Crafts

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! (more…)

New Patterns

WWJD: an Easter project Jesus would do


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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…)

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 Patterns

Crochet Day of the Dead Bunting


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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!

Download it now wherever you shop: Craftsy, Ravelry, or Etsy.

Filet Crochet Pattern for Day of the Dead Bunting

Filet Crochet Pattern for Day of the Dead Bunting

Filet Crochet Pattern for Day of the Dead Bunting

Filet Crochet Pattern for Day of the Dead Bunting

day of the dead crochet bunting

New Products

Let’s Wear Cuter Headbands This Winter


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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?

Winter earwarmer/headband with flower
Cute, but so two-thousand-and-late: Winter Earwarmer Flower Headband by Penny Mae Designs, $20.

Do we really need to look like everyone else?

Cable Knit Headband Ear Warmer
The Bronies are coming for the most famous headband on Pinterest: Cable Knit Headband Ear Warmer by Three Bird Nest, $28

I mean, you’ve been to Europe. You want something rad like this

Knitted turban hat winter accessories on asos.com
Knitted Turban on asos.com.

but not quite this.

Knit headband fox pom pom on Revolve Clothing
Bella Knit Headband with Fox Earmuffs in Taupe/Grey by Eugenia Kim, $187.

More like this

Gold knit headband by Rag & Bone
Farah Headband by rag & bone, $150.

and this.

Heather Headband by Club Monaco, $60.
Heather Headband by Club Monaco, $60.

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.

Organic cotton copper brown knit headband by Knits for Life
Copper Brown Knit Headband in Organic Cotton by Knits for Life
Knit headband metallic blue by knits for life
Sapphire Blue Knit Headband in Organic Cotton by Knits for Life
Sapphire Blue Knit Headband by Knits for Life
Sapphire Blue Knit Headband by Knits for Life

I love to post my works in progress and inspiration on Instagram, so follow me to see all my current projects (@knitsforlife).

Knit Infinity Cable Headband Turban in progress by Knits for Life
I finished off the Infinity Turban Headband on last week’s road trip along the California coast. Follow @KnitsForLife on Instagram where I post shots of my process.
Knit Knot Cowl in progress by Knits for Life
Follow @KnitsForLife on Instagram for shots of my process, like this study in knit climbing knots for upcoming cowl and headband designs.

Cast on an inspiring pattern like the ones below and play along!

KNITTING PATTERN Parisian Twist Headband Ear Warmer PDF
Parisian Twist Headband Ear Warmer Knitting Pattern by McLaughlin Designs, $5.
Knotted Headband Free Crochet Pattern
Knotted Headband Crochet Pattern by Stephanie Jessica Lau, free.
News

How to Electrify Your Weekend in San Francisco


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San Francisco’s two hour lightning storm and tornado warning kicks off an electric weekend. In his museum-like Martinez basement, my amateur archaeologist grandpa kept local Native American artifacts he unearthed, and lightning makes me fantasize how it sung out to them. Last night in my sixth floor huge-windowed apartment I lay by lightning light reading of the local tribe on whose shell mounds my building sits. Dreams of dance, green spring hills, and blossoms led me to today – Friday – more thunderstorms, and a fittingly electric weekend. Here’s the line-up and a sneak peek into my new project; come find me!

Photo by Tom Robinson
Photo by Ed via ABC Inc., KGO-TV/DT San Francisco
Photo by ABC Inc., KGO-TV/DT San Francisco

Friday

Need a hero? Try Alonzo King. After an interview on KQED’s Forum, his modern ballet company’s performances live on my calendar. Give it a listen for some serious artistic inspiration. Describing his approach to this visual art form brings up words like “deeply rooted cultural traditions…new expressive potential…ballet as a science…geometric principles of energy…a new language of movement…a profound sense of shared humanity.” To say my excitement for rivals last night’s lightning storm is accurate.

The deets: Triangle of the Squinches runs April 12-15 and Scheherazade runs April 18-22

Photo by Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Photo by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Saturday

Yarn bombing a chair is my latest display of enthusiasm for street art. Snapping shots of stencils, slap-ups, graf, and murals while getting run over by locals is one of my hobbies. Amping up for another top secret project, Lo, my graphic designer goddess, and I will be students of the legendary San Francisco street artists at 1:AM, the First Amendment Gallery for street art and murals. I’m turning my love back on all of you soon with a tool to bring more adventure and creativity to our lives. But first – research! For three hours we’ll hear how graffiti’s changed through its history, practice lettering, and weild a spray can. Lo’s already been practicing her OG vector graphics skillz! You know you’ve always wanted to say something in color in public. Come join us!

The deets: Three spots are open in our Saturday 12:30 class. If you miss us, it repeats monthly. Other class topics include stenciling, toy modification, and team building workshops.

Photo by 1amsf
Photo by Steve Rotman

 Sunday

Get yer amigurumi on at this weekend’s 45th Cherry Blossom Festival, where your favorite hand made Bizzar Bazaar vendors pimp their hand made wares inside the beautiful sunlit building at New People. I’m looking forward to meeting Nerd Jerk, a fellow member of the San Francisco Etsy Street Team, and seeing her new neon plushies.

The deets: Both the festival and the bazaar are run this weekend and next, 4/14-15 and 4/21-22. Catch the San Francisco Taiko Dojo performance on Japantown’s Peace Plaza at 11:45 am.

Photo by Stephanie Cortez
Photo by Yuri Yoshida

Light up your tongue too!

Remember to squeeze in some time for noshes at Off the Grid (map & calendar) or catch up with one of San Francisco Magazine’s 10 food artisans to watch. Chocolate, cheese, bread, coffee, and charcuterie? Um, electrifying indeed!

Photo by Modern Luxury Media
Photo by Off the Grid SF

Yours truly,

Lorna

For every hand made item you buy at knitsforlife.etsy.com, Knits for Life plants one rainforest tree with The Nature Conservancy.

New Patterns

It’s Here! Crochet Pattern for the Space Man Hat + Scarf + Pocket


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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.

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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.