The Simple Sweater Knitalong! by jen geigley


Let's knit a sweater ... together! I've written a modern, unisex sweater pattern that's super wearable and fun to knit. To go along with it, I've also made a series of YouTube videos that will show you what to do each step of the way. (So if this is your first sweater ever, you definitely won't be on your own.)

Over the years I've received lots of emails and messages from knitters who want to knit sweaters, but are intimidated by the instructions or aren't sure how the construction works. So I've made YouTube videos that will show you how to check your gauge, knit the set-up row, knit raglan increases, divide the sleeves and body ... all the way to finishing, weaving in ends and blocking your sweater. This raglan pullover fits like your favorite sweatshirt and is knitted in the round from the top down in one piece – my favorite sweater construction, because you can try it on as you go. This pullover uses chunky/bulky Rowan Big Wool on US 11 (8 mm) needles, so it's super quick to knit.

If you're not a beginner knitter, that's totally okay too! If you just want to add a classic pullover to your wardrobe, this KAL is for you.


Ready to start knitting? Find the Simple Sweater Knitalong pattern HERE!

You can find all of my YouTube Simple Sweater Knitalong videos
HERE. (I'm on the road to 1,000 YouTube subscribers, so please click subscribe!)

I love nothing more than seeing your project and progress photos! Please share your photos and knitalong progress on social media using the hashtag #simplesweaterknitalong

Thanks so much (and let's knit some sweaters!)



The Gap-tastic knitalong! by jen geigley


Who is ready for the #gaptasticKAL? We cast on today, February 1st! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand new cozy cowl, fresh off the needles? Here in the Midwest, it’s crucial to our survival during this polar vortex. (But if you’re not quite ready yet or still need to order yarn, no worries - jump in when you’re ready. No rush to finish, but definitely share pics of your progress!)

My friends at StevenBe have a huge Gaptastic section on their website with tons of yarn options that would be perfect for this cowl. (Find everything right here.) Once you have your yarn and needles ready, download the free Gaptastic pattern on Ravelry, then start posting photos on social media starting on February 1 using the hashtag #gaptasticKAL. I can’t wait to see your pics!

Excited to knit along with you!


Favorite things 2019 by jen geigley


These are a few of my favorite things … January 2019 edition! Happy new year to you all and hope you had a happy holiday season. I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite things lately and thought it was a good time to share, so here’s a little visual list of some of the cool things I’ve been loving lately.

First up is Hank’s Pockets. I own these pocket vests in both brown and black and they are the absolute best. I met Hannah (the creator of Hank’s pockets) last year in nyc at Vogue Knitting Live and immediately fell in love with her handmade creations. Get your Hank’s Pockets here and use the coupon code SHAREPOCKETS to recieve 15% off.


My whole family is loving this Everyone Coconut & Lemon lotion this season. It’s bright and fresh and smells fantastic with matricaria flower extract, aloe vera leaf, calendula flower extract, white tea leaf extract and lemon peel oil.


You guys know I wear Vans every single day, right? This pair of Woven Check Slip-Ons will be your new favorite – they’re comfortable and will look cool with every outfit you own. (Are you in the Vans Family? Join to get rewards, free gifts, insider information, exclusive designs and experiences and points from purchases.)

Are you always cold? Try out my new favorite base layer – Heattech from Uniqlo. I love the entire womens’ collection but I really, really love the Heattech from Alexander Wang pieces. (Click this link to get $10 off your first purchase.)

I signed up for The Sketchbook Project this year and you should too! Let this project be your creative kick-start to 2019. Sign-ups end soon, so order your book today! Enter the code NEWPROJECT2019 at checkout to get 20% off.

Guys. Have you still not tried THINX?! These period underwear have changed my life. I’ve been using them for a few years now and will never go back to my old ways. Skeptical? I get it. Try one pair and see what you think. (I bet you’ll love them.) My personal favorites are the the hip hugger, the cotton brief and the boy short. And if you have tween/teenaged girls, check out THINX (BTWN)! Get $10 off your order with my referral link.


Is your regular lip balm not cutting it this winter? Try Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15. This best-seller is famous for its ultra-nourishing and protective benefits, sublime texture, and citrus flavor.

I have a new favorite pair of jeans! Check out Uniqlo’s High Rise Cigarette Jean – you won’t be sorry. (Use this link to get $10 off your $75 order!)


And last but not least, I have to include my brand new Knitting Planner in my list! I’ve been working on this baby for awhile now, so I’m super excited to see it in print. It includes project planning pages, brainstorming pages, lists, knitter's graph paper, beautiful photos and more. It also functions as a day-to-day planner with monthly and weekly pages with plenty of room for writing and/or bullet journaling. This planner will give you a place to record all your important knitting information, like the measurements of friends and family and yarn requirements for projects you want to knit. It’s 6x9" and has 240 pages awaiting your notes and ideas, perfect for throwing into your knitting bag.

And that’s my list! I hope you enjoyed it because I had lots of fun putting it together. What’s on your list of favorite things this year?

** The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. **

The Knitting Planner by jen geigley


I’m super excited to share something I’ve been working on for a long time. I’ve always wanted a knitting planner … a place for my sketches and knitting project planning, but a space to keep track of my daily life stuff too.


Introducing … The Knitting Planner. A planner just for knitters!

Plan and organize your life … and your knit life! The Knitting Planner is a must-have for any knitter or knitwear designer and includes project planning pages, brainstorming pages, lists, knitter's graph paper and more. In addition to providing pages to plan and record projects, The Knitting Planner functions as a day-to-day planner with monthly and weekly pages with plenty of room for writing and/or bullet journaling.

The Knitting Planner will give you a place to record all your important knitting information, like the measurements of friends and family and yarn requirements for projects you want to knit. At 6 x 9", this planner is the perfect size to throw into your knitting bag and with 240 pages awaiting your notes, dreams and ideas, you'll fall in love with this planner and knitting companion.

You can find it here. (I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!)

Happy knitting!
xo - Jen

New favorite knitting gadget ... the Knitter's Pride Row Counter Ring by jen geigley


I love knitting gadgets, but I love them even more when they are super functional and help me be more productive. This is quite possibly my most favorite knitting tool ever – a row counter ring from Knitter’s Pride. You can wear it on any finger, but I find it very comfortable and easy to access on my thumb. (I got the size 7, which fits both my ring finger and my thumb.) It comes in four sizes so you can find the perfect fit for you.


I was working on my fleegle heel on my Flourite socks last night and this row counter ring was a lifesaver. I normally count rows in the most old-fashioned way possible … stopping after each row to make tally marks on a post-it note. I still forget to mark my rows down half the time, especially when I’m trying to zip through a bunch of short rows. But this ring made such a difference – it’s right there in front of me and it’s super easy to ‘click’ to the next number. And the numbers stay in place – they won’t accidentally slide around while you work. Just gently push inward toward the center to move to the next number. I love not having to set my work down. Just keep knitting!

I definitely think this should be on every knitter’s holiday wish list! Find more info about the Knitter’s Pride row counter ring here. Available from your local yarn shop or favorite online retailer.

Disclaimer: I received a free row counter ring from Knitter’s Pride and in return I wrote this honest review. All opinions are my own.

Bento: the basics by jen geigley

harry potter mario bento.JPG

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might already know the bento is back! This year I'm back to packing school lunches for my two kids (after a short hiatus.) And I'm having so much fun. Last week, I made these Harry Potter and Mario-themed lunches for their first day. And after I posted this pic on social media, I got a TON of questions!

So, I'd like to share my favorite, most-used bento supplies right here ... and a few things that I bought over the years and haven't used very often. Let's take a look.

(Disclaimer: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. All opinions are my own.)


First up! Silicone baking cups. I use these for every single lunch I pack! They make perfect containers for fruits, veggies, small crackers, slices of cheese ... practically anything. And the flat silicone shapes are baran food dividers. I use these to divide a lunchbox section into two parts, especially if I have a wet food next to a dry food. (Find the cups here and here. Find the star/moon set here. Find the baran/dividers here.)


The most adorable and irresistible bento accessory in the world are these little plastic food picks. Use them to decorate sandwiches, fruits, cheese, veggies ... they are adorable and inexpensive and are so fun to use.  (Find these here.)


I bought a few new food picks to use this year because I couldn't help myself. Some of these are too 'cute' for my sixth grade daughter but my son is in first grade and is STOKED about these. (Find these and more here.)


Sandwich cutters! This pic does not show what these do very well at all, but basically the outer shape cuts an outline into the bread, like a cookie cutter. Then you take off the top shape and 'stamp' a more detailed, 3D image onto the top piece of your sandwich. I have used these a million times over the years for Lo's lunches. Tiny bunny sandwiches!


And that's why I bought one more set this year that was a little bit more boy-themed for my son. Pop a few of these little sandwiches into a lunch box and you're set! Sometimes these fit better inside bento boxes than a regular square sandwich too. (FInd them here.)


Here's a supply I bet you already have! I use cookie cutters and metal fruit/veggie cutters constantly. They are easy and fast and make your food look super cool. I use them to cut sandwiches, cucumbers, carrots, cheese, deli meat, fruit leather ... the possibilities are endless. (Find my favorite IKEA metal animal cookie cutters here.)


If you happen to have a hard-boiled egg lover in your house, egg shapers are extremely fun. I have one kid who loves eggs and one kid who won't touch them. (Of course!) These molds definitely work best on small to medium-sized eggs. If your eggs is too large, egg white will smush out the sides and your shape won't turn out very well. (Find these here.)


To use these, you just boil an egg like you would normally. Then peel it while it's still hot. (Not so hot that you burn your fingers, but you want it to be pretty warm.) Put the peeled egg inside the mold and clip the sides shut for about five minutes or so. I make about six at a time and store them in the fridge for a week. (Find Star Wars egg shapers here!)


I like to avoid using zip-lock bags if I can and these reusable snack bags are the perfect replacement. They aren't totally waterproof though, so they are best for sandwiches and crackers or other dry foods. I love throwing these in my purse, too. (Find the blue/orange set here and the Mario bags here.)


Hold me closer, tiny boxes! You can pretty much find these anywhere or just use your smallest kitchen containers with lids. I use these all the time when I want to throw in some extra carrots or grapes or strawberries ... sometimes it's nice to keep the wet things separate in a leak-proof container and these little guys do the trick. (Find tons of them here.)


Okay ... now on to my least-used supplies. (This part is kind of sad, because these boxes are ADORABLE and some of the first lunch boxes I ever bought.) Boxes like these are tricky for a few reasons. They are very shallow, can be more difficult to pack because foods have to stay very flat, and the sections have to be stacked perfectly to keep the food from falling out. (The sections of these boxes don't really snap together at all ... they just sit on top of each other.) These boxes come with a strap (which has been misplaced) but even that didn't always keep the three sections from falling apart. The cute top section is meant for silverware and is very shallow, so there's not a whole lot of space in the compartments below for kids with an appetite. BUT they are adorable, so if you love these, go for it! (You can find similar boxes here.)


Here's another adorable type of box! But beware of any boxes with these tiny clips on the sides. They break really easily.


Now THESE boxes have stood the test of time. They might be 6+ years old and still are probably my favorites. Sistema lunch boxes come in a ton of sizes and shapes, and they all have these awesome heavy-duty clips that keep the box sealed really nicely, but they are still easy for kids to open. I have never had one of these clips break. These boxes also hold a nice amount of food. (Find a huge selection of Sistema here.)


This super sweet random box is another favorite of mine! Again, it has the strong side clips (on all four sides.) And that blue divider inside slides back and forth so you can move it wherever you want, which is awesome. I love Star Wars and I love this box! (I'm not sure this box is available anymore, but there are similar ones here and here.)


More lunch boxes! This year, Cat and Jack for Target came out with bento boxes (yay) and lunch bags (double yay) and I have been LOVING them so far. These are the perfect size for elementary kids, have sturdy clips on all four sides of the lid and the boxes fit perfectly in their bags with enough room for ice packs and a juice box. The bags also have an outer sleeve to hold a water bottle. They are just fantastic.


Another fave of mine are these rad boxes from Bentology. If you really don't want your lunch to spill all over the place, these containers will do the job. (Sometimes I only use a couple of the lids, depending on what I'm packing.) I love these colors so much too. I got the raspberry/blue set and the night/pear set. So modern and cool. These also have a nice narrow space on the side for silverware or a napkin. These outer boxes can be a bit tricky for kids to open, but if you practice at home first they will get the hang of it.


These fit perfectly in the Bentology lunch bags, which I also love (and like the Cat and Jack bags, they too have a side compartment for a water bottle, which is so smart.) These boxes and bags are almost the same size as the Cat and Jack ones, so you could put a Bentology box inside a Cat and Jack lunch bag.


If you're wondering where I learned all of this, check out the book 'Everyday Bento' by my friend Wendy Copley of Wendolonia. I've followed her and her lunches online for years and everything I know I learned from her. (Get this book.) Another favorite? Bento USA. (But beware ... you'll want everything you see there. Don't say I didn't warn you.)


And there you have it – some of my favorite and most-used bento boxes and supplies that I have collected over the years. Do you need all this stuff? Absolutely not. You can totally start with what you have – all you really need is a knife, containers with with plastic lids, maybe a few cookies cutters and your imagination! Can't wait to share more throughout the school year – let me know if you have any questions!

(Want to see more? Read my other bento posts.)

Love + Leche by jen geigley


A couple of years ago, I tried Love + Leche lotion bars and they quickly became one of my very favorite things. As a knitter/crafter/mom, lotion bars are the perfect daily solution for my dry hands. There are lots of things to love about Love + Leche, a farm fresh and woman-owned company that makes all-natural handmade moisturizing bars, so I was excited to try out their new Little Bee beeswax lotion bars. They are absolutely delightful (and adorable.)


Little Bee bars are the perfect size for travel, your knitting bag, your purse … they’ll even fit right into your pocket. I’m actually packing my weekend bag right now for a road trip, and yup - you guessed it. My Little Bee bar is definitely going into the bag.


(And also into my knitting bag.)


Little Bee lotion bars are available in Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Lavender-Mint, Citrus-Rose, Lavender, Lavender-Rosemary and Unscented. I have tried both the Cedarwood and Lavender scents, and they smell so lovely when they’re on your skin. I’m a big fan of essential oils, so natural scents plus a beeswax lotion bar are truly the best of both worlds. (Is it weird to deeply inhale and enjoy the smell of your hands all day? I don’t think so.)


I own the full-sized lotion bar in Lemongrass, which is also quite lovely. I’ve included a pic here of the original lotion bar (left) alongside the new Little Bee bars (right) so you can see the size difference. Each Little Bee bar comes with a reusable tin, which I love.

Take a look at the gorgeous hand-poured reliefs of these bars. I just love those little bee designs. They are truly a joy to hold in your hand and they radiate a gorgeous, natural golden honey color. Pure local beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil infused with locally-grown certified organic calendula flowers, essential oils are the only things that go into these products.


And they’re not just for hands! You can use Little Bee lotion bars on your lips, dry elbows and feet … wherever you need some extra TLC. Your body temperature softens the oils and beeswax and your skin will feel replenished and deeply moisturized. Need a cool gift for a knitter in your life, or anyone really? Check out their gift sets and other awesome products. Try them all, or share with a friend.

So, you're ready to give Love + Leche a try, right? Well, I have a super sweet deal for you!

Get a FREE Little Bee Lotion Bar ($8 value)
with a $25 minimum order when you enter
the coupon code 'JenGeigley' at checkout.
(Expires 7/31/18)

Awesome, right? Treat yourself to an all-natural lotion bar or balm and say goodbye to dry hands. Enter the coupon code above, hit the 'Apply Coupon' button and you're all set. Also, follow Love + Leche on Facebook if you have a sec. You'll love their beautiful photos.

also! click the button below to sign up for a
giveaway from Love + Leche! (Ends 7/31/18)

A huge thank you to Love + Leche for letting me try out the Little Bee lotion bars and for the awesome coupon for my blog friends. Enjoy!

(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.)

One of my new favorite things ... by jen geigley


Check out this multi-purpose silicone project caddy, made by Lazadas! Have you ever seen anything so cool? Closed, it’s a project bag … open, it becomes a yarn bowl. It’s made of 100% odorless silicone and has a really nice feel to it. It’s lightweight and waterproof, and if you happen to spill anything on it – ahem, coffee? – it’s super easy to wipe clean. It stays open nicely and folds shut easily as well. (Read to the end for a coupon code!)


The use of silicone for this bag/yarn bowl is genius - it’s flexible, durable and super smooth, so no snagging or pilling. It’s available in three super bright colors – teal, hot pink and electric violet. (I love them all.)


Let’s take a look at how this thing works. First of all, it’s the perfect size. Not too huge but definitely not too small. It’s 10 inches in diameter, 5 inches deep and even my biggest needles and super bulky yarn easily fit inside.


There are four holes on this bag, two on each side. These holes have a couple of different uses. You can poke your needles through from the inside to the outside, keeping your stitches from slipping off. Or you can thread your yarn(s) through from the inside to the outside, preventing them from becoming tangled as you knit.


You can also just let your yarn come out of the larger openings on the sides. (This bag is really versatile.) I love the design of the handle too – it’s a loop that fits through a slit on the front of the bowl to keep it closed. If you are a knitter on the go or like to knit while walking, this caddy is a must-have. I’ve never tried anything that’s easier or more comfortable to carry while you work.


I’m a big fan and I'm definitely going to be carrying this project bag/bowl everywhere, starting right now. Want a yarn bowl project caddy of your own? Find them here, pick your color and enter the coupon code JENKNITS10 at checkout to get 10% off through May 31, 2018!

Happy knitting!
xx - Jen


The Special by jen geigley


“One day, a talented lass or fellow, a Special one with face of yellow, will make the Piece of Resistance found from it's hiding refuge underground. And with a noble army at the helm, this Master Builder will thwart the Kragle and save the realm, and be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times.

All of this is true, because it rhymes.”

Every so often, I feel inspired to write down our life stories. And every time the month of April comes around, I feel it’s important to document the autism stories. Today (April 2) is World Autism Awareness Day. This is our unique story, because every person with autism is different. (And that's what makes this world a beautiful place.)

Autism Awareness Day happens to be very close to the date my son Bowie was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder three years ago and when this day approaches every year, I can’t help but feel all the feelings. I often think back to those very first days of knowing our little boy had autism and what life was like at our house then.


The thing that immediately comes to mind from that time period is Emmet. 'The Special' ... the main character in the Lego Movie. When Bowie was 3 years old, the Lego Movie became his first major interest … and borderline obsession. Like most kids who fall in love with a movie, he wanted to watch it over and over again. And if you sat next to him while he was watching, you’d see his lips moving. He wasn’t a clear speaker whatsoever at this age but you could tell that he knew every single word. You could see it in his eyes; the way he concentrated, focused and listened. He was memorizing the whole movie.

We watched him do it.

He’d try to speak along with the characters as best he could, and he'd fit those sounds in ... in perfect unison. He wanted to get those words out. He knew every inflection. He’d copy the facial expressions. In no time at all, he had all of the dialogue completely memorized. And every single action too. He’d stand near the t.v. and perfectly act out every movement Emmet made. Every jump, turn, kick … everything. He could do it without looking. He could copy the characters’ movements perfectly, exactly on time while listening to the movie from another room. Our whole family became mesmerized watching Bowie watch this movie. None of us had ever seen anything like it.


So we all tried to memorize the movie too. He would talk to us in Lego Movie quotes (this is common with ASD and is called echolalia) and we’d respond back.

“Jumping Jacks, him them! 1, 2, 3. I am so pumped up!”

“Today shall now be known as Freedom Friday... but still on a Tuesday!”

“Croissants? I love croissants!”

“Honey, where are my paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaants?”

He was practicing his language. And we participated in the practice, because it was working. The Lego Movie gave him the confidence to speak. This movie was a BIG deal to him. It was funny, it was engaging. And we knew it was helping. During Bowie’s toddler years, Bo and I honestly did not know if Bowie would ever learn how to talk. He babbled. He didn’t say ‘mama’ or ‘dada’. If he was super into something that seemed to help bring out his speech, we were ready to dive in head-first.


Predictably, the Emmet Lego mini figure (or mini-fig) soon entered our lives. When we found Lego Movie Lego sets in the store, we had to buy one. As soon as we brought the Lego set home, that Emmet mini figure was in the palm of Bowie’s tiny hand.

And Bowie didn’t let Emmet go for the next two years.


He took Emmet everywhere. He held Emmet in his hand while he slept. He would cry uncontrollably in sheer panic if he dropped him or if the plastic hair fell off or if Emmet lost a hand. We had to dig for Emmet in muddy, slushy snow. Once, Emmet fell into a sewer. Bowie would carry Emmet on bike rides with Bo and yell out if he had dropped him along the way so they could turn back. We’d spend hours searching for a lost Emmet around the house. And while I completely understand that most kids do this and get attached to a certain toy or stuffed animal, this was different. A whole new level that I had never seen or experienced before. Losing Emmet could bring Bowie down to a crashing halt … for entire week. Or longer. ASD kids can be an extremely sensitive, emotional bunch and we got a crash-course on how completely devastating an Emmet mishap could be.


We quickly realized we needed replacement Emmets. So we bought our first three-pack on Amazon. This was great because I figured I'd have an easier time keeping the Emmets clean and could carry back-ups in my purse or in our car … whew. But then we realized each Emmett figure came with different facial expressions or features. Some had a red hat, others had the brown hair. One had brown hair and a red hat. And some of them just looked too ‘new’. Bowie would only find certain Emmets acceptable and he really just wanted his old one that had some of the graphics rubbed off (from never letting him go.) He’d stare at each Emmet, turn them around in his hand studying every tiny part of them and then decide if they made the cut or not. Luckily, he became a little bit more flexible with the different Emmets over time and each of these little guys eventually got their turn as the favorite.

By this time, Bowie had started 3-year-old preschool. His teachers quickly learned that Emmet was coming to school with Bowie and would be in his hand all day. I think they eventually worked out a system where Emmet could stay in Bowie’s cubbie while he did school work but that was a process. Even the receptionists in the school office knew about Emmet and if he was ever left behind at school, I could go to the office to pick him up and our little Lego guy would be sitting on the top of the office computer screen, waiting patiently.


Bowie finished his first year in preschool and went on to 4-year-old preschool. He made great strides. Progress was slow but steady and we were thrilled to see what he was capable of. He had his struggles but was doing well with his numbers, colors, shapes, alphabet and could write his name. He was also becoming an incredible artist.


By the end of that second year of preschool, Bowie didn’t need Emmet anymore. (It almost makes me cry to type that.) As kids do, he moved on. Sometimes he’d carry a train, a turtle or a dinosaur to school instead and by the time summer rolled around, he didn’t need to always have something in his hand.

Emmet really was 'The Special'. For Bowie. And for our family. Emmet was there for us during that important, sometimes rocky, new autism phase. He was there for Bowie too.

And Emmet taught us some really good things. Quite frankly, he left all of us with some fantastically inspirational messages that will remain ingrained into our brains and lives forever.

Bowie recently started watching the Lego Movie again and to no one’s surprise, he still knows all the words.

Like these.

“You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are The Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it's also true. It's about all of us. Right now, it's about you, and you still can change everything.”


Ra-Ra-Rafia from Wool and the Gang (and get 15% off!) by jen geigley


Have you seen the new Ra-Ra-Rafia yarn from Wool and the Gang? I'm completely obsessed. I need to make every single one of these projects.


There are about a million reasons to love Ra-Ra Raffia, our superstar yarn that's made of 100% long wood fibre. Biodegradable and vegan, Ra-Ra Raffia will add a little structure to your next project, making it the perfect fiber for summer hats, bags and home accessories. Plus, Ra-Ra Raffia is water-repellent and quick-drying, so you can even bring her to the beach for some sand-filled adventures.


Clutches, bags, hats, a plant hanger and more ... you've gotta see these project kits for yourself.  Ra-Ra Raffia yarn comes in 4 natural shades - Cinnamon Dust, Ivory White, Desert Palm and Midnight Blue.

Shop at WATG using my affiliate link to get 15% off your order!

Have fun!
xo - Jen