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.


FO Friday: Rhinebeck Socks

I'll be talking a lot more about my trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival next week. But it's Friday, which means, I'm showing you a FO I started and completed on my Rhinebeck trip - socks!

I went to Rhinebeck with only work knitting packed in my bag. My book deadline is looming and have some other projects in the works.

But then we drove to Webs.

And sock yarn was purchased.
Webs Haul

Socks were knit.
Sock in Progress

Sock in Progress

Sock in Progress

It was glorious. :)
Self-Striping Socks
My friend, Beth, and I actually purchased the exact same ball of yarn while at Webs. And I don't know what happened, next thing I knew, we were competing in a sock knitting competition. Beth was the winner of the sock knitting challenge.
The Agony of De-Feet
I look forward to challenging Beth to another sock knitting challenge next year at Rhinebeck!

(For those that are curious, the yarn is Regia Pairfect Design Line 4-Ply by Arne & Carlos in the color 9137 Summer)


A Wee Hat for Hope

Recently a friend of mine told me about a 6 year old at the school she works at that is going through cancer treatment. She asked if I could make a hat for her. I headed off to the store to find something bright and cheery for her. And then I made up a hat pattern.

I started by crocheting a shell pattern. I joined it in the round and then picked up the stitches in the starting crochet chain with my knitting needle and knit the rest of the hat.

Rainbow Hat
It only took a few hours, and while I knit it I tried to pour lots of happy thoughts into that hat. Hopefully she will love it!
Rainbow Hat

The yarn is Loops & Threads Charisma. I found it at Michael's Arts & Crafts.


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

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