etsy

New Patterns

Free Crochet Pattern: Draft Dodger


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My latest custom order was so fun and simple, I can’t resist sharing the tiny 10-line pattern with you all. Drunk past midnight at the Beach Boardwalk like a member of the Lost Boys after a reunion slash wedding, I picked my phone up out of the sand for like the fourth time and started reading emails. “Woah guys, what the hell is this? Someone just messaged me on Etsy asking for a draft extruder! What the hell is that? *kapow!* Oooooh, look over there, someone’s launching some leftover fireworks. Let’s go in the ocean right now. It’s not even cold! Hiccup. Geez, I seriously love you guys…”

A sunrise and several liters of water later, I remembered something about a confusing custom order inquiry. How wonderful is the internet to connect us with people all over the world, and muddle through translations to eventually communicate. The inquiry referred to a German post about a Türzugluftstopper, that is, a draft dodger. Mystery solved!

Crochet Draft Dodger

What’s more, they wanted a gigantic neon pink one! Yesssss. Lately I’ve been fawning all over the new neon Simply Soft shouting at me from the endcap at Michaels. I can’t stop thinking of things to make with it. Neon (screw orange–sorry, Janeway) is totes the new black. It comes in a few colors, but yellow and coral are the most day glo. That said, none of them can be called dull. Seriously, you can’t even photograph them because the glow doesn’t register on a camera’s color range. Eyeballs rock!

Neon yarn

Free Crochet Pattern Draft DodgerMeasurements for the draft dodger pictured above is 43 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter. Seriously huge. It’ll stop any draft like a neon ninja. You could stuff it with beans, but it’s so big that the weight of the yarn and polyfill seem enough to do the job.

free crochet pattern draft dodger 2

yarn: 1.5 skeins (450-500 yd) Caron Simply Soft held double

hook: 6.0 mm

pattern:

R1: 6 hdc in magic ring (6)
R2:  inc around (12)
R3: hdc, inc (inc=2hdc in same st) around (18)
R4: 2 hdc, inc around (24)
R5: hdc around (24)
Repeat R5 to desired length.
R(x-2): 2 hdc, dec (dec=2hdctog, invisible style if you like) around (18)
R(x-1): hdc, dec around (12)
Rx: dec around (6)
Break yarn leaving a 12-inch tail. Thread through remaining sts and cinch to close. Weave in ends.

Be sure to link your projects on the pattern’s Ravelry page and share them to the Knits for Life Ravelry group.

Next to yarnbombing, my favorite things to make are custom orders. You people never fail to surprise me with your ideas! When people contact me on Etsy or Instagram with a vision of something they want to bring to life, my answer so far is almost always “yes!” Only once so far have I said no, and in that case it was because the project was better for a Fair Isle machine knitter, so I passed along some referrals. And so, in return for this you-can-barely-call-it-a-pattern, I’m dying to know: What do your friends and family always have you make? Let me know in the comments!

xxxo,

Lorna

New Patterns

New Crochet Pattern: Bicycle Skirt Guard


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I’m excited to announce another fresh crochet pattern is out today, just in time for the beginning of summer.

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternA wanderlust-inducing post over on the PUBLIC Bikes blog observed that–unlike in busy American metropolises–Italian cyclists tend to be women. What’s more, they’re often well-dressed older women. Indeed, my grandmother rode her bike in a skirt well into her seventies, and I still remember how she’d apply lotion to her legs every day with that in mind.

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternFashionable cyclists like Melissa at Bike Pretty and theme rides like the SF Tweed are trying hard to help us all sit pretty on our bikes. I think it’s important to address comfort, style, and fun on bikes because–whether or not we admit it–some days these things truly cause us to reach for the keys instead of the helmet. (Check out Bike Pretty’s list of 10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets.)

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternMy new pattern eliminates worries about cycling in our prettiest skirts and dresses. Not long ago, many bikes accommodated fashions with metal guards like these. Perhaps casual dress made them obsolete, but I say let’s bring guards and skirt cycling back for good!

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternI entreat you to dare to sit pretty in your longest skirt with a pair of crochet skirt guards. Both the crochet pattern and the handmade items are in the shop, in a variety of colors and sizes. Installation is a breeze: snap them on the fender with a handful of binder clips, and easily snap off again to wash or swap for another color.

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternIf you’ve never crocheted lace before, this is a great starter project because it uses a larger thread and hook than most lace, so it works up faster and quicker. I wrote the pattern with beginners in mind, so all you need to know is how to count and do single through triple crochet. Each size hooks up in just a few hours. Why, you’ll be able to make one to match every ModCloth dress in your closet!

Bicycle Skirt Guard Crochet PatternIf you joined my entourage, check your inbox for an exclusive deal on the pattern. If you haven’t yet, get on board here because new pattern deals are coming all the time!

Buy the pattern for $5 on Ravelry, Craftsy, or Etsy.

Or, leave the handmade part to me and cruise on over to the shop to pick up a pair in your favorite size and color.

Happy cycling!

xxxo,

Lorna

New Products

Super Stylish Crochet Lace iPad & MacBook Sleeves


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Recycled bottles turned into handmade functional fashion

Are you tired of choosing between functionality and fashion? Do you wish your iPad and MacBook matched your crochet TOMS? Never fear, Knits for Life is here. An eco-friendly, hand-crocheted iPad or MacBook sleeve is a smart investment that will cuddle your device ’til it’s obsolete.Crochet Lace Laptop Bags Three Sizes Text

My iPad MacBook sleeves are the best and here’s why

Three fashionable pastel colors.
Three device sizes: iPad Mini, iPad, 11″ MacBook Air.
Made with fiber spun from recycled plastic bottles.
Certified USPS Priority shipping with a tracking number.
I plant a rainforest tree with The Nature Conservancy for every item sold.
Comes with a pretty herbal pouch to scent your drawers, or microwave it and use it as a pocket warmer!
Free gift wrap and personal message.
Super high quality work: I am a perfectionist with an eye for details, even on the inside.
Exclusive Knits for Life design to crochet these sleeves that you won’t see anywhere else.
I can accommodate special requests like organic or vegan fibers, and custom device sizes.

Crochet Lace MacBook Sleeve Size

Crochet Lace iPad Sleeve Sizes

Crochet Lace iPad Mini Sleeve size

Wholesale pricing available for retailers

Contact me at KnitsForLife at gmail dot com for prices and turnaround times.

Handmade Crochet Lace

Make your own!

Join my entourage here to get exclusive discounts on the soon-to-be-released crochet pattern, with instructions for all three sizes.

 

xxxo,

Lorna

 

 

New Patterns, New Products

New Ear Warmers, Knitting Patterns, a Sale and a Giveway!


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Back in the fall I declared this winter the season for wearing cuter headbands. Banish the big flowers made by grandma! Be gone, sorority-esque cliches! Now, with much trumpeting and fanfare, I pull back the red curtain and unveil to you two new lines of cute chunky knit headbands. Plus, get your scroll on: 20% off all new headbands and enter to win one for Christmas!

Chunky Cable Knit Ear Warmer Headbands

Winter cannot force us to ditch the summer braid! Braids are toute la rage all year round, now that you can wear them on a squishy, chunky ear warmer. Plus, they’re made with a blend of warm wool and easy-care acrylic so you can even throw them in your laundry! $35 at knitsforlife.etsy.com

Convertible Turban Headband and Cowl

Step off the curb like a silver screen starlet with an über-chic turban look. Already flying off the shelves, I’m gifting this perfectly cozy, stretchy accessory all Christmas and Hanukkah long. $35 at knitsforlife.etsy.com

Some one-of-a-kind pieces came out of the design process too. Here are a few of my favorites. Find more in the shop under the Eco Accessories tab.

XOXO Hugs and Kisses Ear Warmer Headband
XOXO Hugs and Kisses Ear Warmer Headband. $29 knitsforlife.etsy.com
Silver and Cocoa Powder Brown Cable Knit Ear Warmer Headband
Sparkly Silver and Cocoa Powder Brown Cable Knit Ear Warmer Headband. $29 knitsforlife.etsy.com

Knit your own

OK, smarty pants, so you know how to knit, huh? Great, you can make these for all your friends!

The knitting pattern for the braided cable knit ear warmer is free at transientexpression.com. Note that if you use super bulky yarn like I did, you only need 8 repeats of the pattern.

The knitting pattern for the convertible turban headband and cowl is $3 on Ravelry or at knitsforlife.etsy.com.

Coupons and giveaway

From now until Christmas, save 20% on my new ear warmer headbands in the Etsy shop with code XMAS2012. I ship items the same or next day in cute, hand-stamped gift wrap with no price on it so you can gift it directly in the mailing package. I also include a free vetiver-scented buckwheat sachet your recipient can pop in the microwave and use as a pocket hand warmer. They’ll be warm cuddly from head to toe!
The coupon goes “poof!” on Christmas eve and on Christmas morning I’ll announce the winner of a free ear warmer!  You get one headband from the cable knit line or the turban line in your favorite color shipped to your door for free. To enter:

1. Tweet “Save 20% on these über-chic hand knit ear warmers from now until Xmas: http://wp.me/p1sxl3-gN”

2. Share Knits for Life’s Facebook announcement on your feed. You must go to Knits for Life’s page and click “share” on the story already posted there. Sharing a link to this blog post on your page doesn’t count. My page: https://www.facebook.com/knitsforlife

3. Leave a comment below letting me know you’re in!

Don’t forget to order by December 17 in time to ship for Christmas.

Happy happy winter!

xxxo,

Lorna

New Products

What’s hot: chair socks


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What’s selling: custom table socks

Do you peek at Etsy shops’ sales more often than their stock? Guilty! Who wants to see the leftovers? Not me!

My custom table socks in recycled yarn are hot! This time, before they flew out the door and in the mail, I snapped some photos. Why has the furniture sock trend popped up on Etsy and Pinterest? Scroll past the pics, where I tell you.

Custom Table Socks Recycled Yarn by Knits for Life
4-Pack of custom eco table socks by Knits for Life, $25.
    4-Pack of Custom Table Socks, in 100% New Recycled Yarn, by Knits for Life, $25.
Crocheted with European 100% new recycled yarn, by Berroco Yarns.
    4-Pack of Custom Table Socks, in 100% New Recycled Yarn, by Knits for Life, $25.
Ready to go with a coupon-loaded Moo card in a recycled, hand-stamped envelope.
Eco Friendly Crochet Decor by Knits for Life square
Retro tube sock table socks rock my world, and my fiber art studio.
Eco Friendly Home Decor by Knits for Life
Eco yarns are widely available now. Use them!

Why are they popular?

  • Closed-bottom socks protect bare floors. DD ordered a long, skinny pair for when she slides her new Table-Mate tray and laptop over to the couch. Now she wants socks in every color!
  • Yarn bombing isn’t just an outdoor phenomenon. Outdoor yarn bombs get shabby, but indoor bombs on clocks, chairs, and vases stay awesome. Plus you get to enjoy them all the time. My yarn bombed chairs feature in the upcoming issue of Graffiti Beach magazine.
  • Retro + surprising + eco = hot! From crochet to tube socks, what’s old is hot again. But please, let’s forgo granny squares and macrame. Reinvent played out trends, add some ethics, and you win.

Pin what’s selling

Remember, Pinterest rivals Facebook and Twitter in sites that get you traffic.

So, keep an eye to what’s selling when you pin. What’s selling = what people search for on Pinterest = your pins come up in searches. Embroidered Vans that epitomize needlepoint? Pin it! Personalized hand made needle felted necklaces for $19? Pin it! Custom table socks in recycled yarn? Pin it!

Don’t forget the description box. Search can give you a hand, but only if you hold out yours. Fill the description box with the terms that are selling.

Pin what’s selling, get followers, increase visibility of all your other pins. Got it? Good!

Now pin your favorite table sock image above and tell me what you’ve been selling lately in a comment. You can also follow my Pinterest board of furniture socks.

xxxo

Lorna at Knits for Life

News

Knits for Life Yarn Bombs Unique SF June 30 & July 1


One great thing leads to another.

On Friday I checked in with STUDIO Gallery after finishing up the SF Etsy gallery show I was in (stay tuned: KFL and STUDIO will meet again) and – straight into my next triumph – met with the inspiring Sonja Rasula, founder and CEO of State of Unique about a fiber art installation for the first ever Unique SF design show.

I’m excited to share with you that my lil’ sis The Dapper Toad and I are doing a few gigantic fiber art pieces for the show. Check out the ideas I’m playing with below, and learn where to get your tickets to the coolest event of the summer!

“The largest curated, independent design show in the country is coming to San Francisco! You’ll get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from over 250 hand-selected designers and artists. The fun two-day shopping event makes it easy for you to buy local, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast. Because the products at the show are proudly made right here in the USA, the money you spend goes right back into your local economy and community. With DJs, free drinks/photo booth portraits/DIY crafts, mini-massages in our lounge, and a great cafe with delicious food and sweet treats, it’s a great time for all – you’ll want to spend the weekend with us!”

Drawing on HOTTEA and others.

Join the event on Facebook here.

New Products, News

Yarn Bombed Furniture at STUDIO Gallery in SF


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I am pleased to show you two more yarn bombed chairs in yellow and brown to go with the white one I made a few weeks ago. Made from reclaimed IKEA furniture and covered in crocheted recycled yarn, they exude my eco-friendly hand made style. All three are on display at STUDIO Gallery in San Francisco until May 27th with the San Francisco Etsy Street Team gallery show.

Yours truly,

Lorna at Knits for Life

Tutorials

Why Pinterest Beats Google Images


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In 1906, strolling around the local livestock fair, a man comes upon the crowd at a weight-guessing attraction. An ox stands on a scale as people guess its weight on scraps of paper. I avoided feeling like the ox in this game every summer at our local amusement park at all costs – including the best hot pink stuffed animals. Being livestock, this ox was just chillin’ and eventually the closest guess won a bag of hot peanuts, but our observer noticed another funny thing. Most of the guesses were off. Wildly off. Like, “haven’t these country bumpkins ever seen an ox before?” off. But he was one of those charming old-timey polymaths, so he had an idea. After the crowd shuffled off, he approached the man in charge and inquired whether he might have the scraps of paper guesses. This is one of history’s best data collection moments, by the way.

Long story short, our man, Francis Galton, ran the numbers and found that the average guess was one measly pound away from the ox’s weight. In fact, the average was much closer to the animal’s weight than the single best guess. Somehow, the unruly mob, who couldn’t be trusted with democracy, much less you life in a bar fight, could be trusted to know something no single member of the mob knew. This is also one of history’s best WTF moments, by the way.

Fast forward a century and we are using crowdsourcing every day. Sometimes it’s just another word for statistics, the field Galton helped birth. Sometimes it’s just another word for voting, and the result is no great WTF moment. We can use the crowd to answer questions in different ways. Anyone who researches their blog’s SEO knows that Google’s algorithm for search results uses certain data points from your blog more than others. And this is why I think Pinterest is better for images of interesting stuff. An image explodes across pin boards based on one data point: someone found it interesting enough to repin it. In 2010 when I started pinning, this didn’t happen much. Now, when I see an image in my Pinterest feed, someone either pinned it from the web, or – more likely – re-pinned it from another board. This means that the images I see are filtered through at least two iterations of interest, and usually way more. Interest sells, people. This is powerful stuff.

This is why I increasingly search Pinterest for trends, styles, and techniques to use in my art and products. Google images is good when I need a perfect amigurumi blue bird, but Pinterest is best when I’m looking for some cool amigurumi to make for my friend’s kid’s birthday party. Pinterest finds a more interesting result because of crowdsourcing. It hits the ox on the head. (Whoops! Poor ox.) The same applies to product development, inspiration, illustrating blog posts, or whatever iron you have in the fire right now.

Below the images are the best boards to follow for fiber art and other fun stuff. Show me your favorites with links in the comments.

If you’re not on Pinterest yet, leave a comment and I’ll send you an invitation.

Yours truly,

Lorna at Knits for Life

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Free Crochet Patterns and My Crochet Designs by Anne Marie’s Crochet Blog

Camp Crafts by Jill Watt of The Dapper Toad

Knitting Apps and other fiber art boards by knitomatic

CROCHET and My Projects by According to Matt

Techniques I Love and San Francisco Etsy Team Spotted by Lisa Spinella of Tickle and Smash

Scarf inspiration and Patronen en kleuren (Patterns and colors) by Mia Vandenbossche

Fun with fiber and textiles and DIY by Lorna Watt at Knits for Life

One’s Tea Cozies by Loani Prior, the Tea Cosy Queen

Eco boards by Team Eco Etsy

Sustainable Lingerie by Oceana’s Canvas

Clothes to Wear by Andrea of The Paper Sparrow

Fun boards by The Men of Etsy

Eccentric beauty and Imagination by Cody James

New Patterns, New Products

Something to Knit Your Man


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In a dark little café pub near the Black Forest in Germany, I came to love hot drinks served in ceramic white pint glasses. Reliving those gemütliche college days every time I sip tea, Earl Grey, hot is easy with IKEA’s lovely and affordable POKAL tumblers.

Slurping the first sip of a hot drink is one of life’s little pleasures, but hard to do without a mug handle. After perfecting a custom cozy, I wanted to make one for my sweetheart for Valentine’s Day that wouldn’t embarrass him at work. A touch of geekery and voilà: I love you in Morse code.

Get the pattern in the shop for just $1.99 here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/92404903

Or get the knitted item for just $15 here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/92404005

What do you sip your tea in?