12.19.2014

New Pattern: Under the Big Top Socks

I'm so excited to blog about my latest pattern - the Under the Big Top socks!
$6.00

These socks were originally a part of a Three Irish Girls club kit earlier this year. Written for 3 sizes, they are designed to fit a variety of feet.
I love lace patterns that incorporate both knits and purls on the right side of the work. So much texture.

The socks are of the top-down, heel flap variety. If you're like me and enjoy that kind of sock knitting, I think you'll love these socks. They were a blast to knit. And interesting enough to knit that casting on for the second  one isn't a problem. A win for sock knitters! :)

$6.00

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do. It's been a good long while since I've released a sock pattern. Good thing I have plans for more sock designs in 2015!

12.18.2014

Sock-Yarn Shawls II: Lycopod

I often get questions about where I get names for my shawls. Naming the patterns is one of the toughest things for me. I'm not super creative when it comes to names. I have a list of street names I keep on my iPhone called "Street Names That Sound Like Good Pattern Names." More recently, I've been getting into naming my patterns 'nature-y' things. As a science nerd at a heart, I especially enjoy naming things using the scientific name that is sort of related to it.


lycopod [lahy-kuh-pod] : nounany erect or creeping, mosslike, evergreen plant of the genus Lycopodium, as the club moss or ground pine.


I think if you Google image search lycopod, you can see how it's kind of a fitting. I like it and think it's a great name. :)

When I found out that Martingale was putting this shawl on the cover of my book, I was thrilled.
I love the lace pattern in this shawl. It's definitely a challenging knit - even though you are only working lace stitches on the right side row, you are working a lace stitch for almost every stitch. There are very few "plain knit stitches" on the right side. Probably not the best project for knit night or tv watching, but I think the knitting challenge is worth it. The result is so beautiful. 
Lycopod is the only true traditional top-down triangle shawl in the book (Cinder is pretty close to a traditional top-down triangle, but has a couple twists at the end of the shawl). Quite the change from the first book.

Whether you think the name is clever or not I hope you enjoy knitting this shawl!

Stay tuned for next week. There's another video tutorial and by the end of the week I'll be talking about the large shawls - like Daylily.

Want to read more blog posts from this blog series? Click here

Image from Sock Yarn Shawls II by Jen Lucas, Martingale, 2015; used with permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.


12.17.2014

WIP Wednesday - Rainbow Socks

I've started yet another pair of self-striping socks. I can't help it. I love having the easy knitting for knit nights, kid birthday parties, sitting in the car, etc. This round of stripey socks is all about the rainbow.
This yarn is from Knitting Fever. It's KFI Luxury Collection Indulgence Cashmere in color 609. I bought this yarn when I was teaching up at Needles 'n Pins in Wisconsin last month. I couldn't resist it.

I am trying the Fish Lips Kiss heel for the first time on these socks. Sarah has mentioned on her podcast several times, and I've heard about it a few other places so I decided to give it a try.

I. Am. In. Love.

At first, I thought, 'what a weird name for a sock heel.' But after I finished knitting one, I got it:
It totally looks like fish lips! It fits so well and was so fun to knit, I think this will be my new go-to heel for my self-striping socks.

There's no shortage of self-striping sock yarn around here, and I'm already thinking about what yarn I'm going to pick when these socks are done. The gradient stripes yarn I purchased from KnitCircus is definitely calling my name. I'm looking forward to those being my next socks with a FLK heel!

12.16.2014

Sock-Yarn Shawls II: Demeter

It's time to talk about the next mid-size shawl in my upcoming book, Sock-Yarn Shawls II. It's Demeter.
I'm obsessed with this shawl. Obsessed. It's a shawl containing small lace motifs and traditional half-circle construction. What's not to love? :)

You'll notice that there's more shawls with this construction in my book. The reason? I took a class with Myra Wood at Stitches Midwest last year about pi shawl construction. I've been incorporating pi-shawl shaping into my many of my shawls ever since! I love the challenge of getting the stitch pattern to fit with the pi shawl increases. And I love the way the finished shawls drape. I may or may not have another half-pi shawl design on my needles right now. I wasn't kidding that I'm obsessed.

Stay tuned for Thursday, when I'll be talking about Lycopod, the cover shawl!

Want to read more blog posts from this blog series? Click here

Image from Sock Yarn Shawls II by Jen Lucas, Martingale, 2015; used with permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.

12.15.2014

Yarny Christmas

Every year, my knit & crochet group has a little Christmas party where we have some sort of gift exchange. For several years we bought something new. Last year, it was gift from your stash. This year is different. It's going to be awesome.

It works like this - everyone participating picks a yarn from their stash (between 350-600 yards), puts it in a brown paper bag with a tag inside that Laura was kind enough to make. The tag contains your name, your Rav name (for queue stalking) and shoe size (in case someone wants to make socks for you, they don't have to sneak around trying to figure out how big to make them). Everyone picks a random bag and makes sure they didn't get their own yarn, but doesn't reveal whose yarn they got. Then you knit or crochet the person something with that yarn. Our only rule is no bringing it to stitch night, because then you would reveal the secret of who you're knitting/crocheting for. The plan is to pick a day in late July/early August and have a little party and bring the finished gifts. It's going to be so fun!

Here's what's going in my bag:
It's some lovely Anzula Cloud. I've used this yarn for my Aberdeen scarf and Pendleton shawl and I absolutely love it. I'm already so curious whose going get it and what they're going to make me! :)

Someone told me about this sort of gift exchange when I was teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in October, and it seemed like such a fun and cool idea. The woman who told me about it is part of the Madison Knitting Guild and they do this, just on a much larger scale than our group of about 10. When I told my knit group about it, they were all so excited about the idea. It's going to be so fun to see who ends up with my yarn and what she ends up making!

12.12.2014

FO Friday: Christmas Owl

This past weekend, Alex and I had several kid birthday parties to attend (we're in the "all the friends are married and now are having babies" stage of life). One party we attended was for a 1-year old boy with an owl-themed room. I knew what I had to do:

A Christmas Owl! Stacey had some kits in her shop a few weeks ago, and I snatched one up with the birthday boy in mind.
I stitched this guy as written, no mods here! The only thing I did different was use yarn for the eyes, instead of attaching the included safety eyes. Since the kid is only one, it seemed like the smarter/safer choice. You know I'll end up just using the safety eyes included with the kit on another Freshstitches pattern later. :)
I have a second owl kit, which I plan to make sometime this month. I think I may have to keep that one for myself - he will be the perfect addition to my owl-themed kitchen at Christmastime!

12.11.2014

Sock-Yarn Shawls II: Floe

When people ask me about getting started as a designer in the fiber art business I almost always tell them the same thing: you have to get used to rejection - fast. I don't want to be negative, but it's true. I think most of us designers that are submitting to magazines, yarn companies, books, etc. would agree - you're going to get rejected sometimes. Maybe even more than you get designs accepted. And you have to get used to it. It doesn't mean that your design was bad, it just might not fit the theme of what they were looking for, or they may even have something similar coming out that you don't know about. In my email newsletter last week, I talked about how Wallingford was a rejected magazine design that has become one of my most popular patterns. And today, here is Floe. A rejected magazine design that I reworked a bit and added to my new book.
I'm super super proud of this design. I decided that for this shawl I wanted to knit the border first, but I didn't want to pick up slipped-stitches or anything along the edge. Instead, I used wrap & turns to create live stitches along the edge of the border. When you get to the end of border, you just pick up your second color and start knitting on the stitches already facing the right way to work the short row body. I am definitely going to be working on some more designs with this technique. It's so fun to knit!
There's lots of ways to play with color in this shawl. You could knit it all in one color, or even use a variagated or self-striping yarn for the body. I think it would be lovely.
Just because a design wasn't right for one publication, doesn't mean that you should give up and throw your pattern in the trash. Sometimes a little adjustment is all you need to perfect it so it's ready for the next thing that comes along. And, I think that this shawl is going to be a favorite among the knitters! :)

Stay tuned for next week. One of the shawls I'll be talking about is the cover shawl - Lycopod!

Want to read more blog posts from this blog series? Click here

Image from Sock Yarn Shawls II by Jen Lucas, Martingale, 2015; used with permission. Photos by Brent Kane. All rights reserved.

12.10.2014

Harebell

The Mystery Shawl KAL is officially over in my Ravelry group. I had so much fun watching all the knitters work the shawl clues. I think this one was my favorite of all my mystery shawls I've done! Now that the KAL has ended, I have compiled all the clues into one pattern for you, and renamed it Harebell.
$6.50
This shawl is knit from the top center outwards, with 4 charts. Charts include written instructions, as usual. :) There are tons of ways to customize this shawl. I include in the pattern notes how you can add or take out charts to make it your own.
Harebell is knit out of a laceweight yarn. I used the lovely Cascade Yarns Forest Hills for mine. I can't wait to use this yarn again for another shawl.
Shawls with this shape are quickly becoming my favorite. There's so many ways to wear them. Drape it over your shoulders or wrap like a scarf - no matter what it looks so pretty.
$6.50

If you're a quick knitter you could still crank one of these out for gift-giving. I was surprised at how quickly this shawl flew off my needles. I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do! 

Happy shawl knitting! :)

12.09.2014

Sock-Yarn Shawls II: Sierra

It's time to talk about Sierra - the lace stole that I included in Sock-Yarn Shawls II.

Just like Starlit, this one is worked up with the Twisted Fiber Art Muse yarn (660 yard ball). My obsession with gradient yarn is deep. :)
I found this stitch pattern in one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries. I had been wanting to use it for some time. It's so beautiful, I decided that it didn't need complicated shaping to go with it. A nice, rectangular stole is the perfect way to show off the lace!

My dear friend, Cathy, knit up this sample from my book. She has lots of family in California & Nevada, and with the peaks and valleys in the stitch pattern, Sierra seemed like a great name for this one!

The book includes instructions on how you can adjust the size of the stole if you want. So if you are looking for a smaller scarf or a huge wrap, you definitely can make it your own.

Stay tuned for Thursday, when I chat about Floe, a shawl that went from a rejected magazine submission to one of my favorites in the book.

Want to read more blog posts from this series? Click here.

12.05.2014

A Trio of Turkeys

Thanksgiving may be over, but that's no reason to not show off the trio of turkeys I made for my nieces.
I get these ideas in my head sometimes. Ideas for things I don't really have time for (like crocheting 3 turkeys). But it had to be done. And they loved them! The oldest of the three is 4 and she loves her "special knitted toys" from auntie. I'm working on teaching her that these are crocheted...but I'm glad she cherishes my handiwork.

The pattern is (of course) a FreshStitches pattern. It's Amigurumi Alvin the Turkey. I also think he could be worked up in peacock colors. Which is good, because I have a peacock-obsessed friend with a baby. That baby may need a peacock in a few months for his birthday.

So now it's onto the Christmas gift knitting. I don't have much to do, but will probably have a late night or two in coming weeks to get it done. Oh darn, I have to stay up late, knit and watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. :) Working on Christmas knitting? Let me know what you're making over in the Ravelry group!


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