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!


New Pattern: Fortis

Yesterday I released a new shawl pattern. Hooray! I feel like it's been a little bit. But fall is nearly here and that means it's shawl time.

This is Fortis:
Fortis by Jen Lucas

Fortis is a top-down crescent shawl with a cable and lace border. I think this pattern really highlights the squishy-ness of the new Anzula Gerty yarn, which I used in the sample. It's delicious.
Whether you've been reading this blog for a month or for years, you know one thing remains the same: garter stitch and lace is my jam. Pair it with a simple cable? Now I'm totally in love.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do! It's just the beginning of all the fun accessories I have planned for this fall.


Design Your Biz: Software

Designing is a super creative job. And, for me, it's also very paper-based. I'm constantly sketching things out and taking notes on paper all over my office. But using the computer is also a critical part of the job too. Today I'd like to talk about software I use in my business.

Like all of my Design Your Biz posts, this is just what I use. It works for me. Another designer might use some or none of the things I use. Everyone's different. Everyone finds what works for them.It's the beauty of having your own business. You get to do what you want and use the things you want to use. :)

Charting Software
Some/many designers create their charts with Adobe Illustrator. Good for them, not for me. While I do occasionally break it out if I need some super weird stitch, I'm charting with Stitchmastery. You can easily make all kinds of charts, it gives you the written instructions for the charts (a nice feature for me since I like to include them in all my self-published patterns), and you can save your charts as hi-resolution photos. There's a few different charting software options out there, this is the one that I've been using for several years and I really love it.

Microsoft Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you like)
As a mostly shawl designer, there's not too much grading needed in my designs. But, I do use Excel for all kinds of math on accessories. It's a great tool to have. And I use it to track all my business financials too.

Microsoft Word (or whatever word processing program you like)
I still use Microsoft Word quite a bit. When I'm working up my pattern to send to my tech editors, I always write it up in Word first. It's easy for them to check everything and make changes and notes with the "Track Changes" feature. And, once I get the pattern back, it's easy copying and pasting to get it into my pattern layout. Which brings me to my next crucial software....

Adobe InDesign
I recently talked about my pattern layouts here on the blog. A couple years ago I switched to using Adobe InDesign to layout my patterns and haven't looked back. I really like it and I think once you watch a couple of tutorials on YouTube you'll find it's actually pretty easy to use.

And Speaking of Adobe....
I use Photoshop too. When I first started designing, paying for things like Adobe products was out of the realm of possibility. I'm here to tell you don't need these things to get started. But, maybe you'll be like me, and as your business grows you'll decide you'd like to have them. Or maybe you won't.

Again, it's whatever works for you!

We could talk about software for your business all day. But these are the main things I'm using on a daily basis. How about you? If you're a designer, what other software do you use for your business?


The Pile - It's Growing!

The pile of hats for my Summer Hat-A-Long is growing and I've been alerted that more are on the way. :)

There's still time to add to the pile and help a nearby cancer center with their chemo cap needs. You can find all the details in my Ravelry group!

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