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Hello Lark Blog Readers,

Shibaguyz Headshot for promos 2017We’ve been asked by the FAB folks at Lark Crafts to introduce ourselves and our new monthly column, In Stitches, and now seems to be the perfect time. We are The Shibaguyz… Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby. We’re the author and photographer of Designer Crochet, and Crochet Geometry; two of the hottest Lark Craft books on the shelves (okay… so we might be slightly prejudiced in that assessment).

We present the story of who we are; a story that might be filled with mystery, mayhem, and possibly murder… or perhaps a touch of melodrama and metaphor. It was eight years ago we began our journey from everyday work-about gentlemen to this dynamic craft duo. It all began when Shannon left his 9-5 job to follow his dream of working as his own boss; an aspiration many of you can understand. Although terrifying, it was an exhilarating experience watching him starting this adventure by knitting and crocheting hats, scarves, and garments for craft fairs and private clients. That small-scale side-business quickly morphed into one where he was creating fashion patterns for worldwide magazines and teaching classes, live and online, to hundreds of excited students. Shannon, known for his hearty laugh, no nonsense business savvy, refined attention to detail, and thick head of hair worked long and hard to find success in the crochet and knitting scene. Eight years after founding Shibaguyz Designz he proudly boasts to having over 300 published patterns and nine books – including the Lark Crafts books Designer Crochet, and Crochet Geometry.

Designer Crochet Cover RGB colorCrochet Geometry CoverJason, similarly found his career path altered from regular day-to-day business associate to fashion photographer and graphic designer shortly after Shannon was contracted to produce his first book of garments. With no life experience in fashion photography Jason took it upon himself to learn everything he could about the business. In a few short years he’d became a face to recognize within the crochet and knit crowd, showing an impeccable eye for light, shadow, and movement along with an uncanny ability to understand how fiber responds to the camera. It was only two years after he submitted the photos for their first book that designers and publishers all over the world were asking him to photograph projects for them. Today, Jason works with Sterling/Lark Publishing photographing all of the Shibaguyz’s books while also keeping a handful of portrait clients (two and four legged; he has a soft spot for photographing the animals that share our hearts and homes) around their hometown of Seattle.

Bryce and Kristen Engen WeddingYou might be wondering where the name Shibaguyz came from. Before they became the power couple of the crochet and knitting world they were just Shannon and Jason, a couple of guys from Seattle who shopped at the local farmer’s markets… bringing their dogs with them: Apollo, Atlas, and Dallas—all three Shiba Inu. Considering how cute this breed of dog is, it’s not surprising that the vendors in the markets got to know the dogs better than the guys, “Hey! You’re those guys with the Shibas”. The name stuck; now they are the guyz from Shibaguyz Designz, Shibaguyz Photography, and Life With The Shibaguyz.

That’s where we came from. Where we’re headed is even more exciting! Stay tuned here because there’s a lot of really cool stuff coming down the pipeline from us, including a big reveal from Lark Crafts in the months to come. We’re so excited to have our books published by Lark Crafts and look forward to sharing some behind the scenes look into our studio and how we created our books as well as some tutorials to help sharped up your hook skills. Stay tuned… you’ll be hearing more from us in the very near future. Until then…

Stitch On!
Shannon and Jason

 
 
 
 
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Free Project: Kinterra Cowl by Carol J. Sulcoski

November 10, 2016, 15:32 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

KinterraCowl copySelf-striping yarn is increasingly popular with crafters, but many knitters lack the knowledge to work with the yarn effectively. Carol Sulcoski’s latest book, Self-Striping Yarn Studio (Order Here >> B&N, Amazon, IndieBound), begins with a comprehensive technical section that explains how to use and manipulate self-striping yarn, something no previous pattern collection has offered. After reading the accessible instructions and tips, knitters will be inspired to cast on one of 24 new and original designs. Get a taste of what this book has to offer with this free pattern, not included in the book!

button2Kinterra Cowl by Carol J. Sulcoski
Skill Level: Easy

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Approx 81″/206cm long by 6 1⁄2″/16.5cm wide after blocking

 

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

  • Black Bunny Fibers Stripey Sock (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon; 3 1⁄2 oz/100g = 450yd/411m); 1 skein color perky rainbow (A)—approx 400yd/366m of self-striping fingering weight yarn superfine
  • Kraemer Yarns Rachel (100% superwash merino; 3 1⁄2 oz/100g = 425yd/389m); 1 skein color natural (B)—approx 400yd/366m of solid fingering weight yarn superfine
  • Knitting needles: 3.25mm (size 3 U.S.) needles or size to obtain gauge
  • Tapestry needle

 

GAUGE
Approx 28 sts/32 rows = 4″/10cm in Stockinette stitch, before blocking.
Gauge is not essential for this project.

Note: Carry color not in use along edge to avoid breaking yarn.

 

INSTRUCTIONS
First Section:

With yarn A, CO 50 sts. Purl 1 row.

Row 1: With yarn A, k3, yo, k2tog, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, yo, k3.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat these 2 rows using yarn A.

Change to yarn B and work these 2 rows twice more.

Repeat these 8 rows until cowl measures 27″/68.5cm and ending with Row 8.

Second Section:

Cont in the same manner, working 6 rows in A and 2 rows in B until cowl measures 54″/137cm.

 Third Section:

Cont in same manner, working 2 rows in A and 2 rows in B until cowl measures 81″/206cm.

BO all sts, leaving long tail for seaming.

 

FINISHING

Weave in all ends except long tail for seaming, and block.

Sew CO edge to BO edge.

Note: If you wish, you can seam the cowl; give the cowl a twist and then seam it for a mobius effect; or leave the cowl unseamed and wear as a scarf—knitter’s choice!

 

Self Striping Yarn StudioABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol J. Sulcoski is a knitwear designer, writer, hand dyer, and teacher. Her books include Sock Yarn Studio (Lark), Lace Yarn Studio (Lark), Knit So Fine (Interweave), and Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns (Interweave). Carol’s work has also appeared in such magazines as Vogue Knitting, KnitSimple, Interweave Knits, KnitScene, and Noro Magazine. Carol’s hand-dyed yarns can be purchased at blackbunnyfibers.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Curried Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

November 07, 2016, 12:30 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

We here at Lark Crafts believe a well-made meal is an art form of its own, so today we turn to our sister imprint, Sterling, for some food inspiration! And what better way to celebrate fall than with this beautiful, savory apple and butternut squash soup from Superfood Soups by rock star chef, Julie Morris. The book showcases 100 of Julie’s favorite soup recipes, all of which deliver more than “just” delicious flavors, aromas, and textures. Featuring vegetables, mineral-rich tubers, fiber-filled whole grains and legumes, and protein-packed seeds and nuts, each recipe makes the most of every bowl.

CURRIED APPLE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUPCurried Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Apples and squash go hand-in-hand as BFFs (best flavor friends)…and of course curry makes everything just a little better. This is a wonderfully complex soup you’re bound to make time and time again.

 

 

 

Makes about 6 cups/4 servings.

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet apple (such as Fuji), diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 lbs butternut squash—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups Miso Broth
  • 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp dulse flakes
  • ¼ cup dried goji berries
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • ½ sweet apple, shaved thin, for garnish

 

1. Warm the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apple and ginger, and cook 1 minute longer. Add the butternut squash, broth, curry paste, dulse flakes, goji berries, turmeric, and lime juice and mix well. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.

2. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender. Puree until very smooth, and then pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining soup mixture, and return the batches to the soup pot.

3. Stir in ⅔ cup coconut milk and gently warm over low heat for 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired. To serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with additional coconut milk, and garnish with a few apple shavings.

Superfood Soups CoverPurchase your copy at any of the following retailers!

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

IndieBound

 

 
 
 
 
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If you’re a jewelry designer and are looking to make a first entry into establishing your own business, check out designer Emilie Shapiro’s How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line (Get your copy here >> B&N, Amazon, IndieBound). And guess what!? You can enter to win one of seven copies in our Goodreads giveaway right now!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line by Emilie Shapiro

How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line

by Emilie Shapiro

Giveaway ends November 11, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

From the Introduction:

EmilieShapiroI have found the majority of people in the jewelry industry—and most industries—to be very secretive when it comes to sharing trade insights, contacts, best practices, and trials and errors of their own path. After getting loads of questions about this from my students, I decided to teach a lecture-style class about jewelry production. The response was overwhelming.

Through years of experience holding many different jobs in diverse facets of the jewelry industry, I have learned from my mistakes and accomplishments and have applied all those lessons to building my own company. In writing this book, my goal is to share the insights I have gained with aspiring designers to help them become successful jewelry designers and business owners. I am extremely proud to be writing this book, and to make this information available to a large audience.

JewelryLineI have always had a knack for design and business, but it took me many years to develop the skills and the patience of a craftsperson. From my earliest days, I was interested in designing and creating things. My father worked in sales at a fabric mill in New York City’s garment district, so fabric samples in all sorts of patterns were always available in my playroom. I have fond memories of wandering the sample floor high above Eighth Avenue and learning about color and texture. When I was five, I loved designing and making clothes for my dolls. Using my (not-so) safety scissors, I would cut up my fabric to make outfits for my dolls.

I made my first piece of jewelry when I was thirteen and haven’t stopped since then. After my grandmother passed away, I found a bag of her costume jewelry. I was always fascinated by how things were made, so I started taking apart my grandmother’s necklaces, bracelets, and brooches and putting them back together in a new way. Focusing on design, rather than construction, I haphazardly assembled my own pieces, but they always fell apart. When I was in high school, I started selling my jewelry to friends, family, and the people who would watch me make it while I was working at a local beach club. My designs were strong, but the craftsmanship was weak.

JewelryLine2Running a jewelry production business is different from being an artist. An artist can focus solely on design and aesthetics. A jewelry entrepreneur must be concerned about the customer’s satisfaction after the purchase. You’re looking to create a piece that will be cherished and passed down from generation to generation.

I didn’t learn this until many years later, but it takes time to hone your craft. It calls for a lifetime of research, discipline, trial and error, and learning from your mistakes. Certain things come naturally to each of us, and certain things have to be learned. Design and business were always strong suits for me. I knew two things: I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to make original pieces that would be treasured for years to come.

 

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents Page 2 Click to Enlarge

Table of Contents Page 2
Click to Enlarge

ContentsPage1

Table of Contents Page 1 Click to Enlarge

 
 
 
 
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Basic Leather Tassel Tutorial

November 02, 2016, 15:03 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

CreativeLeatherJewelry_ccvrLuxurious leather never goes out of fashion, and now Christina Anton, owner of Boo and Boo Factory in Chicago, shows how to use leather to create bold, unique jewelry with a modern, architectural touch in her new book, Creative Leather Jewelry (Get your copy here: B&N, Amazon, IndieBound). The book has 21 projects, including layered fringe earrings, a dangling chain triangle necklace, and a geometric cuff bracelet, that are perfect for beginners and any crafter looking to spark their creativity!

Below, Christina has kindly provided our readers with a free basic tutorial on how to make leather tassels that you can use to dress up any of your projects. If you’re looking for jewelry projects that make use of this tassel, check out the dangle tassel earrings, the geometric tassel necklace, or the leather tassel bracelet all included in the book!

TasselsMaterials


Tools

  • 1 cutting knife
  • Cutting blades
  • 1 cutting mat
  • 1 disappearing fabric marker
  • 1 ruler
  • Cyanoacrylate glue
  • Leather bond glue


Instructions

1. Gather all of the materials and tools listed.

Tassel12. Copy shapes A and B from the template on a separate sheet of paper. Then cut out the shapes using a cutting blade or scissors. Note the pink dotted lines that can be used as a guide when measuring tassel cuts.

3. Place shapes A and B on top of the leather and cut around. Shape A is the leather tassel, and shape B is the loop you can use to attach the finished tassel to your project.

 

 

tassel34. Using a disappearing fabric marker and a ruler, or the pink dashed lines on the template, make small marks along the bottom edge of the back side of the leather at each 1⁄16 inch (1.5 mm). Marking on the back side prevents the marks from showing on the finished side. The 1⁄16-inch (1.5 mm) marks determine the width of each strand of the tassel. Feel free to make the cuts wider or narrower depending on preference.

5. Again working on the back side of the leather, measure down from the top edge 1⁄4 inch (6 mm), and draw a very light line with the disappearing marker. Along this line make 1⁄16-inch (1.5 mm) marks corresponding to the marks made along the bottom edge.

tassel46. With the ruler, cut parallel, straight lines from the top marks to the bottom marks and through the bottom edge. Make sure not to cut all the way to the top.

7. Repeat to create two or more tassels depending on your need. If the guide marks made from steps 4 and 5 are visible, use a cutting blade to scrape them off.

 

 

tassel58. Working on the back side of the leather, align one short end of shape B on the top left edge of the tassel cutout, and use cyanoacrylate glue to adhere. Fold shape B in half to create a loop and glue again. The loop is used to connect the jump ring and ear wire to the tassel. Repeat for the second tassel.

 

 

 

tassel69. On the back side of the leather, spread a narrow band of leather bond glue along the top edge of the tassel cutout stopping 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) from the end. This helps to strengthen the tassel. Hold the top of the loop, and roll tightly to create the tassel. Keep rolling until 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) is left. Add cyanoacrylate glue to the end, and finish rolling. The glue will help keep the tassel from unrolling. Repeat for the second tassel.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Last Minute Decorating Ideas for Halloween

October 28, 2016, 17:24 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

Halloween is nearly upon us! Are you still looking for ideas for your kids or for your own soiree? We have you covered! Check out these two amazing titles for some simple crafts you can do over the weekend.

feltoweencover Barnes & Noble
Amazon
IndieBound

Celebrate the spookiest day of the year by having some crafty fun! The team behind the popular Fa La La La Felt and Heart-Felt Holidays brings you 40 BOO-tiful decorations and costumes for a festive Halloween. Requiring little or no stitching, these felted projects are 100% beginner friendly, including pumpkin candy bags, a huggable vampire stuffy, a creepy crawly wreath, and plenty of ears, headbands, and other wearables for revelers young and old.

ArtfulHalloween

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
IndieBound

These 30+ costume, pumpkin, and home-decorating ideas are not just beautiful–they are scary beautiful. From unique pumpkin decorations to a “blood”-splashed dinner-party centerpiece to a Yard Specter made from two poles, a string of lights, and torn, draped fabric, these creepy but stylish Halloween projects will give your home a spooky, sophisticated look . . . with gothic flair!

 
 
 
 
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Throwback Thursday: Millie Marotta Easter Eggs!

March 17, 2016, 10:00 am  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

The egg-decorating fun doesn’t have to end after the eggs are dyed. Last year, Martha Stewart Online asked Millie Marotta, illustrator of the book Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me , to produce some Easter-themed line drawings for a fun egg decorating project! We’re sharing it with you again so you can take advantage of this free project as you decorate for Easter and Spring this year.

Sources
Durable decoupage finish, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Matte, $10 for 8 oz.

how-to-illustrated-egg-654-d111784_vertMATERIALS
Detail scissors
Matte découpage finish and paintbrush
Dyed eggs
Fine-tipped markers
Coloring-book illustrations

STEPS
1. Download and print out Marotta’s coloring-book illustrations. Cut closely around shapes with detail scissors.

2. For each egg, brush back of drawing with a thin coat of découpage finish. Place illustration where desired on dyed egg; smooth down with your fingers.

3. Let dry 1 hour, then color in design with markers.

 
 
 
 
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New Titles from Sixth & Spring!

March 16, 2016, 15:00 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach
 

The weather is warming up, so now’s the perfect time to get started on summer crafts and activities! Sixth & Spring, our partner in publishing, has some fantastic new books to get you going.

 

Color Odyssey Final CoverColor Odyssey: A Creative Coloring Journey by Chris Garver

From Chris Garver – in-demand tattoo artist, illustrator, and former star of TLCs Miami Ink – comes a richly illustrated coloring book that explores the beauty of nature. Buy it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

 

 

 

9781936096985_ccvrCoverKnitting Ephemera: A Compendium of Articles, Useful and Otherwise, for the Edification and Amusement of the Handknitter by Carol J. Sulcoski

Filled with fun facts and trivia, Knitting Ephemera contains 300 entries covering everything from knitting in history, folklore, and pop-culture to little-known info on wool and sheep. Buy it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

 

9781942021919_ccvr60 Quick Cotton Knits: The Ultimate Collection in Ultra Pima™ from Cascade Yarns® 

Knitters who prefer cotton will embrace this stunning collection, whether it’s because they’re allergic to wool, opposed to using animal fibers, or looking for a lighter material. Pre-order it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

 

 

CoverWee Garter Stitch: Must-Have Knits for Modern Babies and Toddlers by Vickie Howell

From knitting personality Vickie Howell comes an adorable collection of modern baby knits featuring a fresh new take on everyone’s go-to stitch for easy projects. Pre-order it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

 

 

 

Cover - Botanical WonderlandBotanical Wonderland: Fresh Florals to Color and Display by Rachel Reinert

An inviting collection of lush botanical drawings to color, created in mixed-media artist Rachel Reinert’s lovely and distinctive style. Pre-order it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Take a Look Inside WEDDING PAPERCRAFTS

March 15, 2016, 11:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

We can’t wait for the release of our upcoming title Wedding Papercrafts! With spring finally on the horizon, wedding planning season is at its peak, and the beautiful and unique DIY papercrafts included in this book are sure to inspire. See below for a sneak peek of some of the projects included in the book, and preorder your copy here.

 

Paper Wisteria Branches

Designer: Kathryn Godwin

Inspired by beautiful, lush cascades of wisteria vines, this unique backdrop is a statement piece that will add simple elegance to any wedding venue.

Paper Wisteria Branches

 

Cascading Butterflies

Designer: Jessica Fediw

Adorn chairs with a cascade of paper butterflies to make an elegant statement at a wedding reception.

Cascading Butterflies

 

Vintage Wallpaper Envelope Seals

Designer: Valerie Lloyd

Add pretty accents to invitations and thank-you notes with these heart-shaped vintage wallpaper seals.

Vintage Wallpaper Envelope Seals

 

Recycled Book Page Flower

Designer: Kimberly Bart

Recycle old books and give them a new life by making flowers to attach to gift boxes, napkin rings, place settings, and more.

Recycled Book Page Flower

 

Make-Beautiful-Music-Together Centerpiece

Designer: Sandi Genovese

This three-dimensional centerpiece folds flat for convenient storage after the big event, but makes a spectacular display by simply pulling the front cover around to meet the back cover.

Make-Beautiful-Music-Together Centerpiece

 

Starburst Cake Topper

Designer: Brita Vallens

This elegant, shimmering, Art Deco–inspired cake topper adds an extra layer of personalized charm to wedding reception festivities.

Starburst Cake Topper

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Show Us Your Celtic Spirit

March 10, 2016, 10:00 am  Posted by Barbara Berger
 

COVER 9781454918950_cvr4 FrontWith St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to unwind and celebrate the holiday by coloring beautiful Celtic knotwork designs from our new Celtic Spirit Coloring Book!

The author and artist behind the book, Cleopatra Motzel (also known as Feivelyn) has some behind-the-scenes tips about coloring knotwork:

“The two best examples for traditional knotwork coloring come from the Lindisfarne Gospels and Book of Kells illuminated manuscripts, both produced in monasteries in the British Isles sometime around the eighth century.

 

This is a page from the Lindsfarne Gospels illuminated with knotwork designs, located in the British Library in London:

01 LindisfarneFol27rIncipitMatt

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