Lovely, Lovely Hats

My annual hat-a-thon is coming to a close. I've collected 39 hats to send off to the cancer center where my dad had been treated. I'm so thankful to all the knitters and crocheters that sent me hat. Your generosity for a cause so close to my heart gives me the feels.
Hat-a-thon Hats
With the help all of you, I've sent over a thousand hats to this cancer center over the last couple of years. Thank you! I hope we can continue to shower them with hats filled with love and hope for years to come.


Yarn Garden

Last month I had the privilege to teach at the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan. I had a wonderful time with wonderful knitters and I hope I can go back there one day. It was cutest yarn store I've ever seen. Lindsay, the owner of Yarn Garden, has obviously put a lot of thought and care into not only the yarns and supplies she stocks, but also the overall look of the shop. Seriously, it was amazing.

And, now, I blast you with a small selection of photos I took while at the shop. :)
Yarn Garden in Charlotte Michigan

Stunning Stitches Trunk Show

Knitting Books by Jen Lucas

Yarn Garden in Charlotte Michigan

Yarn Garden in Charlotte Michigan
If you ever find yourself near Charlotte, Michigan, do yourself a favor and check out the shop for yourself. You won't be disappointed!


Design Your Biz: Newsletter Marketing

Today let's talk about one of the business-y things I love doing: newsletters!

No, seriously, I really enjoy writing them. And, it turns out, it's an important part of my business!

I struggled for a long time to get into the groove of writing my newsletter. I felt like I never knew what to talk about it, I want to sell my thing without being too "sales-y," I didn't really know when or how often I should send them, I was kind of lost.

Then I talked to Tara Swiger. She helped guide me to a plan that works for me. I'm sharing that plan with you today, in case you're wanting to start an email newsletter and aren't sure where to start.

  • Get on a schedule. It's probably the best thing I did for my email newsletter (so far). I don't  have an internal conflict about when to send it, because I've already decided that I'm sending mine out on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. I tend to plan my pattern releases around it. I plan my coupon codes for my patterns around it. It makes the overall planning in my business easier. I've been sending out my email newsletter on this schedule for over three years now. I've missed one (and I'll admit it, I just didn't feel like doing it, I was overwhelmed by work and got a bad case of the "I don't wannas.") Missing one in almost three and a half years? That's a pretty good track record, I think. My customers trust that they'll here from me on a regular basis. And that's a good thing.
  • Promote it. I'll admit, I'm not that great at this one. But, I have a plan to fix this situation! In the early part of 2018, I'm going to release a pattern that's free when you sign up for the newsletter. It's a great way to get new subscribers. I have many designer friends who have done this with much success. 
  • Make segments. Until recently, I had one newsletter that went out on my schedule to whoever signed up. But then I got to thinking....maybe yarn store owners would like a different kind of email from me - one that focuses on my patterns available through the Ravelry in-store sales system, when/where/what I'm planning to teach, etc. So now I've created an LYS email that I'm sending out once a month. Many of the LYS owners still get my regular "customer" email that I mentioned above, but they also enjoy hearing from me about things that they want to know about for their business. 
  • Pick a service. There are lots of different services you can use to send and schedule your emails. I use MailChimp. It's free until you hit a certain number of subscribers, and I've found it pretty easy to use. There are a bunch of different ones out there - find the one that works for you.
It might take a little time to get into the groove of writing an email newsletter, but once you get on a schedule, I promise, it becomes soooo much easier!

Do you have an email newsletter? I'd love to know about it!

And, while we're at it, if you haven't signed up for my twice a month newsletter, you can sign up here! :)


Throwback Thursday: Milton

In addition to Passerine, which I talked about a few weeks ago, Milton has been getting a little love lately too. I said it before, I really enjoy seeing slightly older patterns being discovered by new knitters. It reminds me how much I love them too.
Milton by Jen Lucas

I think I'm going to have do another shawl of this shape soon. I've moved away from it a bit as my obsession with crescent shawls has grown over the last few months. So many shawl shapes, not enough shawl knitting time, right?
Milton by Jen Lucas

Milton is worked sideways, with a bias, meaning you get cool things happening both with the stitch pattern and that gradient yarn. I used a pack of Frolicking Feet Mini Gradients from Done Roving for mine. I love the color changes in this shawl.
Milton by Jen Lucas

Cables, lace, a hint of garter stitch in a gradient yarn with a knitted-on border. I think I put everything I love the most into this shawl! ;)


Reedy Creek Winner!

I compiled all the comments and replies to my blog posts via email to randomly select a winner to win the Reedy Creek pattern, my new pattern in Fall with SweetGeorgia, Volume 3.

And the winner is.....


Congrats! Be on the lookout for the pattern in your Ravelry library in the coming days (SweetGeorgia will be gifting it to you).

Thanks to everyone for playing. I enjoyed reading all your comments about what you love about fall.
Reedy Creek by Jen Lucas

Reedy Creek is now available on Ravelry as an individual pattern or as part of that SweetGeorgia collection.

All photo credits: Sweet Georgia & Josh Yong


Say Hello to Volta

When I learned to crochet a few years ago, I never thought I would end up rolling it into by business. My plan was to learn to crochet all the lacy things, and for it to be my new hobby. But, when knitting is your business, and you know now know how to crochet, it's not a huge leap to start designing crochet things.

For the last year or so I've been working with yarn companies and magazines to get some crochet patterns published. For me, it was a good way to dive into crochet pattern writing. I could get some crochet pattern writing under my belt. I could learn more about terminology and pattern formats. But it's time. It's time to start self-publishing crochet patterns.

So, here it is. Say hello to Volta, my first self-published crochet pattern!
Volta by Jen Lucas
Volta is a top-down triangle shawl, stitched in the new Anzula Gerty yarn. A top-down triangle seemed like a fitting place to start - it's the shawl shape I used in my first knitting shawl patterns. I'll always have a special place in my heart for the top-down triangle shawl.
Volta by Jen Lucas
The pattern uses 700 yards of fingering weight yarn, and notes are included on how to make the body of the shawl larger if you like. The pattern is entirely written (I'm not quite brave enough to make my own crochet charts....yet) and uses US terminology.
Volta by Jen Lucas
Volta is now available on Ravelry. You can get it for $4 with the code "greatgerty" at checkout through October 6th.

While knitting pattern will likely remain the bulk of my work for the foreseeable future, I look forward to releasing a crochet pattern here and there. I love crochet lace. I need more of it in my life.

Happy crocheting!


Fall with SweetGeorgia Faves

A couple weeks ago my new pattern, Reedy Creek, was released in the Fall with SweetGeorgia, Volume 3 collection. There are so many pretties in that collection, I thought it'd be fun to share with you some of my favorites.
Fall with SweetGeorgia, Volume 3
 I'm really digging these fingerless mitts, Duplin. The cables and ribbing really have me intrigued.
Duplin Mitts
 I'm also in love with Enlow, a cocoon-style shrug. I think it would be fun to knit and to wear!
Enlow Shrug
And then there's Kiowa. This one might be my favorite. I love the stripes, the shape, the garter stitch. I think lots of knitters are going to want to make one (or four)!
Kiowa Shawl
Fall with Sweet Georgia, Volume 3 is now available on Ravelry. You can purchase the entire eBook, or get the individual patterns.

Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments (or hit reply if you get my blog posts to your inbox)!

photo credits: SweetGeorgia & Josh Yong


New Pattern: Reedy Creek

Last Tuesday, not only did my new shawl pattern, Fortis, get released, but Fall with Sweet Georgia, Volume 3 was also released into the knitting world.
 Fall with Sweet Georgia Volume 3
 My new cowl pattern, Reedy Creek, is part of the new collection!
Reedy Creek by Jen Lucas
This was a very quick cowl to work up. It's just knits and purls creating a fun pattern on the piece. I knit the larger infinity scarf for the sample, but the pattern includes instructions on how to make a smaller one, if you like.

Reedy Creek by Jen Lucas
Seriously, that texture - and in Sweet Georgia Superwash DK? It's an amazing pairing. The twist on the yarn really allows those stitches to pop.

You can get the individual pattern on Ravelry for $8CAD (that's around $6.80US), or you can get the Fall with Sweet Georgia, Volume 3 eBook for $30CAD (that's around $25.50US)!


CLOSED You can win a PDF copy of Reedy Creek! Leave a comment on this blog post (or reply to this email if you get the blog posts sent to your inbox) letting me know your favorite thing about fall. Be sure to include your Ravelry name so I can get the pattern gifted to you if you win. Leave a comment by Sunday, September 30th. I'll use a random number generator to determine the winner.

Enjoy the new pattern!

All photo credits: Sweet Georgia & Josh Yong


The Annual Shawl MKAL is Here!

It's my favorite time of year - mystery shawl knit-a-long time!

Mystery Shawl 2017

$4 thru 10/13, no coupon code needed!

The MKAL officially starts Friday, but you can purchase the pattern now, and start chatting about yarn choices and the like in the Jen Lucas Designs Ravelry group. I've been doing these mystery shawl knit-a-longs for several years now, and we always have a ton of fun!

Here's some general info (you'll get an FAQ/information PDF when you download the pattern with more information):

  • Shawl shape: top-down crescent
  • Written instructions included for the charts!
  • Pattern is easily adjustable
  • 800 yards of fingering weight yarn needed
  • Yarn used for shawl sample: Stunning String Studio, Stunning Superwash in the Dutch Coral colorway
So join in the fun and knit-a-long with us!

$4 thru 10/13, no coupon code needed!


I'm Michigan-Bound!

Next Thursday, I'll be taking a trip up to Michigan to teach at Yarn Garden in Charlotte, MI. It's my last teaching trip of 2017 (probably) and I'm excited to head to Lindsay's shop for a few days of yarn and fun!

On Thursday night (September 21), we'll kick off the fun with a party and book signing. I'll be bringing lots of samples in addition to the trunk show that's currently at the shop - lots of pretty accessories to try on!

On Friday, I'll be teaching a variety of lace and technique classes. You can read all about them on the Yarn Garden blog.

Finally, on Saturday, it'll be a full day of Design Your Own Sock-Yarn Shawl. This is a super fun class and probably my favorite one to teach. I love making sock-yarn shawl designers!

If you're in the area, I hope to see you there!

P.S. If you're not in the area, have your LYS owner shoot me a message at jenlucasdesigns[AT]gmail[COM] and I can send them information on coming to teach at a shop near you!

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