Monday, November 17, 2014

Designer Interview: Jen Lucas

As part of the 2014 Gift-A-Long we received random assignments to promote other fellow designers on social media. I was lucky enough to get the fabulous designer, Jen Lucas. And to my surprise she's local to me here in the Chicagoland area. I can see us doing coffee sometime soon to talk shop;)

What amazes me is that Jen has been in my Ravelry Friends list for a while now and I'm just now getting the connection between her long list of awesome designs and the same person who is in my list!! Have you see her collection of designs? WOW, her extensive collection makes my mind dizzy! It must have been a challenge for her to choose just 20 to run in the GAL bundle.

Go HERE to see her discounted GAL bundle. Remember coupon code: giftalong2014

Without further adieu, here is our interview:

How long have you been knitting? Who taught you?
I taught myself to knit about 10 years ago. My friend and I decided that we wanted to learn to knit. She bought me some needles and yarn for my birthday and I bought one of those “Learn to Knit” booklets at the craft store and the rest is history! Once I knew what I was doing I taught that friend how to knit, but it didn’t stick with her like it did with me.

What got you started designing?
From the beginning I was doing my own thing with knitting, never really following a pattern. In 2009 or so, Stefanie Japel offered an online course on her website called “Design Your Own Shawl.” I signed up and was completely hooked on shawl designing. Shawls are definitely my favorite thing to knit and design.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m so jealous of designers who can look at a flower and decide they are going to make a shawl that looks like that flower. I don’t really work that way. Typically I know the shawl shape or type of accessory I want to knit/design and then I hit up my stitch dictionaries until inspiration strikes. I love taking patterns from stitch dictionaries and changing them up a bit.

What design or moment are you most proud of?
I am definitely most proud of my first book, Sock-Yarn Shawls. I had this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to have an actual published knitting book and the fact that I achieved that goal is still sort of mind-blowing to me. I will never ever forget the moment when the advanced copy of the book arrived at my front door. There was an embarrassing amount of screaming, jumping up and down and happy tears.  

What is your favorite yarn?

Tough question – because it’s always changing. I’m a total sucker for the fingering weight yarns that have cashmere or silk in them. I love Hazel Knits Divine and Twisted Fiber Art Muse. Those are my current favorites.

What is your go-to knitting viewing? (TV or Movie, current or all-time fave)
I will re-watch The Office (the U.S. version) over and over again while knitting. This time of year I will also watch just about every Hallmark Channel made-for-TV Christmas movie.

What is your opinion on dangly stitch markers?
Love to buy them, hate to use them. It’s actually pretty rare that I use stitch markers, but when I do, it’s usually the plastic safety pin kind.

Best knitting needles ever?
Like the favorite yarn, that’s always changing too. Right now I am obsessed with the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles. 

Continental or thrower? Cable needle or let your cable stitches fly free?
I’m a thrower. When I crochet, I have the working yarn in my left hand, but I just can’t seem to get that down when knitting needles are involved! I’ve recently been cabling without a cable needle and I love it. I avoided cables for a long time because it was just too fiddly for me with the cable needle. Now that I have gotten the no cable needle thing down, I’ve become cable obsessed.

What do you do on a stormy day when you have nowhere to be and no must-dos?
I am probably crocheting while watching The Office or listening to an audiobook. 

If you're interested in keeping up with Jenn, then please go follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Don’t forget you can use any of her paid patterns to enter the knit-a-longs for chances at super prizes!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gift-Along 2014


The 2nd Annual Indie Gift-along is in full swing. The GAL involves 293 designers from 21 countries. There is an awesome sale on the 3,822 patterns available at 25% off until November 21st.

I have 20 patterns up for grabs with a discount code: giftalong2014  Check out all the patterns HERE!

The Gift-along goes from Thursday, November 13th at 8pm and runs until New Years. We've all banned together to create a knit & crochet along of massive proportions! Go join the group HERE. There are games and prizes from now until the end of the year. Join the fun today and get a jump on any gift knitting you have planned for family and friends…and even maybe something for yourself!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Enchanted Garden

Over the past months I've been giving you a few insider shots into the design process of my newest patterns. Talk about a huge weight off my shoulders, because at long last it is time to show off the Enchanted Garden.

The ebook contains 6 patterns that are all inspired by an Irish garden with a Gaelic theme. This enchanted garden entices you to enter where soft clovers dapple the diamond-shaped walkway. An elaborately curled wrought iron gate is left exposed by the climbing ivy that ascends an ancient stone wall. Time-honored memories seem to resonate here among the flowers.

Cosan is the Gaelic word for path. The diamond clover stranded colorwork pattern evokes a feeling of walking through a garden path surrounded by wild flowers..


Trean is the Gaelic word for strong. The wrought iron gate stranded colorwork pattern gives a sense of majestic strength and yet has a classic beauty all it’s own.


Dreap is the Gaelic word for climb. The ivy trellis stranded colorwork pattern is fun and playful. As the ivy climbs along one side, the trellis climbs the other.


And if your interested, but don't want to splurge for the whole ebook? You can buy each pattern separately. I would pay special attention to the pattern notes that talks about yardage, because if you want to make the matching piece you might not need to buy more of the secondary colors.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

FO: October Frost


To say that I'm excited to have this sweater an understatement. The pieces to this sweater stayed locked away blocked and folded while I was busy designing my own stuff. I waited patiently for the right buttons and in the end, grosgrain ribbon. I knew I wanted this to be done just right.

Pattern: October Frost by Lisa Lloyd

Yarn: Chuckanut Bay Yarns

Needles: US 6 and 8 needle

Started: January 21, 2012

Finished: October 16, 2014

Did I change anything? Nope. At the time, I was happy to just do what was instructed.


The yarn was originally for a tunic cabled jacket and hood...Faery Ring, but the designer never did finish the sizing options for the larger sizes. It was also at this point that I knew that the shape of the jacket would not be flattering to my body shape. The stars were then aligned for me to make one of the many beautiful sweaters from the book: A Fine Fleece.


I also knew I had to find the perfect buttons and just to really finish this sweater off, I wanted ribbon. So, If your ever in Chicago and need buttons and ribbon... head to Soutache. The lady there is adorable and was very knowledgeable with her stock and selection.


Back when I had time to listen to Podcasts, I remember the Knitmore Girls talking about a video they had created that demonstrated the technique of adding ribbon to the button band. It's long. But very helpful in understanding the process. Go check it out here.

What the video doesn't show you is the technique used for adding ribbon over the button holes. This part was a little more tricky. Knowing what I know now, I would have made button holes to the ribbon from my sewing machine prior to attaching the ribbon to the sweater. What did happen was I had attached the ribbon over the holes. Sniped slits where the holes where and then the ribbon began to fray. Oh-Joy. So yeah... I then looked up techniques on securing button holes. I found this video helpful. You'll also need to add Fray Check to the ribbon before doing this buttonhole stitch. If you don't it will just cause your ribbon to fray more. I also added more Fray Check afterwards to double secure it.

Yes, it took a full day to add the ribbon...and another full day to stitch all 7 button holes, but in the end it was worth it.

The whole process has me feeling very empowered. So here I give you my Powerful Pose:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Woobie Video: Connecting Provisional Cast-on Hem

I know the one thing that a lot of knitters have when making the Woobie is hem. Yeah, it's a lot of stitches in the beginning...and Yeah, the hem takes up practically a whole skein of yarn, but the idea is that it gives the blanket weight.

 The other big issue with the hem is unraveling the provisional cast-on. Your connecting the 300 live stitches with the 300 cast-on stitches. I decided that perhaps a video might help. The video is a little long, but you get two techniques on how to handle this portion of the pattern. You get the safe technique which involves placing the provisional cast-on onto a separate needle and then you get the "Living on the Wild Side" version.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Woobie Video: Sealing base of the head

Since I'm in the process of putting together a third Collection Series of Woobies, it gave me a chance to record some key videos to help those who are having issues with the different techniques used in the pattern.

Here is a video that shows how to seal the base of the head on your Woobie. It's not a difficult technique, just a little hard to describe in words. I know I'm a visual learner, so this would have helped me out a lot.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Stitches Midwest 2014


I’ve been so busy with my daughters birthday, going back to school and cheerleading that I’ve only now just taken a picture… heck there is even a project on the needles because I’ve cast on something already.

(L to R) Black Wolf Ranch Alpaca Merino blend, Erin Lane bucket bag, Huntington in 3 colors, I won the Sterling Silver shawl pin as a door prize, Aussi Wool (navy blue - 5 skeins for sweater for my daughter), Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in 2 colors, Brooklyn Tweed Loft in 3 colors, Fringe Supply Co stitch markers, Signature Needle, Woolpierogi rolags, Erin Lane bag and 2 of the Freia gradients… one is already on the needles;)

Most of what you see in the middle will be going into the 'Design Pile'.... which makes me super happy because the Brooklyn Tweed yarns are just so beautiful. I wanted to buy them all, but alas that wasn't possible. sigh.

There was so much to look forward to at this years Stitches. I was very pleased with the amount of new vendors and ridiculously awesome Indy Dyers there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Pattern: Woobie Butterfly

I'm excited to announce a new pattern release!!


The Woobie Butterfly is now live! I had so many wonderful testers during this process. I could not have done this without them.

The release of this pattern also jumps off the beginning of the next Woobie Collection Series. In collection #3, some of them will have a different alt on the construction which will give more opportunities to expand the collection.


During the design process for this butterfly, I did come to a wall that I had to pretend wasn't there. If you see a butterfly, you'd never actual see a butterfly's face from above. Butterflies look down, so I had to let go of reality just for moment with this one.

I also had the great pleasure of knitting this up in the Cascade 220 Superwash® Sport. It's high on my list of wonderful yarns to work with. It also blocks beautifully and has this smooth drape to the finished fabric. I'm really looking forward to showing you more of the collection series.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Trean Swatch

Another peek into the color palette for the last pair of designs for the Enchanted Garden Ebook:


The yarn is Capra Cashmere in DK weight and is like working with butta...not butter, but butta. Lovely hand and just a dream to knit in. Seriously people. Cashmere.

When designing in this kind of fiber, you know the pieces will have some drape...maybe not like silk, but they will be very pliable and makes for great knitwear accessories. Here is a snippet of the swatch worked up in these colors:


I'm looking forward to revealing this last piece of the puzzle. Till next time my Knittas!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Intro: Trean

Here is the last pair of designs for the Enchanted Garden ebook.

Trean (Gaelic meaning: strong)

The wrought iron gate stranded colorwork pattern gives a sense of majestic strength and yet has a classic beauty all it’s own.

The Tam starts with an simple one-by-one rib then transition quickly into the colorwork sections which expands for a traditional slouch effect. The matching cowl would also start off the same way allowing for a cohesive look.


This is the last sketch for the ebook and now to search for the right model and perfect location.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I look forward to when I can launch the ebook and share it with all of you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Intro: Dreap

Another inside look at the second pair of designs of the Enchanted Garden ebook:

Dreap  (Gaelic meaning: climb)

The ivy trellis stranded colorwork pattern is fun and playful. As the ivy climbs along one side, the trellis climbs the other. The infinity scarf starts with a provisional cast-on. The stranded color is worked in the round with purl edge to allow the scarf tube to lay flat. Ivy shows on one side and trellis on the other. The mittens fall in line with the same theme. The cuff is a simple one-by-one rib, but the yellow is introduced to give a little pop of color and for the budding flowers that grow. These buds are applied to both pieces after completion with modified embroidery technique called the French knot.


Sketching for my patterns has become a true passion for me. My ideal photo shoot will be to mimic this pose. Although It wont happen because while in the middle designing this pattern I came to harsh reality that a double thick color work infinity scarf would set the wearer on fire and also make it too bulky to actually wear comfortably. So, ultimately the pattern became a cowl instead. Yes, the knitter can customize the pattern by adding more length, if they so choose.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Dreap Swatch

The next 2 patterns for the Enchanted Garden ebook are designed in this color scheme:


This yarn is the Knit Picks Wool of Andes Sport that comes is a wide selection to choose from. When I started working with this yarn it was giving me all kinds of problems. Yet it wasn't the yarns fault. When working two colors in stranded knitting you need to increase your needle size to accommodate the for the extra bulk. I was so much happier once I went up a needle size.

See, even designers sometimes have 'Duh' moments. Yeah, I had to rip back 6 inches of work, but ultimately the yarn was happy and so was I.

Here is a snippet of the swatch:


Love these colors together! Kind of makes me swoon just a little. There was some design alts right in the middle of this project, which you'll here about next time.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Woobie Butterfly


Let me introduce you to the Woobie Butterfly!

She is taking flight and is the first of 8 patterns that will be a part of the next Woobie Collection Series 3.  This new style of Woobie is a different take in the design and allows for new creative ideas to take hold.

If your interested in test knitting this pattern, I've started a thread in the Knifty Red Designs group. PM me your email address on Ravelry and I'll put you on the call list.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Intro: Cosan

I would like to give you a sneak into my design process. Since for as long as I can remember, drawing has always been a part of my life. With the Enchanted Garden, I wanted to showcase my sketching and illustration skills a little bit by drawing the knits on models.

With that I give you an inner look at the first 2 designs of the Enchanted Garden ebook:

Cosan (Gaelic meaning: Path)

The diamond clover stranded colorwork pattern emulates a walking path through a garden surrounded by wild flowers. The Tam starts with an icord edge, then transition into the colorwork hem which then widens for a traditional slouch effect. The matching convertible mittens would also start off the same way allowing for a cohesive look. Worked from the wrist to fingers and constructed with a flip-top, the button down style allows for easy access to fingers.


Thursday, June 12, 2014



Super excited to announce a new design just released in Knitty's First Fall 2014 issue. There are two version available in this pattern: Cowl or Snood.

The inspiration for this design came from a gorgeous Fiber Optic gradient in the Copper-Verdigris colorway. I knew I wanted to retain the colors, so I plyed my singles using a Navajo technique. The act of Navajo playing (or chain plying) has you creating loops, which in turn generates a 3ply. These loops can be large or small and depending on the color breaks; this can also help create a smooth color change.

There is a second option to work the pattern as a Snood.


After I had designed the cowl version, I had this overwhelming feeling to lift it over my head. It then seemed second nature to have an alternate that would allow you to gently cover your head and neck in luxurious warmth. The snood version is worked up in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply, which is super wonderful to knit with and makes a very light weight, but warm piece.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Cosan Swatch

Here is a little peak into the color palette for 2 of the designs for the Enchanted Garden ebook.


The yarn is Knit Picks Palette and comes in a Huge selection of colors, which I thought was fantastic for this project since it involves at least 4 colors. At first I was going to have two grey colors, but opted on blue since it was so bright and just made me smile.

The yarn is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool and I was a little concerned with the scratchy factor, but was pleasantly surprised to find it softened up tremendously once washed.

Here you can see just a slice of the swatch:


Stay tuned to see more...

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Enchanted Garden

Blurring the lines between secrete designs and blogging...if even just for a little bit. I'm taking a serious look at exposing some lovely stuff on the blog. Hopefully at least in stages to showcase some of my designs because I honestly do love to show off my stuff...

With that being said I'd like to introduce you to my current inspiration, The Enchanted Garden. Here is a little blurb about the project...

"The Enchanted Garden entices you to enter where soft clovers dapple the diamond-shaped walking path. An elaborately curled wrought iron gate is left exposed by the climbing ivy which ascends the ancient stone wall. Time-honored memories seem to resonate here among the flowers."

This description is the base of my theme. It all started with a innocent evening spent on Pinterest. I was putting together some ideas for my ebook. I had a vague idea of what I was looking for but then I found it: My Inspiration. (Pinterest link). Or you can click here to go to the original website. If you scroll down, you'll find the perfect garden entrance. This has so many points of interest that encapsulated my ebook; the wrought iron gate, ivy covered stone and a walking path among the flowers.

Did you catch that? YES! It's an ebook. The ebook will contain 6 stranded color work accessory patterns. Since I like to put matching pieces together for my accessories there will be 3 matching sets. I'm hoping that I'll be able to walk you through each one from baseline sketch, photo shoot and final launch until all are complete and ready.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

When Life Takes Over...



It's that bad. BUT I will not apologize for being absent.

What I will do is tell you that I've been busy with 6 color work patterns that are all a part of an ebook. I'm looking forward to launching that series. I need to secure a photo shoot location and some models. Doing my own modeling is okay in a pinch, but it would be nice to see new faces.

And in other big news, I've also lined up 8 more Woobie Designs that I'll be releasing as I finish them. The first has been knit, but I'm going to record some tutorials along with this Collection number 3 that I think will be valuable to those of you struggling with some techniques.

Here, let me sooth you over with a picture of the finished yarn when last we met...930 yds of a 3ply heavy fingering.

Happy with the turn out...930 yds of a 3ply heavy fingering.

The other random bits that I've been knitting is the Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure on as a pick-up-and-go-kind-of-knit:



I'm on my third's potato chip knitting for me. It's also great for stash busting sock yarn.

Tons to talk that I can talk about it, I'm looking forward to sharing all the things with you. Thanks for hanging in there while I was MIA.