Jen's Weekly Gems

Every week (or so) I post links to things I found around the Internet. Enjoy!

Find any online gems this week? 



On Monday I released the third pattern in my Nifty Gifty Collection. This is Bedford, my first ever self-published Fair Isle pattern!

From the eBook:
Fair Isle mittens are a wonderful gift for someone you truly love. These matching mittens would look great in variety of color combinations.
$9.50 (until next pattern release)

I named this mittens for one reason - after Bedford Falls from It's a Wonderful Life, my favorite movie!

My mittens are knit using two skeins of Knit Picks Gloss Fingering. I love this yarn for stranded mittens. I used the same yarn for my Crossing Paths Mittens in Sock-Yarn Accessories.

$9.50 (until next pattern release)

I think these might be my favorite 'wrist-warming' design yet!


Mystery Shawl 2015 Details

November means one thing here at Jen Lucas Designs. Mystery Shawl KAL time!
$4.00 during KAL (thru 12/18/15)

Shawl Shape: semi-circle


• 800 yards of fingering weight yarn
• US Size 5 (3.75mm), 24” circular needle or longer, or size needed to obtain gauge
• Tapestry needle
• Blocking supplies

  • Pattern is written for one size; however, it’s easily adaptable to make larger or smaller (in Clues 3 or 4). Notes will be included on how to modify your shawl.
  • Pattern is written for one-color, I recommend a solid or semi-solid yarn. A gradient yarn would also be lovely!
  • Lace will be both written and charted
  • Pattern cost: $4.00 during KAL, increasing to $6.50 after KAL is over
I'm very excited about this KAL pattern. I think it's the most mysterious one yet!

Head on over to the Ravelry group to get all the details and to start chatting with other KAL-ers!
$4.00 during KAL (thru 12/18/15)


Etsy Finds

I continue to be on the hunt for cool things to go in my new studio/office space. I haven't started working on the redecorating (we have one little home improvement project in the room that needs to get taken care of before painting can begin) but I have bought a couple more things. I found all these from sellers on Etsy.

First up, I purchased a couple of hooks from Aqua and Blue:
The bird is white and the key is very light mint green. I think they will be perfect for hanging shawls! I also purchased a cool shelf from Old Wood Trader:
I think the mason jar detail is so cool. I definitely see some double-pointed needles or crochet hooks taking up residence in that jar.
I think for now I'm done shopping for wall art. I want to wait until I get everything in the office and arranged to see if anything else is needed for the walls. It's been fun hunting around and adding things to my Pinterest board for this project. I look forward to the redecorating actually starting in the next few weeks!



Last week brought the second pattern of the Nifty Gifty Collection and one of my favorite shawls I've ever designed. This is Hogmanay:

$8.50 (until next pattern release)

From the eBook:
I love a shawl that you can knit until you run out of yarn. This shawl fits the bill – worked sideways, slowly increasing every row along one edge, making sure you get the most out of your ball of yarn!

I used Mountain Colors Bearfoot for the sample. It's lovely and soft and was perfect for this 400-yard shawl.
The pattern includes instructions on how to continue knitting until you are almost out of yarn. Written instructions are included with the chart, as always.

I love how the increases and decreases in this shawl give it its interesting shape and I love that you can easily wear it without falling off. I will definitely be experimenting more with this shawl shape in the near future.
$8.50 (until next pattern release)

The third pattern is coming next week...so if you haven't picked up the eBook yet, now is a good time. The price will be increasing by $1 when the next pattern is released.

Happy shawl knitting! :)


Blog Interview: Rosemary (Romi) Hill

Have you seen Rosemary Hill's new lace book, New Lace Knitting? It's so beautiful!
When my review copy arrived in the mail, I had to talk to Romi to find out all about it.

Jen: What inspired you to write this book?
Romi: I've always loved books: the weight, the color, the smell and feel of paper as I thumb through them...and the clean white space of each page. I have shelves of special books, with one bookcase devoted to my very favorites that I go back to time and time again. As much as I love the digital medium, I wanted to write a tangible book that might sit on knitters' shelves and hopefully find a place into their favorites.

J: You designed so many different lace pieces for this book. Do you have a favorite? Why do you love it?
R: That's such a difficult question! I really worked each design over until I was happy with it, and added a little something special. I guess if I had to choose, it would be the Salt Grass Pull. It's a traditional gansey (fisherman's sweater) shape, but it's worked top down and in all-over simple lace, which is a complete twist on a working garment. I love how the traditional shape and shoulder strap construction lent themselves to the completely non-traditional lace fabric. I even blocked it on a woolly board to open up the patterning!

J: You’re shawl shapes are always so unique. How do you come up with so many different ways to knit a shawl?
R: Shawl patterning and shaping are like fun puzzles to me. I love the geometric side of designing and knitting, and I am always trying to figure out different twists on construction. Knitters often tell me they learn something new each time they knit one of my patterns. I love that! I guess it's always sort of kicking around in my brain: what can I do that's different?

J: I’m obsessed with the Williwaw Cardigan. I definitely need one. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind that sweater?

R: Welllll, I started out with a vision of the lace top, plain bottom, and asymmetric closure. That's my first sketch. I knew I wanted a kind of wavy lace pattern to fit within the wind and shore themed section of my book. It was in the engineering phase of the design that I began playing with the direction of the lace patterning up top. In order to make the design more organic and flowing, I decided to knit the top section side to side, and then work the stockinette stitch section down from the top. I think that's what gives it the feeling of motion it has. And by the way, a williwaw is a sudden violent gust of wind blowing down from the mountains onto water. You often can see them on my local lake, and I've gotten caught in a few while kayaking! 

J: What are your plans for the future? Anything upcoming you can share with us? Any more books?
Right now, I'm still trying to catch up on everything! I'm working on my club patterns, and on the fifth year of my 7 Small Shawl eBook subscription series. I have another project in mind too, but at the moment it's a secret. I'm sure I will end up doing another book at some point, but I'm not rushing into anything. It needs to be special, and it will take some time to put together the perfect project!


Thanks, Romi! 

Anyone who loves lace needs this book. No surprise here, Romi has come up so many interesting ways to use lace in her designs. There's sweaters, shawls, and other small accessories to choose from. And, it's going to be hard to choose what to knit! Like I mentioned in the interview, the Williwaw Cardigan is my favorite piece in the book, and I'm also very much in love with the Winter Wheat Shawl.

The increases in that shawl are absolutely brilliant. I feel like we all can learn a lot from Romi's designs!
Check out photos of the patterns in the book here. You can find Romi's amazing pattern catalog on Ravelry or visit her website to learn more. New Lace Knitting is in yarn stores and bookstores now, or you can purchase it online here.

Photos courtesy of Interweave/F+W.


Window Day is Knitting Day

Last week we had new windows installed at our house. I did my best to continue working through a house full of contractors and a bunch of noise, but by late morning, I was done.
The before. So long terribly drafty windows.
The after. Hello energy-efficient windows!

So I turned it into knit a hat day. I had the pattern and yarn already picked out for when a free day came along. I knit Alex's Tinsley's Varia Hat in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash.
I knit it in two colors instead of four. I made it in NIU colors for someone I know who will be attending that university in the spring.

I think she'll love it.


My Anniversary Should Have Been a Pinterest Fail

Last week, Alex and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. We kept with our tradition of spaghetti and meatballs at home. We're so fancy. :)

I tried to 'fancy it up' by making those Apple Roses that I kept seeing on Facebook. I made them early in the day so I would have time to run out and get something else for dessert when I messed them up. I envisioned this blog post being one of those hilarious 'Pinterest fail' posts. But it's not. They actually came out!

Here they are getting ready to go in the oven:
And here they are all done and ready to eat. So pretty!
I have a couple notes, in case you attempt to make them for yourself:
  • The apples were microwaved way longer than 3 minutes. Maybe 8-9 minutes. I continued microwaving for 2-3 minutes until the apples were soft. That seemed like such a key step in making the rose.
  • I sprinkled in a little bit of sugar when I added the cinnamon. The apples were pretty tart and then they were microwaved in lemon juice. It was the right choice. 
  • Next time I make these, I'm going to dry off the apples a bit. I took them straight out of the water and lined them up on the puff pastry. It still worked fine, but it made everything a little slippery when trying to assemble.
It was a great anniversary! We've never exchanged gifts on our wedding anniversary before, but we decided it would be fun this year. Alex killed it and gave me this print (which he made himself!) of my favorite book of all time, A Separate Peace. He was even so thoughtful and picked a frame that he thought would work well in my new office or that I could easily paint. I love it and it's going to look great!
Looking forward to many more years with this guy. :)


Jen's Weekly Gems

I waste a lot of time online. So, I thought it might be fun to drag you all down with me and have a weekly blog post of things I like that I found. :)

I don't know that I'm really going to do it every week...we'll see!

Find any online gems this week?



Earlier this week I released the first pattern in my new Nifty Gifty Collection. This collection consists of 6 patterns – women’s accessories that are quick to knit and perfect to give as gifts. Patterns will be released one at a time throughout October, November and early December. Patterns include shawls, mittens and more!

The first pattern is Saturnalia:
$7.50 (until next pattern release)

From the eBook:
Featuring extra-long cuffs that can easily be customized to the size you want, these mitts are
the perfect gift for all your cold-wristed friends! The fingerless mitts are worked from cuff to hand and include a thumb gusset, giving them a great fit. 

Just like with the Gradient Collection from the Spring, you can either purchase the individual pattern or the eBook. Currently the eBook is discounted - just $7.50! As I add each pattern I will be increasing the price of the eBook by $1, until it's at its final price. Buy early and save.

Nifty Gifty Collection
$7.50 (until next pattern release)

I had a lot of fun picking the yarns and designs for this collection. For these mitts, I used one skein of Hazel Knits Divine (It was left over from my Hitofude cardi and I wasn't going to let that lovely yarn go to waste). I hope you have fun diving into your stash and finding the perfect fingering weight yarn for your mitts!


Weekend Wrap-Up

How was your weekend? Mine was most excellent. Yesterday, Laura and I went to see The Martian (we are totally in love with the book and had to see the movie together). And on Saturday, I headed to Chicago for another year of fun at Vogue Knitting Live.

I had a pretty light schedule. I gave my Successful Sock-Yarn Shawls lecture in the morning and taught Lovely Lace Borders in the afternoon. I brought tons of shawls with me of course!

In between the lecture and the class, I had lunch with Rae and Mary from Willow Yarns. They are wonderful people and it's always a good time hanging out with them. And after my class I shopped. Well, I made one specific stop - to Twisted Fiber Art for their new colorway, Zen.
This photo does not capture it's awesomeness. You should really go check it out on their website (I'm not sorry if you end up buying all the yarn - that is the risk you take clicking that link. haha)

Now excuse me while I go hide this lovely yarn. I cannot be tempted by it this week....lots of computer work to do. :)


Sock-Yarn Accessories Sets

Probably my favorite thing about my new book is the matching sets. My accessories never ever match, so it was fun to design some things that I would like to wear together.

There's Cobblestone, a cowl and fingerless mitt set knit in Shalimar Breathless. Yum.
Here's Forest Walk, a shawl and hat combo. I'm really excited about those hat decreases!

There's also Crossing Paths - my first Fair Isle designs ever. This was definitely a challenge for me, and I'm glad I stuck with it - I love this set!

You can see all the pattern details on Ravelry. I look forward to seeing the projects start to pop on on Ravelry in coming weeks!

Images from Sock-Yarn Accessories, Martingale, 2015; Photos by Brent Kane.

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