knitting

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

Tutorials

IKEA hack: Hand stamped brown paper packages


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Last year I gave you DIY Christmas gift wrap ideas using a little botanical cheer. Those plain, brown paper packages are my favorite backdrop for dressing up prezzies any time of year. It’s crazy-versatile!

So what more can you do with that bargain kraft paper from IKEA? Indulge your trendy collection of hand carved stamps! If you don’t have any stamps, even better. Now you have a great occasion to try out a new craft. It’s a little tricky, but with the right tools from any good art store, you can have tons of fun. I made this little ball of yarn stamp on my second try!

hand stamped wrapping paper idea
diy hand stamped wrapping paper My sister’s birthday called for some crafty, hand stamped wrapping with a knitting theme.

My sister’s birthday presents certainly called for this yarn theme. Check out her new knitting swag: a handy, retro wool winder and an electronic stitch counter. She loved them, of course!

Cute retro yarn winder
Give your yarn stash a makeover with a wool winder.
Digital stitch counter ring
A digital stitch counter ring is my new must-have for knitting and crochet!
New Patterns

New Free Crochet Pattern: Perfect Acorns


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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.

Giant Custom Crochet Acorn
At first stuff: 18 inch acorn ready to be sewn up and shoved into shape.

The little ones sent me on a hunt for the perfect acorn shape.

Crochet acorn ornaments
My hunt for the perfect acorn

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!

Free crochet pattern amigurumi acorn
Cut-out and pull-through pattern.
acorn ornament free crochet pattern
Did I mention it’s a free pattern?

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.

Crochet Acorn Ornaments

Free Crochet acorn pattern

Crochet Acorn Toys

Free crochet acorn pattern

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

Become a Rowan Yarns Ambassador


There’s no better way to seduce a sexy farm-hand than by wearing a romantic sweater designed by Rowan and knit with their wool. (As you wiiiiiiish!!)

Rowan Yarns Ambassador

If you love yarn, you know Rowan Yarns stand for luxurious fibers and modern designs. Now you can stand for sexy yarn too! Rowan Yarns is soliciting applications for their Rowan Ambassador program, where you can be a Rowanette (Rowanet for the boys). How about getting advance yarns and an invitation to the mill?

Dear readers, do you want me to post about Rowan Yarns? If you think I should be a Rowanette, leave a comment describing what you would want me to knit with their yarns. You know I’m passionate about crochet, but I love knitting too!

Here’s the solicitation. (http://www.knitrowan.com/industry-news/article/become-a-rowanette-rowanet-for-the-boys/801437975)

Rowan are looking for 20 Rowan ambassadors around the world to champion the Luxury knitting brand.  Are you passionate about Rowan? Do you want to be part of the team? Do you want to be one of the first to see and feel Rowan’s new yarns?

What is a Rowanette (Rowanet)?

• Someone who is truly passionate about knitting with Rowan

• Someone who is articulate and is social media savvy

• Someone who is very creative

• Someone who is loyal

• Someone who has some spare time to dedicate to Rowan

If you can prove you are one of Rowan’s biggest fans, and would like to become a Rowanette (Rowanet); then let us know! We’re looking for someone who can help support the Rowan brand and review yarns, publications and participate on our Facebook page. In return for your time and creativity, you would have enhanced privileges above any consumer.

What Rowan can offer you:

• A yarn pack and colour card sent to you for each season’s launch

• Access to The Brand Manager to give your direct feedback – via specific email address

• Invitations to online meetings and discussions

• An invitation to visit the Rowan Mill

• Yarn to knit your own garment

• Early preview of collections

Still interested?

Send in an image of you wearing your latest Rowan knit and 100 words on why you would be a perfect Rowanette/Rowanet to our mail@knitrowan.com

Deadline for all entries to be in is 28th September 2012.

We’ll be selecting a shortlist of candidates, and successful people will be contacted during September and sent through a more detailed brief. Keep an eye on http://www.knitrowan.com and our Facebook page for further information.

We hope to hear from you soon!

The Rowan Team

New Products

One Scoop of Mint Chip, Please!


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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

Mint Chip Pom Pom Hat Natural Wool and Alpaca by Knits for Life
Mint Chip Pom Pom Hat in Natural Wool and Alpaca by Knits for Life.

(Somebody! Ooo! Somebody! Ooo! Somebody who loves me!)

Mint Chip Pom Pom Hat and Fingerless Gloves Set in Natural Wool and Alpaca by Knits for Life
Mint Chip Pom Pom Hat and Fingerless Gloves Set, in Natural Wool and Alpaca, by Knits for Life.

(Somebody! Ooo! Somebody! Ooo! To hold me in his arms, Oh!)

Mint Chip Fingerless Gloves in Natural Wool and Alpaca by Knits for Life
Mint Chip Fingerless Gloves, in Natural Wool and Alpaca, by Knits for Life.
(Dontcha wanna dance! Say you wanna dance! Dontcha wanna dance!)
Mint Chip Pom Pom Hat and Fingerless Gloves set instagram by Knits for Life
Follow @KnitsForLife on Instagram to see photos of my process and inspiration. Soon I’ll upgrade my 3GS, I promise!
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
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

Can we make a living crocheting?


Lately I’ve been thinking about what direction I want to take Knits for Life. When I chose a graduate school, I learned that the hardest decisions to make are a choice between many good choices. Ever day I find a new direction I could take my fiber art adventures. Exhilarating! …Overwhelming. Definitely cause for research and introspection.

Enter twitterverse. I chanced upon a podcast between two crafty superstars that was as enjoyable as joining two friends for tea, Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod and Stacey Trock of FreshStitches. They break down what it takes to make a living crocheting right down to the dollar and the minute. I learned that I’m doing what it takes, but Stacy has spent much time researching how her market works and what it means to her business. Lucky for you and me, she shares what she’s learned in the podcast in clear, simple way.

Crochet and amigurumi expert, Stacey at FreshStitches.
Crochet and amigurumi expert, Stacey at FreshStitches.

So grab your favorite cuppa, pop in the headphones, and click the play button in the middle of the screen at this link: http://www.craftypod.com/2012/08/11/craftypod-2-0-making-a-sustainable-living-in-pattern-design-with-stacey-trock/

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