must have been a challenge for her to choose just 20 to run in the GAL bundle.

Go HERE to see her discounted GAL bundle. Remember coupon code: giftalong2014

Without further adieu, here is our interview:

How long have you been knitting? Who taught you?
I taught myself to knit about 10 years ago. My friend and I decided that we wanted to learn to knit. She bought me some needles and yarn for my birthday and I bought one of those “Learn to Knit” booklets at the craft store and the rest is history! Once I knew what I was doing I taught that friend how to knit, but it didn’t stick with her like it did with me.

What got you started designing?
From the beginning I was doing my own thing with knitting, never really following a pattern. In 2009 or so, Stefanie Japel offered an online course on her website called “Design Your Own Shawl.” I signed up and was completely hooked on shawl designing. Shawls are definitely my favorite thing to knit and design.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m so jealous of designers who can look at a flower and decide they are going to make a shawl that looks like that flower. I don’t really work that way. Typically I know the shawl shape or type of accessory I want to knit/design and then I hit up my stitch dictionaries until inspiration strikes. I love taking patterns from stitch dictionaries and changing them up a bit.

What design or moment are you most proud of?
I am definitely most proud of my first book, Sock-Yarn Shawls. I had this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to have an actual published knitting book and the fact that I achieved that goal is still sort of mind-blowing to me. I will never ever forget the moment when the advanced copy of the book arrived at my front door. There was an embarrassing amount of screaming, jumping up and down and happy tears.  

What is your favorite yarn?

Tough question – because it’s always changing. I’m a total sucker for the fingering weight yarns that have cashmere or silk in them. I love Hazel Knits Divine and Twisted Fiber Art Muse. Those are my current favorites.

What is your go-to knitting viewing? (TV or Movie, current or all-time fave)
I will re-watch The Office (the U.S. version) over and over again while knitting. This time of year I will also watch just about every Hallmark Channel made-for-TV Christmas movie.

What is your opinion on dangly stitch markers?
Love to buy them, hate to use them. It’s actually pretty rare that I use stitch markers, but when I do, it’s usually the plastic safety pin kind.

Best knitting needles ever?
Like the favorite yarn, that’s always changing too. Right now I am obsessed with the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles. 

Continental or thrower? Cable needle or let your cable stitches fly free?
I’m a thrower. When I crochet, I have the working yarn in my left hand, but I just can’t seem to get that down when knitting needles are involved! I’ve recently been cabling without a cable needle and I love it. I avoided cables for a long time because it was just too fiddly for me with the cable needle. Now that I have gotten the no cable needle thing down, I’ve become cable obsessed.

What do you do on a stormy day when you have nowhere to be and no must-dos?
I am probably crocheting while watching The Office or listening to an audiobook. 

If you're interested in keeping up with Jenn, then please go follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Don’t forget you can use any of her paid patterns to enter the knit-a-longs for chances at super prizes!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gift-Along 2014


The 2nd Annual Indie Gift-along is in full swing. The GAL involves 293 designers from 21 countries. There is an awesome sale on the 3,822 patterns available at 25% off until November 21st.

I have 20 patterns up for grabs with a discount code: giftalong2014  Check out all the patterns HERE!

The Gift-along goes from Thursday, November 13th at 8pm and runs until New Years. We've all banned together to create a knit & crochet along of massive proportions! Go join the group HERE. There are games and prizes from now until the end of the year. Join the fun today and get a jump on any gift knitting you have planned for family and friends…and even maybe something for yourself!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Enchanted Garden

Over the past months I've been giving you a few insider shots into the design process of my newest patterns. Talk about a huge weight off my shoulders, because at long last it is time to show off the Enchanted Garden.

The ebook contains 6 patterns that are all inspired by an Irish garden with a Gaelic theme. This enchanted garden entices you to enter where soft clovers dapple the diamond-shaped walkway. An elaborately curled wrought iron gate is left exposed by the climbing ivy that ascends an ancient stone wall. Time-honored memories seem to resonate here among the flowers.

Cosan is the Gaelic word for path. The diamond clover stranded colorwork pattern evokes a feeling of walking through a garden path surrounded by wild flowers..


Trean is the Gaelic word for strong. The wrought iron gate stranded colorwork pattern gives a sense of majestic strength and yet has a classic beauty all it’s own.


Dreap is the Gaelic word for climb. The ivy trellis stranded colorwork pattern is fun and playful. As the ivy climbs along one side, the trellis climbs the other.


And if your interested, but don't want to splurge for the whole ebook? You can buy each pattern separately. I would pay special attention to the pattern notes that talks about yardage, because if you want to make the matching piece you might not need to buy more of the secondary colors.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

FO: October Frost


To say that I'm excited to have this sweater an understatement. The pieces to this sweater stayed locked away blocked and folded while I was busy designing my own stuff. I waited patiently for the right buttons and in the end, grosgrain ribbon. I knew I wanted this to be done just right.

Pattern: October Frost by Lisa Lloyd

Yarn: Chuckanut Bay Yarns

Needles: US 6 and 8 needle

Started: January 21, 2012

Finished: October 16, 2014

Did I change anything? Nope. At the time, I was happy to just do what was instructed.


The yarn was originally for a tunic cabled jacket and hood...Faery Ring, but the designer never did finish the sizing options for the larger sizes. It was also at this point that I knew that the shape of the jacket would not be flattering to my body shape. The stars were then aligned for me to make one of the many beautiful sweaters from the book: A Fine Fleece.


I also knew I had to find the perfect buttons and just to really finish this sweater off, I wanted ribbon. So, If your ever in Chicago and need buttons and ribbon... head to Soutache. The lady there is adorable and was very knowledgeable with her stock and selection.


Back when I had time to listen to Podcasts, I remember the Knitmore Girls talking about a video they had created that demonstrated the technique of adding ribbon to the button band. It's long. But very helpful in understanding the process. Go check it out here.

What the video doesn't show you is the technique used for adding ribbon over the button holes. This part was a little more tricky. Knowing what I know now, I would have made button holes to the ribbon from my sewing machine prior to attaching the ribbon to the sweater. What did happen was I had attached the ribbon over the holes. Sniped slits where the holes where and then the ribbon began to fray. Oh-Joy. So yeah... I then looked up techniques on securing button holes. I found this video helpful. You'll also need to add Fray Check to the ribbon before doing this buttonhole stitch. If you don't it will just cause your ribbon to fray more. I also added more Fray Check afterwards to double secure it.

Yes, it took a full day to add the ribbon...and another full day to stitch all 7 button holes, but in the end it was worth it.

The whole process has me feeling very empowered. So here I give you my Powerful Pose:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Woobie Video: Connecting Provisional Cast-on Hem

I know the one thing that a lot of knitters have when making the Woobie is hem. Yeah, it's a lot of stitches in the beginning...and Yeah, the hem takes up practically a whole skein of yarn, but the idea is that it gives the blanket weight.

 The other big issue with the hem is unraveling the provisional cast-on. Your connecting the 300 live stitches with the 300 cast-on stitches. I decided that perhaps a video might help. The video is a little long, but you get two techniques on how to handle this portion of the pattern. You get the safe technique which involves placing the provisional cast-on onto a separate needle and then you get the "Living on the Wild Side" version.