Aisles at Norma Takahashi’s 100-year-old family shop of Hawaiian wonders brim with macadamia nut cookies, sweet-and-spicy scallop jerky, and waterfalls running down bottles of passion fruit ale. In a town of ramen wars, sushi masters, hand-pulled noodles, and 2-hour lines for boba, Asian comfort food is my town’s vocabulary. Takahashi Market specializes in spicy bacon SPAM musubi: a warm, steaming pile of sticky white rice surrounding sauteed SPAM and bacon umami bombs and spicy aioli all bundled up in briny nori seaweed to handily pop in your mouth. Swoon! What a delicious inspiration for a new crochet pattern: the SPAM Musubi Pillow. (more…)
I have a confession to make
I don’t go to local yarn shops because they bore me. Gasp! *Shields head from crockery sailing out of the interwebs towards me* Phewf! That was a close one. If you’re still listening because you kind of agree, raise your hand! See, I knew we were buddies. You guys are the ones I’m looking at as I announce my new crochet pattern. DOO-do-do-DOO! (more…)
Cats wreak genocide on baby birds
Earlier this year a new study found that we’d been underestimating by billions the number of birds and small mammals our cute little kitties ravenously kill every year. Oh noes! Bad bad kitties! Fortunately, the country is also full of wildlife rescue centers. These are the places where sensitive nature-lovers like you and me deliver injured birds and other animals in the hopes that they’ll be nurtured back to health and released back into the wild. (more…)
These are chunky stirrup leg warmers for adults. A friend wanted to gift a custom pair to her athletic employee, and the result is stylish but still perfect for yoga class. It made me sad to think this custom pattern wouldn’t see the light of day again, so here it is for you to enjoy! You can make them a long or short as you like, and with or without the stirrup. I’d love to see your work, so tag your Instagram pics with #knitsforlife or tweet them to me @knitsforlife
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.
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.
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!
Teresa at Outdoor Alphabet: Help! We need a gigantic acorn and some little ones to match our new logo.
Lorna at Knits for Life: I’ll design it on the double!
Dozens of hours and a lot of OCD later, this not-so-little acorn is prompting predictions of 8-foot squirrels on Twitter.
@KnitsforLife for a very BIG Squirrel??—
Kate Buttimer (@KButtimer) October 23, 2012
Lisa Spinella (@tickleandsmash) October 26, 2012
The little ones sent me on a hunt for the perfect acorn shape.
Six acorns later, the fruits of these labors deserve to be shared as a free crochet pattern. I’ve also been wanting to design a cut-out pattern that’s easy to read. Opportunity knocks!
Do you lose your place as much as I do when you knit or crochet? It’s the pits! This cute idea shows one line of instructions at a time, with the finished item and the abbreviations right there. No more picking up and dropping my pencil, no more flipping through pdf pages on my e-reader. It’s wonderful! I hope you’ll find it useful. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.
Day of the Dead is a colorful holiday in Mexico on the day after Halloween. Families celebrate the dead with bright yellow marigolds, wildly ornamented sugar skulls, and banners of finely perforated paper (papel picado). In the spirit of “death is the thing we all have in common,” jaunty skeletons in sombreros, traditional dresses, and pedaling away on bicycles fill every corner of these decorations.
I wanted to fill my home with the bright colors and passion of Mexico on a skull banner that would last. So, I designed four fun skull images in an easy, charming project any beginner can do. There are no charts, just simple repeated motifs–clearly explained. If you like charts, you’re bound to quickly get the hang of the motifs and can use the high-quality images as a chart. I recommend using cotton crochet thread, but the designs come out great even with sport or DK weight yarn.
This set includes all four designs–what a deal!
I was seeing things.
My aunt walked in to my grandma’s house carrying her laptop in a home made crochet bag and I did a double take. We crocheters always do double takes at crochet and knitting, but this was because I thought I saw her carrying a sleeve with a handle.
Duh! Everyone makes laptop sleeves, but then you have to carry it like a book. When what you really want to do is carry it like a bag. Turns out it was all a vision. My aunt was carrying a laptop sleeve by its flap as if it were a handle. I was in good company getting an idea this way. Isaac Mizrahi stops cabs to follow people on the street. Or rather, to follow their clothing.
Introducing my latest design, a laptop sleeve with a handle and in a fashionable crochet lace pattern. Buy it in fun colors or buy the pattern to make your own at knitsforlife.etsy.com.
Lorna at Knits for Life
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?
By popular demand, this crochet pattern includes the instructions for a the beanie with a panel for a nice timey wimey button AND for the hat with attached scarf and secret buttoned pocket.
I had tons of fun designing this ultimate warm winter accessory for the Doctor Who fan that is modern enough for any wearer. The lights are on inside the time machine with two stripes of creamy white. Tweedy navy blue yarn is crocheted in a raised stitch pattern to mimic a wood paneled police box all the way down the scarf to the secret pocket. The timey-wimey buttoned pocket stores your soul alongside headphones, phone, mp3 player or keys. This hat and scarf combo will really get your eco-geek on!
The directions for making this textured crochet pattern are easy to understand and do. I aim to design crochet patterns any knitter would envy. Two patterns in one, with directions for each in all four sizes. Each size requires just one size hook and is worked from the top-down in one piece with no joins. Includes color changes, front and back post stitches, and an adjustable loop.
I’d love to see your finished products and customer action shots on the pattern’s Ravelry page or on Knits for Life’s Facebook wall! The finished items are also for sale in the shop.