General, Life Updates, Uncategorized

Spring is finally here!

I’m so excited that Spring is finally starting to show up here. My redbud trees are blooming out and are looking better than last year. Hopefully my dogwood will start blooming out soon too.

With the arrival of Spring comes the outdoor activities that tend to interrupt my knitting. For example, last weekend we had a family Jeep invasion down at Robber’s Cave. Did I take my knitting with me? Yes I did. Did I accomplish much knitting? No I did not. I also had envisioned finishing up a new pattern that I wanted to publish this week as well, but alas that also did not happen.

Also, a new adventure that we are taking on as a family that will slightly impact my knitting time (though it will no doubt create some amazing places you can knit photos) is kayaking. We bought three kayaks for our family and are looking forward to some fun adventures on the water. Also, if anyone has any recommendations for excellent dry bags for my knitting pass those along! My kayak has a “water proof” storage, but I don’t know how much I trust that.

Here is a picture of the kayaks for my daughter (orange) and myself (green) on top of the hubby’s Jeep.

I’m working this week and this weekend on finishing up the pattern for a new brioche cowl (very basic and beginner friendly) that I intend to release for free in my Ravelry shop, hopefully next week (fingers crossed). Keep an eye out for that.

Other items on my to do list for spring is to get my design studio cleaned out and cleaned up. I have some major decluttering and organizing ahead of me for that. Right now it looks like two tornados hit it! Once I get it organized I have a lot of ideas for decorating the walls to make it a really creative and inspiring place.

I have so many ideas and plans for my fiber arts passion, there is a lot of planning and work going on behind the scenes here. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in the fiber arts world.

Right now I am tied up in brioche knitting. I am working on a hat and cowl set for my daughter, and I started a second colorful hat just because.

Keep an eye out for two free patterns to be released as soon as I can get the pattern writing wrapped up. I also have a sweater pattern that is in the middle of the design process and a tunic/tank design that is at the beginning of the design process. I’m super excited for these patterns and cannot wait to share them with you!

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

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Pattern Design, Promotions, Published Design

Monthly Discounted Pattern: Lagertha Cowl

I’m going to be honest, I want people to knit my designs. I’m pretty sure that is one of the goals of all knit designers. Another honest moment, I started this pattern design journey but then I got away from the typing the patterns, taking the photos, and publishing the patterns. Sometimes life gets crazy and you have to let some things slide.

However, I am working my way back into it. I have three designs that I am working on typing up and editing. In the meantime I have a goal/desire to encourage more knitters to knit my patterns. I did some brainstorming and came up with the idea of offering one of my published patterns each month at a discounted price.

This offer starts today. For the entire month of April 2019, I am offering my Lagertha Cowl pattern 40% off.

You do not need a code to get the discount. All you have to do is add the pattern to your cart to get the discount. The promotion will run from April 1st through the 30th.

I’m very proud of this particular design and I wear it often in the fall and winter. The pattern features lace and garter sections which knit up quiet squishy and cozy.

For the sample I used Malabrigo sock yarn in complementary colorways. The lace sections are knit in Botichelli Red and the garter sections are knit in Eggplant. I absolutely love how this turned out!

I really hope you will check this pattern out and give it a knit! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me on Ravelry (JessieLynn) or via email (jessknitsdesigns@gmail.com). I’d love to hear from you.

Tag me in your photos on instagram (@jess_knits) so I can see your beautiful Lagertha cowls!

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

Finished Projects, General, Knit Designers I love to knit

Finished Project: Lamina Wrap

It seems like it takes me forever to finish a project, especially sweaters and shawls. Well, I finally finished this beautiful wrap!

The pattern is Lamina Wrap by Ambah O’Brien. I’ve linked the pattern in case anyone is interested in it. Ambah is one of my favorite knit designers for shawls and wraps! Her patterns are beautiful and enjoyable to knit. Especially when you pair them up with your favorite yarns!

For this wrap I used Madelintosh Twist Light in the Himiko colorway for the contrasting garter stripes. I used House of A La Mode sock yarn in the Dewey colorway for the lace sections. I love how the two colors paired together turned out.

You can see my Ravelry project page with progress photos and notes on my Dewey Wrap project.

Finished Projects, Knit Designers I love to knit

My Go To Hat Pattern

Lets talk about knitted hats for a minute. I love a good hat pattern, bonus if it’s one I can knit on without having to have the pattern in front of me at all times.

A hat project is just the right size for lunch break and travel knitting. If the pattern calls for sock or fingering weight yarn you can easily fit it in a super cute project bag and carry it with you to all the places! Hat projects are also good for using up partial or leftover skeins of yarn.

I love all kinds of hat patterns, stranded, cabled, interesting construction techniques…. the possibilities are endless!

That being said, I want to share my go to easy knitting hat pattern. This pattern was written by one of my favorite pattern designers… Andrea Mowery creator and designer behind Drea Renee Knits. The pattern is called Harlow.

This hat pattern is knitted using the Brioche stitch. Now before you throw your hands up and declare that Brioche is too hard….I promise you can do this! Andrea provides links in the pattern to her amazing tutorial videos she posted on her YouTube channel where she demonstrates both brioche stitches for knit and purl and how to perform the decrease stitches for right and left slating decreases. You can find her YouTube channel HERE. She has great tutorial videos on a wide variety of cast on techniques and different knit stitches.

I know brioche can be intimidating, I had previously attempted to learn brioche a few times before I came across this particular pattern. I even bought a few brioche shawl patterns in the hopes of someday being able to actually knit brioche. Then I found Harlow. I loved everything about this pattern. It is unisex, I’ve knitted a couple hats for my husband with this pattern. It can be knit in two colors or a single color. It works well both with variegated and solid color yarns. It can be knit with leftover sock yarns. It is also reversible giving you two different looking hats if you knit it with two contrasting colors.

I’ve knitted several of these hats, and I have plans to knit several more. Once you get the brioche stitch down, it becomes a breeze! This pattern is just the right size for travel or lunch break knitting at work. It is also excellent for “places you can knit” pictures.

Knitting Harlow hat in the mountains in Colorado
Knitting with a view!

I really do love this pattern and how the end product turns out. Literally as I am working on this post, I finished one Harlow hat (see the last photo in the post) and immediately cast on for another one for my daughter. I highly recommend this pattern if you love hats, if you love brioche, if you want to learn brioche! It is very well written and Andrea provides so much support and information on how to do the stitches. I really feel like this pattern is a good beginner pattern for those who want to learn brioche knitting. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

The finished Harlow hat I was knitting on in the mountains
My most recent Harlow hat fresh off the needles. Used leftover sock yarn from a shawl.

After knitting all of these hats, and falling in-love with the Brioche stitch, I now understand when Stephen West (another amazing knit designer) said “Brioche All The Things!”

~Happy Knitting~

Jess

My Reviews

My Work Backpack Review

In this blog post I want to talk about work bags. I am a Surpervisor of an IT Project Managemebt Office. I have four project manager positions that I am responsible for overseeing their day to day work on projects. I carry several items back and forth betweem work and home every day. I have gone through numerous work bags over the years in an attempt to find a good fit for me. I’ve carried tote style bags, messenger style bags, even shoulder bags. This year I decided to give a backpack a try, and I love it! The backpack allows me to distribute the weight across by back on both shoulders.

In my search for the just the right backpack I did a lot of looking on Amazon and reading reviews and looking at reviewer photos. I did not want a backpack that would make me look like a college student, I am well past that phase in my life. I knew I wanted it to be black, and look both professional and cute at the same time.

I finally came across the Koser Laptop Backpack.

It comes in 2 sizes one that will fit a 14.1 inch laptop and one that will fit a 15.6 inch laptop. I opted for the smaller of the two sizes. It’s dimensions are 15.6″x10.45″x6.65″. This size works well for me and fits everything I want to carry to and form work with room to spare.

The backpack has two exterior side pockets and one sizable zip pocket on the front. The interior is a beautiful light blue color with two large slip pockets for laptops and electronics (or magazines and a planner) on the back inside. There are two smaller slip pockets, one of which has a mesh zipper pocket on it. This backpack also has a built in USB port on the outside that you can connect a power bank to on the inside for on the go charging.

Okay, now for my personal thoughts on this backpack. I love it! It holds a lot of items and has room to spare. I really like how it opens at the top like a doctors bag. This makes it so easy to load, view, and retrieve items in your bag.

Here is a run down of everything I carry daily in my bag:

  • My Erin Condren Life Planner in its planner folio
  • 1 Plastic pocket folder to protect loose papers
  • 1 ceramic bowl for my oatmeal I eat in the mornings
  • 1 Erin Condren zippered clutch that contains pens and pencils
  • 1 Travel tissue package
  • 1 Huggies Clutch and Clean travel wipes (these are good for everything!)
  • An extra charge cable for my iPhone
  • A small calculator
  • 2 small spiral notebooks for notes and lists
  • A small knitting project bag for lunch time knittingSometimes I will include my iPad mini and Bluetooth keyboard for working on blog post drafts during lunch. Also, on Mondays I usually will add in any snacks and oatmeal packets that I purchased while grocery shopping to put into my cubicle. I will also occasionally include a magazine to read as well depending on my mood that week.
  • As you can see everything fits nicely in this bag and there is still some room to add additional items. Right now I don’t really keep much in the side or exterior pockets at this time.
  • Click here to see the backpack on Amazon.
  • I really hope you enjoyed this review of my Koser Laptop Backpack that I use as my work bag. If you have any questions about the bag please feel free to ask me. Also you have any ideas or suggestions about topics you would like to see me write about please don’t hesitate to send me a comment.
  • I hope you all have a great day! And I will see you again on my next blog post.
  • Jess