The question we most commonly got about our Buttmunches, the yarn bombed monster benches we did at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, was: Can I have one? So we said yes! Each meticulously handmade Buttmunch chair exhibited at Unleashed Art Gallery over the summer. The green chair is still available in the shop here. Contact us for a viewing at Claremont Art Studios or to discuss your idea for custom kids furniture or whimsical decor.
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. (more…)
So much has been happening lately that I’m excited to tell you about!
The people at Purl City Yarns in the Northern Quarter were absolutely lovely and had some nice English heritage yarns.
The clerk was wearing Berroco’s Beatnik sweater, which is now on my knitting list!
Next up was the city of lights, Paris–on Valentine’s Day, no less. Did you know about the growing trend to click a padlock onto the Pont des Arts? The bridges overflow with lovers’ tokens.
Of course I had to leave one in yarnbomb style–on Valentine’s Day evening with sparklers while the Eiffel Tower twinkled on the hour. Très romantique! (Obviously photography was not my focus at such a moment.)
Upon my reluctant return, I finished my iPhone yarnbomb and made the front page of my local paper! My sister over at The Dapper Toad made some wonderful photographs.
I realized I’ve never seen a yarnbomb in my city. Have you? Since I see them every day in The Yarnbomb Daily I forget how rare they are.
In Manchester I discovered a stellar string artist so tried my hand at it in my local park. I’m planning to do a big one on my wall next.
Guests are the only way my house gets clean, and this month I had two. Yarn organization plan, activate! I went from a pretty good storage plan to an amazing one! Grab a yarn winder and some pegboard and DIYODS (do it your own damn self). You can even knit or crochet from the skeins on the wall. I call it knitting like a boss.
All play and no work makes… well, no money! I wrapped up two unique custom projects that turned out just swimmingly: a fangirl hat based on the cheetah movie Duma and a replica of a vintage Christmas stocking. The stocking pattern dates all the way back to 1935. How cool to help keep a family tradition alive–and they want 4 more!
And speaking of products, chain scarves and lacey laptop sleeves are getting popular lately. I’m designing new products for spring, but it seems these will stay alive–in popping, new colors.
Phew, what a year so far!
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!
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.
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.
Lorna at Knits for Life
Here’s a tip for you: don’t mix variegated yarns and textured patterns. Like Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, neither shines when the other’s around.
Crochet stitches are even more textured than knit stitches, which means you should save your variegated colors for knitting projects with simple textures (i.e., stockinette). Textured crochet projects in particular don’t do well with textured yarns, because the clash is even more exaggerated. Got it? Ok, I want to see beautiful Ravelry project pages from now on!
Now, enough of the technical talk! In the course of learning this lesson, there’s one gorj yarn in particular I hooked up and unraveled several times, always choosing it for the wrong project. (Yes, I’m a perfectionist!). Vanquished, I used it in a simple (stockinette!) hat & glove set and it began to belt out riffs of I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
(Somebody! Ooo! Somebody! Ooo! Somebody who loves me!)
(Somebody! Ooo! Somebody! Ooo! To hold me in his arms, Oh!)(Dontcha wanna dance! Say you wanna dance! Dontcha wanna dance!) Now the color positively rustles powdered snow from a flocked blue spruce. Maybe that’s why it’s called Snowbird. I also kind of want to lick it, so I put a big scoop of mint chip on the hat and now, indeed, I think the project is a perfect match. xxxo, Lorna
Fall and winter present a problem for the ladies: we love a warm head and ears, but we don’t want to mess up these well-groomed locks. American college campuses are the natural habitat for one solution: knitted headbands. Sorority sisters and Rastafarians alike (yes, I had dread locks for a decade!) can get behind the warm, chunky headband.
But ladies, must we wear a huge crocheted flower on our noggins?
Do we really need to look like everyone else?
I mean, you’ve been to Europe. You want something rad like this
but not quite this.
More like this
People always ask what I’m working on. This is it. The quest for a better headband for 2012-13, in trendy colors like espresso brown and metallics.
I love to post my works in progress and inspiration on Instagram, so follow me to see all my current projects (@knitsforlife).
Cast on an inspiring pattern like the ones below and play along!
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
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.
Lorna at Knits for Life
Some graffiti artists use paint, some use stickers. We crafty types use yarn. If you haven’t heard of yarn bombing or knitted graffiti yet, get yer google on! If you have, maybe you – like me – see the world a little differently than most; a taunting swirl of shapes and structures challenging you to wrap them in bright, snuggly yarn. Ok ok, yes – I surrender! Let’s cover everything in textures and energy! Goodbye to plain statues and trees that don’t hug you back. Hello newborn graffiti artist.
And then the walls inside my apartment began to talk. Psst! Why bomb the bike rack down the street? You’ll only see it when you go for a walk. You could enjoy your graffiti every day in your own home.
Egads, I’m hooked, as the crocheters say. Five skeins of 100% recycled yarn and one reclaimed Ikea chair later, here’s my prettily “upholstered” chair. (Here’s a pic of it in progress.) It will soon be for sale online and in a local gallery, but I have three more pawing at me with their little legs – almost as inconveniently as the Sesame Street U laid in to Smokey Robinson. Wish me luck!
3/7/12 update: The yellow and brown chairs are done too! Come see them here: https://knitsforlife.com/2012/05/07/yarn-bombed-furniture-at-studio-gallery-in-sf/