4.16.2015

Ochiba

I've released the final pattern in the Gradient Shawl Collection. The final pattern is Ochiba, a large, half-pi shawl.
$6.50

I really like the idea of combining classic stitch patterns with a classic shawl shape. It makes for one classy shawl!
For this shawl I used the Luxe Fingering (XL) from Apple Tree Knits. Yet another Stitches Midwest purchase from last year. With 1000 yards in the ball, you definitely end up with a nice-sized piece that can be worn many different ways.
I really loved putting this whole collection together. So much so that I have plans to do another shawl collection like this next year!  I really loved designing shawls with yarn I was so excited about, so that's my plan for early 2016. I'm not sure if it will be with gradients or something new, but I look forward to the challenge.

Like all the other shawls in the collection, Ochiba can be purchased as an individual pattern or as part of the Gradient ebook, which is at its final price of $12.50.


$6.50

I hope you enjoy this final pattern in the collection! Did you have a favorite?

4.14.2015

Needle Organization

It's been quite some time since my needles have been in any kind of order. Over the weekend I decided that something had to be done about it. I couldn't take the needle disaster any longer!

I started by taking my two Namaste circular cases (I have a regular one and a double wide) and separating my circulars. I use circulars for just about everything. And, I have a ton of them. Now I can locate the one I need easily.
Then I went through all my KnitPicks Interchangeables. I have a ton of those too! Thanks to the Erin Lane Bags needle case I bought at Stitches Midwest a couple years ago, I'm nice and organized on the interchangeable front too.
I love the way the case folds up!
So now the drawer that once contained a giant tangle o' needles is nice and neat. I hope I can keep it this way.
I threw out some needles too. Anything that was bent or coming apart had to go. I feel better knowing that all the needles in that drawer are in good working order.

Maybe next month I'll tackle the double-pointed needles. Because having them all tossed inside one mason jar isn't really working either.

How do you like to store your needles and hooks?



4.10.2015

Shoe Envy

A few weeks ago, my friend Vickie arrived at knit night with some new shoes she had bought that day. Of course we made her model them:
That's right, those are some knit Chuck Taylors. They're so cute!
She found them at a department store (I can't remember which one now). I've found them on a few different websites, including Macy's website here. And you can get them in red too.

Those are definitely some shoes all knitters could use!

4.09.2015

Passerine

Last week, I released the fifth pattern in the Gradient Shawl Collection eBook. This is Passerine:


$6.50

This lace stole starts in one corner and is worked on the bias to the opposite corner. Working diagonally not only gives an interesting look to the  lace, it also makes the gradient change on an angle. I used Knitcircus Corriedale Sock in the Robin's Nest colorway and I think it looks so beautiful with the lace.


You can wear this piece so many different ways. It's perfect for spring!




You can buy the pattern itself, or get the eBook. If you would like the eBook, you're in luck -  I have a coupon code for you. The EU knitters can now get my eBooks and patterns directly through Ravelry. Since they were unable to get the eBook when it first came out, I wanted to give them the opportunity to get the introductory price. The coupon code works no matter where you live.

$11.50 (until next pattern release)
Get $4 off with coupon code "gradient" thru April 12

I hope you enjoy this pattern. I really loved knitting this one. I found that lace pattern to be quite addicting.
$6.50

4.07.2015

New Needles

I have a lot of knitting needles. And yet I continue to buy more.
It's no secret around here that I've been knitting a lot of plain self-striping socks these days. I'm currently obsessed with knitting them via magic loop and I have exactly one needle that works for socks. I don't really need to have more than one pair going at a time, but I would like the option of switching needle sizes.

I bought a Knitter's Pride Karbonz circular needle at Stitches Midwest (last year I think) and I love it. I use it for shawls all the time. So I decided to pick up a couple of smaller needles in the Karbonz to try on socks. I love the tips of these needles.

I've had to set aside the current sock in progress as I have a couple of deadlines looming, but when I pick it back up, I'll switch to these needles. I'm excited to give them a try!

Do you knit a lot of socks? What needles do you like to use (DPNs or circulars, brand, etc. I always like reading about what other knitters like!)?

4.06.2015

One Year

Over the last few days, I've been reflecting on the last year. It was one year ago that I hung up my lab coat and walked out of the lab for the last time and started working in my design business full-time. As I said on Twitter, it's been giving me feelings.

Good feelings.

I'll be honest, some days I miss working in lab terribly. I mean, testing wastewater for boron using old school, "dirty chemistry" is fun. And even though I would definitely maybe cry in the field sampling van when it was -20 windchill and I had snow in my boot, I still loved being at the wastewater treatment plant.
Last time field sampling!

It's so interesting! But there were lots of reasons to move on too. I won't get into the details, but it comes down to this: You can love what you do, but sometimes the politics of work life ruin that. So, Alex and I talked it over, waited for the time to be right (it took almost two years from the time I decided I wanted my next full-time job to be working in my business to the time I quit), and I left.

And, guess what?
Me and Alex out drinking with my lab buddies on my last day!

I'm so unbelievably happy with that decision! I didn't realize what a hold my job had on my life. I was so unhappy. I knew it, but I didn't realize how bad it was. I was, like, never sleeping. I got angry and/or upset at the most trivial things. The littlest thing would completely set me off. Now? Not so much. I sleep at night. I have a job I love, I find challenging, and I like and respect the people I work with* (and I have a lot more control over who those people are).

I know this is kind of a cheesy post, but I really am saying all this to say thank you for being here as Jen Lucas Designs has grown and changed over the last year. When I first started this full-time, I was worried I'd be here, a year later, looking for a new lab job because it wasn't working. It's because of all the awesome support I'm getting from all of you that's making it work. Thank you so much! I look forward to many more years of knitting and crocheting** fun with all of you!


*There were lots of people I enjoyed working with the lab. Most of the people I worked with were perfectly lovely. :)

**That's right. It still might be awhile but there needs to be some crochet shawl patterns around here.

4.03.2015

FO Friday: Flower Power

The baby blanket I started a few weeks back is finally done. Hooray!
The pattern is the Pastel Petals Afghan from Modern Baby Crochet by Stacey Trock. I had so much working on this blanket. Simple yet beautiful, just what I like to make for babies.
I used a super bulky yarn (Bernat Softee Chunky) instead of the bulky weight the pattern called for and decided to eliminate the final color of the blanket. The blanket is pretty huge even leaving one color off. Definitely big enough for baby and momma to snuggle under.
The blanket was all wrapped up and shipped off to the new mom and baby earlier this week. I hope they both love it for a long time to come.

Now all I need is another wave of friends getting pregnant so I can make another one of these lovely blankets. :)

4.01.2015

WIP Wednesday: Socks

On Monday I mentioned that I went stash diving into the self-striping yarn stash and picked some yarn for a new pair of socks. Big surprise, they are kind of rainbow-y. :)
I've had this Kroy Socks in the stash for quite some time. I've had friends in my knit and crochet group knit with this colorway and I've seen it a bunch on Ravelry and Instagram too. It's my turn to knit some lovely sock with it. I'm really enjoying these stripes:
I'm knitting these like all my socks lately. Toe-up on magic loop, there will be a fish lips kiss heel. Most likely 3x1 ribbing at the top. I'm a consistent, boring sock knitter.

3.31.2015

So Many Pins

I don't know about you, but I have so many different pins/buttons that have been collected at different events or from different packages over the years. I never want to throw them out, but for a long time I couldn't figure out what to do with them.

So, you remember that Year In Temperature scarf I said I was going to make two years ago? Well, of course, I lost steam and never finished it. I think I got through January. The yarn I bought for the project has been serving me well (I've made many baby things out of those balls of yarn) and so has the barely started scarf. It now displays all my pins and buttons!
I had it hanging in my office (I thought it was kind of a cute and creative decoration) and I decided to put my Hello My Name is Rav button on there (I'm always misplacing that thing). One day I decided it was a great spot for all the buttons! The buttons are almost all ones I've received at different events or in a package with yarn or project bags. Sometimes I'll pick one to pin to my knitting bag for fun.

If you're like me and have an ever-growing collection of pins, I'd love to hear what you do with them!

3.30.2015

Happy Rainbow Socks

These socks make me so happy.
That is one lovely rainbow! I don't usually worry too much about my sock stripes matching up, but it's so satisfying when you are trying for perfectly matching stripes and you achieve them.
These rainbow socks have moved into the sock drawer, where they will happily rotate with the last rainbow-y socks I made. I like having a cheery sock drawer.
I knit these in using my usual recipe:

Yarn is Regia Stripemania Color in color 6367 Rainbow
Start with slip knot at a color change (blue to pink)
Figure 8 CO, starting with 12 stitches on each needle (24 total)
Increased to 64 stitches
Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Started K3, P1 rib at start of color repeat (pink) and bind off in last color of the color repeat (blue).

Naturally, I've gone diving into the self-striping sock-yarn stash and started another pair of socks. Because the only way I can buy more striping sock-yarn is to knit with what I have, right? How awful that I had to pick another beauty to knit up. ;)

Finish anything fun over the weekend?


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