VIDEO: Craft With Me

Sure, I'm a knitter and crocheter, but I don't consider myself much of a crafter. Today, I'm sharing my attempt to use felt and glue on my Katrinkles Sheep ornament.

It turned out so cute!
Katrinkles Sheep Ornament
If you are reading this post via email, you can check out the video here.



Yesterday I added the sixth and final pattern to the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook. This is Eudicots:
Eudicots by Jen Lucas

Eudicots is a sideways-knit asymmetrical shawl. So, if you enjoyed knitting some of my other patterns that use this construction (like Hogmanay and Milton), you'll enjoy this one too!
Eudicots by Jen Lucas
 For this shawl I used a Fave Sock Gradient Yarn Set from fiberstory. I love the transition in this one.
Eudicots by Jen Lucas
As always, the written instructions are included for the charts, as well as notes on how to change the size of your shawl if you like.

So that completes the Nifty Gifty 2: Deck Your Neck eBook! I hope you enjoy all the great "neck-cessories!" ;)


VIDEO: Katrinkles Haul

I placed a recent order from Katrinkles. Check out my video to see the goodies!



Design Your Biz: Yarn Support

Today, let's talk about yarn support.
Design Your Biz: Yarn Support
There are many perks to my job - I make my own schedule, I get to knit and crochet a lot, I don't always pay for the yarn that enters my house, the list goes on.

But here's the thing about yarn support: just because it's "free" to me (as in I didn't give anyone money for it), doesn't mean it's free. It still costs the yarn company money. They have to make it and deal with all the associated costs that go along with that. When a company gives me yarn, they are expecting that I'll actually do something with it.

So, I take my yarn support seriously.

I don't take a lot of "free" yarn from yarn companies. When I attend TNNA, I don't come home with a suitcase full of yarn. There are a couple of companies that I have good relationships and they'll send  me yarn to try or design with "if the mood strikes." However, most of the yarn I use for my self-publish designs, I purchase myself.

The reason I do things this way is simple: I like having the freedom to create what I want, when I want. Sure, if I have a very specific idea in mind for a design, I'll go to a yarn company and discuss the possibility of yarn support. When I'm working on my books, I absolutely reach out to the yarn companies I love and want to work with and ask for yarn support for my book.

The truth is, I like shopping my yarn stash for yarns to design with when it comes to self-published designs. Before this was my job, it was my hobby. I still love buying yarn, although I do a lot less of that these days. When I do buy yarn at events like New York Sheep & Wool, I do it with designing on the brain. Maybe I buy two skeins of that yarn I love instead of one, because I know it will make an awesome shawl design when the time is right.

If you're a designer, I'd love to hear your opinions on yarn support. Like I always say, everyone navigates their way through this industry differently, and that's great!



You know how it goes here. Sometimes I get ideas. Crazy weird design ideas. And then I design them into things. That's what happened with Pagoda, the fifth pattern in the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook.
Pagoda by Jen Lucas
$12.50 thru 12/4

I love the Faro cowl that I designed for the original Nifty Gifty. It was super fun to knit in the round and Kitchener together at the end. I wanted to do the same thing, but incorporate lace into it.

So, I got this idea I couldn't stop thinking about: I'd make a lace section but then knit a stockinette tube to go behind the lace, making it extra thick and adding an interesting detail.
Pagoda by Jen Lucas
It took a little bit of work to get it right, but the effort was well worth it. Pagoda turned out beautifully.

I hope you enjoy this new pattern as much as I do. This is definitely a piece that I'm using as a gift - a gift for myself! ;-)
Pagoda by Jen Lucas

$12.50 thru 12/4



Another week in November is here and that means another new pattern in the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook. Say hello to Pacifico:
$11.50 thru 11/27

Pacifico is sideways knit-on-the-bias stole. I love using gradient yarns for things knit on the bias, it makes for cool transitions.
Pacifico by Jen Lucas
I knit Pacifico out of a 600-yard ball of KnitCircus' Greatest of Ease yarn. The beauty of this pattern is you can easily adjust the size of the piece, making it a great pattern for those beloved gradient yarns. You can pretty much knit until you're going to run out if you like!

The stitch pattern is pretty easy on this one. It's a 12-row stitch repeat, you'll have it memorized in no time. And, as always, written instructions are included for the chart.

Pacifico is the fourth pattern in the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook. Just two more patterns to go!
Pacifico by Jen Lucas
$11.50 thru 11/27


Poor, Lonely Socks

Yeah, so I thought I was on a sock knitting kick.

Hmmm, actually, I think I AM on a sock knitting kick, I just unfortunately do not have time to knit the socks. Drawback of the job, I suppose. :)

I've barely made any progress since the last time I blogged about these socks a couple weeks ago.
Socks in Progress
I'm still hoping to have these socks done for Christmas. My nephew has mentioned wanting socks or slippers from me for years. It's time to deliver. I'm just about done with my gigantic project (a new book!) and then I'll have a little time for sock knitting. Plus, it's been awhile since I've had deadline gift knitting in my life. It's kind of nice!


Design Your Biz: Ads and Sponsoring Posts on Social Media

About a year ago, I talked about Ravelry ads that work. While I still think Ravelry is a great way to advertise, today I thought I'd discuss other ways I've advertised my work - by using sponsored posts on Facebook.

Ahhh, social media. I have a complete love/hate relationship with it. On the one hand, I love connecting with my customers and being able to show them my new pattern or what I'm working on. I enjoy that we get to interact throughout the day about a craft we're all so passionate about. On the other hand, it's easy to feel lost in a sea of knitwear designers online. With algorithms changing on social media sites all the time, how do you get your stuff (especially the new stuff) in front of your people?

Sure, consistency is super key. But I've also found that by occasionally sponsoring my posts, it can help get the word out that my new pattern has arrived!

So.....what works?

I hate to say this, because it seems so obvious/stupid, but experimenting is the key to the social media game (whether you are using paid advertising or not).

On Facebook (currently), your sponsored post will do much better if there is little to no text in the photo that goes along with your post. Facebook will actually tell you this when you're clicking through to make your sponsored post. Listen to Facebook. ;)

Facebook is happy with this photo accompanying my post:

Facebook is sad with this photo accompanying my post:

Using the top photo, I might get 3-4 times the audience reach for the same amount of money.

What I like about advertising on social media that it's very easy to create your target audience and you can set your budget for whatever you want. Also, on Facebook, you can also go back and edit your photo, so if it's not working, you can change it and keep going.

For me, if I'm advertising outside of Ravelry, Facebook is where I've had the most success, so that's where I go. As far as Instagram and even Pinterest, honestly, I've had zero success thus far when it comes to sponsoring posts. If you're a designer who has successfully advertised on these sites, I'd love to hear your experiences and what worked for you!

The bottom line is Ravelry advertising (for me, anyway) is the best deal and the easiest way to get your new patterns in front of the people who may want to make them. The rest of it is just one big experiment!

Want to read more about advertising as a designer? Check out this blog post on the Stitch Sprouts blog.



The third pattern for the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook has arrived. This is Boneset:
Boneset by Jen Lucas
$10.50 thru November 20

This shawl is a different construction from anything I've done before. It's a bottom-up triangle, that uses short rows in the garter stitch sections to make its shape. It was so super fun to design and knit!
Boneset by Jen Lucas
The lace is lovely and leafy - leaf lace patterns are among my favorite. I adore that they are delicate and geometric all at the same time.

I knit Boneset out of Leading Men Fiber Arts Diva yarn. It's a wool/silk blend that comes in a generous 600 yard skein. I need a hundred more shawls made in this yarn.
Boneset by Jen Lucas
$10.50 thru November 20

Next week Tuesday I'll have another new pattern in the eBook - featuring another gradient yarn. If you haven't picked up the eBook, now's the time. The price will go up by $1 on the 21st!


Welcome to Yarn Purpose!

For years (no really, YEARS), I've been considering a YouTube channel or knitting podcast. But I was kind of scared. I'm a super introvert, I wasn't sure it was going to be for me. But, after watching a recent CreativeLive class from Tara Swiger, I decided to dive in and just go for it!

My new YouTube channel is Yarn Purpose!
Yarn Purpose YouTube Channel

Every week I'm posting new videos. There are already a few up there, with more coming each week on Friday mornings.

I'll be doing all sorts of videos - from hauls and unboxings, tutorial videos, and chats about what I'm working on. I think this is going to be a fun new adventure for me, and I hope you'll go along for the ride and subscribe!



This week brought the second pattern to the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook. This is Gallica:
Gallica by Jen Lucas
Gallica by Jen Lucas
Nifty Gifty 2 eBook
$9.50 thru 11/13
Gallica is a top-down cowlette. You start by working in rows and then you join in the round to knit the lace portion. I was obsessed with knitting this lace pattern. It was a joy to knit the sample. The gradient kit from A Hundred Ravens didn't hurt either.
Gallica by Jen Lucas

You can get Gallica as an individual pattern, or get it in the Nifty Gifty 2 eBook. With 6 patterns in the eBook it's a great deal!
Gallica by Jen Lucas

Nifty Gifty 2 eBook
$9.50 thru 11/13


WIP Wednesday: More Socks!

I think I've fallen back in love with sock knitting. It's been awhile.
Sock in Progress

I dug deep in the sock yarn stash for this yarn. It's my beloved KnitPicks Felici Sport that has been discontinued. It's one of my favorite self-striping sock yarns. I miss it.
KnitPicks Felici Sport

I'm enjoying having a sock stashed in my purse to work on here and there. I think I'm always going to have a purse sock from now on!

It's WIP Wednesday! What are you working on?


Design Your Biz: How to Focus

Today's Design Your Biz is all about how to focus within your business, without limiting yourself too much (knit & crochet design is a creative endeavor after all!).
Design: Focus without Limits
When I first began my career as a knitwear designer, I designed whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it. There were no limits, I wasn't serious about getting focused. As time as gone on, and I've transitioned Jen Lucas Designs into a full-time job, I've had to get more focused and think about things like deadlines from third-party projects, the financials of my business, and how to grow my self-published catalog.

I've talked about it before, for me, it's all in the planning. I work in two-week "sprints" and I predetermine what I'm going to accomplish before my sprint begins. Having this system allows me to stay more focused. When I get a new idea, I write it down to look at later, rather than ditching everything that I need to get done to work on it.


Sometimes I get so excited about an idea that I can't focus on anything else. I need to work on it right now. And you know what? That's ok!

My project management system I have in place is the same one my husband uses at his job at a large corporation. But my job is super creative. It's only me. So I've given myself permission to occasionally deviate from what needs to be done to what I want to do right now. I think giving myself permission to do the creative thing is so important. Sometimes my best design ideas come when I'm working away on my to-do list and suddenly those creative juices strike!

I think really it all comes down to staying organized, in whatever way that is for you, but also allow yourself to throw the to-do list out the window if you just can't get that idea out of your head.

If you're a designer, I'd love to hear how you balance the focus and creativity.


Nifty Gifty 2: Deck Your Neck

This week brought the launch of my new eBook, Nifty Gifty 2: Deck Your Neck.
Nifty Gifty 2

Like the original Nifty Gifty eBook, I'll be adding the patterns one at a time throughout November and early December. In the end there will be 6 great accessories for your neck! :)The eBook is greatly discounted right now - just $8.50. As I add each pattern, the eBook will increase by $1 until it is at its final price of $13.50. The earlier you buy the eBook, the more you save!
Capten by Jen Lucas

On Tuesday, the first pattern was added to the eBook. It's Capten, a top-down crescent shawl with a fun and interesting construction.
Capten by Jen Lucas

$8.50 thru November 6

Capten is worked in DK-weight yarn. 550 yards is what you need to make one of the same size as the one shown here. The pattern can easily be adjusted to make the shawl to your desired size. Notes are included in the pattern on how to adjust the size.
Capten by Jen Lucas

The sample is knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co.'s Studio DK yarn. It's so squishy and beautiful. It's the perfect yarn for a nice fall shawl!

You can purchase the individual pattern for Capten, or get the eBook (for a great deal right now!) on Ravelry.
Nifty Gifty 2

$8.50 thru November 6


Rhinebeck Recap

I'm back to today to talk about my second annual Rhinebeck trip! I had an excellent time with my friends and I'm already looking forward to my third annual Rhinebeck trip next year. :)

We headed to New York on Wednesday. Having a couple days before the actual NY Sheep & Wool festival to hang out and explore was such a treat. On Thursday, we drove to Webs. It was only about 2 hours from where we were staying and we had to check it out.

Webs Yarn
 On Friday we went to the town of Rhinebeck because we wanted to check out the pre-sheep & wool festival event, Needles Up. We used this as an opportunity to check out the town, stopping at Samuel's Sweet Shop. Actor Paul Rudd is a part owner, so we needed to go look for him. ;)
 Samuel's Sweet Shop Rhinebeck NY
Paul Rudd on a Rice Treat
We shopped around town and went to Needles Up and Indie Untangled. Lots of great things were purchased.

On Saturday, the crew headed to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds for the big event. Here are a few photos from the weekend.
Rhinebeck Selfie


Hobonichi Planners
I didn't take a lot of photos, but I did have a ton of fun. It's so great to hang out with the people who love all the things you love, isn't it? On Monday we headed home to Chicagoland with all our bags seriously stuffed with yarn. It was awesome.

Want to see all the things I bought over Rhinebeck weekend? I made a video! You can check it out on my new YouTube channel. You can view the Rhinebeck 2017 Haul video here.

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